US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he personally told Russian leaders that there would be "grave consequences" for any interference in the US election or the American democratic process. (25th of July)
WASHINGTON – Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo survived a blizzard of barbed wire senators on Wednesday over the conciliatory President Trump's attitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his contradictory and sometimes misleading statements about America's allies and opponents.
Prior to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo said strongly that Trump's understanding of the threat from Russia meant US democracy and argued that the president was more aggressive than his predecessors, holding Putin accountable for his actions around the world including the interference of the Kremlin in the presidential elections of 2016.
"President Trump has stated that he accepts the conclusion of our intelligence services Russia interfered in the election in 2016. He has a complete and correct understanding of what is happening Pompeo said in his introductory remarks, "I know – I've been alerting him for over a year, and I'm perfectly aware of that."
That was not skeptical lawmakers who joined Trump's statements last week during a joint press conference Putin in Helsinki, Finland denounced. At this press conference, after the private meeting While the two leaders held talks, Trump downplayed the conclusions of US intelligence agencies and said that he accepted Putin's claim that Russia had not done so in the US presidential election of 2016.
"You are facing a group of senators today who are facing serious doubts about this White House and its US foreign policy," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee Corker had criticized Trump's Helsinki meeting with Putin said "we saw an American president who appeared submissive and respectful"  Trump later tried to retrace his pro-Putin statements, but he did not disclose what he and Putin did during their controversial, closed Tête-à-Tête discussed. Senators attempted, with limited success, to learn details of Pompeo about this private Trump-Putin conversation.
In a tense conversation, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, asked Pompeo if Trump was discussing relaxing economic sanctions on Russia and whether Trump had appealed to Putin for his aggression in Urkaine and his annexation of Crimea
Pompeo said he would not divulge the details of their private meeting, but said that US policy towards Russia had not changed as a result of the meeting, and that "no obligation" had been made to ease US sanctions.
Pompeo did not directly answer a question from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, DNH, about whether Trump had approved changes to the role of the US military in Syria, where Russia supported the brutal dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"There was no change in US policy regarding Syria," said Pompeo.
"That's not exactly the question I'm asking," Shaheen replied.
"It depends," replied the secretary
Pompeo revealed only three questions that Trump and Putin discussed in their closed session last week: reviving an exchange between the business leaders of both countries; Rebuilding anti-terrorism to strengthen cooperation on this front; and work to return the millions of displaced Syrians who left their war-torn land .
North Korean Relations
Pompeo was equally cautious about Trump's negotiations with North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong had signed a vague promise to de-nuclearize the Korean peninsula following a summit meeting with Trump in June.
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., Suggested that North Korea had only "empty gestures" to fulfill the agreement, such as dismantling an outdated nuclear test facility. Markey said he was worried that the US would be "taken away".
"Do not be afraid, Senator," Pompeo answered. He expressed his confidence that North Korea understands and subscribes to the US definition of denuclearization.
However, Pompeo declined to say whether North Korea had submitted an inventory of its nuclear arsenal, had taken a first step towards denuclearization, or had made any other important moves towards that goal.
"We sit at the table and talk," Pompeo said, adding that "there were many discussions that I am not coming to today."
Pompeo said that North Korea continues to produce fissile material and suggested that in a closed session, he could disclose more information about the status of the Communist dictatorship's nuclear program.
Corker suggested that the president's rhetoric about North Korea, and especially Kim's leader, be bizarre. He called him "one of the most ruthless leaders on the planet," Corker said, one in ten North Koreans is enslaved and many children of the country are starving.
"Given these realities, the president (Kim Jong un) has called" very talented "and" he loves his people, "Corker said. For real?
The Tennessee Republican said such statements have been deeply alarmist and confusing to the American public and have questioned the president on false comments, implying that NATO members owed money to the US for defense
"Why is he doing these things?" Corker asked, "Is there a strategy for this or what causes the President to intentionally create mistrust in these institutions?"
"I agree with most of what you do Pompeo replied, arguing that lawmakers should respect US policy, not the words of the president, when trying to decipher where he stands.
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