Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Jousts With Senators Worried About Trump’s Foreign Policy
On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convened to hear the testimony of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding a number of President Donald Trump’s controversial actions and statements.
“You come before a group of senators here today that are filled with serious doubts about this White House and its conduct of American foreign policy,” began Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Between Trump’s meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as his escalating trade war with the EU and China and a Twitter feud with Irani President Hassan Rouhani, the committee had no shortage of questions for Pompeo.
The panel primarily focused on Trump’s recent one-on-one with Putin, for which they cited concerns over “the lack of information the administration has provided to members of this committee,” said Sen. Corker.
Pompeo relayed that the two had agreed to establish a business-to-business leadership exchange and discussed reestablishing a counterterrorism council as well as working together to find a “political resolution” for the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The two did not, however, discuss the sanctions on Russia, though Pompeo conceded that new sanctions “would be constructive” to pursue. And no agreements were made on the matter of Russia annexing Crimea.
With regards to North Korea, Pompeo was less forthcoming. When asked if the country was still moving forward with its nuclear program, Pompeo requested to answer the question in “a different setting,” presumably away from the public eye. He claimed that because the matter was complex and ongoing, relevant information should “not be disclosed real time.”
Sen. Ed Markey also voiced concerns that the U.S. was being “taken for a ride” by Kim Jong-un in the denuclearization negotiations. To which Pompeo gave an assured “fear not,” asserting that the sanctions on the country were still in place and the U.S was simply engaged in “patient diplomacy.”
“I hope you can sleep a little bit better tonight,” said Pompeo.