Mike Pompeo caused controversy in his final day as U.S. secretary of state, tweeting out his dislike of multiculturalism, something that is widely considered the basis of the founding of the United States.

"Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker," Pompeo wrote on Tuesday. 

Attached to the tweet was a photo of himself next to another quote that said: "Censorship, wokeness, political correctness, it all points in one direction — authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness."

Since 2018, Pompeo has been one of President Donald Trump's most loyal supporters and is one of the few Cabinet officials to continue backing Trump even after he ordered his followers to attack
Congress and stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. 

The tweet caught people off guard considering Pompeo is a descendent of Italian immigrants, who for decades were not considered white and often treated as part of the country's "multicultural" population. 

Despite his own immigrant origins, Pompeo has overseen one of the most destructive periods in the State Department's history. The New York Times noted that the damage Pompeo has done to the State Department was particularly acute with officials of color, who said they were routinely passed over or discriminated against during his tenure. 

Analysts said the "multiculturalism" insult was part of an effort by Pompeo to burnish his own credentials within the Republican Party for his future runs for office. NBC News reported that like many Trump officials, Pompeo is trying to position himself for a run for president in 2024 by continuing Trump's tactic of repeatedly insulting non-white Americans.  

"This country was built on multiculturalism. That’s why a descendant of Italian immigrants like you could become Secretary of State. You should know this history. If you don’t, you should never have been Secretary of State. If you do and you said this anyway, you’re a demagogue," Keith Boykin, a journalist and CNN political commentator, wrote in response to Pompeo on Twitter. 

Many online noted that the country was founded on the idea that all cultures, races and religions were welcome. The country now has some of the world's most racially diverse cities. 

An NPR correspondent shared a quote from President George Washington in 1783 where he said, "The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions."

Pompeo has played a pivotal role in enacting Trump's goal of disrupting the United State's alliances with most democratic countries and forging closer ties with dictators like Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Associated Press reported that in his last days, Pompeo has made dozens of alarming decisions that sought to intentionally damage America's relationships abroad. 

Pompeo's tenure has deteriorated so much that last week, Reuters reported that European diplomats and EU officials refused to meet with him, a previously unthinkable development in the Europe-United States relationship. He was forced to cancel the trip entirely. Despite the rejection, Pompeo has continued his full-throated defense of Trump's policies.

"I think history will remember us very well," Pompeo told Republican members of Congress days after Trump supporters attacked the Capitol Building, according to NBC News. 

Many noted that Pompeo's tweet came one day before Kamala Harris, the country's first woman, first Black person and first Asian person, gets inaugurated as the vice president and one day after the Trump administration released a widely panned document that sought to dispute The New York Times' Pulitzer-Prize-winning1619 Project.

Trump, Pompeo and other Republican officials have turned the collection, which sought to share the stories of Black Americans throughout the country's history, into a major conservative talking point, routinely using it as a bigoted punching bag during rallies.

In response to the popularity of the project, the government on Monday published a report from what Trump called the "1776 Commission." The report, which was panned by historians and included no input from experts, openly justified slavery, criticized the civil rights movement and, like Pompeo's tweet, compared progressive ideas to dictatorship.