Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shares definitive viewpoints during Edmonds appearance

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered timely comments on Israel, Iran, Ukraine and a variety of domestic issues during an appearance at Edmonds’ Westgate Chapel on April 14.

During an appearance at an Edmonds church 24 hours after Iran had launched missile attacks on the nation of Israel, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put partial blame of the April 13 Iranian military aggression upon the Presidential administrations of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Pompeo was at Westgate Chapel on Sunday, April 14 to discuss foreign, domestic, political and cultural issues, in addition to his personal Christian faith, during one of the church’s Apologia speakers series events.

Pompeo asserted that it has been a “loss of deterrents” in the Middle East, transfers of cash to Iran, releasing of additional funds to Iranian accounts and the non-enforcement of U.S. sanctions on the country that collectively helped contribute to Iran’s ability to take hostile military actions against Israel last weekend.

Pompeo, who served as Secretary of State during President Donald Trump’s last three years in office, implied that it is a reluctance by the Biden administration to hold hostile actions taken by neighboring nations, regimes and terrorists against Israel that opened the door for the Iranian military to launch missiles aimed at Israel on April 13.

“This is the loss of deterrents,” Pompeo said. “And for good or for bad, I want to remind everyone here there’s nobody else who is going to lead in the world and keep the things that have made America so successful — there’s no one else who is going to do that but us. And when deterrents get lost in the MIddle East it’s because we’ve failed to deliver on the basic set of understandings that had been in place.”

“We built out deep security relationships with them (Israel and Arab Gulf states that signed the Abraham Accords in 2020),” Pompeo said. “And we had put into place a set of understandings that really had taken down the tension in the region. We had denied the Iranians money and resources.”

A packed Westgate Chapel sanctuary of more than 1,200 people heard from former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 14 at one of the church’s ongoing Apologia speaker series events.

Pompeo cited the 2020 killing of a top Iranian official, Qassem Soleimani, as an example of how the military deterrents can be used to keep Iran in check.

“When we took that strike — and it was brilliantly done, not by me but by a lot of other great folks — we actually created peace,” Pompeo said.

“It was a serious response to a serious threat,” Pompeo said. “When we said here’s this thing, do not cross it, we were diligent about making sure there was a cost if someone did. And that’s what you saw last night. We had lost that. We lost it on Oct. 7 for sure (in reference to the Oct. 7, 2023 attac0 on Israel led by Hamas).

“We watched our president begin to equivocal morally between these terrorists — it’s hard to use the word, it’s worse than that; these brutal, evil people — and we began to equate moral equivalence between them and the people of Israel,” Pompeo said. “And that is dangerous for our national security and for our souls.”

Pompeo used some of his two-hour discussion with Westgate Chapel Pastor Alec Rowlands to lay out a stark comparison in foreign policy between the Trump administration in which he served versus the administrations of Biden and Obama.

“It was a central focus of President Trump — and therefore for me — to try to deliver a better set of conditions in the Middle East,” Pompeo said.

“The Biden administration, following what President Obama had done, had this different vision for the Middle East. It was a vision that said you can work with the Iranians. (But) you cannot negotiate with them.”

“This is a regime that, it is not possible to negotiate with them,” Pompeo said. “And so the fact that we essentially lifted all the sanctions by non-enforcement gave them the billions of dollars that let them build out the missile program that they put to use just 24 hours ago. These are directly connected.

“Who pays the soldiers of Hamas and Hezbollah? Well, it’s the Iranians. Who built the missiles that fired on U.S. ships in the Red Sea? Well, it’s Iranian money. And the fact that the Biden administration chose to release billions of dollars to them is confounding.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chuckles during his April 14 appearance at Westgate Chapel in Edmonds.

When asked how he thinks leaders of the Israeli government will respond to the April 13 missile attacks from Iran, Pompeo declined to speculate.

“Just as I count on our leadership to do everything needed to do for America, I am counting on Israeli leadership to do the right thing for their people as well. And I’m convinced they will,” he said.

In addition to his comments concerning the Middle East, Pompeo also shared his feelings concerning the conflict in Ukraine.

“It’s important that we support Ukraine for the Ukrainian people,” Pompeo said. “There was an amazing letter by the Christian leadership in Ukraine last week just urging the United States to provide the resources so that Ukraine doesn’t go dark under Vladimir Putin’s evil hand. These are Christians who are having their basic rights violated by this regime.”

“But I would step back from all that and say the real reason that I believe America ought to use its money: We always put America first,” he said. “My gosh, I took a beating for talking about America first — I still do. It is deeply in America’s interest for a handful of reasons that we do not allow Vladimir Putin to roll through Europe and violate European sovereignty.”

Turning to domestic issues, Pompeo lamented the current state of U.S. schools and universities, the Armed Forces and government leadership in general, which he said he believes has led to a disheartening of the American public.

“Among the big threats we face in this country, and there are many, is the absence of faith in our institutions — several institutions,” Pompeo said. “That would certainly include the military; that would include the FBI. There’s a broad set of institution leaders that people have begun to lose faith in. And they’ve lost faith because they’ve watched these leaders of these institutions behave in ways that are deeply inconsistent with our American values.”

When asked about the deterioration of American cities, Pompeo mentioned specifically Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York and Wichita, Kansas (where he called home for 20 years) in his answer.

“Everyone of them is now a less safe, less governed space than it was five or ten years ago.” Pompeo said. “And the standard of living and the quality of life for the people of those communities is greatly diminished.”

“I suppose you could argue it’s random, but there’s more to it than that,” he added. “This is a coordinated effort to fundamentally change the shape of government. And whether it’s driven by some nefarious actor somewhere in the world or, more likely, (it is) driven by a common set of understandings and ideology.”

Pompeo served three terms as a congressman representing the Wichita area prior to being named the CIA Director under President Trump in January 2017. He then moved into the Secretary of State role in April 2018 and served there until the end of Trump’s term in January 2021.

“He is as tough as any human being I have ever encountered,” Pompeo said of Trump. “I’ve met some strong, tough people, and he’s survived attacks (that) I don’t know how he made his way through it all. He still is (tough). You see it in the lawsuits, even this week — completely unfair and indecent.”

Pompeo elaborated on the New York criminal case against Trump that began jury selection this week.

“It’s garbage,” Pompeo said. “It is an effort by the political leadership to undermine the Republican candidate for the presidency. It is coordinated — these are not disconnected. You know, in the documents case there could have been technical violations but never have we seen a political party’s leader who is actively engaged in a campaign prosecuted under federal law this way.”

When asked if he would serve in a second Trump administration if the former president is re-elected this November, Pompeo was definitive at first.

“If the president asks me and I thought I could make a difference, I would of course serve. The Lord calls us to do our best, so I would do that,” he said.

Pompeo wasn’t as decisive when a follow-up question was asked concerning a possible run as Trump’s running mate for the 2024 election.

“Oh my goodness; I don’t even know how to think about that. Ah, yeah sure,” Pompeo said.

— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski

  1. This is clearly partisan and not religious activity. This nakedly partisan event is a good example of why churches should not enjoy tax exemption while operating as political organizations. I assumed I knew what kind of “church” Westgate was just by appearances – turns out some books are judged quite accurately by their covers.

    1. It is ok to talk about political issues, the line is crossed when there is campaigning only for a specific candidate without giving the other candidates equal opportunity. In this case it looks like Pompeo was discussing political issues and not campaigning for a candidate.

  2. Somehow I missed the justification for holding a political rally in a tax-exempt, supposedly religious facility.
    From the writer’s description it sounds like “religion” was pretty much sidelined by Pompeo’s sniping at the Obama and Biden administions, flouting his “expertise” on foreign affairs, and embellishing his mediocre record as Secretary of State. Perfectly appropriate for a FOX News segment; perfectly unacceptable for a tax-exempt House of Worship.

  3. I admire Mr. Pompeo and his knowledge of the Middle East and Ukraine. Thank you, Westgate Chapel, for bringing him to Edmonds. Very informative. Praying that God will guide our leaders in these complex matters and for peace in our world.

  4. I’m completely amazed by churches and Christian communities that encourage people and their (the church) unchristian behavior and speech. It is difficult to believe their intentions are pure and focused on spreading love. These type gatherings clearly have other agendas and feel like a coordinated effort to influence people in a political way.
    I agree with taxing religious organizations.

  5. It is fantastic this event occurred as it brings to light the failed policies that has turning the United States into a “has been.” Look no further than downtown Seattle to see what wokeness has brought upon us. Drive down I5 and see firsthand the blight that is spreading like a disease that makes Covid like a sneeze. If you want to complain about churches taking a political point, just drive by the Methodist church in Edmonds…

    1. Do you mean the Methodist church hosting a very effective food bank, maintaining a scrupulously clean campus, and advertising that all are welcome? Have you been to a service there?

  6. Interesting wish I would have known few people have a better understanding of what is going on in this world. It is common to have high level former government officials travel the country on speaking tours. I am curious if the dissenters would feel the same way if Hillary Clinton came and spoke at a local church? Half surprised the Edmonds activist groups didn’t form a protest and try to shut down the engagement.

  7. There was a time when America’s partisan divide ended at the water’s edge. That is no longer the case as some factions in the U.S. political scene have taken on the task of doing the bidding of foreign nation states and everything has become fair game for the partisan wars.

    I don’t agree with a lot of the comments in this article which suggest that Pompeo was not sufficiently aligned with Trump but the comments on Iran are particularly relevant to the positions that he outlined in the event reported here (and this from a conservative source : https://www.cato.org/commentary/mike-pompeo-worst-secretary-state-history).

    “ The fixation on Iran, which appears to come more from Pompeo than Trump, can best be explained as turning Mideast policy over to Saudi Arabia and Israel. The result of abandoning the nuclear accord has been nothing short of catastrophic. The Iranians have refused to negotiate. Instead they ramped up nuclear reprocessing, interfered with Gulf tanker traffic, attacked Saudi oil facilities, and attacked U.S. bases and the embassy in Iraq. Far from reestablishing deterrence, as claimed, the secretary was left to whimper and whine that he might have to close America’s embassy in Baghdad.”

  8. What is wrong to gain knowledge? There were Republican and Democrat and other people there. Not many or any can hold a crowd that big. I applaud the decision. They also host other fabulous speakers. Urge people to listen and make your own life decisions. Knowledge is power, and we shouldn’t live in a bubble..we live in a state run by Democrats for years..other viewpoints make a Edmonds Kind of Day.

  9. Polly, were you there?? Their pastor has done a lot of great things for Edmonds in the past years and now. Very well respected in the Edmonds area.

  10. So how does Pompeo align his comments about supporting the Ukraine cause with his beloved ex boss’s trope that Putin should be allowed to roll over Ukraine if NATO doesn’t pay up? The Obama Administration with Biden as his VP took out Bin Laden the actual mastermind of 9/11. Pompeo is just another political hack ideologue windbag and Westgate Chapel did itself no favor giving him a pulpit to spout all his nonsense and half truths on the pretext of being a Christian gathering of the faithful. His Christ, definitely isn’t mine.

  11. The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane delivery of $400 million in cash on the same day Iran released four American prisoners and formally implemented the nuclear deal. Hardly a proud day for the United States

  12. In fact, the money was earmarked to settle a decades-old Iranian claim on the money, plus $1.3 billion in interest.

    The funds were deposited by Iran before the 1979 revolution to buy U.S. military equipment, and they were frozen under President Jimmy Carter after Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Iran has been trying to recover the money ever since, at one point contending that it was owed $10 billion or more with accrued interest.

    – The Washington Post

    1. And that’s why the money was paid in CASH, believe that if it gives you comfort.

  13. Not interested in being dragged into this one Brian. As far as I’m concerned both parties suck and are Ideological nightmares so count me out. You won, if that makes you feel better. (I’ve been known to tell little white lies to protect feelings sometimes but I try to avoid the big lies).

    1. Clinton, I certainly wasn’t trying to win. I agree with you both parties suck and are ideological nightmares. There are areas of the world right now that are a big mess, and we need figure a way out if we can.

  14. I’m shocked so many people are anti A politician speaking in a church??. Where in the world did people think there was a time when religion wasn’t in politics? Do you realize how many NON Profits are tax exempt??? 99% of them….Do you cry out when they speak?? No

  15. Separation of church and state. This was absolutely political and pro-Trump. If he wanted to talk about his personal faith and beliefs, more power to him.
    Pompeo mentioned Ukrainian Christians having their rights violated by Russia.
    Aren’t ALL Ukrainians having their rights violated??
    Also, losing faith in our institutions. Trump is the figure who has instituted and campaigned and spread doubt on loss of faith in our institutions and American values. His existence, his policies, his campaign, his corruption defies faith and American values.

  16. There is a long standing controversy over whether the United States is a Christian Nation by design (hence a theocracy) or a secular nation by design (hence the official declaration in the founding documents to the effect that the U.S. is to have no established state sanctioned religion). The jury still seems to be out on the reality of all this. Another national conundrum to contemplate if you are so inclined to contemplate conundrums. The founding fathers, virtually all white men tobacco growers including Washington and Jefferson, who used Black slaves stolen from Angola (where Christianity was already practiced to some degree) for their labor justified the practice of first indentured servitude and then slavery (because it was in the Bible so it was okay). You decide what the U.S. is because nobody really knows for sure. It’s a matter of opinion.

    1. U.S. is “Mater of opinion” Whaaa? I thought it was settled when Martin Luther King himself proclaimed the Founding Fathers & Words of our Constitution and decoration of independence as “MAGNIFICENT” in his I have a dream speech? Thomas Jefferson who defended a indentured servant to free them. and made legislative attempts to end the slave trade. Maybe you have never read his Draft of the declaration? That was where his true heart and words spell his intentions out. Words to end slavery 5 decades before the existence of any “abolitionists” . you see.. the colonies were under British slave laws for 200 years.. in fact slavery was legal in Great Britain for 400 years. It was England, Portugal, Spain.. who shipped their excusable commerce here.
      Our founders “Magnificence” does not end there. For Women, it was Christ, who told the mob of men who were going to stone a woman to death “he without sin, cast the first stone” which disbanded the mob, and altered the planets treatment of women.. You see the original Religions of Hinduism, Confucius, Chinese culture and Islam all put women at a lower place. Hear of sharia law stoning’s? It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote of the “Natural equality” of our women. Which also transformed the treatment of in the Judaeo Christian Western world. Read draft below:…

      1. Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves which they inherited and and also bought and sold on the open market of human beings who were treated like livestock and considered inferior by nature or God’s will or however they chose to justify it. Jefferson fathered children with one of his slaves. Do you really think that female slave had any option to refuse sexual relations with her master? King’s whole point was that what we claimed to be wasn’t what we really were but he was going to see that we kept working on it. And yes, whether or not we are a “Christian Nation” is totally a matter of opinion. If you are an atheist, an agnostic or a Jewish person citizen your opinion is a big no. Now I really am out of this discussion that I should have had brains enough not to get into in the first place.

  17. He is called a hack but yet he is one of the most influential people in the world. And will likely be in the future and y’all don’t want to listen? A rare opportunity missed for me as far as I am concerned. Regardless of prejudice. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the Bush.

  18. I thought it was an eye opening lesson for understanding just a little more about what happened during his jobs and what is going on around the world today. There are a few to many people who only have one view and that is why we have 2 Wars and a country that is suffering as a result. My two cents. Jim Fairchild you make a very good point.

  19. Joe, Very well said. In my day it was called a “open mind?” Which doesn’t apply much now. It’s now you believe exactly what I tell you to believe or we try to destroy you personally and individually. Very sad. Taking you down every rabbit trail possible.

    1. As human beings in a great Country we need more open minds. Maybe a little more understanding of each other even if we dont agree…it’s diversity!

      1. Closing comments on this now — thanks for offering your perspectives, everyone. – Teresa

  20. Jim, I know I said I’d stay out of this so feel free to call me a liar but to be really “fair and balanced,” I’d call Hillary Clinton a pretty major political hack windbag too. She comes across to me as a self absorbed ultra liberal zealot who would have won hands down if she had, had, one ounce of general likeability, considering her competition. I wouldn’t go to any house of worship to listen to her either. Now, I should have ticked off every political/religious thinker in town. My job is done here.

    1. Comment Continued from above..
      “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobium of INFIDEL Powers, is the warfare of the (Church/England) king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another.

      In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injuries.

      A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a [free] people” Thomas Jefferson

  21. Mike Pompeo is a patriot that loves his country, and serves it with distinction.
    We can’t have that sort of thing in Edmonds!

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