Pompeo Denies Contemplating Use of 25th Amendment to Remove Trump in New Memoir

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In his new memoir, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo denies that he ever plotted to use the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

Then-President Donald Trump participates in a meeting with cabinet members, including then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left), in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., July 18, 2018.

© Leah Millis/Reuters
Then-President Donald Trump participates in a meeting with cabinet members, including then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left), in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., July 18, 2018.

“To this day multiple outlets still have stories posted that claim [Treasury] Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin and I discussed using the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to remove President Trump from office following the mayhem at the Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Pompeo writes in his new memoir, Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love. National Review obtained a copy of the book ahead of its January 24 release.


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Pompeo said those stories “relied entirely on anonymous sources — always a sign of deceit and misinformation.”

“The only thing true about these stories is that Secretary Mnuchin and I talked after January 6, but it was about how to finish strong in the two weeks we had left,” Pompeo wrote. 

While the 25th Amendment was floated as a method to remove Trump from office — if all of Trump’s cabinet members and Vice President Mike Pence got on board — in the wake of the Capitol riot, the amendment is actually meant to be used in cases of a president who has a physical or mental disability that leaves him unable to perform the duties of the presidency. The amendment would not have been a suitable alternative for impeachment.

Trump is largely spared from Pompeo’s harshest criticisms in the book, with the former CIA director instead training his focus on other members of the Trump administration.

Pompeo explained in the book why he stayed in the administration, even when turnover was high.

“I tried to separate the signal from the noise,” Pompeo wrote. “If the noise was the president saying that he wrote ‘love letters’ to Chairman Kim, the signal was the toughest sanctions ever placed on North Korea. If the noise was ‘Trump is a Russian asset,’ the signal was establishing deterrence against Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine and the rest of Europe. If the noise was mocking the Middle East peace efforts as a quest for the ‘deal of the century,’ the signal was building trust with Middle East leaders sufficient to create the Abraham Accords.”

He said he “worked the signal and was humbled to be part of an administration that was avoiding war and creating peace by putting America first,” but argued that some people in the administration “weren’t up for this” and were instead “worried that working for Trump would cause their exile from the clubby world of the foreign policy establishment. “

“Their response was to put themselves ahead of the country,” he said. “Some resigned to protect their ability to join lucrative boards. Others made a living out of leaking to the press about how much they disagreed with the president. (Memo to John Bolton: I’m talking about you.)”

Pompeo disputes claims that Bolton makes in his own book, The Room Where It Happened, that he and Bolton had a “secret pact” that they would resign together if Trump met with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He also disputed reporting that he had a pact with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff John Kelly to resign if any one of them was fired.

Pompeo blasts Bolton throughout the book, saying he should “be in jail, for spilling classified information” in his own book. Both men are thought to be 2024 presidential contenders, as is former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who was also the subject of criticism in Pompeo’s book.

Pompeo claims Haley plotted with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to steal the vice presidency from Mike Pence.

“As best [White House chief of staff] Kelly could tell they [Kushner and Ivanka] were presenting a possible ‘Haley for vice-president’ option. I can’t confirm this, but [Kelly] was certain he had been played, and he was not happy about it. Clearly, this visit did not reflect a team effort but undermined our work for America,” Pompeo wrote.

Haley dismissed the allegations and accused Pompeo of using “lies and gossip to sell” his memoir.

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