tv U.S. Senate Sens. Menendez Daines on Mike Pompeo Nomination CSPAN April 26, 2018 8:17am-8:35am EDT
secretary of state in this unique moment of history with the president who seems to behave erratically and with little regard oftentimes for our nation's history, a president who tests our constitutional order, that secretary must be willing to put country first and stand up for our most sacred and fundamental sacred values, for the rule of law, through the idea that no person, not even the president, is above the rule ofn law. unfortunately, mr. pompeo indies very difficult in troubled times did not meet that task as much as i wish he did. i t don't doubt that the presidt could nominate someone with the right experience, the right values and the right commitment to our core national principles to earn my vote to be secretary of state, but i do not believe mr. pompeo has those qualities so i will be voting no on his
nomination. i yield the floor. >> as i said earlier this week in committee i am generally disappointed to be casting a vote against a secretary of state nominee. i believe the united states needs an effective leader on the global stage but at the end of the day as i i consider directr pompeo's nomination including his hearing, his past statements and recent revelations, i have lingering concern along three broad themes. mr. pompeo failed to express any tangible diplomatic strategies for which he would advocate to advance american interests. he failed to be forthright with a committee and finally i don't have a satisfactory answer to the question which mike pompeo might ask to cast a vote on. virtually during his nomination
where he had an opportunity to address all these concerns, director pompeo offered contradictorynt statements and s less than forthcoming when pressed on a number of issues. given the opportunity to outline the strategies, he would advocate with the administration to deal with the challenges of iran, north korea, china or venezuela to mention a few. he failed to exhibit the depth of knowledge or thoughtfulness about what the s strategies woud be. now, granted he's under the constraints that this administration which has failed to offer a strategic vision for american w diplomacy, a a white house which is filled effectively outline policies or strategies to achieve a series of ever ever-changing goals and objectives. but i expect our chief diplomat to have a vision for diplomacy. the meeting is not a strategy. airstrikes are not a strategy. unilaterally walking away from
international agreement is not a strategy. now beyond his lack of strategy as i fear mr. pompeo was left -- less than transparent to his confirmation process. truthfulness and a willingness to be forthcoming to the senate foreign relations committee are essential in a secretary of state nominee. but in his refusal to answer questions about the rush investigation in which he was interviewed, a a critical issue before the committee, and in his failed to disclose any information about his trip to northh korea, which he could disclose even in a classified setting although we got to learn about it through the press, both critical issues before the committee, he exhibited that he was suited more to the client to stein nature as a cia director than the transparency of a secretary of state. i don't expect a a cabinet secretary to publicly disagree with the president. indeed, it is his or her duty to
carry out the president's agenda, but asei policies are being formulated i remains skeptical of whether you will be forthcoming with members of congress, how you will approach complex issues and what that means for our foreign-policy. this lack of forthrightness ultimately as we wondered whetr you'd be willing to a push back against the presidents worst instincts, whether you would be willing to say no to advance a different course of what he would simply be a yes man. when the president findsiv russians aggressive behavior on democrats, pretty amazing, on democrats, will director pompeo remind them that russia's aggressive behavior was caused by russia and no one else? as our nation's top diplomat with director pompeo he said in his confirmation hearing, value, diversity, and event every employee be treated quote equally with dignity and
respect. does he believe as he said in his hearings in quote promoting america's ideals, values and priorities, including our collective identity as a nation of immigrants and refugees fleeing oppression, who have made the united states a bastion of hope in the world, or will we be represented by congressman pompeo who voted against the violence against women's act, to die support to victims of gender-based violence and sponsored legislation to roll back marriage equality? or the congressman pompeo was recently as 2016 sponsored legislation to immediately halt refugee resettlement to the united states until televised reforms were made? these concerns are beyond policy disagreements which alone are not the basis for rejecting a nominee. this paints af troubling picture of how the united states and our diplomatic efforts will be conducted and received by our
allies and adversaries alike. will the department seek to go back programs advancing women's access to health care and justice systems?ha programs that have significantly improved the lives donald of women all over the world but by extension improved stability, prosperity and governancee reforms. p when we talk about promoting universal human rights in countries who seek to oppress people based on their sexual orientation, but will our nation's top diplomats credibly -- credibly say? as a work with our allies were observing millions of refugees from profoundly devastating crises all over the world, and as families in my own state of new jersey and threat the country open their hearts and their homes, what was the credibly say once a crown jewel of our foreign-policy both in establishing our moral leadership and in supporting our partners globally?
on our own border we simply cannot address the threat of drug traffickers or opioids without productive collaboration with mexico. when the president wants to call mexicans drug traffickers and rapists, as our nation's top diplomat who during his confirmation hearing insisted quote his record is exquisite. with mr. pompeo advises the to call mexicans drug traffickers and rapists? or would it be the pompeo who once called an injured american political opponent a turban topper? how would he explain this kind of rhetoric to people of me read different faiths who wear turbans, millions of sikhs, punjabis or muslims in you, critical important ally, or christians in the horn of africa
or tribal leaders in afghanistan with whom we're trying to build constructive relationships based on values of democracy and human rights. accusations that muslim leaders in that stage of some of quote complicit in devastating terrorist attacks, is he engages with muslim leaders and citizens around the world. nearly 2 billion people in the world adhere to the muslim faith, many in countries with whom we have relationships critical to protecting and promoting our national security with citizens of suffered the most brutal terrorism. similarly, part of the exceptionalism of the united states comes from the power of communities who service critical cultural and public diplomats for the rest of the world. how can someone who has made such derogatory and uninformed remarks conduct effective diplomacy? as i said before i believe it is imperative for the secretary of
state to be forthright, to be someone in whom the american people and our v allies can thus faith and trust? him who unequivocally champion our valueslu to assert our globl leadership. and our global leadership council our investment in diplomacy and development as our primary policy drivers abroad. unfortunately, i don't believe that director pompeo is someone who always prioritize diplomacy over conflict, particularly in the context of the aggressive foreign-policy voices growing around him. and i'mlaed particularly concerd by his past comments on regime change in north korea and iran. i aboard both wishing for our national interest is different thann that. while he said during his confirmation and that war is quote the last resort, mr. pompeo's past statements calling for military action and regime change in iran, for example, will sure to follow him as a work with our allies to build on multinational agreements to i prevent iran from getting a
nuclear weapon. it's often offhand remarks abot regime change in north korea will be ever present as we pursue negotiations to roll back north korea's nuclear weapons program in seek dismantlement. so, madam president, with all these concerns in mind, ultimately i sent a do believe that director pompeo is someone who can genuinely represent all americans and best promote american a foreign-policy interests. it is for these reasons among others that i will be voting against director pompeo. letde me be very clear. despite what some of my other colleagues may believe or tell the press, this is not about in the name of political resistance to the president. i have voted for members of this presidents cabinet, from the secretary of defense, to the former secretary of homeland security, now the president's chief of staff, to our ambassador to the united nations, to mention some.
i will never hesitate to agree with a sound policy or criticize a misguided one. regardless of which party is in the white house. i think history would certainly prove that and judge it to be true. i will always put patriotism and our national security interests over partisanship, always. i also reject the notion that we should w confirm a secretary of state based on world events outside of our control, whether that be a a nato summit meeting with north korea. nobody forced the president to fire his former secretary of state at the time in which he did, and unless kim jong-un is unilaterally dictating the terms of our relations can we should wait until we have the appropriate people and the dutiful preparation to achieve the success that we and the world needs. in closing as we consider this nominee and the nominee that is also subject to cloture for
germany, let me be clear. despite what the white house wants to claim, democrats are not obstructing nominees through this body. the facts are sampling not on their side. of the a 172 positions of the state department and usaid, critical to advancing u.s. interests, the administration has failed to even nominate 77 of those positions, including 45 ambassadorial positions in critical countries, including south korea, saudih arabia, jordan, to mention a few. i could go on and on. unless we all forget republican-controlled of votes on the senate floor. republican leadership can bring up the nominee once the past the committee at any time. that is their prerogative. now, the founders recognized that an effective democracy needs coequal branches of governmentl to operate in a system of checks and balances.
president has right to nominate whomever he wants, but the congress has the responsibility which are the person is best suited for the job at hand. we've seen already challenges in the process to some of these nominees. and in the case of our secretary of state, one who will prioritize diplomacy instead of war, and promote fundamental a values.nt if and when he is confirmed as someone who served in both house and senate committees tasked with overseeing foreign-policy, administration, i am more than willing to work alongside with the nominee, if he is confirmed, to provide advice and input as he and the president seek to advance american interests and values on the global stage. i will of course in my capacity as ranking member work alongside him in pursuit of comprehensive and coherent strategies that promote american interests. and despite my misgivings i will
always have an open door and seek opportunity to advance our shared objectives. we stand ready and willing to take any and all angst in the interest of peace, security, and of all americans. that is always been my northstar and it will always be. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the senator from montana. >> followed my remarks i i woud ask consent that the senator ohio, senator brown bill nye to make remarks about three to five minutes. objection. >> mr. president, i standard today to urge the very switch confirmation of my good friend of my former colleague, the current director of the cia, mike pompeo to serve as america's next secretary of state. you see, mike's resume with putting at the top of any pile, speaking someone who is hired a lot of folks over 20 years in the private sector and the springtime in public service.
his resume shines, but let's talk but his record of results. he just returned from a trip to china. i was with former u.s. senators who visited china, south korea. in fact, while in south korea went to the dnc. i met the premiere of china, fact the same week that he met with the premier of china, kim jong-un met with president xi in beijing. we spent time with the prime minister south korea as well as time with many other leaders. their feedback was very clear and perhaps this is the untold story where nectarine and the united states from media and it is this. theon administrations resolve ad their diplomacy is what has brought kim jong-un negotiating table. the administration is moving
forward toward a nuclear rise north korea, and mike pompeo has played a critical role in those efforts. as secretary of state, michael continued to defend and represent american interestsd abroad, protecting our national security and making the world a safer place. mike is not just excel to pick he is h been at everything he split his mind to over the course of his life. he was first in this class at west point, a graduate of the harvard law school, editor of of the "harvard law review." he served our country t in the military. he is run businesses before serving in the united states congress, that's where my path crossed mike pompeo as we served as colleagues in the united states congress. mike as the resume. he has the character and the record of resolve to make him an exceptionallyr qualified leader for this job.
and as we wait here in limbo without the secretary of state, lives are on the line, our nasa security is on the line, our freedom is on the line. i urge my colleagues across the aisle, please, stop putting politics before america's national interest. for heaven's sake, this body past hillary clinton through as secretary of state with 94 votes. i urge them to make the best decision for our country and their constituents back home and join me in confirming mike pompeo as our next secretary of state. thank you, mr. president. i'm glad to be here today to the on to the senate floor to rise, to urge my colleagues to confirm mike pompeo as our next secretary of state.