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Mike Pompeo, on first day at State Department, promises new ‘swagger’

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New U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks to employees on his first day at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, arriving for his first day at the State Department, said on Tuesday he would help the U.S. diplomatic corps in “getting back our swagger” but offered few details about his plans for the agency.

Pompeo, who was confirmed last week in his role before immediately setting off to meet with allies in Europe and the Middle East, avoiding the customary first day at the State Department, joked that he now held the record for the longest trip to the first day of work.

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“I talked about getting back our swagger, and I’ll fill in what I mean by that, but it’s important. 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 achieve that,” Pompeo said to loud applause from several hundred diplomatic staff.

 In the Trump administration, the State Department has been shaken and demoralized by the departures of many senior diplomats and a hiring freeze, and has found itself sidelined by the White House on foreign policy.
Pompeo’s remarks were brief and without any detail on possible changes in store for the department. He is a former congressman who headed the Central Intelligence Agency from January last year until last week and is seen as a loyalist of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump would formally swear him into the new post on Wednesday, Pompeo said. It will be Trump’s first visit to the department.

Trump fired his first secretary of state Rex Tillerson in March after public rifts on North Korea, Iran and Russia.

The United States is preparing for a historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States pushes for changes to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has threatened to abandon.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late on Monday that Israel would publish evidence it says it has of past Iranian nuclear arms work.

While Pompeo suggested the United States was still working on language to “fix” the 2015 deal, Netanyahu said the evidence showed Iran lied going into the deal.

Additionally, tensions between Washington and Moscow have increased over U.S. intelligence agency allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a seven-year war.

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Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Grant McCool


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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2020 Election

‘Very good news’: Law prof praises Kentucky’s bipartisan compromise to allow everyone to vote by mail

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The state of Kentucky was praised on Friday after a bipartisan agreement was reached to expand voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Any Kentucky voter wary of the risk of COVID-19 will be able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election by mailing in an absentee ballot. Voters will also have the option of casting a ballot in person during the three weeks leading up to the election, or waiting until Election Day," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday.

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2020 Election

Political forecast models aren’t necessarily more accurate than polls – or the weather

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Political forecast models aren't necessarily more accurate than polls – or the weather As the old joke goes, it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. Tetra Images via Getty Images

John A. Tures, LaGrange College

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‘Proof of Trump’s dementia’: President ridiculed as ‘delusional’ for his latest claim about the 2020 campaign

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President Donald Trump said his campaign is trying to win the state of New York in the 2020 presidential campaign.

While on his way to a weekend at his Bedminister Golf Club, Trump tweeted a picture of a New York Post cover with the president claiming the state is "in play" during the 2020 presidential election.

"Just landed in New York to see my brother, Robert. We’re going for New York on November 3rd. We’re going to Reduce Taxes, Increase Law Enforcement, and bring it back BIG TIME!" Trump claimed.

The president was quickly ridiculed for thinking New York is in play, when election analysts view New York as a safe state for Democrats.

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