tv U.S. Senate CSPAN October 23, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
1986, they give you a badge, chicago. and you can get a gun. i opted not to take the badge or the gun. i figured chicago police could do both of those things, wear the badge and carry gun for me and rest of the people. i think people of city of chicago are well-served by making that decision. but, look, so here we have, like majority in the congress of the united states. it is really unwilling to take up the challenge that guns and firearms and they're coming from indiana. they're coming from mississippi. they're coming from all over and they wind up in chicago. we have this, so i guess, if you could just tell us what your ideas how do i and people at local level or as member of congress, how do i help curb gun violence? what things can we do to help curb absent legislation? >> well the fbi's business is not policy making it is enforcement of the law. we spend a lot of time trying to
reduce gun violence through aggressive enforcement. it's a crime for felon to possess a gun. for drug addict, drug dealer, someone convicted of domestic violence, misdemeanor to do it any crime of violence. i devote ad lot of my career as prosecutor and fbi imposes costs to change behavior so bad guys don't have a gun on their waistband. means more fistfights or stabbings but no shooting. the problem we face in lot of cities the gun is a piece of clothing. they think more about their gun and than they do a socks. our mission is to try to send a strong message of deterrents you ought not to have that gun. you ought to think a lot more about the gun than your socks, that will make that corner safer. it requires tremendous effort by the law enforcement community. we're doing a lot of that chicago where your characterization is exactly
right could you tell us, the members, what kinds of things we are doing in chicago vis-a-vis the agency and federal government to help people in the city? >> in chicago we've gone so far to put fbi agents with chicago police officers in squad cars to focus on some of the predators driving this violence. gangbangers who think they operate freely. so we do gang task force, we do drug task forces. as i said we operate even on ad hoc basis to try to lock up some repeat offenders. the idea is to try to change behavior by ripping out the worst and convincing the rest, you should not have a firearm with you, if you are prohibited person. >> so, as i look at the challenge of gun violence in the city of chicago, and i see that, there are, i mean if we took a map of city of chicago and put, reluctantly little stars where people had been murdered, due to gun violence, we would, do you
see it as, do you know or have you seen, is it whole city of chicago? as i look at it, i'm not that worried about my grandson walking in portage park to the park. i'm worried but not that worried as i would be in other neighborhoods of city. what other dimensions are there that relate to gun violence that you've seen from -- >> i know the city of chicago pretty well, having gone to law school and been there many, many times. the story of chicago is like a lot of bunch of cities around the country. it is localized. violence is concentrated. chicago south, some west. it is groups of primarily young men who are carrying firearms when prohibited by law from carrying them on the streets. that inevitably leads, all human encounters ratchet up to the most serious available weapon, with would have been a fistfight when you were kid today is
shootout because the gun is there. what we in law enforcement trying to do is change behavior. these kids may not be well-educated but they're very good at cost benefit analysis. the idea is to force cost benefit analysis. that gun should be a huge liability in the eye of that felon, that drug dealer, that drug addict. that is the way we hope to change behavior. >> mr. director, 15 seconds, i finish up, mr. chairman. mr. director, there are a group of us in hispanic congressional caucus and african-american members of color, we would like to have a roundtable discussion with you, a conversation from different parts of united states and not in such a formal setting not such as this, share with us how better of communities in color in america where gun violence is so rampant, you might give us some of your thought input. would you agree to meet with us? >> i would happy to. >> thank you, so much. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe,
for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. director, thank you for being here. i will talk about several subjects, see how many i can get in five minutes. first want to talk about the idea that under current law that if email is stored in the cloud, government doesn't need a warrant to obtain that email. is that your understanding of the law? >> i think the law is, you probably know best than i think after 180 days. >> yes, after 180 days. >> right. we still operate under a warrant, fbi does, that is just our policy i think that is the law, if it is older than 180 days it can be gotten through other legal process. >> thanks for the clarification. after 180 days. before 180 days, during 180 days you have to have warrant no matter who you are. fbi policy you still get a warrant if it is over 180 days? >> correct. >> but other government agencies
still have ability to seize that email without a warrant? law enforcement? could be local law enforcement? the city police, sheriff's department, other law enforcement can seize that email in their jurisdiction because the law doesn't require they get a warrant? i mean is that your understanding of the law? >> they would need a legal process. they just couldn't walk in and take it but my understanding the law would permit them to get it through subpoena or something short order of a warrant. >> they need a court document from a magistrate or some i'm sure you're aware that myself and zoe lofgren filed legislation any government agency to obtain a warrant if emails are over six months old stored in the cloud? >> are you aware of that legislation. i'm generally aware, yes, sir. >> okay. next subject. 702 talking about the back door,
obtaining back door information on, from different companies such as google or yahoo! or whoever. does the act, the fbi request that a back door device be put into like a cell phone? >> i don't know what you mean by back door device? >> well, the fbi could obtain the information in the cell phone without a warrant and ask that the maker of the phone, for example, to install a device in the phone to obtain that information? >> oh, no, we would need a court order either in a device or online to take content or put a implant something in a phone. not just a warrant. we would need a title three order or fisa court order. >> my question was though, does the fbi request, maybe you don't, manufacturers to put a device in the phone itself to obtain that back door
information, to have it available, then a warrant obtained. >> no. >> don't request that? >> nope. >> okay. >> when we collect information it is pursuant, we're talking about the consent of people's communication or what they have stored on a device, we do it through a court order. we don't do it through asking someone that made the device to give us access to it voluntarily. >> when you say court order, talking about a warrant or some other type of court order? >> either a search warrant from judge to open locked device or order from federal judge either in national security case or criminal case if we're looking to intercept communication as it is moving. >> i think that the fourth amendment applies to that type of procedure, and you, you're saying the fbi complies with the law, the fourth amendment, obtaining that information. >> yes the fourth amendment is part of the fine of the fbi. >> it is part of the what? >> the spine of the fbi. >> i am glad to hear that.
let's talk about surveillance with the use of drones and fixed-wing aircraft. specifically targeted surveillance with the use of a drone, does the fbi obtain a warrant do that? fixed-wing aircraft or drone, whatever you want to call it. >> any kind of aircraft we don't, if what we're doing is, which is what we use them for, have a pilot fly around and follow somebody. drones we don't, we have small number of unmanned aircraft. we may use them for fixed surveillance, when the guy had the kid in the bunker in alabama we used drone to go over the top, we were afraid he would shut one of the pilots. we had unmanned aircraft. we operate drones within line of sight. when we're talking about surveilling someone, talking about a airplane with human being flying them around.
we don't get a warrant. law doesn't require it, but that is not involved with collecting communications of somebody. >> i understand. i understand the difference being, i'm not talking about exigent circumstances. any circumstance the law doesn't require or there is no law that says the fourth amendment applies to use of drones? the faa makes those decision, does it not, right? >> to follow someone on foot or in a car or in a plane we have to have predicate investigation but we don't need to go to court. >> should fbi way in on the fourth amendment or congress weigh in on what issues of privacy be regarding that issue? >> the fbi doesn't make any laws. congress makes the laws. the court terms them -- >> i didn't say fbi. chair will be so patient. faa, not the fbi. >> i misunderstood. >> faa could make regulations on
what you can do with a drone and what you can't do. i think congress should weigh in on what reasonable expectation of privacy on use of drones. do you have an opinion on that director of fbi. do you want faa to do it or congress should set the standard. >> gentleman's time expired. let you answer. >> i don't have a few of fbi. we're maniacs following law. if congress decided to change the law we would follow it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, in your testimony you mentioned how isil and other terrorist organizations field potential recruits in publicly accessible social networking sites and via encrypted private messaging platforms. could you detail challenges law enforcement is facing due to
encryption? >> yes, sir. isil challenge illustrates the problem we call going dark. isil increasing uses find someone, who i call a live one, they might be able to motivate to engage in the acts of violence in the united states. they move them from twitter, or twitter direct messaging, twitter direct messaging is available to us with court process to mobile messaging app end to enencrypted. if we get court order from the judge and interseptember communication, we can't deserver or read it. those communications become invisible to us even with a court order. that is the challenge. we actually face that in all kinds of criminal cases as well but it is very well-illustrated by the isil challenge. that's what i mean when i talk about that. >> in other words a foreign-based person, a foreign person, operating from a foreign location using social network
such as twitter, can identify a potential target for radicalization or someone who is already radicalized but who is reaching out to this foreign-based person, and then they can take it to another site where their communications are encrypted, correct? >> correct. >> and because they're encrypted, then, law enforcement, whether or not it has a warrant or not, can not discover what they are talking about even though they know that this foreign-based person is a, is a isil member? >> that's correct. and we'd have to have a court order but the court order would be useless. >> yeah. so now the practical impact of that is what? >> that we can't know what somebody who's planning on an act of violence against a police
officer or military member or civilian is up to and when they're going to act. we're limited to physical surveillance, trying to watch them, figure out what they are going to do or trying to get other ways into visibility what they're up to. so it is darkness. they go dark to us, in a way that is really important in those matters. >> okay. and you mentioned about traditional crimes, domestic crimes and how encryption hurts your ability to, to get at domestic criminal activity. can you talk about how in a case of hot pursuit or exigent circumstances this adversely affects our ability to keep americans safe, on domestic crime? >> there is a lot of way which
it impacts, in fact i believe the going dark problem overwhelmingly affects state and local law enforcement. people talk about like it is a intelligence question but it is entirely almost a law enforcement question. give you example a lot of d.a.s talk about, if they recover a cell phone at a scene where someone has been murdered or been kidnapped, they can not open the device, even with a court order to figure out who that person was communicating with before they disappeared. that is the most basic example. we're increasingly encountering it where drugs gangs and carjacking gangs communicating using apps, text apps we, that are encrypted end to end, and with a court order we can't read. so it is becoming increasingly, the logic it will affect all of our work at some point. hundreds and hundreds of cases will eventually be affected by it, all of our lives are becoming part of the digital world. when the digital world is covered by strong encryption
judges will not be able to order access in serious criminal cases or national security faces. that is the future we're coming towards. my view maybe that's where we want to be but we ought to talk about as we're going to that place. >> well, thank you, for your, for your responses to my questions. and i will yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz for five minutes. >> thank you, director and mr. chairman. thank you for being here. the fbi changed course of time since my grandfather who was a career fbi agent served. i have great admiration for agency and what you in particular are doing. i want to talk a about sigher. we're talking a lot about cyber. can you articulate the size, scope, investment in personnel dollars to address the cyber threat that will continue in perpetuity. >> thank you, congressman. probably can't give you exact numbers sitting here but we have a cyber division at headquarters
that does nothing by cyberrelated work and cybertask forced in every single fbi field office and cybersquad. all the threats that come at us, whether kids being protected or terrorists coming at us. everybody has to be in a way a cyber analyst or cyber agent. i could give you specifics, how many hundreds, thousands of people assigned to do cyber work but it is actually broader than that. >> what is it that you can't do? that is, is there another department or agency doing that that the fbi couldn't dot -- do? >> in the cyber realm? >> yeah. >> that's a good question. >> thank you. >> i don't, i can't think of it sitting here. our responsibilities are obviously confined to the united states. we work with our partners, ns in
particular trying to fight the cyber threat coming oversees. the bureau doesn't have ability to reach out in that way. >> let me ask you in the context of the united states secret service. i was surprised to learn 2/3 of an agents, that they have, 2/3 of their time is spent on investigations in cyber. it, it begs the question to me, why do we have such a small group of people doing that, which the fbi has a much bigger resource, infrastructure and expertise in doing? and as we look at potentially restructuring the secret service, and getting more focused on the protective mission, why not combine the two? what is it that they do that you don't want to do? or, that they do that you can't do? i'm trying to get my arms around? >> that is such a good question i misunderstood it, i'm sorry. the, one of the things i'm trying to do is drive us closer together with the secret service because they have expertise
especially in the financial-related intrusions and credit card scams. they have spent years developing that expertise. so i don't want to duplicate it. we're trying to drive ourselves together. i would like us to combine task forces. doesn't make any sense to have electronic task force and me have a cyber task force. it ought to be one. they do great work i want to make sure i don't duplicate. i want to do joint training. they are doing great training. so are we. that is one of the things we can do. we want do enough to help state and local law enforcement to help with digital crimes. >> so in terms of personnel that you have associated with that, how would that work? are there other agencies that would also, i mean secret service is but one. are there other agencies that should be also included in that? because we have a homeland security organization that thinks they should be in charge of all that is cyber? >> i think with respect to criminal work we do there are people at hsi, within department of homeland security, who are
doing cyber-related crime work. and then there is a lot of state and local law enforcement doing it and they are part of our task forces. >> this, can you give me anymore, shed anymore light on the fbi's next generation cyber initiative? explain that to me a little bit more. >> without eating up all your time, our strategy, my strategy where we're taking fbi in next three to five years. involves deploying people in better way, getting better training, better equipment, focusing on ourselves the threat, fbi the footprint it is best able to address. sort of whole fbi approach to cyber over the next three to five years. >> so when you have an fbi, you have fbi personnel that will focus potentially their entire career just on cyber correct? >> right. >> they won't necessarily be bouncing around to different tasks? >> correct. >> all right. i appreciate the time. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman.
we'll now recognize mr. deutch for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, thanks so much for being with us today. i represent south florida, broward county and palm beach county and we're experiencing an alpha pb or flock can epdem hick epidemic. in broward the number of cases is spiraling out of control. broward count sheriffs analyzed single flaka case, by september 2014 they're analyzing 80 cases. this year sheriff's department reported analyzing 100 cases a month. flaka cases flooding broward health system. they're receiving 12 cases per day. it contributed to death of 45 people in broward county. flaka use is spreading northward to palm beach county. in 2014 there were 35 submissions involving flaka to
the crime lab. in 2015 there are 42. 10 rears r arrests in palm beach county and it is moving to tennessee, ohio and other states. people using flaka have dell letter yum, violent outer body reactions causing movers to remove their clothes. it is five dollars online and easy to be purchased from china. low cost of drug and easy access is very troubling. flaka along with other synthetic drugs is difficult to prosecute. the problem is composition of synthetic drugs can not be pinpointed and classified as illegal because the drugs are constantly changing their composition. as soon as synthetic drug is listed illegal the composition is evaded every so slightly that made it more available. recent news report in miami found that flaka is made into gummy bears. the only difference between the
real ones and gummy bears, they are originally wrapped and stickier. dealers are using them to hook young people. so, if you could target the efforts that the fbi is taking to crack down on this epidemic of synthetic drugs, flaka, in particular, speak to the challenges that you face in cracking down on again, these sorts of cases involving flaka and other synthetic drugs. >> thank you, congressman. synthetic i think the word is canaboids, maybe i'm miss pronouncing it. serious problem in all over the country. dea has a lead on federal level. we're participating in drug task forces with dea trying to do something about the scourge. you're right it is apfiring in gas stations and markets and kids can go up to buy these things and it will rouge their
live. >> if they're prove be toking chemically or farm coy logical to schedule one or two controlled substances nature of drugs keep changing, they change the chemical structure to avoid being listed as what steps can lawmakers make to crack down this epidemic. >> i honestly don't know. talking to administrator rosenberg they're keenly focused on the problem. every time they schedule one of these things it comes in from china slightly different so it is not scheduled anymore. they're chasing it playing whac-a-mole with very dangerous substance. i don't know know what the answer is frankly. >> director comey i would invite representatives of your task force and dea to come to south florida. this is an issue that dominates the headlines. it is an issue that affects young people. as you point out, the moment
that somebody, somebody takes this, one of these synthetic drugs, flakka so readily available in florida and elsewhere it changes and often ruins their lives. i'm grateful for focus an hope we do something down in south florida to really raise issue so we, people in south florida can know what this focus is and how much we can do about it. thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> i thank the gentleman. now recognize mr. marino for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. good afternoon. good morning yet, good to see you. >> good to see you again, sir. >> i too am a maniac for rule of law as you're aware. most of my adult career was in law enforcement and i still consider myself a law enforcement guy. my family has been in law enforcement for a long time as well, so i appreciate your comments concerning oversight and rule of law and that's
needed very much today. i think even more so today. what i do want to emphasize the fact that i've worked with all agency, state, local and federal and 99.9% of our agents out there are top-notch and, i trust them watching my back at anytime. but with that, do you have, very effectively answered two questions that had, that i was going to ask you. so, as a result, i will yield back the remainder of my time and best of luck. >> great to see you, mr. marino. >> and i thank the gentleman. now recognize miss bass for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. and thank you, director, for coming and testifying today. i'd like to talk about the recent operation crosstraffic, fbi's nationwide effort to crack down on child sex trafficking. the fbi's october 13 release about the operation states, "operation cross country," a
nationwide law enforcement action that focused on underage victims of prostitution concluded with recovery of 149 sexually exploited children and arrest of more than 150 pimps and other individuals. first of all i would like to commend the agency for correctly referring to the children as sexually exploited children, versus prostitutes because a child who is under the age of consent should never be considered a prostitute. this release refers to other individuals. i was wondering who those other individuals were? i have a concern that, while it is extremely appropriate to focus on the pimps, it is also, in my opinion very much appropriate to focus on the child molesters who some people would call johns. but i would like to know if that is who you were referring to and what is the focus on the child molesters? >> yes, congresswoman, that is what i understand was meant by that. there were so more than 100 so-called johns arrested as part
of "operation cross country" and along with pims and children being exploited. >> thank you. the release also says that the children were recovered. i wonder what does that mean? so what has happened or will happen with the children? >> the, as part of "operation cross country" the folks i call angels of the fbi which are victims specialists are deeply involved in the operation to make sure those kids either get reunited with their families or so many of them come from foster care. >> right. >> if they get in a new placement to, healthier placement, a lot of them need medical attention right away. and that's what is meant by that. to get that child to a place where they're cared for, either by a biological family or placement in a foster family. >> in addition to medical attention, they certainly need tremendous amount of therapy. i think it is important, in the future, i would appreciate it, if you would lift up where you were saying that the other individuals were referring to the child molesters.
i think it is really important that we focus, we call it correctly, and that we focus on that. in addition i would also like to know if the fbi tracks the number of children that are in foster care? we know that a large percentage of these kids are in fossor care but there is not a the lot of documentation. do you have documentation that could give us some numbers? >> i think we do. i think our intelligence analysts who support effort like this have done some good work on that front. . .
different sectors of law enforcement together to understand this problem and address it. >> i appreciate your interest in it and i'll ask my staff to think about ways in which we might get more help. we appreciate the offer. >> thank you and i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentlewoman. now recognized as a labrador for fivforfive minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. director, it's great to have you here. i prefer my constituents on the refugee problem. there is growing concern that bad actors are not being taught in the vetting process and are gaining admission alongside bona fide refugees living in fear. i think is a good thing to have refugee programs. there's a lot of misconceptions out there and a lot of real fear about the people that come into the united states. this congress has an obligation to address those concerns and
assured that the process is working correctly in protecting our national security. numerous times including yesterday both the fbi's assistant director for the counterterrorism division and yourself have testified about the fossil locations in the vetting of syrian refugees. on october 8 you testified you were concerned about certain gaps in the data at able to the fbi and yesterday you testified the fbi can only query would have been greatly collected, which is obvious. i know that you have addressed this issue before and you addressed it i think once here today. can you please explain to this committee the security gaps that exist for purposes of conducting full and effective background checks on foreign nationals who claim to have fled the conflict zone up syria and you are seeking to be reset as refugees of the united states? >> thank you. we learned some good lessons from less than excellent
screening of iraqi refugees eight years ago or so. in fact, we learned some folks we had let inward serious actors that we had to lock up after we figured out who they were. so we have gotten much better asset intelligence community at joining our efforts and checking our databases in a way that gives us high confidence. if we have a record on somebody it will surface. that's the good news. the bad news is as we talked about earlier with iraqi refugees we had an opportunity for many more encounters between folks in iraq and our soldiers so get a lot more data, and prince, irs scans. with forensics of different kinds. the challenge we face with syria is we don't have that reaches set of data even though it's gotten better in green what we have we will have less overall and so as i said earlier summit only alerts as result of our searches to get some record on the. that's the challenge we face. >> is it accurate to state the
likes of intelligence available on the ground in syria is rendering our database by graphic and biometric checks obsolete? >> i wouldn't agree obsolete but i would say we have a less robust data set dramatically and we have with a rack so it will be different. >> the fbi has really contrasted the united states ability to collect intelligence on the grid ground in iraq with its ability to do so in syria. what can the fbi do to adapt university checks are refugees who are burgeoning from failed states with no available intelligence? >> that's a hard one. what we can do is just make sure that whatever is available figures into our review. the underlying problem is how to generate intelligence in failed states and that's what i don't have a good answer for speed and argue groundwork with the intelligence committee to try to fix this problem? >> i do is focus on trying to mitigate this risk.
by querying well and also find additional source of information so we can check against it. >> recognizing isis and syria and that there is a risk that bad actors make them to take of this administrations commitment to bring at least 10,000 syrian refugees into the united states over the next year, can you estimate the manpower and resources that will need to be diverted from other investigative programs to address this threat? >> are not able to do that sitting here. >> how can i ensure my constituents that the people that may come to idaho are safe, that they are not terrorist, that the people in my community are going to be safe to? >> what you can assure them is that we worked day and night to make sure that if there's information about the about somebody we have surfaced it and we have evaluated it. >> if there's information but the problem is we don't have information on most of these
people come is a veteran? >> why can't sit here and off anybody have the assurance that there is no risk associated with this. >> thank you very much. >> i thank the gentleman underrecognized ms. delbene for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair and thank you, director comey for being here and for your service. i know as acting a du demonstrated a commitment to the fourth and and protecting privacy despite enormous pressure to do otherwise. and you've mentioned in your original testimony and in other comments that the rule of law and the fourth amendment is the spine of the fbi. so i appreciate that commitment. i'd like to ask a few questions about the fbi's use of aircraft. the fbi deployed aircraft over ferc said last year in response to requests from local enforcement, is that correct the? >> yes. >> does the fbi respond to these
types of requests precooling? >> thank goodness there aren't the kind of turmoil and pain in communities frequently but sure if local law enforcement asks for help in getting allocated a voting situation we will offer that help. we've done it in baltimore. we did it in ferguson as i recall. >> what criteria has to be met for the fbi does in aerial resources to assist local enforcement, or who makes that decision? >> it's made at a fairly high level in the fbi. i think that the special agent in charge level at least, that is the command of the few office so it has to go through the right of the checks before it can be approved. >> what are the criteria that use? >> i think it has to be part of an open investigation of hours or part of an open assistance to law enforcement matter. we can get you the particulars of our policy but as you know the bureau has a policy for everything, so there's a series of steps that wanted me to part
of an open case of art or is in legitimate open assistance to law enforcement matter. >> thank you. i would appreciate the information. your staff acknowledged the fbi routinely uses aviation assets in support of predicated investigations targeting specific individuals and when requested an appropriate and support state and local enforcement. why is it so important to stress this distinction when it appears that is more generalized type of surveillance? >> i'm sorry, distinction? >> the distinction you have any feedback from your staff that use aviation assets in support of predicated investigations of targeting specific individuals, when in these cases of local enforcement et cetera seems to be more generalized type of surveillance.
>> i see. i think were trying to explain how we use it. we don't fly planes around america looking at around america looking antarctica if somebody may be doing something wrong. the overwhelming use of our aircraft is a pilot flies as part of an investigation to help us follow us by the majors for a criminal. with local enforcement if there's tremendous struggle as any community, it's useful to everybody, civilians and law enforcement come to the view of what's going on from where are the fires, or a people gathering, where do people need help. sometimes the best view of that is about fraud than trying to look from a car on the street. >> do you feel that warrants are necessary when you're talking specific individuals special wing of aircraft equipped with new technologies like high resolution cameras speak with i don't think so. i meant what he said about the fourth a minute that we are not collecting if the content of anybody skimming occasionally gaging anything besides falling somebody when we do that investigation. we have done since the wright brothers with planes, and we do
it in cars, we do it on foot. and the law is pretty clear that you don't need a warrant for that kind of observation. >> but now that our technology changes i think the most recent court case, florida versus roddick and was in 1989 pictures been a lot of changes in technology. it's not just what you may see with the human eye anymore. so are the other types of technologies and to think toward status should be in place with other types of technologies that may be used on these aircraft? >> i suppose if you're putting technology on fbi aircraft that have fourth amendment implications, that is, that was reaching someone's communications are looking within the dwelling or something like that he would afford an application but that's not what we use the aircraft for. >> so what led to the decision to seek court orders when aircraft are equipped with stingray technology? >> whenever we use, i think of when aircraft that we can put stingray technology on that is
stimulators. i suppose we can mount it on others if we had a court order to do it but we decided as a matter of policy. the whole department of justice does this, that if we're going to be operating a simulated is for them in implications we'll get an award. whether that's on the ground or enabling we treated the same way spit you said you decided. do you feel like you required by law to get? >> i think we made that move before it was, there was even a divide among opinions in the courts. some courts have said you need for that, some not. we would nationwide with the requirement for warrants. there's been no national decision on the, the supreme court level decision on that but we think a given some courts are requiring it we do it across the country. >> thank you. >> recognize mr. buck for five minutes. >> that morning, director comey. wanted to ask you can do
remember mr. collins questions about renaming the fbi headquarters buildings early? >> yes speak i appreciate your response that we have to look at things through the lens of history that i would ask about a few other historical figures and see if there were any other fbi buildings named after some of these folks. former democrat senator robert byrd of west virginia was a member of the kkk. he was a recruiter for the kkk, and he was come into your leadership positions with the kkk. there are the state capital in west virginia is named after come in charleston, west virginia, is named after senator burr. eunice's courthouse and federal building in west virginia is named after senator burr. eunice's courthouse and federal building is named after senator burr and federal correctional institution in hazleton is named after him.
him. my question to know the fbi buildings named after senator byrd? >> i don't know. i don't know when we folks sitting in the courthouse, i just don't know sitting at. >> okay. former democrat president woodrow wilson re-segregated the entire government, including the armed forces, held a showing of the movie birth of a nation at the white house and went so far as to praise it in spite of calls by the naacp debated. birth of initial and subsequent use as a recruiting tool for the ku klux klan. likewise, there are a number of buildings around this country named after president wilson. in fact, there is a bridge leading in and out of washington, d.c. named after president wilson. dig in of any buildings that the fbi occupies or predominantly homes that are named after president wilson? >> i don't. >> former president lyndon baines johnson was fond of using
the n-word, you did in the white house could use the body was sent majority leader and used it in many other public settings. many federal buildings are named after him. are there any fbi buildings named after president johnson? >> i don't know. >> and lastly, president truman wrote to his soon-to-be wife, the following words, i think one that is just as good as another, so long as he's not an inward or a china man. i didn't have many buildings named after president truman, just wanted any fbi buildings named after president truman's? >> i don't know, sir. >> last after last, democrats and richard russell was also a member of the ku klux klan, and there is a senate building named
after senator russell. i assume there are at least to your knowledge no fbi buildings named after senator russell? >> i don't know. i don't think so but i don't know. >> my last stable would be i guess congress should clean up its own act in naming buildings before it asks the fbi without the lens of history try to rename buildings. i yield back my time. >> and i thank the gentleman, and not recognize mr. cellini for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, director comey, for your service and for coming before the committee today, sharon develop insights come and thank you also to the extorted men and women who served the bureau and help keep our country safe. i think our entire nation owes them a debt of gratitude. many of us express our sincere concern condolences following up recent mass shooting in rosenberg or gone for nine innocent men and women lost
their lives. many of us such share the same senate following similar events in lafayette or in blacksburg. is more next lose their lives in defenseless -- senseless gun violence of this congress has failed to act. director comey with this in mind i'd like to draw on your expert to help us find solutions to this growing epidemic and to help us find the guts to take necessary action. and so first i want to just draw your attention to the shooting which occurred at the manual african methodist episcopal church in south carolina. following the shooting you order the fbi to conduct an internal review of policies and procedures to run background checks for weapons purchases. my first question, did that mediocre and what were the findings of that review? >> the review did occur. i asked my folks to do a 30 day examination, and two things came out. first echo from the facts as interested in the there were no new facts with reef respected
dylan was purchased. and highly to potential areas for improvement. one in terms of the fbi, one extra. internal, it highlighted that maybe we can surge resources and technology to try and reduce the number of gun sales that are held in the delayed pending status longer than three days. so that work is under way. secondly, to get better and more time the records from state of local enforcement about the disposition of people's arrests so that our examiners have good records to make a judgment on. and those conversations are ongoing. >> those are the two areas that like to discuss. as you well know the current law requires that if a request to purchase or a mistake, a background check is initiated. the fa is three days to respond. if no response is provided in the gun dealer is able to sell the weapon. mitogen is the fbi continues the review anyway even beyond three
days. that information is then conveyed to the gun dealer, and if that person is disqualified and buying a gun from what does the fbi do? you now know a sale has occurred, or do you know as well as occurred come and do you take action? >> yes. if after the three day when the gun is transferred and been examiners discovered that disqualifying information, my recollection is come and if i'm wrong we will fix this, a notice is sent both to local law enforcement in that jurisdiction and to do of occult tobacco and firearms so that they go to the firearm from a prohibited person speak i would like to work with you on that because i'm not sure that is the practice. notice me go to atf i don't live it goes to the gun dealer or to local enforcement and i think that's the way we can try to keep guns out of hands of people who don't have been. i would pretty much like to work with you on the. the second issue is how do we incentivize, require, encourage local law enforcement to
actually use the nics system. that system so as good as information that is in it. have you done an analysis of what states participate with the deficiencies are or what things we could do or congress could do to help ensure that more states are providing that disqualifying information so at the bare minimum we are keeping guns out of hands of people who should not have been under while? >> the mass murder in the charleston was an event that i think caused a lot of folks in local law enforcement, state law enforcement to focus on this question. and as there's a lot of conversation going on and we're pushing out 20 state and local law enforcement to explain to them what we need and what we needed in a timely fashion. i don't have as i said your suggestion from congress might help us incentivize about cooperation i think they are good people and when they see the pain of a situation like dylann roof, they want to be
better but i will get back to if i may did for how congress can help. >> as you well know we can't require participation within the nic system as result of a supreme court decision but we ought to be able to do things to create serious incentives are maybe penalties for states that failed to furnish the information because as a result of that information not being in the next system, people are going come walking into guns were buying guns who otherwise would be disqualified if the information were known. i look forward to working with you on the. i think it's an urgent national priority and i thank you for the work that you're doing. i yield back. >> now recognize the gentleman from georgia for five minutes spent thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, director comey for being here i appreciate it. my father as well as others was a georgia state trooper. i appreciate your commitment to law enforcement. i do have some quick questions i wanted to go back. one has to do with an advisor to
put on october 814 with credit cards and the chip issue that was for consumer fraud, new credit cards, still global to identity theft in addition to chip would be more secure way for consumers transaction be more simple, signature verification to help over within 24 hours that advisory was taken down to a few days later issued advisor to no longer include a pin. australia, canada, other other countries have encourage that and politician because it is frankly has a lower fraud rate. my question would be in light of that does the fbi consider the pen as a more secure form of authentication over secured their vacation form speak as i think expert which the p.i.n. and chip is more secure than 10 and signature. this confusion with our folks put up a public service announcement and it was a miss on our part with a focus on the fact that most merchants in the
trade don't have the capability to accommodate the p.i.n. and chip so the word was the cause a lot of cause a lot of confusion with people servicing what is the p.i.n. and chip but are quick to set up in this country for 10 and signature. >> let's talk about that because many other places that i go to you either slide older cards like in a gas station or you go into, what i owned a store with a swipe mission. many have company others with a swipe machine have a number for debit cards which is already there. i have just gotten, broken into using the chip because my new cards have chips. i'm still learning how to do this but the keypad is right there above it. i'm not sure i follow your answer that the technology is not available to get the keypad is right there to input a number, why is technology not available? >> i don't know and i'm not the worlds smartest person on this
but would have been told by my folks is it is available in some places but is not widely available in the united states. and if i'm wrong about that we will correct the. >> underscore, own personal, look, be going to the store, put my card in. i have here's the one that is pure slide with no keypad. i was just concerned and if that's not right if want to go back and look into that. i think the concern came among many that maybe there's also an issue because as a basis for myself i paid different views depending on how i did it. like if a consumer use a credit card or versus a debit card. i'm just wondering, could that have been issued? using the pin typically is a different fee. was that possibly taken into account is the reason for the removal of this and change to say it's not as worrisome as we first thought? >> i think that could be the
reason, if i'm right, the equipment is not widely available in the tray, people have an economic incentive to change but that was not a factor of why we withdrew the public service announcement. my understanding is we withdrew it because we will confuse all the people who go into places in her is the chip and p.i.n. and isn't widely available. that's the concern. >> there's a lot of times before debit cards, i think the concern is with you with information security everything else is always going to move towards a more secure at mr. heck desperately concerned about moving back it seems like a lease in my opinion they were saying okay there is a better way but we are just come we're not going to encourage them, just let the status quo. just a question to i do have -- earlier e-mail process which have a great interest in. basically 180 day distinction in current law is something we talked about. you said you'd use a warrant in
all cases, doesn't matter. would you say 30, and has been statements 30 for prosecutors, judges all say requiring a warrant does not prevent law enforcement from doing their job. would you agree with that speak as i think by and large that's true. i think it poses unique challenges for colleagues at the acc -- sec. i think at a general level, short. >> also from high standards, fbi always gets a high standard, some of these agencies whether users are, like it or not. i think from law enforcement, from a concerned standpoint, reward standpoint, this is something they could use that they could go through normal means investigation i think that's the concern that many of us have. there's time for other questions come packing issues with opm and china. just a quick question. from the fbi him that we traced
back and say yes for a fact we can from chinese hackers stole the data? >> i have with high confidence understanding of who did it. i'm no not in a position to sayt in an open forum spent maybe we can get back on a different forum and discuss it because that is a concern. we can't reward bad behavior and i'm concerned that so we're doing. i yield back. >> no recognize mr. jeffries for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair and thank you, director comey for your presence or did and, of course, the great service to this country. i think you testified earlier today in your belief as to the efficacy of mandatory minimums, is that correct speak was yes, i think i said they were a useful tool in mike rann as a prosecutor. >> can you elaborate as to whether you believe mandatory minimums in light of the explosion of the united states prism population, particularly rotated every other developed country in the world, is still
an relevant law enforcement tool? >> i think it is. again i'm not a position by expertise and passion and my job operate on whether the detainees or five years. i think the certainty of punishment is a useful tool in fighting crime. in the absence of mandatory guidelines that often comes in the form of mandatory minimum. but that's about as far as i the expertise in the position to go. >> is your view anchored in the fact that many processors have articulate the position that in the absence of mandatory minimums they don't have the same club by which to solicit cooperation and perhaps obtain plea bargains? >> in my experience, comparing my express with the state system, and my experience as a prosecutor did not have a to solicit cooperation that we did. that's not a view on what it ought to be this or that. i don't have expertise or not in a position to offer a view on
that but some certainty of punishment absent cooperation is very, very valuable in eliciting cooperation. >> studiecooperation. >> studies have shown and find a ton of mandatory minimums, the conviction rates at the federal level or higher than the conviction rates of those where mandatory minimums still exists. i think that's part of the reason why ideologically diverse group of individuals on both the left and the right including the heritage foundation which i believe said tha there is no evidence that mandatory minimums reduce crime have questioned their continued need, lease in its current form. now can you comment on sort of the explosion of the united states prism population? win the war on drugs began in the late come early 1970s with less than 350,000 people who are incarcerated in america. currently that number is in excess of 2.3 million as you know. we have 5% of the worlds
population, 25% of incarcerated individuals in the world. are here in the united states. many of us believe it creates a competitive disadvantage for us going forward. in addition to the damage that it does to the social fabric of many committees can you comment as to the mass incarceration phenomena that exist in america and what, if anything, do you think should be done about it from a public safety standpoint? >> i struggle with the word mass incarceration because it conveys a sense that people were locked up en masse, with every case in some respect is a tragedy but i don't was individual, if an employer, a judge, had to be proven guilty. there's the that a lot of people were locked up and that is a big problem for our country in one respect but here's the factor in 2014 america was far safer than it was when i was born in 1960 and i think a big part of that change as a result of which all other people are alive today wouldn't be is due to law enforcement.
i'm of the few that guess we can review our criminal justice system. it can be better but we have got reform with an eye towards where we used to be and how they got from there to because i would not want to give back to our children and our grandchildren the america we live in the 1970s, '80s and '90s. that's the reason i want is to be thoughtful about it but i believe we can do better in a lot of ways that we publish enough time to talk about. >> i grew up in the city in the 1980s in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic. ..
warrant unless there is an order of nondisclosure requirement and unlike the investigations that may be an issue. do you think that is something that can hamburg investigations? >> it's something i've been hearing more and more about from prosecutors that are worried about it. >> i'm glad to hear you say that. the president has a plan to bring over a lot of people from the civil war in syria. can we best them and if not isn't is just the fact that some of those people will be contributing to some of the homegrown terrorism we have in this country? >> it's a very important issue that we talked about today. we have gotten better at betting and learn lessons from the vetting of the iraqi refugees we can only bet against the data with respect to a person and so the information we had was much
richer. smack the damascus police department to get files, correct? >> there's a problem and it's going to fall on you to defend the american people want some once some of these individuals come into the country and its just something i'm concerned with. there's been talk about reforming and sentencing. is it your view people will say the drug offenses are nonviolent but particularly when they get into the federal system is accurate to say they are nonviolent? >> each case is different but in my experience anyone that is part of the trafficking organization is part of an organization that has violins all through it and whether you are a millworker or runner and an closer you are enforcer you are part of something that's suffocating the community so i have a hard time characterizing drug organizations in any respect of nonviolence.
>> in terms of the drop in crime crime that you either did it too is part of that simply because there've been different sentences and they are off the streets and so therefore the communities are safer. >> that was a big part of the reduction in crime over my career. >> with respect to individual differences i know that there has been discussion about mishandling classified information in 1924. just one, does the fbi keep record of all the investigations related to each advance of the criminal code? >> i don't know that it's searchable by each offense in the investigation. if a case was charged, then the charge would be reflected in the sand over to the record-keeping but i don't think that every possible charge. >> so in other words we know the mishandling and that actually gets brought up by the u.s. attorney that we don't know
whether the u.s. attorney declined x. number of cases pertaining to that serious >> i think that's correct. but i also don't know with what clarity the record would reflect the number of potential violations in a case where it would be clear from the case files that it was that. >> understood. in terms of handling classified information there's been stuff in the press about something needs to be marked classified area and is your understanding of the u.s. code that if i were to send classified information to the system the fact that it was not marked classified, does that mean that i haven't committed the offense? >> i would prefer not to answer. given that we have a matter of investigation now that reflects in part to the topic i preserve the ability to be seen in reality honest, independent, competent. if i start commenting on things i worry that i might jeopardize
that. >> that is admirable and something you've shown through your career. how when the president is in the united states render a judgment about a specific case but there is no national security damage of certain information has been no undisclosed hell does that help the investigation or does it hurt the investigation? scenic honest, competent and independent. we follow the facts, only the facts. all we care about are the facts. >> i have no doubt that that will be how you conduct yourself. i just hope that as you do your work and as it moves on to other aspects of the system that it's based on the merits of the case in every instance and if not, based on the political. so thank you for your time grade i appreciate it. >> i think the general manager recognized ms. sheila jackson-lee for five.
>> thank you for appearing yesterday before the homeland security committee and a great deal of insight. i would like to not pursue the line of questioning that have an opportunity to meet with you on something we began discussing yesterday which is cybersecurity and the whole role that it plays as another figure he will come if you will, another entity in the terrorism. we are looking to be responsible addressing issues in a couple justice system and somewhat overlapping the question of terrorism in this committee and certainly in homeland security. let me quickly start with a question i think i introduced
the no-fly or foreign fighters and we heard indicated the numbers might be going down and i had a number in my note there were 250 approximately americans left to the four insights that may be coming back. the thing that i would say to you is we must always be prepared. 9/11, the scenario is one that he had never imagined before. we never imagined an airplane being used as a torpedo. we imagined hijacking. i know that this is a very serious posture so we want to just hopefully any extra tool we can give you with respect to refining and defining what you have to make sure we have every potential -- not every potential
but any foreign fighter would that be helpful to you? >> we want to make sure the list is presented. if we could get every foreign fighter that would be great. >> so if we have the legislation which is to add the extra tool to ensure that that list is a vested well updated list would that work? >> the goal i share is to have a complete updated carefully vetted list. >> i appreciate that very much. let me move now to guns. i don't want to put words in your mouth but imagine i service the municipal court judge and i would see them particularly undercover and with a little smile on my face i would have to say who are you because obviously dealing with some of the matters and local government , they were in some tough places and had to look that way as well and i recognize the dangers the officers face. we had a horrific tragedy in our
community in houston, but we just recently lost an officer again in new york and we lose officers as we do with others who are impacted by guns. an 11-year-old shot an 8-year-old over a dog in another youngster 3-years-old found and we never can again imagine the ability of our children. i ask you the question why law enforcement is not our biggest champion, not on guns control, call it gun safety regulation. not on diminishing the second amendment. i call it responsibly handling weapons. who would want to lose a 4-year-old in a drive-by shooting in new mexico because someone had a gun?
so we've introduced legislation and you might want to comment on this in particular that gives you an extended period of time on this situation which is one of the horrible situations in the south carolina nine where you were doing the work and the system is doing its work. the impact they have in the united states what you answer that for me please and the last thing before i go, there've been a number of church fires.
we keep ignoring it. it is a series that just happened. would you comment on the fbi work that they are doing and if the chairman would indulge me i would appreciate it if you take this name down, he was killed on his front porch cometh was the cement driveway of his homecoming excuse me, i stand corrected, let me apologize to his mother, he was wounded and still lives with the bullet in his liver and the disappointing aspect is that it was an officer officer that mr. kim as an african-american male in a stolen car. he was in his mother's car going home to his house in houston texas in a small city called bel air and my question is for you to look into what investigation
can go into this case, and i would greatly appreciate if you would allow him to answer that. >> thank you ms. jackson-lee i would certainly look into it. pretty agents investigating the number of church fire incidents around the country, we haven't found the patterns and connections. with the bureau doesn't do is get involved in the public policy legal questions because our job is to enforce the law in the department of justice to make recommendations with the law should be. i think that is a place that it makes sense for us to be. but we are passionate about trying to enforce the law especially in our cities where gun violence especially
gang-related is a plague this year. >> the proliferation does it not? >> the time is expired. >> guns in the hands of criminal criminal endanger all of us including law enforcement. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i will recognize myself for five minutes for questions and i want to thank you for being here. many people here in the committee have recognized your attitude as it is written and i think that speaks very highly of you and i can very impressed with the cogency and just to the clarity of your testimony this morning. the commitment to the enforcement of the law is a genuine and sincere conviction on your part.
the department of justice has investigated the past allegations of possible violations come and i know you've touched on the subject before, so forgive me for rehashing it. possible violations of the partial-birth abortion ban act. indeed in a letter dated august 4, 2015 responding to the committee's request for the investigation of the possible violations of the partial-birth abortion ban planned parenthood. the department of justice stated that since the inception of the partial-birth abortion act of the department has investigated allegations that help facilities related to possible violations of the law. is there any current investigation by the fbi related to planned parenthood in the footage that has been released for medical progress at this time but you know of? >> as i said in response to the
earlier question i will get back to you and let you know. i don't have a strong grasp of where that stands. i do know letters were sent to the department of justice, but i have to figure out where we are and i can get back to you. >> but as far as you know, do you know of any partial-birth abortion investigations or actions taken by the fbi? >> i know we have jurisdiction to investigate such things, but i don't know enough to answer that right here. >> i would appreciate that last part being included in any response you have an obviously there are some of us that think that the rule of law applies to these little ones that have such little ability to protect themselves as well. let me shift gears. i know that this has been on several questions asked today about gun violence. and i assure you that i agree with the last answer completely that we want to do everything we can to keep guns out of the
hands of criminals and that it is vital to the safety that we do that. there are those of us asked law enforcement do we think that it would be wise to take guns out of the hands of law-enforcement and almost no one would suggest that because we believe, i do, that guns in the hands of properly trained fbi agents as a protection to the public. from my perspective that would suggest it's not the guns whose hands they are in because it is hard to make the case that if they are on the one hand a protective measure the hands of police officers that but there's something that can protect anti-tour and prevent or interdict violence that but they are a good thing and that all or for almost every spectrum of political consideration would suggest that, then the obvious response becomes that it is indeed not the guns but whose
hands they are in. so, my question to you is how do we separate the arguments so that we are doing everything we can to prevent those that have lost their second amendment rights that have demonstrated violence towards society or some issue with a mental illness, how do we deal with that while still leaving intact the own to write -- the right to onan of their arms there are enough to protect officers of the law? >> i think that is a question for others including congress. the role is such i think it's important to not be a conversation that we participate in because we don't make policies for the american people. the american people tell us what the law should be and how to solve these hard problems and then we will enforce the law. i think that is critical to us
remaining three things i said on the stomach confidence come independent. and so honestly it's not a conversation i think the fbi should participate in professionally. >> it is a reasonable answer and i hope we can do that. it will make your job easier and it will augment the great work you do for the country. do we have any -- yes we do. mr. bishop. >> the gentle man, you are recognized for five minutes. under the radar there. >> director, i was here earlier and i thought i was for stepping out. i want to begin by thanking you for what you and your entire team does because what you do on a dalia basis is something that most of us don't even know about and we can't comprehend and you
keep us safe and we are grateful for what you do. my state and my nation i'm very grateful to you and your entire department. so, wanted to tell you that and i admire your testimony today thank you for your candor. you have been taking a lot of questions. my state and michigan is a huge hub for those of middle eastern dissent. there is concern about the onslaught of refugees into the country, and i apologize if you've answered this question but i would like to ask you what do we know -- how do we get these refugees coming to the country is there a way to do it that we can rely upon? my office does a lot of immigration work.
we work with those that are attempting to integrate illegally legally everyday community help in any way we can to try to get through the hoops. it's very strange that we now have groups that have come here the way they are that really skip all the steps in between. i wonder if you can share with me what your experiences are and what you know about the process. >> is a process that i described is good news and bad news. we have gotten as a country and intelligence community in particular much better at organizing ourselves so that we get a complete picture of what we know about somebody. we learned some lessons from the iraq he refugees eight years ago or so and so we've gotten better at clearing out the holdings if so if there is a ripple this person has created i'm confident we will see it and be able to evaluate it. the problem is we will have less data with respect to folks coming out and we do with respect to iraq because we don't
have the u.s. army presence in all that that would give the biometrics, so the risk is someone that is a blank slate will be vetted by us in a process that is efficient and complete but will show no sign of anything because it never crossed the radar screen. that's why i describe it as a process that's gotten a lot better but we can tell you is risk-free. >> as time goes on, the process that you are going through will be more apparent to the american people. i would say that because there are a lot of folks in my state are very concerned and about level of unknown of not understanding the process has caused a little panic across the district and the more that we can hear the more we understand what the process is. we remember the iraq he refugees in the state of michigan especially my area in southeast michigan. so, i appreciate your ongoing communication on how that's
going. i want to switch gears with you a little bit real quick. i've had the pleasure of working with a number of youth serving organizations in my district and i know at least one of those organizations here is represented in the important work they do in the community. and i've spoken to some of them about the importance of keeping their kids safe and one of the ways they do that is giving credit checks and its insurers fostering a safe environment can you talk about the national fingerprint background checks as a part of the competence of screening of staff and volunteers? there are so many that are right there with our children if we know that the fbi background check is the gold standard of the process. can you share a little bit about
how we can promote that and encourage that? >> if i remember correctly we have been doing a pilot program on the topic of the criminal justice information systems operations which i do believe is the gold standard you are right, so anybody that wants to ensure people in contact with children or any other sensitive position has been checked out created the best way to do it is working with us so that we have our holdings and as an exciting new feature that is coming along now as part of our next generation identification we are building something called rat pack. if they are ever arrested you will get notified because that has been a hole in the system. people claim when they first go and and make individual five years down the road you ever tell the daycare about this, so it will make a big difference and make the gold standard platinum in a way. so i very much agree with your sentiment on the topic. >> did you say rap back.
someone develops a rap sheet we get -- >> okay. thank you very much for your time. >> we believe the hearing to go to the white house briefing room. deputy spokesman eric schultz answering reporters questions. it's just getting underway. >> i'm going to withhold any announcements. >> okay. thank you. can you tell us the white house is expecting out of the talks secretary kerry is having? >> as you pointed out i think the secretary recently concluded his talk, his conversation with the foreign minister and several of their counterparts. i believe the secretary said that it was a constructive conversation where the productive ideas were put forward. they've agreed to meet again next week that i don't have any further details beyond that and beyond the fact that we will
reconvene again next week. >> would they be looking to come up with a transition? >> if we take the president putin at his word he's the one that said the political transition is absolutely needed. so, we believe that the recent red carpet was rolled out in a moscow was counterproductive to that goal. this is someone that used chemical weapons against his own people and lost their seats to leave. he allowed his country to default into a sectarian war where the extremists can forage and also caused the worst unitarian crisis in world war ii. so we do bb that he must go into that is very high on secretary kerry's agenda. >> are there any concern that the russian lawmakers insyria t?
>> i haven't seen that report. but as we have said, efforts to prop up are not only counterproductive, they are probably on the wrong side of history. >> finally, can you bring the message the president is going to deliver this afternoon? >> i don't have remarks to extensively preview at this time that i can tell you the president takes his role as the head of the party very seriously. he has worked as you all have observed and traveled a lot of miles to make sure that our democrats whose names are on the ballot which doesn't include him in 2016 have the resources they need to exceed the wage of the campaign. you can expect presidents to make the president to make a stark contrast between the economic vision and the record of accomplishment and how the republicans are going to roll roll a lot roll a lot of that back. that includes taking away health care from 17 million rolling back wall street reform and that
also includes taking away the bold action the president has lead on climate change. >> 24 states -- i'm wondering how concerned is the white house to delay or block implementation and what impact could that have on the uncertainty? >> we are confident this plan is on stronger legal footing and i will explain why. the power plant is consistent with the structure of the clean air act and it also gives the states the flexibility they need to implement it and it reflects public engagement and is responsive to all of the feedback we received from stakeholders during this long
engagement process. overall since you mentioned it to take action on climate change. more than 150 countries have stepped up and worked towards the impacts that we are seeing in the more extreme weather impacts of public health and the economic and national security interest at stake. [inaudible] look at what is happening in the challenge and also the efforts by walter's -- lawmakers and -- >> i not surprised that they've rushed to the courts to try to prevent something they were not able to do legislatively. that's something they've shown an inclination to do another issue areas but we bb this approach has been shaped by data and science and represents a balanced pragmatic view of how to tackle this.
meanwhile the critics show up on the united states floor and it snowballs. if it seems to me that this is a plan that doubles up on flexibility on flexibility and choices for states and utilities by mirroring the way that it's already changing around the country, the powerplant provides national consistency, accountability and a level playing field and again it really reflects our pragmatic and transparent approach to this. >> last can you say what the president hopes to accomplish particularly? >> on monday the president will welcome him to indonesia -- other indonesia to the white house and they will hold bilateral meetings in the oval office. this will be the president's first visit to washington since
taking office and i do expect them to discuss climate. we bb that this is a, two of the largest democracies in an area that they can work together as you point out in advance of paris. i also expect them to discuss areas where they can expand cooperation such as trade and defense and pursue new areas of growth like maritime cooperation. >> i'm just wondering if because there were a lot of american retirees and because of the storm is approaching what is the united states doing to reach out to mexico now in preparations which -- [inaudible] >> while it doesn't appear hurricane patricia will make landfall in the united states we are monitoring the storm and we are in close coordination with the government of mexico. the state department would be the lead agency for any
international request for assistance so there will be the point if and when the requests come in but i do know the state department has reached out to the embassy in mexico with the appropriate warnings. >> is this something the president will talk about as wild or do well or do you expect any phone calls? >> i don't have any phone calls at this point but i can tell you that the officials are absolutely in touch with our counterparts in mexico. >> thank you. >> i just want to start with yesterday's testimony by secretary clinton. something democrats are talking about and i'm wondering your reaction to secretary clinton's remarks and secondly if you support them. >> my reaction to yesterday's testimony is that the leader was proven right you go back to when the committee was still stood up
by republicans about two years ago a lot of democrats charged that this was good to be a partisan exercise. it took a little while but eventually the leaders in the republican caucus acknowledged the same thing and yesterday if you review the videotape of the testimony you can be heartened by the fact that the leader hit the nail on the head. that is a good question. you will recall that was a question that was in play when republicans stood up the committee about 532 days ago. democrats at the time were discussing whether their participation would lead to credence to the committee or whether they should just not participate since it is going to be a partisan exercise. so we defer to the leader and the democrats to make that decision and we would keep that same posture today.
in the letter they asked the ceo if they are getting an up-to-date update on cash flow so i'm wondering tentatively whether the u.s. won't be able to meet by november 4 and also if and why the treasury isn't planning those? >> i can't call you secretary lew has made clear that certain expenditures will be exhausted on tuesday, november 3 i also want to be clear that given the volatility in this process, and given the tens of millions of dollars that went out of the government regularly if there's updates to those states, the secretary takes very seriously his its responsibility to update congress. >> and then in the addressed this week by the vice president biden -- [inaudible]
if there is a price tag involved or is this just something the vice president said aspirational he were that we can see moving forward and if so -- >> i don't have a new policy proposal to unveil to you right now. i withdraw you to the fiscal year 2016 budget, which does include a significant investment in this area. a lot of research is done specifically the national institute of health. i know that this president -- under this administration has increased significantly the amount of funding. i don't have anything new to announce in the announcing the remarks in the rose garden yesterday. >> there's a new program of singular focus. even beyond the details now, are we going to hear something beyond the regular budgetary act? or is this something that is not going to happen? >> i don't have any specific new
policies or a white paper to read out right now. i would tell you that the president's commitment to curing cancer is matched in what he has asked congress to fund in that we can get you the office of management and budget can get the specific breakdowns but i did have a chance to take a look at this yesterday, and there has been a significant increase under the administration. >> i want to ask about russia and its increasing role in the region, and in particular i want to ask about what appears to be a new alliance with the jordanians, and when you add it all up, russia's supposed apart worship to help fight isis and their continued support for the regime in syria and now jordan, how concerned is the white house about the increasing role and in particular the new alliance with jordan cracks to be co?
>> i saw news reports on that this morning. i would tell you it's just look at the overall context of where we were and where we are now. if you take a look at the region, russia is a country that used to have very reliable client states. ukraine which has flexed its independent muscle and syria which is falling apart. we don't look at this as a sign of strength. we look at this as a sign of desperation that they've lost considerable influence in the region and that puts aside the significant contracting the economy has done. i believe it is now smaller than the economy has seen. it is, we don't view this as any sign of strength but rather signs of weakness they are losing influence in the region so it would follow that mr. putin would want to help and we just think that is the wrong
side of history. >> without the partnership for the jordanians? any concern about that? >> i would refer you to my friend the state department. i do know that they are part of the coalition. they've contributed significantly to that. one of the touchstone for the president on building that coalition was meant to make sure we had a number of states involved. so we appreciate the efforts on this. but, i would refer you to the state department in terms of any specific indications we have had with them. >> last, going back to the hearing yesterday i know that there is a great sense that it was political but there's also the obvious. there seems to be a number of people who are so concerned about the negative coming from the administration and the hours thereafter. new records show mrs. clinton wrote within 24 hours of the attack that was in fact al qaeda area she told the egyptian
feminist or there was no connection to the film we are talking a great deal yesterday. so i'm just wondering, how do you square that with the administration's statement that we heard from the podium and other places? >> kevin, we had 11 hours of questions and answers along these very lines, so i'm going to mostly refer you to secretary clinton's responses on that. i would tell you that you are right that this was a tragedy. for americans put their lives on the line to keep us safe and advance the nation's interest in a very dangerous place. they were killed on the told on the line of duty in september 11, 2012. unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of discussion about that yesterday. and i didn't get a chance to watch the whole thing. but the parts i saw there was very limited conversation about that. i would tell you in terms of the charge that you are mentioning
that somehow talking points were politicized has been the bounds of time deep down to time and time again and i would refer you to the house permanent select committee on intelligence november 2014 report which was signed by mike rogers, a well-respected member of congress, a well respected republican who wrote that the process used to develop the talking points were flawed. the conclusion we've absolutely agree to the talking points reflected a conflicting intelligence assessment in the days immediately following the crisis. this was a fluid time. this was a difficult time where intelligence was conflicting an evil thing. some of which turned out to be true and some turned out not to be true. but there's still no evidence to suggest that anything the administration did in talking about the attack was anything but based on the talking points
into the guidance we received in the intelligence community that you don't have to take my word for it. the cia has done just that. >> is within your suggestion that her opinion and conversations with others it was in fact al qaeda even if that wasn't what was being said by the administration from just her opinion, did she not get the same guidance or did the guidance come out after or separately from what she was telling other people? i'm just trying to figure out. >> in your question i think you got to it which is the sequencing of this is difficult and complicated, and at the time it's a very difficult and fluid situation and our intelligence community is receiving intelligence in real time, and that is being vetted and looked at and then the administration must answer questions from you and your colleagues. we were doing the best we could based on the intelligence that
was coming in, and as my counterparts in the intelligence community will tell you they were doing the best job they could. >> the debt ceiling again, kevin mccarthy said today that republicans will demand spending cuts and any bill that would be fought. is that a potential situation where the government has its involvement? >> i certainly hope not. the president has been clear into the white house has been clearly are not going to negotiate over the debt limit but this isn't asking congress to do anything extraordinary or special. this is asking the congress to pay bills that it's already incurred for this is something we don't negotiate and we urge them to do this immediately without any delay. >> so when the president is detailing bills that come with these cuts? >> yes. >> the house passed a bill that would repeal a lot of the affordable care act.
>> if the day ends in y.. >> how concerned are you if a republican president takes over that it actually will be repealed or changed dramatically? >> we are confident that a democrat we think will take over the white house in 2017, and if republicans do when you choose to reveal the affordable care act, they aren't going to have to answer to us what, they have to answer to the 17 million american people to take health care away from. 9.9 million people were enrolled in the insurance marketplace for 2015 coverage. the rate of health care increases is the lowest it's been in decades. over 13 million additional americans were covered under medicaid expansion and children top insurance programs. young young adults are getting covered, hospitals are receiving billions of dollars. so we feel very good about the record of the affordable care
act and republicans have to answer why they want to take that away. >> is there an update on the state of may expand medicaid now that there were some that were looking at it do you have anything on that? >> i don't have the latest state-by-state breakdown i think you mentioned we have been heartened by the fact that a number of democratic and republican state governments decided this is the right course of action and we believe our door is always open for anybody else that wants to do this but i don't have any updates on the state-by-state breakdown. >> to call it follow up a little bit on yesterday house transportation committee reported on the transportation bill but it's not going to be by next week. will the white house to veto a short-term funding for the highway bill?
>> as you just alluded to, the surface transportation authorization expires next week and the reality is that due to the congressional inaction, the congress will need to pass another short-term extension of these authorities to keep the federal funding for american transportation systems. if the president has said many times this country cannot continue to rely on short-term patches as an approach to the funding of the infrastructure. so the house and senate should use this time to finally completed work on a long-term bill i could one you mentioned. >> about he will support that bill? >> again i think the unfortunate reality is that that's the only option at this time. republicans in congress have chosen to use their time looking at other things. >> just to follow up on the hearing yesterday, i know that you're asked when i was not here, it was over there -- -- >> we missed you. >> i was there for 11 hours.
>> [inaudible] at that point you said you didn't know were he hadn't yet. since it was 11 hours, i wonder if he did to them in order so anything later in the news reports and also if he had a chance to call secretary clinton at all. >> i know that this was a seminal television moment for a lot of people in this room, and a lot of people elsewhere, but we had a lot of business to do yesterday, so we were busy hard at work advancing the president's agenda. i have not spoken to the president about the hearing on benghazi yesterday. i'm sure given the ubiquitous coverage, he has seen a little bit of that, the i don't have any personal reaction or you any communications or conversations with secretary clinton.
[inaudible] there is now the formation of a committee to look at transparency and i'm wondering what the president's reaction is to that and following a previous question about the democratic role does the white house suggest democrats not pushed this war what' you think they should take towards this? >> of all days for the republicans to stand up in a select committee they picked a very special one. again, we are going to leave it to democrats in the house of representatives to decide if they want to participate. that was our approach in may of 2014 when the speaker decided to stand up to the select committee on benghazi. >> [inaudible] >> i'm going to say because i'm not sure that yesterday you
really gleamed a serious sense of purpose from republicans who conductedthe hearing. >> so you would suggest this is the same thing? >> it remains to be seen but in terms of participation we are going to defer to the house to the critical leadership. >> there were a number of recommendations that were made about the embassy and consulate and others. are there specific things you can tell me that have been done since that incident and i know you can't say that nothing like that would ever happen again but are you -- how confident are you >> i appreciate the question. in the wake of this tragedy, the state department did stand up and before the accountability review be for the accountability review board but by two of the most respected names and individuals in the national security affairs and they developed -- they took a look at
this and anybody that has read the report will characterize it as unsparing and they came up with 29 recommendations. the committee adopted to committing all of them. i believe we have closed up on 26 of them and there are three near completion you should check out with the state department on details on that but a few examples like the ones that you are asking about these hired more security personnel. they have protection for high threat high risk. they've implemented the vital present validation process which articulates it very clear mission based on the u.s. interest and the ways and means of the un foreign policy against the risks facing the un personnel and they've also expanded the marine guard program. they were at about 150 posts and we have since assigned
attachments to 21 more posts in the coming months. >> is the administration -- how would you describe the administration? and the security now around the world? are you more confident, competent or -- >> i would describe the concert for the safety of those serving in diplomatic posts as paramount we are constantly evaluating the situations. we've reported sometimes when the state department issued an advisory or security change level of change so this is
evidence that we take seriously and something that we try to be vigilant about. >> i can tell you yesterday our thoughts and prayers were with the sergeants family and friends and colleagues. i don't have any specific calls to read out to you but i know that broadly speaking the administration has been in touch i don't have any specific conversations to preview but i know we have been in touch command again to the president extends his thoughts and prayers to the family. thank you major.
as you told us yesterday on the signoff. without being exposed to an iraq enabling the mission cares with the sense that maybe is it's not dangerous. that's what field for the master sergeant. does the american public deserve a clear assessment of what the actual risks are you there could be more casualties. >> when the president laid out a rationale and the plan for the operation result, he absolutely made clear that these men and women were going to be serving in a dangerous place, but they do as you pointed out put their lives on the line.
not a safe place to be that when they assume these roles there is an inherent danger and like the operation of your talking about, the loss of any service congress tragic and that's why we offer our condolences to the master sergeants family. the operation but that was it because president has authorized that has the inherent resolve is consistent with our goal to degrade and ultimately to defeat isis. the actual mission if you are referencing by the secretary of defense is consistent to train and advise and assist the forces under this very operation. it is limit in scope. what does include supporting the partners on the ground that this was a operation that falls under
the authority of operation and the inherent resolve. >> so you don't think that this needs to be explained with any more clarity or precision about what actually the u.s. u.s. three personnel might face on the ground? when that sort of phraseology [inaudible] >> i do think the president has made clear in all of us that speak for the administration will continue to make it clear he has no intention to authorize the ground combat operations like the nation has conducted in iraq and afghanistan. this is a specific mayor of operation the president has laid out for the engagement in iraq and syria and the specific operation that you are talking about was authorized under the operation result to train, advise and assist the iraq he
forces. >> since they began the airstrikes, they shifted. what the president agree with that and how strategically important is that reality? >> i don't have an updated math were assessment on that. i'm going to deter to my counterpart at the united nations but i don't have enough to offer you at this time that i would tell you there is no doubt that the actions in this area syria are to the goal of wanting to a political transition and to attack isis. so, -- >> my point is that there is no question that the strikes we've seen in total are not pursuing the goal that they stated >> is the administration involved in any conversations
about debt ceiling increases? >> our position on this hasn't changed. our position is the debt limit should be raised. >> and in any shape or form is that a possible way out of? >> our position is that -- >> can you give any guidance -- >> our position is that the debt limit should be raised and the reason we are not going to attach a specifics and negotiate this is because it is a very simple proposition. it's been done under presidency and republican parties -- >> for the republicans have suggested that to you -- >> we are open to the debt ceiling being raised because the their responsibility. >> is it a week, six months, a year? i'm trying to figure out anything specific about this in
a situation that apparently you think is large. >> i agree with that. i would tell you the debt limit should be raised. we are not even negotiating with our partners on the hill. so, it's pretty hard for me to negotiate with you because we believe that this should be done without negotiations, without delay. the speaker boehner did this a couple of times without negotiating, and that is the same position we are going to have on this instance. >> the last thing, it was suggested by some democrats that they buy the plans might have been more appropriate for the committee. is the administration supportive of the lens that brings in the former cia director david petraeus to ask about the operations in benghazi or a number of personnel what was the relationship and how close and things of that nature. >> in terms of the scope and
nature of the investigation -- i wonder if you would agree. >> i don't have a position on where the committee should go from here. being able to adopt the view that this was a political instrument to take down the secretary of state numbers, but in terms of who they should interview from here and what are the hearings they should have it seems like they've had a pretty exhaustive try. >> is that something that would be counterproductive in the tragedy and things that can be learned from? >> i am going to defer to the members of congress. it is their investigation. clearly we have seen this one publicized. but if they have other people they want to interview that is going to be up to them. >> in the more than 500 days into $4,000,000.11 hours in the clinton testimony, do you feel that there was anything good or positive or productive coming
out of this? >> that is a good question. i think that we saw a former obama administration official take seriously hurt responsibly to either the department of state. i think we saw democrats on the panel come to that hearing with a serious sense of purpose, and i think we saw a conversation that got politicized. >> i'm not so i am not so much talking about the kind of respect while clinton's testimony was going on but i'm talking about the investigation itself do you think there was anything productive or that we have learned from this particular investigation? >> not really. i think that as mentioned, in the wake of this tragedy under secretary clinton's leadership in the accountability review board was led by the ambassador the two public servants of renowned reputation.
they did a very deep dive on this and spent months and months interviewing state department officials leaving no stone unturned in their investigation. they came up with 29 concrete recommendations to make sure the post broad were more secure to prevent a tragedy from this ever happening again. i haven't seen such constructive organizations from the house republicans. >> do you think this particular investigation that we are still seeing is a complete waste of time? ..