tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg April 25, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." david cohen is here. he has served as deputy director of the cia since february, 2015. he was previously under secretary of the treasury for finance -- he was the key architect of the administration's sanctions against iran and russia. week, president obama visited saudi arabia, where he to -- arab states to increase their commitment to the fight against terrorism. with angelalks
merkel and french president francisco on. i'm pleased to have -- french president franciscus -- oisncisco lund -- france hollande. it said you know as much about sanctions as anybody in the obama administration --it's sad that you as much about sanctions as anybody in the obama administration -- it's said that aboutow as much sanctions as anybody in the obama administration. a linkage between what the sanctions are trying to achieve and overall u.s. government policy. we bring to bear all of what the u.s. government is trying to do to effect a policy objective. the second is that we have as much international buying in and cooperation as -- international cooperation as
possible. our sanctions are much more effective when we have our partners around the world working with us. the third key element is a very clear objective. i think the sanctions against iran are a good example of that, ofre we had all the elements the u.s. government working together. we had international buying in -- international buy-in. the objective was to bring iran to the negotiating table to negotiate seriously about their nuclear program. charlie: what sanctions remain? david: with respect to their nuclear program -- charlie: how much money did that drain? there is some debate. david cohen one of the misperceptions is iran got access to new money as a result of sanctions being relieved.
over time, the sanctions put limits off of it ran from money they had otherwise earned. they got access to funds they had earned over time that they could not access. charlie: but they also get new revenue. david cohen part of the expectation is, with the sanctions being relieved, a number of the financial institutions in iran, which had been put off limits are no longer off-limits to banks outside of the united states -- you will see economic activity picked up in iran -- pick up in iran. frankly, i think that's part of the bargain here, that, in exchange for very significant restrictions on iran's nuclear program, they are allowed, once again, to engage in economic activity in the world. charlie: including with american
companies, like boeing and others. david: there are still some restrictions on -- many restrictions on american companies working with iran. -- e are some specific by and large, american businesses are still prohibited from doing business with iran. charlie: what would have to happen for that to be eliminated? david: statutes would have to change. sanctions -- a, some would argue russia has not changed its behavior at all. they have been more aggressive as they send troops and supplies and planes to syria. , here is anay example of where the russians did something because of the impact of sanctions. david: i think it's important to
understand that sanctions, in and of themselves, are not the tool that is going to fundamentally alter behavior. they are part of an overall effort. with respect to the sanctions against russia, for their activity, their aggression in ukraine, i think there is a fair debate and some intelligence to back this up, that he did have an impact on the trajectory of what was happening in eastern ukraine. charlie: meaning they might have done more if the sanctions had not been applied. they might have been more aggressive with other baltic countries? david: without getting into any great detail on this, i do think you can make a credible argument that the sanctions, combined with what happened in the overall oil markets, which had a real impact on russian economy, tosed putin and his crew think harder about what they were doing. charlie: and you have
intelligence that tells you that? david: i'm not going to go into any detail. charlie: i thought you just said that. david: no. charlie: so, with respect to isil, how were you able to disrupt, not sanctions, but ?isrupt the incoming revenue they have, as i understand, been able to raise more revenue through, one, taking over banks in country -- countries and cities and places they occupy and through other means, whether it is trafficking or hostage-taking. david: most of the revenue that the two amassed in years or so that it has been in two and syria has come from principal sources. one is robbing banks. when they swept through most of elsewhere, they
took over banks, emptied out the bolts. -- vaults. the other was the sale of oil. those were the principal sources. the third is extortion of the population that they are dominating. on the banks and on the money that they took out of the bolts, , that's not- vaults recurring revenue. that's a one time hit. it is not being replenished. as you may have seen in the last month or two, the coalition has ,een targeting cash depots where isil has been storing this cash -- bombing them and in generating the cash. charlie: knocking off their finance guys. --, alsoe deputy to the head of their finance operation. as -- is their
financial capacity diminished? how long does it take to replace someone of equal talent? david: what we've seen in other circumstances in al qaeda is -- and al qaeda is probably the best case study, over time, it is very difficult to replace the folks who are lost. with isil, the folks who are around him -- our assessment is that he has surrounded himself with the most capable people he can find within that horrible organization. as you take those people out, it is difficult to replace them with people of equal caliber. that being said, they are an adaptive terrorist organization. we will see them and have seen them try and sleep -- lee -- fleet up people into positions where others have been taken out. charlie: i take this -- ask this
not as an aggressive question. why can't you take him out? david: without getting any -- into any detail on targeting, not that the action is done by the cia, but by others -- we played a critically important role in helping to find and fix the locations of critical leaders in isil. charlie: as you did working with al qaeda and osama bin laden. having said that -- david: we are working on this one. charlie: what does that mean? david: we have a variety of means by which we collect intelligence in iraq and syria against isil, the whole spectrum that you might imagine. we have sources, we have technical means, we work with partners, we work with others in the u.s. intelligence community,
we are applying all of the resources that we possibly can on a variety of topics. one is finding him. it's also working against the external operations network. there is a whole spectrum of activity over collecting -- that we are collecting intelligence against. charlie: is there an upward trajectory in your sources of information about isil? i would assume you have to have sources who are of syrian and iraqi descent? david: we are on the ground in baghdad. sources in ao run terrorist organization, like isil, is difficult and it is dangerous. we are working very hard and have been for several years now to enhance our intelligence picture in isil.
i think, every day, we are getting better, we are getting more sources in place and developing better intelligence. charlie: let me talk about how you acquire information in 2016. obviously, you have cyber capabilities. obviously, you have some media capabilities. obviously, you have people on the ground, human resources. is the equation between the three of them changing at all because so much terrorist activity is communicated on the internet? that's why we see such an emphasis on encryption by our adversaries in the terrorist world? human intelligence -- david: human intelligence, mining sources, developing spies has been the base of the cia since its founding and its predecessor as well. that will always remain core to
what we do, but we are also increasing activity in the digital domain. one thing we've done recently is created a new director, the director of digital innovation. its mission includes a host of different activities dealing with the digital domain, including improving our capability to collect intelligence of the type -- someone throws away a cell phone . we want to be able to extract intelligence from that cell phone. increasing amounts -- it's not just terrorist organizations. the increasing amounts attend -- of intelligence but actually in the digital domain is something that we -- of intelligence potentially available in the digital domain is something we need to be focused on. charlie: give me an example. david: a perfect example is
, theiting digital media type that you described. someone talks by the way of cell phone. we want to make sure that if some isil operative gets captured or throws away a cell phone, that we are able to identify who it is that he has been talking to, where he has been, what sorts of connections he or -- he may have. charlie: what about encryption? david: there's been a lot of discussion about encryption. we work really closely with our colleagues at nsa. charlie: at fbi. david: and fbi, working on encryption issues. it's a challenge. i think the director of cia, director of fbi have spoken to the difficulty encountered with encryption. charlie: so has the president of the united states. david: absolutely, strong encryption, critical for
--merce, legitimate purposes we are also working quite hard to be able to develop intelligence. theof the other aspects of -- of cyber intelligence that we are working on -- you mentioned this -- is social media. everybody knows there is a lot other information put out on social media by foreign persons. it's important, when we talk about our work in open source intelligence, that we are looking at foreign persons, not u.s. persons. but isil, for instance, is an avid user of twitter. they tweet things out constantly. it can help us understand their plans, their intentions, their capabilities, their goals.
we have finite resources. --are running a human-source running a human source in isil is difficult and dangerous. charlie: but you do it. david: we do it. but we also combined with the human intelligence we collect the intelligence we collect in the open source. this is something that the cia has been doing throughout its history, taking what is given to us in the open and combining that with what we collect clandestinely. charlie: another part of the battle against i.s. -- isis or isil is that we read reports of the pentagon supporting some rebel troops in syria, some troops.ad, anti-isis the cia is supporting others.
how widespread is back? there have been a number of reports. david: i'm not going to get into what the agency may be doing in terms of supporting anybody in syria. kurds,k with the syrian which you are referring to, has been an important element of what the defense department has been doing in syria. there are factions among factions among kurds, certainly -- in syria there are an array of groups that are anti-assad, and -- anti-isil. them areand some of anti-assad, anti-isil, and anti-u.s. david cohen for sure. david: for sure.
charlie: can we assume that russia is in a stronger position because of assad? david: assad is quite dependent on russian support. if you go back to last summer, i think the reason that we saw the russian intervention in the fall was that, over the summer and into the fall, assad was losing -- losing badly. the iranians were not able to stem it. has the law was not able -- hezbollah was not able to stem it. the russians came in and certainly bolstered assad's position. charlie: and said they were. david: the russians also said there -- their principal objective was to fight against isil. a strong state is crucial. looks at libya, as does president obama, and says that
is a disaster, because it's a state without central authority. david: what russia was most concerned about was losing its investment, as a word, in syria. charlie: what do you mean, in terms of -- david: years and years of involvement in syria. they have a base. it's a place in the middle east where they have had some involvement for several decades now. to get back to your question of -- her assad is stronger he was certainly bolstered by assistance, but, if that is not there, and we have seen the cessation of hostilities over the last seven weeks or so -- charlie: i'm going to get to that in a minute. david: if the russians are not
supporting a song, i think there is a fair question about -- supporting assad, i think there is a fair question about how secure assad ought to feel. charlie: talk about this conflict between syria and iran. we contribute to this conversation is helping the president and senior policymakers understand iran's perspective on the region, how they view their role, what they are doing in the region, why they are doing what they are doing. likewise, the saudi's -- we obviously have a much lesser relationship with the saudis than with the iranians. we have diplomatic relations. we have an understanding of what the saudis -- charlie: why are they so upset? david: the saudis and others in the goal for concerned and expressed their concern with the -- others in the gulf were
concerned and expressed their concern with the nuclear deal with iran. they were concerned that that was somehow going to undermine their security. i think the president and national security team and we have been involved in this as as clear asde it possible and have acted on this with the saudi's and -- saudis and others in the gcc, that we have their back, that we are supporting them, and we understand that iran is involved in regional battling, is involved in interfering in regional affairs, whether it is in yemen, whether it is in syria, and that we are with them in protecting their countries against iranian meddling. ptlylie: as they, oh, so a demonstrated when iraq invaded kuwait, and it looked like they wanted to go to saudi arabia. david: sure.
quite a number of years ago, but absolutely. charlie: here's what interests me in terms of saudi arabia. everybody knows there is a relationship between the saudi royal family and the head of state in the country and the religious clerics within saudi .rabia how do you see their spreading of wahhabism, which some believe is a breeding ground, in part, for people who look at the most extreme elements of it, and think that it suggests to them that it is ok to join isil? what -- what has encouraged people to join isil, even the most extreme elements of wahhabism and what isil is -- laiming as what
i think what they are proclaiming and what isil does, there is a difference. family's royal relationship with the religious establishment in saudi arabia, and, frankly, as they understand their role as the custodian of the two mosques at the center of islam -- -- they havead spread their view of islam around the world. there are those who make the argument that that has created the breeding ground for extremism. i think there is an important difference to be drawn between violent extremists who claim the religious -- charlie: radical, extreme islam.
david: and a particular strain of islamic thought. charlie: the taliban seems to be on the march in afghanistan. they seem to beginning ground. they seem not willing to negotiate. what does that say to an intelligence officer? david: what we see with the taliban is, you know, particularly with the onset of the new fighting season, which has, the last several weeks, begun again. the talib and feels emboldened -- the taliban feels emboldened. they feel they have the capability to challenge the afghan government. that obviously plays into the the possibility of some sort of reconciliation government afghani government and the taliban.
but we also work extremely closely through the departed and of defense, princely -- through the defense department particularly and afghan security forces in devising better ways to fight against the taliban and to protect the government of national unity in afghanistan. fightinge see this season as being a difficult one for the afghan government -- charlie: how difficult? david: i think it is going to be certainly as difficult as last year's was. they continued steadily gaining. if they continue steadily gaining, they are going to overthrow the government. david: they have been making some inroads and getting pushback. kunduz, for instance. the taliban took kunduz briefly, then the afghan forces pushed back. there is fighting now further
south in afghanistan. what the taliban has done over the last year or so is taking districts, taking outposts. they have not taken major population centers. expect this fighting season more of the same, small-scale gains by the taliban, but the afghan forces, assuming they precede as effectively as possible, being able to hold back the taliban. charlie: one last question. north korea. what worries you? david: what worries me is that north korea has nuclear weapons, that north korea has missile technology. they have perfected their short-range missile technology. charlie: do they have the anacity to launch intercontinental nuclear --
nuclear warhead? david: they've never tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. they have done j's, -- space launches, as they did earlier this year, which is technology similar to intercontinental ballistic missiles, but they've never tested an intercontinental ballistic missile and they have never tested with a dummy warhead, to see whether they could have a reentry vehicle. that being said, north korea is a significant threat. they have nuclear bombs. they are working on their missile program. they have a leadership there that is -- that is very aggressive in their they, youfeels that know, have some reason to feel threatened by the united states -- charlie: not that we would, but
they genuinely feel that. david: i think they genuinely feel that. i think it is not a legitimate fear. i think the united states has made abundantly clear that we are not interested in overthrowing kim jong-un. but it is a real threat. you were not cia person. you had not worked at the cia, as far as i know. now you are the deputy director. does it suggest that the cia, in looking at the world, needed within its leadership someone who had a fine sense of the impact of financial resources on policy? david: so, i think it was less that than what the cia has historically had in its leadership and its director and
deputy director is someone from the inside, someone from the outside. charlie: politicians even. david: so, when leon panetta was the director, his deputy was someone who had grown up in the agency. and i think that balance between someone like john brennan, who grew up in agency, and someone like myself, who had some interaction with the intelligence community, but was not of the intelligence community, is consistent with, at least, the modern history of the agency, of having an insider and outsider in the director and deputy director slots. charlie: what is the current rules of engagement for sort of paramilitary engagement by the -- paramilitary activity by the cia? david: we have a paramilitary operation that has been part of the cia since our founding. it is something that began -- began with our predecessor.
how our paramilitary officers are engaged, where they may be engaged differs widely, depending on what the mission is. it is always consistent with u.s. law. thes always consistent with rules that have been set, if it is a covert action program, from the white house. the president controls covert action. the president assigns covert action, sets out the authorities for the cia in conducting covert action. so, the particularities differ from situation to situation, but the foundation, the key element in every instance is that it is consistent with u.s. law. charlie: it's good to have you here. i hope you will come back. david cohen, deputy director of the cia. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
i am pleased to have them at this table. welcome. pres. mohamud: thank you for having me. charlie: tell me about what you hope to accomplish? pres. mohamud: i want to request for them to make adjustments on resolutions council that have been existing for somalia and to make progress with what is happening on the ground. charlie: can you tell us about the shipwreck last week? pres. mohamud: it is very sad. this is not the first time, but this time it was very big. information is not complete. what we have seen, if it is true, is very tragic. this is all about indicating, in terms of somalia, the hope that
the charges of a better life -- existing in somalia charlie: 200 of the 500 who drowned were somalians. pres. mohamud: that is true. there is one case, charlie. the last time when the somali state collapsed it was 1991. never went to school, never wanted formal training. it makes them hopeless. it is a priority for us to create hope. charlie: tell us about terrorism in africa? pres. mohamud: terrorism in fricaa and the whole of a is big sometimes, now it's not. the main reason why it was in
the past is the was a large somalia, uncovered in where they established training camps and all of this. now the reality on the ground has changed in the last four years. this governor's system in somalia has expanded. today -- werritory can see those institutions at the local level lack capacity, regionalve federal, states are there controlling somalia today. charlie: they are what? pres. mohamud: somalia has become a federal system. federal member states other. -- are there. charlie: there is a rise in al-shabaab, boko haram, al qaeda on the arabian peninsula. all of these beyond the middle east. in asia as well.
how do you see the rise of this militant, radical, violent islam? pres. mohamud: in the case of somalia, i would not have categorized them as rising ag ain. they are people who have been controlling all of somalia. now, there is the specific order. there is the major town or city that they control. they are in the remote areas. but the core of terrorism and extremism is still in case -- place. charlie, this is a big war. it is almost a world war. in the case of somalia, or any other case, when someone is saying they are researching, -- resurgences, there are
indications there -- they have done something in one quarter or another. i don't see any reason where th ey are becoming bold or powerful, particularly in somalia. charlie: you do not? pres. mohamud: i do not at all. charlie: how does somalia, as one place, and afridca, feel about the united states and its role? pres. mohamud: for us, the united states has always been a very good friend for somalia. the united states was the second government in the world to recognize somalia. who was number one? pres. mohamud: russia was number one. then, there are these good
relations. there have been ups and downs. charlie: where is it now? pres. mohamud: now is the best time that we enjoy good relationship with the united states. we have one common enemy that we are all putting together side-by-side. extremist al-shabaab terrorism. charlie: boko haram? pres. mohamud: they have good networks around the world, and united states are our partners and that more. we are doing their refine. charlie: are you seeking a closer relationship to russia? pres. mohamud: somalia is seeking good relationships all over the world. there is no one country who is not violating the principles -- charlie: some friends are better than others. pres. mohamud: of course. some are better or closer than others. that is true. the united states is a very close ally. charlie: and russia?
pres. mohamud: not yet. we are starting now. charlie: what do somalia need in your judgment? obviously, economic growth? pres. mohamud: yes. the war on extremism, on the military front it has been progressing, but the war against terrorism and extremism is not on the military front. there is an economic factor, a social factor. one of the reasons why we came been in washington the past two days is to seek further support from the united states to support the economic recovery of somalia. charlie: by trade? by economic grants? pres. mohamud: they are doing that by providing certain infrastructure that stimulates the economy like improving the irrigation system and improving the roads.
supporting the agricultural extension. these kinds of small micro projects are right now getting from somalia. sellinglso waiting on the idea of the investment in somalia, not necessarily yesterday or the day before, but today there are some other places in the world where somalia has presented the economic opportunities and investment opportunities that exist in some ali. charlie: a columnist in "the new york times" said, if obama would like to make an lasting investment, he must make science, technology, and education a central focus. you agree with that? pres. mohamud: yes, i do agree. charlie: how do you do it? pres. mohamud: yesterday we had
a long discussion with the u.s. was and one popular topic supporting the education of somalia, in terms of overhauling the whole system for long-term engagement. education is what makes -- what shapes the society. particularly, the psychological aspect of the society. they become worldwide citizens that contribute things to the world. charlie: for individual countries, how large a problem is corruption? you have had some of the examples in different places. every nation has had examples of corruption, graft, and fraud. how problematic is it for african nations, for lots of reasons a coding commodities involved -- for lots of reasons,
including commodities involved in their economy? pres. mohamud: african states right now are fighting with establishing platforms to com bat the corruption. somalia, it is a very serious question because of the weakness of the state institution in place. because of the poverty that is rampant andd abject. those are the factors. the most important thing is institutionsstate that can create the checks and balances to combat corruption. charlie: many people look at africa. many people with investment portfolios look at africa as the continent of the future, perhaps because of where it is, and the enormous natural resources that
are there, and what is necessary for africa, they suggest, to be subject to a great investment, is rule of law. confidence in the government. pres. mohamud: you know, charlie. africa is a fairly young continent. we do not have the essentials of state building as many other places in the world. resources, in many parts of the world populations are aging, but africa is a young continent in terms of population. charlie: that is such a positive for economic growth. pres. mohamud: but still there is a long way to go in terms of building strong state institutions and developing the culture, not only the institutions of the rule of law. but also thet,
culture of statehood is phenomenal. clanism is still a back pu -- force pulling when the nation tries to move forward. charlie: how will that change? pres. mohamud: it is improving. education is improving us. modern technology. this is improving very fast. that is what makes africa one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. charlie: what is your own economic growth rate? pres. mohamud: 3.7. charlie: better than the u.s.. pres. mohamud: for the first time in history, the imf had a report in the kidding that 3.7% is the economic growth in somalia -- had a report indicating that 3.7% is the economic growth in somalia. charlie: what is the story that you want to tell the world about
somalia? i assume that is part of it, a growing economic growth. pres. mohamud: when i want to tell the world is that somalia is just standing in the corner stateablishing cetaceans, -- institutions, by defeating the terrorism that controlled the country for a long time. it has major resources. it has agriculture. this is a beautiful opportunity. charlie: i assume it is also harnessing the enormous capacity of women? pres. mohamud: that is what we hope. andlia is a young mission women are playing a major role and they have proved that whenever women are involved, hope is high. charlie: you want the resources of all of your people.
the pioneers, leaders, artists, and icons who shape our world. joining me now is radhika jones. welcome. radhika: thank you for having me. charlie: how is this list different from last year or the year before? its composition, is recognition of certain kinds of things making this special? radhika: the list is about influence. it doesn't really bow to any particular metrics. it is not about wealth, or necessarily number of fans or box office, for the metrics we count on to tell us who is on top. debate a lot internally at times. we start thinking about the list for the five months out and start to think broadly about who is owning their field. who is rising, who is having
influence? not just in a single lane, but across boundaries. we are are the people -- a newsmagazine and we cover every aspect of culture, science . so who are the people in those areas starting conversations and making it a thing. there is a way to do a list like this where you have the same 90 people year after year, but we want to keep it fresh because we want to look like a snapshot of the moment. we take a lot of pride in making sure that every year the list has new energy. charlie: at the same time, there are people who perennially appear. like the president of the united states, the president of russia, angela merkel. charlieradhika: yes.
the interesting thing about those people is, may have been on the list every time but angela merkel had a different your this past year that she had early in her tenure. the same goes for putin who has found himself having influence -- charlie: in syria and the middle east? radhika: exactly. in different ways. i have some favorites. stephen curry. had a remarkable year, and he has made his three-point shot. idhika: let me tell you, resisted him for a while because i grew up in the era of michael jordan. charlie: prejudice, prejudice. radhika: i thought, how could anyone -- but he is phenomenal and in a different way. people look up to him, he has become a role model. another one is misty copeland,
another legend. charlie: it is interesting because i have written these. write. choose people to when i was on the list, you chose michael bloomberg. here is leonardo dicaprio and he gets john kerry. you guys choose. it's not like he gets to say it. about ankerry writing actor named leo dicaprio? radhika: the answer to that is that we wanted to highlight a particular aspect of leonardo dicaprio's influence. oscar thiswin an year which was a long-awaited moment for someone who is one of the greatest actors of his generation. that is a huge area for him in cinema, but he is a powerful environmentalist. charlie: he said it in his speech. radhika: his foundation for conservation has been around since 1998. he and john kerry have worked together on a number of things
and john kerry's piece brings out that side of him. charlie: here is what is interesting, too. mark zuckerberg and his wife. md and highly regarded they are written by bill and melinda gates. radhika: this was the year that mark zuckerberg and priscilla chan wrote an open letter to did woulddaughter funnel money toward innovations and moon shots. we wanted them to be on the list together because they represent a new generation of philanthropy and activism. charlie: he brings justice to
people and has got people off death row and other places. radhika: this is an essential writer for america right now. charlie: manuel miranda -- lynn men will miranda. randa, written mi by jj abrams, who made "star wars." radhika: they are both world creators and they make us see the world in different ways. charlie: what is the ratio of men to women? radhika: there are 40 women on the list. charlie: and 60 men? and how many are not american? radhika: i think it is about half and half. charlie: what is the largest politics?erms of
science? culture? radhika: it is roughly politics and world leaders, but there are a lot of people who wear three or four hats. charlie: hope francis is on the list? radhika: he is. charlie: why is he on the list? radhika: give me a good reason of why he shouldn't be. charlie: i can't. and you have joe biden? a good catholic? radhika: have joe biden. one of those big trips on the pope's itinerary was his trip to america and he was hosted in d.c. and without joe biden would have good things to say. charlie: there is joe biden's wife dr. jill biden, and she writes about -- who is this? radhika: he started a hospital. he is a gynecological surgeon and he started a hospital treating victims of rape in war in the congo. it is a hugely necessary,
unfortunately, service. charlie: another cultural player, kendrick lamar. radhika: kendrick lamar's piece was written by alicia garza, one of the founders of black lives matter. charlie: caitlyn jenner. who did you choose to write about her? radhika: not a name that you probably know, but he has a dau ghter who is transgender and he writes from the perspective of a parent about the influence of a person as high profile as caitlyn jenner, coming out and having the courage to be herself. charlie: mark edwards is here. atisha.na radhika: two more names you probably have a hard. they were to tour of the people who blew the whistle on flint, michigan. dr. mona is a pediatrician. she was the first person to provide evidence that children's lead levels were rising. and mark is a researcher who