tv Sec. Pompeo Remarks at University of Louisville Mc Connell Center CSPAN December 3, 2019 2:29am-3:18am EST
[applause] >> good morning everybody. i have to say that was one of the most surreal moments in my life to walk and no behind you is the senate majority leader and the secretary of the state. as a young people would say i can make it a name, couldn't i? welcome. i am your president and i am so honored today to have the
opportunity to introduce a man who truly needs no introduction anywhere in the world and certainly not here, his old stomping ground and that is of course, leader mitch mcconnell. i would like to say before i would like to say thank you. would you mind giving him a round of applause. [applause] he does such an amazing job with our students and as soldiers and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to serve. leader mcconnell is the longest-serving senate majority president. u.s. senator and he is only the second kentuckian to serve as majority leader in the u.s. senate. he has so many roles as you know including a senior member of the appropriations agriculture and rules committee but i want you to member that well before all of that his compliments started
started right here. he came to the [inaudible] in the 60s and majored in political science. you can see he had an early taste for running things and for public service and the political life because he was president of the college of arts and science. he did attend another kentucky based university to earn a law degree but as you all know i am so broad-minded and i believe in the redemption of souls. we forgive him for that. his many contributions to the university of louisville to the citizens of this commonwealth and to the country are well-known but i have to say a special thank you to him for creating what is an exceptional program in the mcconnell center as a scholarship program. through this program we have an opportunity to train incredible young people who been admitted to great schools all over the country and the only reason they
chose to stay in the commonwealth because this serves only kentuckians and the only reason were able to get them here is the mcconnell center program. through this they have incredible opportunities and i always remind them, do i not, don't forget this that you are among such a rare group of young people to sit and visit one-on-one with incredible leaders. i will pause here, stop here and say, leader mcconnell, welcome back as always. we are so grateful you are here. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. glad you are here. thank you by the way, she has been a shot of adrenaline to the
university and to the whole community. thank you for the wonderful job you do. that mac. [applause] of course, i don't quite know where to start. gary will be 20 years in january and i'm not sure how long he thought he would be here when he came but he has grown this program beyond anything i had ever envisioned back in 1991 when we got started. gary, thank you for the one of job you are doing wherever you are. [applause] of course the evidence of what gary and the university has accomplished is on full display with our students. i understand you are such good students you can even skip the last day of classes to attend this morning's lecture. how about that?
you got them out of class. you graduated over 250 young men women and they are now taking what they learned here and making a positive impact throughout the commonwealth and around the globe. last month as i think gary has already mentioned two of our alumni were elected to statewide office here in kentucky, i don't know whether you call them out or not but daniel where are you? new attorney general. please stand up. [applause] mike adams new secretary of state. [applause] we do have democrats in this program, too. they just have not run yet or have not won yet. [laughter] my honor this morning to present to you our secretary of state is a job that is old as america,
thomas jefferson was our first top diplomat and his success include some of america's most respected statesman. names you recognize like john marshall, james madison and a fellow named henry clay, they all had this job. great men of enduring legacies such as george marshall, dean atchison, henry kissinger. here at the mcconnell center we had the privilege as i think gary may have mentioned to host six previous secretary of the states, george schultz was here for the opening of the program in 1991 and madeleine albright, jim baker, colin powell, condoleezza rice and hillary clinton. this morning it is our great honor to make it lucky number seven with the 70th united states secretary of state mike pompeo.
mike graduated top of his class from west point and that is certainly an acknowledgment in any year but wait until you hear about just a few of mike's classmates. one is elected member of congress and to serve as high-ranking members of the state department and one we had here at the mcconnell center a couple months ago, secretary of defense, mike esper all in the class of 1986 at west point. this is not exactly a group of slackers. but mike rose to the very top. as a young cavalry officer he was stationed in a divided german capital before the month before the fall of the german wall and stood at the edge of the iron curtain as representative of our country and the forces of freedom. following his military service mike went on to harvard law school and had an impressive career in the private sector.
answering a call to public service he was elected in 2010 to a present kansas in the u.s. house of representatives. there he became a well-respected member of the intelligence committee. when president-elect donald trump announced mike's nomination to lead the central intelligence agency he was confirmed with bipartisan support which these days is a little unusual. [laughter] leaving the bright lights of the house for the shadows of the clandestine services must've been quite a culture shock. mike was forced to take the cloakroom trade the cloakroom for the cloak and dagger. he succeeded thereto and won the confidence of our nation's intelligence professionals and our commander in chief. mike regularly delivered the president daily briefing and became a brilliant and trusted counsel on some of america's most sensitive matters.
we later would learn included conversations with north korea on denuclearization, a bold effort to advance the cause of peace in the world. this record it's no wonder president trump turned to mike when he needed a new secretary of state. mike moved to foggy bottom and left the cia in the hands of a capable kentuckian and a fellow graduate who is also been here at the mcconnell center. a secretary of state mike is a leading voice for american foreign policy and oversees more than 76000 personnel working at embassies into poetic missions around the globe and like is 69 predecessors he is tasked with promoting our nation's values and ideals abroad. whether that is supporting human rights and democracy in hong kong countering printers aggression by strengthening nato, promoting our relationship with israel are standing strong
against the iranian bad behavior whatever the situation we can rest assured that secretary mike pompeo is on the job. just last month mike went back to berlin but this i'm not as a soldier but as our number one diplomat. he joined the celebration of 30 years since the fall of the wall in the beginning of the end of the soviet unions control of eastern europe. once again he represented the indispensable role of america's leadership in the world and one that speaks for free people and a shared global prosperity. i'm glad to have him as a partner and i'm so pleased he is here today. ladies and gentlemen, the secretary of the state. [applause] >> good morning.
thank you. thank you all very much. good morning. it's great to be here but beautiful weather down here in kentucky. senator mcconnell, thank you for that gracious introduction. it's been a great partner of mine at the state department for the central intelligence agency in his role as the leader of the united states senate. it's great to be back in kentucky. politicians always talk about being back but this is true. i was stationed down and fort knox not once but twice and i know every bar in elizabethtown. [laughter] spent a couple of decades but i bet i could still find them. i want to thank the university of louisville and the mcconnell center for having the year. it's difficult to come on campus. the last time anna reacted with university of louisville you are beating mike wichita [inaudible] if i struggle today you now know
why. it is great to be here as a former soldier i want to thank you for your army leadership develop and program here and i especially commend your emphasis on civic education and i see these great leaders in uniform and reminds me of the first campaign commercial that said hey, mike, why don't you get in your uniform and my wife said he might fit in his boots. [laughter] go look it up. boots. it's a great campaign commercial. for those of you who are here students, great, i've heard that you're missing class but you are welcome. i'm glad you're part of the program and its presents the finest of the american traditions and part of the reason i'm here today as well. it is part of my duty as america's top to the mat to claim to americans how the state farm and the work we do events each and every one of you every day. it's important i get a chance to hear from americans outside of washington and i will do that
when i get to meet with some of you just after that and i come out here to recruit state .gov. great place to work and serve america so i'm on a recruiting mission here in kentucky as well. back in may i spoke at a place called the claremont institute in california and i used those remarks to talk about president trump's vision for american foreign policy and i told the group that president trump is within the american tradition but is staring at this from the perspective of how the founders thought about american foreign policy. there were three central ideas to go back and the first was the idea of realism. you have to stare at the problems as it is not as you wish it to be in the second idea is restraint. understanding that we live in this unbelievably exceptional nation and have an aromas privilege as an american citizen and a special role to play in the world.
our powers are not limited and we have to make difficult choices and i talk about that more this morning and the third idea is respect. respect for american pvileges and how nations run their affairs inside of their own country. i want to talk about that in a context that gives too little attention from us here in the united states and the work we do here in the western hemisphere and the work that we all live. i looked at the list of where my previous secretary of state traveled too often with neglect to the places most close to us did i want to start with the big picture in latin america. in last few years we've seen truly remarkable things and many nations have been a sharp turn toward democracy and capitalism, good government and away from dictatorship of socialism and corruption that has been endemic in those countries. you see this in the past few weeks bolivians are rebuilding their democracy even as we sit
here today. no one in the region any longer police authoritarianism is the way forward whether you stare at the people in cuba or nicaragua or venezuela. they all can see for the past path forward is different from what they have been living. back in april we saw how people in chile use the new democratic power for good causes in dry and they got together and began their concerted effort for to combat -- first time they ever contemplated something like that. multilateral institutions like the american states and the lima group are members of a treaty called the real treaty taken the lead and allowed america to be the supporting efforts in helping the venezuelan people move toward achieving their desire for freedom, liberty and to take care of their own
families. it was the summer a few months ago when american states put out its first ever statement affirming the right to religious freedom and sully this administration has taken to heart and worked on tyrus only. bolivia pointed its first ambassador of the united states in over a decade and there were more democratic cooperation in any hemisphere and were proud of the fact we been a part of helping them add to that place. we do this for a couple of reasons but this is how present on things about the world and respondent because people should be free to exercise their unalienable right to self-government and economic freedom and floor ship a trade with these benefits to people fees in kentucky and all across america. we support it because it's simply the right thing to do. authoritarian regimes don't go
easily. take a look at maduro but he is hanging on today and he rules venezuela but will never again govern it. but make no mistake he and other dictators will work to continue to suppress their people. cuba to has tried to hijack legitimate protesters in this region try them forward to the ideological ends with columbia disclosed the port of venezuela out of concern that protesters from terrorists from venezuela might enter and maduro resume continues not to place any value on human life and human suffering in their current lawful president is working diligently to achieve that freedom for their people. you see malign interference in the region and we worked tirelessly to push back against it today. in venezuela russia's state backed oil company continues to prop up the corrupt and
illegitimate maduro leadership and they take billions of dollars out of the venezuela economy each and every year. we tried to drive with moral and strategic clarity the recognition that authoritarianism and are hemisphere is a threat to us here in the united states and we cannot tolerate these regimes and finding backed actors in turn allied democracies and dictatorships has permitted him to come into the country posing and even go to fact here to that united states. we've done so in a way that has been realistic within the capacity of the american power to achieve the end we are seeking to achieve. what did we do? we roll back the obama administrations cuddling up to cuba by applying heavy new sanctions and recognize engagement has not improved cuba's regime and has not made a better and the human rights record was worse. the risks united states and cuba
people were worse in the capacity to enter blooms them was greater and we change that. we allowed americans to seek justice by suing the regime in havana to recover property and stole a long time ago and it only makes sense when americans had their stuff stolen to give them a chance to get it back. we've applauded countries that have expelled humans who, to live as a doctors inside of their borders who were working on behalf of the government. this is a program hard to fathom sometimes but they send doctors to countries all around the world and they traffic to generate income for the cuban leadership so the doctors received ten, 20% of the revenue they generate and the rest goes to fund the cuban regime. we see the tyrants in the region for what they are and we grapple policies to confront them not to appease them. this gets to the second point. it's mixed with restraining and
we have seen folks calling for regime change through violent means and we said since january all options are on the table. the venezuelan people recer their prosperity and that is certainly still true but we've learned from history that the risk for using military force are significant so we've instead work to deprive maduro and his cronies of oil revenue that should go to the venezuelan people and we been ruthless in attacking the drug cartels and that traffic drugs into the united states out of venezuela and we build a coalition with this demonstration has talked about going it alone and we built a coalition of 57 other allies and partners to maximize both the economic and political pressure we put on the regime. i was talking with the secretary and salivation of 30 years after the fall of the berlin wall he
remind me that there are critiques that they maduro is still there and is now working on this for months and he mina me that no one was still in east germany to the day he was not. there were articles in the months leading up to that glorious event for freedom across the world that if we do it right and do it well and represent american values that maduro, too, will fall. in july 1989 niclas [inaudible] said capitalism would come to romania when apples grew on poplar trees and by december he was hanging from a robe. the end will come for maduro as well. we just don't know what day. our patients can be seen in new rogge were present is working on economic sanctions to restore democracy there. this demands some level of consistency and relentlessness and the mega- people should know the trump administration will continue to be relentless.
secretary baker reminded me that in 1950 people were questioning why america had not succeeded in bringing down the soviet union and then one day in 1991 it was also gone. the end came slowly and came really fast. on ending pressure and sensible restraint was the right culmination then and i'm confident it was now as well. lastly, our foreign policy is built on respect. respect for principles and declaration of independence and our constitution. respect for how our neighbors and allies run their affairs. president trump knows poorly secured border violates americans enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. it undermines the rule of law, compromises the security and enables human trafficking and the president has taken on these problems. that's basic respect for american ideals.
one of the diplomatic successes that i am most proud of his delivering on that obligation in partnership with mexico and countries throughout south america. it is diplomacy undergirded by frank talk and by respect between neighbors and friends. we simply ask mexico and northern tribal countries of el salvador, guatemala to do more inside of their own country into stopped the inflow of illegal immigrants coming to mexico and the united states. we cut off support assistance to show we are serious but did not tell them how to run their country or adjusted but asked that they be good neighbors and look at the results. i'm pleased to say we've taken in each of these countries important steps. for example, thanks to an amazing new leader in ecuador the president to tensioned those trying to illegally enter are down 80% and that is good work
on his part. our relationship with el salvador is stronger and we return for assistance and will help the el salvador hands be successful and build out their own great country. in that same vein of respect we told our friends the predatory chinese activities could lead them to deals that seem attractive but are bad for their people in their own nation. we don't try to stop them because of the chinese communist party but to strengthen their systems and transparency to help them understand the threats that pays their country from doing deals with the chinese on the money and foreclose on important assets inside of their country. that is respect. we let each leader make its own decisions but we do our work to help support them. in haiti we've tried to offer a helping hand and the united states has not rushed in with solutions in washington but provided assistance. we told the new argentine government we are work to work
ready to work with them despite not seeing eye to eye on significant foreign-policy issues with that is respect. finally, it means respecting peoples yearnings to be free. ensuring that religious freedom can be had all across the world that economic rights are protected and helping them see honest opportunities for prosperity in their own countries and we've seen protested a number of nations in bolivia and chile and columbia and in ecuador those protests reflect the character of legitimate democratic governments and expression inside of their countries. governments should respect that the way democracies do it we are so blessed here. america remains the greatest example in democracy in history of the world. in the trump administration we will continue to spark countries trying to prevent cuban and venezuela from hijacking those protests and work with legitimate governments to protest or prevent protests from
morphing into riots and violence but don't reflect the democratic will of the people. we will be vigilant too. vigilant that new democratic leaders don't exploit the power to hijack the democracy that got them there. that is the respect that we owe to other governments for people so they can have democracy in their own nation. i want to spend or we have plenty of time for questions and proud of what we done in the region and the remains an awful lot of work to do in our own backyard and hemisphere and the good news is the son of democracy is daunting in many places close to us and whatever its day brings we will approach it with our spirits and restraint and support for the people of our region. thank you. god bless you. god bless kentucky and god bless the united states of america. thank you for having me. [applause]
>> we thought we would have a little discussion here and i think a good place to start is hong kong. back in 1992 i introduced a little bill called the holocaust policy act and this was five years before the handover back to the chinese from the british but it was noted out there because it requires the state farm to make an annual report about whether the chinese [inaudible] we have certainly witnessed a lot of unrest in hong kong just the other day we did an update of the hong kong policy act and passed overwhelmingly on the house and senate and president trump signed it but it struck me that this could be president xi's
worst nightmare that this view that being able to express yourself and maybe being able to elect your own leaders would metastasize into the mainland. what is your take on what is going on in hong kong and in the chinese government's reaction to it connect. >> leader mcconnell, even at this issue in hong kong for awfully long time. thank you for handing me the requirement to certify. [laughter] look, the issue in hong kong is pretty straightforward. you articulated it pretty well but give people that is desirous of having the chinese communist party live up to the promise that it made back in 1997 where it ratified that the united nations they talked about having one country but to systems. in seven ... ...
in places like iran and lebanon. what's behind all this? what is your take on the level of unrest, particularly in adversaries like iran? >> i'm not sure you can draw a line between all the protesters into different places other than each place that you find these protests you see people living under authoritarian regimes. in the middle east, what you see taking plac place as the iraq ie minister resigned within the last 48 hours. he did so because the people were demanding freedom and the security forces have killed dozens of people. that's due in large part to an iranian influence. the same is true in lebanon. it's a desire for the people,
lebanon have people of all religions, christians, sunni muslims, people across just demanding basic economy for the nation they want. has the lot out of their country come out of their system is a violent and repressive force in the country and the same thing is happening in baghdad with 90 plus cities taking place because the iranian people are fed up. they see a theocracy stealing money, tens of billions of dollars putting it in its own pocket, money that should go to provide resources for the iranian people and they just say enough. our role in all of this is to support freedom wherever we are able to do so, to create transparency so the world can sesee in iran and for reporting indicates several hundred been killed by the security forces,
thousands detained and to stand up and say that's not write these people are simply asking for a basic set of freedoms and the iranian leadership should change in a way that reflects the desire of their own people. >> the administration mad >> the administration made an important decision that i supported to withdraw from the previous administrations in the iran nuclear deal. to what extent are they resisting and following the lead on that in a decision? and the sanctions they levied against iran, how effective have they been so far? >> they chose byron to be the primary security partner in the middle east. we thought it was flawed proposition. the iran nuclear deal was a central part of the bat and the
stated goal was to detour from having a nuclear weapon system when in fact it was a guarantee that there was a glide path. so president trump made the decision to withdraw and that had a number of salutary effects. effects. the sources it stopped funding the regime in iran. we sold $150 billion was transferred that they presented a gift for presenting the shia militias in iraq under the assassination campaigns in europe and now the iranian regime has fewer resources to conduct the campaign and to build off the nuclear assistance to d do are anti-on the weaponsr whatever it might be in the desire of achieving. the europeans have chosen a different approach. they've stayed in spite of the nuclear deal. we encouraged them to move away from that. we don't think it's productive.
the europeans have chosen not to do that. the good news is in spite up with a well told trump that the sanctions would work, the world was wrong. they've been incredibly effective. iran's wealth will decrease materially in 2019 from 2018 and again in 2020 and the ability to trade with the rest of the world is greatly diminished. there is plenty of money for the iranian people. the ayatollah can underwrite a missile program and the centrifuges spinning to create nuclear systems to underwrite hezbollah in lebanon and fighters that are traveling to latin america. if they have that much money and while it has plenty of money to take care of its own people and we are simply doing this to keep america safe, to keep the middle east more stable and to enable the iranian people to convince
the regime that it needs to change its ways and th in the mt fundamental basic ways to ask iran to behave like a normal country. >> on matters unrelated to the foreign policy, but you mentioned you were headed to england and i assumed you were as well. what do you anticipate will come out of this meeting? >> i will leave here from louisville to london direct. it's an important set of meetings we are submitting 70 years of nato, 70th anniversary. that is a pretty big deal. it's an important force for good and freedom throughout the world for all of the postwar period of 70 years. president trump came in saying we wanted to make sure it was fit for a purpose and work after 70 years and the purpose was right. my team and the department of defense worked with our nato partners to ensure that.
what have we done, first, we've made sure that we were addressing the proper challenges, so it was created to fight the soviet union and pa security alliance to oppose the soviet union. russia remains but the nature of the threat is changed. has changed. there is an enormous cyber component to make sure nato is compared to confront the challenge. it's also the case with china we no longer have geographic boundaries. boundaries. china poses a threat trying to infiltrate systems and communications and technolog ind all the things china would want to do to empower itself at the expense of our transatlantic partnerpartners, so they need te prepared to do that as well. they've also taken on an increased role in fighting terrorism and the forces in afghanistan today and around the world working on the counterterrorism surveys important that nato reflect that and be fit for the purpose and
2020. the second thing the president focused on is making sure that it wasn't america bearing too great a burden connected to that and so he asked these countries to do the simple thing of honoring the promise they made. every one of them made a promise they would spend 2% of their own countries gdp on defense in the american province this is a country where the 28 nations made. some of them have lived up to that and some of them are struggling to find a way to do so and we are going to encourage them to do so. the good news is since president trump took office about $130 billion more has been spent by those countries in support of their own securities and the transatlantic alliance and other 350 or 450 billion will be spent in the upcoming years all due to focus on wanting every country to be a full participant to share the burden of the collective defense.
and those would be the topics we talk about and then we will spend a fair amount of time talking about the history and success the nato countries have had over the past seven decades. >> the one country in the world that americans tend to follow him to pay the most attention to his our friend, israel and we've gone through two elections and have been unable so far to form a government. i know we don't dabble in these kind of internal decisions in another country, so that's not my question -- [laughter] thank you. do israel's adversaries in the period of uncertainty like this concludes that it's a time of mistress or do they think that the government in spite of all
of the western leaning democratic chaos is prepared to respond no matter what's happening politically and internally in israel flex >> that's a great question. my observation is those who might see this opportunity note that the minister is still the prime minister and that any threat to israel would be met in the way that the prime minister has consistently made a priority. we saw this a few weeks back when there were attacks into israel out of syria and it was during the time when there was political challenge in spite of the israeli government and prime minister took their action to respond to that. i don't think anybody seized ses moment of political transition has been working through the democratic process as an opportunity to create risk for israel. i know the united states stands prepared to do everything we need to do to work for the
government formation process. >> i'm told we have one more question, and i am going to go around to a totally different place in the world that is of special interest to me. >> louisville question, here it comes. >> i had a long-standing note passing relationship for two decades while she was under house arrest and watched with great interest the attempt to evolve the military dictatorship into something more western leaning open to commerce and all the rest but there seems to be some backsliding and she's been under a lot of criticism for basically not standing up to the military and reacting more
aggressively to the atrocities that occurred and people have been taking away degrees they gave her. she came here by the way in 2012 on the first trip to the u.s.. what is your take on this? is she making sort of a practical decision that she can't take on the military successfully? she has a total loss around the world because she hasn't done something she may conclude. >> so she's in a very difficult position and a complex situation. i think you characterized it right. those are the two polar ends of the choices. from the united states perspective, we don't choose
leaders, we choose good outcomes and so our efforts there have been two put pressure on the burmese military. you've seen the sanction in the previous administration refused to do that. we said that these are the really bad actors in this case e the men that are engaged in activities that would frighten us all and we all know deeply to our way of life here so we've sanctioned them to change their ways to try to protect those that have suffered so much and then we tried to provide -- i met with my counterparts and try to provide assistance and help them through but the military has a lot. she's facing a true conundrum. our hope and expectation is that she will engage in every activity she can to try to drive the right outcomes.
do i believe in her heart she wants for her country and her people to drive them in the right direction it's not unusual for we see this and the governments where you have a set of armed military forces under the control of those outside of government and the government apparatus trying to get to the right place for their own people and leaders that are trying to bridge the gap to get in the right direction to push back against. iraq is a good example of that. the iraqi leaders are trying to push back against the iranian militia who are denying sovereignty for the iraqi people. all they really want is to have a free, independent, sovereign iraq. we watched the leaders and we are continually disappointed in them that they have not done more but he also recognized that they are in a difficult place trying to maintain enough influence and capacity to begin to push in the right direction.
i think that he is very much in the same place. >> join me in thanking the secretary of state. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, first of all thank you to all of you for coming. i'm sure you will agree that this was a most informative and enlightening opportunity for all of us to learn what's going on. we do say that the world comes to you and we are proud that our roots are renewable but the breaches globally and i think that this is an indication. so, secretary pompeo, when i met you first several years ago, i never dreamt that our paths would cross this way and i would like to on behalf of the board
chair the faculty, staff and our students most of all we have a small gift for you. we hope this will remind you of your time here. welcome back any time. i will g will go with you to fox anytime. [laughter] thank you very much and thank you, everyone, for being here. [applause] [inaudible conversations]