Pompeo is the pol that SecState Tillerson wasn’t. Serial liar Abrams, who has been whining in the wilderness for 25 years since his conviction and plea agreement, tried to sneak in as State’s #2 but Trump nixed it due to Abrams’ snarling anti-Trump comments prior to the 2016 election.
Savvy pol Pompeo accomplishes two things with Abrams’ appointment: he assuages the neocons and Never-Trumpers (he needs support independent from Trump’s, after all), and he concedes the sad fact that he hasn’t a clue about Latin America.
Abrams was the Asst. SecState for the region during Reagan Admin, only to join in the disastrous lies of Iran Contra that kneecapped Reagan’s final two years in office. He was pardoned by Bush 41, even though he had stormed into Bush’s WH Counsel Boyden Gray’s office, screaming that he was framed and why wasn’t he being pardoned like Ollie North?
Bush actually felt sorry for him, and included him in the Iran Contra pardon list. But Abrams had lied to Congress too often ever to be confirmed by the Senate again, so Pompeo’s action has an added edge: Abrams would still be a nobody without Pompeo, and Abrams is undoubtedly quite sensitively aware of that fact. He’s on a short leash and can be expected to deliver more than mere background (“Elliott, what time zone is Venezuela in?”), but the chorus of praise for Pompeo from exiled neocons who are desperate for a hero, however tarnished and dishonored. The Fake News folks, always looking for a seam to widen into a chasm, have taken note.
Does anything ever change in DC?
12:00 pm on January 27, 2019 Email Christopher Manion