tv Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo CSPAN April 15, 2018 3:31pm-5:51pm EDT
impose diplomacy. you have seen president trump try to underfund the state department and usaid. not a point key ambassador, otherat insults about we do not need a secretary of state who was going to exaggerate those tendencies. we need a secretary of state who will stand up for strong diplomacy. don't believe that is director pompeo's inclination. announcer: on thursday, the senate foreign relations committee held a confirmation hearing for mike pompeo to become the next secretary of state. this portion of the hearing is about two hours and 20 minutes. senator menendez. -- ranking member senator menendez. menendez: you and the director of national intelligence attended a briefing at the white house with several government agents. up,he briefing was wrapping
everyone was asked to leave the room except for you and coates. the president started complaining about the fbi investigation and comey's handling of it. two days earlier, comey had confirmed the fbi whether trump was coordinating with russia during the 2016 race. thees discussed investigation with other officials and decided that interfering with comey would be inappropriate. director, this account strongly suggests the president asked you and director coates to interfere with comey's investigations into contacts campaign's with russia. what did president trump say to you in that meeting? mike pompeo: i am not going to talk about that. setting, it is
appropriate for the president to have an opportunity to talk with his senior leaders. the article's suggestion he asked me to do anything improper is false. z: did he ask you to do anything as it relates to that investigation? recallmpeo: i do not that day. he has never asked me to do anything remotely improper. endez: you're not asserting executive privilege? mike pompeo: no. menendez: this has a connotation of foreign policy. this is about russia. respond,ding how you what she would do if you were looking at mandatory sanctions
the administration has yet to impose, looking at how we are going to kill us a russia -- russia that such to interfere with our elections and across the world -- it is not fo r me simply a question of interest, a question of understanding, what you were asked, how you responded, and what you did. i am happy to talk about the administration's work on russia and our work on sa nctions. the president has discussed the russian investigation with you? pompeo: i will not discuss my pvate investigations with the president. i am happy to answer questions about our administrations politics, the work we are doing.
i have provided and spoken with special counsel robert mueller, who requested an interview and i cooperated. your colleagues on the senate intelligence committee have asked for information from me. the leaders o thow -- of those two organizations in a bipartisan way would say i have been cooperated. endez: what was the subject of your conversations with special counsel robert mueller? did he tell you not to speak about these things? ike pompeo: i have cooperated with the investigation. just because i do not want to noak, there should be negative or positive inferences about the fact i think it is most appropriate that while these investigations continue, i not speak to conversations i have with various investigative bodies. mendendez: if i asked
special counsel robert mueller that you couldn't, i don't think he would say you couldn't. it is were choice you are not seeking to do so. these questions being answer truthfully and in a forthcoming way are critically important because it refers to how you approach one of the most critical issues that we have. your unwillingness to speak to it is troubling. president trump has repeatedly said getting along with russia is a good thing. asterday he tweeted, relationship with russia is worse than it has ever been, and there is no reason for this. what behavior, if any, has the kremlin jones that indicate a want to get along with the united states or our allies? pompeo: the administration has taken a series of actions to push back against vladimir putin -- enendez: what
indication has become one shown that it wants to get a lot of united states? states? with the united pompeo: this administration will take real actions to push back against the deterrence with russia. endez: you suggest there is a robust response to russia. michael rogers warned the senate armed services committee that the company ministration has not done enough to stop the russians. "i believe president putin has come -- come to the conclusion there is little price to pay, and he can continue his activity. the outgoing national security adviser said "we have failed to
sufficient costs on russia and the kremlin confidence is growing. there are a series of mandatory provisions that have not been implemented by the administration. section 225, mandatory sanctions respect to26, with russia and other foreign financial institutions. section 228, with respect to and an transactions, serious human rights abuses. section 231, mandatory sanctions with respect to engaging in transactions for intelligence and defense sectors of the government and russian federation. that is not a robust response to russia. mr. chairman: thank you.
i want to welcome senator king. i would like the people to know he does this when things are serious. he comes and listens to the testimony. i go to senator wretch. -- senator rich. sen. rich: thank you for your testimony. and i are the only ones that have crossed colonization ideas. sen. risch: the here from the heads of all the 17 agencies we have, engaging in intelligence matters. , we have hadears numerous heads of agencies come and. -- come in. pompeo has been candid. he came in before the intel committee. he has been helpful, and he has always been straightforward with
us. you will certainly get my vote for confirmation on this job. i think the cia is going to serve you very well. it has served me very well on this committee. having some of the in-depth knowledge you don't necessarily get in the public media. state is unique . very high profile job. you go around america, doing the kinds of things you do, and your predecessor was very good at that. however, as secretary has a couple of jobs
you have to do at the same time. is managing the united states for the president. portantly isvery im the actual management of the bureaucracy. i don't use it in a pejorative way. with the thousands of men and women in foreign service, working with the state department, they are bipartisan and do a great job. i think there has been a fair amount of criticism. your predecessor was hampered a bit because he didn't have those jobs filled that were so important. to have good, solid people around you to be able to work, in thecracy things that aren't high profile.
could you give us your thoughts go aboutu're going to that? it needs some work. it is going to make your job better and the state department better. could you give us your thoughts on that? mr. pompeo: thank you for your kind words. i have consistently tried to work closely and provide you with everything that you have asked for in a timely fashion. with respect to building a team, i have done it as part of a calgary troop, with two small businesses in kansas. -- calvary troop, with two small businesses in kansas. there are two many wholes, unfilled -- holes, unfilled
positions. when that happens, experts are stretched thin to conduct the humanitarian and development missions of the united states, and each of the missions entrusted to the state department rely on talent to do their part. i will think about it the same way i did at the cia. i will start with what i think to executegest risks american policy. we don't yet have an ambassador to south korea. i am a talent talk. i will find what i believe to be the best fit to execute america's diplomatic mission around the world.
i will help to identify the right person documented for every position during this challenging time in american history. risch: there are 37 ambassador ships that need to be filled. you have a really deep bench at and thee department, person in charge has done a fabulous job. we do need to be ambassador ships failed. -- filled. we do need the top positions in the state department filled, and people with the authority to act and do the things that need to be done. thank you for that. i have every confidence you will be able to do that.
your candor but the intelligence committee, if you can, in front of that committee, in a candid fashion, i have every confidence you were going to be able to do that here. thank you for your service. sen. cardin: thank you for your career in public service and for the sacrifices were family has made. -- your family has made. with the policy of america first, it has been interpreted globally as america alone. and you want to use diplomacy to engage the international committee -- community.
i would hope you would briefly answer the questions, so please respect the time restrictions we are operating under, because i have a lot of questions i want to ask. the iran nuclear agreement -- iran is a bad actor and continues to be. with congress's help, we pass strong legislation to provide additional sanctions against iran, not nuclear violations. we want strict enforcement of the nuclear agreement. the president has announced he wants to see changes in the nuclear agreement. has also been clear that we cannot unilaterally modify the agreement and iran is in complicance with the agreement. unless there is a material
breach, and we have others willing to sign other a greements, with reference to north korea -- we have challenges into entering plum -- diplomacy. thisu cannot modify agreement and iran is in compliance, what is your view as whether -- as to whether america should withdraw unilaterally from this nuclear agreement? mr. pompeo: i know clear what my mission is going to be. the president has made very clear what this mission is going to be and i expect no changes. : nominees have come before this committee and expressed their views and they are doing very well in this administration. the president gets the last word even if they disagree. i understand. mr. pompeo: i can't answer that question. i will tell you how i think about it.
i want to fix this deal. that is the objective. cardin: the agreement cannot be changed. my question is very simple. your view to pull out of an agreement iran is in compliance with if we can't fix it? yes or is almost the way. we are close, as a hypothetical matter -- imagine we are close to achieving a fix. if we are close -- >> you pull out? dir. pompeo: in the event we conclude that we can't fix this deal, there are serious short -- shortcomings that you yourself
have identified, the president will be given best advice, including by me. if there is no chance to fix it, i recommend to the president we do our best with allies to achieve a better outcome than the better deal. even after not -- may 12. there is still much diplomatic work to be done. sen. cardin: i think you have answered the question. about been pretty clear the outcome you would like to see in north korea, which is regime change, is that correct? dir. pompeo: you have misstated that. sen. cardin: are you in favor of regime change in north korea? dir. pompeo: my own personal views, we have a responsibility to achieve a condition where kim jong-un is unable to threaten the united states of america with a nuclear weapon. sen. cardin: i understand, but you are saying now you don't favor regime change?
dir. pompeo: i have never advocated for regime change. sen. cardin: it is a simple question -- >> i'm happy to answer that i am not advocating for regime change. sen. cardin: i appreciate that. dir. pompeo: just to be clear, my role as a diplomat is to make sure that we never get to a place where we have to confront a difficult situation in korea this country has been headed for now for a couple of decades. sen. cardin: let me get to the international climate talks and agreements that were entered into in paris. fact every nation in the world has now joined in that -- this, as you understand, these are self-imposed goals enforced only by ourselves. president has indicated his intentions to withdraw from the international agreement -- it takes a period of time before it is effect of, but he has initiated the progress. -- process.
we would be the only country that is not a part of the agreement. do you support the united states withdrawing from the climate agreements? dir. pompeo: i share the president's position precisely, which is that the paris agreement has put an undue burden on the united states of america and we should work to find a place where that is not the case and when that moment arrives, we will be part of that discussion and reenter that agreement. it is my view and i believe i speak for the administration. sen. cardin: you believe self-imposed requirements working within the international is "dangerously wrong, bows down to radical environmentalist and the science is an conclusive -- inconclusive," you stand by that? dir. pompeo: we need to treat american citizens in the same way others around the world as a shared burden to attack this. sen. cardin: do you see the challenge that is going to make
your job more challenging, if confirmed? is to work with the international community, our friends and foes alike to try and get diplomacy to work and yet, the united states would be the only country saying we don't want to talk to you about climate under the arrangements that every other country is dealing with? conflict witha that position and trying to be the top diplomat of america, the leader of the world? manypompeo: there are times we work with our allies and there are many times we don't see it the same way. many examples of where this administration has worked with those same allies. recently, the work we did against russia in response to the attacks in britain. european allies very closely. this would be after the president's announcement he intended to withdraw from paris. another example, the coalition this administration has built to put pressure on kim jong-un is unique and historic and important. there will be places our allies
come alongside us and other places they don't. be to get america's position well known and rally the nation's to the cause of america. >> on the iran issue, it is my europeans do the not come along with a framework by may 12, it is likely he will withdraw. dir. pompeo: the president has made that clear. cardinn't think senator heard the same thing i heard. your sense is should that happen, then you would continue after that time to create a better agreement -- is that what your answer was? dir. pompeo: yes, the president objective.his i have heard him say it to secretary tillerson that his goal is to take the three shortcomings he has identified
and fixed them. need todin: but i correct the record. i understand the president's position. i was asking the nominees position. view on to know your it. i understand the president's position. sen. corker: again, i know this will be highly discussed publicly. i think what director pompeo is saying that is also his opinion and should the agreement then be for ad, he would work better agreement after that should the framework agreement not come in place by may 12, is that correct? dir. pompeo: that is correct. senator rubio: an editorial statement, one of the reasons apart from how well i know the nominee and the work he has done in intelligence is one of the critical components of being a successful secretary of state kerry when the secretary comes to town, leaders and diplomats need to know this is someone who
has the president's trust and speaks for the administration. i can tell you from experience from the work we have done with director pompeo that if confirmed, when he comes to town, leaders around the world will know that someone who has not just access to the president but is part of the president's inner circle and speaks with the president and to his policies, is critical to success as a secretary of state and i imagine you have spoken to other secretary of state's and they would say that component is important. i would say anything that would undermine that is something that would undermine the ability to do the job in that way. i have a series of quick questions and they are important because it gives people context about your views on foreign polity -- policy and america's role in the world. it includes your time in the house of representatives and perhaps even before that. do you still agree on the matter of the russian invasion of ukraine that the united states has an obligation to help
ukraine defended sovereignty? dir. pompeo: yes, senator. far rubio: and you agree from being a great public service, maitland -- wikileaks is like a nonstate actor dangerous to the interest of the united states. dir. pompeo: i do believe that. sen. rubio: and you still believe vladimir putin's government actively interfere with our presidential elections and elections at large and 2016 and because of a long-standing theory or belief that through this information and propaganda, a "bloodless war" against democracy and the west, including the united states? dir. pompeo: that's correct. sen. rubio: of the five main threats facing the united states , they all have one common thread. and you agree the major fault line in global affairs is the competition globally between autocratic systems of government and the democratic system?
that has played out over and of theain in many ways foreign affairs of countries and global issues? strikingeo: with consistency, it is the case that the countries that share our vision of the world and share our democratic values are not authoritarian and those that don't are not. sen. rubio: in that vein, you would agree that promoting democracy isn't just a nice thing to do or a good thing to democracy is not as butting into other peoples's business or invading their sovereignty, but a moral imperative? democracy is, in the context of the competition is in the united states interest? dir. pompeo: our effectiveness of doing that is an important tool -- that is no different than what america does when it
promotes democracy. differences.e when they interfere in an election, they are trying to a -- fixed the outcome. sometimes democracy select leaders that aren't has friendly to the united states. when they interfere in elections, the use government. democracy, it is largely through the work of nongovernmental organizations. they may receive assistance from our government -- when they undermine democracy, they do it in secret, they hide it and deny it. we do it openly. we are talking about it here today. when we promote democracy, we do it at the invitation of someone in those countries, whether a political party, organization -- oftentimes, the government itself. when they undermine democracy, they do so against the will of the people of the nation. there is no equivalence between the promotion of democracy and russian and other attempts to if -- interfere with democracy? dir. pompeo: there is neither an
operational equivalent, as you have described it, the methodologies used are different , nor is there a moral equivalence between the two efforts. they are fundamentally different. sen. rubio: one of the first things autocratic rulers do by definition is violate the human rights of their people and have violating no problem the human rights of others and we have seen the war crimes committed by a not a credit government in syria with the help of autocratic governments in iran and russia. therefore, you would believe defending human rights isn't just a good thing or the right moral thing to do, which is? defending human rights is also in the national interest of the united states of america? dir. pompeo: i do believe that. sen. rubio: and it would be a priority? dir. pompeo: i think history would reflect that to be the case. sen. rubio: to be the case.
senator rubio: at the end of the cold war, we had this idea that everyone would embrace capitalism as we understand economics and the like. that hasn't really worked out in a lot of cases particularly china. they most certainly haven't embraced democracy. they've actually gotten more autocratic, and they have embraced a definition of the world economic order that basically means we will take all the benefits of global trade and global economics, but we do not intend to live by any of its obligations. and so i personally believe it was a terrible mistake that leaders in both parties have made. and now as part of their strategy, you see china doing things like trying to create strategic depth in eurasia. their efforts to establish all these different programs, the belt and road, the silk road, the maritime. they're not just efforts to create new overland trade corridors. they're efforts to make these nations economically, politically and eventually dependent on and vulnerable to china.
their maritime borders in the south and east china sea, you see they feel vulnerable and insecure. you see american allies in japan, south korea, taiwan. and so what they are working on now is fracturing our economic and defense alliances in the indo-pacific region. that is why they are investing billions of dollars and building up there army and navy. they're building up their air force to ultimately make the argument, don't count on america's defense or economic partnership because it is just paper. they can't live up to it anymore. what is, what are your recommendations for the president as far as how important that challenge is? otherwise, we're going to wake up one day and find out we've been driven from the asia-pacific region. mr. pompeo: senator, as i say as a director i've been asked , what's the greatest threat to the united states. it is hard to prioritize and rank. we have a handful. we have lots of opportunities. china certainly presents a strategic challenge to the united states of america. you laid out the various tools and mechanisms that they're using, mostly economic.
the united states needs to be prepared to respond across each of those fronts so we can find the right ground, the right place where we can cooperate with the chinese where it makes sense for america. and where it does not, confront them with a democratic vision that continues to provide strength and resources to the world. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director pompeo, thank you for being willing to consider taking on this responsibility at such a challenging time for the united states and the world. this morning president trump , tweeted out that much of the bad blood with russia is caused by the fake and corrupt russia investigation. do you agree with that? mr. pompeo: the historic conflict between the united states and the soviet union and now russia is caused by russian bad behavior. sen. shaheen: thank you.
when you were installed as director at the cia, as you said in your testimony, you swore an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic. as you pointed out you've taken , that oath six times. you've graduated from harvard law school, magna cum laude. you're an attorney. do you think special counsel mueller's investigation is a witch hunt? mr. pompeo: ma'am, i'm going to not speak about any of the three investigations that i have been a participant in today. sen. shaheen: do you think the president has the authority, recognizing your legal background, does the president have the authority to final special counsellor mueller on his own? mr. pompeo: senator i'm in no , position to make a comment on that legal question. sen. shaheen: would you consider the president firing rod rosenstein over his role in the special counsel investigation to be an abuse of power? mr. pompeo: ma'am, i came here
today to talk about my qualifications to be the secretary of state. i'm not going to weigh into the active investigations that are going on in the house, the senate, and the special counsel's investigation. sen. shaheen: and i appreciate that. that's what we're all here to talk about. but the fact is, in your testimony, you talk about the actions of the administration making clear and rightfully identifying russia as a danger to our country. and yet the president tweets out his opinion that the problem with russia is bob mueller and the investigation. i think those two are in conflict, and it's hard for me to understand how we can have a secretary of state who is able to go to russia, and come to congress, and talk about the challenges and the threats that russia faces to our democracy, when we have this conflicting position from the president of
the united states, who you would work for. and, and let me just say you have talked about the actions that have been taken by this administration. but the fact is the sanctions that were passed overwhelmingly in the house and senate, that had bipartisan support, have not been fully implemented by this administration. so we have mandatory sanctions related to russian crude oil products that hasn't been implemented. we have sanctions with respect to russia and other foreign financial institutions not implemented. sanctions with respect to transactions with foreign sanction evaders and serious human rights abusers in the russian federation not implemented yet. i could go on. but as the secretary of state, will you argue that we need to go ahead and implement the rest of these sanctions in a way that holds russia accountable for its interference? mr. pompeo: yes, ma'am, every
day. if i may take just a moment, -- sen. shaheen: please. mr. pompeo: there's still work to be done on sanctions. i readily concede that. vladimir putin has not yet received the message sufficiently, and we need to continue to work at that. but it hasn't just been sanctions. the largest expulsion of 60 folks was from this administration. this administration announced a nuclear posture review that has put russia on notice that we're going to recapitalize our deterrent force. in syria now a handful of weeks ago the russians met their match ,. a couple hundred russians for -- were killed. the list of actions this administration has taken, i happy to walk through each of am them. sen. shaheen: and i certainly agree with that, and i think those actions are important. but they get undermined by a president who consistently refuses to hold vice president -- to hold vladimir putin accountable for what russia has done in the united states. and that presents a challenge as we go into the 2018 elections, and it presents a challenge as
we work with other democracies around the world where russia has done everything possible to undermine americans', americans' and other countries' citizens' belief in the workings of democracy. in response to senator rubio, you talked about the importance of defending human rights as secretary of state. and certainly as secretary of state, you would be this country's top diplomat, representing america's values in support of diversity and inclusion. and yet during your tenure in congress, you've made statements that have been described as anti-muslim and anti-lgb -- anti-lbbt rights. so how would you as secretary of state reconcile those positions and statements that you've taken in congress with the need to
represent america's values and defend human rights? mr. pompeo: senator, senator, i appreciate the question. look at my record. not just these past 15 months, there were the same questions when i was to be confirmed as a cia director. as a cia director, i have valued and honored every single cia office regardless of race, regardless of color, you pick it, gender, sexual orientation. i've treated every one of our officers with dignity and respect. i've promoted them when they deserve it. i've held them accountable when they deserved that as well. i promise i will do that as secretary of state. sen. shaheen: and i appreciate those sentiments, and i appreciated your comments in your testimony saying you would support the state department's work force that it be diverse in every sense of the word, race, religion, background and more, and yet you were criticized at the cia for undermining policies of the previous administration
to improve diversity at the cia. mr. pompeo: ma'am, i don't know the criticism that you're referring to. i have to tell you, i didn't undermine a single policy. we have emphasized it, we worked on it, we talked about it. i think i'm proud of the work that i did to continue to develop and increase the capacity for the cia to deliver a diverse work force to meet the challenges, the intelligence challenges in that case around the world. sen. shaheen: well, i would just say michael weinstein, who is a , former air force officer who founded the military religious freedom foundation, says he has been seeing increasing complaints from those inside the intelligence community under your leadership. so i think there have been a number of concerns raised. mr. pompeo: ma'am ma'am, if i , might -- sen. shaheen: please. mr. pompeo: the number of no fear complaints, the statutory requirement decreased from 2016 into 2017 by 40%. sen. shaheen: good. mr. pompeo: and i'm proud of that. it's not enough.
whatever the final tally was was too many, but i'm proud of the record. not just -- i don't want to take full credit for that. the work that my team has done on this, i'm incredibly proud of. i supported their efforts, and i will do the same -- i will behave the same way if i'm confirmed as a secretary of state. sen. shaheen: thank you. i'm out of time. >> before turning to senator johnson, i just want to highlight i don't think enough has been said or made of the fact that russia crossed the euphrates with their own troops and were annihilated. and it was really a strong statement. i don't think many are paying as much attention to as should. and i appreciate you highlighting that. incredible steps by our pentagon. senator rubio -- i mean senator johnson. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your past service. i also want to thank you and your family for your willingness to serve in this capacity. it is a sacrifice. as you were walking by me, i mentioned that i've read a lot
of testimony for nominees. and this written testimony is probably as good as i've seen. so anybody interested in this nomination should really read it. one of the reasons i liked it is i could see the concepts required for effective management in it. and of course you're going to be in charge of managing relationships. but the concepts i am talking about our in your conclusion in areas of agreement. that's how you accomplish things, you concentrate on the shared purposes, on the shared goals. obviously in your handling of the cia, you had a strategy of how you are going to manage that prioritization of tasks. so as i ask these questions, i want you keeping those concepts in mind. in managing your relationship with almost all nations, there's an economic relationship, and there's a security relationship. obviously you're not secretary of commerce. you're not the u.s. trade representative. you're the secretary of state. you're concerned obviously about security. but our our negotiations in
, terms of trade are going to have a great effect. i was just -- on the delegation to china, and i was struck with what they were primarily concerned about was the taiwan travel act. we thought we were going to hear all kind of things about tariffs , and they were most concerned about that core area of their interest, and don't meddle with that. but i just want you to comment on, how are you going to deal with that conflict between the trade relationship and the security relationship? the reason i am pointing out with china, we were there, and we also crossed into the dmz. we were in the blue house, walked into north korea. and from my standpoint, our priorities, my number priority one with china and the relationship with china is to get them to continue -- and they are, they are effectively enforcing those sanctions so that we can bring to a conclusion the dismantlement of north north korean threat.
,so can you speak to that conflict between trade, economic relationship, and security relationship? mr. pompeo: senator, they are complex. at times they are conflicting. at times they work together. if you can achieve a good economic outcome with a partner country, you can get assistance in other places on a diplomatic matter you care about deeply or a military places. places you want them to assist the united states. there's places that good diplomacy can lead to making those not in conflict, not zero sum alternatives where you have to sacrifice an economic relationship for a security relationship. how do you do that? you have a team. the state department has enormous economic team that in my judgment from what i can see over an extended period of time has not been able to deliver as much value as some of the other parts of the economic apparatus of the united states government. i am intent on finding the right people to make sure that we have the tool so we can make a broad
effort across all elements of the diplomatic spectrum. and where it comes into conflict with security issues, i suppose it is highly factual and contextual. but the idea, and certainly we have seen this with the issues with china today, we fought through the risks. we identified a relative priority and attempted to set them and then engaged in diplomatic activities such that challenges that have been presented to china through the actions that have been taken by this administration over the past weeks didn't upset the apple cart with the good work that the chinese have done helping us on the north korea challenge. sen. johnson: do you agree that our relationship with china has top priority is their cooperation on north korea currently? mr. pompeo: it is. to date, that is the number one priority for this administration. i agree with that. sen. johnson: would you agree that the best way to bring china into full compliance with all the trade agreements that working with the other our other , trading partners, having a
good relationship with them, and having us as an alliance working with china and making sure they follow the rules, would that also be probably the best way of achieving that? mr. pompeo: i do believe that, senator. sen. johnson: on china, i really wanted to hear their perspective. what do you think their primary goal is? what is their strategy what are , they trying to achieve? mr. pompeo: senator. sen. johnson: and let me just say the three things they listed to us, bring a billion people out of poverty, improve their environment, and avoid a financial crisis. those are there three top priorities they told us. mr. pompeo: senator i've heard , similar things. i actually in my interactions have heard the economic crisis listed first. that is they have this challenge of leverage inside of china today they have got to widen their way out of through economic growth. that has the second benefit of bringing the next several hundred people into middle class china. when i spoke with them, those were their two fundamental priorities. sen. johnson: so they have enormous challenges.
so i guess one of my points being is rather than look at our , relationship with china as a win/lose situation, it sure makes an awful lot of sense to me to try and redefine that and try and obtain a win-win situation? would you agree with that? mr. pompeo: i would agree that in most situations in the world, with a handful of exceptions. there are opportunities to not make the diplomacy a zero sum game. with respect to china in particular, i know that's true. sen. johnson: so to quickly switch to russia, i think it's a historic tragedy that putin has taken this path. can you describe in your words what path has he taken? what is, what is russia's aims? mr. pompeo: i'll take vladimir putin at his word, that the greatest value of the 20th century was the dissolution of the soviet union. i think he believes that in his heart. i think you see his actions follow from that, attempts to regain power through and to maintain his power, and to maintain his popularity through activity taking place outside, by poking america, to maintain
his not only capability and enormous nuclear arsenal, but also also his desire to be , perceived as such, as being perceived as a super power. the think all of each of actions you take are two undermine undermine democracy in , the west so that the russian model is the one that is painted to the world that will lead the world to greatness. that is not true, and we cannot let that happen. sen. johnson: to prevent that from happening, we need to be fully engaged particularly in europe or anywhere russia is pushing and being aggressive. for example in the balkans. i have been over to serbia, kosovo a number of times. i think they're at a hinge point. i want to encourage you. i think secretary mitchell has done a great job of certainly encouraging all of us to pay attention so that they decide to continue to look to the west because russia offers them nothing. quick comment? mr. pompeo: i agree. when you say everywhere, i would add to locations we see them
being adventuresome is latin america as well. so i agree we need to push back in each place we confront them by every vector, cyber, economic. each of those each of those , tools that vladimir putin is using, we need to make sure he doesn't succeed in what we believe his ultimate goal is. sen. johnson: again, thank you for your willingness to serve. sen. corker: thank you, thank you very much. senator coons. sen. coons: thank you for your willingness to step forward and once again serve our country. to your family and to you for what has been a long career of public service in the united states military as an elected official, as the director of the cia, now for this position. i appreciated the conversation we had yesterday and the opportunity to follow up on some of the issues we discussed. i am optimistic you would follow through on your commitment to fight for the state department for u.s. i -- usaid, for resources and personnel. i think many of us on this committee have heard real concerns about management, morale, budget cuts, and the
state department usaid. and i am optimistic you would fight for those potentials -- professionals and you would respect their service. i'm also well aware you have a strong and close relationship with the president. and as we discussed, i think a key role for america's chief diplomat is to advance not just our narrow interests, but to also see our values as being a key part of those interests. can't i hope that -- and i hope that you will both advise the president and on occasion stand up to him if he is doing things with which you disagree and that you will ensure he considers the vital role of diplomacy in responding to the threats we face around the world. let me just follow up if i might on a line of questioning. you are a magna cum laude graduate of harvard law school. i couldn't get into harvard. i went to yale law school. as such, i would assume that you agree that rule of law is absolutely essential to the laws
that define our democracy. is that correct? mr. pompeo: senator, i only spoke publicly six times as a cia director. each time i spoke at some length about the importance of the rule of law at the cia, how we were a creature of law and how if we didn't do that, the fundamental failure that would lead to, i believed it as a cia director area i believed it all my life, and i'll believe it as the secretary of state if i'm confirmed as well. sen. coons: if confirmed, it would be the seventh time you'd swear an oath to the constitution. so let me just go back to a line of questioning. president trump described special counsel mueller's investigation as an attack on what we all stand for, and he has repeatedly threatened to fire robert mueller. he's threatened the investigation. he's threatened the attorney general in his tweets, in ways i find troubling. do you believe special counsel mueller's investigation is an attack on our country and all we stand for? mr. pompeo: senator, i hope you
will take, i hope you'll take this the right way. as the director of the cia, i've been involved in that investigation. i've worked with senators burr and warner and with congressman -- on the policy side. i have been a participant in special counsel mueller's activity. i think anything i say with respect -- i just -- i want to avoid that today. i apologize that i can't speak more fully to that. but i hope you will respect the fact that everything that i was asked to do in my role as cia director, with red guards -- regards to the investigation i've done it with as much depth and alacrity as we could achieve. sen. coons: i'm convinced if the president were to fire the special counsel or interfere two with his investigation by firing ron rosenstein that it , would put the rule of law genuinely at risk. if that were the case, and if that happened, would you resign your post as secretary of state in order to demonstrate that we
are a nation of laws, not of men? mr. pompeo: senator, i haven't given that question any thought. my instincts tell me no. my instincts tell me that my obligation to continue to serve as america's senior diplomat will be more important at increased times of political domestic turmoil. we have seen this before. this wouldn't be the first time there's been enormous political turmoil. my recollection of the history is that previous secretaries of state stayed the course, continued to do their work. continued to do their requirement statutory constitutional that they had. having not given it -- having not given it a great deal of thought, i'm confident that's the path i would take. sen. coons: director pompeo i'd , urge you to give it some thought. many of us are giving it real thought and have had to do so for months. and it is it's regrettable that we're in a place where we're seriously discussing this rather than diving into the policy questions that face us around the world. but i think there are moments do, our values, and what we
teaches to the world, and rather the right course is to resign and speak out against it or work to restore the rule of law, we could debate. but i think it's vital we have as our chief diplomat someone who understands our values and -- as i believe you do and is willing to fight for them even taking dramatic steps like a resignation to signal disapproval on what the president has done or might do. let me move on to another area if i might. when discussing saddam hussein, president trump has said, and i quote, he was a bad guy, a really bad guy. but you know what he did well, he killed terrorists. he did that so good. they didn't read them their rights, they didn't talk. they were terrorists it was , over. and while we could debate whether saddam hussein was a good guy or a bad guy, this is another example much like the something we discussed, the president of the philippines and his conduct, where challenging an ally or challenging the
historical record on behalf of our rights is important and our values. so to what extent do you think that actions that curtail human road processes like-- and erode processes due process and the rule of law by foreign governments actually fuels instability, strengthens terrorist threats, that when we are perceived as being on the side of a quick and violent result rather than the rule of law and a just result, it actually makes us less safe? mr. pompeo: senator, i, i think i agree. if i understood the question correctly, i think i agree with it. but i will try and repeat it for you and see if i got it right. i agree. american behavior matters, the way we behave around the world. our activities come of the things we choose to do and not to do matter. they are reflective. one of the best memories i've had so far as cia director was i was with a partner intelligence service leader who had been at this a lot longer than i had. and we were walking, in a dusty place, and he had done great work.
we had been great partners. he turned to me and said you know the most important thing that america has done for my team? it's great that you give us some help. it is great that you teach us some technology and some tools. the most important thing you've done for us is you have set an example, cia officers behaving professionally, having arteries, existing under the rule of, communicating. all that you have exhibited has been the most important thing you've done for our organization. you've made us better. and so to your point, i think that's an example where put aside the policy or the work that we did, the substantive work that we did, it was america's norms that had proven truly valuable to this foreign partner. i was incredibly proud to be the director. sen. coons: i'm glad to hear you r example and to hear you repeat our shared commitment to the rule of law. but i do think we are in a time when we are going to have to confront questions about what we are willing to do in order to demonstrate our fealty to the rule of law as the principle of
our country. thank you. sen. corker: it is my understanding we may have a vote at 2:00. so we won't have one soon. it is my plan just to keep going until that time. if our witness needs to take a break for other reasons, mary elizabeth, will make that happen. flake: any good diplomat can out last the folks he's talking to, senator. sen. corker: i noticed you haven't been drinking any water. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, director, for the testimony so far. i had to pop out for other hearings, so i apologize if i plow any old ground. we can talk about iran for a minute. with the group iran has already , realized much of the benefit from this agreement in terms of money being released, is that correct? mr. pompeo: they have received great benefit from the jcpoa,
economic benefit from the jcp away, that is correct. we were tor: if somehow get out of the agreement, would there be an attempt to claw some of that money back? mr. pompeo: senator, i haven't considered that. i would think that unlikely. there's not a tool inside the agreement to achieve that. sen. flake: that's my understanding as well. in effect, iran has already realized much of the benefit from the agreement. but if we were to exit the agreement now, we would give them reason to renege on the agreements that they have made on the nuclear side, is that right? mr. pompeo: senator, they're still receiving enormous economic benefits even as we sit here this morning. so there is continued, there is continued interest on the part of iran to stay in this deal. it is in their own economic self-interest to do so.
and i guess i'd add iran wasn't racing to a weapon before the deal. there is no indication that i'm aware of that, if the deal no longer existed, that they would immediately turn to racing to create a nuclear weapon today. sen. flake: my concern is certainly that they have realized the benefits of the agreement. in the end i voted against the agreement. i, i applauded the last president for negotiations. i thought it should have been presented as a treaty before this body. i think it would have been a better agreement and something that i could have supported. but now that it is in effect, and iran has realized the benefits of it economically, i think that we ought to think long and hard about giving iran now the ability, if we exit the agreement, to continue on on the nuclear side, and not uphold the obligations that they agreed to
under the treaty. as i know that that's being considered. and the other with regard to north korea, i am happy that the president is, is talking. discussions at the highest level are had. i have always agreed that presidents and secretaries of state and others ought to talk to rogue leaders. concerned.m, i am i think a lot of americans are that these discussions that usually take place in that regard at the head of state level are preceded by a lot of negotiations, meetings, and deliberation by people like yourself and your able diplomats, who, if you are confirmed, you will have at the state department. do you have some of those concerns as well that this first meeting that's being discussed will take place perhaps prematurely before the hard
negotiations that must be done by skilled diplomats that simply will not have been done? mr. pompeo: senator, there there , is work being done today in preparation for the president's proposed meeting with kim jong-un. so american people and you should know there's work being done in preparation for that. the president's view has been -- and i agree with him -- the model that we have used previously, long negotiations to get the two leaders to the table hasn't happened. we haven't had that opportunity to have these two leaders sit together to try to resolve this incredibly vexing, difficult challenge. so the president has judged -- there will be lots of work to do. no one is under any illusions that we will we will reach a , comprehensive agreement through the president's meeting. but to enable, to set out the conditions that would be acceptable to each side for the two leaders who will ultimately make the decision about whether such an agreement can be
achieved and then set in place, i optimistic that the government am can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the north korea later can have that conversation to set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic outcome that america so -- that america and the world so desperately need. sen. flake: is there some concern that exiting the iran agreement might play poorly with regard to a possible agreement with the north koreans? it would seem if you're the north korean leader or negotiators on that side, they might be concerned that our reliability in terms of signing an agreement, if the next president could simply exit it. mr. pompeo: senator while i , concede we don't know precisely what kim jong-un is contemplating, how he's thinking about his option set today, i've read lots of the analysis with respect to his concerns and how he's thinking about the challenges he faces today with
pressureous economic that has been placed upon him, and the list of things he's thinking about don't involve other deals throughout history. it is not the case he is focused on, how you did. we pull out of the treaty -- he's thinking about how it is he can set conditions so that while we talk about complete, verifiable reversal of his nuclear program, he's thinking about the sustainment of his regime. what are the tools, what are the assurances that can be put in place that aren't reversible? he's going to be looking for something more than a piece of paper. he's going to be looking for a set of conditions to be put in place so he can undertake a task, denuclearizing is country that for a century nobody believed could occur. sen. flake: zimbabwe is going through a transition. they have a new leader. elections are scheduled for july and august. and we don't have an ambassador there.
will you commit to ensure that we have an ambassador on the ground? a lot of that depends on us. we tend to move it through as quickly as we can in this committee. an ambassador on the ground in zimbabwe when the transition occurs when those elections are held? mr. pompeo: yes, senator in the first instance it will depend on me and the president to get a nomination to you. i commit to doing that post haste if i'm confirmed. sen. flake: thank you. i will take in additional questions on cuba. we have had private discussions on this. i'm concerned in a similar vein that we have just a skeletal staff there in the embassy given the issues that occurred there. but i think it's an important time there. we're going to have a non-castro head of state for the first time later this month. mr. pompeo: yeah. sen. flake: and so anyway if we could beef that staff up, it would be great as well. mr. pompeo: thank you. sen. flake: thank you. sen. corker: thank you. >> thank you very much mr.
you forn, and thank your service, director pompeo. we really appreciate having your family here and look forward to you answering our questions. i want to follow up. i've worked with senator flake quite a bit on cuba and follow-up on the cuba issue. cuba is about to choose its first leader who is not a castro. yet the u.s. presence in the country has been reduced significantly, and as a result, other countries are filling this vacuum. will you work to help improve ties with cuba, a relationship that benefits many states hoping to increase trade with the island? as you know when i visited with you in my office, i talked at -- talked about how many governors have gone to cube baaa -- withba and said with their other cultural folks and said, cuba has 11 million people. we want to sell food products to them, agricultural products. so will you work to improve ties
with cuba? mr. pompeo: senator, i recall joking with you about kansas. [laughter] the answer to your question is yes. senator flake had asked about the ambassador -- the diplomatic presence there. i think everyone's aware of some of the concerns. i assure you, and i'll assure senator flake as well, we will -- consistent with keeping these folks safe, we will build out a team there that will deliver american diplomacy to cuba and a way that represents the finest of america. know,dall: now as you u.s. internet companies -- cuba has very, very little internet capacity. and this is one of the things i think really could open cuba up to the world. do you believe the united states companies should lead the effort to help bring the internet to cuba? mr. pompeo: that question sounds like there may be something buried there that i'm not aware
of. so -- sen. udall: there is. [laughter] mr. pompeo: if i might -- sen. udall: now, come on. mr. pompeo: at the risk of demonstrating ignorance, i'd prefer the chance to talk to my experts at the state department and work my way through it. sen. udall: ok. and to reiterate, there's nothing really a trick there. i've worked with a number of members of this committee and others outside the committee to try to push the effort to have the internet be a big part of what our first push in cuba. as you know very well, and we talked about this in my office too, the state department and defense department work hand in glove on these crucial issues. and the job of the state department is to try to make sure we don't get into unnecessary wars. your your work, i think, is to , work hard at diplomacy, search for peace, do what we -- and
make sure that we don't get into another war. are you committed to robust diplomacy as our ranking member senator menendez talked about and committed to do everything you can to prevent future wars? mr. pompeo: yes, sir. sen. udall: thank you. director i'm going to follow up , also on several members on the iran deal. director pompeo, the iran deal has effectively cut off all pathways to an iranian nuclear weapons program. compliance has been certified repeatedly by the international atomic energy agency and both israeli and u.s. intelligence agencies, one which you oversee. yet you have said that, and i quote here, iran will have the an arsenal ofld nuclear weapons at the end of that time. even when the joint comprehensive plan of action sunsets under the current deal, iran will still remain a signatory of the nonproliferation treaty and a
party to the iaea's additional protocol. iaea inspectors are not going anywhere, and if they did, the united states and the global community would have ample time to react to any breakout. and in fact, the international community through the secretary general spoke out as to the importance of the jcpoa very recently. in view -- in this position in light of your apparent support for u.s. policy of regime change in iran, really the contrast there really upsets me. in 2014 you said you would have preferred military strikes to the jcpoa. and i quote here, this is your quote, it is under 2000 sorties to destroy the iranian nuclear capacity. this is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces, and quote -- end quote.
is this your current position? are you for a first military strike? mr. pompeo: i'm not. i am absolutely not. i don't think that's what i said that day with respect to the quote that you provided. i know a little bit more about what it would take today. in terms of what i described as the capacity to achieve what i was speaking to that day, i think i'm still pretty close. but there is no doubt that this administration's policy and my view that the solution to preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon, to finding ourselves in the same place we are with north korea, in iran is through diplomacy. sen. udall: do you have any evidence to dispute the iaea assessment that iran is in full compliance with the jcpoa? mr. pompeo: senator, with the information that i've been provided, i have no -- i've seen no evidence that they are not in compliance today. the answer is no. sen. udall: i would just hope --
i'm very near to the end of my time here. i would just hope that you understand that the international community and the united states working together is what got us to the point where we are. and so i think it would be very unfortunate if we're the one that pulls back and sets the stage for a very chaotic future. thank you very much. mr. pompeo: thank you. sen. corker: before turning to senator gardner, on that note, do you have any sense that chancellor merkel and macron's visit here, will that be discussed? they will be here before may 12. senator, i have not seen the agenda, but i'd be shocked if it didn't come up. sen. corker: there is still the matter of them coming together on a framework. as we get closer to that time, maybe people will be a little more focused on that occurring. mr. pompeo: senator, i having , had some interactions with my european counterparts, i am confident that issue will be
discussed at some length. it's important to them. and i know they'll raise their hopes and concerns when they travel here to the united states in the coming days. sen. corker: senator gardener. sen. gardner: thank you mr. , chairman. director pompeo, congratulations on your nomination and to your family. this is no easy task. i appreciate your willing to serve our country once again. director pompeo and i had an incredible time serving together. mr. pompeo: with senator markey. sen. gardner: we had the opportunity to sit next to each other. i can tell my colleagues on the committee that there is no one who came better prepared and more understanding of the issues and always looking for a creative answer, i think, is something that i always admired about his work in the house. and i know that continued as director of the cia and will continue upon his confirmation at the state department. i have one request, director pompeo, that is very important
to me. as secretary of state, kansas will have no greater authority over water than they do right now. [laughter] so anyway, we won't get into water fights in colorado and kansas right now. i would like to submit for the record if i could a letter written by former senior government officials with national security experience in administrations of different parties or on capitol hill, people including general alexander, michael allen, jeremy bash, michael casey. sen. corker: without objection. sen. gardner: thank you, mr. chairman. director you and i have had a , number of opportunities to talk about asia. if you look at asia, it was written once that this is the most consequential region for america's future. the largest armies in the world will camp in asia. the most powerful navies will gather. over one-half of the world's commerce will take place. of the world will travel. two thirds five of america's seven defense treaties located in asia. it's the region where two super powers will compete to determine which world order will prevail.
director pompeo, several of us on the committee, senator markey, senator rubio, and i are working on legislation that would help speak with one voice, the administration and congress, when it comes to asia, creating a reassurance initiative that will allow us to focus on three areas, economic matters, security matters rule of law, , democracy matters. in the last congress we held a number of hearings focusing on those three areas in addition to a fourth hearing that focused on this reassurance initiative and our effort to understand the future of the u.s.-china relationship. something that at times has been described as a trap. i believe president xi when he was here. director pompeo do you believe , it is important that congress and the administration speak with one voice as it relates to asia and our asia policy? mr. pompeo: senator i do. , you shared the outlines of that legislation to me. i look forward to working with you to see if we can get it right and do good for america by joining together to accomplish that. sen. gardner: could you share
with me some of the priorities you think should be in a comprehensive asia policy? mr. pompeo: oh goodness. step one obviously is diplomacy, making sure there aren't mistakes, that we don't talk past each other. we don't end up -- you talked about the trap. the ability to avoid the trap depends on the capacity for the two nations to speak to their central interests and core interests, and those of second order importance where cooperation will be the mark of the day. i think diplomacy leads that effort. as i think we would all agree absent a strong america, the , rest of the things pale in comparison. we have got to make sure we have robust economic growth. the underpinnings of our capacity to have the leverage to achieve good economic outcomes depend on that. when you to be sure that america does the things it needs to do so we have not just 2018, 2019, and 2020 but a longterm horizon of economic prosperity. sen. gardner: i think you would agree with me as well that the
creation of a long-term policy on asia, a generational policy, indo-pacific is what we need. not just a four-year strategy. mr. pompeo: that is what you described as important. when questions get asked about china, we cannot forget of the -- they live in a complicated region with lots of countries with varying interests and a chinese government intent on expanding their capacity for not only economic influence in those countries but using that economic tool to achieve political importance. we need a thoughtful, long-term strategy to prevent that from taking place. sen. gardner: we'll get into china more on the next round of questions, but i think it is important to note even today, china have announced exercises in the taiwan straits. and we have seen the clear militarization, and these are a few challenges that we have that's been lingering for a number of years but increasing in their importance today. i want to shift right now to north korea. do you agree with secretary mattis that north korea is the
most urgent security threat that the united states faces? mr. pompeo: i do. sen. gardner: this community have led the effort to increase maximum pressure on north korea and the kim jong-un regime and the passage of the sentence policy, the enhancement act, and also working together to assure maximum pressure applied. the lead act, the leverage to enhance effective diplomacy , which imposed a trade embargo on pyongyang at its enablers. will this engagement policy mean a continued pursuit of third-party entities and financial institutions who engage in significant trade with pyongyang? mr. pompeo: yes. sen. gardner: will you commit to advance this lead act and others like it that continue these sanctions against such entities? mr. pompeo: i am not familiar with the details. sen. gardner: it is a great bill. [laughter] mr. pompeo: the president has
made clear of the continuation of the pressure campaign is the tool that enables the opportunity to achieve successful diplomatic outcome in north korea. sen. gardner: and briefly, we have about a minute left here can you share with me the exact , goals of the presidential summit between the united states and north korea? mr. pompeo: yes, i believe i can. it is to develop an agreement with the north korean leadership so that the north korean leadership will separately from its efforts to hold america at risk with nuclear weapons completely and verifiably. sen. gardner: to be clear, the only goal that the united states has is complete verifiable and irreversible of the nuclear weapons? mr. pompeo: i want to be careful about complete. north korea has a significant military arsenal, one of the largest armies in the world. we need to ensure that we continue to provide a strategic framework for our allies in the region, the south koreans and japanese and others as well. but the purpose of the meeting is to address this nuclear threat to the united states.
sen. gardner: and our goal remains the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization? mr. pompeo: yes, sir, that's correct. sen. corker: senator cain. senator kaine: during the negotiation over the iran nuclear deal of 2014, you opposed the deal and you stated, 2000 sorties to destroy the nuclear capacity." you venture the thought that military action might be preferable to a deal or easier than some folks were suggesting. where did you get the notion that destroying iran's nuclear capacity could be accomplished with 2000 air sorties? mr. pompeo: that was something i learned as a part of the military career. sen. kaine: your military house
is the house intel of committee. mr. pompeo: yes, i am trying to remember the timing of the statement at the that point in time. sen. kaine: at the time, did you have any reluctance to share that assessment publicly? that seems like a pretty specific sort of assessment to say i am confident in our capacity is one thing. to publicly discuss that would to wipe outies their capacity struck me as odd. did you have any reluctant to share that at the time? mr. pompeo: senator there was no , classified information contained in that simple statement. sen. kaine: wouldn't that sort of specificity rely on a lot? mr. pompeo: senator, 2000 is a pretty big round of number. this was, there was no effort here to make any specificity. it might have been 1000, it might have been 3000. there was no aim to communicate -- sen. kaine: to your point, you weren't trying to be inaccurate mr. pompeo:. mr. pompeo:no, senator i never try to do that.
we may disagree about this, senator, but i do think it is important, i absolutely think it is important to provide diplomats with opportunity to be successful. countries that are adverse to us don't often succeed to our desires, absent a rationale for doing so. sen. kaine: diplomats without any -- mr. pompeo: diplomats without any capacity are just sitting there talking. sen. kaine: well, and i agree. i think stating, we have a lot of capacity by one thing, i was struck by the specificity. would it be your norm to share that in such specific details? mr. pompeo: senator, i confident am if i have done it multiple times you would raise it here today. sen. kaine: i wonder of your assessment, did you assume that iran may respond to an attack to the united states, or were you just assuming that they would do nothing? mr. pompeo: senator, i don't know in the context of that statement i was thinking about. sen. kaine: but you would agree with me of the extent that the u.s. would need to use to destroy iran's capacity would depend pretty significantly on
whether iran would fight to protect against an attack on its own soil. mr. pompeo: absolutely. sen. kaine: you said it would not be an insurmountable task for the coalition forces and i curious about that, too. am most of our coalition forces in 2014 were sitting around the table with us trying to do a peaceful negotiation to end iran's nuclear capacity. it sounds that you had sounds that you had confidence that the u.s. could not do a deal, and then convince coalition partners to join us in bombing. i am convince what coalition partners you were thinking about as you were making that comment? mr. pompeo: senator, i was not thinking of any reticular coalition partners when i made that. sen. kaine: those comments when i heard of the relative ease, reminded me of the run up of the -- up to the iraq war. vice president cheney said we would be greeted as liberators. the president said there were definitely weapons of mass destruction. secretary rumsfeld said the invasion would largely be self-financing and would last, quote, "five weeks or five months." it certainly isn't going to last
any longer. we know that the cost of the united states was 4400 soldiers dead, 500,000 iraqis dead, and a price tag now topping $3 trillion and unprecedented turmoil in the region, and most of those facts were known at the time that you made the statement in 2014. let me say this. i am one of two senators who serve on both the foreign relations and armed services committee. i represent a state that's deeply committed in the military. i have a son in the military. i honor your military service, your entire public service. i think my mission on these two committees is sort of two things, dramatically reduce on the risk of unnecessary war, raise the possibility of any war -- possibility we win any war we need to be in. your action as a house member that you and i probably see this somewhat the same way. in 2011, i criticized president obama for putting us into military action in libya without
a vote, and you voted twice to oppose military action unless it was authorized by congress. in 2014, president obama came to this committee to ask for the military authority to strike syria. you supported that in the house . i supported it here in the senate, the committee supported it. now president trump has fired -- ordered missile strikes to fire at syria last year. he did not seek congressional approval. the u.s. conducted air strikes against the syrian military without congressional approval . the president is tweeting he may do additional military strikes in syria now. and he is also aiming more directly at russia. as far as i know syria has not , declared war against the united states. has congress given the president specific authority to raise war -- wage war against syria? mr. pompeo: senator, i think you and i actually do share similar bias for the executive and the legislative branches both to be
involved when such momentous decisions of war are undertaken. now i am in the executive branch, my views have not changed. sen. kaine: you would agree that it involves the domestic and international legal justification. mr. pompeo: yes senator, i , would. with respect -- i don't want to dodge your very specific question. sen. kaine: yes. mr. pompeo: you asked about syria, for multiple -- for a long time, multiple administrations have found that the president has authority to act and take certain actions without first come into congress to seek approval, whether it was kosovo -- the list from republicans and democrats is long and like. sen. kaine: let me ask -- mr. pompeo: i share your case. in each case where we can and america and our soldiers and marines are better off if we have the entirety of the united states government working together and having authorized the activity. sen. kaine: for the past year i have been trying to secure the administration's detailed legal
justification for last april's strikes on the military base in syria. the administration has not fully provided it. and there is reportedly a memo that is laying out in description of what the president or the administration feels are the appropriate executive powers. would you support the release of the nonclassified portion of that memo to congress so that we can see what the president thinks his powers are and engage in a productive dialogue about that? mr. pompeo: sir, i learned about this memo. i think you shared it with me, and i was unaware with that. i promise to work alongside to get that information. if it is a classified version of it, that you have a right as a member of the legislative branch, i will get you that. if it is unclassified version, we'll work to achieve that as well. sen. kaine: excellent thank you. ,thank you, mr. chairman. sen. corker: before turning to senator young, then specifically a surgical strike against let's just use the left one that occurred with 59 tomahawk
missiles, do you believe that does require an authorization from congress? mr. pompeo: senator, multiple administrations have taken those kinds of activities under the president's authority. sen. corker: so i was ranking member when i and our chairman on the committee wrote an authorization for the use of force against syria that unfortunately was not used and changed the course of history unfortunately and displaced millions of people and hundreds of thousands of people are dead, and not to say that that would have necessarily prevented all that but it would have changed the trajectory significantly. i agree with you, and i have shared that with the president for a short period of time that i do not believe that should he choose to take a surgical strike against syria that an authorization from us is necessary just based on a body of evidence that we have, and then the things that have occurred in the past, and i am
like you oppose strongly of what we did in libya. that's complicating our efforts in north korea because of obvious reasons. so with that, senator young. sen. young: welcome, mr. director. congratulations on your nomination. my point as i start here, i won't be trying to identify some areas of principle disagreements. i suspect if we worked hard enough, we might be able to find some of those. i want to emphasize the importance of having a smart and experienced individual as our next secretary of state based on my time serving with you in the house of representatives, you certainly check those boxes. we also need a leader who's credible, not just with our own president, but with leaders around the world, and you also checked that box. so i want to encourage you, and i anticipate supporting you. in our march visit in our office, we spent much of our
time talking about crises around the world. you will certainly are emersed in these should you be confirmed. but we also spent a lot of time talking about communication and responsiveness of the state department. i was quite candid with you about my unhappiness from time to time with the department of state and the level of responsiveness seen over the last year or so, though it has significantly improved. there has been an uptick in dialogue between the department in my office and i think this community more generally in recent months. we have an article one responsibility which you understand very well. this is the committee of jurisdiction that overseas the -- oversees the state department. i just want to get you on record here. you indicated in your prepared statement that you are prepared to pick up our calls on the first ring. that's exactly this message that you ought to be sending.
so to be clear, do you commit to and ensure that the department of state provides timely and responsive answers to me and my office? mr. pompeo: senator, as a cia director, i adopted that leon panetta model which was more time, more coffee to have with really directions. whether i agree with a member or not to do that, provide the documents to which they are entitled as elected officials, i promise to do that. sen. young: refreshing. mr. director, do you agree that the director of national security, our national security depends on large measure on a vibrant growing economy? mr. pompeo: i do. sen. young: you mentioned china's systematic policies of stealing intellectual property, technology transfer and associated activities. you also mentioned moments ago china is using mostly economic tools against us to achieve broader geopolitical and geostrategic ends.
you believe these policies by beijing have already undermined, and if they continue unabated will continue to undermine our ability as a country to realize our potential for economic growth, to incentivize investment in each technology and key sectors of our economy, and to sustain the financial wherewithal that is required mr. pompeo: yes, i think those risks are real today. this is not a future risk presented to the country. we have to confront it today. the enormous amount of intellectual property taken out of hands. sometimes taken out of the hands of the country. the imagination and creative the of the u.s. workforce has delivered, and the chinese have taken it away from us. we have to develop a robust set of tools. there are a bunch of tools that we need such that we can prevent
that from continuing to happen in the future. sen. young: relatedly earlier you spoke about the need for a china strategy. my sense is you believe we need a whole of government well coordinated, informed, strategic response to china's coercive, deceptive economic and trade practices. mr. pompeo: i do believe that. sen. young: i do too. that is why i intend to introduce legislation on this topic. i will require, to this legislation, my colleagues in the administration the periodic production of the national economic security strategy. i welcome the opportunity to work with the administration, you in particular with any colleague that shares these goals. i think we will get this across the line. it is needed now more than ever. do you believe a u.s. response
, mr. director, to china will be more effective if we assemble a multilateral coalition of allies and key trading partners who also have suffered due to beijing's economic policies and trade practices to create a unified international front to apply maximum pressure on beijing to achieve our objectives, as opposed to a merely bilateral dynamic, which i perceive we have now? mr. pompeo: i agree with that. conceptually, if we can get countries in southeast asia and more broadly to jointly set up a framework that achieves what you described as our objective, we are more likely to achieve most of all of it. sen. young: given the challenges we confront with russia, iran, north korea, china, and beyond do you believe our nation's need , for effective diplomacy will decrease in the coming year or two?
mr. pompeo: senator, it seems unimaginable, but if i am good enough, right? [laughter] i am hopeful we can begin to take some of these challenges away. i was mindful. i had all the former cia directors attend. there andem had been said mike, the stock has only gotten longer. we need to start to solve some of these. humorous, is something i would like to shine a light on. the previous occupant of the secretary of state position once indicated part of the rationale behind his funding request for the department of state was that there would be less of a need on account of highly effective near-term diplomacy for as much
funding. in large organization here washington or beyond can be made more efficient, and we can identify funding in decreases tt might be made. i would regard it as a risky highlyy to assume your effective diplomacy is going to be a strong rationale for funding cuts. are you under the premise that highly effective diplomacy will lead to lower funding requests in the international account moving forward? dir. pompeo: no. [laughter] i am optimistic this is where we are engaged, but i can't see anything in the six, 12, 24 month time horizon that strikes that. >> thank you.
many members. welcome, sir. i want to talk about the threat of nuclear war. hearrth korea, i'm glad to you believe we should exhaust all options before resorting to military conflict, i agree with you. but i do not believe we have yet exhausted all options. you have spoken about setting conditions for success in advance of president trump's meeting with kim jong-un, and i thatght now very concerned the lack of a coherent policy could lead to a poor meeting. worry economic engagement
has failed. john bolton has recently economic engagement has failed. john bolton has recently outlined the case for preventative military strikes on north korea. conditions under which you would support preventative military strikes against north korea as secretary of state? dir. pompeo: thanks for your question. that phrase, preventative military strikes, has a plot of history. i want to be careful. my me give you my judgment, diplomatic and national security judgment. i want to start with the predicate of your question. while i don't want to speculate on the negotiation, it is my anticipation there will be enormous diplomatic work remaining. we have not yet exhausted our capacity. there is an awfully long way to go. the president has made clear, and i agree with him, that there may come the day when we see an
arsenal of nuclear weapons capable of striking the u.s. t diplomaticd aols the u.s. has is a foreign policy power are unsuccessful -- senator markey: let me get your to this. there will be some who make that recommendation. was absolutely unresponsive in this meeting with the president. let me remind you the pentagon stated "the only way to locate and destroy with complete tocertainty all components of north korea's nuclear weapons programs would be through a ground invasion." as you know, projections for a conventional war on the peninsula estimate between 30000
and 300,000 u.s. personnel could die in the first days of the conflict. you are a military man. you understand this. is there any circumstance under which you would concur with john bolton, that with the exhaustion of economic sanctions, from his perspective, that a ground invasion of north korea would be necessary in order to rid that country of its nuclear weapons program? dir. pompeo: i could hypothesize such situations. could i imagine one? yes i could. it is possible we could get to the condition. i think there would be wide consensus on this panel where kim jong-un was directly threatening. i can imagine times where america would need to take a response that fast diplomacy. -- that moved past diplomacy.
senator markey: i would say the consequences of the united states and initiating an attack against north korea would be catastrophic. dir. pompeo: senator, i agree with that. senator markey: if we had not been attacked, and that is what concerns me about john bolton. i think the american people will want reassurances from you that he would not consider such -- a hat you would not consider such an action. he already has nuclear weapons. it would be catastrophic if we decided to make a first strike against him. i'm not comfortable with the amount taking that off the table, but i want to move to the saudi arabia agreement being negotiatedi'm not comfortable we withthem. i will quote john bolton that
include themust gold standard commitment to forgo any uranium enrichment or spent fuel processing to include gold standard commitment to technologies critical to the development of nuclear weapons. do you believe in the agreement that we negotiate with saudi arabia should in fact have a cold standard? -- gold standard? dir. pompeo: yes. one of the critics ofdo you the agreement we reached with iran is it was insufficiently close to such a standard. senator markey: certainly support a gold -- so you support a gold standard? dir. pompeo: i do. i know the department of energy is working to achieve that. senator markey: would you support anything that is less than the gold standard, that would allow uranium enrichment processing on the soil of saudi arabia? dir. pompeo: i cannot answer that.
close but notot to the full definition of the gold standard. yes, i can imagine such a scenario. senator markey: how do you think iran would respond if we pulled gold standard. yes, i can imagine such a scenario. out of the agreement with iran while simultaneously agreeing to a deal where saudi arabia could receive plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment equipment? dir. pompeo: this is my precise concern with the iran agreement. senator markey: right. that is the question i am asking you, what would be the response? if we are providing nuclear the sauditerial to arabians. dir. pompeo: i think they would take it into account. we are talking about multiple components, fissile material, the -- missile material, the capacity for clinton's
assistance. for weapons systems. senator markey: this is going to be a very dangerous concoction if we pull out of the iran deal, permit them to obtain nuclear weapons making materials in their country. the juxtaposition of abandoning the iran deal while simultaneously giving their archrival saudi arabia a sweetheart deal is going to lead to a highly combustible condition in the middle east that is is avoidable if we eal while the iran dlea also maintaining a gold standard, otherwise the saudi arabians will be want to be put on third base in the lead of nuclear weapons materials.
administration will itmaking a mistake if negotiate a deal that allows the saudi arabians to do that. senator corker: we have talked with secretary perry, and could not agree more we it negotiate a deal that need to ss a gold standard. understandme time when you have given iran the right to enrich, everyone in the want the going to right to enrich. you have your work cut out for you. an arabfficult to tell nation they cannot when we said the shi'a can. congratulations on your nomination. we will be here to support you as best we can. my thanks to the state department and this
administration on the open skies agreement. they are essential for the aviation industry. economicnistration and bureau of development and state department did a great job seeing to open skies enforced. i hope you will continue that enforcement. dir. pompeo: i will. >> thank you very much. i am a big fan of africa, and i have developed an affinity for africa since i have been on this video foreign relations. i think it is the sign of the 21st century -- china is demonstrating they think it is important because they are spending a lot of money and building buildings. with what has been going on in the persian gulf, africa is command is the powerful. there are a million and a half people there, 150 million over
in nigeria. lots of opportunity economically. it is important we focus and help them develop and grow. are you familiar with the millennium challenge corporation? dir. pompeo: i am familiar with them at some level. i thinkisakson: president bush did a great job establishing that program, building infrastructure in those countries and building governing boards that held the african countries that received -- that held the african countries that received the investment in reducing corruption and being a better partner with other countries. i hope you will focus on the millennium challenge corporation. power wet of that soft have the capability to use to influence our enemies. we from time to time need a lot of votes in the u.n.
the more friends we can make in countries like africa, the more votes we can have to influence to help us on the deals in the united nations. i hope you will focus on africa when you have the chance and realize what the state department has done. lastly, this is kind of an mytorial statement -- experience at the state department has been it has been blue funk for a year and a half. i thought there was a real need for a perk, for an adjustment and attitude improvement. i think you afford the opportunity to be that catalyst at the department. tutor credit, your -- to blue fr credit, your critics and complementors give you high enthusiasm in your mission.
of a sudden employees had a chance to speak out to you. you had a chance in the environment to tell them to be a partner to make that happen. i am not shilling for anyone, but as i understand it, the attitudes toward our state department are the best they have ever been. the unity is strong. the understanding of the mission of the rank-and-file employees is great. i challenge you to replicate where possible in justice department that same energy and fire you have the cia. the state department needs it desperately. the state department is our hope for peaceful settlements with difficult problems, in putting our best foot forward early so we don't have to put our biggest foot late. if you do what you did at the cia department at the state
u will bet, yo successful. please feel free to brag about yourself. dir. pompeo: i will do just the opposite of that. what you described took place because of the talented officers, the professionals at the cia. is, i had enormous human capital with which to build a team. i know this department is the same way. is, i had enormous human local employees, civil servants have that same desire to be relevant and important. if you decide to devote your life to civil service, you have a special. -- special commitment. my task will be to free them up to do the best work they can do every day. credit isakson: you gave to the folks at the cia why
you're such a popular director. senator corker: thank you very much. senator booker: i appreciate you coming by and giving me the respect and deference to talk and private. i want to pick up on one of the themes we talked at length about, and that involves your past statements involving muslim americans. i want to start with some of your language. --a speech, he talked about you talked about folks who leadership of the guns and -- fo lks who worship other gods and c all it multiculturalism. you mourn that that happens. is worshiping other gods something negative in our country? dir. pompeo: no senator. you don't have to take my word for it, my record is exquisite
in treated people of -- treating people of faith to practice whatever religion, or no religion, they believe. senator booker: if i could follow up-- dir. pompeo: it is important. i have worked closely with muslim leaders, with muslim countries. saveda h s countless muslim lives . i promise you i will treat those of faith or no faith the way they deserve. senator booker: we see too much bigotry and hatred, we know words matter. i understand your actions, and i will stipulate to the actions you just sent. i want to get to the bottom of
people reading your past statements. i would like to go back to what we talked about, this idea, and "the specialoquoting you, obligation falls on muslims" when it comes to terrorist attacks in our country. you said people that are silent are complicit in those terrorist attacks. do you think muslim americans in in ouruntry who serveare military, their failure to speak up, are they complicit in our obligation to push back against this extremist use of violence, from whatever faith. in terrorist attacks? dir. pompeo: each and every senator booker: but you don't
create a special class of people in this country based on religion with a special obligation to condemn terrorist attacks. dir. pompeo: no, senator. having said thatsenator booker'e up completely up completely agg -- i also believe this firlmrml, that for folks that are more more shared have experience. sureit comes to making that we don't sure that we don't have a terrorist brewing in places where muslims congregate, it is more than a du ty, it is an opportunity. when someone of another faith -- senator booker: i have some more questions. so you think muslims in america who are in positions of leadership have a different category of obligation because of their religion? that is what i am hearing. dir. pompeo: it is not an obligation, it is an opportunity. senator booker: i would agree with you that silence in the
face of injustice, i do agree with you that lends strength to that injustice. i do have a problem when you start dicing up american people and saying certain americans, i is kareem whether it abdul-jabbar or muslims on my staff that someone has a special application. i do believe all of is kareem abdul-jabbar us when it comes to violent actions or even violent words have an obligation. frank?know dir. pompeo: yes i do. senator booker: you have been on his show dozens of times. dir. pompeo: i was on his show some, yes. senator booker: i have your over 20 times. -- here over 20 times. he talked about that muslims who abide for their faith should be tried for acts of sedition and
should be prosecuted. did you ever question? i have a lot of misstatements here. on my notes at least, you are a friend of his. him? you silent iwith dir. pompeo: my record on this is unambiguous. senator booker: that is a response. you did not say anything to call out his remarks. do you remember brigitte gabriel? dir. pompeo: i do. senator booker: someone who runs an organization that is considered a hate group by the anti-defamation league and southern poverty law center. did you call her out on her remarks? dir. pompeo: i have spoken to a number of groups. i believe my respect to tolerance -- senator booker: yes or no? did you ever call her out? dir. pompeo: i don't remember every statement i made over 54 years. senator booker: i believe the special obligation you believe
of four americans to condemn things -- you believe for americans to condemn things would obligate you to speak out. dir. pompeo: we have someone called fred phelps. i called him out. senator booker: you said in a speech that mo would obligaternin in americag that endorses perversion and calls it a lifestyle, in your words -- is being gay a perversion? dir. pompeo: when i was a senator, i had a specific view on two same-sex people to marry. senator booker: you do not believe it is acceptable for two gay people to marry? the state department in africa -- there are some that are married. you do not believe that should be allowed? dir. pompeo: i believe we have
married gay couples at the cia. i treated them with the exact same set of rights -- senator booker: do you believe gay sex is a perversion? it is what you said here in your speeches. do you believe gay sex is a perversion? dir. pompeo: i will give you the answer i give you previously. my respect for every individual regardless of sexual orientation is the same. senator booker: i will conclude by saying, you will be secretary of united states at a time when we have increased hate speech against jewish-american's, muslim americans. even be representing this country and -- you will be representing this country and values abroad. your views do matter. you will be dealing with muslim states on muslim issues. i do not necessarily concur you are reporting the nation's
values when you believe there are people in our country that are perverse, and where you think you create different categories of americans and obligations when it comes to condemning violence. i will have another round, but thank you. senator paul:senator paul: thanr testimony and going through this grueling enterprise. you discussed with senator kaine whether or not the president has bomb assad's to forces. you mentioned historically we have done this in the past. i don't think that is a complete enough answer. bombis it constitutional? does the president have the constitutional authority absent congressional action to bomb assad' forcess or installations? dir. pompeo: i am happy to repeat my view, those decisions are waiting.
we should work alongside congress to get that. yes, i believe the president has the domestic authority to do that. i don't think that has been disputed by democrats or republicans over time. senator paul: it is mostly disputed by our founding fathers, who believe they gave authority to congress. they were uniformly opposed to the executive branch having that power. madison said, the executive branch is the most prone to war, therefore we have vested that care with the legislature. i take objection to the idea that the president can go to war when he wants, where he wants. with regards to afghanistan, some argue it is time to get out of afghanistan. what do you think? dir. pompeo: i think the course of action president trump has taken is the right one. it is some argue it is time to get out of afghanistan. what do you think? humble in its mission.
it understands that we have been there an awfully long time. not regards to leave until we can -- we are not prepared to leave until we can diminish the imminent threat there. the efforte humble, to create more stability in afghanistan. senator paul:can -- we are not . he said it is time to get out of afghanistan. ads andbuilding ro for people schools who hate the president has been us, it's time to get out. you want to stay. some worry you may be too much in disagreement with the president. the president says, let's declare victory and come home, but it sounds like you want to
stay. dir. pompeo: sounds like i have a goldilocks problem, too close, too far. the president also said in the summer at fort myers that he was committed to the mission i outlined. by supporting afghan forces in the country, i share the president's view that we have a continued role there. while we want to get out in the same way you do. friends, as i know you have, who has been injured. senator paul: here is the problem, are we ever going to be at that place? you the administration yourself in your written questions back to me that there is not a military solution. riske sending g.i.'s to life and limb, like vietnam, hoping we won't get to a position to get them to
negotiate. in the end, it was no better in vietnam. it was still a disaster at the very end. a lot of people wasted their lives for that. i think there is no military mission. when you admit there is no military mission, it is hard for me to square with your desire still to stay. you say we want to leave, but when? i think we should declare victory and come home. we literally didn't win -- we literally did win. there is nobody left alive who plotted to attack us on 11. me the names of those in 9/11. we sending people to war who were not even born when 9/11 was. we say it's fine, we will keep fighting these wars. it has nothing to do with 9/11. everyone in the world that is a radical islamist we are at war
with, we got permission to go at 911. in congress, your permission with libya is that we should get authorization. your physician in 2013, you wrote an op-ed with tom cotton, we should give the president the authority to go into syria. he wanted to give him -- you wanted to give him permission. we need to think of these things through and not be so carte blanche to give the president the ability to do whatever he wants. do youblanche think the iraq waa mistake? dir. pompeo: i was running a machine shop at the time. senator paul: no opinions back then? what about opinions now? dir. pompeo: we have bad intelligence. i have been one of the few say i
directors to say we get it wrong. senator paul: it is not just that. we did geopolitically the wrong thing. we got rid of the enemy of iran. we emboldened iran. we brought chaos to the middle east. we are suffering the ramifications of the iraq war. your president said the iraq war was the single worst decision ever made. i am concerned you won't be supporting the president, influencing him in a way. i think his inclinations are better than many of his advisors. he was against being in syria many times in his career. will you be one to listen to what the president actually wants instead of someone advocating us to stay forever in afghanistan, bombing syria without permission? that is my biggest concern with
your nomination, i don't think it reflects the millions who voted for president trump because they thought it would be different, that it wouldn't be the traditional consensus to bomb all over the world. that is loude sure and clear that is my concern. this is anphy: extraordinary article from late last year in the new yorker that seeaks to china's ri coinciding with an american retreat from the globe. we have seen the presence the united states used to have simply isn't there. other countries are taking advantage. this article in part describes a relatively reaching meeting of the -- relatively routine meeting of the wto, discussing agriculture and seafood. it quotes someone in attendance,
for two days of meetings the , there were no americans, and the chinese were chortling they were the guarantors of the trading system. trumpticle makes the case is china's biggest strategic opportunity. we have seen major administration presents, there is virtually no presence. what do you think of the scope of our presence at the school setting meetings? dir. pompeo: senator, we need to be there. we need to be capable. dir. pompeo: prepared to engaged and work for america's interest in these multilateral discussions. sounds like we share that sentiment. i could not tell you why we weren't there. i view those are important places to get the prepared to
engaged international rule of law in accordance with our view and not the chinese view. you have concerns, and will do my best to nature we are capable. senator murphy: senator menendez asked you whether there was discussion about steps you can take to frustrate the investigation. recall whatdon't the president asked me that day. is that your testimony, that you don't recall what he asked? dir. pompeo: yes. i don't recall if he asks anything that particular day. i know the date. i knew the meeting to which you refer. i don't recall the specifics.
i havei have answered every quen about that meeting and others. senator murphy: i ask the question because you answered two different ways. you said, i don't recall what he hasd me that day, and he never asked me to do anything i considered inappropriate. those are not consistent. he asked me to do something inappropriate, i would remember. senator murphy: let me give you a chance at another question. senator kunz asked you whether you agreed with the president's characterization of the mueller investigation as an attack on america, on all we stand for. i don't understand why your participation in elements of the investigation would render you unable to tell us that you don't believe that the investigation is an attack on america. i don't think it compromises any
of the work the cia did or does in that investigation. really troubling if you could not say here today that you don't believe that the mueller investigation is an attack on america. i will give you another chance on that. dir. pompeo: these are complex legal issues the special counsel is involved in. i have done my best as cia director to separate every element of that. it is a minefield, senator murphy. i want to be on the far side of the line with making sure i don't create challenges for the special counsel's office, for the two legislative committees involved in this. with all due respect, as it relates to the special counsel -- senator murphy: by refusing to condemn attacks on the special counsel, i mean really over the
line attacks not shared by republicans in congress, you are frustrating to work of the special counsel, because you are associating yourself with poisonous political attacks. dir. pompeo: i have worked diligently myself and have put demands on the team that works for me to make sure we were delivering for each of those investigations. they have asked for complex information that was classified that goes well beyond what was previously shared. we have done so with the aim that the house and senate intelligence committees have what they need to conduct their investigations. we will do that today tomorrow, and if investigations. they have asked for complex information confirmed, at the se department as well. senator murphy: you said you believe the president has the authority to strike syrian forces. what statutory authorization do you draw on to come to that conclusion? dir. pompeo: i believe the
president has that authority. he certainly has it under article two of the constitution. senator murphy: what is the limit to article two hours if he can strike syrian forces with no authorization? dir. pompeo: there are leagues of articles written in answer to that very question. fact-baseda very analysis. just give me one limiting factor. dir. pompeo: if you make a commitment that would be traditionally viewed as a classical case for war, so the constitution requires. this has been a total for -- been a tussle for a long time. coming from the deepessional side, s
f you make a commitment that would berespec'g from. there is a statutory definition as well. senator murphy: the war powers refers to an attack on the united states. there has been no attack on the united states from the syrian regime, correct? dir. pompeo: senator, that is correct. senator murphy: and there is no imminent threat of attack on the united states from the syrian regime. dir. pompeo: i am trying to be careful -- yes, i think that is correct. senator murphy: i am at the end of my time. i might want to follow up on this. i don't think we are at the bottom of this question. [laughter] dir. pompeo: you are asking me today to conduct complex legal analyses with legal conclusions. i know it is important, and so i'm trying to do my best. i have the same time trying to make sure not having a statement i made -- senator murphy: i understand that.
to the extent there is no identifiable string on -- strain on executive power, we are out of business when it comes to waging war. senator corker: even on this committee i know there is wide disagreement on that. senator shaheen and i can statements over the post a few reed thee ag president has the ability to carry out surgical strikes. president obama carried out strikes in libya that i disagreed with on a policy basis, but he had the authority to do so, at least he claimed he did. this is a subject of debate. i think it is prudent to our witness to not analyze the details of that. on our committee we would debate that at length. i look forward to the follow-up.
peo,irector pom congratulations on your nomination. thanks for your service to the nation. thank you for meeting with me to discuss the issues of national security. ononcur with you presidential authority to utilize military force in syria. i want to stay with you on syria. assad has continued to use chemical on presidential authority weapons,g thousands, and most recently it sounds like another attack a few days ago. reports emerged of killing men, women and children outside damascus, another democrat weapons attack. u.s.ould you suggest the hold assad accountable for its use of chemical weapons? dir. pompeo: i would prefer -- this is a live discussion, one as intelligence director i am part of. i would not like to talk to how it is or whether it is the
united states plans to respond to use of chemical weapons by the assad regime. senator barrasso: you and i usesd about how russia energy uses energy as a geopolitical weapon. russia uses natural gas to extort and coerce our allies overseas, while we have been working to help our allies with security diversification. russia tries to expand its monopoly over european energy supplies. on march 15, i led a bipartisan group sending a letter to secretary mnuchin and secretary secretary of state opposing the pipeline. we requested the administration use all the tools at their disposal to prevent the construction of that. pipeline i believe it will have a detriment to impact on european energy security, and further reinforce russian's influence on that region.
as secretary of state, could you utilize all the tools at your disposal, including countering america adversaries through sanctions act to make sure that the north stream 2.0 pipeline is never built? dir. pompeo: senator, while there is definitelyutilize all r risk, i view this as an enormous opportunity for the united states and others as well. if we can achieve a condition where russia has less capacity to turn off natural gas pipelines or pose threats to our allies around the world, we have reduced the risk to those countries greatly. i look forward to being part of thisiscussion about pipeline in particular to make sure there are discussions in the west's best interest and not
vladimir putin's best interest. continuesrrasso: iran to be a threat to the international community. they are financing terrorist groups around the world. a lot of it has to do with a of cash iranx received from the iran nuclear deal. they continue to support ofdestabilizing activities in e region. there is incredible amount of evidence of that. i think the u.s. has to impose fortions onira iran trafficking and terrorism. dir. pompeo: senator, the president senator, the president has laid out a strategy to push back against each of those elements that you described. focusing on sanctions for a moment -- there are more arrows in the quiver.
focusingwe have been providing e intelligence so we can target those sanctions in the right way. weaponswho is moving around the world and who is engaged in low-lying activity. -- in malign activity. we have a big team working on ws around the world and who is engaged it. if confirmed, i will be part of that. the other element is also a diplomatic task. it is important when america places sanctions. it is really powerful when we get our partners to do it as well. americans can't trade in those places. when we canplaces sanctions. share that burden and trulyand truly great global prohibitions on trading with entities we designate, we have the greatest likelihood of achieving the outcome we are looking for. senator barrasso: could i turn briefly to north korea's nuclear program -- president trump agreed to meet with kim jong-un. the united states i believe should be engaged with talks.
i think we should only be engaged incredible opportunities to discuss the denuclearization of north korea. it is important that the u.s. continues to pressure the regime, conducting joint military actions. do you believe there is a scenario in which north korea would dismantle its nuclear weapons program? dir. pompeo: the historic analysis there is not optimistic. that is, it is almost a talisman that there is not enough coercion, there is not enough capacity for kim jong-un to make a decision to give up his nuclear weapons arsenal. i hope that talisman is wrong. that is what we have been engaged in. i had a chance to talk to a whole handful of people involved
in the agreed framework, the six party talks. in each case, america and the world released their sanctions too quickly. we did not have the irreversible deal we wanted, and the north koreans walked away from that deal. we need to make sure before it is the case -- as we did with the jcp away, before we provide rewards we get the outcome permanently, irreversibly, that we hope to achieve. it is a tall order, but i am confident >> a final question, with regard to human rights, your commitment to human rights around the world.
your commitment to promoting and >> on the sunday shows, reaction to the airstrike in syria. ambassador nikki haley says more sanctions against russia are coming. who all -- we will also hear from senator angus king of maine, and how he plans to vote on the nomination of mike pompeo to be the secretary of state. any consequences for assad's patrons? amb. haley: absolutely. you will see the russian sanctions will be coming down. secretary mnuchin will be announcing those on monday if he has not already. they will go directly to any companies that were dealing with equipment related to assad and chemical weapons used. i think everyone will feel it at this point. i think everyone knows we sent a strong