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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday evening that he believes President Trump "has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world" that have kept the U.S. safe.

The big picture: Pompeo's decision to deliver his speech from Jerusalem breaks from the precedent of America's top diplomats staying out of partisan battles — which has spurred an investigation for a possible violation of the Hatch Act.

What he's saying: "The primary Constitutional function of the national government is ensuring your family — and mine — are safe and enjoy the freedom to live, work, learn and worship as they choose," Pompeo said.

  • "Delivering on this duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact, this president has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world."
  • "The president has held China accountable for covering up the China virus and allowing it to spread death and economic destruction in America and around the world, and he will not rest until justice is done."
  • "You will all recall that when the President took office, radical Islamic terrorists had beheaded Americans and ISIS-controlled a territory the size of Great Britain. Today, because of the President’s determination and leadership, the ISIS caliphate is wiped out, its evil leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead."

Of note: Pompeo claimed that Trump "lowered the temperature and, against all odds, got North Korean leadership to the table. No nuclear tests, no long-range missile tests and Americans held captive in North Korea came home to their families as did the precious remains of scores of our heroes who fought in Korea."

  • However, the Trump administration, like previous administrations, has not fully dismantled North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program.
  • Pompeo said that, "Because of President Trump, NATO is stronger, Ukraine has defensive weapons systems and America left a harmful treaty, so our nation can now build missiles to deter Russian aggression." But he did not acknowledge that the president has in the past called the trans-Atlantic alliance "obsolete," and frequently attacked other member states for failing to pay their fair share.

Pompeo added that Trump "exited the U.S. from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran and squeezed the Ayatollah, Hezbollah and Hamas." However, he did not address that by pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. damaged its ability to reimpose sanctions lifted under the pact.

  • The U.S. intends to initiate "snapback" sanctions on Iran, which could create a diplomatic and legal crisis unlike any seen before at U.N. Security Council.

Go deeper

Nuclear power subsidy sign of climate debate to come

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A bipartisan Senate bill subsidizing existing nuclear power plants and backing new kinds of such technology passed a congressional committee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It won’t become law before year’s end, but it’s likely to resurface in 2021 as an example of the type of bipartisan compromise expected under a divided Congress with President-elect Joe Biden in the White House.

Dec 4, 2020 - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker