Meet Randi Weingarten: "the most dangerous person in the world"

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Photo by Cliff Owen / AP
Photo by Cliff Owen / AP

According to Mike Pompeo — Donald Trump's CIA director (2017—18) and secretary of state (2018—21) — the most dangerous person in the world is American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten.

In a November 18 interview with Semafor, Pompeo said Weingarten was "the most likely to take this republic down."

"I get asked," Pompeo said, "'Who's the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?' The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten...

"If you ask, 'Who's the most likely to take this republic down?'" he explained, "it would be the teachers unions, and the filth they're teaching our kids, and they fact they don't know reading or writing."

Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million—member union since 2008, clapped back in her own interview with Semafor.

"He needs to fund his campaign," Weingarten told the media outlet. "He doesn't have a base, so he is trying to get millions from the anti-union, anti-public-education billionaires like Betsy DeVos."

Weingarten also said that Pompeo, who is thought to be eyeing a potential 2024 White House bid, is trying to use the same "extremist" platform GOP candidates used in the previous election cycles, noting that he wants to form his campaign on "hate and division."

"Pompeo is desperate to be labeled as the extremist in the Republican presidential primary," Weingarten said. "He's using the same strategy, the extremist strategy that didn't work for them in 2018, 2020, and 2022. And he's flooding the zone with disinformation. And what's dangerous about that is that it will lead to violence. He's decided to use his campaign to foment hate and division."

As president of a large national union, Weingarten is often mentioned as "the most powerful Lesbian in the country." Her competition for that title is, curiously enough, another union president — Mary Kay Henry, president of the 1.9 million—member Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 11 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers (AFT Local 2), representing some 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. She is also an active member of the Democratic National Committee.

Born in 1957 and raised in Rockland County, New York, Weingarten now resides in the Inwood neighborhood of New York City with her spouse, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum.