The New York Times came under fierce criticism Monday for claiming Mike Pompeo stood out as a former secretary of state for his open partisanship, given the outspoken criticisms of the Trump administration by Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
“In a series of speeches, interviews and Twitter posts, he is emerging as the most outspoken critic of President Biden among former top Trump officials. And he is ignoring, much as he did in office, the custom that current and former secretaries of state avoid the appearance of political partisanship,” Times reporters Lara Jakes and Michael Crowley wrote.
The piece quoted left-wing NBC News historian Michael Beschloss criticizing Pompeo, saying, “Usually former presidents and secretaries of state try not to quickly trash their successors — especially in foreign policy.”
The Times hasn’t made a secret of its disdain for Pompeo. In January, a piece by Jakes quoted “analysts” who declared him the “worst secretary of state in American history.”
Beschloss came under fire this month when he compared Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to Joseph McCarthy because of a mere photo of Hawley pointing at a witness. Twitter users flooded Beschloss with photos of prominent Democrats also pointing at witnesses, including President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during their Senate days.
The Times noted in the piece that people close to Pompeo pointed out Kerry and Clinton, who ran the State Department during the Obama administration, were openly critical of the Trump White House.
“But Mr. Kerry largely held his tongue for the first months of the Trump presidency, growing more openly critical — if less relentlessly so — after Mr. Trump announced in June 2017 that the United States would pull out of the Paris climate agreement,” the Times reported. “By the time Mr. Trump took office earlier that year, Mrs. Clinton, his election opponent, had long shed any nonpartisan diplomatic veneer.”
Indeed, Clinton went on a widely publicized book tour less than a year after he took office where she insisted her election was stolen because of Donald Trump colluding with Russia, former FBI Director James Comey’s late-stage election letter, the media, and numerous other reasons.
Less than four months after Trump took office, Clinton gave a speech comparing him to Richard Nixon, and she continued to lash out at him on various issues throughout his only term.
Kerry also barely waited to rip Trump once he took office, telling Harvard graduates in May of 2017 that they should learn Russian to work in the Trump administration, near the beginning of the two-year-long Russiagate probe that obsessed the mainstream media but ended with a thud.
Kerry would go on to attempt “shadow” diplomacy with Iran to rescue the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump withdrew from in 2018, and he also hectored the administration over leaving the Paris climate agreement and on environmental issues.
The Times’ effort to make Pompeo stand out in his partisanship didn’t go unnoticed by critics.
“I think the Times invented this ‘custom,'” Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby tweeted.
“Pompeo is being political? Well, shame on him! You would never see former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Colin Powell, or Madeleine Albright engaging in political partisanship. Oh, wait,” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote.
“I seem to recall a former Secretary of State who ran for President,” former CNN contributor Doug Heye wrote.
The story also made no mention of former secretaries of state Colin Powell, who has publicly announced he would vote for the Democratic nominee in the past four elections, and Madeleine Albright, who said there was a “special place in hell” for women who didn’t back Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Pompeo, who served as Trump’s second secretary of state from 2018 until the end of his term, has hinted he will run for president in 2024 and frequently criticized Biden’s foreign policy.