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tv   Secretary of State Pompeo on Russia North Korea Summits  CSPAN  July 25, 2018 9:00pm-12:01am EDT

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cory doctorow. indirect with him by phone, -- interact with him by phone, twitter, or facebook, sunday, from noon-3 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span two.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
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>> the foreign relations committee will come to order. i know that sometimes these hearings with generate a little emotion. we've been very generous on the committee. in the past when people have been arrested, when you're hauled out of here and you're arrested, i've gone down and caused people to be unrested. -- unarrested. that can't happen anymore. if you would, please respect others who are here. this is what great democracies do. we're glad to have our outstanding witness here. secretary pompeo we're glad to have you here today. we are grateful for your service to our country. i have faith in your leadership and i appreciate what you're doing to change the culture of the state department in positive ways.
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i want to get straight to the point. you come before a group of senators who are filled with serious doubts about this white house and its conduct of american foreign policy. there are a number of reasons to be concerned, among them is lack of information the administration has provided to member of this committee. it's our hope you will reduce our level of concern by providing us with clear answers that might help convince us that those at the white house know what they are doing and to be candid, you know what they are doing. i can't say it more forcefully, we really need a clear understanding as to what is going on. what our president is agreeing to and what our strategy is on a number of issues. last week president trump held a summit with vladmir putin. someone who has violated the most fundamental international norms through his efforts to
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annex crimea, has interfered with elections including our own, has supported the brutal assad regime. have used chemical weapons to poison a russian agent and his daughter in the united kingdom, georgia, the of list goes on and on, and you know the rest. summit,ftermath of the we saw an american president who appeared submissive. we've heard that some agreements were reached but as of yet have little idea what those might be even though the president has already extended an invitation to putin to come to washington to discuss the implementation of these undefined agreements. the president also recently met with north korean leader kim jong-un. one of the most ruthless leaders on the planet who has continued
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to develop missiles that can hit the united states, executed his half brother, reportedly killed his uncle back home, murdered an american college student and enslaved millions of his own people. one in ten north koreans are living in slavery today and one in five children are stunted due to malnutrition. in the face of these realities, the president has called him very talented and that he loves , his people. really? at the recent nato summit the president not only pushed nato , toers, member countries dedicate more of their budget to defense a goal we all share. , he went onto berate them and the very premise of nato, and in my opinion used , false information to turn public opinion in the united states against the alliance. he even went to far as to cast
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doubt on the united states willingness to enforce article v of the nato treaty. we want to know if this is real or just another off the cuff statement. the confronting of our partners goes beyond traditional security and extends to the economic space as well. i know you're ware of my strong feelings about the administration abuse of its authority and using section 232 to implement tariffs in the national of national security. so far we have zero clarity as to what the end game is on the trump-pence tariffs which in reality are a massive tax increase on american consumers and businesses and now the administration appears ready to offer welfare to farmers who would rather have trade than aid. as you know senators have gone to the white house in groups to discuss these meetings, with the
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that not a single person has left a meeting with the idea that there is a coherent strategy driving these policies. the administration tells us don't worry, be patient. there's a strategy here. from where we sit it appears that the white house is waking up every morning and making it up as they go. this is a first in a series of hearings we will hold in coming weeks, dealing with the troubling dynamic i have described, one in which we are antagonizing our friends and placating those who clearly wish us ill. this will deal with russia as perhaps the most troubling example of this emerging reality. i hope in your position you will do everything in your power to provide us with the answers we need today. i want to thank you for being with us and the many outstanding people you're bringing on to the state department to work with you. with that i'll turn to senator menendes. ndes: thank you, mr. chairman.
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i applaud you for making a serious of rigorous oversight hearings on russia. the committee has gone about a year without a full hearing on russia or north korea. i appreciate your leadership in this regard. now it seems to have taken a three ring circus of a meeting with trump with putin. a walk-back of whether the president trusts his own officials. be okggestion it might for a u.s. diplomat to be interrogated by russian intelligence, and a reality television summit that was withe more than a photo op a brutal dictator, demanded a hearing with the secretary of state. welcome and thank you for your service to our country. the members of this committee are strongly supportive of strategic, well-crafted diplomacy to advance foreign policy interests.
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all the have come to expect, unfortunately, is a saber-rattling president who denigrates our closest allies whose sons and daughters have , gone to war alongside americans. we have not seen any substantive deals or strategies that put america first. we have seen our president look weak as he stands besides our adversaries and intends to roll out the red carpet at the white house, to invite president invite putin, a thug who is actively trying to undermine our elections. we in this body are taking heed of our intelligence and law enforcement officials and working to protect our country from the flashing red lights of ongoing russian aggression. we plan to introduce legislation in the coming days to ensure we have toughest tools to go after russian bad actors. as of this moment we find ourselves in an unimaginable situation. the american people, elected
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officials in this body and members of the president's own cabinet have heard more about the meeting helsinki from putin and his associates than our president. we know the kremlin-state run media operations have a dubious commitment to the truth, but we don't know what the truth is, because nobody else was in the room where it happened. the american people expect and i believe they deserve to know what happened. i also have serious questions about the summit in singapore that took place nearly two months ago. in that time, we have yet to hear or see anything that provides us with real confidence that north korea, as the president gloated, "no longer poses a threat to the united states or that we have a coherent strategy to achieve a verable verifiable denuclearization agreement." we have only seen a vague agreement of promises to make more promises. the united states and north
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korea seem to remain far part on -- far apart on even basic issues, such as the definition of denuclearization. over the past 18 months under this administration's watch, north korea has perfected its intercontinental ballistic missiles and tested its largest nuclear debt nuclear detonation verifiablean any steps to dismantle their program. it seems kim jong-un got everything he wanted in singapore including national -- international recognition and the suspension of u.s. military exercises. -- week's report of dismantling at a launching station may be good news, but it may be a signal that north korea has completed all the testing it needs. the singapore agreement seems more to be the art of concession than the art of the deal. , we are weaker for it. last week russia and china blocked a u.s. request to impose penalties on sanction violations, calling our maximum pressure posture into
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question. i have introduced partisan oversight legislation along with senator gardner to provide the support and guidance that this diplomatic effort needs, and exercise the overnight -- the oversight and responsibility congress owes to the american people. let me raise one more deeply alarming issue that broke this week. i understand despite its ability to stop this ridiculous notion, the state department is about to allow internet posting of do it yourself of 3-d printable firearm blueprints. why would the trump administration make it easier gunmen toists and produce undetectable plastic guns? i remain deeply concern by the administration's incoherent and contradictory views. we need comprehensive strategy across the world. i recognize the president considers himself to be masterful deal maker and a
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stable genius. we need to call the president statements -- president's statements out for what they are. i find his statements to be misleading and untruthful. i look forward to your testimony to find out what the truth really is. thank you. secretary, wemr. welcome you again. you can summarize your comments. if you have any written materials you'd like to into the record, we'll do so. we that, we look forward to your testimony. pompeo: i thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. during my confirmation hearing you asked me to work on host of world problems and 12 weeks i've been doing just that. i hope we'll get a chance to talk about each of those. the past few weeks i've engaged in three areas of particular interest to this committee, north korea, nato and russia. on the subject of russia, i want to bring something to your attention today. today the trump administration is releasing the crimea
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declaration. i won't read the whole thing. i will submit it for the record. it's been publicly released as well. one part reads as follows -- the united states calls on russia to protect its principles and end of which it as long -- has long and recognizeere the occupation of crimea. we stand in our commitment to ukraine and territorial integrity. there will be no relief of crimea related sanctions until , russia returns control of the peninsula to ukraine. this declaration formalizes united states policy of non-recognition. there is another indicator of diplomatic progress i want to mention. a pastor imprisoned in turkey for nearly two years has been let out of jail. he's still under house arrest. done, but it is which theogress,
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state department has been working on diligently. work for thenue to return of all americans held unjustly in captivity abroad. our diplomacy is advancing the goal of president trump's national security planning. we laid out guiding principles for american foreign policy in december. in late april i started executing on the strategy and today here we are and i want to present you some progress. the national security strategy established protecting the american people, the homeland and the american way of life as the pillars of our national security. on july 17, president trump stated his firm conviction that areomacy and engagement preferable to conflict and hostility. in north korea president trump's , diplomacy deescalated a situation where the prospect for conflict was rising daily.
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americans are safer because of his actions. as far as the trump administration's goals on north korea are concerned, nothing has changed. remains thee still fully verified denuclearization of north korea by kim jong-un. on july 5th i traveled to north korea to make progress on the commitments made in singapore. we are engaged in patient diplomacy we will not let this , drag out to no end. i emphasized this position in the productive discussions i had with the north korean vice president. we need chairman kim jong-un to follow through on commitments made in singapore. until north korea removes its weapons of mass destruction, sanctions will remain in effect from the united states.
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north korea needs to eliminate all weapons of mass distraction and its missile programs. these resolutions remain binding. we absolutely need every single nation to maintain the enforcement of those sanctions to which every nation is committed. the path ahead is not easy but our hopes for safer world and brighter future for north korea endure. the national security strategy calls for peace through strength. president trump's engagement on nato has resulted in greater burden sharing that will strengthen the entire alliance against conventional and unconventional threats. allies who spent more than 40 increasedlion in defense spending since 2016 -- and there will be hundreds of millions of dollars more in the years ahead. last year's $14.4 billion in spending was the largest increase in a generation. the trump administration is
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demanding every allied country make its own commitment. nato will remain an indefensible pillar of american national security. strength and cohesion protect us. the more every nato contributes , the better the alliance can fulfill its mission of deterring threats to each of our nations. this is the increased commitment to the president wants. national defense strategy has been the same, to raise the cost of aggression uncial vladimir putin -- until vladimir putin it chooses a less confrontational foreign policy, while raising the dialogue for national interests. between our two nations the united states and russia possess over 90% of the world's nuclear weapons. president trump believes the two great nuclear powers should not have a contentious relationship, which is in the interests of the world. he strongly believes now is the time for direct communication to make clear to president putin
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there is the possibility, however remote it might be to reverse the negative course of our relationship. otherwise, the administration will continue imposing tough actions against russia in response to its maligned activities. we can't make progress on issues of mutual concern unless we're talking about them. i've heard many of you say that for years and years. i'm referring to key issues like stopping terrorism -- stopping terrorism, ensuring security for ofael, and shutting down all maligned activities in iran. is notnt trump said iran the same country it was five months ago. the financial pressures, withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and full support of the iranian people are having an impact. to explore whether russia was interested in improving our relationship, but the ball is in russia's court.
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i personally made clear to the russians there will be severe consequences for him -- interfering in our democratic process. president trump is well aware of the challenges russia has posted the united states. he has taken a staggering number of actions to protect our interests. just a few pieces of proof, i'd like to cite the following. 213 sanctions on russian entities and individuals in the trump administration. 60 russian spies expelled from the united states of america and the closure of rush upon conflict in seattle, in response to russia's chemical weapons use in the united kingdom. the closure of russia's consulate in san francisco. diplomatic stepping by russia by almost 70%. 150 military exercises have been led or participated in europe this year alone. more than 11 billion have been put forward for the european defense initiative. we made defensive weapons available to ukraine and to georgia.
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just last week, the department of defense, after helsinki, added $200 million in security cooperation funds to ukraine. none of this happened for the eight years that proceeded president trump. it's not enough for you. there's a long list. i'm happy go through them. i'm guessing some time today i'll get that opportunity. i look forward to it. finally, i want you know president trump stated he accepts our intelligence community's conclusion that russia meddled in the 2016 election. he has a complete understanding of what happened. i know. i briefed him on it for a year. this is perfectly clear to me, personally. i'm certain he deeply respects the difficult and dangerous work that are patriots and the intelligence community to every single day. i know he feels the same way about the amazing people that work at the united states department of state. thank you, chairman. corker: the secretary of
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staff has asked that we stay to the seven minutes. if we could not ask five part questions and end at 6:58. if you could give the respondent time to answer within the seven minutes, i'll appreciate it. i will refer to senator menendez. i'll with hold my time for interjections along the way. the menendez: when president needs alone with president putin, it allows the state-sponsored media and russian minister of defense to state-sponsored perspective to the american people, and sometimes members of the president's own cabinet. i'd like to ask you some questions to understand what actually happened. has the president told you what he and president discussed in their two hour closed door meeting in helsinki? you can put your microphone on? pompeo: i am confident you have had private one-on-one
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meetings in your life as well. >> i ask you a simple question. did he tell you what happened in those two hours? >> but this implies some notion that there was something improper about having a one-on-one meeting. >> i ask you a simple question. did he tell you what transpired? sen. menendez: i had a number of conversations -- sec. pompeo: i had a number of conversations with president trump about what transpired. i also had the chance to speak with sergey lavrov twice reporter: -- sen. menendez: did you speak to the translator at that meeting? have you seen any of her notes? sec. pompeo: no. senator, i have had lots of notetakers and translators. i never relied on the work they did. it does not need to be done here. sen. menendez: did the president
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discuss relaxing u.s. sanctions on russia? u.s. policy with respect to sanctions remains completely unchanged. sen. menendez: i asked a very specific question? did he discuss relaxing russian sections are not? sec. pompeo: i am telling you what u.s. policy is. sen. menendez: you told me you had a conversation with him when he told you what transpired. know sokers deserve to that we can fashion policy accordingly. putin he would release or relaxed sentience? -- relax sanctions? what you need to conduct your appropriate role i will provide you today.
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i can confirm to you know commitment has been made to change those policies. sen. menendez: did the president call on president putin to withdraw from crimea and eastern ukraine? sec. pompeo: i began with united states government's policies. sen. menendez: i welcome that declaration. at the question is, when he had a chance, did he confront putin and say, we don't recognize your annexation of crimea and your occupation of ukraine and there is consequences? sec. pompeo: the president was very clear about the u.s. positions. they are the trump administration's positions. he spoke about that with the vladimir putin purely. sen. menendez: he spoke with him about that? sec. pompeo: i understand the game you are playing. sen. menendez: with all due respect, i don't appreciate you characterizing my questions.
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my question is to get to the truth. we don't know what the truth is. the only way we know what the by understanding, at least if you were briefed by he was told., what did the president say he was going to change our armed forces structure in syria? sec. pompeo: the president is permitted to have conversations with cabinet members that are not repeated in public. to him to provide the best foreign-policy advice that i can. sen. menendez: here is something you can answer. you will not answer any questions that will get us to the truth. you stated in an interview with the bbc you fully expect russia to continue its attacks on our democracy i attempting to
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interfere in our midterms. in its conversation with peyton, putin, i hope the president laid out the consequences of the 2018 election. sec. pompeo: the president has disclosed that. the president disclosed what he said to vladimir putin about russian interference. he says that to vladimir understands it won't be tolerated. sen. menendez: i wish he said that in public in helsinki. we are working on a new bill to hold russia accountable. you assert the administration's tough on russia. will you work with us on a new russian sections bill? -- sanctions bill? sec. pompeo: yes. sen. menendez: north korea. i asked you a series of questions about our policy in north korea. i largely agreed with our goals. we have not heard a classified
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briefing as it relates to north korea, not anything. does north korea agree with our definition of denuclearization, of dismantling or removal such weapons and technologies from north korea? sec. pompeo: i am engaged in a complex negotiation with north korea. i don't intend in this public setting to share the details of every conversation that took place. i will attempt to answer questions without disclosing the content of negotiations. the north koreans understand our definition of denuclearization that goes from infrastructure, nuclear warheads, to chemical and biological weapons. sen. menendez: have they agreed with you? sec. pompeo: they understand that. sen. menendez: but they didn't agree. did they agree to the production of plutonium for military programs? sec. pompeo: senator, i welcome
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the chance to respond. can you repeat the question? sen. menendez: did north korea agreed to end the production and enrichment of plutonium for military purposes? sec. pompeo: they have agreed to denuclearize both, yes. sen. menendez: i would love for you to come to a classified setting and tell all members what transpired, as we don't know. senator rich? sen. rich: thank you for doing this job. you are acquitting yourself very well here today. it.ppreciate you have been straightforward with us and i appreciate that. many of my colleagues fully appreciate that. many.isch: sec. pompeo: are you prepared to say most, or many? sen. risch: many.
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as far as what happened at the nato summit, very few americans heard anything, except the argument that we're not >> of their predecessors. underscored that publicly and well. his predecessor attempted to do it. all those of us that meet with the europeans from time to time underscore it. that's the funding or the lack thereof that the europeans have done. only eight of the nato nations are actually meeting with commitment of 2%.
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the first of all, the president is to be commended for underscore thanksgiving as only he can do in his unique way and getting them to start talking about it and finally starting to agree to that. there were other things that were lost as far as that meeting is concerned. i'd like you to talk about those things. speed up the time it takes for allies to assemble and deploy forces. that's a hunlge step forward. the effort to improve mobility and enhance the speed of which nato can make decisions. can make decisions. the fight against terrorism and increase in allied resilience against terrorist threats through a new frame work to share biometric data is a major accomplishment. could you comment on those very important steps forward that happened at this nato summit. it.l
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mr. pompeo: it was an incredibly productive nato summit for my conversation among the most productive he's been part of. he has been doing this a little while. you talked about the 430, at 30 squadrons, battalions, and 30 naval comebatants ready to go. thst something that's something nato has not been able to do. there is now a real commitment and we have to follow through to make sure the implementation occurs. towould be a great thing deter russia. you talked about increase in burden sharing. it is important that the europeans are as committed to deterring russia as the united states as america and they need to demonstrate that through defense. the only dollars but readiness as well.
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they need to truly be ready. the president raised another issue. about energy and energy security at the nato summit. he talked about the nordstrom to pipeline. should uset russia energy as a weapon to coerce formally or informally germany or other countries. frankly there are europeans understand that support and america and our position on that as well. finally talked a bit about the nato mission, it's new role in fighting terrorism. i want to say thanks to so many of the european countries that have stepped forward. even this past two weeks since the nato summit over a thousand additional commitmments had to assist us. it's a great commitment. that is a great commitment something that president trump
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, worked hard on at the summit and really good outcomes for america. sen. risch: thank you so much. your to be personally commended for the great successes as the president for leading in that regard. it's unfortunate that our friends and allies feathers were ruffled a little bit just because we said they weren't paying their bills. that's been going on for some time. i think we're going tolerate that. but they got to step up. i want to talk about iran for just a moment. one of the big unreported stories as far as or in relations concern if the issues and difficults they are having internally financially and , otherwise. i know we are not in a classified setting up a there is some open reporting on these sources. the regime that is there is struggling with this.
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indeed, i think that is why they tried to poke the president the other day to try to take the heat off of the heat they're getting at home. could you talk about what's going on internally knowing that we're in an open setting. mr. pompeo: there is an arm's economic challenge inside iran today. it's an economic structure is that simply doesn't work. -- when foment that you're a country of that scale that foments terror through hezbollah into yemen, conducts assassination attempts in european countries. provide enormous support for assad. that's expensive. i think the iranian people are beginning the see that's not the model they want. that the iranian expansionism the supreme leader so favored is
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not what they are looking for. i think you are getting to see economic impact combined with understanding of the kleptocracy that it is. leading to the fundamental decisions iranian people will have to make. sen. risch: you agree that acceleration of that understanding by the iranian people has been very rapid over the last six months? mr. pompeo: yes. i think it's been going on longer than that. but yes. sen. risch: it has been going on longer, but i'm talking about the acceleration. mr. pompeo: yes, i think that's fair statement. >> if i could just one interjection. i know the phrase paying their bills has been used. we need -- every nato country needs to be contributing 2% to defense. i've noticed those near the russian border always do. that's a misnomer. what we want them to do is contribute at least 2%. these nato countries are not not paying bills to the united
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states as sometimes is projected, is that correct? mr. pompeo: the shortfalls that the president and i identified are into buckets. there's a common nato fund contributed to by every nation and then there are moneys that are paid for nations to pay their own military and defend themselves. that's the 2% number. sen. corker: right. but, it would be a mischaracterization to say -- to make it appear that they are not paying bills to the united states. mr. pompeo: that's correct. sen. corker: senator cardin. sen. cardin: it's my iserstanding the president you -- vladimir putin has been invited to the united states. discern the agreements reached? mr. pompeo: there is an
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agreement to establish business to business leadership. wouldss leaders that participate in this. i understand that this went on for years and years. if we could do it briefly. i understand you want to get a complete thing. understand is missed business. president asked us to look at reestablishing counterterrorism. they had also ceased to happen. i think at this point, that makes sense. sen. cardin: counterterrorism cooperation. mr. pompeo: we are working to see, and theory what are the possibilities that can be achieved so that now between six placedillion externally
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persons can return. but we are working to see if we can't get russia to be more cooperative in terms of driving toward a political resolution there. it would take down the violence levels and create some opportunity to begin a political resolution of the process in syria. sen. cardin: any discussion on sanctions? you said there was no easing of the sanctions? mr. pompeo: no, senator. no easing of the sanctions. sen. cardin: what there any discussion about magnitsky? certain things came out. were there any discussions with the president? sen. cardin: mr. pompeo: now. many me make clear. the united states will defend our team in the field and the team that has been in the field when it retires and leaves the field. we understand that americans deserve the protection of the
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united states of america during their time in service and thereafter. sen. cardin: was there any agreements reached in regards to ukraine? mr. pompeo: nope, center. the u.s. policy hasn't changed and you can see that. sen. cardin: understand. mr. pompeo: $200 million since the helsinki summit provided to the ukrainians. there was lots of concern, and i saw it. i could find your quotes if you'd like me to drag them out. concerns that president trump would make a change in position there is none.d it is a policy that the previous administration refused to undertake. to hear comparative -- comparison matters because there is a narrative to develop. somehow president trump this week on russia, when act sen. cardin: i heard you talk and brag about the number of sanctions. mr. pompeo: these were just faxed. sen. cardin: the facts are that the statute passed
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requiring sanctions imposed. there are sanctions to the imposed have not been in post. the facts are the administration sought a waiver in regards to the national defense authorization act. i want to point out we have had this with visit mr.'s but not as much as we are hearing today here at went congress is requiring you to do, you found religion and are taking credit for it. in reality, you haven't lamented on time the sanctions passed by congress. mr. pompeo: first of all, that is not true. we have passed a number of sanctions. it is also true, my best recollection is that the presidential -- the president signed that law. sen. cardin: he complained when he signed it. mr. pompeo: thank you for presenting that we appreciated. we think it makes good sense. the president signed it as well. we passed sanctions under that very law and we have passed sanctions that previous administrations did do. the cardin: please read
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president's comment when he signed the law. it is interesting. our policy in to regards to nuclear proliferation in iran and in north korea. i'm having a hard time understanding the comparison between these two countries. in north korea, we have a country that has a nuclear weapon. the president has met with the leader of that country and has at least given a signal to some countries that in fact there may be nation of those. we are having problems with china today as i understand. in iran, we had a commitment for a short-term ending up their nuclear program. we were able to isolate iran, getting the support of china, russia, and europe and we were able to keep the temperature down in regards to their nuclear program. now, by pulling out, we are now
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don't have any commitments on the short-term if iran blocks away from the agreement, as they are already already sanctioned under the united states to be have been isolated, not iran. iran was not pursuing a nuclear program. they may be long-term issues. i am having a hard time understanding our strategy in regards to preventing nuclear proliferation. last point i would make. we had a hearing in this committee as to what is necessary to move forward with north korea. thing they talked about, you have to have a full declaration of nuclear arsenal and a timeline for dismantling. i'm getting my information now from the south koreans, not the americans. south koreans have been reported to say you asked for that information and you have not been able to get that information from kim jong-un and representatives. what have we gotten in north
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korea and why are we allowing north korea to continue to have a new their weapon when the strategy is that as long as iran is doing any types of enrichment , we will impose sanctions against them? mr. pompeo: let me try. that was a long question. let me try to unpack it a little bit. but me give you the common team. we want neither iran nor north ity toto have the capac build their own weapons program. that is the mission. it draws them together. those are the conditions for president trump's understanding of how one achieves nonproliferation in the world. that is the mission we are undertaking in each of those two countries. we are working on an approach in each place we think increases the likelihood we are able to successfully achieve that. a mission i know you share. sen. corker: a second interjection. i waiver mentioned in the nda a
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about secretary mattis. he wouldn't want to be devoted to that level, i know. but, i support that. the purpose of that waiver was it not, was to allow countries we are dealing with that we wish to buy american military equipment to be weaned off russian equipment. they still had the buy parts to do so so that we can more fully implement strategies with them working with them to really push back against other countries, is that correct? mr. pompeo: you captured it very well. secretary mattis and i both put forth proposals to these waivers. these are countries that have we driverussian, if them into the hands of the russians. i don't think that was the aim of the sanctions himself. we are working to effectuate the intent of the statute.
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sen. cardin: my point is this is an issue we talked about. there is no debate in this committee on the waiver request. i take -- i disagree with my distinguished chairman as to whether it was handled the country has had over a year to resolve it. sen. corker: had it been an acute issue and it is defense related issue. and i'm glad that we have been able to resolve it in a manner that will allow these countries to use fresh equipment and begin buying ours. senator rubio? sen. rubio: thank you. watching to see if they reset my clock like an nba game. all right. >> reset the clock. sen. rubio: that's all right. >> we'll figure it out. sen. rubio: when putin decided
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to interfere in our elections, you would agree he undertook a cost benefit analysis. so, where it leaves us is we have to do two things. we have to defend against potential interference, election systems and the like. i think the other is we have to make sure that price is higher than the benefit. and that actually points to one of the things you mentioned and that is what we've already done. if you start to line up the things that we've done in response to that and other things, it's a pretty extensive list, including things even asking for four years, the missiles for ukraine and georgia, the support of the posture in eastern europe, the designations under ukraine and cyber related executive orders that were from the obama administration. sanctions. i know there is more to come for cybersecurity. several rounds of designation of individuals for weapons proliferation. export retractions on entities that violated the inf treaty. we've closed consulates in in san francisco and seattle. we closed an annex in d.c.
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we closed a trade office in new york after they poisoned nerve gas attack in the uk. we expelled 60 other diplomats. all of those things happened under this administration. these are pretty substantial. obviously even that price is not high enough because the community continues to tell us that they are postured and actively engaged in the attacking of our democracy and posturing to do more of that in the future. so my question is, along the lines of a piece of legislation that senator van hallen and i and a group of other senators have jumped onboard on and aims to do three things. one is define interference. it's not just five russians guys on twitter. i mean it's define it in terms of the meaning to our republic. to require the director of national intelligence to issue a report within 30 days of the election about whether or not interference occurred, and then put in statute a menu of very crippling sanctions. the purpose of that is so that putin knows before he makes the decision going to 18 or in the future this is the price i will
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pay if i do this again. that's why i call it the deter act. to get on the front end of it. i don't ask you to opine on the bill. i know you don't have it before you. but on the concept of building in deterence on the front end, is that not an approach we can take to hopefully deter him from doing this in the future by making sure we understand how high the price is in to the benefit? mr. pompeo: i completely agree with you. there is a cost benefit calculation that is undertaken before the russians act. so it follows necessarily that putting on notice with a fail-safe, if you will, about things that will follow has the likelihood of being success in raising the cost in terms of how he calculates risk associated with a wide range of actions. sen. rubio: you'll be asked plenty about russia. i don't want to undermine that. i think the single biggest national security threat in the long term of the united states is china.
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for the first time since the end of the cold war, we are in competition with an adversary and it's no the just military, it's economic and technological , geopolitical and the like. we've seen the massive military buildup, the leaps they're making in technology. we see that the work they're undertaking to sort of destroy the u.s. world order and rebuild it to one more of their liking, we have seen the gains they made. china mobile will be the only company in the world that can build stand-alone 5g by 2020. what is outrageous is this is not the result of hard work and ingenuity, they're part of dressed,ual property -- property theft forced , transfers and the like. this is part of a tactic they've been use forging for a while. the chinese and the shelf china sea, they don't make the big sweeping changes. it's a sustained flow and incremental and more assertive demands each time and creating new more normals along the way.
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what they've done not south china sea is evident of that. what works in response to their aggression is the committed and sustained escalation across the relationship and carve out pieces of it. they do it that way. we have to do it that way. our whole relationship sustained and committed pressure. the other is invoking the help of our foreign partners. what i'm troubled by is on the working with, you know, invoke being the help of our foreign partners is complicated because we're currently engaged in trade disputes with the eu and japan, mexico and canada which we should have teamed up with to confront them. and i understand trade is an issue that needs to be addressed. i don't know why we didn't address china first together and dealt with our allies second. and the other is the sustained and committed escalation across the entire relationship. and on that front, i'm puzzled by the decision the administration made on zte. i know that was not a state department decision. it was a commerce one. i agree that if the zte issue
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was simply a sanctioned violation, the penalties imposed would have been devastated. but zte is more than a sanction threat to the united states. it's part of a broader telecommunication threat that chinese threat posed to the united states and to tlent to shut them down and then pull back from it is not the sort of committed and sustained escalation across the entire relationship. the carving out of one company sends them the message that they can pick away at different parts of that relationship and undermine our willingness to sustain pressure on them to get a better equilibrium. i don't know what the state department's role was in that decision. but moving forward, what is our broader strategic approach to the threat that china poses? they don't seek parity they seek , to overtake us. mr. pompeo: sir, you laid out what i think is the principle challenge for the united states over the coming years. maybe decade. they have a lot of folks and a big economy. that puts them in the position to be a competitor of the united states and the way that a country like russia with a
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economy smaller than italy's can't maintain over some period of time. and so we need a broad comprehensive response. i think all of the west not just the united states was too slow in seeing this. your point about how they turned up the heat slowly over time. i think that recognition is there. but i don't believe that the structures are in place today to respond to that in a way comprehensively. i was with our australian partners yesterday at a meeting with secretary mattis and myself and our counter parts. they just passed a set of getting up to speed. we are beginning to strike that comprehensive response versus china that i think will ultimately do what has historically happened, allow america to prevail. where he have a lot more work to do in terms of getting him back to the united states. and also pressing the turkish government to release the other americans that they're holding. but it is a positive step. and thank you for that. >> on a thank you for your hard
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work in coronation on the efforts to release after bronson. his move from prison to house arrest is a path of development. we have a lot more work to do. also pressing the turkish government to release the other americans they are holding. it is a positive step. concerned, mr. secretary because it has been one week since -- a little over a week since the helsinki meeting between president trump and vladimir putin. other than the brief description that you just gave us, we don't know what was discussed in that meeting. we've heardd general votel and a number of state department officials including those who were present in last week's committee meeting on iran indicate that they still don't have a full understanding of what was discussed in that meeting.
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and we're seeing almost daily attempts by the kremlin to take advantage of this opportunity as they release their own readouts of the conversation and broadcast news of various agreements that they say were reached in that meeting. for me, that's why i'm so concerned and why i want to know what was agreed to in that meeting? syria, president trump said it has joined news conference that the two leaders discussed syria at length. the russian ministry of defense has indicated that the two leaders agreed to military cooperation in syria. did they do that? mr. pompeo: the united states policy with respect to deconfliction with russia has not changed. i will defer to the department of defense for details around that. but that -- i can tell you that the policies that were in place with respect to the efforts to keep american pilots safe, keep american forces safe, the policy has not changed.
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sen. shaheen: do you know if they discussed that policy? mr. pompeo: i do know they discussed syria. they absolutely discussed syria. the focus of that discussion, i think president trump shared this was an effort to find a political resolution there and to get the displaced persons the opportunity to return to syria. and i think the president talked about one more item. the president shared that. i feel like i can as well. i think he also talked about america's continued commitment to ensure that israel was secure from threats in syria as well. and that topic was discussed by them as well. i think the president previously shared that. sen. shaheen: do you think there is any sort of downgrading of our u.s. presence in israel? i mean in syria that was discussed? mr. pompeo: there's been no change in u.s. policy with respect to our activities in syria. sen. shaheen: i understand, but that is not exactly question. mr. pompeo: senator it's what , matters. it's what matters.
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what matters is what president trump has directed us to do. following his meeting with vladimir putin, that's what he told his senior leadership team to do. he wants to employ his foreign policy strategy. sen. shaheen: and do you know if the frozen stabilization terms for syria, the $200 million, was that ever discussed? mr. pompeo: we're still working to review that policy. that's a state department policy. we're still working to review it. that policy was the same the day before as it was the day after president's meeting with putin. sen. shaheen: do you know if iran was referenced in their discussions? mr. pompeo: again, it's not for me to disclose the contents of the conversations. i can tell you that each time i have spoken with president trump, before helsinki and after, iran has been a central that we have focused on with point respect to u.s. policy in
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syria. i'm confident we'll remain so. sen. shaheen: in an interview, general botelho asked about whether a deal had been made on syria between president trump and vladimir putin and he's had that he had received no instruction to change what he is doing. he went further to say come and i quote i would want to make , sure that this isn't something that we stepped into lightly. i'm not recommending that and that would be a pretty big step at this point. in response to his comments, the russian ministry of defense put out a statement and also posted on social media and again i'm quoting the russian media, they say ministry, i mean, with his statements general votel discredited the official position of his supreme commander in chief but also exacerbated the illegality under international law and u.s. law and the military presence of american servicemen in syria.
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can you tell me what our response has been to the russian ministry of defense with respect to this statement? mr. pompeo: i guess the response would be most appropriately from the department of defense and not the department of state. but i will humbly suggest you ought to have more confidence in statements from general votel than the russian defense. sen. shaheen: i do have more confidence in general motels statement. that is why i'm raising this question. it seems to me that our response to the russian ministry of defense ought to be very strong to say they have nothing to say about what our generals are doing in syria. that's not their business. that's our business. i would hope that is a point we make very strongly. i had the opportunity to visit syria a little over two weeks ago. and i was very impressed. i'm impressed what they're doing with syria along the turkish border. i was impressed with the work of the democratic forces.
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and what i heard over and over again both from the men and , women who were serving and from the civilians on the ground was, please don't leave us here to the fate of either assad or the russians or other forces that may come in to that part of syria. please just a little bit in help for reconstruction efforts would go a very long way. that part of syria has stabilized. they are in to reconstruction. they are sending back people that have been displaced to their homes. and it would be, i believe, a real terrible reversal of policy for us to leave those folks after what we've done and to turn them over to the russians or to assad's forces.
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it's policy. this administration's policy. you're advocating for the continuation of this administration's policy. i think that's important for everyone to understand. sen. corker: senator flake. flake: thank you, mr. chairman, for your testimony. i want to commend the state department. you in particular for a quick statement with regard to the nature of the conversation as it was between president putin and president trump regarding certain individuals like mr. mcfall and others traveling to russia to be interrogated by the russians.
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the state department came out and said that was inappropriate despite the president's statement that it was an incredible offer. it the white house three days to contradict that statement that president putin have made. the state department quickly said that was inappropriate. so thank you for doing that. ,mr. pompeo: senator flake, tanks that you give me too much credit, i'm doing my level best every day to implement the president's policies. that statement was from the united states president's state department. sen. flake: ok but the united , states president said it was an incredible offer. and so that's why i'm pointing out the difference in commending you. please take it. with regard to what else was said during that meeting, i know you have given some indication of what was discussed. let me just give a sense of how russia is characterizing that meeting. and this is the problem with a
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private meeting like this. many of us voiced strong concerns about having a private meeting like this with no readout. and here's what happens when a private meeting like that is held. vladimir putin's meeting with better than was super russia's top diplomat said. the meeting in helsinki is fabulous. that was mr. lavrov. the remarks reported by the russian agency summed up the mood that mr. trump sided with the kremlin over his own intelligence agency. so they're reporting that as well. here's how it -- one paper in russia characterized it, trump has failed to dominate putin. another tabloid said a quiet, modest trump has paled in comparison with vladimir putin. it's clear that putin outmaneuvered the u.s. president. that's the russian media characterizing a meeting and we
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have no readout to dispute any of it. all we have are the statements made by the president that they made an incredible offer, for example, to have warmer u.s. diplomats shipped off to russia to be interrogated. i'm glad to hear that a little more time will be had before a new meeting takes place between the two principles. by the way, i think it's good that our president and the russian president speak and meet together. that's a good thing. i don't think it's a good thing to meet in private with only an interpreter present with no readout so that whatever is characterized is only characterized by the russian side. so, do you have any response to that? mr. pompeo: so i have a personal , experience. i had a private conversation with north korea. we didn't issue a readout on the conversations intentionally. and the north korean press chose
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to characterize it. we thought it was in america's best interest to not respond about the nature of the conversation. we knew the truth. we knew what had taken place there. and, you know, it's the north korean press. and so i assume that most reasonable people will discount it fairly significantly, the same way that one might the russian press. these are important decisions about how much disclosed about private conversations were because everyone knows that you may have an expectation that you'll have another private conversation one day. and the absence of their belief that that private conversation has the capacity to remain in that space reduces the freedom to have those conversations. i know you've had this in your life too. i know you had private conversations and you value them. it was just you and someone else in that room. it was important. you didn't give anyone a readout. because you wanted to have the chance to do that again. you thought you could make real progress with that person. sen. flake: let's talk about
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north korea. you brought it up here you mentioned that you trouble to north korea to continue on, as you put it to follow on commitments made in singapore. let's talk about those commitments for a minute. you mentioned that they have committed to denuclearization. they may have different readout than we do. but so far they seem to be walking back any commitment, real commitment that was made there. what commitment, firm commitment other than discussion of returning remains, i'm not discounting that, but in terms of denuclearization, what real commitments were made? mr. pompeo: i'm not going to get into the private commitments that were shared. i don't think it's fair to characterize them walking back from commitments. remember where we were. it all depends what you draw as the projected line to say are we in a better place or worse place we were abscent the singapore summit? we'll never know where
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we might have been. but i will concede there is an awful long way to go. i'm not trying to oversell the accomplishments we've had in the past. to date there remains a great deal of work to do that will be highly contested. the modality, means of this is things we'll be discussing. there have been public reports and i know the united states is tracking the assembly of a missile engine test site. something that chairman kim committed orally. it wasn't in the written report. but he committed to do. they're beginning to dismantle that. it has to do with their missile program. it is a good thing. steps forward. sen. flake: thank you. quickly, something complete we different. right now, up rwanda
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and you may be familiar with this because of this week's focus on religious freedom. as indicated a move towards re severe restrictions. particularly from outside groups. what are the plans of the state department to let them know that is not in their own interests nor ours? mr. pompeo: senator, i share your concerns. i'll need to get back to you in terms of what actions we think -- i know we'll call it out. i know we'll label it for what it is. we do need to see what we -- it is tragic. anyway, i share your concerns. it's a huge challenge for us. sen. flake: thank you. sen. corker: thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. mr. secretary just a couple of , thoughts. i was very discouraged when the president was offered a choice in the questions he believed u.s. intel or did he believe putin that he had engaged in hacking of the elections. he basically said my own people have made a great case to me.
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putin has made a great case to me. i don't see why russia would have done this. he came back and corrected it the next day in the united states. he said i believe my intel community. there are a lot of people, it could have been someone else. this dragged on for a couple days. you know where i live. you know i have a lot of constituents. they used to be your employees' cia. people come to me and say i'm with the ic and they are very demoralized by this. they're very demoralized when standing next to putin the president's words were to suggest that he trusted putin over them. there was a suggestion when president trump said it was an incredible offer about ambassador mcfall that he was also potentially willing to throw not just in tell folks under the bus but state department diplomats under the bus. they live in virginia too. they feel the demoralization of your comments today that we're
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going to go to bat for current or former, that is very, very helpful. but what i want to ask you is our military. our military leadership. there was an article yesterday in the "washington post," chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, as of monday, he still hadn't been briefed on helsinki. even though directly affects more than one million troops overseas. do you know why there would be -- have been no briefing about the discussions that took place at helsinki? mr. pompeo: you have to ask the department of defense or chairman dunnford. senator kaine: but you don't dispute that that was -- you have no knowledge that there was a briefing of general dunford today about the helsinki discussion, do you? mr. pompeo: you just read me a piece from "the washington post."
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senator kaine i'm asking your : knowledge. do you have any knowledge that the administration has shared discussions about u.s.-russia military issues with the head of the united states joint chiefs of staff? mr. pompeo: i actually spoke with the chairman about it. i was with him yesterday in a series of meetings. we had a chance to have a conversation about it, yes. about our plan -- absolutely. senator kaine okay. : so yesterday may have been the first time he was briefed about it. the russian defense ministry. this is an interesting statement or they went for general rotella. with his statements, he not only discredited the official decision of his supreme commander-in-chief. are you aware with the official position is that is the referenced? mr. pompeo: utep to speak with the russian minister of defense know what he is referring to. senator kaine. you can understand why we are concerned. if it's being reported in russian press as they said that they're talking about official position that the president has
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outlined. as far as you know, general votel's statement dz not violate any official position in the united states, did they? mr. pompeo: they seem to be giving a great deal of credit to the russian ministry of defense. in all truthfulness. they may not share that same -- i have great belief in his truthfulness. senator kaine you do not believe : that any of the statements he made including those that i read violate any official position of the united states? mr. pompeo: if you would, that's best approached general votel, i'm three orders removed. senator kaine: if i could introduce for the record there is an interesting article in buzz feed news just recently, today that, just lists a whole series of headlines. i think these are instructive. trump's announcement catches pentagon off guard. pentagon surprised by trump's decide to halt military exercises. pentagon caught off by space force announcement. trump signals withdraw from
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syria surprising the pentagon , and state department. pentagon caught by surprised by trump's travel ban pushes for some iraqis to get special consideration. u.s. joint chiefs blindsided by trump's transgender board. north concacaf hard as trump orders troops to u.s. mexico border. if you can introduce this for the record, mr. chair. sen. corker: without objection. senator kaine i worry about an : administration that would take the putin position over our intel community. i worry about the administration that would suggest that it might be a great deal to consider handing over a former diplomat for questioning. i worry about an administration that is catching the pentagon off guard that is not consulting with general dunnford or briefing him for a week after a summit of this importance to our military. mr. secretary, you're aware of the ndaa prohibition, the current prohibition on russian and military -- russian and u.s. joint military operations, are you not? mr. pompeo: i'm aware of the existence of that provision, yes.
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senator the provision prohibits : any use of funds, it's in the nda, any use of funds to support joint russia and u.s. military operations. and it also gives the secretary of defense the ability to undertake a national security waiver if he thinks that's the right idea. does the administration accept the legality and binding nature of that? mr. pompeo: i think they're the person to ask when it comes to conflict issues that span the gap between i think what you're getting between decompletion and coordination. it's a complex undertaking. not a waiver that the state department has the authority. broadly, yes. this administration follows the law. senator kaine: sitting here today, you're not aware of a legal concern that the administration has about this provision, you are? mr. pompeo: i'm not aware. senator kaine and you're not
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: ware that the secretary of defense issued any kind of a waiver to allow u.s.-russia military joint operations, are you? mr. pompeo: no, senator. senator kaine with respect to : north korea, we were told by our expert witnesses that a first test of their seriousness is will they disclose what they have. in your discussions with north korea, have they reached a point where there is any agreement about them disclosing the extent of the nuclear infrastructure? mr. pompeo: i prefer not to answer questions about the nature of our negotiations. other than to say that your proposition that a good first step disclosure of the range of their nuclear infrastructure capability. an initial declaration, so o to speak, is something that is at the forefront of what it is. we think makes sense to get them to a point where they can verify the full denuclearization. senator kaine: mr. chair, i would like to put one other additional item in the record which is an article recently written by the saudi ambassador to the united states.
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he basically makes this argument and says that saudi arabia stands willing to help the united states undertake all the actions that he suggests should be taken. i'm very concerned about this too. but my time would not allow further questions. i would like to put that -- sen. corker: without objection it will be entered. thank you very much. good to see you again. every time we get a chance to visit i bring up the issue of energy, security and i was very happy to see president trump talking with our nato allies and specifically with germany about their on going dependence with russia for energy and the concern with the norstream 2 and increasing that dependence by germany of russian energy. the president met today with the european commission president to talk about energy security. just ask you an assessment of the nato allies and do they
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understand the security threat and leverage that they're giving russia by this overreliance on russian energy resources. it doesn't seem to be acting in their own security best interests. mr. pompeo: it is a fair russian. i think there willingness to acknowledge that varies. they may prevent that risk. i think there is a continuum of european countries. this issue is raised by this administration consistently in every forum directly with the germans as well. the germans just don't see it that way. sen. barrasso: are nato allies and european union doing anything in their discussions with the -- with germany in terms of ending this pipeline project? mr. pompeo: again, mixed within the european union. there are some countries that share our position. there are some that do so publicly. there are others that do so privately. that is they have concerns about speaking out against other european union countries. so the conversations have been -- they're sharing of their view
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on norstream 2 is private and private with the other parties they're opposing as well. sen. barrasso: i appreciate everything you continue to do. grateful for the president's doing in terms of trying to less en this influence of the russian energy on the european union. russian officials after the meeting with president trump, i know you made the point about not -- about the president not make ago decisional statements on specific agreements, the russian ambassador talked about important verbal agreements on new start and inf. so i just want to ask a little bit about that. if there were any -- or do you have specific agreements been made between president putin and president trump on arms control treaties? mr. pompeo: no, we're still working our way through these issues. we're trying to get the russians back inside the inf. trying to use every tool possible to get them to acknowledge that they are
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noncompliant and get them back in the box. we are -- the administration is considering how best to us respond to that. both on the inf treaty and the new start. what are the best modalities to achieve what we are looking for? to decrease the risk of proliferation or potential. i appreciate your effort there's. i think i saw the president striking the right decisions in terms of with these nuclear weapons in terms of providing for poland. the missile capacity there to defend. the previous administration pulled out of that capacity. and i'm happy to see that. with new start. i always thought that was a treaty that had significant concessions on our side and we had very little on the russian side.
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so, i be very concerned about what that next treat may look like. mr. pompeo: the end of treaty similarly, restrict just a couple countries. the world has changed dramatically since that treaty begin. so, we are conducting a full on review so we can have the full with respect to the full scope of the proliferation agreements between the two countries. the nuclear proliferation between the two countries. sen. barrasso: the president yesterday was at the vfw convention. i want to talk about after the discussion in singapore with the north korean lead eastern -- leader and the signing of the declaration of returning remains to the united states. i know there were many u.s. troops lost in north korea. i understand our military moved coffins to the demilitarized zone to prepare for north korea's return of the remains. this is an issue that comes up when i talked to veterans in wyoming. i wouldn't be surprised if it
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came up when the president was at the vfw. can you give us an update on what they had to do relating to the remains of our veterans? mr. pompeo: so, they reaffirmed the commitment to return remains that they have in their possession as well as to begin to work on an agreement that had been in place previously about how we would conduct recovery operations inside of north korea. and we will in short order if the north fulfills the commitment begin to put teams back in place such that we can begin not only the return, the repatriation of the remains but the recovery of mains that have not yet been recovered. i understand that it's not directly on point with the denuclearization. i get that. but boy for the families that are missing loved ones, it's a big deal. i'm very hopeful the north koreans will continue to move towards honoring the commitment that chairman kim made. sen. barrasso: think for a much, mr. secretary. i'm very grateful for your continued commitment. thank you.
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thank you, mr. chairman. sen. corker: thank you, sir. senator markey. markey: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary president trump is , claiming that north korea is "no longer a nuclear threat." and we do know that is absolutely not true. we have yet to see any tangible progress towards denuclearization. and i know that it's clear to everyone that north korea is dismantling of an outdated missile test facility as a previously dismantled icbm assembly building that can be rebuilt within three days are empty gestures and not indicative that north korea has changed its tune. they are continuing to use the , goingfamily playbook back to his grandfather where they frontload rewards for themselves while exploiting ambiguity and delaying real
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concessions to the united states and to the west. we do not have nuclear inspectors yet on the ground in north korea. is that correct? mr. pompeo: that is correct. senator markey: north korea continues to produce this i'll material? is that correct? mr. pompeo: i'm trying to make sure i stay on the correct -- yeah, that's correct. just trying to make sure i don't cross into classified information. yes. they continue to produce nuclear material. senator markey: so north korea is continuing in both of those fronts. is north korea continuing to pursue summering launch ballistic missile? mr. pompeo: i can't answer that for me. markey: you can't answer that. the forward to you providing that in a classified setting so that the members of this committee and the american people can know what is
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happening. i think it's pretty clear they are. but, i will move on. has north korea committed to you that they will destroy the chemical weapons stockpiles? mr. pompeo: the north koreans understand our definition of do it clear station. senator markey have they : committed to destroying nuclear weapons stockpiles? mr. pompeo: we have talked about that. as i said, they have indicated that they fully understand the scope of what denuclearization entails. senator markey: have he they committed to destroying their biological weapons? mr. pompeo: in the same way i just described. senator markey they have : committed. mr. pompeo: what i said is as follows we made very clear that , entirety of the north korean cbw program is contained in the u.s. understanding of denuclearization and i am confident that the north koreans understand clearly america's definition and they have agreed
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to denuclearize. senator markey: okay. does the united states have an inventory of the warheads and other programs? mr. pompeo: senator i can't , answer that here. senator markey: has north korea committed to halting the human rights abuses? mr. pompeo: senator, the human rights abuses continue today. senator markey if i may say to : each of the questions, each of the activities that you have described was taking place on generally 19, 2017 and we are working to stop them. in ways that were not being undertaken prior to the time the trump administration took office. there were full on trade with north korea. mr. pompeo: i appreciate all that. senator markey i think it's : important to understand the progress we made and the efforts we're using to stop the activity that had gone on for decades. senator markey i'm just going : back to the statement made by president trump that north korea is no longer a nuclear threat. i'm just trying to determine
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what that means. and -- mr. pompeo: i'm happy to help and articulate. sending turkey: -- senator markey is there any verifiable : evidence of progress towards denuclearization? mr. pompeo: oh, yes. absolutely. senator markey what is : verifiable? mr. pompeo: we're sitting at the table having conversations. we have lots of discussion that's i'm not going to get into today. i would tell you that i would tell you, you discounted the destruction of the missile engine test facility. that missile engine test facility was functional, viable and operational and in use in january of 2017. before this administration took office. senator markey: i guess -- you and i -- you and i interpret that gesture differently. in terms of verifiable progress, i'm talking about not trusting kim jong-un without verifying north korea's actions.
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that is really but the discussion is about. what has been verified? i understand that you're talking. here's what i also understand. the united states has unexpectedly suspended military exercises with south korea. north korea hasn't started returning american war dead despite the president's announcement that returns had already taken place. china and russia continue to export oil to north korea in violation of the you and resolutions and u.s. sanctions. mr. pompeo: that didn't resist before the regime took office. senator markey: and north korea still has chemical and nuclear weapons and brutalize their own people and there is no verifiable evidence that north korea is denuclearizing. i'm afraid that at this point the united states, the trump administration, is being taken for a ride. mr. pompeo: fear not, senator. fear not. senator markey there is no : evidence. you are not mr. pompeo:, senator. -- fear not, senator.
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i guess you didn't ask a question. fear not. this administration has taken i normously constructive action that's have put us in a place that is far better than in either of the previous two administrations, one republican and one democrat. we have put sanctions regime in place that is unequal. we're continuing to enforce that sanctions regime. we made incredibly clear that we will continue to enforce that sanctions regime. until such time as denuclearization as we defined it is complete, pressure on the regime is clearly being felt. we have lots of work to do. but unlike previous administrations, senator, we have no intention of allowing the you and sanctions, the world sanctions that we led the charge to have put in place to align the sanctions to either be lifted or not enforced. and until such time as chairman kim fulfills the commitment which he made which i'm hopeful he will, the sanctions will remain. we have not been taken for a ride. you can sleep a little better tonight.
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senator markey one quick issue : which is something i know you're familiar with is the state department export controls that designed to help ensure that weapons don't get into the wrong hands abroad. i want to bring to your attention a special exemption from the export control rules that the state department plans to use to issue this friday. it will allow blueprints for downloadable guns to be published on line and acceptable worldwide. i don't think that we really want to be in a world where hamas and the gaza has an ability to download the capacity for an ar 15 that could endanger security in that region and the same thing could happen around the world. i ask the state department to reconsider this decision. i think it has long term national security and domestic security considerations for our country. mr. pompeo: you have my commitment, i'll take a look at it. sen. corker: senator paul.
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senator paul: thank you for your testimony. there's been a great deal of gnashing of teeth, and wringing of hands and dozens and dozens of senators saying the president and i guess i wonder because if it is sidetracked and in the past president obama met with president putin and president george bush meet witht with -- president george bush meet with putin. are we entering into a naive time where we think unless someone is a perfect jeffersonian democrat, we're not going to meet with him. others said he should have shook his fist at him and called him a murderer and thug. is there a possibility we have a -- that we can have a relationship where we criticize the human rights records of other countries and also sit down and attempt to have diplomacy and channel so we do not escalate things? do you think it was a right idea
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for president trump to meet with president putin? >> you have two questions. yes to each of them. we can accomplish that and meet with less than perfect citizens of the world and hopefully most ball in the right direction. second, i think it was more than appropriate the president trump meet with putin. and my own personal opinion is i think we need to dekaes late the partisan sessions in our country and try to look towards ways that we can have discussions with foreign lead ers and not be so simplistic and think that we have to shout and scream. reagan told gorbachev to tear down that wall. he called him an evil empire. i don't imagine he would yell and scream and shake the fist -- shaking his fist and say murderer, thug, and residing the stalin human rights abuses. i think there is a difference for anybody that ever thought about this between sitting down and how diplomacy would occur between individuals and reciting a litany of human rights abuses. in that vain, i think there is -- there seems to be a limitless appetite for more sanctions but
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insufficient evidence in what actions are needed to remove sanctions. senator rubio mentioned this deter act. my concern with some of this is that the definition of who might be meddling in an election in our country is not limited to just russia. it could include allies who spend money on social media somehow in our country. it does not seem to differentiate from social media and actually hacking into our electoral system. it also takes the power away from the president and gives it to the director of national intelligence. this the deter act we were talking about. i know you indicated that, well, sanctions are probably good idea -- a good idea to deter them. would the president not have to have any ability to decide whether there has been some kind of change in behavior by the people? >> without having seen the legislation i do not think that is a good idea.
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>> i liked in your statement where you said the president believes now is the time for direct communication in our relationship to make clear to president putin that there is the possibility to reverse the negative course of a -- of our relationship. i think that gets at the heart of why we have these discussions. if you heap sanctions on and they can never come off, there is no off ramp, if there is no discussion, that is sort of what diplomacy is supposed to be about. so i do commend you for talking to kim. for sanctions to have an effect, you have to have negotiation. so what i would say to my colleagues who have been all over tv saying there should not have been a meeting, think again. just keep heaping the sanctions on. you don't want any ability to talk to the adversary about how we would actually remove the sanctions if behavior changed. you have to have communication. not to mention the fact that we have planes flying within a mile or 100 yards of each other in
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syria. we have to have open lines of communication. so what i would ask is that we try to deescalate the partisanship in our country so we can once again be open to some kind of diplomacy. >> i have one question with regard to iran. you and i differ on the iranian, possibility of iranian, further iranian iranian agreement. i think it's much more difficult. i had my own criticisms of the nuclear agreement. i didn't think it was perfect and yet i would have tried to have built upon it rather than destroy it. we had a lot of money at the time that was a carrot to try to bring iran to the table. now we have instead of one issue -- instead of a small group of issues, we have a bigger group of issues. the nuclear issues are back on the table. and the ballistic missile issue. and the point that i think that we need to think through in discussions with iran is that i think iran from their perspective would see getting rid of the ballistic missile program as basically unilateral surrender. it's not my view point.
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it's what i believe to be their view point. i think they see saudi arabia as great adversary. and they see israel as a potential adversary. unless -- you know, it will be great if you got all three to come together and have a agreement on not developing nuclear weapons and not having ballistic missiles. i don't see the other two coming to the table, frankly, to do that. and so i think in moving forward i think it's just important that you understand this isn't going to be easy. the first iran agreement also was a multilateral agreement. you had multilateral sanctions. you now have more unit -- unilateral sanctions. a unilateral agreement that is your own agreement. so i just think we shouldn't be so optimistic. i guess i'd like to hear from you, how do you -- what makes you believe that iran will come to the table to discuss ballistic missiles? sec. pompeo: i am under no illusions about how important iran views the ballistic missile
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program. i agree with you there. the question for president trump is was it concluded it wasn't remotely good enough. he said it is one of the worst deals in history. i don't want to get the language wrong. he concluded that we would find ourselves in a better place to revisit all of the issues. the broad spectrum of issues, not just the nuclear portfolio but the missile program, the malign activity around the world. all of them in a package. it did accept the understanding that there would be those that wouldn't come alongside of us. but you should know there is a coalition that is not america and america alone. we have others who believe this was the right decision too. israelis, saudis, bahrain, smaller european countries. there are a number of folks beginning to coalesce around them and understanding how we can appropriately respond to iran to take down the nuclear risk to the united states and the risk from the other maligned activities. >> thank you. senator? >> thank you, mr.
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chairman. thank you, secretary pompeo for your service. secretary pompeo, we have quite the record of president trump's business relations with russia. extensive reporting and public records show a large amount of money from former soviet states and russia into trump projects. trump international tower and hotel in toronto. the trump hotel in panama. the trump project in soho in new york city are a few of the big examples here. here's another one. a russian oligarch bought a property from president trump for 95 -- candidate trump at the time or maybe a little before for $95 million in 2008 less than four years he paid $41 million. so he more than doubled his money.
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donald trump jr. in 2008 stated at a real estate conference in new york and i quote here, russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. donald trump tried to build a trump tower in moscow for 30 years. even tweeted in 2013 trump tower moscow is next. that's in quotes. in 2015, answering a question from indicted russian operative and alleged spy candidate trump -- candidate maria butina, trump made clear his desires with russia stating, i would get along well with putin and i don't think we need the sanctions. now the russian ambassador to the united states said the president made, and this is his quote, "important verbal agreements with president putin." and he seems to know more about -- more about helsinki and what happened there than the senate foreign relations committee. as we saw in helsinki and throughout his presidency and the campaign, this president's extremely sympathetic to the very russian government that
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attacked and continues to attack our democracy and those of our allies. it's a fact of political life today that many americans are concerned about the unthinkable . that a u.s. president could have compromised a relationship. -- could have a compromised relationship with a foreign power. release the tax returns and those of the trump organization and the taxes from the various family businesses. some of which we don't even know about. after helsinki, do you think that the american people deserve to know what is in president trump's tax returns and business interests that are intertwined with russia? sec. pompeo: senator, i'll try to stay out of the political circus that you and i ended up in last time i was sitting here. and simply respond by saying this same president with which you seem to express such deep concern is engaged in a massive defense buildup which threatened putin's regime.
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he instructed us to put together a nuclear posture review that set him on his ear because of the robustness and the recapitalization of our nuclear program. he kicked out 60 spies. he spent $11 billion in defense. >> secretary, you already -- i have not even begun describing -- you have not answered my question. wouldn't you want to know as secretary of state -- i mean i'm taking you in your sincerity here as secretary of state whether all these russian financial interests, oligarchs and others are part of the decision making. wouldn't you want that out in the open and understand what went on in helsinki? it's an easy yes or no question. sec. pompeo: i don't need second hand understanding of what president trump is instructing his administration to do to push back against russia. i have firsthand understanding.
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we got a four by 30 out of nato that also is a big setback for russia. i'm happy to continue the list. i'm happy -- i will submit the entirety of the administration's actions against russia for the record if i might. >> please do. candidate trump has failed to keep his promise to disclose his tax returns. every presidential candidate since richard nixon has disclosed. jimmy carter even sold his peanut farm to avoid a conflict of interest. the situation with president trump's potential foreign policy conflicts of interest is unprecedented and unacceptable. i think it is unconstitutional as well. let me just ask a couple of questions about helsinki. he talked about what you are tasked with. the director of national intelligence stated at the aspen security forum he didn't know what happened in the one-on-one
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meeting with helsinki. -- in helsinki. did the president personally debrief you on this conversation? are you 100% confident that you know everything that president trump discussed with president putin? that's a very easy yes or no. if you don't want to answer, i'll move on to the next one? yes or a no? sec. pompeo: i'm very confident that i received a comprehensive debriefing from president trump. >> okay. do you no he for a fact whether president trump or putin discussed any investment in trump properties or projects such as the previous attempt to build a trump real estate project in moscow? sec. pompeo: senator, again, i'm going to stay out of the political circus. >> were you tasked with that? you gave us a list -- sec. pompeo: i came here to talk about american foreign policy today. i attempted to articulate all of his -- >> all of these are intwined with our foreign policy, sir. sec. pompeo: the foreign policy
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led to a massive defense buildup. a nuclear posture review that has frightened vladimir putin. i mean 219, 213 sanctions. >> let me also ask you about an additional question about helsinki. sec. pompeo: i tried to get president obama to do one of those things. >> when president trump hosted top russian officials at the white house, he bragged about how he had fired james comey. at his press conference with putin, president trump called special counsel mueller's investigation a zaflter -- a disaster for the country. can you tell us what president trump discussed about the investigation during his private meeting with president putin? sec. pompeo: i'm not going to talk about private conversations. >> were you tasked with anything in that respect? >sec. pompeo: when i'm tasked about something about foreign policy, this committee will >> then you weren't tasked with anything there. sec. pompeo: when i'm tasked by
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something when it relates to foreign policy this committee will be made aware of it. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service to the country and your time with us to day. when you were last year i asked you a question about whether or not you agreed with secretary mattis that north korea is the most urgent security threat the united states faces. do you still agree with that? at the time you said you did. sec. pompeo: yeah, it's still a real priority. >> we also talked about -- do you believe it's the most urgent national security threat? sec. pompeo: i do. but having said that, i don't recall the precise timing when i was here. >> i think it was in april perhaps. sec. pompeo: the fact that we're having conversations and we haven't had additional missile tests and nuclear testing, i'm optimistic that we're headed in the right direction.
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>> and the testimony you used the term final fully verified denuclearization. you used the word permanent verifiable irreversible denuclearization. you and resolutions call for complete verifiable due -- de nuclearization. are these the same terms? do they mean the same thing? sec. pompeo: precisely the same thing. >> full, complete, total denuclearization according to u.s. law. sec. pompeo: yes. >> why the different words? sec. pompeo: sometimes one needs to just breakaway. i'm happy to use the term complete, verifiable. yeah, they mean the same thing. >> the declaration or determination, was that directly addressed at the singapore summit with president trump and chairman kim? sec. pompeo: it was. >> it was brought up, the complete verifiable denuclearization, why was it not in the communique? sec. pompeo: i'd rather not talk
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about the course of the negotiations and how we arrived at the language that we did. >> okay. is north korea still moving or making advancements undertaking a nuclear program? sec. pompeo: may i answer that question in a different nuclear -- in a different setting? >> you can't answer that question here? sec. pompeo: yes, i'd prefer not to. >> we'd love to provide that setting for you soon. sec. pompeo: happy to do it, if we need to. i'm happy to do that. senator, i'm not trying to be cute. we're engaged in a complex negotiation with a difficult adversary and each of the activities that we undertake is not going to be fully apparent to the world at the moment it is undertaken, and there will be processes and discussions that will be had that are important that they not be real time disclosed and as i answer one question and choose not to answer another it becomes patently obvious why i chose not to answer one or the other, and therefore, it seems to me that a blanket prohibition on heading down that path is the only way
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to ensure that i have the opportunity to negotiate this thing in a way that isn't being done in the washington post or the new york times. >> i understand. it's an important point of information we get to know whether or not north korea is overtly covertly, however they are doing it making advancements in their nuclear program or still continuing a measure of their nuclear program. i think it's very important. sec. pompeo: i did answer one question that touches on that, i think it was from senator markey whether they're continuing to create ficile material and i answered i believe they are. does that remain the goal? sec. pompeo: yes, more quickly if possible. >> when will we know if north korea is moving toward denuclearization, concrete, verifiable steps? sec. pompeo: i don't know. i don't know the answer to that.
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by the way, i'm guessing this group would disagree about when that moment took place, that it is a process for sure, and some will find the first step along the way demonstration of i think he said substantial progress, others may want to wait until we're almost done to declare substantial progress, so i can't answer that. it's definitely a process and it will definitely take time. >> we've had a lot of discussions in this committee on strategic patience, the statement you used, uses patient diplomacy. is the u.s. doctrine toward north korea still one of maximum pressure? sec. pompeo: it is. i'll tell you, that difference is a little bit subtle and perhaps i don't want to overstate the difference in the language. here is what is different. strategic is standing around hoping something worked right. here we have a strategic objective backed up with diplomatic and economic pressure which we believe gives us a pathway to achieve the objective and also an off-ramp in the event that we conclude that it doesn't work to head another direction to achieve the denuclearization of north korea .
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>> maximum pressure utilizes section 102 of the north korea enhancement act requires the president to initiate investigations into possible designations, investigations into possible designations of persons upon evidence that they're violating, you know, proliferating activities, et cetera, so that we can apply additional sanctions. how many investigations into new designations are taking place right now? sec. pompeo: i don't know how many, senator but let me try to answer your question in another way and see if this meets the bill. it is the case this administration is continuing to work on enforcement actions for existing sanctions for the existing sanctions regime, that is we're not going to let it wander off, not going to let it weaken. you can't rename a ship and get out from underneath the sanctions regime. there are active enforcement work being done at the state department and at the department of treasury related to north korea. >> so it's your view that there are additional north korean or chinese entities that could be identified for additional sanctions, is that correct? sec. pompeo: oh, yes, sir. >> those designations are not being upheld or laid off, they will continue? sec. pompeo: we're going to use
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them in a way that increases the likelihood chairman kim fulfills the commitment he made to president trump. >> why haven't we seen any designations recently? sec. pompeo: i can't answer that question. >> i'd like to get an answer for that, if we could. has south korea made additional requests to the united states for sanctions relief? as it relates to additional activities with north korea? sec. pompeo: so i think the request that south korea has made are public, and have occurred through the committee up at the united nations, so i think the list of things that the south koreans are requesting in terms of either making sure that their activity is consistent with the sanctions regime, there are exceptions, humanitarian exceptions. >> is the u.s. considering granting any of those sanctions? sec. pompeo: we're reviewing each of the requests the north koreans made. >> to the south.
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sec. pompeo: to the south, yes, thank you for the correction. we approved one military to military communications general. the others are currently under review. >> can we perhaps get an understanding of what some of those measures are, that would be great. you gave a speech, a very good speech sunday july 22nd on iran policy at the reagan library, as you mentioned. if you were to substitute the word out "iran" out and substitute in the word "north korea" would your speech still accurately describe the state of affairs in north korea? sec. pompeo: boy, it was a long speech, senator. and basically -- yes, i think in large part it would be consistent. there is a difference in terms of their operational capacity for their nuclear program, but the nature of the two regimes is similar. >> i'm out of time, mr. chairman. thank you. >> before turning i'm going to use a little bit of my time. you obviously equate yourself very well, and those of us who
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know you and work with you have mostly, i know many of us, i'll include me and i'll say most of us actually -- >> i'll go with him. >> we have tremendous faith in your ability to make things happen, and we thank you for all the issues you're taking on. you're building a great culture in the state department, bringing on people that are truly exemplary. we feel the same way about secretary mattis, the way he conducts himself, and what he does. i think there's tremendous faith on both sides of the aisle, and his abilities and what he does. -- in what he does. much of what you're hearing today has nothing whatsoever to do with you, and i would agree with you, that the policies that were put in place in many cases are stronger than have ever been put in place, i agree with you. it's the president that causes people to have concerns and i'd love to have some insights into you, for instance at the helsinki conference to create an
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equivalence between our intelligence agency and what putin is saying, that shocks people. i mean, you can imagine, you saw dan coats' response afterwards and yours today, i think candid -- candidly, was related to what he said at helsinki, and then the notion of even thinking about exchanging diplomats, sending diplomats over to be interrogated by putin, to even think about that, to let that be said as an official statement coming out of the white house, to -- this is my opinion, and i believe it's right, to purposely cause the american people to misunderstand about the nato contributions and to cause them to doubt nato, and to really drive public opinion against nato, that to me was purposeful, not unlike what happened right after charlottesville, and then article five, to go on television and say, well, you know, why would we honor -- i'm
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paraphrasing, but why would we honor article five in montenegro. we passed a law only two people in the senate to send them in to nato. he signed it. it would be a dereliction of duty if he did cause that to be the case, so why does he do those things? is there some strategy behind creating doubt in u.s. senators minds on both sides of the aisle, doubt in the american people, as to what his motivations are, when we, in fact, have tremendous faith in you? i think you're a patriot, tremendous faith in mattis, but it's the president's actions that create tremendous distrust in our nation among, among our allies. it is palpable. we meet and talk with them. is there a strategy with this? what is it that causes the president to purposely, purposely create distrust in these institutions, and what we're doing? senator, i just
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disagree with most of what you just said there. senator, i just disagree with most of what you just said there. you somehow disconnect the administration's activities from the president's actions. they're one and the same. every sanction that was put in place was signed off by the president of the united states, every spy that was removed was directed -- >> go to the points i just made. go to the points i just made. talk to them. i know what we're doing. talk to the points i just made. sec. pompeo: here's what the world needs to know. with respect to russia, this administration's been tougher than previous administrations and i fully expect it will. the president's own words were, he's happy to figure out if we can make improvements with respect to the relationship between he and vladimir putin and change the course, but if not, he'll be there, i'll get the words wrong he'll be their toughest enemy, most difficult enemy. i think i can prove that that's the case today. i think i have. so somehow there's this idea that this administration is free
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floating. this is president trump's administration, make no mistake who is fully in charge of this, and who is directing each of these activities that has caused vladimir putin to be in a very difficult place today. >> well, look, you handle yourself in exactly the way you should, in my opinion, as it relates to comments. i notice that you are not responding to what i'm saying. sec. pompeo: i think i responded to everything that you said, senator. >> no, you didn't. you just didn't. sec. pompeo: we disagree, senator. >> no, we don't disagree. we'll run the transcript. sec. pompeo: we'll let the world decide. >> it's the president's public statements that create concern amongst senators, on both sides of the aisle, and i was asking you if, in fact there was some, you know, some rhyme or reason that this type of distrust or discord will be created and i know you're not going to answer the question, but i'm trying to
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make a point as to why -- sec. pompeo: i know you are. >> the comments and the questions and just the energy behind this hearing are what they are. it's not about you and it's not about mattis and it's not what we're doing on the ground. sec. pompeo: senator, you know, you went through a long litany of statements, but let me give you -- first of all, i will tell you, i talk to the same allies you do. i speak to their foreign ministers directly. it is the case that they are behaving differently today. there's no doubt about that. they are now scrambling to figure out how to make sure that they are fully part of nato. some of that is a result of the statements that you referred to, senator. some of that is identifying -- >> i agree with that. sec. pompeo: right, so these are -- well, there you go. i'll let the record reflect he agrees with some of the statements actually achieve important policy outcomes for the united states of america. >> some of them do. sec. pompeo: yep. >> and some of them are very
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damaging. senator markley? sen. markey: thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, mr. secretary. so in response to senator barrasso barrasso's question on new s.t.a.r.t., both united states and russia came into compliance and met the deadline on the deployment on nuclear warheads and my impression from your dialogue was the u.s. does not yet have a position on whether to work to extend the new start agreement past 2021. sec. pompeo: that's correct. we are very hopeful we can achieve -- we view them, these aren't, they are individual agreements, as a legal matter and they can be worked on independently, but the deterrence model, the underpinnings, the framework of these nuclear agreements, they are connected, whether they be things covered by new s.t.a.r.t., things covered by the inf treaty, other provision,
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they are of a part and it is the case that we are as we begin to evaluate how to approach that, we're trying to do in a holistic way. sen. markey: thank you. i think i can anticipate that this will be something you and your team will be working on in in the year ahead, setting the groundwork for understanding the options there. thank you. so russia oil tankers reportedly supplied fuel to north korea via sea transport for several times in 2017. president trump made a reference in which he talked about, saying that what china is helping us with, russia is denting, and then he said specifically also russia is not helping us at all with north korea. did this issue of russia bypassing the u.n. sanctions come up in the conversation between president putin and president trump? sec. pompeo: i think i can answer that question because i believe president trump has
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talked about this. in fact, russia's commitment to help us achieve denuclearization of north korea did come up, the two of them did discuss it, and the centrality of continuing to enforce the u.n. security council resolutions, resolutions that the russians voted for, were raised between the two of them. i heard in a subsequent meeting at which i was present, i heard vladimir putin reiterate his commitment to doing each of those two things. sen. markey: and to follow up on your conversation with tim kaine about the communique from the singapore summit and the details that need to be worked out in regard to having a survey to just the starting point, if you will, of a detailed nuclear agreement, when you have an agreement regarding the details of how such a survey of north korean missiles, nuclear materials and so forth, when you have that agreement, will you brief this committee on that? sec. pompeo: senator, i'm sure
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we'll be able to share some elements of that with you. i'm harkening back to the iran agreement, the jcpoa which they -- in which they provided a declaration which was knowingly false, that is, the administration knew it did not reflect accurately the history of the iranian weapons program. i promise you, i won't do that. i promise you, i won't lie about the contents of their declaration, if we think they are wrong or we disagree we will acknowledge that but i'll have to think through precisely how in the appropriate way we would share that information with you, but you have my commitment not to allow a false declaration to form a fundamental pillar of a nuclear agreement in the way it did with jcpoa. sen. markey: we all have privy to the agreement and actual document and details. in fact, those were made public as well. would you expect to meet those two standards?
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sec. pompeo: with the agreement completed, i thought you were talking about drawing the process, i believe those documents were made public at the time the legislation was being considered and the agreement was final. we hope to bring this agreement to congress and it is of course the case that you would need to see the underpinnings of that agreement and part of that would be probably a series of declarations associated with it. sen. markey: it did bother me some that because of those details haven't been worked out yet that the president already conceded to setting aside the joint exercises with south korea. what are the south korean leaders briefed in advance of that announcement? sec. pompeo: senator, i'm going to leave that to the department of defense to answer. it would have been conducted between in military channels. sen. merkley: president trump
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blamed poor relations with russia on u.s. foolishness, and i'm surprised he blamed u.s. foolishness rather than russia annexation of crimea, of their occupation of eastern ukraine, of their attacks on individuals in britain, of their support of the syrian government when the syrian government is using barrel bombs and gas on its own people, and given that russia's significant cyber attack on our elections. do you believe that the poor relations with russia is a result of u.s. foolishness? sec. pompeo: senator, i think there are countless reasons. you identified several. i could go on, about the reason that we find ourselves in this place with vladimir putin and his regime today, not a good place, to be sure, a place that the president is working to develop a relationship to try and reconfigure at least at the level of making sure these two leaders understand each other and know how each other are thinking about the problem set. i think that's important and appropriate, and i'm hopeful he can be successful in that. sen. merkley: it's a nice essay, it didn't answer my question, but i'll go on. the president also said there's no longer a nuclear threat from
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north korea and we could all sleep well. given that we don't yet have an agreement on even surveying the stockpile of what north korea has or eliminated their weapons or missiles or an agreement on verification strategies, shouldn't we more accurately approach this from the viewpoint that there is still a nuclear threat from north korea? the president's team is working to eliminate it but it is still a nuclear threat as of today? sec. pompeo: yes, i think the president would agree that the primary systems that have threatened america continue to exist. i think what his comment was, was that the tension had been greatly reduced. we are at a point where -- sen. merkley: i'll take that description. i've got 20 seconds so i want to ask you one last question on a completely different topic. fortified rights, human rights group that traveled to burma to document what happened with row -- rohingya, devastating
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atrocities and the report senator brownback our ambassador on religious freedom is making. is it time for the senate to act on the functions against the -- on the sanctions against the burmese military we passed out of the senate foreign relations committee? sec. pompeo: i'll leave to senators to decide if it's time for the senate to act. i can only say that the underpinnings that you described, the atrocities you described are very real. sen. merkley: well, i would say this is the type of thing where executive leadership makes a difference in giving direction to this body, and so that's why i was seeking your and the president's opinion whether it's time to send a strong message against such ethnic cleansing and genocide. can we expect such a leadership from the president or yourself? sec. pompeo: -- sec. pompeo: i remember what secretary tillerson did before me on this issue. you can be sure that we will be serious and lead on this important issue. sen. merkley: thank you.
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>> mr. secretary, thank you. i appreciate your stamina. you've been here for quite a while. i want to let you know how much i appreciate your leadership, as you fit in, filled this role during this tumultuous period in international relations. since you've taken the position the interaction our office has had with members of the department of state and you individually has really markedly improved so i'm appreciative of that. one of the axioms of diplomatic or military strategy is that you want to unite your allies and divide your enemies, and as i see it, this is one of the things that vladimir putin has been succeeding in doing. he seeks to divide and weaken nato, for example. he wants to divide the american people, and the more we make russia's meddling in our own elections a partisan issue, i
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think the more we play into putin's hands. the intelligence community has been clear and consistent, russia did, indeed, meddle in our elections. so i think we need to stand together as americans, not as republicans or democrats, with respect to this issue. what are your thoughts on this matter, mr. secretary? sec. pompeo: senator, i think it is the case that the soviet union and now russia's efforts to undermine western democracy are long and continuous. i think they occurred in 2016. i am confident that the russians are endeavoring to divide, to separate us from our allies to create space, to find partners for themselves around the world, in the same way that we go out and work diligently with our allies. i always think that having a united united states, folks who have problems with seriousness
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and thoughtfulness toward a shared goal increases the likelihood of america prevailing against these challenges. >> well, i happen to agree with you, and i just, i hope that my colleagues and i will adopt a tone and approach to this very serious issue, which impacts all americans in recognition of everything you just said. mr. secretary, about an hour ago, president trump convened a joint press conference with jean claude juncker, and in the press conference the president and both the president ss announced -- and both the presidents announced they'd have a new eu , set of negotiations with the goal of increasing tariffs, increasing economic cooperation between the eu and the united states, and working together to counter the predatory economic practices that we've seen from countries like china.
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i can't tell you how encouraged i am by this. i think with our collective leverage brought to bear, perhaps even ultimately pulling in other g7 countries like the japanese. we have a real possibility of reducing intellectual property theft, reducing the incidence of joint technology, force technology transfer of state-owned enterprises, dumping things into our own economy, precisely the sorts of objectives i know the administration has. so do you agree that the united states, moving forward, has to prioritize a trade dialogue with the eu, in order to eliminate current retaliatory tariffs on farmers and manufacturers in places like indiana, as well as to effectively combat china's nefarious activities? sec. pompeo: yes, don't forget kansas farmers, too. so i didn't, i don't have the benefit of having seen the press
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conference. i was sitting here, i didn't see the announcement or what they said. i know this was one of the things that president trump was trying to accomplish in his conversations with mr. juncker. sounds like they made at least some progress in that regard. look, the president has been clear with respect to trade policy. europeans won't accept our agricultural products, other markets close to us he is endeavoring to get them opened, he's trying to drive to zero, zero, zero. zero tariffs, zero nontariff barriers, zero subsidies. that's the place he's trying to get the whole world and he is confident that when we get there, americans will outcompete the rest of the world and whether it's manufacturers or innovators or farmers or all of the above, they'll ultimately be very successful and be enorm's -- be enormous wealth creation not only in the states but elsewhere as well. >> well, i'll just add that i find this effort of working cooperatively with the eu and other major economies as
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coherent and workable if we're trying to really address the greatest challenges, which is those seen by the state capitalist countries, china being the worst offender. i don't have as much clarity with respect to our trade strategy as i'd like to. it's one of the reasons that i keep emphasizing i think we need to have a written one, just as we do a national security strategy but very appreciative of president trump's announcement today. lastly, mr. secretary, i'd like to call to your attention that my home state of end sinned home -- my home state of indiana is home to 23,000 burmese americans. as i travel the state and listen to many of my constituents that are burmese americans, they reiterate three things, great concern regarding the burmese military's atrocity against the rohingya and want the perpetrators brought to justice.
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number two, they reiterate a desire to expand people ties between the people in you are -- burma and the united states and thirdly express the treatment of chin christians in burma. i note that you're hosting this week the ministerial to advance religious freedom focused on combating religious persecution and discrimination. as we appropriately address within that forum the rohingya crisis, i ask the department to continue to also make clear to the burmese government that all religious minorities including christians should be respected. so mr. secretary, will the department of state work with my office to not only continue our joint efforts related to the rohingya, which i support but also to encourage the burmese government to end any policies whatsoever that treat christians as second class citizens? sec. pompeo: yes, senator, we will. >> thank you.
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>> senator murphy? sen. murphy: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. i certainly associate myself with many of the comments by the chairman. i think the administration, a president who is making up foreign policy on a day-by-day basis, i think you have a tiger by the tail, you have a difficult and enviable job and i appreciate you spending so much time with us here this morning. we focus on words from the president because our allies and our adversaries listen to those words and calibrate their actions based upon those words and while you're right that the president about 20 to 30 hours later did correct himself after the helsinki summit to say that he did, indeed, agree with u.s. intelligence services and not with putin, five days later, he went back on twitter, and said this, so president obama knew about russia before the election.
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why didn't he do something about it? why didn't he tell our campaign? because it is all a big hoax, that's why. that's the most recent statement from the president, saying that russia's interference in the election is all a big hoax. so, i guess my question is, why shouldn't we accept this most recent statement from the president as u.s. policy, rather than the statement that you referenced on july 17th? sec. pompeo: senator, i again through the litany of the statements you gave i have a list from january 17, june 17, july 17, again, july 17, november 17, march of '17, happy to go through them, each of which the president confirmed he understood that russia had meddled in the election and i could give you although i couldn't recount them tell you -- i could tell you numbers of times when i was personally with him where he told me directly he understood that and indeed provided guidance to at this
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time it was the intelligence community but i think he gave similar guidance throughout the government that we needed to do all we could push back on election interference, and i have a catalogue of activities that this administration has undertaken to do just that. sen. murphy: so what do you make of his most recent statement? sec. pompeo: senator, i'll leave you, you can speculate, you can draw whatever inferences you want for whatever purposes you so choose. here's what i could tell you and tell our allies. sen. murphy: there's no inference. it's a statement from the president in which he says that the russian interference in the u.s. election is a hoax from july 22nd. there's no inference that i need to draw from that. that's the president's statement. sec. pompeo: senator, you are certainly trying to draw inferences about the american policy, and i am laying out for you american policy, and i'm happy -- let me talk to you about what we've done on election interference if i might. sen. murphy: i understand -- you draw a distinction between the president's comments and u.s. policy. what i'm trying to suggest to you is that what the president
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says is u.s. policy, because our allies and our adversaries make decisions based upon those comments so let me try to drill down on a specific issue that senator corker raised, and that is the comments the president made regarding our potential defense or non-defense of montenegro. tucker carlsson asked him a question suggesting montenegro is too small to be defended and the president responded by saying, "i understand what you're saying. i've asked the same question. montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people." i know you are going to tell me the official policy of the united states is to defend month -- montenegro and our nato allies. the president would draw a -- d you understand why we would be concerned that the president would draw a question as to whether we would defend montenegro, that is a communication to vladimir putin about whether the president is going to come to nato's defense. as you know an attack on nato won't be a russian army moving across the border, it will be a
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hybrid or disguised attack, some question as to whether the united states should respond or not. can you at least understand why we are concerned about the president raising questions about the utility of the united states defending montenegro? sec. pompeo: so i think the president's been unambiguously clear and i can read you his policies and if -- sen. murphy: if you're going to refer to his policies or the separate statements? i'm asking butyou about this statement. explain it to us. what did he mean? sec. pompeo: senator, the policies are themselves statements as well. indeed they're the most important statements that the administration makes. sen. murphy: policies are statements and statements are policies. sec. pompeo: no, that's not true. that's absolutely not true. i make lots of statements, they're not u.s. policy. the president says things, right, the president makes comments in certain places, we have national security council, we meet, we lay out strategies, we develop policies, right. sen. murphy: so how do i know
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the difference? sec. pompeo: the president sets the course -- sen. murphy: how do i know the difference between a presidential statement that is not a policy and a statement that is? sec. pompeo: senator, here's what you should look at. compare the following, barack obama speaking tough on russia and doing nothing, those were -- sen. murphy: that's not true. i understand you want to rewrite the obama policy on russia. he organized all of europe and all over the world. sec. pompeo: let's go task for task. sen. murphy: to put a comprehensive unprecedented set of sanctions on russia. sec. pompeo: he would have more flexibility after the election. sen. murphy: i know you want to turn constantly back to -- sec. pompeo: no, i just want to look at facts and policies, senator. i'm trying to get to u.s. policy. i'm america's chief diplomat implementing u.s. policy. sen. murphy: i think you have been dealt a tough hand and you do a credible job with it. let me turn, i just, let me ask a less adversarial question to end with. i think you said two important things on north korea.
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you said that they have agreed to denuclearize, and that they understand our definition of denuclearization. sec. pompeo: that's correct. sen. murphy: what is most important is that there isose two statements link. they agreed to denuclearize according to our definition of denuclearization. is that your testimony today? sec. pompeo: the definition was set forward, and denuclearization was agreed to. i don't know what else to -- i don't know how else to -- sen. murphy: i am not trying to give you a hard time. i was trying to understand -- sec. pompeo: and i'm trying to articulate what's been agreed to. we made clear what we viewed as the scope of denuclearization. it's not dissimilar to how the u.n. has characterized and the south koreans characterized it, and when we did that, the north koreans said yes, we agree to denuclearize. sen. murphy: your understanding is their commitment is upon our definition. sec. pompeo: it is, senator, yes. sen. murphy: okay.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> before i turn to senator isaacson, in essence the communique we saw coming out of the singapore meeting, that is the sum total of the agreement we have with them? sec. pompeo: yes. we've also had conversations after that. it is also the case that that agreement incorporated the panmunjom declaration which in turn incorporated previous inner korean agreements as well. the singapore summit is stacked on a series of agreements, each of which is encompassed in the agreement between president trump and chairman kim. you can look to the full breadth and scope of those agreements korean agreements as well. the things that north koreans have agreed to. >> i don't think any of us expect a meeting in singapore and all the issues would be worked out. i think we all understand it's going to take a long, a long time to get this all worked out. senator isaacson?
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sen. isaacson: i spent all week trying to come up with intuitive, brilliant, incisive questions to ask you, recognizing how intelligence and articulate you are and i ran out of everything except one thing. i had it written down to be the first question i asked you and by golly the president of the eu had an agreement that answered my question but i want to repeat it anyway. are you seeing consequences of the trade proposals of the president's 232 and the tariffs being applied to having any impact diplomatically on the united states of america? sec. pompeo: yes. sen. isaacson: i do, too, and the reason i brought it up is this. actions have consequences, and i hope the administration will look to the state department for insight and advice on the effects of the tariffs on the diplomacy of the united states of america, vis-a-vis the rest of the world, because it has a significant impact, because ag is the number one thing upon which we levy the punitive
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tariffs by the people we're trying to raise tariffs on. we feed the world. we're the world's bread basket. this committee passed the feed the future legislation some time ago but we're going to be in deep trouble if we don't have a policy that recognizes both our responsibility and the world's need and food's importance in peace and security, so not to lecture you, you know more than i know but i know the president's proposals and the tariffs are serious business and he needs to consider the consequences on the diplomacy of the united states and hunger in the world. so i'll let you respond to that. sec. pompeo: senator, i think the president appreciates that. i think he understands that the tariffs that have been imposed have a diplomatic effect, they're part of my broader effort to be sure. some of those things create difficulties, some of those things create real opportunities. we've seen each from the sanctions that have been levied to date, and i know president
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trump sounds like he made some progress today with the eu. i've watched secretary mnuchin, bob and the team try to use the effect of those tariffs to achieve good outcomes so farmers can have access to markets so that we get energy sold to countries that refuse to take our energy, each of those things are important parts of the president's agenda to try and create wealth for ordinary americans. >> and i commend the administration's commitment to zero, zero, zero being the goal as far as the trade policy is concerned, but getting to that goal is going to require a good communication between all facets of our government, including yourself and the state department. sec. pompeo: yes, sir. >> on the impacts and that was the point i was trying to make. sec. pompeo: yes, sir. >> i'm sorry senator paul left because i was going to begin my remarks saying i agreed with him and i don't always do that. you need to tell him that, prefacing my remark but he's right about not being afraid of meeting with vladimir putin and the russians. meetings with these people, in
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my judgment, are not as bad as a lot of people have professed them to be. i've seen some people said we ought to back up from meeting with him. i think the more open we can be in meeting with the leadership of countries we're having to deal with one way or another, the more it forces them to be open, so it's really, what the president has done, when he went to north korea, is all of a sudden kim jong-un was sitting on the side of the table i'm sitting across the table from the president of the united states, the world media is here and looking to me for answers and after the pomp and circumstances, north korea has to be accountable or it will have pressure to be accountable. i think the president engaging these leaders makes an awful lot of sense in terms of bringing them out to service and the dealings that we have with them and i just wanted to ed toed to -- i just wanted to throw that in there. i think it's an important thing. lastly on bipartisanship, senator coombs is here who had a significant role in your getting confirmed. as you know, you and i have
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talked about that so i'm proud of my friend and proud of in your great choice for secretary of state. he and i have worked together on state department issues and trade issues and tariff issues on behalf of poultry in the united states of america particularly with the south africans who we cracked down the door two years ago and now we are getting 19 million metric chickens from georgia sold to south americans who love them and eating them and wants to reinforce what i did in my first statement about ag, we have such a powerful force with our agricultural productivity and the level to which we've taken in our technology in agriculture. we need to use that as a tool for our relationships around the world, and i know you want to do that and want to be a part of that, and you can help us in doing that, because every time we make a trade deal that sells georgia chickens or delaware chickens to south africans is good for georgia and delaware but it's good for america, too. sec. pompeo: amen.
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i agree, senator. >> thank you for your service to the country. sec. pompeo: thank you. >> thank you, i'm not sure senator coons wanted you to advertise that again. i'm sure his social media account will have some incoming. i'm thankful for the role you played. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was grateful for an opportunity to show a little courtesy to a dear friend, senator isaacson in the previous incident. at the risk of not being as gracious, when senator isaacson met with the south african minister, that meeting was to hear their concerns about the impact of the steel tariffs on a very important alliance, chairman corker and i recently were in sweden and had a chance to hear from them about their concern about the steel tariffs. i am encouraged by the announcement that's just come out an hour ago about the meeting with the eu leadership, but remain very concerned that some of our closest allies around the world are getting the wrong message. in a dinner last night with the
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canadian ambassador a large bipartisan group were there to try to reassure them. i do think that we should be corraling our allies and partners in confronting china's aggressive, prolonged and inappropriate trade actions, and avoiding some of the needless harm we've caused to close alliances. the point of the south african meeting was that they are preparing counter veiling tariffs that might well shut down our access to their market. but i'm not really here to talk about chickens, as much as i do love talking about chickens with my friend, senator isaacson. mr. secretary, i just want to say first, thank you for this very long hearing. i want to confirm a number of senators have asked you pointed questions about progress with north korea, with russia, issues around syria and iran and you said "not in this setting." will you return soon to brief us in a classified setting, because there's a number of important and pressing things we really haven't been able to address today. will you come back and give us that classified briefing? sec. pompeo: of course.
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sen. coons: thank you. sec. pompeo: of course. sen. coons: and a number of senators on both sides have recognized that you've got an important role in a very difficult time. i want to up front just say i was pleased to hear about the crimea declaration. i think it's important for the administration to be forceful, and clear about our position with regards to russia's illegal annexation of crimea. i remember my whole childhood, there was a little box in every american map that said we refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of the baltic states by the soviet union in 1940, and for decades, folks thought it was aspirational and never -- and it would never happen. today, the baltic states are free p they are nato allies and the chairman and i recently visited latvia as well and heard from them about their determination to remain free and to take strong steps against russia's interference. finland and latvia, the baltic states, other allies of ours in that region are prepared to invest more in their own defense, and to strengthen their defenses against russian interference in their upcoming elections.
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there's elections in latvia and moldova and sweden that are happening soon. what best practices are you seeing among our european allies? what tools do you think the state department can and should be using and how should we be doing as you put it, everything we can to push back on likely election interference by russia to our vital allies, as well as to our upcoming midterm elections? sec. pompeo: it's a good question. we, the united states government, my previous organization in the intelligence world did a great deal of work with our european partners with the german and french election to help identify threats and vectors, intelligence sharing, -- good, solid intelligence sharing, that's an underpinning so the governments can understand the threats, sometimes america is better positioned to see them and observe them than some of the other countries that are smaller with fewer resources and i think it's also important and we've begun to do this, the countries share the actions, what actually
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download so we can determine to push back. senator paul said earlier, there's lots of variations on theme. there are overt efforts, there are call them covert efforts by adversaries, not just russia, can attempt to undermine democracies. we have an obligation to the europeans taken benefits america as well if we try and help them ensure their democracies are protected. sen. coons: we'd benefit from hearing more regularly and clearly what we are doing with our close allies to convey we get what is happening to them and we are concerned about what is happening to us. frankly, i want diplomacy to succeed. i prefer an environment of to one of perception of imminent conflict with north russia.
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and you've been forceful, even aggressive today in advancing the administration's position. as the chairman said earlier, a lot of the tension here i think comes from the gaps between your forcefulness and clarity and what i perceive and many perceive to be the president's lack of forcefulness and clarity. in your written statement, you say that president trump has stated, "i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place." then you go on to say "he has a complete and proper understanding of what happened." my concern, if i could, directly, is that our president has never made a clear and comprehensive speech outlining the threat posed by russia, our strategy to respond to it, and criticizing directly president putin for directing the attack on our election in 2016. just a few days ago, now i guess more than a week ago, robert mueller delivered indictments against 12 russian military intelligence officers, gru officers, calls them out by name, gives enormous detail of
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how russia attacked our 2016 election, and one of the ways in which our president then undermines the clarity and credibility of that action by our department of justice is by calling the mueller investigation a rigged witch hunt, or by standing next to president putin in helsinki and suggesting he's uncertain whether our intelligence account of what happened in 2016 is the more credible or the russian one. could you, please, clarify for me, if there are clear indicators that russia continues to interfere in our election planning up to this november, would you advise the president to rescind an invitation to vladimir putin to come and meet in the white house? do you think it is unwise to extend the credibility and the prestige of a white house meeting without being clear about putin's threat to our upcoming elections? senator paul said and i agree with him, we should meet with our adversaries but as president
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reagan did, we need to be clear-eyed about who they are and call them out if for being adversaries before sitting down with them. could you commit to being clear with the president and helping us understand whether or not the president clearly understands the attack on our election? sec. pompeo: so i've tried to do that earlier today, senator coons. i think the president is very clear about that. i find it surprising that statements that are made, especially a statement like a statement for the record, i mean, you should all know the white house cleared that secret. right? these are white house -- i uttered the words, these are president trump's statements in that sense as well. these are statements from the united states government of which president trump is very clearly in charge, and somehow there's this effort to suggest that they're not that. the statements that i've made today are fully consistent with you, unless i misspoke somewhere along the way, which is possible after a couple hours, these are indeed the administration, president trump's policies we're implementing.
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sen. coons: while your statements have been clear, our president's statements have confused our allies, encouraged our adversaries and failed to be comparably clear and i'm concerned that an invitation to president putin to the white house, without clarity about his threats to our election, his threats to our allies, puts at risk clarity. i welcome the crimea declaration today. i think that is an important step forward but i urge you, if president putin attacks our next election, advise president trump to withdraw any invitation to president putin. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. corker: senator portman? sen. portman: thank you, chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for coming back to testify again. you've had a long afternoon, i think you ought to do it more often. while you've been here we managed to negotiate a successful preliminary agreement with the european union. you managed to issue a declaration supporting, we're
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hoping to see with regard to crimea and a third thing that happened, i don't know if it's good or bad, but it is my understanding the white house decided to postpone the visit of president putin until the end of the year. sec. pompeo: when i left my business it began to succeed as well. here.ome down sen. portman: i think they wait until you're gone to make all these decisions. no. i want to comment briefly on what you responded to with senator coons on what tools could we use with regard to pushing back on some of the interference in other countries elections. i hoped that you would say the global engagement center, because it's a tool you have, and frankly, although senator murphy and i wrote legislation to give you the authority to do it, you have more aggressively used that tool by providing funding for it and now hiring the right people than your predecessors, and it's precisely this sort of situation, i will give you the recent example,
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very important, which is what's going on with macedonia, you know, as they go for the referendum to be part of europe, these european integration efforts tend to be a place where the russians see an opportunity, and engage in significant disinformation, great opportunity for to us push back in the appropriate way through the global engagement center, and would you confirm to me that you thought about that, or you will think about that in the future? sec. pompeo: yes, of course, may i add one thing i think you'll find interesting. when i was with my russian counterpart, sergey lavrov, he's very aware of the global center.nt sen. portman: should be. sec. pompeo: he raised the issue with me when i met had w him in person, it may have been in a conversation by phone but my last interaction with him, he raised the issue. sen. portman: compared to the resources the russians put into their efforts, it is miniscule as you know, but it significant and i think it will be done professionally thanks to some of the work you've done and i applaud you for that. we discussed at your confirmation hearing in april the need to focus more on
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central and eastern europe. ukraine.lly i had just come back from a trip to ukraine, there's a hot conflict going on. there are people dying, and it is, when you go there, pretty moving, because you see how the to defend have had themselves and their territory againstlast four years russian aggression. and i believe, i think you do, that successful pro-western ukraine is not only critical to the region but the best antidote to russian expansion in the region. along those lines, i want to commend you for last week releasing the $200 million in military assistance. this goes for equipment training, other assistance, and i think we have not taken enough credit for what happened, which is we told the ukrainians, you need to make reforms, and when i was there in april i talked to president poroshenko and the speaker then again last month about this. i talked to him the day after they passed these reforms saying
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we need to see the reforms to your defense system, frankly, getting away from the russian influence system they had and to one that's more consistent with european democracies, having a civilian control of their military. other things. they did that. you then were able to release the $200 million. that's exactly how it should work, right? that.ommend you for and i think it's going to make a huge difference. the lethal weapons they have to defend themselves makes a huge difference and so the actions sometimes do speak louder than the words and in those cases, i think it's very important. on the resolution, which you issued today with regard to crimea, i was really happy to read it. i know that many in our community in ohio who follow this closely are pleased with it. they believe this puts the united states clearly in the position where we will not relieve sanctions until this issue is resolved and i would ask you today, can you confirm that the russians have a clear understanding that sanctions related to crimea will not be able to be reduced or certainly eliminated, so long as crimea remains an issue?
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sec. pompeo: i think they did before this statement, and i'm confident after the statement that the president released that will reaffirm their understanding. sen. portman: do you believe the russians have sanctions related to their actions in eastern ukraine along the border cannot be altered without real implementation of the minsk agreement and the end to that aggression? sec. pompeo: i do. sen. portman: there's a lot of sen. portman: there's a lot of talk about new sanctions, as you know, with regard to russia, and i do support us having a better bilateral relationship with russia, i think it's important, we're two major nuclear powers with a lot of weapons pointed at us. i also support discussions that are prepared. i think it's very important to our statements both in private and in public are clear and consistent and i think that needs to happen from the president all the way down to our diplomats such as yourself and again i think you have done that. i think that was the issue with helsinki. in addition to what's going on in the eastern border of ukraine, and crimea, i think there's a clear consensus in the national security community, not just the ic but the national
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security community more broadly about the severity of the short and midterm threat that russia poses. it's espionage, it's cyber, it's information capabilities, meddling in the 2016 elections, and now in the 2018 elections, our intelligence communities seem to have a consensus around that, including you and your previous role, and we have sanctions in place, but they don't seem to be working. that long list that i just gave, they don't seem to be working. so let me ask you a question, and this is not an easy one to answer, but one, why aren't they working? second, do you support new sanctions, specifically related to the new information we have about 2016, and about 2018 interference in our democratic process, and if so, what kind of sanctions would be more effective? sec. pompeo: so your point is well taken. there continues, in spite of the work that's been done, by this administration, there continues to be russian malign activity.
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we have to use sanctions as a tool. you talked about the global engagement center. i think there are many tools that we can use, and my role as a diplomat, we have a handful, and we are working to do what i think senator rubio at beginning of this hearing described as raise the costs sufficiently and convince vladimir putin that it's not in his best interests to continue this behavior. that's going to be difficult. i know precisely who vladimir putin is. i know his history, but that's the task. the task is for us, the u.s. government, that includes you and the executive branch, to raise the cost on russia so they cease this malign activity that adversely impacts the united states. sen. portman: do you believe new sanctions are appropriate to raise the cost in response to the new information we received? sec. pompeo: i do, senator, if we can find the right places and leverage point, the things that will actually make a difference to russia, i think it would be constructive to head down that path.
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sen. portman: and can you tell us what you think might be more effective than the previous sanctions that have not been effective in accomplishing those means? sec. pompeo: i don't know that i have a great answer for you today. sen. pompeo: do you think it's individuals, on oligarchs? on some of the economic choke points? sec. pompeo: it would be my judgment each of those is necessary, the things that impact the russian economy are the things that hear the russians most concerned about. sen. portman: thank you, secretary, we appreciate your testimony today. sen. corker: senator booker? sen. booker: i guess i'm batting cleanup and appreciate the endurance of our secretary, i know he has hard, long days and i'm grateful for this opportunity to question him. i really want to pick up on some of the line of questions senator portman asked. it is important what presidents say and you and i come from that school, i imagine, where you have ronald reagan's clear, unwavering commitment to standing strong against then the
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soviet union, you saw it with the next george bush, you've seen it in presidents, and so here's a clear statement of fact that the president tweeted out, "i'm concerned russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming election" which is consistent with intelligence communities, that they're continuing to attack. of course he said "based on the fact that no president has been tougher on russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the democrats. they definitely don't want trump, they don't want trump." now, that obviously was surprising to see, given that we just heard from vladimir putin that he prefers trump, but i'm concerned that the president doesn't understand that this ongoing threat is happening. when he came out of his secret meeting with putin that was shrouded in secrecy, he said our relationship has never been worse, until it is now, because that's changed as of about four hours ago. has anything changed with the russian's attacks or ongoing
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threats to our 2018 elections? sec. pompeo: senator, what i believe the president was referring to there, and obviously he speaks for himself, in that sense, but what i understood him to say was that he'd had for the first time in his administration had a chance to have an extensive, candid conversation with the leader of russia, lay out and articulate america's interests to him so he understood unambiguously what the interests were and he heard from vladimir putin about what he felt mattered most to russia. when he said things have changed that was the first time they met before. sen. booker: mr. secretary, i have limited time, so i agree with senator rubio, there's got to be a cost to people when they attack the united states, not just attacking the united states, they've assassinated people on british soil, threatening our allies and intervening in western
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democracies, annexing crimea. ongoing hostilities in the dombask region of ukraine, and we passed legislation, which you had an exchange with my colleague, senator carden, about. and this is the transcript that you said, you said, thank you for presenting the law. we really appreciate it. we think it makes good sense. the president signed it as well. we've passed sanctions under the law and we have passed it. but we haven't used all of the sanctions. now, i was excited to see nikki haley come out and say that we were about to put on new sanctions. in fact, the rnc got talking points from the white house telling their pundits to say exactly what nikki haley said before the united nations that we were going to put on additional sanctions, but we haven't used those tools in our toolbox. they said nikki haley was confused. she said i'm sorry, i wasn't confused. this was a step the white house was going to take, so i hope you understand that there's many of
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us in a bipartisan manner that feel like we've put tools in the toolbox, but the president has shrunk from taken them and using those tools to stand strong against people that are ongoing attacks on the united states of america. nikki haley said absolutely you will see that russian sanctions will be coming down and those will be announced. it has already said that they are going to go directly to any sort of companies that are dealing with equipment related to, in this case, assad and chemical weapons use. so i'm having trouble. again, i'm one of the people who agrees with republican colleagues, that the president should be allowed to meet with folks one-on-one. find, far as my staff can this is the only meeting with someone in the g-20 that's been a one-on-one meeting without that hasn't -- the details of which haven't been disclosed. it is particularly troubling ween as senator udall said,
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have a long history of this administration having ties to russians. he read a list. russian oligarchs close to putin ao bought property at significant profit. whether it is trump tweeting about the deals, whether it was trump jr. talking about the disproportionate portion of our assets. was a tweet with trump responding i don't think we need more sanctions, i don't think we need sanctions. this goes on. as senator koons just said, we have a president that right now sees we have an ongoing investigation into the very the russians did to us that resulted in over 80 charges people being charged, people of the administration, campaign.the and this is a president having
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theate meetings with russians. this is not the first private that he's i'm sure you remember that this president pulled aside at a g-20 meeting and had a one-on-one discussion unbeknownst to his staff and had a conversation that he then said when asked what they discussed and i quote he said we discussed adoptions. adoptions is a code word to sanctions. word used to code describe pre-election meetings between kushner, manafort, and don jr. these ideas of adoptions. you haven't asked -- i have listened very closely. i'm the last person to ask questions. but you refused to say if relaxing sanctions directly was part of the meeting that the president had. so i find it hard to believe that we are a nation being under ongoing attack and you can't
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come forward and say this is a that you say you represent, that we're standing person.gainst the but we're not. the very president who invited some of this here that said, russia, if you're listening, if you're able to find the emails that are missing, he invited the very attacks that we're talking about. so what i want and what i think my colleagues want on both sides of the aisle is to understand and believe that we are not having private discussions about relaxing sanctions. that we are showing the same kind of strength that past presidents have shown when enemies attack the united states of america. and you just committed to senator portman that you believe more sanctions are needed. so are we to expect in the coming days that we will be applying the sanctions that the senate has provided this president in a bipartisan way to hold russia accountable and show
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them that there will be a cost for their attacks on this nation? sec. pompeo: this administration's record, there over 200 sanctions that is reflective of this steadfastness's of our willingness to strike back against russia. litany.e on a whole haleyr booker: if nikki is talking about sanctions one day and you're not putting them on the next day. sec. pompeo: the president didn't hire a single shrinking violet, not one of us. we often disagree about things. no doubt about that. sometimes we prevail, sometimes we don't. the president calls the ball and the president called the ball times to sanction russian entities. strong.retty we've used kedsa.
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we will continue to comply. let's just rack and stack. last eight years. sen. booker: mr. chairman, i want to conclude, the president of the united states's statements. i will read them. this is what he said on the day it was introduced. i have expressed concerns about the many ways it improperly incroachs executive power, disadvantages our companies and hurts the interests of this nation. the bill is seriously flawed because it encroaches on the executive branch's authority. congress should not negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years. the executive branch's authority, this bill makes it harder for the united strike good agree.mpeo: i actually sen. booker: you didn't agree with it when you were talking. i could read your words back. i put this in the record and finish by saying this is not the president using the tools. this is not the president that
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russia.g against this is not the president that is standing up against people that are doing ongoing attacks against the united states of are continuing at this moment. sen. menendez: let me thank the secretary for being here. after nearly three hours here is my takeaways, this administration is increasingly not transparent, not transparent as to what takes place at the summits, not transparent in terms of i hear there is an effort not to have readouts when the president has conversations with foreign leaders, which has historically been the case. increasingly less number of briefings. we haven't had the briefing on classified setting nearly two months afterwards. what i took away was we have no agreements on anything. as it relates to north korea. the best i can glean is that they understand what we mean by de-nuclearization but they have not agreed to that definition. i really don't believe that you know what happened during the
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president's two plus hour conversation with president putin. and i really don't know much more about the summit after sitting here for three hours than i did before. i want to say to you, i want you to think about the suggestion that what the president says is not the policy of the united states. when the president speaks -- sec. pompeo: can i clean that up? you're right, i misspoke that. sen menendez: if you want to clean it up -- sec. pompeo: i would love the chance to do that. i misspoke. the president calls the ball. his statements are policy. but it's the case that when all of us speak in informal settings in response to questions we are not covering the full gamut of things that impact the world. that is what i intended to say. i saw the glee on your side trying to make a political point from that. that is silliness. this president runs this government. fact --ements are, in
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sen. menendez: now we understand that when the president speaks it is the policy of the united states. sec. pompeo: 200 plus sanctions. you've seen them, senator. senator, i understand -- we have been here three hours and you are making -- you have a soliloquy. sen. menendez: i have listened soliloquy.itical as a secretary of state sitting at that table demeaning some members here because you said that senator sheheen believes more the russian defense. she was quoting because we don't know what our own government is saying. me about politics. if president obama did what president trump did in helsinki i would be peeling you off the capitol sealing. -- ceiling. please. here's the point. when the president speaks it is the policy of the united states. when he says in one respect i applaud this declaration about crimea but then goes and says g-7.russia should join the the reason russia is not in the g-7 is because they invaded ukraine.
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so which is the policy? because when the president speaks it is the policy. i must say, sir. when you speak around the world people believe that what you say is a reflection of the policy of the united states. so i will close by saying one thing i heard here today that i can agree with you is that we need more sanctions and i look forward to working with the chairman, senator graham and who are interested in this regard. hopefully we can come together in common cause to push back on we canon sanctions that pursue. i want to reiterate, i believe that it is rightful for the members of this committee to speak to the translator and to see her notes. because that's the only way we know what truly transpired. sen. corker: would you like to give a response? sec. pompeo: not a word. sen. corker: you had earlier tried to lay out the things the administration was doing relative to the elections and were cut off.
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would you like to do that in a public setting? sec. pompeo:i'm just fine, senator. i think i have had the opportunity to respond adequately. i appreciate you having been so gracious to have permitted me to do that. sen. corker: and we had some exchange relative to classified briefings. let me say this, i know you're busy. sec. pompeo: happy to try to find a time that works for everyone to do that. i think i committed to another senator. sen. corker: we will keep the record open until the close of business tomorrow for written questions. i know you have a lot to do, to the extent your staff can help answer the questions that would be most helpful. i appreciate you doing it for us today. with that, the meeting is adjourned. [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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announcer: here is some of what we're covering on the c-span networks thursday. coverage on the debate and vote of the annual defense authorization bill. 3:40, live coverage of president trump at a steel plant in illinois. on c-span2, the senate
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debates a package of spending c-span3, a senate subcommittee on the budget of the office of trade representative. announcer: supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh continues to meet with senators on capitol hill. follow the confirmation process on c-span, leading up to the hearings andmation the vote. watch live on c-span. or on listen with the free c-span radio app. sunday night on "afterwards," former white house press sean spicer discusses his book, "the briefing, the press and the president." he's interviewed by michael steele. >> ronald reagan and donald trump are 180 degrees apart from here we are in this space. how did you navigate that? conservativesgan
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in that regard. was it a little bit of a dance every once in a while? how did you do it? the: with respect to president himself, there's no question he is not traditional in terms of how he speaks. own vernacular but he also connects the people in a way most politicians never have he talks very bluntly in his think he but i don't would have won the presidency, wouldn't have won the nomination if it wasn't for that style and think there's always this balance with elected officials, right? they say all the right things, but they never get anything done, right? they don't of trump, like how he interacted -- i am a result oriented person. i look at the country -- are people making more money? are people safer? net, i think most people would generally agree if we can get
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the things done for the country, then that is a better place than just someone talking about the right things to get done. >> watch "afterwards" on c-span 2's book tv. >> the president's nominee to be assistant secretary of state for intelligent and director of national counterterrorism center spoke about intelligence sharing with allies and federal spending on intelligence in their senate confirmation hearing. senator byrd of -- senator burr chairs the house intelligence committee. this is an hour and 10 minutes.


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