The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), is set to begin its round of impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump this Wednesday — at exactly the time Trump is traveling overseas for an important NATO summit in London.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning about this and other developments.
Here are highlights of his remarks, via Fox News.
Regarding Nadler’s new impeachment hearings that will be occurring beginning on Wednesday: “Yeah, a long tradition that we support presidents when they travel overseas to do their work,” said Pompeo. So “for them to hold hearings back here in Washington to distract America’s president from his important mission overseas? I mean, these are some of our most important allies and partners in keeping the American people safe and secure.”
“I regret,” Pompeo added, “that they’ve chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe, to London, to work on these important matters. It’s very unfortunate.”
Regarding the White House’s decision to not send an attorney to the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings this week: “Look. That’s the White House’s call,” said Pompeo. “They’ve watched this process be tremendously unfair all the way through. I think they’re concerned that this process will continue to be unfair, and they’ve made this decision not to send a counsel, for at least this part of the proceeding.”
“The president’s traveling to London, he leaves this morning [meaning Monday],” added Pompeo. “I’m down in Louisville, Kentucky, delivering a foreign policy announcement on behalf of America. We’ll be headed to talk with our NATO partners. We’ve done amazing work over our time in office to get NATO to step up, those countries to spend more money to secure themselves and to secure the world,” he also said. “We’re very proud of what’s been accomplished under the Trump administration at NATO.”
And on the Trump administration’s giving defensive support to Ukraine: “I certainly understand the Ukrainian leadership wanting assistance from the United States of America,” said Pompeo. “In fact, the Ukrainian leadership wanted defensive lethal assistance from the United States of America for many years during [former] President [Barack] Obama’s time — and he refused, each and every year, to provide that assistance.”
“Now this administration,” added Pompeo, “not once, not twice, but now three times has provided the weapons, the defensive systems, that the Ukrainian military needed to defend themselves against the Russian activities in southeast Ukraine in the Donbass region.”
“We’ve been relentless in pursuing this strategic objective,” he also said. “We’ve supported the Ukrainian people and their capacity to defend themselves. I’m proud of what we’ve done. I certainly understand the President [Volodymr] Zelensky would want more. He’d want it faster.”
“I can certainly understand that, but this administration has done a yeoman’s work in providing this assistance to the Ukrainian defense forces,” said Pompeo.
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