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Pompeo lost confidence in state amid probe impeachment

A senior administration official who is a permanent advocate of Pompeo told CNN that conditions within the Department had deteriorated significantly since the start of the impeachment investigation.

"Morality in a building is always bad, but it's different," the employee said. "I think part of it is Ukraine, it's a game changer.

When a State Department response was requested, a senior employee stepped back to that feature.

" This is complete nonsense, "said the official." the department is concerned about the political situation in Washington because we are citizens and we are citizens with a special interest in foreign policy. This is clearly true. But this is different from saying that morale has fallen. "[1

9659003] The release on Monday of testimony from former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic and Michael McKinley, Pompeo's former senior advisor, harmed Pompeo internally, he said.

  Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic testifies on the Capitol Hill in October as part of an impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump
Jovanovic, for example, testified that since Trump's allies (including his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani) attacked her publicly and called for her removal, he pressed the Department to speak and defend it, but Jovanovic's petitions went unanswered, further worrying that Pompeo would not protect other foreign officials who have become targets of the president and his friends.

Asked by congressional investigators if she felt threatened by the president, Jovanovic testified that she did. [19659010] Other parts of the sworn testimony contradict Pompeo's public statements. McKinley testified that he raised the idea of ​​giving Jovanovic a statement of support three times directly with Pompeo, and the secretary did nothing substantial to respond.

In an interview with ABC News last month, Pompeo denied that McKinley had raised the idea of ​​making such a statement at all, emphasizing strongly that he had "never" heard from his senior advisor about issuing such a statement.

The State Department did not respond when asked if Pompeo wanted to review what he said.

There are now fears in the State Department that the White House may review the transcripts and seek ways to criticize those officials who testified, two current government officials told CNN.

  Diplomats say they are & # 39; strange parallel universe & # 39; amid probe impeachment

"We are increasingly worried about reaction against career officials," said a government official. "Especially if Trump wins in 2020 or if Secretary Pompeo remains Secretary of State."

On Wednesday morning, Pompeo left for Washington to travel to Germany. Ulrich Brackbull, Pompeo's chief adviser and West Point classmate, declined to appear before Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry today. He travels with Pompeo instead.

Hope overthrows

  After leading the CIA, Mike Pompeo took over the demoralized state department in April 2018.

When Pompeo took over as secretary in April 2018, there were hopes within the department that he would improve the conditions left by his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, who encountered foreign service professionals and tried to balance the department's budget. Officials were encouraged by Pompeo's close relationship with the president, and some believed he would use his access to Trump to protect the broader interests of the Department and its staff, which felt undermined by Tillerson.

Things improved during the first year of Pompeo's tenure. Part of what makes his recent demeanor so disturbing, says a senior administration official with knowledge, is that Pompeo has improved morale as a CIA director and did the same after initially taking over from Tillerson.

"He was great at the CIA and he is great when he is abroad and he meets with embassy staff," said an official. "[He] congratulates officers, spouses, talks. Fabulous. He doesn't deserve credit for it. "

McKinley testified to Congress last month, he was relieved that Pompeo had restored much of the process, which was shaken up by Tillerson.

  Michael McKinley, former State Department adviser, arrives on the deposition related to the impeachment investigation at the Capitol on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

" It deserves credit for rebuilding the institution, the processes, creating the opportunities and, frankly, the ambitions for the foreign service, "MacKinley said.

Not all of the Foggy bottom has managed Pompeo. David Hale, one of the top advisers to Pompeo, who is a career foreign service official, told deputies during his testimony Wednesday that Pompeo was reluctant to defend Jovanovic because it would hurt efforts to obtain Ukraine's military assistance, according to an Associated Press.

A senior State Department official disagreed with those who expressed a need for Pompeo's statement in support of Jovanovic, saying that such a statement would be "strange" if Pompeo wants to continue to be an "effective cabinet member." ".

"Its purpose is to ensure that US support policy for Ukraine, including military support for Ukraine. It was a successful policy," the source said.

On Tuesday, at a public diplomacy event at which Pompeo spoke with foreign public officials, he received a standing ovation, a State Department official told CNN.

But over the last few months, tension has arisen between Pompeo and his career staff. From the outset, Pompeo settled into the leakage department of the Press and cracked down on more independent diplomats. His management style has been maintained, according to current State Department officials.

The frustration accumulated after what officials said was a failure to deal with the "disrespectful and hostile attitude" referred to in a report by the State Department's inspector general. Pompeo's ongoing ties to a potential Kansas Senate bid in 2020 also confused people in the building.

Yes, Trump's man in the state

Internal tension in the state has intensified with the saga of Ukraine unfolding, beginning with the forced removal in May of Jovanovich from her post in Kiev, coupled with July's post response from Pompeo, confidence in the secretary has diminished as many officials worry that Pompeo's access to Trump has only protected himself.

The growing hostility to Pompeo extends beyond the building to the department's extensive network of alumni. Jovanovic's episode prompted a bipartisan group of 27 former foreign officials and senior national security officials to write a letter to Pompeo in October, defending Jovanovic against attacks by Trump and his allies. Former officials also urged Pompeo to "condemn" the attacks.

One of the signatories is Eric Edelman, a foreign service career officer who serves as US ambassador to both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Edelman told CNN that Pompeo has diminished his confidence in the Ministry and around the world by adjusting so closely and publicly to Trump, putting him at odds with Pompeo's own team of employees.

  Pompeo Feels Disappointed And Victim Against Impeachment Dispute [19659039] Pompeo Feels Disappointed And Victim Against Impeachment Dispute

to suck Trump alone as director of the CIA. But the embarrassment as secretary of state had to go public, "Edelman said.

A pervasive concern within the Ministry and elsewhere in the administration is Pompeo's close relationship with Trump – with a government official calling the secretary a "yes" man for the president. A former White House official referred to Pompeo as a "sycophant" who evokes Trump even less than Vice President Mike Pence.

"In particular, Pence will actually push the president harder," said a former White House official. "The other problem is that he [Pompeo] chooses not to use his power. When he does, it's positive, he's there, but only on the margins. I don't know if he lacks the courage or if it's political." [19659003] There are even concerns that the reassurance of Pompeo by Trump did not give him the opportunity to lead the president in a responsible direction – and that Pompeo only allowed for Trump's problematic behavior.

"He speaks to the president more than most people and he tries to be a force for good. But I don't think he [Trump] takes much guidance from Mike," said a former White House official.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Flirting with Kansas

An additional source of confusion within the department, to say many familiar people, is what the secretary may decide to do next: run for Senate in his home state of Kansas.

Initially elected to the Wichita-based House of Representatives in 2010, Pompeo signaled his interest in retiring Republican Senator Pat Roberts. In 2019, he has made four visits (including three official state trips) to Kansas so far. He has also done 7 interviews with local radio and newspapers in the last two weeks.

  Facing the Senate Separation Race in Kansas, Republicans from the Pompeo Pine

denied the opportunity to run, but his activities in Kansas prompted careful scrutiny by the local press. In an October 24 interview with Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City Star, Pompeo declined to answer questions about the impeachment inquiry and described the administration's attitude to the Kurds in Syria as "insane."

The October 25 edition of Kansas City Star was harsh. "Mike Pompeo, either quit and run for the US Senate in Kansas, or focus on your day job," the headline reads.

According to two government officials, some of the Departments expressed their hope that Pompeo would leave to run for the Senate; their desire was partly driven by fears that if Pompeo remained, he could allow revenge against diplomats facilitating the investigation into impeachment. Some are whispering in state corridors about who might be next to fill Pompeo's shoes, said the two employees.

The US allies also make sense that Pompeo may be preparing to leave the country in the coming months. Last month, diplomats from a close ally met with their US counterparts at the State Department. A source familiar with the meeting said that usually the two sides agree on plans in the future. This time, however, senior US officials would not discuss anything after the end of the new year, though nothing was explicitly said about leaving Pompeo.

These attacks on Kansas also caught the attention of political allies outside the building, and not in a good way. A congressional associate said there was a noticeable spread of press releases highlighting interviews at Pompeo's local radio.

A senior Republican on the hill told CNN Pompeo that he should receive "bad advice".

"He doesn't have to do interviews unless he knows what to say [about impeachment]," the Republican said. "And since we don't know what's going on, it makes it worse."

Another senior Republican who has known Pompeo's activities over the past few months said the secretary was a "total disaster" in their local interview Press.

"I don't understand it. He should not run to Kansas every other week, "said this Republican, who summarized the last few months about Pompeo:

" Total, complete collapse. "

Jennifer Hansler, Alex Markard and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.

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