"The list of actions that this administration has taken — I'm happy to walk through each of them," Outgoing CIA Chief Mike Pompeo said on April 12, when asked about actions taken to counter Moscow during the confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "A handful of weeks ago, the Russians met their match and a couple hundred Russians were killed."
He also brought up the recent expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats as a proof of tougher stance against the Kremlin.
Pompeo claimed that more work needs to be done on the sanctions front because Russian President Vladimir Putin "has not yet received the message sufficiently."
“If I am confirmed as secretary of state, I can assure you this administration will continue as it has for the past 15 months to take real actions, to push back, to re-set the deterrence relationship with respect to Russia,” Pompeo said at the hearing.
His rhetoric took Twitter aback. Many commentators shamed Pompeo for his “warmongering” statement and bragging about such facts.
Death of human beings, even adversaries, is not something to brag about.— EndDiscriminationNow (@END_JRN) 13 апреля 2018 г.
You want to help start a war?— kams (@real_alkami) 13 апреля 2018 г.
How will we survive Pompeo— BlownDandyLion🐒🍃🇮🇪🇩🇪🇺🇸🍻 (@BlownDandyLion) 13 апреля 2018 г.
He brags that 200 Russians were killed, sort of says this one of a positive action taken by Trump administration. Was there not a better statement he could have made.
"Pentagon backed fighters". ISIS, right?— Dustin Mitchell (@_Cygnus_X_One) 13 апреля 2018 г.
The comments of Pompeo are the expression of an attitude towards Russia in the American Government that is worst than a cold war position. It's a. Destructive attitude for anybody in a power position, to speak with that level of animosity against people of any country.— Yily foote (@worldcitizen1st) 13 апреля 2018 г.
you're 100% correct. Pompeo Bolton Ivanka all pushing war w/Russia/Syria who have done nothing to us! US get out of the Middle East mess and let them fight their own ridiculous battles… no more American blood in the ME! @realDonaldTrump— DonRondel (@DonRondel) 12 апреля 2018 г.
Who gave them permission to escalate a war with Russia?!— djpublius (@djpublius) 12 апреля 2018 г.
What I hate the most is it worked and manipulated Trump to change his goal of working w Russia to get rid of Isis. Pompeo boasting about killing 200 Russians was horrible…see, how much we hate Russia!— Fiona Svetlana🇺🇸 (@Anuhint1) 13 апреля 2018 г.
Others pointed out that Pompeo’s picture lacked some details, as the dead Russian nationals were not servicemen.
You should clarify that this was weeks ago and that they were private contractors, not Russian soldiers.— Jager Tusk (@JagerTusk) 13 апреля 2018 г.
In February, the US-led coalition fighting against Daesh*, said that it had carried out defensive airstrikes against pro-government forces in Syria that attacked the headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Soon after that, media reported that at least 100 Syrian pro-government troops were killed in the coalition’s strikes.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the several dozen citizens of Russia and other CIS countries had been injured in the clash in Syria but that they were not servicemen. According to the ministry, they had gone there of their own volition for various reasons.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia