Pompeo Testifies on Trump-Putin Meeting
In the wake of the President’s announcement that a second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was postponed until 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Testified before the US Senate.
Pompeo says while the U.S. is engaged with "patient diplomacy" with North Korea, he pledged not to let negotiations "drag out to no end."
Pompeo delivered testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. He says the Trump administration's goals on North Korea are unchanged and the "objective remains the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong Un."
Pompeo has played a key role in recent talks between the U.S. and North Korea following Trump's historic summit with Kim in Singapore last month.
Secretary of State Pompeo says he has personally told top Russian officials that there will be "severe consequences" for any interference in U.S. elections or the American democratic process.
He told skeptical members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that he had made the warning clear to Russia in multiple meetings and conversations.
Pompeo made the comment in response to pointed questions about details of President Donald Trump's one-on-one meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last week in Finland. Both Republican and Democratic members of the committee demanded details from Pompeo about the summit for which the White House has offered only vague outlines.
Republican committee chairman Bob Corker opened the hearing by saying Pompeo was appearing before senators who have "serious doubts" of Trump and his foreign policy.
Pompeo says the United States will never recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea and will continue to insist that Ukraine's territorial integrity be restored.
In a statement released Wednesday by the State Department, Pompeo said the U.S. will hold to its long-standing principle of refusing to recognize Kremlin claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force, in violation of international law. He called for Russia to respect principles and "end its occupation of Crimea."
President Trump has previously suggested that U.S. opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered.
Secretary of State Pompeo is taking a tough line on Russia and its actions in Ukraine as skeptical lawmakers are set to demand specifics from him on President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
According to a State Department transcript released of a Pompeo interview Tuesday with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Pompeo says Trump and Putin "didn't find much place to agree" on Ukraine.
Pompeo says Trump made clear to Putin that the so-called Minsk Accords to settle the Ukraine conflict is the right path forward. He also reiterated U.S. support for an investigation that held Russia responsible for downing a Malaysian airliner over east Ukraine in 2014.
Pompeo said what the Russians did was "deeply immoral."