Pompeo’s RNC Speech Was a Preview of ‘America First’ After Trump

Pompeo’s RNC Speech Was a Preview of ‘America First’ After Trump
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is shown on a screen addressing the 2020 Republican National Convention in the Rose Garden of the White House, Washington, Aug. 25, 2020 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Is Mike Pompeo the Teflon Don reincarnated? If you watched the U.S. secretary of state’s pre-recorded speech to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, you’ll know your answer doesn’t matter, because Pompeo doesn’t really care about what you, many Americans or the world thinks. Pompeo delivered his address from Jerusalem while on an official diplomatic trip to the Middle East, breaking decades of political norms, and likely federal ethics laws. In this new era of American gangster diplomacy, what matters is always being right—as Pompeo sees it—and always being unapologetic in strong-arming the world into accepting the Republican Party’s isolationist and increasingly authoritarian bent under the GOP’s godfather-in-chief, President Donald J. Trump.

Federal laws prohibit civil servants from using their office, title or government resources to influence election results. So Pompeo’s remarks provided more proof that he genuinely believes that those laws don’t apply to him, and that he’s a made man as long as Trump’s “America First” vision of the world prevails.

The Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, said this week that his committee would launch an investigation into whether Pompeo’s RNC convention speech from the rooftop of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem violated the Hatch Act, a federal statute that bars civil servants, including Cabinet secretaries, from mixing their official government duties with partisan politics. But like New York City’s one-time mafia kingmaker, John Gotti, who repeatedly escaped prosecution, Pompeo has played the role of an untouchable and loyal mafioso, enforcing Trump’s new world disorder and repeatedly testing the limits of the rule of law since his appointment as America’s top diplomat in 2018.

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