United States – QUESTION: Our next guest is someone who travels all around the world looking after American interests. He goes to places like Europe and Pyongyang and (inaudible). Now he’s in the exotic port of call of Des Moines, Iowa. Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to present to you the Secretary of State of these United States, Mike Pompeo.
Mr. Pompeo – Secretary Pompeo, good morning, sir.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning. It’s great to be with you.
QUESTION: I got to say, Des Moines, Iowa, it would normally be weird for a Secretary of State to be visiting Des Moines because we’re used to you guys going all across the globe, but you’re certainly no stranger to the Midwest, and that’s kind of the point of your address today in Des Moines to the Future Farmers of America, is you kind of would like the State Department to look a lot more like the rest of the country and not just Boston and New York. Is that fair to say?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We need a diverse workforce at the State Department. And I am, I’m from Kansas. I represented the good people of south central Kansas for six years as a member of Congress. And Ambassador Branstad, former Governor Branstad and I both believe that the values that we have here in the heartland are important, and we want to see if we can’t convince some talented young people that being an American diplomat is a noble calling. It’s a fascinating life and an important one to represent the greatest nation in the history of civilization. So we want to convince them to come be members of the State Department, and then I’m looking forward to meeting with some senior leaders in the agriculture community and some young kids in the farming world as well.
QUESTION: Well, I was telling the listeners before you joined us, Secretary, that the young people that I had a chance to talk with over the weekend arranging this interview, you’ve got a pretty outstanding group of people right now working on the team, but always room for more folks. And your address today at the Future Farmers of America will be about getting people excited about a career in the State Department, but I imagine the bulk of your time while you’re in Iowa will be talking about agriculture and how it’s been affected by the impasse with the trade agreement with the Chinese.
SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s right. I want to make sure, and Ambassador Branstad and I both agree, that the people of Iowa understand that the State Department’s first client is the people of America, people like those who live here in Iowa. For far too long, Iowa farmers – frankly, when I represented Kansas, Kansas agriculture community too was being treated unfairly not only by China, but by Europe and others where we couldn’t sell wheat grown in Kansas or corn grown here in Iowa, or pork, whatever it may be, we couldn’t sell it in China. There were barriers, both tariff and non-tariff. President Trump is determined to give Iowa farmers a fair shot at this, fair competition. And when they do, I know Iowans will succeed, and Iowa farms will be able to be passed down to the next generation and the one after that as well.
QUESTION: So you’re working with Ambassador Branstad specifically on this? What —
SECRETARY POMPEO: I am. In fact, he’s here with me today. He came back. He hadn’t been back here in a little bit, and he’s going to be at each of the events with me today. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve worked closely with him in my now 10 months as Secretary of State. He’s doing a fantastic job representing the United States in China.
QUESTION: One of the stories that I know you’re dealing with, and it’s confusing to me, and I know you can kind of break this down for me, this ISIS bride from Alabama that thought it would be a good idea to go over – overseas and fight for ISIS and now she wants to come back. The disconnect that I don’t quite understand is is she or is she not an American, and why – and if she is an American, why wouldn’t we want to bring her back here just so we could throw her in prison?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, so let me take a swing at that. So there’s a hearing today. It’ll be the first hearing, Dave. She’s sued me in federal district court. This is a woman who went online and tried to kill young men and women of the United States of America. She advocated for jihad, for people to drive vans across streets here in the United States and kill Americans. She’s not a U.S. citizen. She has no claim of U.S. citizenship. In fact, she’s a terrorist, and we shouldn’t bring back foreign terrorists to the United States of America. It’s not the right thing to do. President Trump is determined that she will not come back. And we don’t need that kind of risk, and we don’t need people like her who threatened the lives of Americans and Iowans coming back to the United States who aren’t citizens.
QUESTION: You’re in Des Moines today, and then where to next?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Back to Washington, D.C. The next big trip is off to the Middle East. I’ll be there next week.
QUESTION: Well, I have to tell you, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, before I let you go, today is National Grammar Day. And my wife, who is an English teacher, wanted me to tell you she applauds all you’re doing for the Oxford comma.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Tell her thank you. I’m glad she noticed.
QUESTION: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it was great to have you back on. Welcome to Des Moines, and thanks so much for your time.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Wonderful to be with you. Thank you, sir.
SOURCE: news provided by STATE.GOV on March 4, 2019.