CIA Director Mike Pompeo referred to "President Trump's government" while also echoing Trump's deflection away from Russia's election hacking. The formulation echoes the authoritarian language and approach that Trump has adopted as his own.
In a bizarre interview with right-wing radio host and MSNBC personality Hugh Hewitt, CIA Director Mike Pompeo referred to the United States government as "President Trump's government."
Speaking to Hewitt in his first interview since being confirmed by the Senate, Pompeo told the host, "We, and I would say all of President Trump’s government, is incredibly focused on both stopping leaks of any kind from any agency, and when they happen, pursuing them with incredible vigor."
Pompeo also used the interview to echo Trump's repeated dissembling on Russia's election hacking attempts. While multiple intelligence agencies have fingered Russia for their role during the race, Pompeo invoked activity from "the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians" as things Americans should be concerned about.
HEWITT: Are you looking over your back with the other agencies, though? Because the leak parade has been extraordinarily long and granular. I mean, The Washington Post piece I referenced earlier has got to have 14 sources in it, all of whom probably broke the law when they talked to The Post. The Post didn’t break the law writing the story, but you know how that works. What about the rest of the government?
POMPEO: I can only say this. We, and I would say all of President Trump’s government, is incredibly focused on both stopping leaks of any kind from any agency, and when they happen, pursuing them with incredible vigor. And I think we’ll have some successes both on the deterrence side, that is stopping them from happening, as well as on punishing those who we catch who have done it.
POMPEO: I’m counting on it.
HEWITT: Oh, very good.
Pompeo is a former Republican congressman from Kansas who was caught politicizing the information leaked by WikiLeaks, despite later admitting the group was a hostile agent eager to promote Russian interests during the election. He also has a shocking record of racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The language from Pompeo embraces Trump's authoritarian positioning of himself as a figure who stands above the U.S. government as America's ruler. It is a stance that has been adopted by Trump's various underlings who are now executing his directives in the presidency, and is amplified by quasi-state media outlets like Fox News.
The idea was expressed by senior Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller when he declared that Trump's power "will not be questioned." Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrongly claimed in May that the traditionally independent Justice Department was being led by Trump.
The hosts at "Fox & Friends" echoed this posture, attacking NBC anchor Lester Holt for asking Trump questions in a one-on-one interview, describing his queries as an "interrogation."
The American government isn't Donald Trump's possession, no matter what the members of his cheerleading section insist.