MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – “To quote the famous phrase, there is literally ‘no place like home,'” said United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday. The former Kansas congressman visited the state to give a lecture as part of the Landon Lecture Series.
As the fourth secretary of state to speak at a Landon Lecture, Pompeo focused his lecture on foreign conflicts and especially stressed the importance of human rights all across the globe.
“I always speak out on behalf of the people of Iran, of Venezuela, of China, and people of all other nationalities who do not have the benefit that we have,” Pompeo said. “They deserve their God-given freedoms just as much as we do.”
Pompeo spoke with KSNT News regarding the U.S.’s new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and how it will benefit Kansans as well as the administration’s struggles with China regarding tariffs and pollution.
“They signed the Paris Accords and yet they are the most environmentally unfriendly economy in the world today, growing their carbon emissions at enormous rates,” Pompeo said. “This is wrong, it’s not enough to say we’re members of the Paris Accord. You have to deliver better outcomes for your people and for the planet.”
The U.S. has also made a large amount of progress towards preventing the threat of terrorism, according to Pompeo.
“We have to be ever vigilant and President Trump is making sure we do that whether it’s terrorism emanating from Africa, from the Middle East, or from Asia,” Pompeo said. “The United States is going to be vigilant in making sure we protect the American people.”
Pompeo also addressed the recent speculation of him running for Pat Roberts’ Senate seat. He says he is unsure of what the future holds for him, and that he will stay serving as President Trump’s secretary of state for as long as he would like.
After his lecture Pompeo held a question and answer session with the crowd, where he was asked about topics ranging from abortion, to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, to even life advice for the students in the crowd.
“I have much more respect for him,” said Kansas State University student Alyssa Harris. “I was disappointed in some of the typical Republican responses to the questions that were given.”
The lecture brought in a crowd of hundreds, ranging from the young to the old with all different points of view.
“I thought he did a phenomenal job today talking about our rights from the Declaration of Independence,” said Steve Baccus. “Then when he got into the Q&A, he really shined.”