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The mystifying ascent of Mike Pompeo

While others in the White House have fallen, Trump's foreign policy brain has quietly risen to greater and greater power. This is how he did it—and why it matters for the world

By Sam Tanenhaus   July 2018

Mike Pompeo illustrated by Tim McDonagh.

The quiet tenacity of Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, was never so clear as during the dizzying reversals surrounding the US-North Korea summit. The historic meeting in Singapore on 12th June, which Trump claimed would yield a de-nuclearised North Korea, was announced by the US president in April. Then in May, Kim Jong Un granted “amnesty” to three Americans who had been detained in North Korea. Two weeks later, foreign journalists were invited to remote Punggye-ri, the country’s only known…

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