Holding Fast to Trump, Pompeo Angers Diplomats, Foreign and Domestic


“The slander reveals a faulty understanding of banana republics and of democracy in America,” Mr. Pompeo wrote.

He also tweeted a photograph of himself, the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, meeting together. The message appeared to be clear: The three loyalists are not going anywhere until the end of the administration, and have no intention of breaking the bonds with the president.

And top leaders at Voice of America ordered the reassignment of one of its White House reporters, Patsy Widakuswara, on Monday, hours after she tried to ask questions of Mr. Pompeo during his appearance at the federally funded news outlet, according to two individuals familiar with the events. The action was reported earlier by The Washington Post.

But it was not only Mr. Pompeo’s department raising protests. So did the allies.

The secretary, who is on his way to Belgium on Wednesday for a last foreign trip, canceled a planned stop in Luxembourg after its foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, called Mr. Trump a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac” in an interview for feeding the rioting at the Capitol.

Even in Brussels, Mr. Pompeo’s trip promises to be awkward, at best.

The State Department said he was traveling “to reaffirm the deep and enduring partnership between the United States and Belgium and the unwavering U.S. support for NATO.”

But what most North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies will remember about the Trump presidency was the president’s episodic threats to pull out of the alliance. Mr. Pompeo will meet Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, who on the day of the Capitol siege said on Twitter, “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

Since becoming secretary of state in April 2018, Mr. Pompeo has become Mr. Trump’s most steadfast and outwardly loyal national security official. Until Friday, when he met for the first time with Antony J. Blinken, Mr. Biden’s choice as the next secretary of state, Mr. Pompeo had mostly avoided directly discussing the election results.

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