Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Michael Knowles of The Ben Shapiro Show

30 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Via Teleconference

QUESTION: Welcome back to the Ben Shapiro Show. I’m Michael Knowles filling in. I’m host of the Michael Knowles Show podcast, which you can get on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, all over the place. You can find me on Twitter, @MichaelJKnowles. Obviously we’ve been focused on a lot of domestic issues over the past few days and weeks and months. We seem to be very focused on what’s going on in the United States. That is the time, of course, that our adversaries around the world are ready to pounce. Fortunately, we’re very honored to be joined now by someone who can help clear up what’s going on around the world, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for coming on.

SECRETARY POMPEO: You bet, Michael. It’s great to be with you.

QUESTION: So, Secretary Pompeo, we have been kind of inwardly focused, I think, over the last few months. And yet, as this Chinese coronavirus has caused us all to look inward, China itself is aggressing around the world. They more or less invaded part of India just a little while ago, killed Indian soldiers; in the South China Sea there have been threats to the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, flying over Taiwan, threatening of Japan. It seems that China is getting aggressive. What does it mean for the ensuing months and years and what is the United States’ response to it?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Michael, you recounted some of the – just the most recent actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party. I may have missed it, but you left off attacking the freedom of the people of Hong Kong and —

QUESTION: Of course.

SECRETARY POMPEO: — conducting a campaign of human rights violations in the western part of China to ethnic Uyghurs, Muslims, Turkic Muslims that rivals the greatest human rights violations in all of recorded history. So the list, to your point, is right, it’s wrong. From America’s national security perspective, the threat the President identified when he campaigned back in 2015 from the Chinese Communist Party is very real. And so we’ve begun to take all the right actions to rebalance this relationship in a way that protects and secures freedom for the American people. You see – saw it first from the administration on trade. We had a deeply nonreciprocal set of trade relationships where the Chinese Communist Party stole intellectual property and then turned around and sold it back to us, dumped it with state-sponsored enterprises, conducted cyber-theft at levels that no other country can match the scale of today, enormous set of things that destroyed jobs all across the United States because that intellectual property is the grist for a lot of good jobs for American working people.

President Trump has taken this on seriously. I could spend a lot of time talking about the things that we have done and intend to do, but the mission set – the mission set is to ensure that the next century remains a Western, democratic, freedom-loving century like this last one, and not one dominated by a model that General Secretary Xi Jinping, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, wants it to be.

QUESTION: Well, this has been, I think, one of the brilliant legacies thus far – I hope it will be the legacy – of the Trump administration and of your work, to see clearly the threat posed by China even when for decades and decades now politicians of both parties have cheered on the rise of China and have, I think, ignored a lot of the threats there. I know before the coronavirus took over the whole country and all of our thoughts, the administration was touting this new trade deal with China. We were all very excited about it. Then the whole world changed. What will the effect of the virus and the lockdown be as we look to the future of that trade deal?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So, Michael, it’s certainly the case this virus that emanated from Wuhan, China, killed hundreds of thousands of people across the world and has destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth – and as the President said, the scale of the destruction that came as a result of the Chinese Communist Party hiding and covering up for this and allowing people to exit China when they knew that that had an enormous risk that it would infect people around the world, and they should have made a different set of decisions – it makes the trade deal look – I think the President’s words were – it seems much less of a priority for me today.

Notwithstanding that, we hope that the first part of the Phase One trade deal is complied with. We hope there are places that we can work with China. We want good things for the Chinese people. What we’re never going to sacrifice is American national security and American economic prosperity. And so I hope that the Chinese will decide that their commitments under the Phase One trade deal must be complied with. We – they tell us that they will. We’ll wait and see if they come through with their obligations there.

QUESTION: And I’d say it reminds me of an old line from Ronald Reagan that he would quote to Mikhail Gorbachev: Doveryai, no proveryai – trust, but verify. And I – certainly it would seem apt for the relationship with China. Who do you —

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, Michael. In my speech last week, Michael, I used that phrase and then described how we should respond to the Chinese Communist Party as distrust, but verify.

QUESTION: (Laughter.) That’s right. You’ve got to set these standards.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Look, they’ve just – they’ve broken – they’ve broken so many – Michael, they’ve broken so many promises to the world. They promised they wouldn’t arm the South China Sea. They promised the people of Hong Kong they’d have their freedom for 50 years. The list – they promised the World Health Organization that they would fess up if they had a problem. This is what happens in authoritarian regimes.

QUESTION: And you’re seeing the effect of that too. I mean, I remember early on in the pandemic there was a study that came out of University of Southampton that said if China had just stopped lying about the virus one week earlier, it would have reduced transmission possibly by 66 percent; two weeks earlier, 86 percent; three weeks earlier, over 90 percent. And I think a lot of people are hoping that there will be some consequence to be paid or at least a more just view of our relationship moving into the future.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, I think that’s certainly the case. I think the whole world saw what – Michael, what you and I know: communist regimes have a propensity to have the inability to tell the truth at the most critical moments. So even today they are denying access to places that need access so that we can figure out who patient zero was, how this virus moved around the world. We’ve still got people with this virus, and the Chinese Communist – to this day, now call it six and a half months on from when the Chinese Communist Party knew that human-to-human transmission was possible, it’s still the case that they won’t allow a simple inquiry into what happened, how it happened, and most importantly, to allow us to make sure we can get comfort that this won’t happen again. This is not the first virus that has come from China.

QUESTION: Yeah. Mr. Secretary, I know that over the past four years now we’ve heard lots of fear mongering about World War III, and it seems that anything that the United States does in the realm of foreign policy is going to cause World War III according to the mainstream media and Democrats, and that has not come to pass. Yet there does seem to be a real fear here as China is aggressing, particularly against another nuclear power, India, and as this lockdown throws the whole world into chaos. What is the threat level that we could find ourselves in some sort of armed conflict?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Michael, this is certainly serious business. To your point, this risk increased because for decades – and this is not political – both parties, presidents of both parties, just refused to be straight with China. And this threat level that we find ourselves under, the risk created to American national security stems from that weakness, from that consistent kowtowing, bending the knee over and over to China, giving them the belief that they could – what’s the Southwest Airlines – they could move about the cabin freely and there wouldn’t be a response from the West, from freedom-loving peoples and from the United States. And the President has just simply said enough. We’re going to find places we can work together. We’re going to distrust but verify. And when we do that, and when we do that well, we’ll rebalance this relationship, and – we hope – convince the Chinese Communist Party to behave in a way that’s fundamentally different than the things they have done that have taken advantage of America for far too long.

QUESTION: That’s right. And as we head into this election season, we hope that China and other adversaries around the world don’t take advantage of that as well. We hear a whole lot about election interference, so we will continue to hope and, of course, cheer on all the excellent work that you have been doing.

Mr. Secretary, we have taken up enough of your time. I know that you’re a very busy man, so thank you so much for taking the time to come on. We will trust you and we will distrust and verify when it comes to China.

SECRETARY POMPEO: (Laughter.) Michael, thank you very much for your time today. So long. Have a wonderful weekend.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.


Release of the JUST Act Report

29 Jul

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On July 29, the Department of State released a report to Congress pursuant to the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act of 2017, which was adopted by Congress with broad, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump in May 2018.

The JUST Act Report highlights the important actions taken by countries to provide restitution of or compensation for property confiscated during the Holocaust era or subsequently nationalized during the Communist era, consistent with commitments those countries undertook when they endorsed the Terezin Declaration at the conclusion of the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference in June 2009. The report also describes the vital work that countries are doing to commemorate the Holocaust, open archives, and promote Holocaust education in order to honor survivors and victims and to ensure such atrocities never happen again.

As we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and more than 10 years after the adoption of the Terezin Declaration, the legacy of the Nazis’ mass looting and subsequent Communist-era nationalizations of such property, remains largely unaddressed in too many places.

The Report details the critical work that remains to be done to provide a belated measure of justice to Holocaust survivors and their families, and to Jewish communities destroyed by the Holocaust. Given the advanced age of Holocaust survivors around the world – many of whom live in or near poverty – the need for action is urgent. All victims of the Nazi regime should be able to live out their remaining days in dignity.

When President Trump signed a landmark Executive Order on combatting anti-Semitism in December 2019, he also stressed the importance of strengthening restitution efforts. I am proud of the Department of State’s work in this area, which is led by our Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, and I will continue to make it a priority.



Federal Reserve Board announces the extensions of its temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap lines and the temporary repurchase agreement facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA repo facility) through March 31, 2021

29 Jul
Federal Reserve Board announces the extensions of its temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap lines and the temporary repurchase agreement facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA repo facility) through March 31, 2021

Voters Want To Extend Unemployment Benefits & Provide More Relief To States — Republicans Disagree

29 Jul

A new poll shows that voters in key swing states overwhelmingly want to extend unemployment benefits and provide additional relief to state and local governments — neither of which are included in the Senate Republican stimulus bill. Instead, Republicans have proposed doubling the “three-martini-lunch deduction,” billions for military weaponry, and nearly $2 billion for a new FBI HQ that could benefit Trump’s hotel.

A vast majority of swing-state voters support extending unemployment benefits and providing relief for state and local governments.

CNBC: “A majority, or 62%, of voters in those states support extending the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment insurance, the poll found. Only 36% oppose continuing the benefit, which states stopped paying out last week.”

CNBC: “Meanwhile, 68% of voters support relief for state and local governments facing budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, versus 28% who oppose the aid, the poll found.”

Republicans managed to find $8 billion for military weaponry in their coronavirus relief bill — yet they want to cut unemployment benefits.

Associated Press: “The Republican measure includes billions for F-35 fighters, Apache helicopters and infantry carriers sought by Washington’s powerful defense lobby. Overall, the proposal stuffs $8 billion into Pentagon weapons systems built by defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics — corporate titans that sit atop the Washington influence industry.”

Washington Post: “Senate Republicans’ new $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package would restore hundreds of millions of dollars in Pentagon spending that the Trump administration redirected to help pay for building President Trump’s border wall. Projects involving Navy aircraft and ships and Air Force planes that the Trump administration canceled this year so the money could pay for the wall have reappeared in the GOP package.”

Republicans refused to include new funding for food assistance but they had enough money to double the tax deduction for business meals.

Washington Post: “Although the Senate GOP proposal offers no new funds for SNAP and Pandemic EBT, it does double the tax deduction for business meals, known as the ‘three-martini-lunch deduction,’ increasing the reimbursement from 50 percent to 100 percent of meals.”

Trump doubled down on his insistence on nearly $2 billion for construction of a new FBI headquarters that could benefit his hotel.

CNN’s Manu Raju: “Trump reiterates there should be a new FBI building near DOJ – or renovate existing building. Keeping it on same plot would keep a new hotel away to prevent competition with his hotel. Trump says commute would be too long if it moved to MD and VA suburbs. Wants it in covid bill”


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As Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 150,000, Trump Continues to Distort Severity of Pandemic

29 Jul

More than 150,000 Americans have lost their lives because of the coronavirus, but instead of focusing on containing the spike of new infections he caused by rushing states to reopen, Trump remains focused on distorting the severity of the pandemic. Trump’s failed leadership allowed the coronavirus to get out of control, and now he’s threatening to prolong this crisis and cause even more deaths.

More than 150,000 Americans have lost their lives because of the coronavirus, more than any other country in the world. 

Associated Press: BREAKING: Confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. have hit 150,000, by far the highest toll in the world, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

As Trump continues to claim the coronavirus pandemic is under control and “starting to head down in the right direction,” the seven-day rolling average of American deaths has risen above 1,000 again, and hospitalizations are increasing in several states, with Arizona, Florida, and Texas running out of ICU beds.

CNN’s Ryan Struyk: “The seven-day rolling average of daily US coronavirus deaths has climbed above 1,000 for the first time in almost two months, according to data from CNN and Johns Hopkins University.”

NPR: “An NPR analysis of new COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity shows that in addition to well-known hot spots like Arizona, Texas and Florida, there’s cause for concern in other parts of the country, too. Places like southwest Louisiana, eastern Washington state and Boise, Idaho, have had to shuffle patients between hospitals in order to ensure everyone can get a bed.”

A recent report from the federal government urged Trump to impose more restrictions in 21 ‘red zone’ states, yet Trump pushed them to reopen. 

New York Times: “The report, which was dated July 26, recommended that more restrictions be put in place in ‘red zone’ states. But on Monday, a day later, President Trump called for more states to reopen.”

Trump is gambling with more lives by demanding students go back to school without necessary safety precautions and encouraging young adults to return to work, even as evidence grows that younger people are infecting more vulnerable older Americans they share a home with. 

Washington Post: “As the death toll escalates in coronavirus hot spots, evidence is growing that young people who work outside the home, or who surged into bars and restaurants when states relaxed shutdowns, are infecting their more vulnerable elders, especially family members.”

Experts agree that wearing a mask is one of the best ways the public can reduce further spread of coronavirus. Trump’s refusal to advocate mask-wearing for months and promotion of unsound medical advice on the issue has only complicated efforts to slow the spread of the virus. 

Washington Post: “The result, experts say, is a country that squandered one of its best opportunities to beat back the coronavirus pandemic this spring and summer. In the process, the United States fell far behind other nations that skipped the fuss over masks, costing lives and jeopardizing the recovery heading into the fall.”

New York Times: “In a video posted Monday online, a group of people calling themselves ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ and wearing white medical coats spoke against the backdrop of the Supreme Court in Washington, sharing misleading claims about the virus, including that hydroxychloroquine was an effective coronavirus treatment and that masks did not slow the spread of the virus. The video did not appear to be anything special. But within six hours, President Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. had tweeted versions of it, and the right-wing news site Breitbart had shared it. It went viral.”

The Trump administration was slow to respond to the coronavirus, and Trump’s own CDC director admitted that they were behind in recognizing the coronavirus threat from Europe. 

CNN: “‘The introduction from Europe happened before we realized what was happening,’ Redfield said. ‘By the time we realized (the) Europe threat and shut down travel to Europe, there was probably already two or three weeks of 60,000 people coming back every day from Europe,’ he added. ‘That’s where the large seeding came in the Unites States.’”

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DNC on America Reaching 150,000 COVID-19 Deaths

29 Jul

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after the United States surpassed 150,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic:

“150,000 people have lost their lives. 150,000 of our fellow Americans are gone because of this president’s failure to lead. And what is Trump focused on? Making up stories about being invited to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium and promoting conspiracy theories and junk science from a discredited doctor. There is no limit to the pettiness and petulance of this president. Just when you think he has hit rock bottom, he keeps on digging – all while the American people continue to suffer from his incompetence.

“Instead of following the science and taking bold action to end this pandemic, Trump is too busy attacking our nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease. Instead of providing relief, Trump and Republicans want to cut benefits for unemployment, jeopardize food security, and abandon Americans facing eviction. The American people have had more than enough of this president and the Republican Party’s disastrous leadership.

“Joe Biden will honor the memory of the lives we’ve lost by bringing an end to this pandemic. He will rebuild our economy, repair the soul of our nation, and restore courage and integrity to the Oval Office.”

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In The Battlegrounds: Three Years After Failed ACA Repeal Vote, Democrats Slam Trump’s Health Care Broken Promises

29 Jul

Yesterday, Democrats across the battleground states marked the three-year anniversary of Republicans’ failed ACA repeal vote by calling out Donald Trump’s continued broken promises and attacks on working families’ health care. See for yourself:

In Colorado:

Colorado Democrats: “Colorado families can’t afford more years of leaders hellbent on ripping away coverage and spiking costs — they want leaders who will work to protect our healthcare and lower costs for everyone across our state. That’s why Colorado will reject Trump and his Republican enablers’ horrific health care agenda come November.”

In Florida:

Florida Democrats: “Millions of Floridians are at risk of losing their health care because of Donald Trump’s continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Today we’re reminded of what’s at stake in this election — our health care. Donald Trump’s efforts to dismantle our health care in the midst of a pandemic, without so much as a whisper of a plan to replace the ACA, is cruel and senseless.”

In Georgia:

Georgia Democrats: “The ACA has significantly reduced the number of uninsured; helped Georgians get the health care they need; and helped keep them from being bankrupted just because they get sick. Joe Biden will protect and build on the Affordable Care Act to give Americans more choice, reduce health care costs, and make our health care system less complex. The stakes could not be higher — we must elect Joe Biden as our next president.”

In Iowa:

Iowa Democrats: “Even during a global pandemic, the GOP’s only plan for health care is to rip it away from as many Iowans as possible … While Democrats are running to expand access to affordable, high-quality health care, GOP leaders like Trump and Ernst have been relentless in their attempt to deny health coverage to Iowans.”

In Minnesota: 

State Senator Bobby Joe Champion: “As coronavirus cases surge, we’re reminded on a daily basis of the dire need for quality, affordable care for all Minnesotans. And, we know that existing racial inequities are magnified in this crisis. Black and Brown Minnesotans have suffered and died from the coronavirus at rates far higher than white Minnesotans. November is our opportunity to shut down Trump’s attacks on the ACA for good and elect a president who we trust with our healthcare. That president is Joe Biden.”

In Nevada

Nevada Democrats: “Even as Nevada remains one of the hardest hit states by this virus — both economically and in cases — Trump and Republicans remain relentless in their attempts to dismantle a law that has protected so many. Nevadans won’t forget who had their back when it came to protecting their care.”

In New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Democrats: “Donald Trump, Colorado Corky and Don Bolduc are shamelessly trying to take health care away from more than one hundred thousand Granite Staters and threaten pre-existing conditions protections for hundreds of thousands more … Today marks three years since this fight should have been settled once and for all in favor of the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans continue to attack. Americans everywhere made it clear — you cannot take away our care, we will fight back every time. We will fight back again at the ballot box to make sure Corky, Bolduc and Trump don’t have a chance to do any more damage to our health care system.”

In Ohio:

Ohio Democrats: “Three years after Donald Trump’s legislative attempt at taking health care away from millions of Americans was defeated on the Senate floor, Trump has refused to relent in his attacks on the Affordable Care Act … It’s been one broken promise after another from Donald Trump, and Ohioans are paying the price.”

In Virginia:

Virginia Democrats: “On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised Virginians that we would ‘pay much less’ for a ‘great health care program.’ But from his first days in office, he has instead waged a ruthless campaign to overturn the Affordable Care Act, threatening coverage for hundreds of thousands of Viginians and protections for millions more with preexisting conditions.”

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Trump’s Failed Leadership On Full Display At Coronavirus Briefing

29 Jul

During last night’s briefing, Trump continued to spread misinformation, he complained about his poll numbers, he doubled down on unproven and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatments, and even defended a doctor who claimed diseases are caused by demon sex. Trump made it clear there is no “new tone,” just the same failed leadership.

The White House brought back Trump’s coronavirus briefings to show his leadership against the virus. No surprise, but it’s not working out.

CNN: “After largely ignoring the pandemic for weeks and denying its severity, the White House revived the briefings last week to demonstrate presidential leadership. But the approach has hit early stumbling blocks.”

The headlines from last night’s briefing make it clear that Trump is still failing to lead in response to this virus and he is not going to change.



New York Times:

New York Times:

Mother Jones:

New York Daily News:

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