United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo walk out of the plane upon arriving at Ciampino military airport, in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Pompeo is in Italy for a 3-day trip. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

At Vatican, Pompeo urges alliance for religious freedom

October 02, 2019 - 1:44 am

VATICAN CITY (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging others to join the Trump administration in a religious freedom alliance, as he scrambles to contain a political crisis at home.

Amid a growing storm in Washington over impeachment, Pompeo was at the Vatican on Wednesday criticizing governments that wield absolute power. He told a conference on human dignity and faith that when governments rule absolutely, God is an absolute threat to authority.

Pompeo's speech came as he comes under increasing scrutiny from House Democrats leading impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, he pushed back on House demands for interviews with State Department officials about the administration's dealings with Ukraine that are at the center of the inquiry.