tv Secretary of State Pompeo on 2019 Budget CSPAN May 23, 2018 9:07am-12:34pm EDT
[ banging gavel ] >> we call the committee to order. i'd like to welcome secretary of state, mike pompeo. and congratulations, mr. secretary. congratulations on your service to the u.s. army. to your service in the u.s. house of representatives, as cia director and now as our nation's 70th secretary of state. the committee looks forward to working with you in a bipartisan way to meet our challenges and to seize our opportunities. we have made important progress
on a major security challenge, routing isis on the battlefield. this is a big development, one that you've played a role in, and mr. secretary, we must maintain the momentum. islamist terrorism will threaten us for years and years to come. increasing pressure on iran and checking its hegemonic moves is imperative. our partner is on the front lines. but iran's icbm program is a danger to us. intercontinental means from there to here. your monday speech, mr. secretary, outlined a much-needed strategy to match iran's range of hostile activities. the challenge now is to present a unified front with our allies. last budget hearing, i said our nation's long standing commitment to global stability,
open markets, alliances and the rule of law and human rights has paid off greatly. if we don't lead, others will. our formidable military, though, is only one side of the coin. you, secretary, pompeo, have rightly recognized that diplomacy must lead our foreign policy. american diplomats serve on the front lines. we need them well-trained. i'm encouraged by the department's interest in strengthening the foreign service institute. and we need sufficient funding to combat wildlife and drug trafficking to build open markets, to save lives during national disasters, and do the many other things our aid accounts support. the appropriations process will adequately fund diplomacy and development, i believe. the national endowment for democracy in particular should be strongly supported. let's face it, democracy is on the ropes worldwide.
supporting it is a moral and strategic good. ned is backing critical programming in venezuela and nigeria and worldwide. it is no time to cut this programming. on the challenge of russia, yes, we should cooperate with moscow when possible. but we must diligently protect our national security. the administration has rightly provided lethal arms to ukraine, which remains under siege by russian proxies. a far more severe threat is moscow's information war. this committee has heard that moscow's goal isn't so much to make western citizens think this or think that. russia's goal is to destroy all confidence in objective thought, by undermining fact-based discussions with lies, our enemies hope to gravely damage western democracies. the state department must
aggressively counter disinformation through its global engagement center, other means and with department officials speaking out for the truth. we wish the administration success negotiating with north korea. it will be a tall task to strike a viable, effective nuclear agreement. ranking member engel and i have led efforts to ratchet up the financial pressure on north korea over many years with the legislation that we've passed here in the committee. keep up that pressure, mr. secretary. it is a big reason why the kim regime wants to talk with were you ever president trump. and as this process weighs out, work closely with congress. we're stronger together. and i'll now turn to our ranking member, mr. eliot engel. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and mr. secretary. welcome to the foreign affairs committee. we always pride our committee in being the most bipartisan committee in congress, and
always say that when we believe when we talk about foreign policy, partisanship should stop at the water's edge. >> doesn't mean we won't have disagreemen disagreements and some of those we're going to discuss today, but i think this committee perhaps more than any other committee in congress has worked very effectively to set up a bipartisan majority. so welcome, mr. secretary. you're no stranger here. and we look forward to what you have to say, obviously, today. after the administration sent its 2017 budget request, which we were very disappointed with, congress's message was clear. cutting diplomacy and development by a third was unacceptable. we sent that message through letters and statements and finally with the 2018 funding bill. and let me say once again, bipartisan majorities stopped those draconian cuts from going forward. but this administration has ignored that message,
unfortunately, and rejected the will of congress. the white house wants to cut $334 million, as part of a so-called recision package. how shortsighted is this request, the day after we received these proposed cuts, including cutting a quarter billion dollars from our ebola response, reports surfaced of an ebola outbreak in the drc. the reason we fight pandemics overseas so we don't have to fight them here at home, whether in new york or kansas, concerned about things like ebola, because diseases don't respect borders. we can't allow another outbreak to go unchecked because the white house considers arbitrary cuts to be good politics. a state department, and i realize this is all happening before you came, mr. secretary. so i'm hoping that you can work with us in trying to change these things. and to right the wrongs. state department has now sent us another budget that would again
slash diplomacy and development efforts that promote our security that keep america safe. it's frankly insulting that the administration would send us another request like this when we rejected it last year. so i predict that congress will reject this budget, just as we did last year's. again, congress on a bipartisan basis rejected the budget. fortunately, congress has the final say on how much we spend on international affairs. but whatever the size of a check congress writes, it's obviously the administration's job to make policy and manage departments. and mr. secretary, i worry about what you have inherited at the state department. the administration's first priority was an ill-conceived reorganization effort. it cost millions of taxpayer dollars for private consultants, but resulted in absolutely nothing beyond to demoralize a state department. on your predecessor's watch, the department lost more than 200 foreign service officers, many
among our most senior diplomats, some of the very experienced diplomats you once called incredibly professional. the department will soon have only a single official with the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank of our diplomats, a staggering number of senior positions remain vacant. perhaps most troubling are the allegations from whistle-blowers who have reported to this committee that the administration is targeting career employees because of their perceived political beliefs. this is potentially a violation of laws governsing state department personnel and also strikes at the idea that politics should stop at the water's edge. that the way we carry out foreign policy should put american interests first, and leave partisan interests and concerns behind. it's how we run this committee. but that principle has been under attack recently. i think you can draw a line from the moment straight back to the egregious example in recent memory of playing politics with foreign policy and with a
tragedy. i know the benghazi select committee on which you sat, the creation that was set up to tear hillary clinton down, as the majority leader admitted, that was used to impugn the character of one of your predecessors. partisanship has no place in the halls of the state department. i'm glad the inspector general is now looking into those whistleblower allegations, as senator mendez, mr. cummings and i advised. but the department has not produced the required documents that would allow congress to conduct effective oversight, despite a commitment from the spokesperson to do so. so i hope, mr. secretary, that you'll help to get us those documents and that you'll leave behind any political considerations in the way the department is run under your leadership. unfortunately, after 16 months, we're feeling the effects of a foreign policy that has marginalized diplomacy and made americans less safe. the president has alienated our friends, doubted the value of our alliances and undermined
american credibility around the world. the result? a recent gallup poll put america's approval rating at a historical low, 30%, nearly 20% lower than the previous year. at the rate we're breaking our word and unwinding our country's commitments, i imagine we'll see that number dip even further. the administration slogan of america first is looking unfortunately more like america last and america alone and america by itself in the world, where we don't nurture alliances and cultivate new friendships, where we don't put our values at the center of our politics. where we don't help countries become more stable partners on the global stage. and america in that world is an america that's less safe. perhaps the worst example that the administration has blatantly ignored is our ongoing threat to our security, which is russia's attack on american democracy. as you said, when you served as cia director, we're staring
another russian attack in the face. i agree with you. i'm worried that the president is just going to let it happen. i'm worried that even if we did want to push back, the state department is so hobbled and hallowed out that we won't be able to. i'm worried the administration is giving russia a pass, because putin supported president trump over hillary clinton. if we allow foreign interference in our elections so long as it supports our political objectives, then we have put party before country and put our democracy in crisis. i would be just as outraged if the russians helped hillary clinton. i think the russians should stay out of our democracy. there are so many issues i could get into, but i awant all our members to have a chance to ask questions today. they're tough questions, mr. secretary, but i look forward to working with you, and i know that your service here in the house will do you well in working together with the house to effectuate a better foreign policy for our country. thank you.
>> this morning, i'm pleased to welcome secretary of state mike pompeo to the committee. secretary pompeo previously served as director of the central intelligence agency and is a member of congress representing the people of the fourth district of kansas. among his committee assignments, he served as a member of the intelligence committee. he also served in the u.s. army, and he is a graduate of both west point and harvard law school. and we appreciate the secretary being with us today. without objection, the witness' full prepared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit any questions or statements or extraneous material they might have for the record. the goal today is to get to all of our members. to make that goal, i'll ask members to be aware of their allotted five minutes. that's for your question and that's for the secretary's answers to your questions. we do have questions for the
record. and speaking of that, i have a question for the record that i would like to submit on behalf of mr. donovan, without objection. addressing the state department's role in combatting the opioid crisis that is ravaging communities across america. so we will begin now with secretary pompeo's testimony. mr. secretary. >> thank you, chairman royce. thank you, ranking member engel. it's good to see you both again. and thank you, distinguished members of the committee, that i had the privilege to serve with. it is great to be back. and i appreciate the opportunity to discuss the 2019 budget requests. >> and mr. secretary, maybe if we straighten the microphone -- >> yes, is that good enough? >> perfect. >> all right, very good. and thanks. we'll talk about both the state department and usaid's budget this morning. in order to achieve the objectives laid out in the national security strategy, we have a plan, and you'll hear a great deal about it today. the proposed request reflects
our obligation to use taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively. our request also makes clear the united states must exert a proportional financial commitment in the pursuit of goals shared by the entire international community. it's time for other nations, especially those with high gdps, to assume greater responsibilities and devote greater resources towards our common objectives. whether it's crushing terrorists, stopping iran's maligned behavior, strengthening the nato alliance, eradicating infectious diseases, and so much more. we expect good help, good financial support, from our partners and allies. president trump is committed to diplomacy, as the primary means of achieving the united states foreign policy objectives. so am i. we must maintain america's historic role as a truly global power whose first instinct and overwhelming preference is to use diplomacy to solve global challenges. we're already seeing this in the preparations for our historic
meeting with north korea. still scheduled for june 12th. we have a generational opportunity to resolve a major national security challenge. our eyes are wide open to the lessons of history, but we're optimistic that we can achieve an outcome that would be great for the world. our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken towards the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula. on monday, i unveiled a new direction for the president's iran strategy. we will apply unprecedented financial pressure, coordinate with our dod colleagues on deterrence efforts, support the iranian people. perhaps most importantly, and hold out the prospect for a new deal with iran. it simply needs to change its behavior. we seek to work with as many partners, friends, allies, as possible to achieve the common objective of stopping all of iran's nuclear and nonnuclear threats. the president's highest priority
is keeping the american people safe. this request for $7.3 billion in security assistance will help protect americans at home and overseas, and i look forward to talking more about that today. the state department will continue to lead the international efforts to denuclearize north korea and present -- and prevent other actors from unlawfully acquiring weapons of mass destructions as their means of delivery while strengthening the capacity of partner nations to do so, counting proliferation at the top of president trump's national security agenda. the budget request also calls for $5.7 billion in support for coalition efforts to continue to defeat isis, and other transnational terrorists and criminal groups that threaten americans everywhere. the state department usaid will sustain programs that address the conditions on the ground that give rise to those threats. and we will work diligently to attract additional donors to support these very same efforts. america's prosperity and national security depend on a strong and growing american
economy. this budget request takes $2.2 billion to stimulate economic growth by expanding markets for u.s. investment and ensuring the partner countries can fully participate in the global economy. america's message, a noble one, must be shared with the world at all times. chairman royce, you mentioned the global engagement center. we will work with the 55-plus million dollars available to cover both its original mission, counter extremism, plus countering state-sponsored disinformation campaigns. we will not tolerate russian interference in our 2018 elections, much work has been done. there is more to do. rest assured, we will take the appropriate counter measures in response to the continued russian efforts. finally, let me also update you on what's happening inside the state department. our work force is the most important asset.
since becoming secretary of state now three weeks and a couple days ago, one of my highest priorities has been ensuring the finest diplomatic core in the world is fully prepared and empowered to do its work in every corner. i'm unleashing teams to do what they do best on behalf of the american people. last week i held my first town hall in which i laid out my vision and committed to working as one team with all of our personnel. in three weeks, they have given me great support. i have taken their council and relied on their expertise greatly. among my first acts was to put the team back on the field. we lifted the hiring freeze on eligible family members. indeed, broadened that lifting the hiring freeze for the entire foreign and civil service. all foreign and civil service hiring will be consistent with funding levels, but the freeze is no longer. to help the team get on the field, i also know we've got work to do on some of our systems i.t. at the front, and know our professionals need that assistance to perform their work efficiently.
with that, mr. chairman, i'm happy to conclude my statement as it's been submitted for the record and happy to take questions from you and the committee. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. let me begin by recognizing your efforts to secure the release of americans wrongly detained in north korea. so we are very glad to have them home. when we think about what happened to otto warmbier, your efforts were all the more important in terms of securing them. you were one of the few americans also to have met kim jong-un. and i would just ask you for your opinion on this. what are his goals for this negotiation? many have speculated that one of those goals is to try to split north korea and -- the u.s. and south korea, and our alliance with south korea. i'll just ask you, what do you think his goal is here?
>> so in my conversations with him, we've talked about what our mutual goals are. the things that the world demands and america demands and the things that north korea wants to see for itself, as well. there's places where we still have lots of work to do to find common ground. but he has shared candidly that he understands that economic growth for his people and the well-being of his people depends on a strategic shift, and we hope he's prepared to make that. our demands have been unambiguous. when i spoke with him, i could not have been clearer about the scope of the verification work that would be required, all elements that would be necessary in order for america to understand that there had been real denuclearization. he took those on board. in return, he made clear it was important to him that when that time came, whethn those objectis were received, he would receive economic help from america in the form of private sector
businesses, knowledge, know-how from others, perhaps. contributions, foreign assistance and the like. and that he wanted security assurances from the world. the end of the status that sits between south and north korea. with the eventual goal of being a peace treaty. those were the objectives we discussed. i'm very hopeful he and president trump will get a chance to elaborate on it further in the next couple weeks. >> as you prepare for the potential june summit in singapore, i think it's very important we keep the pressure applied here to the kim regime. i'll ask you this question. when will the administration begin implementing sanctions against shipping registries? this is something i've had a particular concern about. on those governments that knowingly violate u.n. security council resolutions, barring trade with north korea, these were mandated by title 3 of the act we passed here, the counter in america's adversaries through
sanctions act. >> i don't know the answer to that. let me get back to you, congressman royce. i do know the administration has, again, redoubled its efforts on ship-to-ship transfers. >> okay. >> something i think is imperative with respect to the sanctions, if i may, i take that back for the record. >> i appreciate that. the last question i was going to ask you, mr. secretary, is for those who have talked to anybody who has ever been in and out of those prison camps in north korea, it is a human rights nightmare. you've got over 100,000 north koreans suffering. in barbaric conditions in those camps. it's important that any future economic engagement with north korea not empower the regime to continue its brutal mistreatment of koreans in that kind of circumstance. and regardless of any agreement, we should ramp -- be ramping up, i think, radio-free, asia broadcasting and dissemination
of information. and i think it's critical that we maintain our military deterrents. last week the u.s. reportedly cancelled a u.s. b-52 bomber exercise over south korea. was this a concession to kim jong-un's regime? >> chairman royce, i'll leave the discussion of that military exercise to secretary mattis. it is my view that we have made zero concessions to chairman kim to date, and we have no intention of doing so. >> thank you, mr. secretary. well, in our interest to get to all of the members, i'm going to go to mr. engel now for his questions. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, budgets reflect an administration's values or lack thereof. the -- and i realize a lot of this happened before you came. so we're looking for you -- >> for 2020. yes. >> try to right the wrong.
the international affairs budget proposal that president trump now has sent to congress two years in a row brings with it a clear message to the world that the united states has no interest in maintaining our global leadership role, because of the cuts. it's a budget that makes americans less safe. and as you know, i'm not alone in feeling this way. over 150 retired generals and admirals, former secretaries of state from both parties, fortune 500 ceos and religious leaders all agree that the administration's proposed cuts to the international affairs budget would have a devastating effect on u.s. global leadership. so why are all these people wrong? in the last two years, congress restored the cuts. is congress wrong too? i would like to hear your views on it, and i hope you'll lead us into a more enlightened path than we have seen so far. >> ranking member engel, thanks for the question. here's the commitment i've made
to the team at the state department, the commitment i've made to president trump, the commitment i'll make to you here today. i will ensure that the state department has ever dollar it needs to achieve its mission around the world. you mentioned the international affairs budget, there's humanitarian assistance money, there's lots of pieces of the state department budget. i'll make sure we have every single dollar we need and not one dollar more. >> and i hope not one dollar less. >> every dollar we need. not one dollar more. >> this past march, ranking member cummings, senator menendez and i wrote to the state department expressing concern over allegations that senior officials, including the director of policy planning, retaliated against career state department employees based on their national origin or because they were perceived as not sufficiently loyal to the president. do you believe officials who targeted career employees in this way should be working at the state department? >> i do not.
>> thank you. in the letter i sent with ranking member cummings and senator menendez, we requested access to e-mails and other documents. a request that heather nart confirmed to the press would be granted. so far we haven't heard anything. can you give us an idea of when will we be granted access to those documents? >> i can't. but i will get you an answer. you have my commitment. i'll have you an answer on the time line by the end of this week. >> okay, thank you. and finally, you said, and i agree with you, that russia is working to interfere in this year's election. just as it did in 2016. has the administration done enough to deter and countering russian interference in our next election, which is only six months away? >> indeed, elections are ongoing. as you all know better than i do. we have primary elections going on even as we speak. there is a great deal more work to do. having said that, i'm incredibly proud of the work that this
administration has done in countering russia. it is light years better than was done in the previous administration. i could go on for a long time, speaking about them. i'm happy to enumerate them, if you would like to do so. but i have to say, there is more work to do. we have not -- we have not been able to achieve effective deterrence of efforts of the russians, but this administration has taken enormous efforts to push back against russia that has not done in a long time, either here in the united states or by our partners who were more threatened by russia in europe or elsewhere. >> so is it your position that the administration has forestalled an attack on our democracy? because if so, i haven't seen it. >> no responsible government official would ever state they believe they have done enough to forestall any attack on the united states of america. we work diligently at it each day. we reduce threats, we take them from the battlefield, we take them from the economic sphere, we reduce them diplomatically. we work hard at it every day. but i'll never share with you i
believe we have accomplished that to 100% certainty. >> okay. i look forward to working with you on all these issues. there are obviously many important issues. our support for israel, iran's aggression, and we can go on and on. and i hope that this committee can be a partner with you. our views may diverge, but we're all americans and we all care about these issues, and i think it's very important to discuss them, to have hearings, and we're glad that you're here this morning. >> yes, sir. i'm counting on partnership of this committee on both sides of the aisle. >> okay, thank you. >> ileana ros-lehtinen of florida. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, welcome. it's great to see you in this position. i wanted to comment you and the administration for calling this week's election in venezuela what it was. a sham, and illegitimate. the administration has stood strong in support of the
venezuelan people, using new executive orders and targeting the maduro regime with sanctions. thank you. i also want to thank you for actions the administration has taken against the ortega regime. the situation in nicaragua is quickly deteriorating and it is alarming. over 75 killed and hundreds more injured or detained in just these past weeks. we need to take swift action before we are facing a similar situation, a crisis in nicaragua, that we face in venezuela. i urge the administration to press our friends in the senate to pass our nika bill so it has even more tools at its disposal to hold ortega accountable. we've passed it out of the full house twice already. i also wanted to follow up on a letter that i had sent to you last week, alongside congressman deutsch, mccaul and lowey. we've met with the families of the american citizens and legal
permanent residents being held in iran many times, and it's clear that they're growing frustrated. they see americans being freed from north korea, and they are so happy for them and their families. but it only reminds them that there hasn't been any continuity or leadership within the administration to resolve their cases. but now that the president has announced his intent to appoint a special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, we sincerely hope that this individual will lead on this hostage cases and have the authority to bring them home. i ask for a written response on this following question, mr. secretary. does the administration support the reciprocal access to the debate act, hr-1872. it's a common sense bill that would help stop china's destabilizing behavior in tibet by revoking the visa of any chinese official found to be responsible for restricting the access of u.s. citizens to
tibet. and then the one question that i have for you to answer -- the one question -- i wanted to follow up on something that i had asked ambassador satterfield last month. he said he would get me a written spongeresponse, but i d have it yet. what is the justification for allowing the plo office to remain open, given the lapse in waiver authority with no new waiver having been issued? and it's particularly timely, mr. secretary, given that the palestinians submitted a referral on israel to the icc this week, which would trigger several provisions of u.s. law. so that's the one question i have, and thank you for the administration moving the embassy to its rightful capital. >> congresswoman lehtonen, thank you. with respect to leaving the office without a waiver, with your permission, i'll get back to you. there may be a legal issue i'm
not award of. with respect to issues there, continued funding is under review. we're trying to figure out how to make sure we get that right, to continue to make sure there is security while not rewarding bad behavior. we're deeply aware of the day lore force act and its implications, as well. i've had one chance to be briefed on the state department's role there. there will be more. and if i might take one secretary to address two other points you made. first with respect to venezuela. we did this morning receive formal notification that our -- png. we will respond appropriately. certainly reciprocally. but perhaps more than that. perhaps proportionately. we understand that there is a second u.s. officer who will also be a p & g. we're well aware and watching the maduro regime continue to engage in destructive behavior for the venezuela jan people. and finally, you opened with your concerns of iran. i know those cases well.
the case of pablo everyoneson. i mentioned three others in my remarks on monday. i know mr. o'brien, as well, who will be the -- our special envoy. know that it will be a very important part of what the state department does to try and get not only those held in iran, but americans held throughout the world back home to their families. it was quite a remarkable thing to be able to bring home three from north korea. there remains a great deal of work to do. >> it's so wonderful to have you in this post. thank you, mr. secretary. mr. chairman. >> mr. brad sherman of california. >> i'll have a number of statements and questions for the record. i know we have this five-minute time limit, and i look forward to reading most of your answers. as to iran -- you knew i would do that. as to iran, i want -- we need to get europe on our side to impose sanctions. whether or not they view those as sanctions, because they don't like the iran deal, or because
they don't like iran's other nonnuclear policies. i want to thank you for bringing to the attention of our european friends the assassinations that iran has been responsible for in europe. i know you face some pushback on that, but whether it's the death in bulgaria in 2012 by the assassination of hezbollah and iranian surrogate, or whether it's the death just last year in istanbul, or whether it's the netherlands assassination of an advocate for the arab minority in iran. there are assassinations in europe. and you should know that sitting right there, secretary kerry told this committee that it is fully consistent with the jcpoa for the united states to impose sanctions on iran for their nonnuclear wrongdoing, including sanctions against the central bank of iran.
i had only wished the administration had gone to europe urging sanctions for that reason, rather than asking them to repudiate the jcpoa. i want to associate myself with ranking member as to the issue of resources, and particularly ask you to focus on appointing in east asia and south asia assistant secretary. as to pakistan, it is a country of great importance to us, and has various regions. i hope the state department would do public diplomacy in the cindy language, and i hope that you would reach out to the leaders of pakistan about the disappearances in sind and the forced disappearances. as to north korea, i can understand that your bargaining position is complete, immediate dropping of their entire nuclear
weapons program and a verifiable and irreversible manner. that has been referred to as the libya model. i would hope that while you can go into negotiations with that, if you can come out with verifiable limitations and a halt to their icbm program, that should not be regarded as a failure simply because you don't get complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the peninsula. as to turkey, i hope the administration would oppose the sale and prevent the sale of the f-35s. they are not a weapon to be used against terrorists. they're a weapon to be used against greece. and i hope the state department would at least be neutral, should congress consider, as we are considering, the recognition -- the remembrance of the millions of armenian, greek, and sear yack victims of
the ottoman empire at the beginning of the last century. as to our trade deficit with china, that grew from 309 to 337 in the first year of the administration. and i hope that we don't see a shuffle where we continue to import oil, then china buys our oil and natural gas and then we're told, well, we've done something about the trade deficit. we should not count oil and gas exports to china as a reduction in the trade deficit. i would hope that when you talk to president sisi, you urge him to protect the christian minority and note that only 53 permits have been issued to renovate or build churches, when over 5,500 applications have been made. one question for a response or a quick response, and that is can we meet our challenges around
the world with a 30% cut in the foreign aid budget? >>. [ inaudible ] >> so you have my word, as i said. we're going to get this piece right. i assure you. and i want to comment on one other. i am close to making a number of significant announcements about new members of the team, assistant secretary for east asia affairs and south-central asia among them. ambassador shannon is retiring shortly. we've got to get him through the senate, but i'm looking forward to getting the whole team built back. >> we go now to chris smith of new jersey. >> mr. secretary, thank you for your leadership. thank you for recognizing the x extensional threat, and a negotiated text that is viable
and predictable and will protect the security of the united states, israel and others. so thank you for that. mr. secretary, as author of the trafficking victims protection act, a law that created a comprehensive whole of government approach to combatting sex and labor trafficking, protecting women from this unbelievable cruelty, both domestically and internationally, i respectfully ask if you would to move as quickly as possible on appointing an ambassador at large that has gone -- that post, which is the point person, has gone unfulfilled. and i know you're new on the job and i know you care deeply about that issue. please move on that. and in like manner, in 2004, i authored the anti-semitism special envoy. that too has not been filled. and i know you care deeply about combatting this scourge of anti-semitism which is rising all over the globe. please move on that, as well. >> you have my word. we'll move on them. >> i appreciate that. and thank you for ratcheting up
the pressure on josephca billo. we have been working hard on our subcommittee. we want a smooth transition, as smooth as possible, andca billo has the capability to cause unbelievable violence and war, and we -- you know, and the sanctions certainly play a real -- and i know you've already meted out some of those sanctions. i especially want to thank you for designating india, brazil and now japan as volatile of the sean and david goldman international child parental abduction return act. japan is notorious for not returning american children, including american service members' children. and your department now has taken that step, which previously was not done. to say they are noncompliant with the goldman act. and i deeply appreciate that and i hope there will be follow-on sanctions with that. with regards to the negotiations with china, one of the big
misses with north korea, china and iran, especially with the hostages, was not including human rights in the talks. the administrator said the big miss with north korea was keeping human rights separate from all of the negotiations. so i encourage you, if you would -- xi jinping is in a race to the bottom with kim, frankly, and other dictators around the world on religious freedom persecution and like-minded human rights abuses. so please make that a more robust part of the efforts. i know you personally believe that and will do that. and finally, over the last couple of days, weeks, i've been meeting with watch u, whose husband has now been held in iran in prison for 653 days. he's a -- her husband. shia wong is an american. he's a graduate student. and has done nothing wrong, had all the preclearances before he
went to iran to do his studies. and then before he returned was arrested and has been maltreated. his wife at a big princeton telling, she is peeled to you and the president. my husband, she says, is an innocent man, mr. president. he is in prison solely because he is an american. i just encourage you and i know you believe this and we do now have a hostage. perhaps it will be part of his portfolio, charles o'brien, who will work on this. it has to be 24/7 to get the americans to safety because they are being used as pawns by the iranian regime. again, having seen her tears, her family, her little boy, it just breaks your heart. the more you can do on that, the better. >> yes, sir. she is correct in her -- her husband is completely innocent and held for a singular reason. i hope you'll come out and join at the state department in a couple of weeks when we roll out
our international religious freedom report. i invite all of you to join us. it's an important day. much work to be done there as well. >> thank you very much. i would note, our former ambassador at large did a wonderful job. sam brownback is doing a wonderful job. you are doing a wonderful job. it is under assault. perhaps as never before as radical islamic to communist dictatorships. i want to thank you for the work you're doing and i hope that vietnam will be designated a cpc country and erdogan will so be designated for what he has done against the orthodox and so many others. i thank you. >> mr. greg meeks of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i have some concerns because i can recall your immediate predecessor sitting here and he said almost the exact same thing that you
said about the budget, that they would not spend a dollar more, and yet we received such drastic cuts that you've heard mr. engel speak about and other members. so i'm worried about that aspect of it. i also, you know, when preparing for this hearing, i couldn't help but go back and i looked at some videotape, and the videotape was actually of you, mr. secretary, and the attitude that you had about a predecessor. you didn't give her any courtesy when secretary hillary clinton was sitting in a seat before the benghazi committee. you scolded her. you went after her with venom. i couldn't believe the tape when i saw it, and you basically went after her about the qddr report, which you said only included two pages of diplomatic security. you then said and implied -- said clearly that that meant that she -- the report had no
balance and therefore there was no diplomacy. security was only mentioned a few times. so the insinuation was that therefore the secretary was not interested in diplomatic security. that came from your mouth at that time, at that testimony. so i went back and i looked at your testimony, mr. secretary, when you were before the senate for confirmation. i waited patiently here listening to your testimony here today, mr. secretary. i have not heard you mention one single time about diplomatic security. not once. not once. and then, you know, i know at the time -- and i will try not to play with my colleague, playing politics across the -- but we're here on hallow soil so i think we've got to get to the facts of the matter. on the facts of the matter we heard the majority leader kevin
mccarthy at the time that it was about bringing hillary clinton down. so i hear that -- maybe giving you the benefit of the doubt. if it wasn't about bringing hillary clinton down at the time, then i ask you, mr. secretary, should we conclude because you've not mentioned it one time, not once, should we conclude based upon that fact that you do not care about diplomatic security, mr. secretary? haven't heard it from you. not once. >> no. you should not conclude that. >> okay. i'll take you at your word. >> if i may respond. >> i'll take you at your word. you said no, i take you at your word. >> i feel like i need at least a few -- >> i only have five minutes. i'll take you at your word. >> you should know the very first briefing i received as a nominee was from the head of diplomatic security. >> reclaiming my time. mr. secretary, i happen to agree with you -- i happen to agree with you. >> i am diligently working and i'm going to seek the
implementation of the arb. i take diplomatic security very seriously, don't ever make an accusation like that. >> now the real secretary is coming out. >> if i can just explain -- >> i'm reclaiming my time. >> we want to give you time, but we want to give the secretary a chance to respond. >> an ambassador killed in benghazi. >> he did not do that with secretary clinton, let me tell you that. >> we're going to proceed with the questions and the answers. >> but i agree. i'm taking him at his word that simply because something is not mentioned in a report it does not mean that someone doesn't care. i believe that you do. i'm taking you at your word. but think that we can conclude that what does matter is how much money is appropriated for diplomatic security. in this whole thing, when i look at the budgets that were for diplomatic security, i saw that in fiscal year -- under the
obama administration, over $3 billion went to diplomatic security, but once president trump came in, i see it went down to $2.1 billion. fiscal year '19, down to $1.6 billion. so the budget -- the money for diplomatic security has gone down about 45% from the obama administration. so where is the concern now, other side of the aisle, of this administration about diplomatic security? >> diplomatic security is not about dollars expended, it's about delivering real security, it's about getting the right outcomes, it's about having the right people in place, it's about being thoughtful about where you put people. we're going to take risks. we're going to be an expeditionary state department. i think president trump demands it, i think each of you as well. i'll take a backseat to no one
when it comes to caring about -- >> more did hillary clinton take a backseat to no one for what she did about diplomatic security in this country. >> okay. order. next in the queue is mr. dana rohrabacher of california. >> mr. secretary, might i suggest that we have more opportunities, and i hope that now you are the secretary, to talk to you privately and have discussions like this like mr. meeks has just done so we wouldn't have to use of time at a hearing and do things publicly. >> can i say this? i would welcome that with as many of you as i can. my theory on this is, as many cups of coffee as we can have to have this discussion, the more we can work together -- >> let's have some of those sessions so people can get their points across and have a discussion because we're limited with time here. i'm very pleased that we have an administration now and a secretary like yourself who knows that we shouldn't be
treating enemies like friends, we should be treating enemies like enemies and friends like friends, not the other way around. i'm afraid that our government quite often has gotten into that pattern. i'd like to ask a couple based on that concept. i would hope that we are going to be supporting the kurds. erdogan is becoming our enemy. he is not our friend. and the kurds are the people who need our help. i hope that we are going to have a relationship with india and japan and accelerate that relationship, because that is pivotal. they are friends that are pivotal to helping us defeat our enemies. i hope that -- i understand that the budget request has no increase for pakistan. i don't see any reason whatsoever to give the government of pakistan any money in foreign policy in terms of our foreign aid until the man
who helped us bring justice to osama bin laden, the man who slaughtered 3,000 americans and our pakistani friends have proven their friendship by keeping him in a dungeon in afghanistan. we have a great friend, a man if anybody has seen "12 strong," helped defeat the taliban. right now he is the supposedly the vice president. he is in virtual exile now. there's been assassination attempts. i hope that we make it very clear that the general is the guy who can defeat the gtaliban. he's done it before and we need to stick by him. third, in egypt, we have a government that is against radical islamic terrorists. and, in fact, they replaced a government that was pro-muslim brotherhood. but we have policies that make
it more difficult for egypt to purchase american weapons than when egypt was under the president who was part of the muslim brotherhood. this is ridiculous. i would hope that that would get your attention. finally, iran. congratulations on taking hold of this situation and stepping forward with positive leadership, as you have. let me just note, when it comes back to treating your enemies as enemies and your friends as friends, we have a lot of friends in iran. people always mistake -- i keep reminding the folks here. the iranian mullah regime, that's the enemy. the people of iran are our friends. these folks over here in their yellow jackets, these are iranians who love freedom, and we need to make sure that we work with the kurds, with the persians and others who are pro-freedom in iran and be proactive like ronald reagan was when he ended the cold war. we can defeat the mullah regime
without having a military operation, by helping these people who believe in freedom. now i'm giving you a minute to reply. >> if i might, i'll try and tackle two of those. i'll tackle pakistan and then the kurds, if that's okay? so with respect to pakistan, we we leased far fewer funds in '18 than in the year prior. the remainder of the funds available are under review. my guess is that that number will be smaller still. i worked diligently on the issue of the doctor in my previous role unsuccessfully. please be aware that it's in my heart and i know it's important. we can do that. we can achieve that outcome. >> it's getting worse in pakistan. the people in karachi and the sindhs and the others are now facing -- people who are killing their leaders or killing their people who believe in certain things that are different than the radical islamic philosophy of some of the people in the pakistani government. >> my officers, our state
department officials are being treated badly as well. folks working in the embassies and consulates and other places are not being treated well by the pakistani government either. a real problem we need to take the measure of also. if it's okay, i'll get back to you on the kurds in a written note. >> all right. as i say, mr. secretary, looking forward to some private sessions where we can all discuss things. >> thank you. >> representative from new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. mr. secretary, going to the western hemisphere, as i look at it, being part of the western hemispheres committee. i look at venezuela, which basically has become a satellite of cuba, with cuba having 30,000 people or more in venezuela running just about everything from security to all the other things that run somehow in venezuela. the other concern that i have is, obviously nicaragua. i'm glad that the administration
is finally speaking up on nicaragua. i think we definitely have to support those students and the people that are on the streets. but one of the things that always concerns me is as part of the ayatollah's efforts to export the revolution, it seems that we have been building cultural centers in some of these latin american countries. are we really monitoring to see how much influence they have, how many they're opening? they started out with ten. now they're up to 100. i'm concerned about the security. can you -- >> i don't know the answer to how well or how frequently we're monitoring that. i will get you an answer. >> okay. because i think -- >> i'm aware of this issue but i don't know what monitoring is taking place. >> okay. going now to cyprus, are we considering to lift the arms
embargo to cyprus so we can sell them arms? turkey keeps sending people more and more on their side and this is an issue that the cyprus people feel that they have to have in order to protect themselves. we have an arms embargo. i know you only just got to the state department, and i -- but these are questions that i think we should look into. >> i'll mention this, i don't want to address that issue in particular, but, rather, talk about issues in the eastern med more broadly. i meet with the greek foreign minister on monday of this week. there is a great deal of work we have. increasing threats. america has an enormous amount of work, we have to figure out how precisely to deal with each of them. it is a complex place. congressman rohrabacher mentioned turkey, a couple of others have as well. a foreign ally i'll meet with next week to try to plot a path
forward in syria but is proving incredibly difficult. >> i hope you consider not giving them the f-35s in the future. it seems we give and give and give and get slapped in the face when we need them. so i hope this administration -- and the other thing, i represent the largest coptic christian community in new jersey, and i'm always very concerned about the security. i hope that the state department makes an effort to really co concentrate on the safety of the coptic christians in egypt. it is important. there are over 16 million coptic christians in egypt and they're under assault day in and day out. so if we can put more pressure on the government of egypt to give them more protection, that was something -- that would be good for all of those people that are under such pressure. >> thank you. i think the administration has done a reasonably good job. i think we've made real efforts. i agree with you there remains a
great deal of work to do so they have the protections to practice their religion in egypt. >> i have about a minute. going back to the iran question. they seem to be building more and more, their forces in syria. how closely are we monitoring this? it seems that they're getting ready for something. >> so i actually am very familiar with this issue. the iranian efforts in syria. their forces have expanded modestly over this past 24 months. but they have become more willing and more capable, that is, the weapon systems that they have moved into syria have become more capable, that is their capacity to threaten the region, including israel, has increased over those same 24, even 36 months now. it is a difficult, difficult, complex environment to respond in. rest assured we're working closely with our european partners, our israeli partners,
our arab partners. we're well-aware of the threat from iran and working to develop details on the strategy i laid out monday on how to respond to that. >> how is the investigation with what's going on in cuba going with our diplomats? >> the accountability review board, i'm told, will have a report to me by the middle of next week. if i may, you're speaking about the incidents in havana. >> yes. >> if i might add here for the benefit of those who saw the news last night, we had an incident that was -- that the medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to americans working in cuba. one incident, we announced it to the workforce while we slept here last night. we have medical teams that are moving to be on the ground there. we are -- we are working to figure out what took place, both in havana and now in china as well. we've asked the chinese for their assistance in doing that.
they have committed to honoring their commitments under the vienna convention to keep american foreign service officers safe. >> thank you. >> we appreciate very much your department keeping us in the loop on this as this proceeds. >> yes, sir. >> we go to steve chabot of ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, as a founding member of the congressional taiwan caucus, i'd like to focus first on one of our key allies and what can be obviously a very dangerous world. the nation of taiwan. and i say nation intentionally. it's not a faux pas. taiwan has been a de facto independent country for more than half a century now. they, of course, have to put up with prc, china's bullying on an ongoing basis. the state department had a self-imposed policy that prevented top taiwanese officials, the president, vice president, foreign minister and defense minister, from coming to
the united states, including to your nation's capital here, washington, d.c. they could transit through, say, los angeles or san francisco as they headed to south america, for example, but that was it. and top u.s. officials couldn't travel to taiwan. that policy was disrespectful and counterproductive, in my view. recently, the house unanimously passed h.r. 535, and i'd like to thank my democratic colleague mr. brad sherman as well as chairman royce and others for joining me as the principal sponsors in what passed the house unanimously and passed the senate unanimously. then president trump, god bless him, signed it into law. i would note that the resolution not only allows high-level visits but encourages them. mr. secretary, i'd like to encourage you and the rest of the administration to take
advantage of this, and i don't want to put you on the spot or anything, but i would hope that at some point in the not too distant future the president of taiwan herself could come and address a joint session of congress or visit president trump in the white house. so, that being said, mr. secretary, could you comment on the taiwan travel act and how you would see it working in real time? >> in my previous role, i was part of the discussions around that, understanding -- trying to at least understand the implications -- american national security implications for it. the administration has had many discussions. we understand its implications and direction of travel that was required by that. you should have great confidence we will continue to abide by that. my recollection is that there
was an assistant secretary that travelled there just before my time, maybe it was a couple of months before my time. >> thank you very much. we're sending a letter, i believe, today, to director bolton to encourage him to perhaps go as well. my guess is he would probably like to do that. so thank you very much. the next thing i'd like to mention, we had a hearing last week. i introduced legislation a number of times. as you know, gas prices have gone up to $3 a gallon in cincinnati and other places. they're higher here in d.c., but they're hurting a whole lot of people, and it was called nopec. i introduced it with john conyers in the pass. we'd pass it in the house, they'd pass it in the senate but it wasn't identical. climate change stuff put in in the senate. for whatever reason, we didn't get it across the finish line. it's my understanding that president trump likes the idea,
inessence what it does would allow the attorney general to file a lawsuit for anti-competitive violations basically, which would be in violation of antitrust law, the sherman act. i would encourage you to take a look at that. the legislation hopefully will be passed here in the house some time in the near future. those opec countries who work with russia and others are artificially keeping production down, which drives the price up. if you would take a look at that, i'd greatly appreciate it. >> i'd be happy to. >> thank you. >> i hope the good oil and gas people of your great state would get after it as well. >> i totally agree with you. the one final thing i'd like to do, i'd like to commend my colleague from virginia, mr. connolly, for not letting the world forget about crimea, which too often, i think, they have. i have the, you know, russia's invasion and criminal annexation
of part of ukraine, crimea, is going uncommented on by the rest of the world too often. if you could elevate that in any way, i would greatly appreciate it. in the little time you have left, if you could comment on that. >> i appreciate the need to elevate that. my last role was a trip to see the challenges presented to ukraine and its people there. this is a very, very serious matter. the russian annexed 1/5 of that country. we should never forget that that's the case. >> thank you very much. >> mr. ted deutsch of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. thank you for your service to our country and thanks for being with us today. as my colleagues know, i make the same request of every official who comes before this committee. you've already had a chance to speak to this, and you and i have had many discussions over the years about bob levinson, the longest-held american hostage in iran. i appreciate the commitment you've made today to focus on bringing them home.
we're proud to be joined today by bob's youngest son dan, who is sitting with us here. i with the -- because there are now no longer any regular direct channel talks with iran where the american hostages were brought up on the sidelines, i just would act that at a minimum here for you to commit to continuing to communicate with the levinson family, to keep them apprised of the extent of your efforts to help bringing him home. >> of course. >> i appreciate that. mr. secretary, you've said in your testimony that we won't tolerate russian interference in the 2018 elections and we have to take countermeasures in response to an effort to do so. i just wanted to get your quick response to something. yesterday, the -- particularly given your previous position. in january of 2017, odni found
the russian government favored the trump campaign over hillary clinton and putin personally ordered an influence campaign to undermine faith in the democratic process. yesterday our homeland security secretary said she didn't believe that conclusion that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i want to make sure you share the view of the intelligence community that they reached in 2017. >> i haven't seen anything to dissuade me that that is right. the particular judgement that was made was the least confirmed. that is, there was the least support for that and the intelligence community report made that clear as well. >> just confirming it was still a conclusion reached by the intelligence community. >> yes, sir. >> also, again, not -- not tolerating russian interference in 2018 also means, i think, that we need to fully understand everything that happened in 2016. to that end, i just wanted to ask whether you support allowing the mueller investigation to
play out so that we can gather all of the necessary information to make conclusions about what happened in 2016 in order to safeguard, as you point out in your testimony, and prevent any russian interference in the 2018 elections. >> i'm not going to comment on any of the ongoing investigations. as i said in my confirmation hearing, i was interviewed by mr. mueller's team. so i have a -- i've been part of it. i was part of it in my role as director of cia, providing information to committees here in the house, committees in the senate as well. i'm simply going to make no comments about any of the ongoing investigations. >> on iran, the -- i want to just go back to the president's decision to withdraw from the jcpoa and where things stood the moment before that happen and just ask whether -- ask your sense of how things can go forward. at that moment, there were ongoing discussions and negotiations with our european
allies about addressing the short fal shortfalls in the jcpoa, specifically the inspections regime that sunsets, the ballistic missiles and i would add human rights to that, and the understanding was by a lot of us that if we could reach some agreement on those issues to strengthen the jcpoa and address those shortfalls that that would have been sufficient for the administration to remain in the deal. there is this 180-day period now before the sanctions are fully implemented after the president's decision. are those discussions continuing with our allies? is there any chance of -- if the -- if our allies were to agree to the demands of the administration to strengthen the jcpoa, and there were an opportunity to achieve that with them, would that -- would that have an impact on what we do
over the coming months following the president's announcement to withdraw from the jcpoa? >> so we will certainly continue to work with our european partners. indeed, the german foreign minister will be here on thursday, tomorrow -- maybe it's even this afternoon when he will alive. i was part of those negotiations. i don't want to go into the details. i can say this. we worked diligently during my two weeks as secretary of state to try to bridge that gap and ultimately the three countries would not sign up for that. it's worth noting, so there was an extended period where the negotiations took place, some of which predated my time. it's worth noting during the entire duration of the jcpoa, despite their attested willingness to put sanctions in place, no sanctions were put in place. so everyone -- there was this discussion about how there were these -- we can still continue with non-nuclear sanctions. the actual willingness to do that, to actually engage and say
we're going to sanction iranian missile conduct, for example, if properly put in place, would require american businesses to not be in iran. they're still engaged in this missile activity. i think we can all agree it didn't happen. >> are we fully prepared to oppose secondary sanctions on all of our allies. >> the answer is the sanctions are back in place with a 90-day and 180-day wind down period for different components. >> let me say i appreciate mr. ted deutsch's continued focus on bob levinson and his fate. i'd add this with extreme caution, mr. secretary. the u.s. permanent resident reported to have disappeared from prison in iran, and i hope the administration is working swiftly to locate him and ensure his well-being. the reason i raise the point is there is reports not only that he was in poor health but also reports that he had been
tortured. so thank you for -- >> yes, sir. >> your engagement on this. >> i'm aware of those reports as well. >> thank you. i'll go to mr. joe wilson of north carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being here today. i had an extraordinary opportunity to lead the delegation for the opening of the embassy in jerusalem. what a fabulous, positive celebration this was. i was really grateful for the leadership of president trump, your leadership, ambassador john bolton, and, of course, the extraordinary ambassador to the u.n., ambassador nikki haley. and working with prime minister benjamin netanyahu, i believe this will help promote the peace process in the middle east. so thank you for your success. additionally, the question would be, the results of the most recent elections in lebanon changed. what's the status of u.s. policy? do we need to make changes on how to provide our economic and
security assistance to be more effective to counter hezbollah and iranian influence? what do you see as the most effective tool pursuant to u.n. security council sanctions that the united states can promote to enforce the disarmament of hezbollah, which today has 150 now -- 150,000 missiles directed at israeli families. >> i think there are three questions there. i'll start with the last one with respect to lebanese hezbollah. we not only have them as a problem in lebanon, we have them as a problem in syria as well. iranian-funded, iranian-fueled. part of our iran strategy is reducing their capacity to create havoc and conduct terror operations around the world. second, you asked about the election. certainly changes, but ultimately it's our assessment at this point that the overall balance of power won't be materially changed as an outcome of that. that's good and bad. the existing balance of power is not a good one in its own right.
so there are real challenges about how america can introduce its influence and get lebanon to move in the direction of that great nation. to date we've largely relied on two places, including the lebanese armed forces to help us achieve our security elements there. we need to review each of those to make sure we're using american taxpayers' dollars right and supporting the groups that can most likely achieve our outcome there. >> i'm also grateful that the administration is providing additional funds for the european deterrence initiative to provide for military nato troops. estonia, latvia, lithuania, american troops in poland. this is so important. the challenge you have is only 15 of the 29 nato allies have said they would reach the 2% minimum by 2024. what can we do to encourage our
allies to better defend themselves to promote peace through strength? >> president trump should be credited with making real progress there. that is, there are more countries today meeting their 2% commitment. there is a corollary commitment of 20% for equipment as well. more countries achieving that as well. i was with john stoltenberg this past week, he's committed to putting pressure on each of them to do so. there is a nato summit in july that the president will attend, and i hope that two things will take place. one, that every country will show up with a plan at least to get to 2%. some countries, including germany, have the financial wear wi withall to do so and have simple chosen not to. get to their 2% target in a more timely fashion. >> i'm really grateful. a rare example, but it's true, we work together with jerry connolly and steve chabot.
we're concerned about russian aggression, bingeing in moldova, then the republic of georgia, then 10,000 people were killed in ukraine. what more can we do to work with our allies to provide proper equipment, particularly to the three nations i mentioned to stop the aggression by the putin regime? >> so, congressman wilson, i don't know the details of the armament issues with respect to those three countries. i'm happy to take a look at it. i was with the georgian prime minister. we had the dialogue hosted at the state department this week. we can keep these issues at the forefront. we can make clear with respect to at least georgia we are looking to get their ex-examp-- that same neck of the woods made the decision last year to provide defensive weapons systems to the ukrainians. weapons systems that they have now used.
and there is much work that remains. i concur. this is not partisan. much work that remains to promote those former soviet entities who are on a path towards joining the western world. >> and i've seen this success in bulgaria and romania, now georgia. thank you. >> we go now to mr. bill keating of massachusetts. >> good morning, mr. chairman. three things. first, the president's reversal on the telecom giant from china, zte. you know, in 2012, the permanent select committee on intelligence in the house said that, quote, unquote, this company could undermine core u.s. national security interests. even last week your nominee to the counterterrorism security center said that they present a serious security risk to the united states. even senator rubio said it would be crazy to go back on this. it's really not an issue if it presents a security question,
yet the president via tweet took the pressure right off just three days after getting a loan arrangement that will support the trump brand and reversed this. now, even -- either last night or this morning he said, well, maybe it can be dealt with with a fine or chaining the principles of the company, which you know are run by the company and influenced by the chinese government. number one, should that be reversed? should that ban be reversed? and number two, should the president really divest himself of these business interests? now second quick question is on the president's phone. there have been reports that his cell phone isn't equipped with sophisticated security devices and it exposes him to hacking and surveillance in that regard. you wrote, mr. secretary, a couple of years ago dealing with the other former secretary, disregard for the letter and spirit of the law in her handling of classified information is not a political issue, it's a national security issue that puts american interests and american lives in danger.
second question, will you advise the president to change his phone and make it more security in that respect? and finally, if you could, you said just a few minutes ago that security is about being thoughtful for where you put people. so i'd like your opinion on the fact that not all the people in the administration and all the qualified people in the united states of america, the president has put the chief negotiator for middle east peace in the hands of his son-in-law, jared kushner, who is limited in his knowledge of this because he's been denied security clearance necessary, really, to have a full grasp of that issue. his temporary clearance was removed due to apparent conflicts of interest and a very large number of discrepancies on his sf-86 form. on those three questions, if you could, mr. secretary. please respond. >> sure. let me take a swing at all three
of them. with respect to zte, you note this threat has been known since twelve. you should note nothing was done in what now amounts to almost six years. this administration is going to do something. we're still working on the appropriate response and how to address it, but it's worth noting that for six years, mostly under the previous administration, nothing was done. >> mr. secretary -- just quick comment. >> sure. >> that doesn't make it right. >> no, sir, it doesn't. >> the president's been in office for a year -- over a year now and nothing was done. >> i agree. >> time to do it, right? >> i agree. we need to make sure that america is secure from threats to all -- zte is one amongst many of these same types of threats. i look forward to working -- this seems to be a bipartisan issue. >> it still should be banned? >> we're going to get this right. it's still taking place. i've been part of the discussions, not all of them.
i understand as least as yesterday afternoon, no final resolution had been reached. secretary of state, i'll leave to others the president's phone. i will -- i won't walk away a single bit from what i said previously. every government elected official has a responsibility to comply with -- >> including the president, mr. secretary. >> every government official. >> who would tell him that in your organization? >> congressman, i don't have any comment on that. we all have a responsibility -- >> excuse me. you know it and it's true, if it is true, would you feel compelled to say, mr. president, you've got to change your phone, it's a security risk? wouldn't you at least do that for america? >> i will tell you this thoif. >> you can't do that for america. come on now. >> we're both great patriots. i think we share that. i'm going to do everything -- >> you couldn't tell the president if he had an unsecure phone, hey, mr. president, you've got to get a new phone? you wouldn't tell him that? >> i have managed for 16 months not to talk about conversations i've had with the president. >> have you had that conversation?
>> i do not intend to violate that principle today with respect to conversations between myself and -- >> never tell the president, hey, you better get a new phone that is secure. >> i can't account for how he'll take it -- >> you can't account for how he'll take it? who can? >> you shouldn't construe the absence of a comment from me one way or the other. every time i see a security issue, i try to do my best to fix it, whether it was something that i got wrong or someone else made an error as well. >> mr. mike mccaul of texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, it's great to call to secretary. it's great to see a friend and a former colleague in the position that you are in. having travelled with you to the middle east and northern africa, i've seen you in your talent as a diplomati a diplomat. we're just so proud of you in the house. with regards to the allegations about the diplomatic security corps, i would respond that nobody knows that issue better than you. having served on the benghazi
commission where our ambassador was killed in the previous administration. i sort of think you appreciate that issue probably more than anyone. so with that, i'd like to move on to iran. you and i talked about the jcpoa when we were in the congress together. we had concerns about the ballistic missile capability. we had concerns about the inspections not being any time, anywhere, no access to military installations and the $150 billion that has gone into terrorism that now we see the shia crescent, as netanyahu calls it, into iraq, syria and lebanon and now yemen. i know you have these e-3 negotiations that apparently got pretty close to an agreement. i applaud the efforts to move forward with more leverage on iran by lifting the sanctions in a 90 to 180-day timeframe. can you tell us about what the
status of those negotiations are, and if there is any path forward, to come forward with a deal with our european allies, the saudis and iran? >> so we're not very far along. we're only a handful of days post the president's decision to withdraw from the jcpoa, but a number of discussions have taken place below the foreign minister level. i am planning for, depending on, frankly, my schedule, sometime in early june or mid-june to gather up with a number of partners, including the e-3 partners to plan our way forward. there is near perfect overlap in our values and interests on this. there is no dispute about the iranian missile program, its malign behavior, about the assassinations spoken about earlier. everyone agrees to the problem set. we need to find a path forward together to address it. economic sanctions get a lot of attention. they're important. they're an important tool.
but there is a great deal more to that, some of which we can talk about in this setting, some of which we cannot. each of which needs to be delivered globally. so when you think about our allies, it's not just the three europeans. arab countries in their backyard. the airport in riyadh with missiles landing in it. americans are going to land in the ohriyadh airport within the next 12 hours. these are simple questions. we are asking iran to be civilized. some saying it was fantasy. help us to stop killing folks. doesn't seem like a fantasy. we demand it of every country in the world. we certainly ought to be able to get to agree on that. >> the president put the right man in the job to get that done. we have every faith and confidence in you. north korea. you're one of the few, if not only american diplomats to have met with kim jong-un, which is an incredible experience, i'm sure. we know their track record.
they've -- we've constantly looked at sanctions to get to the negotiation table and they have consistently violated. they have consistently -- they got out of the nuclear proliferation treaty. consistently pulled the rug out from under us. so what is your sense of the man himself, having that opportunity to meet with him, and what is your sense of any optimism that we can achieve a true negotiation that's good for the united states with him? >> so, it is always with the deep knowledge of the history of the relationship and the north koreans' unwillingness to honor their commitment that one begins any discussion on this. eyes wide open on this. we have been fooled before and cannot permit that to happen again. having said that, the discussions i've had with them, he knows the file. he doesn't use notes. he is speaking. we have real conversations. through a translator, obviously.
we would have hard conversations about what america was prepared to do and how we might be prepared to do it. our demands, the things we need from north korea in order to achieve that. real conversations. not stilted talking points as we've had in the past with the north koreans. he is from a different generation and at a different time. it's my hope that when he and president trump get a chance to be together that we can get the north koreans to make this strategic shift about how best to serve the country, that the nuclear weapons program isn't, in fact, the thing that keeps the regime in power but the thing that prevents the regime from being in a place it wants to be with economic success. >> thank you, sir. >> we go to david cicilline of rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have four questions that require yes or no answers. will you as secretary of state do as so many other secretaries have not and recognize the genocide perpetrated by the of
the man empire against citizens in world war i. >> i can't answer that. i don't know the answer. i'll review that. >> okay. you strongly criticized the obama administration for not including issues like human rights in the nuclear agreement with iran. do you have -- to leavitt the suffering of their own people, including opening civil and human rights as part of a deal. >> the issue was raised directly between me and chairman kim. >> will it be part of the deal? do you have a commitment from the kim regime? >> we have broad outlines of what it is each country is prepared to do. >> thank you, mr. secretary. you said in response to written questions that you would appoint a new representative for lgbti at the state department. will you expeditiously appoint someone to fill that post?
>> yes. >> can you give us a timeline? >> no. just know, it is -- i have a couple of dozen posts that are of similar importance, each of which we're working through and developing lists. >> thank you. you've talked a lot about supporting freedoms in the middle east region. have you raised your concerns with the government of -- i haven't had a chance to speak to them lately on that. >> i hope that you will. next, mr. secretary, i want to build on mr. keating's question about the tze. do you believe it's appropriate for the president's business organizations to benefit from chinese government loans and financial incentives while the administration considers official matters related to the chinese government? >> i'll leave that to others to comment on. >> do you think it's appropriate? >> i'm going to leave that toutings. -- to others. >> do you have an opinion as to whether that is appropriate?
>> i think that's six levels of hypothetical that i don't know the facts -- >> mr. secretary, with due respect, it's not hypothetical. the president reversed his decision and received a financial benefit for it. if, in fact, the president doesn't divest himself of his business interests, how will you ensure that this body, the congress of the united states, that you are not engaging on matters of foreign policy and national security where the president's interest is really the bottom line in your mind rather than the interests of the american people. >> first of all, i can assure you that's not true. second, i can prove it was a hypothetical. you said the president changed his position. it's still under review. we're still working our way through it. >> how will you assure if the president's businesses remain in place, how will you assure the american people and this congress that the decisions you make on matters of foreign policy will be dictated by the best interests of the american people and not the financial benefits to the trump organization or president trump. you don't even have an opinion as to whether or not it's a good thing or a bad thing. you wouldn't even render an
opinion as to whether or not you think it's appropriate for the president's business to benefit from a government that you're negotiating with. >> i'm confident that the president will comply with the ethics rules that are in place. >> mr. secretary, that's a very disappointing answer. i'll go to my next question. in your speech with iran, you outlined 12 demands for the iranian government now that president trump has abandoned the jcpoa. while i agree with all the goals you laid out in your list, i have to say it was more like a letter to santa claus than a policy document. it's nice you have 12 things you want the iranians to do. that is far different than having the negotiating ability, the skill and the coalition to support those efforts. from what i've seen so far, this administration has none of those things. this administration has been in power for a year and a half and nothing in the jcpoa prevented the administration from cracking down on iran's malign activities in the region and they've done very little. so why will it be different now, how do you translate this very lovely wish list into actual policy?
>> may i actually answer this question. >> yes, please. >> thank you. in the almost three years at the jcpoa, the iranians marched across the middle east. they conducted high us in activities. i don't know which of the 12 asks you would like me to get rid of. do you have -- >> no, mr. secretary, i'm asking how -- your administration has been in office for 15 months. they have done nothing to hold iran accountable on any of this malign activity. what i'm asking you is how you convert this wish list, you know, is a terrific list, i agree with its contents into actual policy. how you make those things happen. >> i laid that as well it it took me about 13 minutes to lay it out at the heritage foundation. you should know we're committed to developing a diplomatic solution that gets there. >> i think the chairman would allow you to share the answer. >> okay. let's go. >> mr. tom marino of
pennsylvania. >> thank you. welcome, mr. secretary, and congratulations. >> thank you, sir. >> i'll get right to the point. is there an aggressive plan to punish china and mexico for flooding into the united states, the extremely deadly drug fentanyl? >> yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> representative from california. >> thank you. caught me a little bit off guard there. so, first off, thank you, mr. secretary, for in your opening comments you talked about how the state department workforce and its best asset. i couldn't agree more. i think it's important for all of us to recognize the incredible work that that workforce does every day representing the united states. i'm going to turn my questions to global health. i'm a physician by training. public health is something i've
done for a long time. obviously we know that there is an outbreak of ebola in the drc right now. you know, we obviously have some concerns. my concerns are whether the administration is placing the right amount of priority on global health security and preparedness. here's why i have that concern -- if we think about the 2014 ebola outbreak and the response to it and the lessons learned from that outbreak, there were a few things. part of the delayed response was lack of funding that was available to quickly respond. as a physician and global health expert, it is incredibly important to get ahead of these outbreaks very quickly to contain them. i'm grateful for the $8 million that's been allocated to help address this response, but also concerned about, you know, we spent about $5 billion -- appropriated $5 billion in that 2014 response. about $1 billion was left over
that reallocated to u.s. aid and cdc to work in 49 countries to help build better infrastructure there, better disease surveillance, et cetera. the current budget allocation or ask, the administration is talking about pulling funding from 39 of those 49 countries. i think that would be a mistake. i also know in the current recessions proposal that the administration seeks to pull back $252 million in residual ebola funding. that also would be a mistake, particularly given the outbreak that we see right now. here's why. what we know is we built in some flexibility for response, not just to ebola but to other outbreaks. you know, when we had the zika outbreak a year, year and a half ago, we were able to quickly respond, take some of that funding and respond to that zika outbreak and get ahead of it. i'd urge, you know, as you go
back and, again, that recession decision may have been made before the current ebola outbreak. i'd say, you know, let's take that out and make that same message to the appropriators. a third lesson that we learned from that ebola outbreak was the importance of having a command and control structure that could take charge, could work across agencies and, you know, you had someone who clearly was in charge. i'm very worried right now, you know, we've, you know, with kind of the dismantling of that -- the biosecurity wing of the nsc, the loss of admiral tim zimmer, who clearly was an expert here, and the loss of some of our expertise with regards to addressing these global health and security challenges. i guess my question would be, with this reorganization in the midst of a potential ebola emergency, you know, would you
agree that this is not the right time to be doing this reorganization? this would not be the right time to be pulling that $252 million, and, you know, what that org chart would look like in terms of biosecurity preparedness. >> thank you for your question. very important topic. frankly, it gets too little attention, i think, from time to time. three thoughts. first, with respect to the ebola outbreak, i believe we have the resources in the short run to do the things we need to do and to respond. frankly, it's probably never fast enough, but to respond in a way that is important and material and gets ahead of this in a way that we weren't able to do before. i think we'll execute on that. second, with respect to the recession package, i'll certainly review it. i've had conversations even in just these three weeks about that recession package. there is another as well. i've expressed my views internally inside the administration on each of those. finally, with respect to the broader structural issues, i
know what existed before. i am not familiar with where those structural decisions are today. i will have my team come up and help me to make sure that we have command and control right. not only for this immediate issue but as we move forward thinking about these global -- important global health issues as well, sir. >> well, great. mr. secretary, i'd invite you to work with us in congress, those of us that are interested in global health security, to make sure we have that right command and control structure and the right personnel in place. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> mr. paul cook of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. i think one of the previous conversations we had was i think in the scif talking about the cuban situation with our diplomats and you raised that issue today. it's like everything goes full circle. i wanted to bring up something,
and it's about the western hemisphere. you've got a lot on your plate. we've got the upcoming conference, everything in the middle east and everything else, but we had a group of us that went down to the conference in peru, and the takeaway that we had, i think all of us, it was very, very bipartisan in nature, was that our friends in the region feel like the united states has abandoned them in many, many ways. i think that's part of the reason your predecessor went down there. this is -- there's a lot of things going on in the world, but this is an important year, there are 13 elections, you've got the upcoming oas general assembly, the g7 summit, the g20, and they're all very, very nervous about a lot of things going on, particularly with the
influence of china. china's money. their economic power and how they are aligning themselves with certain countries. the second, of course, is the iranian influence. hezbollah in some of the countries. even some of the countries in the caribbean, which, quite frankly, i think are aligning themselves with the maduro government in venezuela. each one of those small countries has one vote in the oas, the same as the united states. what i'm looking for is some kind of feedback. i know you've got a lot on your plate. a lot of balls in the air. what i was trying to convey to you is there is this feeling of a lot of the countries in the western hemisphere that we as a longstanding partner have kind of overlooked, ignored our
allies, and i think it's incumbent upon us to reassure them and do something on that. can you address that comment? >> i'm not as sanguine about their views of us having abandoned them. i spent a fair amount of time there in my previous role. had a chance to meet many of the leaders in those countries. already in three weeks, i've met with a number of foreign ministers, participated in the lima group discussions. quite frankly, i found there to be a great deal of energy and shared vision of how things should proceed in central and south america alongside us. i'm very hopeful. i think there is enormous opportunity in that region and i will spend a good deal of my time trying to build a team out. we have assistant secretary now close to being on board. we will -- the state department will have western hemisphere at the top of its mind across many of these important economic and security issues. >> in line with this, foreign military sales. a number of the countries are
concerned peru is, i think they're putting in a plug for c-130 js. very, very interested. so i obviously and so i obviously have been very, very concerned in the past we have been much more involved in that, and as i said there's a lot of countries, most notably china and iran that are involved in that. what can we do to increase foreign military sales in that region? >> i for one would advocate for working closely with them and encouraging them to purchase u.s. equipment that fit their country, that was the right tool set for them, for themselves and their security interest. i nope that we can across the board streamline the state department's process connected with foreign military sales. there's work to do. >> i brought up this subject before in regards to nato. you know, eastern europe,
they're still reliant on the parts from russia. once you go with another country you are going to be dependent on that. i think we've got to look at that whole situation or once they buy they will be buying there for the next five generations or something. >> yes, sir. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you. we go to lois frankel of florida. >> thank you. welcome. >> thank you. >> so i'm going to try to be very calm about this but if i really had my way i would be yelling and screaming because -- not at you yet -- >> soon enough. >> but soon. no. here is what i'm concerned about, we've heard a lot in this committee about the undeniable link between the treatment of women and global peace and security and also women's prosperity and that link. i think a lot of us are very,
very concerned what's happening to the women of this world by policies of this administration. a slash in international family planning assistance by half, eliminating all assistance to the u.n. population fund which also combats sex trafficking and child marriage, genital mutilation, leaving the ambassador at large for global women's issues vacant, reinstating and expanding the inhumane global gag rule that forces healthcare providers to cut services for women and which really causes an increase in maternal deaths and unwanted pregnancies. i am not talking about funding abortion. all right? we could have that argument on a separate day. just -- i'm sure you probably know this, but contraception -- abortion is not contraception and i just want to give you an
example of what's going on in your department. there were reports every year, i believe it is, 200 countries on human rights, reports are put out. there is a section on women. last year for every country there was a section women, there was a section on rape and domestic violence and then there was one sexual harassment and discrimination and reproductive rights. the new report has completely eliminated reproductive rights and substituted -- it's almost insane. i will just give you an example. so i will give you an example. last year's report for el salvador said that women were being imprisoned for miscarriages. that's an example. said ugandan men were beating
their wives for using contraception and in the philippines poor women were being denied family planning services. now basically there is a substitute for this basically that just -- it just -- it's almost ridiculous what it says now. so really my first question to you is -- i don't know whether you are aware of this, whether you will look into this. why don't we start with that. >> i'm not as familiar with the report as you are. it may have been issued on my watch, i would guess it was before that, but i'm happy to look into the issues. >> how about the ambassador position for global -- >> you mean the global women's issues? >> yes. >> yes, ma'am. it's on my list. >> how about --
>> i agree it's important, with he need to find the right person. i think the issues are incredibly important. >> all right. the global gag rule has been expanded to not -- again, this is not -- we are not talking about the federal funding of abortions. it's been so expanded now that healthcare money is getting cut off from agencies that even might refer or mention services that will perform abortions. so basically contraceptive services, i'm not talking abortion -- concept testify services are being cut off. my question to you is this: whether or not you are -- will take a look and see how this is impacting the women's health all over this world. >> i'm always about data and facts. >> you are about -- okay. well, here is what i would like
you to be about, please. please stop with this -- we have from this administration what i call abortion hysteria. because of this hysteria you're can you get off healthcare to women all over the world. so if i could just ask you to, you know, calm down from this hysteria and really take a look at the health of what's happening to women and to remember that women's rights are humans rights and it is absolutely tied into the peace and security and prosperity of the world. >> that's an easy one. i'm fully committed to that. this administration has demonstrated enormous commitment to the health of every woman. >> well, no, that's not true, but thank you for being here. >> we go to scott perry of pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, welcome. congratulations. thank you for your service on
multiple levels. i'm confident in your judgment. begin with an observation. i want to commend my friends on the other side for their concern about totalitarian communist socialist russian/chinese involvement, malign involvement in actions in our country. the bowl she have vic revolution was in 1917 and i think it's been fair to say they have been silent on this issue and a strong case could be that they helped the other side in this issue. for 99 of the last 100 i wish they would have been where they are now but i'm glad to see they finally got in the fight and i'm with them in their concern. mr. secretary, a couple questions. let's start with ukraine. is air defense artillery something that you're considering, that the administration is considering regarding our actions towards russia and is ththwarting their
activities which they deny, but with air defense artillery present it would be hard to deny that russian separatists were flying over ukraine if one of their aircraft landed on the grow under. >> is your question about what the russians have moved into -- >> no, my question is whether we're considering either selling or providing air defense artillery in ukraine. >> this administration is dedicated to providing weapons systems to ukraine. i don't know with respect to any particular weapons systems whether it's under consideration or not. >> that includes the conversation that you had with my colleague, mr. rohrabacher, regarding the kurds and turkey, i love the turkish people, however, i find no favor with the erdogan regime and i think it's a matter of if not a matter of when -- it's just -- it's a matter of when not if we have to change our strategy there and if that's a conversation that
you're going to have in private or otherwise i'd like to be involved in that conversation regarding the kurds and turkey, air defense in ukraine. i read the state department classification regarding unra and the ig report regarding the supply and content of textbooks and i'm unsure why it's classified. if you can't divulge that in this setting i'm happy to sit in another setting with you but i'm interested to know if that's going to change. i've read the report. >> i don't know the answer. i'm happy to dee class into i it if it's appropriate. >> in boss knee he a i'm concerned there is an october election and there is a problem with the constitution, the accords were never supposed to last 20 years. they have. i'm concerned that we are not headed in the right place and i want to get your thoughts if we're going to wait and see what happens or if we're going to take preemptive action. i would hate to see that thing
burn down and end up with the united states having troops on the ground to try to secure the peace and also interested in pursuing putting some forces there again to is ththwart russd if that's a consideration. >> let me start first with bosnia, we're working on the very issue you've described. i can't say a lot about it, but know that the state department, others, department of defense are there. we understand the risk, we think the region is very important, we know -- and this transitions to your second part of the question which is we know the russians are hard at work there destaibl liesing -- >> as are the turks. >> yes. so there are a handful although admittedly not sufficiently sized levers currently being employed and we are working to develop a strategy that puts us in a better place. there are important parts of the bulwark of democracy that we need to continue to work. >> i'd like to pursue that further. mr. secretary, this is a picture i'm sure you are well aware of an m-1 tank manufactured right
here in the united states paid for by the citizens of the united states with their taxes. that is a hezbollah flag on it. i am concerned and have written letters regarding the train and equip program in iraq and the shia crescent and land bridge they're building across iraq with the militias there. many of the iranian people want freedom, they want peace and they don't agree with the regime that they're working -- living under, but i offered amendments in the ndaa to stop the funding and the train and equip program, one was found in favor, one was not. so we leave it up to you. i want to make sure that you are aware that this is happening, including militias like hezbollah, listed as a terrorist organization for killing american soldiers and if the congress is unwilling to stop it, i hope you will be willing to stop the funding and the train and equip program in iraq and funding the iranian militias that are willing to kill americans and jews and everybody across the crescent that
disagrees with them. >> i will say this, it is the case that when we perform train and equip functions from time to time the equipment ends up in the hands of the wrong people. the request he is is the value we're getting from the training, those exercises outweigh the risk that that happens. you should know that the u.s. government works diligently to put rules and processes in place to make that picture or pictures like that as infrequent as possible. >> i don't think the iraqis are complying. >> joaquin castro of texas. >> thank you, chairman. is the north korea summit going to happen or not? >> sir, that decision will ultimately be up to chairman kim. >> so the president -- >> he asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him. i'm very hopeful that that meeting will take place. >> you've been to north korea twice and met with north korean leaders to lay the groundwork for a nuclear agreement with kim jong-un. how do you define the
denuclearization of the korean peninsula? >> well, we've said complete. >> what does that mean? >> so there are multiple components of their system that threatens america. this would include their weapons capability, their missile capability, the technology that goes with that so engines and systems associated with space launch vehicles in addition to the missile programs and then everything that is upstream from that including the production of thistle material, the technology that permits the capacity to produce that material and all of the engineering and r & d connected to that. >> will you leave them with a civilian nuclear program? >> we've said that it won't be appropriate for them to have the capacity to enrich. we have not -- i will say it this way, i can't answer that question. i'm not in a position that i can answer that question for you today.
>> how will you move out the nuclear material? >> well, there will be long hard discussions about how the verification of that work will go. it is one of the most difficult verification programs that will ever have been undertaken. we have large teams already at work preparing in the eventuality that we are successful in negotiations so that we can achieve that. it's a long hard process, it won't be just american, there will be other partners that will participate in it as well. >> you suspect that would include russia? >> i don't know if it will include the russians or not. it certainly will include the iae and others that have tremendous capacity and expertise in this area. >> one of the things that has hurt this administration is that on any controversial issue of foreign policy and domestic policy often but on foreign policy you often get two or three or four different answers depending on who you're speaking to in the administration.
that was certainly true when your predecessor rex tillerson was secretary of state. so let me ask you, who is in charge of these negotiations, is it you or mr. bolton. >> president trump. >> and who is going to lead up the team. >> i will. >> how many members are on the team and who is on the team? >> i'm not going to go into the details of how the team is being built out. there are lots of teams at work across all of the united states government, several within the state department, a number in the department of energy, department of defense, there are many folks, folks at the national security council, there are large teams working not only on -- i think your question was with respect to the negotiation, but there are lots of teams preparing for every element of our work on north korea. the existing pressure campaign which continues. there is a lot of focus on this
summit. >> i appreciate that. >> there is a lot of work to do. >> let me ask you i talked about getting different answers on very controversial and important inconsequential issues. we saw a prime example of that the other day in the middle of the press conference when mr. bolton talked about the libya model which general mattis talked about before and president trump corrected him live on camera. which approach do you take, are you pursuing the libya model that mr. bolton has mentioned or do you think that's not appropriate as mr. trump has indicated. >> i don't think there is the distinction that you draw. the model that we have laid forth is a rapid denuclearization total and complete that won't be extended over time. when ambassador bolton was speaking about this, although obviously you would be better to ask him, what i think he was speaking of was a comprehensive denuclearization that didn't take place in exchange -- in exchanges that worked along the way, slow, years long process
where in exchange for act x the united states sends a check across -- >> did that include -- >> he is saying that is not our model. >> does it include helping to remove him two or three or four years later? >> we are focused on denuclearization. the president has made clear that we are prepared to provide security assurances in exchange. if we can get america's interest safe and secure we are prepared to do a great deal to ensure that we get that. >> thank you. i yield back. >> we go to mr. dee santos of florida. >> thanks, mr. chairman. we had a great embassy dedication last week in jerusalem, long overdue, very successful. the fact that we are recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital will you allow individuals born in jerusalem to have israel listed on their passports? >> i don't know the answer of that. with respect to important but technical issues about how that will manifest itself, the team
is going to give me their expertise and i will present those options to the president shortly. >> there was strong opposition within the rank and file of the state department for the move to jerusalem and i traveled last year to look at embassy sites pretty much everyone i talked to said it would be a total disaster and that really hasn't happened. is there an issue with group think in the state department kind of at the career level that they are in more of one mind or do you have confidence that they are all on board to implement the president's agenda? >> i think every team -- i have team i've been part of in the private sector every team suffers the risk that the status quo is the path forward. and i view things like -- and i saw it in cia, too, i'm sure i suffered as well. so when leaders make bold changes i think teams sometimes lag in their understandings. my observation so far in three weeks at the state department you have a team that very much wants to get out and execute
america's foreign policy as directed by president trump. >> in terms of what's going on in venezuela, there is a pretty significant cuban presence of military intelligence. is that your estimation? >> i'm sorry, could you repeat the request he. >> in venezuela propping up the maduro regime is part of that the cuban military and intelligence apparatus? >> in this setting i can say there are a great deal of cuban influence that is working alongside the maduro regime. >> and it's not helpful to what america wants. >> it runs directly adverse to u.s. interests. >> the president before you were secretary announced a really strong reevaluation of the obama cuba policy, no the all of that has been implemented. when is all of that going to finally be implemented. >> may i take that for the record? i don't know the process or the timing, but i will get the answer to you. >> great. in terms of iran i think that your speech was great the other day and i think the president's decision was the right one.
how do we go about -- i mean, the iran deal gave them a cash wind windfall, i guess we will be moving to impose new sanctions. will there be other things that haven't been enacted in the law that you want congress to do. seems to me order a has to be choking off the money flow to this regime. >> so congress has granted the executive branch a great deal of power to execute these sanctions already. having said that i am confident that we will come back to you seeking further authority to expand the scope of what it is we're permitted to do. it also goes beyond just the economic sanctions, there are designati designations, issues with respect to visas, broad set of undertaking that other elements of government can take to achieve what the president laid out which is to deny iran the wealth creation authorities that have permitted them to threaten the two recalled. >> the iranian people obviously are not happy with this regime.
this is a militant islamic regime that's been imposed on a relatively pro western populous, educated middle class. we see the protests. the president has spoken out i think correctly. what can we do to help because it seems like the regime cracked down on the social networks, they don't want there to be a free flow of information but i think it's certainly in our interest to empower people who view this regime as illegitimate and not representative of their ideals. >> long been u.s. deeply held position that we will do the things we can to ensure that people's all around the world have their human rights, political rights, capacity to express themselves -- we shouldn't shy away from that with respect to iran, either. there are a number of tools we can use, some of which i'm now responsible for their implementation, others exist other places in government. we should bring them all to bear to allow the iranian people to be governed by the leaders that they choose. >> final question with respect
to north korea and congratulations on being able to be over there. i think you have a chance to make history and there is no better guy to be in your position than you in my judgment to get this done. but there has been this issue about the libya model or not libya model and i think as i read it, 2003 was actually a good model because gaddafi got scared, he realized that the nukes were making his regimes less stable not more, released his program up to that point. then you have the 2011 obama model which is after he agreed to give up his weapons they then attacked. can you just say how does libya -- what's the model in a kim jong-un is going to look at and say, hey, how is america going to react if i do a deal with them? >> i should study the libya case more closely perhaps. i can tell you with a it is that president trump has directed me to do with respect to how we're going to proceed against north korea. we are not going to do trade for trade, we're not going to let this drag out, we are not going to provide economic relief until
such time as we have an irreversible set of actions, not words, commitments under taken by the north korean refresh shem. when we get there we are prepared to do a great deal to help the north korean people. >> robin kelly of illinois. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, secretary pompeo for coming to testify before the house foreign affairs committee. i am the ranking member of ogr's information technology subcommittee and we are currently having a hearing on the federal information technology acquisition reform act score card. the state department has a d minus and in 2017 the department of state scored the lowest on the education security modernization act. >> i did know that. >> i guess you don't want to keep that score. >> i aim for at least a c quick. >> the 2016 and 2017 inn ebt inspector general reports found that the primary reason the department is not implemented an effective information security program is because the chief
information officer does not have sufficient authority to manage i.t. activities as provided in the law and is not properly positioned within the department to ensure that the department's information security program is effective. you know president trump his recent executive order requiring cio report directly to the head of the agency. do you plan to follow this order and restructure the cio position in the near future. >> in three weeks i have spent a lot of time -- >> congressman nettels is interested in this, too, because we did this together. >> i saw this in my previous role as well where the agency that i ran there was in probably a little better position than the state department is but had a great deal of work to do as well. we expended a fair amount of resources but most importantly we made real progress in improving the systems there. it is integral that we do it here. there are security issues surrounding it, efficiency issues surrounding it, there is
data management. it is a broad system and as best i can tell that d is justified or the d minus is justified and i will empower our cio. not only the cio, the undersecretary for management and everyone connected to that and you don't fix these processes and systems without an organization-wide commitment, no one person or one team can do it. i will be focused on this and i understand we have a great deal of resources to attack the problem but i assure you if i don't have the resources i need i will lay out a plan and come back and ensure that we make the case to you that we have the resource that is we need. >> foreign affairs always talks about being bipartisan but our subcommittee is very bipartisan led by chairman heard and we want to know what we could do to help you implement what you want to do. >> there's much work to be done but it's important work. >> the state department has very few women and people of color in senior level positions, a problem that was exacerbated by your predecessor. during your confirmation hearing
you spoke about the importance of diversity at the state department, apparently there are no minorities in senior positions at the state department. how will you make sure senior level officials at the state department better represent the diversity of the united states? >> i did talk about this during my confirmation hearing, this has been something i've cared about all my life. we had some success during my tenure at cia with some success when i was running aerospace back in wichita, kansas, to make sure we had the most talented people regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race. i am confident we can do that at the state department as well. i've asked about the statistics and history at the state department. i think i have them but i have not had a chance to review them yet. but know that i will empower the organization and indeed demand that it treat every single human being with the dignity and respect that they deserve and that we have a workforce that truly does represent america.
it's important for diplomatic reasons as well as just being the right thing to do. >> thank you. i yield back. >> we go now to ted yoho of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary pompeo, congratulations, thanks for being here. as you know the world is being through a at the time tonic shift in world powers and the state department, our united states government needs to tools to effectively counter and balance some of these rising powers, ie china. we can't compete with them dollar for dollar and i greatly appreciate your written testimony regarding the build act. as you know the white house endorsed the measure and press release and encouraged that congress consider a few changes to strengthen institutional linkages between the new development finance corporation and usaid and the revised funding structure to protect taxpayers from risk. this committee worked with the national security council, omb to adopt the white house's proposed changes in the bill that was ultimately reported from this committee earlier this
month. i'd like to dive down a little bit more into it and ask you your opinion of the amended hfac build act and in your view if that more fully aligns with the administration's goals. >> it does. i don't know the details of it. i think this is a very important piece of legislation, i think there's real opportunity for the united states if we get this right and i'm happy to work with you or others on both sides of the aisle to get to the right place here. >> i look forward to doing that because that's a tool that we need. we met with somebody over at the pentagon and they said how this tool is so critically needed today to counter some of these other foreign powers that are rising. >> if i may, i actually think we can counter china dollar for dollar. it won't be taxpayer dollars, but america has been great not because of the resources we've spent from the federal fisc but other reasons. i think this bill hits that perfectly. >> i think so and we are excited about that.
so i'm glad to hear that because that was my next question to ask you. let me ask you something else, earlier in this congress the house passed chairman royce's cyber security act. this bill would establish an ambassador for cyber issues reporting to the undersecretary for political affairs to ensure that the office covers the full range of issues in cyberspace. former secretary tillerson presented a plan to this committee to create a cyber bureau. do you plan to implement this propos proposal? >> i don't know. i'm looking at it. i'm aware of that that proposal. there were several dozen proposals pending when i arrived. i will take a look at it. i don't know the answer to that. >> okay. any information that we can provide you, i know they will be happy to do that. my second question was dependent on that one. moving to north korea, the president is scheduled to meet with kim jong-un in just under three weeks. this committee has led efforts to sanction the kim regime passing both hr 757 and the
countering american adversaries through sanctions act. these bills have paved the way for the administration policy for maximum pressure. how much more can be applied and needs to be done through the use of secondary sanctions? i'd like to hear your opinion. do you think we've done enough with the other countries that are still dealing with north korea as far as funneling money through their bank accounts? >> that's an excellent question. we actually made really good progress along multiple dimensions getting the entire world to participate in this effort. >> sure have. >> it was well done. not me, others did this good work, but the world came alongside and has to come along side. frankly our focus today is to make sure that that doesn't change. there is a tendency, a historic tendency, when there are discussions taking place and it looks like there is an opportunity for there to be a shift for folks to back away from that to make decisions to
begin, for example, to rehire north koreans that would remit money. we are spending an awful lot of energy working with those countries to remind them this is an important meeting but there is a long way left to go and the sanctions that are in place today need to remain. there are still work to do, gaps in those sanctions, there are still financial agents, north korean financial agents distributed throughout the world that we haven't gotten to yet. know that the treasury department informed by the intelligence community working alongside state department is working to identify those as well. >> and that's great to hear. like the build act we see that as a tool that we have for the -- an administration to direct foreign policy. what we've done through this committee and i chair the asia-pacific subcommittee is to call out the treasury department why certain entities haven't been sanctioned. one of the ones we are looking at or two is the agricultural bank of china and the industrial
china bank. i hope you will continue pressure on these larger entities because no bank or entities is too large not to sanction to keep that maximum pressure campaign. i'm out of time. i look forward to working with you. >> thank you. >> we go to brandon boyle of pennsylvania. >> thank you. mr. secretary, i want to ask, actually about two areas that ng i don't you've been asked for the entirety of this hearing. the first is with respect to syria and the $200 million of the stabilization program. i am actually the co-founder and the co-chair of the house free syria caucus along with my colleague adam kinzinger. we have both worked a great deal on this issue given its importance, so i was quite surprised, shocked, when the announcement was made that these funds were suddenly put on hold. i just want to describe a few things that our $200 million go toward. these are funds to ensure that
the white helmet first responders can rush to the scene of an air strike to save lives and as an aside having had a couple opportunities to meet with the white helmets they are remarkable people, people who risk their lives to rush in to an area that has been bombed by the regime, even knowing the regime will then bomb them while they are trying to rush in and save lives. these are funds for the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes committed in syria, since march 2011, otherwise known as 111-m. the u.n. mechanism for accountability for war crimes in syria. funds for digital security for those willing to stand up to assad's war machine. a project to counter violent terrorism and a basic recovery for those in territory formally controlled not by the assad regime but by isis. so these funds do good work and are important in terms of u.s.
interest, so why was this funding suddenly put on hold and what can be done to have that hold lifted? >> thanks for the question. so that funding the entire $200 million of that funding is under review. i understand that there is a decision pending. i don't know what that decision will be and i don't want to talk about the internal discussions that we had. i've met the white helmets, too, i know the remarkable -- i know the remarkable people that they are as well. so we will have a decision shortly. i will say this, we have also been hard at work at getting other countries to provide support as well. this is a region surrounded by a number of wealthy countries, each of which has a direct interest in the same way that we do in making sure that once isis is completely removed from the battlefield at least as an organization capable of holding real estate that they don't come
back, that we don't allow that real estate to be retaken. >> since i only have a couple minutes left let me switch to a topic that hasn't come up this entire hearing and i think gets too little attention here on capitol hill and that's brexit. one of the great achievements of american foreign policy was the good friday agreement. there is concern here on capitol hill, bipartisan concern, as well as concern in ireland, in the uk and in the rest of europe that the -- one of the unintended consequences of brexit might be the ripping up of the good friday agreement. given the severity of the situation 32 members of the house of representatives, again, both democrats and republicans sent a letter to you requesting that a special envoy be appointed to northern ireland, the position that george mitchell held, and that a few others have had subsequently. will you appoint or will the president appoint a special
envoy to northern ireland? >> i don't know. i haven't considered it. i'm happy to review your letter. >> you haven't considered the issue yet? >> i haven't considered whether we should appoint a special envoy or not. >> that is very concerning. as i mentioned, 32 members of congress have written on this issue. i believe we previously have been given positive indications that it was under consideration. the fact that actually this issue hasn't been considered by the leadership of the secretary of state i would urge you to please consider it and to do so promptly as the negotiations right now are at a tenuous point. >> i'm happy to do that. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. we go to adam kinzinger of illinois. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. a lot has changed for both of us since we sat next to each other on the energy and commerce committee, you went to ran the cia and are secretary of state and i grew a beard. i want to say a couple quick
things. i think it's important to note the good work columbia has done in the venezuelan crisis in terms of housing 700,000 people who have crossed their border, 23,000 children in part of this crisis. just a couple points before i get into my questions. first off, there is a lot of discussion about russia and about the libyan model. firstly on russia i think it's important to note that this administration and i think through your continued leadership will continue to see it's been one of the most aggressive administrations against russia as we've seen in modern times. pushing back to them in eastern europe and ukraine and everywhere else. that's important to know. we don't have to talk about everything that's being done all the time in order to say this has been the most effective administration for pushing back against that, not to mention energy development, et cetera. on the libyan model, people are bringing that up a lot and i get it. we all know the point when it was mentioned the libya model, the point was get rid of all your nukes.
to push that into when gaddafi was stabbed in the back of a pickup truck is not appropriate. you attack your people they're going to rise up and take you out. it has to do with the denuclearization of libya, i think that's important to note. i do want to ask you as my colleague had started to talk a little bit about syria, i believe that with the existence of assad and that oppressive regime it creates a caldron for the recruiting of isis or the next generation of isis or the next al qaeda. i think staying engaged in syria is essential to preventing that from happening in future generations. what would be a successful outcome militarily and politically in syria? i know it's a difficult question because it is a difficult conflict. >> it is difficult especially to do in a short time. our mission statement is pretty clear, at least the near term mission statement is pretty clear. it's to continue -- from the state department's perspective -- to continue to support secretary of defense's efforts to defeat isis, to
provide the diplomatic space for them to achieve that so they don't have threats around them. second, to work to deescalate the violence so that we can set some conditions for returnees. there have been a handful. we hope to be able to set conditions where we can achieve that in syria, although there is an awful lot of work left to do. i can walk pocket by pocket in the north, i will meet with my turkish counterpart next week with the expectation we will walk out of there with a man for how we don't have two nato partners at each other in that space. in the southwest we see what happens when iran continues to advance. the israelis are going to do what they need to do to defend themselves. there is an important diplomatic role there for us as well, to work with the handful of willing partners we have in syria to create the conditions to first take down the level of violence so that the syrian people have a chance. i will concede it is aspirational, it seems difficult to see today, but have a chance
to create conditions for themselves which aren't the desperate ones in which they've been living for these past too many years. >> thank you. i know it's an issue you're passionate about. i want to echo what mr. boyle said about the $200 million in aid. you answered that question so i won't hammer on that but i'm very concerned what i've seen including the freezing of $300,000 for the trim im which is investigating war crimes. i think we have an obligation as a country to prosecute and push back against war crimes and so i would hope that part of that review of that money is released. i do want to shift briefly to the issue of russia. you served -- you obviously understand energy issues as well as foreign policy issues. can you talk about the nexus between our ability to push back russian influence in urine and the development of european energy, exports and how that plays together and what we can do to strengthen our hand there. >> this slightly simplifies it but to the extent the europeans
are dependent or reliant upon russian energy it makes their freedom of movement in pushing back against russia more limited. it's a little more complex than that, but it is a true statement at its core. we have the opportunity, the real opportunity, to decouple them from russia across many dimensions coming out of the caucus, lots of different part that can deliver this energy, america ought to be part of that. we should continue to push the nordstrom 2 to be ended, we should not increase the dependence that europe has on russian energy. if we can achieve those things we will put europe on a much more sound footing. if there is a day where there is a crisis, where there is a real challenge and russia decides to use that tool to advance its interests that there are substitutes or capacity, that power, that leverage that the russians want to have won't exist. >> thank you for your time.
>> norma torres of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman and secretary pompeo welcome to foreign affairs. i wish you the best of luck in everything that you do. as a true american i hope that you will represent all of our interests here at home and abroad. i want to talk to you a little bit about central america. i know that you've been very, very busy working on issues with north korea, in the middle east and all of that is extremely important. i hope that you don't lose focus of what is happening in our backyard. i worked with secretary tillerson's folks, they had been very supportive of u.s. policy in central america. i'm very concerned about what is happening with legislators there in guatemala specifically. are you aware that some very
corrupt officials and criminals are working to undermine the efforts of local prosecutors and judges who are fighting against corruption in central america? >> yes, and i know that the team is engaged to work to take down the level of corruption there and to really frankly to enable the guatemalans to do so themselves. there has been some progress there. >> we want to continue and build on that. >> much work remains. >> thank you. and thank you for, you know, being committed to working to continue to improve the lives of the people in that region so they can stay in that region and we can continue to reduce the number of young people that are fleeing north to our southern border. when we become lenient as we've seen with honduras, they were certified -- that country was
certified in the midst of a terrible election. it was a head in the sand time, i think, for us to do that and it was a slap in the face to the people of honduras that are face ago dictator. so dictators exist in our own hemisphere, please don't forget that. i want to help you to the extent i can. every time you come to this committee i will focus on this issue i promise you. i'm very concerned from my constituents' perspective on what is happening at the white house and who is advising the president on issues, foreign affairs issues. how do you deal with advising the president and his ongoing support of fox news and getting
advice from the tv channels or newscasters? >> so i've had many, many opportunities to provide the president with intelligence, i did so most days in my previous role. i found him to take on board the professional work that the team that i represented then had done, they were lively conversations, they were often lengthy conversations, he took seriously the information that we presented and i often saw him use that information to make decisive actions to be actionable. he based decisions on that. >> are his financial advisers present during these meetings? >> i'm sorry, i didn't hear the first part. >> are his financial advisers present during these meetings? >> ma'am, the folks who were present most days would have been -- >> don jr. -- >> the national security adviser, myself, professional
cia officer, the director of national intelligence, often the vice president, the president himself and i think that's it. >> don jr. and eric? >> i don't believe i ever saw either one of them at either of those -- at any of those meetings nor in meetings that i've had as the secretary. >> senator rubio made a comment earlier saying that some in the administration are short sighted over zte. i'm concerned about that decision and how that -- how the president came to care more about chinese workers than the workers at a fontana steel mill in my district and the impact they would have should there be job losses with the trade war with china. i'm can he concerned at how he came to that conclusion overnight. >> i don't believe that's an accurate statement about the decision the president made. he is incredibly concerned about american workers.
one of the reasons he has taken the approach he has with respect to china is nonreciprocal trade arrangements, i'm being very polite there, these are unfair set of rules that have harmed american workers for a long time and he is determined to change the conditions so we will have more jobs in america. he is the first president in a long time to take on that challenge with respect to china. >> thank you for your time. >> ann wagner of missouri. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for organizing this hearing and secretary pompeo thank you for your time this morning and congratulations to you and your family on your appointment. we're grateful for your service and excited to see the vitality and die namism you are going to bring to the state department as a former u.s. ambassador and for four years deeply involved with the state. last week a bill that i sponsored, the elie wisel genocide and atrocity protection
act was passed unanimously out of this committee. among other things the legislation highlights the importance of mechanisms like the complex crises fund or ccf which supports flexible efficient responses to unforeseen crises overseas. i firmly believe that genocide prevention is possible and necessary. but we need to make wise investments in prevention that will save lives and taxpayer dollars over the long run. the ccf is one of those investments. the institute for economics and peace estimates that every dollar invested now in conflict prevention is $16 saved. ccf funds were recently deployed in central africa republic, burundi and jordan. can you explain how this money was used to mitigate atrocities and prevention -- and prevent
further violence? >> i don't know the details of that particular deployment of that capital, but it is the case. i have the great joy now of being the leader of the organization that gets to do the diplomacy, that gets to do this good work, that can do conflict prevention and there are many places where we can use those resources to do just that and to save the american taxpayer money in so doing. i look forward to working alongside you. i'm not familiar with the piece of legislation you described, either, but it's intent seems incredibly important and noble. if we can achieve that, frankly, anyplace we achieve that we will have done a good thing for america and for the world. >> i think so, too. while the white house fy '19 budget recognized the need for these kinds of rapid response capabilities related to prevention, it didn't request funding for ccf. how does the state department plan to rapidly mobilize resources to prevent genocide
and mass atrocities. >> so if i understand the history there right, i've only had one admittedly short conversation about this. there are resources that are available that are, if you will, on stand by that is that can be accessed with relative speed to deploy in the event that we see these sh use emerging, to see the risk of genocide emerging. it is often the case it's not a resource issue but a political will issue or understanding of the severity of the issue, we the united states ended up behind the curve, we reacted too slow to make decisions and not the absence of having resources to do so. i think the most important thing we can do is make sure that we have seems in place that send the flag up, that identify these challenges and so that we quickly develop a decision-making process that can put our team on the field to address them before the conflict gets in a place where there's not much we can do. >> ngo's have found that
competitively small investments in community identification and response to threats have had great return. how did the state department plan to deepen its investment in community led peacekeeping and peace building approaches? >> i don't know the answer to that other than to say that my experience has been the most effective peacekeeping missions have been driven by folks on the ground, by local communities, ngo's where we've provided some assistance, financial and sometimes technological, management and leadership, but almost always bottoms up as opposed to top down and i think that's what you're describing as well. >> it is. and to me prevention is the key here and we have seen so many of these atrocities and the genocide occurring in many
places in our -- in ra rohingya and in syria. they have cut off aid to international observers and workers. how are you working with some of the violence against rohingya muslims. >> it's not just the state department, there are others, wog as well. it's going to take a big team effort. this is an enormous challenge. my predecessor worked on this diligently. so has ambassador haley. >> yes. >> we all identified the challenge and are working to try to find the tools. >> i look forward to working with you. >> brad schneider of illinois. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for joining us here today. i appreciate your offer for coffee and i look forward to having that opportunity. >> not the best skoecoffee, buts coffee. >> i'm not a critic. i would like to focus my limited
time i have on iran's malign activities in the middle east and russia's interference in the u.s. election. earlier when talking about syria you had a list of four priorities. last among those four was in the southwestern iran's advance. in in the past year iran's advance has solidified into substantial bases and troops. i'm extremely concerned about their continuing and presence in syria and disturbed by the administration's lack of a strategy to ensure they are not able to maintain a permanent foot hood in the country. iran is intent on building a permanent presence inside syria. i previously wrote secretary tillerson about my concerns and have yet to receive an adequate response. what specifically is the administration doing to counter iran's influence in syria. in particular what are we doing to thwart iran's effort to establish permanent bases and their development of indigenous
missile making capability not just in syria but lebanon. how specifically is the administration supporting israel our greatest ally in the middle east and how are we pushing back on iran's activity on israel's northern border? i have a long list of questions, i suspect i will have to take your answers back in writing. i also remain concerned about iran's maligned behavior beyond syria. in particular it's continued support for hezbollah. their support has grown beyond weapons transfers to helping build missile facilities in it lebanon. this would be a gram changer for hezbollah and for israel and represents a very significant existential threat to israel. hezbollah has also recently achieved significant electoral success in the elections earlier this month. how is the administration track cracking down on iran's support for hezbollah, what is the administration doing to stop the flow of irnians arms to hezbollah and to develop this
indigenous missile production chain. i'm also concerned by the lack of a clear plan and the president's subsequent decision to withdraw the united states from the jcpoa. while i opened it when i was announced due to the inherent risk, gaps and flaws in the agreement, including sun sets to limit the enrichment programs, however, once in place this agreement pushed iran to more than a full year away from a nuclear weapon and created a window of opportunity for the united states and our allies to craft a comprehensive strategy for the long-term. iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, now not, not ever. i fear that by walking away from the jcpoa this way the administration has made it morale lengthing to ensure that iran never gets a nuclear weapon. earlier this week you spoke about the administration's new iran strategy and that we will work with allies to counter iran's destabilizing activities to address their missile program
and proliferation and that quote we will also ensure iran has no path to a nuclear weapon, end quote. can you please elaborate on how exactly the administration will address iran's maligned behavior, missile proliferation and nuclear program. how this different than actions from previous administrations? how do the action we are taking different? how will we measure things differently, measure their compliance but also our progress towards the go he will that iran never gets a nuclear weapon and what is your plan if iran rejects the demands you laid out in your speech on monday. every week we seem to learn more about the sophisticated methods by russia to spread disinformation in our elections. they are unanimoion -- you stat earlier this year that russian activity and intentions have an impact on the next election cycle here. what are we doing to make sure russia cannot take action, what
actions are we taking specifically, what actions re main to be taken? the state department's global engagement center was created in 2016 to lead the u.s. effort to counter propaganda and disinformation from foreign actors. we haven't spent any of the money necessary or allocated since 2016 to counter their efforts and i hope we will continue to invest in the gec. we didn't spend this money because the department failed to act on its transfer authority and i -- and wasn't able to hire during the firing freeze. i hope we will take care of this. i'd like to hear from you how are you going to fix these problems for the gec, will have sufficient funding and staff to stand up to and encounter the malicious efforts by russia and that they can lead the interagency process to counter propaganda from foreign states. finally let me thank you for your pledge to support the appointment of a special envoy to combat anti-semitism. >> the gentleman's time has expired. we can do that a en in writing if it's all right, mr.
secretary. we go down to mr. john curtis of utah. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. ranking member. mr. secretary, i'm new here and haven't had a chance like my colleagues to get to know you, but they all speak very highly of you and you -- >> not all of them. >> many of them speak highly of you. as you know for almost two years utahen josh holt has been detained in a venezuelan prison without trial on superfluous charges. it's my understanding that senator hatch has worked hard with you and other members of the delegation, congresswoman mia love to bring him home with his wife tammy with a heightened political turmoil in venezuela i have received letters and phone calls, continue to from constituents, just last week we saw reports of a video of josh who -- on facebook who feared for his life with the riots in the prison. like so many utahens i'm
concerned about his safety and hoping that the u.s. state department is doing all they can to bring him home. mr. secretary, can you give me any update on his condition or any efforts under way to bring him home? >> unfortunately i can't give you an update on his condition. we were following closely the riots that surrounded the place that he is being unlawfully detained. i have spoken to many in your delegation and yourself, senator hatch, i have communicated with representative love as well. our team is very focused on getting his return. unfortunately we are going to have two of our seniors kicked out, so our capacity to reach them on the ground will actually be diminished. i'm very worried about that. know that the plight of mr. holt is on our minds and we are doing the things we can with the tools we can to encourage the regime to at least in this one instance do something right and send this fellow back. >> thank you.
on behalf of utahens and his family i thank you for keeping it top of mind and doing all within your power. last monday you gave a bold speech and talked about pulling out of the your power. last monday you gave a bold speech and talked about pulling out of the joint plan of action, iran nuclear deal. you insisted that iran end you will of its nuclear enrichment and closed the reactors. you promised them if they didn't they would seat strongest sanctions in history. recently i had a chance to follow in that region, as a matter of fact i followed you through a number of countries by a new days. and without exception there is great concern in the region. and interestingly, i heard different opinions about staying in the deal, pulling out of the deal. but what's unanimous and not contested is that the deal would lead to iran having nuclear weapons maybe sooner rather than later, but eventually having nuclear weapons.
that was unanimous among all the countries i visited which as you know is totally unacceptable. in addition to the sanctions, what else can we do and what else can i tell the utahans to expect to move us towards a situation where we wouldn't have nuclear weapons there? >> so there are many tools in addition to the economic sanctions, there are des i go a designations of leaders to move around the world. our efforts in syria are designed certainly to protect our friends, israel, jordanians and others, about you to the extent we are successful in the counter isis campaign, we also contain the space in which iran can move with great freedoms. and for the first time in a long time begin to call out iran for what they are really doing there, which is not fighting terrorism but working to expand their power. iran moves in lots of parts of the world. we are aiming to build a global
effort, much like we were successful doing against north korea, to call out iranians. so if there are iranians working in countries, we are going to work to convince folks they should not do the wealth which has been used in the ways iranian people want used. >> i agree. we hardly visited a country where you couldn't see iranian presence in some way impact the country. ple let me quickly return to north korea. we have these talks coming up. seems the expectations has been elevated to anything world peace. what would you have me take back to utahans about reasonable expectations? >> just a really quick answer, please. >> at its core this problem gets solved when these two leaders both agree that the solution we are aiming for, complete
denuclearization of north korea in exchange for fundamental assurances for the north korean regime. if we can get the two to agree that's the end state we are working towards, we will have a good day. >> thank you. i yield my time. >> tom swascy of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you so much. you have an enormous portfolio. who would you consider to be your main point person on afghanistan and pakistan? >> we have a number of people. we have miss wells working on it, ambassador in kabul, in islam bad, ambassador hail, each of whom is working on implementing, at least for the state department, working on delivering against the present self central asia strategy. >> i've had the great honor of serving on the armed services committee, and it's clear and hold in afghanistan. it's a well thought out. it's comprehensive strategy. it makes sense. i've supported the administration's efforts there. but when it comes to the
civilian side, it seems like we have more of a list than a strategy. we have a lot of little things we are doing, both in the state department that many of our partners are doing that many different agencies throughout the world cooperating with us, india for example most recently, but it's a list of things as opposed to comprehensive strategy. and this administration has made a decision we would move from a calendar based strategy to conditions based strategy as to what we'll do. but we don't know what the conditions are that we are looking for for us to move forward. what are we going to do? what's our conditions looking for regarding terrorism? what's your conditions looking for regarding the form of government and it's democracy? it's not going to be like our democracy. regarding corruption and economy over all, regarding security. so i'm really looking for you to try and describe to me the strategy we have on the civilian
side regarding aefghanistan and pakistan. >> so you might call this a list, i would say it's things we are undertaking, let me start with the end state, what are the conditions we are looking for. president made this very clear in his remarks now, goodness, a while back. he said we are looking for the conditions where the taliban no longer believes it can prevail through the use of force. that we concede there is not a military solution to achieving the stability and peace in afghanistan that frankly most of the world is looking for. and so the effort was to apply all elements of the united states pressure that taliban would come to the table. now we need to find the right leadership inside the taliban to participate in those discussions, then we have to bring lots of different groups
to bear. if you've been there, you know, we have lots of different groups that need to view being part of the solution as getting for them and their region their gives them that. >> mr. secretary, this is a complex issue and so much that needs to be done create an afghanistan government that will be able to provide for its people. and we are not in the business of nation building, according to this administration. >> right. >> but there is so much being invested regarding everything from schools to infrastructure, to electricity, towards training not only the police officers, but also prosecutors. i think we need to have a document, quite frankly, that says this is the plaen on
civilian side, taking into account the different players, not only from the state department, treasury department, usid, doj, dea, and all these varied goftd governments, and we don't have a plan from the civilian nonmilitary side, i believe, that says all these pieces fit together in a plan. i'm not saying this is a criticism. obviously you are new in this job. but i would like to work together with you to try to figure out what the plan will be. i'm sure there are lots of pieces but not in any comprehensive strategy. >> i'd welcome a chance to work with you. i think it's more comprehensive that you describe but i'm happy to work with you that could articulate things. >> i've approached a lot of people to try to get a document, to try to get stg that i can read this is our strategy and plan and i haven't been able to get that document. so there is so many moving places and so many people in the
world dedicated towards this effort that we need to fit it together. hopefully under your leadership it can happen. >> thank you. it's not just an american solution to this. >> a lot of pieces. >> there are lots of other countries working alongside of us that have made massive commitments. >> hopefully we can work together. >> thank you. >> of texas. >> thank you mr. secretary for being here. congratulations as well. always good to see a house member move up into the administration. >> thank you, sir. >> i want to cover a multitude of sins so to speak. we'll start with iran. the last administration, previous secretary, mr. tillerson said before this committee that he thought that the best end solution for iran was a regime change. peaceful regime change from within. do you still hold that philosophy? >> what i said on monday, which is the president's policy, is that we are very hopeful that the iranian people will get a chance to elect the government
that they want. >> and are we supporting the dissidence and encouraging them or supporting them at least politically and verbally in their desire of their protests that they are making to have a regime change in iran? >> i have certainly spoken both in my previous role and now in this role and previous previous role as a member of congress, i have spoken about supporting iranians that feel their voices aren't being heard. we should continue to find our voice in doing that both as a government and i think individually as well. >> and obviously here in the audience today we have family members of iranians that have been murdered by the current regime. and their desire is that there is a free iran where the people make the decision and not the ayatollah. just most recently when we moved our embassy to jerusalem, offered $100,000 for someone to
blow up the embassy in jerusalem. that group was sponsored by the. >> julie: rgc which is sponsored by the ayatollah. the eye tal toaye-aye toll la m comment death to america. do you believe that is the policy? >> yes. >> the withdrawal from the deal talked about since long before the deal. i commend the administration for its bold decision was a bad deal, it's the worst deal now. i'm a little disturbed that former secretary of state john kerry went to europeans and to the iranians right before the decision was made by this administration to try to make sure that the deal was not withdrawn from the united states. but be that as it may, total support for looking out for the interest of the united states, a lot of americans don't realize
there was a side deal made by the. >> julie: -- iaea, those documents are not public, and some of the intel supports the decision made by the administration to leave the deal. georgia, ukraine, and moldova, i recent recently visited speaker of the house all three nations and they are in ha bad neighborhood. they have the russians. moldova has russians in their country, so do georgians they all have russians in their country. i hope we as a nation would focus on helping those three nations move to the west instead of being tempted to go back to russia. those speakers of the house of those three countries are coming to the united states this summer. i hope that there is time on your calendar to meet with them,
if that is possible, so that we can encourage them and help them to be a free country as opposed to one that's still influenced about the russians. turkey, do you think turkey should stay in nato? >> they have been an important nato partner. if secretary mattis was sitting here he would say we fwheed them to be a nato partner. i would agree with that assessment. we need their behavior to reflect the objectives of nato. it's what we are working to do to get them to rejoin nato in a way where actions that fit that are consistent with what we are trying to achieve in nato and not take actions that undermine it's efforts. >> mr. connoly and i are on the u.s. delegation to the nato department of assembly which meets this weekend. i hope we can bring up this subject f nato being a bad child of turkey being a bad child of nato. most recently they have purchased or got, received s
400s from russia which are missiles which violates sanctions by the united states on russia. at the same time they want to buy f 35s. your department makes the decision on whether or not they will be allowed to purchase f-35s. have you made that decision yet? >> i have not. and we continue to work to keep the turkeys in a place where they don't actually acquire the s 400. we don't believe they have it yet and we are hopeful they won't take possession. >> thank you. we go to ted louve of wiscons o >> thank you for your service and appreciate you being here today and testifying. i would like to ask you about the conflict in yemen, but before that i want to ask you a few questions about official statements that president of the united states made this morning on his twitter account. he said there is a criminal deep state. and as you know, representative nunes has said he's also going
to investigate the state department. do you believe there is a criminal deep state at the state department? >> i haven't seen the comments from the president. i don't believe there is a deep state at the state department. >> thank you. you formerly served as cia director. do you believe your colleagues in the cia are part of the criminal deep state? >>, you know, this term deep state has been thrown around. i'll say this, the employees that work for me at the cia nearly uniformly were aimed at achieving the president's objectives and america's objectives. >> thank you. that's your experience also when you interact with colleagues at the department of justice as well? >> yes. there are always exceptions to every rule. iefr never led an organization that didn't have bad actors. i don't think any government organization is exempt from having malfeasance as well. >> but in general you are confident that the members of the various agencies are
honoring their oaths to the united states constitution? >> yes, in general, yes, sir. >> thank you. i'd like to ask you about yemen. as you know, the war in yemen is the world's worst humanitarian disaster. over 22 million people are at risk for starvation, 8 million doesn't know where their next meal will be, and every ten minutes children die of health causes. one way we are involved is assisting the saudi led coalition. i do have a problem when the coalition is killing a large number of civilians through air strikes no where near military targets. as of last september more than 5,000 have been killed from air strikes. in 2016, the state department, its lawyers wrote a memo saying that because we are refueling
these planes, these saudi jets and providing other assistance, that u.s. personnel could be considered a liable for war crimes. i know you just came on as secretary of state. have you had a chance yet to read that memo? >> no, i have not. but i'll. >> i appreciate that. and if you could also make a request to your state department to see if members of congress could also review that memo in classified setting as well. >> i take it you've not had a chance to see it. >> we have not. so if you can make that request, that would be great. >> i'll review that absolutely. >> thank you. so when this conflict first started, we had saudi air strikes from saudi led coalition. and what turned out is it's not that they were trying to hit a vehicle that was moving and missed a struck a bunch of civilians. what ended up happening is they intentionally struck those civilian targets. so they struck hospital,
weddings, schools, markets. and last year they struck a funeral that killed hundreds of people twice. so they hit this funeral, and the jets went around and hit it a second time. very precise. that's why the obama administration actually stopped shipment of these, because they realized the jets were hitting these and they were civilians. it's my understanding trump organization is going to go forward with the sale. just wondering why do you think anything has changed in yemen that would authorize the sale to go forward? >> so i'm familiar with the incident you are describing. there are very rigid set of rules that are thought deeply about in every national security agency that i've been part of at the cia before noul the state department. with respect to providing munitions to organizations that are intentionally engaging in
civilian targeting. we have complex set of rules and prohibitions, we would never do that. it is this administration's judgment that providing the precision guided munitions actually decreases the risk to civilians. and it's for that reason we think this actually makes sense. certainly for our allies and partners, but also for citizens that are engaged in ordinary activity inside of yemen. >> if i might, this administration has also taken serious action to reduce the humanitarian crisis as well. we have not resolved it but made real progress. >> thank you. >> tulsa of hawaii. >> thank you, mr. secretary for our testimony and for sticking it out. as you know, there is no more urgent or greater threat to my constituents in the state of hawaii than the threat of nuclear weapons coming from
north korea. as we meet today, we are literally at a historic moment in time where we have a brief window of opportunity to peacefully denuclearize north korea. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dunford has remarked numerous times about how pursuing a military option with north korea would be horrific on a scale not scene since world war ii. i commend your travels to meet with kim jong-un to lay the ground work for these negotiations with the goal and objective of verifiable and complete denuclearization of north korea. this path forward should not be riddled with politics, there is far too much at stake. it's unfortunately that some of our colleagues and media is against this and trying to undermine this from happening. saying we should set preconditions that are
unrealistic or the north korea leader does not need to meet with the president. they are clearly out of touch that faces my constituents in hawaii and people of this country and urgency and seriousness of this threat. they believe that somehow we should not be meeting with people who may be our adversaries or dictators or leaders of country that are not our allies even as we are trying to further the cause of peace. this attitude is dangerous and short cited and can only lead to more war and suffering. there are numerous examples throughout history, jfk, nixon, peace agreements between israel, egypt, israel and jordan, reagan, gorbachav, many examples of leaders making this step to meet with those of adversaries to further the cause of peace. so i encourage you and hope you will continue your efforts and that the meeting between kim and president trump moves forward as
plands planned so we can achieve this historic movement of denuclearization with north korea. i've introduced a resolution that's before this committee, h-res that states this sense of congress in support of the efforts that this administration is taking to achieve this goal of denuclearization of north korea. in the time remaining, i'm wondering if you can share more insights and details into your meetings and the administration's desired framework? you talked about earlier security assurances for north korea as something they have set as a requirement in order to achieve denuclearization. what does that mean and what does that look like? >> so, first of all, thank you, i'm hopeful too the meeting will progress. you identified a number of situations throughout history where conversations with adversaries worked. in each of those cases if i read
the history, at least the way i read the history, it was the timing that was right. and the leaders that were right. i'm convinced that we have both the timing and in this case the leaders right for this meeting to have an opportunity to be historically successful. and i hope that we can achieve that. with respect to the framework, i would prefer not to provide a whole lot of detail what the scope of those assurances is, but it goes without saying that chairman kim's view frankly his father and grandfather's view was that the nuclear weapons were the thing that protected the regime that was their security blanket so they have worked diligently over years and years to develop this weapon system to the fact that it does threaten the united states today tan your home state in particular. we now have this chance to stand that on its head to convince them in fact it's those nuclear weapons that present the greatest risk to the regime and north korean people. aen we are prepared to do the things that provide him the
comfort and security that he knows that he can take weigh this thing that he's dependent onment and frankly he told his people for a long time that provided their security to convince them that frankly joining the list of civilization that nations that participate in that is actually going to provide security for their people. so we need to provide him is a whole list, not just us, south korean will have to do, china will play an important role, so will japan and frankly russians will have a role in this, assuring kim that we want good things for the people, if we can build the trust and confidence we have the chance of getting denuclearization that we and your state and the world desperately need. >> thank you. >> we go to new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranging member, thank you mr.
sent for taking all this. i'm usually like the last person of this committee. >> i was a junior member when i left too. i know exactly how you feel. >> i am the closer. and very often the questions that i have have already been asked by somebody. but i do want to turn to the western hemisphere, because i sit on the subcommittee. you know, very often people across america are under the impression that foreign aid that we have, that we are giving away the store, when in fact it's only like 1% of the budget. and so there is this erroneous belief out there that we are spending money all over the world and not taking care of people back home. but, you know, i am concerned in the western hemisphere we sort of turn our heads and we've been a little bit too come plaplacen maybe ab doudicated our leaders
role. and bad things have happened. china and panama and most recently, they are in currency, and stealing of intellectual rights, and fraud, they don't have their population to have access to things like wikipedia, what's ap, and even facebook. so what can we do to reestablish our presence in that area? i met recently with one of the latin america leaders and he sayyid to me name me one major project, frainfrastructure proj that america is involved in investing? as china proposes to do with many of these countries. frankly, mr. secretary, as they say in the school yard, they are eating our candy, and there is something that we have to do to reestablish ourselves back, and
it it's going to entail a fiscal commitment to the region as well as reestablishing our strong presence there. what do you propose we can do to reestablish our leadership role in latin america and be engaged vigorously in projects that will improve the quality of life of many of these countries? >> so i think there is at least two questions in there. let me try and tackle each of them. the first is china and china's involvement there. it's not only true in south america, it's true in other parts of the world as well, but particularly in south america i would agree with you. i'm convinced the candy they are eating will cause bad things to happen and that the people of south america will come to regret taking these investments. and so we have a role to explain to them what it is the chinese are really engaged in there. they are not doing this because they care about the people of peru of columbia or anyplace
else. they are doing it to expand chinese influence. and they are making loans that will one day be required to be repaid and that chinese influence in those countries will be devastating for those people. so we have a responsibility to talk about this openly about what the chinese actual aims are. why it is they are using their capital to buyin influence around the world. second, how can america be more involved? so there are certainly places resource sz required. i think that's likely true. but it's often the case that when america has demonstrated leadership in other places in the world it hasn't been our money we have led with. it's been our preference, leadership, helping democracy stand up, things like the rule of law. i'm always reminded when i was director of cia i had one of my counterparts in difficult part of the world tell me america has spent pa lot of money, done a lot of things. most important thing america did was work alongside our officers how to work in a democracy, how to do the right thing, get up
every day and go to work. intrinsic core of how the american people truly are. so i do think it's importance that my team that are working out of embassies are interacting every day, engaged proudly talking about the things that america does and how we do it. if we do that we could have a good impact around the world but certainly in real opportunity countries in the western hemisphere as well. >> one quick last question. if the threats against israel continue to mount, will the administration consider examining whether to increase current funding at an equity level? >> i'm confident that the administration will do what it needs to allow israel to have the capability to defend itself. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> we go to mr. jerry conley of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. i was just reflecting on on and
off been working here on the hill for 20 years. you are my tenth secretary of state. so welcome. and good luck in your new assignment. >> puts the mean at roughly two years. i'm going to try to beat it. >> well, mr. secretary, you remember this body, and certainly part of and subjected to the sort of partisan ran core that accompanied the work we do up here. now you are in a new role. and i want to give you a quick opportunity to comment on how you see that new role in terms of working with democrats. >> yeah. >> who also love their country and want to see a successful u.s. foreign policy. >> i would more than concede that point. that everyone on this committee, and frankly every member of congress comes here with the
noble hand patriotic objective. i'll equally concede the point that as a member of congress, i could do partisan with the best of them. and i understand that we all have constituents that had different views and we did our best to represent them. i hope that during my time i did that for the people of south central kansas. they might have had different views from the people of your district or other members districts. there were exceptions to this but i tried every day to do that with dignity and respect. i didn't always quite achieve it. but i tried. and in this role i'll do the same. you have my word i'll work with members of both sides of the aisle to achieve objectives. we'll disagree how to get there, but i would be surprised if it's frequently ts case if we disagree what we are trying to accomplish. >> i very much appreciate that. thank you. mr. secretary, given the unprecedented and troubling russian interference in our 2016
elections, which have been certified by all of our intelligence agencies, including the one you had headed when you were there, congress passed and the president signed the countering america's adversaries sanctions act which includes seven sanctions against russia. mandatory sanctions, russian security, crude products, russian financial institutions, dealing with human rights abusers, on and on. there were seven major mandatory sanctions with respect to russia. how many of those mandatory sanction provisions has the president imposed? >> i don't know how many of those different authorities have been used. i know there have been significant sanctions imposed under cat sa and i know there are many more in the cue. but i couldn't tell how many of those seven were used. i bet you can tell me.
>> yes, mr. secretary. the answer is one. and i think on a bipartisan basis that bill passed overwhelmingly as you know in the congress and i this i it absolutely expressed a certain point of view with respect to that subject, not just that subject, but certainly that subject. and i this i we nk we expect fu compliance of the law by the administration. and i would give you the opportunity to pledge your commitment to that implementation of what is now statute. >> yes, sir. you can count on it. may i give you one caveat to that? >> of course. >> it is the case that secretary mattis and i are both working to find places where we think that legislation did not give us enough room to make sure that we don't do something that was unintended with respect to some of our allies who have historic relationships with, in particular, russian equipment. and so we i think secretary mattis will take the lead but i'll be part of it alongside of
him to see if we can get congress to consider giving us waiver capacity so that we can ameliorate what i think are not the intended objectives of the cat sa legislation. >> thank you. i have a quick last question, because i'm going to run out of time. gosh, i wish we had more time. earlier this month in a story by ronan pharaoh,farrow, i think i the "new yorker," operatives investigated former obama officials involved in the iran negotiations. are you aware of that story and were you familiar with any aspects of that alleged investigation? >> i'm familiar with the story. but i read it as new information in the same way that sounds like you did as well. >> and to your knowledge the administration had no involvement in said activity? >> to the best of my knowledge, that is absolutely correct, sir.
>> i thank you, mr. secretary. look forward to working with you. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary, the administration has taken strong action, including recently sanctioning seven oligarchs with cloe ties to putin as well as companies with cat sa. we'll continue to push for full implementation of cat sa. not only that, but in addition to cat sa, also calling for the senate to pass the civilian protection act which the house has now passed twice into the senate and which would impose significant sanctions on russian for its support for the monstrous assad regime's actions. i do want to thank you for engaging with the committee, mr. secretary. you have said you want today to be the start of a close collaboration with us, and i know you well enough to know that you are very sincere about this, and i deeply appreciate the time you've spent with us
here, the capability for every one of our members to engage. i look forward also to the dialogue we've had about continued discussions for the members here. mr. secretary, the challenges facing our nation are daunting. we have heard about many of them today. but we didn't hear so much today about the opportunity for america worldwide. americans are doing great things as private citizens. they are doing great things in terms of the charities that they run throughout this world. the businesses that engage across the planet. and the state department often helps them in this regard. americans shouldn't be afraid of the world. we can do a great deal to improve it. and i know that you understand that, mr. secretary. so mike pompeo thank you very much, and we look forward to
our -- i've just been reminded by the ranking member, that there may be one other member coming through the doors as we speak, and that could be karen best of california. >> of course. >> so we will give her her five minutes. thank you for the three-plus hours that you've spent with us here this morning. >> and thank you, mr. chair. as always, mr. pompeo, secretary poim, i'm sure you know we have a very bipartisan committee here. >> yes, ma'am. >> with wonderful leadership. and i know you were hoping to get out of the door. i won't hold you ma'am. >> ma'am, i have all five minutes. >> and i know you know because you've been on other side. >> i have. >> so we are definitely proud of your success and are excited about you beginning your tenure at the state department. >> thank you. >> so i would like to ask you about the drc and the worsening situation there. i have met -- we had an africa
policy breakfast about this. we've had hearings, et cetera. and what i'm really worried about is that, you know, the president has said he's going to have elections in december. he has not said he's not going to run. there is no faith that he's actually going to have those elections since they were originally supposed to be in december of 2016. and so i just wanted to know what our policy is going to be moving forward and what type of benchmarks are we going to hold him to? >> so there are many challenges in the drc as you well know. we are worried about global health issues there. >> right. >> certainly at which adds a half twist to the triple somersault and makes it more complicated. with respect to the drc election process, we have teams working diligently to push forward to try to find that democratic solution that frankly i think you said december 16 the problem
has been longer than that. there is a great deal of work. what i'd love to do is get back to if you and provide you with a detailed list of our activities. know we share the same policy outcome that you just described. >> so i would appreciate that. because there are a few of us who plan to go soon and to have that ahead of time. because right now i'm just worried we might have sent a mixed signal that my big concern is it actually adds to the confusion, especially because we have not secured anything from him saying that he won't run a third term. now, moving on to another crisis, south sudan. and the idea that we need to have a weapons embargo for sure. but just wondering where you see things going there? and what our policy is there? and in addition to that, sudan, in terms of moving forward with the relaxation of sanctions, but we also are concerned about a trial that a young woman who is
on trial there for her life and a lot of questionable circumstances around that. and so i wanted to know about those two areas, south sudan and sudan. >> let me try the region for you and see how they fit into that picture. >> okay. >> i think it was my second to last trip of cia director was in and around that region so i gotta chance to see it for my stef a little bit at least. so there are lots of countries aiming to try to help what's going on in both of those places sudan and south sudan who share america's objects tifs. i don't think we have the capacity to deal with it on our in. we need to find partners that share our view to move forward together. i did advocate in my previous role for the relaxation of sanctions against sudan, they had made marked improvement, but relapse is always a risk. and we need to continue to provide them assistance, but ensure that they don't turn back to the place that they were before. i think the direction there is
good. >> i do too. >> but we need to be mindful and provide support too for the good works. if we do that, i this i we can get a really good outcome. something five or ten years ago we would all have thought not possible. south sudan more difficult. i have a few seconds so i'll leave you with this thought. it is incredibly important that we get that piece right for all the reasons you described, plus the risk that extends from terrorism in the region, threatens not only dploe ball terror and efforts from their hiding spaces but uncertainty it provides to people of the region. we have a real responsibility and try and get that right. it is ha devil of a problem. >> exactly. and one of my concerns, too, in going to sudan is the state sponsor of terrorism designation and what that does. it actually complicates things on both sides. and so, you know, as moving forward, and of course hoping they continue to move forward, it obviously is contingent on that, but we have to take a look
>> if you missed any of secretary pompeo testimony we'll have it again 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. secretary will return to capitol hill tomorrow for day two of testimony. this time before the senate foreign relations committee. we'll have live coverage of that at 10:00 a.m. eastern. ahead today, students from marjory stoneman douglas and miami northwestern senior high school, share their experiences with the house democratic gun violence prevention task force. we'll take you there live at 2:00 p.m. eastern. while we wait, here's a portion from secretary poim's testimomp testimony earlier today.