Earlier this week, I traveled to Brussels, Belgium and Sochi, Russia as part of the press delegation accompanying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his latest overseas trip. Pompeo made headlines over his meetings with top Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin -- and as we landed back in the United States early Wednesday morning, news was breaking about the serious precautions the Trump administration had begun to implement in response to what it terms 'real' and 'escalating' global threats against Americans and American interests from the Iranian regime. Though officials have been tight-lipped about the exact nature of the new intelligence, a New York Times report today suggests that the latest menace involves freshly-discovered Iranian sea-based missiles:
The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would fire them at United States naval ships. Additional pieces of intelligence picked up threats against commercial shipping and potential attacks by Arab militias with Iran ties on American troops in Iraq.
Later in our discussion, I asked Pompeo about one of his predecessors from the previous administration, John Kerry. President Trump has called for Kerry to potentially be prosecuted under the obscure and rarely-enforced Logan Act over his ongoing back-channels with the Iranian regime, reportedly urging Tehran to wait out the current administration. For this meddling. Senator Marco Rubio has also called for a formal investigation into Kerry's conduct. What does Pompeo make of this controversy? He made his sentiments quite clear:
.@guypbenson sat down for an exclusive interview with @SecPompeo and asked him about President Trump's suggestion to have John Kerry prosecuted under the Logan Act. You can catch the full segment tonight on The #GuyBensonShow 6-8PM ET pic.twitter.com/GnAYO0hoDh— The Guy Benson Show (@GuyBensonShow) May 16, 2019
Pompeo also stated that the Trump administrations approach is to limit the power of Iran and reverse the previous administration's policy that allowed Iran to expand.
POMPEO: It is ahistorical and completely unhelpful when previous secretaries of state are continuing to engage in the tasks that they engaged in when they were the secretary of state. I’ll leave it at that in the sense of it’s time to get off the stage for the previous administration. I understand they have different views than we have; they are entitled to those views. But talking with senior leaders around the world and suggesting to them somehow that waiting out this administration is the best course of action for those countries is something that is unheard of, it is fundamentally different than any previous administration has undertaken, and they ought to leave the foreign policy to us. And then do their best to give folks with foreign policy views that have appeased the Iranians, that allowed Chairman Kim Jong-Un to continue to advance his nuclear threat, that put us prostrate around the world -- if those are the policies they want, they should go fight for them at the ballot box.