tv Sec. Pompeo Remarks at University of Louisville Mc Connell Center CSPAN December 3, 2019 2:15pm-3:01pm EST
committee holds a hearing this week with constitutional scholars as part of the impeachment inquiry of president trump. it's intended to focus on the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment. according to a statement from jerrold nadler. the president has been invited to attend and have his legal counsel participate by asking questions. this weekend the white house declined to participate in the proceedings. the president is in london attending a nato meeting through wednesday. we'll have live coverage on c-span3, online at c-span.org, or you can listen live on the free c-span radio app. the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind created by cable in
1979. c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. next, secretary of state mike pompeo talks about u.s. foreign policy challenges at the university of louisville mcconnell center. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell was also there to introduce the secretary and ask him a few questions. [ applause ] >> good morning, everybody. i have to say that was one of the most surreal moments in my life to walk and know that behind you is the senate
majority leader and the secretary of state. as the young people would say, i could make it a meme, couldn't i? welcome. i'm your president, and i'm so honored today to have the opportunity to introduce a man who truly need no introduction anywhere in the world and certainly not here, his old stomping grounds. and that is, of course, leader mitch mcconnell. i would like to say first of all before i introduce him thank you to dr. gary greg. would you mind giving him a round of applause? [ applause ] he does such an amazing job with our students and our soldiers that we are so grateful to have the opportunity to serve. and as you heard the rest of the public as well. leader mcconnell is the longest-serving senate majority president, u.s. senator, and
he's only the second kentuckian to serve as majority leader in the u.s. senate. he has so many roles as you know including senior member of the appropriations, agriculture, and rules committees. but i want you to remember that well before all of that, his accomplishments started right here. he came to the ufl in the '60s and majored in political science. you could see that he had an early stais ftaste for running and public service and the political life because he was president of the college of arts and sciences. he did attend another kentucky based university to earn a law degree. but as you all know -- as you all know i'm so broad minded and i believe in the redemption of souls so we forgive him for that. his many, 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 and the scholarship program. through this program, as you know, we have an opportunity to retain incredible young people who have 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, the only reason we're able to get them all here is the mcconnell center program. through this they have incredible enrichment opportunities. i always remind them, do i not, don't forget this, you are among such a share group of young people to sit and visit one on one with incredible leaders. so, i will pause here, stop here, and say leader mcconnell, welcome back as always to your stomping grounds. we are so grateful that you are here. thank you. [ applause ]
>> well, good morning. glad you're here. thank you, neely. and by the way, don't you think she's just been a shot of adrenaline to the university and to the whole community? thank you for the wonderful job you're doing. [ applause ] and of course i don't quite know where to start with gary greg. gary will be 20 years in january. i'm not sure how long he thought he'd be here when he came, but he has grown this program beyond anything i had ever envisioned back in 1991 when we got started. and gary, thank you for the wonderful job you're doing wherever you are. gary. [ applause ] of course the evidence of all of
what gary and the university have accomplished is on full display with our students. i understand you're 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. we've graduated now over 250 young men and women. they're 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 state-wide office in kentucky. i don't know if you called them out or not. but daniel cameron, where are you? new attorney general, stand up. [ applause ] and mike adams, the new secretary of state. [ applause ] we do have democrats in this
program too. they just haven't run yet or at least haven't won yet. so, my honor this morning to present to you our secretary of state. the job, as you know, is as old as america. thomas jefferson was our first top diplomat. his successes include some of america's most respected statesmen. names you recognize like john marshall, james madison, and a fellow named henry clay all had this job. great men of enduring legacies such as george marshall, dean achson, henry kissinger. here at the mcconnell center, we already had the privilege as i think gary may have mentioned to host six previous secretaries of state. george schultz was lehere for t opening of the program in 1991.
madilyn albright, jim baker, colin powell, condoleezza rice, and hillary clinton. this morning, it's our great honor to make it lucky number 7 with the 70th united states secretary of state, mike pompeo. mike graduated the top of his class from west point. that's an accomplishment in any year, but wait until you hear about just a few of mike's classmates. one is an elected member of congress. two serve as high-ranking members of the state department. and one, we had here at the mcconnell center here a couple of months ago, the secretary of dec defense, mike esper, all in the class of 1986 at west point. so, this is not exactly a group of slackers. but mike rose to the very top. as a young cavalry officer, mike
was stationed in the german capital in the tenuous months before the fall of the berlin wall. he stood at the edge of the iron curtain as a representative of our country and the forces of freedom. following his service, mike went on to harvard law school and an impressive career in the private sector. answering a call to public service, he was elected in 2010 to represent kansas in the u.s. house of representatives. there he became a well-respected member of the intelligence committee. so, 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. now, leaving the bright lights of the house for the shadows of clandestine services must have been quite a culture shock. mike was forced to take the cloak room -- trade the cloak room for the cloak and dagger.
but he succeeded there too and quickly won the confidence of our nation's intelligence professionals and our commander in chief. mike regularly delivered the president daily briefings and became a brilliant and trusted counsel on some of america's most sensitive matters. we later would learn that included conversations with north korea on denuclearization, a bold effort to advance the cause of peace in the world. with 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 in the hands of gina haspel who has also been here at the mcconnell center. as secretary of state, mike is the leading voice for american foreign policy. he overseas more than 76,000 personnel working at embassies and diplomatic missions around the globe.
and like his 69 predecessors he's tasked with promoting our nation's ideals abroad, whether that's countering putin's aggression by strengthen nato, promoting our relationship with israel, or standing strong against iranian bad behavior, whatever the situation, we can rest assured secretary mike pompeo is on the job. just last month, mike went back to berlin, this time not as a soldier but as our number one diplomat. he celebrated the anniversary of the falling of the wall. once again, we represented the indispensable role of america's leadership in the world, one that speaks for free people and a shared global prosperity. i'm glad to have him as a partner. i'm so pleased he's here today.
ladies and gentlemen, the secretary of state. [ applause ] good morning, thank you. thank you all very much. good morning. it's great to be in beautiful weather down here in kentucky. senator mcconnell, thank you so much for that gracious introduction. senator mcconnell has truly been a great partner of mine, of the state department, of the central intelligence agency in his role as the leader in 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 at fort knox not once but twice. i know every bar in elizabethtown. it's been a couple decades, but i bet i could still find them.
i do want to thank too the mcconnell center and the university of louisville for having me here. it's difficult to come on campus. the last time i interacted with the university of louisville, you were beating my wichita state shockers in the final four in atlanta. i'm not emotionally over it. if i struggle today, you now know why. it's great to be here. as a former soldier too, i want to thank you for your army leadership development program here and i commend your interest on civic education. i see all these great leaders in uniform. it reminds me of the first campaign commercial. the person putting it together said mike, why don't you get in your uniform. my wife said he might be able to fit in his boots. look it up, boots, it's a great commercial. senator mcconnell said you're missing class today, is that right? you're welcome. but i'm glad you're part of this program. it represents the finest of the american tradition.
and it's part of the reason that i'm here today as well. it's part of my duty as america's top diplomat to explain to americans how the state department and the work that we do benefits each and every one of you every day. and it's important too that i get a chance to hear from americans outside of washington. and i'll do that when i get a chance to meet with some of you just after that. i also come out here to recruit, state.gov. go check it out. it's a great place to serve america. 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. i use those remarks to talk about president trump's vision for american foreign policy, and i told that 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 if you go back and read. first was the idea of realism.
you have to stare at the problems as it is, not as you wish it were to be. the second idea is restraint, understanding that we live in this unbelievably exceptional nation. we have an enormous privilege as american citizens and we have a special role to play in that world. but our powers limit and sometimes we have to make difficult choices, and i'll talk about that a little bit more this morning. and the third idea is respect, respect for our american principles and how other nations choose to run their affairs inside of their own countries. and i want to talk about that today in the context of a place that gets too little attention from us here in the united states, and it's the work that we do here in the western hemisphere, the place that we all live. i looked at the list of where my previous -- where the previous secretaries of state have travelled and too often there was neglect to places most close to us. i want to start with the big picture in latin america. in just the last few years we've seen some truly remarkable
things. many nations have made a sharp turn towards democracy and capitalism, good government, away from dictatorship and socialism and the krumcorruptio that has been endemic in some of those countries. you see the bolivians are rebuilding their democracy even as we sit here today. no one in the region any longer believes that authoritarianism is the right way forward whether you stare at the people in cuba or nicaragua or venezuela. they all can see the path forward is different from what they have been living. when i was in chile back in april, we saw how people there used their new democratic power for good causes. in july, nations of the region got together and began their first concerted effort to combat terrorism. argentina designated hezbollah has a terrorist organization, first time ever they contemplated something like that. regional multilateral
organizations too like the organization of american states and the lima group are members of a treaty called the rio treaty. they've taken the lead. they've allowed america to be the supporting effort in helping the venezuelan people move towards achieving their desire for freedom, liberty, and to simply take care of their own families. it was the summer just a few months ago when the organization of american states put out its first ever statement affirming the right to religious freedom, something this administration has taken to heart and worked on tirelessly. and bolivia, as i said before, appointed the first ambassador to the united states in over a decade. there is more democratic cooperation in our hemisphere today than any point in history and we're proud of the fact that we've been a part of helping them get to that place. we do this for a couple of reasons. this gets to how president trump thinks about the world. we support it because people should be free to exercise their
unalienable right to self-government. we support it because political freedom goes hand in hand with economic freedom and economic flourishing and trade with these nations benefits people in kentucky and all across america. and we support it too because it's simply the right thing to do. authoritarian regimes don't go easily, however. take a look at maduro. he's hanging on today. he rules venezuela but will never again govern it. but make no mistake, he and other dictators like him will work to continue to suppress their people. cuba too has tried to hijack legitimate protests in its countries and in the region to drive them towardside logic ends. colombia has closed spoits portt of concern terrorists may enter. they haven't placed any life on human life and human suffering.
and their current lawful president juan guaido is working diligently to achieve that freedom for their people. you see too malign interference in the country. today in venezuela, russia's state-backed oil company continues to prop up the corrupt and illegitimate maduro leadership. they takal bes billions of dollars out of the venezuelan economy each and every year. we recognize that it's a threat to us here in the united states. we cannot tolerate these regimes inviting bad actors in and trying to turn allied democracies into dictatorships. indeed the maduro regime has allowed iranians to come into their country posing a greater threat to us in the united states. we've done so in a way that's been realistic, within the capacity to achieve power that we're seeking to achieve.
so, what did we do? we rolled back the obama administration's cudden up to cuba by applying new sanctions. we recognize that engagement has not improved cuba's regime. it was worst. the risk to the cuban people and the risk to the united states was worse and the capacity to venezuela. it only made sense when americans had their stuff stolen to give them a chance to get it back. and we've applauded countries who have expelled cubans who have come to live as doctors inside their borders who were really working on behalf of the document. this is a program that's hard to fathom sometimes. they send doctors to countries all around the world. they traffic to generate income for the cuban leadership, so the doctors receive 10 or 20% of the revenue that they generate and
the rest goes to fund the cuban regime. we see these tyrants in the region for what they are, and recraft policies to confront them, not to appease them. and this really gets to the second point. a policy on venezuela is mixed with restraint. we've seen folks calling for regime change through violent means, and we've said since january that all options are on the table to help the venezuelan people recover their democracy and prosperity. that is certainly still true. but we've learned from history that the risk from using military force are significant, so we've worked to deprive maduro and his cronies of oil revenue that should go to the venezuelan people, we've been ruthless in attacking the drug cartels, the traffic drugs into the united states out of venezuela, and we built a coalition. you know this administration has
often talked about going it alone. we've built a coalition of 57 other allies and partners to maximize both the economic and political pressure we've put on the regime. and i was talking with secretary baker in celebration of 30 years after the fall of berlin wall. he reminded me that there are critiques that say maduro is still there. you've been working on this for months and months and he's still there. he reminded me eric con ger was in east germany until the day he was not. there were articles in the months leading up to that glorious event for freedom across the world that too, if we do it right and do it well and represent american values that maduro too will fall. in july of 1989, nicolas said it would come when apples grow on poplar trees.
we just don't know what day. our patience can be seen in nicaragua where president trump is working on economic sanctions to restore democracy there. this demands some level of consistency and relentlessness and the american people should know that the trump administrations will continue to be relentless. secretary baker reminded me too that in 1950 people were questioning why america hadn't succeeded in bringing down the soviet union. then one day in 1991, it was also gone. the end came slowly and then it came really fast. unended pressure and sensible restraint was the right combination then and i'm confident that it is now as well. lastly, our foreign policy is built on respect. it's respect for our principles in our declaration of independence and constitution and respect for how our neighbors and allies run their affairs. president trump knows too that a
poorly secured border violates americans' joimt enjoyment of l liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it enables human trafficking, and the president's taken on those problems. that's a basic respect for american ideals. one of the diplomatic successes that i'm most proud of is delivering on that obligation in partnership with mexico and countries throughout south america. it is diplomacy undergirded by frank talk, by respect between neighbors and friends. we simply asked mexico and northern triangle countries of el salvador, honduras, and guatemala to do more inside of their own country to stop the flow of illegal immigration coming towards mexico and to the united states. we had to cut off some foreign assistance to show that we were serious, but we didn't tell them how to run their country to address it. we just insisted that they be good neighbors and look at the
results. i'm pleased to say we've taken in each of those countries important steps. for example, thanks to an amazing new leader in ecuador, detentions of salvadorans trying to enter the united states illegally is down. we will help the el salvadorans be successful and build out their own country. in that same vein of respect, we've told that chinese authorities can lead them to deals that seem attractive but in the end are bad for people, bad for their own nation. but we don't try to stop them from doing business with the chi these communist party. we work with these. we work with them to strengthen. we work with them on letti each
leader make their own decisions. we've offered a helping hand in haiti. the united states has not rushed in with solutions forced in washington. we've provided assistance. we've told the new argentine government that we're ready to work with them despite not seeing eye to eye on significant foreign policy issues. that's respect. and finally, it means respecting peoples' yearning to be free. we know this here in the united states. ensuring that religious freedom can be had all across the world, that economic rights are protected, helping them seize honest opportunities for prosperity in their own countries. we've seen protests in a number of nations, in bolivia, chile, colombia, and ecuador. those protests reflect the character of democratic governments and democratic expression inside their countries. governments should respect that the way democracies do.
we are so blessed here. america remains the greatest example in democracy in the history of the world. so, we in the trump administration will continue to support countries trying to prevent cuba and venezuela from hijacking those protests and will work with legitimate governments from morphing into riots and violence that don't reflect the democratic will of the people. and we'll be vigilant too. vigilant that new democratic leaders don't exploit peoples' frustrations to take power to hijack the very democracy that got them there. that's the kind of respect that we owe to other governments for people so that they can have democracy in their own nations. i want to leave plenty of time for questions. i'm proud of what we've done in the region. there remains an awful lot of work to do in our own backyard, in our own hemisphere. the good news is that the sun of democracy is dawning in many places close to us. whatever its day brings, we'll
approach it with our friends in a spirit of realism and restraint and support for the peoples of our region. thank you. god bless. god bless kentucky and god bless the united states of america. thank you for having me. [ applause ] >> well, 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 hong kong policy act. this was five years before the handover back to the chinese from the british. not a very important bill certainly in this country but it was noticed out there because it required the state department to make an annual report about whether the chinese, after the handover, were sticking to the deal they made with the british which was supposed to hold up for 50 years. well, we've certainly witnessed
a lot of unrest in hong kong here. and just the other day, we did an update of the hong kong policy act. it passed overwhelmingly in the house and senate, and president trump signed it. it strikes me, mr. secretary, that this could be president xi's worse nightmare, that this view that being able to express yourself and maybe being automobile to elect your own leaders would metastasize into the mainland. what is your take on what's going on in hong kong and the chinese government's reaction to it? >> leader mcconnell, you've been at this issue in hong kong for an awfully long time, and thanks for handing me the requirement to certify. that's great. put it in my lap. deeply appreciative. look, the issue of hong kong is pretty straightforward. i think you articulated it pretty well. you have a people that is
desirous of having the chinese communist party live up to the promise it made back in 1997. it's a ratified treaty. it sits at the united nations. they talk about one country and two systems and their obligation to honor that. our efforts to make sure those weren't empty promises made to the people of hong kong. the chinese communist party owes it to those people to live up to those commitments they made. you see people of hong kong demanding that. you see american flags flying at these protests. they want what you all want, what our next generation of americans want. they want freedom, the chance to raise their families, to practice their faith in the way that they want. those are the commitment to permitting that was made by the chinese communist party. it was to go for 50 years. we still have decades left in that. and the united states stands firmly in support of asking the chinese leadership to honor that commitment, asking everyone to do so without violence and to
find a resolution to this that honors the one country two system policy that the chinese leadership signed up for. >> you mentioned in your remarks protests around the world. you mentioned on other occasions and others of us have protests going on in places like iran and lebanon. what's behind all this? what's your take on the level of unrest, particularly in an adversary like iran? >> so, i'm not sure you can draw a line between all the protests and all the different places that is direct other than each place that you find these protests you see people who are living under authoritarian regimes and demanding a fundamental change. in the middle east, what you see taking place is the iraqi prime minister resigned within the last 48 hours.
he did so because the people were demanding freedom, and the security forces had killed dozens and dozens of people. that's due in large part to iranian influence there. the same is true in lebanon. the protests in beirut are a desire for the people of lebanon. it's people of all religions. you have christians, sunni muslims, you have people from all across lebanon just demanding basic autonomy for the nation. they want hezbollah and iran out of their country, out of their system as a violent and repressive force inside the country. the same thing is happening in baghdad and the protests in iran itself in 90 plus cities are taking place because the iranian people are fed up. they see a thee they yok si that is stealing money, money that should go to provide resources for the american people. and they just say enough.
they're demanding these basic rights. our role in all of this is to support freedom wherever we are able to do so, to create transparency so that the world can see in iran the reporting indicates that there are several hundred people who have been killed by the security forces, thousands detained inside of iran. and to stand up and say that's not right. these people are simply asking for a basic set of freedoms, and the iranian leadership, that regime should change in a way that reflects the desires of their own people. >> the administration made an important decision in my view that i supported to withdraw from the previous administrations iran nuclear deal. to what extent are the europeans resisting following our lead on that -- in that decision? and the sanctions that the administration levied against
iran, how effective have they been so far? >> so, the previous administration chose iran to be its primary security partner in the middle east. we thought that was fundamentally flawed proposition. the iran nuclear deal was a central part of that. its stated goal was to deter iran from being able to have a nuclear weapons system when in fact it was a guarantee that there was a glide path for iran to have a nuclear weapon. so, president trump made the decision to withdraw from it. that had a number of sal toir effects. the first is it stopped funding for the regime in iran. we all saw the $150 billion that was transferred there. but they permitted european companies to trade in iran creating wealth, creating money that underwrote hezbollah, underwrote assassination campaigns in europe. and now the iranian regime has fewer resources to conduct the terror campaign and build out
nuclear sources, to do r&d on weapons or whatever they might be desirous of achieving. the europeans chose a different approach. they stayed inside the nuclear deal. we've encouraged them to move away from that. we don't think it's productive. the united states has reimposed sanctions. the europeans have chosen not to do that. the good news is that despite what the world told us that sanctions would not work, the world was wrong. the sanctions have been incredibly effective. iran's wealth will decrease materially in 2019 from 2018 and again in 2020 from 2019. and their ability to trade with the rest of the world is also greatly diminished. this is not to impact the iranian people. there's plenty of money for the iranian people. if the people. if the ayatollah can underwrite a missile program, centrifuges spinning to create nuclear
systems, to underwrite hezbollah in lebanon, underwrite fighters traveling to latin america if the iranen regime has that much money and welt it has plenty to take care of its people. we're doing this to keep america safe. keep the middle east stable and convinces iranian people to convince the regiment to change its ways to ask iran to behave like a normal country. >> the president called me this morning about matters unrelated to foreign policy but mentioned he was headed to england. and i assume you are as well. what do you anticipate will come out of the upcoming nato meeting. >> i'll leave here, louisville to london direct. >> yes. >> yes. so it's an important set of meetings, celebrating 70 years of nato. a 70th anniversary. this has been an important course for good and freedom all
throughout the world wherefore all the post-war period. 70 years. president trump came in saying he wanted to make sure nato was fit for purpose. the focus was right. and my team and the department of defense have worked with the nature of partners to ensure that. what have we done? first, made sure that we were addressing the proper challenges. so it was created to fight the soviet union and to be a security alliance to oppose the soviet union. the soviet union is no more, russia remains pu but the nature of the the threat from refresh russia changed too there is the sfiesh threat from russia. we need to make sure nato is prepared to confront that. it's case with -- china poses an enormous risk to nato too. trying to infiltrate nato communications systems and technology, all of the things china would want to do to empower itself at the expense of our trans-atlantic partners.
nato needs to be prepared for that as well. nato has taken on increased role in fighting terrorism. there are nato forces in afghanistan today and around the world working with counterterrorism. the threat has changed. i want important that nato reflect and that be fit for purpose for 2020. the second thing the president was focused on was making sure it wasn't america bearing too great a burden can connected to that. president trump asked the companies to do the simple things of honoring the propz they made. every country made the promise they would spend 2% of their country's gdp on defense. not an american promise. this was a promise each of the countries made. some lived up to it. some struggling to find a way to do that. we're encouraging themmed that and quickly. the good news is since president trump took office about $130 billion-dollar more has been spent by the countries in support of their own security
and the collective security of the trans-atlantic alliance. another 350 or $450 billion will be spent in the upcoming years due to president trump's focus on wanting every country to be full and fair participant to share the burden of our collect of defense. and those will be the topics we talk about and then we are spending a fair amount of time talking about the great history and tradition and the successes that nato and the nato countries have had over the past seven decades. >> the one country in the world that americans tend to follow and pay the most attention to is our friend israel. and we observed the carb tsh they have gone through two elections and been unable so far to form a government. i know we don't dabble in internal decisions in another country. so that's not my question. >> thank you. i appreciate that.
>> dot israel's adversaries in a period of uncertainty like this conclude that it's a time for mischief or do they believe the government in spite of all of the chaos is prepared to respond to matter what happening happening internally in israel. >> that's a good question. my observation is that those who might seize upon the opportunity know that prime minister netanyahu is still the prime minister and that any threat to israel would be met in the way that prime minister netanyahu has consistently made defense of israel a real prosecute prosecute priority. you saw this a few weeks back when there were attacks into israel out of syria. it was still during a time where there was political challenge inside of the israeli government.
and prime minister netanyahu took serious action to respond to that. so i don't think anybody sees this moment of political transition in israel or them working through the democratic processes as an opportunity to create risk for israel. i know the united states stands prepared to do everything we need to do to support trael israel as it works its way through the government formation pr. >> i'm told we have one more question. and i'm going to go around to a telecastly different place than the world of special interests to me. and that. >> it's a louisville question, here is comes. >> it's a burma. >> yes. >> i had a longstanding note-passing relationship with the prime minister of israel for two decades while she was under house arrest and have watched with great interest the attempt to evolve from a military dictatorship into something more
leaning with -- open to commerce, elections all the rest. but there seems to be some backslading. and she rab under a lot of criticism for not basically standing up to the military and reacting more aggressively to the. rohingya atrocities that occurred. and people have been taking away honorary degrees they gave here her. she game to the kmaum center center on her first trip to the u.s. what's your take on aungsong. is she making a practical decision she can't take on the military successfully and enduring total loss of status around the world because she hasn't done something that she
may conclude would only lead horse to lose balance. >> it's a very complex situation. i think you characterized it precisely right. those are the polar ends of the choices she faces there. from the united states' we don't choose leaders. we choose good outcomes. our efforts there have been to -- to put put pressure on the burmese military leaders. we have said these are the bad actors in in case men who are engaged in activities that would -- that would frighten us all. and we all know are deeply abhorrent to our way of life here. we sanctioned them to put pressure on the military to change its ways to try and protect the innocent there that have suffered so much. and then we have tried to
provide -- i've met with my counterparts there, tried to provide them assistance to try and help them through. but the military has an awful lot of power. and she is facing a true conundrum. our hope and expectation is that she will fwaj engage in every activity she can to drive the right outcomes. outcomes i believe she wants in her heart for her country and people to drive them in the right direction. it's not unusual to see in in transitional governments where you have armed military forces under the control or quasi under the control of those outside of government. and a 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 the military. iraq is a good example of that, right? the iraqi leaders trying to push back against the iranian militias who are denying sovereignty for the iraqi people. all they really want is to have a free, independent sovereign
iraq. yet you have iranian arms and military driving inside of that country. we watch the leaders. we are continually disappointed in them they have not done more. but we recognize they are in a difficult place trying to maintain enough influence and capacity to begin to push in the right correction. . i think the prime minister of myanmar is in that sass same place. >> join me in thanking the secretary of state. thank you, all. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> thanks a lot. i really appreciate it. >> we have a small gift for him. >> oh, yes. >> ladies and gentlemen, first of all, thank you to all of you for coming. i am sure you'll agree that this was a most informative and enlightening opportunity for all of us to see what's going on. we say when you come