Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed concerns that the Trump administration’s family separations have marred America’s reputation, insisting that the world continues to see the U.S. as a “beacon of hope, democracy and freedom” in a Tuesday interview with CNN.
Asserting that America’s history as a humanitarian country will outweigh the separation optics, he said: “I have the amazing blessing of being the foreign minister for the most generous nation in the history of civilization.”
During the interview, Pompeo also downplayed the schism between America and Europe, calling it “most overrated.”
“There are so many things where we share common values and common concerns,” he said. “But in the end, the traditional value-driven alliance between Europe and the United States, that transatlantic alliance will remain strong as it has for coming on 70 years now.”
On Russia and its president,Vladimir Putin, Pompeo insisted that the Russians’ meddling in American elections is not the sole source of contention between the two nations.
“Make no mistake, President Trump agrees Russia interfering in our election is something they simply cannot do,” Pompeo said, referring to the upcoming midterm elections. “I don’t think he would take any umbrage with that.”
“To say there is a single issue that has caused there to not to be a warm relationship between the two countries is a misnomer,” Pompeo continued. “Whether it’s the battlefield in Syria, the situation in Ukraine, the Russians’ active measures, I am sure there are many topics that President Trump and President Putin will discuss and each of them is important to trying to put the relationship back in place with a common set of understandings.”
“The Russians, unlike the Europeans, don’t share our value set. It’s a different conversation,” he added. “But it is still a conversation worth having.”
Pompeo is much more careful to emphasize his loyalty to President Donald Trump than his predecessor, so far avoiding the dislike Trump felt towards the ultimately-fired Rex Tillerson.