Mike Pompeo

Pompeo Has Been Preparing for State Department

“Since well before the White House plan to replace Secretary of State Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo became public Thursday, Pompeo had been informally preparing to take over in Foggy Bottom, reaching out to potential candidates for positions and collecting ideas,” the Washington Post reports.

“Pompeo has been calling around to friends and top Republican foreign policy hands and asking them to help him get ready to be America’s top diplomat, if he is ultimately chosen.”

Diplomats Say Anyone Is Better Than Tillerson

“Mike Pompeo may have a partisan reputation, hawkish instincts and little diplomatic experience, but morale at the State Department is so low that many career diplomats would be glad to see the CIA director replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state,” Politico reports.

“Anything, they say, would be better than this.”

Said one State Department official: “Pompeo should decline to keep on board in any capacity every single member of Tillerson’s senior staff.”

Trump Plans to Oust Tillerson as Secretary of State

“The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, within the next several weeks,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.”

Trump Wants Pompeo to Replace Tillerson

President Trump “has turned his daily intelligence briefing — a routine that in previous administrations has been a dry, formal affair — into a free-flowing conversation during which he peppers his CIA director, former House member Mike Pompeo, with questions about everything from national security threats to the internal dynamics of Congress,” Politico reports.

“The CIA director’s favored status in the West Wing has made him the odds-on choice to succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, according to more than half a dozen administration officials and outside advisers familiar with the White House’s current plans. It’s not clear when Tillerson might leave — he has vigorously denied rumors that he plans to resign anytime soon — but Pompeo has told associates that he expects the president to tap him for the position and that he’d accept the job if it’s offered to him.”

Pompeo Considered as Replacement for Tillerson

Mike Allen: “Trump advisers and allies are floating the idea of replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, age 53 — someone who’s already around the table in the Situation Room, and could make the switch without chaos.”

“We’re told that Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress. Pompeo personally delivers the President’s Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis.”

“Sources tell us Trump recognizes that a Cabinet shuffle would bring bad press. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants stability, and so is discouraging high-level departures before next year. And yet, insiders say Trump’s relationship with Tillerson is broken beyond repair.”

CIA Russia Probe Unit Reports Directly to Pompeo

“As CIA director, Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, requiring the Counterintelligence Mission Center to report directly to him,” the Washington Post reports.

“Officials at the center have, in turn, kept a watchful eye on Pompeo, who has repeatedly played down Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and demonstrated a willingness to engage in political skirmishes for President Trump.”

Pompeo Mocks Idea of ‘Microwave Surveillance’

CIA Director Mike Pompeo “mocked those who fear intelligence officials conduct surveillance through microwaves, saying the agency tries to ignore such claims,” Politico reports.

“While White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suffered blowback last month when she suggested microwaves could be deployed as surveillance devices, the CIA said later Thursday that Pompeo was not directly referencing Conway’s controversial comments.”