Pompeo touts 'America's essential rightness' to State employees

Pompeo touts 'America's essential rightness' to State employees
© Getty

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Senators say Trump using loophole to push through Saudi arms sale Trump to send 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran MORE touted "America's essential rightness” in international affairs to a group of State Department employees on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Pompeo told the employees gathered at a town hall that his past comments about the State Department regaining its “swagger” means they should act confidently and understand that the U.S. acts justly.

“Swagger is not arrogance; it is not boastfulness, it is not ego,” Pompeo said, according to released excerpts obtained by the AP. “No, swagger is confidence; in one's self, in one's ideas. In our case, it is America's essential rightness. And it is aggressiveness born of the righteous knowledge that our cause is just, special, and built upon America's core principles.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Pompeo noted that the U.S. is tasked with preserving “our civilization of human dignity, individual liberty, democracy, national sovereignty, and the rule of law, and to challenge anyone seeking to take it down.”

The former CIA director is reversing some of the more unpopular directives that his predecessor, Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonEx-Trump campaign adviser on Tillerson remarks: Trump will 'pick a fight with anybody' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi fires back in feud with Trump Trump fires back at 'dumb as a rock' Tillerson on Putin MORE, implemented, including overturning a hiring freeze.

However, many at the State Department remain concerned about the Trump administration’s reversal of the Obama administration’s diplomatic accomplishments, including the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump pulled out of earlier this month.

Pompeo reassured employees that Trump “values and understands the power of diplomacy, and knows that we must use every tool in the diplomatic toolkit,” according to Voice of America.

The Trump administration has also gone against decades of U.S. foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and, last week, opening the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem it relocated from Tel Aviv.