The Biden administration may want to find places where it can work with Russia, but former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he's looking for "actions" when President Joe Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.
"It will be about the actions that the United States government is prepared to take to preserve and defend American interests and stop motion to Russian malign activity around the world," Pompeo, now a contributor for Fox News, said on "Fox News Sunday."
"You'll recall, when you hear about President Biden taking us back, back as the Russians taking Crimea on the watch of President Obama, a fifth of Ukraine, that's not a back that the United States can afford to allow to happen," said Pompeo. "When I hear the administration talk about taking America back, they are talking about back to what President (Barack) Obama did for eight years where America was weak. We need to focus on the things that matter most to America."
Pompeo pointed out when he heard that the administration, while at the G-7 summit, has " raised climate change to the singular most important topic that they are going to cover...I worry that we have raised an issue that is not the thing that will make lives better for the American people most quickly and most dramatically."
He also stressed that under former President Donald Trump, the White House also tried to work with Russia as well, but there was no other administration that was 'tougher" on that nation.
"We worked diligently to support Ukraine with defensive weapon systems," he said. "We built up the United States military. We left NATO $400 billion stronger than we took over. We built out that relationship between the United States and NATO in a way that really put pressure on Vladimir Putin."
Further, Pompeo said that the United States must be defended from the threat that Putin may pose "whether it's cyber or kinetic or any of the other information that Vladimir Putin will try to force upon America if President Biden is weak."
Biden and Putin are expected to discuss cyberattacks as a key issue, and Pompeo said that the Trump administration had been "very clear" about its own response on the issue.
"We changed the rules that permitted us to respond to these attacks," said Pompeo. "I hope that the Biden demonstration will use the tools that we provided. We've got the capacity to respond to this in a way that imposes costs not only on the perpetrators themselves, sometimes criminal gangs, sometimes state-backed entities. We also (can) make sure we impose those costs in a place that Vladimir Putin, who is allowing this to take place, can actually feel the cost and convince him that it's in his best interest to stop this from happening and stop attacking America through this cyber tool that is not much different than other kinds of attacks on the United States."
He also insisted that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would not have been completed "had we had four more years."
"We had imposed real sanctions on the ships that were doing the construction, the insurers that were underwriting," said Pompeo.
He also hit back on a question asking what Trump and the administration did to push back harder on China over evidence concerning COVID-19.
"We have a really good idea of what happened here," he said. "There is an enormous amount of evidence that there was a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology...we withdrew from the WHO, which had become politicized. This administration chose to get back in that. I don't know what tools they think they are going to use but we were serious in this endeavor."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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