Listen: Mike Pompeo on 'Face the Nation': U.S. weighing 'full range' of options to counter Iran, including military strike
"We begin today with the increasing tensions between the US and Ron and secretary of state. Mike pompeo. Good morning mister secretary and happy. Father's day. Thank you. Good morning. We've had a series of events in past days, the attacks on the tankers and these reports of a missile being fired at a US drone. How's the US going to respond? I think you have to put it in the context of forty years of behavior inside the Islamic Republic around. This is this is consistent with how they behaved. Previously, they did it when they were in the JCP away, the built the missile program we relieve sanctions. They took American sailors hostage. This is a regime that has caused much trouble around the world, the last forty days we've seen a number of activities, not just these past two, but for other commercial ships, which challenged the international norms of freedom of navigation. The United States is considering a full range of options. We briefed the president a couple of times, we'll continue to keep them updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrence, which is our mission set. You say a full range of options does that include military response, course, of course, the president will consider everything we need to do to make sure right? What's the president said we don't want Iran to get a nuclear weapon the previous administration, put them on a pathway that virtually guaranteed that they could get there. So we withdrew from the ridiculous ACP away. And are moving ourselves towards upset of policies, which will convince Ron to behave simply like a normal nation. And so you've seen them attacking international waterways, trying to frankly drive up the price of crude oil around the world, so that the world will cry uncle and not our Ron. They're so cash-strapped and they need these customers. Why would they attack them? But because Iran can't sell it screwed. Oh, we've stopped them from doing that. We've put sanctions in place that have taken them from roughly two point seven Maryland. Barrels per day million barrels per day with American section stand com released this video of purporting to show an Irish revolutionary guard patrol boat, pulling up a long side, these vessels and removing a mind from the hall of the ship. How certain are you that this is the I R, G C and will you take that evidence and present to our allies and the United Nations? Of course, we will, and we don't just purport that's what that video is this was this was taken from an American camera. This is the stuff. This is the real data. Yes. We've shared it with allies already. You've had the chance to see it. I made a bunch of phone calls yesterday. I make a whole bunch more calls today. The world needs to unite against this threat from this lawmaker Republican Ron. Yes. The revolutionary guard. It is. And, and we're going to remind you to China gets over eighty percent of its crude oil transiting through the strait of homos, South Korea Japan. These nations are incredibly dependent on these resources war prepared to do our part. We always defend freedom of navigation. We're going to work to build out a set of countries that have deep vested interest in keeping that straight open to help us do that. So when you talk about military response, you're talking about that keeping the waterways, open. You're not at this point talking about a strike on Iran. Goodness, President Trump has said very clearly. He doesn't want to go to war at the same time, we've made very clear. Than what we have the legal authorization for strike on Iran. We always have the authorization to defend American interests. Remember, they now have attacked US aircraft. They on June sixth, there was a missile fired from Yemen, with, that we assess had a rainy assistance, that took down, an aircraft these attacks on fundamental international norms, and now on American interests. And we always have the right to defend our country. Because there are questions about whether the existing authorization for use of military force to AO math would actually include a strike on Iran. Are you confident that you could go and not have to ask congress for permission to take action? I don't want to get into hypotheticals, but the American people should be very confident the actions that the United States takes under President Trump will always be lawful. Always consistent with our constitution, and we will always do the hard task that takes to protect American interests wherever they are. But do you need Congress's permission? To do what Margaret, you, I, I don't have to answer the question in the abstract permits. You said a range of options are being looked at every option. We look at we'll be fully lawful. Well, I want to ask you that because when you were trying to lay out this case, as you know, some allies have said that video released was not enough to convince them with the exception of the UK in Saudi Arabia. Some allies are saying, we need to see more and hear more from the United States. President Trump as you said he campaigned against Middle East wars. But there's also this perception that the administration spoiling for this fight, you were vocal critic when you were in congress about the nuclear deal you called JC earlier. The national security adviser right now is one of the architects of the two thousand and three war in Iraq. According to the latest economist poll, fifty one percent of Americans say, the president is not, honest versus thirty three who say he is if you have a credibility gap that is going to be hard for you to sell something to the American public. How do you resolve that? We're not selling anything. These things are simple. Facts had many conversations over the past frankly weeks, talking about Iran's activity. No one doubts the data set. I haven't I haven't heard a single person say ministers. The video was not enough. The German Foreign Minister has seen a great deal more than just that video. He will continue to see more, we'll conceive. There are countries that just wish this would go away, and they want to act in a way that is counterfactual. No one disputes, that this is these logic Republican Ron taking these actions to deny this international Rodway waterway and the freedom of navigation. That is a fundamental right of every country to travel through that. I've seen no one deny it, and I'm confident that as we continue to develop the fact pattern countries around the world will not only accept the basic facts, which are indisputable, but we'll come to understand that this is an important mission for the world, one of the things when you're at the podium, at the State Department earlier this week, you presented as fact was an attack. That was carried out in Kabul in may. The Taliban said they carried it out. But you blamed Iran for it. What evidence do you have that Iran was behind that attack that same statement about said they killed ten people, I would suggest to you that the credibility of the Taliban? It's not something you ought to bring onto your show. Was behind a we have confidence that Iran instigated this attack, I can't share any more of the intelligence, but I wouldn't have said it if the intelligence community hadn't become convinced that this was the case. So there's more that you can't share with us to yes, ma'am. That's correct. Iran state media says that they are going to start looking at ramping up their production of nuclear fuel. What does the US do to stop this? If you've already withdrawn from the nuclear court think about that. But Iran is now announcing that in a matter of days they can begin to spin up their nuclear program. This tells you how flawed the deal was read tells you that the deal had no capacity just keep putting more sanctions on desperation doesn't always lead to the best decision, making our attention is this. We know that their nuclear program accelerates, if they have more money in wealth, if they have more capacity more resources, they have access to metals and materials into fissile material. If we really have sanctions their nuclear program presents an even greater risk to the United States. And so our mission has been very clear, deny them, the wealth and resources and their capacity to build out a nuclear program and be prepared to do all that it takes to prevent that from happening. I want to ask you quickly about Russia. The New York Times is reporting that the US is escalating digital attack cyber attacks inside of Russia to hit back and attempted interference in twenty eighteen the president has called this report, both false and. Treasonous, which then suggests that there is some truth to it. So, which is it never comment on intelligence matters? The president said it was never never come on intelligence matters. Having having come from being CI director. I know how important it is. But you should know and your viewers should know that the United States of America under President Trump has taken enormous effort to ensure that our elections are not interfered with not from Russia, not from any other country in the world. It's a serious matter. It's one that this administration took seriously at the direction of President Trump from the very beginning of his time in office, and we'll continue to do that. I only wish the previous administration had been so serious about preventing election interference. It's interesting that we are sharpening this point because it's the same week when we heard from the president, as you know, who told an interviewer on ABC earlier this week that he would I listen to a foreign government, if they tried to offer him dirt on an opponent, and then make a decision as to whether or not to inform the FBI, the former CIA director, someone who talks every day to foreign governments. What would you advise the president to President Trump clarified? His remarks that it gets pretty clear. He'll do the right thing. I'm highly competent of that. I don't have anything I saw his remarks. He said he said, I think in both instances he said he'd, he'd do both. He said he'd report this to the FBI look at it. It's, it's you all present this present. He uses the word maybe I listened to listen to this very close to the president made very clear. He's going to do the right thing. I have enormous confidence that I've watched him doing. Call the FBI of watched him do the right thing, every time we've had an important national security decision to be made. He's evaluated options and made very good choices about how. To proceed mister secretary. Thank you for your"