tv Senator Rubio and Ambassador Haley Discuss Trump Administration Foreign... CSPAN July 7, 2017 12:25pm-1:02pm EDT
[ applause ] thank you, all. thank you for being here. let me just first say that backstage when i greeted the ambassador, i want her to confirm i successfully executed a hug. is that correct? >> he's a good hugger. >> i was all over twitter for 12 hours. pretty cool. we appreciate you being part of this. you have such an important assignment. i think as the turnout here
shows, there's a tremendous amount of interest in national security and u.s.' role in the world. i kind of wanted to begin asking you in general, what's it been like to go from a chief executive of a state, which admittedly in the confirmation hearings, you told everybody that you had not had extensive foreign policy experience. my argument in your favor always was she's very good when she focuses in on an issue and the ability to lead a state, and those leadership qualities transfer. and certainly in the months leading up to that, you just really dove into the details of foreign policy. i think it's been demonstrated in the first few months you've been there already. what is it like to be the u.n. ambassador? >> i didn't really have any thoughts about what the u.n. would be like. i went in very open minded and i went in knowing i had made a promise to the people and those who approved me i needed to show value in the un and how the u.n.
would be helpful and how we could change the u.n. the nice thing is, when we got there, you know, we have a lot to say and i'm loud, i'm good at that. so we made a point to just really tell what the u.s. was for, what the u.s. was against and take away any gray areas. then we talked about reform. i think in the minds of everybody there, they just thought the u.s. was going to lead the u.n. and they were going to cut all the funding and all this was going to go away. what i tried to do is change the conversation to say, look, our intent is not to leave, but help me show value in this place. help me show that this place matters. and help me do it through reforms and help me do it through cutting the fat. and making it more effective. amazingly we have so much support. we're moving through budget negotiations now. they're working with us on the budget negotiations. they see we are well intentioned. we are not trying to cut for the sake of cutting.
there's now a group of people that want to see that happen. so that's good. the surprise of the u.n., pleasant surprise is, other countries really do send their best and brightest to the u.n. and the people that they send have the ear of their president. and that person has the ability to negotiate very well. so you've seen me push foreign policy because i see an avenue there. that you could totally maybe the u.n. work for you if you work, you know, negotiate, have conversations, push the narrative. >> and i don't think this is a mystery, right, going in after the election, the president's views on foreign policy and his views on the value of multinational institutions was an open question. do you think that sort of uncertainty going in gave us an advantage because people -- in essence, did going in, the notion that people weren't clear yet or the u.s. was going to head, did that create a space for you to kind of go in and make that argument? >> it totally gave us leverage. what they knew is they couldn't
take the u.s. for granted anymore. what they knew is we were watching and we were changing things. in some ways, they were focused on budget. if you talk about syria and the chemical weapons usage by assad, the idea that we said you can't do this and the president followed it with strikes really showed them we are moving things. the comments i got from ambassadors said it's so good to see the u.s. lead again. >> if someone is believing the u.n. is not an effective mechanism or asked the question why should we be contributing money to this forum, when many times it can basically block action. or in the case of the security council, the major issues of the world cannot be addressed because of one or two members who use their veto power authority. how would you explain to people what the value is of the u.n.
and -- or what an effective u.n. looks like in the 21st century and what can we do to move it in that direction? >> i don't think we need to spend all of that money. there is definitely fat around it. from that standpoint we can cut but you have peace keeping missions that are intended to protect people on the ground. what they have done is in confli conflict, whenever there's a challenge, they just throw more troops at it. the problem is that is if the troops aren't trained and they don't have the equipment how are they going to do their job? being able to mike make is smarter, that's great stability. >> i know you've been involved in the peacekeeping efforts. just fill in the details of the work to try to reform that process. >> i think the main thing with the peacekeeping that we said was first of all let's go back and look. what's the political solution of the area? we have to look at the politics in the area. then we have to look at what was the original intent.
and then from there, go and say, is it effective? that's how we have maneuvered. a lot of cases we have been able to cut a lot of problem areas. the one thing we have also done is we are holding the troops accountable now. if the terrorists were coming in they were running the other way. they weren't protecting the people on the ground. like you just saw in congo you have all of these rapes of children happening by the troops. one of the things we said you have to hold those troop contributing countries accountable. and we made -- we just basically said you can't have this happen, and those congolese troops bring gone. we moved them out. >> is there one peacekeeping mission that you can say that's where it's working? >> i can honestly say they are all going to start to work.
the ones that are difficult, south sudan, congo, those are the ones that you almost wonder how are we going fix this. >> one of the areas i know there has been a lot of conversation is human rights council. it's received a tremendous amount of criticism. because of its excessive focus on the signalling out of israel. so when you have countries like cuba and venezuela, saudi arabia and other habitual violators of human rights, how does that -- i guess the first question would be, i mean, how does that impact the credibility or the legitimacy of a human rights council whose very members are serial violators of human rights of their own people? >> the united states has always cared about human rights. and we don't see human rights as a fluff issue. we see human rights that it generally is related to peace and security. and if you go back in history and time, you see that the worst conflicts all came from
governments not taking care of their people. and so human rights has to be very important. the reason why i didn't just make a statement from new york is i really wanted to hit that home. so i went to geneva and talked to members of the human rights council and basically said, look, the united states doesn't want to leave the human rights council but you have got to give us a reason to stay. because with venezuela and that situation so much worse than what you see on tv. i tried to call an emergency security council hearing on venezuela. my colleagues were not happy i was doing that and didn't think we needed to do that because they said it wasn't a peace and security issue. we had the hearing anyway. they said, they all said this should be happening in the human rights council. well, why hasn't it been heard in the human rights council? because venezuela sits on the human rights council. along with cuba. along with saudi arabia. along with china. what happened is it's now a place where actors go to make sure they are not pointed at. it's a place they have no problem pointing at others or
abusing others like israel. so what we left with them is either something's got to change. we can do it here or we will go fight for someone else. >> do you see there's a willingness to reform it in a way that would allow the u.s. to continue to be a part of it? >> they took it seriously. one of the items i brought up was agenda item seven. basically for any sort of human rights violation, for any country in the world you go through agenda item four. it allows you to say there's a problem. agenda item seven is solely for acts condemning israel. why would you do that when you have syria and north korea and all of these other places and you're going to have one jnd e agenda item for israel. >> the u.n. has a specific agenda item -- israel's always
on the agenda? >> it is just an israel bashing item. it's been there forever and because it's there they are constantly trying to use it. whereas i want the attention to be on north korea and syria. and if israel does something, just do it through a gen item four. >> and i want to get back to the situation in the u.n. you said something i want to explore. that is, human rights as it relates to national security and our national interest. oftentimes you see human rights portrayed as a nice thing to do as sort of an emotional thing to do. but you have made it a priority to kind of link human rights and national security as interrelated and maybe you can kind of get into that a little more deeply. >> i think let's look at conflicts in the past. if you go and let's look at syria. that's a major conflict. we're all concerned about and it's not getting any better. how did it start? you had a group of 13-year-old to 15-year-old boys that were having fun that happened to spray something against their government which wasn't that bad
on a wall. officers go pick up those boys. they brutalize them. they pull their nails out. they return them bloody and bruised to their parents. what would parents do? they got upset and went out to the street and other parents joined them. through those situations we will now dealing with conflict. go what to tunisia. you have a guy who has a fruit stand and the officers continue to steal from him, abuse him, demoralize him, all of these things that he gets to the point he just can't take it anymore. he sets himself on fire in front of a police station. and set off the arab spring. so you have to always look at how a government treats their people. it's the reason we have to pay attention to venezuela right now. we have to look at the protests in russia right now. because these things matter. human rights is not a feel good issue.
it truly is the root cause of conflict. and so they had not talked about that in the security council during my presidency in april, i made it a key issue. that human rights needed to be talked about. a lot of those countries don't agree with what we think. but they can't disprove with what we say. and so we need to continue to be loud about i. the u.s. has always pushed humid rights. and we don't claim to be saints. but we're always trying to get better. i think it's our job to point out the values of what we think every country should do. it really does go to security instability. >> let me pivot back to something you already discussed and that is the treatment of israel at the united nations. describe for us when you got there was there a sense this was an issue? is anyone else joining you and raising it as an issue? what are the prospects of sort of creating some level of parity in here, some level of fairness, in terms of the disproportionate
amount of focus on israel in comparison to some of the other places in the world like you discussed, syria and the like. what's the plan and what have you done and what do you think the prospects are moving forward? >> i didn't know that much about what the history was there. i had heard a little bit about it but wasn't that involved until i saw it. all i have done is tell the truth on what i have seen and to go and be in that hearing on the middle east and to hear every single country not talk about the threats in the middle east but all they did was bash israel. it was abusive. they did it in a way that you can tell it was a habit and they have done it every month for the last ten years. think about the time you think about working on other issues. i called him out on it.
we are dealing with issues in north korea and all of the issues in africa and this is what you want to talk about? i did say things needed to change. again, it does show how the things are changing. because in the next -- when we had our middle east hearing when i was president, i really focused on all the threats in the middle east and where we were going. we probably had half go that way and the other half continue to do the israel bashing. this past month bolivia had the presidency. and they had -- as two of their speaker, they had two arab leaders that were coming in, which is fine. but i said, well, you have to have someone else to balance it out. they agreed to that. what we saw was everyone except for about one or two didn't bash israel. i said to them, i don't want you to pick a side. it's not about being for israel or being for the palestinians. i want you to talk about what this means and where we go from
here. do you know almost all of them talked about supporting the peace process and encouraging both sides to come together on the peace process? it was a habit. they didn't know they were doing it. and so a lot of that is just changing the culture at the u.n. to be more effective and just think about what they were doing. israel was kind of like the kid in the schoolyard that gets bullied all of the time. the people that want to feel good about themselves go and bully. that's what they were doing to israel. >> so is your sense what happened that month, that meeting, is a sustainable thing? do you think there's hope that is something that can be sustained? because what it sounds like you're describing is sort of memory, muscle memory had built up over ten years. it was just you kind of went -- this is what you did. this is what they've always done. your challenge forced them to go back and kind of re-evaluate how they behave by the way they conduct these meetings.
>> i'm not asking them to change their minds. i'm just saying be balanced about this. and be fair about this. in april when i had the presidency, i didn't think it would last past my month of trying to get them to move. the idea that this month, in the breakfast where we're deciding the agenda, and i said, okay, are we going to have another israel bashing sectio ining ses. the idea the other members said why don't we make a push to support the peace process, was great. i couldn't believe it moved that fast. now it's -- whether it's sustainable, we'll have to see. i don't think it will stop the abusiveness there but i think they are conscience of it now. >> i don't want to run out of time. a loot lot of people aren't aware but as ambassador, you attained a cabinet level standing which makes you a member of the national security council. beyond meetings where we see you on with that earphone when other people are talking and engaged in these debates, what other
aspects of this job that maybe people are not familiar with are part of your mission? >> i'm usually here in d.c. once a week or every ten days. we do have white house meetings and we do have nsc meetings and those are the meetings where we decide policy. i'm a policy girl. to take this job i needed -- i wanted it to be a cabinet position and wanted it to be national security council and it helps me do my job better. because when i know where the issues are, when you negotiate at the u.n., if you know the direction that the country's going before others know it, you can steer the conversation. and so what i can tell you is on the nsc, you've got an administration that's active, that's strong. but the world is schizophrenic right now. and so there's hot spots everywhere. and so we're just constantly meeting on different areas to decide where do we go from here. but it's a great dynamic. i will tell you it helps you do your job when you interact with other countries to know exactly what the decisionmaking process is. >> and you just came back from a trip. one of the places you visited was a refugee camp. i know you shared it with us
yesterday in the foreign relations committee. what did you see there? is there anything that gives you hope for the future? and does anything there give you cause for deep concern in the long term? >> so i did multiple -- i always go the refugee camps and see refugees outside of the camp. i did it in jordan and turkey. i was interested in the syrian migration and what was happening with the syrian refugees. i did it in israel and gaza to see what was going on with the palestinians and then in the camp. what i can tell you that is amazing is that first of all, the syrian people have amazing resilience about them. they are hopeful. they are able to smile. they have seen a lot and they have been through a lot. through all of this they remain hopeful. hope of. they still truly believe they are going home. i hope and pray that does happen. what i saw in jordan and turkey was the fact that both of these countries are doing amazing jobs. at taking care of syrians.
you look at jordan. they have taken in a million people but they are supplying them health care. education. and a stooipen. per person. so they all have this debit card. and we know how those things can be abused. but at the u.n., they use this debit card at banks, at the grocery stores, whatever, and it is eye scan. there is absolutely zero percent fraud. think about that. we should be doing that. not only that, it's a registry, so we know who they are, where they're from, who their families are. so i'm working right now to make sure that we partner with the u.n. to have that information. because that information is valuable for all of us. so you look at jordan doing that. then you go to turkey. turkey has taken in 3 million refugees in the last three years. so you look at the fact that they are doing the same thing. health care, education, making sure they have funding.
the syrians aren't looking for a handout. they're starting their own businesses. they're learning a skill. all of these things. but turkey, what was special there, the turkish doctors in three months trained the syrian doctors to take care of the syrian people. you're using the talent, syrian people are more comfortable with syrian doctors. it's taking a strain off of turkey. so both of these countries have changed over time. my focus was how is the u.s. going to deal with the syrian conflict because we can't deal with it like we did in year one in year seven, we need to be in forward thinking. what i came away from was a couple of things. jordan and turkey are now depressed. they've had to go to double pressing of schools. turkish children go in the morning and syrian children go in the afternoon. they're feeling the pressure and we're starting to see it turn where they could get resentful. the roads are crowded. because syrians are so well skilled, they're competing for their jobs. as you look at that, syrians are
very grateful. jordanians and turkish want to be helpful, but they're wondering where do we go from here. it is your our job to support those host countries, not with a check but to see how we can handle them. they're both different. they can't be treated the same. but out of all the refugees i spoke to, in and out of the camps, not one of them said they wanted to come to the united states. what they said was, we want to go home, we don't care if we have to build it ourselves. we want to go home. and their family members are here. and they literally look at the mountain where syria is on the other side, and there's such a hope and an amazing motivation for them to go home. so what what i'm doing is working with the secretary general at the u.n., to shift how our funds are working with the syrian crisis, so we can help to support the education efforts, because that's where they're feeling the squeeze, and the psychological support.
that's the ask that the refugees made, that they need more psychosocial support, for the kids, for the trauma. we saw women going through it, we saw children going through it. so we're getting to the heart of how do we best help the syrian people. and i think that we're finding that out. >> can someone give me an indication of how much time we have? because you have a great panel coming up. who's in charge here? >> oh, there she goes. >> five minutes, good. >> five minutes. by two? >> ten minutes. >> five minutes by two? >> ten minutes. first of all, we talked a little bit yesterday. but i think it hasn't gotten a lot of attention lately. but the situation in enl none that we've discussed briefly has not gotten a lot of attention. you have a prime minister whose father was killed by hezbollah years ago, but then you've got a president who was part of the coalition, who is a christian, but who is a part of a coalition created a synergy with hezbollah
and then you've got obviously hezbollah in syria. and also hezbollah in southern lebanon. which has been able to develop its own indigenous capability of weaponry, no longer requiring e resupply and the like. and we haven't read a lot about it. but you're starting to get concerned. and we have seen a lot of people speak out about the inevitability of another syrian conflict of some sort and the danger that that could expand to broader lebanon because of some statements that have been made by the lebanese president. so just kind of talk to us a little bit about that situation and whether you think we have now reached a point where the international community wants to start speaking out a little bit more and how you view that as a flash point. >> so when i went to israel, i went to all the borders, looking at the u.n. missions, but also looking at the borders of possible conflict. and israel is surrounded by threats. and then, you know, we obviously went to gaza and looked at the
threat of hamas as well. the takeaway that i had was the most concerning, obviously gaza, but lebanon, and it's because when we were on the border, you could see hezbollah and how they were stationing areas. you could see they were looking back, but now they started to build rockets and missiles. and they are preparing themselves and the government of lebanon is looking the other way or either feeling pressure to stay quiet. because that's not happening. now i'm moving to look at the u.n. mission there, because the u.n. troops there are not looking at hezbollah or bringing any attention to that. they need to talk about if they see missiles or they see tunnels or something like that happening. so i'm going to look at the u.n. route. but israel has their back up, they see the movement. they see the progress hezbollah is making and they're getting ready. and it's something we should be very concerned about, and we
should watch it because to have conflict break out between lebanon and israel, i mean, the destabilization that would do would be horrible. so i hope, what i'm trying to do is just get this on everybody's radar to say, don't think this is just another threat to israel, this is bigger than that and we have got to pay attention to that and we have got to figure out how we're going to deal with the government and how we're going to deal with hezbollah. >> we saw for many years particularly after the iraq and afghanistan wars, that the u.s. is always telling people what to do, that we're overly engaged and complaints about us. but as you walked in there, was your sense that they were looking for america's assertiveness, even if the u.n. criticized them for it. or is it that we want america to do less and we're tired of taking orders from you? what was your sense of the world's appetite, particularly
our allies regarding u.s. engagement. >> having come from politics it was clear to me, it was very clear to me, they all didn't want to look like they were our best friend, but behind closed doors they wanted us to know that they were supporting everything we were doing. and so we need to figure out what are the true relationships and it has gone from, what's happened in five months is it went from what's the u.s. going to do? what are they thinking, how are they acting? to now, they still don't know what the u.s. is going to do, but that's a good thing, but taking us very seriously. and one of the best things that this administration did was when the president made that decision on the chemical weapons, usage of assad, and acted, it stunned everyone and the amount of support we got for being a leader on that and the number of people that said it's so good to
see the u.s. leading again, now they're starting to be where they're not afraid to be in a picture with us or say that they're our partners, so there's a very healthy transition taking place but it's volatile. >> so you mean to say there are countries out there encouraging us behind closed doors saying we support you but in public -- >> soccer. shocker. >> i always try to remind people that, most people only get to see my fellow senators when they see them in an interview or on the floor giving a speech, and a lot of times they like what they're seeing in a speech and that's all they know about it. what is that dynamic like with ambassadors, even countries we don't have the best relationships with, they're real people too. is there a similar dynamic at play or are they depending on the country a lot more guarded about what the they're able to say and do?
>> i think that's my job, to create the relationship and create the dynamic that we want the u.s. to have. and what i'm attempting too do is to show strength, but let d is to show strength, but let them know we want a relationship, but we're not going to be pushed over, we're not going to be taken for granted. we're here, we're going to call you out if we see something wrong, we're going to praise you if you do something right. but be honest to us, we'll be honest back to you. but i think because these ambassadors are so closely tied to their presents, they're constantly trying to get information to figure out how they're going to move. it's an interesting dynamic, in terms of some of them. bolivia when i first got in was bashing us terribly and i met with them and said why do you hate america? and it just kind of stunned them. but when we were talking, we agreed that there were disagreements but don't go and
do that. and he stopped. it doesn't mean he doesn't part with us or say what his disagreements are, but the part we have to stop, the rhetoric we have to stop because it's not healthy, it doesn't allow any good to happen if we allow that rhetoric. and so that's the culture change again that we're trying to change. >> just five minutes, that's plenty of time for this question. tell me, obviously you came from the political realm, you were a governor, before that a state legislature, we know what our schedule looks like, you've got votes, you've got issues that come out. what does the typical schedule of the u.n. look like for you and your staff on a regular basis, there are regular meetings of the security council, regular meetings of the general assembly. what is that like from week to week? understanding there's no typical day, but what does a typical week, if there is one, look for you? >> we're trying to bring order
into chaos, because a lot of things are fast moving. these are such important situations. so basically the security council is all yearlong. it's typically four days a week. 15 members meet, five of the permanent members, u.k., france, russia, china and us. then you've got the five -- ten elected members that rotate every two weeks. >> wait. four times a week. is that always you? we pick and choose when i should participate, when she should participate but we're always negotiating what is going on at the time. the negotiations are going on all year, and right now we are negotiating the budget. those committee meetings happen separately, a ought like you have and those continue on, and then you have to build relationships and i have to meet 193 ambassadors and you are
trying to go and meeting them and they know you are there and you are not ignoring them and they know they are important all while trying to do the d.c. work, which i really do love the policy, so the idea that we can go in and decide how to move as a country in terms of changing the dynamics is important, so the d.c. new york thing is busy but i can do video conference when i can't get here, so it still works. to say we're all over the place is a good thing. we have got our hands in all of the pots that matter, and now i have just got to make sure that our voice is strong and that we are being heard and that people know what we're for. >> would you say for the vast a majority of countries for the u.n. their diplomatic relations is the most important out post? >> only senior people get these positions and this is considered the most trusted and senior person to send to new york, and the u.n. is such a big deal for all of them and they didn't
understand the urn backlash, and now it's not that they don't see the u.n. as important, but you can't just take our money and not let us have a voice. so i think there's a new respect for where we are, and i also think that we have to respect all of these people who are there and the fact that that is the person that has the president's ear. >> you have been back to south carolina? >> i have -- i took -- we took the kids to spring break for a week. >> i guess one of the things i have always been curious about is what skills or talents or abilities or experiences as governor have equipped you for this job? anything that surprised you that you said, you know, i did a lot something like this when i was the governor, i imagine legislature sometimes is as difficult to deal with as your fellow diplomats from time to
time at the u.n., so what was it as being governor surprised you that is similar to what you are doing in your new job? >> i did not have a lot of foreign policy experience prior. when you are a governor you run a state and it's more executive and it's balancing the agencies and making sure they are efficient and effective and dealing with the politics of what happens. going to foreign policy, it's like i am studying for a final exam every day and it's a constant learning curb, but what is -- there's a lot of things that actually work. one is trusting your gut and moving with your instincts is very important, and the negotiation tactics, you put right up there, decision making and the idea of moving fast has to happen if we are going to have a strong presence in the world, and just the ability to deal with people who aren't telling you the truth and
calling them out on it is incredibly important and powerful in a time like this. a lot more skills than i thought going into it, but the knowledge part, obviously, that's the part -- >> you know we have a mutual friend in frank martin and he 8 coach, and has he -- >> he knows i am a clemson girl. >> oh, all right. >> we are proud of frank. i do miss the people of south carolina. a lot of people comment on the fact that i have my necklace and that really is because you never forget where you come from, and it's important, i was, you know, a young indian girl growing up in a town of 2,500 people where they did not who or what we were, and you see the state that has blossomed and overcome so many issues, and building everything, and it's something i
will always be proud of and i will always have one eye on south carolina, but the people of south carolina taught me so much, and i am just trying to make them proud by what i do at the u.n. and use that gift. >> i told you this before and i am sure you sensed it yesterday, but we live in a time of tremendous political conflict between the parties, and one thing and i think you sensed it yesterday, a lot of the colleagues in the foreign relations yesterday have been very complimentary of your work and one particular senator said when he voted for you it was a leap of faith and you have done well on the other side ft aisle. i am a huge fan and appreciative of our friendship, but i speak for a lot of people we are proud of the way you used the platform to not only look at our values -- you are making an
important point. we feel like you are not just representing our country but representing our values, and we thank you for being part of this. i encourage you guys to stick around and we have a great panel coming up with former congressman, buck mccann. let's thank the ambassador. >> thank you very much. live now to the center for strategic & international studies with a discussion on michael fallon in compating global security threats. he is going to talk about how we