tv Secretary of State Pompeo Testifies on 2021 Budget Request - Part 1 CSPAN July 31, 2020 5:56am-7:26am EDT
the ground are working diligently. >> i had a 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 caatsa. you've decided not to answer that. the final question, you had the inspector general of the state department, mr. linick, ultimately fired, that is that correct? >> i recommended to the president he be terminated, yes. >> you recommended it to the president he be terminated why? because he was conducting investigations that may affect you? >> senator, at the time i made the recommendation to the president i was unaware of any of the investigations that he had ongoing at the time with one exception i was aware of an investigation he 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 undersecretary aware
and didn't he speak to you about it? >> he did not speak to me about it. >> well, you said that the i.g. was not performing in the way he should have 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. thanks for your service. i think we can acknowledge the world is a complex and messy place and facts are stubborn things and the administration has track records. a quick review, you came into office, president trump came into office with a big mess, a lot of messes, you had to clean up. libya, a failed state because president obama's actions, syria had gone from a few hundred dead over his administration to
basically a genocide, about a half million killed in syria, what i consider as one of the historic blunders in foreign policy, the removal of troops from iraq allowed isis to rise from the defeated ashes of al qaeda in iraq. crimea, eastern ukraine invaded and president obama did not provide the lethal defensive 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, changed their behavior for the worst. it emboldened them. illegal immigration, primarily in the form of family units exploiting laws that weren't being enforced was exploding. president trump came into office with foreign policy messes. under this administration we started no new wars. we've destroyed the physical caliphate of isis.
general sue la manny, al baghdadi are off the field. president trump actually provided those lethal defensive weaponry, the javelins, which helped stabilize the situation in iran, and quite honestly we've done a pretty good job at reducing that out-of-control illegal immigration from the southern border by diplomacy with guatemala as one of the things that occurred there. i think we have to put those track records and compare them and talk honestly about these things. the ranking member has been brutal regarding the fire of inspector general linick. i was copied on a letter that undersecretary of management wrote to mr. horowitz. i've read it. it's somewhat complex. i want to give you an opportunity to talk about what happened -- by the way, i'm very sensitive to inspector generals or trying to push inspector generals to investigate leaks
out of these departments. there were 126 leaks having to do with national security in the first 125 days of this administration. that needs to be investigated and if you could describe the leaks you were concerned about and how inspector general linick 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 and had a great relationship which the inspector general at the cia, when i was there he took care of the critical and -- team and i know what a good i.g. can do. the incident you're referring to we had a very sensitive inspector general report when the final draft was prepared, it leaked. the politico reporter i think said it came from two people close to the investigation. at that point it was basically the i.g.'s office and a couple others that knew about it which
had a real impact on senior state department officials lives. when we confronted the inspector general he was defensive. we asked him to undertake a process. he ignored that request to have a separate i.g. come and investigate. it's pretty complicated but suffice it to say 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 he wasn't candid about that process either. he didn't act with integrity throughout that process in the way inspector generals have to be counted on to be hive. >> i have my own issues with inspector general linick. senator grassley and i are falsely accused of peddling in russian disinformation because of acting director of national intelligence grenell's effort to declassify four footnote in the michael her row witz i.g. report
the russian disinformation involved in the campaign was bought and paid for by the dnc, the clinton campaign was contained in the steele dossier. that is the truth. that is the russian disinformation. i have heard no outrage on the part of our democratic colleagues about that russian disinformation. but we are still undergoing our investigation and we're trying to seek documents out of the state department involved in that steele dossier. let me ask you a question, in october 2016, former state department official jonathan weiner arranged for christopher steele to provide the antitrump dossier he compiled for the dnc. mr. winer gave mr. steele information collected by supporters which mr. steele passed on to the fbi. this conduct raises serious concerns under the hatch act, federal records act and other department policies. although then i.g. linick
acknowledged conducting review of this conduct he has not published any of his findings and admitted the oig did not interview any of the key players. are you aware of these issues and can you commit to the -- commit that the department will be responsive to our requests from senator grassley and myself? we need these documents. >> senator, we'll do our best to be responsive. we understand the requests. we're working through it and yes, i am 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 instances that caused you to ask for the removal of inspector general linick. >> there were several. at the end it's about accomplishing the core function. one of the central functions is to make sure we can represent to you all the financial statement for the state department is accurate and full, we have an audit team to do that. inspector general linick screwed that. it said oversight by the oig was ineffective, 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 i.g.'s office does conduct an audit of the state department's books. there's a handful of others. he refused to take care of his team in important ways. 10% fewer audits of our posts around the world, one of our most important funks is to travel around conduct audits. we were down about 10% and i must tell you morale inside the i.g.'s office of all we have 38 assistant secretary level bureaus the i.g.'s office was the worst survey results of any of those 38. he didn't take care of his people either. >> he did not investigate the improper use of personal e-mails in the state department which was rampant under the previous information. >> thank you, senator johnson. senator cardin. >> 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. we've worked with the international community as the leader of the free world, with other countries that share our values. we led in that and one of the best examples was the passage of the magnitsky sanctions, the global, which was not just bipartisan, it was pretty much universal here supporting promoting u.s. values. i'm gad to work with the late senator mccain on the passage of that legislation and now canada, europe, australia, are all 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. 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 to try to advance our causes against nonmarket economies or government controlled economies, all that affects america's credibility. when i look at your budget i see a decline of 35% in democracy funds. to me i don't understand that cut, 35%. 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 your remarks today human rights and american values, but i was disappointed that you used the commission of inalienable rights as an example. in my conversations with human rights advocates not just here but globally they look at 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. tell me how this commission has engaged the activists globally that are fighting every ta for human rights when it is very much tied towards a particular mill view rather than a universal view on human rights. >> senator, i appreciate the question to talk about the commission and the objective i set out, not just over a year with respect to it. i would urge everyone to take 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 ten members that came from religious or political backgrounds agreed with everything in there, but what it set out to do was take on what is an enormous crisis in the 20th century human rights project. we're in a bad place all around the world. it was my view as i watched the state department, our drl, all the folks who work on this, great and amazing people, i watched as they were -- they didn't have a founding.
i wanted to talk about how do we moor american human rights policies in the tradition of the united states. that's what the commission was asked to do. >> what were you trying -- what is the problem you're trying to solve? >> yes. >> there's been a great deal of debate. >> yes. >> in establishing universal values of human rights 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. 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. 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 doesn't happen. it's not that we don't have escapes that there aren't fail yours but we have a process to validate and verify. we do verification and inspections and big teams in our multiple departments that have responsibility for doing their best to ensure that american weapon systems are used for their intended purpose and 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 injur injur jurisdictional battle presents challenges. state has the principal role for a good reason. legislation i've authored that would help in that regard. i would hope you would engage us to give you the tools you need to take on at some times the military aspects of the defense
department that may not be as sensitive to these values. >> senator, i appreciate that very much. i 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 in regards to diversity and the report titled state department additional steps are needed to identify potential barriers to diversity and point out from the period of 2002, well before your time, 2018, we've seen a decline of minorities in positions within the state department and pronounced within the higher ranks. what steps are you taking to implement the gao concerns? >> i've seen that report and internal work we've done. i would characterize it you're talking about from 2002 over the last decade as roughly flat. that's not good enough. that's multiple parties, not
pattern, partisan. we have about a third today of our members who are minorities -- excuse me, about 44% of them are women. we've developed a program to bring more people in and double the applications this year. big team that works on diversity and inclusion and we're almost finished with a major study begun now i think 13 months ago run by carol perez to look at what the failures -- a lot of money and efforts on diversity and inclusion to your point relatively good outcomes for akz acquisition of talented people but less so at the higher levels. >> i hope we can work together on that. last point the point on the western hemisphere, i would urge you to evaluate working with us on the aid to the northern triangle to make sure they have the help from the united states to deal with the economic issues which takes away the pressure
from the northern triangle. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you senator cardin. >> thank you, secretary, for your service. 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 is burgeoning in population, 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 an emerging global power intimidating its neighbors, suppressing its citizens and remake the world order in its own image. in burma the military is committing human rights abuses against the minority population. it's more important than ever the united states maintains a presence, reaffirms alliance, encourages cooperation and promotes human rights and the rule of law. the administration and congress must be united on implementing the strategy that will benefit american national security interests, promote american
businesses and create jobs and opportunities, and project american values of respect for the human rights and freedom in the indo-pacific region. this includes counter china's milt tarization of the south china saes and maligned influences in southeast asia and ensuri ensuring denuclearization. the united states has been a pacific power and like my act 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 agency subcommittee held a hearing series. we talked about democracy, human rights and rule of law. we found that mass concentration camps for uyghur muslims necessitated a response from the u.s. and the international community. the crackdowns are intensifying and beijing continues to refuse negotiations with the central tibetan administration. the human rights defenders in
china are jailed and tortured. i was pleased to see that several chinese officials were sanctioned for abuses against uyghurs and the 11 chinese entities in abuses were added to the commerce entity list. what is the administration doing to address global sanctions and other remedies for these abuses? >> senator gardner, thanks. we're -- i'm familiar and it's great work and i want to thank this committee and frankly the broader group of senators for the bipartisan legislation with respect to the uyghurs and hong kong and democracy as well. it's very powerful when i can talk to my counterparts and say i have not only the support of congress but almost unanimous support on a policy with respect to securing freedom against the threats that the chinese communist party is presenting. for what we'll continue to do in western china with respect to 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 there are further actions, including further actions with respect to human rights violations that the department of state and department of treasure are working to complete. >> mr. secretary, yesterday, i don't know if you had a chance to see the hearing in the house of representatives regarding some of the tech companies operating in the united states and i will read you some of the comments 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 says no firsthand experience beyond knockoff products. google ceo said that they didn't have any experience, later had clarified that remark. can you talk about the tech and china and what you see and what's happening? 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, against including technologies, and i hear it. sometimes the case you hear privately because there's continued threats made against their businesses operating not only in china but threats to businesses that are actually working in other parts of asia an southeast asia as well. the chinese communist party is completely willing to bully and threaten to get companies to behave -- >> do you work with these tech companies at state department on intellectual property theft, cyber attack? >> we do. on the side of protecting cyber, we've actually had some good work where we worked alongside each other where we have reduced risks. i thank them for that. the idea that anyone 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 incred dlus. >> in march this year as it related to chinese misinformation and the dissemination of misinformation when it came to the covid-19 propaganda china was spreading, i suggested that 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 and we can do as well. on that front i must say i actually think the world mounted a very effective counter campaign against the chinese disinformation. as i have traveled and spoken to my counterparts, i think the world understand this virus emanated from china, wuhan in particular, and the world understand that chineses 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. i think the chinese efforts of disinformation 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 light houser asking for the u.s. 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 would prefer to leave that to ambassador lighthouser to talk about that. we're aware there's great interest in this. the state department will have its part in that. our primary work with respect to taiwan is different from the trade piece of this. we've been diligent about making sure that we honored the commitments that we have made to the people of taiwan, including approving arms sales that are important so that the taiwanese can engage to protect their democracy. >> the administration's goal of complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula remains? >> it does. >> thank you senator gardner. senator shaheen.
>> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you mr. secretary for being here today. were you involved in the decision to withdraw troops from germany? >> yes. >> according to senator 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, parts of asia to deter china. in fact, the only country that is 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 kooi decision to impact china and russia was taken into account and was there any strategic assessment done to support this decision? >> thanks for the question. of course there was and we were very involved at the strategic level. obviously the troop level
decisions and the like are primarily the department of defense and the president's. you characterized the folks who were coming back to the united states as somehow being off the field. that's not the case. these units will participate in rotational activity, forward deployed, they won't be stationed or garrisoned but they will be fully available to ensure that we can properly prosecute the challenges we have from the global powers. >> mr. secretary, 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 i guess 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? >> this is personal for me. i fought on the border of east germany when i was a young soldier. >> i'm aware of that. and your unit is coming back to the united states. >> i know. it had been once before to fort poke and then back to germany. germany is no longer a frontline state. as for strategic effort, generale secretary stoltenberg, nato commander, was in the process of helping us think this through. i saw comments out of russia this morning that are different that viewed the actions we took as threatening because we will have soldiers deployed closer to the russian border. this is a thoughtful process. the military piece run out of the pentagon largely, but state department was fully involved in this strategic pieces of this. i am very confident our mission to deter russia, the nato mission to deter russia we are capable of executing. the precise number 200,000
early, about 100,000 when i was there. our forces need to be repositioned to appropriately confront today's challenges. >> well i would just fraeread fa report in bloomberg that quotes dimitri peskov, 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 he said, answering a question on planned u.s. troop reductions in germany. that doesn't sound to me like they think this increases the threat from russia. but i would like to go on to another issue because i want to follow-up on the question that secretary menendez -- senator menendez raised about the reports on bounties that russia has put on our troops in afghanistan by the taliban, and 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. 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. that's the task of not only d.o.d. intelligence services but our broader intelligence services. our diplomats do make very clear our expectations and set a set of red lines. our afghanistan policy, it's not just russia that has been underwriting the taliban all these years. there's a lot of focus on that in this town. we're worried about iranian
support to the taliban, gulf money to the taliban. >> i totally agree with that. >> we are working diligently against every one of those threats diplomatically and from a security perspective to protect our soldiers. finally to protect our soldiers further we've been working diplomatically to get peace and reconciliation in afghanistan, we had a cease fire that began, we've had a significant prisoner exchange since february 29th we haven't had a single attack against an american soldier. this is the finest in american diplomacy and i'm 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 in syria that took action that 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. 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 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 fend for themselves consistent, do you believe, with the legal mandate for the u.s.
to support 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 would have to look and see what i said. we're doing our level best to make sure 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. >> 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. mr. secretary, people always say actions speak louder than words. do you think the specific actions the united states of america took against general soleimani took action to what would happen to people who targeted soldiers on the battlefield? >> i do.
>> senator romney. >> thank you. mr. secretary, it's a pleasure to see you and appreciate you appearing before this committee. 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, 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. it's a very welcome assessment, a very clear eyed evaluation of china's intent and their actions, and a statement of what our mission must be with regards to china. it's also a welcome departure from the president's fawning praise of xi jinping and celebrations of agreements that china hasn't honored. it's also my view, inconsistent with actions that we've take than have offended our allies at
a time when we need to be drawing them closer to us 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 china. the other is most recently as senator shaheen has indicated the withdraw of troops from germany and doing so while expressing an intent to punish germany for the fact that they spend approximately 1.5% of their gdp as opposed to the 2% nato target even though they indicate they are on track to get to the 2% number. i have heard from the highest levels of german government that this is seen 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 we can collectively confront china we want to insult them. my question is this, what actions will the administration
take to bring our allies together in a way that's different than what we've done in the past? i know it's always lots of talk going on in any administration can talk about the things happening but what are we going to do that's distinct, different, dramatic to bring the nations that follow the rule of law together so that we can hopefully reach some kind of a common approach or common strategy in 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 we' they're on. we don't want to go to militarically or economically or moist, but we want to dissuade them but that can only happen when we can do that with others. i would note something you said at the nixon library, quote, maybe it's time for a new groupings of like-minded nations a new alliance of democracies.
i think that's a good idea but i'm interested in what actions of a new and dramatic nature are you considering or willing to take in order to accomplish the objective you described? >> senator, it is absolutely the case that to confront the chinese party it's going to take a global effort. that's true. that's why i talked about this idea perhaps of a new alliance of democracies, what shape that would take. there's lots of discussions about, many conversations with friends in the region. step one, senator, to be honest has been to awaken the world to the threat for an awful long time, not just the united states, but the whole world saw that there was lucrative opportunities in china and that was outsource jobs, build supply chains. i spent my first year and change trying to raise awareness of the threat. you may say it's not enough but
i went through the list of things that turn the tide. there are still nations who understand the threat but don't feel empowered but are in a position to withstand threats from the chinese communist party so we are working on a buildout of a set of relationships. whether that is a formal organization or not i am not sure i know the answer but to convince them america is prepared but we will be there to support them. 26 lines at the state department, a set in southeast asia with the quad to build out a set of commitments that can robustly communicate enough. if you want to behave on the global stage you have to do it
under a set of rules that created prosperity around the world. that may be unsatisfying but any work in progress to get everyone fully aligned, i mentioned the eu dialogue, high representative burrell asking if we have a dialogue with china, to say this is something we have got to confront, identify as a systemic rival. it goes into what is simple. >> the most important as a country and administration as we face this challenge. a parenthetical comment relates to tech companies senator johnson raised, there is great interest politically to go after the big tech companies, google, amazon, facebook and the rate them for their market power, it is totally appropriate but we are in a
global competition and shine is successful in driving western companies out of business but not companies like these, these are thriving and succeeding in the last thing we ought to do is knock down businesses in the united states that are succeeding on the global stage. we need to be careful not to deflect our muscle but to be rate those entities that are beating china. ali baba would like to replace amazon. tick-tock would like to replace instagram. an area of concern i hope you can point out to other members of the administration. were you surprised that 57 countries supported china, 53 countries supported china's crackdown of hong kong, did that shock you as it did me?
>> i anticipate. >> thank you, mister romney. >> ranking member, thank you for holding this hearing today. let me start with two specific issues that are important. i want to associate myself with other areas that have been explored and let me touch on these two. working with members of the committee and department to resolve claims against sudan which is in the middle of a critical democratic transition to provide justice and compensation for 700 care victims and family members and move bilateral relationship forward after 30 years under the brutal dictatorship of omar albert shearer. i want to urge you to support prime minister hammdock and to seize this opportunity to bring justice to the victims and american families and foreign nationals involved in build a
new democratic partner in the region. have you engaged on this issue and can you commit to working transparently with congress as we try to find a solution urgently? >> thank you for your work. we propose a legal resolution that will be before congress in the near-term. the appropriate time to bring justice from the 1998 bombings. i talked to the prime minister a handful of times and other leaders in sudan. this is an opportunity it doesn't come often. we know about the tragedy not only for democracy to begin to be built out but regional opportunities from that as well. the state-sponsored terrorism designation, if we take care of the victims of those tragedies, appreciate your assistance.
>> members of this committee, it is my hope we can move in a way that respects those constituent interests and makes progress and doesn't miss this moment. the global fragility act legislation that was bipartisan that i lead here that donald trump signed into law requires a long-term strategy to address extremism, the first deliverable, the global fragility is due september 15th. congress is not looking for old wine in new bottles, we urge you to look at the gfa to rethink our approach to these challenges and improve the way the dod and state work together. how are you using the tools they provided to address the consequences of this pandemic, governance and security and can you commit you will look at and
resolve a technical issue on the prevention and stabilization fund that was designed to improve on the rapid response fund. >> i will get back to you on the last question you asked. i will get you an answer briefly. i am tracking -- i saw the first pass at this. you characterized and there wasn't much that was original. let's ask for outside views, folks on capitol hill, experts around the world to see if we can use the tool we provided on a bipartisan basis to deliver unstated objectives of the law, important piece of legislation and i don't want to miss the chance to develop strategies of what we take when the strategy is set aside. underneath that strategy.
>> the funeral service, friend and former colleague congressman john lewis. i was struck by a comment by former secretary-general mattis, covering weeks of protest, the unlawful murder of george floyd. i watched this week's unfolding events angry and appalled, the word equal justice under law, hard to impediment the supreme court, that's what protesters are rightly demanding. do you agree with general mattis, concerned about the general direction of the most senior levels of the state department. i won't go through the gao report, 189 ambassadors representing us abroad only three were african american, four were hispanic. it is a long-term challenge.
do you agree with general mattis's comments and how human to the next crop of senior leaders and diversify the leadership team. >> they are all part of diversity groups, proud of what the team has done on the state department. it is diverse city and inclusion broad-based, people from all across america with all viewpoints, we have been very narrow from a certain set of institutions and certain universities with the spectrum of understanding of america or the world with diversity in collusion. we built out the status programs for representation on
the ambassadorial level, will be coming shortly and more than half are female, first time that ever happened. it is sufficient. >> what about our failure to address structural racial inequality and impacts our ability to advocate human rights issues. >> your have no doubt about that and i would tell you we are a beacon for that around the world and you can see it in people who wants to come to the united states of america where you have immigrants from all across the world who wants to come here and i am a believer the people vote with their feet. they see america as a great nation. we are not without flaws but as diplomats travel the world they can be proud of our progress. >> i want to ask a last question, donald trump just
tweeted that we should delay it. i am interested in whether you were able to vote by mail when you served in the army, whether you vote by mail in your home state of kansas, like many of us who served in both parties you avail yourself as to virtually all diplomats and professionals in law enforcement members of the opportunity to vote securely by mail. have you done so and do you have any concerns about the security of our election? >> i believe i have voted by absentee ballot and as a member of congress we did a couple times as well. it is not the primary focus. others have the primary center focus. >> any reason to be concerned those are ineligible to be counted if cast by mail or absentee ballot by your
diplomat? >> having a small group of people vote by absentee ballot is different from conducting fool in mail ballot program, two fundamentally different beefs. i believe it to the professionals to identify a level of risk associated with it but when you change the voting rules close to an election, difficult task. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming in and being here. election security is not your area of expertise but you can comment on what i'm about to ask. you are aware of influence efforts on the part of the chinese in taiwan to shape taiwanese policies, policies a government. i'm certain -- i hope you are aware how pressure of political figures they view are opposed to their interests and we have all witnessed, you can confirm the china has engaged in disinformation about the
coronavirus. i am not asking you to comment specifically about our country. i am more asking, does china decide they want those kinds of things to us, do they have the capability to conduct disinformation campaign to pressure american political figures the way we see them do. taiwan, and other places. it is the second largest economy in the world for significant capabilities. they have the capability to do it, would they not? >> a second to respond to this, they have the capability, talking about this, the united front, working in the united states, meeting with state
legislators and governors. one of the things taking place in houston, influence operations conducted by diplomats. we have diplomats across the world who come to our offices and talk about policy. this is fundamentally different from that. they not only have capability but intention of conducting influence operations in the united states. we are pretty resilient nation and push back against that but when it is happening here it is happening all across those countries too. >> the four ceos and tech companies in the house committee asked a simple question. do you believe they were asked china steals technology from us firms, they were asked this question and there was strong consensus across the board,
both parties in the media, yes. the ceo of apple said they haven't experienced it. the ceo of google said neither are we in the ceo of amazon said i read that. only the ceo of facebook said absolutely. apple, google and amazon into that question by saying they read that somewhere. why would corporations like this take it upon themselves to censored what is true or not true and what they believe people should be saying and not others on the basis of what they judge to be true, three or four ceos be afraid to answer that question? >> i can only speculate. it is patently clear to anyone watching that the chinese were engaged in intellectual property threat including technology.
>> would it be fair to speculate they try to influence people even in the business community? >> absolutely. >> one more question, would you agree with the belief that is widespread the china systematically identified technologies they believe will be key to the 21st century, in 2025 to dominate these industries while destroying our capability, the transfer of technology, subsidies to their firms, blocking efforts to their markets. no doubt at this point they have a carefully crafted plan to dominate key industries for the 21st-century is wipeout not just our capabilities but everybody else's. that is a fair assessment. >> they have not been covert
about this. they've spoken openly about how they are approaching their commercial interests. the only thing they don't speak about his rather than building these industries inside, the tools are different from the way western democracies do. we train our people, invest capital in the market and they run safe sponsored enterprises, steel intellectual property and they endeavor to undermine those that threaten and bully companies around the world into buying their products. >> my last question is unrelated to china directly but principle, speculations, commentators and the like haven't made much about recent allegations and in one case the view the president gave that they took from it, the president willing to engage in negotiations with the maduro regime, can you envision as
long as this administration is in office, to remain in power. >> not to negotiate for anything other than his departure from ruling the country. >> thank you. next question, we will take a 10 minute recess, the floor is yours. >> appreciate your time and testimony today. i will start with an important subject, democracy promotion earlier this year. you called for free and fair elections in venezuela and nicaragua. free and fair elections held around occupants of power lose, the state department then strongly encourages to step
down from power and i think that sort of thing is an important pillar of foreign-policy basis, correct? >> yes, sir. >> i hear growing concern about whether we are going to set a good example in the november election. in the fox news interview, chris wallace asked donald trump if he would give a direct answer that you would accept the election in november. in response donald trump said i have to see, no, i'm not going to just say yes, no, i'm not going to say no, i didn't say last time either during the 2016 debate he stated i will tell you at the time, i will keep you in suspense. he has also called voting by mail as you know, one of the major ways americans vote, especially in a pandemic, he
said over and over the election is rigged if it is vote by mail. if donald trump refuses to accept the upcoming november election due to his lack of faith in voting by mail will you respect the results of the certified election as the state department typically does throughout the world? >> i'm not going to speculate about 15 ifs in there. i will follow the rule of law, follow the constitution. i endeavor to do that in everything i have done and i will continue to do that every day. >> the president has made this a legitimate question in americans minds through his own statements. former pennsylvania governor and homeland security secretary tom ridge, republican as you know, says, quote, i think it is sad and disappointing the with almost five months to go the president seems to want to
try to delegitimize the november 3rd election, seems to me this may be an indication he's more worried about the outcome than he is worried about the fraud. this is a serious domestic and foreign policy question. we need to set a good example about the peaceful transition of power or else we undermine our entire foreign-policy. george kennan wrote in a long telegram in order to counter the soviet union, quote, much depends on the health and vigor of society. that is just as true today about russia, china, venezuela, iran, and other authoritarian regimes we have challenges with. i can imagine a few scenarios that will endanger our society more than a presidential candidate who refuses to accept
the outcome of an election. mike pompeo -- the kitty to protect journalists issued a report on the harm this president has caused to journalists. first amendment rights. in their summary the committee states, quote, the trump administration stepped up the prosecutions of news sources, interfered in the business of media owners, harassed journalists crossing us borders and empowered foreign leaders to restrict their own media but trump's most effective ploy has been to destroy the credibility of the press, dangerously undermining truth and consensus even as the covid-19 pandemic threatens to kill tens of thousands of americans. are you concerned that instead of promoting press freedom abroad, america is providing moral support to authoritarian
efforts to crack down on critical media outlets from russia to china to venezuela and beyond. >> i'm not remotely concerned about that. >> 120,000 americans have died from covid-19 and we mourn their loss, like most tragedies, this is one that could have been prevented like the president's response to hurricane maria and other disasters, the federal government's response is nowhere near up to the challenge. instead this administration is trying to change the narrative by attacking its own citizens and tweaking the united states abroad. across the world our allies in new zealand, japan, australia, south korea, many in europe have taken the science and the threat of covid-19 seriously with the result that they are beginning to return to normal.
even countries with very different systems like communist vietnam and cuba are beginning to reemerge from this deadly disease. mike pompeo, the best practices of these countries is simple. isolate, track and trace, quarantine, wear a mask. we don't even know if the national security adviser has met with you or members of the national security council lately. the us has not done those things sufficiently and here we are. you and the white house seem to want to blame china for our inability to respond to this pandemic. is it true they are handling -- they are handling the virus at the early onset was problematic but we are responsible for our own response. do you think the president should look to europe, south korea, japan and more successful nations to learn how to better contain this
pandemic? >> an awful lot to unpack. i will tell you the countries you identified you are looking at the data they are putting out, when comparing it to data from other countries in the senate hearing, positive about the conditions on the ground in those countries, it is silly, they are not tracking. we should look everywhere to get best practices. we continue to protect the american people in the appropriate way. >> with that, the call of the chair for approximately ten minutes.