Pompeo issues first tweets as secretary of State

Pompeo issues first tweets as secretary of State
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP lawmaker: Trump administration 'playing checkers' in Syria while others are 'playing chess' Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring White House officials work to tamp down controversies after a tumultuous week MORE on Tuesday vowed to put "the interests of the American people first" in his first tweets as the nation's top diplomat.

"I'm grateful to @POTUS for the honor to serve as our nation's 70th Secretary of State. So many matters of global importance demand our focus," Pompeo tweeted.

"I'm committed to putting the interests of the American people first and look forward to serving with the world's finest diplomatic corps."

Pompeo, who officially took over at the helm of the State Department last week, also thanked his deputy, John Sullivan, for temporarily leading the department after former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump sends nomination for Russia ambassador to Senate Democrats eye Pompeo testimony On The Money: IMF estimates US-China trade war to shave 0.8 percent from global economy | NY prosecutors urge appeals court not to block Trump tax subpoena | Turkish bank linked to Giuliani client charged with fraud, money laundering MORE was dismissed in March.

"He is a true patriot, leader, and public servant," Pompeo wrote about Sullivan.


The tweets came hours after Pompeo, who has served as President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE's CIA director for the past year, addressed State Department employees in Foggy Bottom for the first time since being sworn in as the nation's 70th secretary of State.

In his remarks, Pompeo vowed to bring a new "swagger" to a State Department that has been rocked by a hiring freeze and often sidelined by the White House on key foreign policy matters during Tillerson's tenure.

“I talked about getting back our swagger,” Pompeo said. “The United States diplomatic corps needs to be in every corner, every stretch of the world executing missions on behalf of this country, and it is my humble, noble undertaking to help you achieve that.”

Pompeo's remarks and subsequent tweets signaled that the new secretary may be trying to set his style apart from that of Tillerson, who was often seen as guarded and isolated from the White House.

Tillerson often faced the challenge of having the president weigh in on his actions using Twitter. For example, Trump tweeted in October that Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Unlike Trump and Tillerson's predecessor from the Obama administration, John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOvernight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate Democrats' debate divisions open the race to new (or old) faces MORE, Tillerson also did not have a dedicated Twitter account during his tenure that he regularly used as secretary of State.

Pompeo wasted no time taking on the role of the nation's chief diplomat. Almost immediately after he was sworn in last week, he jetted off to Brussels for a meeting with NATO allies, as well as to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders welcomed Pompeo into his new role on Tuesday, writing in a tweet that he would be an "amazing Secretary of State."

"Welcome to Twitter @SecPompeo! You are going to be an amazing Secretary of State for @POTUS and we are all excited to work with you," she tweeted.

--Updated at 5:16 p.m.