109 Facts About Mike Pompeo


Michael Richard Pompeo is an American politician, businessman, and former lawyer who served under President Donald Trump as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2017 to 2018 and as the 70th United States secretary of state from 2018 to 2021.


Mike Pompeo is the first person to have held both of those positions.


Mike Pompeo worked as an attorney until 1998 and then became an entrepreneur in the aerospace and oilfield industries.


Mike Pompeo was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2010, representing until 2017.


Once a critic of Donald Trump, whom he called "authoritarian", Mike Pompeo became one of his biggest supporters after Trump became the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential election.


Mike Pompeo was the Trump Administration's most vocal critic of the Chinese government, including his opposition to the oppression of Uyghurs, and focused US-China relations in opposition to China's policies regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea.


Mike Pompeo advocated for moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.


Mike Pompeo established the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, moved the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and negotiated the Abraham Accords which established diplomatic normalcy between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.


Mike Pompeo was among the staunchest Trump loyalists in the Cabinet and routinely flouted State Department norms in aid of Trump's objectives, including supporting Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.


Mike Pompeo's paternal great-grandparents, Carlo Pompeo and Adelina Tollis were born in Pacentro, Abruzzo, Italy, and emigrated to the United States in 1899 and 1900, respectively.


In 1982, Mike Pompeo graduated from Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley, California, where he played forward on the basketball team.


In 1986, Mike Pompeo graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he majored in engineering management.


Mike Pompeo was a classmate of Brian Bulatao and Ulrich Brechbuhl, who later helped him found Thayer Aerospace.


From 1986 to 1991, Mike Pompeo served in the US Army as an armor officer with the West Germany-based 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the 4th Infantry Division.


Mike Pompeo served as a tank platoon leader before becoming a cavalry troop executive officer and then the squadron maintenance officer.


In 1996, Mike Pompeo moved to Wichita, Kansas, where he and three West Point friends, Brian Bulatao, Ulrich Brechbuhl, and Michael Stradinger, acquired three aircraft-part manufacturers there and in St Louis, renaming the entity Thayer Aerospace after West Point superintendent Sylvanus Thayer.


Mike Pompeo then became president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturer that was a partner of Koch Industries.


In 2017, when Mike Pompeo became head of the CIA, he named his former business partner, Brian Bulatao, the agency's chief operating officer.


Mike Pompeo represented Kansas's 4th congressional district from 2011 until his January 2017 appointment to director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


Mike Pompeo received $80,000 in donations during the campaign from Koch Industries and its employees.


Mike Pompeo served on the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Energy, the United States House Intelligence Subcommittee on the CIA, and the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi.


Mike Pompeo was original sponsor of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.


On November 18,2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Mike Pompeo to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


In February 2017, Mike Pompeo traveled to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.


Mike Pompeo met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss policy on Syria and ISIL.


Mike Pompeo honored the then-crown prince of Saudi Arabia Muhammad bin Nayef with the CIA's "George Tenet" Medal.


In March 2017, Mike Pompeo formally invoked state secrets privilege to prevent CIA officers, including Gina Haspel and James Cotsana, from being compelled to testify in the trial of Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell.


In June 2017, Mike Pompeo named Michael D'Andrea head of the CIA's Iran mission center.


In September 2017, Mike Pompeo sought authority for the CIA to make covert drone strikes without the Pentagon's involvement, including inside Afghanistan.


At Trump's request, Pompeo met with former NSA official William E Binney to discuss his doubts of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.


At the suggestion of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, Mike Pompeo planned to hire chaplains at the CIA.


President Trump announced on March 13,2018, that he would nominate Mike Pompeo to serve as secretary of state, succeeding Rex Tillerson, who stepped down on March 31,2018.


Mike Pompeo played a role in Trump's three summits with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un.


In July 2018, Mike Pompeo raised the issue of Xinjiang internment camps and human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in China.


Mike Pompeo criticized Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his refusal to condemn the Chinese government's repressions against the Uyghurs.


Under mounting pressure from lawmakers who wanted action against Saudi Arabia, Mike Pompeo disputed the CIA's conclusion and declared there was no direct evidence linking the Crown Prince to the Khashoggi's assassination.


On January 7,2019, Mike Pompeo began a diplomatic tour of the Middle East to assure regional US partners that, amid the sudden withdrawal of US troops from Syria, the US mission to degrade and destroy the Islamic State and to counter Iranian influence in the region had not changed.


Mike Pompeo announced on January 23,2019, that Juan Guaido would be recognized by the US as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela, and that American diplomats in Caracas would remain at their posts, even as Nicolas Maduro gave them three days to evacuate the country upon Guaido assumption of the presidency.


On May 14,2019, Mike Pompeo met for three hours with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and for ninety minutes with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia.


In October 2019, the State Department web site promoted a speech by Mike Pompeo "On Being a Christian Leader", which he delivered to the American Association of Christian Counselors in his official government role.


Mike Pompeo created the Commission on Unalienable Rights, and created a faith-based employee affinity group that includes contractors.


Mike Pompeo defended the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, saying Turkey has a "legitimate security concern" with "a terrorist threat to their south".


However, Mike Pompeo denied that the United States had given a "green light" for Turkey to attack the Kurds.


In November 2019, Mike Pompeo said the US no longer views Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as a violation of international law, breaking with decades of US policy.


Mike Pompeo was reportedly among the most hawkish advisors within the administration during the meeting in which Trump decided to assassinate Soleimani.


In January 2020, Mike Pompeo abruptly ended an interview with Mary Louise Kelly of NPR's All Things Considered, and called her to private quarters where he admonished her for asking questions regarding Ukraine during the interview.


Mike Pompeo praised Trump-brokered peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as an "enormous" step forward on the "right path".


State Department officials and others raised concerns that the dinners did not serve any foreign policy purpose but were intended for Mike Pompeo to cultivate supporters and donors for future political ambitions, especially since detailed contact information for each attendee was sent to Mike Pompeo's wife's personal email address.


Mike Pompeo temporarily suspended the "Madison dinners" when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, but resumed the dinners at the Blair House in September 2020, despite the controversy over them and concerns about public health.


Mike Pompeo denied that he sought to fire Linick in retaliation.


Mike Pompeo informed the chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Intelligence Committee, and the House Oversight Committee that their subpoenas for documents regarding Trump's communications with the government of Ukraine "can be understood only as an attempt to 'intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State".


On November 26,2019, Mike Pompeo appeared to grant legitimacy to a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, rather than or in addition to Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 United States elections.


Mike Pompeo said the US government is trying to determine if the COVID-19 virus emanated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.


Mike Pompeo did not give details of any requests for such visits.


On May 13,2020, Mike Pompeo made a swift visit to Israel for his first trip overseas since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.


In May 2019, Mike Pompeo announced an "emergency" to push through $8.1billion of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, citing Iranian activity in the Middle East.


Mike Pompeo was involved in negotiations with the Taliban that set the stage for a US departure from Afghanistan.


In early 2020, Mike Pompeo touted the Trump administration's agreement with the Taliban that put the US on a trajectory to leave Afghanistan by May 2021.


Mike Pompeo urged the Afghan government to release the remaining prisoners to remove "the last obstacle to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations".


Later, the Joe Biden administration extended the withdrawal timeline to August 2021, and Mike Pompeo expressed support for it.


However, after the US had left Afghanistan, the Ashraf Ghani government rapidly collapsed and the Taliban regained substantial territory, Mike Pompeo distanced himself and the Trump administration from the situation facing Afghanistan post-withdrawal.


Mike Pompeo urged followers of the State Department's Twitter account to follow his personal account; criticized the news media, and complained about purported "censorship" of conservatives on social media websites.


On January 12,2021, Mike Pompeo cancelled a planned European trip when European diplomats declined to meet with him.


Mike Pompeo made a large number of foreign policy decisions in the last weeks of the Trump administration leading up the inauguration of Joe Biden, including many likely to be reversed under Biden.


Mike Pompeo ordered the re-designation of Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and designating the Houthi rebels as a "foreign terrorist organization".


On January 19,2021, Mike Pompeo announced that the Department of State had determined that "genocide and crimes against humanity" had been perpetrated by China against the Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.


Mike Pompeo still had almost one million dollars in his congressional campaign account as of June 2019, which could be used in a Senate bid.


In March 2019, Mike Pompeo said he had ruled out a 2020 Senate run although he implied an openness to seeking statewide office in the future.


On July 29, Mike Pompeo indicated that a 2020 Senate run was "off the table".


Bob Menendez filed a complaint about Mike Pompeo's repeated trips to Kansas, calling for review of whether Mike Pompeo was engaging in political activity while traveling in an official capacity on taxpayer funds and thereby violating the Hatch Act of 1939.


Menendez's complaint referenced a Wall Street Journal article saying that during his visit to Kansas, Mike Pompeo met with GOP donor Charles Koch to discuss the Kansas senate race.


Trump said that, in their discussion, Mike Pompeo explained he would prefer to stay in his job as Secretary of State and would run only if it were necessary to keep a Republican seat in the Senate.


In 2013, Mike Pompeo supported the surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, referring to the agency's efforts as "good and important work".


Mike Pompeo has been a frequent guest on anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney's radio show for the Center for Security Policy.


In 2017, it was reported that Mike Pompeo had expressed desire for regime change in North Korea.


In September 2018, Mike Pompeo "backed continued US military support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen over the objections of staff members after being warned that a cutoff could jeopardize $2billion in weapons sales to America's Gulf allies, according to a classified memo and people familiar with the decision".


In November 2018, Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, saying, "Iran causes death and destruction inside of Yemen and does nothing to prevent the starvation," while Saudi Arabia has "provided millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief" for Yemen.


Mike Pompeo made several explosive statements during the interview, including called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a "known terrorist".


Mike Pompeo suggested that Chinese investment in Israel would create issues between the US and Israel, and threatened to reduce security arrangements between the countries, although he claimed that he would have no problems with open and transparent investments.


Mike Pompeo accused the World Health Organization of being under control of the People's Republic of China and implicated China as being behind the significant number of deaths in the UK as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Mike Pompeo praised the UK when they started to push back against the Chinese Communist Party and its General Secretary Xi Jinping, especially with respect to Huawei.


Mike Pompeo said he preferred a new coalition that did not need to go through established institutions that were set up by the United States, such as the United Nations.


Mike Pompeo argued that China was a "new tyranny" and it was the duty of "every leader of every nation" to stand up to China.


Mike Pompeo has argued that China's claims and activities in the South China Sea were illegal.


Michael Hirson, at Eurasia Group, argued that Mike Pompeo was calling for regime change.


Mike Pompeo called on the Chinese people to betray their government and rise up to change the Chinese Communist Party.


Mike Pompeo criticized Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping as "a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology".


In September 2020, Mike Pompeo accused the Chinese government of trying to foment racial unrest in the United States during an address to state lawmakers in Wisconsin.


In October 2020, Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, and Mike Pompeo cancelled scheduled meetings with South Korea and Mongolia.


In February 2022, right before Russia invaded Ukraine, Mike Pompeo gave an interview in which he praised Russian president Vladimir Putin.


Mike Pompeo's comments reflected comments made by Trump after the invasion praising Putin.


Mike Pompeo called the Obama administration's environment and climate change plans "damaging" and "radical".


In 2015, Mike Pompeo opposed the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the United States and supported eliminating the United States federal register of greenhouse gas emissions.


In May 2019, Mike Pompeo acted against environmental protection at the Arctic Council.


Mike Pompeo refused to sign on to a joint statement addressing the need for protection of the Arctic region from the threat of rapidly melting ice unless all mentions of climate change were removed from the document.


Mike Pompeo described the Paris climate accord, along with the World Health Organisation and Human Rights Council as one of the "three sins".


Mike Pompeo has been criticized for saying he supports funding for certain programs, yet opposing them when they are a part of the ACA.


Mike Pompeo accused the World Health Organization of being under control of the People's Republic of China.


The WHO responded by saying Mike Pompeo's comments were unacceptable and a distraction from dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.


Mike Pompeo opposes same-sex marriage and sponsored bills to let states prevent same-sex couples from marrying.


Mike Pompeo was instrumental in the development of the anti-abortion Geneva Consensus Declaration.


Mike Pompeo supported the United States federal government shutdown of 2013, blaming President Obama.


Mike Pompeo said he believed the shutdown was necessary to avoid an "American financial collapse 10 years from now".


Mike Pompeo has continued a non-cooperative policy towards the International Criminal Court in The Hague, enacting sanctions against the ICC's chief prosecutor and other officials in September 2020.


In January 2021, Mike Pompeo joined the Hudson Institute as a distinguished fellow.


Mike Pompeo considered a candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and toured early primary states, but ultimately announced his decision not to run in April 2023.


Mike Pompeo then married Susan Justice Mostrous in 2000 and formally adopted her son, Nicholas.


Mike Pompeo served as a local church deacon from 2007 to 2009 and taught Sunday school.


In 2014, Mike Pompeo told a church group that Christians needed to "know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world".