Mike Pompeo, former secretary of state in the Trump administration, blasted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as 'truly evil' for its infiltration of American institutions during a House select committee hearing on Tuesday – and he went on to torch Chinese President Xi Jinping for never being held accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed on the world.
In a bipartisan show of support, Pompeo and Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense in the Obama administration, testified Tuesday before the House select committee hearing titled 'Authoritarian Alignment: The CCP's Support for America's Adversaries.'
'We should never forget this information space on social media and how the Chinese Communist Party has communist-directed entities on every one of our children’s cellphones passing information that is deeply filtered, designed for our young people here to undermine their idea and their understanding of America and our foundational ideas,' Pompeo said. 'This is the very Xi Jinping that unleashed a virus upon the world that killed millions of people, including over a million people in the United States. It gets seldom referenced.'
'It’s hard to imagine the staggering impact that COVID had on the world, and yet no one’s held Xi Jinping accountable, not for the leak from his lab, which happened,' Pompeo continued. 'Not for the fact that once he was aware he had a leak from his lab, of a relatively lethal, relatively contagious virus, he foisted it upon the world. He made a decision to hide the data, hide the information, to off the researchers and to put thousands of people on airplanes and transit them across the world with the death and destruction and the economic harm that followed from that. This is the very same Xi Jinping that’s working here in the United States against us.'
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., noted how Pompeo warned America's governors not to get too entwined with the CCP.
'As Washington becomes more aware of the China threat, the CCP has targeted many of our states' governors. This morning, the Washington Post published a story about the CCP's ‘united front’ efforts [in] amping up their engagement with our nation's mayors, including the mayor of Carmel, Indiana, in my state,' Banks said to Pompeo. 'The former mayor, he just left office, who went on lavish trips to China and engaged at a high level with Chinese officials in their country. Why should our nation's mayors stray away from these types of entanglements with the sister cities projects and other CCP united front efforts?'
In Wisconsin, the home state of Chair Mike Gallagher, Pompeo said, 'They have made a hard place for your state's legislative body.'
'They are determined to propagate their efforts. They want to make friends so that when they are confronted, they can turn to their friends and say, 'We're not such bad guys after all,'' Pompeo said. 'The Chinese Communist Party is truly evil, they will work at every level of government, they will work against our private sector as well. They'll show up at PTA meetings, if that's what it takes. This is an effort on every level of the Chinese Communist Party.'
'When the Chinese Communist Party shows up at your school and offers a free swing set, it is not because they care about the health of your children,' Pompeo added. 'That's maybe the simplest way to articulate sister cities programs and the Confucius Institutes. On all of these ‘united front’ efforts inside our country … they may show up and give you some temporary lift, but in the end, it is about them, not about us.'
Breaking with the bipartisan nature of the hearing, Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., said Jan. 6, 2021, was Xi's 'best day in office' and demanded that Pompeo state under oath 'that Joe Biden was duly elected in a free and fair election.'
In response, Pompeo said, 'Well, so much for bipartisanship of this committee. Well done, sir, you have destroyed that.'
'Of course, President Biden is the duly elected president of the United States,' Pompeo said.
'I wish Secretary Clinton would be so clear about her election as well,' he added.
Pompeo went on to say, 'We did have a peaceful transition of power from the Trump administration to the Biden administration. I was present for that.'
'We’ll have partisan disagreements on many things,' Pompeo said. 'It is a factual matter that the world was in less conflict three years ago than it is today. Secretary [Antony] Blinken said just yesterday that not since 1973 has the Middle East been so dangerous. I agree with him on that. It was safer three years ago because we established a deterrence model that was successful in preventing the invasion of Europe, the debacle in Afghanistan, and the good work that we did – you’ll recall that the Trump administration was actually the first administration to provide defense weapons systems to Ukraine when the Obama administration had concluded it could not or would not do so. These were things that kept the American people safe. It wasn’t partisan, it wasn’t political. It was good policy.'
Pompeo and Panetta, who both also served as CIA directors, describe themselves as good friends. They both also addressed the conflict in Ukraine.
'The only way to try to avoid war with China, the only way to deal with China, is from strength,' Panetta said. 'Both China and Russia became more aggressive when they sensed weakness on the part of the U.S. And for that reason, we must take strong action to arm and train Taiwan to defend itself, to strengthen our force posture, to invest in the next generation of military technology, to bolster our alliances, and to maintain strong export controls on critical technologies.'
'We lost deterrence in Ukraine,' Pompeo said later in the hearing. 'We shouldn't applaud ourselves for rallying NATO. That's great, I'm glad the Europeans stood up. But we should remember, we did not conduct American foreign policy with the diplomatic excellence and the military power to actually convince Putin not to invade Ukraine. We have to win these things. It is insufficient to catch incoming missiles. You have to hold your adversary at risk.'
'My effort as secretary of state was to remind the world if we don't hold the CCP at risk – if we simply play defense economically, diplomatically; we allow a spy balloon to travel over our country for five days and then hold a press conference announcing what brilliance it was to fire, shoot it down over South Carolina – Xi Jinping gets that he's on offense, we're on defense,' he added. 'And that is not a good place for the United States to be.'