QUESTION:  Welcome back to the Daily Briefing.  Joining me now is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  And sir, you are a West Point grad.  I know you know the Constitution very well.  Earlier today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she’s going to introduce a bill to have a commission to study the 25th Amendment.  Do you think that the 25th Amendment needs studying?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I don’t.  I saw a little bit of what she was doing.  It looks to me like a political stunt.  Everyone knows exactly what the 25th Amendment says.  And frankly – more importantly, Dana – I’ve been speaking to the President a lot lately.  There’s no need for anybody to think about succession.  He’s doing just great.

QUESTION:  Well, and he was talking about you a little bit yesterday as well on Mornings with Maria.  He was expressing some frustration about these Hillary Clinton emails that are not declassified yet or released yet.  Take a listen:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  “They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad.  Actually, I’m not happy about him for that – that reason.  He was unable to get them out.  I don’t know why.  You’re running the State Department, you get them out.  Forget about the fact that they were classified.  Let’s go.  Maybe Mike Pompeo finally finds them.  Okay?”

And then just now, on Rush Limbaugh, he had this to say:

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  “She deleted 33,000 emails.  She should be in jail for that.  I don’t even care if they’re – if they’re very highly confidential emails.  I don’t care what.

So what is the state of this investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails at the State Department?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So Dana, you’ll remember I was close to this even when I was a member of Congress, when I served on the Benghazi Committee, now what seems like a little bit of time ago.  We’ve got the emails.  We’re getting them out.  We’re going to get all this information out so the American people can see it.  You’ll remember there was classified information on a private server.  It should have never been there.  Hillary Clinton should never have done that.  It was unacceptable behavior.  It’s not the kind of thing that leaders do.  They don’t put that kind of information out.  And you can see, whether it’s Russia or China or Iran or the North Koreans who want to get their hands on this kind of information, classified information needs to stay in the right places.  Secretary Clinton, when she was here at the State Department, did not do that.

QUESTION:  The President has the authority to declassify anything he wants.  All authority is to him.  Could he declassify it and order it released if he wanted to and if he ordered?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Absolutely.  We’re going to get there.  We’re going to get this information out so the American people can see it.

QUESTION:  If he were to order that, would there be concerns about maybe health and safety of sources or methods that could possibly be in these emails, if there’s classified information?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So Dana, I’ve been at this a long time with President Trump, for four years now, almost.  I’ve never seen him do anything that would put any kind of asset, any kind of one of our officers in any harm’s way.  He wouldn’t do that.  We’ll get the information out that needs to get out.  We’ll do it in a way that protects the intelligence sources that we need to protect.

QUESTION:  And last question on that:  Will that happen before the election?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We’re doing it as fast as we can.  I certainly – I certainly think there’ll be more to see before the election.

QUESTION:  All right.  I wanted to ask you about China because there was a light touch of that topic at the vice presidential debate this past week, and I feel like the American people maybe deserve a little bit more on that topic since it is one I know that takes up a lot of your time.  I know you recently met with the Quad – that’s a group that started in 2007 of our allies – to try to address how we are going to deal with China.  You’ve recently met with them, and I wonder, what is our position at this point in working with those allies, especially in the middle of a global pandemic?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.  Two things, Dana.  One, you’re right.  There was some discussion of this at the debate, and the Chinese Communist Party censored part of it.

QUESTION:  Yes.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  They censored the Vice President’s remarks.  I think that speaks for itself about how our administration thinks about the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses.

Second, you’re right.  I traveled to Japan earlier this week; I was there on Tuesday.  I met with three democracies: Japan, India, and Australia, and three big economies in those countries, all aimed at making sure that we can build out a coalition, build partners and allies around the world who understand the threat from the Chinese Communist Party in the same way that we do so that we can protect jobs here at home.

We watched.  When we came into this office, the Chinese Communist Party had stolen millions and millions of jobs from the American people.  President Trump said no more, and we’ve begun to build out all the edifice of the structure and the allies and the coalition to push back against that.  We aim to protect the American people from the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses.

QUESTION:  Well, and China is not one to take all of this lying down.  So what can you tell us about the efforts of this Quad in trying to push back?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Look, they’re stacked 60,000 soldiers against the Indians in the north.  When the Australians had the temerity to ask for an investigation of the Wuhan virus and where it began, something that we know a lot about, the Chinese Communist Party threatened them.  They bullied them.  We need partners and friends.  They’ll certainly try to react.  But what the Chinese Communist Party had become accustomed to, frankly, for an awfully long time, Dana, was watching America bend a knee, watching us turn the other cheek and appease them.

That only encouraged their bad behavior, their malign activity.  Our push back – they understand we’re serious about it.  They’ve watched that we’re going to confront them and impose costs upon them.  I am confident that this activity, over time, will change the nature of what the Chinese Communist Party tries to do to harm America.

QUESTION:  And just one last question for you.  So an issue, of course, that concerns a lot of people but increasingly so around the world, and that is the issue of hunger.  And today, the Nobel Prize was given to the World Food Program.  That’s out of the UN.  And I’m just – I’m curious what you can say about what the United States is doing to not only help here in America provide relief to people, but there is a hunger problem around the world, and the United States has traditionally played a role.  What about now, during the pandemic?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We continue to be the most generous nation in the history of the world, Dana.  This is something that President Trump and our team is very proud of.  The leader of the organization is a fellow named David Beasley.  He’s a former – he’s an American former governor of South Carolina.  I’m going to talk to him in just a couple hours and congratulate him.

This work, President Trump has said, is very – is important to him.  We want to make sure that we contribute, we do our part.  And you can see under this administration, this World Food Program has delivered really good outcomes.  The challenge of starvation and undernourished people around the world – it’s something you know; you saw it when you served in the administration you served in – it’s something that we need to keep working at.  And I’m really proud.  I’m proud of the role that America played as part of this World Food Program to lead to the outcome that you saw today.

QUESTION:  Well, it is.  And please congratulate the governor from us here at the Daily Briefing and Fox News as well.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I’ll do that, Dana.

QUESTION:  All right.  Secretary Pompeo, thank you.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, Dana.

 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future