The New York Times has been reminded of the existence of former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Madeleine Albright after suggesting that Mike Pompeo’s criticism of the Biden White House was somehow unusual.
In a story published Monday devoted to speculation about whether Pompeo might be preparing to run for president in 2024, the Times accused the former diplomat and CIA chief of “ignoring” the “custom that current and former secretaries of state avoid the appearance of political partisanship.”
Mike Pompeo is emerging as the most outspoken critic of President Biden among former top Trump officials, ignoring, much as he did in office, the custom that current and former secretaries of state avoid the appearance of political partisanship. https://t.co/HFkDxGUXOi— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 30, 2021
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss told the newspaper that “usually, former presidents and secretaries of state try not to quickly trash their successors – especially on foreign policy.” Pompeo, the historian suggested, “probably believes he is demonstrating his Trumpiness by castigating the performance of the newly installed President Biden.”
With Trump’s Twitter account banned, Pompeo has become a lightning rod of media attention in recent weeks as a top critic of Biden’s policies from the former administration, attacking the Democrat’s policies on Israel, immigration, energy policy, and Iran, with the attacks apparently significant enough to force some current officials to respond to or attack the former top diplomat in return.
Online, social media users were quick to point out the Times’ biases, asking whether the newspaper was “joking” when it made the claim that Pompeo was somehow particularly partisan.
“You mean like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry?” one user asked.
“I think the Times invented this “custom,” another suggested.
“Pompeo is being political? Well, shame on him! You would never see former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Colin Powell, or Madeleine Albright engaging in political partisanship. Oh wait,” a third chimed in.
“Yes, we all remember how Hillary Clinton and John Kerry served as secretary of state and then left partisanship behind forever,” another joked.
“Yes, the last three Democratic Secretaries of State have thankfully avoided criticizing presidents of the opposite party,” one user wrote, accompanying their tweet with screengrabs of stories of Clinton, Kerry and Albright bashing Trump during his term.
Clinton became the most outspoken former secretary of state to criticise Trump in the aftermath of the 2016 election, going so far as to allege that he was elected due to Russian meddling in the vote, or even a “Kremlin agent.” These claims were debunked in 2019 by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion in a report following a three year investigation, but continued to be proliferated during and after the 2020 race.