tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN January 12, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
proliferation of chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile technology, countries such as north korea have low barriers of entry to engage in cyber operations. the u.s. must continue to invest wisely to maintain a decisive advantage. third, the effects of dislocation and poor governance present critical challenge but also new targets and opportunities for the cia's collection and analysis. and finally, the insider threat problem has grown exponentially in the digital age. the greatest threats to america have always been the cia's top priorities. it will be the cia's mission and my own if confirmed to ensure that the agency remains the best in the world at its core mission, collecting what our enemies do not want us to know. in short, the cia must be the world's premier espionage organization. one of emerging area for increased focus is the cyber domain. sophisticated adversaries like china and russia as well as less sophisticated adversaries like iran and north korea, terrorist
groups, criminal organizations and hackers, are all taking advantage of this new borderless environment. the cia must continue to be at the forefront of this issue. as the president-elect has made clear, one of my top priorities if confirmed is to assist in the defeat of isis. we must maintain an aggressive counterterrorism posture and address manifestations of this great threat beyond isis and al qaeda. with respect to iran, we must be rigorously objective in assessing the progress made under the joint plan of action. while i opposed the iran deal, if confirmed, my role will change. i will lead the agency to ensure analysts have the time, political space, and resources to make objective and sound judgments. similarly, it's a policy decision with respect to how we will deal with russia. but it will be essential that the agency provide policymakers with accurate, timely, robust, and complete intelligence and clear-eyed analyst of russian
activities to the greatest extent feasible. as a member of the house intelligence committee, i fully appreciate the need for transparency and support from members of congress. i've lived it. we owe it to our stets to gconso get to the bottom of intelligence failures. but we owe it to the members of our community not to shirk our duties when edward snowden, from the comfort of his moscow safe house, misleads the american people about intelligence activities. on my first visit to cia headquarters just a few years ago, i visited an analytical targeting cell. some of you have probably done this as well. i saw a woman who appeared as if she had not slept for weeks. she was poring over data on her computer screen. i intrude myseloduced myself. she said she was hours away from solving a riddle, to locate a particularly bad character she had been pursuing for months.
she was a true patriot. in the past few years, i've come to know there are countless men and women just like her at this agency working to crush our adversaries. this past weekend i took a moment and visited arlington national cemetery. i've done this many times. on this visit i paid special attention to the markers that commemorate cia officers who have perished ensuring our freedom. in so many places most americans will never know, agents put themselves and their lives at risk. we know the sacrifices of the families of each of these cia officers from our role performing intelligence. those families factory ni sacri greatly as well. if i am confirmed, i will never fail the trust given to me. to keep safe the people in the greatest nation in the history
of civilization. if confirmed, i will be sworn to defend the u.s. constitution for the third time in my life. first as a soldier, then as a member of the house of representatives, and now to work with the president and each of you to keep america safe. thank you all for the opportunity to speak with you this morning. i look forward to your questions. >> mr. pompeo, thank you for your testimony this morning. for members, we will recognize based upon seniority for five minutes of questions. i would note for members there is a closed session of this hearing that will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. i would remind members we're in open session and that questions for representative pompeo today, in this session, should be limited to those that can be discussed and answered in open session. and i trust that if you ask something that can't, the witness will make sure that he answers it when we get to closed
session. with that, mike, i'm certain with your experience on hpsii and your involvement in the house select committee on benghazi investigation, you understand how valuable intelligence can be to oversight. if asked by the committee, will you provide the raw intelligence and sourcing behind agency finished products and assessments if in fact this committee needs it to complete its job? >> senator, i have been on the other side of this, and i know how central it is to make sure you have all that you need to perform your oversight function for intelligence collection activities in all that the agency does. you have my commitment that i will always do everything i can to make sure i get you the information you need, including an expanded set of information. i understand on a handful of issues you've reached agreement, i heard director clapper testify before you, i believe it was last week, it may have been the beginning of this week, and i promise to honor the commitment that director clapper made to
this committee. >> thank you for that. there's been much discussion about the role of the central intelligence agency and what it played in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects as part of the rdi program. these detention facilities operated by the cia have long since been closed. president obama officially ended the program seven years ago. i think the debate space on this subject has become confused and i'm certain that the law is very, very clear. do you agree it would require a change in law for the cia or any government agency to lawfully employ any interrogation techniques beyond those defined in the army field manual? >> i do. >> you've been an outspoken critic in the past of policy and activities of this administration that you disagreed with in line with representing the people of the fourth district of kansas. as head of the cia, you'll be in a position to speak truth to power and provide the president
with your agency's unbiased, unvarnished, and best assessment of threats facing our nation, assessments that will inform his approach to those very policies and activities that you may have criticized in the past. will you be able to set politics aside and provide the president with clear-eyed assessments free of political interference? >> senator, i appreciate the question. and when i say that, i understand deeply the question that you're asking. i've spent my life telling the truth, sometimes in very, very difficult situations. as a lieutenant, as a member of congress, in fact as a member of the oversight committee. we get placed in difficult situations talking to constituents, and sometimes we just can't reveal sensitive issues. i will demand that the men and women i have come to know wel
who live their lives doing just that will be willing, able, and follow my instructions to do that each and every day. >> thank you for that. vice chairman? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and again, congressman, it's great to see you. to ensure that we don't end up with a light turnout again, i won't redo my second half of my statement. but i do want to put you on the record, mike, on a couple of issues that we had discussed particularly about this inquiry into russian active measures. and i want to also reiterate the chairman's comments of the absolute necessity to make sure that you bring forward this analysis in an unvarnished way. i think you've made that clear to the chairman, i know you've made that clear to me on a private basis. so cwe can go through some of
these questions fairly quickly. do you accept the conclusions of the ic regarding russian's actions? >> senator, i do. i attended the meeting at which the president-elect was briefed. everything i've seen suggests to me that the report has an analytical product that is sound. >> do you pledge to cooperate with the ssci's russia inquiry and to provide and make available all necessary materials and access to personnel? >> senator warner, i do, i think that's incredibly important. >> do you pledge to continue to pursue your own investigation into ongoing russian active measures and any attempts they or others may have to undermine the united states, our political system, or our position in the world? >> senator, i do. indeed i would expect that the president-elect would demand that of me. it is fully my intention. i should share, that's my view with respect to all the product that the central intelligence agency produces. we learn, we continue to develop
intelligence, if we're worth our salt, we will continue to gain insights that are valuable to policymakers, both the president-elect and you all. i will continue to pursue foreign intelligence collection with vigor no matter where the facts lead. >> congressman, i have been critical of the tenor of some of the president-elect's comments about the workforce and the professionalism of the ic. in your opening statement you were very eloquent about the one that had been without sleep for some time. in light of some of those comments, i have concerns about the morale throughout the ic, but particularly at the cia at this point. what plans will you have to go in and reassure the people who work at the cia, how do we make sure in a world where it's increasingly challenging, to get people to step up and serve, both in terms of recruitment and retention, that we can -- you can reaffirm that you will have the cia employees' backs?
>> senator, let me begin by saying, i am confident that the central intelligence agency will play a role for this administration that it has for every previous administration, as providing powerful intelligence that shapes policy and decisionmaking inside this administration. i am confident that president-elect trump will not only accept that but demand that from the men and women not only at the cia but throughout all of the 17 intelligence communities. with respect to me personally, i have come to understand the value of the central intelligence agency. i have seen their morale through tough times where they have been challenged before. i have watched them walk through fire to make sure they did their jobs in a professional way and that they were always aimed at getting the truth in depth in a robust way to policymakers. they will continue to do that under my leadership if i am confirmed. >> it's going to be an ongoing challenge. if you're confirmed, i wish you
the best and think that is critically important. i see many of these cia employees, i have the opportunity to represent them, they live in the commonwealth of virginia, they work in this region. it's been a challenging time for them. in light of some of the comments during the campaign the president-elect made, i think a subset of that, of this issue, as well as making sure going forward the cia represents the diversity of the world particularly in terms of muslim-americans being engaged, how do we reassure them in light of the comments made, and i concur with you that the challenge of isil is an enormous one, how would you go forward to make sure that our muslim allies, in our fight against isil, that they'll continue to have a strong partner in the united states and not one that is going to in any way discriminate based on faith? >> senator, it's absolutely imperative. we have a workforce at the agency that is incredibly diverse.
as you well know, in order to achieve our mission we have to have folks with language skills in all parts of the world so we can perform our intelligence operations properly. and we have partners in the muslim world that provide us intelligence and who we share with in ways that are incredibly important to keeping america safe. i am counting on and i know you all are as well, that these liaison partnerships will continue to be additive to american national security. you have my commitment that our workforce will continue to be diverse. i hope we can even expand that further so that we can perform our incredibly important collections operations all around the world. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i've had a considerable amount of time with mike over the years and recently. i'm going to -- we're on a strong string here. i'm going to reserve my questions until we get to the closed portion of the hearing. thank you. >> senator feinstein. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. i just want to begin by saying i really appreciate the private
meeting we had an opportunity to have. for me it was a clarification. i do appreciate your apology. i take it with the sincerity with which you gave it. i want to ask one followup question to what the chairman asked, and that's dealing with those enhanced interrogation techniques. and that is that if you were ordered by the president to restart the cia's use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside of the army field manual, would you comply? >> senator, absolutely not. moreover, i can't imagine that i would be asked that by the president-elect or then president. but to be very clear, i voted for the change that put the army field manual in place. as a member of congress, i understand that law. i'm deeply aware that any changes to that will come through the congress. >> and regular order.
and this is regular order, absolutely, with respect to the outlines of what's in the army field manual, there's no doubt in my mind about the limitations it places not only on the dod but on the central intelligence agency. i'll always comply with the law. >> another question. how will you handle the president-elect's refutation of the intelligence community's high assessments that russian intelligence units, namely the gru and the fsb, did in fact hack and spearfish into the campaigns and parties of both political parties this past campaign season? >> senator, as with -- i think i answered senator warner the same way. my obligation as director of the cia will be to tell every policymaker our intelligence. it's pretty clear about what took place here, about russian involvement in efforts to hack information and to have an impact on american democracy. i'm very clear-eyed about what
that intelligence report says. and i have every expectation as we continue to develop the facts, i will relay those not only to the president but to the team around him and to you all so that we can all have a robust discussion about how to take on what is an enormous threat from cyber. you all know that, you all have lived it. this is very real. it is growing. it is not new in that sense. but this was an aggressive action taken by the senior leadership inside of russia. and america has an obligation and the cia has a part of that obligation to protect that information. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. >> thank you, senator. if i may say, thank you too for coming back today, i hope your recovery is very speedy. >> thank you, i appreciate that. you and i discussed director brennan's beginning efforts on modernization of the cia and trying to set up a different mechanism which would make it more effective. what can you tell us today about how you would proceed in that direction?
>> senator feinstein, there was a major modernization program that frankly is still in the shakeout cruise at the agency. it's been going on for a while, but still lots of things to work through. my observations from my time as an member of congress are their goals were noble and they were trying to get to the right place. in fact many of the changes that were made may well end up making sense. but i think i have an obligation as i go in to evaluate that, share those evaluations with you. i've heard from a number of you about its effectiveness, some of you have a set of views that are opposed, you may not even know that about each other yet. i'm going to take a look. my expectation is from my time as a small businessperson, when you make a change of this scope and scale, you don't get everything right in that. my obligation is to try and make sure we've got everything right, that there are clear lines of decisionmaking authority and that the analytic product that's
coming out is true and clear and real. >> one last question. you mentioned the iranian what we call the jpoa. i think whatever one thinks of the settlement in its entirety, under this iran has shipped some 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country. it's dismantled and removed two-thirds of its centrifuges. it's removed the calandrea from its heavy water reactor and filled it with concrete and provided access to its nuclear supply chain. iran's estimated breakout time has moved from two to three months to a year or more. in november, on fox news, you said you can't think of a single good thing that's come from the iran nuclear deal, not one.
now, thus far the cia has provided oversight to this committee with very solid analysis of what the level of compliance is, and thus far, it has been extraordinarily positive. i would like you to comment on this because, and particularly your comments, because this nuclear deal is in effect just that. it doesn't include other things that are bad things that iran has done. it's just the nuclear agreement. and they have in fact conformed to it thus far. so would you comment, please. >> yes, senator. first, you have my commitment that we -- if i am confirmed at the agency, will continue to evaluate their compliance with the agreement in the way you just described the agency has been doing to date. i concur with you that work has been good and robust and that intelligence i think important to policymakers as they make decisions.
i think my comments were referring to the post-january 2016 rampage of iranian increased activity. and i know you share my concern about that as well. so when i was speaking to the risks that iran presents, it was certainly from those activities, whether it's the fact that they've now had -- we now have missiles we've had to fire back at, the list is long, they're still holding americans in iran. those are the concerns i was addressing that day. you have my commitment that if confirmed we will continue to provide you the intelligence to understand both what's taking place in the nuclear arena with respect to the jcpoa and its compliance as well as activities outside of that. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator rubio. >> mr. pompeo, thank you for your service to our country repeatedly, in the army, in congress, and now here in this new role. i know we're going to have a
closed hearing later today. so the questions i'm about to ask you, i ask that you answer based on open source information available to the general understanding and your understanding of the law of war as a graduate of west point and your services as an officer in the u.s. army. first, your understanding as an officer of the u.s. army, is military targeting of civilians a violation of the law of war? >> senator, intentional targeting the civilians is absolutely a violation of the law of war. >> based on open sources and information available to the general public, in the conflict in aleppo, syria, have russian forces conducted repeatedly attacks against civilian targets. >> based on open source reporting, it appears they have. >> do you believe based on your knowledge, again, acquired through open sources and your just general knowledge of geopolitics, that russian military forces could conduct a repeated attack against targets in aleppo, syria, without the express direction of vladimir
putin? >> it seems intensely unlikely to me, senator. >> and again, all of the answers you just gave are based on open sources, unclassified? >> yes, sir. >> okay. the second question i have is, and i think you've already said you accept this as a fact, that there is indeed an effort by russian intelligence and others associated with the russian government to conduct a campaign of active measures in the united states designed to sow divisions and chaos in our politics, to undermine the credibility of our leaders and the like, do you agree with that assessment, that we are in the throes of an active measures campaign that probably reppredates this campa but has ratcheted up? >> yes, sir. there are russians and others out there engaged in this set of activities, a threat that we are vulnerable to today. >> in fact it is the exact activity they've undertaken in
europe and other countries as well, we've seen the same sort of pattern in other places, correct? >> yes, senator. i'll add to that, we have elections, important elections taking place in the year ahead in europe, and around the world, and we need to be deeply cognizant of all of the foreign actors with malign intent who are attempting to impact those elections as well. the cia has a role in trying to understand that threat in a deep and fundamental way and sharing that with each and every member of the policy making community. >> again, i'm not asking you to rely on any intelligence or classified information. in your judgment, as you see the state of american politics and the political discourse, a president-elect who has questioned at times the judgment of our intelligence agencies, opponents to the president-elect who continuously question the legitimacy of his election, the shameful like fuful leak in th regarding unsubstantiated information designed to smear the president-elect, the fact that russia and vladimir putin have become a dominant theme in
political coverage in this country for the better part of three months if not longer, as you look at all of that, in your personal opinion, is vladimir putin and the russians looking at all this and saying, we've done a really good job of creating chaos, division, instability, in the american political process? >> senator, you put a lot into that. but let me try and unpack it just a touch. i certainly want to make sure i talk only about my observations and judgments based on unclassified information. >> yes, sir. >> i have no doubt that the discourse that's been taking place is something that vladimir putin would look at and say, wow, that was among the objectives that i had, to sow doubt among the american political community, to suggest somehow that american democracy was not unique. i believe it is fundamentally unique and special around the world. it shouldn't surprise any of us at all that the leadership inside of russia views this as something that might well redound to their benefit. >> and my last question involves
an area that you may not get asked by anybody else on the committee, you might, but regarding the western hemisphere. i ask if you will pledge to work in your agency to ensure that collection and coverage of the western hemisphere, in particular nations like cuba, venezuela, ecuador, bolivia, that we focus on threats that may emanate from those places. >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator wide yden. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, mr. pompeo, for coming to visit. at a time when the president-elect is on record supporting torture, blocking americans' ability to protect themselves with strong encryption, and has encouraged the outsourcing of intelligence gathering to the russians, it's my view you're going to have an enormous challenge to be an advocate for honorable policies. it's already clear that several
key member of the president-elect's national security team advocate illegal policies. so this morning, my view is we need to find out what you're for. and i'm just going to tick through some of the issues we talked about in the office. let's start with surveillance, if we could. you recently wrote an op-ed article saying that congress ought to pass a new law reestablishing collection of all metadata. those are your words, all metadata. so you would basically get the congress and the country back into the business of collecting millions and millions of phone records on law abiding people. you go on in this op-ed article to say that these phone records ought to be combined with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a
comprehensive searchable database. so you would be in favor of a new law collecting all of this data about the personal lives of our people. and i think it would be helpful if you could start by saying, are there any boundaries in your view to something this sweeping? >> senator, you and i did have a chance to discuss this. there are of course boundaries to this. first and foremost, they begin with legal boundaries that exist tod today. that piece that i was referring to was talking about the u.s. government's obligation to do all that it can in a lawful, constitutional manner to collect foreign intelligence important to keeping america safe. >> congressman, that's not what you were talking about. you said collecting all metadata. >> yes, senator. >> all metadata.
>> if i might just continue. yes, i still continue to stand behind the commitment to keep americans safe, by conducting lawful intelligence collection. when i was referring to metadata there i was talking about the metadata program that the usa freedom act has now changed in fundamental ways. i, you should recall, voted for the usa freedom act. and i understand its restrictions. its restrictions on efforts by all of the u.s. government to collect information. >> you wrote this op-ed since the passage of the law. so after the law passed, you said let's get back into the business of collecting all of this metadata. and i'm curious what kind of information about finances and lifestyles would you not enter into your idea of this giant
database. >> senator, first of all, i have to begin by saying, today that would be -- in most instances what you referred to there would be unlawful under current law. as the director of the cia you have my assurance we will not engage in unlawful activity. but i think this committee, the american people, demand that if there is publicly available information, someone has out there on a public available site, we have an obligation to use that information to keep americans safe. if someone is out there on their facebook page talking about an attack or plotting an attack against america, i think you would find the director of the cia and intelligence community grossly negligent if they didn't pursue that information. >> congressman, i don't take a back seat to anybody in terms of protecting this country when our security is on the line. i wrote the section in the freedom act that gives the government emergency authority to move when it's critical to protect the country. that's not what we're talking about here. you're talking about your interest in setting up a whole
new metadata collection system which is far more sweeping than anything the congress has been looking at. and if you would, before we vote, i would like you to furnish in writing what kind of limits you think there ought to be on something like this. let me see if i can get in one more question. the president-elect had indicated on the apple issue that in effect, he thought that there shouldn't be strong encryption and that he basically would consider pushing for mandated backdoors in the encrypted products. that's been the position of the fbi, some very influential members of congress. now, you have not been a cheerleader as far as i can tell for weakening strong encryption, which is something i think that sounds constructive. if you're confirmed as cia
director, are you willing to take the president, the fbi, and influential members of congress on, on this issue? because i think it's clear, weakening strong encryption will leave us less safe. and i would like to hear your views with respect to strong encryption. and would you be willing to take the president, the fbi, influential members of congress on when they advocate it, because they're going to. >> senator, first of all, i did not mean at all to suggest you were second to anyone with respect to keeping america safe. if i implied that, i did not intend that. you should know i take a back seat to no one with respect to protecting americans' privacy either. i think that is incredibly, incredibly important. with respect to encryption, it's a complicated issue. i know enough about it to begin to form judgments. but i want to talk to you about
the process, the framework i'll use. i think this applies across a broad range of issues we'll discuss today. when we're dealing about an issue like encryption that has commercial implications, national security implications, privacy implications, i will do my best to understand what it means to the central intelligence agency, what it means to our capacity to keep america safe. and i will represent its interests as my part of a larger effort to make sure that we get that policy decision right. and if in fact it is the conclusions of folks at the agency and our team, and i concur in that assessment, i can assure you i will present that rigorously, whatever the views of the president are or any of the members of his team. i will do my best to get that right and represent -- do my role as the director of the cia if confirmed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. pompeo, first let me say that i was very heartened by our meeting and our telephone call in which you showed that you
fully understood the role that you have as cia director to keep this committee well-informed. i expressed to you my frustration of questioning members of the intelligence committee and then finding that there was more to the story and that there were omissions at times, not deception, but omissions. and even more frustrating, reading in the paper the next day leaks that have come from the administration, not necessarily the cia. and i think that erodes the trust that is essential for us to perform our oversight function, which is absolutely critical, since you don't have the regular oversight mechanisms. and just for the record, if you could reassure me again on your willingness to be very
forthright with this committee, i would appreciate it. >> yes, ma'am. i can assure you of that. we talked about the fact that i have lived that life a bit as well. and i understand, it's not only in -- that interest is so broad, right? you mentioned it here, this is a unique space where we operate in places where the american public doesn't always get a chance to see everything. and so the willingness to make sure that we share this information to policymakers who we trust will keep this information safe and secure and handle this information appropriately is absolutely critical. you have my assurance i'll do everything to make sure this committee has a relationship with an agency that is forthright each and every day. >> thank you. i want to turn to the issue of cyber threats and cyber security, which has been an obsession of my for many years, since joe lieberman and i tried to bring a cyber security bill to the floor in 2012 only to have it filibustered.
i believe that the recent focus on the cyber intrusions in the campaigns has greatly increased the public's awareness of this problem. but the fact is that the cyber intrusions go far beyond the political space, troubling and appalling though that is. there was a 2015 memo by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the secretary of defense that said that the department of defense is subjected -- this was a public memo -- is subjected to 100,000 attempted cyber attacks each day. now, those are attempts, not all of them go through. they're from nation states, they're from terrorist groups, they're from hackers, they're from international criminal
gangs, you name it. that's 3 million per month. how would you assess our preparedness in the cyber domain? >> senator, we've got lots of work to do. maybe the best way to summarize that. not only the government that is protecting our systems, and we've talked a lot the last few days about systems that belong to private entities, political private entities, but i know you've done a great deal of work in making sure that the national infrastructure, including its private sector infrastructure, has the capacity to do what it needs to keep not only business issues in the place that they need to be. a lot of these folks are subcontractors to the united states, private companies that have important information about american national skuecurity activities. and so we have an awful lot of work to do. there's no reason to expect that this threat is going to diminish. that will take a whole of government effort to do that,
shared by the executive branch and the legislative branch, to achieve better cyber security for national infrastructure as well. >> let me very quickly express two concerns about iran. one, there are increasing reports that iran is using its civilian air fleet forillicit purposes including the transfer of arms to terrorist groups. if confirmed, would you make a priority to provide an assessment to congress of whether or not iran is using its civilian air fleet for such purposes? >> senator, i will. i'm happy to share with you too, i'm happy to share with you in closed session the knowledge that i have. it concerns me greatly, the activities of iran air and mahan air that are taking place today in iran. >> finally, do you believe that the monitoring and verification regime in our agreement with
iran, the jcpoa, as currently constructed, is adequate to ensure that iran is fully complying with the agreement? do you think that the iaea has sufficient access to detect any iranian cheating? >> senator, the iranians are professionals at cheating. and so while i think we have a very sound inspection regime, i have to tell you, i worry about the fact of the thing that we do not know we do not know. so you have my commitment that i will continue to improve and enhance our capacity to understand that and do everything i can to diminish the risk that in fact we are missing something. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman. and thank you, congressman pompeo, for taking the time to sit down with me earlier this week and for your willingness to answer the prehearing questions that a number of us submitted to
you. i hope your responsiveness to committee members continues should you be confirmed, that was certainly the tone you set with me in the office and i appreciate that. as i told you in our conversation, i've had serious concerns over the last few years that that has not always been the lay of the land between the director and this committee. i understand that the dcia has a mandate to be fully supportive of the men and women who work there, that is critical. however, i also hope that when, if you are lucky enough to fill that very important position, that we will have a new approach of being open in hearings and with regard to congressional oversight. i want to start on an issue that was central in some of the prehearing questions and in our conversation.
you indicated that you would seek the counsel of experts at the cia to determine whether adhering to the army field manual and conducting interrogation was an impediment to gathering vital intelligence. you've been supportive of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques in the past, say back in december of 2014, that president obama has continually refused to take the war on islamic terrorism seriously, and cited ending our interrogation program in 2009 as an example. can you commit to this committee that under current law, which limits interrogation to the army field manual, that you will comply with that law and that the cia is out of the enhanced interrogation business? >> yes. you have my full commitment to that, senator heinrich. >> thank you. let me jump to another issue. senator wyden had touched on
this earlier but i want to follow up a little bit. as the director and as somebody who sat on the house intelligence committee over the last couple of years, you're very familiar with the changes in law that have been made under current law, the usa freedom act that was passed recently. what changes to that law would you encourage the administration to seek if any? >> senator, i currently have no intention of seeking such changes. but as i think we discussed when we met, i am certain if i am confirmed i'll learn a great deal about the program. and i'll develop a deeper understanding and hear lots of views inside the agency. and i will, i'll look to experts there and experts outside. and if in fact i conclude there need to be changes to the usa freedom act to protect america, i'll bring them to you and have the full expectation that you all will consider them fairly as well. >> i know we were recently
briefed on the -- basically the status of being able to collect important information under that law. i would assume that there was probably a similar briefing on the house side. were you a part of that, and do you feel like at least with what you know today, that the surveillance that needs to be done is happening under that structure while protecting innocent americans from unnecessary intrusion? >> senator, i have not had a chance to have a complete briefing on that. but i can say that i have not heard anything to suggest that there is a need for change today. >> jumping once again over to the jcpoa, i know that the day before you were nominated to be the director, you said that you look forward to, quote, rolling back the iran deal. how would you characterize your position on that today, and would you stand by that
statement? >> senator, just so the record can reflect that, that communication was approved before i was aware that i was going to be the nominee to the central intelligence agency. having said that, look, spoke to this a great deal, it was my view that the jcpoa was a mistake for american national security. i believed that. but it's also the case that after that, i came to have the understanding that that was the arrangement this president thought was in the best interests of america. and i wording to make sure that it was fully implemented. and now, if i'm confirmed, i'll continue to do that in my role as the director of the cia. i will endeavor to provide straight information to you all about the progress the jcpoa has made toward reducing the threat of iranian nuclear activity and confer with you as well. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> congressman, i know we were all pleased, you quickly reviewed out to member of this
committee and have met with us and we'll have a chance to visit later today in classified setting. i want to go back a little bit to your discussion with senator wyden. one of your last comments you made there was that you gave ground to no one in respecting america's privacy. and if you want to give any examples of that in your house career, that would be fine. but as i understood what i thought was that discussion about a more expanded collection effort, it was collecting things that people had chose to no longer keep private, collecting things on social media that people had put out there. and i believe at some point you mentioned if somebody was talking about an activity that could be terrorist or other related, that the director of
the cia should have some interest in that. am i right, you see a different privacy standard if someone is trying to maintain their privacy as opposed to someone who is putting information out there that anyone can see? [ inaudible ] mike, hit your button. >> yes, sir. look, the primary responsibility for that here in the united states is not the central intelligence agency. it would be other agencies inside the federal government. so in the first instance, the focus of the central intelligence agency is foreign intelligence collection, make no mistake about that. but yes, i was referring to things that were in the public space, that the u.s. government ought to make sure that we understood fully and that we didn't leave publicly available information off of things that we were using to prevent all
kinds of bad and terrorist activity here in the united states. as a member of congress, i voted repeatedly on pieces of legislation that were important for protection of american privacy. it's something that if you come from south central kansas, people know. you know that, being from missouri, people are deeply cognizant of the need for a space for themselves to live away from the government. it's something that i hold dear and treasure myself as well. >> on the issue of encryption, for some time on this committee, at even public hearings, and specifically at public hearings, have had both the director of the fbi and nsa, i can recall on both of them saying encryption is the best thing out there, and maybe in some cases the worst thing out there. but there seems to be a real sense that encryption is more
often a cyber protection than something that we should create a way around. what's your view of encryption in an ongoing way, and what the government could or should do to try to permeate encryption that's already out there in equipment? >> senator, i always start on this topic reminded of my role as director of the cia is first to comply with the law. as you all develop policies around encryption, you have my assurance that i'll always direct the people that work for me to comply with the law with respect to private communications. second, i think we need to acknowledge that encryption is out there, and that not all encryption takes place here in the united states. so the rules and policies we put in place here in america are things that the intelligence community is going to have to figure out a way to perform its function knowing that that
encryption will continue to be out there. finally, we spend a lot of time talking about how we handle encrypted devices for americans and for encryption here in the united states. my effort will be to understand it more fully, to make sure that i understand its impact on my role to keep america safe, and to work alongside you to develop a set of policies that achieve that goal while still achieving all the other goals that we have here in america. >> and spending some time in house intelligence, seeing the relationship between the dni and the cia, what do you think you can do to advance the ability of the dni to do their originally stated job of coordinating information, being sure everybody has access to the information that's out there in a better way than we have currently seen? >> so the statute is pretty clear about our respective roles and responsibilities. i have now had a chance to reread that a couple of times since my nomination. i'm excited about senator coats'
nomination. if he's confirmed, i look forward to working alongside with him. i've read the histories, i know there have been conflicts before between the director of national intelligence and the director of the central intelligence agency. in my role as a small business owner, i saw that too. you would have different people with different roles. and you would see conflict. my effort was every day to work hard to make sure we were a additi additive, that we directed that our organizations would accomplish that as well. it's not just the two senior officials. we need to make sure or organizations each understand there is a place for the director of national intelligence to ensure there is good communication among the dozen plus intelligence agencies, and that that information is shared at a time and fashion, and that the director of the cia has his plate >> thank you chairman. >> senator king? >> thank you mr. chairman. congressman pompeo, welcome.
>> thank you, senator king. >> as we discussed, i believe an outside view in an agency that tends to be -- not tends to be, but is secretive is an important point of view. so i appreciate your willingness to serve. the larger question -- the great foreign policy mistakes of my lifetime, vietnam, the bay of pigs and iraq -- all were based in one way or another on bad intelligence, or, more accurately, intelligence that was tailored to fit the demands of the policymakers. you can't read the history of those decisions without coming to that conclusion. there is no more intimidating spot on the face of this earth than the oval office. will you commit to giving the commander in chief, the president, unpleasant news that may be inconsistent with his policy preferences based upon the best intelligence that the
cia can develop? >> senator, you have my commitment and while i today am going to avoid talking about conversations that the president and i had with as much energy and effort as i can, i can tell you that i have assured the president-elect that i'll do that as well. i have shared with him that my role is central to him performing his function and important and critical only when i perform my function in that way. when i take the great work that these men and women put their lives at risk to develop and i deliver that to every policymaker in a way that is straight up and forward and i commit to doing that with you and with the president-elect. >> if he doesn't say at some point, mike, i'm disappointed in you, is that the best you can do? you've failed? >> the president-elect's national security adviser general flynn has been quoted as saying the cia has become a very political organization. in your written response to our questions you said there is a sense of a more politicized intelligence environment.
that's sort of like people are saying there's a more politicized intelligence environment. what do you mean by it? is there a sense of that? do you agree with general flynn, or do you not? >> so i have had a chance as an overseer to observe the central intelligence agencies, and i -- when i've had a chance to sit with them have watched them fight through fire to get the real facts. i have seen, however, i've seen political actors from all stripes attempt to try and shake that. i don't mean in hard ways. there's no demand. >> i'm not talking about outside political actors. this allegation is that the agency itself has become politicized. do you believe that? >> my experience is that i have not seen that. >> i appreciate that. there are ub substantiated media reports there were contacts between the trump campaign and the russians. if confirmed, will you commit to exploring those questions, and if you find there is validity to those allegations refer the information that you discovered
to the fbi? >> i want to make clear that i share your view these are unsubstantiated allegations. >> i emphasized that. >> i want to to make sure -- >> these are very serious allegations. >> there are a number of very serious things that have taken place. the leaks as well i consider to be intensely serious and director clapper's statement from last night or this morning b about his concern about these leaks is worthy. to your question, i promise i'll pursue the facts wherever they take us. the central intelligence agency has that as one of its singular functions and you have my commitment i'll do that with respect to this issue and each and every other issue. >> you sent the following twitter, quote, need further proof the fix was in from president obama on down. busted, 19,252 e-mails from dnc leaked by wikileaks. do you think wikileaks is a reliable source of information?
>> i do not. >> and the fact that you used the word proof -- need proof, that would indicate that you did think it was a credible source of information. >> i have never believed that wikileaks was a credible source of information. >> well, how do you explain your twitter? >> i don't have to -- >> tweet, sorry. i don't want to be accused of the wrong term. >> i'd have to go back and take a look at that, senator, but i can assure you, i have some deep understanding of wikileaks, and i have never viewed it as a credible source of information for the united states or for anyone else. >> i appreciate that. thank you, and i appreciate your candor here today. and look forward to further discussions. and i just hope that you will hold on to the commitment that you've made today because it's not going to be easy. but your primary role is to speak truth to the highest level
of power in this country. i appreciate your willingness to serve. >> thank you very much, senator king. >> i made a promise to all members on the committee that were they in other confirmation hearings and they showed up, i would show them preferential treatment on recognition. and if there's no objection, i would like to recognize senator mccain for five minutes of questions. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. and i apologize. i'm chairing the committee for -- hearing on general mattis. first of all, i'm here to support congressman pompeo's nomination. despite he has overcome a very poor education, and he's been able to surmount that handicap, which has been a burden for him throughout his career. i just want to -- as you know, we conducted -- we passed
legislation that only treatment of prisoners would only be in accordance with the army field manual. and that law was passed. the vote was 93-7 in the united states senate on that particular amendment. will you continue to support that and enforce that law? >> senator mccain, i voted for that, and i will. >> thank you. >> and will you -- if you have any recommendations you have for changing the army field manual or other roles governing interrogation, you'll share those with congress? >> yes, sir. >> and i don't want to take the time in front of the committee, but there's no doubt about that, obviously. and whether they intended or -- and what their intentions were, whether they actually succeed or not, there is no evidence. what do you think it's going to take to deter vladimir putin's
continued interference, not just in our elections but attempts to have access to our most sensitive classified materials, secrets. a long, long list of offenses in cyber that vladimir putin and the russians have basically compromised our national security. what do you think it takes to deter him? >> i don't know that i can answer that question comprehensively today, but i can tell you it is going to require a robust american response. a response that is a security related response that as we have to get better at defending against these, and then a response that holds actors accountable who commit these kind of actions against the united states of america. and the form, the nature, the depth, the sever uity of those responses will be decisions of policymakers that will be beyond me as the director of the
central intelligence agency, but i do view my role there as central in providing you with a deep understanding of what's taken place, how that took place, and a set of options surrounding the kinds of things and the intelligence world at least one might take action on so that we can successfully push back against it. >> wouldn't the first step to be to establish a policy as to how we treat cyberattacks and, therefore, from which we could develop a strategy? and right now we have no policy. >> senator, i would agree with that. it is very important that america, all of government, develop a policy with help to this. and i am -- if confirmed, promise i'll work alongside you to help in developing such a policy with good intelligence. >> right now, we are treating these attacks on a case-by-case basis which is not a productive, nor, i believe, enterprise that would lead to success. >> i would agree with that,
senator. >> do we have's capabilities to adequately respond to cyberattacks? i'm talking about the capabilities now, not the policy. >> senator, i want to be care envelope sessiful i ful in open session talking about the full capabilities, but this is an amazing nation with incredibly smart people. if given policy director to achieve the objective you're describing, i am confident america can do that. >> i thank the chairman and the indulgence of the committee. congressman, i'm insure you'sur an outstanding job. >> senator langford. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mike, great to see you. we -- you and i served together in the house. i saw up close and personal the tenacity of your work. how seriously you took the task there that you engaged immediately in policy issues and your passion was to come and help. and that still remains today.
your greatest asset is no doubt susan, and your tremendous relationship and your family. and i know that will be a great aset to the nation as well. and so thank you for stepping up to do this. your whole love changed a month ago when you accepted the possibility of a nomination for this. so thanks for stepping up and doing it. let me ask about the role of the cia and its face and the direction that it looks. can you walk me throughior philosophical perspective of it being a foreign face and what is the role in the united states for the cia? >> senator, thanks for the kind words. i enjoyed working alongside you on foreign policy matters as well. and right back at you. look, the central agency agency has a mission to steal secrets. and it's to be an espionage agency. getting hold of information that bad actors around the world don't want us to know. these are foreign