Mike Pompeo Book Claims MIT Canceled His Speech to Avoid Offending Students From China
“We’re sorry, but we will be unable to host the secretary on our campus”
MIT disputes this claim, naturally. Is it really so hard to believe?
The College Fix reports:
MIT disputes claim it canceled Pompeo speech to avoid offending Chinese students
Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently disputed the claim by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it canceled his speech over concerns about offending students from China.
The allegations surround a planned speech in 2020, but only came to light after Secretary Pompeo published a book in January, which made the claim.
He is considered a potential candidate for president in 2024 and served in President Donald Trump’s administration as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency as well.
In the memoir titled “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” Pompeo wrote that MIT canceled his planned speech about the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in higher education.
Pompeo’s team set up a speech at MIT but later “received a call a couple weeks before [the] scheduled remarks,” Pompeo (pictured) wrote.
“‘We’re sorry, but we will be unable to host the secretary on our campus,’ came the message. In the end, the president of MIT, Rafael Reif, made clear that the risk of offending his Chinese students was too great.”
MIT disagreed with Pompeo’s claims.
Spokesperson Kimberly Allen referred The College Fix to a Twitter thread where the university explained that it never approved the event due to limitations on large gatherings as a result of the outbreak of COVID.
1/ Setting the record straight: Pre-vaccine in 2020, when Sec. Pompeo's staff inquired about a speech at MIT, we could not accept to host because of our then policies on Covid – no guests and no gatherings greater than 10 people. https://t.co/hGEidA1pDe
— MITCommsVP (@MITCommsVP) January 27, 2023
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This sounds like a nothingburger. The COVID excuse is a very good one, and even if it’s phony, we already know that MIT had a free speech problem under the Reif administration, that’s not news. The new president has publicly committed to doing better, and we should judge her by what happens from now on. Dredging up old news at this point really doesn’t accomplish any positive change.