Pompeo blindsided by White House moves: report

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoThe CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Biden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll Why is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? MORE has reportedly been caught off guard by recent moves by the White House.

NBC News reported Thursday that Pompeo was surprised by Trump’s tweet Thursday that the U.S. would “impose large sanctions on Turkey” over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in the country over charges of espionage and terrorism.


Pompeo has been involved in talks to free Brunson, who has been imprisoned for a year and a half in Turkey. The charges are tied to an attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The U.S. asserts that the charges are false, and officials have demanded that Brunson be freed.

A State Department source told NBC News that Pompeo has been involved in behind-the-scenes coordination.

But Pompeo also did not know that the White House had extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington, D.C., this fall for a second meeting with the president, according to NBC News.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race Cyber preparedness could save America's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' MORE similarly did not know of the invitation until White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced it in a tweet that was read on stage during a live interview with Coats.

The Kremlin said this week that Russia is not prepared to accept Trump’s invitation for a second meeting. And the White House said Wednesday that Trump and Putin would not meet again until next year, citing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.