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Pompeo: State Department’s top official for arms control is leaving

Pompeo: State Department’s top official for arms control is leaving

The State Department’s top official for arms control is leaving, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday.
“Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson is a dedicated public servant who brought over 25 years of military experience to her role at the State Department,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“Her wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership skills will be missed,” he added. “I thank her for her commitment to the State Department’s mission and for her decades of service to the United States of America. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
The statement provided no reason for Thompson’s departure.
She was sworn in as under secretary of State in June 2018. Prior to that, she served as Vice President Pence’s national security adviser.
Over the summer, Thompson came under scrutiny after The Washington Post reported that she failed to disclose during her confirmation process personal and financial ties with a GOP operative who dated convicted Russian agent Maria Butina.
As the department’s top arms control official, Thompson had a lead role as the Trump administration withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
The treaty, which the United States withdrew from in August over alleged Russian violations, banned both countries from having nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Thompson also clashed with lawmakers in both parties. During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on arms control in May, ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) blasted her for dodging questions, saying it showed “disdain” for Congress.
At the same hearing, she clashed with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as he grilled her on the administration’s decision to extend some nuclear waivers for Iran.