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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 28, 2016 12:30pm-2:16pm EDT

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connecticut due to speak next? mr. blumenthal: i would happily yield to the senator from georgia as long as i be permitted to follow him for up to ten minutes. mr. isakson: i ask unanimous consent to be recognized for up to five minutes to be followed by the senator from connecticut, mr. blumenthal, for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? there objection? j. majority and minority leaders birthday and i move they be approved. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: mr. president, i find it unbelievable that today the united states senate said no to pregnant moms and veterans. the vote earlier to deny cloture on the v.a. milcon legislation and the zika virus is to say to pregnant moms in america we don't think the case of the zika virus is that important. you're going to have to run the risk yourself. and say to our veterans that we may not
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fund your health care. that's just not the right thing to do. i deeply regret the fact that the cloture motion was denied i hope that cloture will be granted so we can approve v.a. milcon and approve our response to zika. in terms of zika, i represent the c.d.c., the centers for disease control in georgia, the world's health care center. i was there two weeks ago for a briefing on the zika virus. there are montana than one million zika cases in latin america, there are zika cases in the caribbean, there are 150 in the united states of america. it attacks a pregnant mom, it attacks the child in the womb attack -- attacks the brain and the central nervous system causing terrible brain problems and deformities, something that we hope we can stop and prevent. but you can't do it if you don't fund the nation's response and the $1.1 billion in this motion that was denied today would go
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towards the zika response. the two real estate sponses we need to -- there are two responses we need to fund. someone for developmental vaccines if we can find them as quickly as possible. but the other is the education to do the most we can to see to it that zika is prevented wherever possible. now, a lot of people think if you don't have mosquitoes, you don't have to worry about zika. zika is transmitted in two very disipght ways. one is through one of two types of mosquitoes, both of which are indigenous to my state of georgia and most of the southern eastern united states. zika is also transmitted by sexual intercourse, which means whether you are in colorado, where there are no mosquitoes, or georgia where there are, there is another way to transmit it at well. if we don't have a good education process in terms of how people can protect themselves against the zika virus or protect themselves from the bites carried by the mosquitoes, we are going knob big trouble in this country because we didn't do our job. it is stimulussed that the cost of a live birth and the lifetime of a child born with the affects
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of the zika virus will be $10 million on the taxpayers of america per child. $10 million. think of the cost that adds up to. we should come to the table immediately and come back and vote again and vote for cloture on the zika virus, the $1.1 billion response nasd the house, passed the senate, to see to it that we tell the american people that we understand the dangers of zika, we're going to do everything we can to allow you the education you can to prevent it, we're going to respond to it and do it in the right way. as far as v.a. is concerned, i have never understood anybody who can look a veteran in the eye and say no. as chairman of the veterans affairs committee in the united states senate, i know what these people have done. as one who served in the military, i know what sacrifice means. to say no to the funding of v.a. health care is justen conscionable and wrong. our veterans volunteer. we don't have a draft anymore. we don't conscript people anymore. people volunteer for the military. we've had 16 straight years of deployment in the middle east in the -- in the middle east of
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americans who volunteered to protect this one country. they deserve to know when they come home, their health care will be provided for, their benefits will be provided for and the promises we made to them to get them to volunteer to join our military are promises we keep for them regardless of the condition they may be or difficulties they have. so as one member of the united states senate, i can't say no to a mom or 00 united states veteran. i would encourage the members of the democratic party to come back to the floor and join all of us in the republican party and vote for cloture on the v.a. milcon and the zika virus agreement and do it as soon as possible. time is wasting. time is of the essence. time is important. our response is important. our pregnant moms are important. there isnobody more important than the veterans of the united states of america. i yield back pie time and defer -- i yield back my time and defer to the senator from connecticut ssmentsdz. mr. blumenthal: mr. president, i strongly agree with colleagues
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who have supported effective, real measures to confront the spreading toll that dak is taking around the world and soon will take in even greater number and magnitude in this country. but we need effective solutions that we'll provide funding for research, eradication of mosquitoes, education of the public without harmful restrictions that prevent women from seeking family planning services. that in fact help to prevent the spread of zika. nowhere is the threat of zika greater than in puerto rico. that island has been particularly hard hit, and in fact the spreading financial
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crisis is combining with the spreading epidemic of zika to create a true humanitarian crisis. that crisis will only be aggravated and deepened by a failure to deal effectively with the financial default that faces the island in just a few days from now. on july 1, $2 billion of loans will come due, and puerto rico simply lacks the resources to pay those debts. it is insolvent, so far as those debts are concerned. if the bankruptcy code applied, it could seek relief from its creditors and prevent the race to the courthouse and the enormous litigation costs and
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other expenses that will ensue. we have an opportunity to act on behalf of the people of the united states who have a powerfully important stake in the people of puerto rico and the welfare of that island. it is americans who live there, there,3 0eu 5 million -- 3.5 million americans who have fought in our wars, who have helped to make america the greatest, strongest country in the history of the world. they are american citizens who are part of the fabric of this nation and people of puerto rico will be the ones who pay the price of a failure on our part to act effectively.
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the simple fact is that puerto rico cannot afford to pay all of its creditors and continue to provide a basic level of services for its people. that fact is undisdisputed. the question is simply whether this situation is addressed in an orderly and productive way or permitted to enter the sea of chaos financially and in humanitarian terms that will ensue without effective action on our part. already we have seen the beginnings of this crisis. the island's only 24/7 stroke center has closed because too many puerto rican neurologists have left for the mainland. the puerto rican department of education has not paid hundreds of firms that provide education and transportation services. hospitals are barely keeping the
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lights on, and schools cannot pay bus drivers. my colleague from florida, senator nelson, told the story yesterday of the neonatal dialysis center that is providing services only to customers who can pay cash up front. imagine, in the united states -- puerto rico is part of the united states -- children in need of life-saving service are being turned away and denied this basic health care. there is no need to guess as to what will happen on july 1. the creditors have told us. in fact, they have told us very explicitly in court papers already filed last week, when they wrote -- quote -- "it has long been settled law that
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constitutional debt is constitutionally required to be paid first in times of scarcity, ahead of even what the government deems 'essential services'." they will claim to be paid in advance and in priority over essential services. that is the stark, harsh truth of litigation and a judgment in their favor will have lasting and irreparable effects on the people of puerto rico. if the creditors win, the people of puerto rico lose, and they lose tremendously and irreparably. the senate has a choice. instead of allowing a chaotic
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process that costs tremendously in scarce resources and benefits financials the lawyers -- financially the lawyers and some of the creditors more than anyone, we can pass legislation before us today. it is not the legislation that i would have preferred. in fact, this deal is not one that i find attractive. there are defects and weaknesses in its provisions relating to the minimum wage and overtime and pensions and the structure of the board, among others. but the question is, what is the alternative? with promesa, the parties will have a workable judicial mechanism with a stay on
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litigation for ensuring that chaos is avoided and the current mess is resolved. if we devise a system that only the creditors like and works only for them, it will benefit a small group of wealthy investors that could threaten to block puerto rico's economic recovery. in fact, the longest-lasting and most alarming effect will be the uncertainty that results from our failure to act, which almost clearly and unavoidably will cause a deep ration in that -- deep recession in that island. it will, in effect, impede investment in the island and quash economic recovery. representative value has questions put it best --
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velazquez put it best. she has never stopped fighting for her homeland. before promesa passed the house, see said "some will have you believe that if we only yell louder, there will be a third option. but let me tell you, i've screamed so loud that i no longer have a voice. like the vast majority of her house colleagues, she voted for promesa because it is the best option available now that both sides can support. no amount of wishing or yelling will change that fact. promesa has the support of experts across the political spectrum and of editorial boards across the country. it has won support from puerto rico's governor and its sole representative in the u.s. house. it has won support from business leaders in puerto rico and in the united states, and crucially
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the treasury department says it is an essential step, a first step to avoid humanitarian catastrophe. we can come back next month, next year, or sooner to try to make it better, but there is no better bill available this week, before july 1, and the impending museumtarian crisis -- humanitarian crisis that will most affect and most enduringly hurt the people of puerto rico. the choice is hope or disaster for the americans who live in puerto rico. promesa could be better, but at the end of the day, we cannot permit the perfect to be the enemy of the good. i will continue to work for a
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better bill, seeking to offer amendments that improve it and fighting afterward for still more improvements in this measure. but today i urge my colleagues to join in supporting promesa. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate the previous order, the senate
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>> this picture and story from abc news. the supreme court on monday struck down a texas law that imposed strict new requirements on abortion clinics in the state. the decision in the case will likely have sweeping implications for abortion regulations throughout the united states. a major win for abortion rights advocates, the court ruled that states regulations imposed an undue burden on women's rights to seek an abortion. more now from reporter who joined us this morning on "washington journal." >> host: talk about the decision yesterday, sam baker "national journal" responded. first tell us about how the breakdown of the vote came only so the decision and that eachca side came to its legal arguments supporting and defending it. >> caller: sure. this is a case that if justice
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scalia was still on the bench this would've been a 5-4 decision. it was a five votes just write down texas requirements which was the for democratically appointed justices and then the three remaining staunch conservatives. on the other side, and the majority opinion was written by justice stephen breyer, clinton appointee, and it is extremely fact focus. it's very long, very detailed just to ge give you since i'm is not a lot of good quotes in it because it doesn't sort of convey a super broad legal principle or really try to make a stand. it's all about texas tried to make this argument and we think that's incorrect for this particular reason, this came up at the trial court and we thinkt the trial court got it
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so it sort of is nearly written but it is so thorough that a lot of people think it might be pretty useful in trying to knock down similar laws in other states. >> and one for those three who opposed the decision, what was the legal arguments they putgue: out? >> caller: justice alito wrote a really long dissent arguing that the court should not have taken the case, should take it back down to a lower court. the are several levels of which the conservative justices were unhappy. they were unhappy with the outcomes, first and foremost, and that slide over into justict thomas said we should just uphold these regulations. the other conservative justices i think were hoping, and you could see this in a similary wee argument, a were hoping for an escape hatch in this case for it being decided and wanted to kick it back down to a lower court
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for more fact-finding or find some other way to get out of doing it right now when they know they're down to justice. >> host: what's the larger implications then and now does it affect states have similar laws on the books? >> caller: the experts are still working through the exacts implication, but this clearly is going to be used, and i think successfully, in some number of those states to knock down similar laws. a couple where, you might see w that happen pretty quickly in mississippi which has an almosth identical law that's actually on hold right now and has been appealed up to the spring court. they will probably dispose of that pretty soon. wisconsin it's another one. louisiana. that aren't 20 some states in total that have some version of one of the two laws are one of the two requirements i should say that texas has your so it'll take a couple of years are all
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of those to work through the sye system. some of them might be able to survive but i think you'll see a couple of them in the states i just mentioned not been in thert court probably recently sent. >> host: sam baker, you have a piece of the "national journal" website that talks with anthony kennedy and the title says it still anthony kennedy scored but probably not for long. can you summarize what that is about? >> caller: this was a case where anthony tenner to, the majority decision -- anthony kennedy, the only reason it wasn't a split, most of the time when you see i case one of the supreme court especially a big sort of i hope at the end of the term, it's one of anthony kennedy. this year he casted the decidiny vote against for affirmative action. he casted the deciding vote on a couple of a smaller but stilll significant cases last year, again siding with the liberals.
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but if there is a president clinton, and if the senate confirms her appointee to fill justice scalia succeed, you will have five liberal justices and that means anthony kennedy will not have -- right now and he is the only way to win a case is te win kennedy nine times out of 10.n which gives him a lot of power to decide what the ruling is going to say, what legal basis it's going to reflect, the scope of the opinion, all of those things were up to me because his vote is the only way to win. in the future i think we willur probably see five democratic appointees, which that doesn't mean every kiss will be a lock, but kennedy i don't think what he longer be the only way to win and, therefore, you have a couple of justices sort of jostling for position and you'll still be an important vote obviously but will not have quite as much clout over the biggest case as he has no.
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>> host: sam baker joining us to talk up the decision reachedi yesterday on the texas case. thanks for your time. >> caller: thanks for having me. >> road to the white house coverage continues later today. live coverage of donald trump talking about the u.s. becoming. he will be in pennsylvania south of pittsburgh. c-span will have at 2:30 p.m. specialist on the u.s.-mexico relationship talk about the importance of an international bond and recent political rhetoric from the presidential campaign involving mexico. particularly as workers who immigrate to the u.s. the atlantic council hosted the event yesterday. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good afternoon, everyone. i am the truck to the latin american center economic growth initiative. thank you all for joining us today for this incredibly timely discussion and it's called a the celebration on the importance of the u.s.-mexico relationship. there's a lot of misinformation about mexico and what it means for the u.s. and it's time to put the facts on the table. i would like to thank the many impressive speakers have taken the time to join us for such a critical moment. secretary michael chertoff, secretary carlos gutierrez. jason furman at the last it was called into a meeting with the president. thank you very much for joining us. we are delighted to be joined by the founder of our center who is sitting in the first row. [applause] >> and has all the no and as that round of applause shows
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revision of inspiration helping to refrain thinking about latin america. thank you. >> away with a great event but this is also the launch of a larger effort, ally makes max initiative. the united states and mexico strong partners in the relationship that is unparalleled and indispensable. from security to trade to immigration to culture, our two countries benefit enormously from a highly integrated partnership. but this relationship is under attack. the presidential election has put mexico in the eye of a national political storm. the country is being wrongfully blamed in fact i think scapegoated for the anxieties many people have about how the world is changing and what it means for them. redrick is calling into question the benefits of strong commercial relations with an important ally and proposing unilateral action at the border to combat unauthorized immigration. but the kicker for all this, 6 million u.s. jobs depend on trade with mexico and net
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migration is now below zero. this type of rhetoric has angered our mexican allies, alienated many american citizens, and worried friend frf the possibility of protectionist and confrontational policies becoming a reality. as a latin america center dedicated to promoting the transformation of the region and has the atlantic council, and institution committed to promoting constructive engagement, it is our obligation to launch an initiative to highlight the importance of this bilateral relationship. this is unusual for a think tank a special and nonpartisan one but as you can see from the speakers today, this is not an issue that falls along party lines. discussions of our southern border must be responsible and grounded and that's the purpose of this initiative to show what they use and mexico relationship, one often times taken for granted, should not only be defended by should, in fact, be broadened and deepened. so today we've launched a major in social media effort. you can find us on buzzfeed and
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we will share with you a view between the two panels that we've made. in the coming months will continue to highlight the importance of this relationship across industries and across regions. we hope you will join us by sharing our work on social media, contribute your own opinion pieces and spreading information. today we are two excellent panel thought some of the most critical element of the u.s.-mexico relationship. the first on national security moderated by mary jordan of the "washington post" and the second on economic relationship moderated by my friend peter schechter, director of the center. there will be plenty of time for q&a so feel free to start queuing up your questions. also feel free to gather up your 5.8 we. reduce remember to use the hashtag why mexico. this event is on the record. before turning over other like to thank our partners to make this possible. new york university, george washington university, baker mckenzie, i'm glad you could join us to our media partners at
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the "huffington post" and be -- a makeover for help with outreach and inspiration i visited the we are grateful our partners find the enthusiasm your with that until to turn over to mary jordan, national correspondent to the "washington post" who is covering the presidential campaign. i would like to welcome her and her distinguished panel to the stage. again, thank you all very much for being here today. [applause] >> well, even for such a tiny discussion we have any knows about the firepower your, so i'm delighted, especially when we're talking about facts. as i run around the country on
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these campaign trail, there's not a day or around or anything or mexico doesn't seem to come up, and yet there is any knows amount of misinformation and a lack of understanding. i want to introduce our panel. we have governor tom ridge who of course has extensive coverage in u.s. government. he was a member of the house of representatives. of course, governor of pennsylvania for the first ever secretary of homeland security under george w. bush. and today he runs ridge global, an international cybersecurity advisory firm. and we have secretary michael chertoff who succeeded governor ridge. before that when he was running homeland security from 2005-2009, he was a federal judge as well as an assistant u.s. attorney general. now he runs the chertoff group, and risk management security consulting firm, is also senior
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of counsel, covington burlington. ambassador john negroponte served in many key diplomatic posts including ambassador to the philippines and iraq, and for discussion today very importantly he was ambassador from our country to mexico. he was also the first ever director of national intelligence, he truly is vice chairman of mclarty. before we get into the nitty-gritty and some of the most most interesting aspects of national security when it comes to mexico a return to our former ambassador and just asking to talk kind of more broadly about u.s.-mexico relationship, and maybe answer a key question that i hear out there in ohio and pennsylvania about really how does mexico affect the ordinary american speak was right. and you very much, mary, and they teach you adrienne arsht and the center for hosting us to what i think is a very important meeting.
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let me just start with sort of a resounding yes to the point that jason made about the importance of the relationship. when i was deputy nasa security adviser under ronald reagan and george herbert walker bush was elected and i was asked what post i wanted to go to, mexico was my first choice. i was delighted to get it. it was just a fabulous experience. it was the period which we negotiated the north american free trade agreement. let me say u.s.-mexico relations since really for almost 80 years, ever since the white moral, josephus daniels it was franklin roosevelt ambassador to mexico have generally been good. they were good during world war ii. they were good in the ensuing period. is closer to the present,
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generally the cooperation has been better in the economic area. we all know about how relationship with mexico affects american lives. since the signing of the nafta trade with mexico has quadrupled to the point where we have $550 billion worth of two-way trade between the country to we do something like $1.4 billion of trade with mexico every day. there are literally hundreds of millions of border crossings. mexico is the largest single destination for american tourists. just to give you a few examples of how our daily lives are affected. as i said the economic relationship has generally been good, particularly since 1985 when mexico joined the gap and that is the ultimate lead to mexico's decision to be willing to negotiate a free trade agreement with us, which went into effect in 1994.
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security has generally been a bit more neurology issue with the country of mexico for reasons of sovereignty, reasons of history and so forth and i guess in recent times in my memory the low point was the so-called case when the dea agent was murdered by mexican drug traffickers, probably with the complicity of the jalisco government back in 1985. that left a hugely bitter taste and a lot of baggage in history to overcome there, but if they quit managed to work our way through that in the ensuing 30 years. there some things about security cooperation that are quite remarkable, if you think of them in the context of mexican history. i want to say one example. the willingness of mexico to extradite drug traffickers and other kinds of traffickers to the united states. during my time the idea of an
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extradition of mexican nationals to the united states was just a complete nonstarter with the mexican government. there are levels today of cooperation between the mexican military and our military that again would've been unheard of 30 years ago, even small, joint exercises, common committee patience, facilities along the border. the issue of u.s.-mexico relations is a longer just reduced to one simple question, which american general would come to the annual national day, the exercises in september? that just to be the big thing, who are we going to send down there. today, it's a much more complex and cooperative thing. and i think along with nafta, the economic improvement and improvement in these other forms of legal cooperation, things have reached a very, very hi and i think comfortable level of cooperation between the two countries.
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>> let's turn to secretary chertoff to talk about the breath of the security relationship. i think a lot of people don't quite get all the lines of communications. you want to begin with the discussion and maybe tell us a few things that might surprise us. >> i think john is right. over the years our cooperation is gotten better. there's no question that mexico does have a serious problem with organizing criminal drug cartels. that's more problem action from accident for us. both countries suffer and are some capacity limitations on mexico's ability to investigate and prosecute those people, although they have begun a process of reforming their prosecutorial and judicial system to make it more efficient for them to bring those cases. and as john pointed out they of the increased a willingness to extradite to the u.s., so that's been very important from the cooperation standpoint as well. we share intelligence about what goes on on our common border. maybe even more important we
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have worked with the mexicans to strengthen their capabilities at their southern border. the idea that most illegal migrants in the u.s. are mexican is just complete hogwash. very significant number, from latin and central america. they may come through mexico but doesn't make the mexicans. in fact mexico is as interested as we are in finding a way to manage that float and prevent people from trying to sneak in and then putting themselves at the mercy of these smuggling organizations and criminal gangs. we've been working with the mexicans on their southern border. finally, one of the things i use here all the time was worried about terrorists coming in from mexico. i can't think of a single instance when i was secretary for four years at a terrorist came in from mexico. in fact, we had quite a good cooperation with mexico in terms of begin identifying people who might be coming into the
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continent that might be potentially terrorist threats. in fact oddly the neighbor where we have seen terrorists coming over the land border is candidate. in 2000, we had one, no border inspector. we've at other instances over the years where extremists have come into canada but none i'm aware of through mexico. that is attributed to cooperation. i'm not saying the situation is ideal. the issue of these criminal gangs is a problem for both countries. we have to acknowledge in fairness, we are partly responsible. we create the marketplace for drug consumption and that is at least a portion of the economic fuel that allows these drug cartels to flourish. i do think we're making progress in cooperating. >> governor ridge, even though we haven't heard, there were a couple of cases, i was just in mexico and i talked to a couple of the former presidents of
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mexico who said we had been giving tips and evidence of instances where we stop people coming in. but when you look at the border what of the most important tools that we have that make that border secure? is a drones, intelligence, eyes on the ground? just give this kind of surveillance and security of this incredibly long border. >> all of the above. that's exactly what it is. you've got 2000 miles. with almost 700 miles of things and people say we need 2000. secretary chertoff nose at people in mexico no defense, you can't put fences in mounds of things, so it is about triangulating drones. it's about human intelligence, about intelligence exchange between both governments. and also if i can go back to those early days in the department of homeland security, it's interesting that the atlantic council as this conversation into segments, one
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is the security portion and then the economic portion but they are really integrated if you think about it. we've been blessed as a country that could neighbors to the north and good neighbors to the south. we have to do whatever we can to preserve the. i remember in 2001 for the end of you before we talk about a department, president bush said we need to sit down with the leaders of those countries and develop a smart border agreement, a smart border accord where we can integrate our mutual interests and collaboration on a secure border but also make sure it doesn't impede the flow of goods and services across the border. so when it comes to security, i think it's pretty well embedded. intelligence sharing, drones, from 10,000-20,000 customs and border protection agents. security assigned to one of the unsung relationships that is proven valuable to both countries is the center program where we prescreen millions,
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prescreen individual mexican citizen coming back and forth across the border. the fast and secure trade program of people agree to certain compliance regiment found in the supply chain from the manufacturer to the warehouse to the driver to the ultimate importer, and they get through a different lane to expedite the trade. from day one the relationship has been okay, it's in our mutual interest to preserve a secure border to try to manage that risk as best we can but let's do in a way that doesn't impede this exploit our trade relationship that we have. one of the, real quick. i got a threat matrix every day, every day. five, six days a week. some days a couple pages. i can't think of a single time when the intelligence community when i was there ever suggested on any single location that we have a problem with the potential terrorist crossing from my friends in mexico. >> like is that given the length of the border? why are they coming in from
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canada or somewhere else? >> i don't want to knock candidate because they are great partners and share a lot of intelligence within. but they were communities in canada that a coming over the years from parts of the world which did, in fact, become radicalized and they did attract some people to come in, they did it was generous asylum, and some portion of those people wound up becoming potential threats to the u.s. in other words, it was a tendency for the communities themselves because of their make up in history to be potential launching pads for admittedly a small number but still nontrivial number of terrorists. mexico didn't have that. there was a but a significant community there, people from parts of the world where radicalization was taking place. and again as tom said, we had a good relationship with mexicans including sharing visibility into who is coming in from
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overseas and traveling in. we could help each other out. >> what do you think of the famous wall? if you build a 2000-foot, 50-foot wall, you can just build a 51-foot ladder? what do you think? >> i think the wall is one of the number of tools but it's like if you haven't ask you don't use an ax to hammer a nail into a wall. you use a camera. you've got to use the right tool for the right job. we built 700 miles of law in areas where the distance between the border and either a town or a highway was relatively short and the idea was to slow up people come in illegally so they could be intercepted. it doesn't make sense to build a wall in an impassable area or in everywhere, you know, the rio grande is wide. other tools are more important. surveillance, intelligence, unmanned aerial vehicles. one of the most important tools is what we get inside the country.
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many of the people who come to the country illegally, and again, most of them are not mexican. they come for other parts of the world including other parts of latin america. most of them are coming to work. if people are willing to hire those who don't have worked authority or 30 to be in the country, that's going to be a huge magnet. for dealing with the issue employment becomes important to the second thing, sadly, more and more people coming from latin america are fleeing violence in failed states, as was in certain parts of central america. same thing drives a lot of people out of security. if we don't address the problem at its source and try to help the rule of law, we gain a footing in central america, people will continue to flee because lives are at risk. >> before we talk of central america and what will make things safer i want to quickly since it's so much in the news, quickly here about what do you think of this big, giant wall that we keep hearing about? doesn't make sense?
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>> i don't want to get too political but i prefer presidents who tear down walls rather than build them. that's a political point of view. the sad thing about it is everybody has been running away from the notion that if you had a truly integrated system where men and women from mexico and central and south america come back and forth across their border prescreened, you wouldn't need more than 70 miles of fence. you wouldn't need -- another customs border protection agency. we don't have the means by people unlawfully go back and forth. i think it's a little arrogant for americans to think that every mexican are summoned from central or south america wants to come to this country, wants to commit to be an american citizen. it's not true. >> migration has been steadily dropping. >> there's also a lot of misinformation about the number of illegals in this country that are of mexican heritage. weaver estimates about half of
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them flew in unlawfully and a state. michael and i tried to build an entry-exit system. the cabinet gave us money to build the entry system but we are sitting on millions of fingerprints and photographs of people who came to but we never checked to make sure the left. i want to go back to this whole wall thing. that's almost a diversion from a really important and difficult issue, and that is how can we, with a neighbor, develop a sophisticated system, probably based on biometrics, where people can come back and forth across the border? is like taking center, put it on steroids. if we did that, you don't need the wall. the easiest thing is to do is say i'm going to put up a wall. i don't think you want to build a wall with a neighbor. >> first of all, there's a lot of legal mexican migration to the united states. family reunification, people who are petitioned for by the relatives. back in my time, it was for that
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decade going forward about 100,000 people a year gaining legal entry into the united states, getting their green cards and eventually citizenship your we mustn't forget that. there's another reason you want a wall or a protection of people come into play. it's dangerous out there. you don't want people, these terrible stories about dozens if not hundreds of people getting killed coming across one way or another illegally. we want to have some kind of orderly system between the two countries. that would include, as governor ridge said, some kind of mechanism where people can go back and forth i can also get employment. they guest worker, the visitor program is not a bad idea. the german guest worker program is not a bad idea. by not having that kind program, by abolishing it in 1965 when lbj did under pressure from the afl-cio, what happened was there was no way for mexican to come and work here and if we go back to the country because they have
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the fear of having to go through the whole process of getting back across the border illegally again. what did they do? they stayed and they eventually brought their families over. so we actually by canceling the kremlin program increased mexican migration to the united states. i am convinced of that. >> so in an era when billions cheer the idea of a wall, maybe because of not understanding the whole issue, what are some other solutions with the goal of making it more orderly? you were talking about a new guest worker program. can we just talk about some solutions if the idea is to make this, is it doable in this climate? >> a lot of things, take a look at this as this is everything both, over john and tom arrived, that in some ways we have created own problem by making it so difficult to come back and forth. and levy also say that you can't
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build a wall high enough that there's not a ladder to go over or time to go underneath. some of those tunnels are really sophisticated. so here's what you do. first to look at i think promoting economic development in mexico and other parts of latin america helps keep the jobs there. establishing rule of law and order in parts of central america stops people from fleeing for their lives. having illegitimate guest worker program that satisfies the needs of american employers but gives people the ability to come and go with proper identification and proper tracking answers to needs. the desire for people to work and desire for employers to have workers. experience shows that you create that kind program most of the people coming from overseas or another country don't want to permanently resettle. they want to work and to want to go back. these are some the things we can do if our leaders were honest, we the american people, about how to solve the problem instead
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of coming up that sounds like a nifty slogan but makes no sense at all. >> i just had one? i don't know if you agree or not but if we enforce our immigration laws domestically. we used to always treat this as just a border problem and it's not just the border problem. it's a domestic labor problem. >> in talking recently in mexi mexico, they were talking quite emphatically about how important it is to have a good relationship just overall but the u.s. president. just wanted to i do think people tend to think they have much leverage. do they? why does it matter that whoever is in the white house actually gets along with the president of mexico? >> i think in the world of geopolitics and establishing a good personal relationship, a trusted relationship, a respectful relationship to understanding that sovereign
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people have differences but in that trust relationship you try to minimize them and would focus on the things for mutual benefit. one of the challenges, i will again, although different, i think the mexican government we had a better relationship with them to do more and should do more in terms of helping us with the flow of illegals. congress said we will spend i think $2.3 billion to support the mexican government efforts to deal with the contraband, the drug runners and particularly help with the immigration for the southern border. i think a good constructive relationship, a real personal relationship between leaders -- >> does matter is that i think it matters measurably. >> hot, hot issue here that a lot of people are saying president obama is working with mexico on the southern border of mexico because a lot of the immigrants are coming through
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central america. you have a lot of human rights people that say they are fleeing kind of horrible lies. do we have the right policy? are we being -- how we hit this right, that we are supposed to be so harsh in turn them back, using mexico to turnback central america and at the border of southern mexico? >> well, i mean, i think the suggestion that we have have a holistic policy, dealing with just the migration issue isn't going to get there for you. you've got to focus also what's going to make central america better. i'm sad to say to somebody who was ambassador to honduras in 1981, 35 years ago that the situation in central america day, particularly in the northern part is far worse than it was 35 years ago. in many, many respects, particularly because of the gangs. i think we've got to open and frank i think it's an area of
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potential collaboration between us and mexico to make things right down in central america. >> i think with time for for a couple of audience -- >> and i put an exclamation point out that? the classic example of where america doesn't necessarily have to be or should be in the lead in trying to have a relationship with guatemala, honduras. their neighbor mexico began that relationship that i talked about, trusting relationship, you work with your friend and ally in mexico to help them do what they think is necessary. >> you think obama is right to be working with mexico? >> as john pointed out that has to be a collaborative enterprise but america doesn't have, we should be supportive of her friends in mexico whether it's economics, whatever it is. they deal with their neighbors. >> we have time for a couple audience questions. raised your hand and say who you are.
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[inaudible] >> could i get your opinion about mr. trump's idea to deport 11 million mexican immigrants if he gets to the widest? secondly president obama and present name in a meeting on wednesday for the leaders meeting that is anything that we can a college that hasn't been -- better relationship a north american? >> i'll take the second one first. i attended a number of those babies. i found they were very useful. again, sharing intelligence, comic economic policies, things of that sort. on the first as i've said publicly, i think it is delusional to believe you will deport 11 million people. and lester repeal the constitution and put everybody to work as an immigration specter. i think it's not sensible. in fact, again as i think john
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said, if you enforce the rule against employers who employ people illegally you will have a far greater impact that it would be a legal way to go about it than if you somehow suggest the fact that you around people up and send them back. >> i just want to add something to that. i think the notion of identifying and sending back is delusional. it's a bumper sticker solution but it will never happen. secondly, the on 11 million here, probably only half are from central and south america. so that narrows it down but if you are here and to focus on the mexican border, those who come in illegally can work, to at valley. they have. my view is you simply create i can't as part an overall immigration package. when people say we've got to do this and this first and sequencing it, i think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. i think we can stronger enforcement but also think we
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can create a separate classification to legitimize their presence. we don't have to make them citizens but he brought in one of illegals who have not broken the law or raising their families and added value and you said look, we have to get you out of the shadows to you can help us with their neighborhoods. you are doing some good now but we want you to be visible. >> do you think congress could pass that? >> you can b be a resident but u can't be a citizen. >> i think congress could pass a. i was involved when i was in office, spent a lot of time on those. i think a majority of members of congress could get on board with something along the lines of what tom said. i think if you pull consistently the american people, my experiences 60-70% support this. there are some people who are passionately and vocally against it, but the reality is that if you look at what point toward he wants and what makes sense, if you want to fix the problem doing exactly what tom says, which is having a structured way
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for people to work legitimate, out of the shadows, pay their taxes, pay there's also security is one of the best tools you have to reduce the amount of illegal flow that otherwise comes into this country. >> go ahead. >> i'm a student with american university. we are talking about the immigration issue which naturally comes up when you speaking of the mexican border but i wanted to know if there are other issues that we should be thinking about when it comes to national security? you briefly mention the mexican cartels. you also briefly highlighted economic concerns. i was just curious if there of the national security interests that we should be considering? >> it goes also for leaders meeting which is about to take place, and i think probably all three of us attend these
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meetings that took place once a year. i think the whole question of the opa epidemic in this country since mexico is a source of opium and i hope the leaders agreed to try to ratchet up the efforts against the flow of those substances. i don't know what the chances are a success but i think i would be a worthy area of some additional dedicated effort. >> i think the cartel issue an issue of transnational crime which is not limited to mexico but is a serious issue in latin america and other parts of the world, needs a lot more attention because these organizations really challenge the ability of governments to manage their own countries. they deposed a national security threat and something we have to have a collaborative interest in working to prevent. >> i meant to say heroin. >> who really wants to ask a question? go ahead.
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>> first of all i wanted to thank you. on here as a mexican citizen, as a u.s. citizen. wonders of north america. first of all i want to thank you for the theme of the conversation. i really think it goes, it really should go without saying but we do need to build a narrative that mexican and u.s., our economy are close in length. we are among the biggest trading partners. this narrative about jobs going to mexican leaving the u.s. actually is a very incomplete picture. mexicanos high-end manufactured industry is bringing a lot of high-value high-paying jobs to the u.s., and i'm more than glad to cite some examples individually. but -- >> can you ask a question speak with i want to talk about the integrated north american market to talk of it about fire arms
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smuggling into mexico. according to data from the government accountability office from 2009-2014, about, upwards of 70,000 firearms that -- >> they're going south, right? let's talk about that. thanks spent a lot of them are illegally but legally acquired. so can you speak to how -- >> that's a big issue in mexico. >> the southward movement of firearms. thank you state i thought he made a statement that i didn't hear a question spirit he sought about an issue in mexico right now spent the southward flow of arms and also bulk cash have both been big issues. steps have been taken to try to improve and we have this trace mechanism but it's very hard because it is illegal to export a weapon from the united states without a license but it's not illegal to buy one, and you get
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one and then you send it across. it's very hard to enforce that. >> right here. right behind you, sorry. >> thank you. i work at george washington university, and i really appreciated your discussion of solutions, and especially thinking about domestic policy. -- holistic policy. my question is how can we account for the strengths and limitations of each port of entry? that's to say it's one border policy toward security go towards immigration, torture trade going to work across all 2000 miles or is there a way we can think about each port of entry as playing a significant role in that project? ..
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county officials on board? thank you. >> let me start. this requires personal issues, and this keeps people from coming across without proper authorization. problems that prescreen, regular travelers to go along. and infrastructure outvoted, and warm lines, to cost them and there is real value, and more capability to track and match
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that up with respect to admit them. and traveling into parts of entry, particularly for those regions that are basically adjacent to the border. >> running out of time but i wanted to ask one final thought. a lot of infrastructure is on the border, better technology that would allow folks on the economic side, five years from now, and washington and mexico city. on the street there is a lot of rhetoric, parties in mexico and things about americans and back and forth, and if you follow the
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trump campaign, all the signs about mexican principal. how do you predict it will be different in 5 years. and focus on security relationship. and regardless who prevails in the national election i hope whoever the secretary of commerce is, whoever the secretary of state is or the department of homeland security is, and the critical security and economic relationship, it is basically ignored. and he met three or four times,
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that is an important way to do the relationship, i am not sure we spend enough time cultivating the relationship with friends in south america writ large and particularly our neighbor so whoever prevails, the second largest market for export goods, 2 million americans, exporting goods, the triangulation of interest to convince -- it is in our national security interest and national economic interest, a lot more attention to the relationship we ever had before. >> i completely agree with that and looking at central america, that is our hemisphere and as important as it is to pay attention to what is going on in the middle east and asia and europe it is important to look at the stability and economic development.
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there is a direct impact that we often feel through the issue of migration. >> how will it be different? >> it is never as bad as it sounds especially if you are hanging around the trump campaign. i am sure you hear a lot of negative stuff but it will be better five years from now. i think it is going to sink in even more to the american people that when you talk about latinos in this country you talk about the second largest ethnic group, and it will be something close to 100 million strong by 2050, how can you ignore ethnic population at large as that so it behooves us not only economically and politically and securitywise but socially to take into proper account the presence and contribution of the latino and hispanic community. >> this is the place to end.
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i know a couple panelists had to get off the airplane but i encourage those of you who are here, we have an amazing panel coming up but in the meantime i want you to watch this video please. thank you. thank you. >> the thing to say about mexico, what do you know about the us/mexico relationship? american jobs do not have them. the number one tourist destination for americans, eight of ten products consumed in the us are from mexico. they are owned by a mexican base, one to 25 companies in the us, and the main auto-parts supplier to the united states. did you know 6 million us jobs, mexico is the third-largest in the united states.
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for 28 us states. but for every dollar of mexican exports in the us. and 8% of us gdp, over $1 billion every single day. you know more mexicans are taking it in the united states. did you know in 2015, 14 million mexican tourist spent $10 billion traveling in the united states, makes you wonder does mexico deserve all this? because now you know. [applause] >> you thought the atlantic council was a big movie producer. i am director of the latin american program and i want to thank you for taking an interest in mexico.
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in latin america we latin americans whine a lot about the fact people don't pay enough attention to us and why don't we get talked about in political campaigns and we were suddenly surprised when mexico has taken such an outside role in this political campaign. mexico has become the eye of the storm. all of us who follow latin america and caribbean mexico and the region are stunned by how mexico has turned into this poster child for all the ills that are ascribed to immigration and all the ills subscribed to free trade. i am delighted to be able to moderate the panel with two people who are experts in the subject. secretary get here is, you are a
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visitor of this center. he was the former secretary of commerce, former ceo and chairman of kellogg and is now leading a lot of the work of the business world on reconciliation with cuba and the business council at the chamber of commerce and most importantly he is a voice of expertise, reason and passion on the issue of latin america so we are happy to have you here as a guest. j shamble is a member of the council of economic advisers. chairman jason furman was not able to join us today, he was called to a meeting with more important people in us so we are thankful to have you, today a professor of economics and international affairs. at the council, exercise is a role on international issues,
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the visiting scholar at the international monetary fund and the visiting professor at a number of other american european institutions so thank you very much for coming today. let me begin with you. there has been a lot of discussion in this electoral cycle about trade relations and the impact trade has on the american economy and nowhere has the discussion been more acute than with mexico. tell us, think forward a little bit. how is it going to be? >> you can watch the rest of this program on our website, we take you live to coverage of today's state department briefing with questions expected on the release of house republicans report on the 2012 attack on the us to put at a compound in benghazi. >> the partnership of nuclear disarmament, verification in
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tokyo, japan, that partnership brings together 27 countries with relevant expertise to tackle challenges associated with nuclear disarmament and verification. these remarks, president obama did speak about how the destructive force of nuclear weapons informs his desire, his administration's desire to reduce the role and number and partnership is one of them. one major step they are pursuing to make that a reality. i also want to note that tomorrow at 10:00 :00 am at the institute of peace us permanent representative to the united nations samantha powers will discuss the global refugee crisis at the carlucci auditorium. ambassador power will make the mistake -- make the case to strengthen the unprecedented crisis address concerns about additional refugees and
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underscore the strategic importance and provide humanitarian assistance enhancing fud living conditions and providing resettlement opportunities. and with president obama convening on september 20th at the united nations, some will feature a select group of countries and new commitments. >> and the report on and ghazi, now that you had a few hours to look at it can you give your initial assessment? >> first of all, not being able to necessarily debate, the allegation, a report that is hundreds of pages long, on
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numerous occasions from this podium. also it is important to note a couple things before getting into specific questions about the report. i want to underscore no one takes benghazi and the lessons we learned from it more seriously than the state department, it is important never to lose sight of the human element of the story. and we lost friends and colleagues on a terrible night, chris stevens, tyrone woods, did represent the very best and their loss is a tragedy that remains with us. our thoughts remain with family and friends, those who knew them or worked with them, we work hard every day since this
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terrible event to learn lessons from and ghazi and to internalize those lessons and by that i mean notably addressing security concerns. speaking specifically to your question about the report, we believe that the essential facts surrounding the 2012 attacks in benghazi have been known for some time. there have been numerous reviews including as you well know the accountability review board report that was released more than three years ago. there have been 7 congressional committees including the select committee on intelligence and the senate select committee on intelligence. and so all of these, we believe
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have reached many of the same conclusions about the events surrounding the tragedy of benghazi. we have been working hard to incorporate the recommendations surrounding concerns about security that the accountability review board put in its report. we have closed out 26 out of 29 recommendations they made, we are 90% there. >> 98%, that is about 90 -- >> 90%. >> never claimed to be a mathematician. these implementation efforts to be specific include expanding the role, expanding the number of diplomatic security personnel overseas, enhancing interagency coordination, threat information, expanding marine
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security, guard program and accelerating projects to build and upgrade security. >> some of the members of the committee, republican members pointed specifically, including the congressman who said she was morally reprehensible. do you agree with that position? >> we are not going to get into assessing, characterizing the actions of secretary clinton beyond saying she, as with all senior members of the state department on that fateful night, were fully focused on assessing the situation on the ground in benghazi and working within the interagency with support during that time period.
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>> did you see anything in the report the points to specific wrongdoing that either you contest or weren't aware of? >> it is a good question. i spoke a little bit about this. we don't see anything new. accountability has always been an issue. accountability has been important. the review board, accountability review board in its findings did assign the level of accountability, there were bureaucratic failings within the diplomatic security. we are aware of the findings. we have worked to address them in a variety of ways there is nothing new in this report that
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points fingers to any entities in the state department. >> the investigation is wrapped up assuming there is not another one, do you feel when you look back at everything the state department aired in this outpost in the first place? >> no. i saw the press conference at 10:00, heard the allegations put forth by members of congress, and all i can say is benghazi was important, we know what libya looked like, and during the civil war, no one knew that more than chris stevens, the
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importance of benghazi more than chris stevens did. not the only new assessment that benghazi was important, that we had representation there. it speaks to the risk, what diplomats do every day, representation in any given place and diplomats go there and be forward leaning. we do our best to protect them, do a better job at protecting individuals, we stand by the fact that we needed our people to be in benghazi. >> you support -- you would accept more responsibility on the bureaucratic decisionmaking and security posture elements? >> we have acknowledged that in
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the past, a couple points, one is we did have and took seriously the request for security that the embassy made and tried to provide and respond as quickly as we could requests for increased security on the ground. with a few exceptions, that have to do -- deal with the profile, and the security concerns. and the qualifier there, they found and others have spoken on the arb that the attack on benghazi was uniquely intense and we did not have enough assets on the ground to rebuff that and it would have been
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difficult to have the assets on the ground to rebuff that. that said, of course we are going to take lessons from benghazi and have been working our hardest to address them. >> there seems to be a recurring theme in some of the comments that the state department put diplomatic niceties over the actual security needs that this concern about not offending the libyans, not having boots on the ground, that would put them in a tough spot, superseded the actual security needs that would have better protected the benghazi mission and tripoli as well. do you accept that you were hamstrung from actually providing adequate security? >> a couple aspects of this. first of all, broadly speaking,
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taking a broader narrowing it down, of course we are always assessing, it goes into the kind of profile, speaks to the profile you want on the ground, whether that is an enhancement or detriment to security on the ground, boots and uniforms can be a detriment to that security. you can talk to folks more expert in this than i am but low-profile and sometimes high profile is always a consideration, not just unique to libya but around the world when trying to assess the security needs on the ground. that doesn't mean you hold back or dither or don't fully respond to security needs, but that is an ongoing conversation when you are looking at the kind of profile on the ground. specifically what i heard this morning and i want to review vociferously and vigorously, is that somehow there was a
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military group or detachment of personnel who were somehow kept from joining the fight in benghazi because they weren't sure they had to change their uniforms or take their uniforms on and off again. i can say unequivocally that is not true, i refute that. and with that consideration, what did that consideration cause any delay in the deployment of military assets. we prefer dot to speak to their actions that night. it is up to them to do that but i want to clear that up. >> did the decisionmakers underestimate the terrorist threat in benghazi at the time? >> very good question. i think as we have seen, i think
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the short answer is we did not and we have acknowledged this, we had assets on the ground to qualify an attack like that and others have spoken to this before me, some committees have lifted this question before and we did not have full warning of an attack of this ferocity, of this intensity. as many saw in the aftermath there was a lot of analysis that went into who is behind the attack. was it connected with other than what is going on in the middle east at the time, talked about in the report, talked about in previous reports but the fact of the matter is did not have any forewarning of an attack of that intensity on that night otherwise clearly it would have
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been taken more serious precautions. >> in addition to what we already had which was security on the ground, just not enough. any recommendation? >> that is correct. >> what is the recommendation that you were unable to meet? >> sure. thank you for asking. brad corrected me. 26 out of 29 is not 99% but -- ongoing recommendations we haven't implanted fully yet because they concern long-term security upgrades and construction and obviously that takes a while but we are obviously getting -- dedicating resources and personnel necessary to those upgrades and that is worldwide. >> you feel the recommendation
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of anyone who has raised this issue will be satisfied? >> don't think we will ever be satisfied. when you were talking about security, also -- >> will they be satisfied if you meet the obligations? >> i don't know. all i can say is what our majo concern is providing the best protection of caring for diplomats and personnel overseas, we took the arb recommendation seriously. we are in the process of implementing all of them. as i said we will continue, obviously, given the changing nature of security around the world, constantly reassess our posture, and take additional steps because you always have to be changing and adapting to whatever the new threat we are
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facing is. my point is i don't know, those out there who are criticizing our security posture will never be satisfied. i don't think we can be satisfied with the status quo. our responsibility is to our personnel. >> the attack in benghazi prevented you from taking further action, becoming more involved? >> i don't think so. it is a fair question. certainly in the aftermath of the attack, we had to take security measures to protect personnel who were still on the ground in tripoli as well as those who were evacuated from benghazi and that meant frankly pulling out for a time. for a time.
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i am sorry. i would say we are hopeful we will once again be back in libya but i think more broadly, the president himself has spoken to the fact that in the aftermath of the civil war and qaddafi's death and departure from power, we the united states and probably our allies and partners didn't do enough to provide stability to provide assistance to those elements that could have played a more moderating role in the political landscape. because of that, libya has remained in kind of a very unstable state. and we have taken steps,
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certainly john kerry is at the forefront of these efforts to work with the new government, to work with moderate forces on the ground, to ensure that they have got the resources they need to bring broader security, stability to the country, deal with what we acknowledge is an isil threat in a country and establish a foothold because of the and stability there. we are trying to address those issues. >> your comments on the changing of uniforms, can you clarify what you're referring. are you refuting the time factor for the changes were made? >> i am reluctant to wade too deeply but i did it but there was an allegation made today, a vignette if you will, of these
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forces somehow being kept on hold and not being able to deploy because of uniforms, whether they could wear them or not. i am not saying the issue of whether broadly speaking our security forces in libya should wear uniforms or not. that is always a security posture question we ask not just in libya but all over the world, the direct allegation that there was some kind of delay in responding because of this, is not right. it is not >> back to what you were saying about the kind of chaos in libya, the benghazi attack itself was kind of the first -- although there was growing instability but the first major evidence of the slide into chaos and things continued to get
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worse since then. it does seem the initial decision to go into libya for instance gave way to all this instability. >> we had a dictatorship, some 40-year-old dictatorship that was appended or uprooted when qaddafi was killed and absolutely there was a period of chaos and instability because of that. we talked a lot about that at the time. i do think that instability, ongoing conflict on the ground did create an atmosphere where something like benghazi happened. because we didn't have our
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people, personnel on the ground out of security concerns and that is always fundamentally at the root of any policy, foreign policy, can we protect our people on the ground so we had to withdraw. i don't necessarily want to draw a direct connection, it is always desirable to have diplomats on the ground engaged with the government or those trying to form a government in libya's case but i don't want to make the connection that because of benghazi, libya floundered. >> you have this new government and this hope that government forces, that their act together, what would you say about the state of libya today? >> in response to your question, previous question i would hope, i think the secretary believes we are turning a corner.
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you have this national accord government established in tripoli which took some doing to get it there and established, a prime minister who is taking steps to stabilize the country, trying to form a presidential guard, security forces. and stabilize the political space so they can provide basic service and infrastructure, and >> i understand. there is hope and possibility, in terms of libya right now -- it will be a long process, and
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he held two ministerial level meetings. on libya focused on, the international community to support the government as it established itself or establish these basic services, >> is a failed state. >> i don't want to attach that moniker to it. i would say that is a failing state. we made efforts. europe, italy played a valuable role and others in the region, turned the corner to get government in place that can
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provide some level of stability and infrastructure and support of the people. >> very quickly, intense question. how can you say there was no delay to change uniforms four times. >> i don't want to speak to what is department of defense equities. be delayed over -- and changing their forms. individuals being deployed to benghazi and specific timeline. and where was delayed that is the department of defense
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question. >> the amount of time being given, they spent hours at the airport negotiating what to do in the first place and that would not have made a difference. >> i don't want to get into what is essentially -- drying clear interagency lines, and i don't want to speak for the department of defense whether it was equities. i want to say it was not even failed allegation that somehow they were kept on hold because of the uniform issue. >> there wasn't an evacuation plan for americans that remain on the compound to get to the airport. it goes on to say it was a former qaddafi military
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officials that rescued americans at the airport. do you have anything to speak to? is that an accurate reflection? >> sure. let me unpack that a different way. so aware of the allegations of the qaddafi militia. so people understand there was an arrangement between folks in benghazi, the annex in benghazi and the february 17th militia, basically compound protection and quick reaction support, and and it was quick reaction.
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and the scope, breadth and intensity of the tech overwhelmed what forces were on the ground, i have spoken to that many times in the past. at the end of their attack, this is hours later in the dawn, there was a different militia and one that was referenced in the report being affiliated with qaddafi, did provide escort to remaining personnel to be escorted into airports to be evacuated. that element, during the actual attack it was the february 17th militia that did provide a quick reaction. part of the evacuation plans was contingency plans, for any post anywhere in the world for evacuations.
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as many of you have known being in hotspots overseas in the heat of the moment, and incidental crisis or battle or whatever and contingency plans had to be reevaluated and it was done and reassessed. >> what speaks to the irony that you had qaddafi military officials, 35 americans get to the airport. >> my understanding, the only role these individuals played was to escort the remaining personnel after the attack to get them on the plane, i can't speak to whether it was qaddafi supporters are ex-qaddafi people are not. and i would have to look into it. >> in response to the state
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department, foreign officer hicks spoke to this in 2013, oversight committee hearing, it seemed the details in the report, secretary clinton was going to arrive in benghazi. and is that something that was occurring, and it was a desire to create a visit that led to stevens being down there at the time. >> it was a fair question. first of all the fact that it was a trip to libya is not new information as you know. it was raised previously by greg hicks, deputy chief admission to tripoli at the time in his testimony at the house oversight
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and government reform committee. the question of whether it speaks to brad's question, whether benghazi was seeing some desired outcome by senior administration officials. the state department, the administration and chris stevens felt it was in our foreign policy interest and international security interests to have a presence in benghazi and that was driving our invasion. >> in october of that year -- >> don't know the exact date but it was discussed before, planning on traveling to libya. >> i have one more, the benghazi
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report, you said we believe the essential facts on the attack have been known for some time. can you say what the essential facts are on the role the video played in the attack. >> the role the video played? >> this still seems -- i don't know what your position is. >> it still seems like -- it is being kind of still presented -- let me judge your question about this rather than me trying to characterize how it will be presented. i think nothing has changed in the fact that we have acknowledged before that our initial assessment took into consideration what was happening elsewhere in the region and elsewhere in the region we had
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embassies including cairo, based on this video that appeared on youtube, blaspheme against the prophet mohammed. looking at the region, of course that was taken into consideration. with respect to benghazi, that was part of the initial assessment. after several days or a week or so we quickly changed that analysis to better represent the facts as we knew them which is it was a coordinated attack on
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our facilities on armed force of extremists. i go back to the fact it is not just unique to benghazi but in any situation like this it is hard to get all of the facts right away and to present them to the american people. at the time we did the best we could, to convey the facts as we knew them at the time. >> you no longer believe the video played any role in motivating these extremists -- >> i don't think we have ever been able to say the video played no role. what we have been able to say is this wasn't a demonstration gone awry. this it was a coordinated attack. >> you have no evidence to back up -- you no longer have evidence to back up that initial
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assessment that video was responsible? >> the context, not just unique to benghazi or libya, that cartoonists, serious demonstrations outside the embassy but within that context the video did play a role at most demonstrations but with respect to them -- benghazi, i don't believe we can roll out that it played some motivating role, this was not -- this was a serious coordinated attack. >> so you don't believe the video was the motivating factor? i am talking about the video. >> yes. we said that before. i can't say it played no role
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but -- don't want to say categorically. >> is at -- this was not some demonstration motivated by this video that spun up into an attack on our facilities, a coordinated attack. we can -- >> the europeans -- >> the briefing continues on our website, reconvening from party lunches working on the zika virus, military construction and veterans funding bill. this is live coverage on c-span2.


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