A highlight from Episode 249: Secretary Mike Pompeo on President Trump

Newt's World


Grew up in california. And did you have any notion of a career track that has led you all the places. You've been goodness gracious nude. Thanks for the kind words. Of course not. The lord has blessed us. America has been enormous blessing to me into my wife. Susan our son. Nick arts why this public service matter so much to folks like you and me. I grew up in santa ana california either. My parents managed to graduate from college but they cared deeply and they worked hard to make sure that the three kids have an older sister. Younger brother at the three kids all had every chance to be successes. However we find that i got lucky. I was admitted to west point. United states military academy in the summer of nineteen eighty-two almost forty years ago now for goodness sakes and that's at the grip at that the trajectory and so many things have a fall in the right way for me. I've certainly worked hard then committed to the things that i've been speaking about now for ten years plus in public life but no one could ever predict that when we get a chance to be america's most senior diplomat and america's most senior spy. It's pretty remarkable successful career business. Things were going pretty well. What led you to decide. You had to run for office here. In a moment this would have been two thousand nine the end of two thousand nine weird moment. Not unlike the one that we're experiencing now frankly in the united states where we had a president office that was truly of the core conviction that government could solve every problem that were just a few more dollars taken from the private sector that we could fix all the ills of american who had a progressive agenda for the united states of america was impacting my employees. We ran a machine shop for business. Iran made airplane parts and laze at mills metal fabrication components welding one was manufacturing in the oil and gas Was impacting our business. My duty to take care of those employees would be impacted by government. That was running amok. It was the days of obamacare passing and opportunity presented itself in south central. Kansas in night. Decided i would join the team back in washington this enormous glass that came in two thousand ten not the class. You saw come in nineteen ninety-four this enormous class that came to try to reset america consistent with the historic understandings of our founding. When you look back on what do you think you learned in your time in the congress. The handful of things first is. I was enormous beneficiary of the fact that i was able to be on two committees that dealt with the issues that matter to every american on the energy and commerce committee without what these complex energy issues and second i had the chance to serve on the intelligence committee which gave me the baseline understandings to prepare me for the day when president trump call and asked me to be his Director i served on the benghazi committee. I watched at america that refused to do the things that needed to do to keep it diplomats safe and secure. It's not about eliminating risk. In fact i would argue that the state department under my leadership probably took more risk in the state department of times before. But when you do that you have the concomitant duty to make sure that you do everything. You can't keep those men and women safe. I saw that we couldn't do that in benghazi that night. Or those four americans were killed. And i was determined to make sure that we did everything we could to decrease the likelihood that anything would ever happen like that again certainly on my watch so you went from a very public job in the. Us house and became america's leading intelligence officer. You'd already been on the intelligence committee. But were you surprised when you're on the inside and the executive branch and things you had not learned when you were in the congress tremendously so new you can't truly gain a full understanding of the scope in the scale in the mission set of the central intelligence agency and frankly for that matter the operational analytical requirements of that institution so that it can provide this crisp intelligence for not only the president the secretary of state in the vice president other senior leaders defense work but for senior leaders on capitol. You can't truly begin to grasp the scale of what the intelligence community has to do. When you're doing that part time as a member of the intelligence community so i was surprised i was in almost every cave pleasantly surprised why the professionalism and the esprit and the capabilities that the cia when the leadership was prepared to turn them loose to do that good and important work overseas. Remember you raise the morale and you. I thought that a great job moving the agency and then the president reached out for you and ask you to switch to a more public and some ways even more complicated assignment as secretary of state must have been quite an experience to walk into the state department building and realize how many things were now on your shoulders nude. It was an enormous burden. That i could feel the moment. The president i suggested that he might nominate to be secretary of state. Your point's well taken as a awesome job. No press no fuss no muss. You're not in the president's laying right. You're doing intelligence collection as purely that driven organization and it's out of the public light when you become secretary state. Those problems that are above the fold every day on the new york times and the wall street journal are yours for the most part overseas and the responsibility to deliver to president trump every day. A set of proposals a set of theories as head of executable actions that we could take to make america stronger and more secure was enormous burden that i can feel every moment and all done in the public eye all done in the public. Space with a workforce that has a set of ideas that are not always consistent certainly within administration like ours that was breaking the mold in lots of places where establishment foreign policy ideas that we've been stuck on for twenty thirty forty years. We are prepared to try a different approach. Each of those things certainly weighed on me but they also got me up in the morning excited to be part of an administration. It was prepared everyday to try and make america better and stronger and more secure. Well i was privileged to the with callisto. When susan visited with the pope and you visited the vatican in italy the silent. You had to your family's hometown up in the mountains where they had basically a traffic jam because it's a how to town designed to have a team the size of the sectors state a district. Second is a detour. I really got a sense of your depth of heritage of your feeling that you really really wanted to go and visit the town. You have a feeling for where your relatives came from. It was really really one of the personal choice at my time of four years. This chance to convince the might though. I'm telling. my father never had the chance to go there. He was still alive. And i wanted to see it and tell him about it. I couldn't have had a more gracious. Welcome it was crazy. A town of a thousand probably had a couple thousand people there of whom wanted to give me some baked goods that they had made it. Was julie julie a lovely day. You'll get a kick out of this to nude. This is also apparently the hometown of madonna. And so when we went into a small store one of the vendors handed us a little gift to said. Could you take this madonna's if we would of course know each other and i am the

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