Wednesday, July 25, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Is Grilled By The U.S. Senate On U.S. Foreign Policy And President Trump's Private Meeting With Russian President Putin

The Hill: Pompeo spars with senators at testy hearing

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to tell lawmakers Wednesday what exactly President Trump discussed in private with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Helsinki, adding to tension and uncertainty on Capitol Hill over the administration’s Russia policy.

Pompeo’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee grew heated at times as he tangled with lawmakers over what the two leaders talked about during a one-on-one meeting that lasted about two hours with only translators present.

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Update: Senators Grill Pompeo About Trump-Putin Summit Details (VOA)

WNU Editor:  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is no Rex Tillerson.


Anonymous said...

a meeting with the head of a state that we have been at odds with over many issues, ie, Ukraine, and a meeting for which we have no idea what got said or agreed upon, and the GOP, supporting its leader, refuses to allow the interpreter to testify as to what was said: that is clearly no way to run a democracy.

B.Poster said...


I actually would like to know what was said or agreed upon, not agreed upon, etc. Unfortunately to have the interpreter testify would not be done in open court. To do so would make it impossible to twist his/her testimony to fit the narrative of Trump as Putin's puppet or whatever ridiculous nonsense. Also, the interpreter will share whatever he/she overheard and took notes of with other members of the government in the course of crafting government policy.

The US government leaks like a sieve. Much of it doesn't like Trump. As such, we can be certain that if there was anything particularly damning in anything POTUS agreed to it would have been leaked by now. As such, the only possible conclusion is nothing that would undermine America's economy or security was agreed to can be reached with pretty near 100% certainty, say 99.9999999999999%. In other words, we can "bank on" this being the case. To suggest otherwise to put forth a nonsensical argument.

Besides what could have he have agreed to? Easing of sanctions or withdrawal of support for Ukraine? Actually trying to defend the sanctions or our involvement in Ukraine isn't something I would want to have to do. I don't think the critics do either. As such, they need to keep the populace distracted over nonsense like Russian collusion, the Stormy Daniels side show, or Russian election interference.

I would tend to agree this is probably not the best way to run a democracy. Unfortunately we don't live in an optimal world. when we meet with powerful men like Vladimir Putin said powerful men expect some things to remain confidential. To break that trust has grave consequences. Sorry to be condescending here but I feel as though I am teaching you the basics on how you deal with influential people. Do you want a job? Do you want them to buy something from you? Do you want them to be your client? You have to establish that you can be trusted.

While I would like to know the full details of what was discussed, I am prepared to live with not knowing for now. The end result of the meeting was statements by both men agreeing to reduce tensions and at no cost. Any agreements made in such a private forum can always be undone later. As such, no real harm could have been done.

In contrast, the "Russia collusion" and "Russian interference" allegations are being used as a pretext to inflame Cold War 2. This is a war we don't need, can't readily afford, and may not be able to win. As such, if we are going to go down this road, we are going to need a VERY good reason. So far, this hasn't been provided. Given the gravity of this, they are going to need to release ALL information including the sources and methods they used to reach such conclusions. This is compounded by the problem that these people don't exactly have a good track record. As such, "because we said so" is not enough.

At the end of the day, it is a judgment call. In the absence of complete information presented in real time, who do we trust. As of right now, given the track record of the "establishment" and Trump side by side, I am going to trust Trump's judgment every time. Time will tell if this is the right call. I suspect all details of the conversation will come out some time next year, probably after the next formal face to face "summit."