tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 12, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
regime. what are the tools that can be put in place that aren't reversible. he will be looking for something more than a piece of paper. he will be looking for a set of conditions to be put in place so he can undertake a task, denuclearizing his country for decades no one believed would occur. >> going to africa for a moment. zimbabwe has a new leader. elections are scheduled for july and august. we don't have an ambassador there. will you commit to ensure that we have an ambassador on the ground and a lot of that depends on us. >> yes. it will depend on me. i commit to doing that.
>> i'll take offline and submit additional questions on cuba. we've had private discussions on this. i'm concerned that we have just a skeletal staff there in the embassy given the issues that occurred there. i think it's an important time there. we'll have a non-castro head of state for the first time later this month. if we could beef that staff up and be great as well. thank you. >>. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you for your service director pompeo and we really appreciate having your family here and look forward to you answering our questions. i want to follow up. i've worked with senator flake quite a bit on cuba and follow up on the cuba issue. cuba is about to choose its first leader who is not a castro. the u.s. presence in the country has been reduced significantly.
as a result other countries are filling this vacuum. will you work to help improve ties with cuba relationship that benefits many states hoping to increase trade with the island. as you know when i visited with you in my office, i talked about how many governors have gone do cuba and said with their agricultural folks and said we -- cuba has 11 million people. we want to sell food products to them. will you work to improve ties with cuba? >> i recall joking with you about kansas wheat. the answer to your question is yes. senator flake asked about the diplomatic presence there. i think every one is aware of some of the concerns. i'll assure senator flake as well, we were consistent with making sure we can keep these
folks safe. we'll build out a team that will deliver american dip lodiplomac cuba in way that represents the finest of america. >> as you know, u.s. internet companies, cuba has very, very little internet capacity. this is one of the things that could open cuba up to the world. do you believe the united states company should help bring the internet to cuba? >> that question sounds like there hay m-- may be something buried there. >> there is. >> at the risk of demonstrating ignorance, i would prefer the chance to talk to my experts at the state department and work my way through it. >> there's nothing really trick there. i've worked with a number of members of this committee and
others outside the committee to try to push the effort to have the internet be the big part of our first push in cuba. as you know very well and we talked about this in my office, the state department and defense department work hand in glove on these crucial issues. the job of the state department is to try to make sure we don't get into unnecessary wars. your work is to work hard at diplomacy and work hard at peace. are you committed to robust di l -- diplomacy and do everything you can to prevent future wars? >> yes. >> thank you. i'm going to follow up on several members on the iran deal.
it's effectively cut off all path ways. compliance has been recertified repeatedly by the international atomic energy agency. you have said that, and i quote here, iran will have the freedom to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons at the end of the commitment, end quote. however, even when the joint comprehensive plan of action sunsets under the current deal, iran will still remain a signatoiry and part of the ieae inspect erors are not going anywhere. the international community through the secretary general spoke out as to the importance of the the jcpoa.
view this position in light of support for regime change in iran, really the contrast there upsets me. it's under 2,000 to desdrtroy t iranian capacity. this is not an insurmountable task. end quote. is this your current position and are you for a first military strike. i know a bit more about what it could take today. i think i'm still pretty close. there is no doubt that this
administration's policy and my view that preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. finding ourselves in the same place in north korea in iran is through diplomacy. >> do you have any evidence to dispute the iaea assessment that iran is in full compliance with the jcpoa? >> senator, with information that i've been provided, i have no -- i've seen no evidence that they are not in compliance today. i think your question is do you have any? the answer is no. >> i would just hope, i'm very near to the end of my time here. i would hope that you understand that the international community and the united states working together is what got us to the point where we are. i think it woultd be very unfortunate if we're the one that pulls back and sets the stage for a very chaotic future. thank you very much.
>> thank you. >> do you have any sense that the subject matter will be discussed. they will be here before may 12th. >> i'm not seen the agenda but i'd be shocked if it didn't come up. >> there's still the possibility of the three that matter coming together on a frame work and as we get closer to that time maybe people will be a little more focused on that occurring. >> having had some interactions with my european counterparts, i'm confident that issue will be discussed at some length. it's important to them. i know they will raise their hopes and concerns when they travel here to the united states in the coming days. >> thank you. congratulations on the nomination to your family. thank you for your commitment to service. this is no easy task that you're about to take a part of. i appreciate your willingness to serve our country once again.
thank you. there's no one who came better prepared and always looking for a creative answer and the diligence he pursued is something i admired about his work in the house. i know that continued. i have one request that is very important to me. as secretary of state, kansas will have no greater authority over water than they do right now. any way, we won't get into water fights between colorado and kansas. i would like to submit for the report consent to submit a letter written by former senior government officials with national security experience and administrations of different parties or on capitol hill including general alexander.
>> without objection. >> thank you. >> you and i had a number of opportunities the talk about asia. if you look at asia it was written once this is the most consequential region for america's future. the largest armies in the world will camp in asia. the most powerful navys will gather. over one-half of the world's commerce will take place. two-thirds of the world will travel. five of america's seven defense treaties located in asia. it's the region where two super powers will compete. good day. i'm andrea mitchell this washington. we've been watching the confirmation hearing for mike pompeo to become the next secretary of state. we'll go back to that in a moment. momentums a moments ago the president spoke from the kwhowhite house about
syria. >> we're having a number of meetings. we're looking at that very closely. i will be leaving here. i'll be going back as soon as this meeting is over. we're looking very, very closely at that whole situation and we'll see what happens, folks. we'll see what happens. it's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that. as i said this morning, we have done a great job with isis. we have decimated isis. now we have to make further decisions. thank you all very much. >> over at the hearing today mike pompeo said he was questioned by robert mueller. he refused to answer questions about his conversations with the president about james comey or anything about the mueller investigation and under intense questioning he said there's no evidence, no intelligence that iran is not complying with the nuclear deal. that deal within a month the president has to decide whether to blow it up.
let's go back to the confirmation hearing with mike pomp pompeo. >> i think we would all agree absent a strong america, the rest of the things pale in comparison. the underpinnings to have the leverage to achieve good diplomatic outcomes depend on that. we need to be sure that america does the things it needs to do. we have not just 2018, 19 and 20 but a long term horizon of economic prosperity. the creation of a long term policy, a generational policy on asia, indo-pacific strategy. >> that's why what you describe is important because when the questions get asked about china, we can never forget they live in a complicated region with widely varying interests and a chinese government that's intent on expanding their capacity to have
not only economic influence in those countries but using the economic tool the achieve political influence to those countries. we need thoughtful, long term strategy that prevents that from taking place. >> we'll get into china a little more. it's important to note today that china has announced live fire exercises in the taiwan straits. we have seen the clear militarization of the south china sea. these are a few of the challenges that have been lingering for number of years. i want to shift right mow to north korea. do you agree with secretary mattis that north korea is the most urgent security threat the united states face. >> this has led the efforts to increase maximum pressure on north korea and the kim jong-un regime. we have the lead act. the leverage to enhance
effective diplomacy. will the administration's maximum pressure and policy mean a continued pursuit of third party entities or financial institutions. >> will you commit to advance this lead act and others like it that include mandatory sanctions against these entities. >> the continuation is the tool that enables the opportunity to achieve a successful diplomatic outcome in north korea. >> we have about a minute left here. can you share with me the exact goals of the presidential summit between the united states and north korea? >> yes. i believe i can. it is to develop an agreement with the north korean leadership such that the north korean
leadership will step away from its efforts to hold america at risk with nuclear weapons. completely and verifiablverifia. >> the only goal the united states has it relates to north korea is the complete verifiable, irreversible of the north korean -- >> i want to be careful about complete. they have a arsenal. one of the largest armies in the world. we need to ensure we provide a strategic frame work for our allies in the region. the purpose of the meeting is to address this threat. >> thank you. during the negotiation over the ir iran nuclear deal this 2014, you posed the deal and you stated quote it's under 2,000 to destroy the iranian nuclear
capacity. this is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces. a number of people opposed the deal. you were somewhat unique in publicly venturing the thought that military action might be preferable to a deal. where did you get the notion destroying the capacity based on 2,000? >> it was based on what i learned as a member of congress. >> at the time, did you have any reluctance to share that assessment publicly? that seems like a pretty specific sort of an assessment to say i'm confident in our capacity is one thing. to publicly discuss that it would be 2,000 to wipe out the iranian nuclear capacity struck me as odd.
did you have any reluctance to share that? >> no classified information was contained in that simple statement. >> wouldn't that specificity rely on a lot of classifieding information? >> 2000 is a pretty big round number. there was no effort here to make any specificitspecificity. there was no aim to communicate it. >> you weren't trying to be inaccurate? >> no, absolutely not. i never try to do that. if i might and we may disagree about this, senator. i do think it's important to provide diplomats with the opportunity to be successful. one tr countries don't succeed to our desires with a rational to do so. diplomats without any strength or capacity are just sitting there talking. >> i agree.
i think states we have a lot of capacity is one thing. would it be your norm to share that information publicly in such specific detail? >> i'm confident if i done them multiple times you'd raise them here today. >> did you assume iran might respond to an attack by the united states or assuming they would do nothing in. >> i don't know in the context of that statement i was thinking about. >> you would agree with me the extent of force that the u.s. would need to use to destroy iran nuclear capacity would depend on whether iran would fight to protect against an attack on its own soil. >> you venture the attack would not be an insur moumountable ta for coalition forces. most of our forces in 2014 were sitting around the table with us trying to do a peaceful negotiation to end iran's nuclear capacity. it sounds you were confident the u.s. could not do a deal and
convince coalition partners to join us in bombing iran. i'm curious what coalition partners you were thinking about. >> i wasn't thinking of any coalition partners. >> those comments when i heard them about the relative ease of a war reminded me of the run up to the iraq war. the president said there were definitely weapons of mass destruction. secretary rumsfeld said the invasion would be self-financing and would last five weeks or five months. t not going to last any longer. we know the cost to have the united states was 4400 soldiers dead. 500,000 iraqs dead. unprecedented turmoil in the region and most of those facts were known at the time you made that statement in 2014. let me say this, i'm one of two senators who served on the foreign relations and armed services committee.
i represent a state that's deputiesly committed to the military mission. i have a son in the military. i honor your military service. i think my mission on these committees is two things. dramatically reduce the risk of unnecessary war and raise the possibility that we win think war that we need to be in. i also firmly believe we shouldn't be at war without a vote of congress. your actions as a house member suggest you and i see this some what the same way. in 2011, i criticized president obama for putting us into libya without a vote. you voted twice to oppose military action unless it was authorized by congress. in 2014, president obama came to this committee to ask for the military authority to strike syria. you supported that in the house. i supported it here in the senate. the committees supported it. now president trump has fired, ordered missile strikes fired at syria last year. he didn't seek congressional
approval. the u.s. conducted air strikes against the syrian military in february without congressional approval. the president is tweeting he might do additional military strikes in syria now and he's also aiming words directly at russ russia. as far as i know syria has not declared war against the united states. has congress given the president specific authority to wage war against syria. >> senator, i think you and i do share similar bias for the executive and legislative branches both to be involved when such decisions about war are undertaken. now that i'm in the executive branch my views have not changed. >> you would agree with me waging war requires a domestic and international legal justification? >> i would. you asked -- i don't want to dodge your very specific question. you asked about syria. for a long time, multiple
administration found the president has authority to act and take certain actions without first coming to congress to seek approval whether it was kosovo. the list from democrats and republicans is long and like. just to close. i share your view. in each case where we can, america and our soldiers and sailors are better off if we have the entirety of the united states government working together and having authorized the basactivity. i've been trying to secure the detailed justification strikes on the military base in syria. the administration is not fully provided it. there is reportedly a memo that is laying out a description of what the president or the administration feels are the appropriate executive powers.
>> i think you shared it with me. i was unaware of that. i promise you i'll work alongside you to get you that information. if it's a classified version of it, you have a right as a member of the legislative branch to see i'll work to get you that. >> excellent. thank you. before turning to senator young, a surgical strike, let's use the last one that occurred, do you think that requires an authorization from congress? >> most have taken that action under the president's authority. >> i was ranking member when our chairman and i and the committee wrote an authorization for the use of force in syria that was not used and has changed the
course of history and displaced millions of people and hundreds of thousands of people are dead. not to say that would have necessarily prevented all of that but would have changed the trajectory significantly. i agree with you and i've shared that with the president in the last very short period of time that i do not believe that should he choose to take a surgical strike against syria that an authorization from us is necessary just based on a body of evidence that we have and the things that have occurred in the past. i, like you, oppose strongly what we did in libya. i think that's complicating our efforts in north korea because of obvious reasons. with that, senator young. >> welcome mr. director. congratulations on your nomination. my point of this is i won't be on trying to identify some merries of principal disagreement.
i suspect if we worked hard enough we might be able to find some of those. i want to emphasis the importance of having a smart, experienced individual as our next secretary of state based on my time serving with you and the house of representatives you've checked those boxes. you have checked that box. i want to encourage you and i anticipate supporting you. in our march visit in our office we spent much of our time talking about crises around the world. you'll be immersed in these should you with confirmed. we also spent time talking about communication. i was quite candid with you about my unhappiness from time to time with the department of state and the level of responsiveness i've seen over the last year or so. it has significantly improved.
there's been an up tick in dialogue of the department in my office i think this committee more generally in recent months. we have an article one responsibility which you understand very well. this is the committee of jurisdiction that overseas the state department and i just want to get you on record here. you indicated in your prepared statement that you're prepard to pick up our calls on the first ring. i think that's the message you ought to be sending opinion to be clear, do you commit to and ensure the department of state provides timely and responsive answers to me and my office? >> i adopted the leon panetta motto, which was more time, more cups of coffee, have real interactions. whether you agree or disagree with a particular member to do that and provide the committee the documents. i'll promise to do that for you.
>> that's refreshing. >> do you agree the u.s. national security, our national security depends in large measure on a vibrant and growing economy? >> i do. >> in your prepared testimony you mentioned the systematic policies of stealing our intellectual properties. a force technology transfer and associated activities. you also mentioned moments ago that china is using mostly economic tools against us to achieve broader geo political ends. do you believe these policies have already undermine and if they continue unabated will continue to undermine our community as a country to realize our potential for economic growth, to incent vise investment and sustain the wherewithal to depend our
country. >> i think those risks are real and honest today. this is not some future risk. i think we have to confront it today. most directly is the enormous amount of intellectual property that has left the hands. the imagination and creativity of the american work force has delivered it and the chinese have taken it away from us. we have to develop a robust set of tools. a bunch of tools that we need and to do that well such we can prevent that from happening in the future. >> you spoke of a china strategy. my sense is we need a whole of government well coordinated, informed, strategic response to chi china's deceptive economic and trade practices, is that correct
is this. >> that is correct. >> i do too. that's why i intend to introduce some legislation on this topic. i'm going to require working with my colleagues and the administration that periodic production of a national economic strategy. i welcome the opportunity to work with the administration, you in particular, and in colleague who shares these dp l goals. i think we'll get this across the line. do you believe the response will be more effective if we assemble a multilateral of key trade and partners who also suffer to create a unified, international front to apply maximum pressure as opposed to a merely bilateral
dynamic which i perceive we have n now? >> i agree with that. we are likely to achieve most or all of it. >> given the challenges we con front with russia, iran, north korea, china and beyond, do you believe our nations need for effective diplomacy will decrease in the coming year or two? >> seems unimaginable but if i'm good enough, i'm hopeful that we can begin to take some of these challenges away. i was mindful. i had the former cia directors. nearly all of them attended. to a person they had been there 20 and 25 years ago. they said the stack has only gotten longer. we haven't pulled one of these
problems and we need to do that. we need to start to solve some of these. >> your response is something i'd like to shine a light on because the previous occupant of the secretary of state position once indicated that part of the rational behind his funding request for the department of state was that there would be less of a need on account of highly effective near term diplomacy for as much funding. any large organization here in washington or beyond can be made more efficient and we can identify funding decreases that might be made. ids rega
i would regard it as a risky strategy. >> are you operating under the premise that highly effective di employ -- di employplo diplomacy woul lower funding. >> i can't see anything in the six or 12 or 24 month time horizon that would permit us as having any less demand. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. former house energy committee cohert to the witness, senator ha markey. >> thank you. i want to talk about the threat of nuclear war. in north korea i'm glad to hear we should exhaust all options before resorting to military conflict. i agree with you. i do not believe that we have yet exhausted all options.
you've spoken about setting conditions for success in advance of president trump's meeting with kim jong-un and i am right now very concerned that the lack of a coherent policy in north korea could lead to a very poor meeting. if that meeting goes poorly, some might reach the conclusion that economic pressure and diplomatic engagement have va failed. national security advisor has outlined the case for military strikes on north korea. are there any conditions under which you would support preventative military strikes against north korea as secretary of state. >> senator, thanks for your question. that phrase prevented military strikes has a long history. lot of folks have different views. there's a legal view. there'spreemption.
i don't want to speculate how it might go, it's my full anticipation there will be enormous work. i think there's an awfully long way to go. the president has made clear and i agree with him that there may come that day. there may come the day when we see an arsenal of nuclear weapons capable of striking the united states of america. the president has made clear his intention to prevent that from happening. to the extent that diplomatic tools and other tools that america has is its foreign policy power are unsuccessful, i know that secretary mattis has been drirected to the present te set of options that will achieve the president's objective. >> secretary mattis said we're never out of diplomatic options
and let me get your response to this because there are going to be some who make that recommendation that we tried our dip employlomatic and economic sanctions and kim was unresponsive in this meeting. would the president let me remind you ha the pentagon has stated that quote the only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of north korea's nuclear weapons programs would be through a ground invasion. as you know, proskrjections for conventional war estimate that between 30,000 and 300,000 u.s. personnel could die in the first days of a conflict. you're a military man. you understand this. is there any circumstance under which you would concur with john bolton that with the exhaustion of economic sanctions from his perspective that a ground
invasion of north korea would be necessary in order to rid that country of its nuclear weapons program? >> senator, i suppose i could hiypothesize hypothesize, could i imagine? yes. i suppose it's possible that we would get to the condition where and i think there would be wide consensus on this panel where kim jong-un was directly threating and we had information about his activities. i can imagine times when america would need to take a response that movered past diplomacy. >> i would say to you that the consequences of united states initiating an attack against north korea would be catastrophic. >> i think the american people would want reassurances.
you would not consider such an action. >> he has nuclear weapons. i don't feel comfortable with you not taking that off the table. the one two three agreement that's being negotiated with them. >> again, i'm going to quote mr. bolton that civil nuclear cooperation, are one, two, three agreements must include the gold standard. our commitment to forego any uranium enrichment to technologies critical to the development of nuclear weapons. do you believe any agreement with negotiate with saudi arabia should have a gold standard? >> senator, yes. one of my critiques of the ie rangement we reached with iran
was it was insufficiently close to such a standard. you support the gold standard? >> i do. i've not been part of the negotiation, i know the state department and the department of energy are working towards achieving them. >> would you pose any agreement less than the gold standard. that ultimately permitted for uranium enrichment technology on the soil of saudi arabia. >> i can't answer that far. how do you think iran would respond if we pulled out of the the agreement with iran while simultaneously agreeing to a deal where saudi arabia would receive plutonium.
how do you think they would respond? >> this is my concern with the iran agreement. >> right. that's the question i'm asking you. what's the response if we were providing nuclear weapons of material to the saudi arabians? >> i think they will take it into account. we're talking about material. the capacity to weaponize and a delivery mechanism through missile systems. >> i appreciate that. >> this is going to be a very dangerous concoction if we pull out of the iran deal and give materials to permit them to obtain. ♪ --
♪ here weapons making materials. the juxtaposition of abandoning the iran deal while simultaneously giving a sweetheart deal is going to lead to a highly combustible condition in the middle east that is avoidable if we reenforce the iran deal, ensure it's being complied with. otherwise what they will want is to be put on third base with the lead of nuclear weapons construction materials and i think this administration will be making a terrible mistake if it negotiates a deal that laws the saudi arabians to do that. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. we have talked with secretary perry and i couldn't agree more that we need to stress a gold standard.
b everybody in the region will want the right to enrich. you have your work cut out for you. it's very difficult to tell an a arab nation that they cannot when we said that the shiaa can. >> congratulations on your nomination. we'll be here to support you in any way. let me start off by saying thank you to the state department and this administration on the open skies agreement, which you may or hay nmay not be familiar wit. i hope you will continue that enforcement. >> i will. >> thank you very much. i think ambassador haley is gone. let me say this any way.
i'm a big fan of africa and i've developed an affinity for africa since i've been on this committee. i've traveled this extensively. i think it's the kind of 21st century for our country and everybody else. china is demonstrating they think it's important because they are spending a will the of money and building a lot of buildings and things of that nature. is that helpful. there are a million and a half people there. 50 million alone. are you familiar with my len yum challenge corporation? >> i'm aware. >> it's to build infrastructure in those countries and developed
board -- governing board of the accounts that held the african countries who received the investment responsible for ending corruption, having better worker laws in their country and being a partner with the yiunit states. i hope when you have the chance you'll focus on millenial challenge account and what they're doing. it's part of that soft power that we have the capability to use. more friends we can make in countries like in continents like africa, the more votes we can help influence us on big issues we need if the united nations. i hope you'll focus on africa when you have the chance. lastly, i want to -- this is kind of an editorial statement. my experience of the state department has been it's been in
a blue funk for about a year and a half. one of the things and i told you this when you came to my office, i thought it was real need for a perk, for an adjustment and add constitu -- attitude improvement in the state department. i think you are the opportunity to be a catalyst. to your credit, your critics and complimenters or whatever that term should be, at the cia, give you high marks for bringing that agency back. i think your meetings with mike that you referred to in your opening statement and printed statement were the seed. the employees had a chance to speak out to you. tell you what they thought needed to be done and you had the chance in the environment to tell them what they can be to help that happen. as i understand it, and i'm not schilling for anyone. the attitudes of the state department are the best they
probably ever been. the unity there is strong and the understanding of the mission of rank and file employees is great. i want to challenge you to replicate where possible, in the state department, the same energy and fire that you have at the cia. the state department needs it desperately and the state department is our open for peaceful settlements of peaceful problems. if you can do what you did at the state department, you'll be a great secretary. would you commit to trying to replicate what you done there already and please feel free to brag about yourself. >> nasenator, i will. i'll do just the opposite of that. what you described took place because of the talented officers, the expertise at the central intelligence agency. i had enormous human capital of which the build a team.
i know the state department is the same way. i know the local employees, civil servants, foreign service officers have the same desire for mission to be relevant. if you sign toup to be a foreig service officer, you have a smes special commitment. my task, if i'm confirmed, will free them up to go to do the great work they were doing. >> i'm sure we'll continue at the state department. thank you opinion. >> thank you. thank you, mr. pompeo. i appreciate you coming by to give me some time so we can talk this private. >> you're most welcome. >> i want to pick up on one of the themes we talked about. that involved many of your past statements involving muslim americans. i want to start with some of
your language in a speech you talked about folks who worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism. you mourn we live in a country where that happens. do you have any views that the muslim faith or people who believe in worshipping quote, unquote other gods. is that something negative in our country? >> no, senator. you can look up my record. my record is exquisite with respect to treating people of each and every faith with the respect they deserve to protect their right to religion or no religion. i've done that. >> my time is limited. >> it's important because i've heard these critiques and you raised it yesterday. i've worked closely with muslim leaders, muslim countries. the cia has a countless,
thousands of muslim lives during my 15 months. this is at the core of who i am, senator booker. i promise you i will treat persons of each faith or no faith with the dignity and respect they deserve. >> your words are really encouraging. words do matter. it's not just actions in a nation of bigotry where you see too much bigotry and hatred. you and i both know words matter. i do understand your actions and i will stipulate to the actions you said. i want to get to the bottom of people who are going to be reading your past statements and give you chance to further explain them. i would like to go back to what we talked about this idea the special obligation falls on muslims in regards to terrorisms attacks in our countries. you said something dramatic. you said people who are silent
are complicit in those terror attacks. do you think that muslim american who is serve in our military and state department, their failure to speak up, are they complicit in terrorist attacks? >> each and every human, not just americans, eeach and every human has an obligation to push back from whatever faith. >> you don't create a special class of people in this country based upon their religion that have a special obligation to condemn terrorist attacks? >> no. having said that and i had chance to talk about this yesterday. i'm not sure we ended up completely agreeing but perhaps we did. i also do believe this firmly. for certain places there are certain who are better position. folks more credible and trustworthy have a more shared experience. when it comes to making sure that we don't have terrorist
brewing in places that were muslims congregate there's a special place. it's more than a duty. it's an opportunity right to be treated when someone from another it, it can get characterized -- >> if i can go on, because i have some more questions. so you think that muslims in america who are in position, of leadership have a different category of obligation because of their religion, that's what i'm hearing you saying? >> it's not an obligation, it's an opportunity, senator. >> okay, so, it's interesting, because i would agree with you that silence in the face of injustice, we've seen this in the holocaust, in the civil rights movement. i do agree with you that silence in the face of injustice lends strength to that injustice. i have a problem, though, when you start creating dicing up american people and saying certain americans. i don't care if it's kareem abdul-jabbar or muslims that serve on my staff that they're in position, of leadership, that suddenly have a special obligation. i do believe, though, all of us, when this comes to violent
actions or even violent words have an obligation. and so i'm wondering, sir, do you, do you know frank gaffney? >> yes, i do. >> and you've been on his show dozens of times. >> i was on his show some, yes, senator. >> i have here over 20 times. and he has talked about muslims should be -- who abide by the adherent to their faith, should be considered to be tried for acts of sed dition and should be prosecuted. did you remain silent when he was on his show? did you remain silent, and he's, my notes at least you're a friend of his, were you silent in your position of authorities against these words? >> senator, my record on this is unambiguous. >> sir, then if that's a response, you did not say anything to call out his remarks. what about budget gabriel, do
you know her? >> i do. >> someone who has been, runs an organization that has been considered a hate group by the anti-defamation league and the southern poverty law center. did you ever call her out for remarks that are hateful and bigoted? >> i believe my record with respect to tolerance and the equal treatment of people -- >> but you never -- yes or no, did you ever call her out -- >> senator, i couldn't tell you, i don't recall each statement i've made over 54 years. >> okay, i believe a special obligation that you talk about for americans to condemn things that are attacking our constitution, our ideals, would obligate you in your own definition to speak out. when it comes -- >> senator, if i might, i have called out. we had a terrible fella in kansas named fred phelps. i called him out. >> i have a minute left. i do want to give you a chance to speak about your comments on gays and lesbians. you said in a speech that warning an american that endorses per version and calls
it alternative lifestyle, in your words. is being guy a perversion? >> when i was a politician, i had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. i stand by that. >> you do not believe it's appropriate for two gay people to marry? >> senator, i continue to hold that view. it's the same view -- >> so people in the state department, i met some in africa, that are married under your leadership, you do not believe that should be allowed? >> senator, we have -- i believe it's the case, we have married gay couples at the -- you should know. i treated them with the exact same -- >> you believe that gay sex is a perversion, yes or no? yes or no, sir, do you believe gay sex is a perversion? it's what you said here in one of your speeches. yes or no, do you believe gay section sex is a peer versirver? >> my respect for every individual regardless of sexual orientation is the same.
>> i would conclude by saying, sir, you're going to be secretary of state of the united states at a time we have an increase in hate speech, in hate actions against jewish americans, muslim-americans, indian americans, hate acts are on the increase in our nation. you're going to be representing this country in nations where gay individuals are under untold persecution, untold violence. your views do matter. you're going to be dealing with muslim states and on muslim issues. and i do not necessarily concur that you are performing the values of our nation when you can't even, when you believe there are people in our country that are perverse and when you think that you create different categories of americans and their obligations when it comes to condemning violence. so i'll have another round but thank you. >> thank you. >> senator portman. >> senator paul, thank you, sir. >> thank you. thanks for your testimony. thanks for going through this grueling enterprise and your
willingness to serve the country. you d you discussed with senator kane a little bit about whether he has the authority to bomb installations in syria. you mentioned historically we've done it in the past. i don't think that's a complete enough answer. my question would be do you think it's constitutional? does the president have the constitutional authority to bomb assad's forces? does vehe have the authority absent congress' authorization? >> i'm happy to repeat my view on this. those decisions are weighty. every place we can, we should work alongside congress to get that. but yes, i believe the president has the domestic authority to do that. i don't think -- i don't think that has been disputed by republicans or democrats throughout an extended period of time. >> it's disputed mostly by our founding fathers who gave that authority to congress and uniformly opposed to the executive branch having that power. madison wrote very specifically. he said the executive branch is the branch most prone to war,
therefore, we have, with studied care, vested that authority in the legislature. the fact we have in the past on this doesn't make it constitutional. i would say i take objection to the idea that the president can go to war when he wants, where he wants. with regard to afghanistan, some have augusted it's time to get out of afghanistan. what do you think? >> senator, i think the course of action that president trump has taken there is the right one. it is humble in its mission. it understands that we've been there an awfully long time. it has an objective of leaving. but is not prepared to leave until such time as we can put america in position where we can greatly diminish our home from threat of terrorism that may imminent from there and an effort alongside there that will be required to achieve that first objective to create -- i want to be humble -- more stability in afghanistan. >> actually the president has been very specific at times on this and he said it is time to
get out of afghanistan. we are building roads and bridges and schools for people that hate us. it is not in our national interest. that's a direct quote. so the president said it was time to get out. it sounds like you say it's time to stay. is that a difference in opinion? some here worry you're going to be too much in agreement with the president. i worry you're going to be too much in disagreement with the president. one of the things i've liked about the president, he says it is time to come home. let's declare victory and come home. it sounds to me like you're saying we should stay. >> sounds like a have a goldilocks problem. too short, too big. different pourage for each. the president also said in the summer at ft. myer he was commissioned to the plan i outlined for there. that's consistent to what the secretary of state has been trying. it's consistent with what secretary mattis has been trying to do by supporting afghan forces in the country. i believe and i share the president's view that we have a
continued role there. while i want to get out in the same way you do, i have friends who are serving. i have friends who have been injured. we're not at a place yet where it's appropriate to do so. >> here's the problem, are we ever going to be at that place? you've got people, the administration, yourself now saying and your written questions back to me that there's not a military solution. we're sending our gis out there to risk life and limb when there is no military solution, hoping that we -- sounds a little bit like vietnam, hoping we get to a little position, let's bomb the crap out of them to make sure we negotiate. in the end, it was no better in vietnam. it was still a disaster in the very end. a lot of people wasted their lives in the end for that. i think there is no military mission. when you admit there's no military mission, it is hard for me to square with your desire still to stay. we say, oh, we want to leave, but when? we've been there 18 years. i think we should declare victory and come home.
i think we did win the battle. there's nobody left alive who plotted to attack us on 9/11. i've asked people repeatedly tell me the names of those left alive in afghanistan or pakistan or anywhere in the world. we're now sending people to war who weren't even born when 9/11 was. it's just fine, we're going to keep fighting these wars and it's like it has something to do with 9/11. no, it has nothing to do with 9/11. everybody around the world who is a radical islamist we're now at war with because we said we got permission to go at 9/11. when you're in congress, you have a little bit different position. your position with libya was we should get authorization. your position in 2013 was also you wrote an op-ed with tom cotton saying we should give the president authority to go into syria. because you were eager to get involved and you wanted to give the president permission saying please, president trump, let's
go to war in syria. i think we need to think these things through. we need to not carte blanche that the constitution does give just carte blanche, you know, permission for the president to do whatever he wants. do you think the iraq war was a mistake? >> when i was running machine shop in kansas at the time so i don't have an ex-temp rainious view. >> how about opinions now? >> okay. i may well have had an opinion. >> now, was there -- >> my opinion now is we clearly had -- we had bad intelligence. one of the few directors. in spite of all the enormous resources. we did, we had that intelligence. >> we did geopolitically the wrong thing. we got rid of the enemy in iran. we made it worse. we brought chaos to the middle east. we're still suffering the ramifications and repercussions of the iraq war. your president said it very clearly. he says the iraq war was the single worst decision ever made. once again, i'm concerned that