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tv   US House of Representatives Special Orders  CSPAN  May 17, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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the string of attacks by isil is the latest reminder of the danger the group poses to all iraqis and the importance of iraqi leaders working together. you recall back in 2014, the u.s.dent made the offer of military assistance to iraq contingent upon iraq's central government more effectively uniting that country to confront isil. so that should be an indication that unified, effectively -governed iraq is critical. it has been a central part of our strategy from the very first day. and we have been encouraged over the last year and a half over the efforts that the prime
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minister has taken to unify that country and include the agenda that can inspire the confidence of iraq's diverse population that the central in baghdad is looking out for their best interests. that will have an impact on the effectiveness and resilience of iraq's forces. iraq's security forces backed by military air power and advice and assistance of coalition militaries from around the world has been effective in driving isil out of territory that they previously controlled. they have been driven out 0% of the populated areas that they controlled in iraq. that is tangible progress. and our coalition is committed
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in trying to keep up that momentum and continue to pressure isil while providing the government necessary resources to rebuild those areas that isil had taken over. in ramadi, isil just didn't occupy that community. they essentially destroyed it and rebuilding that infrastructure and rebuilding those communities so people feel confident in building back home is critical to our longer term success. so the important financial contributions by countries from around the world are an important part of our strategy but presented debated on the iraqi people and the international community having confidence in the effectiveness and the effectiveness of the iraqi central government.
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reporter: [inaudible question] mr. earnest: no. i think the u.s. troops that are in iraq are there for a reason which is to destroy isil and they are focused omissions that involve protecting the embassy and carrying out military air targets and providing training and advice and assistance to raqi security forces and small operators that have been rganized into these new forces that can carry out raids against senior isil figures. it has been clear about the mission that u.s. forces in iraq
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are pursuing. in srir: on syria, talks enyeah, does the government -- unintelligible] mr. earnest: too often, the assad regime are making a concerted effort to prevent the ccess that's needed for syrian populations that are caught in the cross five fire and we have expressed about the tendency to ither prevent convoys of humanitarian goods from moving into needed areas and in some cases there are reports of syrian forces raiding those
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convoys for the supplies they would like to have or prevent the supplies from reaching the intinded audience. so that is the source. and one of the reasons that the administration has worked gressively to hold the assad regime accountable is to make it easier for those humanitarian supplies to get to those areas that are badly needed. so humanitarian access for relief workers and assistance continues to be a critical concern not just for the united states but the rest of the international community and that includes the assad regime and the commitment they have made to abide by the cessation of hostilities and aid workers to
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et access that they have spent years in the crossfire. inaudible question] mr. earnest: the department of labor has been considering this change to overtime rules for quite some time. and their focus has been on making sure that people are fairly paid. including for their hard work and by definition, this is a rule that would apply to the hardest working americans. but this is a rule that continues to be under
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consideration for the process. it has been for some time and i would expect a decision soon but i don't have any announcement. we could engage in the discussion. [inaudible question]
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mr. earnest: with the house of representatives and we'll take it from there. -- rter: on gitmo [inaudible] >> the restrictions on uantanamo bay -- inaudible] reporter: your hands are tied. if you believe irrelevant is unconstitutional. why not either have the law or
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challenge the law in the courts that allows you to do this work that is necessary. mr. earnest: we have made clear that closing the guantanamo bay is a top priority and it's a top priority because fund can be more effectively spent in housing those individuals in facilities that have already been built here in the united states and we can do that and in doing so, we could save millions of dollars in tax payroll fund. expressed a concern that is expressed by national security leaders that they use the prison as a recruiting tool and the president believes that the american people would be safer if we took that recruiting tool, that propaganda tool away from extremist organizations.
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this is all important when you consider that we have demonstrated in this country at we can effectively detain convicted terrorists on american soil in a way that doesn't pose a threat to the american people. we have demonstrated that we can bring terrorists to justice using the american criminal justice system to hold them accountable. that would give the united states to say we are going to protect the american people and do it in a way that is consistent with our values, even if our adverse sears and our enemies aren't willing to subscribe to those values. pretty powerful statement and something that makes the american people safer. and what we would like to see, we would like to seekonk get out of the way.
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in some ways it's not -- so for example, we ed congress' affirmative cooperation and republicans are falling down on the job a putting the american people at greater risk because they aren't working with the administration because they won't appropriate the emergency funding. when it comes to gitmo, we need congress to get out of the way. they have prevented the administration doing what is necessary to protect the american people. in closing, closing guantanamo bay and doing it will enhance the national security of the american people. >> the restriction is unconstitutional and all the reasons you outlined --
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[inaudible] mr. earnest: i can't speak to our legal strategy. the most direct route is not one that wind through the federal courts for years. reporter: you might as well stop it. mr. earnest: so, initiating aier's long is available to the administration and i'm not going to take it off the table. given the priority that the president has established, we would like to seekonk to remove these obstacles. that is the most direct root for .stablishing a goal
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reporter: inaudible] is that something you support and how much do you think that would reduce the population? mr. earnest: i haven't considered every proposal in the ndaa and let me consult with our staff and get back to you. reporter: on the talks about yria, john kerry said today if assad has reached a conclusion there is no plan b and it's very dangerous. dangerous for whom? mr. earnest: the concern that secretary kerry is expressing there that the longer that president assad remains in power in syria, the more chaos and violence and division plagues
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that country. and that's why the united states and most of the international community is strongly in favor of executing a political transition inside of syria. he has lost legitimacy. and has ordered the military to carry attacks against unarmed civilians and by doing so, he within the claim realm of reason to be able to govern the country of syria. just as a practical matter, it's hard to imagine that syrian citizens who are on the receiving end of barrel bombs would be open to president assad to leave the country. the longer he is there, the more
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dangerous and violent he becomes. that is dangerous. we know that isil and they are not the only one, try to capitalize to establish a safe ven and plot and carry out -- cks, including areas including locations that are important to the united states and including on the soil of close american allies. reporter: on the ndaa, the policy rejects a bill that would undermine president obama order for prohibiting anti-discrimation for contractors. would the president veto that? mr. earnest: the way it is
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detailed in the statement of administration position that you have reviewed, there are a long list of concerns that we have with the proposal that the republicans have put forward. i can single nk out any one as being sufficient vetorner up a presidential and the reason for that there are a whole lot of ropes that the bill is bad and why the president opposes it. what i can say is that the in dent has been forceful using his executive authority to prevent discrimation and the executive order is a good example and the president has protected his ability to use that executive authority in his negotiations with congress
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because we know there are some in congress who for reasons that are perverse to me believes that the president shouldn't be taking actions. i will leave it up to them and difficult to justify in my opinion. but the president has worked hard to protect his executive authority that can be used to prevent discrimation. [inaudible]
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mr. earnest: hb 2 in north carolina so it could be quickly
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passed in both houses of legislation and signed into law. they have since walked back. so as pebts of that bill in the face of significant criticism and had a negative impact on the orth carolina economy. they would rather appeal to people's fears instead of getting support for their campaigns. and that's not the approach that the administration is taking and the guidance from the department of education on friday in response to administrators, the department of education put
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forward best practices and good ideas with regard to how schools n implement this policy in a way that will protect every student at the school. and these aren't ideas implemented, but ideas developed by stool administrators across the country and could be applied in their schools and sharing administrators is a tangible offer of assist taps that i think the majority of school administrators appreciated. and that's not the kind of constructive contribution that we have seen from conservatives. from conservatives, you have seen the suggestion that they don't have a way of -- they haven't put forward a construction of how the rules
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should be applied. ey are suggesting that birth certificates should be examined fore someone enters a public bathroom. they are interested in politics before solving a problem. [inaudible question] mr. earnest: i looked at it today anded editorial mentioned that democrats are obsessed with sex and that is amusing and republicans passed this law in
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north carolina. and republicans in the congress that have created a special congressional committee to look at planned parenthood and republicans who sued the administration over the affordable care act including as t relates to people being able to get access to birth control. reporter: getting back to the president is he making a decision to being more, you know, forceful on these issues than he has been back in 2004 when he was criticized? mr. earnest: i don't think so. i think that at every stage, this administration that fought for and successfully -- this administration that declined to continued to defending the defense of marriage act as
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litigation contesting that law as it wound its way through the courts. as it relates to this issue, it is clear that republicans are sooking a advantage and the administration who is offering advice to school administrators to protect the safety and dignity of every stupid at their school. reporter: [inaudible question] >> the president did say the national is going to continue. i wonder if you could tell us that the president warrants the action and whether sees progress on that front. mr. earnest: let's start by saying the u.s. government
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announced steps to help burma to demonstrate for the new democratic reforms and inclusive economic development. there is no denying that the process has been made in burma and the united states has been strongly supportive of the burma government as they pursue these reforms. one high profile piece of evidence is that election that was conducted just in the last few months that allowed for the eaceful democratic transfer of power. and it is indicative of the power they are pursuing. at the same time.
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, the united states wants to nsent ta advise and pressure entities, including the military so that the work of reforming that government continues and there is more work that needs to be done. and the sanctions that remain in place do serve to pressure those advocating t may be for rolling back from those reforms. so that the government has made important progress and we want them to build on that momentum. and that's why the recalibrated sanctions will move forward, but there are entities that are obstacles to needed reform and we continue to apply pleasure against those entities so we can
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hopefully nurture the continued rogress that burma has made. eporter: [inaudible question] mr. earnest: because there are -- reporter: [inaudible question] mr. earnest: and what impact they may have had, they can walk you through, our policy towards specific entities, but most of the remaining sanctions are discouraging activity particularly those who underminor obstruct political reform in burma or propagate military trade. and for those reasons continuing
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to apply those makes sense. and the progress that burma has made by recalibrating the sanctions. but we acknowledge the important progress they have made and rther intensifies additional reforms. that's the recalibration strategy in a has been applied. reporter: the white house has now issued strongly-worded warnings about the bill to members of congress. and today, when this bill passed on a voice vote, there was no opposition, doesn't that tell you there is just as strong a feeling that this is a legitimate concern and the need that these families to at least bring their claims to a court
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gin re important to an determine anti-rift? mr. earnest: look, the administration is strongly committed to assisting the 9/11 families. and there are a variety of ways that this administration has gone to bat for 9/11 families and those who did important work around ground zero to recover and rebuild. i have the legislation that for on a number of occasions got bottled up in the congress to ensure that those who performed . ground zero got health care lost the moft on 9/11 steadfast and our
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commitment to those principles will not change. the have to acknowledge significant, unintended consequence of moving forward. this is not just an expression but republicans in the senate have expressed concerns. the politics are tough. substance, on the we need to make sure that this the we don't overlook potential unintended consequences of a bill that put the united states at risk. that is a dangerous proposition and one as the commander in chief is concerned about.
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reporter: there is zero opposition on this bill. they are sending a message to the white house and aren't as important and what is your response to that? mr. earnest: i'll let them explain their proposition and hough admittedly, unintended consequences. it's not that somebody in song by voting this legislation is seeking to inflect harm to the united states. our concern is that that that is an ungin tended consequence and responsibility of the president f the ines to look out for the united states and our diplomats and other counts could use the passage of this bill as an excuse to initiate their own
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proceedings in their own courts. that puts the united states uniquely at ritching. reporter: are you concerned that this bill? pposed mr. earnest: we are going to engage with the bipartisan members of the house of representatives who expressed similar concerns and see if if they are aaddressed. reporter: have you urged members of congress not to proceed? besides that it has now passed the senate, are there ramifications to that alone in terms of the relationship that scrabe or anything else? mr. earnest: when the president went to scrabe and he had a long
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meeting and the issue of this legislation was not raised. it's an k it is -- indication of the fact that right now at least, this legislation is not interfering with our ability to coordinate with the saudi arabia government on areas of mute tall concerns. but it is the unintended consequence that the passage would bring about and giving other countries an excuse to subject the united states of america to what could be in other countries and puts the united states in a situation here we smend time, energy and resources and defending the united states in foreign courts. that isn't a good use of our
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diplomatic capital. this would serve as an exirble irritant with other countries around the world. again, we believe these kinds of concerns are the kinds of concerns that should be taken into account by every member of congress. reporter: the big difference here, dissecting the arguments. the u.s. doesn't support terrorist organizations that organizations. and you look at the arguments that these families are making, is that a huge risk that somebody would do something similar, targeting civilians on our soil? and obviously, democrats in the
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senate don't agree that that is, did you know dosh mr. earnest: the concern is out potential unintended consequences. there are count tries that unings.accuse the there are count tries that make their accusation and if they have a precedent for establishing their own in bringing the united states into court and putting at risk u.s. , sets that are held at seas hat's not a path we want to go down. the other concern is exactly how that system could work. i could imagine a scenario where or body who's injured
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wounded overseas is brought back to the united states and then they die. that could open the united states or other countries to claims in an american court because that individual died on the american soil. our court system is such you don't have to be an american system to file suit in an american court. so i recognize thises are hipt all but these are unintended consequences that are quite serious. a very negative effect and put at risk the united states, our assets and ersonnel all across the world.
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>> and they reviewed the 28 pages and acknowledged that 28 pages included investigatory materials that they had the opportunity to pursue and as a
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result they conducted interviews to follow up on the poning leads and despite having read the 28 pages and despite having acted on them despite investigations that that information could point to, they still concluded that the saudi government is not an institution. there is no denying that that part of it has been investigated. i'm not saying this in from to suggest that somehow that's going to ease the pain of somebody who lost a loved one on 9/11. our heart breaks for those people. these are thousands of americans who walk around every day with a hole in their heart because they lost a loved one and trying to make accepts of that and trying
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to move on with one's life is something that many of us have been challenged to do and they have moved on with their lives and some cases, parents who had to raise kids on their own and first responders who have continued to fight fires and respond to emergencies even with the memory of their partner in the back of their mind. rom is no denying and no denying the courage they have shown every single day since 9/11. but what we are focused on and what the families are focused on is the national security and the united states of america to protect our interests around the globe. our capacity is critical to preventing attacks on american
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soil. so the president's priority is not different than the priority of the 9/11 families hen it comes to protecting the united states of america and our diplomats. reporter: there were some changes that could have been these garding -- the way bills are written? mr. earnest: the reason we are going to talk to them is address the various ways. i don't know if that's possible at this point, but we are willing to engage in a bipartisan conversation to make that happen if that's possible. reporter: the t.s.a. and long lines at airports. i saw a study that said the rale is the lowest and while
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that is an inconvenience to travelers and all that, how is it a security risk now, is it reater and because of this tension on the system to put it mildly, there is greater concern bout security? mr. earnest: talk to the t.s.a. to draw a definitive conclusion that about that. the challenges they face, which is they don't want to inconvenience people. people want to get on their flight and go on vacation or whatever it is they are doing, but want to make sure that people can engage in their travel safely. there will be tension that we are making sure there are
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thorough checks and the integrity of the aviation system and while at the same time use that without a whole lot of hassle or inconvenience and there are a number of things that the t.s.a., the establishment of pre-check and allows individuals to go through a background check and go travel n an expedited line and see if airports can commit to using airport personnel. when lines get long or volumes
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airportcted to be high, and can be involved in the actual training. my point is there is going to be a little tension here in the basic function of the t.s.a. and they have worked hard to be creative about developing solutions that would make this process more efficient. and not inconvenience travelers adhering while also to the security standards. >> the long lines revealed that low is staffing problems, morale. and what extent is that come proposal myselfing safety at the airports? is there a focus in trying to ake sure there is a base
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givingen in the last months given these long lines, is there a focus to make sure this isn't causing security problems? mr. earnest: the professional are committed to the security and commitment to the public. you are right. this is something they are reviewing security standards regularly, daily to ensure those standards are being met and doing that even though that on average, they are screening 225,000 passengers per day. and there has been an effort to expedite the processing of the newest classifying of officers and funds that could be real
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ailted so they can be paid for working hours. so again there is a lot of work trying to be creative about how travelers venience undual while maintaining the the t standards that american people expect. reporter: has the president been tracking in nevada. there is threats against the state party chair? and there is a lot of emotion.
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mr. earnest: they have a process where they review the plans for choosing their delegates and that makes the process a little cumbersome but the way each state retains control over the process for selecting the process for the democratic convention. you have heard the president disputeut how political can never justify an act of violence. about president talked this in a speech js on sunday, the importance of citizenship and facts and evidence and the establishment and our political stem was able to prevent
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violence. and i think what is true the expectations that the president has is that there will be a strong commitment to that principle of nonviolence and the way that candidates in both parties address this question publicly is important and i'm confident it's something that people all across the country will watch. reporter: there are members of the party making delingt threats over the party chair? mr. earnest: i haven't looked at the claims but the president has spoken out against violence and certainlyly said that a political dispute like this can never be justified, used to justify an act of violence or a
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threat of violence and he has championed that for a lopping time ap his expectation would be that politicians in both parties whether they are election or not. one more on the president's legacy. hey are trying to organize lobbyists and inaudible] mr. earnest: i think the awe then tiesity of the change that president obama brought to washington has been confirmed in what you just relayed and
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indication to chaping our political system particularly when it comes to entrenched special interests and the president is quite proud and it will be up to the next president to determine exactly how to build on that progress. -- presume apply there are a variety of ways to do that and the debate not only in the summer but also in the fall but these principles of ensuring that citizens retain a voice in their government is something that the president has made a high priority. reporter: you had some words from the podium about republicans using this $100 billion figure and going back to
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it and they basically point to the administration's own use of it back in july, a few instances and secretary kerry and resident obama with "the atlantic." inaudible] mr. earnest: there were estimates about the amount of money that iran had in reserves outside of their country that were subject to sanctions and because of sanctions we put in police to compel them to come to e negotiating table and they d the pressure to iran and sign on the agreement from a
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wiring a nuclear weapon. now, what the secretary of the treasury and others repeatedly try tried to explain how much money that iran would get access to. those were spoken for in terms -- they ad already already incurred. d what critics of the deal ave suggested is that iran would get all that money and be flush with cash and use it for terrorism. and we said that the critics exaggerating that risk.
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that was the essence of the debate at the time as we were trying to explain what happened there. and they vastly overstated that risk in a way they continued to repeat and are wrong. ted cruz repeat thed this claim. and not uncommon for republic caps to step off this falls claim and the truth is what happened is we actually see officials in iran saying they didn't get as much sanctions re leff as they thought they would. around the time of the negotiations, the central bank government said they would get $30 billion. based on the tone and the comments from the officials, they haven't gotten that far.
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that's the essence of the way in which republicans repeatedly misled the american public when talking about the iran deal or deposit know what they were talking about. not just as they were talking to sanctions le relief. republicans said that it didn't make sense for the united states and international community to negotiate with iran because they would never go along with the deal. they were wrong about that. many of our critics said iran would never take the kind of actions that are consistent with rolling back the nuclear program. they reduced it by 98% and reduced their heavy water
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reactor. and republicans, critics of the deal suggested that the international community would never verify. t the nuclear experts at the aea who has won the nobody ell peace prize has verified the depreement. or at least on the wrong side of the agreement. so the list of concerns that we have here the way republicans have conducted this debate is lengthy and i can understand why republicans appear quite desperate what correct they have left. reporter: isn't it about the
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money being freed up towards iran snr the money that is going owards -- the debt they have already incurred and other money at they got access to -- [inaudible] ? mr. earnest: they weren't paying off their debts. so there is no evidence that anybody can marshal that that is exactly -- republicans can't demonstrate that what they predicted came true. . e iranians, have expressed and they acknowledged a much lower level of sanctions relief. to say nothing to the
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republicans who said iran was going to get $150 billion, a umber that was unsubstantiated and he e statistic said might veer bag acknowledge when discussing the truth about the iran deal. reporter: what's the bottom line? you said $100 billion. relying on what the iranians say this mr. earnest: you can check with the treasury department. inaudible] reporter: the president stands by the national security adviser, what is the president's
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response? mr. earnest: i'm going to ignore t now. [ inaudible] reporter: in a 4 trillion budget why are you suggesting that there would be no offsets? mr. earnest: congress has considered the emergency appropriations. and considered the emergency. ongress has no gotten bogged down in political fights related to pay-fors. demonstrating a sense of urg against cyst.
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they would consult with public health experts and what should be provided and they would >> can you explain why last week you said this has nothing to do with executive privilege and my friends at >> the house government and oversight committee posted that on the website you can check that out for yourself. notwhite house counsel did express that. to declining a request to voluntarily testify based on institutional concerns, and president of the united states should be to get confidential candidate device
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from his top advisers and this is a principle that basically every president has observed. i would note that one of the individuals who did testify a for the house oversight committee today served in the previous administration and did vote exactly the same caps on because he had almost exactly the same title as mr. rhodes in explaining why he would not testify. this is not a partisan matter long-standing institutional difference of opinion between congress and the executive branch. appliese privilege specifically to situations when the president of the united states acts to protect information that is compelled to congress. this was a specific request for testimony on a voluntary basis. on one hand you have got information that congress is compelling. on the other hand you have testimony that was requested.
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the principle is different and that is evident in the letter. i encourage you to check it out. >> the senate democrats will hold a hearing on chief judge garland. there is no nomination hearing it. does the -- has the white house participated in arranging this? is it a clear sign that the nomination is not going anywhere? that thet: i did hear judiciary committee is planning a hearing for tomorrow. the white house at -- has been coordinating closely with republicans and democrats to move that process forward. as it relates to the individuals who are testifying before the members ofomorrow the committee can talk to that. >> is it just not going well with this nomination?
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has metf judge garland with 15 republicans. he submitted his questionnaire and members of the judiciary have posted that publicly. we continue to apply pressure to republicans. the president did an interview with bugsy talking about why this is a critically important issue and we are going to continue to raise pressure on republicans and all the public the available data i have seen indicates it is not just democrats and independents who are dissatisfied with the position. the republican voters are expressing concern with the way that republicans in the senate are refusing to do their job. margaret. >> [indiscernible] can you tell us anything about why he was here? mr. ernest: i can get you more
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information. it is someone who has interacted with the president in the past. he participated in a forum at the g20 in malaysia where they talked about the global economy. and impact that climate change onhaving on the way -- businesses large and small. i will get you more information .bout his visit >> >> it is an justice against sponsor of -- sponsors of terrorism. it opens up litigation against any other state. from what you are saying, focus on the substance and fact, are you saying here that in essence one of the most emotionally loaded living memories in american history is being used
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for political purposes and in some ways overshadowing the substance of the bill that you potentially dangerous to american interests. are you going that far to say that this one issue is overshadowing all the other ways that this bill could become a problem for the u.s. or other countries? mr. ernest: there is no denying d nature of this issue and why the discussion of this particular legislation could arouse particularly strong feelings. going to question the motive of people who may be involved in supporting this bill. out theely pointing source of the concerns we have expressed. does potentially open
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up the united states to a range of unintended consequences. it would be bad for national security. it would be that for our ability to correlate with allies and make that harder and it could ourit risk the u.s., assets, and maybe even our personnel in countries and courts all around the world. that is the source of our concern and this is a concern that we have repeatedly expressed. that is the reason we oppose the bill. not because we question the motives of those who are involved in trying to promote the bill. our concerns are substantive and relate specifically to potential unintended consequences. >> and not specifically about saudi arabia? which is the only country we have discussed here. ernest: because advocates are suggesting they want to create an opportunity. >> this is some sort of special treatment or this is being treated differently because it is saudi arabia versus the supreme court decision that was
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upheld [indiscernible] sponsor oftate terror. can you explain the difference? this small there is class of countries that are confirmed state sponsors of terrorism that are in a sacred category than any other country. and that includes iran. we knew -- we know that iran uses assets of the state to support terrorism around the world including terrorism that claimed the lives of american citizens. we do treat iran differently from every other country. iran and other countries that are confirmed state sponsors of terrorism are treated differently than any other country including saudi arabia. >> [indiscernible] and a position opposing this bill because it could compromise
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sovereign entity. ernest: iran is one of the confirmed state sponsors of terror. [indiscernible] it is being suggested that power is being too consecrated -- concentrated. do you have any comment? mr. ernest: the first observation is that the current national security advisor has try to streamline and reform certain functions of the national security council that reduce thed her to size of the council by 10%. the first thing. the second thing is there is no denying the wide array of
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significant national security challenges that any president in the united states conference when they walk into the oval office every morning and ensuring that that president has access to the expertise and that he needs to deal with those challenges is an important priority and the desire of some republicans to try to limit the ability of the next president to make mayign-policy decisions reflect their lack of confidence in their aspects for the next presidential election. >> for transgender americans as it relates to government facilities they are able to use the restroom of their gender
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identity without restriction and that has always been the way, correct? mr. ernest: it has been that way in the obama administration. >> is the president aware of the readiness issues as it relates to the united states military? >> there are a number of things that we believe that congress has proposed to do that would have a direct impact on our military readiness. there are a range of programs that congress repeatedly funds that are military -- our military leaders say we do not need and there he are a set of priorities that are military leaders have said are worthy of an investment from congress that have been underfunded by the united states congress. there are a number of things that the president and our military leaders believe we could do that would enhance our readiness and there are a number of things that congress should not do that would degrade our readiness and so there are concerned about the way congress
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handles its business with respect to the military but the president is quite proud of the finest fighting force the world has ever known. he is often described his role as commander in chief in leading the men and women of the night states military as the greatest professional honor of his life and on time -- time and time again we have seen the heroism the professionalism yield significant benefits and that is true when it comes to fighting ebola, rescuing hostages, and true when it comes to taking out terrorists. to president is quite proud lead the united states military. >> he may veto the defense bill despite the fact that there are beumber of teams that cannot launched. i am wondering if the president the services deserve
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more money and if they deserve more money what is he doing about it to veto this bill. it will make it tougher for them to do the job and the mission they need to do. mr. ernest: he believes that congress should more effectively fund our national security apparatus including our military and their problem -- programs that are worthy of more consistent funding. right now what congress is proposing to do is to fund the military for the next six months. that does not make any sense. that is not a smart way to manage the most effective fighting force in the world particularly one that we depend on to protect our security. there are a number of reasons we oppose it. if this is passed this is something he will veto. can fundgress [indiscernible]
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-- >> what is the message to their women and men who are charged with mission readiness and their job is to protect us all, they need their funding, they need their money. hope congress is hearing your message. >> i hope you're figuring this out. i get e-mails and letters who say ask the white house, when are they putting pen to paper and make sure we are covered? >> it is the responsibility of congress to fund our government including funding our military. we put forward a budget act in february and for the first time in 40 years are public and leaders in congress refuse to have a hearing to even discuss what the president budget director what our funding strategy should do. it is republicans who have refused time and time again to handle the responsibilities consistent with putting our national security first. they would much rather pay -- play politics and attack the
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who -- for some reason is included in the bill. that is not a provision inserted by democrats. that was inserted by republicans who are more interested in playing politics than funding our national security. >> what is the solution because every day that goes by there's another aircraft that cannot be launched. there is another soldier out there who does not have what she or he needs. the sternest: that is a good question for the men and women in congress who have a responsibility to fund our government and military. that is a core function of the u.s. congress. that is the way that our funders designed our system of --ernment and the president responsibility to put forth a oppose all and republicans refused to discuss it.
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republicans have to bear the responsibility of digging out how to use their majority to make sure they are doing right by our men and women in uniform. >> i am not sure if april can make her wait back in. report isleague's out. his black america better off than it was? mr. ernest: all of america is better and black america is better president obama took office. on almost every measure whether it comes to graduation rates, access to health care, or the strength of our economy and job creation, by every measure our economy and country a stronger not just for african-americans but for all americans. >> thank you. someone who does not have a political agenda or a partisan -- any partisan bones in his
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body spoke about the new regulations and administration. this is one of the popes right hands speaking at the national prayer breakfast this morning. he said and i quote, should it not be that biological men should use a men's bathroom? it does not get any simpler than that. does the administration have any reaction to criticism of its new orders from the top vatican official? mr. ernest: i do not. >> when the president visited japan it was the north korea nuclear issue they were discussing at this meeting and i have a second question for you.
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the final destination of beforeth korean issues the administration's and this year [indiscernible] is an issuethis that will be discussed at the g7 meeting in japan. about theis concerned provocations and destabilizing activities of the north korean regime. particularly comforted -- concerned about the impact these activities could have their -- on their national security. the u.s. believes strongly in our alliance with japan. the u.s.-japan alliance is the cornerstone of regional security in northeast asia and the u.s. has deployed resources and personnel to japan to assist
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them in countering the threat that emanates from north korea. as it relates to resolving our broader concern with the north korea's nuclear program, we continue to work with the international community to pressure the north korean regime to isolate them further and encourage them to come into compliance with their international obligations. earlier this year the u.s. toked with china at the u.n. ramp up the pressure that has been placed on the north korean regime. we put in place sanctions that went farther than they have before and isolating that country and targeting certain industries in north korea that we know generate revenue that is used to invest in their nuclear program. those kinds of sanctions will not be possible without the effective cooperation and coordination of the u.s. and china and we are going to work with the rest of the international community to make progress in isolating north
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korea until they make clear that they are prepared to denuclearize the korean engaging in the kinds of provocative act that are probably destabilizing. go ahead and finish. [indiscernible] mr. ernest: the next step will he up to the north koreans to decide whether or not they are to denuclearize zynga korean pullen said. face they do they will kind of isolation that they currently suffer from. go ahead. >> you talk about the urban league. they are talking about the issue
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of aca and hoping the costs will be cut for health care. [indiscernible] ernest: it gives me an opportunity to point to the recent study there was published that indicates for the first time the percentage of americans with health insurance in 2015 exceeded 90%. that is the highest annual measure that has ever been recorded and is another sign of important progress our country has made under the affordable care act. one of the goals was to put downward pressure on the growth in health care costs and since the affordable care act went into effect we have seen the slowest growth in health care costs and record. then again is another tangible sign of the important benefits of the affordable care act.
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moving forward as the law continues to be implemented and as more people get access to health care and is more competition is created in individual markets, where optimistic that we will continue to put downward pressure on costs and put outward pressure on expanding coverage to even more americans create -- americans. roots in the next building. can you explain why this white -- they are airing it and -- in a new version. and can you tell me why these events are happening here? >> the significance is is this is a film that shaved a
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generation of americans' views of our country's history and race relations in this country. there has been a movement to modernize the film and present an updated version and has a lot talking to some issues that are central to the founding of our country and central to our nation's history and central that raceact relations has on everyday life here in the united date. these are issues that are worthy of discussion and study and using an opportunity with the presentation of a new film like this that the administration decided to capitalize on that opportunity to cultivate and engage in an important discussion. >> this is part of the efforts to keep the dialogue going on race, airing these movies from
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this historic place to mark mr. ernest: it is an opportunity for people to come together and discuss these issues and people's interest in a film like this provides an appropriate venue for having this discussions. thanks a lot, everybody. go ahead. president at the screening? >> he was not. >> one other question. you mentioned the 90% with health insurance. why is it not 100%? what is holding up the aca? >> part of what is holding it up is republican governors proposing the expansion of medicaid. it is unfortunate that we continue to see millions of americans be denied access to health care because republicans in their state do not want to be viewed as implementing let alone supporting the health care reform law championed by president obama so that is --
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there are millions of americans who don't have access to health care for that reason. of that 10% that does not have access to health care. some of those people are individuals who have chosen to pay a penalty as opposed to paying for health insurance and we talked a lot last fall and earlier this spring about why that was not a commonsense financial choice but it is a choice that some americans make. thanks, everybody. see you tomorrow. >> it is primary day in kentucky and oregon. results in so far from kentucky, 76% reporting according to the ap with a slim lead by hillary clinton. it has been back and forth all evening. comes in, clinton
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nets 3000 votes. she is vaulting to the top. 76% of the vote in kentucky. we will keep you posted and have results from the oregon primary. center bernie sanders is campaigning in carstens, california. he will be at cal state dominguez for rally just outside long beach. we will have live coverage at 11 p.m. eastern here. the house called it a day after finishing a first day of debate on the $610 billion defense authorization bill that sets pentagon programs and policy for the coming fiscal year. more debate expected tomorrow. they should wrap up tomorrow or on thursday. with still to come military spending and a bill on zika virus research. the senate moved forward on an amendment on zika virus research funding. more details on that and what
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may happen in the house from a capitol hill reporter. >> with us on the hill, a health care reporter for "politico." your piece just getting published this afternoon. the $1 billion fight to fight zika. let's look at the senate debate. they were three amendments considered. tell us about the one that passed >> the one that passed was put together by roy blunt and patty murray. point $4or one billion. not the 1.9 that the white house had requested. -- both sides a said this is the best they could do. it passed with support from nearly all democrats and several republicans. say they are concerned the white house has not provided all the details they need and some republicans oppose this because it was emergency money so it was not fully paid for.
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-- what diddment this amendment have that the john two, the ones by cornyn, why were a blocked in the senate? >> let's look at them one at a time. the republican amendment put forward by john cornyn was $1.1 billion, that was paid for but it is through cuts to obamacare to its prevention and public health funds. the argument is that we are preventing zika virus. it could be funded through obamacare money. toocrats were not going support that because they do not want to see the aca cut it all. wasthen the amendment that put forward by bill nelson and oneo rubio was for the full billion that the white house had requested. that did not have support from most republicans because it was not paid for.
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>> what are the states that we know are being affected by this early on in the disease? no local there is transmission but public health experts expect that by the summer it will be happening in the u.s. largely in southern states. florida, bill nelson and marco rubio are from florida, they are expected to get it first in southern states through the gulf, texas and up the east supposed tore it is be felt first. there are some expert to say it could spread even further into the northern states. >> as your headline pointed out they are calling for half of them. i tweet from the committee on monday saying that the bill introduced provide $622 million to fight zika virus. it will last for the rest of fiscal year 2016. why is it important to house
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republicans to have that offset? >> house republicans are concerned about adding money to the deficit. they said even the zika virus which they say is a public health emergency and they want to see treated needs to be paid for. also this funding goes through the end of the fiscal year we are in through september 30. thisld expect that even if were approved which i think is unlikely to happen in the senate, they could come back and add additional money later. one of the arguments they have had is they are asking for money that has a lot of flexibility and no one knows how the zika virus is going to spread, when it is going to peak, how long it will last and republicans are looking for a more incremental approach. moneyould approve this now and in theory they could come back later. >> reflecting the differences in
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spending levels and how that is done in terms of assets. here is the statement from omb. the veto threat saying funding to fight the zika virus should be treated as an emergency. officers would recommend the veto of the house built. where do you think the eventual number will wind up question mark mexicans it will end up closer to the $1.1 billion. the house republicans are feeling pressure especially lawmakers in the southern states worried aboutre the zika virus and hearing a lot about it. mosquito season is coming. about beingcerned caught flat-footed. if this virus is as bad as some people expected to be they do not want to be responsible for voting against funding that could have gone to help control
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the mosquitoes and develop vaccines and better testing. >> more debate ahead on seek a research funding. health care a reporter with "politico." thanks for being with us. >> thank you. messagingte house strategy for the iran nuclear deal was the focus of the heise -- of a house oversight committee. members had invited ben rhodes but the white house declined the invitation. the hearing is two hours 45 minutes.
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>> good morning. to committee will come order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. today's hearing is entitled the white house narratives on the iran nuclear deal. it is important we take this up and do with this. there are three items i ask consent to enter into the record. the first is the article from the "new york times." and the second is a letter addressed to me. andes to the ranking member talking about how the white house would not make ben rhodes available to the committee today. i would like to enter it into the record may 16, this is from senators cornyn, mark kirk and senator john barrasso.
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without objection i would like to enter these three into the record. >> so ordered. >> iran. it is one of three countries that are on the state sponsors of terrorism list and it is important we have some clarity. there are some issues that are outstanding. it is one of the most important foreign-policy initiatives that the president has taken forward but it demands a lot of clarity. we were hoping the clarity would be provided i benjamin rhodes, assistant to the president and deputy national security advisers for speechwriting. obviously a very talented and trusted person. i do not doubt his talents and his knowledge, but the deal that had been spun up and sold to the american people i am not sure was as clear as it should have been and have serious questions about the transparency, the truthfulness and when it
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started. i think those are legitimate questions as we move forward because her you have a state sponsor of terrorism in iran and we still do not know the answer to a lot of these questions. some may think they know the aswers but there is still shroud of secrecy and i think this is a very viable thing to look at. mr. rhodes was in the unique position to offer this perspective given his heavy duty and work on this. what is mystifying is how readily available he made himself to the media but only obviousedia, he showed disdain for people with foreign policy credentials and showed great disdain to the media themselves. he elected to share those with the "new york times" that put them out there. also very negative about congress going so far as to say they could not had a -- have a
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withnal discussion congress that we provided that. josh earnest from the podium at the white house openly mocked congress and said that perhaps otheruld be calling members up such as senator tom cotton who should swear and affirm and answer questions. i took that suggestion and shared it and we accommodated that. agreed if mr. rhodes would he here to also be here to answer questions and ferret out any of these details not to rhodes elected speak. he does have a public speaking engagement today. he is out giving a public speech today that refuses to come and speak with congress. i am going to play a clip, i have two clips in my opening statement and i can -- i think you can see where someone on the
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other side of the aisle will say we have known everything about this and it has been debated by want you to watch this clip. clip b if weo could and let's watch this. >> or have been reports that and outside of the p-5 plus one mechanisms the obama administration or members directave conducted secret bilateral talks with iran, is that true or false? we have made clear as the vice president did in minute that in the context of the framework we would be prepared to talk to iran bilaterally but with regard to the kind of thing that you are talking about on a government to government level, no. >> let me try it one last way.
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as of the policy of the state department were the -- to lie to achieve that goal question mark >> i think there are times when diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. this is a good example of that. see victoria nuland offered what turned out absolutely and totally not true. she was more candid in that assessment then you have this article comes out and basically the administration thought it was in their best interest to spin up the story that negotiations started with a more moderate regime into a 13 but that is not what had happened. that was fiction as well. twice fouralk about by seven access. the american people were led to believe that americans with the best interest would have access and be able to see and get in there and go into these nuclear
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facilities 24/7. i will play another clip. .his is number -- letter e >> the israelis have put out this list of things they think should be in the final deal with iran including allowing inspectors to go anywhere, anytime. that seems perfect the reasonable, no? >> first of all under this deal , anytime,ave anywhere 24 seven axis as a relates to the nuclear facilities that iran has and you have access to -- >> what about the military facilities? >> if we see a site that we need to inspect on a military facility we can get axis to that site and inspect it. if it is suspicious and we believe it is related to nuclear efforts we can get axis and then
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-- inspect that site through the .aea deal you will have anywhere, anytime 20 47 axis as it relates to the nuclear facilities that iran has. >> or his twin 47 access to iran -- two verify their compliance. >> anytime anywhere. -- their nuclear facilities. >> i have spoken at length about what exact the this deal is. i also want to make clear what this deal was never intended to be. as the chief negotiator i can tell you i never uttered the words anywhere, anytime nor was it ever part of the discussion we had with the iranians.
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>> you can take that down. ouromeone pointed out on committee, i do not think that mr. kerry was the chief negotiator. 24 by seven axis, can you axis anything anywhere anytime? we have also heard a lot of numbers related to sanctions relief. escrow dealing with the ed funds. the iranians said he had access to $100 billion. the treasury department said it is $50 billion in secretary kerry said they had access to $3 billion and then lamed treasury. this is a lot of money going to a state sponsor of terrorism. there's also questions about ballistic missiles. there was a violation of the 2231 but inion
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march of 2016 you have ambassador power to the u.n. who toned it down little bit. they are calling it an inconsistent [indiscernible] to the filing should not u.n. resolution. then you have issues about boosting iran's economy. the state department suggested that we are obligated to boost the economy, the iranian economy. something we need to understand. we do not understand the side deals, there are still sanctions on iran, we want to understand that and then there is questions about everything that has been agreed to. but inside writing deals and other verbal commitments that were neighed -- made.
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that mr. thornberry has an important amendment we should consider and look at that will be part of the issue as we move forward. there are a lot of outstanding questions. we wanted to get the person who is in the thick of things from the white house to come here and testify. the white house on thursday claimed this was not about executive privilege and then less than 24 hours before this anding the reversed course said it is about executive privilege. who is being inconsistent? you have plenty of time to go out and talk to all the media friends and talk to the echo chamber that you brag about it when it comes time to answer our questions under oath you decide has faro it. my time exceeded what we have allocated. we will recognize mr. cummings. mr. cummings: thank you.
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forink all are witnesses being here today. surprised -- very surprised and shocked that you would invite john hannah to testify before committee as an expert witness. on the subject of false white house narratives. mr. hanna was vice president dick cheney's top national security advisor in the white house. helped prepare colinary of state powell's infamous state -- speech to the u.n., a speech that secretary powell has called
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a permit blot on his record. mr. hanna was identified by the as hisational congress "principle point of contact" in the vice president's office. were provided reams of false information about weapons of mass destruction. heworked with scooter libb who was convicted after the bush administration leaked the identity of a covert cia agent valerie plame. her husband, ambassador joe wilson had publicly debunked the administration's false claims about the iraqi nuclear program. libbyas the same scooter
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who told the fbi that it was askedble" that cheney had him to leak information about valerie plame's status. i do not know mr. hanna and i do -- i have note met him before today. if our goal was to hear from an expert who actually promoted false white house narratives and i think you picked the right person. but if our goal was to hear from someone who is not involved in one of the biggest misrepresentations in our nations history, then you picked the wrong person. listening to john hannah criticize anyone else for
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pushing of false white house narrative is beyond ironic. he ended cheney and their colleagues in the white house wrote the how-to manual on this. tragedy here is that thousands of u.s. service members from our district were killed in iraq and thousands more sustained terrible injuries . the american taxpayers have now spent hundreds of billions, billions of dollars, even by the most conservative estimates. the chairman, rushed to invite mr. hanna without consulting anyone. this panel has been stacked with hand-picked witnesses that oppose the agreement and they did not invite comment
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republicans like richard lugar. they did not invite any eight of the dozens of generals or admirals or other military experts who support this agreement. other committees have held dozens of substantive hearings on the iran agreement. do you know how many this committee has held? zero. the subcommittee on national security last november but that was it. nothing at the committee level. now ourof a sudden committee is rushing to hold today's hearing without even a one-week notice required are the house rules. same are all repeating the talking points and the same republican political narrative. he has basically created his own
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republican echo chamber. with respect to ben rhodes i am struggling to understand the allegations against him. if i understand it correctly republicans accuse him of misleading the american people by claiming that nothing 2013ned with iran before when they elected the so-called moderate president. republicans claim that if the theicans just knew president was working towards an agreement before 2013, they would have rejected the deal. of course, this is absurd create there are dozens of public press reports from every single year of the obama administration documenting how they were working to reach out to iran with burying degrees of success. by theto do is google it time resident barack obama was a
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candidate for president until today press accounts are full of accounts of how letters were being exchanged, meetings are being held, and negotiations were being lodged. republicans rushed to hold this hearing not as a way of getting substantive information about the hurts of the iran agreement or even to investigate the allegations. this hearing is exact the what it purports to condemn. person narrative designed to mislead the american people. that is not just ironic, that is hypocritical. with that i yield back. i think the witnesses against being here. witness we had invited from the white house had declined to come before the committee. we are disappointed in his failure to appear. invitation to
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appear was invite -- extended to tom cotton done at the request of the white house. mr. rhodes refused to appear before the committee today the distinguished senator of arkansas is also excused. >> i have an inquiry. is mr. hanna here? >> yes. >> then why didn't mr. cummings s?ked him the question >> i can say whatever i wanted to say in my opening statement. >> just be fair about it. you can say what you want. >> i wanted to know if he was here. >> mr. rhodes is not here. i would also note that the democrats were free and usually
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almost always invited democratic witness but there is no democratic witness because you did not invite one. >> you know for fact that we got less than the notice is required in the rules and did not object and went on with the hearing. you know that. >> i disagree with the timing issue. >> you gave us the required time. >> yes. >> i disagree. >> we will sort that out. we have a good working relationship. >> parliamentary inquiry. does the executive privilege applied to media interviews or appearances before congress? >> i do not know the full answer but i believe they are free to talk to whoever they want to in the media but they did claim executive privilege.
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>> is that a yes or no, does that apply when you are being interviewed by "the new york when" or abc or cbs or numbers of congress ask questions? >> i think when members of congress. we're going to continue with the hearing. we do have mr. michael rubin. , a seniorl warren fellow at the heads and -- hudson institute. we welcome you and thank you for being here. all witnesses are to be sworn before they testified. --you will please raise and rise and raise your right hand. that thelemnly swear testimony you are about to give be the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? allthe record reflect that witnesses answered in the affirmative. we would appreciate limiting
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your comments to five minutes. your written statement will be entered into the record. now recognize mr. rubin. thank you for the opportunity to testify. the major iran related issue [indiscernible] embraced the voluntary compliance with the additional protocol when previously ronnie had bragged that voluntary compliance allowed iran to reverse course. have iranians transferred work to labs in north korea? we will never know. another where it misled was rouhani as a moderate. withuffed his cabinet veterans of the intelligence kgbstry constructing a
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cabinet. in 2005 he laid out a doctrine of surprise. love the americans into complacency and deliver a knockout blow. it also misled about who benefits. the real tragedy is it pumps money into the coffers of the revolutionary guard. between 1998 and 2005 the european union almost tripled its trade with iran and the price of oil quintupled. a spokesman bragged about how he had defeated the west and we had an overt policy which was one of negotiation and can't does confidence building and a covert policy which was continuation of the activity.
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the problem goes beyond the supreme leader's investment bond. the economic wing controls 40% of the economy including every sector now open for business. many of those who supported the jcp away acknowledged it is a flawed and faulty agreement that argued the alternative was war. this may have been crafty politics but it undermined the u.s. position. by creating a binary choice he added ability that the obama administration [indiscernible] this played into iranian hands because they knew no matter what wouldushed for kerry concede. i my written testimony detailed a long history of diplomats and politicians lying to keep diplomacy alive for you too often they blame political opponents more than foreign adversaries for the failure of diplomacy. as do formats
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proceed with high-level engagements they too often calibrated to the fantasy they have constructed rather than reality. this often leads officials to avoid congressional oversight and on occasion to lie to congress. during the 1990's senior state department officials testify they could draw note to let -- direct links between arafat and terrorism to avoid triggering an aide cut off. likewise in 2007 during the bush administration the state department point man on north korean issues presented to congress and artificially rosy picture of the diplomatic process with north korea in order to keep support for engagement alive. diplomats advocating the new start treaty lied directly and by omission to congress in order to avoid reporting that russia had been cheating on arms control. so what to do?
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certainly any dissemination of false it's too congress and the american evil merit a broader investigation. the six decades state department has failed to conduct lessons learned exercises as to why it's hype profile diplomacy with rogue regimes have seldom if ever exceeded. refusestate department due diligence it would be beneficial if congress would examine diplomacy leading up only to ensure that the same mistakes are now made for a seventh time. there should be bipartisan consensus. even supporters acknowledge serious concerns about its flaws. so to do most experts outside of the echo chamber about [indiscernible] i am concerned that perhaps by creating an cochair and talking to people within it in effect
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what rhodes did was create propaganda operation in which he entrapped none other than secretary of state john kerry. did he talk to people outside the echo chamber? if not he is a victim of inroads as well. thank you. doran: members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to address some of the problems raised by the recent profile on ben rhodes. the "news admitted in york times" that he created a detailm of two dozen he's from around the executive branch who came to the white house and monitored all communications, all public medications about the iran deal. communication's coming out of capitol hill, the think tank world, and social media and the
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traditional media. he also created what he called an echo chamber, that was a network of center -- sympathetic ngo's, think tanks, and compliant members of the press seeded false narratives about the iran deal and then directed the reporters to these ngos and think thanks to give seemingly independent verification to the narratives he put out. in my view the creation of the echo chamber and war room does constitute a deception of the american people and of their representatives but the question is what exactly was the nature of the deception question mark to understand that we have to understand the larger policy context. that is the strategic goal of ae president was to carry out detente with iran. it was to end the conflict with a necessary precondition
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to pulling the united states back from the middle east because ending the military engagement in the middle east is the president overall goal. the president had been upfront and said he wanted to pull the u.s. out of the middle east and he would have uncovered immediately is of political backlash which would have undermined his whole project. ,he former defense secretary said as much to the "new york times" magazine. now, that is the need for a propaganda operation that to deceive the american people. it is not just to misrepresent what is in the iran deal but this represent everything around it which is the strategic goal of the president and the middle east.


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