The New Yorker is out with a lengthy profile of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it's not very far along when this quote pops up from an unnamed former White House official: Pompeo is "among the most sycophantic and obsequious people around Trump." Which sounds pretty harsh, until you get a little further and read this one from a former American ambassador: "He's like a heat-seeking missile for Trump's ass." And there you have a big facet of the profile by Susan B. Glasser, which is headlined accordingly: "The Secretary of Trump." Pompeo, 55, sees his main duty as serving the president, turning Trump's wishes into US policy, and not so much as challenging Trump's directives, writes Glasser. "Until now, Pompeo has derived his power by being better than anyone else at anticipating where Trump is going to end up and managing to get himself there," writes Glasser.
This seems to have served him well, as Pompeo remains the rare official to stay in the president's good graces. The story traces his path to the job, noting that back in the 2016 election, Pompeo—then a Kansas congressman—unleashed a scathing critique of candidate Trump while backing Marco Rubio. After the election, Trump picked Pompeo to head the CIA, though the story says he initially tried to "take it back" upon being reminded of Pompeo's criticism. Eventually, Pompeo replaced Rex Tillerson at State. Click to read the full profile, which notes that Pompeo, with assets listed between $200,000 and $750,000, is the poorest member of the Trump Cabinet. Pompeo himself has weighed in, telling CBS News the ambassador's language above is "offensive" and the sentiment "ludicrous." He says he shares disagreements with Trump "with great frequency." (Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)