Jun 23, 2018

Mike Pompeo outlines Trump's greatest foreign policy challenges

Screenshot via MSNBC

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt this morning to talk Kim Jong-un, the Iran threat, and more.

Why it matters: President Trump has had a whirlwind few months on foreign policy: pulling out of the Iran deal, executing a historic sit-down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and a combative end to the G7 summit earlier this month.

What Pompeo said:

  • On the signed agreement with North Korea: "I think it is fair to say that there are a number of things...that have been agreed to, that I think both parties understand, red lines, things that we – neither country is prepared to go past that give us an opportunity to believe that...perhaps this time is different."
  • On Kim Jong-un: "[H]e does have a sense of humor. He’s conversant in things Western, so he’s paying close attention to what takes place. ... So he’s bright. He knows the file. He knows the topic very, very well. He’s not turning to others for guidance."
  • On Iran: "I hope they recognize that whatever decision other countries make about staying in the JCPOA or however they proceed, I hope he — they understand that if they begin to ramp up their nuclear program, the wrath of the entire world will fall upon them. And so it is not in their practical best interest to begin that. ... When I say 'wrath,' I mean the moral opprobrium and economic power."
  • On Chinese President Xi Jinping: "He has consolidated power in a way that his immediate predecessors had not, in a way that’s truly historic. And the United States and the other countries in the region as well need to recognize that. ... We all need to acknowledge what China presents in terms of both opportunity and challenge."
  • On Russia: "The President’s been unambiguous since he took office that there are places where Russia is working against the United States but many places where we work together. ... Some of the behaviors that they’re undertaking in places like Syria and Ukraine are just — they’re not helpful, they’re not constructive towards the values that the Americans hold dear. And those places we’ll continue to work to make sure they know our interests and our concerns."

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