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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 22, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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is it automatically in the public domain because i choose to use a mobile app? they go into the cloud and all that, or cannot use it and still have a reasonable expectation of personal privacy? if you take the latter view that changes the way you regulate and the way you legislate. if you take the position that i am participating in the app and for going individual right to privacy, that >> tonight at eight eastern on the communicators on c-span2. >> congress is in session before the independence day.
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phil continued debating trade promotion authority and also vote on two nominations, the house is out today. we talked to a capitol hill reporter about how things are shaping up. >> he covers congress for that publication, thank you for joining us, good morning. caller: can we talk about the various paths it has taken over the course of the last few weeks, what is expected on the senate side? guest: we are expecting the senate will take action on the trade promotion authority legislation that was passed in the house last week. senator mcconnell filed closure on the bill meeting the senate well vote to take up the bill and have a final vote on it as
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soon as tuesday. in the hope that all of this will be with and can possibly have a bill on the president's desk by the end of the week. host: what is different about this approach? guest: the week prior to that, there was quite a bit of drama when the house rejected the trade promotion authority legislation because of the legislative maneuvering. they were engaged in order to sort of get around political considerations in the senate. the goal was to combine the trade promotion authority bill with the related bill that is programmed to give assistance to workers that is typically supported by democrats and not supported by republicans.
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that was sort of in the senate and brought together with trade promotion authority which is not supported by most democrats in order to get enough support. but in the house, that backfired because democrats decided to oppose the trade assistance legislation in order to derail the trade promotion package. now we are going onto to a different maneuver, a different strategy, which is to task the trade promotion authority in the house with the understanding and promise among all the various parties, whether it is president obama or senator mcconnell or house speaker boehner. there will be an opportunity for democrats and republicans alike, both houses to vote on trade assistance legislation alongside it. right now, there are open
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commitments from the republican leaders in the house and senate as well as president obama that call this -- this should move in parallel. the president signing both the trade promotion and trade assistance bills together at some point at the end of this process. that has given democrats and republicans alike enough in both houses, at this point, to get these bills to the president's desk. host: that is senate side on the house side, what are we looking at? i read the environmental protection agency is one of the topics of discussion. guest: there has been a great focus in recent months among republicans on some of the rules
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that have been issued by the epa under president obama. in particular, those pertaining to the commissions of self fire -- sulfide power plants. there will be a bill that will allow states to basically opt out, not follow the rules that have been issued by the epa. it would basically stay implementation until things are settled. there is also relatedly measures working through congress in the appropriations process that pertains to this. there is a huge amount of attention in states where coal is a major part of the economy particularly kentucky.
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senator mcconnell's home state he has been very outspoken that states don't need to follow this rule. they can opt out of the epa suggestion. this is a legislative response to that. host: the washington post covers congress and tell us about the week ahead, thank you sir. >> there is more on the trade and you -- issue in congress. it is designed to help workers who lose their jobs because of international trade agreements. host: on mondays we air a segment called your money in regards to what these things cost of what they do. we will look at a program that deals specifically in the world of trade, trade adjustment assistance. joining us is howard rosen and he is with the trade adjustment
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assistance coalition, as their executive director. tell us a little bit about this program. it is a long title but what does it do? guest: there's a lot of discussion about trade and it is some of the basic fundamentals. trade can help foreign investment in the united states and create job. important outsourcing overseas can also cost jobs. the policy discussion tends to focus on the net which is the difference between the jobs you create and lose. it is very rare that that person who loses a job takes the new job that is created so there is an adjustment that takes place. there is an understanding that -- president kennedy in 1963 when the united states was running a trade surplus and trade was a small part of our economy, he said that the person who bears that price for that adjustment should not have to
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pay the full cost. that the federal government should help and it was created in 1963. it has gone through a lot of changes over time, it keeps coming up every time we have a discussion on trade this location. the important thing we need to understand is that even though while net trade might help economy, some people have a price. what this does is provide some assistance. it basically tops off the regular unemployment insurance that people get. people get unemployment insurance for six months, under trade adjustment assistance you can get up to two years of the same unemployment. if you enroll in training. the training must be serious, it must be vocational to change her skills to another job. if your unemployment for six months you don't get that training. the major part is that extended income maintenance and training, but there are other parts,
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health care tax credit, a program to help people find jobs , there are little things but that is from nearly what it is. host: those assistance packages or programs exist in other forms of the federal government. guest: guest: like i said, first of all, it does not exist in this way. of course there is unemployment insurance for six months, but it is for six months. you don't get serious training you can only get training for writing a resume or an interview or something like that. this is one of the few programs for civilians, the military does a lot of these kind of things, but for civilians it is one of the few programs that does this kind of extensive change and shifting job industries. also, let me make it clear of another thing. you cannot double dip. you can't get into this program and use another. you cannot take assistance or other programs. host: how do i qualify?
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guest: unfortunately in the united states, we tend to be very suspect about these kinds of programs so we make it hard for people to become eligible. under this program, you must show you and a group of workers or your firm can apply, you must show import increase, and there is a decrease in employment. and that the increase in import is contributing to this decrease in employment. traditionally, the program was created in 62, over 50 years the program was primarily for manufacturing. things that would be traded. what we see over time, is that shifted to service workers. that is a little harder to measure. we can watch a steel company and
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imports are going up and and limit is going down and we can say maybe it is due to this. bankers, insurance companies, it is harder under service but they are just as hurt as the guy in the steel industry. there is a challenge, there is no question. host: you said it started in 1962 and expanded by president clinton in 93, president bush in 2002 and the current program ends in september but we saw this program become a speaking point especially in congress regarding trade and what powers to give the president. guest: i have to say that unfortunately, this program and others like it become bargaining chips. it is really unfortunate. this is where i want to make my own point. we look at other countries and people say look at the german economy while he more like it. -- why aren't we more like it. they have vocational training, assistance apprenticeship
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programs. they put them on the books and they do them. we approach it reluctantly. we don't want to embrace these programs and we see them as something as a kind of handout with ot -- which other countries don't. that is a problem, so we make it hard for people to get in. we over evaluate them. these programs cannot solve the problems of the labor market. that they give you an example we know that over the last 30 years, wages in this country have been stagnant or falling. taking an evaluation of this program or any program, this person took a job with a wage lower than their previous wage. therefore the program is not successful. the program cannot correct the problems that are going on in the labor market, it can only help people going through. host: our guest is with the trade assistance coalition and its role in the federal government, if you want to ask questions about it, call 202-748-8001 four republicans
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202-748-8000 on democrats 202-748-8002 on independence. perhaps you have benefited from the program, and we have a line for you to call in and tell us. 202-748-8003. you will call those numbers that number specifically if you benefit. tell us about your relation to this program. guest: i was involved on behalf of the senate finance committee in 2002. i had economists that had done research on dislocation. it was a large dislocation at the end of the 1990's within levi strauss, the company that hardly doesn't exist in the united states anymore. we went out and talk to the workers losing their jobs and found out what they really need as opposed to what the program was doing. it really started at zero and said if you are to create a
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program now what would it look like. the senate and house put up those bills back in 2002 with a comprehensive set of reforms, modernization. some of them are past, about half of them. others were implemented throughout the next decade. i mentioned before for example it was traditionally for manufacturing. i also mentioned that one of the triggers is an increase in imports but what about a u.s. company that closes here and moves and ships its production overseas. we don't necessarily see that as an import that certainly hurts those workers. we call that a shift in production, we added that as a criteria, we added service workers as a criteria so all of these things were implemented over time, over the last decade. what is going on now is in 2011, the program was extended service workers. we are talking in terms but to
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put context and, service workers are 80% of the economy right now. that is really doubling the size of the program. it will help 25 30, 40,000 people per year, which is very small. host: does it matter how old i am or how much i made before? guest: that is a great question because if i could create my own program, the program would be flexible enough to meet your needs and not the cause of your job loss. unfortunately it goes back to we really don't like these programs in the united states. if we can come up with a program that is flexible enough where it wasn't one-size-fits-all but unfortunately public policy doesn't work that way, the question is in general know, the things you mentioned don't matter. one of things in limited was that if you are opal -- over a
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certain age you may be eligible for retirement. then we created another program. -- congress created in the program. alternatives in the justices wages, what it says is that if you are an older worker over the age of 50 and you accept a job that pays less than your previous job, which will be highly likely, that instead of going through a program for two years and receiving income benefits and training, take that money and give you an offset to the lower wage. with the hope, two things, one is that over two years your weight will increase. number two -- wage will increase . number two, on-the-job training is always more effective than classical training. i need to say, to my should get -- chagrin those who have been
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enrolled in the program, the numbers have been very small. i don't think we have promoted it enough. it's one of the things this coalition tries to do but it is up to the states to make sure that people know it is available. it is new thinking in the way we do these things. host: our first call is from laura in new york. you're on with howard rosen of the trade adjustment assistance coalition. caller: i would like to point out that this trade adjustment program, while it sounds nice, does not address the main problems with the upcoming trade agreements tpp and the transatlantic partnership. the main issues with those is that it creates both of those creates an enforcement and vehicle and structure that people are calling a tribunal because it's a super
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constitution, above our constitution, a court that only corporations can go to. the other signing nations that are trying to do business in the u.s., they are the only ones that can take their disagreements with our laws whether it be our federal laws all the way down to the tiny localities. anymore that they have signed is not a law of conforming, in other words, general to the countries that assigned it. being ahead in time to make wages more fair, or protect our environment, the health of our citizens. guest: let me just say i am not going to debate the relevance or justification of trade policy in total. you will have to invite me back for another program to do that.
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what i will say is regardless of having, regardless of your position on trade motion authority, or your position on the transpacific partnership or any other agreement, the points i have made at the outset still stand. we know that exports and manufacturing create jobs, but it can also hurt people. the key point between that, you argue well, i live in new york, and the company is in california, that will compete against me. the main difference here is as a result of public policy that we are opening up our borders to this competition. we have already been an agreement that competition within the united states, that is what we have created unemployment insurance and regulation and things like that, but at the international level when we bring in trade from overseas, that is a public policy decision being made and it is not coming at the vote of
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that worker. the concept is that person has no control over losing their job so the government, the federal government, which is pursuing the trade agreement believes it is better off for everyone, should have responsibility. host: oklahoma city, oklahoma jelly -- joey. caller: i think your guest is being myopic and narrow about the topic. i don't think you can just look at any trade deal and say the government is -- they're saying we are going to put this through, it is good for america, but by the way, when you lose your job, we can get you trained. i think everybody needs to step back, it does directly come from the person who casts votes for representatives who then vote for a trade deal. i look at the republican party they, hello?
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guest: let me just say that we now have -- caller: i haven't finished my comments. the republican party, here is a party that has blocked the president on every single thing. they have called him un-american. now they are going to support a trade deal? you have to wonder right off the bat if this is good for business. the low end job training, making up the difference in your pay so you can get cheap labor overseas, which is all this is about. it is not about taxes. it's about cheap labor. host: we are talking about large issues, that's why we are focusing on this specific program. guest: you think you know my views on trade policy, i'm not sure you do, but i agree with you that the trade policy question is a big one. what is interesting i look at
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numbers, unfortunately we now have a test case. as you know, the house and senate both voted in favor of trade promotion authority. in the house, they voted against trade adjustment assistance. the point being, if you liked it or not, the trade promotion authority is moving forward. the question now is does the federal government, the society have an obligation to those people who might be adversely affected by that position? in the past, we used argue well, if we don't have that assistance, 80 we won't move forward with trade liberalization. the votes in congress is just that. what i will make very clear is that we are at a real risk right now of losing, eroding a fundamental concept in our trade policy. which is, if you pursue liberalization you have some responsibility for those who are going to pay that price. this week, we are going to see the answer to that.
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if it can be named, the key part of our policy or not. host: i twitter response, is the taa for people who lose a job? or is it training? guest: i'm sure they don't mean that in a positive sense. using the term welfare. it is not a handout. people have to be in training in order to get the income assistance, the day that they stop their training, the money stops. we talk about these things in washington and we never push numbers for these things. every policymaker talks about the importance of training, that we need to do training. these are not my nevers, these are the budget numbers of the united states. if you look at the amount of federal money that is being spent unchaining programs in this country, alternate programs, trade adjustment assistance, all of that. based on the number of people in
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the labor market the number of people that are unemployed, with every number you want to use, it has been declining over the last 20 years. we are sending their spending less on these things the more people talk about it. let's get right -- let's get it right, the program is not perfect, i publicly criticized it. the point is, we don't want to lose the baby with the bathwater. we don't want to lose the concept of helping those people. just because of the problems with the program. host: 75 million in federal funds allocated for this, how much is projected to be sent over the life of the program? guest: because of the year that you picked, a lot of that money a half $1 billion, 500 million of that will go to community colleges.
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really the private goes to the workers was about 400 million. -- the part that goes to the workers was about $400 million. this is currently considering just having it at 450. they are talking about declining the amount of money that is available. host: defined job-training program. guest: this is basically taken into two parts, one i would call job assistance training. the interview skills. we should not undermine, we should not think they are unimportant. maybe people getting their first job out of high school. they did not go through their group process and there in a manufacturing job and don't a lot of percent themselves. training that is related to
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getting a job, but then there is training where you come out with no skills or you have certain skills you need. that tends to be more serious. host: if i work with my hands i can train on the computer. guest: i would call that vocational training. host: bill in new york, go ahead. caller: good morning. my on there? -- mi on the air? when i load at these programs regarding trade in mexico in 1988 when ronald reagan started nafta, with george bush, when he was invested in china under richard nixon, that started the trade relations with china. when they say trade they're not trade agreements, those are manufacturing in areas with lower income. this german was talking about
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improved -- this gentleman was talking about improving employment on the german model. they still remain a high standard even though they are importing labor from other places. use the republicans bashing spain all the time but you never hear anybody talking about germany. sending jobs to mexico for cheap labor, where they not in favor of improving american work skills? guest: i couldn't agree with you more, you've made two points, one is the importance of outward investment, system production. your point being that globalization is not just an issue of exports and imports. it is also investment. what we learned to support your point, is in fact, in terms of the impact on jobs, the investment component tends to be
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more important than the exports and imports. you mentioned on the plans in buffalo of the outsourcing, it tends to affect more people than the import and export. in 2002, the criteria for eligibility for these programs would change to include those people that are hurt. unfortunately this gets into a technical weird thing in washington which was restricted to just those countries with whom we have trade agreements. it was never the official intent. now in 2011, it extended to all countries. that is one of the debates that is now going along this week in the new bill, taking it back to 2011 and a provision to or take it back to the 2002 provision. the first point i totally agree the second is interesting. if you look at any public opinion poll that is done on
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globalization and trade, unfortunately i have to say the journalism tends to he misrepresented. the question that is asked, they asked to. -- ask two. what is your position on globalization and what is your position on globalization if the government helps those people who are adversely affected? on the first question you get about a 50-50. on the second question, overwhelming support embracing globalization if the government agrees to help those persons adversely affected. i'm not suggesting there is only one way to do that, but the point is that the american people have spoken, they feel it is important to help those workers. as for your point on germany, ir emitter. the difference i think what is really important, it is an important point that this german makes, some countries embrace this idea of government assistance for workers and they do it. we have kind of just talked to
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it and never did it. host: one person wants to know if the programs help people find jobs where they live or if they will have to relocate. guest: we have an infrastructure in this country where there are places within your community find out where these offices are with the state department of labor, they should be in close proximity to everyone. anyone regardless of whether you are getting unemployment, is able to go into these offices and take classes, seminars, or get help in looking for jobs they can do. this is done at the local level. realizing, again as i said at the outset, that the new jobs may not be at the same place where the jobs are being terminated our. under this program they will provide assistance to that worker to move into good job in another place.
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but understand in this day and age that we have two wage earners in the family so it will be very difficult for one person to move. that is a bigger question, but trade adjustment assistance does provide a small a lot of money a thousand dollars, 12 hundred dollars, for people to move. i should say again, you cannot get this assistance under unemployment. host: from maryland, hello. caller: hello, i want to know why all the workers that work overseas in iraq and afghanistan as contractors, there's nothing set up for them to come back to with unemployment or get another job. that is considered trade. guest: i'm sorry, if i understand your question correctly, it sounds a little
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bit outside of my area, but these are probably people who were contractors for the military during our operations in iraq, iran -- iraq, excuse me, during that. the department of defense has very extensive programs to help workers, specifically people in the military i'm not familiar if they send that to contractors. the departments programs are so extensive that we learn from their programs and bring that over to the civilian side. as i said, i don't know if that is covered, if that is extended to consultants. let me use this as a segue to go back to trade adjustment assistance, just to give you another example of how we understood the changes in the labor market and tried to
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implement these things for the program. what we found, that say in a car plant, the ford motor plant they outsourced the custodial people, the people in the cafeteria, and they don't work, or are formally employed rather, by ford. they are getting assistance, kind of like this german from this gentleman -- gentleman from baltimore was saying. the primary worker is losing their job so they would also be afforded assistance under this program. there's is another case where we learn along the way and we try to find through this program, it is not a perfect program, we are constantly learning. host: is there a time limit to how long i receive assistance? is there a dollar amount? guest: first of all, there is a
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time, i don't want to get into the actual -- these are being debated in changed. you get the first six months of unemployment insurance and then you can get up to another two years of training. some of that may be because you need remedial training. writing and reading, that kind of thing. between two and two-and-a-half years. what needs to be clear is that the amount that you received is the same as your unemployment insurance amount. just make sure people understand correctly it's running on average at $317 per week. you are not going to get rich on that. likely you will get by on that. some states pay more, some states pay less, i'm giving you the average. it is $317.
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that is about a third of the average wage right now. what people don't understand in this country only one third of the unemployed are eligible for unemployment insurance. because they don't work in jobs that are covered by unemployment insurance. that's another case where we think we are being generous with all this assistance when in fact, if you look at the numbers, we really aren't. that helps me understand the frustration in the economy, the question of how we are doing so well and another viewer off twitter saying how can an employee prove loss of a job as a result of the trade deal. we fought over this, it is not direct results. what you need to do, what workers, this is done through a petition process. they need to show three things. increase in imports, that is the easiest case.
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and that is the increase in the -- it has to be one of the factors, not necessarily one of the only factors. in the shifting production, it is a little bit harder. u.s. company has to show a decline in employment. it has to show it is producing the same product overseas. this is a problem because what if a u.s. company closes its doors here, goes overseas, and starts creating another product. theoretically, that her neck we may start importing, but how do we help those people that are hurt by that initial outsourcing? like i said, this is not perfect. the basic answer to the persons question is, ideally as we go into the outset, a universal program that is flexible enough to help people with their needs and not be the cause of job separation. host: you're hearing from trade
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adjustment assistance coalition. bill, you're on that. -- on next. caller: i have a quick question. the first part is does the ceo not in terms of dollars in an dollars out, but in terms of potential jobs lost and jobs gained. the second part is do you coordinate at all with the export import bank in terms of future deals and potential job skills required? that is my question, thank you. guest: on the first question there is a requirement, not the congressional budget office but it is the international trade commission. there is a requirement under the trade promotion authority that it is either 90 days or so
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before an agreement is brought before congress for approval that the international trade commission has to do an analysis of the potential job losses and gains. having said that, the point i made at the outset, which is people tend to focus on the net number and they say is this a job gainers we have it? how many people are going to gain, how many people are going to lose, and what can we do about those people who will be hurt by that agreement? the next requirement is there. on the bank, i'm not sure i understand your question because as you understand, the bank is financing for u.s. companies that export abroad or companies that import. there is a requirement when in the program when the program was being authorized as it is right
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now, for cities to be done on what the job effect of the program is. but not every loan that is being done. i think i'm wrong. on the import loans, there is a requirement to come up with a potential for job displacement. those analyses i think are done by the bank itself. host: bob is in massachusetts, go ahead. caller: good morning. my question is why is it so important for these countries to have no label of origin on packaging? why do they need to hide where things are coming from? guest: the argument is that the reason we enter into trade agreements is for standardization. your point, i think is valid. people argue that the reason we need international trade agreements is to enforce
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countries to put those labels on their products. i think what you're asking for is legitimate, we should know where we are buying things, we should also know if we are buying something if it is made with child labor or any people that are being underpaid or abused. i am all for making that information transparent. in fact, i would argue just like we have bear trade coffee, i can bike -- i can buy coffee and no it one affect anybody. i would like to know when the shirt was produced, how it was made. it is a bigger issue, but there's another debate for that. i totally agree, but the argument is that's why we have trade agreements, to establish and enforce those standards. host: maryland, good morning you are next. caller: you have indicated that
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the trade assistance programs have been around since 1962, question. how were they paid for from 1962 up until this current trade assistance program? guest: great question. this was surprising to me as a researcher. in 1962 when the program was first created, there was a section in the law that said that the program should be financed through import tariffs. the taxes we collect on products we export abroad. that part of the program was never implemented because the treasury department does not like trust funds. they don't like segregating funds the government receives and earmarking them for certain things. that's why we are having a debate on the highway trust bill. that's the basic concept. what has happened is it has been financed through general revenues.
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playing this clear -- levy make this clear because it is an important point. import tariffs alone, are running at $19 billion a year. as you said, we are currently spending something like a half $1 billion on this program. i'm not suggesting the program should be that large, but i am suggesting that it would be something we should pursue. host: one more call. rodney from florida, you are the last color -- caller. caller: it was very interesting when i was listening to what coffees at. to me, trade is my country doesn't have a certain thing, i trade you for coffee because you have gold. i traded for cotton -- i trade you for cotton for something
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that you don't have. the trade that we have now is a labor thing where it drives down the price of labor. it is really not fair trade, and it is not trade to make. guest: if only you were sitting in my economics classes when i was studying 30 years ago because that is the way it is being presented. as you mentioned, globalization has become more complicated. to give support to your point it is that the amount which economists call enter industry trade, the percent of our trade that is within the same industry , meaning we export cars and import cars. that share has been increasing over time. there is much more complement trade then substitutes for the things that we produce. that is what's happening in globalization. that takes us to the next
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question, what do we do about it? but i want to come back again to regardless of where you stand, on trade agreements or fast-track, the fact that people are labeling of rice so all of us can benefit from cheaper prices, better products, more choices, we have to ask ourselves to you have a responsibility to help those people and how do we do it? this is something goes been developed over the last few years to do that. but it needs to remain to be a central part of our trade policy. host: how you think congress will resolve this? guest: i don't read the tea leaves. i have been studying this program for 35 years and this is the most anxious i have been because we do run the risk right now, he rooting the support of this notion.
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in the past, we always come up with fixes. i'm not concerned about the appropriations of the money what i am concerned about is those provisions that expired back in 2013 which was a provision for service workers or a shift in production to not just places where we have trade agreements and that really needs to be addressed, what congress is looking at this week. host: you can learn more about the organization by going on to the website. thank you. >> c-span wedding live here at the white house for the daily briefing to begin, it was scheduled to start 15 minutes ago but it is not unusual for to the -- begin late. things get underway, expect him to address president obama's comments on race relations over the weekend. let it go reports the president was recording a podcast and did
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not mince words discussing race. going as far as to use the n-word in discussing america's complex racial history on the w tf cop this podcast -- podcast he's also commenting on the increase in the number of terrorist attacks as reported by the numbers released by the u.s. department of state. >> good morning everyone. again, thank you for coming this morning. today, the state department is issuing the country reports on terrorism 2014. it fills a important congressional mandate. it provides us an opportunity to review the state of terrorism worldwide and defined the nature and scope of the terrorist threat. doing so also allows us to it --
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improve our effectiveness. reviewing how involved and engaged countries are in the various aspect of their counterterrorism efforts, which comprises the bulk of this report, helps us to make informed assessments about our priorities and workplace resources in our various capacity building programs. first, according to the statistical annex that was compiled by the university of maryland, the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 increased 35% and total fatalities increased 81% compared to 2013. largely due to activity in iraq, afghanistan, and nigeria. when 60% of all attacks took place in five countries, iraq pakistan afghanistan, india and nigeria. 78% of all fatalities due to terrorist attacks also took place in five countries, iraq
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nigeria, afghanistan, pakistan and syria. the increase in total fatalities was, in part, a result of certain attacks that were exceptionally legal. in 2014, there were 20 attacks that killed more than 100 people. compared to only two such attacks in 2013. while i said the statistics which are compiled by the university of maryland and are not a u.s. product per se, i do want to stress again that they do not provide the full context. aggregate totals or numbers of attacks are not a particularly useful metric for measuring the aims of the extremist groups or at our progress in cementing or countering those activities -- preventing or countering this activities. i would also like to talk about the content of the report itself and some of the trends we noted in 2014. despite significant blows to al qaeda's leadership, weak or
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failed governance continues to provide an enabling environment for the emergence of extremist radicalism and violence, notably in yemen, syria, libya, nigeria and i -- iraq. we are concerned about the continued evolution of the islamic state of iraq, and i still. self-proclaimed affiliates in egypt, nigeria, and elsewhere. tens of thousands of foreign terrorist fighters are exacerbating the violence in the middle east and imposing a continued threat on their own home country. the ongoing civil war in syria has been spurring many of the terrorism events. since 2014, it does the overall flow of foreign terrorist fighters in syria was estimated at more than 16,000 foreign terrorist fighters from over -- since december the number
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exceeds any similar flow of foreign terrorist fighters traveling to other countries in the last 20 years. many foreign terrorist fighters joined iso- -- silisil which has continued to gain territory in iraq and syria. the western coalition has dealt significant blows to iso-but it continues -- isil but it continues to fight back. also using ruthless methods of violence against -- uniquely, it demonstrates a particular skill in employing new media tools to display its brutality, oath as a means to shock and terrorize but equally to propagandize and attract new recruits. boko haram shares attention for these brutal tactics which includes indiscriminate mass casualty attacks and systematic oppression of women and girls
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including slavery and torture. though central leadership has indeed been leaked this weekend -- weakened, it continues to recruit from other affiliate groups including al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, a long-standing threat from yemen al qaeda and the islamic group -- on this other front al-shabaab in east africa. we saw a rise in loan offender attacks including in iowa and quebec in october in sydney in 2014. in many cases, it was difficult to assess whether these attacks were directed or inspired by isil or its affiliates. there is a new era in which centralized leadership of a terrorist organization matters less, group identity is more fluid, and violent extremist narratives focus on a wider range of alleged grievances.
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enhanced border security among the western states since 9/11 has increased the difficulty for known or suspected terrorists to travel internationally therefore groups like a queue and isil are encouraging people in the west kerry attacks on their behalf. affiliates including on this front continue to use kidnapping for ransom operations, profits from the sales of looted antiquities, and other -- means to gain funding. unlike them he did not come from external organization but it was internally gathered in iraq and syria. isil aren't up to several million dollars through its extortion networks, including through oil smuggling. some progress was made in 2014 and constraining ice at -- isil's means to make money.
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air sites were conducted on isil conducted oil refineries. isil and aq were not the only serious threats to the united states and allies, iran continues to sponsor terrorist groups around the world through its islamic revolutionary force irgqf, including lebanese recruited individuals and iraqi militant groups, hamas and general islam jihad. also the need to undertake efforts to expand the range and security to the efficacy of government and pushing back on terrorist messaging and order to effectively combat the growth of these emerging violent extremist groups. it requires an expanded approach to our counterterrorism engagement. resident obama has emphasized repeatedly that we need to bring
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strong, capable, and diverse partners to the forefront and enlist their help in a mutually important endeavor of global counterterrorism. a successful approach to counterterrorism must therefore revolve around partnership. the vital role that our partners play have become even clearer and the last year with the emergence of isil as a hugely disruptive force -- destructive force. we have to construct a effective anti-isil correlation -- coalition. more than 50 partners are contributing to this effort which is multifaceted and its goals, not only to stop isil's advances as it advances on the ground, but to combat the flow of foreign fighters, disrupt their financial resources and counteract their messaging and undermine its appeal among other objectives. i would also highlight the adoption of u.s. attorney
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council 2178 and september of 2014. it is a particularly significant step forward in the national effort to cooperate and prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to and from conflict zones. the nation is finding and it -- the notion of finding an enabling members is not new many of our most significant counterterrorism suspect in the past have come as a result of cooperating -- the united states needs partners who can not only contribute to military operations but also conduct arrests, prosecutions, and in incarceration of terrorists with their networks. addressing terrorism and a rule of law framework, with respect for human rights, it is critical both are entering the sustainability of our efforts and from preventing the rise of new forms of violent extremism. multilateral entities such as
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the u.n. and global town -- counterterrorism forces also play a critical role in promoting the practices and mobilizing technical assistance in this regard. as we develop partnerships needed and the great terrorist good abilities, we also need partners with governmental and nongovernmental powers that can help combat extremism. we must do more to address the violent extremism and transform the very environment in which these terrorist movements emerge. that's how you connect -- that's how we are committed to preventing the spread and symptoms of violent extremism. this was a major theme of the white house summit on countering violent extremism earlier this year. brought together 300 participants from over 65 countries, resulting national
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and local governments, civil societies, the private sector, and multilateral organizations. the summit highlighted the especially vital role that partnering with civil society plays in our counterterrorism efforts. in addition to counterterrorism assistance rendered in the field of the rule of law and countering burkert, we provided a wide array of expertise and support for our partners to help identify the financing of terrorism, strengthening aviation and border security and sharpen their law enforcement and response tools to respond to the terrorist threat. the terrorism challenges that we face continue to evolve at a rapid pace and we cannot predict with position what the landscape will look like one decade or even really a year from now. we believe strongly we can best protect america's interest and its people over the long run by engaging and robust diplomacy,
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expanding our partnerships, building bilateral and regional capabilities, and promoting holistic and role of -- rule of law cases. it is program of action over the months ahead. now i would be happy to invite questions. >> you said one of the reasons for the report is to assess the effectiveness in fighting terrorism given the sharp rise in attacks killings and kidnappings. what does that say about this department of this administration of large. its effectiveness in fighting terror into thousand 15. >> i want to point to the attack , there's reason to highlight that, there geographically focused in areas which is not surprising and the lethality of some of those attacks as i pointed out have gone up because of the savagery that was seen.
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i don't think it's entirely surprising to see the array of numbers fairly previewed and put forward in a statistical context. it is one way but not the only way of drafting the effectiveness of our efforts. i laid out for you a little bit and we can talk about the array of things that we are putting against those trends. i emphasize again that this is not a battle in the efforts of the united states can take alone, we have plenty of things we can offer to our partners and we will continue to do so and intensify the effort. on the full array of things that we talked about who he condoned any of those in more detail if you like. >> >> if that is not a good indicator for an assessment, and you explained what you're using what is that assessment when you put it together?
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was the united states effective last year in fighting terrorism? >> i think we have been effective in building capability of partners globally in a variety of places. you can chart that in a variety of ways. we have seen a number of efforts specific to foreign terrorist fighters. a number of countries have enacted rule of law frameworks to deal with issues in ways they had not previously done. they have upped their efforts on border security and information sharing. we have concluded information sharing agreements with a host of countries. we continue to urge them to do more in that respect. we have seen efforts by a variety of countries to not only locate where the sourcing funding is coming from but to shut that down. i think we have made progress. i don't want to pretrade there is not plenty left to be done. there certainly is. >> washington, reuters, do you
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believe it is a bigger terrorist threat that al qaeda? number two, could you talk about the rise of terrorism in nigeria and africa. is africa one of the biggest areas where the new terrorism groups are finding ground? >> to address your first question on isil and its relative importance or strength as opposed to other groups, it is hard to make those comparisons. i don't necessarily want to make it because we have concerns about a variety of groups. we continue to have real concerns about al qaeda and affiliates. i would point especially to the affiliate in yemen and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. their capabilities are strong. we are continuing to track that. we have great concerns about what they plan. we keep a sharp eye on that.
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you have seen us continue to do some things as a function of u.s. policy to protect the american public. i think there is a set of concerns that concern is very much on the al qaeda side. with respect to isil, i have laid out what we have seen in 2014 at concerned us. there is good reason to be concerned there as well, as well as the fact that some affiliates in other places in the world have specifically aligned himself. to what extent that has meaning we can have that discussion. but nevertheless, there is the appeal of isis or isil globally. both cause us concerns in different ways and in different respects. i don't think we want to take our eye off the ball on either of those cases. with respect to your second question i think there are places in the world we particularly woodframe.
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certainly, in africa there are places and groups we concern ourselves with. boko haram is one in west africa. shabbat -- our shabbat in west africa. our partners in somalia have done quite a bit in terms of state-building, which is an essential component of pushing back on extremism. other neighbors have seen attacks go up, can and we are supportive of their efforts to address that. we have seen groups in northern africa that continue to concern us. that is one of the areas. not the only one exclusively. >> bloomberg news. you have a section in the report on iran as a state sponsor of terror. iran has been on the list for more than 30 years. you don't indicate in the report whether iran's terrorist
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activities increased or decreased in the last year. can you give us some indication on that? what is the administration were you going to say to the critics who say, why should you be signing a nuclear agreement with iran when they are a state sponsor of terrorism? could you sanction relief to further the terrorist activities? >> the report does not talk about numbers inspired by or supported by specific countries in all cases. i think it would be hard to make an exact calculus of the numbers i think you're talking about with respect to iran. but we continue to be very concerned about activity and proxies that act on behalf of iran. i mentioned a few earlier including hezbollah and other groups. we watch that extremely carefully. i don't want to talk much about the nuclear negotiations and all of that. i think we have been very clear that we consider important.
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it has a specific context. we think it is essential we pursue abundant --those negotiations. none of that implies we will be in any way taking our eye off the ball with respect to what iran is doing as a supporter of terrorism. we have sanctions in place against iran, specifically related to the terrorism issue. that is not going to change. so again -- >> afternoon, happy monday and happy belated father's day. hope you all had a chance to relax with your kids or a chance to call your father, or both. jim, you want to get us started with questions? jim: i want to ask about the president's podcast. his use of the "n" word has created some stir in social media which was part of the
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president's deeper discussion of racism. i wonder if his use of that was intended to be provocative. and given the reaction, does he regret it? josh: he does not. the reason he used the word could not be more apparent from the context of his discussion on the podcast. the president made clear it is not possible to judge the nation's progress on race issues based solely on an evaluation of our country's manners. the fact is we have made undeniable progress in this country over the last several decades. as the president has often said, anyone who lived in this country through the 1950's, 1960's 1970's, in 1980's knows the committee's progress we have made. that progress is undeniable. what is also undeniable is there is more work to be done and there's more we can do.
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the fact is everyone in this country should take some inspiration from the progress made in the previous generations and use that as a motivation and inspiration to try to make further progress toward a more perfect union. >> in charleston, there are political and religious leaders calling for the confederate flag to be taken down from the state capital. the president has said the confederate flag belongs in a museum. does the president believe officials in south carolina should take the flag down? does he believe it should be up to the people of south carolina to decide? josh: i guess i don't entirely understand your question. jim: the president -- does the president call on state officials to take the flag down or does he believe the people of south carolina should decide whether the flag comes down? josh: i'm not sure there is a
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distinction to be drawn. the president is clear about what his views are. the president talked about this six or seven years ago where he shared his view that the confederate flag should be taken down and placed in a museum where it belongs. jim: no debate necessary? josh: in the mind of the president, it is clear what should happen. the president does not have the authority to make that decision. that is a decision that will be made by south carolina officials. but the president is clear about his views and what he believes is the appropriate course of action. jim: from there you would say to the governor of south carolina take the flag down? josh: i think the president said that seven or eight years ago when he was first asked about it. jim: does the president intend
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to go to trust in this week or at any point? josh: many of the families continue to be in the caucus of organizing memorial services. i don't have any scheduling announcements at this point for the president. as more information about his schedule gets locked down, we will look into it. >> a currency question. the former chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke, has indicated outrage to replace alexander hamilton with a woman on the $10 bill, suggesting a better selection would be to replace andrew jackson on the $20 bill. does the president have a view on that? with the -- with the administration consider that? josh: the treasury department has been clear about this. the image of alexander hamilton will remain on the $10 bill, it
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is if they want to include the woman on the currency. how that will be done is a process the treasury department is currently engaged in. the reason the treasury department has selected the $10 bill is the $10 bill is currently under review by the appropriate authorities for upgraded redesign for security purposes. it is the appropriate time to be considering changes like this. that is why the discussion is happening in the context of the $10 bill. matt, nice to see you. guest appearance, i guess. welcome back. matt: on charleston and the aftermath of the mass shooting, the president has indicated the politics of washington blocking gun legislation. some have interpreted that as he is giving up on making efforts on that front. is that the case?
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is there a chance the president might try to revisit this toward the end of his term? josh: that conclusion is wrong. i think it is evident from the president's words and body language, not just we he spoke at this podium thursday, but in remarks over the course of his trip to the west coast that this is something he is passionate about for good reason. what the president is realistic about is that congress has to be heard on this. i think this is a straightforward political analysis. it is that it is unlikely congress is going to act in the way the president believes would be in the best interest of the country on this issue. it is the president's. the only way this will change is when the american people make clear, not just what their
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position is on this issue but that a position on the issue is a priority and they would like to see their members of congress take action. all of the polling data indicates the american people support commonsense steps that would make it much harder for criminals, those with mental health issues, that there are commonsense steps we can take to make it harder for those individuals to get their hands on a weapon. and we can do that without undermining the fundamental second amendment rights of law-abiding americans. this should be a common sense endeavor. because of politics and passion felt by a minority of individuals across the country those steps have not been enacted by the congress.
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the president was pretty blunt about this analysis in the remarks he delivered in the rose garden a couple of years ago after the last attempt to enact legislation along these lines failed in the senate. the president's disappointment about that continues and continues to be evident. but it certainly is not an indication and should not be misread as the president somehow losing passion for this issue. matt: the investigation concluded the israeli groups committed serious violations of international and humanitarian law that may have amounted to [indiscernible] what is the administration's response to that report, especially given it impugns the actions of one of its closest allies in the region? josh: we are continuing to review the report released over the weekend, i believe.
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we indicated last year in the midst of the conflict that we support israel's right to self-defense. at the same time, we expressed deep concern about the civilians in gaza that were in harm's way. we urged all parties to do everything they could to protect innocent civilians essentially caught in the crossfire of this conflict. that was an important thing to do, particularly given the high civilian death toll in gaza. but we are also aware israel has undertaken an investigation of incidents from the conflict. we await further outcomes from the israeli government on this particular matter. john? john: back to the wtf interview did the president intend to say what he did? obviously, it was not a mistake.
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did he go into the interview intending to use that word? josh: no. as is as evident from the conversation, it was a free-flowing conversation. it was wide-ranging. it was no decision made on the part of anybody at the white house that we are going to capitalize on this audio interview from somebody's garage in california, that this would be an opportune time for him to get this particular point off his chest. i think the point he is making is entirely consistent with the way he has made this point in settings where he is delivering from prepared remarks but also when he is answering -- in the context of answering other questions. john: i don't think we have heard him use that word in public before, even before he was president, happily? or has he? josh: i don't think so.
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that word is mentioned in his book several times, but i don't know that i've used in the -- heard him use the word before. john: he was pretty forceful in the room talking about the issue of guns. is there any indication -- when he made the remarks did he have any indication the shootings and trust in what have been prevented by any proposals he has made on gun control? josh: we are in the early hours of what was an ongoing investigation and continues to this hour as well. the point the president is making is we all know there are commonsense steps that can be taken that don't undermined critically important second amendment rights but would make our country safer, would make our kids safer, and make it harder for criminals and those with mental problems to get their hands on a weapon. there is no piece of legislation
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that congress can pass any president can sign into law that will eliminate every incident of gun violence in this country. but if there is legislation that congress can pass that would even slightly reduce the number of incidents of gun violence in this country, then why on earth would they not sign it? why would they not pass it so the president can sign it? john: you seem to be giving the impression this was a result of congress' inability to act. in the heat of the moment. josh: i think that is true. there are incidents of gun violence that will be prevented if congress were to act. they have not. it is too early to say what impact congressional legislation would have had on this incident. john: one more question on the interview. what was the president's reaction to see his own words bleeped out on networks? this is a word most networks simply will not air because it
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is so offensive. what does the president think when he hears his own words bleeped out? josh: i did not talk to him about that issue. it does strike me as the top of editorial decision you have to make and not one i would weigh in on from here at least. michelle? michelle: why did the president choose to use that word in this context? josh: again, the president did not set out -- michelle: but he made the choice during the interview. that has come out in the discussion and analysis you do i would assume after every interview. this one caused a stir. it is such a charged word. to use it right now in this setting, he had to have known this was going to get a reaction. josh: i don't think he was surprised. i do think it has prompted careful consideration of what exactly he said.
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as i said to john, this is consistent with an argument he has made in the past. and it is an argument people are now being exposed to today. michelle: you said you did have a discussion, just not about the particular point john makes. josh: not the editing, but the censoring. michelle: the discussion you did have on why he chose to use that word. at that moment, did he say why he decided to go there? josh: that was not the nature of the discussion i had with him. i think the fact of the matter is if you take a look at the context of this exchange he had with the interviewer the president is making an argument that is familiar to many of you who have carefully covered the president's discussion of these issues over the last year or so. this is quite similar to the argument the president made at the foot of the steps -- at the
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edmund pettus bridge in selma alabama. he talked about how the progress made on racial issues in this country since that fateful day 50 years ago, a little over 50 years ago now, is remarkable and undeniable. we owe a debt of gratitude to people like john lewis for the enormous sacrifices they have made. we should take a lot of satisfaction and pride and even inspiration from the fact that because of their dedication and incredible courage we have made progress in this country. the first thing john lewis would tell you anything the president observed in his remarks in his speech was that john lewis did not do it alone. he felt he had a strong support of the community in selma, alabama, and americans of a variety of religions and races who came to stand with him and
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march with him. because of that unified commitment to a principle of justice and equality and fairness, we have made important progress. we should draw on the inspiration and success of those previous efforts to make additional progress in this country. that is the argument the president was seeking to make. michelle: by using that word, would you say he he had a goal in making the decision to say the "n" word at that moment? for him to say it during the interview, was it the garage siding? --setting? [laughter] michelle: he chose not to say it in the briefing room during an emotional address. josh: entirely different context when he is speaking to the nation i television in the aftermath of a horrific incident of violence in the briefing room is very different from a taped
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audio interview in a garage. i think we can all acknowledge that is the case. it is a different kind of discussion the president was seeking to have at that point. michelle: would you say he had a goal choosing to use that word at the moment? josh: what i would observe is the argument the president has made in the context of this specific interview is consistent with an argument he has made in a variety of other settings, both when he has been asked questions and is delivering prepared remarks. i would acknowledge it is understandably notable that the president chose to use this word. but the argument the president is making is one that is familiar to those who have been listening. michelle: a provocative choice, yeah? he had to have known as he makes the decision to say the word anywhere comes out of his mouth he had to have non-u.s. he was the liberally saying something
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provocative -- he had to have known he was elaborately saying something provocative. josh: it is not just a matter of it not being polite to say that word in public. yes, i think that is self evident from the president's remark. j.p.? j.p.: it voted to extend sanctions against russia. the united states going along with that? do you have any comments? josh: this is something the president discussed with the allies or partners in germany earlier this month. this was an opportunity for the president to have detailed conversations with president hollande and chancellor merkel in particular about how important it is for the international community to remain unified in the face of
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the destabilizing actions of president putin. this is the next step as the international community continues to act together in the face of the violation of the territorial integrity of ukraine. i think it is an indication of the international community's resolve to making sure president clinton -- putin respects basic international norms. major? major: the foreign minister said it is more important to get a good deal than to adhere to a deadline of june 30. is that something the administration agrees with? josh: the way we have described it is the president will not sign onto a bad deal. to the extent the prime minister or foreign minister is indicating a good deal is paramount, i think from that respect, the administration would agree.
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i think it is possible -- major: other than between now and the 30th to get one? josh: what we have been saying for a month now -- major: we have not had a chance to bring this up publicly. secretary of state kerry said it is not important any longer to achieve a deal with iran, that it needs to disclose fully its previous attempts militarily to obtain a nuclear weapon. from this podium, you and others have said that was important and it would have to make clear what it attempted to do and the world would have to understand the efforts it undertook to pursue one. that appears to be off the table, a significant concession. josh: what we have been saying
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all along is we would insist iran address be significant concerns the international community has had with the potential military dimensions of their nuclear program. but also to make sure moving forward every path iran has three nuclear weapon has been cut off. that will require iran to cooperate. major: is there more room for want to admit less than a would prefer? josh: we have been clear about what our expectations are. that is discussed in the political agreement reached in early april. we will expect, in fact we will insist iran address those concerns. and most important, however, that they verify their
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compliance with the agreement that shuts down every pathway they have to a nuclear weapon. major: "the wall street journal" indicated there are e-mails that indicate john kerry played a more important role in the affordable care act been previously admitted by the administration. jason furman and other people who were central to the development of the legislative framework of the law that appears to be a contradiction from what the administration described originally. would you like to amend that? josh: our description of his role has been consistent. he did not work at the white house. as far as i can tell, "wall street journal" did not uncover enough that suggested the marketplace established by states would mean the citizens of the state would be ineligible for tax credits. i recognize these are e-mails that were actively leaked by republicans in the house who
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voted more than 50 times to try to appeal the affordable care act. this is consistent with the kind of game playing we have seen from republicans in congress that it does not lower health care costs or expand access to health care. major: the source and motivations, i'm just asking you to address with a.p. appear to represent, a more active engaged role for the person previously described as largely if not entirely tangential to the development of the law. will people not look at these e-mails and come to a different conclusion? josh: i don't know that many reasonable people have combed through 20,000 e-mails in the last six or eight years. maybe there are some that have. the point is i don't think there is anything revealed by these e-mails that is surprising to anybody that works here. it does not undermine the way his role has been previously
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described by the administration as far as i know based on the way i have it and the president has described it. again, there may be some republicans in congress who think releasing these e-mails gives them some kind of political advantage of one sort or another. but i am not really sure what that is. major: the last question about the podcast. those of us who have spent time covering him appreciate as a student of the linguist, he takes words carefully and crafts many of his speeches himself. philosophically, did he believe he needed to say something in a more provocative way inward to drive a point he thinks had been previously missed in his earlier references to race, which as you said is consistent? did he feel he needed to use something to grab the country's attention in a more provocative way? does he believe the use of the word has at certain moments and
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arresting -- an arresting and provocative value to it? josh: major, i think the president was answering a question in an informal setting. i would acknowledge the president -- the way the president designed his argument in the scenario is more provocative. i don't think there is anybody here something that is getting a little bit more attention. i am referring to an argument the president has made under the occasion. i recognize that as an argument not everyone likes. but it is an argument the president feel strongly about. this idea that we can draw on the inspiration of those who allowed this country to make so much progress, something that inspires the president -- >> the president has no regrets, does not feel any contrition about using this particular word? i wonder if you thought it was necessary to get the country
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passes attention. josh: he is eager for people to have a good sense of the argument they're trying to make the we have gone to great lengths so you understand the argument the president was trying to make. >> she echoed the president and said, what will change this? it begs the question, what is the white house passes plan to knowledge that lawmakers are probably not going to anytime soon. it also says, the lawmakers are not going to address it.
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again, what is the plan, what is the white house passes plan to adjust public opinion on this issue? josh: this is an issue the president will continue talking about. you will recall a year and a half ago now, the administration did announce a couple dozen executive actions the president and the administration could take two, in a commonsense way try to address gun violence and confront those in a way that does not at all undermine the importance of law-abiding americans. it is possible for us to do more but it will require -- and when i say us, i mean congress, principally. there are some common sense things congress can do. periodically, if there are additional ideas, we will put
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those forward. based on the fact that over the last two years or so, the administration has moved forward on more than two dozen initiatives should -- to try to get to the root causes of gun violence, i think is an indication of the president's determination to make drug rests the issue. important way we could make progress, will require congressional action. that is something that will only occur once the american public makes clear that action is a priority. >> any sort of new proposals? besides the one you just stated? josh: some common sense once have been put on the table. we know we have the strong support of americans across the country. the president observed some of the proposals have strong support from the majority of gun owners. it is ultimately up to congress to decide to act.
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tamura. camera: the u.s. government conducted its chemical weapons experiments specifically on minorities to try to figure out if they reacted differently to mustard gas. we are wondering if the white house was aware of these military experiments that happened during world war ii and if the president or the white house plans to do anything to his knowledge what was done? josh: it is the first time i have heard some of those details. obviously, the department of defense was included in that report and they made it clear that the department of defense does not conduct chemical weapons testing any longer. i do think as long as we are
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talking about these issues, it is worth remembering the united states military, in relatively recent american history, has had an important role helping our country make progress on issues of race. desegregating the military was an important step in this country passes history. at the same time, there is a good reason for the kind of testing described in your report is no longer done. tamura: will anything be done to it knowledge the living veterans? josh: i do not know of any presidential activities to tell you about right now. >> [indiscernible] israeli internal report. [indiscernible] talking about growth, human rights violations, especially condemning both sides question
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mark -- sides? josh: the position has been quite clear dating all the way back to last summer, in which we raised significant concerns about the safety and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire. there was concern we made clear publicly. we raised significant concerns in particular about extremists using arms to try to target innocent civilians. we raised concerns about reports that extremists were encouraging civilians to those places where there in more danger. they also reiterated that it was important on both sides of the conflict. that has been our view from the
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earliest days of the latest conflict and it is our view today on the date of this. i would not expect a significantly different official u.s., the aunt what i have just said, which is consistent with what we said even last summer. >> the president came under attack by the former -- accused him of formula to his policies [indiscernible] some connection referring to his father cared what is your reaction to that? a former official made a racist remark against the president and was forced to leave. do you think it is a slap in the face of the administration considering [indiscernible] josh: well, i think in the case of ambassador warned, it is
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another case of a politician trying to sell books. i am outward about that. as for the other comments, if there is one thing we learned from the incident, and it is not the only time we learned this, on twitter your limited to 140 characters but it has the capacity to be quite revealing. >> i want to go back to the issue of guns. will we see the president for new support, background checks, or start a new legislative push to crack down and have different gun laws in the weight of this issue? josh: the president's view on this has not changed. closing the loophole and background checks is a position the president has long advocated.
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last in the wake of the sandy hook shooting, there was a real effort to get it passed. there was a campaign for it. he talked about it in the state of the union address. will we see that kind of robust effort from the president before he leaves office to enact different gun laws? >> the president made clear in the aftermath that we were not likely to see a different outcome in congress until the american people made clear the issue is a priority for them. a small but very vocal minority of the public have made it clear they consider this a priority but are on a different side of the issue than the vast majority of americans and on a different side of the issue than the majority of gun owners. the president has been direct about the fact we will not see the kind of progress we would like to make in congress until the american public makes clear to congress that their views on this topic are priority. >> what does he mean when he
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says he is not resigning on this issue? and yet, it sounds like you are telling me he is resigned on the fact he will not see anything get through -- josh: no, i think the president is suggesting we need the american public to come forward, to signal to congress this is a priority that will bring about account -- bring about the kinds of priority changes we will need to see. it is a simple statement of fact. some suggested the president was resigned that we would not make any progress on the issue. that is certainly a bad misreading of the record and intentions. >> i want to ask you -- a variation of a question you have gotten. you said he used to the and word to shock people into a heightened sense of awareness. did president use the and word to shock people into a heightened sense of awareness? josh: the president was merely
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making an argument in an informal setting entirely can this with an argument me has -- he has made before. there has been progress when it comes to racial relations, but there is no denying also that more work needs to be done. the president, from a personal standpoint, draws great inspiration from the progress we have already made and the efforts of a previous generation of civil rights leaders to move the country forward. he believes everybody in the country can draw on that inspiration to move the country forward. the president acknowledged both in his speech in selma and remarks over the last several days, it will require the country to come together to confront this particular challenge. we have done it before and hopefully we will keep doing it. >> more broadly, you look at statistics after americans, the
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unemployment rate is far higher than the national average. does the president feel as no he is at a breaking point were fed up with the state of race relations and that is why he is using this new language? josh: no. that is not the way i would describe the president. go back and look at his comments. he was saying we made important progress in this country and anyone who lived through the 1950's through 1970's, through the country, would acknowledge we have made important progress. we cannot allow the difficulty and the challenge of making progress on these issues interfere with our passion for them. the president made this observation in his remarks in selma. which is that the kinds of barriers to change john lewis
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and martin luther king and other civil rights leaders of the 1950's in 1950's encountered was significant. there were entrenched, powerful local leaders. in some cases, local law enforcement leaders, that were willing to resort to violence to try to prevent this kind of change from occurring. a kind of challenge we face now is much different from that and we should draw on the courage and the previous era of civil rights leaders showed, to inspire some confidence that we could confront these challenges. the challenges are different. but there is no doubt we have made enormous progress in the work we have to do is so important that we should not have our passion for the issues
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diminished just because making progress on them is hard. if anything, we should draw on success the previous generations have made to inspire our confidence and ability as a country to make progress on these issues. >> the timing now that we are officially in summer? josh: i do not have an update on the timing other than, i think i previously said you can expect something on this relatively soon. ok? kevin. kevin: would it be unfair to describe u.s. it -- as being somewhat dismissive of the group or story and the fact that there were 20,000 e-mails out there showing that he was very much involved in the development of the affordable care act? josh: i guess what i would say kevin, you can probably describe
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my action about why it matters. its role, as illuminated in 20,000 e-mails, is consistent with the way i described the role and the way the president described the role. he didn't work at the white house. he certainly did not have e-mails that suggested that citizens who live in states that built their own exchanges could somehow be ineligible for tax credits that make it more affordable. if there is a bombshell included in those e-mails come it certainly has not on off. >> i want to follow-up on something a lot of people have been talking about and that is the use of the n-word here does the president condone the use of that word at home and what would he say to parents who have worked very hard to get their children to not use it, even though it is out there in music especially in urban settings. the parents have said, do not ever use the word even casually.
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what does he say to those parents? josh: you would probably have to ask him that here and i did not. it does not mean that is an illegitimate question. it is the president's personal views and you should ask him about it. [indiscernible] [laughter] >> lastly, on guns, i know he tried to make the point that he understands there is a tradition of families who have had gun ownership and there is bonding that goes along with that weird at the same time, he has tried repeatedly to make the point after so many of the tragedies that there should be something we can do, whether legislatively or organically among the american people. i am wondering if the timing sometimes gets in the way of the message. often he will come out and say something and it seems to get lost in what is happening in the
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moment. people are still grieving over what happened at charleston and he comes right up and starts talk about gun control. can you understand how that could sometimes put off people trying to get through the moment before they could set it aside and listen to what he is trying to say? josh: i will say couple of things about that, kevin. the first thing i would say is this is an issue the president talked about quite a bit. he did it a lot in his presidential campaign. when the president was campaigning, and many of you were around to cover this, the president would do town hall meetings in many small communities and campaigns. we are talking about eight years now. the president would be -- what the president would be asked about this issue. asked about this issue by democratic caucus goers making sure their second amendment were protected. they made a case to the president about how important it is in their family that there is
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a family tradition related to hunting and that handing down firearms from one generation to another is important to their family and entirely consistent with the constitutional rights the constitution guarantees. the president indicated his strong support for that at he understood the perspective and why that needed to be a priority. the president also heard from those who said things to him like, when you live in a small town or out in the country local law enforcement can be quite a ways away. the desire to have a fire arm in that type of setting is reasonable and consistent with detected constitutional rights. this is not the first time the president has been exposed to these kinds of arguments and not the first time the president indicated his support for the argument, those kinds of arguments made. the president would also point
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out that in an urban setting for example, or an area more densely populated, that there are different factors involved. and even in the kinds of settings being described there in a more rural community, there are still common sense things we can do, for example closing the background check loophole. it does not significantly in french on second amendment rights of law-abiding americans. we can ban assault weapon spirit you do not need an assault weapon to go hunting. it is not part of anybody's family heritage. her family tradition. these are the kinds of arguments the president has been making for some time. i did not work for him when he campaigned for the united states senate in illinois, but i assume he had exactly those kinds of
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conversations with potential illinois voters when he was running for the senate in illinois. the point is this is an argument the president has made not just in reaction to terrible and tragic events like the one we saw last week in charleston. this is an argument the president made when he is campaigning, as a candidate, as an office holder, in the context of a state of the union address a conversation he has had in the context of a podcast interview in his garage, in a variety of settings and circumstances, and on a variety of occasions in the past eight years. it is indicative of the president's's passion for those issues. one thing is clear. more members of congress will have to share the president's's passion before we can make progress in closing the gun show loophole.
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the way we will inspire the passion is for more american citizens across the country to make their voices heard. olivia. >> i missed what you told major about the deadline of the iran nuclear deal. is that a deadline you are sticking to? josh: we are sticking to the deadline, june 30. at the same time we've knowledged the previous deadline for the conclusion of the political negotiations was march 31. nothing was announced until april 2. the deadline is firm. but these kinds of short-term adjustments may be required to come to an agreement. at this point, we continue to operate with the june 30 jet -- deadline. >> i am curious how the podcast interview came about. the white house approached him. what segment of the american public was being targeted,
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specifically, through his podcast versus other media outlets. josh: i did not talk to him about it. i think he had heard of it even if he had not heard it. again, the idea here is not just that mr. maron presumably has a big audience. but also, there is a unique setting. i do not just mean it took place in his garage. but this was an open-ended free-flowing, the casual hour-long conversation with the president on a variety of issues. there was no one topic covered their there were a variety of topics covered. the combination of those factors made this a unique opportunity.
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i would not rule out doing other things like it in the future. >> a parking space [indiscernible] [laughter] but there are cars on either side of it. [laughter] can you fill in the blank in the president's schedule between the dinner tonight? we do not know anything else he is doing today? josh: i know the president has had a number of meetings with staff and i would not rule out conversations with members of congress about the series of votes scheduled this week. i do think the president will be engaged in the effort. john? john: two questions. first, the south carolina governor's's office announced at 4:00, she would make a statement
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calling for the confederate flag, its location. any reaction or could you give us a reaction? josh: we will see what we say first. we can discuss it here tomorrow. john: the other thing is, over the weekend, john kasich became the first of the republican presidential hopefuls to richard -- to address the crisis, and specifically the scenario of russia possibly bailey out greece or greece seeking aid from russia. he said, it is a very ugly scenario, something we should start against and not pursue. does administration has a position on greece turning to russia or its next bailout? josh: the fact is, the two countries you are discussing are
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not exactly countries whose economies are operating at peak levels now. i think that is why the concern you expressed about this will at least be moderated. what i can tell you it -- as a general matter is we continue to believe now is the time for greece and their partners to reach an agreement after months of additional negotiations. it is in everyone's's interest to allow greece to successfully return to stability and growth, while continuing to make address implementing important reforms to put public finances back on a sustainable path. the united states, continues to be engaged with all partners, but ultimately, we are hopeful
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that greece and its partners will seize the opportunity, now that we're so close to the deadline to move forward in the collective interest of all of those around the table. nothing on russia. >> a reaction to things current and former officeholders have been say -- josh: that is ok. >> there are some who have described what has happened in south carolina, putting race second or lower in priority and saying this was an attack on religion or an attack on faith. the president in describing it has put rach -- race where -- he is put race first.
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he said this is a racial issue irrespective of the ongoing investigation and questions still open. what does the president make of those putting race second or lower when putting behind the motive of the attack or the aftermath? josh: i have not seen specific comments you are referring to. i think i'll would just say i think the president's's observation about what appears to be the motive of the individual is the observation the vast majority of americans have reached. at the same time, there is an ongoing federal investigation. the president noted in his comments on thursday that he needed to be a little restraint making remarks about the alleged suspect. i need to do the same unfortunately.
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>> when you talked about moving the needle on this and it needs to be public opinion, what changes to the president's's message or his road trips, will we be seeing him actively do this? when you describe it, you are obviously -- obviously saying -- the language you have been using today is passive, the american people need this to happen. what can we actively see from the white house? josh: i would quibble with that description. they are particularly, in light of the fact there are comments congress can take bella make our kids and communities more safe without undermining second amendment what -- the second amendment rights of americans -- >> the president's's role is what? my question was about, what with the president do and i did not get any of that. josh: this these to be a
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priority, and he will note there are some things that can be done to make our communities safer, reduce gun violence without undermining the fundamental constitutional rights of law-abiding americans. >> the president made it clear that it is a priority for him. i'm asking what he will do or say differently in the next year and a half that will try to move the needle here? josh: i think the president will make -- continue to make a very forceful and persuasive case. >> last week on climate change. a small part of that and a large document, the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification for abortion. is it safe to say the president strongly disagrees with that? josh: i did not see that portion
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of it and why don't we take a look at the document and get reaction. >> also in regard to the other questionwhat the president -- would the president support the bill he supported previously? isolate the main exemption for transfers on these lessons, what the president support a background check for transfers which maybe would have presented the charleston shooting. >> the recent the present has continued to forcefully encourage congress to take some common sense steps to reduce font -- to reduce gun violence is not with the idea


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