On Tuesday night, it was announced that CIA Director, Mike Pompeo had met face-to-face with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. He met the young dictator to set up a coming summit between Trump and Un, which is sure to be historic.
Before becoming Director of the CIA, Pompeo was a Congressman, but – should Trump have his way – will soon be replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
“I don’t know why the CIA is doing the pre-work for a diplomatic meeting,” stated the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s member, Senator Chris Murphy (Democrats – Connecticut).
“I don’t hate the idea that there’s some preparation being done for a potential summit,” he further added in his statement. “I was really worried that there’d be no preparatory meetings, and both leaders would be operating from the seat of their pants, and that would be disastrous. So, yeah, it’s a good thing, not a bad thing that both sides are talking.”
Trump confirmed the news of the meeting on Wednesday and said the meeting went “very smoothly.”
“Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week,” tweeted Trump. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”
Trump also praised Pompeo for his work and said he would one day make a brilliant Secretary of State.
The Democrats who were opposing to the nomination of Pompeo as Secretary of State were happy the talks were happening in advance.
“I think it’s positive that they are beginning to do some of the underlying work before negotiations begin,” stated Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Senator Ben Cardin (Democrats – Maryland) Committee member stated at the meeting he’s “not surprised”.
“I would hope that there is being preparations done for a meeting between the President and Kim Jong Un,” he stated.
Senator Ron Wyden (Democrats – Oregon) stated the meeting is a symbol of the trust President Donald Trump has in Pompeo.
“I would always rather have more preparation with this administration rather than less because so often they just show up and kind of wing it,” said Wyden. “I still remain extraordinarily troubled about how hard it is to get straight answer out of Mr. Pompeo on key matters.”
The severest criticism in regards to the meeting came from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking member Senator Bob Menendez.
“I can tell you, even in his private conversations with me, he didn’t tell me about his visit to North Korea,” said Menendez at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Now I don’t expect diplomacy to be negotiated out in the open, but I do expect for someone who is the nominee to be secretary of state, when he speaks with the committee leadership, and when he was asked specific questions about North Korea, to share some insights about such a visit.”
However, Bob Corker committee Chairman stated he believes Pompeo only should have disclosed the meeting of the summit to the committee when a member specially asked about it.
“We have intelligence officials that are meeting people all over the world all the time, and most of us don’t know that’s occurring,” said Corker.
Corker further added he would expect every senator to be supportive of the management arranging for the summit.
“I hope there will be a number of professionals who will be meeting with leaders in North Korea prior to the meeting, people from Energy, Defense and other places,” said Corker.
Senate Armed Services Committee’s senior member, Senator James Inhofe, said the meeting showed Pompeo is on the way of “getting a running start” for the job of Secretary of State.
“I think it’s great,” said Inhofe. “He could be involved in the greatest breakthrough in modern history, and so I think he’s capable of doing that, and I’m glad he’s doing that.”