Menendez: Bolton Book Raises New Questions about Pompeo’s Role in President’s Subversion of U.S. Foreign Policy

Menendez: Bolton Book Raises New Questions about Pompeo’s Role in President’s Subversion of U.S. Foreign Policy

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today is calling for a full accounting of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s role in President Trump’s repeated efforts to manipulate our nation’s foreign policy to further his own interests above that of our national security. The Senator’s letter follows former national security adviser John Bolton’s explosive claims accusing Trump of multiple “Ukraine-like transgressions” across his entire foreign policy agenda. 

“These accounts raise questions about what you have done to push back against the President’s efforts to subvert American foreign policy and national security to his personal political and business interests,” wrote Menendez.

The Senator requested Pompeo specify what actions he took as our nation’s chief diplomat to counter Trump on some of the key events as reported in Bolton’s book, including his assertion that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 election by boosting China’s purchase of agricultural products as part of trade negotiations. Additionally, Menendez asked about Trump’s reported promise to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would “take care of” a U.S. investigation into a Turkish firm under investigation for sanctions violations, as well as the President’s wavering support for peacefully restoring democracy in Venezuela.

“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has an obligation to examine the implications of the President’s statements and the reports that the President has, on multiple occasions, discussed his political opponents and his own electoral prospects with foreign leaders,” wrote the Senator. “The Committee must also examine your role in this matter including what steps, if any, you took to advance the personal or electoral agenda of the President, and what steps, if any, you took to protect and advance U.S. national security interests while the President was apparently pursuing a personal agenda.” 

Listing the below questions for Secretary Pompeo to answer by July 1, 2020, Menendez also reiterated his invitation for Secretary Pompeo to address Bolton’s allegations in public testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

China

  • What did you do to communicate to Chinese officials that U.S. elections should not be a factor in China trade negotiations?
  • In March 2019, you traveled to Iowa for a trip focused largely on China tariffs on agriculture. Did you communicate anything to the President related to electoral considerations as a result of that trip?
  • Did you take any steps to address President Trump’s October 2019 public call for China to investigate the Bidens?  

Halkbank

  • Has the President asked you to take any action with respect to Halkbank or any ongoing U.S. law enforcement involving a Turkish bank? If so, what did you do in response?
  • In your October 2019 meeting with President Erdogan, was Halkbank discussed? What, if anything, did you communicate about the U.S. position with regard to Halkbank?
  • Did you take any steps to address the foreign policy channel that Jared Kushner established with the Turkish finance minister, who is also President Erdogan’s son-in-law? 

Venezuela

  • Did you take action to convince the President that invading Venezuela would not be ‘cool’ or in the national security interest of the United States?
  • Did you take any steps to counter the President’s reported view that Juan Guaidó, recognized by the United States as the interim president of Venezuela and key to establishing democratic freedoms, was ‘weak’?[8]

Foreign Interference

  • What steps have you taken to communicate to foreign counterparts that the U.S. government is not seeking any action, including policy change, trade incentives, or otherwise, to assist or bolster the President’s 2020 election prospects?” 

A copy of the Senator’s letter can be found HERE

  

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