Pompeo accused Biden of "weakness" towards Russia and "failure of foreign policy"

Pompeo accused Biden of “weakness” towards Russia and “failure of foreign policy”

Mike Pompeo on Thursday night accused Joe Biden of showing “extreme weakness” in the face of Russian aggression, blaming the president for many mistakes and saying the Russian foreign minister would “eat the secretary of state’s lunch.”

Pompeo, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News to condemn the government’s approach to Russia.

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine reached their highest level in decades and Biden warned on Thursday that war was imminent, Pompeo, 58, blamed Biden for the string of setbacks that led to this moment.

“We have shown weakness towards the Russians throughout the entire 14 months of this administration,” he said.

Mike Pompeo, 58, appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Thursday night.

Mike Pompeo, 58, appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Thursday night.

Pompeo told Hannity that Biden had shown incredible weakness in the face of Russian threats.

Pompeo told Hannity that Biden had shown incredible weakness in the face of Russian threats.

“We started by giving them free access to the nuclear treaty, from which we have learned nothing.

“We allowed them to cut off gas pipelines in the southeastern United States. We didn’t do anything.

“We let them finish Nord Stream 2 — we lifted Trump’s sanctions on Nord Stream 2.

“And then we did the worst thing.

“We stopped the production of natural gas and crude oil in the US, giving Vladimir Putin $93 or $100 per barrel of crude oil from his country.

“We put his economy on superwarp and we hurt ours and lost our jobs here at home.”

Pompeo, who is widely believed to be nurturing his own presidential ambitions, pointed out that he was in the same room as Putin and said the Russian leader would be quick to criticize a Biden administration.

A Ukrainian National Guard soldier guards a mobile checkpoint along with SBU agents and police officers during a joint operation in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Thursday.

A Ukrainian National Guard soldier guards a mobile checkpoint along with SBU agents and police officers during a joint operation in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Thursday.

Artillery opened fire at several points along the front line between Ukraine and Russia-backed rebels in the east of the country on Thursday, hitting at least two points, and witnesses said they heard artillery fire at a third.

Artillery opened fire at several points along the front line between Ukraine and Russia-backed rebels in the east of the country on Thursday, hitting at least two points, and witnesses said they heard artillery fire at a third.

This promotional video, filmed and released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Thursday, shows the firing of a Grad multiple launch rocket system at targets of a mock enemy during a joint exercise of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus.

This promotional video, filmed and released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Thursday, shows the firing of a Grad multiple launch rocket system at targets of a mock enemy during a joint exercise of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus.

Helicopters fly in formation over the Osipovichi training ground in central Belarus on Thursday during a joint exercise of Russian and Belarusian troops.

Helicopters fly in formation over the Osipovichi training ground in central Belarus on Thursday during a joint exercise of Russian and Belarusian troops.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday visited soldiers stationed near Donetsk, a city controlled by pro-Russian militants, as the US warned that Russian President Putin could launch a chemical weapons attack before invading Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday visited soldiers stationed near Donetsk, a city controlled by pro-Russian militants, as the US warned that Russian President Putin could launch a chemical weapons attack before invading Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) visits the front line near the pro-Russian militant-controlled city of Donetsk on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) visits the front line near the pro-Russian militant-controlled city of Donetsk on Thursday.

US deployment to Europe in January, before Biden ordered more troops to be sent to the region as the crisis escalated

US deployment to Europe in January, before Biden ordered more troops to be sent to the region as the crisis escalated

Pompeo, also a former head of the CIA, noted that the first senior Biden official to meet with Putin was John Kerry, climate change czar.

“I think that was a real signal to Putin, and I think we are seeing the results today,” Pompeo said.

Biden and Putin have known each other for decades: the 69-year-old Russian leader ruled the country for 22 years, and Biden was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2001 before becoming vice president in 2009.

Biden recounted how, during a Kremlin meeting in 2011, the then vice president looked Putin in the eye and told him, “I look you in the eye and I don’t think you have a soul.”

Putin responded, in Biden’s words, “We understand each other.”

However, Pompeo said Biden underestimated the Russian leader and was duped by him.

“This is a failure of American foreign policy and fundamental deterrence that Reagan and we have had for our four years,” Pompeo said.

“I saw it up close and in person.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting via videoconference on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting via videoconference on Thursday.

Biden, pictured Thursday in Ohio, warned Putin could attack Ukraine at any time

Biden, pictured Thursday in Ohio, warned Putin could attack Ukraine at any time

He said Putin’s seasoned foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, would take advantage of any weakness in American strategy.

“Sergey Lavrov will eat our secretary of state’s lunch unless we demonstrate American resolve and the ability and willingness to do the right thing for our friends,” Pompeo said.

He argued that the US should have made the most of its “cheap and available energy” to strengthen its allies by supplying them with energy so they would not have to rely on Russia.

“We have to crush the Russians with this,” Pompeo said.

He also argued that negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program currently taking place in Vienna undermine any attempt to be tough on Moscow.

Negotiations are taking place between the E3 European countries – the UK, France and Germany – plus Iran, with China and Russia also participating in the negotiations, with the US participating indirectly.

“While we are having this conversation with the Russians in Europe, we are sitting at the same table with the Russians in Vienna and talking about giving the Iranians the same opportunity to get their products, their crude oil, natural gas around the world.

“That is a huge sign of weakness.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry released photos of the damaged building early Thursday morning, saying it was in Stanytsia Luhanska and had been hit by shells fired by Russian rebels.  Pro-Moscow accounts then picked up the same images, but claimed that the building was actually on their side of the front line and had been fired upon by the Kievites.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry released photos of the damaged building early Thursday morning, saying it was in Stanytsia Luhanska and had been hit by shells fired by Russian rebels. Pro-Moscow accounts then picked up the same images, but claimed that the building was actually on their side of the front line and had been fired upon by the Kievites.

In eastern Ukraine, artillery opened fire on a kindergarten located in Stanytsia Luhanska, on the Ukrainian side of the front line with Russian-backed rebel forces.

In eastern Ukraine, artillery opened fire on a kindergarten located in Stanytsia Luhanska, on the Ukrainian side of the front line with Russian-backed rebel forces.

A partially destroyed building is seen in the town of Popasna, on the Ukrainian side of the front line with Russian-backed rebels, after artillery fire in the early hours.

A partially destroyed building is seen in the town of Popasna, on the Ukrainian side of the front line with Russian-backed rebels, after artillery fire in the early hours.

Damage to Popasna, a town on the border between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels that Ukraine says was caused by shelling by rebels

Damage to Popasna, a town on the border between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels that Ukraine says was caused by shelling by rebels

Pompeo said he believes China and Iran are monitoring the situation closely and that significant damage has already been done.

“The Russians are already involved in Ukraine. They took Crimea under the previous democratic administration.

– In the Donbass today they are also making noise, firing rockets.

He said the sanctions on Iran have already essentially been lifted “because they don’t enforce them” and they are getting closer to having nuclear weapons.

And that weakness, Pompeo argued, deeply troubled Taiwan.

“Make no mistake, Xi Jinping also sees this weakness,” he said.

“He saw the fiasco in Afghanistan.

“He will get closer and closer and keep trying to take over Taiwan with a stranglehold.

“This does not bode well for freedom and democracy on this island.

“America’s weakness always poses a risk to our friends and, ultimately, to American interests.”

From pretext to ground forces: The four stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Anthony Blinken at the UN

Blinken said that at a meeting of the UN Security Council, he outlined Russia's plans

Blinken said that at a meeting of the UN Security Council, he outlined Russia’s plans “not to start a war, but to prevent it.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken used a UN Security Council meeting to lay out how the US thought a Russian invasion of Ukraine would play out.

1) Fabricated pretext – Russia will accuse Ukraine of violent crimes such as a fabricated terrorist attack on Russian soil, a fake mass grave, a drone strike on a civilian population, or a fake – or even real – chemical weapons attack.

2) Emergency meetings in Moscow. Blinken said that the highest levels of government could “theatrically” call emergency meetings to resolve the so-called crisis before announcing that they must protect Russians in Ukraine.

3) Attack. The next stage will be the dropping of Russian missiles and bombs on Ukraine, the blocking of communications and cyber attacks designed to shut down “key Ukrainian institutions.”

4) Ground invasion. Russian tanks and soldiers will advance on key targets that have already been identified and plotted on detailed plans. Blinken said that would include Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

Blinken offered another frightening phrase.

“Conventional attacks are not all that Russia plans to inflict on the people of Ukraine,” he said.

“We have information indicating that Russia will target certain groups of Ukrainians.”

The US has repeatedly faced questions about the credibility of its intelligence. And those at the table in Blinken remember the false claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction presented there nearly 20 years ago.

“Let me be clear: I am here today not to start a war, but to prevent it,” Blinken said.

“The information presented here is supported by what we have seen unfolding right before our eyes over the course of several months.”

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