Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the U.S. and its allies to take the threat posed by China seriously, warning that it has infiltrated school boards, city councils and even Congress.
On Wednesday, Pompeo tweeted, “Not only has the [Chinese Communist Party] destroyed millions of American jobs, but they’re behind the gates. They’re lobbying members of Congress. They’re working our school boards and city councils to try and change our way of life. We, along with our allies, must take the China threat seriously.”
On Tuesday, Pompeo joined Fox News radio host Brian Kilmeade to expand his discussion of the threats posed by China. During the interview, Pompeo again said China is “inside the gates here in the United States.”
“They’ve destroyed millions and millions of jobs, they are lobbying members of Congress,” Pompeo said. “We’ve seen this with Congressman [Eric] Swalwell,” he added, referring to a report Swalwell was a primary target of a suspected Chinese spy and that she fundraised for him and helped place at least one intern in his office.
Pompeo said the infiltration into public institutions has gone down to the local level.
“They are working our school boards and our city councils to change our way of life here in the United States,” Pompeo said.
In October, then-State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said China was “paying attention” to U.S. politics, even at the local level and “They’re looking to see, they’re grading you in a sense, can you be worked with.”
During his Tuesday remarks, Pompeo also noted a recent trade deal between the European Union and China as another example of Chinese influence. He said the deal is just another example of “a region that doesn’t appreciate that risk in a way that will protect their own citizens.”
During the interview, Kilmeade brought up a recent comment by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that the EU should join with neither the U.S. or China. Kilmeade said, “They can’t pick a winner between the U.S. and China? These are our allies? Am I missing something, a nuance?”
“Brian, there’s not much nuance in what Chancellor Merkel said there,” Pompeo responded. “You know there was a story line that the media had put forth these last four years, that the challenges with Europe were because of President Trump or Mike Pompeo, because we didn’t appreciate them enough, because we didn’t love on them enough. The truth is, you can see from Chancellor Merkel now during the Biden administration, they can’t figure out that the Chinese Communist Party is aiming to destroy civilization in the west in the way that we’ve understood it for the last 50 years and that the United States is trying to make the world a better place, that we’re a force for good in the world.”
“It’s not about choosing between us, it’s about choosing what kind of life you want to have for your kids and for your grandkids,” he added. “And I hope every country, including every country in Europe, will acknowledge that building out with the United States is the right solution and we have to confront the challenge from the Chinese Communist Party. If we don’t the world will look an awful lot different ten and twenty and thirty years from now.”
Pompeo also pointed to the global health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he said China played a role.
Pompeo said, “Somebody has to be held responsible and we know the party now, this is in fact the Wuhan virus, there’s increasing evidence that this did in fact come from the laboratory, although we don’t know that for sure,” referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. On Jan. 15, the outgoing State Department released a fact sheet detailing potential links between the Wuhan lab and the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pompeo said while the connections between the Wuhan lab and the COVID-19 outbreak are not definitive, “We know for sure that the Chinese Communist Party disappeared journalists, we know they hid doctors that had information, we know they didn’t tell the World Health Organization the truth and they corrupted it and that is tragic for the world.”