Fox’s Chris Wallace Grills Secretary of State Pompeo: Why Won’t Trump ‘Get Tough’ with Putin?

Fox’s Chris Wallace Grills Secretary of State Pompeo: Why Won’t Trump ‘Get Tough’ with Putin?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the latest Trump administration official to claim that Trump has been tougher on Russia than any previous president. Which would probably be news to, oh, every previous president.

Pompeo made the statement on Fox News Sunday¬†after Chris Wallace brought up Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and the president’s refusal to condemn it. The most recent example came on Friday, when Trump spoke to Russian president Vladimir Putin for an hour without warning him to not interfere in the 2020 election.

Wallace read a sentence from the Mueller report that concluded Russia “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” before asking Pompeo why Trump won’t “get tough” with Putin on this issue.

“Chris, this administration has been tougher on Russia than any of its predecessor administrations,” Pompeo said. “I could go through the list but there is not time in the show to talk about all of the things we’ve done.”

He then mentioned the defense buildup, which is not as much of a deterrent as Pompeo thinks. Russia is well aware it cannot keep in an arms race with America, which is partly why it has developed assymetric warfare strategies such as social media influence campaigns like the one it ran during the 2016 election.

Pompeo then claimed to be “confused” by Wallace’s point and accused him of being “fixated on something that Robert Mueller wrote down.” Which, considering the import of Mueller’s conclusion, seems like something that government officials in charge of foreign policy should be fixated on.

Pompeo went on to claim that the administration takes seriously the threat of election interference. Which it might, but the president does not. And he is the most important person that foreign governments need to hear from on the issue.

Watch the clip up top, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.