Pompeo calls Chinese consulate a "den of spies"; pressed on Trump's suggestion to delay Election Day
CA, 31 Jul 2020
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced questioning on several issues during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, including on China, Russia and the 2020 presidential election.
Asked about the closing of a Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, Pompeo took a tough line saying that it was closed because it was a "den of spies." He also said the "tide is turning" in U.S. dealings with China, saying there's international support for policies, including the step-up of maritime maneuvers in the South China Sea.
Sen. Bob Menendez also questioned him about reports regarding Russia allegedly placing bounties on service members in Afghanistan and whether Pompeo had raised concerns about the report. The secretary of state said he had raised "all of the issues that put any American interests at risk," but sidestepped specifically addressing the allegation saying the issue was classified.
Pressed by Sen. Tim Kaine about President Donald Trump's tweet earlier in the day suggesting the presidential election be delayed due to concerns of voter fraud, Pompeo said he would follow the rule of law and the Constitution in terms of the election and said the Department of Justice would make the legal determination of whether the president could delay the election. Under the U.S. Constitution, only Congress can delay a presidential election.
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