Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says US should ‘crush the Taliban’ in Kabul using ‘American air power’

Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pauses while speaking at a news conference at the State Department on April 29, 2020, in Washington, DC.

  • Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US should “crush the Taliban who are surrounding Kabul.”
  • President Joe Biden on Saturday ordered more troops to the country to assist the evacuation of US personnel and allies.
  • The Taliban has seized control of most of Afghanistan and reached the capital city of Kabul on Sunday.
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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who served in the Trump administration, said in an interview Sunday that the US Military should intervene to take the Afghanistan capital city of Kabul back from Taliban control.

“They should go crush the Taliban who are surrounding Kabul, we can do it with American airpower,” Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “We should put pressure on them, we should inflict cost and pain on them.”

“Every President confronts challenges,” he said. “This President confronted a challenge in Afghanistan – he has utterly failed to protect the American people from this challenge.”

The Taliban took control of most of the country in just about one week despite the two decades the US and allies spent in the country attempting to bolster its government, as the Associated Press reported. Taliban insurgents reached the capital city of Kabul early Sunday and ordered the unconditional surrender of government officials.

The Taliban took the Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without a fight overnight, which had been of the last major cities still under the control of the country’s government.

Afghan Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said Sunday that the nation would have a “peaceful transfer of power” to a transitional government led by the Taliban, Insider previously reported.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country earlier Sunday as Taliban insurgents moved into further parts of the country and the capital city, officials said, according to the AP.

President Joe Biden meanwhile has held firm on his plan to withdraw the US Military from Afghanistan, bringing an end to the country’s two-decade effort in the country.

Biden on Saturday ordered an additional 5,000 troops to Afghanistan to facilitate the “orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.”

“One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” Biden said in a statement Saturday. “And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”

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The State Department is investigating the location of a $5,800 bottle of whiskey that Japanese officials gifted to Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister after their trilateral meeting, in Jerusalem, November 18, 2020.

  • The State Dept. is looking for a $5,800 bottle of whiskey gifted to Mike Pompeo in 2019 by Japan’s govt.
  • American officials can accept gifts under $390 on behalf of the government.
  • Pompeo’s lawyer denied that his client knew anything about the bottle.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The state department is trying to locate a $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey gifted to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the Japanese government in 2019, according to a notice made public in the federal register on Wednesday.

The filing states that it is hasn’t been determined whether Pompeo received the gift, and he was traveling to Saudi Arabia on June 24, 2019, when Japanese officials gifted the expensive whiskey. According to the New York Times, the register is used for senior American officials to document gifts they’ve received from foreign counterparts.

“The department is looking into the matter and has an ongoing inquiry,” the document said. State Department policy allows American diplomats to keep gifts under $390 and they have the option them to purchase gifts over that price.

By law, American officials cannot accept gifts from a foreign government. The stipulation was made to prevent foreign governments or diplomats from exercising influence over officials.

The State Department valued the whiskey gifted to Pompeo at $5,800.

Pompeo’s lawyer, William A. Burck, told Insider, “He has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whiskey.”

Burck added that Pompeo did not remember receiving the bottle, and did not know there was an inquiry into where it went.

The Times reported that the US government was never paid for the bottle and that the State Department has asked its inspector general to investigate the incident.

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Mike Pompeo was worried that Trump would go to war to try and stay in office after losing the 2020 election, book says

Pompeo Trump
U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, speaks at a news conference while U.S. President Donald Trump looks on following his second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • Mike Pompeo was worried that Trump would try to go to war to stay in power after losing in 2020, a new book reveals.
  • In public, however, Pompeo made overtures to back Trump’s false election fraud claims.
  • Another forthcoming book also reports that the US’s top general warned against a conflict with Iran.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed concerns to at least one person that former President Donald Trump would enter into a foreign conflict to try and stay in office after losing the 2020 election, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s new book “Frankly We Did Win This Election.”

Both “Frankly We Did Win This Election” and other forthcoming books on the Trump presidency detailed similar fears among military leaders and national security officials that Trump may use threats of war or domestic unrest to seek emergency powers in an attempt to subvert the election he lost.

Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper after the election, alienating another adviser David Urban, who told the former president’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner that it was “a d— move” that made Trump “look out of control,” according to Bender’s book.

He also wrote that both Pompeo and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, feared that the new officials brought into the Defense Department and White House were conspiracy theorists and could even have “links to neo-Nazi groups.”

Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists close to the former president, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, were floating the idea that Trump could declare martial law to somehow overturn the results of the 2020 election or order a new one, which is not possible – martial law does not suspend the constitution.

Read more: GETTR’s top boss details his pitch to get Trump on the new conservative social network

Pompeo told at least one other State Department official that “the crazies have taken over” the White House, Bender reported, and pushed to speak daily with Milley and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about “hot spots overseas” to try and prevent the US from escalating conflicts in the wake of the November election that Trump lost but continued to dispute.

However, Pompeo struck a different tone in public.

On November 10, three days after all major news outlets and TV networks had called the 2020 election for President Joe Biden, Pompeo said during a press conference at the State Department that “we’re going to count all the votes” and promised “a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration.”

An excerpt of an upcoming book by the New Yorker’s Susan Glaser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker reported that Trump advisors floated more military action in Iran after the election, with Milley repeatedly warning: “If you do this, you’re gonna have a f—ing war.”

Milley and other top US generals were also afraid that Trump could take his desire to overturn the 2020 election to the point of leading a coup, according to an excerpt of the book “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by Washington Post reporters Phillip Rucker and Carol Leonnig that was published by CNN. Some top officials even prepared to resign en masse if necessary, the authors wrote.

Trump issued a lengthy statement last week, saying he “isn’t into coups” and clarifying that even if he was, he wouldn’t make such a move with Milley, who he described as having “no courage or skill.”

Another recently published excerpt of “I Alone Can Fix It” revealed that Milley likened Trump to German dictator Adolf Hitler, describing Trump’s refusal to accept the result of the 2020 election and his blatant efforts to subvert it as “the gospel of the F├╝hrer.”

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A string of top accounts on the new pro-Trump app GETTR were hacked and defaced on its July 4 launch day

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jason Miller, and Mike Pompeo's accounts were hacked
Several verified accounts were targeted in the cyberattack, including those of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jason Miller, and Mike Pompeo.

  • GETTR, founded by former Trump aide Jason Miller, was hacked on the day of its official launch.
  • The accounts of Miller, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Mike Pompeo, and other Trump allies were targeted.
  • A man claiming responsibility told Insider the hack was “easy” to pull off.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GETTR, the new social media platform set up by allies of former President Donald Trump, was been hacked on the day of its July 4 launch.

The platform’s most popular verified users, mostly former Trump aides, had their accounts compromised. GETTR’s official support page was also targeted.

GETTR's official @support page was hacked
GETTR’s official @support page was hacked and defaced.

Jason Miller, who founded the platform and was formerly a spokesperson to Trump, had his page taken over.

The accounts of Mike Pompeo, Steve Bannon, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Harlan Hill, Sean Parnell, and the pro-Trump broadcaster Newsmax were also hacked.

All of these account’s profiles were changed to show the same message: “@JubaBaghdad was here ­čÖé ^^ free palestine ^^.”

The accounts were first hacked at around 8:30 a.m. EST, and the majority of the profiles returned to their previous state by 10:00 a.m. EST.

Insider spoke to the user @JubaBaghdad, who claimed responsibility for the hack, via Twitter direct message.

When asked why he decided to target the social media platform, he said it was “just for fun” and that it had been “easy” from a technical standpoint.

“They should not publish the website before making sure everything, or at least almost everything, is secure,” he added. He did not disclose how he took control of the accounts.”

Miller, GETTR’s CEO, told Insider: “You know you’re shaking things up when they come after you. The problem was detected and sealed in a matter of minutes, and all the intruder was able to accomplish was to change a few user names. The situation has been rectified and we’ve already had more than half a million users sign up for our exciting new platform!”

The platform is off to a bumpy start more broadly.

GETTR was flooded with pornographic images and GIFs on Saturday, Insider reported. Users spammed the platform’s first post with graphic hentai videos and images of Hillary Clinton’s face photoshopped onto a woman’s naked body, Mother Jones reported.

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Former secretary of state mounts a defense of Trump’s handling of Russia: ‘I’m proud of the work we did there’

Mike Pompeo
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2020.

  • Mike Pompeo claimed he and former President Donald Trump were “tough” with Russia.
  • Asked by Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” whether Pompeo believed Trump handled Russia well, Pompeo defended the former president.
  • “I’m proud of the work we did there,” he said. “It was good work.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended former President Donald Trump and his handling of Russia, saying he’s proud of the work the two did during his tenure as secretary of state.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Pompeo about various human-rights violations Russia stands accused of.

Alexei Navalny, for example, claims he was poisoned by the Kremlin, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident. Russian President Vladimir Putin once posited that Navalny had poisoned himself, an idea Navalny mocked.

Putin’s opponents have routinely been poisoned. Novichok, the same nerve agent Navalny ingested, had previously been used to poison other Kremlin dissidents. Some of Putin’s critics have been killed. When asked whether he was a killer, Putin laughed and never answered the question directly.

“With respect to human rights, I – we take a backseat to no one,” Pompeo said in response to a question from Wallace on Trump’s handling of Russia. “I heard Secretary [Anthony] Blinken talk about the work they’re doing to try and convince the Europeans to stand alongside us on human-rights violations in China and the work that they’ve done defending human rights against Russian abuses. We were tough there too, Chris.”

“I’m proud of the work we did there,” Pompeo added. “It was good work. It was serious work and it made a difference.”

Trump and Putin had a suspiciously close relationship that has frequently raised eyebrows among critics and politicians. The US president, has, for example, praised Putin and absolved him of all accusations related to interference in the 2016 election, despite intelligence reports clearly implicating Russia.

And just days ago, Trump once again reiterated his claim that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election, adding that he trusts Russia more than US intelligence.

Trump has previously brushed off allegations characterizing Putin as a killer, and he’s also stayed quiet on Navalny’s claim that the Russian president poisoned him.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has outright called Putin a killer.

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Former US secretary of state says censorship on college campuses keeps him up at night more than the Taliban

Mike Pompeo
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • Mike Pompeo in an interview said college censorship is scarier to him than the Taliban.
  • “I met with the Taliban, I met with Chairman Kim. None of that scares me as much as what’s happening in our universities and on our campuses today,” he said.
  • Pompeo said thinking about censorship on college campuses keeps him up at night.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he finds censorship on college campuses more disturbing than the Taliban.

“I get asked all the time, what keeps you up at night,” Pompeo said in an interview that aired Friday. “What’s the thing that worries you the most?”

Speaking to businessman John Catsimatidis on his radio show, “Cats at Night,” Pompeo said he’s “met with a lot of bad people” during his time as an official working under the Trump administration.

“I met with the Taliban, I met with Chairman Kim,” he said. “None of that scares me as much as what’s happening in our universities and on our campuses today.”

“Wow,” Catsimatidis said in response.

Pompeo continued, elaborating but not citing specific examples:

“I watch what’s taking place there and the inability for us to speak our mind, the fact that people want to put pressure on people who have a conservative mindset, and just deny them the space to go speak,” he said. “The fact that we now are accusing people who are just saying things that are common sense about how to treat everyone equally, fairly, are being accused of being racist – those are dangerous things in our democracy, in our republic.”

Pompeo went on to say the country’s founders “created a nation that depended on people with virtue and character and faith.”

“If we lose those things,” he said, “if we lose the bubble on those, you can send diplomats to 180 countries in the world and none of it will matter because if America is weak at home, our capacity to influence the world is diminished.”

Colleges and universities all over the country have previously uninvited speakers like far-right commentator Ben Shapiro and trans activist Janet Mock.

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Republican presidential hopefuls are contesting ‘shadow primaries’ to avoid angering Trump, report says

Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Mike Pence
Nikki Haley, left, and former Vice President Mike Pence, right, are taking part in “shadow primaries” for 2024, Politico reported.

  • Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in “shadow primaries,” Politico reported.
  • Sen. Tom Cotton, former VP Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley are campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  • GOP 2024 hopefuls are looking for ways to kickstart their bids without angering Trump, Politico said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republicans with presidential ambitions are looking for ways to campaign without angering former President Donald Trump.

While Trump mulls his political comeback, ambitious contenders are throwing themselves into House races in states with early primaries and caucuses to “put themselves out there” for 2024, the media outlet reported.

Potential candidates, including Sen. Tom Cotton, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Gov. Nikki Haley, are taking part in so-called “shadow primaries” in key states, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt said.

“They’re trying to figure out, how do you lay the groundwork without being seen as may be trying to push the president out of the way?” former Rep. Greg Walden, an ex-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Politico.

“Until President Trump decides what he’s going to do, I think they can be helpful in House races in their own ways and keep focused on that and not run afoul of the big elephant in the room,” Walden added.

Read more: Inside Trump’s hot vax New Jersey summer, where he’s playing golf and plotting rallies while legal storms form

Cotton, seen as a possible contender for the GOP nomination, is heading to Iowa this summer to launch a string of House fundraising campaigns, according to Politico.

Pompeo visited the state in Spring to show his Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson support, the media outlet noted.

In New Hampshire, the home of the second nominating contest in the Republican presidential primaries, the aspiring contenders have started to throw their weight behind Republican parachute candidate Matt Mowers. Mowers has hosted virtual events with both Pompeo and Cotton, Politico said.

Pence, who is on a cross-country fundraising swing in a bid to increase his public profile ahead of a potential 2024 White House bid, is headed to New Hampshire next week, according to the Concord Monitor. In late April, a trip to South Carolina also foreshadowed a 2024 presidential run, Insider’s Tom LoBlanco reported.

Haley has also recently endorsed female House candidates, newly-elected lawmakers, and a candidate in a New Mexico special election, Politico said.

But until Trump formally announces whether or not he is running in 2024, the jockeying for position as Republican Party presidential nominee is likely to continue by stealth.

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China has imposed sanctions on Mike Pompeo, Alex Azar, and Steve Bannon, along with more than 2 dozen other former Trump officials

chinesesanctions bannon pompeo azar
Former Trump administration members Steve Bannon, Alex Azar, and Mike Pompeo are among more than two dozen former officials who have been sanctioned by China following the end of Trump’s term.

  • China announced it would be imposing sanctions on nearly 30 former members of the Trump administration.
  • Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump operative Steve Bannon, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar are among those who made the list.
  • In a statement, the foreign ministry chastened the Trump campaign for promoting and executing “a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs” and damaged US-China relations.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

WASHINGTON (AP) – China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday.

In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and UN Ambassador Kelly Craft.

Read more: Secretary of State┬áMike┬áPompeo’s departing message to the US is that ‘multiculturalism’ is ‘not who America is’

Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon. The sanctions are largely symbolic but underscore Beijing’s antipathy toward a US administration it regarded as hostile.

“Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-US relations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Read more: ‘Floppy and weak’: Iran has joined China and Russia in ridiculing the US on social media over the Capitol riots

On Tuesday, Pompeo announced that he had declared China’s repression of the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority a “genocide,” possibly opening the door to new US sanctions against Chinese officials.

The Trump administration had steadily ramped up pressure on China since last year, and especially in the past several months. During its last weeks in office, the administration had hit numerous officials with sanctions for their actions on Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.

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