Pompeo testifies before Senate on State Dept budget
Department's, budget. Which i know you can handle. The the united states and our allies and partners, continue. To face serious, foreign challenges, that will test us for decades, to come. China under the rule the chinese communist, party, is our chief competitor. Russia, too, remains a key adversary. The efforts of these two nations to stow discord. Wreak havoc. And undo the free and open. International, order upon which shared prosperity. And security, are built. Have reached, new heights. They have stepped up this information. And mis and manipulated. International, institutions. Suppressed, the voices of freedom. And democracy. Propped up heinous, dictators. Coerced. And invaded their neighbors. And denied, millions of people access. To life-saving. Humanitarian. Assistance. We have a long road ahead of us in this new era of great power competition. We need sustained. Political, will. These challenges. Require. Nothing less. On top of, all of this we are confronted by a new and acute challenge. A biological. Animal, enemy. That we still do not fully understand. An enemy that in six short months, has inflicted, levels of physical, and economic, harm upon the world, that we have not seen. In more than 100, years. Here again china, especially. But also russia, has played a destructive, role. From withholding, vital global health, data, to spreading, disinformation. And actively stealing, vaccine, research. China and russia, have again. Chosen, to be. And proven themselves. To be adversaries. Sanctioning, bad, actors, will never be enough, to confront these and other challenges. The department. Will need to rely upon a vast array. Of tools. And resources. Our diplomats. Must be backed by effective. And efficient, assistance. So they can help partners, help themselves. And contribute. To the growth. Of healthier. More stable, societies. We are eager, to support a budget. That will advance these critical, interests. It. And support, the state department's. Most critical, resources. Its people. As the coronavirus. Emerged from china, and accelerated, across the globe. You were forced to pull back thousands, of our diplomats, and their families. But you just, you, you didn't just pack up and go without a thought of your fellow americans, instead. The department, launched an unprecedented. Mission. To help return more than 100. 000. Americans. Safely, home, all of us who participated. In that, are greatly appreciate. Appreciative. Of the. Department's. Work in that regard. In some cases, this involved convincing, countries to reopen their airspace, for flights. And roads for transport. In other places, you even chartered, planes to get, our american people home. There are lots of folks, who may never come in contact with the department. Yet now, more than 100, 000 americans. Who can personally, attest. To the tremendous, work that the department, does, for our people every day. As the challenges, get more numerous, and complex. We want to support, a state department, that is up to the task. Fully funded, staffed, and equipped to advance u.s national interests on all fronts. And at all times. We obviously, have threats that impede this, be it health or security. But as the saying goes. All politics, are local. Our adversaries. Understand, this all too well, we need, our diplomats. To be local, too. On a personal note in closing let me say i want to publicly. Thank you. Mr secretary. For. Your, accessibility. That you've had as secretary. As you know in operating this committee it's essential. That i have instant access, to facts and information. And at times when i haven't been able to get that to the usual intelligence, channels. You've always made yourself, instantly, accessible. And, i, sincerely. Appreciate, that. When i'm asked for advice, from. Other second branch entities, or individuals, or even. Allies, of ours, it isn't, it is absolutely, imperative, that i have this information. You have always provided, that and, when you answer the phone sometimes, i never know where you are in the globe or what time it is but you've always made it happen, and for that uh have been and uh remain, very grateful. Greek have been healthier, under the free and open saying, international. Politics, which shared prosperity. We need. Sustained. Is. Uh, from.
Vital Global health, data well thank you for spreading disinformation. Thank you for joining us. Vaccine, research. China's been a while since you have joined us and i have chosen to be enthusiastic. And proven themselves part of, your constitutional. Responsibility, sanctioning bad uh actors, but it passed as president, i don't imagine we're going to see challenges, here any time soon we'll need to rely on some wow, this is your opportunity. To defend. Yourself. By. Perspective. And unfortunately, that being is not, the state decision the least, most critical research under your watch the united states has faced setbacks. Back on the world stage, and accelerated. Leverage and influence. Thousands, of our diplomats, today iran is much closer to a nuclear bomb you didn't just when you came into office. Despite your maximum, pressure campaign, iran, department launch continued. The middle east help return more than 100 while the 2017. National, security, strategy. Your administration. Has its best not another place. You even chartered planes together you have never fully used the tools, we provided, there are lots of folks, who may never come in. Now, more than 100, drawing, forces from germany, who can prevailing, to take action when evidence is words that russia, was paying bounties, people to kill us troops. Challenges get more numerous and twice, redirecting. The europeans. Initiatives, up to the top to pay for. Presidents. And oppressing its own people our diplomats. On north korea diplomacy. Which you assured. You'd have wrapped up within a year, thank you about two years ago mr secretary, appears to have flatlined. Leaving north korea with a more. Capable, nuclear. And ballistic. The entirety, of our appreciate, that it seems to be xenophobic. Anti-immigrant, history. Branch entities. Are institutionalized. To deal with the root causes, of migration, i have this information, there is bipartisan, support from the venezuelan, policy, when you answer that your approach has left millions of venezuelans, still suffering. And the administration. Won't even support those who are already, exiled, here very grateful, and even as we struggle with an opioid, epidemic. You propose. Reported, green lighting of. Congress. The result is an exodus, of expertise. Seven percent of the department, staff left in the first year and a half of the administration. And while i realized that you were not at the department, during that time. The department, has continued, to suffer persistent. Vacancies. Without, senate, confirmed, nominees. And in response, the administration's. Repeatedly, puts forth candidates. Who do not possess the qualifications. The demeanor, nor the temperament, to serve in leadership positions. And represent, the american, people abroad. When you send us qualified. Nominees, mr secretary, we act. We have confirmed more than 190. Nominees. And dozens have advanced quickly and without incidents. Would you continuously. Send us nominees who have misled, congress. Who have made offensive, or racist statements. Who have sexual harassment, lawsuits, and allegations, against them who have supported, torture. And whose conduct would disqualify, them for service, in any other administration. The administration. Promised us quote the best people the very best terrific, tremendous. But mr secretary. The best people don't seem to want to work for you. Finally, let me just touch on a few, oversight, issues which i know you were passionate, about. As a former member of congress. At your direction, the president, recently removed, the state department's, inspector, general. Who was investigating. Perhaps among other things. Last year's emergency. Declaration. Of armed sales to saudi arabia. About which i along with a bipartisan. Group of colleagues. Raised, serious, concerns. Additionally, we have learned of allegations. Of you using your office to promote your own personal. Domestic, political agenda. Hosting lavish dinners at this department, and creating at least the appearance. Of using taxpayer, resources, to impress. High-profile. Political. Donors. While this hearing. Is ostensibly. Uh, convened. For the president's, fy21. Budget request, you and i. And everybody, on this diocese, knows that the president's, wish. To completely, gut our international, affairs budget, by a shocking. 34. Percent. Is dead on arrival. That said i have to say i must, say i'm i'm tempted. To provide you with the budget requests, and see, how you could actually, operate, under it. Even if this budget hearing were not months after the fact and far too late in the legislative, process. Let me just say it's fundamentally, misguided, and unsuited.
To The needs of safeguarding, our nation's security. Now i recognize, you'll take issue with much of what i've said mr secretary. But facts. Are a stubborn, thing. When you entered office i offered a hand to work with you in areas where we could build real agendas. With bipartisan. Political, buy-in. Venezuela. Iran. Russia. China, and indeed, i'm disappointed. But as i look at your tenure in office, and at the track record of this administration. I'm disappointed, that instead of making america, first. Among the nations of the world. You have instead relinquished, our leadership to the applause. And approval. Of china and russia. That. Makes america last. Thank you mr chairman. Uh as we proceed. First let me say obviously those views are, the views of senator menendez. Individually, not those of this chairman or the. Majority, of this committee. Um. We uh, for the members of this committee we have an 11 30 hard stop, that will give us time for a. Round of questions, i'm going to take a short break about halfway, through. As usual. We would. Stick with what has been the long-standing. Commitment, of this committee, for civility. And. When. The witness is asked a question. We're going to give the witness. Full opportunity, to answer that question. And not interrupt, his answer simply because he's doing so well at answering the question. And i will uh i will enforce that strictly. Uh with that uh, senator, senator, secretary pompeo. Chairman if i am at parliamentary, inquiry, you just discussed, the procedural, process. If we're going to have answers, that are filibusters. I i don't expect, that, we're going to allow that either yeah. Senator menendez, uh. I'll run the committee. Uh and i'll do it as i've indicated, and we're not going to interrupt, answers, from the uh, from the uh. Witness with that secretary, pompeo. Thank you chairman risch ranking manor menendez, i have a, full statement. In the interest of. Of time i'll just read the first. Approximately, one-third of that if i could. Get your agreement to put the rest statement of the record i'd appreciate that we'll do that mr secretary, very much. Today i'm here to. Present the. Uh and testify, about the president's 2021, budget it requests, nearly 41, billion dollars for the state department, and usaid. Enabling, both agencies to protect u.s citizens, increase american prosperity, and advance the development. Of democratic, societies. And critically reflects a commitment, to the strategic, efficient. Use of resources, to provide better results. For the american, people. That's the top line analysis but i want to make a broader point. That our diplomatic, expenditures. Reflect. America's, values. Two weeks ago in philadelphia, i unveiled the report, of the state department's, commission on unalienable, rights. My message that day was simple. The trump administration, places our founding principles, at the very core of american, diplomacy.
I'm Going to talk about how we've done that in in three areas. First securing, the american people's freedoms against authoritarian, threats. Securing, american lives during the pandemic, and helping friends across the world secure. Those very unalienable. Rights. On authoritarian, threats we've evaluated, the world with the same realism, that the american, founders did. We see the islamic, republic of iran for what it is an aggressor. Not a victim. We've gone full bore on our maximum pressure campaign, since may of 2018. We've slashed the vital oil revenues the regime uses for terrorism. And illegal nuclear activities by 90 percent. We rallied nations to our side through diplomacy. Witnessed the designations. Of hezbollah, from european and south american countries. And we bolstered, our military readiness, vis-a-vis, tehran. There's more work to do the security council must renew, the u.n arms embargo against iran before it expires. On october 18th. Iran already mined ships in the straits of vermouth, launches missiles at saudi oil facilities. And ships arms to the houthis. Should the security council fail to act iran will have a freer hand, to sow destruction across the middle east and indeed the world. Russia too is a destabilizing. Authoritarian, force. In ukraine. In libya and syria. And inside of western democracies. This administration, has acted to protect our interests, and our friends. We've issued the crimea declaration. We've supplied, ukraine with lethal military, hardware. We've sanctioned more than, 360. Russian targets. For everything, from human rights abuses, to supporting the murderous assad regime. To operating mercenaries, and proxy forces, around the world. In the state department's. Fy 2021, request for the global engagement, center is 138. Million dollars more than double its current level. We won't tolerate, disinformation. And other propaganda. Directed by the kremlin. Or any of our other. Adversaries. Further on russia two weeks ago, the state department removed nordstrom, two's exemptioned, under katsa. And in december, the administration, swift in, implementation. Of pisa. An important bipartisan. Endeavor. Effectively, halted construction. Of the pipeline. Or the toughest administration, ever on russia. Most importantly, on china we see the chinese communist party also for what it is, the central threat of our times. Our vigorous diplomacy, has helped lead an international awakening, to the threat of the ccp. Senators, the tides turning. 30 plus countries. And territories, have become 5g, clean countries, banning untrusted, vendors. From their networks. When we talked about this some a year ago. The number was in the single digits. In our hemisphere, canada has stood firm against the chinese communist party's hostage, taking, its three major, telecom, carriers have also banned, untrusted, vendors. Billy's in haiti have denounced, beijing's, national security law targeting hong kong. Denmark, has rejected, the ccp's, attempted censorship. Of danish newspapers. Sweden has closed its confucius, institutes, lithuanian, intelligence, services have identified, china as a political. A potential threat for the first time. And, in the region in the indo-pacific, australia declares, china's south china sea claims unlawful, and illegitimate. As have we. And we're proud to have stepped up maritime maneuvers in that body of water alongside, our friends from australia. And japan. And the united kingdom. India, has banned 106. Chinese applications. That threatened its citizens, privacy, and security. Our diplomatic, efforts are working and momentum, is building to mitigate the threats, that the chinese communist party presents. All 10 asean, nations have insisted that the south china sea disputes must be settled on the basis of international, law including unclas. Japan led the g7's, common donation of china's national security law targeting hong kong. The eu. Condemned, the law too and also declared china, a systemic, rival. Just last year. And we've agreed.
To Start a dialogue channel focused solely on china. At the eu's, request. At nato. Secretary, general stoltenberg, has called to make china a greater part, of that alliance's, focus, as well. We led a multilateral, effort to ensure that the united nations world intellectual, property organization, elected a director from a country that actually gave a dharm. About intellectual, property rights. And our quad the united states australia india and japan. Has been reinvigorated. We've worked hard at this our diplomats, have done, wonderful, work, i'm very proud of the progress we are making. In addition to these multilateral, efforts, the department of justice is cracking down on chinese ipip. Threats. We sanction, chinese leaders for their brutality. Brutality, in xinjiang. Imposed export controls on companies that support it, and warned u.s businesses. Against using slave labor in their supply chains. We've terminated, special treatment agreements with hong kong in response. To the ccp's, actions, to deny freedom to the people of hong kong and we closed. Our council in houston, because it was a den of spies. Our budget reflects. Its efforts the reality on the ground. We requested. Nearly one and a half billion dollars for foreign assistance to the indo-pacific. Region. A 20, increase from the 2020, request. We want that part of the world to be free and open, and proper, prosperous. And with that mr chairman i'll close. Uh, and, happy to take questions. Thank you, mr secretary, i appreciate, that, we are going to do, questioning. On a seniority, basis. Since it is a secretary, of cabinet level. As opposed to the usual. First come, rule. And uh again i'd ask each member to be respectful, of other members, and stick to the. Uh, five minutes you're allotted, and once, we've gone around we'll make a determination, of where we're going to go from that, from there, with, uh senator, menendez. Mr chairman i see seven minutes on the clock is that what it's going to be or is it uh we i intended, to do uh, i intended to do a five we can do let's let's do a seven because, that will just about take up the time, but we're gonna have to stick right to that seven because uh otherwise people aren't going to get a chance so thank you we'll do seven. Mr secretary, as i outline in my opening statement, vladimir, putin's investment, in donald trump prior to the 2016, election. Clearly continues, to pay off handsomely. Withdrawing, troops from germany, troops in germany, is not about germany, troops in germany is about our own. National, security. Interests. Redirecting. Funds from the european, deterrence. Initiative. That's an initiative, as you well know to deter, russia. To pay for the president's. Ineffective, border wall. And refusing, to follow the law and impose, meaningful, sanctions, under katsa. But perhaps, most shockingly. While we have all known for some time. That russia, has provided, support, to the taliban. Both arms and resources. Imposing. Bounties. On the heads of u.s service, members, is an outrageous. Escalation. President, trump had. Astonishingly. Admire. Admitted, in an interview. On tuesday. That he's never raised. The issue. With mr putin, even though, he's spoken to him about seven times. This year alone. Mr secretary, do you consider, how you would react. To such behavior. From a democratic. President, if you were sitting, in your old house seat would you be okay with the president. Who abandoned our troops but not even, raising, this. With the kremlin. Mr sherman, you, a ranking member, you've identified, four. Uh items where you're concerned about our actions with respect to russia i'd like to address, each of them. That's what i think about a second i only asked one question, yes i don't spend much time thinking about what i would have done where i still in the house of representatives i'm very focused on my job as secretary of state today. Would you be okay all right let me ask you this, have you raised concerns. With russia. And its foreign, minister, lavrov, with respect to russia reportedly. Placing bounties. On the heads of service members in afghanistan. Well i want to be very careful about what's a public record, and what's, intelligence-based. But yes. I can assure you and the american people that each time i've spoken with foreign minister lavrov.
I've Raised all of the issues that put. Any american interest at risk whether that's our soldiers on the ground in syria. Soldiers, on the ground, in afghanistan. The activities, that are taking place in libya. The actions in ukraine, each and every one of these that. Potentially, threaten american interests or things that i raised, in my conversations, were taking place in libya. The actions in ukraine, each and every one of these that. Potentially, threaten american interests or things that i raised, in my conversations, with foreign minister lavrov and i speak with him with. Some frequency, i appreciate that answer i ask you specifically. Have you raised constant this is in the public sphere. I'm not talking about classification. Have you raised, their, public reports, very well documented. That the russians, were supposedly. Paying, bounties. To kill our service members have you raised that issue. With. Foreign minister lavrov. Senator, i'm going to be more careful than you're being with respect to the intelligence. I'm going to i'm going to tell you that make no mistake about it. The, proper people. Have been aware of every single threat to our soldiers on the ground in afghanistan, whether that was general miller. Or my team at the embassy, there in kabul. Anytime there was a tactical threat on the lives. Or the health of the safety and security, or our assets, in place, we have raised this with our russian counterparts, not only at my level. But, ambassador, sullivan. And every one of our team that interacts with the russians we've made very clear, our expectations. Let me turn to threaten us in afghanistan, let me turn to a few other questions. Uh. Maybe you can answer these just simply yes or no i think they're just factual, in nature. Did turkey purchase the s-400, system from the russian federation. Yes. Did turkey pay approximately, 2.5. Billion for that system. Senator, i'm not aware of the amount of the transaction. But they did pay them whatever the amount is right, senator i believe that's correct just, although senator let me just i apologize. I am not certain that the, uh, cash has been exchanged. Does the turkish government currently have the s 400, in its possession. It has an s 400, yes. Did turkey test the s 400 radar in an american build f-16, president. Raised, the s 400, with, uh president, erdogan. I don't talk about things that the president speaks about with foreign counterparts.
Uh. The, white house is free to do that if they choose but i'm, i'm not going so let me ask you a simple, question. You. Sent me a response just on monday. Saying that you take your responsibilities. Under cats as seriously, and that you fully intend to comply. With the law. Well all of these elements, clearly. Are in violation. Of cancer. So. Over. A year. Since, all of these facts. Have attached. When. Will the administration. Follow the law. And impose, cats or sanctions, on turkey. Center in response to the, turkish government's. Acquisition, of the s 400 we've taken, significant, actions. That have had a real impact on turkey we've pulled out, a very significant, weapons program that they were building significant, pieces of inside of turkey the f-35, program. And we continue, to evaluate. How to apply sanctions in order to achieve our end objective. Our end objective, isn't. To punish, it's to ensure that. Our nato partner. Acts in a way that's consistent with american national security and the security of our nato partners as well our diplomats, ambassador satterfield, on the ground, are working diligently, i had a very pointed, question. I know that you're a harvard, graduate, west point graduate, you know what my question was. It's not about everything else it's about cancer. But. You've decided, not to answer that so let me go to the final question. You had, the inspector, general. Of the state department, mr lennock. Ultimately, fired is that correct. I recommended. To the president that he be terminated, yes. And. You, recommended, it to, the president he be terminated, why because. He was conducting, investigations. That may affect you. The senator at the time i made the recommendation, to the president. I was unaware of any of the investigations. There were ongoing. That he had ongoing at the time with one exception. I was aware of an investigation, that he had asked me to. Provide testimony, i provided that testimony, other than that i was unaware of any investigation. It's not remotely, the reason. Was, your under secretary, mr bullet tale aware and didn't he speak to you about it. He did not speak to me about it well, you said that the ig was not performing, in the way he should have. Uh because. He wasn't following, in essence, what you wanted to. Well, inspector, generals, aren't supposed to follow. What the department, head wants to, they're supposed to be independent. In pursuit. Of their mission. Thank you mr chairman. Senator johnson. Mr secretary, welcome, thank you for your service. I think we can all acknowledge the world's a complex, and messy place. And as the ranking member said you know facts are stubborn. Things, and, administrations, have track records. Uh just a quick review, you came into office president trump came into office. With a big mess a lot of messes they had to clean up. Let me just quick go through them libya. A failed state, because of president, obama's, actions. Assyria, had gone from a few hundred dead over his administration, to. Basically a genocide, about a half million people killed in syria. Uh what i consider is one of the. Historic. Blunders. In foreign policy the removal of troops from from iraq, allowed. Isis to rise from the thoroughly defeated, ashes, of al qaeda in iraq. Crimea, had been illegally, annexed. Eastern ukraine. Invaded. And president, obama, did not provide the lethal defense of weaponry, on a unanimous, basis that congress. Authorized, him to do. North korea. Was. Rampantly, testing. Missiles, and. Their nuclear weapons iran, through that agreement, it changed their behavior. For the worst it emboldened, them and of course. Illegal, immigration. Primarily in the form of family units exploiting. Laws that weren't being enforced, in this country. Was exploding, so president trump came into office with a lot of foreign policy messes. By the way last time i looked. Under this administration, we started no new wars. We've destroyed. The physical caliphate, of isis. General suleimani. El baghdaddy. Are off the field. President trump actually provided those lethal defensive weaponry. The javelins, which help stabilize, the situation, in iran. And, quite honestly we've done a pretty good job at reducing, that, out of control, uh illegal immigration, from the southern border by.
Diplomacy, With guatemala, is one of one of the things that occurred there so, i think we have to put those track records, and compare them. And, talk honestly, about these things now, the ranking member has been pretty brutal. Uh regarding, the firing of inspector, general linuk. I was copied, on a. Letter that. Under secretary, management. Lulutalo. Wrote to. Mr horowitz. I've read it, it's. Somewhat complex, i just want to give you, an opportunity to talk about what happened and by the way i'm very sensitive. To, inspector, generals. Or trying to push inspector, generals to investigate, the leaks. Of these departments. Um. There were, 126. Leaks having to do with national security. In the first 125. Days of this administration. Uh that needs to be investigated. And i'm not, if you could describe, the leaks that you were concerned about, and exactly how inspector, general. Uh linux, didn't handle that the way you thought it should be handled. Sure. So thank you senator johnson. Let me just say i value inspectors, general as well i had a great relationship, with the inspector general at the caa, when i was there he did his job he took care of the team, he was critical of the agency when we got it wrong i know what, i know what a good ig can do, uh inspector general olynyk wasn't, that, uh the incident. You're referring to is that we had a very sensitive. Uh inspector general report. When the final draft was prepared. Uh it leaked. Uh the politico, reporter i think said it came from two people close to the investigation, that point, was basically, the ig's, office and a couple of others, that actually knew about it, in the full report, which had a real impact. On senior fish state department officials, lives. When we. Confronted, the inspector general he was defensive. We then asked him to undertake a process. He ignored, that request to inspect. To have a, separate ig come and investigate. It's, pretty complicated, but suffice it to say, uh, he didn't comply with the instructions, about how we felt that leak needed to be investigated.
So That we could have an independent investigator, do it and then he wasn't candid, about that process, either he, he didn't act with integrity, throughout that process in a way that. Inspector, generals have to be counted on to behave. Well i had my own issues with inspector general linuck i won't go into those. Right now i'm being falsely, senator grassley and i are being falsely accused, of. Peddling in russian disinformation. Because, of. Acting. Director of national intelligence, grinnell's, efforts to declassify. Four footnotes, in the, michael horowitz's, ig report, we now know that the russian disinformation. That was involved, in the 2016. Campaign. Was bought and paid for by the dnc. The clinton campaign, was in contained, in, the steele. Dossier. That that is the truth. That is the russian district, i've heard no outrage. On the part of our democratic, colleagues about that russian disinformation. But. We are, still under undergoing, our investigation. And we're trying to seek documents, out of the state. Department. Involved in that steele dossier, let me just ask you a specific question in october, 2016. Former state department official jonathan, weiner. Arranged for christopher steele to provide other state department officials, the anti-trump, dossier, he compiled for the dnc, in the clinton campaign. That same month mr weiner. Gave mr steele information, collected by clinton supporter, supporters. Which mr steele then passed on the fbi. This conduct, raises serious concerns. Under the hatch act, federal records act and other department, policies. Although. Although then ig, linux acknowledged conducting a review of this conduct, he has not published any of his findings and admitted that the oig, did not interview any of the key players. Are you aware of these issues and can you commit to the to, to commit that the department, will be responsive, to, our request from senator grassley and myself. We need these documents. Senator we will we'll do our best to be responsive, we understand the requests, we're working through it. And yes i'm i'm familiar with the information, that you. Set forth there with respect to the behavior, that took place, in october of 2016, in the state department.
Were There any other specific, incidents that caused you to, ask for the removal of inspector, general linux. Yes there were there were several. Look at the end it's about the core mission accomplishing, the core function. Uh we one of the central functions to make sure that we can represent, to you all that the, financial statement for the state department is accurate in full we have an audit team to do that, uh inspector, general, lennox screwed that up all read from the investigative, report it said oversight by the oig, was demonstrably. Ineffective. Ultimately, placing the department's, information, as well as the reputation. Human capital and operations, at considerable, and unnecessary, risk, that's an enormous failure for one of the most important tasks that the ig's office does conduct the audit, of the state department's. Books. There's a handful, of others. He, he refused to take care of his team in important, ways. There were 10 percent fewer. Audits of our posts around the world one of the most important functions, aside from the audit is to travel around the post and conduct audits to make sure they're, they're conducting, business appropriate we were down about 10 percent. And i must tell you morale, inside the ig's, office. Of all we have 38 assistant secretary. Level bureaus. The ig's, office was. The worst survey results, of any of those 38., he didn't take care of his people either, he also did not investigate, the improper, use of personal emails in the state department, which was rampant under the previous administration. Thank you so much. Senator cardin. Uh thank you mr chairman mr secretary, thank you for being here, yes sir. America's. Strength, is in our values. We are the global leader, for democratic. Values. We have been so recognized. And we've worked, with the international, community. As the leader of the free world. With, other countries, that share our values. And, we led in that and one of the best examples, was the passage, of the magnitsky. Sanctions, the global magnitsky. Which was, not just bipartisan. It was. Pretty much universal, here. In supporting, uh promoting u.s values, i'm, glad to work with the late senator, mccain. On the passage, of that legislation. And now canada. Europe. Australia. Are following, our leadership. To enforce. Universally. Recognized, democratic, values. So when the united states. Isolates, itself from our traditional, allies. It affects our credibility, as a global leader of the free world, in promoting, democratic. Values. So, when we pulled out of the climate, agreement, when we. Isolated, ourselves, on iran. When our trade policies, have been more, bilateral. Rather than working with other countries, in order to try. To advance. Our causes, against, non-market, economies, or government-controlled. Economies. All that affects america's, credibility. So, when i look at your budget. I see a decline, of 35, percent. In democracy. Funds.
To Me i don't understand, that cut. 35, percent, if we're going to be the leader, in democratic, values. But then i was pleased to hear you mention, as the first order of yours. Your remarks, today, human rights, and values, american, values. But i was disappointed, that to use the commission on the eligible rights, as the example. And i say that because. In my conversations. With human rights advocates, not just here but globally. They look at the united, states, trying to promote, a political. Agenda, on rights, rather than working with the international, community, the free world. On democratic. Principles. Of human rights. So tell me how this commission. Has engaged. The, activists. Globally, that are fighting every day for human rights. When it is very much tied, towards. A particular. Political, view rather than a universal, view, on human rights. Senator i appreciate, the answer to talk a little bit about the commission, and and the objective i set out now just over a year ago, with respect to it, i'd urge everyone to to take a look at it and read it i think they did phenomenal, work. I don't agree with everything that's in there i don't think any of the 10 members that came from, broad religious backgrounds, block broad political backgrounds i don't think any of the 10 of them agree with just everything in there. But what it set out to do was take on what is an enormous, crisis. In the 20th century's human rights project, we're in a really bad place, all around the world. And it was my view as i watched the state department our department our drl. All the folks who work on this who are great and amazing, people. I i watched as they they were unmoored, they didn't have a founding and so i wanted to go back and talk about how do we moor american. Foreign policy and american human rights policy in the traditions, of the united states and so that's what the commission was asked to do, well i guess what i don't understand, is what were you trying, what was the problem that you're trying to solve yes there's been there's been a great deal of debate, yes, in. Establishing. Universal, values of human rights, yes which has been the core, for democratic, states. And now all of a sudden we're picking winners and losers, but it looks like it's done on a political basis let me move, to a second subject if i might on arms sales. We have a proud tradition. Of making sure that, when we supply, arms. To other countries, that they're not used, against. Our human rights values. And we've seen in recent years, that arms. Provided, by the united states has ended up in the hands, of, actors, that we do not want to see, get those arms. What oversight, are you. Deploying. To make sure, that, arms that we make available, to other countries. Are used for the intended, purpose and do not end up, in the wrong. For the wrong use. Senator we have an elaborate. Process. To do our best to verify that that doesn't happen it's not that we don't, that we don't have escapes that there aren't failures it's certainly the case that's. That's been true for an awfully long time but we have an elaborate process too, to validate and verify. Uh we require, representations. We do verification, we do inspections, we have, big teams in our, mult in multiple departments that have responsibility. For doing their best to ensure that american weapons systems are used for their intended purpose when we sell them or provide them to our partners and allies around the world, let me make this offer i think this committee, can help you in that regards, and the, the jurisdictional, battle between, defense, and state, sometimes. Uh, presents. Challenges. States, it, has the principal, role for a good reason. There's some legislation, that i've authored, that would help in that regard. I would hope that you would engage, us, to give you the tools you need to take on it sometimes. The the military, aspects, of the defense department, that may not be as sensitive. To these values. Senator i appreciate that very much i do think the state department, is the proper place, to lodge the primary responsibility. For that activity, so i welcome your, efforts there. The gao. Recently, issued a report that i had requested, uh, in regards, to diversity. Uh and the reports, titled state department, additional steps are needed to identify, potential.
Barriers, To diversity. And they point out that from the period from 2002. Well before your time to 2018. We've seen a decline. Of minorities. In, positions, within the state department. And it's particularly, pronounced, within the higher ranks, what steps are you taking to implement the gao. Concerns. So senator i've seen that ga report i've seen the internal work we've done. I would characterize, it over the last that year we've talked about from 2002. Over the last decade roughly as flat. That that's not good enough. Uh. That that's multiple, parties this is not partisan at all we want to get this right, uh we've we've undertaken a number of things we have about a third. Today, of our members who are minorities. Excuse me about, a 44. Of them are women. Uh. We've developed the pickering wrangle program to bring more people in we had double the applications, this year, we have a big team that works on diversity, inclusion. We're, almost finished. With a major study that was begun now i think 13 months ago run by carol perez our djhr. To look at, to look at what the failures there's been a lot of money and effort on diversity inclusion over this last decade with to your point, uh relatively. Good, outcomes, for, acquisition, of new. Talented, people, um but less so at the senior levels, trying to identify, why we haven't, i hope we could, work together on that, last point just the point in western hemisphere, on the ranking. I would just urge you, to evaluate. Working with us on the aid to the northern triangle, to make sure that they have the help from, the united states to deal with the economic, issues, which takes away the pressure and migration, from the northern triangle. Thank you mr chairman. Thank you senator cardin senator gardner. Thank you mr chairman thank you secretary, for your service and being here today over the, last several years on the asia subcommittee. We've been working together, on this committee to shape a new policy toward the indo-pacific. The region obviously is burgeoning, in population. And promising, commercial growth, and it's critical for global security. And economic, stability. But north korea continues, to seek nuclear weapons and to threaten its neighbors. China is emerging, is an emerging, global power that's intimidating, its neighbors brutally, suppressing, its own citizens, and attempting to remake the world to order. In its own image. In burma the military, is committing grievous, human rights abuses against the minority rohingya population. It's more important than ever that the united states maintains, a presence in the indo-pacific, region reaffirms, alliances, encourages, economic, cooperation, and promotes, human rights, and the rule of law. The administration, in congress must be united on implementing a long-term, strategy, that will benefit american national security interests promote american businesses, and create jobs through trade promotion. And opportunities. And project, american values, of respect for the human rights and freedom in the indo-pacific. Region. This includes countering china's, growing militarization, of the south china seas. And increasing malign influence in southeast, asia as well as ensuring that complete verified, and irreversible. Denuclearization. Is achieved on the korean peninsula. Peninsula, as codified, in u.s law. The united states has always been and will always remain, a pacific, power, and legislation, like my asia reassurance, initiative act or arya. Ensures that the u.s government will speak with one voice to reassure, our, allies, and to deter, our adversaries. In the indo-pacific. Region. In 2018, the asia subcommittee held a three-part hearing series, we talked about, democracy, human rights and rule of law. We found that mass concentration, camps for, uighur muslims necessitated.
A Serious response from the u.s and the international community that crackdowns, in the tibet, autonomous, region are intensifying, while beijing continues to. Refuse. Negotiations, with the central tibetan, administration, that human rights defenders, in china, are routinely, jailed and tortured, i was obviously pleased to see that several chinese officials were, sanctioned for abuses against uyghurs and even in the 11. Chinese entities implicated in similar abuses were added to the commerce department's, entity list but what is the administration. Doing to, address. More, further, global magnitude. Sanctions, and other. Remedies for these abuses. So senator gardner. Thanks and. We're i'm familiar with area, it's great work and i want to thank, uh this committee and and frankly a broader group of senators for the bipartisan, legislation. That we had with respect to the uyghurs in respect to hong kong democracy, as well, it's very powerful when i can talk to my counterparts, around the world and say that i have, not only the support of congress but, bipartisan. Almost unanimous, support, on our policy with respect to securing, freedom. Against the threats that the chinese communist party, is presenting. As for what we'll continue, to do, uh in western china with respect to. Uh, the. Horrific, human rights violations, that are taking place against. The ethnic minorities, there, i don't want to get in front of the final decisions but you can rest assured that there are. Further actions, including, further actions with respect to human rights violations, that, the department of state department, treasurer, are working to complete. Mr secretary, yesterday i don't know if you had a chance to see some of the hearing in the house of representatives. Regarding, some of the tech companies. Uh operating the united states and, i'll read you some of the comments they made when asked whether or not china. Is. Stealing. Information. From them. Apple ceo tim cook said he had no personal knowledge about chinese, technology, theft. Jeff bezos, has no. First-hand. Experience. Beyond knockoff, products. Google, ceo. Has said that. They didn't have any experience later. Had, clarified, that remark can you talk a little bit about. Tech and china and what you see what's happening, is, is it true that there's no, chinese technology, theft of u.s companies. Well they need to get out more. I mean there's a long history, decades, long history. Of chinese intellectual, property threat including against. Technologies. And i hear it, it's sometimes the case you hear privately. Because there's continued, threats made against their businesses that are operating not only in china. But threats the to businesses, are, they're actually, working in other parts of, asia and southeast, asia as well, the chinese communist party is. Uh. Completely, willing. To bully and to threaten. To get companies to behave do you work with these tech companies at state department, on. Intellectual, property theft cyber attack those kinds of things we do, and we work closely with them and on the side of on the side of protecting, cyber, we've actually had some good work where we've worked alongside, each other on important projects where we have reduced, risk, and so i thank them for that but but the idea that anyone, in, in the tech space could not know of what the chinese communist party is, attempting to steal and the cyber attacks they're making.
Seems Incredulous. In march of this year, as related to some chinese misinformation. And. The spread dissemination. Of misinformation. When it came to, uh. The, covet 19. Propaganda. China was spreading, i suggested, the national security council set up a task force at the white house to counter that. Disinformation. Are the tech companies doing enough to combat, chinese. Disinformation. No there's, always more that they can do there's more we can do as well on that particular, front i must say, i actually think the world mounted, a, very effective, counter campaign, against the chinese disinformation. As i as i've traveled, and as i've spoken to my counterparts. I think the world understands that this virus emanated, from china. From wuhan, in particular. And i think the world understands, that the chinese. Communist party showed up with ppe, that didn't work. And covered up what they knew about that when they could have prevented, this spread so i think, i think the chinese efforts of disinformation. There actually failed in this case. The. Taiwan. Situation, i wanted to just ask a question about, bilateral, trade agreements. And opportunities, for, taiwan yesterday i sent a letter to. U.s trade representative. Lighthizer. Ambassador, lighthizer, asking for the us to begin engaging, in a, bilateral, trade agreement with, taiwan. Can you talk a little bit about the administration's. Pursuit, of such an agreement. Senator, i'd prefer to leave that to ambassador lighthauser, to talk about that we're aware that there's great interest in this, uh the state department will have its part in that, but our our primary. Work with respect to taiwan, is. Is different from the the trade piece of this we've, we've been diligent, about making sure that we honor the commitments, that we have made to the people of taiwan including. Uh proving arms sales that are important, so that the taiwanese, can engage, in the activities that they need to do, so they can protect their democracy.
And The administration's. Goal of complete verifiable. Irreversible. Denuclearization. Of the korean peninsula, remains. It does thank you, sure. Thank you senator gardner senator shaheen. Thank you mr chairman and thank you mr secretary, for being here today. Were you involved, in the decision, to withdraw, troops from germany. Yes. According, to secretary, esper, 6400. Of those troops so over half, of those who will be removed from germany. Will be coming back to the united states they're not going to be going to. Parts of europe to deter russia, to parts of asia to deter china. In fact the only country, that has publicly, supported, the removal. Of. U.s troops from germany. To date, has been russia. So. Can you, share with us. Whether. The impact of this decision, on our efforts to counter, china and russia. Was taken into account. And. Was there any sort of strategic. Assessment, done to support this decision. Senator shaheen thanks, for the question, of course there was and we were very involved at the uh strategic, level obviously. Uh the troop level decisions, and the like are primary the department of defense in the president's role. Uh, you characterized, the folks who were coming back to the united states. Um. As somehow being off the off the field that's not the case. These units will participate, in rotational, activity they'll be forward deployed. Uh they won't be stationed, or garrisoned. But make no mistake about it they will be fully available. To ensure that we can properly. Uh prosecute. The challenges, we have from the, uh, global, powers. Well mr secretary, i i, i assume that all of our troops, who are, in the united states, are available, to be forward deployed. Now i recognize, that there are certain training, that needs to. Be part of. Them before. They are deployed, but. But i guess i, i don't understand. And, was. The. Effect, of diplomatically. Alienating. Germany, who is the. Largest, and wealthiest, country in the eu. Who has been. A. Historic, strategic, ally, was that also taken into consideration. Maybe not this is personal for me i i fought on the border, of east germany when i was a young soldier i was stated yes i'm aware of that yeah and your unit is coming back to the united states i i know it had been back once before to fort polk and then went back to germany, uh when i was there there were six figures of soldiers there germany is no longer a front-line, state. As for as far as strategic effort general secretary, stoltenberg. Nato, commander. Was, very much in the process, of helping us think this through i saw comments out of russia this morning that are different than you described. That viewed the actions that we took as threatening. Because we will have, soldiers, that are deployed. Closer, to the russian, border. Yes we, this was a thoughtful process. Uh the military, piece of this run out of the pentagon, largely, but santa barbara was fully, involved in the strategic, pieces of this, and i am very confident, that our mission. To deter russia the nato mission to tour russia, we are still fully capable of executing, the the precise number was 200, 000 early about a hundred and some thousand when i was there. Conditions, have changed around the world and our forces need to be, repositioned.
To Appropriately, confront today's challenges. Well i i would just read from a report, in bloomberg. That quotes, um. Dmitry, peskov. Who was the. Press secretary, for. Vladimir, putin who says that. And i quote the fewer american soldiers, on the european, continent. The calmer, it is in europe, peskov, said answering a question on planned us troop reductions. In germany. That doesn't sound to me like they think that, this increases, the threat. From russia. But, i'd like to go on to another. Issue, because i want to follow up on the question that secretary, menendez, raised, or senator menendez, raised, about. The. Reports. On, bounties. That russia has put on, our troops, in. Afghanistan. By the taliban. And. I there was a report, last night, that said that state officials. Have. Secretly, warned russia. Against. Bounties, on our troops, against killing our troops. What more, do you think we should be doing, to address, that to prevent. The taliban. And russia, from. Trying to, murder our troops in afghanistan. So. There are many things and we've been engaged in them consistently. Uh there's intelligence, collection so that if it happens we can identify, it stop it make sure that the actual tactical, event doesn't take place. Uh that's the task of not, not only dod intelligence, services, but. Our broader, intelligence, services. Our diplomats, too make very clear our expectations, and set a set of red lines, and then we have our larger afghanistan, policy it's not just russia. That has been underwriting the taliban, for all these years i know there's an awful lot of focus on that in this town, but let me tell you at the state department department of defense we're worried about iranian, support to the taliban, we're worried about gulf money coming to the taliban, we are working i totally agree with that we are working diligently, against, every one of those threats both diplomatically. And from a security perspective, to protect our soldiers and then finally. To protect our soldiers further, we've been working diplomatic, to get peace and reconciliation. In afghanistan. And we have a ceasefire, that began at the start of idahoada. We've now had a significant, prisoner exchange. Since february 29th, the agreement entered into we haven't had a single attack, against an american, soldier. This is the finest, in american diplomacy, and i'm incredibly proud, of what my team has done my state department team has done, to protect american soldiers. So do you think it would be helpful, for president trump to. Talk to vladimir, putin, and. Tell him that. He needs to back off in terms of. Paying, the taliban, to kill american troops. I always leave to the president. What he wants to say to other leaders, i don't think there's, any doubt, in the mind of every russian leader including vladimir, putin about the expectations. Of the united states of america not to kill americans. And i can promise you, that the 300, russians who were in syria. And, who took action, that threatened america, who are no longer on this planet, understand, that too. When you were here. Last time, we talked about, the. Potential, for negotiations. With the taliban, in afghanistan. That was, before an agreement was reached. And, there was an exchange, that you and i had, about the role of. Afghan, women, in any talks with the taliban. And, you said that afghan, women should fend for themselves. Well, we've seen the outcome. Of our reticence. To. Support, afghan women the agreement between the u.s and the taliban, failed to mention the rights of afghan women and it contains, no guarantees, for their continued, constitutional. Protection. Is the policy, to have afghan women. For themselves. Consistent, do you believe with the legal mandate, for the u.s to support them, and i quote the meaningful, inclusion, of women. In peace talks as directed by the women peace and security, act, that was signed into law by president trump. I'd have to go look and see what i said, um. No we we're doing our level best to make sure that we protect, every afghan, male and female, and i have seen. The at least tentative, composition, of the afghan, negotiating. Team. And. I think you'll be pleased with it. Um well i'm out of time but the fend for themselves, is an exact quote from your, statement. When you were before this committee. Thank you mr chairman thank you senator shaheen. Uh. Mr secretary, uh, people always say actions speak louder than words. Do you think the specific, action the united states of america took against general solomoni. Sent a message. To every country on this planet of what would happen to people who. Targeted. United states soldiers.
On The battlefield. I do. Thank you senator. Romney. Thank you mr secretary. It's a pleasure to see you and appreciate, you, appearing before this committee. I'm uh i'm one of many. Who, applauds, your recent, addresses. With regards, to china. In these you have called out their predatory, behavior. Economic. Military. Geopolitic. Geopolitical. And you note that we have to confront, china with our friends and allies, if we're going to be successful. In diverting, them from their course of predation. It's a very welcome, assessment. A very clear-eyed. Evaluation. Of china's, intent, and their actions. And a a. Statement, of what our mission must be with regards to china. It's also a welcome departure, from, the president's, uh, uh. Fawning, praise of xi jinping, and, and celebration. Of agreements, that that. China hasn't honored. It's also in my view uh consist, inconsistent, with actions that we've taken that have offended our allies. At a time we need to be drawing them closer to us. Um, and, one of course is the steel and aluminum tariffs. Against our friends and allies that i thought were, misplaced. I would have rather focused, our, entire, ammunition. On. On china. The other of course is most recently, is as senator shaheen has just indicated the withdrawal, of troops in germany. Uh and doing so while expressing. An. An attempt, to, punish. Germany for the fact that they spend, approximately, one and a half percent of their gdp, on their military, as opposed to the two percent nato. Target. Even though they've indicated, that they are on track to get to the two percent number. Uh i have heard from, highest, levels, of the german government. That this is seen by them as an insult. To germany. And i can't imagine, at a time when we need to be drawing, in our friends and allies so that we can. Collectively. Confront, china. That we want to insult them. My question is this however which is what what actions. Will the administration. Take, to re to bring our allies, together, in a way that's different than what we've done in the past i mean i i know that we there's always lots of talk going on and any administration, can talk about all the things happening but but what are we going to do that's, distinct. That's different that's dramatic, to bring the. The nations that follow the rule of law together. So that we can hopefully, reach some kind of a a common approach, or common, strategy, and how we're going to deal with china, economically. Militarily, geopolitically. And then. Collectively, confront them, with the, intent, of dissuading. Them. From pursuing the course that they're on.
We Obviously don't want to you know. Go to war economically. Militarily, or otherwise. But we do want to dissuade, them and and and i think that could only happen. When, we are and, as you pointed out when we can do that with others i i would note something you, uh. You said at the nixon library you said quote maybe it's time. For a new grouping, of like-minded. Nations, a new alliance, of democracies. And, i think that's a good idea but i'm interested in what what actions. Of a new and dramatic, nature. Are you considering, or are you willing to take in order to accomplish. The objective you. Described. It is absolutely, the case that uh the to confront the chinese communist party is going to take a a global effort. Uh that's absolutely true it's why i talked about this idea perhaps. Of a new alliance of democracies, what shape that would take uh there's lots of discussion about had many conversations, with, friends in the region. Step one senator to be honest with you, has been to awaken the world to this threat, for, an awful long time, not just the united states but the whole world. Saw that there were lucrative, opportunities, in china, and. That was that was basically, foreign policy, sell as much as you can. Outsource. Uh jobs. Uh build supply chains and so. I spent my first year, and change. Travel in the world, trying, to. Raise awareness, of the threat. So that i i think that's new and different you may say it's not enough. But it wasn't happening, before. And i, went through the list of things that have begun to turn the tide. I will say, there are still nations who understand this threat but don't feel like they are empowered, that they're in a position where they can withstand the threats that come from the chinese communist party so we are working, for diplomats, trying to build out, a set of relationships, and whether that's part of a formal organization, or not. I i'm, not sure i know the answer to yet, but to convince them convince them that america is prepared to leap, in pushing back against the chinese communist party and when they do we will be there to support them, and so i could list you. We have some 26, lines of effort at the state department, probably an equal amount at the department of defense. Uh all aim centrally, building out this whole set of, alliances. Both in southeast, asia more broadly with our five ice partners and with the quad. To build out a set of commitments. That can robustly, communicate, to the chinese communist party that, enough, and you have to behave on the global stage if you want to behave on the global stage you've got to do it under a set of rules. That has created so much prosperity, around the world. That may be unsatisfying, center romney, but there's still is still a real work in progress, to get. Everyone, fully aligned, i mentioned the eu dialogue, very important. Uh foreign minister, burrell high representative, burrell. Asked me if we would have a dialogue with them on china, that took a lot of effort. To get 27, eu nations to say yes this is something we've got to confront to identify as a systemic, rival. There's, lots of spade work that goes into what seems pretty simple i suppose. I i think it's the most important work uh, that uh that we will be doing as a as a country and as an administration, as we face this challenge.
Uh Just a parenthetical, comment, that comes to mind as you're speaking and that relates to, uh a, discussion that was held earlier with regards to tech companies that senator johnson raised, i know there's great interest. Sometimes politically, to go after some of the big tech companies. Google, amazon, and so forth and facebook, and, and berate them for their market power and if they violate american antitrust, laws why that's totally appropriate. But i would note that we're in a global competition. And and china has been successful, in driving a lot of western, companies, out of business they've not been successful, in driving companies like these out of business. These are thriving, and succeeding. And the last thing we ought to be doing is trying to knock down businesses, in the united states that are succeeding, on a global stage. Uh so we need to be careful. Uh, not to, to, flex our muscle to berate. Uh those, those entities, that are successful, and are beating uh, china, i mean alibaba. Would like to replace, amazon. Tick tock would like to replace, uh instagram. Uh. So. It's just an area of concern and i hope that you're able to point these things out to other members the administration, who care deeply about that, finally were you surprised by the fact that what was it 57, countries. Supported. China 53, countries supported. China's crackdown. On, hong kong did that shock you as it did me. I was surprised, and dismayed. Thank you mr, mr secretary. Thank you senator romney, senator coons. Thank you mr chairman, ranking member, uh for holding this important hearing today and. Thank you mr secretary. Let me just, start with two specific, issues if i can that i think, are important, i. Want to. Want to associate, myself with a number of other areas that have been explored, but, let me touch on these two. I'm working with members of this committee. And your department. To resolve, terrorism-related. Claims against sudan, which is in the middle of a critical democratic. Transition. To provide justice