tv Secretary of State Pompeo on 2019 Budget CSPAN May 27, 2018 10:34am-12:32pm EDT
web of alliances with all of germany's neighbors, so that they would get used to the idea of a unified germany. it was that distinction between shock and awe and then knowing when to stop and do something else, reassurance. >> yale university professor john lewis gaddis and his book on strategic linking and leadership for -- strategic thinking and leadership for global challenges. tonight on c-span's "q&a." >> on thursday, secretary of state mike pompeo testified on the department's 2019 budget request. at the top of the hearing, letterry pompeo read a from president trump to north korean leader kim jong-un, announcing that a planned summit between the two leaders would be called off. this portion of the hearing is two hours.
>> the committee will come to order. i thank everybody for being here. because of developments that have occurred, we will go a little out of order and let secretary pompeo read a letter. i want to thank him for his service. i really truly believe he has , the opportunity to be a historic secretary of state. i thank him for the things he has been doing since he was sworn in, immediately going to the nato summit. with that, mr. secretary, out of respect for what has just occurred, if you would like to read the letter i would , appreciate it. secretary pompeo: thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, senator menendez, for allowing me to do. -- do this, the president ask i begin the hearing today by reading a letter that the state department recently transmitted
to chairman kim and north korea. the letter is to chairman kim jong un, chairman of the state affairs commission of the democratic peoples republic of korea. and it reads as follows. "dear mr. chairman, we greatly appreciate your time, patience and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties. which was scheduled to take place on june 12 in singapore. we were informed that the meeting was requested by north korea, but that is totally irrelevant. i was very much looking forward to being there with you. sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, i feel it is inappropriate at this time to have this long planned meeting -- i feel it is inappropriate at this time to have this long-planned meeting. therefore, please let this
letter serve to represent that the singapore summit for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. you talk about your nuclear capabilities. but ours are so massive and powerful that i pray to god they will never have to be used. i felt that a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me. and ultimately it's only that dialogue that matters. someday i look very much forward to meeting you. in the meantime, i want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. that was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated. if you change your mind, having to do with this important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. the world and north korea in particular has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. this missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history. sincerely yours, donald j. trump, president of the united states of america." thank you, mr. chairman. senator corker: we want to thank you for joining us today and although you are here for a -- you were here six weeks ago for
your confirmation, i want to commend you on an energetic and forceful start to your tenure. we hold a budget hearing each year, that is the formal subject of today's meeting but as you and i have talked, budgets coming from the administration these days and for many years are not focused on that much as you know and there is a process we go through here to determine what expenditures are going to be made. since it does not have a great effect on the outcome, it would be my guess that there will not be many questions around the budget. i think you know that even though you are going to present it, fulfilling your responsibilities. while discussing the budget is not a productive use of our time today in all likelihood, i am hopeful that your remarks will outline your management plan for the department and the steps you have taken thus far on that
front. i want to discuss with you our efforts to update authorities we use to fight terror abroad. for members on both sides of the aisle, today, we have agreed to two rounds of questions if necessary. we recognize there have been questions around the a umf -- aumf. our bipartisan legislation would replace a 2001 and 2002 aumf with updated aumf against al qaeda, the taliban, and the islamic state in iraq and syria. it provides the administration the flexibility necessary to win this fight while strengthening the rightful and necessary role of congress and i believe it is the best chance we have to finally address this issue in a constructive way for the first time in the most 17 years. -- in almost 17 years. since last june, our committee has held public hearings, a briefing, andd
other meetings on the use of also rise -- on authorized use of military force. we've heard from policy experts and secretaries of state and defense twice. during your confirmation hearing, you testified that we yould update the aumf and would welcome continuing to work with us toward that end. experience -- i know you have had experience working on that topic when you served in the house and i appreciate your support with respect to this important issue. i hope while you are here that you could speak to our strategy to get a new and better iran deal now that we have rich run -- withdrawn from the joint comprehensive plan of action. we staunchly oppose the jcpoa because it allowed iran to maintain enrichment capacity. the limits on that enrichment capacity expired after only 10 or 15 years. while i am disappointed that the unable to reach
an agreement with the administration to address the serious flaws in the jcpoa, i am hopeful that going forward, a new agreement that addresses iran's nefarious activities can be reached. with iran's proxies performing well in recent iraqi and lebanese elections as well as its rising threat to our partner, israel, countering iran comprehensively has never been more important. i know you share that belief and have spoken to it recently. i am eager to hear your thoughts on what can be done to support our allies. we thank you again for appearing before us. i thank you very much for your accessibility and transparency. i look forward to your testimony. thank you very much. i will turn to our distinguished ranking member and my friend senator bob menendez. ,senator menendez: thank you for
coming to this hearing and agreeing to two rounds of questions. as you know, i believe the thatthat -- i believe frequent, open frank exchanges , are important. to that end, i appreciate our call of last week. let me depart for a moment because since we started his -- this hearing with current events, let me remark on them briefly. the art of diplomacy is harder than the art of the deal. the reality is that it is pretty amazing that the administration might be shocked that north korea is acting as north korea might very well normally act. while we applaud robust diplomatic efforts to try to denuclearize the korean peninsula, many of us were deeply concerned that the lack of deep preparation that is necessary before such a summit
is agreed to was not taking place. now we see the consequences of that. i am not sure that constantly quoting the libya model is the diplomatic way to get the results we see in -- seek in north korea because that did not work out too well for gaddafi. i look forward for having an opportunity and i think the other members will as well. i was pleased to hear that at a recent town hall, you said we are fortunate that our president values and understands the power of diplomacy and knows we must use every tool in our traumatic -- diplomatic toolkit. i am sure you can't be here to defend this budget which runs completely counter to that mary -- very assertion. it runs counter to the goals and ideals that you championed in your confirmation and those that the administration defined in its national security strategy. robust diplomatic engagement, maintaining our position of global leadership, and the president boss -- president's
ambiguously defined goal of putting america first. the budget that the president presented is instead stunningly irresponsible. in my view, it undermines our ability to promote american foreign-policy, betrays our values, and makes our citizens in the world less safe. far from america first it would , be america isolated and behind. you have inherited a department with a prevailing sense of plummeting morale, with one career ambassador left. i support your efforts and really a willing partner to -- will be a willing partner to staff the department with qualified, appropriate nominees. as we have discussed, some of the nominees are themselves the cause of delays. we have a responsible, transparent vetting process. some of these nominees have failed to disclose not just
campaign donations or organizational affiliations but significant lawsuits of which they have been the subject. it is important that every nominee be completely straightforward and honest with the committee. with significant numbers so far, this simply has not been the case i commend the steps you . have taken to lift the hiring freeze and open positions to eligible family members but some bureaus are still not hiring. without successfully -- a successfully operational agency, i do not know that we can successfully promote our national security interests on behalf of all americans. we cannot hope to secure our interests when our senior officials contradict each other in public, act impulsively and offer more support to our adversaries than our allies. senior members of the intelligence community, including you, till recently continue to point to , incontrovertible proof of russia's interference in our 2016 elections yet the , president refuses to even
acknowledge their attack on our democracy and the budget request , includes a 63% decrease in funding to counter russian aggression. the administration's national security strategy talks about the challenge of a revisionist china. if the president charges united states department of commerce with saving chinese jobs while the budget request decreases funding for promoting american interest in east asia and the pacific by nearly 50%. in the middle east, even as iran's proxy fighters inch closer to the israeli border the , budget proposes massive cuts for critical assistance throughout the region. in the western hemisphere, while the president says confronting the opioid epidemic are priorities, we have a hateful and a racist set of tweets and confounding reports that your predecessor ignored warnings that rescinding tps would leave our citizens at risk.
the budget proposals cutting critical funding to mexico and to counter narcotics and law enforcement operations. let me just say, the administration takes steps to increase the importance of core american values, not only in terms of what they're asking for in this budget, or not asking for but literally erasing the , words, democracy, governance, labor, and human rights. as we discussed, these not merely ideals, they are critical enablers for our foreign policy. -- foreign-policy success. i do hope to hear from you on the aumf. i understand that the administration believes it has all the authority it needs but , since the chairman and other distinguished members of the committee are moving forward, i -- and there is a proposed aumf, i would like to hear the administration's views on that aumf as part of your presentation. we look forward to the remarks and thank you again for joining us.
senator corker: thank you so much for being back before us within a matter of six weeks. we look forward to your comments. secretary pompeo: thank you. you were gracious enough to allow me to read that statement. i have prepared remarks that have been submitted for the record. i will save a couple minutes here this morning. a couple items i want to mention off the top, i want to share with you and explain to you and then i want to spend a couple minutes -- you asked senator corker what i have been doing to get the team back on the field. i'm happy to share both what we've done and what i have in the queue. first, you would have seen in the last 48 hours that we had to -- officers declared persona grata in venezuela.
we have responded reciprocally by expanding venezuelan officials from the united states. we are deeply worried about what is taking place as a result of the sham election that took place on sunday the 20th. we are doing all the right things. we have an american there that we desperately want to get back. joshua holt. we are engaged. we were disappointed that the maduro regime kicked our folks out, but not surprised. we have been trying to do the good work that diplomacy brings to a country and o -- madero -- maduro found that unacceptable. in the last we notified our 48 hours, workforce in china about a medical incident that took place there. we had an officer who suffered a medical incident consistent with
what happened to american officers serving in havana. we informed the chinese government, they said all the right things and have demonstrated they are willing to help us identify the vector which led to this medical incident. we have medical teams heading there. we have all the appropriate folks heading to help. all the american officers serving in china and doing the things we can to mitigate the risk that we have another -- there and anyplace else in the world. thirdly, my first 3.5 weeks we , have taken steps to allow our team to effectively conduct their jobs. we allowed the team to hire family members, a ready source of capable officers to serve alongside my current colleagues. we think that will help families
a great deal, and the hiring freeze was lifted. some of the bureaus are not hiring. we still have guidance that needs to be issued. most of that is now out. we have an strength goals -- end-strength goals. we have a plan for how to do that in a thoughtful way so resources are spent appropriately. where we need additional talent, the state department employees are empowered to bring them on board. the third piece is i have spent time- a fair amount of my and others have been working to get america senior officials. there are gaps at the secretary level. there are nominees we are pushing to get through quickly. we are working to get other nominees across so we can engage all over the world sharing the american ideals and values in the way the state department has done historically well.
i look forward to being the leader of the organization that is back on the playing field, leading america's diplomacy abroad. i will yield back. senator corker: i will yield for a moment and interject along the way and turn to senator menendez. senator menendez: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the insight for the most recent things. let me start with north korea, understanding that the summit is not going forward at this point but hopefully at some point there will be an opportunity to seek the appropriate type of meetings necessary to denuclearize the korean peninsula. since i have heard different statements coming out of the administration i want to see if , we can get a sense of what it is that we might mutually agree is the essence of any elements that are essential to any deal with north korea. i'm going to ask you to give me a sense of yes or no on some of these questions. do you believe that the current
nuclear test suspension must continue and that denuclearization means the dismantlement and removal of all nuclear weapons facilities, technology, material from north korea? secretary pompeo: there are two questions there. the second one is with respect to dismantlement. i think the answer to that is yes. we are looking for the complete dismantlement of their weapons systems. the delivery capability associated with that. and all of the elements of their program that would lead them to have material. enriched material. fissile material that could be used at some time to build out a weapon system. i think the answer to that is yes, but i wanted to make sure i clarified. senator menendez: i appreciate that. do you believe that any deal must include an agreement that north korea must end the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium from -- for military programs? secretary pompeo: yes. but as we begin to head down
this path, i have to tell you, i've had discussions with chairman kim personally, there have been other discussions. i am going to reserve some space for us to be able to conduct these discussions outside of the public sphere. i think that's important. i think it's important for our eventual ability to achieve the outcomes that i think everyone in this room hopes we can achieve. senator menendez: i certainly want to give you negotiating space, but i at least want to understand, as a committee responsible for oversight, what is our standards that we're going into? that's what i'm trying to determine. what's the standard? secretary pompeo: i think we've made very clear what our objectives are. senator menendez: let me ask you further, would a deal have to include an agreement that north korea must permanently dismantle and disable its nuclear weapons infrastructure, including test sites, nuclear weapons research, and development facilities, particularly with respect to advanced centrifuges, and nuclear weapons enrichment and reprocessing facilities? secretary pompeo: that is certainly our objective, senator.
senator menendez: would any deal have to include agreement that north korea put forward a full, complete, and verifiable declaration of all its nuclear activities? secretary pompeo: yes. i only wish the iranians had done so. senator menendez: would any deal include robust restrictions to assure that nuclear material technology and expertise are not exported? secretary pompeo: sir, we have a deep aim, wholly apart from denuclearization, of the north korean peninsula and a lot of work under way, to ensure that proliferation does not occur. senator menendez: does any deal have to include an agreement that north korea continue its current ballistic missile test suspension, including any space launches, and that any agreement must include the dismantlement of all ballistic missiles in a -- and a prohibition on all ballistic missile development? secretary pompeo: i think i said this in my confirmation hearing. i'm happy to reiterate it. it is the case that it's our objective, and i shared this with chairman kim, that the missile program is a central
component of their capacity to hold america at risk and it is our aim that as part of this agreement that we would reach, that they would no longer possess the capacity to achieve those kinds of launches that i think you're speaking to in your question. senator menendez: and to be truly, completely verifiable and irreversible, any agreement with north korea should be permanent in nature with no sunsets on its provisions? secretary pompeo: yes, sir. senator menendez: those are all very helpful to understanding the standards of what we're trying to achieve. let me ask you, as we walk away from the summit, where does that put us with the rest of the world? do you believe that somehow we are strengthened in this regard? or are we weakened as a result of walking away ourselves?
because of some statements? secretary pompeo: i don't believe in that sense, that we're in a position to believe that there could be a successful outcome. i think that's what the president communicated pretty clearly in his letter. i can add to that, over the past many days we have endeavored to do what chairman kim and i had agreed was to put teams, preparation teams, together to begin to work to prepare for the summit. and we had received no response to our inquiries from them. so in addition to what the president laid out in his letter, it is also the case that -- i disagree with what you said in your opening statement. i think the american team is fully prepared. i think we're rocking. i think we're ready. i think we're prepared for this meeting. i think president trump's prepared for this meeting. we were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting. so i disagree with your assessment that the americans are not ready. senator menendez: when i said not ready i'm talking about, you
, know, we needed to test all of the propositions and lay out all of the elements of what was ultimately to be decided in a way to find out whether the north koreans were truly true. secretary pompeo: that has been done three times before in american history and kim jong un today possesses the most robust nuclear program he has ever had. senator menendez: and as a result of canceling the summit, he still possesses them. let me ask you this. in your confirmation hearing you noted that russian bad behavior is the driver behind the currently acrimonious bilateral relationship and this behavior presents a clear danger to the united states. we've seen a whole host of actions, decisions, undisputed findings of the intelligence community. we saw russia deploy a chemical weapons attack on the soil of a nato ally. we saw a chemical attack that russia supported by assad. can you tell me why it is that
the president seems unable to speak of russia in a way that acknowledges that there was an attack against our own country in terms of the cyberattack on our elections, and actions that we've noted others that acted this way, that were put as a terrorist state, and yet we see no such actions i'm trying to understand the administration's views on russia. secretary pompeo: you just said there have been no actions. i fundamentally disagree with that. i'm happy -- i brought a list of the actions this administration's taken to push back against russian aggression
of all forms. their cyber efforts, their election meddling efforts, the chemical attack that took place. the list is long. i think the record ought to properly reflect that it is far more than took place under the previous administration. indeed, most of this meddling took place during the previous administration. and this administration is now working to deter that from ever happening again. and i think our administration ought to be very proud of the work we have taken, sanctions and otherwise, against russia. senator: senator johnson. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thanks for your service. in your answers to secretary -- or to senator menendez's questions, you sure seem to make an clear what your definition of dismantlement really means. you said you made it also clear
to chairman kim jong-un. did you? secretary pompeo: did i make it clear to him? mr. johnson: how clear? how many times did you repeat it? secretary pompeo: sir, i spoke in english. there was a translator. but our team confirmed that the translator said what i said. i don't know. i had two meetings, maybe three hours-plus total. enough that i understood him to have understood what it was i was saying. indeed, put aside what i said, when i heard back from him -- mr. johnson: that's what i wanted to ask you. secretary pompeo: when i heard back from him, there was little doubt in my mind that he understood the scope of what it was we were asking for, what the nature of what would have to take place, the verification that we would need to undertake in order to be comfortable, that we could begin to deliver the assurances that he in return asked for. so i think we were having a real conversation where there was real understanding between the two of us. it's what caused me to recommend to the president that i thought the time would in fact permit us to have a real opportunity to do something historic. i'm still optimistic that we will reach that point. i know the president is as well. mr. johnson: so you have no doubt that you made it crystal clear and he fully understands exactly what dismantlement means
in terms of these negotiations? mr. pompeo: to the best of my ability, senator. mr. johnson: so he understood it. did he have any reaction whatsoever? secretary pompeo: yes. and while i have -- mr. johnson: did he resist it? did he seem welcoming to it? what with a his, as best you could determine through translators, what was his reaction to really was table stakes? secretary pompeo: he was unsurprised. there would be no surprise what secretary pompeo's brief would be when we walked into the room. we made this clear through multiple channels over months of this administration. so there was no surprise. the conversation resolved around -- revolved around how it is we would achieve that, what the mechanisms might be to achieve that. and how the united states would demonstrate in return that we were committed to the assurances that we were prepared to provide to him. mr. johnson: so you say he basically accepted those terms of a negotiation, he knew the u.s. side would be pressing for your definition of dismantlement? secretary pompeo: yes, senator.
i don't know how -- yes. i don't know how you would read the administration's statements over the past months and then have secretary of state walk in and repeat them and not at least understand -- yes. i think the answer is yes. mr. johnson: so with that understanding, he still released three hostages? secretary pompeo: yes, that's correct. and agreed to have a summit on june 12 as well. and agreed to send teams to prepare for the june 12 meeting between the two leaders. mr. johnson: the point i'm trying to make is the administration has been crystal clear, completely consistent. the result of your meeting was still to release three hostages. so what has changed here is kim jong-un's approach to this thing, correct? very disappointingly so. i regret thepeo: statements that north koreans have made over the past few days. and the fact that we've not been able to conduct the preparation between our two teams that would
be necessary to have a chance for a successful summit. mr. johnson: do you believe the chairman also believed president trump's offer of assistance in return for that complete dismantlement? do you think he had any doubt of that as well? senator, iompeo: always -- my wife always reminds me i should be careful about knowing what's in someone else's mind. : i'm just trying to get your understanding of how those talks went. secretary pompeo: yes. i communicated very clearly that this was a sincere commitment on behalf of the president of the united states, that we were prepared to make that transaction happen in a way that would allow his regime to have the assurances it needed in order to make this fundamental strategic shift in the history of -- in the north korean trajectory, to make this fundamental shift where for decades it has been that these nuclear weapons were the thing
that provided them security. and to convince them that in fact his security was best assured by going through this process and working with the united states to achieve that. sen. johnson: so what conversations now have you had with the chinese officials on this topic? are you convinced that they are going to continue to corporate and maintain those sanctions, which is the only thing that's going to bring kim jong-un to that negotiating table in good faith, to actually agree to dismantlement, in exchange to the benefits to his economy and his people? secretary pompeo: i met with the chinese foreign minister yesterday afternoon. he assured me that they would continue to abide by all the u.n. security council resolutions relating to this. and that they understood that those needed to remain in place. not until june 12. at this point we're talking about, in the context of there being a similarity on june 12,
but not only through june 12 but until such time as we achieved what it was the americans and i think frankly china agrees would be the outcome that is best for the world and the best for north korea as well. are you getting any hints that there's any relaxation of those sanctions more, goods crossing between the border? between china and north korea? secretary pompeo: we haven't seen anything to suggest they've violated the security council resolutions in a substantial way. i always -- i worry about everyone. the global pressure campaign that's put in place is important and needs to continue. perhaps even this morning more than yesterday. that's very important so we can get to the right place here. sen. johnson: what gave me some measure of optimism, i think it's entirely in china's best interest to achieve exactly what the administration's demanding here. secretary pompeo: that's what their foreign minister told me yesterday as well. unambiguously.
he told me that china believes that the denuclearization of north korea is in china's best interest. sen. johnson: let me just say, i support president trump's letter. i think it's an excellent letter. we need to make sure that kim -- kim jong-un understands that we are completely consistent, we will absolutely demand that and that all the benefits will not occur until we achieve our definition that he is well aware of, you know, crystal clear, of complete dismantlement. so again, thank you, mr. secretary. secretary pompeo: yes, sir. senator: thank you. senator: thank you mr. chairman. mr. secretary, let me follow up on north korea for one moment in that is in response to senator johnson, you indicated that you are trying to convince the north koreans that their security will be better served without nuclear weapons and i support that. it is possible if diplomacy is successful, it will require action from the united states
congress. during the discussions on the iran nuclear agreement, our colleagues thought this should be a treaty arrangement which would require the two thirds vote of the united states senate. my question to you is, how do you intend to keep congress informed during these negotiations considering the questions that mr. menendez -- senator menendez asked her once i would have asked also and we have not had the in-depth briefings that would be required in these types of negotiations. how do you envision keeping us informed, recognizing that during the iran nuclear agreements, congress felt compelled to keep the statutes to ensure we were informed. secretary pompeo: i appreciate the question.
i was but a junior member of congress at the time i don't , remember being kept informed at all. in spite of i think the record would show were constant efforts to be so informed. i am going to do better. sen. cardin: i welcome my republican colleagues, we had numerous discussions with the obama administration. we had numerous discussions. secretary pompeo: i pointed that only because i think the bar is low and i'm going to beat that. we will do our best to keep you apprised, but let me state but i think is more important. it is our intention to achieve an agreement that would be put before the united states senate. that is our goal. our goal is to do what i had hoped would happen with the iran deal. that the united states senate would get to conduct its duty. mr. cardin: you are talking about sending it to the united states senate as a treaty? secretary pompeo: yes sir.
there is a lot of work to do. as you can see, we're at the early stages but we believe that if we get this right and we are successful, it would be appropriate to do that and important for the north koreans. sen. cardin: i appreciate the response. i would caution you as far as timing that the record of the senate taking up treaties and passing them is -- secretary pompeo: i understand. thank you, senator. mr. cardin: that's why i say it would be well served if we had the discussions during the course of these negotiations. in a venue where we can talk freely. secretary pompeo: yes, sir. i appreciate that and i get the challenge. that is why i left room for an agreement that did not make it there. you hit on an important point. it is important for america and our constitutional democracy to do that. it will prove important for the north koreans. i think it is important on multiple dimensions. sen. cardin: i am going to
change focus to iran. president trump was clear that he intended to terminate our involvement, but then listed three conditions, the agreements were modified to include ballistic missiles even know congress had passed statutes giving the president authority to impose sanctions against iran for ballistic missile violations. he also mentioned he wanted inspections that were intrusive even though they were satisfied with the regime. lastly, he said we needed to deal with sunset provisions which dealt with limitations even though the agreement had no sunset on it but it was certainly unclear as to when the tripwires would cause violations of the agreement. is the administration still in that mode, these are three changes that must be made? or has there been a change in position? let me speakpeo:
to the former than the latter. the first was, i was only a couple weeks -- the state department had been working to get those agreements from three european countries. we were never able to get there. the same problem that existed when i came in on my fourth day in office when i was briefed and it existed till the end. there was no evidence that the europeans had any intention of agreeing to those provisions. sen. cardin: is that still our position that these changes must be made? secretary pompeo: we have laid out a series of things that we are working to get the whole world to sign up for. a series of 12 things we're amending the iranians to do. they are simple things. i think you would agree with items, and that is what we're looking for iran to achieve. sen. cardin: let me drill down on that.
is regime change part of our objective? secretary pompeo: no, sir. sen. cardin: do we want to include a nuclear commitment in regards to terrorism? secretary pompeo: yes. sen. cardin: is there a reason why the administration has not used the additional tools congress provided to deal with terrorism? and also human rights violations? secretary pompeo: i do not know the answer to that. sen. cardin: is there a reason why we have not engaged the europeans which have offered to join us prior to us pulling out of the iran agreement, were now we do not have their attention? secretary pompeo: i have to be honest with you. the europeans have told us they are prepared to engage on missiles and for three years did nothing. i will give you a terror, they second. talked about agreeing to things, they said they would do it.
what happened -- this is my judgment. you saw this yesterday. the iranians made an announcement, they said if the europeans do anything on missiles, we will withdraw. sen. cardin: i saw that. secretary pompeo: this is what happened. the iranians do this is not just a nuclear. that is very important. sen. cardin: the question i am trying to get answered is we give you additional tools to deal with these areas. they have not been used and you had the europeans' attention because they did not want the united states to pull out of the agreement. now we don't have their attention because they are worrying as to whether there will be sanctions imposed against companies and their -- companies located in their country. i do not know what the strategy is now in regards to going after terrorists activities, human rights violations and ballistic missile violations. secretary pompeo: the strategy
is to develop a global consensus that says that we are asking iran to behave like a normal nation. sen. cardin: thank you. senator: sen. gardner. sen. gardner: thank you. thank you for the work you're been able to carry out over the tenor you had there at the state department. congratulations on bringing home three americans and the work that was taking place to lead to this summit on june 12. i think kim jong-un has walked away from a historic opportunity for peace and should be held accountable. in the internal debates that must be taking place within kim jong-un's mind, between the propagandist and the peacemaker, it is clear that the propagandist prevailed internally. the piece lost out to the propaganda. i believe president trump acted with eyes wide open.
he knew at any point he would have the choice of continuing with a summit or walking away should denuclearization not be on the agenda or not be something that kim jong-un was willing to entertain. he made the right choice because clearly in the past weeks, we have seen kim jong-un walk away from what seemed to be a commitment toward denuclearization. it is the policy of the united states, when this body passed, when president obama signed into law the north korea policy sanctions enhancement act, it lays out under u.s. law when sanctions against north korea can be terminated. section 402, termination of sanctions and other measures. any sanction or other measure required may only be lifted when the president determines and certifies that the government of north korea has met the requirements set forth of
complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. it goes on and on. we have already put into law what we expect of north korea and that sanctions and maximum cannot be lifted until these sanctions under u.s. law have been met. is it your opinion that this decision by kim jong-un is a result of a weak leader who lacks the internal support to go forward with a meeting or was this poor negotiating strategies by kim jong-un? secretary pompeo: i don't think it is the former. i do not think he is a weak leader. he has demonstrated an enormous capacity to lead his team. i don't think that is it. i don't want to speculate as to why they took the actions because i don't think we know. i am hopeful that we can
continue to have conversations and put this back on track so we can get to a place where we can achieve the outcome. we talk a lot about summits and deals and the like. it is not about the deal. it is about the outcome. it is about achieving this permanent physical change and transformation that will have the opportunity to change the world and a corollary to that is a fundamental change in north korea that would lead north korea to have the opportunity for prosperity and all the good things its neighbors have. there will be a deal to get us to that point, but we should not spend all our time thinking about the deal without focusing on, here is what this needs to look like in order to do what the president needs to keep
americans safe from the threat that north korea poses today. sen. gardner: thank you. i hope the north korean people will know what kim jong-un walked away from and what he should walk back to. that is this opportunity for peace and prosperity on the entire peninsula as they look to the south and see the opportunities they could have if they rejoin the global community of responsible nations. with this decision, is it the determination of the state department and the commitment of the president to again continue the full implementation of the maximum pressure doctrine? secretary pompeo: yes. sen. gardner: does congress need to take additional steps? secretary pompeo: i think he's a branch and congress should work to do everything we can to continue. i do not believe it ever ended. to continue the campaign which i am hopeful it will lead to the good outcome we have described this morning. sen. gardner: in addition to the economic embargo, we must continue to pursue any enablers who wish to help violate
sanctions or help north korea violated those sanctions. secretary pompeo: yes, sir, that is correct. sen. gardner: turning to the issue of taiwan, burkina faso has announced that it would no longer recognize taiwan. the world health assembly has excluded taiwan. senator markey and i have introduced legislation to encourage, to make it the policy of this country to pursue the involvement of taiwan in international organizations and pursue high-level visitation by the united states, the asia reassurance initiative act which we have talked about at length reiterates our important relationship with taiwan and our full support of taiwan that we continue around the globe to build support for taiwan. what is your sense of what is happening and how we can pursue such a policy? secretary pompeo: i think your
point about you and senator markey working together demonstrates the policy toward taiwan over multiple administrations. that hasn't changed under president trump, the same one china policy is still american policy. i am very aware of the taiwan relations act which was passed during this administration. i do not see any change there. sen. gardner: thank you. as it relates to china and south china sea activities, can you talk about the administration as it relates to china's militarization? secretary pompeo: i will leave the details to secretary mattis but yesterday, we decided to disinvited the chinese from an exercise they were invited to participate in in response to the strategic weapons systems put islands that the chinese had agreed not to do. we are working along multiple
fronts, not the least of which is my diplomatic effort to work to convince the chinese that it is not in their best interest nor the world's to expand throughout the south china sea. it is important to ensure that they remain available to us. sen. gardner:. thank you, mr. secretary. i look forward to working with you on the asia initiative we as, bipartisan legislation introduced. senator: thank you mr. chair. i want to thank you for your work on bringing americans home. one was from virginia, and we appreciate it. secretary pompeo: thank you. it was an amazing day. senator: you were deservedly proud on that day and we were grateful. i was listening to some of her -- of your testimony in response to questions from senator cardin. you testified that regime change in iran is not an administration policy.
secretary pompeo: that is correct. sen. markey: i ask you a question about trying to have this committee receive a legal memo from 2017 regarding u.s. airstrikes in syria and you said, i promise i will work alongside you to the best i can to get that information and if it is classified, i will work to get you that and if it is unclassified, i will work to do that as well. two days after that, we carried out airstrikes in syria, we have not received the memo in any version and i would like to ask why and will you work with us so we can see the appropriate version of that memo? secretary pompeo: i will accept responsibility. i have not turned to that. i will. busygardner: you have been
, what i do want your commitment. secretary pompeo: i made a commitment that i would do it and i will turn to it this week. i may have an extra day now. sen. gardner: thank you, mr. secretary. you were talking about an american who was hit by what appeared to be a sonic attack. he said it bore signs similar to those that were inflicted upon americans serving in cuba. the cuban situation has been very significantly studied including by a medical team at the university of pennsylvania. the reported incident in china apparently started in the late 2017 and continued through just recently. the state department has done some study and you have reached the conclusion that symptoms experienced by this american are similar to the symptoms experienced by americans in cuba. is that correct? secretary pompeo: yes, senator that is correct. ,there has been a lot of work done. the technical term is consistent
with, that is, the symptoms are very similar. very consistent. mr. kaine: here is a significant concern. when these things were happening in cuba, we were speculating about what was going on and the speculation was naturally, is it the cuban government? is it a rogue element? maybe to try to upset a bromance between cuba and the united states? or is it a third-party, maybe russia? now that something similar has happened in china, the question about motivation and attribution gets much more complicated. we have been talking about this on the armed services committee. i know there has been an fbi investigation. the state has part of it am a the dod is looking at this, the fbi is looking at it. you have had medical teams from
the university of pennsylvania are looking at it. who is in charge in the administration of trying to figure out what is going on and who is behind it, and what advice should be given to congress or what we should be doing to counter it? it seems like there are a lot of cooks. secretary pompeo: that is a good question. opening a second venue -- i don't want to overstate the nature of that. they could be separate activities. knowing what we know now, this has changed. it has gone from a localized incident to one that is broader and now the question is where , might we see this? those are reasonable questions to ask. the state department will lead the effort because it is an overseas security issue. the state department will lead that effort, my deputy will be in charge of the team.
we will have it from what was vector that led to it and there will be folks from the department of energy figure out what would lead to these symptoms? multiple agencies will be involved. the responsibility will fall to the state department to resolve this and to protect our officers working overseas. if it's the case that this was something intentionally done, there will be others to do that work but the state department will lead efforts. sen. kaine: are you aware of diplomatic personnel in any countries other than cuba and china who have experienced attacks of this kind? secretary pompeo: no, sir. sen. kaine: i think this matter is critical. i just came from a closed briefing of declassified portion of the annex and without getting into what was said there, this
was part of the discussion. i asked the same question, who is in charge of this? they did not say you were in charge. they did not say who was in charge. i am glad you said somebody is in charge of it because it is critical that the ability to inflict damage upon u.s. personnel who are serving the country in a way that is hard to attribute and measure should scare us. happening in one country leads to a set of hypotheses, happening in a second country raises the stakes in terms of getting to the bottom of it. i would hope that as the state department investigation continues, we would be briefed upon this because it would have significant bearing on all kinds of decisions we might need to
make as a foreign relations committee. i do not have any other questions. secretary pompeo: i am prepared to do the piece we can do and provide you information in a classified setting as we continue to develop what we know. sen. kaine: thank you. senator: mr. secretary, welcome, good to have you here. let me start with afghanistan. i support the goal of ensuring that afghanistan is never used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks. i know you support that objective. i support making sure that we are constantly assessing our progress there and revisiting our objectives as well. this morning, as you are likely aware, the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction published a report on stabilization efforts. the report looks at 17 years of reconstruction efforts. they identify seven key
findings, 10 lessons, 11 actions that can be taken to increase the likelihood of success. i know how busy you are. it will take some time to digest the findings, i only ask that you review this and provide a written response by the first of october and what actions the state department plans to take and not take in response. can i get your agreement? secretary pompeo: i have seen the recommendations. we have a team. it is important. it is very sobering. you have my commitment. sen. young: thank you so much. china'slike to pivot to predatory economic policies. in your prepared testimony, you referenced the national security strategy and a couple pillars relate to promoting american prosperity and preserving peace through strength.
i know you will agree that these are related pillars. there is a lot of overlap. our economic competitiveness impacts our prosperity, but also our national security. i chaired a senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing on may 9 pertaining to predatory international economic practices. we heard from three witnesses and discussed china's troubling use of forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, denial of access to chinese markets, state owned enterprises and related topics. i hear from hoosiers at home about the economic implications but as you know, there are major national security applications -- implications associated with this. the national security strategy says the trump administration will no longer tolerate economic aggression and i just want to
know whether you agree that for us to have an effective response to these ongoing practices of the state capitalist model, it is going to require a bilateral -- multilateral approach, a strategic approach. one that is understood not just by those in the administration but also those of us here in congress. to that end, do you agree with everything i just said? multilateral, strategic and understood by the administration and congress? secretary pompeo: i do. sen. young: based on that understanding of the nature of the threat and the consensus about what needs to be done moving forward, i introduced legislation, the national economic security strategy act
of 2018, i will just say i would hope that your team could review the legislation. i look forward to working with you and your team moving forward to see if we can advance this important legislation. this would create a written strategy analogous to the national security strategy to deal with predatory international economic practices. whether they emanate from china or other countries. i look forward to working on that with you. in my remaining time, i just want to emphasize what we are here in part to discuss, which is the international affairs budget funding. i know you agree that today's national security challenges require the u.s. to use our full range of non-military tools to keep us safe and secure, and to advance our values and interests.
i know you also agree diplomacy and development can help avert conflict, shorten its duration, prevent its return and frankly, keep our men and women off the battlefield whenever possible. i helped lead a bipartisan letter to the appropriations committee last month. i was encouraged that 42 senators signed onto it. they don't typically do that as it relates to state department funding, but there is a growing sense that we need robust funding for fiscal year 2019. i look forward to working with you and your team to do whatever we can to ensure that the state department gets that funding moving forward. mr. chairman, i request unanimous consent to enter this letter into the record. chair: without objection. thank you. sen. young: i want to encourage you and i will join the others
you and theating administration for the recent prisoner release. that was a great, early morning for our country. secretary pompeo: thank you. sen. young: i yield back. senator: secretary pompeo, thank you for being here. let me again by thanking you for lifting the hiring freeze and improving morale at the state department. that is a commitment you make to this committee, and i appreciate you following through on that. i understand you are going to be meeting with the turkish foreign minister in early june. and as i'm sure you are aware, the turkish foreign minister could decide to release pastor brunson from jail and send him directly back to the united states. pastor brunson has been held there since october 2016. do you intend to raise that issue, when you meet with the foreign minister? secretery pompeo: yes.
sen. shaheen: and can you also give us some insight into how you might discuss the issue of turkey's decision to buy the russian s-400 missile defense system. secretery pompeo: certainly. i have spoken with the turkish foreign minister at least once and maybe twice in my first three weeks. many, many topics that we have covered, in each case we talked about the incredible need to return pastor brunson. this is deeply wrong, immoral, unjust. no success so far, but you can be assured that we are working diligently on that. second, i have spoken to them , and we have00 implored them not to take that weapons system, for a host of reasons i won't belabor today. you know them well. there are several, but the other
major topic we are going to work on is trying to achieve a resolution about turkish activities in northern syria. my predecessor began a process called the roadmap, and it is our effort to put the details together surrounding that. there is a team in ankara this week. and i hope it can resolve that so we don't end up in a situation where we have two nato allies, too close together where we are creating risk. sen. shaheen: thank you. i appreciate that. mr. secretary, were you around the decision-making around the president's letter this morning, about pulling out of the summit with north korea? and were their discussions as discussions as
part of that decision, about what should happen next? and what do you expect to happen next? are we going to see a return to the volatile rhetoric that increased most americans' concerns about the potential threat of a nuclear war with north korea, or is there something else in mind on how to move forward next? secretery pompeo: i was part of the discussion last night and this morning. it was the president's decision, ultimately. and we did talk about what the path forward would look like. the negotiating path, that is the path that we hope will resolve this, as well as the things that we need to do in the days and weeks ahead to prepare for the eventuality that we were back where we were, six or eight, or 12 weeks ago. and there's still lots of discussion going on inside the administration about exactly how to proceed, but i am confident that in the coming days we will have laid that out in some detail. we always knew there could be a summit that didn't work, that ultimately was unsuccessful, so there has been a great deal of work to think about what happens when you are at a moment that you don't have the opportunity sitting right in front of you.
i hope that we do. i hope that we are quickly able to get back to that place but ultimately, chairman kim will have that decision to make for himself. as the president said, we welcome their outreach to head down that path. sen. shaheen: can you share any insights about how the administration is looking at what should happen next? secretery pompeo: yes, in some ways it is situation normal. the pressure campaign continues. sen. shaheen: not a lot of insight there. secretery pompeo: i don't know what to say, other than there has been an incredibly effective global campaign to create pressure on the north korean regime, so that we could resolve the issue of chairman kim's regime threatening the united states of america. that existed yesterday. it exists today. it is likely to exist tomorrow. so our process remains the same.
sen. shaheen: there is a story that just came out, that said the south koreans were completely surprised by this decision. did we consult with our allies about the decision before making it public? or at least advise them it was coming? secretery pompeo: i don't want to get into who we notified. the white house i think, will speak to that at the appropriate time. if i might just say one more thing senator, chairman mode was -- moon was here. we had extensive discussions. we are locked in with the republic of korea. we have spoken to the japanese foreign minister. i spoke to him yesterday afternoon at 1630 hrs. we are in lockstep with them. sen. shaheen: and did we advise them this was coming? secretery pompeo: we told them we hoped the summit would succeed, that there would be discussions, but that there was
a risk it would not move forward. we have been consistent on that privately and publicly as well. president trump has said repeatedly, he was very hopeful that would succeed, but it might not. sen. shaheen: sure, but that is a very different situation than saying, this letter is coming tomorrow. the president is pulling out of the summit. that is the question i'm really asking, and it goes to the approach to iran's behavior as well. because as america was trying to negotiate the iran deal, there was a real effort to work cooperatively with our european allies. the president's response to pulling out of the nuclear agreement with iran has to some extent blamed our european allies who were part of that negotiation for the failure to get stronger agreement. do you think that is going to have lasting impacts on our relationship with the europeans? secretery pompeo: a couple of hundred years of history would
suggest the answer to that is no. sen. shaheen: so we are moving forward with them on a united front for how to approach iran? secretery pompeo: i think throughout history there have been differences between not only europe and the united states, but individual european countries amongst themselves. this is no exception. they are in a different place. they have stated publicly their intent to work to remain inside the jcpoa framework. i talked to the foreign minister over the weekend and we came to acknowledge that the uranian's are launching missiles into riyadh and a german is going to get killed. and one ought to think that is a condition that would be an acceptable to the people of germany, and i am hopeful that they will join us to push back against what would ask from iceland.
don't launch missiles into riyadh. people have said what the president laid out and when i spoke to on monday was a fantasy. if you look at the 12 items, it's nothing that we don't ask of every civilized nation on earth. it is to join the league of normal nations. it doesn't seem like too tall an order for any european country . to your point, i think the europeans share our values and interests. i think they would agree with our assessment of that bad behavior, so i am hopeful they will join us in our effort to seize that bad activity by the islamic republic of iran. chairman: senator barrasso. sen. barrasso: i know we are going to continue to work toward the goal of complete denuclearization, and put maximum pressure on north korea in light of today's announcement. as we continue to impose
sanctions and conduct joint military exercises in keep the -- and keep the regime aware of their actions, do you believe china is embracing the maximum-pressure strategy to get north korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program? and in terms of what we can expect of china regarding north korea for future activities, have they responded in our efforts to continue along this line? secretery pompeo: i haven't spoken to them since the letter was released but i did speak to them yesterday afternoon, and they made every commitment that they were prepared to continue in the way that they have. i wish to give the chinese full credit for what they have done. it is historic. it is different than what they have done in previous iterations of this, and we are appreciative of that. i made clear we would need them to continue that even while these negotiations took place and they agreed to that. sen. barrasso: can you speculate
on what your view is of china's ultimate goal in north korea? secretery pompeo: i can to you precisely what they said. they agree that this is the right answer for the korean peninsula. on. barrasso: moving to iran , monday you outstanding remarks at the heritage foundation on iran. two weeks ago the president ended the participation of the united states in this flawed iranian deal. i strongly support the decision. you stated that first we would apply unprecedented financial pressure on the iranian regime. you said leaders in terror on -- in tehran would have no doubt about our effect. new sanctions are going in full effect. will the administration be on track to have the sanctions fully reimposed by the november deadline? can you talk about what additional sanctions may be considered, and are there things congress can do to be helpful? secretery pompeo: the answer to the last one is always yes.
i'm sure there are tools we will need assistance with, although you have given us enormous capabilities and brett there, and we appreciate that. the preparations are well along to rolling out those sanctions. you saw some additional he gets -- against the central bank of iran and some of its officials in that same vein. the core effort with respect to the sanctions is to deny iran the wealth to do the bad stuff that they have been out doing, during the jcpoa. people forget that all this bad activity took place during the jcpoa. so it's not the case that the withdraw caused the iranians to
launch missiles. and we help the world will join us as well so they are not just simply u.s. sanctions, but global and you and sanctions in addition to the sanctions the u.s. puts in place. sen. barrasso: in addition to the bad things iran is doing in the region, i have concerns about what is going on in limit on with rick -- in lebanon with result -- with regard to hezbollah and the elections. in may, lebanon held its first elections in nine years, resulting in electoral gains by hezbollah. congress has put in place restrictions on funding for lebanese armed forces, if the
body is controlled by a foreign terrorist organization. has that state become indistinguishable from hezbollah and should we continue to provide assistance to the lebanese armed forces? secretery pompeo: i don't believe that it is, although we are reviewing that to be sure, to make sure the actions we take, the funding we provide is , provided according to the law. and sinceviewed that i have been in this administration. we will continue to review that. the lebanese election was not what america would have hoped, and what i think the lebanese people would have helped either. -- what have hoped for either. but i do hope that when it all shakes out, that we can continue to provide support to the lebanese armed forces in a way that is appropriate, and do our best to help return lebanon to what everybody knows it once was. sen. barrasso: the jewel of the
mediterranean, it was once called. things are different. i'd like to move to turkey. during testimony this week before the house foreign affairs committee, you said we need to get turkey to rejoin nato. others have called turkey and nato a troubled marriage. turkey has increasingly taken steps to undermine the nato alliance by cooperating with russia, to attack the kurds fighting isis. in december, turkey announced it would be purchasing the s-400 antiaircraft defense system. that is not compatible with the nato system and the patriot system. can you talk about our strategy to bring turkey back into the nato fold, and the areas where we could actually be working cooperatively with president erdogan? they were inpeo: support of some of the efforts we took up in syria, there are pockets where they continue to allow us to operate out of air bases there.
so that peace is very important to the department of defense as well, but the trend is wrong, to be sure. their actual possession of the s-400 causes multiple levels of challenges between us and between turkey and nato. we are pressing diplomatically to make clear that we are trying to offer alternatives as well. we are trying to provide a system of legitimate defense needs and we are trying to do things that encourage them to come back. if i said rejoin nato, i may have misspoken. they are obviously still a member of nato. i hope their actions will prove to be more consistent with what it is nato's primary objectives are. sen. barrasso: there is a question about their intent to purchase 100 f-35's. secretery pompeo: it is still very much a live issue, the turks' capacity to have access to the f-35. chair: senator booker.
sen. coons. senator: thank you for your service coming thank you for lifting the ill-considered state department hiring freeze, and congratulate you on securing the release of three american detainees from north korea. i recognize you didn't craft the state department budget for fiscal year 2019, but i will second the terrific comments by ranking member menendez, who offered a detailed criticism about how it undermines our values and our security. i am frustrated the administration ignored the bipartisan will of congress and submitted a budget request that would cut by 30% much of the state department activity that would weaken our global standing and reverse bipartisan progress. i want to focus on the budget request and important foreign-policy issues challenging us. i thank you for your strong
endorsement in your written testimony today, and your spoken testimony before house foreign affairs, of the build act, a bipartisan bill that could help us step up around the world to crowd in american private capital and confront the challenge of china's mercantile activity in the developing world. i think that is a promising bipartisan initiative and i want to make sure that we work together to use that to strengthen international development, and advance our foreign-policy interests. let me ask about ebola. in 2014, i visited liberia and saw the devastation of an epidemic that cost 11,000 lives before was finally halted at a cost of more than $5 billion to the united states. thousands of volunteers and government employees were deployed. folks went there because of their strengths and skills in medicine and nursing, their religious faith from across a wide range of groups and countries, but in the end,
american action in liberia was key to turning the tide and to restoring some semblance of health and stability to liberia. and i think in many ways that response represented the best of american leadership. but today, i am concerned. the president is considering rescinding funds to fight the new ebola outbreak in the drc. there are new cases in a city of more than one main people, that have alarmed many of us involved in the response in 2014. reportedly, the president is close to closing the part of the nsc designed to lead u.s. and international responses to pandemics, and cutting funding for global health security. do you agree with these steps? do you think this is a responsible response, including the rescission of ebola funding? secretery pompeo: thanks for the question. it is an important issue we are watching closely. the good news with the drc is that we are up in front further than we were last time. having said that, as you well
know, you are on top of it until you are not. and so we are deeply focused on making sure that we try to stay out in front and do everything we can. we also believe we have enough resources to date. we don't think there are funding shortfalls that prevent us in the near term from doing the things we need to do, so we think we are ok there. you asked directly about the rescission. i have had many discussions about that and my push has been, this is important. we need to make sure we have the resources, not only for the current issue, the one that we know about, the one that is in the news today, but we know that each of these global health challenges these global risks, , needs to be addressed in a way that is appropriate. i was a little bit late to the debate but i am on the scene now. i didn't receive any pushback generically from my request a mixture we have the right number of resources.
sen. coons: my sense is and the package continues to include rescissions to the crisis fund, which has been critical in allowing a rapid response to major humanitarian crises. the president just signed into law a bipartisan bill the grass -- that grants the agencies that authority. i hope you will really look into these rescissions. our response as of now is significantly underfunded and puts us at a risk of repeating what was happening in 2014, whereas you said we thought we were on top of it and then it emerged into a regional tragedy. i will also reference that president trump, then a private citizen in 2014, tweeted that the u.s. can't allow ebola-infected people back. "people go to far away places and help are great but must suffer the consequences." many people on the front lines were u.s. aid and u.s. military.
do you think health and development professionals who risk their lives to contain an outbreak should be of the consequences, and be kept out of the united states, as that suggestion in a different context from our now-president might lead one to believe? secretery pompeo: there have been no discussions about that. yes, they obviously need to come back after doing the great work that we did. sen. coons: i hope we work together to ensure that anybody who deploys is certain that they can safely return home. let me move to the iran strategy. there has been a vigorous discussion about it. you gave his speech monday at the heritage foundation. you laid out 12 demands of the iranian regime. i agree we should expect no less of nations that are part of the community of civilized countries, but i am struggling with exactly how we are going to get there. this is an ambitious agenda, and other than threats to impose secondary sanctions that i'm concerned will distance us from our european allies, how exactly are we going to pushback on iran
and syria and pushback on iran in other nations -- regions. one of the suggestions is pushing back on the iranian people. are you advocating president trump remove iran from the list of countries whose citizens can't come to the united states through the travel ban? help me with whether the trump administration these policies consistent with outreach to the iranian people. secretary pompeo: we still have work to do. i would say more broadly, the policies are under review to make sure we get that right. what i was speaking to wasn't actually that. i was speaking to a broader understanding, where is important to know, for the remaining people to understand that they would be on their own. some suggested about whether our motive is regime change.
it is certainly not. it is the case that we are convinced that the reigning -- iranian people don't support venture that it has been engaged in so the efforts we , have, we talked about it gec, we talked about other policy tools america has and i think has fallen into disrepair. getting those back out and being effective at communicating with the iranian people as well. but i'm happy to take on board considering what we are to do with respect to the visa policy that might, i would have to think about the secondary effects as well. sen. coons: i think it would send an important signal. i respect to the complexity of the undertaking but look forward to asking more questions about how we are going to move forward with our european allies. thank you. chair: senator portman. sen. portman: thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, thank you for being back with us. i'm disappointed but not surprised with the summit being canceled, given the nature of the regime.
it seems the reason they were willing to come to the table in the first place was because of the maximum-pressure campaign, because of the sanctions, and because we internationalized those sanctions, in particular with china play such a central role. it seems to me that the mexican pressure campaign has been somewhat caused over the last several weeks. do you intend to reengage to ramp that back up? what do you intend to do with regard to international sanctions specifically with regard to china getting back engaged? pompeo: we were still outworking around the world to convince others to do the things we needed them to do. activities wes of still had extensive work on ship to ship transfers.
still building up that capacity to stop refined products. we been continuing that up through today. that won't change. we've still got work to do to build each of those. i'm sure there are additional sanctions we will seek. seek.re we will go i'm sure we will go back and stay with us until we achieve the outcome.
you have had conversations. you've not done that. there is been a step forward in the summit has been canceled and i think that is appropriate given the nature of the regime it is not surprising that they canceled. he tugged at the state department about getting its swagger back. having morale is higher. one of the ways you can get your swagger back in to do what you said a moment ago in response to the question from senator kunz. you talked about using the gec, the global engagement center, in an effort to communicate with the iranian people more aggressively. you thought some efforts to do
so had fallen into disrepair. based on legislation, senator murphy and i wrote a couple years ago you now have the ability to do that as we have invested in the state department this responsibility to coordinate efforts on pushing back against disinformation, propaganda but also more effective at getting our narrative out. i'm encouraged by your budget request, $53.5 million. funding should be looked at as a two-year funding source. so close to fiscal year i hope you will look into that. you also talked about ensuring that the right people are in place not just contractors but having folks who are senior members of your foreign service organization who can make this gec the effective body you believe in all to be.
i want to ask you where are we with regard to gec? secretary pompeo? : frozen up being hired we are working at it. i agree with you we need professionals working leading parts of that organization. it's going to take me a bit to get to where we need to be. a little forbearance but know that we are working hard at it. gec. not just the it has a lot of money as public diplomacy goes. we should be a will to do some incredibly effective work there. we've got the broadcasting board .f governors just a lot of places.
i don't believe it is well coordinated inside the state department. it sits at least does go different places. there's a lot of work to be done to get that right so that we can begin to get that in peace -- that piece of -- what of my seniors coming to me with a plan . i was a young member from kansas. i spent some time thinking trying to get it going. >> we appreciate you prioritizing it. let that swagger work. let's go for it. i was in the czech republic about a month ago one of the -- i was oncame up that board i hope you are involved in that the cte sanctions issue has put more
light on the fact with regard to china and also russia and other countries there is an effort to influence and try to obtain more .ccess to key technologies one of the things they said in the czech republic, they don't have -- they could be efforts by china to get into our technology . would you be willing to work to work european allies with them and other allies because my multi-federalizing this it of be much more effective as we begin to engage not just on pushing back on the dish information and propaganda but dealing with the reality that the technological race is on and other countries are accessing our technologies. secretery pompeo: i agree we should help other countries get the same syfius regime put in place right now. some have been begging for help.
we need to get out there and do it. senator: thank you mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. senator: mr. secretary, i want to echo some comments my in thankingave said you you spoke to me personally . and publicly with the committee as well a doing something about morale. i heard a lot of disturbing comments about the hiring freeze and the effect on families of the people that were committing themselves to serve our country. i want to let you know how grateful i am for you sticking to what you said you would do. secretery pompeo: there is a lot more work to be done. i hope i can roll out some things in a handful of weeks that will take months, but i intend to honor the commitment they made, not only to this committee but to the workforce when i spoke to them last week. senator: i expect you to fix all the problems in the first two months and i'm disappointed that you haven't moved that quickly. you and i both share not only a patriotic bent but he humanitarian bent as well.
i know you were personally disturbed by what is going on in south sudan. since 2013, the civil war, 50,000 human beings have been killed. you have 4 million people displaced, 7 million people who have had to receive aid to survive, and now we are seeing a level of humanitarian crisis where 5 million people are on the brink of starvation. and what is painful in this is, is compounded by the challenges that we are seeing, with epic levels of violence against women. 65% of the women in the country have experienced violence of a sexual nature. in addition to this, the crisis in south sudan has allowed for a proxy battle between other regional countries. it is causing destabilization in the entire area. you have uganda, ethiopia,
kenya who are all now seeing the effects of the civil war, and are undermining some of the important work we are doing of a security nature. this is a situation growing worse and worse and worse, both from humanitarian concerns as well as our regional interests, counterterrorism interests in the region as well. i have had constructive conversations with chairman corker about our diplomatic focus in the area. at i know there were issues where we will fully support for an ambassador in the region, but i would like to get your frank opinion on some things the chairman and i have been discussing. given the transnational nature of the crisis, i'm wondering if you share our concerns that we do not have a special envoy that is getting up every single day and focusing on this issue, and trying to address the grievous humanitarian, diplomatic,
medical and security -- diplomatic, political, and security consequences that this crisis is causing. secretery pompeo: senator booker, your factual statement about the situation is spot on. you characterized the risk and the tragedy that is taking place there perfectly. i will also say i thought about this in my previous role and have added chance to dig into it only a little bit in this one, there may be fundamental rethinking. maybe that is your point about our approach to this. we have been at the same diplomatic line for an awfully long time with, i would say marginal success. but perhaps if we had not been doing that it would be far worse. but somehow, we have to create a situation that is fundamentally different than the set of incentives that sit on the ground today and spillover into the regions you describe. the risk is real.
as for whether there is a requirement for a special envoy, i have not given it serious consideration and i will do so. we do need our team focused on this issue every day, and whether it requires a special envoy, i don't know the answer. i'm certainly willing to consider it. senator: my team also made me aware that a previous director was moved from the south sudan office into a different office without explanation. at least from standing outside your agency, it looks like we are pulling back on the people that have the specialty and the focus, and are not sure what is filling that void at a time, if you have heard my bias, we should be ramping up attention, focus and energy into that region. secretery pompeo: senator, you are informationally ahead of me. i regret that. i will dig into it.
senator: i am grateful, sir. and again, observing you, i feel like i know your or values. -- your core values. we have had private conversations about this, the great power that your position holds, and i know that your attention, we all have the same 24 hours, with asia, with europe, with the middle east, that demands so much right now. senator coons, senator flake, other senators have attention on africa and alleviating human suffering. what we have done with usaid is stunning, and every american should be proud, and understand that not only is it humanitarian, but as martin luther king said, justice anywhere is a threat to justice -- injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
and in infectious diseases, especially, justice everywhere, -- injustice everywhere, if we don't deal with contagions in a proactive way they have a chance of spreading. so i want to echo what senator coons said with more eloquence the me, about my grievous concerns about the growing crises that we see in the drc in general, which i think is an area in need of more diplomatic attention, more american pressure, more guts and swagger that we are talking about other areas of the world, that we should be focusing on the same areas with some of our african nations and our brothers and
sisters in humanity. and he does, to me, send out a stunning reflection of our values. budgets reflect values, and we are announcing rescission packages that do things that just don't seem to make economic sense, as well as moral sense. and i know you operate with a strong moral core, and also understand fiscal conservatism, about making investments that can save our country money. the decision for 232 million ebola funding struck me as a staggering, when we know from past experience with outbreaks, a small amount invested could save us a tremendous amount on the backend in a fiscal manner, with just the human suffering alone. and i appeal to you, not just as a fellow american but a fellow american but at fellow humanitarian, to give some focus to drc, give some focus to what is going on with american posture and resources in dealing with the ebola virus. we have so much power in this country. this is a place where we make the investment, if we apply the focus, we can make a tremendous
impact on human suffering. it is not going to be on the front page of the new york times and won't be talked about on cnn, what they seem to be distracted by these days, but you and i are towards the end of our lives. you are in a position right now where you can make a difference on these issues in such a substantive way. secretery pompeo: thank you, senator booker. senator: thank you, sir. chair: senator paul. senator: i think a lot of people think the iran agreement had some serious deficiencies. the 150 billion dollars was released all at once instead of gradually. that being said, the $100 billion released was a great inducement to get iran to sign the agreement. that was a carrot. the carrot is gone and they got the good thing, and now we want compliance and are pulling out. the question is, what are the
next inducements to get them to sign things? there are two possibilities of what will happen. you reintroduce the strongest sanctions. they either don't work, that is one possibility because they are unilateral. let's say they don't work during that means europe, china and russia continue to trade with them and you ran -- with them and iran says, they will continue to trade with us, they don't develop nuclear weapons or any technology like that but they don't do anything else that you would like. so basically, we don't get what we want in the sanctions don't work. the second possibility.
let's say the sanctions do work. we have enough manipulation of money that flows through us from europe, europe buckles and i think russia and china will still trade with them. let's say it works in a puts enough pression enough pressure on a rant. and the first possibility is, we love secretary pompeo's 12 point strategy and we accept that. i think that is unlikely. the second possibility of the sanctions work and they put enough pressure on them, iran feels the pressure, is that they restart the nuclear centrifuge program. so those are the two possibilities. i would like to go to the 12 steps you would like iran to do, and explore what these would mean if we thought about them in terms bigger than iran. one of your first things is, you want iran to reveal the military dimensions of its nuclear program. let's substitute israel for iran. does anybody think israel is going to reveal the military dimensions of their nuclear program? you say, well they are our friend. from the iranian perspective,
they are a regional rival. let's put saudi arabia in there. saudi arabia revealed the military dimensions of their nuclear program. i'm guessing there are files at the cia where some say they have purchased nuclear technology. you probably can't admit it, but let's put saudi arabia in thre -- in there, and they are not discussing nuclear weapons. so you're asking them something they are not going to agree to. let's move on. proliferation of ballistic missiles. i don't like them threatening us with ballistic missiles. nobody does. but they respond to saudi arabia. there is a 1000-year-old war there. there is a 1000-year-old religious war over there and there's hostility between them. so when we supply weapons and the saudi's have a ballistic missile program, and they respond to that. so when you tell iran you have
to give up your ballistic missile program, but you don't see anything to the saudi's, you think they're going to sign that? there would have to be crippled starving people in the streets for them to give up that ballistic missiles program. had we kept the iranian agreement, and you said to the iranians, we want peace with saudi arabia, could we get saudi arabia to the table with a ran -- with iran to discuss a freeze of ballistic missiles? when we went to russia, we didn't just say we will give up our weapons and neither did russia. we did it in parity. we had an agreement. if you leave saudi arabia out of it and leave israel out of it and look at iran in isolation, that is not the way they perceive it. so i don't think they are going to jump at your 12 notions of what you would like them to do. secretery pompeo: the example of saudi arabia is a reasonable one. we have told the saudis exactly
what i asked of the rainy and. -- of the iranians. they have said they want a peaceful nuclear energy program. we told them we wanted a section 123 agreement from them allowing them not to enrich. >> do we have information that the saudi's have talked to actors in pakistan and other places about purchasing nuclear technology? secretary pompeo i can't answer that here. we likely do have that information. players.g three we are iran to do things not willing to ask anybody else to do, and that we would never do. secretery pompeo: i disagree with you. i think we ask most nations to
do precisely what we are asking iran to do. senator: in their support for the hutu rebels, you are not asking the saudis to stop bombing yemen. it is squarely on the shoulders of the saudis. we get reports from the defense department that says, there have been 32 missile strikes and saudi arabia. but there has been 16,000 bombings of yemen by saudi arabia. nobody even mentions that. we act as though it did not even happen. if we are so ignorant that there two sides to this war we are not going to get anywhere. iran is not going to do that but they might if you said, this arms race with saudi arabia doesn't make sense. and saudi arabia is one to sitdown at the table. -- underbia willing to iranian command from syria. there are dozens of groups in there. getting weapons from qatar and syria.
one of the leaked emails from wikileaks from clinton to john podesta saying, we have to stop saudi arabia and qatar from funding isis. they were acknowledging that they knew about it and a knology that it was a problem, but weapons were flowing into all -- the whole syrian war has all these radical jihadists. the people that attacked us came from saudi arabia. we had an oral that in them with more bombs. so until we acknowledge that there are two sides the war are three sides to the war in the middle east, you are not going to get the agreement. i think was naive to pull out of the iran agreement and then the end of think we will be worse off for it. chair: senator udall. senator: thank you secretary pompeo, for being here with us
today. zte, the chinese cell phone company, was hit with a $1.9 billion fine for violating u.s. law. the department of defense has warned about security vulnerability with these phones. soon after zte reported financial problems, the metallurgical corporation of china made a decision to support a $500 million project in indonesia, which included trump-branded properties. and soon after president trump sounded the alarm on behalf of the chinese company zte, tweeting that the president of china and i are working together to give massive chinese phone company zte a way to get back into business fast. too many jobs in china lost. congress has been instructed to get it done. that is the end of the tweet. many observers found these events and their timing strange, i would say very strange.
the trump organization owns assets around the world, in india, the middle east, panama, and has pursued a project in russia well into 2016. members of congress and the executive branch or under an ethical duty to avoid even in appearance of a conflict of interest. you agree there is at least an appearance of a conflict of interest in this sequence of events with china? secretery pompeo: senator, i haven't seen any indication that would support the connection you seem to be drawn. i was part of the conversation early, and more recently about zte. i knew about zte when i was a
member of congress as well. this ministration takes the threat that zte poses seriously. it's the first administration to take zte seriously. the previous administration chose to do absolutely nothing about zte, so the critics that say this administration has not done enough, i think -- senator: given the president refuses to disclose his tax returns, how can you assure the american people that american foreign-policy is free of his personal conflicts of interest? secretery pompeo: senator, i find that question bizarre. senator: you don't want to answer it then? you have described it as bizarre but you are not giving me an answer. secretery pompeo: i think that is indicative of my answer, senator. i have been incredibly involved in this and ministrations foreign policy per 16 months, and i have seen no evidence of
what you are scurriously suggesting. senator: i know. it is fake news. let me ask my question. back to the specific case of zte, do you think it is in u.s. help the to problematic chinese phone company to get back into business fast? that is the trump tweet. and as the state department using any resources to work with the commerce department on this issue? secretery pompeo: i don't know the answer to your second question. i have been involved. yes, the state department is using some resources to work with the department of commerce during some part of my time, for sure. there may be others. my team members have been involved in this along the way as well. senator: the first question was,
you believe it is in u.s. interests to help the problematic cte phone company -- zte phone company get back into business fast? secretery pompeo: i am convinced the administration will make a decision that will be in the best interests of the american people. senator: the former ambassador to panama told the new yorker that the president after him, what about the hotel? that's a quote from the ambassador in an oval office meeting to discuss the u.s.-panama relationship. does the president ever discuss overseas trump properties when discussing foreign-policy issues with you? secretery pompeo: i have never seen us make any decision based on anything like you are suggesting.
i don't know how else to answer that question. senator: good. i just want a straight answer. secretery pompeo: i'm not sure that was exactly your point there, senator. senator: no, no, i wanted a straight answer from you. we will see how history plays this out. i want to offer my condolences to the people of cuba, and to those who pierced on the flight from havana last week. this is yet another example of over 50 years of failed isolationist policies toward cuba, and it just continues on and on. the u.s. embargo prevents cuba from leasing u.s. planes in parts. this is a safety hazard that may have led to a disaster on the island last week the crashed plane was an inter-cuba flight, a root that is generally not serviced by u.s. air carriers. this means cubans and american tourists alike are subject to the same dangers of a poorly-regulated airline industry. there's no doubt u.s. companies would benefit from business with cuban airlines, and cubans as well, as american tourists, i think would be safer because of
it. this administration continues to back track on efforts to engage with american officials. with the state department be open to dialogue with cuban officials to help improve their safety and upgrade aircraft, to avoid another catastrophe? secretery pompeo: the suggestion is that the responsibility of the aircraft's failure in rest with cuba and they cuban people. i simply disagree with that. i'm happy to consider whether there is an appropriate mechanism to engage with cuba on civil aviation. i don't know the answer to the question. senator: the point of the question is, when there is cooperation on all fronts in cuba, i think americans do better and cubans do better. and that is what the policy of the last administration was, to
uplift everyone. and when i had a discussion with you in my office, you talked about, we are going to try to have an engaged policy with cuba. we are not going backwards. my time is up, mr. chairman. i would wait for the second round. thank you. chair: thank you. on the zte issue, there were a few of us that were part of a briefing last night. i do think that, having nothing to do with other countries' interests, i do think the administration is using trade policy and some of these other sanctions issues, maybe too transactionally. i know that doesn't happen to the state department. and sometimes, just based on feelings with an individual they are dealing with, i do think that inconsistency has created problems. the thing they have discussed over the last 24 hours relative
to otto,, to me is an abusive presidential authority, absolutely and abuse of presidential authority. to me it sounds like it has to do with domestic politics or -- some other issue, and i hope 12 a 16 presidential election continues to be a topic on the sunday new shows. the giuliani a president of president -- a member of the president's legal team, senator marco rubio and jeff flake of arizona. >> charges againstod