Of all the former secretaries of state under Democratic and Republican presidents, only one is taking to cable news and social media during a moment of peril in Europe to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and chastise the Biden administration.
Mike Pompeo has lauded the Russian strongman over the past month as a “talented,” “savvy,” “capable statesman,” offering his praise during a slew of interviews after his political action committee spent $30,000 on improving his performance in media appearances. “He is a very talented statesman. He has lots of gifts,” Pompeo told Fox News in January. “He was a KGB agent, for goodness sakes. He knows how to use power. We should respect that.”
Few other former secretaries of state have weighed in on the crisis, and those that have avoided politics. Condoleeza Rice, former secretary of state under President George W. Bush, called Putin “megalomaniacal” in a CNN interview over the weekend. There have been eight U.S. secretaries of state since Putin took power in 1999, including four under Republican presidents — Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Rex Tillerson and Pompeo — and four under Democratic presidents — Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and the current secretary, Antony Blinken. To the contrary, Pompeo has targeted Biden as exemplifying “enormous weakness,” leading “an America on its back, an America that apologizes.” He asserts that Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and response to a ransomware hack of the Colonial pipeline last year contributed to Putin’s confidence.
More in the Kansas City Star