QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for this honor.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much, James. It’s great to be with you.

QUESTION: Thank you. Let’s begin with this Washington Post story that is running today. According to the story, a leaked audio tape of a meeting that you held with Jewish leaders in New York recently in which you discussed the Trump administration’s forthcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace plan attributes a number of quotes to you.

Assuming you don’t challenge the authenticity of the recording, you’re quoted as saying on that recording, “I can get why people think this is going to be a plan that only the Israelis could love.” Why did you say that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Because I’ve seen the perception, right? And they’re wrong. It’s inaccurate and it’s fundamentally untrue. But I’ve – I’ve travelled. We have a deep, long relationship with Israel, an important relationship with Israel, and the President has made very clear that that’s important to this administration to have that important political, economic, and security relationship with Israel. And we’ve struggled more with respect to the Palestinians. We’ve watched their terror activity in the Gaza Strip, and we’ve pushed back against it. We watched Iran underwrite some of that, and we’ve pushed back against that.

So I can see how someone might be concerned that a plan that this administration put forward might, without knowing the true facts of what is contained in the plan, they might perceive that it was going to be fundamentally one-sided. And I was articulating that there because it’s just simply not true. I think there’ll be things in this plan that lots of people like, and I am confident, as I said – I think it was quoted in that paper as well – there’ll be something in there that everyone will find I’m concerned with. Our idea is to present a vision and to continue to work towards a very, very difficult situation’s conclusion.

QUESTION: Have you spoken to the President about this recording?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I haven’t.

QUESTION: Let’s move to Iran. Are you aware of any evidence suggesting that Iran over the past two years has been engaged in the prohibited acquisition of equipment or materiel that would be associated with production of nuclear weapons or nuclear submarines?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So we, along with many partners, both when I was the director of the CIA, were watching closely the activities that the Iranians were engaged in. We wanted to make sure that they were complying with the JCPOA for sure, but even more important than that, we want to make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. Indeed, that’s why we withdrew from the JCPOA because it presented a clear pathway for Iran to continue to develop its nuclear program.

So yes, we watch. We are concerned. We monitor. We do our best to understand what’s going on. And when we find things that are disturbing to us, we take actions that attempt to reduce that risk to not only the United States but to the world.

QUESTION: And are you aware of any evidence to suggest that Iran has been clandestinely engaged in acquisitions associated with the nuclear supply chain?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, I don’t want to talk about American intelligence, but we all saw the IAEA report that came out that – with some real changed language. It had some concern about some of the centrifuges that the Islamic Republic of Iran is beginning to put into work – query exactly what the details of that are. I can’t go into a lot here today, but we are watching very, very closely. It raises real concerns about whether Iran is continuing to comply with the JCPOA. But again, I want to stress, just as importantly, we worry about Iran’s capacity to shorten its breakout time and begin to implement the creation of not only fissile material but other elements of their nuclear program as well.

QUESTION: Jeffrey Eberhardt, who is a career nonproliferation analyst and a State Department official the President nominated to serve as special representative for nuclear nonproliferation under you, sir, confirmed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in writing recently that Iran’s standing as a non-weapons state party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is not good.

SECRETARY POMPEO: I didn’t say it was – sorry, go ahead.

QUESTION: Do you agree with that assessment by Mr. Eberhardt that Iran is not a member in good standing of the NPT?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I don’t want to comment on that. I didn’t see the comments that Mr. Eberhardt made. The world should know we watch closely what Iran does. We’ve watched them threaten to withdraw from the NPT recently and —

QUESTION: Are they in good standing?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I just – I’m not going to – I’m not going to talk about that. There’s a formal process by which we make those determinations and then we respond to them in the appropriate way.

QUESTION: I assume that you are familiar with the contents of the nuclear archive that Israel seized in Iran last year. Do you regard the existence of that archive and any of its contents as constituting a violation of Iran’s international arms control commitment?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It seems implausible that the Islamic Republic of Iran would have chosen to retain those materials, materials about their program, the Amad program that was undertaken by the Islamic Republic of Iran over years and years, it seems unlikely that they would have retained those materials in a way that they’d be organized and collocated and in a central place where they could continue to have access to those materials, if there wasn’t some thought that at some point in time, they might deem it in their best interest to continue to build out on that program.

So yes, we thought it was an important thing that Israel did there. We have learned more about the program, and the mere existence of that program intact indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran is thinking about the day when they might begin to continue their program in a serious way.

And the other thing I’d say on that, James, is we also watch, right – while some of the (inaudible) was dispersed, some of the infrastructure for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program was dispersed, those scientists are still out working in laboratories and schools and facilities all around Iran. So we all know how weaponization research is taking place. It can be in a central location, in a big organization, or it can be done in a more fractured, less easily detected way.

QUESTION: In my reporting for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, just recently I compiled a seven-minute story about what is probably the largest revelation to come out of that archive so far, at least publicly, and that is the existence of a previously undisclosed and undeclared nuclear site at Parchin known as the Boroujerdi project.

Has the Trump administration urged IAEA to inspect that site?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, unfortunately, I can’t answer that question completely, but the American people should know the United States is watching closely each of these sites that we suspect may have engaged in some element of a weapons program. I think it’s abundantly clear that the declaration that was made that formed the basis, the foundation, the declaration about the Iranian weapons program’s history, called the PMD in the JCPOA, that that was fundamentally false. And we have worked diligently to ensure that the IAEA is aware of those things which weren’t accurate, and we have urged them to continue to conduct inspections to validate not only that the basis for the JCPOA had factual inaccuracies, but more importantly, the risk that that creates to the nonproliferation regime that was set up by the JCPOA.

QUESTION: And are you satisfied with the vigor with which IAEA pursues those recommendations?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We always want them to do more.

QUESTION: Last question about Iran, and then we’ll move to North Korea, if you don’t mind.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: In a recent interview, you spoke of, quote, the “evil” that emanates from the Islamic Republic. Do you regard Iran as an evil regime?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes.

QUESTION: Let’s turn to North Korea. You have been given to making statements recently about a number of world leaders to the effect that individual heads of state lack the legitimacy to govern. You’ve said this about Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. You said this about Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Without encouraging strict comparisons with those circumstances in those disparate states, I put this question to you: Does Kim Jong-un have the legitimacy to govern the people of North Korea?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, and you’re right; the analogies are imperfect. And that’s why we’ve taken different approaches in each of these situations.

The nuclear threat, the very real nuclear threat – right. We all know that the North Koreans have the capacity. We watched them detonate systems. Creates a different situation, and you have to make different decisions about how to proceed, how to keep the American people safe, and to do your best to keep people in other parts of the world safe as well. It’s why we make a set of different decisions.

One thing the Trump administration has done in a way that I’m incredibly proud of is we’ve just accepted reality. We don’t live in a fantasy world that says, “Boy, if it were only so.” We accept the facts as they are on the ground. We work our level best to reduce security risks to the United States in light of those facts, and then we’ve built out coalitions all around the world. In fact, in the case of North Korea, right, we got the harshest sanctions passed not by the United States but by the UN Security Council, a set of resolutions that has led to the opportunity we’ve had to potentially denuclearize North Korea. We’re determined to continue down that path.

QUESTION: Do the realities on the ground in North Korea today prevent you from declaring here, right now, that Kim Jong-un lacks the legitimacy to govern his people?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We’re working to find a negotiated solution so that Kim Jong-un will honor the commitment that he made, the commitment he made to his own people and the commitment he made to President Trump in Singapore, to denuclearize his country.

QUESTION: You mention those commitments a lot. You talk about how many times Kim Jong-un has committed to you face-to-face to denuclearize, how many times he’s made that commitment to President Trump face-to-face. To rely on those commitments, as you appear to be doing, seems to me to encompass a judgment on your part that Kim Jong-un is a rational actor. Do you regard him as such?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I mean, it’s a complicated question, and rationality is defined many different ways. If you ask me the question, “Is Kim Jong-un rational in the sense of he’s working diligently to deliver the outcomes that he has articulated,” I think it’s most certainly the case that he’s rational.

The conclusion he has made to date that these nuclear weapons are in the best interest of North Korea there, that strategic decision that those weapons provide the security for him and for his regime, I think is wrong. I think that’s what we’ve seen in his decision to denuclearize. I think he is working his way towards making this different strategic decision where you can, in fact, have a brighter future for the North Korean people that President Trump has talked about so many times.

QUESTION: But fundamentally, you regard him as someone with whom you can rationally do business?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, we’ve seen it.

QUESTION: Lastly on North Korea, do you regard that the recent —

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, let me just add to that. We rationally do business, but you earlier in your earlier question suggested with rationality says we rely on that. Well, we don’t. We understand that we have to verify, that we have to see; that it’s not about words, it’s not about ideas on a piece of paper, but rather actual outcomes and deliverables and that are capable of being verified.

So yes, while we think he is rational, I don’t want the American people to think for one moment that we’re relying on the word of any leader with the history that North Korea has for the policy that we’re delivering.

QUESTION: You and I can stipulate that verification is a key component of any arms control agreement.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Fair enough.

QUESTION: Last question on North Korea: Do you regard that North Korea’s recent short-range missile tests constituted violations of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, there’s been lots of focus on this question.

QUESTION: It’s a simple one.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, well, probably – they probably did violate the UN Security Council resolutions, but what’s most important about them – again, we talk about a lot of times documents and what’s really important is that the campaign that we’ve been engaged in – we, not just the United States, but that the world has been engaged in – ultimately delivers the outcome that we’re looking for. So when President Trump talks about his relationship with Chairman Kim and we all work our way towards getting this outcome, we’re enforcing these sanctions in ways that are incredibly important. We can demonstrate the progress that has been made on those things, that we welcome the support of Russia and China, Japan and South Korea on enforcement of those sanctions. Those are the things that really ultimately will lead us to a place – excuse me – which will ultimately lead us to a place where we have the hope that we can get the outcome that was set forth in Singapore.

MS ORTAGUS: Okay, we’re way over.

SECRETARY POMPEO: All right. (Inaudible), if you’ve got one or two more, go ahead.

QUESTION: Okay. I’ll distill down my prepared questions about your working relationship with the President to one question, and then one personal question, if you don’t mind.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Great. Go ahead.

QUESTION: You graduated from West Point. You have been an entrepreneur. You presently run an organization of 20,000 employees. So you, better than most, understand the value of chains of command, in and out of the military, in any kind of organizational structure. And you understand that orders must be conveyed down the chain in a clear and systematized way so that they can be readily understood and executed. How then can you regard it as a viable or tenable way of governing, particularly in the administration of something as sensitive as foreign policy, when you have at the top of the structure in which you operate a chief executive who is prone to making rather sharp shifts in policy via a single tweet which comes as a total surprise to the officials and officers beneath him? How can that be a sound way of running things?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I haven’t seen that. I’ve now been working with President Trump for two years and a handful of months. I have no doubt about what the President has directed me and the State Department to do, or in my previous role as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency I always had a very, very clear understanding of what he was working on. I know you all read the tweets. I get the chance to talk to him. I get a chance to work alongside him. I get a chance to actually hear how he’s thinking about a particular problem set. He’s a great leader in that sense. You talk about my time in the military. He says, “Mike, here’s one of – here’s the outcome I’m looking for you to achieve, here are three boundaries, here are – here’s the outlines of the freedom that you have to go achieve that outcome.” And then he says, “Mike, go turn your team loose to go deliver that outcome for the American people.” It’s actually very consistent with the way that I think good units, good businesses, good military organizations operate.

QUESTION: You’ve been very generous with your time. I understand that we’re over our allotted time. I blame that on the sneezing. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s a fair reason.

QUESTION: Last question, sir. I saw you say in a recent interview that when you travel to foreign countries and large crowds of people gather to meet you and greet you, that it’s your understanding that they’re not there to see Mike, they’re there to see the American Secretary of State. And it reminded me of something I once read that George Harrison said about having been a Beatle. He said there as a time in my life when I used to put on a shirt that made me Beatle George but I’m actually just George, and sometimes people have a hard time remembering that. Do you, in this present duty which is so much more public than the CIA directorship, regard, without trying to put you on the couch per se, that you have kind of two personalities right now or two identities? There’s Mike and there’s the Secretary of State.

SECRETARY POMPEO: (Inaudible) good question. I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to serve America in so many different ways, first as a soldier, then running a small business in Kansas, then as the director of the Central Intelligence – who’d have thunk it, right? And now, I’m America’s 70th Secretary of State. The good news is I have a wife and a son who keep me humble. They ensure that Mike isn’t lost. I’m serious about the mission. I want the State Department to deliver America’s diplomacy everywhere with a fierceness that is worthy of our nation, but I also know there will come a day when the trappings of this office and the title of Secretary of State will have moved on to someone else, and I’ll go back to being an American citizen without all of that. It’s a time and a place. I take it – I work hard because I know the moment is short and will pass quickly, but I never lose sight of the fact that I am representing the greatest nation in the history of civilization. And I try to conduct myself in a way that is worthy of that.

QUESTION: But infusing it with a bit of Mike as well?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Every day.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, James. Appreciate it.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for this honor.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much, James. It’s great to be with you.

QUESTION: Thank you. Let’s begin with this Washington Post story that is running today. According to the story, a leaked audio tape of a meeting that you held with Jewish leaders in New York recently in which you discussed the Trump administration’s forthcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace plan attributes a number of quotes to you.

Assuming you don’t challenge the authenticity of the recording, you’re quoted as saying on that recording, “I can get why people think this is going to be a plan that only the Israelis could love.” Why did you say that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Because I’ve seen the perception, right? And they’re wrong. It’s inaccurate and it’s fundamentally untrue. But I’ve – I’ve travelled. We have a deep, long relationship with Israel, an important relationship with Israel, and the President has made very clear that that’s important to this administration to have that important political, economic, and security relationship with Israel. And we’ve struggled more with respect to the Palestinians. We’ve watched their terror activity in the Gaza Strip, and we’ve pushed back against it. We watched Iran underwrite some of that, and we’ve pushed back against that.

So I can see how someone might be concerned that a plan that this administration put forward might, without knowing the true facts of what is contained in the plan, they might perceive that it was going to be fundamentally one-sided. And I was articulating that there because it’s just simply not true. I think there’ll be things in this plan that lots of people like, and I am confident, as I said – I think it was quoted in that paper as well – there’ll be something in there that everyone will find I’m concerned with. Our idea is to present a vision and to continue to work towards a very, very difficult situation’s conclusion.

QUESTION: Have you spoken to the President about this recording?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I haven’t.

QUESTION: Let’s move to Iran. Are you aware of any evidence suggesting that Iran over the past two years has been engaged in the prohibited acquisition of equipment or materiel that would be associated with production of nuclear weapons or nuclear submarines?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So we, along with many partners, both when I was the director of the CIA, were watching closely the activities that the Iranians were engaged in. We wanted to make sure that they were complying with the JCPOA for sure, but even more important than that, we want to make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. Indeed, that’s why we withdrew from the JCPOA because it presented a clear pathway for Iran to continue to develop its nuclear program.

So yes, we watch. We are concerned. We monitor. We do our best to understand what’s going on. And when we find things that are disturbing to us, we take actions that attempt to reduce that risk to not only the United States but to the world.

QUESTION: And are you aware of any evidence to suggest that Iran has been clandestinely engaged in acquisitions associated with the nuclear supply chain?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, I don’t want to talk about American intelligence, but we all saw the IAEA report that came out that – with some real changed language. It had some concern about some of the centrifuges that the Islamic Republic of Iran is beginning to put into work – query exactly what the details of that are. I can’t go into a lot here today, but we are watching very, very closely. It raises real concerns about whether Iran is continuing to comply with the JCPOA. But again, I want to stress, just as importantly, we worry about Iran’s capacity to shorten its breakout time and begin to implement the creation of not only fissile material but other elements of their nuclear program as well.

QUESTION: Jeffrey Eberhardt, who is a career nonproliferation analyst and a State Department official the President nominated to serve as special representative for nuclear nonproliferation under you, sir, confirmed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in writing recently that Iran’s standing as a non-weapons state party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is not good.

SECRETARY POMPEO: I didn’t say it was – sorry, go ahead.

QUESTION: Do you agree with that assessment by Mr. Eberhardt that Iran is not a member in good standing of the NPT?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I don’t want to comment on that. I didn’t see the comments that Mr. Eberhardt made. The world should know we watch closely what Iran does. We’ve watched them threaten to withdraw from the NPT recently and —

QUESTION: Are they in good standing?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I just – I’m not going to – I’m not going to talk about that. There’s a formal process by which we make those determinations and then we respond to them in the appropriate way.

QUESTION: I assume that you are familiar with the contents of the nuclear archive that Israel seized in Iran last year. Do you regard the existence of that archive and any of its contents as constituting a violation of Iran’s international arms control commitments?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It seems implausible that the Islamic Republic of Iran would have chosen to retain those materials, materials about their program, the Amad program that was undertaken by the Islamic Republic of Iran over years and years, it seems unlikely that they would have retained those materials in a way that they’d be organized and collocated and in a central place where they could continue to have access to those materials, if there wasn’t some thought that at some point in time, they might deem it in their best interest to continue to build out on that program.

So yes, we thought it was an important thing that Israel did there. We have learned more about the program, and the mere existence of that program intact indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran is thinking about the day when they might begin to continue their program in a serious way.

And the other thing I’d say on that, James, is we also watch, right – while some of the (inaudible) was dispersed, some of the infrastructure for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program was dispersed, those scientists are still out working in laboratories and schools and facilities all around Iran. So we all know how weaponization research is taking place. It can be in a central location, in a big organization, or it can be done in a more fractured, less easily detected way.

QUESTION: In my reporting for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, just recently I compiled a seven-minute story about what is probably the largest revelation to come out of that archive so far, at least publicly, and that is the existence of a previously undisclosed and undeclared nuclear site at Parchin known as the Boroujerdi project.

Has the Trump administration urged IAEA to inspect that site?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, unfortunately, I can’t answer that question completely, but the American people should know the United States is watching closely each of these sites that we suspect may have engaged in some element of a weapons program. I think it’s abundantly clear that the declaration that was made that formed the basis, the foundation, the declaration about the Iranian weapons program’s history, called the PMD in the JCPOA, that that was fundamentally false. And we have worked diligently to ensure that the IAEA is aware of those things which weren’t accurate, and we have urged them to continue to conduct inspections to validate not only that the basis for the JCPOA had factual inaccuracies, but more importantly, the risk that that creates to the nonproliferation regime that was set up by the JCPOA.

QUESTION: And are you satisfied with the vigor with which IAEA pursues those recommendations?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We always want them to do more.

QUESTION: Last question about Iran, and then we’ll move to North Korea, if you don’t mind.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: In a recent interview, you spoke of, quote, the “evil” that emanates from the Islamic Republic. Do you regard Iran as an evil regime?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes.

QUESTION: Let’s turn to North Korea. You have been given to making statements recently about a number of world leaders to the effect that individual heads of state lack the legitimacy to govern. You’ve said this about Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. You said this about Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Without encouraging strict comparisons with those circumstances in those disparate states, I put this question to you: Does Kim Jong-un have the legitimacy to govern the people of North Korea?

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, and you’re right; the analogies are imperfect. And that’s why we’ve taken different approaches in each of these situations.

The nuclear threat, the very real nuclear threat – right. We all know that the North Koreans have the capacity. We watched them detonate systems. Creates a different situation, and you have to make different decisions about how to proceed, how to keep the American people safe, and to do your best to keep people in other parts of the world safe as well. It’s why we make a set of different decisions.

One thing the Trump administration has done in a way that I’m incredibly proud of is we’ve just accepted reality. We don’t live in a fantasy world that says, “Boy, if it were only so.” We accept the facts as they are on the ground. We work our level best to reduce security risks to the United States in light of those facts, and then we’ve built out coalitions all around the world. In fact, in the case of North Korea, right, we got the harshest sanctions passed not by the United States but by the UN Security Council, a set of resolutions that has led to the opportunity we’ve had to potentially denuclearize North Korea. We’re determined to continue down that path.

QUESTION: Do the realities on the ground in North Korea today prevent you from declaring here, right now, that Kim Jong-un lacks the legitimacy to govern his people?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We’re working to find a negotiated solution so that Kim Jong-un will honor the commitment that he made, the commitment he made to his own people and the commitment he made to President Trump in Singapore, to denuclearize his country.

QUESTION: You mention those commitments a lot. You talk about how many times Kim Jong-un has committed to you face-to-face to denuclearize, how many times he’s made that commitment to President Trump face-to-face. To rely on those commitments, as you appear to be doing, seems to me to encompass a judgment on your part that Kim Jong-un is a rational actor. Do you regard him as such?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I mean, it’s a complicated question, and rationality is defined many different ways. If you ask me the question, “Is Kim Jong-un rational in the sense of he’s working diligently to deliver the outcomes that he has articulated,” I think it’s most certainly the case that he’s rational.

The conclusion he has made to date that these nuclear weapons are in the best interest of North Korea there, that strategic decision that those weapons provide the security for him and for his regime, I think is wrong. I think that’s what we’ve seen in his decision to denuclearize. I think he is working his way towards making this different strategic decision where you can, in fact, have a brighter future for the North Korean people that President Trump has talked about so many times.

QUESTION: But fundamentally, you regard him as someone with whom you can rationally do business?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, we’ve seen it.

QUESTION: Lastly on North Korea, do you regard that the recent —

SECRETARY POMPEO: James, let me just add to that. We rationally do business, but you earlier in your earlier question suggested with rationality says we rely on that. Well, we don’t. We understand that we have to verify, that we have to see; that it’s not about words, it’s not about ideas on a piece of paper, but rather actual outcomes and deliverables and that are capable of being verified.

So yes, while we think he is rational, I don’t want the American people to think for one moment that we’re relying on the word of any leader with the history that North Korea has for the policy that we’re delivering.

QUESTION: You and I can stipulate that verification is a key component of any arms control agreement.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Fair enough.

QUESTION: Last question on North Korea: Do you regard that North Korea’s recent short-range missile tests constituted violations of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, there’s been lots of focus on this question.

QUESTION: It’s a simple one.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, well, probably – they probably did violate the UN Security Council resolutions, but what’s most important about them – again, we talk about a lot of times documents and what’s really important is that the campaign that we’ve been engaged in – we, not just the United States, but that the world has been engaged in – ultimately delivers the outcome that we’re looking for. So when President Trump talks about his relationship with Chairman Kim and we all work our way towards getting this outcome, we’re enforcing these sanctions in ways that are incredibly important. We can demonstrate the progress that has been made on those things, that we welcome the support of Russia and China, Japan and South Korea on enforcement of those sanctions. Those are the things that really ultimately will lead us to a place – excuse me – which will ultimately lead us to a place where we have the hope that we can get the outcome that was set forth in Singapore.

MS ORTAGUS: Okay, we’re way over.

SECRETARY POMPEO: All right. (Inaudible), if you’ve got one or two more, go ahead.

QUESTION: Okay. I’ll distill down my prepared questions about your working relationship with the President to one question, and then one personal question, if you don’t mind.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Great. Go ahead.

QUESTION: You graduated from West Point. You have been an entrepreneur. You presently run an organization of 20,000 employees. So you, better than most, understand the value of chains of command, in and out of the military, in any kind of organizational structure. And you understand that orders must be conveyed down the chain in a clear and systematized way so that they can be readily understood and executed. How then can you regard it as a viable or tenable way of governing, particularly in the administration of something as sensitive as foreign policy, when you have at the top of the structure in which you operate a chief executive who is prone to making rather sharp shifts in policy via a single tweet which comes as a total surprise to the officials and officers beneath him? How can that be a sound way of running things?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I haven’t seen that. I’ve now been working with President Trump for two years and a handful of months. I have no doubt about what the President has directed me and the State Department to do, or in my previous role as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency I always had a very, very clear understanding of what he was working on. I know you all read the tweets. I get the chance to talk to him. I get a chance to work alongside him. I get a chance to actually hear how he’s thinking about a particular problem set. He’s a great leader in that sense. You talk about my time in the military. He says, “Mike, here’s one of – here’s the outcome I’m looking for you to achieve, here are three boundaries, here are – here’s the outlines of the freedom that you have to go achieve that outcome.” And then he says, “Mike, go turn your team loose to go deliver that outcome for the American people.” It’s actually very consistent with the way that I think good units, good businesses, good military organizations operate.

QUESTION: You’ve been very generous with your time. I understand that we’re over our allotted time. I blame that on the sneezing. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s a fair reason.

QUESTION: Last question, sir. I saw you say in a recent interview that when you travel to foreign countries and large crowds of people gather to meet you and greet you, that it’s your understanding that they’re not there to see Mike, they’re there to see the American Secretary of State. And it reminded me of something I once read that George Harrison said about having been a Beatle. He said there was a time in my life when I used to put on a shirt that made me Beatle George but I’m actually just George, and sometimes people have a hard time remembering that. Do you, in this present duty which is so much more public than the CIA directorship, regard, without trying to put you on the couch per se, that you have kind of two personalities right now or two identities? There’s Mike and there’s the Secretary of State.

SECRETARY POMPEO: (Inaudible) good question. I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to serve America in so many different ways, first as a soldier, then running a small business in Kansas, then as the director of the Central Intelligence – who’d have thunk it, right? And now, I’m America’s 70th Secretary of State. The good news is I have a wife and a son who keep me humble. They ensure that Mike isn’t lost. I’m serious about the mission. I want the State Department to deliver America’s diplomacy everywhere with a fierceness that is worthy of our nation, but I also know there will come a day when the trappings of this office and the title of Secretary of State will have moved on to someone else, and I’ll go back to being an American citizen without all of that. It’s a time and a place. I take it – I work hard because I know the moment is short and will pass quickly, but I never lose sight of the fact that I am representing the greatest nation in the history of civilization. And I try to conduct myself in a way that is worthy of that.

QUESTION: But infusing it with a bit of Mike as well?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Every day.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, James. Appreciate it.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future