tv Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo CSPAN April 9, 2018 8:49pm-9:31pm EDT
they held a news briefing to discuss the secretary of state nominee. they opposed his confirmation citing past statements in both issues affecting muslims. he testifiehe justifies testifie confirmation hearing on thursday. at this briefing is 40 minutes. good morning. welcome to the interfaith alliance exploring the anti-muslim rhetoric and ties. we are presenting five different perspectives on mr. pompeo. some of the organizations are 5013 c. organizations. others that are not may exercise their prerogatives.
you will hear from scott simpson, the director of policy advocacy from the muslim public affairs council, the executive director of the american institute who is the director of the shoulder to shoulder campaign and each of them will tell you a little bit about themselves and their organization when they get up here and i will begin. the alliance is dedicated to protecting faith and freedom. we take as our mission championing true religious freedom under the first amendment. especially individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism and build common ground here in the united states. we are mostly concerned with the domestic agenda put the fork and policy depends on the integrity of the united states domestic
policy. it is especially when we seek to uphold, protect and defend the constitution necessary that we keep a concerted focus on people who take that oath and particularly in our case the concern about the rights of the first amendment. to that end be alliance of questions that we would like asked in his confirmation hearing as he is vetted for this critical position in the world. so many of these issues speak to the role of muslims and islam in the united states and global society that we felt was critical to convene the allies and coalition partners that are seated appear to offer this briefing. there will be a book from the legal perspective, from the political perspective of impact in the broadview of the arab
american institute whose members are not all muslims and from the allied perspective. you will hear concerns about these questions we hope will be posed and pressed into these are the questions that the width of four. first of all are you biased against muslims with the majority countries. his attitude and convictions are of critical importance. he has questions to answer about his public statement and his role in our society into account the world. do you support the act for america and the center for security policy both of these anti-muslim organizations have honored mr. pompeo and have
claimed him as an ally. both promote the notion that islamic law is the inherent enemy of the constitution. i would give you a story about that at the end of my remarks. do you believe the protections of law apply equally to muslims and members of the community, the legislative record raises questions about his support for the law of the land when individual citizens and states claim religious exemptions from observing them and protecting the rights of others. number four, are you personally opposed to promoting diversity at the state department and we posed that question because during their tenure at the cia, he rolled back guidelines initiated by his predecessor through increased diversity, and that coupled with the high rating may be an indication of
the bias towards people who are unlike himself. eitheby the way i would point ot they gave him a rating and noted he was a native born citizen unlike secretary kissinger and albright and his parents were all natural born citizens of the united states and unlike secretary kerry he didn't speak any languages other than english and he's neither a person of color or any other minority. to give you a little indication of the members usa. he has not commented on his endorsement. and the fifth question, should the united states seek to avoid war that is an essential question for the chief diplomat a war against a country like iran or syria has repercussions for life here or there or our economy into their economies and for the ethnicities and religions are presented in the countries abroad and at home.
he should be able to answer these questions by first, they must be asked. i would like to include a story about my encounter with frank gaffney, the head of the center for security policy. and he spoke about a year ago in the county at the invitation of the citizen group i attended along with members of the community and the muslim society. including a woman, a mother and a community activist in the community. after hearing mr. gaffney talk about his belief that sharia law as a threat to the united states, he asked are you telling me because i pray five times a day on your enemy he looked her straight in the iam said i can't
tell you if you are my enemy thabuti can tell you i am yours. with that i introduce the next speaker. >> thank you for this space and to everyone joining us today. i am to public advocacy director for muslim advocates. we are a national legal advocacy organization working on the front lines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice to americans of all faiths. as a civil rights group asked exclusively on domestic issues have never in our 13 year history ever even weighe waitina secretary of state nomination. but that changed once he was a
pretty job. we decided to impose the nomination before it was finalized because if confirmed, he would be the most open anti-muslim, lgbtq in at least a generation. his record is so long i won't have the time to give all the details but we have a fact sheet available here that outlines many of these issues and also downloadable from the website at muslim advocates. his bigotry stretches all the way back to the beginning of his public life when he first ran for congress in 2010. his opponent was born and raised in cleveland ohio just like me and he was a member of the kansas statehouse and those of south asian descent. his campaign particularly latched onto that last fact and decided to campaign on being
anti-immigrant. they had released and promoted ethereal but called his opponent another turbines offer and billboards started popping up saying both american, vote pompeo and there was public outcry on most of these instances. he refused to condemn the billboard and to fire who promoted those materials. once elected to congress the bigotry didn't stop. he then gave a speech on the house floor calling american muslims complicit in the boston marathon bombing. this is a whirlwind. there's a group called act for america is the largest anti-muslim hate group in the country to give you a flavor of the activities they hosted a series of anti-muslim arches in the various cities across the
country. they gave him an award. he was the recipient of the highest honor of the largest anti-muslim hate group in the country and furthermore he continued to raise off of the relationship to the members talking about how close they were. but it's not just american muslims he's attacked. he's stood against every major step forward on a quality including actively opposing marriage, military service and parenting for lgbtq people come he's gotten glowing reviews and votvotes against violence againt women act. all these statements will have major domestic implications if confirmed. the secretary of state has a massive and very up a cold and implementing parts of the muslim band and controlling who can and who cannot enter the country. since it went into effect, they've gone strangely but
wrongfully denied those that come to the muslim majority countries for example the afghan girls robotics team was denied a visa to come to the united states to compete. a man with stage three cancer was denied a visa to seek treatment in the united states. they were denied because the state department has very wide berth to decide who can come into the united states. most people who are wrongfully denied if no notice as to why you have no judicial remedy to fix the problem. this is a man who would be in control of that apparatus and whether countless americans can see their loved ones abroad or seek an education for a job or r medical treatment into the united states. that is frightening. this is a man who is clearly unfit for the job and cannot have an agency that plays such a role in the lives of americans. thank you.
>> thank you. good morning everyone. i would first like to say thank you to the senator's office for hosting us this morning and for the interfaith alliance for inviting us to this important conversation. again, i am the directo directof policy advocacy at the muslim public affairs council. we work to improve public understanding of the policies that impact american muslims by engaging government media and communities and our goals is that america is enriched. succumb at the public affairs council we are deeply concerned with the nomination of the secretary of state. as we've all heard and thank you for outlining just a sliver of problematic and concerning history that he has with
anti-muslim groups he does indeed have a long history of anti-muslim bigots, homophobes and conspiracy theorists and his record shows he cannot and will not be a credible representative for the country and the international community. his anti-muslim views are well documented as we've heard and it dates back to his time as a congressman when he regularly supported and did the bidding of the poverty law center identified hate group asked for america which we just heard. this may seem like an innocuous or not a relationship should be concerned with policy wise he has voiced support for one of act for america's top priority is and that is the designation by the state department of the muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization. as the secretary of state, he repeatedly pushed back against the proposal and was joined by a
majority of policymakers in the very same intelligence agency that pompeo himself was appointed to lead. the fear mongering about the brotherhood by asked for america and his other close friend is based on outright lies and has been debunked. but the mere facts have not stopped the industry from attempting to link every american muslim institution and leader in a vast web of imagined conspiracy. the end goal is clear and straightforward. not japan as the secretary of state to follow through on his own desires to enact the designation and launch a broadside attack on american muslim civil society as a whole. let me be clear such an outcome would be absolutely disastrous and with ruffle double state-sponsored witch hunt of an entire population here in
america. so how will he work with and interact with ambassadors of other nations including the approximately 50 muslim majority countries if this prejudice and bigotry supersedes the policies here at home as a top diplomat people have to engage with countries other than norway. we are dealing with the entire international community. overall, there are serious consequences to place an individual node anti-muslim animus and those days where the intercultural awareness and diplomatic relationships are meant to thrive. american foreign policy is not an outlet against the islamic audiology. it's not a space to mainstream the falsehoods of the conspiracy theorists in which he aligns himself. leading the state department and our court is becoming increasingly important as global
threats arise. he is reckless, he's reactionary and prone to ignoring facts much like he did on the house floor and when he represented the district from kansas. his personal bias will undermine the integrity and land of the foreign relations committee takes of the information this week we hope they firmly reject further demolition of the global standing by in opposing his nomination. >> good afternoon, good morning. thank you. i associate myself with the comments of my colleagues in terms of the gratitude. i wanted to start by suggesting that we take the former congressman and current director that his word. by that i mean when someone tells you both by word and
practice where they are on a set of issues we should listen. i say that to someone here on the hill that we will be seeing the confirmation hearing for the director this week. i'm director of the institute to focus on the civic engagement of political empowerment of african-americans and the fact that we would be up your engage in this process is what we do day-to-day. 2017 just over a year ago the senate voted 66-32322 confirm hm as the director. there were 14 democrats who joined in support. he was asked about the use of torture and his answer was
unequivocal, absolutely not. he said he would comply with the law and he couldn't imagine that he would be asked by the president elect to have been torture someone. then his written response he offered the following i will consult with the experts and other organizations in the government on whether the army field manual is an impediment to gathering the intelligence to protect the country or any rewrite of the manual needed. within days we were having a pivotal moment. i would love to share comments with regard to the anti-muslim bigotry that has been outlined by my colleagues blame afraid it wasn't raised adequately instead it was in the context of do you worry about the positionse's held in terms of your ability to engage in counterterrorism policy because you don't want them in the community come you
don't want to alienate those who could be our allies in the counterterrorism war, placed upon them wrongfully and incorrectly said that is what we have. previous statements as my colleagues have noted used to fight against terrorism as a religious one and not a political or geopolitical between the muslims in all of christianity. i won't take more time to offer the quotes that are readily available. the insistence that they must condemn each and every act of terror committed in the name of islam or else be complicit in the act of saying every leader must proclaim that in the name of islam that violates the prophet mohammed and they must do so repeatedly, period. we are guilty unless we come them things they have no association with. people would find that highly problematic. the religious discredit research often cited by the groups that
were talked about today. the example illustrated in midcareer disassociation goes to an award he probably received. i would add because we are not having the conversation about the community but i would add his call for the massive expansion of the surveillance programs and databases as well as his call for protections they currently have and one of the u.s. and abroad is a concern. so we have a beginning of the campaign in 2010 where the congressman felt he didn't need to distance themselves from the billboard said the american. and then delete the message that was mentioned by the accounts thaaccount butsaid this is a goe a confirmation hearing where the congress was inclined to say
what he needed to say at the time he needed to say it. we have an administration to serve under a president who promised a muslim then and then implemented a muslim and. we have today the first day of the national security adviser you all know the record people's. we can talk about sessions, stephen miller. this is not an anomaly in this administration. i would argue that the use the congressman brings to the table are the issues that seem to be part and parcel of the requirement for service in the administration and that is one we have to be worried about and i would argue is to be worried when he was a serving cia director but certainly with him as the secretary of state. he either explicitly endorses the views of the people we've laid out today or he lacks the judgment for the task of conducting international diplomacy at the highest level.
either one is problematic and doesn't warrant the highest level of diplomacy in the united states. if confirmed as the next secretary of state he would impose foreign policy with his view that muslims are monolithic and this ideology isn't only consistent with american values that will compromise the nation's ability to conduct effective diplomacy with the muslim majority countries around the world, their allies and international leaders of conscience who support of religious liberty. and i would argue further that it would impede our ability as an american constituent those that are muslims to receive representation from the government again. thank you. >> thank you very much for organizing this important briefing. my name is katherine and i direct the shoulder to shoulder campaign. a coalition of 35 religious
denominations in organizations that have come together to stand collectively against anti-muslim bigotry in the united states. our membership includes the united states conference of catholic bishops, the baptist churches, the union for the reformed judaism, the interfaith alliance, presbyterian church usa and the islamic society of north america just to name a few. the religious groups that came together to form the campaign are diverse and political persuasion we stand together on the notion that the country must continue to better its commitment to religious freedom and the mutuality and respect all of us rely and stand together to uphold american ideals particularly in the face of the rising anti-muslim bigotry in the nation. in light of the knesset to stand against anti-muslim katrina and discrimination we want to bring forth questions that must be addressed in considering.
for all religions and beliefs and uphold the national values f religious freedom and equality the office of the secretary of f state is the biggest nations of the old. consequentiallyworld. consequentially, the person occupying the office should represent and uphold our national values and ideas. as my colleagues have outlined they've made discriminatory comments calling into question the patriotism and blaming all muslims for the individual perpetrators. according to the sources and the poverty law center getting tough on to the organizations and individuals that have been designated as anti-muslim extremist groups is not in keeping with the role of the secretary of state. on the global front we know that the rhetoric and actions in the united states compromise our image and ability to promote
human rights, human dignity, equality religious freedom abroad including most recently promoting peace and muslim societies this is an organization leading ideological push back against violent fringe groups for the minorities in muslim majority contexts organizations like this are the key diplomatic allies for needed to be able to trust the secretary of state to treat them as partners and not discriminate based on religious affiliation. we are effective at promoting the ideas of god. to represent th represent the ne world it's not only a moral thing to do but it's better for our citizens and national image and a safer more prosperous
>> i was wondering if you can talk about what you are doing in terms of meetings on the hill at what kind of reception you are having and raising this point. advocated on civil rights there's a concern of the civil libertarians and the cabinet frame that has been an important part as well. both of the confirmation hearing process as well as blogger as wn understanding that this is a candidate who if you approve him for cia because he believed that the assurances provided and that he could serve but you have to take a second look now based on what's happened in the last year
it's not an anomaly but part of a broad effort to push a certain agenda. they are being rewarded by being nominated into the leadership positions. the questions are asked and satisfactorily answered. i want to put a fine point on the important notes of my colleagues senators will not get a free pass on this particular nomination.
that is what we have to know and how we can represent the country as well as an effective diplomat in the world. >> thank you. if i may ask, someone who is on the record opposing the presence of islam in our society be a constructive force among the nations in the negotiating on behalf of the united states in the way that some people suggested only richard nixon could bring peace. an individual who has talked about 1.8 billion people on this planet the way that he has including the american muslims would have some major issues
looking at a colleague from the muslim majority country, looking at a foreign minister he would have a problem working with anyone with the european union because i actually think we are at a point where it used to be this sort of confusing the way in which people talk about things has been demonstrated since the campaign to be very specific in its policy. we know what anti-muslim and bigotry look like because we are attempting to see those policies implemented in the country. there is pushback on that and there is editoris a response tof xenophobia so i think frankly other is the muslim majority countries or any people including officials of the united nations are going to view the candidate as the secretary
of state and it's to detour the ability to be effective leaders in the world. >> we know that mr. pompeo has been sort of the center for security policy. that's not the only public of the care if you could figure. are there other cohorts in which his company is notable that you might be able to mention for us to? >> i would say the center for security policy and act for america are two of the most effective lobbying and advocacy organizations that have a very clear anti-muslim agenda and there are local organizations that sort of branch off from
those two. they are strategies and tactics. so having mike pompeo is problematic and is incredibly concerning because he isn't just using their talking points to formulate policy he's also effectively legitimizing and lending credibility to the organizations as prior year members of congress and now the cia director and hopefully not, but as he would lead the state department. >> you mentioned his support of some of these notions. the secretary of state with his
record but he also potentially be the target of the legal action on the part of the organizations like muslim advocates? >> many have been actively litigating the muslim band for the moment. we will continue to do that because it is discriminatory. some of the examples i discussed earlier today. a man with cancer seeking treatment of these are one of thousands of stories that are out there many of which will never get tol old because the se department has very broad flexibility to interpret the wall to decide who can enter the country and who cannot. many of these applications have lots of steps along the way. if you happen to be an american whose grandmother lives in serious or iran or any number of
ability as members of congress to maintain the oversight is necessary particularly with the director and state department some of the practices that scott notes that are being implemented in some ways by the officials of state would need to be thoroughly examined. >> i would conclude with a couple of remarks. as a part of the polic the polie would be questions asked of any nominee.
without meaningful access to the administration, which i think is a presentation that we all agree with. each of us stands. stands as a matter of the constitution with each other for the full guarantees of human rights and constitutionally guaranteed rights and are willing to come together to borrow the phrase shoulder to shoulder when those rights are compromised or threatened. we think the fellow panelists for being here today.