tv Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Arms Export Control CSPAN August 15, 2019 11:25am-1:06pm EDT
back in office. they are a disgrace. israel's prime minister and other top officials were meeting to reevaluate the decision to allow the two democratic congress women due to their support for the boycott against israel. >> when the trump administration agreed to sell weapons to saudi arabia declaring a state of emergency the assistant secretary of state for political military affairs testified on the administration's decision before the senate foreign relations committee. >> the committee will come to order. thank you for being here today. we are going to discuss the recent emergency declaration
regarding us arms sales. to start, we should recognize and acknowledge that the law contemplates and indeed requires a partnership between the executive branch and legislative branch regarding arms sales. this committee plays an important role to conduct rigorous oversight of the issue. at the same time the law does grant the president authority to conduct sales without congressional approval in times of emergency. and focusing on that issue. this hearing will focus on these roles and authorities. we must consider the context for this latest declaration, the latest in attack on iran and its proxies and partners capabilities to defend against those threats. the arms export control act, the authority to declare an emergency concerning specific arms sales and avoid the standard process of congressional notification. such presidential authority dates back 40 years to lessons learned from the october 1973 war in the middle east. the presidents of both parties
used emergency authorities on five previous occasions. in each case they addressed specific threats to us allies and did not alter standing process of congressional review to have a meaningful impact on congress. i expect the latest declaration to continue that pattern and serve as a review of that expectation. as with one of the previous emergency declarations this came in response to threats of attack from the iranian regime. proxies struck commercial ships, civilian airports, desalination plants critical to civilian population and shutdown multiple us unmanned aircraft. over the weekend iranian back forces in yemen unveiled new models of ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial missiles capable of striking deeper into
saudi arabia. iran's threatened actions toward the us and our allies, we must respond to such threats to protect their interests, support our allies as they defend themselves. neither this president or congress nor the american people seek war with iran. i commend the president for his restrained in facing numerous provocations. i was in the room as the president considered one of the most recent provocation that sought advice regarding that. anyone, anyone who interprets the president's reasonable forbearance is making a grave mistake right from miscalculation and should not be mistaken. attacking america, its interests or partners will be to a strong defensive response. emergency declarations are useful not just for the tangible military capabilities they transferred allies and partners but equally important,
the messages they convey. these particular sales come in the context of and are colored by larger challenges with our saudi partners including war in yemen, the murder of jamal khashoggi and other human rights issues. to address these challenges i introduced the saudi arabia diplomat repeal act and soft broad impact in all quarters on a bipartisan basis to this administration that will move us much more in the right direction. i want to thank all partners including my friends on the other side of the aisle who have been very helpful in trying to craft legislation to get us to where we want to be. i have been impressed how carefully people have waited this issue and how impressed i have been with the attempt to reach legislation that balances
various aspects of this challenge. this legislation calls for a comprehensive review of the united states saudi relations as we conduct this review we must discourage iran, we must not leave saudi arabia, partners distantly need the capabilities in sales, plaited by other us training and advice and initiatives to improve their ability to minimize collateral damage and deter cooperation. we are here today because we are containing threats by iran. as we move for what i urge us to seek measured solutions to these difficult challenges and avoid inadvertently strengthening our adversaries or damaging our partners and allies. i believe this committee has done that and i hope we will continue to do that. i think our witnesses for joining us and look forward to hearing perspectives on these issues. with that, senator menendez. >> thank you for holding this hearing to examine the
appropriate role of congressional oversight on arms sales. it is important that any president and any administration, this one in particular respect congress as a coequal branch of government and execute our laws in good faith. despite your pledge during your confirmation hearing to do just that, mister cooper, and your commitment to be transparent and forthcoming with this committee, since you began your tenure, your debarment has totally disdain for congress and the laws that govern our armed export programs. beyond that, you have balked at the idea that you should be held accountable for your actions. on may 24th the secretary of state sent this committee 22 notifications for arms sales and transfers to saudi arabia and the united arab emirates totaling more than $8 billion. in a boilerplate memo the secretary argued unconvincingly
that these sales, some of which the committee had already cleared were exempt from the legally required 30 days of congressional review in action claiming a sudden, quote, emergency threat from iran. this administration has been unable to explain how precisely these sales responsible supposed emergency. at no time prior to may 24th did the administration once raise these sales as necessary to respond to the threat from iran. let me be clear. iran has and will continue to pose a threat to us interests and allies in the region and i have and will continue to approve arms sales to allies that are in line with our law and short-term strategic interests and basic us principles such as basic respect for human life but if you look at the sales it appears the administration had other motives. when pressed, rather than
explain how these sales will address a supposedly imminent threat from iran, you and other administration officials in europe and said the sales were, quote, sustaining the global supply chains, preventing, quote, loss of sales to competitors, maintaining us, quote, credibility as an arms supplier. i look forward to hearing you explain today how would taking away american jobs and creating a saudi jobs program of manufacturing after 18 panels for export for aircraft the saudis don't own or operate, respond to an emergency. how would sales that would not be delivered for many many months immediately respond to an emergency? as i have been asking for more than a year, how does the sale
of precision guided -- the same atrocious results and human suffering we have seen over the last four years respond to an emergency kick you mister cooper, you testified in a house hearing that the, quote, protracted process of congressional review was problematic for sales. unless i misunderstood, in exercising rights as a ranking member of this committee is a reason you have to push through all 22 sales. the process was protracted because neither the secretary nor the department was willing or able to make a persuasive case that selling precision guided bombs to saudi and united arab emirates, particular arms i was holding, would improve protection of yemeni civilians at saudi airstrikes or end the uae's human rights abuse systems. not only did the department not make a persuasive case, you made no case since last
october. after jamal khashoggi was literally butchered on orders from the highest level of the saudi government. so mister chairman, my colleagues, secretary of state's message to us is clear. congress can review arms sales just don't take too long or ask tough questions, otherwise i will just ignore the law and cut you out of the process entirely. 3 weeks ago in bipartisan fashion the senate made clear what it thought of the secretary of state's fault emergency sales by approving unprecedented 22 separate resolutions of disapproval of these sales was this committee approved bipartisan bill to saudi arabia to prevent similar abuses of the american system in the future. i hope the secretary of the administration appreciate the gravity of these actions and those to come. the arms sale review process under the arms export control
act has operated successfully, it worked because successive administrations recognized the value in consulting with committees about any concerns, they acted in good faith. simply put, mister cooper, you and the secretary have undermined this process. i urge you to take another look at the definition of emergency and rethink your approach to engaging congress and abiding by congressional oversight you claimed during your hearing you would respect. >> thank you. welcome, secretary cooper, the floor is yours. >> thank you very much, mister chairman, mister ranking a member and senators. in recent days neutral shipping has been attacked for providing a deterrent against hostile actions, this transfer lowers the risk of a broader conflict. the determination reflects the united states grave concern with the growing escalation in
the gulf and its implication for the security of our friends in the region. these words could precisely describe the context of the recent emergency certification. this hearing has been convened to discuss but they are from the state department announcement from 1984. then as now, iran's revolutionary government threatened international shipping in the gulf through its proxies supported attacks on american interests in the region resulting in deaths of 241 american servicemembers in beirut, then as now our partners required the reassurance provided by an american demonstration of resolve and then as now the administration took steps to deter war, not to bring it closer. in his may 24th certification secretary mike pompeo advanced the senate arms transfers to support our partners in the
current crisis. these capabilities include aircraft support, munitions, logistics services, unmanned intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, training and advisory services. none of these constitute introductions of fundamentally new capabilities to the region, none alter the military balance of power, none are of a nature or category congress has not previously reviewed and approved for these particular partners. the secretary's decision to exercise statutory authorities under the arms export control act reflects the current threat from iran as well as the persistent threat. prior to making the certification the administration saw and briefed congress about increased threat stream from iran related to us and partner interests throughout the region. these troubling and escalatory
indications and warnings from the iranian regime prompted increased us force posture in the region. events since the secretary's certification served to validate the urgent need for these sales. iranian attacks on civilian commercial cargo ships and tankers in the sea of oman, continued attacks by the iranian backed, utilization of one particular case of a cruise missile against civilian commercial airports and the shootdown of us broad area maritime surveillance, unmanned aerial system in international airspace. these provocative actions mark a new evolution in the threat iran poses to the region to our partners and to our own national security, including the security of hundreds of thousands of americans who live and work in the gulf states.
in the current situation, implications in the gulf and a geostrategic level. in today's world the partnerships are vital and we must ensure our partners have the capabilities, systems, communications, intelligence and training to play their due role in maintaining the stability and security in their regions. our adversaries recognize the importance of our partnerships, have adopted purposeful strategies trying to disrupt them at all levels including in terms of our security cooperation. for instance by seeking to replace suppliers of choice. as such the secretary certification should not be seen not only as a deterrent to iran and a reassurance to our partners, but also a rebuff to our competitors. before closing i would like to
address the specific concerns raised by this committee. many senators, many americans are concerned about the use of arms we provide overseas including in the context of the human civil war. these concerns are appropriate and we share them. from the beginning of the conflict we have maintained a political solution is urgently needed and supported the un letter for wrecking toward that objective. america stand out from any foreign suppliers, the premium we place on ensuring our capabilities are not contributing to gross violations of human rights. we have worked with the saudi led coalition over the course of its operations to reduce the occurrence of civilian casualties. our support in this regard has ranged in the provision of training to mentoring and advising the coalition on best practices, on lessons learned
and on integrating complex data into a system specifically designed to reduce casualties. we also provided higher end legal training and directly and regularly engaged with both military and political leadership on this topic and finally on the question of process, during this confirmation and my own confirmation the secretary and i did provide the congressional review process for arms sales, that commitment stand. i value deeply congress's role in arms transfers. i take pride in the depth and detail of the working relationships we have with the committees in the course of this process. the secretary's certification is not setting aside that process but it is the utilization of a long-standing statutory authority to respond to an urgent contingency. as such i would like to take this opportunity to affirm the
value we place in our engagement with you on arms transfers and broader security assistance issues. mister chairman, in 1974, president reagan's emergency certification was expensive congress in these words with our decisions were imprudent yet clear response to an escalating emergency which threatened saudi arabia and the gulf. satisfied a clear military need. in addition, we sent a political signal of reassurance and deterrence. it was a measured response which promotes regional stability and security. mister chairman, mister ranking member, committee members, a political signal of reassurance and determines, a measured response which promotes regional stability and security. these are the purposes for which president reagan certified in emergency in 1984 and they are the purposes for which secretary pompeo invoked
the same authority, i look forward to your questions today. >> do you have current plans to invoke the emergency in the immediate or near future? >> know, mister chairman. the authority has been limited, applied very judiciously, this is the fifth application was the one i cited that was the most historic relevance was 1984, the first application was 1979. it has been judiciously applied across administrations from president carter to donald trump. >> you made reference in your testimony to the fact that there was a possibility someone like the saudis, someone with substantial financial resources could turn to one of our major competitors on the globe and actually wind up in their orbit.
is there a substantial threat do you believe? >> it is safe to address the risk, looking for opportunities, not only in the gulf region when talking about national security strategy and how we meet adversaries, not limited to where -- it is a global concern, back to the calculus on the emergency certification it was a message on several levels, the immediate what was deterrence to iran, the reassurance as noted here to these partners but also a warning, a rebuff to adversaries looking to augment or seek opportunity. >> senator menendez. >> would you agree an emergency usually denotes something imminent, something urgent? >> yes, senator. >> it wouldn't refer to something a few years ago.
i read this may 24th memo multiple times and i just can't seem to find where it lays out the emergency the sales address. icy references to designations dating back to 1984, events from 2014, general instability that has been plaguing the region for years but nowhere do i see where it says what the emergency is. what is the state department's operative definition of an emergency you used for these sales? >> the statement you are referring to, the declaration is unclassified document and you are right to note there is context, this particular adversary and persistent threat stream as well as what proxies are capable of doing. what equates to an emergency,
the threat posture of iran and what was calculated from the agency aspect, multiple tools including declaration. >> i don't have unlimited time. answer my question. what is the definition of the emergency for these sales? >> a confluence of conditions that were assessed required several tools by the administration including increase, this emergency declaration and application of sanctions did equate to emergency status. none of that has changed from the present to the past. the legal advisor's office opine what an emergency office is. >> the legal advisor's office assured and cleared on statutory authority made available for the secretary -- >> legal advisor issue a legal opinion? >> legal advisor's office was part of the process and --
>> did they issue an opinion? >> i'm not going to talk about the process on the option. >> did they issue an opinion? what was the process? they issued an opinion or they did not issue an opinion. did they issue an opinion to q that is not a pre-decision process. do you have an opinion in your possession? >> the legal advisor's office participated in the application of decertification as noted by statute. >> you are not answering my question and i'm not going to let you get away with it as you got away with it in the house. either you have an opinion in which case i want to see it and if you don't have an opinion that is written then you ultimately invokes an emergency without a legally defined opinion of what that emergency is. why did the state department never utter the word emergency to me or my staff in relation
to any of these sales at any point prior to the secretary's emergency certification? >> as you noted and others noted on may 21st there was a classified briefing provided to congress. in that briefing there were details about the current threat posture with iran. the certification was an option including invocation of sanctions. >> the words emergency, mister cooper, were never used by anyone but the secretary of state all the way down. did you discuss declaring an emergency for these sales with the secretary before the secretary briefs the senate and the house on may 21, 22nd? >> all the cases in the emergency including cases that were not included in the certification were part of our interagency process, and the normal review process.
to make his decision on application of certification. >> discuss an emergency as part of them. >> in an open forum i would say looking at intelligence community assessment. >> i'm not asking -- you want to diverge to classified so you don't have to answer. i didn't ask you a classified question. i simply asked you did you declare the possibility of an emergency declaration prior to may 21st, and 22nd? that is not classified. >> the calculus is inclusive of that data so the data is absent intelligence data so that is part of the consideration -- >> i'm not asking about intelligence data. i'm not asking you how you came to the decision of emergency. i simply asking you, mister cooper, this is far from the transparency you pledged when you were before this committee,
far from the transparency that led me to support your nomination. simple question. did you offer up an emergency as an option prior to may 21st, and 22nd? >> there were a number of considerations and tools made available for the interagency inclusive of sanctions, this emergency and force posture. any of those could have been applied. >> you did discuss an emergency prior to may 21, 22nd? >> threat posture is continuously assessed, before may 21st. we don't stop assessing. >> iran hasn't been a continuing threat, let's be honest. >> changes in posture. >> your unwillingness leads to total lack of transparency and insulting to the senate when the secretary was before us the day before you ultimately made this decision and never mentioned in front of 100
united states senators that there was going to be an emergency declaration. i find it overwhelmingly amazing to try to be leave all of a sudden an emergency came up just right after we were briefed, preposterous. senator gardner. >> you started mentioning the word uptick. was the assessment by your self in the belief there was uptick in hostility? >> in a general sense in this open forum there's a shift in posture that required a number of tools for the administration of the separation to be applied and there was a concern there was a strike or activity or hostility of some kind that was imminent. >> in a general sense. >> would you consider imminent hostility or strike an emergency? >> correct. >> thank you. i want to change subjects, switch years and talk about the indo pacific. the president signed into law the gardner marquis asia
reassurance initiative, section 209 be states the president should conduct regular transfers of the ventricles to taiwan tailored to meet the existing and likely future requests from the people's republic of china including supporting efforts to the efforts of taiwan to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities as appropriate including mobile mobile survivable and cost-effective capabilities to military forces. the senate approved fiscal year 2020 defense authorization act including my amendment, the admin station to comply with area provisions and the state department continued to posture a sale to taiwan including 108 abrams tanks and 250 stinger missiles. i commend the ministration for making the decision and implement the area as congress intended. what is your assessment of taiwan's current defense capabilities and needs? >> i will say in open forum
when we were doing the review process going back to the process of lines of communication with congress particularly senate foreign relations committee, those cases that were formally announced on monday went through the process as normal. in addition, aria supports the lines with taiwan relations act so that factored in and still aligns with our one china policy. as far their defense posture, safe to assess, well-known open source they certainly have sovereignty, a right to defend their sovereignty and one that we would not like to see impeded upon. that does comport where we are with taiwan relations. >> what is your assessment of likely future threats from the people's republic of china? >> threats to taiwan's sovereignty are not abated and they are something we need to
factor with that partner. we are a reliable partner when we are looking at making sure the indo pacific region is open and free and part of the constellation of partners to ensure we have an open free indo pacific. >> how has the ministration supported the efforts of taiwan for asymmetric capabilities, the mobile survivable cost-effective capabilities into its military force? >> with this particular partner, the parameters with them to make what is robust again, not only able to defend their sovereignty but the regional security role for open and free indo pacific. >> one of the challenges we face is the pipeline that needs to be filled with continued action as relates to taiwan relations act and aria as relates to taiwan.
what else we are doing to help taiwan fulfill our obligations. >> looking forward and way ahead there are additional happenings through the review process in the senate. that is already happening. to your point about pipelines, certainly looking forward to what capabilities may be required in the future versus fighting previous, last year's or different generations, back to the asymmetric aspect taiwan may be needing to address not just for their own homeland sovereignty. >> with the arms sales, it is allowing too much time between transactions from taiwan allowing china greater opportunity to oppose, to raise political opposition in the pipeline is regularized so to speak, presenting a better opportunity for the united states to engage with taiwan and other allies, which calls
for routine or regular sales. >> their particular processes, and the pipeline aspect which is noted at the department. >> mister chairman, i have sat on this committee with democrats in the white house, democrats controlling this committee, republicans controlling this committee and the balance of the arms export control act has never been reached except for this declaration. i want to put this on the record. we pass the laws, it is
normal for us to give the national security waiver to a president. we do that routinely in our legislation. but the exercise by this administration of that authority shows a disrespect for congress. and could very well affect what exists between the two branches of government on arms sales. we have to be more prescriptive in our laws, taking away the discretion of government. and responsibility to make sure policies are carried out. which were not carried out in this instance. you mention may 1984 declaration, not 22 sales, 1984, the arms were delivered
immediately. that is not the case in this. 1984 you have strong support for congress in what you were doing, what the president was doing, in this case you don't. there is not an analogy between the use of 1984 and today, how many 22 arms sales have been delivered? >> the licensing has been completed. >> how many deliveries have been made. >> of our specificity on different licenses and we provide that, >> many of those on sales of not been delivered. >> licensing -- >> had they been delivered, as i understand the emergency declaration, the military equipment for our security, how many of the actual arms have been delivered to date, not how many licenses have been issued but how many have been
delivered? >> delivery is pending. the issuance of an emergency was providing reassurance for our partner. >> so they haven't been delivered, the declaration was made on may 24th, the arms control act requires 15-30 day congressional review. you couldn't go through 15-30 day review. .. i just urge you to recognize the risk factors that you are leaving for our country. if congress feels disrespected by what this president has done, this administration has done, to
our constitutional role, it leads us little choice but to limit discretion to the executive branch of government, which we can legally do you guess where the legislative branch of government. that's what's coming down. i want to talk one other issue that might which deals with the u.s. conventional arms transfer policy that the u.s. shall not authorize a transfer when u.s. have actual knowledge that transferred weapons will be used to commit crimes against humanity, great riches of geneva conventions or tax intention directed against civilian objects or civilians or legally protected from attack. have said we've been working with the saudis to reduce the number of civilian casualties that are targeting, et cetera. -- better targeting. it's in disputed that after those consultations there were still attacks in which the international community said has violated the international geneva convention and civilians
being targeted. that's what has been said several times. i could also go to the philippines where we have used weapons that have been provided and there's been extrajudicial killings that we know that violate international norms. how are you protecting our policy that our arms cannot be made available where we have knowledge that these governments have participated in actions that are violated these international norms? >> data center. in addition to statute, the current policy come visit administration policy goes about the statute on those requirements. it doesn't preclude us from pushing further and harder. no department fence, no minister defends is ever going to say they preached a satisfactory . on speedy the law requires if you have knowledge you don't transfer weapons and you have transferred after with the college there's been violations. >> we do not suspend our
security relationship with a partner that carries so much weight for our interests at her equities in the region but we are not precluded from following up on issues and abuses. were not precluded from assuring and providing training and improvements on medication as done casualties. there is no abating of that. there is room for work -- >> just why understand your answer using u.s. conventional arms transfer policy can be sacrificed if we have an important relationship with a country? >> no, it should not be sacrificed. >> you are transferring weapons after you have knowledge that they violated international norms. >> it doesn't precluded from course correction or reconciliation, senator. our policy is not just limited to arms transfers. it is an expression, a 16 -- manifestation, open society, human rights. that is a part of our policy. we do export the best of america
with our arms transfer policy. with that also comes the responsibility of the application of those weapons. adversaries do not provide a long sustainment tail. they also don't provide any details of any support when it comes to application and precision of those sources or weapons. it is what's required of us not only by statute, it is incumbent upon us from a policy and moral aspect speeded i'll just conclude by saying you tried. you haven't succeeded and you are still providing weapons and that is against our conventional arms transfer policy. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator romney. >> appreciate your being here today. we have a policy as a nation to sell weapons to various nations throughout the world. there are many reasons for doing that. surely one is to support the weapon making industry in our country which provides revenue
and jobs are people here. i presume that's a very small part, decision-making about whether we're going to sell weapons someplace and it should be given very limited weight in our thinking about whether we're going to sell weapons. overwhelming i would anticipate the decision to sell weapons to other nations should be related to a strategic purpose that we have as a nation, and so of course we have strategic purpose in providing the most modern weaponry available to our nato allies and to other nations that we are very close relationships with. but then there are nations perhaps outside of that close circle that we also sell weapons to. and i'd like to ask you what the decision rules are that you follow in thinking about those other nations and how you decide what types of weapons to sell to them and whether not to sell weapons to them, and whether the fall into different categories, was the of certain groups of countries that you sell certain types of weapons to or instead
whether you look at it one off by basis nation by nation to look at time want to fully than saudi arabia than other nations. do they fall in different categories? what are the decision rules that you follow in deciding that just nato and israel and is very, very close allies, but to these other nations, what are the rules you follow? what is the u.s. interest that you seek to foster by virtue of the decisions that you make? >> thank you, senator, and you're correct to assess that no partner is particularly on par with another partner, another ally. and so you do your point about circles one could say there's degrees to what is available but also what's capable of that partner the assessment is not limited to my part of the state department. it is a whole of government assessment. this is all the way down to the field level when we do country
team assessments to our defense cooperation offices as well as our political aspects. it does include a whole host of issues or factors of assessment of where is this country stars relationship with us while vitally? so country by country. what particular will do the plate in a partnership or in a broader security alliance like nato? either interoperability factors we need to factor in like nato? are there other political issues we need to address, human rights issues we need to address? are there other negotiations or factors that we are seeking to address or reconcile at the same time a sale is being considered? that also factors in the timing and sequencing of a seal. another big one i would say is a chapeau overall sales right now is what are we looking at from the national security strategy, the chapeau up near.
adversaries? near. adversaries are not limited just to the home geographic regions. they are doing work in disruption throughout the globe. looking at it partner capability to address that on our behalf is certainly a factor. so that is a host of interagency of government factors that go into before we even informally notified congress about a potential sale, starting at the country team level working with our embassies and then working here at the ministerial and agency as well. but it is very much country by country case-by-case certainly factoring in regional considerations, certainly factoring in primarily our interests. are there u.s. persons, u.s. interests that need to be protected? there's also an absorption issue. can the partner take the system or this program or platform and be able to apply it? there's some capacity factors
not just on their ability to defend their sovereignty and fit our interest, is can he do it with what is being provided. safe to say that our partners that we work with that might have eyes bigger than their capacities and that something we work to actually frame better and provide them a generational capability more apropos to whether they be aware you would like to see them. but to your question, it varies on what is the threat in the region, what is our bilateral relationship, what is their capacity to absorb and also timing and sequence is about the strategic interest that we may be addressing in the region. >> thank you. mr. chairman. [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. chairman. assistant secretary cooper, it's been said already but i think it's worth repeating because i sure in the discipline that is been expressed by members of this committee over the
deliberate decision to ignore the intent of the arms export control act. it's very clear that was a deliberate decision to ignore that act. congress and executive branches have protocol on arms sales that works, that is fully capable of achieving our strategic goals, including addressing threats from iran and saudi arabia self-defense. when the secretary disrupts that protocol by declaring an emergency, he erodes the trust between our branches of government and that has consequences. that has consequences for this administration and death consequences for future administrations. and i hope that you and the secretary and other members of the state department involved in this decision will think very carefully about what the negative consequences of those decisions will be. so i would like to follow up on questions that have been asked, and ask if you can describe the specific capability that saudi arabia and the uae were lacking,
that these 22 22 arms sales addressed in a way that could not wait 15-30 days for congressional approval? i have the list right here. i hope you will go through each one of those 22 arms sales and tell me which one of these was so immediate that it couldn't wait for congressional approval? >> thank you, senator. i have the same list. on the overall them to your question about capabilities and readiness, specific to any partners capability readiness or strengths or gaps i would happily addressed that in a class by said if we're talking about that specificity. to the list, there were a number of cases that were under consideration for under review already. these were the ones that were assessed as what would be supportive of the fence of sovereignty and filling particular gaps. one if you want to ask about the
immediacy was on some of the training and sustain one's which were reaching some suspense, timelines that were about to not happen or we would have gaps there as far as a support on that. >> as i understand your response to senator cardin, those haven't yet been delivered, is that correct? >> the training and sustain that one's we will making sure there wasn't a break. on licensing for dcs, those have been completed and ready for delivery. on the fms, those à la ways are still being completed. now that we know these are the ones that have been identified for movement. and can determine whether any present or former state department employees who have ties to any of the companies that are impacted by these sales that may have been involved in any of the discussions to invoke this emergency provision? >> i'm not going to talk personnel here but i will say the interagency process applies
here, was u.s. government process only. nobody from individuals involved in this process. >> i didn't ask that. i asked if there were any former state department employees, present or former state department employees with ties to companies affected by the sales who were involved in the discussions around the emergency declaration. >> not that i'm aware of. this is a government decision, interagency decision, state department processes applied here. >> and can you tell me, as has been suggested, we are not supposed to transfer weapons or the countries that we provide what you are not supposed to transfer those weapons for use on civilian targets or any unauthorized transfer, yet there had been reports that the uae has supplied libya with
american-made missiles. can you confirm whether that is the case and is there an investigation, and how to expect to sanction the uae is investigation shows that, in fact, that supplied those missile? >> yes, ma'am. senator, there's the committee staff had a classified briefing this monday from the state department specifically to the issue raised about the general being present in libya. what i said in an open forum today is part of the investigation were conducting, brief committee stephan belong to france, not the uae. >> and if they had shared those missiles what kind of sanctions would you expect us to impose on the uae? >> as with any partner, when there's investigation of violation, there are consequences that could be cessation or suspension of particular programs. we've seen that and we've applied that with other partners.
sometimes it's specific to the system. sometimes it's actually broader. it could touch other assistance, but there are consequences where the department and congress have worked concurrently to identify suspense is. >> and as i'm sure you're aware, today we are hearing that turkey, nato alley of our scum is expected to receive delivery of the s-400 system from russia, nato's adversary. how will the administration respond to that? we have requested briefings from state and defense on this topic. when can we expect that kind of briefing to happen? >> senator shaheen, i can't give yet they are briefing, but what i can talk about and you and i had a discussion about at my confirmation hearing is weak on the administration, i think all parts of government have been very clear to our turkish partners regardless if it's been an operational level or at a senior principal level of there
being consequences of delivery of the s-400. the biggest issue that has been raised and amplified and asserted with the turkey with a new department is the s-400 is a challenge to interoperability as a nato partner. it is an affront. we've made it very clear that there are consequences and there are risks of sanctions. speaking of tools provided by congress, one of the tools administration has, i don't think there's been any lack of clarity to the turkish government on our concern about them and their responsibility as a nato partner that they're putting at risk with the receipt of the s-400. >> thank you. i'm out of time but i would just point out that congress, the senate has said it to receive delivery of the s-400 they should not receive the f-35 or be part of that program. is that your understanding as
well? >> that we are on the same page, senator, that it very clear they may not be soliciting listenine all said it. >> thank you. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cooper, thank you for your testimony. i want to break this issue down into two parts the substance and process. on the substance, i agree with the administration that these arms sales were appropriate. not because the saudis are steady and reliable allies. the saudis are deeply problematic allies, misconduct, -- whose conduct is often lacking in their historically shown far too much of a willingness to get in bed with enemies of america. even though they are a problematic ally, the saudis are also i believe a critical counterweight to iran. and in any rational and reasonable comparison may shrink
the threat the united states of america between the saudis and iran, it is not remotely close to iran is led by theocratic mullahs and i told who chants of death to america and is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. that is the reason that ultimately voted with the administration in support of these arms sales, is because helping the saudis defend themselves against iran is in the united states national security interest. can you articulate to this committee the threat that iran poses, both to the saudis but more fundamentally to the united states? >> thank you, senator. in an open fora, it's been referenced the persistent threat has not gone away. that's there. what has changed has been recent upticks indirect threats to u.s. persons and u.s. interests in the gulf region. that is what's different.
to our partners, there are direct threats not only by tehran but imitating their epoxy from tehran. we discussed a little bit of what's been an open source in open for about attacks that have been incurred upon by our saudi partners, are emirates partners. we talked about the houthis and what they are doing to excalibur rate and expand the humanitarian crisis in yemen as well as being supported by tehran. so the threat isn't going to go away, but deterrence through these sales, deterrence through sanctions, , deterrence the present and posture is a way to address it. and i would say a closed fora we could talk particularly about specificity of timing, very specific threats --
>> how advanced is iran's ballistic missile capability? >> in an open for, ira s capabilities that go beyond their localized stoke stove anr threat to neighbors and a direct threat to partners other than once we are talking about here today. they have capabilities that emanate beyond tehran to a broader region. >> well, that's quite a bit of understatement given that there is a leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world and directly responsible for the murders of over 600 u.s. servicemen and women. >> and it also are a facilitator of other forms of terrorism beyond direct reports are what we would call command-and-control tehran government. there are elements that are not under direct c2 or direct command-and-control from the quds force as you reference.
but again we are in an open for it at this time. >> as i said i agree with substance, , by shifting to the process, i have to say i agree with the concerns had been expressed in the sink on both sides of the aisle. the process that the state department follows of these weapons sales cannot to put too fine a point on it, was crap under the law, under the arms export control act, the administration needs congressional approval and has a 30 day notification period. and for whatever reason the administration in what seems to me and not fully baked decision-making process decided to circumvent the law, decided to circumvent the constitutional responsibility of congress and act unilaterally. now, if you have an army surging on the border and in him an emergency, that's one thing. there is, in fact, an exception for that.
it's now been 47 days since you declared an emergency. components, yes, but it were talking hardware, they are ready for delivery. >> so that was 47 47 days ago,e emergency occurred. it also here you write what you said the review process on this was close to a year? >> this goes back to the cases you were referencing the process here there are cases that have been before congress in the queue to review process for close to a year. >> well, if the process had a year to gaze at its naval and
consider this, the department had 30 days to take it to congress and follow the law. and it was foolishness not to. and don't make the mistake of thinking that it is simply democrats who are concerned about this. i voted with the administration of the substance because of the threat of a rant, but tell you from my end if the administration does it again and there is not a vibrant exigent emergency, you will not have my vote and i predict you will not have the vote of a number above the republicans as well. the simple process is followed the damn law and respect it. thank you. >> thank you. senator coons. >> thank you, senator romney, and ranking member menedez. i want to compliment you, assistant secretary cooper on managing to achieve a rare moment of partisanship on this committee.
[laughing] i i will tell you it is not oftn that my colleague from texas and i agree completely on a matter. his statement that the sound is a deeper problematic parker who have shown too often in willingness to embrace enemies of our country, i agree with. and his condemnation and that of many others on both sides of the aisle here about the timing and the process both as the consultation and ultimate decision on these recent arms sales is one of those moments that i will hope help get the attention of the administration. i appreciate your service and your testimony here today. it is important that we continue to have an open and constructive dialogue between executive and legislative branches. and on something a significant as arms export control act, and the complicated consequences of our sales to our security military partners and allies around the world, i think it is essential that we ask questions and get answers.
most of the concerns i had intended to raise today have all -- always been addressed by my college so ask one or two additional questions. we has sold billions of dollars in arms to our goal partners and allies over the years. in your view, have the sales produced capable militaries? >> as i was sure he earlier about partner to partner capacity assessments, no partner is the same pictures always an ongoing assessment about their ability to absorb either a particular platform our system and there's always an ongoing assessment on their ability to be able to maintain their own defense of their own sovereignty and there's always an ongoing assessment on their capability or ability to be a regional security parker and carry water for us. they are always varying degrees. sales and potential sales are assessed as to how we contribute to actually improve and augment capabilities.
sometimes the will of the parker doesn't always marry up to a capability of a partner, and that's not unique. but it does actually amplify the necessity for a constant assessment. when i say assessment of this is limited to the state department. we sure this with her interagency partners at the department of defense. we sure this with the intelligence community. it's an ongoing process. it also includes sometimes taking an honest assessment of if a partner, if we need to adjust what's provided to a partner. >> assistant secretary cooper it is exactly that issue, an honest assessment and an adjustment that lies at the core of this conversation, and what hope will be a constructive process led by the chairman. to reconsider and refi with the u.s.-saudi partnership relationship. our relationship. because frankly i have grave concerns over their conduct in the war in yemen, over human rights actions within the saudi kingdom and against others in the region and the world.
and in my view, those of us who have stood with the southeast over a number of years because of concerns, legitimate concerns about the threat that iran poses to the region, to the world, for many of us that patience has run out we have made persistent sustained efforts to improve their conduct against civilians in the war in yemen, only to be shown over and over again that they have come up short. and i think it is long overdue for us to reconsider. what are the limits? what are the limits to our relationship with the saudi kingdom? are there times when we are putting not just our security at risk but our values at risk by the ways in which a long and close partner is conducting themselves. i see my time is almost up. let me just say this in closing. you have heard comments today
forcefully conveyed on both side sides the aisle by senators. both of substance and process has gotten us to a place where the administration must respect the mandate of the law and the process to be followed in order for the executive branch to preserve the emergency exemption that exists from the law. if not, i suspect this body will act and restrict or remove that ability of future emergency waivers altogether. thank you. >> thank you, senator coons. i think those remarks are well taken. there is a lot of frustration right now. we have a confluence of events that's gotten us to this point, and reevaluation really, really afford, and it really hope that this morning i dropped as you know -- a bipartisan bill that strikes at that very issue and calls for a reevaluation and
very specific steps in that regard. i really hoping all of us can join together to pass the piece of legislation. obviously it is a a go as far s many people would like to go, particularly when it comes to some of the specifics of recent events. but again i think we shouldn't focus on that as much as actually developing a bipartisan method for reevaluating the relationship. because it has headed south on us since about 2015, and it unfortunately it's right at a a time when our challenges from iran working substantially more significant as we try to respectfully and reasonably impose sanctions for what they're doing. and all of this causes a rubik's cube kind of problem, but look, we're up to this. we've done other things that are as difficult and i hope will all
join together in the next couple of weeks as we try to work on this piece of legislation, but thank you for your remarks and your expression of frustration on parts of virtually everybody up here. it is well taken. thank you, senator coons. with that, senator king. >> thank you, mr. chairman and assistant secretary cooper, thank you for testimony. my colleagues have done a good job of laying out their concern about the statute and want to go a different direction. the direction is one word. why, why? why i pass congress on arms sales to the saudi? why bypass congress and not provide congress the traditional notification when authorizations are entered into to allow transfers of nuclear know-how to the saudi? yp does the congressional repudiation of the saudi-led war in yemen? why refuse to comply the direct congressional request under magnitsky act to rent a
determination about whether the assassination of homolka showed he was a human rights violation or not? there are a series of instances with this administration where in response to congressional action and do some cases clear congressional mandates in matters deal with saudi arabia, that the administration is taking very unusual action. mr. chair, i like to introduce for the record a report from the house oversight committee data server 2019 from whistleblowers raise grave concerns with optimization efforts to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to saudi arabia. >> that will be entered in the record. thank you, senator. >> let me just list a series of dates and assistant secretary cooper, this is not really in your bailiwick. it's a broader set of questions for the administration that i know i and many other members of the senate are concerned about. as as a candidate for presidentn august 2015, then candidate donald trump said quote, saudi arabia i get along great with
all of the they buy apartments for me. they spent 40, 50 million bucks. am i supposed to dislike them likes shortly after he was inaugurated in may 2017, president trump took his first visit abroad to saudi arabia to riyadh and he announced $110 billion arms deal. in december of 2017 the trump administration approved an authorization authorizing transfer of nuclear know-how to the saudi in the past. this information had been publicly noticed to both congress and the press and the public. this notification, this authorization transferred to the southeast was not notified to congress in december of 2017. within a month after the first transfer of this nuclear know-how to saudi arabia an investment in real estate firm brookfield business partners announced a plan to do an unusual purchase for the period they bought westinghouse
electric, that one of the primary nuclear service industries in the united states for $4.6 billion. shortly after brookfield bought westinghouse, secretary perry begin testifying on the hill in public settings saying it was our goal as a nation to get the saudi to use westinghouse to construct reactors in saudi arabia, public testimony, about westinghouse. in august of 2018, brookfield which owns westinghouse made another unusual investment. jared kushner had a troubled real estate deal on fifth avenue in europe and brookfield came in and entered into a 99 year lease worth more than $1 billion that has been reported as essentially handing at a troubled deal, and they paid all of the least money for 99 years upfront. they paid it up front. after the administration has
been promoting their westinghouse now owned subsidiary to the saudi and transferring nuclear technology to the saudi come brookfield now comes in with a massive investment in jared kushner's personal property. an october 2010 virginia resident "washington post" rose jamal khashoggi was murdered by the saudi regime, within just that very few weeks, days after that, the top administration approved another nuclear transfer under part 810 to the stars without informing congress or the public. in november of 2018 president trump's of the u.s. stance with saudi arabia after khashoggi smarter even of u.s. intel committee was saying that the royal family and possibly mbs was complicit in that murder. congress directed the administration of the minix can act to determine whether or not the human rights violation in february of 2019.
the white house responded and refused to render a determination. within days after that, they did another part 18 transfer to the southeast that they refused to notify congress about. in april 2019 president trump vetoed the properties and resolution in u.s. military support for this -- saudi back when jimmy. the the gipper submitted the emergency notifications. taught about today think they didn't have time because of emergency notify congress when 47 47 days later by your own testimony hardware is not actually been delivered. and just last month the u.n. published a special report concerning the state sponsored murder of jamal khashoggi encouraging the u.n. and the fbi to continue to do more criminal investigation, which as far as we know is not being done. this is material that the house oversight committee is looking at. this is the material that we are very interested in.
when you look at the financial ties between the president's own family and companies that stand to benefit and that of being public and promoted by secretary of energy to benefit from this deal, and you ask the question of why is the administration bypassing congress, not on matters deal with other countries, but again and again and again on matters dealing with saudi arabia. i think the hearings we are having to do is just the tip of the iceberg about what congress needs to do to exercise oversight about why there is such a departure from the ordinary course of business on matters of such national security sensitivity with respect to saudi arabia. with that, mr. chair, i appreciate it. >> senator murphy. >> thank you very m uch, mr. chairman. it looks to us these days is af the united states is the junior partner in this relationship. i think of all of the timeline
that senator kaine just went through, the idea that we transferred the saudi nuclear technology literally days after the dismemberment of a journalist underuse protection came to light, causes us all to wonder whether this is just one big scam. i'm glad we are doing this hearing. i want to drill down on part of your testimony, mr. cooper. with respect to the purpose of our continued coalition with the saudi. >> you say in your testimony that quote we have worked with the saudi-led coalition over the course of its operations to reduce the occurrence of civilian casualties. but that is not in fact, true. in fact, the opposite is true civilian casualties are dramatically increasing.
in 2017 airstrikes airstrikes killed approximately 2700 civilians inside yemen. in 2018 airstrikes killed approximately 4600 civilians inside yemen. and report are consistent at approximately one-third of coalition airstrikes are hitting civilian targets. that number has not changed. so do you have different numbers or do you agree with this broad assessment that civilian casualties are increasing, not decreasing? >> on the tragedy of the civilian casualties, there is uptick, what we've seen from the houthi activity on civilians. i would offer on speeders i asked about the airstrikes. the airstrikes, the reports are that almost twice as many civilians were killed by airstrikes and airstrikes by the coalition. in 2010 and 2017. your testimony says you have worked to reduce civilian
casualties but the data says they have doubled. >> there's ongoing work to not only mitigate but also refine targeting. this is not limited to wear targets are conducted by the coalition. this is how the actually conduct the work. this is also avoiding areas where the would be civilian casualties. network is not abated. it's actually been increased. we can talk to further detail about that. >> just to get the facts right, your wording is careful. you . you say you've worked with him to reduce civilian casualties but would you concede that civilian casuals from airstrikes has increased, not decreased? >> i cannot speak to the exact numbers but i can tell you that what we've done on capabilities to medicaid has increased on mitigating civilian casualties. >> like it you speak to numbers? don't you keep -- if you're working with them to decreased divine casualties wouldn't you keep the numbers? >> on interagency we do work
with our partners, with dod and others to get into a capacity where they are more precise in identifying targets, more precise in executing their targets and actually in the avoidance of a certain -- >> i know that trying to work on that but you can't testify before us today as to what the actual civilian casualties are. you don't know where the that increased or decreased? >> the numbers associate with civilian casualties are not limited to what has been attributed to coalition numbers, senator. >> okay. do you know or do you not know whether civilian casualties have increased due to coalition airstrikes? >> i would say in a general sense here that there is a delta of information on what is attributed to a coalition ascribed casualty and what may be ascribed to either the houthi
or one of the adversarial speeders on the happy to give you some definite information that states that double overtime and the fact you are talking around this is maddening. you talked earlier about consequences that would run to a u.s. ally to transfer arms that we have given to them to third parties, not authorized to be the recipient of u.s. arms. as you note in favor of this year there was very disturbing report that suggested multiple u.s. weapons systems have been transferred to private militias operating inside yemen. reports are that u.s. made oshkosh armored vehicles were transferred to abu abbas which is a militia linked with al-qaeda, and uae uacs government in fact, confirmed that they have transferred in mp vehicles to the giants brigade, a militia that is doing work on the uacs behalf inside yemen. have you come to the conclusion that these transfers were made? and if you have, what have the
consequences been? and how can you justify continued to sell arms to countries that are openly advertising that you are taking the weapons we give them and the vehicles we given and given to others that are not authorized to be in the possession? >> thank you, senator. the uae and made make the secuy partner for us in the region, not just for their sovereignty but also for printers and equities. however, it does does not preclude us from an investigation. it does not preclude us from following -- it is not precluded from any position or consequences. specific to the mrap question, that i've been in long enough to directly address that issue with emirates government. we we're working with her embasy to get more detail -- our embassy -- on that issue. it is an ongoing investigation it has not been completely resolved. but we have directly approached the emirates government at the ministerial level and that it
working level specific to the reported mrap transfer. >> my time is up, but they have publicly confirm that they transferred, the mraps. there is no investigation needed. they told cnn reporter that they gave the mraps to the giant. >> great. grade. so that we for coming in february doesn't need a five-month long investigation. and part of our frustration about this new transfer of weapons to the emirates is a signal there are no consequences. i would hope this committee would make some further inquiry as to why investigation is still ongoing when in february the uae government confirmed they have taken this mraps and given them to a militia inside the uae. sorry i went over my time. thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible] >> during the june 12 house hearing on the so-called emergency, you said quote,
holding a partner countable doesn't preclude us from working with the part of it if any, detach ourselves from a partner, removing ourselves from our partner puts at risk insuring that accountability. so anyone remotely familiar with the subject sees the top administration has not held saudi arabia and the uae to account for the unacceptable actions. in fact, it has rewarded them. and that fits a pattern of the top administration appeasement of the saudis, including by one, providing access to nuclear know-how, two, supporting an immoral war in yemen, three, breaking our work on the iran nuclear deal, and four, helping riyadh escape accountability for the murder of jamal khashoggi and for the use of child soldiers. so this accountability you speak of is purely theoretical accountability so, mr. cooper,
with china keep selling arms to countries that are committing human rights violations? >> i'm sure china has i would say not any parameters or any bar that would preclude them from selling to any customer that was willing to receive their equipment or subpar services. >> so would russia keep selling arms in such a case to countries that are committing human rights dilation? >> senator, i would say of those adversaries probably do not have the limits, the parameters, the requirements that we the tragic government expect from any of our security partners, regardless of what region they are in. >> so in practice, of the countries require no accountability for the sales of deadly weapons. so what is the united states doing what china or russia would do in this situation? we are not extracting any
accountability from the southeast anymore any more thae chinese or the russians would. so why should we continue? >> well, illicitly we are not operating on the same limited ramblers or lack of parameters that those adversaries would you operating under. if anything, we have very tight parameters. also transparent. those adversaries you referenced don't operate in a transparent fashion either with the legislative branch of with their partner that they're doing dealings with. the recipient country probably doesn't come , their populace it probably aware of what system or sale that the event signed up for, their government is committed it to get we also provide sustainment in a way that an adversary doesn't get we make sure that our partners that they receive our purchase a platform or system know how to operate it, that it is operable, the we make sure they can be capable and ready for our security interest. >> but what you're saying is we
have transparency, so everyone knows that. we are selling the equipment. we given good training so that they can operate the equipment. so that's great. but we don't actually then hold them accountable for the human rights violations. and so we are transparent about that as well, and so yes, , maye the chinese or the russians are not as transparent, but they also don't require any human rights compliance. so your argument that we should be a reliable security partner and that will further our values, that just unfortunately demonstrates that the trump administration's standards are no higher than those of china or russia and we are in a race to the bottom in terms of what our standards will be on human rights. and thanks to the top administration, our ability to push our security partners or accountability, and moral
leadership is theoretical platitudes rather than practical reality. it is critical that the united states be the moral leader, the country that upholds the rules-based international order, thick, tree that freedom and accountability but the top administration intentionally is overlooking human rights considerations in our arms export and using the guys of a quote emergency to do so. so mr. cooper, , there is a wide bipartisan agreement that your efforts have been insufficient. i've yet to see any evidence that the administration has any standard for how many palm hospital are highly targeted targeted activist it would take two of the trump administration change its course. the problem is that the top administration refuses to actually use the very influenced that you say that the arms sales provide. we have a dearth of leadership on the global stage, and he become leaders from around the world to this administration
refer to its morality, it rings increasingly hollow. mr. cooper, we need some evidence to convict this administration of actually having stood up for human rights in saudi arabia. some evidence that that has happened. thus far, it is still not evident to the american people. thank you, mr. chairman. >> if i may, that is, you're right to point out the necessity for us to not only export our know-how and our technology but also to export what is what makes america unique, , and that is export our values, export our open society, our free society. and we do do that. that is part of the process. specific to saudi arabia and uae there are dissident voices that are being supported by the administration, i do secretary. there are cases that the secretary's pressing specifically as well as the ambassador. there are also other human
rights concerns that are not always enumerated in the open report, the and report our department produces. those factors are not precluded at all. we can work with partners and we can also continue to address issues of concern that are about open society, free society, dissident voices and human rights. we can do both. we've done both as a country and we continue, can do so. >> again, i thank thank you, bt again, yemen, khashoggi, nuclear know-how, pulling out of the iran nuclear deal. i just think it's a one-way street here, and there may be some small exceptions, but on a larger picture the united states is not standing up for the human rights values that we profess to be the world leader. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator markey. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as the assistant secretary, i
assume you understand the difference between the informal review process on arms sales with this committee and the senate 30 day disapproval, is that a fair statement? >> yes senator. including how it is defined by some as as a nato ally or difft partner status. >> i don't know about native alastair i seem to care about what we do here. in that regard, when you answered senator cardin and said some of these have been pending a year, the reality is that as it relates to the statutory 30 day senate wide review, you blew through that. that's not a completely accurate answer here let me ask you this. 47 47 days after the secretary claimed that the was an emergency, is it not true that state has not even given the government to come draft contracts to the saudi and emma rockies for all eight of the
foreign military sales? >> there's ongoing on the aloe ace or fms. there is working with the government to government on it have to be adjusted because some of them were dated during as you noted the informal review process, getting some those today. what is complete are the licenses on the dcs site. >> i did ask you that. i mean come appreciate your answering questions that i didn't ask. let me reiterate. is it not true that state has not given the government to government draft contracts to the saudis and nimrod is for all eight of the formulary sales, yes or no? >> you can attest to the exact status of that right now. >> you are the assistant secretary of state in charge of armed sales in this matter. there's an emergency. you know what the student is all
about and you can't tell me that? let me help you out. as of july 1 to have been three letters of offer and acceptance of the eight military sales. you can't wait 30 days for the statutory standard wide congressional review of the sales, and yet for seven days after the secretary's of declaration of an emergency, the administration still hasn't offered the government to government contract on a whole host of these. so what's the sense of the emergency? what the sense of -- let me turn to something else. has anyone at the state department or the white house told, directed or advise you not to answer specific questions during this hearing? >> no. i have not received any of that guidance. >> than i expected for a complete answer. to get noticed did anyone in the whitest advocate, direct that the state department find a way to move these sales to saudi arabia, the uae are both,
despite both my and chairman angles halts. >> as i'm not aware that there what aware of his this this ise second decision to make. with the option for the secretary. it was a tool of deterrence. >> so that the state department made this decision foley, independent of the white house is what you were telling? >> i can tell you from where i sit that secretary pompeo had several tools to look at including position application of sanctions this is another set of tools in his toolkit to deter iran. it was his decision to make, senator. >> let me reiterate my question. did the state department make this decision wholly independent of the white house, yes or no? i don't want to hear about the toolkit or the tools. >> doesn't interagency process that's required. all these cases what do that. that's including nst knowledge of these cases. so the cases went through an
interagency process -- >> so the white house was involved? >> they would have to be like that all cases. we just talked about taiwan today. they would be part of that process, the review of any case in the arms case. >> you were confirmed on april 30 of this year. isn't it true that upon your confirmation there were already discussions taking place at the state department about evoking an emergency declaration on some or all of the 22 armed sales? >> what i can attest and the firm is there's always an ongoing assessment on any of the cases that we have, not just the gulf ones were talk about today. those would certainly speed is i'm only interested and once we are talking about today. >> there would've been ongoing speeches were the conversation at the time you took office that there were already discussions at the state department in terms of evoking an emergency declaration on these sales? >> i cannot speak to an emergency declaration but i would say it's safe to assess
that these cases in the emergency declaration certainly would've been under consideration and of interest as one is looking at the posture of their defense, their sovereign of their ability to be speedy what date did you first discuss with anyone in the department invoking an emergency declaration for the sales? >> in open for i'm not going to talked about or -- >> what -- pre-decisional? pre-decisional? wait a minute. >> this is the sectors decision. >> i didn't did ask about the s decision. you know, what privilege are you asserting? you keep talking about pre-decision. what privilege are you assertin asserting? >> the interagency review of what was taking place, before we do formal notification of any case. also the review of the intelligence -- >> that's not a privilege. you are testifying before the senate oversight committee of this particular department, and there's no legal basis to refuse
to respond regardless of whether it's pre-decisional or not. clumsily asking you for a date. when did you first discuss with anyone in the department invoking an emergency declaration? >> specific date i cannot tell you but but i can tell you that being right into the department the iran threat was certainly of interest. it would be for anybody who would be coming to the department at that time, and in the -- >> the iran threat you now justify is not the same threat back in april of this year. >> there's a posture shift. there is a posture shift, and i would say that if anybody arriving international security framework in a different capacity getting read on to a number of -- >> i would ask you to look at your calendar and respond to me in writing. when was the first date that you begin to discuss an emergency declaration of these 22 armed sales. will you do that for the record?
>> will look for the qfr, senator. >> i do want to reemphasize that review of any particular threat posture would happen part of my read on. fortunately i was already in the national security framework so much of that was not -- >> my point is that the threat posture in april is not threat posture that now justifies speech it is adjusted posture but it is one that was relevant to the time. >> let me ask you today one final question. i'll have a whole bunch for the record but not to delay the hearing anymore and there's another vote on the floor. give me a simple yes or no. did you or the department received a legal written opinion on this declaration? >> our legal office, our legal advisory was that it was within the statute that congress had passed and was within the realm of the secretary authority --
>> thank you for asking the question i did ask you. you have become very good at that. i asked you for a specific question. did you receive a written,, underline, underscored, written legal opinion? >> there were legal opinion provided for the process standards for a written legal opinion? not legal, a written legal opinion. >> there was a number of reviews that took place in interagency including legal on what was in the statute, what was applicable and what was available for the secretary speedy you are an acrylic bright man. you have served the country well in many ways. things go through this with you but i will try a third time. written, was there a written legal opinion, yes or no? >> center, there were multiple reviews and multiple writings not just from legal but interagency. this was not, this was a very
prudent process so we're talking a detailed review that took place for the secretary to have that option to make a decision. >> mr. chairman, this is why we have challenges here. this is why i try to work together to achieve certain goals. but when a simple answer yes, there was a written opinion, no, there was not a written opinion, it was a verbal opinion, and oral opinion. i mean, when there is not a sponsor this like this, then i have limited resources on what i can do to try to get a response. ..
>> to get the transparent answers, thank you. >> thanks very much, senator menendez, my experience in court is all you can do is ask questions what you can't make an answer the questions so that's just the way it is and with that, -- >> it's not the way i want them answered, i just like to get an honest answer. >> again, you can only craft the questions, you can't craft the answers. in any event, that will conclude our hearing today. mister cooper, thank you for being with us. the record will remain open until the close of business on friday and we'd ask the witness to respond aspromptly
>> president trump told the rally in manchester new hampshire today. live coverage begins at 7 pm eastern on c-span. >> the city's tour is on the road, exploring the american story . >> those men in many ways in galveston county, it's the way in which montana's changing. it is one of the best if not the best micro pollen areas in terms of growth in this country. >> with help from our cable partners we take you to bozeman montana . >> the most famous or mission for dinosaurs is the hill creek formation and that is where we go to find triceratops and t rex so two of the most iconicdinosaurs are known from the hill creek foundation and we have that here in montana . >> ivan is an incredibly love
the author in montana and he gives voice to the working people of montana . >> what's the c-span city tour of bozeman montana at 6 pm eastern on tv. and sunday at 2 pm eastern on american history tv on c-span3, working with our cable affiliates as we explore the american story. >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 minutes, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington dc and around thecountry 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 unfilteredview of government .
>> now to a hearing on diversity and inclusion in the intelligence community. witnesses included three officials from military and civilian intelligence agency who talked about recruitment efforts to include more women and people of color into the workforce. >> the committee will come to order. before we begin i want to remind you we are in open session and as such we will discuss unclassified matters only without objection, the chair may declare a recess at anytime. i welcome our members and witnesses to today's hearing. i'm grateful you joined us today to discuss the mission imperative in the intelligence community, significant improvement of diversity inclusion at all levels entry-level to senior leadership and within all disciplines. there has been some improvement in recent years the demographic profile of the workforce still does not mirror of the wider population is lighting and attracting the best and