Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace pushed back on former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s criticism that President Joe Biden has softened the U.S. stance toward Russia, noting several Trump administration failures to rebuke Moscow.
Pompeo on Sunday criticized the Biden administration for easing sanctions, saying it’s allowed construction to continue on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany. Pompeo echoed the complaints of many Republicans and Trump administration allies who have accused Biden of being “soft” with foreign policy as he attends European summits this week.
But Wallace confronted Pompeo on why his State Department failed to condemn the poisoning of Russian dissident and Putin critic Alexei Navalny and why Russia was able to complete 90 percent of the gas pipeline by the end of Trump’s term in the White House.
“Let’s look back at the Trump record. Under President Trump, the administration did not stop Russia from completing, and they continued to build, the Nord Stream Pipeline—and by the end of the administration it was 90 percent completed,” Wallace told Pompeo. “And President Trump never condemned Russia for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny or his arrest. And both of those happened on his watch.”
“Well Chris, you said it yourself, they didn’t complete the pipeline, we imposed real sanctions on the ships that were doing the construction and the insurers that were doing the underwriting it,” replied Pompeo, who was head of the Trump State Department from 2018 through 2021. “We made clear that pipeline was not going to be completed and it would not have been completed had we had four more years. I’m very confident of that.”
Pompeo offered slight praise for current Secretary of State Antony Blinken‘s efforts to continue pushing back on human rights violations in China and Russia, which he said began under Trump. Pompeo reiterated that if Trump had four more years in the White House, the U.S. would be pushing back harder than Biden on both Russia and Chinese aggressions globally.
“We were tough there too, Chris. I’m proud of the work we did there. It was good work, it was serious work and it made a difference,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo has continued to blast China on Twitter since leaving office, tweeting early Sunday in regards to COVID, “The Chinese Communist Party must pay for the havoc they’ve wreaked across the world.” He has also touted what he describes as Trump’s “peace through strength” strategy.
Newsweek has reached out to the State Department for reaction to Pompeo’s comments.