tv CIA Director Nominee William Burns Testifies at a Confirmation Hearing CSPAN February 25, 2021 7:38am-9:50am EST
police chief and the acting house sergeant at arms about improving security at the capitol following last month's attack. again you'll find that live at c-span.org. next the kifntion hearing for william burns to sterve as cia director, he spoke about current threats posed by foreign states including cheen and russia. and how to make cia more effective in the future. this senate intelligence committee hearing is two hours.
>> good morning everyone. like to call this hearing to order, and recognize that i think -- this is the first time in the history of the intelligence committee that we have met in the rules committee space, and i think we probably owe that to the distinguish former chairman of the rules committee senator blunt. we would hope i know you're still ranking member. but there's been -- series of requests from intel committee staff that we would like a ship put in our skiff as well. all of the rules committee can have a shiv. no skiff is available. >> can you say mga west?
well again like to call this community to order again we appreciate the cooperation colleagues and rulesl, committee for letting us use this setting. welcome ambassador burns, i know as wepr talked in the room that your quite a few lisa is still hard at work in gene have and daughters are watching remotely and here with you in spirit i would like to thank, congratulations on your nomination to be the next rep of ithe cia after long and distinguish career in the foreign service. you deserve a well earned retirement. but the country still needs your talents. ambassador burns bill thank you for once again willing to serve our country. welcome also to our two distinguish guests who are joining us remotely former secretary ofw the state james baker and former defense
secretary and cia director leon panetta a privileging to hear from eminent and bipartisan public servant who is will introduce ambassador burns i think a great indication of his broad base support. i understand some of our members may be joining us remotely today as well although i would like to acknowledge senator casey for his -- appear yesterday remotely but for his first in person intelligence committee meeting and we're -- veryor glad to have bob on the committee after the vice-chairman and i give opening statements bake baker and ambassador burns make remarks after this members -- questions will be for five minutes in order of arrival. ambassador burns is provided us with written responses to questions from the committee and today hearing will provide members the opportunity to thoughtfully consider his qualifications hear directly from the nominee and for ambassador burns to sharehe his views on how he would lead women
and men of the agency and took foreign service exam in november 1979 a few days after seizure of our embassy in tehran and went ton spend over three decades in foreign service. working under democratic and republican presidents, and ably representing america around the qortd at the highest rankings the state department he's been confirmed by the senate five times. so -- going for six today, and served in both number two and three positions at the state department department secretary of state and political affair and under ambassador to russia and jordan and senior national security rule and holds highest rank in state department. that of career ambassador. he's currently the president of the karn gi endowment for international peace oldest international think tank in the united states. it is safe to say that a m bass door burns is intimately
familiar with the challenges and opportunities that united states faces around the globe in many cases with firsthand on the ground experience and expertise. it is the key qualities of expertise and sound judgment that perhaps above all others, will be most important in your role as director of the cia. after four years during which the expertise and judgment of america civil servants were at time belittle and discounted next director must lead and inspire patriot professionals with humility and compassion, or collaboratively with ally governments, and dispassionately judge actions of our adversaries. cia has in some ways been luckier than many other agencies. director your predecessor has led the cia with distinction under very difficult conditions. but i'll be looking to hear your views on how to inspire cia's intelligence professionals..
who often risk much sacrifice much, and sometimes up to including their health and lives in service for our country. and oftentimes wot recognition because of their requirement to do that and secret. i would like hear how you plan to reenforce no matter the political pressure. no matter what. that cia officers will always do the right thing and speak truth to power. and it is up to america's leaders including you if you're confirm to the ensure that cia officers will not face retribution or retaliation for speaking that truth to power. beyond this basic task our country faces host of hazards, from china to surpass united states technologically to russia continue malign efforts and cyberspace and disinformation. to the ongoing threats from iran and north korea, moreover, we are still in the mitd tion midst of a global pandemic and help on horizon that has taken lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of americans.
these challenges are difficulting and with strongly difficult alliance they are insurmountable to see over the horizon to give us warning of threats and challenges. not simply ones we are facing now and in the near term but those in the future against which we must again to prepare today. fulfilling this committee's oversight obligations will require transparency, and responsiveness from your office we may at times ask difficult questions of you and your staff. and we will expect honest, complete, and timely answers. at the same time, we will also want you to feel free to come to the committee with situations that warrant our partnership. you can always count on this committee to hear you out. give you a fair shake, usually without the partisan that is unfortunately affected much of the rest of this capitol. we'll have much more to discuss
during today's questions but tomato take this moment to assure you that should you be confirmed, i look forward to working closely with you to defend thisdi nation's security. thank you again for your years of service to our country. and for stepping forward yet again in agreeing to serve i look forwards to your testimony and with that i recognize the distinguish vice-chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman and ambassador thank you for being with us today i join chairman in offering you and your family our congratulations and/or con do lenses at the nomination at this important time with the chaps that we face as a role that you've been nominated to fill is -- without parallel in our government if confirmed you'll sit at the next of the agencies and intelligence collection analysis covert action counterintelligence and leads on relationships with foreign intelligence services responsibility for any of these missions. will be enormous undertaking for any single one of them let alone all of them but the core mission
of the agency is and remains the collection of intelligence, the analysis ofng that intelligence, to hep inform policymakers and decisions they make and then, of course, operations as well. and in that context as director you will p be responsible for managing the cia officers and employees of today but also for cultivating work force that we're going to need in years to come. so this in my view entails that specialize skill and expertise needed to solve today unique challenges are resident at the agency. but also it involves looking ahead a decade thinking about what the next critical skill set is going to be that the officers will needd to so i appreciate your insight as to how you intend to achieve and accomplish that and subject work force management i want to mention that the committee in particular -- senator collins and others are interested -- in invested in ensuring that any officers who have been injured in the field or afforded access
to health care and benefits that they need. and this is particularly true when ite comes to injuries that seem to be consistent with symptoms of traumatic brain confirmed i ask for your commitment to work with the committee so that we can find appropriate legislative policy changes that ensure that the cia committee to the health and care of its officers is never left in doubt that we are applying the neglection resources to determine who was behind these things and -- that of impact personnel from various agencies. and i want to be clear the government of the united states needs to solve this problem, needs to take care of our people but needs to also respond to whoever is responsible for hurting americans who were serving our country overseas. to today that united states faces an array of diverse national security threats. and array of threats that is challenging as any in our history.co the longra standing hostility from -- putin regime in russia, iran, north california, global
pandemic, moving into its second year, violent extremism, state and nounal state cyberactors that infiltrate plunder government and private sector computer network what seems like impunity and new and creative method and no challenge that we face rival the multifacetting threat posed by the chinese communist party so even as we continue to focus on the threats from count terrorism and from all of these other nations states and nonstate actors, the threat from the chinese communist party is the most significant facing our nation perhaps -- in its history. we cannot and my juice be the orderly caretakers of our nation's decline. we must confront and i hope frustrate the ambition of the chinese communist party not just to up in norms and boundary and to replace the united states. their goal ish to replace the united states as world most powerful and influential nation, and achieving goal of not
letting that happen, is going involve strengthening expanding alliances i think it is also going to involve increase capability and stronger resolve to meet this challenge. this is not the same system of crisis that pastca cia leaders call to defend against threats today are sudden unpredictable happening with greater frequency. often occurring in a gray space that has conflict without quite crossing the line and to outright warfare. what would i think is plain to me an should be to all is that world is changed how it chooses tohe engage the united states. but i would like hear from you today and have confirmed in the weeks and months to come is whether cia need to change how it engangs world i hope that over the kowrgs of our open and close session todayed you take opportunity to explain not only your understand of the agency unique role in america and our government, but your vision for how that role needs to evolve in coming years so that the agency is position to defend against those emerging national security threats that have not yet even
materialized there's no disputing. the speed and unrival cape thability the agency can bring to bear, and responding to fallly realized national security threat. but what i'm driving at, however, is out of intelligence apparatus oriented towards technological advances and global interconnectivity that will be at the core of the next generation of threats, to this nation's security. artificial intelligence advance data analytic biotechnology, disinformation, deep sociale network manipulation, america adversaries have used this and all of these things and will use these instruments and use other new instruments of power and technologies some who haven't been named yet and don't name yet. to close capability gap that has advantage us as a nation for decades. the refashioning of the national security threat picture by these technological and advances called into question -- whether the traditional constructses of espionage need to be resigned along with if so i welcome your thought otionen
this subject both today and going forward add that that is exactly kind of undertaking that benefited by cia working partnership with this committee and itse members so it is my hoe and frankly my emption that you will look at this committee as a partner to cua work as our nation first line of defense the relationship between the agency, and this committee, is premise on oversight but is most effective and most constructive when we are candid, fulsome, and talking to one another. ambassador the chairman indicated you have a lengthy distinguished career service to our country and i thank you for yourme willingness to resume tht service, and i certainly look forward to your testimony and your answers here today. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator rubio. ii understand you have -- two of america most distinguished public former secretary of state james baker former defense, and cia director leone panetta brief introductis with you speaking remotely on your behalf today so -- secretary baker would you like
to go first? ri>> thank you chairman wariner. thank you vice-chairman rubio members of the committee for inviting me to speak today overt nomination of william j. burns to bent director of the agency. i'm truly honored that bill asked me to speak on his behalf today and i'm delighted to be joined by my old friend lee on panetta. without any reservations, members of the committee, i can strongly recommend bill burns to you. bill president biden is to be congratulated for choosing bill. and my reasoning in this regard is really straightforward. bill is quite simply one of the finest and one of the most intelligent diplomats i had privilege of working with his unique experience, skill, and character make him an outstanding choice for directorship of this cia.
as secretary of state, i relied on bill's judgment during one of the most it mulch eras of foreign policy he was instrumental in forging effective american policies as we work to end cold war peacefully. ensure of the reunification of a germany firmly embedded in the west. reverse our aggression against kuwait and bring together israel and all that's neighboring arab states for their first ever face to face meeting at the 1991 madrid peace conference. each of these complex situations was challenging. and bill's contributions made an enormous difference. bill was there every step of the way.i even at times displaying his first great sense of humor by laughing at my weak joke.
bill combined a remarkable ability to at the same time identifying pragmatic opportunities for these states to advance our interest. after i left office, i watched bill rise to ever more senior ranks, in the state department. elective secretary and ambassadorse to jordan persistet secretary for northern eastern affair and ambassador to russia and political affairs, and then finally, deputy secretary of state. i wasn't a surprised by his success. he's someone who ceases and surmounts every challenge that he meets. members of the committee, you can be assured when it comes to the security of the united states, our country will be in capable hands. i cannot help but think about another director of central
intelligence. president george h.w. bush. my close friend who served as head of the agency in the 1970s. president bush and bill barnes admittedly represent contrast in terms of age, background, and career. but they do share one important indeed essential characteristic absolutely abiding sense of responsibility and duty to the united states of america. bill barnes is a leader, and a steady hand d under fire, he ner hesitates to speak truth. even when he know it is may be unwelcomed. he scrupulously nonpartisan and he has decades of experience working closely with the cia and other intelligence agencies. he knows washington. he knows the world. president biden and our country
would be very fortunate to have bill burns at the helm of the central intelligence agency. distinguish members of the committee, let me close these brief remarks by simply saying that in my opinion -- this confirmation should be a bipartisan no-brainer.r. thank you very much for letting me speak to you today on behalf of bill burns. thank you. >>u thank you secretary baker very much appreciate those comments. secretary panetta. >> mr. chairman, senator wariner, vice-chairman rubio, distinguished members of the committee, it's an honor for me to once again have the opportunity to appear before this committee that is so critical to protecting our national security. i'm honored to be here along side my friend secretary jim
baker he's an old friend and colleague for many years and in the government. and someone who i believe is probably one of the great statesman and public servants of our time. i'm proud to join him in introducing the president's nominee to the cia director and ambassador bill burns. i've known bill for a long time. i've been in public life for probably over 50 years. and i work with him in many of those capacities that i held, congress during tenure of chief of staff for president bill clinton as director of the cia secretary of defense. in the president obama's administering. the job of leading the extraordinary women and men of the cia as they carry out their
indispensable mission of collection, analysis, covert action, all intended to defend our nation, that job i believe, is one of the most important responsibilities in government. and the most important qualities that i believe a director should have is to respect and support the professionals in the cia. they put their lives on the line medical record to protect this country and do their jobs. i think it is important for the director to protect them from political influence, to being nonpartisan and to always, always make sure that the cia speaksn. truth to power. bill burns has those qualities. he understands the dedication of our brave intelligence officers got the right experience. heels got the right nonpartisan approach.
and he knows the importance of protecting our country from our adversaries. in a word, we'll make an outstanding director of the cia. i don't need to tell this committee and our nation faces an increasingly complex set of challenges and threats. i think in my lifetime i've never seen as many flash points in s the world as we have today whether it is russia or china or iran or north korea. whether it is cyberattacks, whether it's what challenges that we face in the middle east and afghanistan. all of these challenges demand good intelligence. ... emand good intelligence. no president, no president can make the right decisions for our nation and protecting our
national security without intelligence. >> by collecting and analyzing and presenting intelligent to policymakers so that they can make best security decisions the country. and to provide intelligence that can be trusted and is credible. the challenge of president biden and a new director is to restore the trust andng credibility of e cia. having worked with president biden, i believe that he understands that intelligence must be grounded in facts and never be politicized. he knows her selfless and brave intelligence professionals. they deserve nothing less than our full support. it's for these reasons any shows william burns to be the cia
director and i am confident both will work to restore trust to the cia with a national security team and with both democrats anh republicans on this committee. and with our allies, and most of all with the american people as jim baker pointed out, bill has served both democratic andea republican administrations. and i will not walk through his career, jim just did that but it's been an outstanding foreign-policy career. i have to state that it's almost exactly ten months ago this month or i guess ten years ago this month, that bill and i were in situation room presenting intelligence to the president. on the suspected whereabouts. in both on the cia in action.
gathering detailed information providing insights explain lighting what we knew and also what we did not know. and bill was at the white house on may 1st of 2011 when the courageous mission of our special operation forces and folded. he was handpicked by the secretary of state to personally participate in closely held national security discussions about the mission and replace for key allies and foreign leaders and informing them of the mission. it is a public servant who has spent his life serving and protecting americans. and as a cia director, he will certainly speak truth to power. because that is what bill does. and when he has done that, he has done that his entire career. it is well-known that calling
and down the middle is essential. even when it may not be convenient. he will also make sure he and other agency leaders are responsive to oversight by this committee and by the congress. i am a big believer that the cia and this committee has to be partners in order to fulfill the mission. but protecting the american people. and he knows the challenges that the agency faces dealing with major competitors as i said from china to so any of those other flashpoints i described and the technological landscape in which our officers now have to operate. in some, chairman and bill burns is the right person at the right
time to lead the cia. his experience in foreign policy and national security, his judgment is unquestioned integrity will be assets as he leads the cia in facing the threats we face. and he understands the sacrifices that are made by our intelligence professionals. often working in the shadows, in dangerous places and away from their families. he knows that the cia, these officers are silent warriors. officers who put the lights on the line for our country. i trust william burns who will be a director that will have their back that they can continue the mission to protect all americans. as a former director, i am honored to introduce to the
committee william burns and urged his swift confirmation. >> thank you and let me just say on a personal basis, not too bad to have jim baker and leon panetta to be your introducers. now ambassador william burns may you stand. we please raise your right hand and do you swear to give this committee the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. lawrence: - >> before i moved to your statement, i would ask you the five standard questions the committee poses to each nominee who appears before us. they require a simple yes or no answer for the record. first, do you agree to appear before the committee here or other venues when invited. burns: yes sir. >> if confirmed he agreed to send officials from your office
to appear before the committee and designated staff when invited. burns: yes. >> do agree to provide documents or other retail euros but question by the committee in order for it to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities. burns: yes or pradip. >> do you ensure that your office and your staff provide such materials to the committee when requested sue and yes sue you agree to inform and fully briefed to the fullest extent possible, all members of this committee of intelligence activities and actions rather than only the chairman and vice chairman pradip. burns: yes or pradip who i think you very much and will proceed to the oak opening statement for you are recognized members and by order of appearance, semi- everybody was here. ambassador burns the floor is yours pretty. burns: thank you so much. mr. chairman, mr. vice chairman and members of the committee.
i am honored and humbled to appear before you today is president biden's nominee for director of the central intelligence agency. i'm deeply grateful to the presidents for the opportunity to return to public service andr to lead the remarkable women and men of cia and if confirmed i will do everything in my power to justify the trust placed in me and to earn the trust of this committee, congress and the american people. i am also deeply grateful to secretary baker and leon panetta, two of the finest service there that this country is a rare produce for their generous couple introductions. my whole life is been j pipe public service. my father fought in vietnam in the 1960s and eventually became the director of the u.s. arms control and disarmament agency. as my three brothers 9 pounds from post to post across the
remarkable country, i never had to look further than my father for the best possible bottle of nonpartisan public service. i never had to look further than my mother to find the best imaginable example of selflessness and commitment in a life shaped by faith family and hard work. i've shared 33 years in the foreign service with my wife lisa rated herself an exceptional public servant and are two wonderful daughters, lizzie and sarah. their love and support and made everything possible and have enriched my life beyond measure. apostles decades as a diplomat of middle east and russia and in the senior official in the administration of both parties, i developed enormous respect for my cia colleagues. i served alongside of them in places around thepe world. it was their skill at collection and analysis that often gave me an edge as a negotiator.
their partnership helped make me an effective ambassador. if in their that helped me make thoughtful choices are the most difficult policy issues. i learned that good intelligence delivered with honesty and integrity is america's first line of defense. i learned that intelligence professionals have to tell policymakers that they need to hear, even if they do not want to hearr it braided and i learnd that politics must stop whereon intelligence work begins. and that is exactly what president biden expects of the cia. it was theth first think that he told me when he asked me to take on this role read he said he was the agency to give it to him straight. and i pledged to do just that and to defend those who do the same read as the president has emphasized, all of america's national security institutions will have to reimagine their roles on an international
landscape that is profoundly different fromei the world i encountered as a young diplomat nearly 40 years t ago pretty evn the world as it was when i left government, six years ago. today's landscape is increasinglyly complicated and competitive and at the world were familiar threats persist on terrorism and nuclear preparation to an aggressive russia and provocative north korea and hostile run braided is also the world of new challenges in which climate change and global health and security are taking a heavy toll on the american people in which cyber threats is ever greater risk to our society. r an adversarial editorial chinese leadership poses our biggest political test. if confirmed, for crucial interrelated priorities will shape my approach in leading the cia read china, technology, people and partnerships read as president biden has underscored,
key to our national security in the decades ahead. that will determine a long-term strategy underpinned by his solid intelligence. there will be areas in which it will be our mutual suffragist to work with china from climate change to nonproliferation. i am very mindful that xi jinping stein is not without problems of its owned. there are however, a growing number of areas in which xi jinping's china is a formal authoritarian adversary. strengthening its capabilities to sell intellectual property, we present some people and bully's neighbors and expand its global reach and build influence in american society. for cia, that will be intensified focus and urgency. continually strengthening the already impressive audrey of china specialists and expanding
his language skills and aligning personnel and resource allocations for the long haul and employingan a whole of eight and two seat approach to the operational and political challenges of this crucial threat read another priority it connected to the competition with china is technology. the revolution in technology and rapid advances in fields like artificial intelligence are transforming the ways we live, work, fight and compete. cia has a rich tradition of sick .cia will need to relentlessly sharpen its capability to understand how rivals use cyber and other technological tools anticipate the tech and he sure their use and keep an edge in developing them ourselves. if confirmed, i will have no
higher priority than reinforcing the cia's greatest assets, its people. the work of cia's is often invisible to most americans but i can serve side-by-side with them and seeing firsthand the courage, the professionalism and their sacrifices. i was privileged to be in the white house situation room when cia's brilliant worked help bring osama bin laden to justice. but i also remember harder days of sorrow and pain after the attack and quiet personalth moments spent in front of the agency's memorial wall who stars include friends who went to my served. honoring the sacrifice the stars represent and strengthening a workforce worthy of the cia. one that reflects the richness of our society and enables us to carry our global mission. that means working even harder to enhance diversity equity and
inclusion from entry-level to senior ranks. it means working even harder to develop the agency's extraordinary talents pretty quick exam with the language skills, technical tools, training and tradecraft they require. and it means ensuring that health and well-being of colleagues and their families. through thoughtfulth pandemic, d wherever and whenever, they face harm or risk read finally if confirmed i'll prioritize partnership treated within the intelligence community and across the world. i will work closely with the director of national intelligence, my longtime friend and colleague. to make sure the agencies seamlessly with her vision for integrating the intelligence community. america's partnerships and alliances permit set our country apart from lonelier major powers like china and russia. the cia intelligence
partnerships are increasingly important means of info fine understanding its influence. investing in those liaison relationships has never been more important and a task by my whole career has prepared me. no partnership be more important to me than the one that i hope to build with all of you on this committee. in my conversations with each of you over the last few weeks, i have been struck by your commitment to bipartisanship and sense of shared purpose. i deeply respect your crucial oversight role which allows the people to have confidence that the agency is working faithfully on the behalf living up to our values. if confirmed, i promise to do all i can to earn your trust and to be a strong partner i will seek your advice as well as your consent rated will be accessible and honest rated qualities i've tried hard to demonstrate throughout a lifetime in public
service and i am deeply honored to bene here today and i look forward to your questions. they can with intent very much rated. >> any members wishing to submit questions, please do so by the close of business on friday, february 26. we will be going through more rounds. it can you speak a little bit more specific to 52 how you can go about restoring morale of the workforce at the cia and what should be, morale is a very old term. are there measured techniques are things that we should look to see how the workforce is doing and operating. few months, sickness or urine. burns: i think any ways most important thing is to reinforce what i hope for my future
colleagues in the cia if i am confirmed braided matters more than ever as i try to describe in my opening statement rated their expertise, courage and sacrifice are respected. and as i promised president biden, we will deliver unvarnished intelligence, the best possible intelligence that we can gather rated the most sophisticated analysis. to deliver the policymakers without any hint of politics or any policy agenda. it is speak truth to power just as you rightly emphasized in your own opening comments, that is what president biden expects of me, that is what i will do until the very best of my ability and as i said, i will defend all of my colleagues who do exactly the same thing. i think that is what is crucially important. >> the committee to me want to check in on this on a regular basis. i think you've heard ath numbert concerns. a number of folks and
professionals were leaving. we've got to stop that flow and move forward. on that, issue and related this is been a concern from senator collins but the whole committee. we've seen evidence now not just of the agency personnel but state department personnel and others become victims of mysterious attacks. the number of us have been quite concerned that we still do not know the sources of those attacks and we still do not potentially have a full of medical diagnosis and even though we have put into law in the last authorization bill some the ability for the cia director to bribe enhance benefits to those individuals. the kind of first-rate quality in healthcare and compensation
they need and deserve. we're not sure that's really takinga place. panetta: that, i also want to get a commitment from you at the cia personnel who may have suffered brain injury have the option of treatment in a nation's premier facilities including walter reed and other facilities. unfortunately, that is not been the case. burns: the first thing that i would say is i first have to admire your leadership and the leadership of the vice chairman and senator collins as well as other members of the committee on these issues. not only do i admire and appreciate it but i know it's deeply appreciated by the women amended of cia. if i am confirmed as director of cia, i will have no higher priority than taking care of people of colleagues and their families need i do commit to you that if i am confirmed, i will make an extraordinarily high
priority to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the attacks that you just described and to ensure that colleagues ii the families with the care they deserve including the national institutes of health and walter reed. i look forward very much to working with all of you to ensure that is the case. warner: the last question is this committee, under the leadership of senator rubio, anyways carveout the role of the technology committee on the hill and we really raised the concerns about china's technological advances. we were the committee that called into question and then try to formulate a cross government, a 5g response. this issue of technology advancement that senator rubio pointed out, china they had the
goal of beating us in technological advancement. i just want to or you may want to comment on this briefly. but continuing the cia's role to monitor china advancement in knowledge and in all of these technology fields. what we really do to think the intelligence committee has a broader view on this issue and any other part of our government party. burns: it's usually important in my opening statement connection between dealing with an adversarial china and ensuring that we can continue to compete effectively in technology is right at the top of my list of priorities. if i had confirmed that i do respect the role of this committee. watching open hearing yesterday and solar wind. in a seem to me to be a classic illustrationat of value of peris committee and looking at these issues and i look forward very much to working with all of your that. warner: thank you.
investor, in your written questions, you technology china uses cultural and educational programs the confucius institute to try influence u.s. policy basis and an china propaganda pretty given the acknowledgment i wanted to focus a better typist the president for carnegie endowment of the piece. an organization you acknowledged in your written questions or answers that is part of china's united front system which is never to co-opt and neutralizena sources of potential opposition part of their efforts to encourage foreign countries to adopt positions and narrative supportive of beijing preferred policies. in this work of the endowment has reported that in 2019, invited 11 staffers on a trip to china and met with the professor of the work for the communist party and president of another front group for the chinese
communist party, was designated last october by the state as a group that seeks to directly influence actually directly in the langley influence state and local leaders. in the united states. this review partnered with, china and the united states exchange foundation, it was a commission in august of 2018 said that they should influence policies towards china in the united states pray to some given your state of concerns about chinese soft power influence efforts, why why you are at the home did carnegie endowment established relationship within examining funding from this group come this china united states exchange foundation. burns: thank senator rubio for the person for the first thing that i would emphasize that the carnegie endowment is a probably independent and transparent organization and review is about
ensuring that whatever financial support they receive whether it is from trustees foundations, does not in any way shape the content of the conclusions of scholarly work. that is first and second, on china u.s. foundation, this is a relationship that i inherited when i became president of carnegie and that i ended it not long after i became president. precisely for the concerns that you just described it because we are increasingly worried about the expansion of chinese influence operations. shortly after i ended the relationship, we began a program at the carnegie endowment on countering foreign influence operations and mostly china and russia. and was supported in part from the grant from the global engagement center at the state department in the last administration. on the second issue, that you raised on the congressional staff delegation, in 2019, we did partner with the afton institute which is you know for a decade under theio leadership
former congressman dan, and managed both member ande staff delegation's too any different parts of the world. this was a trip that included in your staff members and close republicans and democrats both from the house and the senate braided was fully approved in advance by the house ethics committee. in my view is an illustration of what institution like carnegie should do which is to provide congressional staff members with an opportunity to engage directly with chinese counterparts into express their concerns about chinese actions and maligned behavior quite directly. so that since i think that it was a good illustration of what the nongovernment or institution like carnegie working at that institute can do. but i share your concerns of the foreign influence operations and as i said we tried to demonstrate in our work at carnegie, over the time that i was president, our appreciation of that threat.
warner: my second and final question. it's and very high risk for glol defense research and alleged involvement in cyber attacks rated at carnegie why you were there working to set up the carnegie center in beijing printed features seven individuals work at the university invited scholars who have ties to the communist party intuniv the senior fellows #entered chinese communist party roles and was a center for china and globalization beijing think tank associated and linked to the communist party is president is linked to the communist party efforts via or plays a prominent role with a united front which is a group that xi jinping is called china's secret weapon. i am curious of what conditions and restrictions to the chinese impose in order for this center
to be setup. burns: senator rubio, you're right, the center that they operate in beijing and has more for more than a decade as a partnership with the university braided and during my time as president i was extraordinarily careful to assure that the arrangements that we had as it governmental organization operating or allowed us to continue to do independent work. and that has been the case over the last six years and i've also made clear to my colleagues at carnegie that the moment we were constrained in doing that independent work, we would cease operations. it is not simply existing and centers in different parts of the world. it is to do high quality independent work braided and when that becomesly impossible,r are scholars are self censoring, that's the moment at which it becomes no longer feasible to operate there.
rubio: thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. as you know, over a decade ago, mr. burns, the cia engaged in the use of waterboarding. in the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques during interrogations. you provided straightforward answers in the prehearing questions and i appreciate that but i want to cover this topic because i believe it remains a priority to ensure that we never return to this. let me ask you the same types of questions that i asked the director pompeo when they were before us. do you agree that current law for evidence any interrogation techniques not allowed on the united states army field manual on interrogation. burns: it is good to see you and
i believe that waterboarding does constitute torture under the law. it is you will know, the issue in the enhanced interrogation techniques has been settled matter more than a decade. they were prohibited by president obama in 2009 and then under the leadership of senator mccain, the congress enshrined this in legislation to ensure that the only permissible interrogation methods were those allowed in the army field manual. i think it is fair to say that we all learn very hard for lessons in it. after 911. it is veryat important and crucl to be mindful of those lessons to move forward and so it is in that spirit that i also share another view that we should not take actions against or prejudiced careers of officers who may have worked under inn those programs at a time when they were operating under department of justice guidelines
and at the direction of the president for it is so to answer your question specifically again, and certainly committed to what the law provides right now and to ensuring those enhanced interrogation methods are never again used by cia. they certainly will not be under my leadership party of confirmeg it. it. feinstein: thank you very much for that answer. i greatly respect the fact that you came forward with it in the way in which you did read as noted in the intelligence community statement for the record, into any 19 and at our recent worldwide threats assessment hearing, china has the ability to look for cyber attacks that causes destructive effects and critical intersection, natural gaser pipelines for days and weeks. and russia, has the ability to
execute cyber attacks in the united states. to generate localized to temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure. illegible distribution network for at least a few hours. and so on. i am concerned by this. i want to know how we will address this threat. so here's the question. what do you believe is the a appropriate role for the cia in diminishing these types of cyber threats to our critical infrastructure braided and what else could the cia be doing to help in shark the integrity of national cyber security. burns: thank you senator. the hearing that this hearing yesterday addressed yesterday pretty very harsh we could call a thing all of us about the vulnerabilities of supply chains and critical infrastructure in
both of the private sector in the public sector in this country. and we have seen in recent years, for the chinese leadership as well as the rush oft leadership have an aggressie determination to take advantage of those vulnerabilities.si i first saw this when i was an ambassador in moscow in 2007 at a russian state a very determined cyber attack. a small nato ally of the united states rated so if this is a harsh wake-up call, nothing is essential for the cia in particular to work even harder to develop our capabilities and to help detect these kinds of attacks when they come from external players and from foreign players which is the responsibility of the cia. he helped attribute those because without attribution, is very difficult to be sure future attacks rated i continue to develop our own cyber
capabilities as a part of the potential deterrence. and then at the same time, to deepen ships across the intelligence community with domestic fbi in the department of homeland security. with the private sector shared interest in helping to sure of these critical infrastructure braided and finally in place with foreign partners as well. any of whom as i mentioned in the case of estonia facing seems kind of threats where we can learn from their experience in working together, not only builds better defenses but also begins to build and leverage against adversaries and over time i have been convinced work with like minded countries, the allies and partners read to build the rules of the road to help protect critical infrastructure and to help make clear international understanding that certain kind of going for structure off limits. take time and enormous effort
but i think the cia and intelligence can be an important part of that effort. feinstein: thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. investor, welcome. it is hard to believe that we have known each other for over a quarter of a century. i am sure today and reminded you of some of the battle zones you served in. you not been given vacation spots as her time at the state department. i think this committee is grateful to you for your service up until now and more importantly, for what you are about to embark on.rt bill, as you know, it is difficult for the federal agencies to recruit talent today. it issw particularly difficult n an agency that requires security clearances. do you t have any idea today how you might want to restructure the recruitment process so that
you can begin to onboard people earlier. it's difficult to recruit out the university or graduate. to say that we have a job for you but after you've cleared security clearance in the year, do you see a need to revamp that in a way that allows you to bring the talented. two month yes, i do. and i have seen this to my own experiences and other agency of the state department, a price that you pay when security clearance processes is dragged on and on. you lose good people and becomes very difficult to recruit the kind of workforce for tingly and diverse workforce that the cia requires. to be effective and so, one of my high priorities is on if i am confirmed as to take a hard look at that issue. i know mark is been going on in the past and a no previous directors have worked hard at this issue but i agree on its significance. you cannot hope to have effective recruitment processes
unless we find a way to streamline the process. >> the chairman has been outspoken on it. as it relatesha to the wa forward. investor coming speak three languages predict talk to us about how you see language requirements within the agency going forward. it is in a priority. burns: it has to be a priority senator. i know it was for jean haskell for as well. i greatly respected that. because right to the core, our cia's unique role and responsibilities and a part of gathering that human intelligence which complements technical means the cia and other parts of the intelligence community have made enormous progress on in recent years but they are not a substitute for
human intelligence and the part of the collection effort has to require and does require a facility in foreign languages. it so as i discuss what i was estalking about the high priorities i would attach to china if confirmed as director a part of that intelligence or priority requires expanding the number of our mandarin language speakers at the cia and making data priority read and continuing to work to expand other language facility at the agency. especially important reading. burr: you've heard and you will hear members on this committee all talk about technology. and i think that of us would agree with the united states it's retarded as a relates to the ability to adapt new technologies pretty we are slow, we find it, and the reason that any of our and discern adversaries to make games because of their willingness to accept technology to use it braided to leverage that against
what we built. how do you intend to use technology both in the workforce in the tradecraft to make sure that we have fully taken advantage of what i thank you so the greatest innovative country in the world. burns: i think you are exactly right. the cia has a rich history of innovationt and agility. if i am confirmed, i recognize we're going to have to work even harder to be innovative and to be agile pretty you mention tradecraft pretty one of the big challenges genetic and operational tradecraft is the technical surveillance, the capacity of the number of our adversaries in a make it much more complicated to conduct additional tradecraft printed so the agency like so any other parts of the u.s. government, is going to have to adapt. to that kind of a challenge and highly confident that the women and men of cia are capable of that breed is also going to
require senator, this is the one point that i would add. a greater effort to work with the private sector as well. so that we cannot only keep pace with technological progress they get ahead of it. that is exactly what our adversaries are doing and that's what i think we need to put even greater effort into as well. burr: me remind you that the two introductions made for you, one thing they both highlighted is the partnership with the committee and the cia. no you that it respectfully predict that we are grateful. on board with your confirmation. burns: thank you pradip. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. investor, the risk of this becoming a full-fledged contest, i want to register a couple of various you been involved in an especially important to me. your track record on human rights and i think a real attribute to this job and of
course your experience at the state department. it is rare that we see people with that kind of background. i think we touched on this, let me start with respect to this matter of correcting false statements. if you or any other cia officials says something publicly that is inaccurate, when you correct the public record. would you. burns: senator, as we discussed, i believe it is a serious responsibility upon confirmed ac cia director in the case of a policymaker making a statement that i judge later to be a variance of intelligence that we have provided to work with a policymaker to try to correct that statement. i get it right. i thank you so you will know that cuts right to the core of building credibility and trust. which are the foundations i think for sound policy choices as well.
so it certainly taking it that seriously and do everything i can to break the record of. >> very good in my second question deals with this question of technology and i'm glad that this will be a priority for you. major technology challenge will be to protect sources methods while not hiding the legal interpretations that are used to conduct operations. i'm especially troubled by situations in which the government goes around the courts and buys americans private records from data brokers, people basically are unregulated and one of the sleaziest operations i know of. i'm actually introducing legislation on the fourth amendment. it is not for sale here very shortly. we talked about this with director haynes and her
confirmation process. and i would like to ask you whether you would make public circumstances under which the intelligence community and the cia part of the intelligence purchases information a basis for doing so. burns: yes i share the view it would be very valuable to lay out a framework and makes clear to the american people the guidelines and legal boundaries within which we would undertake those activities. i'm a strong believer in transparency and shared the directors commitment. wyden: with respect to accountability, 2013 the cia acknowledged it had fallen short in holding people accountable for failuresnt associated is management of the torture program pretty honey is my words carefully here.
this is been subject of some debate. question is the cai then recommended and i believe what the discussion was about was going forward that it brought in reviews to consider systemic problems and officers responsible for the systemic problems as well as management failures. so this was a recommendation of a long time, 2013. do you agree with the cia's 2013 recommendations and would you implement it so that going forward, everybody is clear about the fact that it will be followed. burns: i will senator and i attach great affording to accountability and i will certainly follow through on that if i and confirmed as director and i do thank you so important in conducting accountability reviewat processes. and also look at ways which you
can address systemic problems as well. wyden: i think that's constructive and i w want to wok with you on the timeline because this will be something we will talk about in other occasions. but since it was recommended 2013, i spent a long time with it. last question is over the years, the cia and the impeded congressional oversight by limiting briefings and limiting staff access to important processes and actions in failing to inform the committee at all. it would you conduct a thorough review wherea the cia has engagd in this report back to the full committee so that all of us, every member willro know how access can be expanded pretty. burns: if i'm confirmed, i certainly will be committed to trying to provide as much information as possible to the broader committee on sensitive operations and collections. i do commit to reviewing the
practices of my predecessors with regard to what information was restricted to aid in working with all of you on this committee and that is you predict. wyden: i'll be supporting ms or burns look forward to working with him pradip. >> senator collins. >> we are going by order of the gavel. collins: welcome senator william burns. i first want to stress my appreciation to you for engaging in an extensive conversation with me about the cia officials who have been respected of these terrible attacks that have left them with in some cases, permanent dramatic brain injuries. i was very glad that the chairman and the ranking members
are the vice chairman product this issue to you predict i know we have your firm commitment to ensure that those who have been injured to receive the best possible medical care without going through hassles and roadblocks. i hope we also have a commitment to focus on identifying the perpetrator of these heinous attacks. burns: i very much appreciate that earlier conversation on this issues as well. and i reemphasized my commitment on both of those counts. doing everything that i can if i am confirmed as director to help get to the bottom of who is responsible for those attacks. >> william burns, could you sit next to your market little bit closer. burns: is better.
yes so not only getting to the bottom of who is responsible but to also ensure my future colleagues get the care that they and their families deserve whether it is at walter reed national institute of health rosarito look very much armor to working with you on those issues braided and there are also a range of other issues affecting the karen mulvaney among future colleagues. in this for example observed the officers over the course of recent years. it and made enormous sacrifices in the last two decades. you also based genuine health challenges. and i also commit to trying to ensure that they get the best care possible as well. collins: thank you. and the questions for the record you are asked about the institutes that are on some of our college campuses. and i was pleased to see that
you agree that chinese communist party uses these institutes and instruments for propaganda. two questions. first, could you and operate on how the chinese communist party uses these confucius institutes to advance c its goals. and second, what would be your advice to any college campus hosting a confucius institute rated. burns: senator, think you for your question. i think with a confucius institutes do and i am no expert on them but it is to promote a narrative of xi jinping's china which is to designed to build 74 what is in my view quitein aggressive leadership which is engaged in conduct and conducted
adversarial approach to relations with the united states. so in that sense, that particular dimension of foreign influence operation constitutes the genuine risk. my advice for any institution in the united states including academic institutions is to betu extraordinarily careful of what the motives are. for a variety of institutions like that to be very careful in engaging them. collins: would you recommend that they shut them down pretty. burns: if i were president of the college university and had a confucius institute, that is certainly what i would do. collins: thank you. >> thank you chairman, welcome investor and thank you for your time and we were able to connect earlier read you've been a customer in the cia's intelligence for any years in
various roles read your no stranger to the agency into the value that it brings but if you are confirmed, you will be the first analyst like you're off to a good start for the week. we will be the first career diplomat to serve as director of the agency. seal be in a really good position to help ensure a good intelligence is in the service of good policy. so talk to us a little about the 30000-foot level, just how you intend to leverage your diplomatic experience in his new role that is very different from what you did before. it. burns: thank you very much senator pradip and i enjoyed our earlier conversation as well. as you said i've had long experience both in the field and senior policymaking jobs in washington and working with the cia and i absolutely agree with you the good intelligence delivered with honesty and integrity the critical
foundation. i've had h a positive experience working overseas ando working with intelligence colleagues rated they understood that as a chief admission, was then president's rep. on the ground in a lead country teams which in the case for example of moscowep when i was in master there from 2005 - 2008 was 104 biggest embassies in the world. or than two dozen agencies in that country team braided so they understood cia station chief did, and their obligations to keep me fully and currently informed. in return, i respected their professionalism and trusted it and i did not micromanage. it cannot remember one instance when i was a chief admission either in moscow or in jordan, where we had to elevate an issue because we had a difference to washington. when i was deputy secretary of state, there were several instances, not a large number
where differences between a chief admission and achieve of station, were raised to my level and i was able to work out with my counterpart the deputy director of cia in virtually ali of those instances. a reasonable approach and i canv count on less than one hand the number of times that we had to elevate that even higher. i raised that only because i think there is no substitute in the end for good leadership and professionalism and trust in making that relationship work. and in understanding the critical role of unvarnished intelligence in the policymaking ki process. >> i think that is a helpful answer and helps me set up my next question. this is a remarkable agency and it has some of the most talented people in service to our country and any agencies in existence.
but as i mentioned in our recent conversation, when things do get a ride, sometimes it is because of things that are inherent to the culture of the agency. it can be resistant to change, resistant too transparency, not always welcoming to outsiders. when you told me you are familiar with these concerns rated with your time working with the agencies overseas and i'm curious if you are confirmed, how would you approach especially as an outsider the cultural challenges that can be inherited in agency like this. burns: i'm certainly familiar with the cultural identity of different institutions. my old institution it at the state department has its own share of tribalism and cultural challenges to overcome. it is not a perfect institution either. i've enormous respect for a career public servant whether it's estate or now i hope at the
cia. you have to understand what drives different professionals and organizations of if you are a case officer overseas, that requires an enormous amount of professional skill and courage and creativity as well. and that is a huge asset for the promotion of american interests around the world. analyst at cia are noted for the honesty for the willingness to speak truth to power and that is why it's so essential for the director to have their backs. and to defend them when they do that. and make sure that we are trying to get the best out of all of those different roles at the agency and to keep pace with technological changes as well which is another great asset of cia. and to be able to integrate all of those skills and all of those cultures in a way that serves the national interest and that's what i will be determined to do.
>> thank you chairman. in thank you senator pradip i was going to cover exactly those two topics in understanding the building. i did braided and some of the articles on this, the sea i ate agencies that you had worked with over the years are incredibly confident that as a consumer of this information, bring a lot to the job. i think roger richard said that burns does the building i think your response to senator suggests that you thought more about the conversation we had about the importance of being engaged in that culture in an eminent way. it i'm wondering as maybe the biggest consumer of cia assistance and information who would've ever had this job, how
would you think that would impact you structuring head of product comes out and how the agency works as it relates in thinking about the real ultimate goal of the information. suffer the cia to get into the consumer away that ambassador or somebody in the administration or member of congress can fully understand the information in the best possible way. c1 thank you so a much senator because it cuts to the core of what my responsibilities will be if i am confirmed. as a senior policymaker and consumer of intelligence from the cia what mattered most to me was that i get their honest judgment on the issues. even when it might be inconvenient or unwelcome in some ways because it just complicated what was already complicated set of policy choices. when i learned, sometimes the hard way over my career is
unless you get in unvarnished intelligence without a hint of politics or policy agenda, and becomes impossible to have an effective process pretty will want to get it as quickly as you can. with regard for example issues of attribution, whether there is a cyber threat like the one the committee was discussing yesterday. being able to get to the bottom of that is absolutely crucial to trying to sort through policy choices as well. i think the better the connection in a way between policymakers who understand what it takes to produce high-quality intelligence and producing in a timely way, and intelligence professionals who understand what policymakers are wrestling with as ind try to sort through but almost inevitably a set of unappealing choices. i think that becomes crucial to
an effective process. blunt: i think this is come up before but i think that you want to be sure that this committee becomes an informed ally in the effort to be sure that the artificial intelligence and machine learning helps you as adequate to get things narrowed down to her an individual should be looking at them. there's more and more information all of the time and how you get that information to the point where you can enter very best possible way analyze that it will be increasingly important. we first met when you were in the ambassador. there and how do you think your understanding of moscow and of russia and putin is going to be helpful o as you advise with ths committee and the president. burns: thank you senator blunt. i remember fondly our meeting about 15 years ago now in moscow.
most of my white hair came from my service in russia over the years and in particular dealing with prudence russia and what i have learned is it's a mistake to underestimate putin. in any ways is a declining power, it can be destructive. ... ... a >> firmness and consistency is usually important and important to work to the maximum extent with allies and partners. we have more effect on putin's countenance when he sees
firmness from not just from the united states, but allies as well. so it pays off working hard at widening the circle of those to push back. >> thank you, mr. ambassador, i look forward to your nomination and your relationship when you're confirmed that you'll have with this committee which is incredibly important for us and i hope it turns out to be important to you. >> i look forward to it, senator. >> thank you, chairman. >> senator king on webex. >> mr. ambassador, welcome to the . >> hi. >> and i realized that we have something in common, both of us took the foreign service exam and the only difference you passeded and i didn't, but we won't dwell on that. i appreciate you being here. there's talk today, rightfully show, truth to power and sometimes that sounds too easy and my concern is, it's not --
it's more subtle than somebody mendaciously doctoring intelligence or changing it, it's human nature to want to tell the boss what they want to hear and so the request he is, how do we -- how do we build a structure to be sure that that is the ongoing policy and that we don't slip into a kind of comfortable relationship with the president or this committee or the secretary of defense where it's more of an unconscious process, but the result is the same, biaseded intelligence that will undermine good decision making? give me some thoughts on that. >> senator king, it's good it see you and i think you're absolutely right. truth to power is more than a slogan, often easier said than done. i think the tone gets set at the top. i've known president biden for
a quarter century and have great respect for him and when he told me in literally almost the first thing he said when he asked me to take on this role, that he expected me and cia to deliver intelligence to him straight. i know that he meant it and ng setting that tone at the top is crucially important. i know it can become difficult in the press of crises and policy making to lose sight of the importance of delivering unadulterated intelligence, it's important to be mindful of it and be reminded of it as i know you on this committee will remind me. all i can say i'm acutely aware of the role and different from the one i played as a policy maker and an ambassador overseas, but i look forward to
it because i do understand from those perspectives how crucial its to have intelligence, the best possible intelligence that cia can collect delivered with honesty and integrity and that's what i intend to do. >> in order to effectuate that, i hope you'll provide strong support to the ombudsman program, the integrity program that's ongoing so that the commitment you have from the president extends throughout the agency. to follow up, in your memoir in 2019, you said your greatest previously regret was your failure to effectively communicate your concerns prior to the 2003 invasion of iraq. it seems to me that's an example of exactly what we're talking about. share that experience, if you would. >> sure. first, senator, i agree with you with the important role that the ombudsman plays. and if i'm director i'll do everything i can to strengthen
that role because it does give analysts if they have questions about pressure or politicalization to raise them as well. i try to write honestly in my experience as i was head of the near east bureau for colin powell in the run-up to the iraq war. what i tried to do is to be honest about concerns we had how complicated the day after in iraq would be, even if the u.s. military successfully overthrew saddam hussein which i didn't doubt would be the case. a couple of colleagues and i, ryan crocker, a u.s. ambassador in the hardest places around the world, and david pierce wrote a memo in the summer of 2002 to secretary powell which we entitled the perfect storm.
and we tried to layout our concerns of everything that could go wrong in the run-up to the war in iraq and days after. it was imperfect. we got it about half right and half wrong in terms of, you know, many of the problems we tried to identify, but i mentioned it only because it was an honest effort to express our concerns and i think that's what's incumbent, whether you're in a policy making role, as i was then at the state department or in a senior intelligence role to be straight forward about your concerns. without that, policy choices suffer. >> thank you. well, thank you, mr. ambassador and i also will join my colleagues. i look forward to working with you and the relationship with this committee is very important because separately from all other agencies, most other agencies, the u.s. government, nobody's watching the cia except us and therefore, you've got to be as open as possible with us so
that we can meet our responsibility to the american people to be sure that this secret organization, which is sort of an anomaly and a democracy is being overseen and supervised by elected representatives. so i look forward to working with you. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i do, too. thank you senator king. >> and the procedure we're operating is different in the past, we were doing questions from seniority among those present when the hearing was gavelled. snort -- senator cornyn. >> mr. ambassador, thank you for saying yes to president biden and congratulations and again, thank you for assuming this important role. i can't think of anybody that
has the breadth of experience that you've had in the world, which leads me just to, i'm kind of tour curious, you've been exposed to foreign intelligence in the years in foreign services. are there intelligence services around the world, any of them that sort of stand out as having what you believe would be commendable organizations or operations or structures that is something that the united states government ought to consider in terms of structuring, organizing or operating our intelligence services? >> well, i think there are a number of intelligence services especially amongst our allies and our partners that i've admired over the years, again, i've been looking at it from the perspective of a diplomate. certainly france, some of our allies are first rate partners,
certainly the israeli intelligence services i've known over the years are extremely capable and have also worked hard on the technology issue that we were discussing before, which is extremely important. we've also had intelligence services who are close partners in the war on terrorism, you know, over the last 20 years, whose capabilities, i think, at least in my experience, have been enhanced over recent years. sometimes because of the cooperation with u.s. intelligence services and that's going to be extremely important moving forward so i think there's something we can learn from those intelligence services and we also have to pay very careful attention to the capabilities of our adversaries as well, whether it's the russian intelligence services which i've had experiences with over the years or chinese intelligence services as well. it's important not to underestimate them. they're putting a great deal of effort into technological development and we see that on the part of, you know, smaller
adversarial services, and it's important not to underestimate their capabilities and learn where we can. >> on another topic, one of the things we learned from this pandemic is our vulnerability to supply chains from overseas and i think you and i may have talked a little about my interests along with chairman warner and senator cotton and the whole congress really, now in reshoring our ability to manufacture the most sophisticated semiconductors. china, i understand, is building about 16 fabs while taiwan semiconductor is planning on building one in arizona, but we need to approach, i think, some of the national security challenges we have in china in a different way. what i mean by that is that
we-- we're so ossifed here and stove-piped and for the development of something like a semiconductor fab. that doesn't quite fit very well into our structure of appropriations and budget caps and subcommittee appropriations and the like, but i wish you would work with ussen give some thought not only what the vulnerabilities are and how we've racked them and stacked them the vulnerabilities that currently exist, but help us find ways to perhaps modified, change, reform or just adapt to the new competition we have with china where they're investing billions of dollars and everything from 5-g to ai
to quantum computing and others and we can't afford to let them win. will you commit to working with us on that challenge? >> i certainly will, senator and i do admire the work that you and senator cotton and others have done over the course of recent months and years to highlight that problem. supply chain vulnerability, semiconductors as you mentioned is a classic illustration of that as well. and not only do i look forward to working with you on those issues, but i promise it will be a high priority at cia if i'm confirmed to understand from the perspective we bring from abroad, the ways in which some of our adversaries and rivals can take advantage of the vulnerabilities. then through intelligence partnership with some of our allies and partners to look at ways in which we can coordinate efforts to shore up supply chains as well. because it's not a vulnerability that's unique to the united states as you well know, senator. i look forward very much to working with you on that. >> if the chairman will indulge
me, let me ask a final on nuclear proliferation. >> short question. >> yes, sir. >> do you think that iran can ever be trusted with a nuclear weapon? >> no, sir, i think it's important to the united states to do everything we can to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. >> thank you very much. >> senator bennett. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ambassador for your willingness to serve, we are very, very grateful that you're coming back. you mentioned that enhanced competition with increasingly threatening chinese communist party constitutes one of our greatest challenges. as senator warner said the committee has been closely tracking china's assertive move from aggressive agreements and strategic exploration of surveillance regimes to investments intended to put our
advantages in space at risk. in addition to china you listed off nuclear proliferation, climate global health, technology as things we need a long-term, you said, i think, a long-term clear-eyed approach and you've worked in countries with authoritarian regimes and we obviously are a democracy, poignant, i think, to see those two luminaies introduce you and find a way in this democracy. and i want your thoughts how you as director of the cia could he will-- elevate the view a little bit and we're looking out 10 years, 20 years between the commercial breaks on the cable television at night. who do we as a democracy competing in a world with totaltainer societies seize an
opportunity here to actually compete and win and succeed? i'd just be interested in your perspective. >> sure. >> how you can help us elevate our view? >> first, i think it's important to approach all of those formidable challenges you just described with a sense of confidence. while i recognize the international landscape is changing fast, we're in a period of profound transformation. the united states may no longer be the singular dominant player we were when i worked for senator baker 30 years ago, but i would say that we have a better hand to play than any of our major rivals because of our capacity for renewal, it's hugely important and it sets us apart from authoritarian
regimes around the world and sets us apart from lonelier powers like russia and china. as pressing as immediate crises and immediate threats always are, at the cia or anywhere else in the u.s. government, you have to be able to look over the horizon a little bit. you mentioned one very good example of that, which is space. which i know is something you've been very much focused on. you know, here is, you know, an area in which our adversaries are working overtime to try to develop their capeabilities, which can threaten american critical infrastructure and lots of other things that are important to us. it's also an area where there are really no international rules of the road right now, whether it's in terms of commerce or security or anything else. and so, i think it's incumbent upon cia to focus on issues like that, to be able to highlight the threat that's
growing for american interests and then to try to think creativitily in support of policy makers about how you anticipate those threats and begin today to plan for the best ways to deal with them. >> we look forward to working with you on all of that. as you write in your book that period of time that baker represents was a time when we were in the cold war and we had an organizing principle of some kind, which didn't mean we didn't make mistakes, we made mistakes all the time, but we had an organizing principle and we lost that at the end of the cold war that principle and then 9/11 happened and disoriented us. and i think really this moment is an opportunity to reintroduce our values to the rest of the world, and do it as you say with a sense of optimism. we should have a sense of optimism. a lot of countries that you've
served in had some version of january 6th happen, and what they don't have happen is what happened on january 20th, the peaceful transition of power and that should give confidence going forward and i hope it gives you confidence. >> i agree, senator. however formidable the challenges are we ought to approach them with a sense of confidence and optimism and that's my experience overseas for the u.s. government, whether people like our policies or hate them, what they expect from americans is problem solving, a sense of possibility, a sense of optimism. that's what they admire most about our society when it's operating at its best and that's what they hope to see from american leadership in the world. as you said, senator, we don't always get it right. we don't have a monopoly on wisdom, but we ought not to underestimate the core strength that american society brings to
the world. >> thank you. >> senator sasse. >> thank you, chairman. ambassador, congratulations. thank you for the time you spent with us in the run-up to this and i'll just say that this committee, as is well-known to the members and to you, is different than most committees on the hill and it's usually because we don't have cameras. usually people don't have any incentive to make grand standing speeches and this committee works a lot better than most. but i also just want to commend you on the substance of your opening statement, confirmations hearings are usually an exercise in defense, and people don't want to say something, but you said substantive things and i think your answers to senator rubio about operations were meaty. thank you for that. this is not a hostile question at all, genuinely a sympathetic question to your nomination, but you said in your opening statement that i think the biggest four priorities that you have are china, tech, human
capital and i forget the term you used i wrote down alliances. >> partnerships. >> personnel and partnerships. and i think that's exactly the right issue set for our cia and i think it's the right order. first of all, congratulations on having a substantive view of the calling. it's not bad that we've had to go through an evolution on our china policy because everybody, in a bipartisan way 20 years ago had a very different view about how things might work out with the chinese leadership and obviously that hasn't happened. could you walk us through a little bit of your evolution? because you had different positions in say 2013? i think i detect even an evolution from your atlantic piece i red last june, july, to your meaty piece. and walk us through the last two, three years how you think
about xi jinping. >>. >> i mentioned the term wake yul call with response to solar winds, but i think that xi jinping's china the last years has been a sharp wake-up call, undisguised aggressiveness and assertiveness and made it clear the adversary and rival that we face. i think that's true across partisan lines not just in congress, but across society. the question, therefore, how would you build a long-term -- i would emphasize long-term because we have to buckle up for the long haul in the competition with china. this is not like the soviet union and the cold war, this was primarily security and this is an adversary that's capable in economic terms as well so it's buckling up for the long-term and developing a very
clear-eyed strategy. i think it's entirely possible. my role if i'm confirmed as director of cia will be to try to assure not only that we approach this with urgency and a very sharp focus, expand our capabilities over the next couple of years, but then deliver the best possible intelligence about the nature of chinese intentions and capabilities. >> that's the only way we'll be able to sustain that long-term strategy and the only other thing i'd say, senator, we discussed before, a critical part of that is going to be working with allies and partners because that's where, you know, xi jinping's china and wolf warrior diplomacy has created opportunities for us because it's helped open the eyes of allies and partners not just across asia, but other parts of the world to the nature of that threat as well and we need to try to take advantage of that. both in intelligence partnerships and more broadly
in terms of diplomacy. >> i want to transition a little to your bureaucratic orienting the budget and personnel for the challenges of today and not the challenges of the post 9/11 moment. if we had a lot more time i'd want to drill down and maybe that-- in private and follow up to that during our classified time today, but a lot of us are very worried about secretary kerry's undefined role because chairman xi is going to lie about what they will do on climate. like, that's not an open question. he's going to lie. and so it means if we have all of these real technological race challenges between the ccp and freedom-loving nations, whatever the new nato or the digital revolution is, the trans pacific partnership plus technology standards, whatever that thing is, if we take the pressure off in the alliance that we're going to build because there's some climate summit that's going to happen in 18 or 24 months and he's
going to promise a bunch of pie in the sky, then it ends up being a house of cards. and a lot of us are worried about the climate lies. in the post 9/11 moment it was right for us to be focused on global threat and spread of jihadism. that's not the threat we face now, but yet because of our budget and personnel have lingering effects of 2002, '04, '06, '08 '10. how are you going to make sure the change to the pacific is operative in personnel decisions under your leadership? >> thank you, senator, i look forward to a longer conversation on both of these subjects. briefly on china, i think it's to review china on climate issues, it's not a favor to the united states, it's not something to be traded, it's in the self-interest of china. it's important for us to be
clear-eyed as i'm sure the president and secretary kerry will be. on the wider question, i don't have a formula about the balance between what is a continuing threat posed by terrorist groups, even though we're almost 20 years after 9/11 and what are clearly huge emerging challenges, particularly china and others. it's critically important for the agency to adapt in terms of resources and focus. i don't have a unique formula to offer you today, but i look forward to working with you on that because that adaptation inevitably is going to require prioritizing amongst resources and people. thank you, i know the chairman says take my mic. i'm going to flag that i'm going to follow up with you, as well as about the historical advisory program. your memoir shows the importance of declassifying recordsment. we need to protect records and sources wherever we can, it's
essential, but the inertia of motion should be to declassification for public trust and scholarly. to assume that if someone doesn't declassify, that stays classify and i hope-- >> senator cotton, and i've been extraordinarily patient and he i don't want to tray his patience any further, mr. casey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. ambassador, great to be with you. >> thank you. i come today to this hearing to thank you for-- to express for three reasons. number one for your exemplary public service, i think that's an understatement. and for the service of your family, starting with your father and throughout the time that your immediate family has served with you and provided their own measure of service. i'm especially grateful that your father has roots in pennsylvania and i think you've told me before specifically
scranton, pennsylvania. >> yes, sir. >> which provides a special recognition for me. but most importantly, maybe, for today, your recognition in your opening statement of the-- not only the service, but the sacrifice of the men and women of the cia. you talked about the -- those personal moments that you have in front of that agency and memorial wall and knowing some of those who lost their lives. so i appreciate the fact that you recognize them. i wanted to ask two questions, one is country specific and one is more broad about our national security threats, the staff drafted a very good question for a new member that i'll use, but on china. you said, and i'm quoting in your opening statement, out competing china is key to our national security and i agree with that. number two, when i consider the threats, the economic threats
that china poses to a state like pennsylvania i've often said when china cheats we lose jobs in pennsylvania. so i guess just in terms of the threats posed by china, i guess by way of kind of itemization or prioritization, how do you rank them technology-- how do you rank the threats that china poses? >> thank you. as many members of the committee argued, i think that competition and technology cuts right to the core of china's capacity to compete in military terms and economic terms as well. so if i had to underscore the core area that's going to matter most in terms of competition with a vafrl r adversarial china i think it cuts to the next decade or
more. >> and now i want to speak broadly about national security threats. again, if you could itemize in a short answer, i know we don't have a lot of time, but the major national security threats that we face and then in particular, and i think this is an important point that the staff made in the materials, how should the cia be positioned to predict, provide a warning about, and to mitigate these threats? >> well, senator, i mean, one i think this i've learned over the years, while it's very important to have priorities and i think i would put at the top of the list as i mention in my opening statement, theage cha posed by xi jinping's china, by an adversarial china, it's hard for me to see more of a challenge to the united states in the 21st century than that one. it's the biggest geopolitical test that we face. having said that, you know, in the same sentence i would not want to give short shrift to a
range of challenges out there. as i mentioned putin's russia shows that declining powers are just as disruptive as rising ones and make use of asymmetrical tools to do that, cyber tools, the nonproliferation challenges and the behavior by iran are hugely significant and ones we can't afford to ignore. ballistic missile development as well as subversive in the middle east and abuse rights to people inside iran as well. and then, you know, as i've said earlier, we have to look ahead as well to those emerging challenges, the problems without passports that we have to deal with that aren't confined to any one nation state, whether it's issues of global health insecurity as the american people have faced in full measure over the course of the last year, whether it's the
revolution and technology, whether it's other forms of instability or problems they're going to create challenges for the united states down the road. so you know, if i -- if i had to put one set of challenges at the top of the list, it would certainly be china as i mentioned before, but we just don't have the luxury of neglecting any of the other challenges as well. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. look forward to supporting your confirmation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. burns, welcome. >> thank you. >> congratulations on your nomination. is there any way we can figure out what's going on with the mics? >> testing, testing. >> static.
>> thank you, senator cotton. >> i'm sure you'll be restarting that five minute clock now? >> you've had to wait and you've been patient. restart the clock. >> mr. burns, i want to add my voice to senator warner and senator collins concerns about the microwave attacks, i appreciate your commitment in getting to the bottom of it and taking care of anyone injured in it. >> thank you. >> more broadly as we discussed on the phone i've taken an interest over the years in the health of our special activities center, the cia specifically, or i should say the metaphorical house in terms of the number of para military officers available and the workload to bear, but the literal health because some of them suffer the same wounds that many of our service members face. and speak publicly about what we spoke to on the phone that make sure they have the best
medical care available? >> absolutely, i've seen the sacrifice they've made and courage. >> and that continues with the director that has already started. >> yes. >> to ensure they have care equal to if not better than what we already serve our veterans. >> yes. >> thank you. and i want to touch briefly on other point, you're probably well aware that i briefly held the director to national intelligence after one of her answers she might reconsider on long closed harris attention programs, i'm troubled by some media reports i've seen that suggest a senior cia officers detailed to dni recently had his property reduced because of his involvement in that program. i would just like to get your commitment if confirmed you'll aside by the determination of
the obama administration not to resurrect any efforts to prosecute or make administrative action against or in any way future panels for any cia officer involved in those conducted under doj guidance and-- >> yes, senator, as i mentioned earlier, you have my commitment not to take actions again or prejudice the careers of officers who may have worked in the program in the past. when they were operating under the department of justice guidelines and under the direction of the president. yes, sir. >> thank you. we've talked in our phone call about the importance of everything the cia does, with the centrality of the collection of foreign intelligence and to put it in military terms that the collection is the main effort at the cia. >> yes, sir. >> and that means primarily the department or the director of operations, but also, other elements of the agency in science and technology and the new digital directorate. you agree that collection of foreign intelligence is the
main effort at the central intelligence agency? >> it's the core of the cia mission analysis. what you do with that collection to put it in a form that's most useful to policy makers is obviously critical as well. but at the core of what the cia does is that foreign collection and particularly human intelligence. >> that's because the collection of foreign intelligence, put in laymen's terms, is what allows analysts to have a richer analysis than what they would have if they were using publicly available sources, an academic or think tank scholar right? >> that's correct, that involves stealing secrets and doing underway superior to what our rivals try to do. >> we talked about covert action and i shared my views, too often administrations in the past of both parties viewed covert action not as a supplement to policy, but as a substitute for policy, would you agree with that assessment? >> yeah, and i think it's one
of the big dangers. i haven't been detailed and i look forward to that in the future. your point of the directing programs of the president to coherent policy is absolutely crucial. it cannot be a substitute for sound policy choices. >> it is, though, however, in many cases a sound supplement to a broader foreign policy and that we should not have a reluctance to use it? >> yes, sir, as one tool in a coherent strategy and policy, i absolutely agree with you. >> when you were out of government you said, quote, it is simply impractical to think that the united states will provide significant sanctions relief without assuances that iran addresses issues of
ballistic missiles-- even if it contradicts the administration's policy-- >> own iran and a whole range of issues it will be my obligation if confirmed to deliver those intelligence assessments in a straight forward and unvarnished way. >> thank you senator cotton. we have senator gillibrant on webex. >> according to reports, influence the 2020 election and sow discard, attempting to assassinate with a nerve agent and a solar wind hack, one of the largest intrusions into the u.s. government systems, obviously, you've served as ambassador to moscow, you speak russian. where do you think we should start with the kremlin?
and if you are confirmed, what will be your approach to this profound challenge? >> well, senator, it's nice to see you and i enjoyed our conversation earlier this week. certainly, i think it's a huge mess take, as i said earlier, not to underestimate the challenge that president putin poses to the united statesment my own view in the past both serving as a policy maker and as a private citizen, there's no substitution with consistency with putin's russian and allies share the same concerns. and i know the biden administration is soon to produce an assessment of all of those from solar winds to the poisoning and then the cruel ab is your-- absurdity of sentencing navalny
to a penal colony, the and reason he failed to check in he was in a coma from the kremlin trying to poison him to death. there's a whole range of this assessment that will not only provide the best intelligence we're capable of in what happened on those instances, but the consequences. i look forward to participating in those efforts and what flows from it in the future. so the short answer, senator, i think there's no substitute for firmness and consistency and being clear-eyed because the reality is that i think in terms of american policy of u.s.-russian relations, as long as vladimir putin is the leader of russia, we're going to be operating within a narrow band of possibilities, from the sharply competitive to the nasty adversarial. >> yes, i think we also will
have a similar challenge with regard to china and obviously, there's a great deal of strategic competition with china right now. but we also want to have some kind of engagement. can you expand upon your views on what you would like to do to approach china? >> well, i think it-- again, if i'm confirmed to the director of the cia, my role won't be as a policy maker anymore, but i think the core of sound policy choices is the best intelligence we can provide about the intentions and capabilities of xi jinping's china and that's something that we need to develop ourselves. we need to work closely with allies and partners who share many of the same concerns. so, as i said earlier, senator, i think it's absolutely important to be quite clear-eyed about the long-term nature of that challenge from, you know, an adversarial trying under xi jinping's leadership and to help policy makers think
through the various ways those threats can emerge, to look carefully at vulnerabilities, supply chains or other areas and the value of the united states working closely with allies and partners in developing that intelligence, but also in developing and executing smart policy. >> and your third large challenge for the nation, president biden is iran. i know you were instrumental in negotiations under the obama administration. what do you think the approach will be with regard to iran. >> i always thought the key with dealing with the variety of threats posed by iran is a comprehensive strategy preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapon is one part. and it's against the threatening actions, developing ballistic missiles or
destabilizing the reason or human rights abuses against its own people. i think in all of those areas, we have to be mindful of the fact even if iran returns to full compliance with the comprehensive nuclear agreement and the united states does as well as president biden says he's prepared to do, that then needs to be a platform, secretary blinken emphasized this a platform nr building longer and stronger nuclear complaints and dealing with the other areas of threatening iranian actions that i mentioned before. i know that's easier said than done, but that needs to be the clear strategy it seems to me and my role if i'm confirmed will be to help provide the best possible intelligence as policy makers pursue that strategy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. >> and senator rubio, any other? well, ambassador burns, you got through the first hurdle, 15
out of 16 and if the senator joins us first crack in the closed session. the hearing will go into recess and we'll reconvene at 1:00 and very much appreciate your testimony. >> thank you. >> and again, to echo senator wyden's comments, rarely does a nominee come before this committee with this much positive approval although rarely does a nominee also bring jim bakker and leon panetta as their introducers. we'll look forward to seeing you at 1:00. the meeting stands in recess. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> coming up today, the house meets at 10 a.m. eastern for general speeches, followed by legislative business at noon. members are working on a lgbtq anti-discrimination bill and legislation that designate certain lands and rivers in colorado, california and washington state as protected wilderness. you can follow the house live on c-span. on c-span2 watch the first hour of the confirmation hearing for katherine tai before the senate gavels back in at 11:00. and a vote on jennifer granholm to be energy secretary and after that moving on to miguel cardona to be education secretary. c-span 3 the senate holds a confirmation hearing to the u.s. surgeon general, a position he previously held during the obama
administration. they'll also consider the nomination of dr. rachel levine to assist as hhs secretary. that's live at 10 a.m. eastern. >> there are several events streaming live today on our website. at 9:30 a.m. eastern defense department officials testify in front of the senate armed services committee about the pentagon's covid-19 response. at 10:00, katherine tai has confirmation hearing to be u.s. trade representative and also house appropriations subcommittee hears from the acting u.s. capitol police chief and acting house sergeant at arms about improving security at the capitol following last month's attack. again, you'll find that live at c-span.org. >> book tv on c-span2 has top nonfiction books and authors at
9 p.m. sunday evening after words, nationally syndicated radio host on his book "fish out of water" a search for the meaning of life about his life and career. he's interviewed by the claremont institute center for the way of life fellow. and 10 p.m. eastern, argues there's been an increase of sexual assault in europe due to immigration in her book "pray, immigration, islam and the role of the women's right", and best selling author james patterson and retired army ranger evanson talks about the book "walk in my boots", watch book tv on sun evening, c-span2. >> you're watching c-span2, your unfiltered view of government.
c-span2 was created by america's cable television companies and today we're brought to you by these companies as a viewer public service. well, coming up shortly at 10 eastern we'll bring you the first hour of the confirmation hearing for katherine tai to be u.s. trade representative before the senate gavels back in at 11 eastern. there's a vote coming up on the confirmation of jennifer granholm to be energy secretary and then move on to the nomination of miguel cardona to be education secretary. yesterday louisiana senator john kennedy talked about reopening public schools and russia. here is a part of what he had to say. >> thank you, mr. president. i want to talk just a few minutes, mr. president, about
the need to open our schools. i think you would agree with me, mr. president, because i've followed your career, with admiration, by the way, that our country is only as good as its dreams and we're only as valuable as our children. and in my judgment we are doing immeasurable damage in this country to our children. we all know that we had to close down our public schools and our parochial schools and our private schools. pre-k to 12 because of the coronavirus. but i think most fair-minded americans understand that