Pompeo supports Trump plan to 'fix' Iran deal

Pompeo supports Trump plan to 'fix' Iran deal
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Secretary of State nominee Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPresidents and 'presidents' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump mobilizes military against 'angry mob,' holds controversial photo op The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden addresses protests over George Floyd's death MORE said Thursday he shares President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE’s views on “fixing” the Iran nuclear deal or withdrawing by May 12.

The Trump administration is negotiating with European allies for a follow-on deal that addresses three issues Trump sees with the Iran deal: several provisions sunset, inspectors can’t demand to see some military sites and it does not address other activities of interest by Iran, such as its ballistic missile program and support of terrorists. 

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If European officials do not agree to the new deal, Trump has said he will not renew sanctions waivers on May 12, essentially withdrawing the United States from the international accord.

During his confirmation hearing, Pompeo was first pressed by Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinThis week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program MORE (D-Md.) about his views on whether the United States should withdraw if Europeans do not agree to a follow-on deal. Pompeo responded by repeating the administration's plans 

“The president has made very clear what the secretary of State’s mission is, and I expect no change to that,” Pompeo said.

Pressed again by Cardin, Pompeo said he can’t answer a hypothetical question.

“It’s not a yes-or-no question. It’s a hypothetical because we’re not at that point,” he said. “That’s almost a month away. It depends clearly if we’re close. … In the event that we conclude that we can’t fix this deal, that these serious shortcomings that you, Sen. Cardin, yourself have identified, then the president is going to be given best advice including by me, and if there’s no chance that we can fix it, I will recommend to the president that we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal. Even after May 12.”

Asked for clarification later by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump asserts his power over Republicans Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial MORE (R-Tenn.) on if he was articulating the administration’s position because he shares that view, Pompeo said that’s correct.

“I think what Director Pompeo is saying is that’s also his opinion,” Corker said.

“Senator, that is correct,” Pompeo replied.

Corker also asked for clarification on what happens after Trump withdraws on May 12.

“Your sense is should that happen, then you would continue after that time to try to create a better agreement?” Corker asked. 

“Yeah, senator, the president has stated his objective, I’ve heard him say it to my predecessor, to Secretary [Rex] Tillerson, I’ve heard him say it, his goal is to take the three shortcomings and fix them,” Pompeo replied.