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

Dave Lawler, author of World
Sep 22, 2020 - World

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.

Dave Lawler, author of World
24 hours ago - World

In UN address, Trump says China "unleashed this plague onto the world"

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump used a virtual address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his response to the coronavirus and call on other countries to “hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

TikTok's content-moderation time bomb

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When the dust finally clears from the fight over TikTok, whoever winds up running the burgeoning short-video-sharing service is likely to face a world of trouble trying to manage speech on it.

Why it matters: Facebook’s story already shows us how much can go wrong when online platforms beloved by passionate young users turn into public squares.

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