'Shut the Hell Up': Pompeo Says Trump Told Him Not to Talk About China Hiding Early COVID Information

AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims in an explosive new memoir that former President Donald Trump told him to “shut the hell up for a while” about China hiding early COVID-19 pandemic information after ChiCom dictator Xi Jinping furiously asked Trump to silence him. Yep, grab the popcorn.


As the New York Post reported, the potential 2024 presidential candidate claims Xi asked Trump during a March 26, 2020 phone call to silence Pompeo’s criticism of the ChiComs’ lack of transparency about the worsening pandemic. “My Mike, that f***ing guy hates you!” Trump allegedly told the former Secretary of State, who was listening in on the call.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

Here’s more, via the Post:

The Chinese leader told Trump that Pompeo was putting at risk the “phase one” trade deal that the two leaders had brokered that January, according to Semafor, which was given a copy of Pompeo’s “Never Give An Inch” ahead of its Jan. 24 release.

Days later, Trump allegedly told Pompeo he was “putting us all at risk” by upsetting Xi because the US needed personal protective equipment from China.

“Stop, for God’s sake!” Trump allegedly said.

Pompeo recounted that he “honored” Trump’s request and that “we needed health equipment and were at the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party’s] mercy for it … and would bide my time.”

As noted by the Post, Pompeo angered Xi by publicly accusing Beijing of an “intentional disinformation campaign” about the rapidly spreading virus — which is exactly what the ChiComs did (and continue to do)— as well as “repeatedly delayed sharing [outbreak] information with the globe.”

Again, Pompeo was spot on. But just one problem. If you’re Donald Trump, that is.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

Behind-the-scenes negotiations between Xi and Trump (whatever they might have been) aside, Trump’s “tough on China” political persona was and remains “yuugely” important to the former president, who coincidentally on Wednesday released a policy video vowing to ban Chinese investment in farmland and major U.S. industries if he pulls out a win in the 2024 presidential election.


Former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, who’s also weighing a White House bid, previously criticized Trump’s handling of China, alleging in his 2020 book that during a 2019 meeting in Japan, Trump told Xi he approved of China’s construction of detention camps for Uyghur Muslim minorities and that “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do.”

Pompeo has correctly branded Beijing’s brutal tactics against the Uyghurs a cultural “genocide.”

The Bottom Line

Whether or not Trump was “tough on China” —and to what extent — Joe Biden’s kowtowing to the ChiComs remains not only a national disgrace but ominous, as well.

While I’m not a fan of the silliness of “whataboutism,” it sometimes matters; if only for perspective.


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