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Secretary of State Pompeo On the U.N. and Israel, Russia and the PRC


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Hugh Hewitt

Dec. 10 2018



HH: Now I’ve got to say your speech in Brussels last week would have been earthshaking had it not been for George Herbert Walker Bush’s funeral. I quote as you announced the withdrawal of the United States in 60 days from the INF Treaty, these violations of the INF Treaty cannot be viewed in isolation from the larger pattern of Russian lawlessness on the world stage. The list of Russia’s infamous acts is long – Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, election meddling, Skripal, and now the Kerch Strait to just name a few. Mr. Secretary, that is the greatest brushback of Russia since Reagan in Berlin. Did you get any reaction from Mr. Putin to that?

MP: They didn’t think we had it quite right, which gives me great confidence that in fact, we did get it right. Look, what I was intending to do there was articulate President Trump’s efforts around the world to continue the tradition of American leadership to keep the world prosperous and the people around the world secure. It is a model that depends on national sovereignty, and depends on calling things out when they no longer make sense. And so the INF Treaty is but one example. It was formed in the late 1980s. It may well have made sense then, but it no longer made sense for America to be the only party to that treaty that was complying with it. And it no longer made sense not only for America, but for Europe and the world. And so we’re fully engaged in doing everything we can. We want to make sure Europe is safe, but that treaty no longer provided assurance in the same way that it did in the 1980s. And when that’s the case, President Trump is going to make sure we call that out.

HH: So you do a tough as nails speech, and then Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin looks out and he sees Paris on fire, Greece riots, Italy fighting with the EU, the sclerotic EU bureaucracy driving the United Kingdom to the edge of political crisis. Can your speech, and can the United States deter him when he sees Europe, in essence, in chaos?

MP: Well, the speech certainly sets down the marker. But what Russia understands, of course, is action. They understand actual responses. The United States under President Trump has been incredibly strong in doing that. We’ve provided defensive weapons systems to the Ukrainians. We have sanctioned senior officials inside of Russia. The list of our efforts to restore and deter Vladimir Putin is long. There still obviously remains a great deal of work to do.


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