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Senate Questions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 25, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D-NJ: -- you were briefed by the President what he told you, I don't think that's unfair to know, to understand what policies. Let me ask you this, did the President say they were going to change our fore structure in Syria?

POMPEO: Senator, presidents are permitted to have conversations with their cabinet members that aren't repeated in public. I owe the president the capacity to have conversations with him, provide him the best foreign policy advice that I can. It was what I was brought on to do --

MENENDEZ: Let me ask you this, Mr. Secretary. Here's something you can answer from Bri (ph), because you aren't going to answer any of the questions that would get us to the truth. As CIA director, you stated in an interview the BBC that you fully expect Russia to continue its attacks on our democracy by attempting to interfere in our midterm elections as we speak.

In his conversation with Putin, I hope the president laid out the consequences of interference into the 2018, but I know you can't tell me that, so --

POMPEO: Actually, I can tell you that --

MENENDEZ: Oh, you want to share that one with me --

POMPEO: I can't -- no, I can't --

MENENDEZ: -- that one you want to share with me?

POMPEO: No Senator, I can tell you that because the president has disclosed that.


POMPEO: The -- the president disclosed what he said to Vladimir Putin about Russian interference in our elections. And he said that he is confident that as result of the conversation, Vladimir understands that it will not be tolerated.

MENENDEZ: I wish he has said that in public in Helsinki. Let me ask you this Senator Graham and I and others are working on a new bill to hold Russia accountable. Given that you assert the administration is tough of Russia, will you commit to working with us on a new Russia sanctions bill? POMPEO: Yes, sir.

MENENDEZ: Thank you.

North Korea: when you last appeared, I asked you a series of critical questions about what's our policy in North Korea? And to your credit, I must say that I largely agreed with what our goals are.

Now I want to ask you, since we haven't heard anything -- not a classified briefing, not anything as it relates to North Korea, did North Korea agree with our definition of denuclearization? Meaning the dismantlement, removal of all nuclear weapons, facilities, technology, and material from North Korea?

POMPEO: I think I can answer your question. But let me begin by saying, I'm engaged in a complex negotiation with the North Koreans. So I don't intend, in this public setting, to share the details of every conversation that took place in those. But I will -- I will attempt to answer your questions with out disclosing the contents of the negotiation.

I am very confident that the North Korean's understand our definition of denuclearization, and a very broad one, that it goes from infrastructure of nuclear war heads, though chemical biological weapons systems...

MENENDEZ: We understand that, because you laid it for the record.

POMPEO: Yes, sir.

MENENDEZ: Did they -- have they agreed with you, that that is the definition (inaudible)...


POMPEO: I believe they thoroughly understand that. And they...

MENENDEZ: They understand it, but they didn't agree.

Did they agree to end the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for military programs?

POMPEO: Senator, I -- I would welcome the chance to respond to your questions, if you'd let me finish. It would be most -

MENENDEZ: It's a simple yes or no.

POMPEO: I think it would be most illuminating for the folks watching.

MENENDEZ: It's a simple yes or no.

POMPEO: Could you repeat the question please, Senator? It was the previous question I didn't have the chance to answer.

MENENDEZ: Surely. Did you - did North Korea agree to end the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for military programs?

POMPEO: They've agreed to denuclearize fully. Yes, Senator.

MENENDEZ: OK, well we don't have that...

POMPEO: Yes, it includes - and it certainly includes - it certainly includes the full measure...

MENENDEZ: I would love for you to come to a classified setting and tell all members what exactly transpired, because we don't know.

Thank you.

Senator Risch?

RISCH: Mr. Secretary, thank you for doing this job. The president made a wise decision in appointing you Secretary of State. And you're acquitting yourself very well here today and we appreciate that. You've always been strait forward with us.

And I appreciate that. I know many of my colleagues -- not all, but many of my colleagues fully appreciate that.

I want to talk...

POMPEO: Are you prepared to say most, Senator? Or are you just going to go with many?

RISCH: I'm going to stay with many.

Let me say that as far as what happened at the NATO summit, very few American's heard anything except the argument that went on about the - about funding.

Now I know the president believes, I know you believe and I believe, and I think most everyone believes that NATO is the most successful military alliance in the history of the world. And as you pointed out, it's certainly one of the pillars of our national security, and one that we need to support, and one that we need to work well.

There are very few down sides of NATO. But there is one blemish. And the president has underscored that publically and well. His predecessor attempted to do it. All their predecessors attempted to do it. All those of us that meet with the Europeans from time to time underscore it. And that is the funding, or the lack thereof, that the Europeans have done.

Only eight of the NATO nations are actually meeting the commitment of two percent. But first of all, the president is to be commended for underscoring this, as only he can do in his unique way, and actually getting them to start talking about it, and now finally starting to agree to that.

[15:35:00] But there were other things that were lost, as far as that meeting is concerned. And I'd like you to talk about those things for a few minutes. Number one is on the deterrent side the "Four 30s" commitment to increase NATO readiness, and speed up the time it take allies to assemble and deploy forces. And that's a huge step forward; the efforts to improve mobility and establish a process to enhance the speed at which NATO can make decisions. They fight against terrorism and increase in allied resilience against terrorist threats through a new framework to share biometric data is a major accomplishment.

And find (ph) the opportunity for Macedonia to receive an invitation to join NATO and fulfill the promise from the Bucharest summit that was a positive step for the alliance and for the Balkans.

Could you comment on those very important steps forward that happened at the -- at this NATO summit?

POMPEO: (Inaudible) it was an incredibly productive NATO summit by -- from my conversations with Secretary General Stoltenberg, he said among the most productive that he had ever been part of.

And he's been doing this a little while. You talked about the Four 30s, 30 squadrons, 30 battalions and 30 naval combatants ready to go in 30 days is something NATO has not been able to do for quite some time.

There's now a real commitment, we have to follow through to make sure that the implementation that occurs, it would be -- it would be a great thing to deter Russia if we can get those countries and our allies to get to that level.

You talked about the increase in burden sharing. It seemed to get all the focus. It's certainly important that the Europeans are as committed to deterring Russia as the United States of America and need to demonstrate that through their defense.

Not only dollars, but readiness as well. We've seen reports about the absence of German readiness. They -- they -- they need to truly be ready. The president also raised another issue about energy and energy security at the NATO summit.

He talked about the Nord Stream II pipeline and the risk that that creates to the alliance in the event that Russia should decide to use energy as a weapon to coerce either formally or informally Germany or other European countries.

He raised it to the forefront and frankly there are European countries that understand that risk and support America and our position on that as well. And then finally you talked a little bit about the NATO mission, its -- its new role in fighting terrorism.

I want to -- I want to say thanks to so many of the European countries that have stepped forward. Even just this past few -- I guess it's now two weeks since the NATO summit, over 1,000 additional commitments from allied NATO partners headed to assist us in Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan.

That's a great commitment, something that President Trump worked hard on at the summit and really good outcomes for America. RISCH: Well thank you so much. You're -- you're to be personally

committed for those great successes as is the president for leading that regard. It's unfortunate that our friend's and allies' feathers were ruffled a little bit just because we said they weren't paying their bills.

But that's been going on for some time, and I think we're going to tolerate that, but they've got to step up and I know you underscored that and the president has certainly underscored that with them.

I want to talk about Iran for just a moment. They're one of the big unreported stories as far as foreign relations is concerned is the issues and the difficulties that the Iranian people are having internally, financially and under -- and otherwise.

And I know we're not in a classified setting, but there -- there is some open reporting on these sources, and the regime that's there is struggling with this. Indeed I think that's probably why they tried to poke the president the other day to try to take their -- to try to take the -- the heat off of the heat they're getting at home.

Could you talk a little bit about what's going on internally again knowing that we're in an open setting? POMPEO: Senator, there is enormous economic challenge inside of Iran today. It's a -- it's an economic structure that simply doesn't work. When you foment to that -- when you're a country of that scale that foments terror through Lebanese Hezbollah, through Shia militias in Iraq, into Yemen, conducts assassination attempts in European countries, provides enormous support for Assad outside of Lebanese Hezbollah in Syria, that's expensive, and I think Iranian People are beginning to see that that is not the model that they want. That the Iranian expansionism, that the supreme leader in Qasem Soleimani so favor, is not what they're looking for.

I think you're beginning to the economic impact, combined with understandings inside of Iran of the Kleptocracy that it is, leading to fundamental decisions that the Iranian people will ultimately have to make.

RISCH: Do you agree with me that that acceleration of that understanding by the Iranian people has been very rapid over the last six months?


POMPEO: Yes. It's -- I think it's -- I think it's been going on longer than that, but yes.

RISCH: It's been going on longer, but I'm talking about the acceleration.

POMPEO: Yes, Senator, I think that's a fair statement.

RISCH: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. CORKER: If I could, just one interjection. I know that the phrase

"paying their bills" has been used. And we need -- every NATO country needs to be contributing 2 percent to defense. And I've noticed those near the Russian border always do.

But there is -- that's a misnomer, is it not? What we want them to do is contribute at least 2 percent. There is not -- these NATO countries are not -- not paying bills to the United States, as sometimes is projected? Is that a -- is that correct?

POMPEO: The shortfalls that the president identified really are in two buckets. There is a NATO common fund that is contributed to by every nation, and the United States is by far the largest contributor to the fund. And then there are monies that are paid for nations to raise their own militaries and to defend themselves. That's the -- that's the 2 percent number to which we've been referring.

CORKER: Right. Right. But it's not -- it would be a mischaracterization to say -- to make it appear that they're not paying bills to the United States?

POMPEO: That's correct, Senator, that's correct.

CORKER: That's correct.

Senator Cardin?

CARDIN: Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here.

It's my understanding that the president is going to invite Mr. Putin to the United States to follow-up on the understandings reached in Helsinki. Can you just briefly tell me what those understandings or agreements reached in Helsinki at the meeting?

POMPEO: Sure, I can certainly share with you the things that we've been tasked to follow up on by President Trump, following that meeting. There's a handful.

So there is an agreement to establish some business-to-business leadership exchanges; this historically had been undertaken, but had fallen away. It would be business leaders that would participate in this. I understand that this went on for years and years and -- and -- and was ceased...

CARDIN: If you could -- if we could do it briefly. I understand you want to give a complete thing, and I appreciate that.

POMPEO: It's what you asked for.

CARDIN: I understand that, business-to-business. Next issue?

POMPEO: The president's has asked us to look at reestablishing a counterterrorism counsel that was held at the level of the deputy secretary of state for many years, but it also ceased to happen. I think at this point, I think that makes sense...

CARDIN: Counterterrorism cooperation.


POMPEO: ...counterterrorism. We are working to see, in Syria, what are the possibilities that can be achieved so that the now between 6 million and 7 million displaced -- externally displaced persons have the opportunity to return. We made it clear this should happen through the political process in Geneva. But we are working to see if we can't get Russian -- Russia to be more cooperative, in terms of driving towards a political resolution there that would take down the violence levels and create some opportunity to begin a political resolution of the process in Syria.

CARDIN: Any discussions on sanctions? You said there was no easing of the sanctions.

POMPEO: No, Senator, no easing of the sanctions...

CARDIN: Was there any...

POMPEO: I'm sorry, go ahead.

CARDIN: Was there any discussion about Magnitsky because certain names associated with Magnitsky came out in Helsinki. Was there any discussion with the president on the Magnitsky sanctions?

POMPEO: There's been no change in U.S. policy with respect to Magnitsky. I -- I think I know what you're referring to. Let me -- let me make clear, the United States will defend our team in the field and the team that's been in the field when it retires and leaves the field.

We -- we understand that Americans deserve the protection of the United States of America but through their time in service and thereafter.

CARDIN: Was there any agreements reached in regards to Ukraine?

POMPEO: No, Senator, that's an agree to disagree. That is the U.S. policy hasn't changed and you can see that, right; $200 million since the Helsinki summit provided to the Ukrainians. I -- I think there was lots of concern that -- and I saw it. I could find your all's quotes if you'd like me to go drag them out -- concerns that President Trump would make a change in position with respect to Ukraine.

CARDIN: And you made that clear.

POMPEO: And there -- there is none and it is -- it is a policy that the previous administration refused to undertake. And so I hear comparative -- it's -- it's important Senator. Comparison matters here because there's a narrative that has developed that somehow President Trump is weak on Russia when in fact the converse is true.

CARDIN: I heard you talk and brag about the number of sanctions that...

POMPEO: No, these were just facts.

CARDIN: Facts is that the Congress passed the CAATSA Statute that required sanctions to be imposed and there are sanctions that are to be imposed under CAATSA that have not been imposed and the facts are the administration has sought a waiver in regards to CAATSA in regards to the National Defense Authorization Act so I just really want to point out and we've heard this from previous administrations but not as much as we're hearing today that what Congress is requiring you to do all of a sudden you've found religion and taking credit for it.


POMPEO: Senator...

CARDIN: But in reality you haven't implemented one time the sanctions that have been passed by Congress.

POMPEO: Senator, first of all that's -- that's not true. We've passed a number of sanctions under the CAATSA provisions and it is also true, at least my best recollection of the Constitution is the president signed that law as well...

CARDIN: And he complained when he signed it.

POMPEO: I thank you -- I thank you for presenting that law. We appreciate it. We think it makes good sense. The president signed it as well. We have passed sanctions under that very law and we have passed sanctions that as I said previous administrations didn't do.

CARDIN: Please read the president's comment when he signed the law because it's very interesting, his comments.

Let me move on to our policy in regards to nuclear proliferation in Iran and in North Korea because I'm having a hard time understanding the comparison between these two countries.

In North Korea we have a country that has a nuclear weapon. The president has met with the president -- the leader of that country and has at least given a signal to some countries that in fact there may be relaxation of those.

We're having trouble with China today as I understand. In Iran we had a commitment for a short term ending their nuclear program. We were able to isolate Iran getting the support of China, Russia and Europe and we were able to keep the temperature down in regards to their nuclear program. Now by pulling out, we are now seeing we don't have any commitments on the short term if Iran walks away from the agreement because they're already sanctioned now under the United States.

We've been isolated, not Iran. And, of course, Iran today was not pursuing a nuclear program. I agree with you there may be long term issues. So I'm going to have a hard time understanding our strategy in regards to preventing nuclear proliferation. The last point I would make, we had a hearing in this committee as to what is necessary to move forward with North Korea on giving up nuclear weapons. And the first thing they talked about, you had to have a full declaration of it's nuclear arsenal and a timeline for dismantling.

And I'm take any (ph) my information now from the South Koreans, not from the Americans. The South Koreans have been reported to say that you asked for that information and you have not been able to get that information from Kim Jong-un or his representatives.

So what have we gotten in North Korea and why are we allowing North Korea to continue to have a nuclear weapon when the strategy is that as long as Iran is doing any types of enrichment, we're going to pose sanctions against them?

POMPEO: Senator, let me -- let me try -- that was a long question. Let me try and unpack a little bit. So let me give you the common theme. We want neither Iran north -- nor North Korea to have the capacity to proliferate nuclear weapons, to enrich uranium or build their own weapons program. That's the mission set. It draws them together.

That sets the conditions for President Trump's understanding of how one achieves nonproliferation in the world and that's the mission state (ph) we're undertaking in each of those two countries. They're in different places and we are working on our approach in each place that we think increases the likelihood that we're able to successfully achieve that, a mission I -- I know you share.

CORKER: Yes. (Inaudible) Senator Rubio (ph) second interjection. I know mention was made of a waiver in the NDAA by Senator Mattis -- I mean Secretary Mattis, actually -- yes, he wouldn't want to be demoted to that level, I know. But -- but I support that. And -- and the purpose of that waiver, was it not, was to allow countries that we're dealing with, that we wish to buy American military equipment to be weaned off Russian equipment.

They still had to buy parts to do so, so that we can more fully implement strategies with them, working with them to really push back against other countries, is that correct?

POMPEO: Senator Corker, you -- you capture it very well. It's -- it's -- Secretary Mattis and I both put forward this proposal request (ph) to the Senate for these waivers. These are countries that have historic Russian weapon systems. If we deny them the capacity of spare parts or to round out that -- that process, then we're likely to drive them into the hands of the Russians.

I don't think that was the aim of the sanctions themselves and so we're working to effectuate the intent of the statute by seeking this waiver. It's pretty narrow.

CORKER: Senator Rubio.

CARDIN: Will the Chairman yield so I can --

CORKER: Rubio may yield, but -- go ahead. Go ahead.

CARDIN: My point is that this is an issue we talked about in the development of the KATSA (ph) bill. There is absolutely no debate in this committee on the waiver request by the administration. I -- I take -- I disagree with the (ph) distinguished Chairman as to whether was handled right. The countries had over a year to resolve that.


CORKER: Yes. Had it (ph) become an acute issues -- and it is a defense-related issue and I'm glad that we've been able to resolve it in a manner that will allow these countries to wean off Russian equipment and begin buying ours. Senator Rubio.

RUBIO: Thank you. Just watching to see if they reset my clock. It's like an NBA game. All right, well, let me start.

CORKER: Reset the clock.

RUBIO: That's all right. We'll figure it out. I'll tell you when time is up, don't worry. On the -- on the -- when Vladimir Putin decided to interfere in our elections, you would agree he undertook a cost- benefit analysis. This what the price would be for doing, this is the benefit I think I would gain from it. And so where it leaves us is we have to do two things.

We have to defend against potential interference, election systems and the like. But I think the other is we have to make sure that the price is higher than the benefit. And -- and that -- that actually points to one things you've already mentioned and that is what we've already done.

If you start to line up some of the things that we've done in response to that and other things, it's a pretty extensive list of -- including we've been asking for four years that are finally happened. The Javelin antitank missiles for Ukraine and Georgia, the support of NATO's new posture in central and eastern Europe, the variety of designations under both Ukraine and cyber-related Executive Orders that were from the Obama administration, sanctions under CAATSA and I know there's more to come for cybersecurity.

Several rounds of designation of individuals for weapons proliferation, terror and transnational crime, export restrictions on entities that violated the IMF Treaty, we closed consulates in San Francisco and in Seattle, we closed an annex in D.C., we closed the trade office in New York after they -- poisoned nerve gas attack in the UK, we expelled 60 other diplomats.

All of those things happened under this administration, and these are pretty substantial, including the sanctions. But obviously even that price is not high enough because the intelligence community continues to tell us that they are postured and are actively engaged in -- in both attacking our -- our democracy and posturing to do more of that in the future.

So my question is along the lines of a piece of legislation that Senator Van Hollen and I and a group of other Senators have jumped on board on, and it -- and it aims to do three things. One is sort of define interference, OK? It's not just five Russian guys on Twitter.

I mean it's -- define it in terms of its meaning to our republic, require that the Director of National Intelligence to issue a report within 30 days of the election about whether or not interference occurred, and then put in statute a -- a menu of -- of very crippling sanctions.

And the purpose of that would be so that Vladimir Putin knows before he makes this decision going to '18 or in the future this is the price I will pay if I do this again. That's why it's called the Deter Act, to get on the front end of it.

I don't ask you to opine on the bill, cause I know you don't have it before you, but on the concept of building in deterrence on the front end, is that not a -- an approach that we can take to hopefully deter him from doing this in the future by making -- clearly understand how high the price would be in comparison to the benefit?

POMPEO: Senator I -- I completely agree with you that there is a cost- benefit calculation that's undertaken before the Russians act. So it follows necessarily that putting on notice with essentially a fail safe if you will about things that will follow has the likelihood of being successful in raising the cost in terms of how he calculates risk associated with a wide range of actions.

RUBIO: Let me -- you'll be asked plenty about Russia, so I don't want to undermine that. But I think that the single biggest national security threat in the long term to the United States is China. I mean for the first time since the end of Cold War, we are in competition with a near peer adversary and it's not just military, it's economic, it's technological, it's geopolitical and the like.

Yet we've seen their impressive and massive military buildup, the quantum leaps they're making in technology. We see that the work they're undertaking to sort of destroy the U.S. world order and rebuild it to one more of their liking.

We've seen the gains they've made in just on -- in 5G alone, I mean what -- China Mobile will be the only company in the world that can build standalone 5G networks by 2020. And what's really outrageous is many of these advances are not the result of hard work and ingenuity, they're also the result of intellectual property theft, force transfers and the like.

This is part of a tactic that they've been using for a while. The Chinese -- and I think the South China Sea is a great example of it. They don't make these big sweeping changes, it's sort of a sustained, sort of slow and incremental but more assertive demands each time, creating new normals along the way.

And what they've done in the South China Sea is evidence of that. And the only ways that -- that seem to work in response to their aggression are two things. The first is committed and sustained escalation across the relationship, meaning you don't carve out pieces of it.

They do it that way, we have to do it that way. Our whole relationship's sustained and committed pressure. And the other is invoking the help of our foreign partners.


And what I'm troubled by in regards to the administration's posture on this is on the -- working with, you know -- invoking the help of our foreign partners has become complicated because we're currently engaged with trade disputes with the EU and Japan, Mexico and Canada, which we should have teamed up with to confront them.

And I -- and I understand trade is an issue that needs to be addressed, but my -- I don't know why we didn't address China first together and then dealt with our allies second. And the other is the sustained, committed escalation across the entire relationship.

And on that front, I'm puzzled by the decision the administration made on -- on ZTE, and I know that was not a State Department decision, it was a commerce one. Because I agree that if the ZTE issue was simply a sanctions violation, the penalties imposed have been devastating.

But ZTE is more than a sanctions threat to the United States, it is part of a broader telecommunication threat that the Chinese industries pose to the United States, and to threaten to shut them down and then pull back from it is not the sort of committed and sustained escalation across the entire relationship.

The carving out of one company sends them the message that they can pick away at different parts of the relationship and undermine our willingness to sustain pressure on them to get a better equilibrium. So I don't know what the State Department's role was in that decision, but moving forward, what is our broader strategic approach to the threat that China poses?

Because they don't seek parity, they seek to overtake us.

POMPEO: Senator, you have laid out what I think is the principle challenge for the United States over -- over the coming years, maybe decade. The issue of China, they are -- you talk about the -- they've got a lot of folks and a big economy.

That puts them in the position to be a competitor to the United States in a way that a country like Russia, with an economy smaller than Italy's can't -- can't maintain over some period of time. And so we do need a broad, comprehensive response.

And I think all of the west, not just the United States, was too slow in seeing this, your point about how they turned up the heat slowly over time. I think that recognition is there, but I don't believe the structures are in place today to respond to that in a way comprehensively.

I was with -- I was with our Australian partners yesterday at a meeting of -- with Secretary Mattis, myself and our -- our Australian counterparts. They, too -- they just passed a non-interference -- set of non-interference rules on China.

They are getting up to the speed in the same way that as you all took a look at CFIUS and FERMA. We're getting up to speed. We are -- we are beginning to strike that comprehensive response versus China that I think will ultimately do what has historically happened, allow America to prevail.

CORKER: Thank you, thank you very much. Senator Shaheen?

SHAHEEN: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you, Assistant Secretary Mitchell and our Charge in Turkey Phil Cosnett for your hard work and coordination on the efforts to release Pastor Brunson.

As you pointed out, his move from prison to house arrest is a positive development. Obviously we have a lot more work to do in terms of getting him back to the United States, and also pressing the Turkish government to release the other Americans that they are holding.

But it is a positive step and thank you for that. I am concerned, Mr. Secretary, because it's been one week since -- little over a week since the Helsinki meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, and yet other than the brief description you just gave us, we don't really know what was discussed in that meeting.

We've heard DNI Coats, General Votel and a number of State Department officials including those who were present in last week's committee meeting on Iran indicate that they still don't have a full understanding of what was discussed in that meeting.

And we're seeing almost daily attempts by the Kremlin to take advantage of this opportunity as they release their own readouts of the conversation and broadcast news of various agreements that they say were reached in that meeting.

So for me, that's why I'm so concerned and why I want to know exactly what was agreed to in that meeting. On Syria, President Trump said at his joint news conference that the two leaders discussed Syria at length. The Russian Ministry of Defense has indicated that the two leaders agreed to military cooperation in Syria. Did they do that?

POMPEO: Senator, the United States policy with respect to deconfliction with Russia has not changed. I -- I will defer to the Department of Defense for details around that, but that -- but I can tell you that the policy that was in place with respect to their efforts to keep American pilots safe and keep American forces safe in Syria, that policy has not changed.

SHAHEEN: Do you know if they discussed that policy?

POMPEO: (inaudible)

SHAHEEN: If they discussed...

POMPEO: Senator, I - I do know that they discussed Syria. They absolutely discussed Syria. The focus of that discussion -- I think President Trump assuredness was an effort to find a political resolution there and to get the displaced persons the opportunity to return to Syria. And that I think the President talked about one more item so as --