Pompeo blasts Biden's ambiguity on world stage, saying it is endangering America
Former secretary of state says president confusing friend and foe alike with latest comment on Taiwan, and others like it.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says President Joe Biden's comment on possible U.S. military intervention in Taiwan continues a "dangerous" streak of sending ambiguous signals to allies and adversaries alike.
Biden's answer on his Asia trip could have been a "mistaken set of words," Pompeo said in a wide-ranging interview on the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show on Monday night. "I don't know. Maybe he actually meant it. I actually wish they would have a stronger policy when it comes to Taiwan. I actually support what it is I think the president said, but I'm not sure anybody either understands exactly what he said, including his own staff."
Biden answered "Yes" Monday when asked by a reporter if the United States would militarily intervene if China attacked Taiwan.
Within hours, his staff was walking back the comment, saying the president did not mean to change official U.S. policy from providing military support to Taiwan and leaving the threat of direct military action ambiguous.
Pompeo said that if the president intended to change policy, it should've been laid out with more groundwork and clarity.
"This would have been something that's been a change in policy that you'd prepare for and actually executed strategically as opposed to a random answer to a question," America's former top diplomat said.
"And it comes against the context of a president who has misspoken so many times," Pompeo added. "He said we were gonna send troops to Ukraine. And then he said we weren't. He said it was okay for a minor invasion of Ukraine. And then, of course, it wasn't. He walked us through a minefield in Afghanistan where 13 Americans killed."
Biden's comments on Taiwan follow previous recent episodes when his staff walked back comments suggesting he supported a regime change in Russia and considered Vladimir Putin a war criminal.
"This comes across a backdrop of American weakness," Pompeo said. "And so to have the president say this today, and then have his team run out, and I don't know, I guess they countermanded what he said, it's a bit confusing.
"I couldn't tell you what American policy is today. And that's dangerous. That is dangerous for the United States. Our adversaries don't understand what risks are upon them. And our friends don't know what we're prepared to do to support them."
Pompeo's wasn't the only criticism that Biden faced for the Taiwan comment. The New York Times called it a "gaffe" that required a "ritual cleanup brigade."