Pompeo calls criticism of Trump alliance "offensive" and "ludicrous"

Pompeo on ISIS, Iran tensions, Trump alliance

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called recent suggestions that he has aligned himself with President Trump to benefit his career "ludicrous." In an interview on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, Pompeo responded to criticism made in a New Yorker profile. 

In the 21-page article, an unnamed former U.S. official described Pompeo as being "among the most sycophantic and obsequious people around Trump." An unnamed former U.S. ambassador went further, calling Pompeo a "heat-seeking missile for Trump's ass."

Despite those criticisms, Pompeo told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King that he is simply doing his duty as secretary.

"I find the language offensive, and I find the statement ludicrous. I work hard for the president of the United States, who was constitutionally elected. He is my leader, my task is to share with him the best information. If we disagree, my duty is to go share with him our disagreements. I do that with great frequency, but when he makes a decision, and it's legal, it is my task to go execute that with all the energy and power that I have," said Pompeo.

Pompeo, who supported Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016 and vocally expressed his displeasure with then-candidate Trump, joined the administration first as CIA director, and then he was tapped to run the State Department after Mr. Trump fired Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Chalking up his past comments that Mr. Trump was an authoritarian to a "tough political campaign," Pompeo said he's "all in" for the president.

"He cares deeply about America, he wants to see the American people secure, he wants to grow our economy, he wants better lives for them," said Pompeo.

Meanwhile, Pompeo has rebuffed calls to run for Senate in his home state of Kansas and said he's keen on staying in the role of secretary of state should Mr. Trump win another term in 2020.

"I would love to serve for him just as long as I can," said Pompeo.

And while Pompeo defends his leadership of his department, the secretary also responded to criticism from the Iranian regime, which has warned the U.S. against seizing an oil tanker in the Mediterranean Sea as tensions between the two countries escalate.

"We are acting with wisdom," Pompeo said before referring to the international nuclear deal Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. from. "It's wisdom to have withdrawn from the JCPOA, which was going to put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon, and President Trump is determined not to let that happen."

Pompeo said strict economic sanctions on the regime have helped "deny the Iranian regime wealth" and are in his assessment "working."

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    Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital