"Pompeo then listed some preconditions for the meeting to take place.
“If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it's worthwhile to enter into a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he's prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them,” Pompeo said.
His remarks came just hours after Trump held a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, declaring in front of reporters that he would meet with Tehran with “no preconditions.”
“It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” Trump said.
The president added that he wasn’t sure “if they’re ready yet.”
“I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet,” Trump said. “And I’m ready to meet any time they want to. And I don’t do that from strength or from weakness. I think it’s an appropriate thing to do.”" The Hill
IMO Mikey Pompeo suffers from Smart Guy Syndrome. My wife calls it Great Man Syndrome. In both of these a delusion of centrality sets in based on a belief in one's own superiority. This rots the mind. Mikey has always been the smartest kid in the room. You know his resumé. And, pilgrims, he has a smiley face welded onto his real sharkey face. These attributes have carried him far but he has a weakness or two. He really does think he is a being above the ken of mortal men AND he is a hyper-nationialist neocon ideologue through and through and in many ways immune to appeals to reason. He surely think thatTrump is a dolt. Look at the picture. He has contradicted the president several times. This is a very dangerous thing to do. Trump is a reality based self-centered hustler who is used to dealing with supercilious p---ks who want to manipulate him.
Now Mikey has John-John Bolton as ally and playmate. Bolton is, IMO, more than a little crazy. Bolton loves his place in an NSC made over into extensions of his neocon craziness. He thinks that e has the Iranians right where he wants them He believes that we could fight a maritime campaign in the Gulf with next to no losses and that if necessary we can bomb the Iranian people into unleashing their economic deprivation wrath against the mullahs.
Pompeo agrees with him. He is trying to keep the president buttered up while pursuing his shared goals with Bolton both cleverly and surreptitiously. Well, folks, Trump is a master of the art of BS detection. Those who try to fool him are taking a great risk.
Off to one side in this drama, stand the inbred caste of generals and admirals. Trump professes to admire them, but Mattis, Dunford and CENTCOM are steadily losing real power in the contest for the president's attention. IMO there will be a unifying deal between Damascus and the YPG Kurds and Trump knows all about progress toward that goal. Do the generals want that? No. They have their own desired foreign policy. They want to make the casualties of the last 15 years meaningful through victory somewhere, anywhere would do. They also want revenge against Iran for men lost in Iraq. They listen to the Israelis far too much.
IMO Trump has a private line of communication to Russia. This is perfectly legal and probably is conducted over CIA communications links or through the ambassador in Moscow, Jon Huntsman or both.
Pompeo may or may not know what is being said in those channels. pl