Congressman Mike Pompeo joined m this morning to discuss Hillary Clinton’s appearance with Bret Baier last night, and the need for Donald Trump to have on his ticket a VP nominee gifted at pressing detailed, specific arguments against the former Secretary of State on the server, the Foundation, the Foundation (and now Laureate University):
HH: Joined now by Congressman Mike Pompeo of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, I’ve got a lot to cover. I want to start with former Secretary of State Clinton on Bret Baier last night on the Fox News Special Report, if I can, first of all, good morning, good to have you, thank you for getting up early.
MP: Good morning, Hugh, good to be with you.
HH: Hope you enjoyed the Cavs game until the last minute of that beautiful 30 point domination of the Warriors.
MP: Three very exciting games so far. That’s got to get better.
HH: It’s got to, it was a terrific game last night. We have five more, four, three more 30 point wins, I’ll be happy, we’ll go home in six, as I predicted. All right, Hillary Clinton with Bret Baier last night, Congressman, cut number 18:
BB: You’ve tried to, you said you sent or received nothing that was marked classified, but you did sign a non-disclosure agreement, and NDA, in 2009 that said markings don’t matter whether it’s marked or unmarked. You remember signing that?
HRC: No, I do not, but the fact is nothing that I sent or received was marked classified. And nothing has been demonstrated to contradict that. So it is the fact. It was the fact when I first said it. It is the fact that I’m saying it now. What you are seeing acted out is the desire of the part, different parts of the government to retroactively classify material so that it is not made public, since I did ask that all my emails be made public. And this is not an uncommon process. So again, I will just reiterate, nothing I sent or received at the time was marked classified.
HH: Congressman Pompeo, your reaction?
MP: You know, I was trying to count the deceits in that statement, and I didn’t have a big enough pencil. Whether something was marked classified or not is completely irrelevant. I handle national security information all the time. And if I said something to you right now on the radio that was classified, there would be no marking. It would nonetheless be at least a misdemeanor, and if it was intentional, a felony. I’ve read the 22 top secret emails that Secretary Clinton had on her private server in a non-secure setting. And I can assure the folks who are listening to your show this morning there was information on there that if they have a family member who’s in the military, they are less safe and secure today as a result of the behavior of Secretary Clinton. Her statement that you just played for me was false in so many material respects, and most importantly, shows the dangerous misunderstanding of the importance of keeping national security secrets.
HH: Let’s play her next comment, cut number 19:
BB: And the Clinton Foundation investigation, the FBI investigation into the email, you’re saying zero chance that this is a problem for you in this election?
HRC: Absolutely. That’s what I’m saying. That happens to be the truth.
HH: Is it going to be an issue, Congressman Pompeo?
MP: It ought to be. I think voters ought to take serious consideration of the way their commander-in-chief will treat them with respect to being transparent and disclosing. In her earlier clip, she said boy, I turned over all the emails. Yes, she did under threat of subpoena. The Benghazi Committee working hard, along with private citizens’ FOIA claims to get those emails out of her clutches. It’s an important issue. Whether the FBI and Justice Department take action in a fashion that’s timely before this election, I don’t know. But the way individuals treat important information and how they treat the American people is a direct center of what they ought to be thinking about when they go to the ballot box come November.
HH: Congressman Pompeo, I’ve argued to people, they know my problems with Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton has to be kept out of the White House, because she is a national security threat. She’s been compromised. It’s just so obvious to me she’s disqualified. But I think Donald Trump’s going to try and prosecute that case on Monday. How important is it that he put someone on the ticket that can, you know, really make a prosecutor’s argument about this?
MP: It’s very important. It’s important for lots of reasons that someone who has serious national security credentials be a part of a Trump ticket. And he does need someone who can articulate why this matters to citizens in Kansas and all across the country. That’s a very important part of why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be president, and I hope that Mr. Trump will be successful in selecting someone that can make that case to everyone about why she is disqualified from being the commander-in-chief as a result of her behavior during her time as our secretary of State.
HH: Let’s turn, then, to the question of what’s going on in the world. A U.S. carrier, the Harry Truman, has been sent to the Med, a quick pivot intended to send a clear message to Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal this morning, while Japan is protesting to China after spotting a Chinese warship for the first time near the disputed islands of the East China Sea. Things are hot around the globe, but you wouldn’t know it. The President was on Jimmy Fallon last night. He taped Jimmy Fallon yesterday. He’s on tonight.
MP: It’s remarkable. Those are deeply connected. They seem in some ways disconnected, what’s going on in Asia and the South Pacific and what’s going on in the Middle East and North Africa. But they’re connected by the fact that America has just demonstrated for the last seven-plus years now that it is not going to push back, it is not going to defend itself, it is not going to have a national security policy that protects Americans. I don’t know if you saw yesterday this story, too. We now have the Iranian elite forces commander, who is officially now a supervisor, and advisor, to the Iraqis, that we’re flying our Air Force to retake land from ISIS, and we’re doing it alongside one of the most bloodthirsty generals that’s walked the battlefields over the last 30 years. This is a foreign policy that has just put Americans at risk. And those two issues you talked about, including, those three issues, including his appearance on Jimmy Fallon last night, are demonstrative of a foreign policy that has just been an abject failure in keeping us safe.
HH: And so again, we go back to a meeting that was held yesterday. I don’t know if you were at the Speaker’s meeting with the Conference. Did you attend that, Congressman?
MP: I did not. I wasn’t present.
HH: Okay, he urged, according to reports, that people rally around Donald Trump. And I’ve got my problems with Trump, but if he’s the nominee, I’d love to see the convention open it up for debate on the floor. But if he is the nominee, of course, I’m going to support him. And it’s because we’ve got to beat her. How important is this in national security terms?
MP: Hugh, you’ve nailed it. I have my challenges with Mr. Trump’s policies and the way he thinks about the world, not the least of which on national security. But Hillary Clinton is far worse. We’ve seen this. And I’m going to be part of a committee that’s going to issue a report about how the U.S. Government, including Hillary Clinton, behaved that got four Americans killed in Benghazi now almost four years ago. And we watched as they did no preparation in Libya. And we know that she will be a continuation of the failed Obama national security policy. She was among those who said don’t do stupid stuff as a way of thinking about the world. It has failed us, and it is critical that she not be the next president of the United States.
HH: Let me close with the conversation about the Washington Post lead story today about 12 released Guantanamo detainees, Gtimo detainees, are implicated in attacks on Americans that killed many Americans, many soldiers, one civilian. They were all released under George W. Bush according to the Post. I know you’re on the Intel Committee. You have to be very careful and base it on public sources. But what do you think about this? This ought to close the book on closing Gitmo.
MP: Well, it’s the case. To be complete, we’ve released detainees under President Bush and now under President Obama. We now unfortunately are down to the worst of the worst, right. The folks we released early, one could make the case that they were less of a threat to America. But now we have folks that are there, we’re down to 80 or so that remain that are truly those terrorists that have put American lives at risk, and who made Americans risk their lives to go capture. We ought not release them. They will return to the battlefield. We’ve seen them show up in Yemen and all across the Middle East. Leave them where they are, and allow America to remain safe.
HH: Is there, the National Defense Authorization Act is coming through. Is there another prohibition on the closing of Gitmo in it?
MP: Yes, sir. Absolutely.
HH: And there’s a new national security policy being rolled out by Speaker Ryan today. We’ll be talking about it with him on the program tomorrow. Have you been part of those conversations to frame that, Representative Pompeo? And how comprehensive is it?
MP: I think you’ll see it, and you’ll see that it’s very consistent with the way I, and I think you, think about national security policy. It understands that we’ve got to make sure we have the resources to do what’s right, and leaders that are committed to keeping America safe. I think you’ll be pleased with the product that you see rolled out tomorrow by the Speaker.
HH: Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, always a pleasure. Thanks for joining me, Congressman.
MP: Thanks, Hugh.
End of interview.