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tv   Ambassadorship Confirmations  CSPAN  June 23, 2018 1:51pm-3:12pm EDT

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. next, a confirmation hearing for a number of ambassadorships. we will hear from the president's and -- nominees. 1.5 hours.ut good afternoon. this hearing of the senate foreign relations committee will come to order. .oday we gather mr. run of good wednesday the u.s. ambassador to belgium, miss [indiscernible]
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that is a mouthful. i want to welcome the nominees and their families in the opening statements i hope you'll individual families and our iiends to this committee. congratulate you all enter selection by this president on his positions. i want to welcome several distinguished colleagues who will help introduce our nominees. sen. tillis: like to begin. >> thank you mr. chairman. it iss of the committee my great privilege to introduce beenorton's online who has nominated as ambassador to the eu. he was born in washington and as a first-generation american his family is fascinating and instructive as to why he has the
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experience to serve as u.s. ambassador to the eu. his parents were born in berlin germany and were married in 1937. they were forced to escape the not too regime in germany. his father was able to escape because those with russian passports could lead. she ended up in uruguay where his father was born -- brother was born. wound up in france where he joined the french foreign legion and fought in north africa. he was put in a concentration camp and africa where he was rescued by a british army. he then joined the british army being fluent in german assisted with decoding german ciphers. years, his parents were reunited moved to seattle in 1953, where gordon was born four years later. gordon went on to graduate from the united -- university of washington in seattle and began
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his business career in commercial real estate before managing an investment fund for more than a decade. he is currently the founder chairman and ceo of providence hotels. he originally purchased a bankruptcy hotel and transformed it into the enterprise he manages today. a national company which now employs nearly a thousand employees and also manages hotels across a geographically diverse environment in the united states. in addition to his great business experiments experience, he is cofounder of the foundation which strives to help families and booze communities. he has also served on a local -- number of boards and advisory committees in the past and currently serves on several boards including u.s. bancorp, washington state advisory board, sanford school board of visitors of duke university, oregon
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health and science university foundation, and the george w. bush center. his family history and his understanding that comes with it comes with his extensive -- extensive business experience and managing competing interests ideally suited him for the task. i would also tell you he is a man of great character and a great mentor to two of his kids who had the good sense to go to a north carolina school. they are at duke university. did not get into unc chapel hill that duke is a good plan b. [laughter] i cannot think of a better person to take the pulse of ambassador to the eu. >> thank you. mr. chairman let me make this a filibuster free zone and perhaps
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just have my were remarks but in the record and give you a sense of why i am here. known gordon solomon or over 25 years. senator murphy asked how did that come about. was basketball what did it? not really. there is a really small jewish community in oregon. we pretty much know each other. we are just people who get causesr and back good and try to stand up for our state and particularly have an interest in global kind of matters because of our family background. the children of
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german parents. families fled the not sees in the 30's. gordon's father uses foreign language fluency to help the british army during the war. while inho lived for a connecticut, wrote the propaganda pamphlets for our army that we dropped on the not sees. i'm telling you those pamphlets smoked. it basically told the not sees they were going to freeze if they didn't pack it in and give up to the red white and blue. both gordon's family and mine ended up in the united states as refugees. i think we all know america has -- ys
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the devout. in effect we had a constant infusion of individual who share red white and blue values of hard work and love of country. the very core of our greatness. , that families like us who areds like really first-generation kids of -- there is a word for it where you try to perfect the world but i think what i would say is gordon and families like ours we always thought it was our job to give back. always try to find a way to give back was the way people talk about it, jewish families in
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wifen, gordon and his katie have been supporters of so many causes. one of the things i especially liked about the family as they have been very generous to the portland art museum and as a result now kids can go to this 3000fic museum in oregon miles away from what some people think of the museums in new york and washington dc but now because of them that kids can go to an art museum for free. has also been involved in a number of other things i feel very strongly about. gordon has been involved in the oregon health sciences university foundation where we are doing with their good work
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and phil knight as well have made a very generous donation recently to some cutting-edge work on cancer. i will close by way of saying if you look at the totality of the experience that the sans lens when a time post when lots of politics is polarized and divisive, gordy can be a very good fit. i will close with one kind of comment about our state. what i have come to feel is, we sort of have an oregon way about us, and it is not like written down somewhere. high and, you know, in your downtown portland. but it is all about, take a good idea wherever you can get it. caring about people, having a good heart. our late colleague in the senate, mark hatfield, really
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practiced the oregon whale. -- the oregon way. our late mayor in portland practiced the oregon way. i think when gordon sondland assumes this post -- i will say i hope he really is confirmed. he is going to speak with real impact, with an oregon way type impact of problem-solving, of values we hold dear, particularly on issues like anti-semitism, respect for human rights, and it is a pleasure to be able to be, i guess, part of the oregon caucus on behalf of the nominee, gordon d sondland. >> without objection, your written statement will be entered in the record. sen. gardner: let me welcome christina gidwitz to the committee hearing. gidwitz -- ronald love of his life. i do not know if i am supposed
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to say this, but i will say it anyway and ask for forgiveness afterwards. ronid not get married until his 40's because he spent all the time before that trying to convince christina to say yes. i think that is the story, correct? i also want to welcome scott, -- as inand new fiance last week -- and alexander, his son and australia. the come to the family for being here today. thank you. the first time i met ron, i knew i was going to get along great with him. walking into his office in chicago, there was a poster on his wall that was a piece of farm equipment. we had a long conversation about midwest companies that have a legacy presence in colorado and beyond.
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here was run that morning, talking about all these household names that helped my community, my hometown, thrive, that he was part of. of course, there is his resume, and it shows he is more qualified to serve our great nation in this capacity as anyone else. he has decades of business experience leading nationally recognized brands and companies. he has been a leader of national security, a boris and girls clubs -- of boys and girls club's across the nation. ronald gidwitz is not just a business or political leader. his bio is filled with more than job experience. he is a mentor, philanthropist, community leader. he is deep into leadership of the arts and the incredible field museum in chicago. mr. gidwitz lives up to the adage, of whom -- to whom much is given, much is expected. there are few who engage an champion and inspire as much as christina and ron. the list of their generosity goes to health care, welfare, support for military, national
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security, veterans, and education. yet none of it is done seeking recognition or asking anything in return. it truly is to live up to that commitment. much is expected. they have indeed lived up to this incredible standard. the gidwitz family has never stopped championing others. today's mission is one more step in giving back to his country, to our country. i know this is why some of those closest to him call him father ron. he is one that serves everyone. people come to him for with some -- for wisdom, guidance, and hard truth telling. peer-to-peer, ceo to ceo, or aung students -- he serves as source of strength and wisdom for all who seek him out. his greatest achievement is not all he has given, but how he has influenced and inspired those around him. omission in belgium is more important than ever, whether it is addressing challenges in trade mission and brussels. he will be a beacon of american
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values, and pride and dlomacy will give comfort to all of us who recognize the importance of this role. the leadership and ambassador provides, selfless leadership. support ron and i urge my colleagues to do the same. congratulations. .hair: thanks senator durbin? sen. durbin: i am on leave of absence. i promise someday i will return. here today be especially because of the nomination of ron gidwitz to be our next ambassador to belgium. i won't replicate the kind remarks of cory gardner of colorado on behalf of ron and his family, that i will tell you that ron and i share something in common, a life experience that goes back a few years. we were both interns in the united states senate the same year, working for the same senator. morris udall, a cumbersome from arizona, once said if you have politics in your bloodstream, only embalming fluid will replace it. during the course of my
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internship in that senate office, i got politics in my bloodstream, and i have never quite left capitol hill since. path.ok a different he went back to chicago, into the business world. successful in that world, with business as well as his investments and other endeavors. did well for himself. but he did not just sit on that success and bank the money and walk away from his responsibilities to others. i have known him for a long time. we are in an era where there are arguments made about have her partisanship, but i know that when it came to service to the public, ron was stepping up to serve chicago's immigrant mayors as much as his own republican friends. that included sharing -- chairing the economic development commission. he chaired the city colleges of chicago under mayor richard daley. he chaired the illinois state board of education.
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he served as well, as corey has mentioned, as chairman emeritus for the boys and girls club of america, in which he played a leading role for nearly 30 years. over and over again, he stepped up for public service. he will do it again. belgium is an important ally to the united states. the european union's future is an important question for the u.s. the future of the nato alliance is one we have to address, and we should remind everyone it has meant peace in the world for a long time. ron gidwitz is the right person to serve as america's face and america's voice in belgium. i am happy to endorse his nomination. thank's, senator. i want to thank all my senate colleagues for providing an introduction. i think the bipartisan support speaks well of them and of this process. says,irman corker always your welcome to the stage. we really appreciate you making those introductions.
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i want to thank my other colleagues for attending, and i want to be respectful of their time. rather than reading an opening statement, i will ask to enter .nto the record i will turn to senator murphy. sen. murphy: i will take your cue and we can get right to the nominees. by. johnson: let me begin thanking our nominees, your families, for your willingness to serve in these very important capacities. these postings have always involved significant sacrifice not only from you, from you personally, but also your families. the positions you are and are going to be extremely important from the standpoint of representing america to your countries, your institutions, but also representing those countries and institutions back to this body. and i am sure you will do a great job. we would like to start with the honorable brian nichols. ambassador nichols is the nominee for best actor to zimbabwe.
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he is a member of the foreign service and served as u.s. ambassador to peru from 2014 through 2017. postings include assistant secretary secretary of state from 2011 through 2013 and deputy chief of mission at the u.s. embassy in pagoda, 2007 through 2010. ambassador nichols? chairman johnson, ranking member murphy, and members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you as the nominee to be the next united states ambassador to the republic of zimbabwe. i am profoundly grateful to have the confidence of the president and the secretary of state. the approach 30 years in foreign service, serving at some of our most challenging missions, it is a homely distinction to appear before the senate for the second time as a nominee to serve the american people. as ambassador. my professional achievements are owed to the wonderful women who beautifulday -- my wife jeri, also a senior foreign service officer, and my
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daughters alex and sophie. aey have all pushed me to be better person, sacrificed for my career, and nurtured me with love and support. i would also like to recognize my older brothers, david and keith, for the powerful example they set, though they could not be here today. i have had the good fortune to represent the country i love in fascinating countries around the world. , have advanced american values respect for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law throughout my career. those are values my late father, charles nichols, a fulbright scholar and founder of brown university's african studies program in stilled in me and my brothers. my mother mildred nichols has served rhode island promoting higher education, vocational training, and charitable programs to lift people out of poverty, for 50 years. confirmed, i will draw on those values and my experience to strengthen our relations with them by way as it
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as it reforms,e and help the people build a better future. as i have in my previous assignments, i will have no higher priority than the welfare and security of american citizens. after 38 years of independence, zimbabwe approaches a crossroads. government and people of zimbabwe have the opportunity to follow a nupathe -- to become a stable and democratic country while returning to the prosperity of the past. this is what the zimbabwe and -- zimbabwean people deserve. the government should carry out profound governance, electro, human rights, and economic reforms. a test will be their ability to deliver on july 30 a free, fair, and credible national election, in accordance with international standards. zimbabwe's enormous potential, reforms will yield
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benefits for her people. i look forward to close and continued collaboration with congress to help zimbabwe along a path of positive change. as we continue to support zimbabwe's democratic development, we must continue to invest in the people of zimbabwe -- and health care, people to people exchanges, humanitarian aid, and business development -- capitalrve the human needed to improve zimbabwe in the future. today's zimbabweans can look across the centuries at a complex civilization that influenced an entire continent. i have faith that with our support, once given the opportunity to communicate, organize, and express their will, the people of zimbabwe will find the best path forward and pursue it successfully. my recent foreign service -- as ambassador to peru, i led a large mission that focused on improving the rule of
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law, fighting transnational crime and corruption, strengthening our host nations, and providing respect for human rights, particularly of women, girls, and is it vanished groups. i let it unified mission to promote american businesses and grow american jobs, earning the kabul word for those efforts -- d for those cobb awar efforts. i helped create anti-narcotics programming around the world, including in africa. as deputy assistant secretary for narcotic law enforcement affairs, i directed a team of nearly 7000 professionals who worked every day to expand access to justice, and combat crime around the world. i am especially proud of efforts in africa to combat wildlife trafficking and build more professional police and prosecutors. in those positions as well as deputy chief of mission in bogota, i shaved organizations that were more diverse than ever
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, in terms of background and expertise, improve morale, tight management controls, and advanced policies and priorities. should the senate confirm me, i would aim to exemplify the highest standards while doing so. i look forward to partnering to advance america's interests in zimbabwe, and to answer your questions now and in the future. sen. johnson: our next nominee is gordon sondland, nominee to be representative of the european union. after introductions by senators wyden and tillis, no further introduction is necessary. esther sondland? mr. sondland: before i begin, i want to thank the senators for an overly generous introduction. it was much appreciated. chairman johnson, ranking member murphy, and established members -- good afternoon. it is an honor to serve as united states ambassador to the european union.
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grateful for the confidence placed in may, and the secretary tom payoff for his support. i'm grateful for your consideration of my nomination. before we begin, please allow me to introduce the members of my family in attendance with me. first, my wife katie, without his intelligence, kindness, patience, and wit, i might have achieved very little -- certainly not a place at this table. she is formidable success in business as well as our home, and has been on enduring source of strength and humbling, smart advice since the day i was fortunate to meet her nearly 30 years ago. sitting next to katie are our proudest of compliments, our children max and lucy, oath of whom are undergraduates at duke and departed challenging summer internships so they could be here today. absent today, but with me in are mythis past decade, parents, gunther and freda sondland. having immigrated here in 1953 after years of extreme travail,
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they adopted america, and america adopted them, with a ission unrivaled by any one have since encountered. there's was a story of intense personal sacrifice, hard work, good luck, and a deep commitment devoted to the united states and each other. having met and married in berlin in 1938, gunther and freda, and my sister lucy, unlike so many of their less fortunate relatives, were able to flee the scourge of nazi-ism. lucy foundeda and safe haven in south america, while gunther volunteered to take up arms against the murderous authoritarian regime from which they just escaped -- first with the french foreign legion in africa, and later with the british army in vermont. -- in burma. world war ii came to a close, and so did the eight-year separation, when they were 1947.ed in uruguay in
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with tens of thousands of other jews, gunther's surviving family had sought shelter in shanghai. they found fortunate permanent refuge in seattle, washington, the northwestern edge of our great country. they raise children, including to the first of my family claim natural born citizenship in the united states. they embarked on their own .nique american dream american citizens eventually starting and running a small, successful dry-cleaning business for the next 30 years. here, they labored, loved, made many friends, and had a positive impact on the community. they never ceased to be grateful to the country that had given them hope, safety, and a new beginning. they fought hard for american citizenship. they cherished and nurtured it. ey bequeathed to us neither riches nor property, but something more treasure -- abiding respect for industry, determination, and self-sufficiency.
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a deep love of god, family, and country. faith in the rule of law. and the certainty that self-governance is essential to happiness, prosperity, and true diverted. denied so many othese r so , gunther and freda embrace these values with fervor. if confirmed, everything i say or do will be an advancement of american interest and these principles, first and foremost. they are the principles that guide me throughout my life. most of them comprise the principlesl western that undergird the u.s.-e.u. relationship that has endured since 1951. between us, the united states and the e.u. member nations wields the largest economic and military power in the world. they dominate global trade and international political developments. it is why our unique relationship with europe must only be strengthened and protected. as president trump said last year in his warsaw speech,
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establishing the preservation of the west, as his primary foreign-policy goal in europe, there is nothing like this community of nations. the world has never known anything like it. we must have the desire and courage to preserve it in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it. know better than most, there are many challenges that confront us -- trade, security, the migrant crisis, brexit, and are atposition of jcpla the forefront. no one should doubt the e.u. has a role in perpetuating shared values of freedom, peace, and prosperity in europe and around the world. europeannefit of our friends, but also a vast swath of american people, the $5.5 trillion in annual commerce we share is one compelling testament to that. finally, while much has been said about the tensions that currently exist within the u.s.-e.u. partnership, it is important to remember historically these ups and
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downs, these instances of public posturing, have been the norm. that is the nature of complicated relationships. while it won't be always easy, the shared goals and values will triumph over our differences. i believe that my professional experience of the last several decades are instrumental in preparing me to lead the mission at the e.u., should you confirm up my nomination. i'm happy to have launched a real estate holding company larger than i would ever have imagined, sustaining several thousand individuals and the families from all walks of life and places. i also traveled extensively throughout the world, including across europe, and have a deep respect for european politics. confirmed, i look forward to visiting them all. i am proud the first lane which i spoke at home was german. if confirmed, i will look forward to once again conversing with our friends throughout europe in english, but also in german, where spoken.
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during the course of my life, i have had significant experience in policymaking, working with lawmakers from every level of government in negotiating business deals across borders and advising several large companies with domestic and international operations. i have always been comfortable working on a bipartisan basis. if confirmed, i can assure you i will bring my life experiences and skills to represent the united states at the european union. thank you for your consideration, and i would be pleased to answer your questions. sen. johnson: our next nominee is mr. ronald gidwitz, nominee to be ambassador to belgium. wallowing the introductions by senators gardner and bourbon, i do not think we need further introduction. mr. gidwitz: thank you, mr. chairman. chairman johnson, ranking member murphy, distant list members of the committee, it is a tremendous honor to appear before you today as president trump's nominee to be the united states ambassador to the kingdom of belgium.
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for me, it is humbling that the president and secretary pompeo have the confidence in me, hopefully with your approval, to represent the american people in engaging with a critically important ally in a key center of europe. i would particularly like to thank senator durbin and senator gardner for speaking on my behalf today. i would also like to thank several members of the family who sit behind me. foremost is christina, to whom i have been married for almost 43 years. alexander, who lives in australia, and scott, who joins us today. alex is married to a lovely young lady, molly. she recently gave birth to our first grandson, christopher. scott is accompanied by his newly minted fiancee, mallory. my family's love and support has been a constant in every phase of my life. during my career, i have had a multiplicity of experiences in government service, and the private sector, as well as extensive exposure to the
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nonprofit arena. in the private sector, i had the privilege of serving as president and ceo of a toiletry and cosmetic manufacturer and marketer. company, itover the had sales of just over $100 million. the business was sold 17 years later. the company was closing in on $1.5 billion, and was on the fortune 300 list, with 40% of its sales coming from outside the u.s. i have also served on a number ofprivate sector boards directors. among them was a subsidiary of the french aluminum company. center, i was a founding executive committee of the national committee for support of the learner reserve, and served in that precedent for 10 years. in addition, i was chairman of the economic development commission of chicago at a time when the midwest was under great stress. i also served as chairman of the city colleges of chicago, the
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second largest community college district in the country. as well, i served two terms in the illinois state board of education. i was appointed to these and other public service positions by both republicans and dark routes. i believe the record will show that i can work well and lead organizations, no matter their political stripe. the not-for-profit arena, i have worked in many kinds of establishments, from social service to cultural institutions to education organizations. i have served in virtually every position over my 44 year tenure with boys and girls clubs of america, including chairing the national organization. i served as chairman of the field museum of natural history, as well as the chicagoland chamber of commerce. i have led large and small organizations, public and private, and not-for-profit. i feel confident experience of business and philanthropy has prepared me for this important opportunity to lead the mission
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to the kingdom of belgium. if confirmed to serve as u.s. ambassador, i will work closely with the teams across the government to strengthen our relationship and focus on the following areas of our alliance. first and foremost, i will work with belgian officials at all levels to advance american interests, protect american citizens, and promote american democratic values -- freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the freedom of religion are values that cannot and should not be compromised. if confirmed, i will work closely with the belgian government to address collective security concerns. i will encourage our belgian partners to move aggressively to fulfill their commitment to spending 2% of gdp on defense by the year 2024. working together, we can further strengthen our counterterrorism
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communities, enhance nato, and further global security. if confirmed, i hope to advance economic interests. more than 900 american companies are represented in belgium. in 2017, u.s. exports of goods and serv to belgium were $35.5 billion. imports were $20.4 billion, creating a trading surplus of $15.1 billion. we are belgium's largest trading partner outside the european union. if confirmed, i will work with our economic efforts to further a robust and successful partnership. i will, if confirmed, work diligently to lead our mission team and work closely with all agencies to deep our historical alliance with the belgian government and the belgian people. mr. chairman, ranking member, and members of the committee, i thank you for the honor of appearing before you today. i look forward to answering your
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questions. sen. johnson: thank you. least, sheriff chalet is cherith nominated to represent us to the u.n. general assembly. she served as the -- the privy through 2014.012 she also served as a special adviser to the u.s. mission to the u.n. from 2008 through 2011, as a senior advisor to the state department bureau of legislative affairs from 2003 3 2007. ms. chalet was a staffer for jim demint from south carolina. ms. chalet? ms. chalet: thank you, chairman johnson and distinct members of the committee. i am honored to appear before you as the nominee to serve as the representative of the united states of america to the united's -- the united nations for u.n. management and reform.
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trumprateful to president and ambassador haley for their confidence and this opportunity. i am joined today by my husband george, whose love and support has been integral to me, being a working mother and represented the united states at the u.n. for the last 10 years. nikolai, who is already a mini u.n. diplomat, having participated in many u.n. diplomats after missing monster marathon midnight negotiations. my daughters carolyn and madeleine could not join me here. i am not sure i could contain their enthusiasm during the hearing, as they are three and one. , am also joined by my family my parents, whose love and support formed the foundation, as well as my sister peggy, her daughters, and my brother-in-law. enabling the united nations to deliver on its mandate to maintain international peace and security, address human rights
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and development needs, is no simple task. the united states continues to be a champion for greater effectiveness and efficiency by emphasizing the need for the united nations to show tangible impact and results, and by encouraging better ways of working. president trump, secretary pompeo, and ambassador haley have prioritized showing the value of the u.n. to the american taxpayer. this falls squarely on my shoulders if confirmed, as the u.s. representative to the united nations for management and reform. theugh my experience at united states mission to the u.n., i have seen firsthand the value of positive reform, and the good that can be achieved. see consequences when it is not effectively managed. for example, when we hold peacekeepers accountable for their for women's, we see better results for the beneficiaries of peacekeeping operations. i will assume the job, if
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confirmed, at an auspicious time , as the plan to reform the system is underway. this presents real opportunities to align the u.n.'s work on development and internal management with u.s. values and priorities. i am honored to work alongside ambassador haley and under her leadership, to expand our reform efforts, including greater accountability and transparency, strengthened whistleblower protections, fiscal discipline, and making the u.n. fit for purpose. if confirmed, i intend to work closely with other member states in the general assembly to advance these priorities and other issues related to sound management and reform. thank you for this opportunity to appear before this committee today. i look forward to taking your questions. leftjohnson: sen. murphy: -- sen. johnson: sen. murphy: has left for a vote.
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murphy johnson: sen. has left for a vote. flake ambassador nicholas -- sen. flake: ambassador nicholas, we had a good visit. some bubbly is going through elections for the first time in isut 40 years -- zimbabwe going through elections for the first time in about 40 years, free and fair, after the departure of robert mugabe. can you tell me about the importance to get there by i thank february 17, i am sorry, july? why is that important for us to have an ambassador there for the election? mr. nichols: thank you, senator flake. it is good to talk to someone with deep experience in the consonant and zimbabwe in particular. the voice of the united states and calling for a free, fair,
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credible election that gives the zimbabwean people greater confidence in their leaders and the forcefulness with which we consider democracy important in zimbabwe is a priority for me and for the united states government. having a person on the ground of thee full force president of the united states as his personal representative is vitally important to advance our interest. having had the honor to serve as ambassador in the past, it is something that someone who does not have that investiture cannot match. i certainly hope that i would be able to receive you and your colleagues in zimbabwe in the future, if confirmed. thank you. i spent time in the 1980's in zimbabwe. i look forward to this day for a long time. they would have free and fair
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elections. we have a good team, you'll find when you get there, but we need an ambassador. hopefully we will get this process done. congratulations. thank you, senator flake. let me ask a general question of the nominees. i really want to hone in on what each of you views as your top one, too, or three priorities. maybe just the top one. just give you a chance to expound on it a little more. i will start with you, mr. sondland. thank you, senator johnson. i think it is an understatement to say that the relationship currently between the united states and european union is tense. one of my top priorities is to
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do a listening tour of all 28 member countries, to bring the temperature down a little wild these very delicate negotiations are going on over trade. , onei am through with that of my greatest priorities is to the close reestablish relationship that the e.u. and u.s. have on a host of issues. when we work together, we are almost unstoppable as a team. i would like to get us back to that place. sen. johnson: ambassador nichols? mr. nichols: thank you, mr. chairman. as alluded to earlier, the july 30 elections will be a crucial .oment in zimbabwe in history an opportunity to have free, fair, and credible elections will be my top priority. there are other challenges zimbabwe faces. institutions, to to ensure the rule of law, to promote a private sector-led
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economy, to encourage transparency and respect for human rights in its governance, and to give the zimbabwean people the opportunity to succeed to the work of their own labor. the surfer found challenges, challenges that did not arise overnight, and they will not be solved immediately. but we must work together, and i look forward to working with you to advancelleagues american interest in zimbabwe. senator johnson ms. chalet? -- sen. johnson: ms. chalet? ms. chalet: i look forward to --tinuing right standing rightsizing the organization, increasing transparency. it does just nicely with the secretary-general's efforts underway now. we need to ensure that becomes a reality and we increase the accountability, strengthen whistleblower protections, addressing the sexual
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expectation and abuse that peacekeepers and civilians have committed. i look forward to continuing those and ramping up those efforts. sen. johnson: mr. gidwitz? mr. gidwitz: thank you, senator. given the difficulties of the last couple of years with attacks that have occurred in belgium, my top priority is to ensure the safety of the 23,000 americans that are plus the manyium, tourists that come through the country on an annual basis. secondly, to work with the belgian government and belgian agencies to strengthen the relationship and the multilateral organizations we share together. given the fact that there are 900 plus american corporations they are, to find ways we can build on that strong relationship to bring jobs both to our country as well as to the country of belgium. sen. johnson: i will go vote.
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i will turn it over to senator murphy, and i will walk as fast as i can. sen. murphy: thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you to all of you for joining us here today. let me get my bearings, running back into the room. i am not sure what senator johnson asked, so i will hopefully not cover the same territory that he did. but let me start with you, mr. gidwitz. i do not know to what extent you talked about some of the work we belgium and are multilateral relationship on counterterrorism. this is a very fractured country, from a governance standpoint. hard, often, to communicate with them about what they know regarding threats against their country, and with the visa waiver program. those are obviously immediate
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threats against united states. in prepping for this job, what have you learned about the way we can work with the government to try to enhance counterterrorism cooperation? thank you, senator, for the question. the good news -- if confirmed, i will certainly work with our intelligence and military folks to strengthen what is already an ongoing program. prime minister michelle undertook a study several years ago, after several of the attacks took place in belgium, and as a result, many programs are underway. with themed -- i work u.s. government agencies -- the dea, fbi, and others -- to see if we can continue what is an ongoing program to make belgium a safer place for all of us. sen. murphy: great. mr. sondland, thank you for
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spending time with me. we were able to -- to talk privately about the mission you are about to undertake. i am going to be supportive of your nomination. up the job.r taking as i mentioned privately -- i will say it publicly. you are going to be asked to carry out a policy which seeks to dissolve the transatlantic alliance. you might have different views. there are many others that are going on to serve the united states in europe, sitting where you are sitting, who have had different views than that. you are going to find out the are thews that matter president's. he has been trying to undermine our alliance with europe. countries that try to leave europe -- he uses his social media to publish really
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terrible, awful, nationalist, anti-europe propaganda. he wants russia to be back into the g7, without having done their part with respect to the agreement. i appreciate everyone that goes into this administration, especially those parts that serve the u.s.-europe alliance, thinking they can change the president's mind. no one has been successful yet. let me ask you, mr. sondland, a little bit about this issue over russia. preparing for this job, no doubt you have begun to be briefed about what this policy is. i assume the president's as hegues -- comments went to the g7 -- that u.s. policy is to be admitted back to the g7, and you will be sent to work with our g7 european partners to get russia back in the g7, given the president's
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comments from a week ago. do you understand that to be the policy? you understand that to be your mission? mr. sondland: i heard the president's comments in canada and i do not necessarily know if it is set u.s. policy. i have not discussed it with the president. if it were to be u.s. policy, i would work to further it. without minimizing the many, many other issues we have with a lot of theding activities over which we disapprove. it is walking and chewing gum at the same time. been briefed not by the president on what his actual policy is, vis-a-vis the g7. obviously, you are not going to create distance with the president, but talk to the committee a little bit about
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how you plan to approach this question of the planned tariffs against the european union and the retaliatory tariffs that they have announced and are putting together against the united states. how do you plan to approach what right now is an escalating trade war between the two countries? priority is toop bring the temperature down. how do you do that if the president is not committed to that and maybe committed to the opposite? mr. sondland: well, i disagree with the premise that the president is trying to unwind the alliance. the president has a very unique negotiating style, and it is now becoming well-known around the world how he does negotiate. president isthe also mindful of the importance of the relationship and the many other things which we share with that the i don't agree
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president's goal is to unwind the relationship. ishink the president's goal to bring an free, fair, and equitable trade. sen. murphy: if his goal is not to unwind the european union, what do you make of his very close association with those that led the brexit campaign, and his continued association with the elements inside britain that were seeking to bring that country outside of the european union? pretty me would seem a deliberate attempt to use his power as a candidate and as a president to try to cheer on countries that no longer want to be part of the european union, and thus be part of the organization to which you will be our representative. mr. sondland: i think the people of the united kingdom made their own determination as to where they wanted to go, vis-a-vis the e.u. relationship. i do not know that i would
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characterize the president's actions as cheerleading. and i also don't believe that the president is necessarily hellbent on dissolving the rest of the union. sen. murphy: i hear you taking issue with my opening comments to you. i will also take issue with the way you categorize the president's relationship with the european union and europe over the last year and a half as being part of the normal give and take. i do not think you can find a time that rivals the last year and a half with respect to the u.s. relationship with europe in the post-world war ii era, which i think fairly categorizes the modern relationship between the consonant and our country. and i really worry about nominees that come before this committee and try to normalize what is not a normal time in american foreign-policy. at the same time, i do agree that it would be great if you could take the temperature down a notch.
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on ae ask you a question subject that i think we agree on. that is the future of energy security in the region. there is a project that would allow for russia to be able to push enormous amounts of fossil fuel product into europe, bypassing ukraine. bad news for ukraine. it is in the u.s. viewpoint bad news for europe to be more heavily reliant on russian gas. what is your view on this, and what do you understand is your mission in representing the united states on this issue before the european union? mr. sondland: my primary mission, senator, is to make sure it is in our sellers interest to see that europe is not heavily dependent on one source of energy. putting europe in the hands of one supplier of energy, who could at will disrupt that
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energy flow, would not be in the united states interest. i also believe that there are various member countries of the that want to participate with various other suppliers of energy, including the united states, and want to do it through contractual means, rather than political means, which give them some form of security if those contracts are breached. sen. murphy: thank you, mr. sondland. mr. nichols, talk a little bit inus about the role of china zimbabwe. -- china developed a close relationship with mugabe and has hosted the new leadership for their first state
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visit. obviously, china is playing a big role throughout the continent. talk a little bit about this big play they have made historically and seek to continue in zimbabwe. thank you, that is obviously an excellent question and a crucial issue for us. heavily innvested the extractive resources sector zimbabwe, world, and with its extensive mineral wealth, is certainly no exception to that. i will that private-sector led growth for zimbabwe is important. but i also think it is important that the people and government of zimbabwe receive fair and equitable treatment for their resources, and i hope that they are entering into a trade relationship with china with their eyes open, and certainly
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all countries that invest in zimbabwe respect the worker rights, respect environmental regulations, and do not allow the resources that they have to be taken without proper compensation. and i believe that it is incumbent upon the united states and our representatives around the world to insist on a level playing field or trade, and engagement, and to make sure that we have an opportunity to succeed as well. murphy: a reason china has been such a big player, part of the reason, is the united states and other countries like us had a series of sanctions on economic participation in zimbabwe, and eight. many of those other donor governments are gradually scaling back their sanctions during this transition.
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congress is set to consider legislation that might modify conditions for assistance that the zimbabwein democracy and economic calgary act back in 2001. as we consider legislation that may scale back some of our restrictions, as you are learning about some of the ways in which we might better engage, do you have any thoughts or recommendations for how we might go about passing or drafting legislation that would start to lighten up -- start to modify those restrictions? you, senator.hank i think there is an important signal that the united states remains committed to democracy, human rights, economic freedom, rule of law, and anticorruption efforts. engagementnce of our is that we are doing so in a principled way. the specifics of the legislation
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-- i don't think i can comment. but i do believe it sends a message of continued interest and prioritization of our relationship with some bob way. i think it is very important also, senator, to note that we do not have comprehensive sanctions on zimbabwe, and that the problems in attracting foreign investment from zimbabwe are driven by the economic conditions there and the economic policies that their government has. we don't have restrictions on investments in zimbabwe, but rather dealings with specific individuals and entities. sen. murphy: thank you very much. couple of questions for ms. chalet, and then i will turn it over to senator markey as we await chairman johnson's return. peacekeeping -- the trump administration has communicated its intent to reduce your -- our
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25%, depending%, on what legislation is operative from the united states congress. really interesting report that gao published earlier this year in which they compare the cost of the current u.n. peacekeeping mission in the central african republic with a hypothetical undertaking that would be done by the united states military. overall, gao found it would cost the u.s. more than twice as much to carry out a comparable mission if it was us, versus participation in u.n. peacekeeping. do you translate to us what the trump administration plans are on peacekeeping? and in their desire to reduce the american commitment, there was some suggestion that there might be peacekeeping operations that could be wrapped up or scaled back without any security detriment to the united states, any clue as to what those operations may be?
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have they been identified? what do you make of the gao report? you are nodding like you might be familiar with that report. ms. chalet: thank you, senator. it is a series of -- you have captured a number of initiatives we are undertaking. i think that the commitment to you in peacekeeping especially is very much there by the united states, and we feel it is absolutely critical to our national security. and terms of looking at our assessments, we have said and the president has said that we would like to see increased burden sharing by other member states. the u.s. should not be overly dependent on one single donor. through, like you said, which operative language is there, has established 25%. we feel that is an adequate assessment, and still maintain our largest contribution. i think equally important to looking at the assessment rates and with the u.s. should pay is looking at the missions themselves.
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-- toey designed to promote political solutions? haley did outline several principles in that regard. i think there are missions that are currently under review that fit that bill. in darfur right now, that is under review. we are continuing to look at several missions with those lenses. coupled with looking at the efficiencies at the u.n., and making sure the peacekeeping missions themselves are operating in the most effective manner, is critical. i think the gao did point out the value of peacekeeping to the u.s. and our national security interests. back -- sen.y murphy: the bureau of international organizational department, state is obviously one you will work very closely with. there is a liaison office
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between the state department and the united nations. last week, foreign policy reported that a former food and beverage lobbyist who was appointed as a senior advisor stahl,maurice stall -- had been vetting career diplomats to determine whether they were loyal to president donald trump and his political agenda, according to nearly a dozen current and former u.s. officials. account, theyhis are actively making lists and gathering intel. reports at the new york times and the washington post are also working on filling and further details on this story. are you personally -- have you been personally aware of ms. stahl's activities to apply what look to be political loyalty test within the state? and whether or not you have personal knowledge of that, what what isopinion of --
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your thought on these reports and whether these activities are appropriate? ms. chalet: senator, thank you for that. i am not personally aware of those charges. i would refer you back to the state department for that. what i will say is that the united states has long looked -- -- weed american citizens think it is a priority given our investment, but also for the american values that we can bring to the u.n., and the ways of working. if confirmed, i will continue to do that. i think these are serious concerns that have been voiced. i am aware of the articles in the content of them. i will work with the toernational organizations ensure we are promoting the most qualified, because we are running up against countries who are putting their best forward as well. we want to make sure we are adequately represented. the murphy: i guess question is, do you think it is appropriate to apply a political
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loyalty test to u.s. employees, at the united nations or within the state department? no.chalet: senator, i think we should be looking at the most qualified candidates, regardless of party. sen. murphy: thank you. senator markey? sen. markey: thank you, very much. nowsondland, north korea is hoping there will be a relaxation of sanctions upon them. .hey are visiting china ultimately, that will be their goal. how can we ensure that we work closely with the e.u. to make sure that not only the existing sanctions are in fact enforced, remain in place, but that we also put additional pressure on recalcitrant countries who have yet to participate in that sanctions regime?
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good afternoon, senator markey, thank you. sen. markey: i think your microphone is not on. mr. sondland: it should be. thank you. that is one of my highest priorities -- working in concert with e.u. the united states has the ability to create an enormous amount of economic damage to the north korean economy, which creates the leverage needed for the president to successfully in behaviore change that he is trying to negotiate. and one of my first priorities would be to in list the cooperation even more strongly of the e.u. and its member countries in that regard. as you know, the e.u.'s new privacy regime went into effect about three weeks ago, and they now essentially have ae.u.'s new privacy regimet into effect about three weeks -- a privacy bill of
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,ights for everyone in the e.u. and american companies doing business in europe have to comply with that standard, which is essentially a standard that the data that is collect it by companies in europe not be authorized without getting permission from those consumers. if a company is requested or required to get consent in order data, and alsoan required to tell european consumers exactly how their data is being used, should that provide american consumers with the same protections? mr. sondland: i believe it should, yes. sen. markey: you believe it should, and i agree with you that is where we are heading. european -- europeans obviously suffered through the german invasion, the nazi occupation, and subsequently the soviet
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union occupied much of europe as well. and identity was very important during that time, which is why i think there was a heightened sensitivity. within the lifetimes of family members in each of those european countries, they had to basically try to survive based upon identity. that is why all of this online information is absolutely essential. with regard to tariffs, mr. sondland, the e.u. remains deeply concerned about what it views as protectionist u.s. trade policies. president trump's chris is some billion goods trade deficit with e.u. in march -- the trump administration announced it would impose tariffs on imports of steel, 25%, and aluminum, 10%, from u.s. trading partners, following a determination the current steel and aluminum imports threaten u.s. national security.
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on june 1, those tariffs went into effect. could you talk about those tariffs, our relationships with , and how youons would suggest that we deal with this rift that is building based upon these tariffs? mr. sondland: >> in my experience in the private sector, tough economic negotiations between two arm's-length parties can also create a rift. does not mean that it is an irreparable rift. it just means you are engaged in some high-stakes bargaining. again, i refer you back to my earlier comments where i believe president values the eu relationship. i believe that the united share a multitude of values and a multitude of other relationships unrelated to the tariffs, and that is one
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of ourscreet segment relationship that is not going but onesy to resolve, of the jobs if i'm confirmed is to work on that. >> agreed. the litany is getting longer. climate change, the iran deal, european privacy initiative, tariffs, which is building issue by issue into a situation. in my opinion, it is unnecessary, but ultimately, it is great cause for concern because the europeans are our closest allies, and we need them on other initiatives as well. thank you all for your willingness to serve our country, and, thank you, mr. chairman. into follow-up on my part from the first round. my firstllow up on round, to sq with the top 1, 2,
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-- so what thee top one, 2, 3 preorders are. you mentioned going on a listening tour, which i think is vitally important. it is important to understand other nations' perspective. what will be your message to our eu partners? >> our message is that while we value the relationship, there are problems with the relationship that need to be resolved, and we can be respectful of the relationship. we can appreciate those areas in which we agree, but the relationship in its totality is not hunky-dory. there are some tough conversations that need to be had in order to advance america's interests, so that is part of the discussion. and senatorrt murphy, as well, we meet with a lot of executives from other countries as well as the eu, and
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the relationship lines are strong and will remain strong as far as the eye can see from our standpoint. ambassador nichols, you talked about the importance of july, the election, but then talked about the importance of reform, which we see repeatedly in our dealings, particularly in .astern europe sovietruption of the era, that cap of thing. what do you think is the greatest risk to zimbabwe and establishing the rule of law? what is going to be the greatest impediment? >> thank you, mr. chairman. in terms of the challenges, they are many. it's hard to signal just one.
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clearly, the professionalization and transparency of the security forces is very important. looking at the past corruption in the country, dealing with the human rights abuses of the past through a truth and reconciliation process are just some of the issues that need to be addressed for zimbabwe to be able to move forward. i know that across zimbabwe in -- zimbabwean society, people are talking about the issues and .oving in that direction look forward to working with zimbabwe after a free, fair, and transparent election to address those challenges. it's really an optimistic time period. ow optimistic are you?
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>> the government in zimbabwe has said many of the right things and done some of the right things. i believe we have to be clear right in our approach and hold them to their own commitments and standards. the 2013 constitution, the commitments regionally with static in terms of their commitment to respect human rights and democracy as well as their commitments within the african union and, obviously, the broader international community. i believe that this is a great opportunity and i hope that the government of zimbabwe will live up to its commitments. >> as long as i have been reading newspaper, we've been talking about united nations reforms. obviously, that is your top priority. what do you think is the sickest middle impediment -- the single biggest impediment or impediments? what are the main problems?
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>> to say the single most impediment, i think it's the political will of other countries and reaching that common understanding and agreement on those reforms. i think there is a culture within the human pure accuracy and changing mindsets and showing that business has to be done differently, and i think those are primarily impediments i face on a day to day basis. >> in a short period of time, how do you overcome that? >> engagement and promoting what our issue is and our values and the priorities that we place. i think that the rising rates or contributions of member states have changed that mindset. we've seen more countries more attuned to budget disciplines than they have been in the past. ande will be disagreements, there are, but if confirmed, i will continue to work promoting .hose on human rights
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>> as we discussed in my office, i think the power of anecdote, i examples is powerful, so would like to work with you and others on this committee to highlight issues of corruption or waste, fraud, and abuse. finally, mr. good with -- mr. , you said your top priority is a safety of americans, which i agree with. i'm going to be the record because i was out, but talk about how important it is for us to cooperate with belgium. they are in a unique situation. brussels actually shut down not because of terrorist activity but because of the threat of terrorists.
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>> since 2014, troops are on the because of the concern they've had. the good news is they have taken significant numbers of those military forces off the street in the last few months, but it remains a problem, but it is a problem which is diminishing in of sense that the working the intelligence organizations together seems to be bearing some fruit. term's a couple of short serious problems. we've an embassy, for example, both the u.s. bilateral embassy on all as the eu embassies busy street. from a relatively tactical issue, we need to better protect our diplomats and people that are working directly for the state department and other agencies. that is a short-term issue that needs to be addressed. the longer-term problem is as senator murphy suggested, how we get the various intelligence
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agencies to work together at several levels of government because the belgian government is relatively complex with shirt -- with security decisions being made both at the national level, the regional level, and some community levels, and to get that coordinated takes a lot of engagement by a lot of people, and that's one of the things, should i have the privilege of representing the united states, i would work hard to get done. support your efforts. again, i want to thank all the nominees for your testimony, your willingness to serve, thank the emily's as you work with these important positions. with that, the hearing record will remain open for statements or questions for the record until the close of business on friday, june 22. this hearing is adjourned.
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>> today, president trump is in las vegas where he will make a couple of appearances starting with a speech to the nevada state republican party convention. you can watch his remarks live at 3:20 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. >> c-span -- where history unfolds daily. in 19 79, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of


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