Trump Commends Enthusiasm at Pompeo Swearing-In: ‘More Spirit’ Than I’ve Heard at State Dept. in ‘Long Time’
Watch: Trump makes first speech at State Department during Pompeo swearing in ceremony pic.twitter.com/jRfMt2Nf2x
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) May 2, 2018
President Donald Trump went to the State Department for the first time on Wednesday for the ceremonial swearing-in of Mike Pompeo as the nation’s new chief diplomat and took the opportunity to “insult” State Department employees.
That’s how Guardian global affairs editor Julian Borger described it in a tweet.
Trump starts his first appearance at State Dept with an insult. After applause and cheers when he was announced, he said: "That's more spirit than I've heard from the State Dept in many years, maybe many decades."
— Julian Borger (@julianborger) May 2, 2018
Borger was referring to the moment when, following applause from hundreds of State Department personnel gathered for the event in the State Department lobby, Trump took to the microphone and said, “That’s more spirit than I’ve heard from the State Department in a long time. Many years, maybe many decades.”
“And that spirit will only be magnified only with this man right here,” Trump added, pointing to Pompeo.
The comment was no doubt intended as a criticism of Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton, who presided over the State Department for four years during President Barack Obama‘s administration. In addition, it was likely a swipe at Trump’s own formerly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was fired recently.
Trump also noted that those who work for the CIA, which Pompeo previously led, “have such respect for him.”
“They may be the only people who are not very happy right now,” Trump joked. But, the president added, “they’ll be happy with our Gina [Haspel], who’s here today.” Trump appointed Haspel to lead the CIA following Pompeo’s departure.
Watch above, via NBC.
[image via screengrab]
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