Trump at Pompeo Swearing-in: I Haven't Heard Spirit Like This at State Department in a Long Time

May 2, 2018

Upon an enthusiastic reception at the State Department for the official swearing-in of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, President Donald Trump remarked it was "more spirit than I've heard" at the agency "in a long time."

"I must say that's more spirit than I've heard from the State Department in a long time," Trump said. "Many years. We can say many years, maybe many decades. It's going to be a fantastic start, fantastic day, and that spirit will only be magnified."

Trump's comments appeared to be an implicit shot at former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who Trump fired in March after a little more than a year on the job. Tillerson received criticism for low morale within the agency, and Foggy Bottom and the White House were frequently at odds during his tenure.

Trump praised the "extraordinary men and women of the State Department" for their work for the country and made references to Pompeo's ongoing diplomatic work with North Korea.

"You'll be doing things that you don't even know about," Trump said to laughter. "Right now, they're not even a glimmer in your eye, and we have a couple going, Mike, right now that a lot of people don't know about that are very, very encouraging."

Pompeo was confirmed last week by a 57-42 vote in the U.S. Senate. After Trump's remarks, Vice President Mike Pence formally swore Pompeo in as the nation's 70th secretary of state.