CNN Editorial Research
Here’s a look at the life of Mike Pompeo, former US secretary of state and director of the CIA.
Birth date: December 30, 1963
Birth place: Orange, California
Birth name: Michael Richard Pompeo
Father: Wayne Pompeo, machinist
Mother: Dorothy (Mercer) Pompeo
Marriages: Susan (Mostrous) Pompeo (date unavailable publicly-present); Leslie (Libert) Pompeo (1986-1997, divorced)
Children: with Susan Pompeo: Nicholas
Education: United States Military Academy, West Point, B.S., 1986; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1994
Military service: US Army, 1986-1991, Captain
Religion: Christian/ Presbyterian
First person to have served as both CIA director and secretary of state.
Graduated first in his class at West Point Military Academy.
Served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at his church in Kansas.
1986-1989 – US Army officer in charge of patrolling the border between West Germany and East Germany and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.
1994-1996 – Joins the Washington, DC law firm of Williams & Connolly as a tax litigator.
1998 – Co-founder of Thayer Aerospace, an aerospace manufacturing company founded with two classmates from West Point.
2006-2010 – Serves as president of Sentry International, a manufacturing company that produces oil drilling equipment.
January 3, 2011-January 23, 2017 – Serves as the Congressman for Kansas’ 4th District. He is reelected three times.
2014 – Is appointed to the House Select Committee to investigate the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi.
January 16, 2016 – Arguing for a “fundamental upgrade to America’s surveillance capabilities,” he co-authors an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with David B. Rifkin Jr., stating, “Congress should pass a law reestablishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information in a comprehensive, searchable database.”
November 18, 2016 – US President-elect Donald Trump announces Pompeo’s nomination to lead the CIA.
2016 – Pompeo was the top beneficiary of Koch Industries contributions in 2016.
January 23, 2017 – Confirmed by the Senate on a 66-32 vote, and sworn in as the head of the CIA.
March 13, 2018 – Trump announces Pompeo’s nomination to replace Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state.
April 26, 2018-January 20, 2021 – Serves as the 70th US secretary of state.
May 7-10, 2018 – Pompeo heads back to Pyongyang to finalize the agenda for the upcoming summit between the United States and the Korean Peninsula. Three detained Americans — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim — are freed and arrive back at Joint Base Andrews with Pompeo, where they are greeted by Trump and first lady Melania Trump on board the plane.
May 30, 2018 – Pompeo meets with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York ahead of the proposed summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Yong Chol is the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years.
June 12, 2018 – Trump and Kim meet in Singapore, marking the first meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
October 7, 2018 – Meets with Kim in Pyongyang, in preparation for a second summit between Trump and Kim.
October 16, 2018 – Two weeks after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Pompeo visits Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Pompeo says the leaders “strongly denied” any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi as reports begin to filter out that the journalist was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul during a botched interrogation.
November 27, 2018 – In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Pompeo defends the Trump administration’s support for Saudi Arabia in light of the outrage over the killing of Khashoggi. Pompeo accuses critics of engaging in “Capitol Hill caterwauling” and stresses the need for strong US-Saudi ties to counter the regional threats posed by Iran.
January 9, 2019 – Makes an unannounced visit to Iraq and meets with Iraqi officials.
January 22, 2019 – Less than a week after a deadly ISIS-claimed attack in Syria, Pompeo delivers remarks to the World Economic Forum. He says, “It should not go unnoticed that we’ve also defeated the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq alongside more than six dozen nations in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”
April 30, 2019 – Pompeo says embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Máduro was preparing to leave for Cuba during a failed coup attempt. According to Pompeo, Russia intervened and convinced Maduro to stay.
June 13, 2019 – Pompeo blames Iran for an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, declaring that the assessment was based on intelligence.
July 7, 2019 – In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Pompeo announces the creation of a new committee, the Commission on Unalienable Rights. The committee will examine the definition of human rights. Pompeo says the phrase has grown vague since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
September 27, 2019 – Pompeo is subpoenaed by three House committees for failure to produce documents relating to Trump and associates reported efforts to pressure Ukraine into assisting with Trump’s reelection. On October 4, he fails to meet the subpoena deadline.
October 2, 2019 – During a news conference in Italy, Pompeo admits that he was on the July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
January 24, 2020 – A reporter for National Public Radio says that Pompeo screamed obscenities and demanded she prove she could find Ukraine on an unmarked map after she asked — and Pompeo refused to answer — whether he owed former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch an apology. The alleged incident takes place after the taping of an interview that aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
May 6, 2020 – Pompeo says the US does not have certainty about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, despite originally claiming that there was “enormous evidence” the virus originated in a Chinese lab.
May 15, 2020 – Trump fires State Department inspector general Steve Linick after Pompeo recommends Linick be removed. Days later, Pompeo tells The Washington Post that he asked Trump to remove Linick because the independent watchdog was “undermining” the department and wasn’t performing in a way that the top US diplomat wanted him to.
July 31, 2020 – Pompeo is subpoenaed by the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Eliot Engel, to turn over documents related to the Bidens and Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
August 25, 2020 – Representative Joaquin Castro, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, announces an investigation has been opened into Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican National Convention. The decision to speak to the political convention in prerecorded remarks from Jerusalem breaks with longstanding precedent of sitting secretaries of state avoiding partisan politics, particularly while abroad.
September 18, 2020 – Engel agrees to withdraw the subpoena he had issued in July against Pompeo after the State Department turned over more than 16,000 pages of documents related to the Bidens and Burisma Holdings the committee had sought.
January 19, 2021 – With one day left in his tenure as secretary of state, Pompeo takes to his Twitter account, denouncing “all the -isms,” including multiculturalism, saying “they’re not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker,” he writes.
January 26, 2021 – Hudson Institute announces that Pompeo has joined as a fellow.
April 16, 2021 – The State Department’s independent watchdog finds that Pompeo and his wife, Susan, violated federal ethics rules by making over 100 personal, non-work related requests to department employees — from ordering gifts to booking salon appointments and taking care of the family dog.
June 15, 2021 – Pompeo launches a new political group aimed at supporting conservative candidates. Champion American Values PAC (CAVPAC) will “protect American values and to help Republicans take back majorities” in the House of Representatives, the Senate and build conservative state legislatures and governorships, Pompeo says in a statement.
August 9, 2022 – Pompeo meets with the US House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack, according to US Representative Zoe Lofgren.
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