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QUESTION:  All right, eleven minutes after the hour.  Good to have you with us this morning on the program a little early.  Thrilled to have with us United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Mr. Secretary, welcome to The Morning Show.  Thanks very much for making time for us this morning.  How are you, sir?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yes, sir, I’m very good.  Thank you.  It’s great to be on your show.  Thanks for having me on.

QUESTION:  My pleasure.  You are heading to Bushnell, Florida to give a speech.  Give us a little snapshot.  What do you plan to talk about?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I want lay out for the people of Florida this afternoon the work that President Trump and our administration has done to keep them safe.  I want to talk about American foreign policy in the Trump administration, how we are laser-focused on keeping Americans safe.  It’s an “America First” foreign policy.  And I want to talk about our successes, the things we still have in front of us, and the good work that we’re doing at the State Department to ensure that the risk to America is greatly reduced and our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, and Marines, have to fight fewer places and fewer times and with less risk because of the good work that our team is doing.

QUESTION:  How different is it when you walk in the room with a foreign leader that you have not met with before, Mr. Secretary – how different is that reception now from maybe what it might have been under previous administrations?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Every foreign leader that I meet with understands that America is a force for good in the world and that President Trump is sincere in his efforts to make sure that America is doing what it needs to do for its own people, but that we have – we brook them no ill, we want good things for their people as well.  And that we have a successful economy that powers American national security, whether that’s our energy or our great innovation – all the things that are driving success and prosperity here in America are things that nations are longing to meet with America’s Secretary of State to see how we’re doing it and to try and work alongside of us.

QUESTION:  That was kind of his message in Davos, wasn’t it?  It was not just hey, America is open for business, things are going great.  Emulate us, unleash your people.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  That’s precisely right.  I was just in South America.  I was in Colombia, I was in Costa Rica, then I might with a number of Caribbean nations in Jamaica.  And what I was talking to them about was certainly national security issues, counterterrorism issues, but I was talking about the things that America has done to power our economy forward, to create the lowest unemployment numbers in recent history, and how if they worked with that, and they work with us, they can be successful in delivering that for their people as well.

QUESTION:  I can’t even imagine what a daily briefing is like for you, let alone the President.  But in your area of expertise serving as Secretary of State, what has your attention maybe more than any other area?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Goodness, it’s always hard to pick one.  It’s a complex world.  There are many challenges.  I stare at the risk in the region from terrorism.  I stare at a Chinese Communist Party that is expanding and creating risk.  While there’s enormous opportunity for commercial business and the trade deal we got done was a really good thing for the American people, the list is long.  It’s hard to identify a single thing.

What I know is this:  We have to be realistic about what America can deliver.  We have to be eyes wide open.  We can’t pretend.  We can’t pretend that sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the Iranian regime is going to make America safer.  We have to do the things that common sense tells us that will protect Americans and allow us to continue to live safe, prosperous, secure lives right here in places like Florida.

QUESTION:  Our guest is U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for just another moment or two.  Mr. Secretary, a story here – a mass gunman taking on, ambushing, a former associate of Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani.  When you see stories of associates of people inside the country now taking on some of the terrorist leaders inside the nation, does that bolster your ability to negotiate with the Iranian Government?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I’ve seen that reporting.  Here’s what I think has been unfortunate in what the American media has done with the stories in Iran.  The Iranian people understand that America is a force for good.  You’ve seen some of the pictures of them walking around, American flags that were placed on the floors purposely designed for them to walk on.  But the people are walking around.  It’s the leadership, it’s the Iranian regime, that has inflicted so much pain and suffering.  We see that, right?  People like Maduro in Venezuela.  These are tyrants.  These are terrorists.  These are people who don’t care about the basic humanity of each of us.

And so what I see inside of Iran and inside of Iraq too is people who are fed up with their governments, who are tired of it and need the world to simply come along and provide moral support and some assistance to let them deliver on what they want – just a chance to raise their family, to live a normal life, to work, to do all the things we value so much here in the United States of America.

QUESTION:  I know time is pressing, Mr. Secretary.  Thank you very much for your time this morning.  We wish you nothing but continued success as you represent our nation around the world.


QUESTION:  Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, sir, and bless you.  Thanks for having me on the show today.

QUESTION:  My pleasure.


U.S. Department of State

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