- An unnamed transition official from President-elect Joe Biden’s team has said that President Donald Trump’s latest foreign policy moves “feel like sabotage,” according to PBS NewsHour.
- In the PBS exclusive interview, the official singled out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for implementing controversial foreign policies in the final days of Trump’s presidency.
- He suggested that these decisions’ timing was suspicious and was an effort by Pompeo’s to “feed his own domestic political ambitions.”
- A lawmaker has described Pompeo’s recent announcements about US relations with Iran, Taiwan, Cuba, and Yemen as “rushed” and “reckless.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has said that recent foreign policy moves by President Donald Trump’s administration “feel like sabotage.”
In an exclusive interview with PBS NewsHour, the unnamed official accused Trump’s administration — particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — of making decisions that are not wanted by either party.
The Biden official said: “We will manage this but it does start, at some point, to feel like sabotage. Not only do they know we don’t want to implement some of these approaches; they don’t even want to implement them.”
The transition official then implied that the timing of these decisions was suspicious. “Which is why they’re doing them now, rather than at any other point in the previous four years,” they told PBS.
There was a particular focus on the actions of Pompeo, who last week announced that the State Department would designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organization.
This was a controversial decision that could trigger famine in Yemen that immediately resulted in 50 organizations writing to Biden to overturn the decision, according to Al Jazeera.
The transition official told PBS: “Secretary of State Pompeo is literally risking hundreds of thousands of lives. Most of Yemen is at risk of starvation so that Mike Pompeo can feed his own domestic political ambitions.”
They continued: “This is not about any special affinity we have for the Houthis. But the Trump administration’s actions are only further harming the people of Yemen, who have already suffered unimaginably. This is childish and silly, and we’re not going to let it box us in.”
Pompeo has, this month, unveiled several other dramatic changes to US foreign policy.
On January 9, it was announced that the State Department would declare that the rulebook used to help US officials to navigate diplomatic relations with Taiwan “null and void”.
Two days later, Pompeo designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” — a move that rescinded Obama’s lifting of this designation six years prior.
On January 12, the secretary of state declared that Iran was now the “home base” for Al Qaeda. Some lawmakers think this might be an attempt to lay the legal groundwork for a possible war with Iran, according to NBC News.
Last month, several officials told the Daily Beast that Trump had given Pompeo the green light to do as he wished with Iran as long as it didn’t risk “starting World War III.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that the administration’s latest foreign policy moves are “reckless” and “rushed.”
He told Insider: “Pompeo is continuing with reckless, politicized foreign-policy decisions rather than focusing on facilitating a smooth and efficient transition.”
Meeks continued: “Pompeo’s policy announcements this week are more of the same kind of disastrous, rushed missteps that have characterized this administration’s catastrophic foreign policy from Day One.”
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