Engel: Pompeo's No-Show is "A Slap in the Face"


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WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks in the House of Representatives regarding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s failure to testify before the Committee despite appearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:

“Mr. Speaker, a few hundred feet north of here, in the Senate, Secretary of State Pompeo will soon testify about President Trump’s disastrous performance at the recent NATO summit and, worse, at his meeting in Helsinki with Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin.

“Now if you’re a member of this body, and you’re interested in what Mr. Pompeo has to say on these topics, you’d better turn on your television. Because he isn’t coming over here.

“Secretary Pompeo is ignoring the House, despite our requests that he come testify or brief our members. He’s blowing off half of the legislative branch. This is outrageous, and I bet if Secretary Pompeo were still a member of this House, he’d think so too.

“We have too many unanswered questions, Mr. Speaker. What happened in President Trump’s secret meeting with Putin? They sat together for two hours with no one else aside from interpreters. What deals were made? What agreements were reached? The Russians are claiming that a great deal was discussed, but so far, we’ve heard nothing from this Administration.

“President Trump’s actions in Helsinki were a betrayal of his duties. He had already insulted our closest friends and allies. And with the world watching, he sided with Putin over our own intelligence and law-enforcement communities about Russia’s attack on our democracy.

“So we need to see Secretary Pompeo—and Secretary Mattis and Director Coats. I recently joined with my fellow ranking members, Mr. Smith on the Armed Services Committee and Mr. Schiff on the Intelligence Committee, demanding that these senior officials come to the Hill and shed light on what took place. We don’t know, and the Secretary of State is not coming to the House to tell us.

“We’ve gotten no response to our requests. With Secretary Pompeo set to appear in the Senate, that’s really a slap in the face to this body. Every member of this body should object to the fact that this Administration won’t give us the time of day. I object, and I’ll keep pushing until we get the answers we need.”