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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Senate Grills Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired July 25, 2018 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:30:01]

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Oh, yes, absolutely.

SEN. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: What is verifiable?

POMPEO: We are sitting at the table having conversations. We have had lots of discussions that I'm not going to get in here to today.

But I would tell you that -- I would tell, you -- you discounted the destruction of the missile engine test facility. That missile engine test facility was functional, viable and operational and in use in January of 2017, before this administration took office.

MARKEY: Well, that -- I guess you and I interpret that gesture differently.

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: Senator, I have made no interpretation.

MARKEY: In terms of verifiable progress, I'm talking about not trusting Kim Jong-un without verifying, verifying North Korea's actions.

So that's really what the discussion is about. What has been verified? I understand that you're talking, but here's what I also understand.

POMPEO: Yes.

MARKEY: That the United States has unexpectedly suspended military exercises with South Korea, that North Korea hasn't started returning American war dead, despite the president's announcement that the returns had already taken place.

China and Russia continue to export oil to North Korea, in violation of the U.N. resolutions.

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: Sanctions that didn't exist before this regime took office.

MARKEY: And North Korea still has chemical and biological weapons and brutalizes its own people. And, again, there's no verifiable evidence that North Korea is denuclearization -- denuclearizing. POMPEO: Senator, we have...

MARKEY: So, I am afraid that, at this point, the United States, the Trump administration is being taken for a ride.

POMPEO: Fear not, Senator. Fear not.

MARKEY: There's no evidence to the contrary.

POMPEO: Fear not, Senator.

MARKEY: There's no evidence.

POMPEO: Senator, fear not.

May I?

MARKEY: Yes, please.

POMPEO: I guess you didn't ask a question, so I will...

MARKEY: No, that's all right. Yes, please answer.

POMPEO: Fear not.

This administration has taken enormously constructive actions that have put us in a place that is far better than in either of the two previous administrations, one Republican, one Democrat. We have put sanctions regime in place that is unequaled.

We are continuing to enforce that sanctions regime. We have made it incredibly clear that we will continue to enforce that sanctions regime until such time as denuclearization, as we have defined it, is complete.

Pressure on the regime is clearly being felt. We have lots of work to do. But unlike previous administration, Senator, we have no intention of allowing the U.N. sanctions, the world's sanctions that we led the charge to have put in place, to allowing those sanctions to either be lifted or not enforced.

And until such time as Chairman Kim fulfills the commitment he made, which I am incredibly hopeful that he will, those sanctions will remain. We have -- we have not been taken for a ride. Senator, I hope you can leave a little bit better tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

MARKEY: One quick issue, which is something I know you're familiar with, is the State Department export controls that are designed to help ensure that weapons don't get into the wrong hands abroad.

So I want to bring to your attention a special exemption from those export control rules that the State Department plans to use to issue. This Friday, it will allow blueprints for downloadable guns to be published online and acceptable worldwide. I don't think that we really want to be in a world where Hamas in the

Gaza has an ability to download a capacity for an AR-15 that could endanger security in that region. And the same thing could happen around the world.

I ask the State Department to please reconsider this decision. I think it has long-term national security and domestic security considerations for our country.

POMPEO: You have my commitment I will take a look at it.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: OK, Senator Paul.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Thank you for your testimony.

There's been a great deal of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands and, you know, dozens and dozens of senators saying that the president shouldn't have met with President Putin. And I guess I wonder because -- if somehow we have become a little bit sidetracked bipartisanship, because, in the past, President Obama met with President Putin, President George Bush met with Putin.

And I guess the question I have is whether or not we're entering into sort of a naive time where we think, unless someone is a perfect Jeffersonian democrat, we're not going to meet with them.

We also have people saying, well, he should have shook his fist at him, and he should have called him a murderer and a thug. Do you think that there's a possibility that we can have a relationship where we criticize the human rights records of other countries, but still also sit down and attempt to have diplomacy and at least channels, so we don't escalate things?

Do you think that it was a right idea for President Trump to meet with President Putin?

POMPEO: I think you asked two questions, and it's yes to each of them. I think we can accomplish that. I think we can meet with less than perfect citizens of the world and hopefully move the ball in the right direction.

Second, I think it was more than appropriate that President Trump meet with Vladimir Putin.

PAUL: And my own personal opinion is, I think we need to de-escalate some of the partisan tensions in our country and try to look towards ways that we can have discussions with foreign leaders, and not be so simplistic that, somehow, they have to have a perfect record or that we have to shout and scream.

[16:35:12]

I mean, I think back to Reagan talking to Gorbachev. He said tear down that wall. He called him an evil empire. But I just don't imagine Reagan sitting down with Gorbachev and yelling and screaming and shaking his finger -- fist and saying, murderer, thug and reciting the -- Stalin's human rights abuses.

So I think there is a difference, for anybody who's ever thought about this, between sitting down and how diplomacy would occur between individuals and reciting a litany of human rights abuses.

In that vein, I think there is -- there seems to be sort of a limitless appetite for more sanctions, but maybe insufficient interest in describing what actions are needed to remove sanctions.

And so Senator Rubio mentioned this DETER Act. I guess my concern with some of this is, is that the definition of who might be meddling in an election or our country is not limited just to Russia. It could include even allies who spend money on social media somehow in our country.

It doesn't seem to differentiate between social media and actually hacking into our electoral system and changing thousands of votes. It also takes the power away from the president and gives it to the director of national intelligence. This is the DETER Act we were talking about.

And I know you indicated that, well, sanctions are probably a good idea to deter them. But do you think it's a good idea to take the sanction power, give it to the DNI, and then the sanctions have to remain place for eight hours, with the president not having any ability to decide whether there's been some kind of change in behavior by the malefactors?

POMPEO: Senator, without having seen the legislation, I do not think that's a good idea.

PAUL: The -- I liked in your statement where I -- where you said that President Trump believes that now is the time for direct communication in our relationship in order to make clear to President Putin that there is the possibility to reverse the negative course of our relationship.

And I think that gets at the heart of why we have these discussions. So, if you heap sanctions on, and Congress puts them on, and they have stay on for eight years, and they can never come off, if there is no off-ramp, if there is no discussion, that's sort of what diplomacy supposed to be about.

So I do commend you for talking to Kim. Are we here to extol Kim's record on human rights? Obviously not. But at the same time, for sanctions to have an effect, you have to have negotiation.

So, what I would say to my colleagues who've been all over TV saying there should not have been a meeting, think again. Just keep keeping these sanctions on, and you don't want any ability to talk to the adversary about how we would actually remove the sanctions if behavior changed.

You got to have communications, not to mention the fact that we have planes flying within a mile or within 100 yards of each other in Syria. We have to have open lines of communication. So what I would ask is that we try to de-escalate the partisanship in

our country, so we can once again be open to some kind of diplomacy.

I have one question with regard to Iran. And you and I differ on the Iranian -- the possibility of Iranian -- a further Iranian agreement. I think it's actually much more difficult.

And I had my own criticisms of the nuclear agreement. I didn't think it was perfect, and yet I would have tried to build upon it, rather than destroy it.

We had a lot of money at the time that was a carrot to try to bring Iran to the table. But now we have, instead of one issue, we have two. Or instead of a smaller group of issues, we have a bigger group of issues.

The nuclear issues are back on the table, if we have to renegotiate the nuclear agreement, and the ballistic missile issue. And the point that I think that we need to think through in discussions with Iran is that I think Iran, from their perspective, would see getting rid of their ballistic missile program as basically unilateral surrender.

It's not my viewpoint. I think it's what I believe to be their viewpoint. I think they also see Saudi Arabia as a great adversary. And I think they see Israel as a potential adversary.

And so I don't think, unless -- it would be great if you got all three to come together and have a multilateral agreement on not developing nuclear weapons and not having ballistic missiles. I don't see the other two coming to the table, frankly, to do that.

And so I think -- in moving forward, I think it's just important that you understand this is isn't going to be easy. The first Iran agreement also was a multilateral agreement. You had multilateral sanctions. You now have more unilateral sanctions, and you're going to have a unilateral improvement that is sort of your own agreement.

So I just think we shouldn't be so optimistic. And I guess I would like to hear from you, how do you -- what makes you believe that Iran will come to the table to discuss ballistic missiles?

POMPEO: Senator, I'm under no illusions about how important Iran views its ballistic missile program. I -- I -- I agree with you there.

The question for President -- President Trump faced was, was the JCPOA good enough? He concluded it wasn't remotely good enough. And he said it was the -- one of the worst deals in history. I don't want to get the language wrong. And so he concluded we would find ourselves in a better place with an opportunity to revisit all of these issues, the broad spectrum of issues, not just the nuclear portfolio, but the missile program, their malign activity around the world, all of them in a package.

[16:40:10]

It did accept the understanding that there would be those that wouldn't come alongside of us.

But you should know there is a coalition. It's not America and America alone. We have others who believe that this was the right decision too, the Israelis, the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Bahrainis, other smaller European governments, not E3 themselves.

But there are number of folks who are beginning to coalesce around an understanding of how we can appropriately respond to Iran to take down their -- the nuclear risk to the United States, as well as the risk from these other malign activities.

CORKER: Thank you.

Senator Udall.

REP. TOM UDALL (D), NEW MEXICO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And, thank you, Secretary Pompeo, for your service.

Secretary Pompeo, we have quite the record of President Trump's business relations with Russia. Extensive reporting and public records show a large amount of money from former Soviet states and Russia into Trump projects.

Trump International Tower and Hotel in Toronto, the Trump Hotel in Panama, the Trump project in SoHo in New York City are a few of the big examples here.

And here's another one. A Russian oligarch bought a property from President Trump for $95 million -- candidate Trump at the time -- or maybe a little before -- for $95 million in 2008, less than four years after President Trump paid $41 million. So he more than doubled his money.

Donald Trump Jr. in 2008 stated at a real estate conference in New York -- and I quote here -- "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets" -- end quote.

Donald Trump tried to build a Trump Tower in Moscow for 30 years. He even tweeted in 2013: "Trump Tower Moscow is next." That's in quotes.

In 2015, answering a question from indicted Russian operative and alleged spy Maria Butina, candidate Trump made clear his desires with Russia, stating: "I would get along well with Putin" and that "I don't think we need the sanctions."

Now the Russian ambassador to the United States has said the president made -- and this is his quote -- "important verbal agreements with president Putin."

And he seems to know more about -- more about Helsinki and what happened there than the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As we saw in Helsinki and throughout his presidency and the campaign, this president is extremely sympathetic to the very Russian government that attacked and continues to attack our democracy and those of our allies.

It's a fact of political life today that many Americans are concerned about the unthinkable, that a U.S. president could have compromised -- a compromising relationship with a foreign power.

The president could clear this all up in three simple ways, releasing his tax returns and those of the Trump Organization and the taxes from the various family businesses, some of which we don't even know about.

After Helsinki, do you think that the American people deserve to know what's in President Trump's tax returns and business interests that are intertwined with Russia?

POMPEO: Senator, I'm going to try to stay out of the same political circus that you and I ended up in last time I was sitting here, and simply respond by saying, this same president with which you seem to express such a deep concern is engaged in a massive defense build-up, which threatens Vladimir Putin's regime.

He instructed us to put together a nuclear posture review that has said Vladimir Putin on his ear because of its robustness and the recapitalization of our nuclear program. He's kicked out 60 spies. We have banned Kaspersky.

UDALL: Yes, I...

POMPEO: We have put $11 billion into European...

(CROSSTALK)

UDALL: Mr. Secretary, you have already...

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: No, Senator, actually, I haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

UDALL: No, no, no, but you have already -- you haven't answered my question, so let me try it a little different way.

Wouldn't you want to know, as secretary of state -- I mean, I'm taking you in your sincerity here as secretary of state -- whether all these Russian financial interests, oligarchs, and others are part of the decision-making of the president?

I mean, wouldn't you want that out in the open and to understand what went on at Helsinki? It's such an easy kind of yes-or-no question.

POMPEO: Senator, I don't need secondhand understandings of what President Trump is instructing his administration to do to push back against Russia...

I have firsthand understanding.

UDALL: Yes, well....

POMPEO: ... and direct...

(CROSSTALK)

UDALL: Well, let me ask the question a little bit differently here.

POMPEO: We have opposed Nord Stream II. We have got a 4-by-30 out of NATO that also is a big setback for Russia.

I mean, I -- I'm happy to continue the list. I'm -- I'm happy to cease there.

UDALL: Yes, well, you're...

POMPEO: But I will -- I will submit the entirety of this administration's actions against Russia for the record, if I might.

UDALL: Please do.

POMPEO: Move back a truck up and get it on in here.

UDALL: Candidate Trump has failed to keep his promise to disclose his tax returns. Every presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has disclosed. Jimmy Carter even sold his peanut farm to avoid a conflict of interest. The situation with President Trump's potential foreign policy conflicts of interest is unprecedented and unacceptable and under the Emoluments Clause I think it's unconstitutional as well. But let me just ask a couple of questions about Helsinki. You talked about what you were tasked with. The Director of National Intelligence Coats stated that at the Aspen Security Forum that he did not know what happened during the one-on-one meeting in Helsinki. Did the President personally debrief you on this conversation? Are you 100 percent confident that you know everything that President Trump discussed with President Putin? That's a very easy yes or no. If you don't want to answer it, I'll move on to the next one. Yes or no.

POMPEO: I'm very confident that I received a comprehensive debriefing from President Trump.

UDALL: Good. OK. Now, you know for a fact whether President Trump or President Putin discussed any investments in Trump properties or any Trump projects such as the previous attempt to build a Trump real estate project in Moscow?

POMPEO: Senator, again, I'm going to try and stay out of the political circus.

UDALL: No but you -- sir, were you -- were you tasked with that? You gave us a list what you are tasked --

POMPEO: I came -- I came here to talk about American foreign policy today. I've attempted to articulate President Trump's policy --

UDALL: All of these business interests are entwined, sir, with our foreign policy.

POMPEO: Yes, the foreign policy that has led to a massive defense build-up, a nuclear posture review that is frightened Vladimir Putin, 60 spies, I mean 219, 213 sanctions.

UDALL: Let me also ask you about an additional question on Helsinki.

POMPEO: When I was a member of Congress, I tried desperately get President Obama to do one of those things --

UDALL: When President Trump hosted top Russian officials at the White House last year he bragged about how he had fired James Comey at his press conference with Putin. President Trump calls special councilor Mueller's investigation a disaster for the country. Can you tell us what President Trump discussed about the investigation during his private meeting with President Putin.

POMPEO: I'm not going to talk about --

UDALL: But were you tasked with anything in that respect.

POMPEO: Senator, when I'm tasked about something for American foreign policy, I promise you this committee will know.

UDALL: OK, and you weren't tasked with anything there.

POMPEO: Senator, when I'm tasked with something by the President relates to foreign policy, I assure you that this committee will be made aware of.

UDALL: Thank you very much.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Thank you, Senator Gardner.

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you Mr. Secretary for your service to the country and your time with us today. When you were last here, I asked you a question about whether or not you agreed with Secretary Mattis that North Korea's the most urgent security threat the United States faces. In light of recent developments, do you still agree with that? At the time you said that you did.

POMPEO: Yes, it's still -- it's still a priority.

GARDNER: We also talked about what -- would you believe it's the most urgent national security threat?

POMPEO: I do but having said that, I don't recall the precise timing when I was here.

GARDNER: I think it was in April perhaps.

POMPEO: Yes. So it is. The fact that we're having conversations and we haven't had additional missile tests and nuclear testing maybe it's still a priority, I don't know how to think about it but I'm optimistic that we're headed in a path that is the right direction and we just got to get the rate of change.

GARDNER: At the testimony you used the term final fully verified denuclearization and previous testimony you've used the word Permanent Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization. U.S. law says Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization. U.N. resolutions call for Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization. Are these the same terms? Do they mean the same thing?

POMPEO: Precisely the same thing.

GARDNER: Exactly, Full, complete, total denuclearization according to the U.S. law and U.N. Security resolution.

POMPEO: Yes, yes Senator.

GARDNER: Why the different words?

POMPEO: Sometimes one needs to just break away. It's -- I'm happy to use the term Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization. Yes, they made the same thing.

GARDNER: OK. The CVID declaration or determination was that directly addressed at the Singapore summit with President Trump in Chairman Kim?

POMPEO: It was.

GARDNER: And it was brought up those -- the Complete Verifiable Reversible Denuclearization, why was it not in the communique following the Singapore Summit.

POMPEO: Yes, I'd rather not talk about the course of the negotiations and how we arrived with the language that we did.

GARDNER: OK. Is North Korea still moving or making advancements undertaking a nuclear program?

[16:50:02] POMPEO: May I answer that question in a different setting?

GARDNER: You can't answer that question here?

POMPEO: Yes, I'd prefer not to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd love to provide that setting for you soon.

POMPEO: I'd be happy to do it if we need to. I'm happy to do that. Senator, I'm not trying to be cute. We're engaged in a complex negotiation with a difficult adversary and each of the activities that we undertake is not going to be fully apparent to the world at the moment it is undertaken. And there will be processes and discussions that will be had that are important that they not be real-time disclosed. And as I answer one question and then choose not to answer another it becomes patently obvious why I chose not to answer one or the other and therefore it seems to me that a blanket prohibition on heading down that path is the only way to ensure that I have the opportunity to negotiate this thing in a way that isn't being done in the Washington Post, in the New York Times.

GARDNER: I understand. I think it's a very important point of information that we get though, to know whether or not North Korea is either overtly, covertly, however they are doing it making advancements in their nuclear program or still continuing a measure of their nuclear program. I think it's very important for us to --

POMPEO: So I did answer one question that touches on that at least. I answered a question I think it was from Senator Markey about whether they're continuing to create fissile material and answered that indeed that they are.

GARDNER: The goal originally I think was a Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization by the end of the President's first term, is that correct?

POMPEO: Yes.

GARDNER: Does that remain the goal?

POMPEO: Yes, more quickly if possible.

GARDNER: When will we know if North Korea is moving toward denuclearization concrete verifiable steps?

POMPEO: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. I couldn't tell you what day. And by the way I'm guessing this group would disagree about when that moment took place that is a process for sure and some will find that the first step along the way demonstration of I think he said substantial progress, others may want to wait until we're almost done to declare substantial progress so I can't answer that. It's definitely a process and we'll definitely take time.

GARDNER: We've had a lot of discussions in this committee on strategic patience. The statement you use uses patient diplomacy. Is the U.S. doctrine toward North Korea still one of maximum pressure?

POMPEO: It is. I'll tell you, that difference is a little bit subtle and perhaps I don't want to overstate the difference in the language. Here's what's different. In strategic equations was in our judgment standing around hoping that something worked right. Here we have a strategic objective backed up with a diplomatic and economic pressure which we believes gives us a pathway to achieve the objective and also an off-ramp in the event that we conclude that it doesn't work to head another direction to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.

GARDNER: Maximum pressure utilizes a Section 102 of the North Korea sanctions policy Enhancement Act which requires the President to initiate investigations into possible designations -- investigation is the possible designations of persons upon evidence that they're violating you know, proliferating activities etcetera so that we can apply additional sanctions. How many investigations into new designations are taking place right now?

POMPEO: I don't know how many, Senator, but let me try and answer your question in another way and say if this is if this meets the bill. It is the case that this administration is continuing to work on enforcement actions for existing sanctions -- for the existing sanctions regime. That is we're not going to let it wander off, we're not going to let it weaken and you can't rename a ship and get out from underneath the sanctions regime. There are active enforcement work being done at the State Department and the Department of Treasury related to North Korea.

GARDNER: So it's your view that there are additional North Korean or Chinese entities that could be identified under -- for additional sanctions. Is that correct?

POMPEO: Oh yes, sir.

GARDNER: And those designations are not being upheld or laid off? They will continue?

POMPEO: We're going to use them in a way that we think increases the likelihood the Chairman Kim fulfills the commitment that he made to President Trump.

GARDNER: And why have we seen any designations recently?

POMPEO: I can't answer that question.

GARDNER: I'd like to get an answer of that if we could. Has South Korea made additional requests to the United States for sanctions relief as it relates to additional activities with North Korea?

POMPEO: So I think the request that South Korea has made are public and have occurred through the committee up at the United Nations. So I think -- I think the list of things that the South Koreans are requesting in terms of either making sure that their activity is consistent with the sanctions regime there are exceptions, there's humanitarian exceptions that -- so there are--

GARDNER: And is the U.S. considering any of those sanctions, granting you the sanction?

POMPEO: We're reviewing each of the requests that the North Koreans made we approved one --

GARDNER: To the south and South Korea.

POMPEO: I'm sorry to the South Korea, yes. I'm sorry. Thank you for the correction. We approved one that had to do with a military-to- military communications channel that others are currently under review.

GARDNER: If you could perhaps to get an understanding of what some of those measures are that would be great. You gave a speech, a very, very good speech Sunday, July 22nd on Iran policy at the Reagan Library, as you mentioned. If you were to substitute to the word out Iran out and substitute in the word North Korea would your speech still accurately describe the state of affairs in North Korea?

[16:55:14] POMPEO: Boy, it was long speech, Senator.

GARDNER: Basically -- POMPEO: Yes, I think it -- I think in large part it would be

consistent. There is a difference in terms of their operational capacity for their nuclear program but the nature of the two regimes is similar.

GARDNER: I'm out of time. Mr. Chairman, thank you.

CORKER: Thank you. Before turning to Senator Merkley, I'm all -- use a little bit of my time. I -- you obviously acquit yourself very well. And those of us who know you and work with, you have mostly I know many of us including me, I'll say most of us actually. We have tremendous faith and your ability to make things happen and we thank you for all the issues you're taking on. You're building a great culture in the State Department bringing on people that are truly exemplary. We feel the same way about Secretary of Mattis, the way he conducts himself and what he does. I think there's tremendous faith on both sides of the aisle in his abilities and what he does.

Too much of what you're hearing today has nothing whatsoever to do with you and I would agree with you that the policies that we're putting place in many cases are stronger than have ever been put in place. I agree with you. It's the president that causes people to have concerns and I just -- I'd love to have some insights into you as to for instance at the Helsinki conference to create an equivalence between our intelligence agency and what Putin is saying that shocks people. I mean, you can imagine, you saw Dan Coats' response afterwards, and yours today I think candidly was related to what he said at Helsinki.

And then the notion of even thinking about exchanging diplomats, sending diplomats over to be interrogated by Putin, to even think about that, let that be said as an official statement coming out of the White House to -- this is my opinion and I believe it's right -- to purposely cause the American people to misunderstand about the NATO contributions and to cause them to doubt NATO and then to really drive public opinion against NATO. That to me was purposeful not unlike what happened right after Charlottesville. And then Article Five, to go on television and say well, you know, why would we honor? I'm paraphrasing but why would we honor Article Five in Montenegro? You know, we passed a law I think only two people descended to send them into NATO. He signed it. I mean, it would be a dereliction of duty if we -- if he did cause that to be the case.

So why does he do those things? I mean is there some strategy behind creating doubt in U.S. senators minds on both sides of the aisle, doubt and the American people as to what his motivations are when we in fact have tremendous faith in you? I think you're a patriot. Tremendous faith in Mattis, but it's the president's actions that create tremendous distrust in our nation among our allies. It's palpable. We meet and talk with them. Is there a strategy of this or is it -- what is it that causes the President purposely, purposely create distrust in these institutions and what we're doing?

POMPEO: Senator, I disagree with most of what you just said there. You somehow disconnect the administration's activities from the President's actions. They're the one and the same. The -- every sanction that was put in place was signed off by the President of the United States. Every spy that was removed --

CORKER: Go to the point I just made. Go to the points I just made. Talk to them. Talk to them. I know what we're doing. The point to the point --

POMPEO: Here's what the world needs to know with respect to Russia. This administration's been tougher than previous administrations and I fully expect it well, the President's own words were. He's happy to get figure out if we can make improvements with respect to the relationship between he and Vladimir Putin and changed the course. But if not he'll be there, I'll get the words wrong, he'll be their toughest enemy, most difficult enemy. I think -- I think I can prove that that's the case today. I think I have. And so somehow there's this idea that this administration is free-floating. This is President Trump's administration, make no mistake who's fully in charge of this and who was directing each of these activities that has caused Vladimir Putin to be in a very difficult place today.

CORKER: Well, look I -- you handle yourself in exactly the way you should in my opinion as it relates to comments. I noticed that you are not responding to what I'm saying.

POMPEO: I think -- I think I responded to everything that you --

(CROSSTALK)

CORKER: And the fact is that you just didn't, OK. And the fact --

POMPEO: I disagree --