Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got laughs in Tuesday’s press briefing with his nonchalant response to former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s abrupt exit.
The briefing had initially been scheduled to include Bolton alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Following Bolton’s departure, Pompeo and Mnuchin went ahead with the briefing in his absence.
Playboy’s Brian Karem asked about the sudden change, wondering whether other members of the national security team had been blindsided by the news that Bolton was gone. “On the original guidance for this briefing, Bolton was on the guidance to be here. Were you blindsided by what occurred today? That he is no longer with the administration? Was that news to you today? Last night you were told he would be here today,” Karem said.
“I’m never surprised,” Pompeo deadpanned, getting laughs from the reporters in the briefing room. (RELATED: You ‘Don’t Get To Negotiate With Good Guys’: Pompeo Defends Using Camp David To Meet With Taliban)
“And I don’t mean that on just this issue,” Pompeo explained. “I think secretary Mnuchin would say the same thing. We work very closely with the President of the United States. I think we have a pretty good understanding of what he’s thinking about things. I think he would agree, Steven, at nearly all times. Our mission set is not to talk about these inner workings, and I know you are so curious about it, but rather to talk about the things that matter to American foreign policy. I would just say, people who knew should know and don’t get into the administrative things.”