Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a word of advice to President Biden ahead of his Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an appearance on “Hannity” Tuesday.
Putin is going to show up “loaded for bear, because the evidence of the Biden administration’s actions today suggest that will be successful,” Pompeo said.
“Whether it was the fact that they reentered the new START treaty at the very beginning or a nuclear treaty they reentered – they [Russia] wanted it desperately and we gave it up…you talk about Vladimir Putin destroying our energy industry. You should know that President Biden went first, he destroyed our energy industry by joining the Paris Climate Accord, [which came as] an enormous gift to Putin.”
“He’s bright, he’s tough, and I’ve found that he is — as they say when I used to play ball — a worthy adversary,” Biden said of Putin.
Several prominent Republicans accused Biden of unabashedly appeasing the Russian leader—despite their alleged involvement in several high-profile cyberattacks targeting U.S. companies in recent weeks.
Pompeo said Putin will likely “see how far he can push President Biden – and I hope not just in words but in deeds, this administration is prepared to show up to do what we did, to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity and make clear there are red lines.”
Biden’s decision to forego a press conference following the highly anticipated meeting sends a signal of weakness, Pompeo argued.
“The fact that you are not prepared to stand six or 8 feet from your adversary and tell the world what you talked about, the things you care about, and why you care about them, shows an enormous weakness,” he said.
“They are watching this. When they smell weakness, when they can sniff it…they will drive a truck through it. To see if you are not prepared to simply stand on a podium and respond to questions from the press that might be hard or tricky while your adversary is standing a few feet away from you, that is an enormous sign of weakness.”