Pompeo: Former Defense Sec. Mattis 'Dead Wrong' About Calling on 'President Biden' to Drop 'America First' Foreign Policy

Nick Kangadis | November 25, 2020
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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis co-authored a Monday op-ed in which he said that he’s hopeful that “President [Joe] Biden” removes President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy from the national security strategy, according to Fox News.

Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier on “Special Report” Tuesday and was asked about the article by Mattis, “Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, Jim Ellis, a fellow at the Hoover Institution and former commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Joe Felter, a fellow at the Hoover Institution.”

For context, here’s what Mattis and his cohorts wrote for Foreign Affairs:

In January, when President Joe Biden and his national security team begin to reevaluate U.S. foreign policy, we hope they will quickly revise the national security strategy to eliminate ‘America first’ from its contents, restoring in its place the commitment to cooperative security that has served the United States so well for decades. The best strategy for ensuring safety and prosperity is to buttress American military strength with enhanced civilian tools and a restored network of solid alliances – both necessary to achieving defense in depth.

Pompeo took exception with Mattis’ take.

“I have a lot of respect for Jim, but he's just dead wrong on that," Pompeo said. “'America First' has been at its heart, a recognition that when America is secure at home, when America does good things for our own economy, for our own prosperity, that America will be a force for good all around the region.”

Pompeo went on to tout the successes of the Trump administration’s “America First” policy, saying that he “takes great umbrage in the fact that it’s been American alone.”

“I would tell you that our Japanese colleagues, our South Korean colleagues, our Indian colleagues, our Australian colleagues all know that the pivot to Asia was a joke, but that the United States under President Trump actually delivered real benefits to them,” Pompeo told Baier.

For video of Pompeo’s full comments, watch below: