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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 3, 2016 2:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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i am not 1/10 as strong as i find ted poe to be. he is on this fight. he is of great hands in houston. i think he's going to knock it out of the park and cancer has no chance against this great man. >> that is a texas radio host and his tribute to ted poe, who is battling cancer back in texas but staying active on the political scene. today tweeting about money paid to iran. here is his tweet. this blood money will come back to haunt us. part of his statement that he released from his office. what he is talking about is the story that was reported first this morning in the wall street journal. here's the headline about the money paid. u.s. sent cash to iran as americans were freed.
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obama administration insists there was no quid pro quo for critics charge payment amounted to ransom. today's white house briefing with josh earnest. >> good morning, everydy. it's nice to see you all. you will have to bear with me today. i am fighting off those nasty summer colds. i will try to keep the sniffling to a minimum. we can gstraight to your questions. i want to start with the arrest of a d.c. metro transit police officer on charges he was trying to help islamic state. the first arrest on terrorism charges of a law enforcement officer post 9/11. how concerning for the white
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house? do you have anything additional about what commuters are looking at? >> the department of justice has issued a rather lengthy statement on this case. i will let them speak to the details. what i would say more generally is the department of justice and law enforcement officials at the fbi take seriously the responsibility they have to protect the american people. we have seen the f dei and u.s. attorneys across the country about arrestsents nnd convictions they have wo against individuals who support extremist organization. we are mindful of the risks posed by homegrown extremists. part of the strategy used by extremist groups around the world including isis is to
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use social media to try to recruit followers around the world. and department of justice take seriously the responsibility they have the resources at their disposal to pursue investigations and do everything to protect the american people. >> i want to ask about donald trump suggestion that the election might be rigged. suggested you are putting so much effort into the transition planning because of the lack of public confidence in transitions of power in the u.s. i wonder if the white house thinks comments like his erode confidence and could create a situation where people don't have faith in the competence of presidential elections. >> this was the subject of some debate at the end of the last presidential election when some
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supporters of governor romney complained of skewed polling. this is not a new claim. claim made by people who don't end up winning elections. what i will just say in general is that the cornerstone of our democracy is the ability of eligible voters to cast a ballot and have it counted. the more people participate in the system and process stronger our democracy and the president has made that case not just in audiences. . he has made that case in front of audiences that include people that don't share his views or may not have voted for him. stronglydent believes
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that our democracy benefits when more people are engaged. he is certainly going to encourage people to engage in that debate. you have seen the united states department of justice pursue cases in the courts to ensure that the rights of eligible voters are protected when it comes to participating in elections. the president has worked in bipartisan fashion including signing up the lawyer for governor romney's campaign to offer advice about what we can do to make it easier for eligible voters to participate in the process. the president believes our democracy benefits when the american people are engaged in when as many eligible voters as possible cast ballots. >> can the u.s. government provide assurances that this election at least from a mechanical standpoint will not be rigged against donald trump?
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the president's confidence in the integrity of our electoral process. electionsing the critical infrastructure -- protections and eligibility for federal funds. is that an idea that the president supports? >> this is an idea that other members of his security team have also discussed. this should be an education -- indication that this administration has placed the highest priority on cyber security. the administration understands there are risks in cyberspace and those take a variety of forms. that's why the president included more than $1 billion in his budget proposal to increase cyber defenses. to more effectively work with the private sector to ensure that critical infrastructure is protected.
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unfortunately republicans in congress refused to even hold a hearing to disk does the president budget proposal. that's quite unfortunate and raises questions about whether they have their priorities in order. when it comes to how important either security is in this country the president and the administration have made that a priority. there are risks out there that i think the american people can have quite a bit of confidence in our ability to mitigate those risks and confront the threat. >> the new york attorney general is targeting companies today that make phony products that say they fight zika but they don't. how concerned is the administration that companies might be taking advantage of public fear about zika? >> at the risk of disappointing the u.s. attorney general i have not seen those reports.
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i can tell you are experts here arehe federal government very focused on the risk from zika and we encourage people who are concerned about that risk is older doctors and publicly available resources either from state and local public health officials for federal officials at the cdc. the cdc has been working very effectively with local public health officials across the country to meet this threat. if people have questions about steps they can take to protect themselves we encourage them to consult experts and follow that advice. can the administration ask to relax federal restrictions on some of the pesticides that have been restricted over the years to fight zika?
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>> what i would say about this is the administration will continue to rely on the advice of experts at the epa and cdc. in determining what is most us to fightr mosquito populations that may carry this virus. that our public health professionals and environmental experts have determined that in some places in south warda for example, aerial spring for limit the can help size of the mosquito population that carries the virus. we are willing to consider a range of options to implement vector control measures, trying to fight the mosquito population. in some cases it does raise questions about environmental safety and how effective certain chemicals are against this particular mosquito.
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we are mindful of all of those questions and we will certainly rely on the advice of experts in the most effective strategies to fight the mosquito population. >> one pesticide that could be relaxed -- is that one of the options? >> it is unclear what assessment the epa has made about that chemical. you can ask them about that. >> in florida we are finding out just how hard it is to fight. the mosquitoes who breed in a bottle cap of water. what other steps can we take? >> we have known since january that this is a particular species of mosquito. it is a tough one to five you can thrive in a very small amount of water.
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it can reproduce rather quickly and obviously it is a carrier of this virus. the president and his team have been planning for months now. it is unfortunate that republicans in congress have not stepped up to the plate to play their role in providing necessary funding to ensure we are doing everything we possibly can to protect the american people from the zika virus. you already know emergency response teams have been deployed to south florida to work with local officials. fortunately in a place like florida there are public health professionals who have experience in fighting mosquito borne diseases. the mosquito population in south florida is larger than it is in many other areas of the country. there is some expertise already in south florida that understands what is necessary to fight the mosquito population.
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they are very focused on this effort. the support that can be provided by the federal government can be provided in the form of resources to fight mosquitoes. it can also be provided in the form of providing researchers who can help track the spread of the disease. this includes testing to determine who has it and how they we have -- may have gotten it. there is also work that needs to be done in expanding the capacity of labs across the country to do test and diagnostics. there's also work that needs to be done in developing vaccines. announcedrlier today they had begun trials of a particular zika vaccine. that is good news. the bad news is we already know they will not be able to begin phase two testing if congress
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doesn't act and if republicans continue to obstruct funding for the zika virus. that will limit our ability to rapidly develop the kind of vaccine that next summer or the summer after that could start protecting the american people from the zika virus and limit the risk associated with this disease. republicans in congress have a lot of explaining to do. i don't think there is going to be a lot of sympathy for their position. they left on a seven week recess a day early at the height of mosquito season and basically told the american people good luck. i think the american people expect a lot more from their government. they certainly expect a lot more from their elected members of congress. the irony is the states that are at greatest risk are those that are overwhelmingly represented in congress by republicans. it makes the republican position on this issue all the harder to justify.
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the response you will see from the federal government will continue to be robust. evenll continue working with republican officials in florida to try to protect the people of florida from this virus. at some point republicans will have to fulfill their responsibility. bit about the report in the journal today about the pallets of cash that went to iran. the detail of procuring the amount in foreign currency and putting them on the plane and flying them in on the same day that the hostages were being is what seems to be causing a lot of reaction. donald trump tweeted that it is a big scandal. some people are saying it
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potentially proves you are paying rent directly for the release. i know this is actually -- i think you devoted a significant portion of your weekend back in january to covering this story. you have my can sing -- continuing sympathies for that. you guys know the facts here. for those who are flailing in an attempt to justify their continued opposition to the deal for preventing iran from obtaining a new weapon i will review the facts. this $400 million is money the iranians had paid into a u.s. as part of a79 transaction to procure military equipment.
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equipment as it relates to this $400 million was not provided to the iranians in 1979. because the shaw of iran was overthrown. decision.he right it was hard for the united states to make an argument in this case that we could just keep the money. with the united states did was resolved a long-standing claim that saved the american people potentially billions of dollars. details,ates to the
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thefact of the matter is united states does not have a banking relationship with iran. that is thatn for the administration has kept in place tough financial sanctions against iran because of a variety of concerns that we have about their behavior including their support for terrorism, violation of human rights and a ballistic missile program that continues to be inconsistent with un security council resolutions. the facts of this are quite clear. it's an indication of just how badly opponents of the iran deal are struggling to justify their dealition to a successful that has prevented and continues to prevent iran from developing a new there with -- nuclear weapon. >> was this money ransom for the
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folks that were released? >> no it was not. it is against the policy of the united states to pay ransom for hostages. we talked about this in january. there was a conscious strategic decision made on the part of the obama administration as we were implementing a deal that would prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons to resolve other long-standing concerns that we had with iran. that included securing the release of five american citizens who had been unjustly detained in iran and closing out a long-standing financial saved the a way that american people potentially billions of dollars. this all came to a head at the same time.
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because we were addressing and resolving long-standing concerns with iranian behavior. the benefits are almost too long to mention. iran is not developing a nuclear weapon. it had to scale back its nuclear program. they released five americans. we resolved a 35-year-old financial claim any way that saved americans billions of dollars. >> you cited the sanctions on iran because of concerns of terrorism. handinge people who say over a pallet full of cash is actually less secure. that money could be handed off and distributed to terrorists potentially with even less ability to track.
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was the white house at all concerned they were essentially handing the iranians a pile of that could money potentially fall into the hands of people we don't like? >> let's just review. the mentioned earlier united states continues to have concerns with iran's various activities. the cia director just last week addressed concerns that have been raised by critics of the deal about how money that iran has received since january has been spent in iran. i don't want to ruin the surprise here but the running government has spent the money largely in the way that we expected that they would. since the international community worked together to impose sanctions on iran because of their nuclear program their
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economy suffered. it makes sense that when iran got revenue as a result of the iranian agreement for example, they use that money to prop up their currency that has been significantly devalued by the sanctions regime. waslso know that when iran subject to sanctions they were not able to finance infrastructure improvement. infrastructure was crumbling. we know they used revenue from sanctions relief to start investing in infrastructure. we also know they had significant debt they were unable to pay and their creditors were eager to collect. a pile of cash literally was used. all it is iranian money.
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i think what is true of all of the money iran has received since january including from sanctions relief which is more than $400 billion. it is much smaller than the hundreds of billions of dollars that critics predict it -- predicted. the analysis that we have done confirms what we predicted. largely that money was spent to address the dire economic condition of the nation of iran. the president was quite forward leaning in advance of the nuclear deal of even being completed in acknowledging that we know that iran supports terrorism. hezbollahan supports and the assad regime. we certainly know it's possible that some of the money iran has is being used for those purposes, too. that's precisely why this administration has done deepening -- been deepening our engagement with partners in the
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middle east to more effectively interdict. to more effectively strengthen the defenses of our partners to counter iran's various activities. we know of the money has been going to shoring up their economic weakness and that's exactly what we predicted. what has not happened and where the critics of the deal get it wrong is iran has not enjoyed hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. iran has not been able to use hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief to support terrorism or prop up the assad regime. people who made that prediction were either badly misinformed or lying to the american public. i will leave it to them to explain why their predictions didn't come true. it does explain why they continue to resurface 6-month-old news stories to try to justify their opposition to
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an agreement that has benefited the american people both financially and when it comes to national security. question about cyber security. could you lay out your concern or lack thereof for the integrity of the -- regime hack? >> anybody who has watched scandal on abc would recognize this makes for an interesting storyline. [laughter] i think the point is that elections are conducted at the local level. there are government officials in cities and counties all across the country that are responsible for administering elections. it is tough to generalize given the very nature of election infrastructure in this country. there are some places that still use paper ballots. presumably those can't be hacked.
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there are other places that use electronic voting machines. there is a lot of different software that is used. importantis that it's for the federal government to offer support to state and local governments as they seek to appropriate -- to take appropriate steps to protect the integrity of elections. say thatou might also that varied infrastructure and those different systems also pose a difficult challenge to hackers. it's difficult to identify a common vulnerability throughout the system. i think people can take some solace in the. -- that. it is also hard to put forward a blanket solution for securing those systems. the government is committed to
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protecting a wide range of credit infrastructure operated at the local level. dhs has a lot of relationships with local governments. you're not aware of a request from a particular state asking dhs for help. >> i can't speak to all those conversations. i would go back to the president's national security team has acknowledged we should consider the benefits and of labeling our electoral system in this country as part of critical infrastructure that is subject to additional protections can be provided by the federal government. that is being considered by the president's national security team. if there is an announcement about that it would come from the secretary of homeland
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security. >> we are blessedly passed the conventions. [laughter] now it is time for transition work. could you lay out a bit about the degree of cooperation this white house is engaged in with the clinton and trump camps. the end of last week the white house chief of staff placed telephone calls to designated officials in both to make them aware of the variety of resources that can be used to benefit their transition planning activities. the president made clear at the beginning of this year that one of his goals for the year was to ensure a smooth transition from the obama administration to the next president and president obama has talked before about how this administration benefited particularly from the of presidentnning george w. bush's white house.
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even though that transition to place across party lines, the effective coordination is something that benefited the incoming president and the american people generally. meet ifident aspires to not exceed that very high standard that was set by the bush white house. i do know that there is office space that the gsa has made available to the campaigns' respective transition teams. the process of the candidates receiving an intel briefing from the director of national intelligence, that process is now available to the candidates. they have to schedule the timing of that briefing. there will also be an opportunity for officials from the respective campaigns to be a more official of
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discussions about the transition planning process that will include a wide variety of government officials. we can get you more details on those kinds of meetings. this process has been initiated by the president because the president has made it a priority to ensure a smooth transition to the next president. president's finding that trump is unfit for office have any impact on trent russian, intelligence briefings? >> no. the fact is this administration is committed to working actively with the democratic nominee and the republican nominee to ensure that was the american people have made the decision about who should lead our country that the decision can take place smoothly. how can there be a smooth transition if the president thinks donald trump is unfit?
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there must be some overcompensation that has to happen in this transition relationship. he is unfit. how can there be a smooth transition? i think that whatplanning we are planning for is a smooth transition. that is the responsible step that you would expect the commander to undertake. >> is there like additional staff? you understand the logic of this. if you think about the other party, they can do this job, then how can you possibly work with them to transition into something they don't think they can do. we are nott: planning to transition with them. we are planning for a transition. the kind of question you are asking is legitimate but one that i think will be more relevant the american people have decided to the next president should be.
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runow much money has a received and sanctions? sec. earnest: i'm not aware of the latest assessment that has been made. what i do know is that there have been predictions prior to the commencement of the deal suggesting that iran could get hundreds of unions and sanctions released. that's false, they were wrong. were they just uninformed or lying? you would have to ask them. you were giving them accounting that seemed based on something like debt relief and infrastructure, so on and so forth. how much didn't go to terrorism and how much did go to terrorism if you have this accounting? if you are so confident that you know the money primarily went to at relief and infrastructure? sec. earnest: you can check with the intelligence community for specific numbers.
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>> the point is, you don't know. either they gotten sanctions relief or you don't know where it's gone. sec. earnest: the point is right now that we do know how iran has spent a lot of that money. the amount of money that they have received is far less than what critics predicted. either wrong or you can go ask them. we do know that iran was white concerned with the state of their economy. we recognize that the international community was fractured in the confrontation of iran and their growing nuclear aspirations in the united states demonstrated some leadership. president obama, secretary clinton, and other people representing the united states agreed to apply significant pressure in their economy. the strategy worked. the value of the currency plummeted. they went into a recession because we were able to coordinate with the international community to apply
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this pressure. they were desperate for relief. used thisat they money to address the infrastructure, to pay off their economic that's and to shore up the value of their plummeting currency. >> the administration is not concerned about the amount of money that they spent to finance terrorism? deal,arnest: prior to the president obama made it clear that we had concerns in the region. that's why we deepened the counter of the destabilizing activities of iran, beefing up our interdiction efforts to prevent them from being able to expand on their ballistic missile program. we sought to deepen our cooperation with israel even further because we know how they seek to menace our closest ally in the middle east. we have a knowledge on the front end to weaken's -- continue to be concerned.
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i had actually forgotten this, the day after, two days after this agreement was announced that weekend in january? later that week we announced additional sanctions against iran because of their ballistic missile program, as i recall. we have been serious from the beginning about making sure we are taking appropriate steps to counter their various nefarious activities. >> on the $400 million tribunal settlement, where's the other $1.3 billion now? sec. earnest: essentially it was subject to negotiation in terms of how much interest accrued on this money. that is why i make the case to you and other senior administration official said done the same, including back in january, the american people saved potentially billions of dollars because of this smart deal that was reached. >> 10 billion or something, as i
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recall, that the united states could have been liable for. and where is the 1.3 billion less the 400 million? has the rest of it gone to iran as well? sec. earnest: i would have to check with the treasury department. that's significant, isn't it? that was the concern raised by the reporting. again, i don't know how much more transparent the president can be than to call all of you into the roosevelt room, i believe it was on live television and announce a fact that we have reached an agreement with a run. i don't know how much more transparent can be than to have the secretary of state of the united states on january 17 issue a standalone written statement that is headlined -- hague claims tribunal settlement . it's seven paragraphs long and explains exactly the deal that was reached. we have been quite forward leaning in terms of waning to
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the american people how they benefited. >> [inaudible] or not? sec. earnest: you would need to check with the treasury department. what i can tell you is that when the united states makes an agreement and we make an agreement to make a payment, we are good to our word. >> how many of our constituents are now in iranian custody? the reporting and suggestion is that this is happening because a ransom was aid. because there was this coincidence. sec. earnest: to be clear, i never called it a coincidence. nowhe question is there are other americans being held prisoner by iran. what is the administration doing about that? do you see a connection to the iran deal? sec. earnest: there are a couple
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of things here. first, i'm not in position to talk of the clean about the cases of individual americans if they have not signed a privacy waiver. i'm quite limited in what i can say about this. what's also true is that in discussing the cases of americans being unjustly detained or held hostage, we've often found it's not helpful to name them, detail them, identify them specifically. let me just say that we have tingling long-standing concerns with iran's treatment of american citizens in iran. why an agreement, again, announced back in january that prevented iran from take -- gaining a nuclear weapon, reaching a financial settlement, saving the american people billions of dollars, securing the release of five americans that have been unjustly detained, hailed as such a positive beneficial outcome for
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the united states. let me be clear, the united states does not pay ransoms. the only person making the decision, at least in the article we're talking about, is some iranian official. >> [indiscernible] they are, now. sounds to me that they are once again in a position where they andmaking same argument hard-liners in iran, and in effort to undermine the nuclear agreement -- the president made it clear year ago that right-wingers in the united states were making common cause with right-wingers in the iranian government. and if they are doing it again to justify their opposition to an agreement that has benefited the american people, they can do that, but that will be pretty maybe there'sn. another liter from leader that we don't know about you wax
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[indiscernible] confirmnest: i cannot the details of the specific transaction. >> [indiscernible] settle the tribunal issue. provide ast: i cannot specific update for you. i can tell you that when the united states makes a commitment we are good to our word and we live up to the terms that we signed up to. ok? what reporting on the transfer at the times, the taxpayers, the iranian accounts, the treasury, but in terms of the logistics of , there are some in congress who have written letters asking for more granularity on that. he's continuing to try to justify his opposition. >> may you are arguing that this is his own deal. , with thisse aside
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deal, specifically the money transfer, will you be providing that detail knowing that you cannot tell us? again, we will continue to engage with members of congress about this. i think that what is true and what certainly accounts for the descriptions in the newspaper is that the united states does not have a banking relationship with iran. the reason for that is because of this administration's commitment to ensuring that we continue to hold them accountable for a variety of activities that we are deeply concerned about. >> that's logical in terms of not refuting the idea of [indiscernible] now that the banking system is a little less clogged, if you could find another way to pay maybe the timing suggests -- you understand that? i assure you appreciate that without the clarity on this, the innuendo and the optics make it
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difficult. to truly kill that idea and the allegations being made as a ransom payment, so why not provide that detail of exactly how the money was received? i don't actually think that there is a lot of rationality in the argument you -- you havees outlined. republican critics of the deal. >> we need to know -- sec. earnest: no, i'm talking about how it relates to this suggestion that this was a ransom payment. the only people making that suggestion are right-wingers in iran and republicans in the united states. >> it's easy to kill that isument is saying -- this the argument and why. everything you are saying is innuendo, right?
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it's not aboveboard? the point i'm trying to make is that we could not have been possibly more transparent about this arrangement. >> the agreement was reached with the intent to pay, but you are saying yourself that it's a new detail in the story. i guess, clarify would help. sec. earnest: why is that relevant? why is that relevant? we know that there is no banking relationship between the united states and iran. look, i understand by the political attacks will tie people who are against our involvement in iran. >> it is taxpayer money, don't people deserve to have an answer to that question? sec. earnest: that's why we announced it in january. >> we don't have a banking
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relationship, it's complicated. i know it's a simple thing that people should be able to follow. i guess none of what you have walked through has changed the basic act. january 17 there would be all kinds of innuendo hurled by people who oppose engagement with iran? -- iran. i recognize that the details you are seeking to elicit might make for a colorful new story, but they don't change the fact. they don't change any innuendo that will be logged by critics of the deal about our intent. they will not certainly effectively convince a right or iranrun -- right-winger in looking for a propaganda victory from basically making a false claim that this is somehow a ransom payment. what i can tell you is that the united states, when we make an agreement, we live up to it.
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we announced the terms back in january. the reason we did was in part because we have a desire to be transparent with the american people and a desire to advocate for the fact that because of this smart agreement, the american people potentially saved billions of dollars. >> completely politically motivated? sec. earnest: again, the facts of this situation of the known for six months. you've all been reporting on it for six months. not because of some secret anonymous leak in the bowels of some government bureaucracy, but because the united states of america announced it from the white house on my television. all been, we've covering it. but you are saying the detail is a relevant now. sec. earnest: i will acknowledge, i don't understand,
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other than for the fact that it makes for a colorful lead -- i will concede that -- but it doesn't change the fact of the situation. it doesn't change anyone's assessment of the motive of the united states -- whether this was wired from one particular u.s. government account to some tonian account as opposed delivered on pallets, it's not going to change the arguments of all ryan and marco rubio. it's not going to change the propaganda efforts of the -- well, i guess -- because they are. >> [inaudible] sec. earnest: i'm saying the argument that they are making, that has been proven wrong time and again, is not going to whether this was wired or delivered in paper currency. i understand the interesting details for a more colorful story. but i don't understand what this does to the broader outline of the arguments that have been in
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place for six months now. republicans have lost that argument. critics have lost that argument. we have succeeded in preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and we did secure the release of five americans detained unjustly in iran. we saved billions by reaching on non--- by reaching a financial settlement with the iranians over there monday -- their money. >> [inaudible] details don't matter on this, is what you're saying. sec. earnest: i have not been quoted saying that and i would not be. i'm saying it doesn't change the context of the argument. the argument being made by republicans is that they are struggling to justify their opposition to our engagement with iran. we have made it clear time and again that we capitalized on this opening with iran to try to settle this variety of claims. there is no disputing, despite
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the best efforts of right-wingers in iran and the united states have prevented them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we did secure the release of five americans and have settled a long-term financial plan that benefits the american people. >> lastly, nothing like this will happen to secure the the release of the americans who are being held in iran? i mean, you can't speak to that. thatearnest: i will say the united states under president obama has not paid the ransom and we will not pay a ransom. if they were unjustly detained in iran, we will make a regular to advocate for their release. >> you mentioned the financial
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dispute. why was it necessary to airlift .he pallets of cash in we reach the agreement, iran got their money back. >> they waited 35 years. right.rnest: you might expect that they would be eager for them to get their money back. the all stems from a payment they made into a u.s. account related to a military sale the didn't actually go through. would -- the equipment help you to understand the value of their currency has plummeted. they have debt the need to pay
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-- need to be paid and are in the middle of a recession. at the time they were eager to try to address the legitimate concerns of the iranian people about the state of their economy. i would not describe the united , living up tor the commitments that we may. >> a ransom payment from iran is not exactly surprising, but with those prisoners have been payments wereose not received? would those prisoners have been released if that money had been paid?
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sec. earnest: what i think is true is that there was a team of negotiators -- let me start from the beginning. there was a team of negotiators in the united states that were interacting with iranian officials to secure the release of five americans unjustly detained in iran. the negotiating work was successful. those americans are home. there was a separate group of negotiators working through the process for decades to try to reach an agreement, a settlement on these claims. there's momentum in our relationship. where? we are closing out accounts, resolving long-standing concerns. united states reached agreements and close out accounts. in a way that benefited the american people. whether that is preventing iran from getting nuclear weapons,
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orling back or securing reaching the agreement on a long-staing financial statement -- plan made by the iranians about iranian money in a way that saved the united states taxpayers potentially billions of dollars, there are a lot of benefits to this deal. we talked about this back in january with a lot of transparency. you all reported on it. again, the motive of people who want to talk about this again seems to be to just drum up innuendo in an effort to cover of the benefits of all of these agreements. >> a lot more people find this interesting rather than are simply opposed to it. with those prisoners have been released if that money had not been paid? tell youest: i can that our negotiators talking with the iranians about what was necessary to secure the release
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of american citizens in iran succeeded. that is different from a group of negotiators involved in the hague negotiating with their counterparts to settle these long-standing financial claims. >> even if it were only for the appearance of this not being a ransom payment, why would you not have made them wait even a week longer? why with their eagerness to get their hands on their money the more important than making sure and based on the exact timing. sec. earnest: i think the answer to that is pretty obvious. even a one-week delay would not have prevented paul ryan and marco rubio from falsely claiming things. if we announce this financial settlement on the same day that
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the prisoners were released? that's fodder to our republican critics. i get that. exactly, couldn't have said it at her myself. >> it's an election coming up. it works both ways. it was a pretty simple question. and they're working secure the release of five american citizens. a different group of negotiators and was involved to reach the settlement at the hague. at some point the premise of your question is predicated on a decision made by iranian officials. i guess i would wish you the best of luck in trying to get an
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answer from them about the decision they would have made. one other thing as it comes to waiting, it would have certainly prevented paul ryan and marco rubio from falsely accusing us, end -- ok, nowld that it's a surprise it is also a good illustration, i think, of how the outlines of this argument haven't changed in six months. there may be some more details that make for good newspaper copy, but they don't change the facts of the situation or the rationale that we have been making about the ways that people have benefited. >> when some new details putting back into public view, with no question that anything had changed, it's just -- there's none of that left.
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sec. earnest: i welcome the opportunity to talk about all the ways that the american from ourve benefited interactions with iran. i think that what i take umbrage at is a suggestion that this is somehow new evidence that proves that a ransom was paid. it's false. it's false as an accusation made in august, in may, in light of tax that don't change the calculation either on the part of the president or anyone else in this matter. been? vocal has iran sec. earnest: i don't have an in terms of the iranians on that. what we have indicated on that is that iran made a specific attempt to cooperate and share information with the united states that could potentially
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lead to the rescue of tricia levinsohn. thei'm not able to speak to status of those ongoing talks. ok? >> thanks, josh. i just like sharpening my ask for a while. sec. earnest: ok. [laughter] you guys did a great job. mentioned adent tough relationship with russia and president putin. i'm wondering, how concerned is on white house, to follow-up an earlier question, about the possibility of russian hacking impacting not just our election, but more broadly our infrastructure? sec. earnest: united states has been concern for some time about russia's defeat various activities cyberspace. director clapper discuss this in his worldwide threat assessment
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that he delivered to congress earlier this year, saying that russia is willing to target posture with espionage operations even when under increased scrutiny. secretary carter has talked about russia's nefarious activities cyberspace as well. he noted that earlier this year they had unclassified network detected russian network accessing one of our networks. you have heard lisa monaco, the president's top counterterrorism advisor focusing on homeland howrity and talking about cognizant the obama administration and u.s. government is of russia's activities in cyberspace. we understand that there is a risk, a threat that russia poses in cyberspace. this is something that we have variety of them on a
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channels and we have made clear that we have some concerns. so, there are a variety of things we have done in response. not just raise them with russian officials. more than one year ago the president designated additional authority to the secretary of the treasury to allow him to impose financial sanctions against entities or individuals involved in hacking in cyberspace. something the u.s. government didn't previously have, but it was something that we had used before and could potentially be used in preparing a proportional response to cyber threats. the other thing we have to do is to work with the international community including the g20 to try to arrange the international community around a set of international mores. innovation in cyberspace and development of capability in cyprus and has outstripped the
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international's ability to knowing when there is appropriate conduct in cyberspace. we need to build international momentum around agreeing to those kinds of norms, helping us to be effective in enforcing those norms and holding people accountable for violating them. >> has there been a conversation with vladimir putin or other leaders? to the laundry list, effectively the problems and disagreements he might have -- does he get specific about if you do x, continuing to do ask x, we will be forced to do y. he will say that he has
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discussed this with his counterparts in they are always looking for more meat on the bowl -- bone. sec. earnest: i don't have any additional insight to shed on private conversations between the u.s. president and the president of russia, but i do think that i can faithfully tell you that the president has been u.s.and other officials have been very direct in talking to their counterparts about their concerns about russian activity in cyberspace. known,oncerns are well those activities have been well documented and their capabilities or something u.s. officials have been talking about for quite some time. the russians are well aware of are wellrn and they aware of our capability when it comes to potential responses, but just to make sure people
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don't misinterpret what i said, i want to be clear the fbi has not announced any specific conclusions about their investigations into the hacking of the democratic national committee. i don't want any of this conversation to be construed as applying to that specific case. our discussion relates to about russiarns activities in cyberspace and they are not commenting with regard to one specific case. >> lastly, would you at least appearance going appearance -- the payment goes out, people who are held captive come home, maybe it was just timing, but would you at least acknowledge that it
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doesn't look great? if that was a legitimate concern, it would have been a concern when we announced it. that's why i'm quite skeptical of the reaction whoave seen from people have long been on the record of opposing our efforts to engage in iran. despite their op -- despite their criticism, we have succeeded in rolling back, securing the release of five americans unjustly detained in settling a long-standing dispute in a way that potentially saves taxpayers millions of dollars. >> do we have any of their citizens? not quite sure'm
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what you mean. there are any number of iranian americans in the united states. >> i mean specifically the government seems to be kidnapping americans. iranian americans over there. are we doing anything in response to that mark sec. earnest: i cannot speak to any theredual case but when were americans we believe were unjustly detained in iran, secretary kerry acknowledged when he was having daily meetings with his iranian counterpart in the context of negotiations to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, he raised concerns about those unjust detentions every single day. the status of americans held against their will around the world is a top priority of the their arenment and
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significant efforts and resources committed to seeking the recovery of americans who are unjustly held or held hostage around the world. if i could circle back to iran briefly, is it your contention that it is not a ransom because there's no quick pro-quote more because there was a rainy and money? sec. earnest: it is our contention that there was no ransom paid to secure the release of citizen being unjustly detained in iran. because it is against the policy of the u.s. government to pay ransoms and that's something we told the iranians we would not do. we would not come we have not, we will not pay a ransom to secure the release of u.s. citizens. that's our policy and it is one we have assiduously followed.
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refused to describe this as a coincidence. regardless of whether it was a ransom, was the timing allowed for the iranians to save face? was that something that fact into the calculations? what we said back in january -- i stood at this podium in january, the timing is indicated on the ability to resolve a variety of concerns we have with iran. iran was signing off on deals and we got them to sign off on the deal, we got them to sign off on a deal that rolled back key aspects of the deal. we got them to sign off on a resolve awould long-standing financial dispute that to return 400 million
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dollars of iranian money but also saved u.s. taxpayers eventually billions in interest charges. head because to a we were focused on capitalizing on this opportunity to complete these agreements and benefits of those agreements are quite difficult to argue with. in adifficult to do so partisan way but when it comes to preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and when it comes to the safety of american citizens abroad and saving taxpayers millions of dollars, those are things that should rise above politics. in marchesident said at the sxsw festival about voter registration online that we can hold of our phone at the
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supermarket to pay with a credit card but online voter registration is insecure. even the potential meddling by a foreign government, is it still his contention that online voter registration does not raise concerns about the security of our elections? sec. earnest: i think you took some editorial liberties with the president's comments there. the chief obstacle we have seen to modernizing and making voting registration and valid testing process much more efficient is republicans who have no interest in making it easier to participate in democracy. we repeatedly see republicans raising their ears to participation because they believe that allows them to enjoy a political benefit. that is rather disappointing. fact that banks have been
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hacked does not prevent anybody in this room from accessing their checking account online. we place a high priority on addressing threats the riskpace and is not ad with this reason to remain in the 20th or 19th century when it comes to our voting system. it's an argument for a more robust and more technologically sophisticated investment in our voter registration. the president will continue to do so. >> the administration's position on online voting registration is something that should be looked at? sec. earnest: it is our view
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that there is a way to use technology to make it easier to make eligible voters to cast a ballot and we should be trying to capitalize on that technology that makes it easier to participate. there are a number of technical questions that are raised we should confront those questions and address them because the president believes our democracy is stronger when more people are able to participate and if we make the process more easy to participate, more people will. that the iranians -- there was no ransom paid to the iranians. did they ask for one? sec. earnest: you can check with them. if they were, the answer would he know. >> [inaudible]
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about thenything target of these lunches or the proximity to them that would change your calculus in how you approach this? let me go through the details. the u.s. strategic command detected what we thought were to launches yesterday at about 7 p.m. eastern standard time. initial indications indicate one of the missiles exploded immediately after launch will second was tracked into the sea of japan. those are the details. we saw the u.s. ambassador to the united nations announced convene anntent to emergency meeting of the un security council with japan to discuss this issue.
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the united states continues to believe that our response to north korea's destabilizing activities is stronger when the international community remains united. that is why the united states continues to work closely with the u.n., our allies and with countries like china to try to counter this activity and try to impress upon the north korean government the need to stop these kinds of missile launches that art is stabilizing an already volatile reason -- already volatile region of the world. we continue to place a high on the coordination of the international community in order to apply pressure on the north korean government, we are going to need to work with the russians and the chinese to get that done and that is what we
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are committed to doing. >> do you have a forecasts as to how long it would take for north korea has a nuclear weapon? i'm not aware of the intelligence that has been presented, but let me see what we can provide on that. >> what other options are on the table in consideration of taking this payment. you said something about one week later. were there other timelines where you were trying to figure out how to work this thing? sec. earnest: it's a hypothetical i think was a good illustration because it the logistics involved
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in this transaction don't at all desire to resolve a long-standing ion shall dispute with the iranians that saves the american people potentially billions of dollars. i don't know what else was considered in terms of logistics, but it doesn't affect both our desire to resolve this issue and it also does not affect the way the american people benefited from the resolution of this dispute. >> [inaudible]
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this was days before president obama said donald trump was on it but everyone knows -- maybe that might be to harsh. how was this received by the trump cap? they werest: fulfilling a responsibility president obama gave for an effective transition come november. dennis will fill that responsibility seriously because the president has made it a priority. tofar as how they responded that call, you would have to ask them. >> was he able to adequately fill his responsibility?
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sec. earnest: just a telephone call and i'm not aware of any concerns that were raised. not serious but significant, president obama has his last birthday as president tomorrow. how's he spending his birthday, the last birthday he has as president? will benest: he spending some of his birthday with all of you when he does a after convening his national security meeting after talking about efforts to degrade and hopefully destroy i isil.- destroy presshad another conference last year or the year before on his birthday. i'm talking about a party. bigar that there is
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planning for something for the president. sec. earnest: i don't have any of dates, but i will keep you posted. this't have any details at point. >> earlier today, the french president said what donald trump said was sickening. i wonder what the president's reaction and i wonder about his ,omments about from being unfit how it gives another world leaders a chance to speak. sec. earnest: other world leaders are free to share what they think about election and they will do that in a way they think is most appropriate. i just point out president obama
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plus comments were in response to a direct question he received . >> part of the response was to hadif mccain or ron the one, he would be disappointed but he would tell the american people he was the president. was the implication there that if donald trump wins, he would not be able to look the american people in the eye and say this is your president? sec. earnest: i don't think the president was being particularly subtle about the doubts he harbors. about the dnc and the people let go yesterday. was the white house satisfied
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with what they had seen so far? what the white house believes is the leadership of the dnc should be closely coordinating their activities with the campaign apparatus of the individual who is the top of the ticket in 2016. that person is not president obama, but secretary clinton. i'm confident they have been in discussion with the dnc about their activities over there, but it is the responsibility of the clinton campaign to effectively coordinate with the democratic to integrateus focus on the and of coming election. ultimately the question
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about leadership at the dnc is all. interview -- [indiscernible] that includes the detention of the two americans. have any word that they were being mistreated? we are obviously concerned about the status of u.s. citizens that are unjustly detained in foreign countries, including in north korea for we have made the case to the north korean government about appealing for their release. there are specific channels through which we can do that because the united states does not have diplomatic relations with north korea.
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as relates to the rhetoric we have heard, i think it is of theire destabilizing approach to the and u.s. allies like japan and south korea have encouraged north korea to abandon the overheated rhetoric and destabilizing activities. china and russia have done this same. ultimately, our case is strengthen and our hand is strengthened and compelling the north korean regime when we work effectively with the international community. workingssador will be at a session of the united nations security council to coordinate on an international response. >> is the out rate in florida, has the president announced any
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outreach or leadership? sec. earnest: congressional leaders are not in. hasn tell you the president been on the phone with the governor of florida to ensure federal officials are coordinating effectively with date and local officials to make sure we are mobilizing an effective response. republicans in congress know everything they need to know to make a decision about filling the responsibility, to do their part to protect the people from the zika virus and thus far, they have not. if they're going to change their approach, we hope they will do it soon. >> i realize this is one of the regular series the president has and having the does it have to do with the campaign regarding lidia -- regarding libya this week?
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sec. earnest: this meeting was scheduled before those airstrikes were conducted, but i am confident u.s. activities in libya atin lidia -- in the invitation of the libyan government will be part of the briefing president receives. long has this campaign been going on? sec. earnest: are you talking about the situation in libya if thedon't know department of defense turns a timeline on it, but our activities in libya are in support -- [applause]
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>> thank you. please, may you be seated, please. good afternoon. good afternoon. i come from uganda. i am an agriculturalist. one of the greatest and hardest decisions i had to make in life after doing my college degree was either to go and work in the village with the community that
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sent me to school for remain in the city and find something to do in the city. seeionate about the need to members of my community's livelihoods improve, i decided andake a job in the village decided to be with them so i would be able to share my knowledge and skills with the farming community in my home district. it has not only helped to contribute to improving the likelihood of these farmers but it is one of the greatest aasons as to why i am called mandela washington fellow today. [applause] there is a unique story that every one of you is script thing
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by way you have involved yourself working in your communities. and this story, the impact of your story must be able to speak louder than your name and live longer than your lifetime. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, indeed, the african continent is not only in need of transformational leaders but the african continent is looking for leaders who will make the deliberate effort to inspire those believes to pick up the mantle, especially those young people looking for role models to emulate and i'm very glad these people are right here in this room. [applause]
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without a doubt, it is my deepest conviction that through the mandela washington fellowship, you have all been empowered in areas ways and that you are well poised to offer better solutions to some of the myriad challenges our continent still faces. that therefore my hope just like the old bright program , that the young african leaders initiative will continue to receive support in the coming years ahead for the benefit of more africans to be raised as leaders. [applause] this is our time to take the challenge, the challenge of being that generation that will offer our
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continent a new hope of having a better future for our younger andings, for our children for our great-grandchildren. ladies and gentlemen -- [applause] me toou please join welcome the president of the united states, a barack obama! [applause] [applause]
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president obama: thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much thank you. >> [chanting "yes we can, yes we can"] president obama: thank you. good to see all of you. everybody settle down. [singing "happy birthday a"]
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[applause] president obama: let me first -- the me saythey i'm a little disappointed with the lack of and easy as him. and quiet.s so shy [laughter] want to thank the manual for the great introduction and outstanding work on behalf of the people of uganda. give him a hand. [applause] whether they chose him because he is such a great speaker, which he is, or because
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they thought he and i were cousins being as -- because there must we some connection. i know you have been in this fellowship for a few weeks. i know for many of you come of this is your first visit to the united states. let me start by saying on behalf of the american people, welcome to the united states. [applause] i don't want to give a long beach because i am here to hear from you, to answer your questions and get your comments from you. but i want to take a moment and talk about why you being here is to all just to me, but of our countries and to people all around the world. i stand here as president of the united states and the sun of an african. michelle and i have always tried
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to instill in our daughters a sense of their heritage, which is american, african and european, with all the strengths and all the struggles of that heritage. africa.them to we wanted to open their eyes to the amazing tapestry of history, culture and music. we looked out from those doors of no return. we stood in the cell where men a la refused to break. have visited i sub-saharan africa four times, more than any other u.s. president. [applause] africa continues to face of enormous challenges, poverty, disease and conflict, i see a continent on the move. you have one of the world
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fastest growing regions, home to a middle-class projected to grow to over one billion consumers. you are more connected by technology and smart loans than ever before. as i can see here today. africa is sending more of its children to school, is saving more lives from hiv aids and infant mortality. while there is still more work to do to address these challenges, africa is a lease of andecedented prosperity opportunity. over the last seven and a half years, i have sought to transform america's relationship with africa so that we are equal partners. so many of you have told me you want trade, not a. trade to support jobs and growth. so we have been working to boost her -- exports with africa, to
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advance security, to help feed families. i signed a new executive order that we are doing more to support him but he's doing business in africa. [applause] this fall, we will host the second u.s. africa business forum to encourage more investment in africa and we are going to work to bring electricity to more than 60 million african homes and busy. -- and businesses. [applause] and we are doing this not just because i love the people of africa, but because the world will not be able to deal with climate change or terrorism or expanding women's rights, all the issues we face globally without a rising, dynamic
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africa. that, more importantly than anything else depends on a rising generation of new leaders. it depends on you. that is why six years ago, i launched the young african leaders initiative because i've always believed one person can be a force for positive change. that one person, as bobby kennedy famously said, one person can be like a pebble thrown in a lake creating ripples, ripples of hope, he called it. that is especially true for all of you. you are young and talented and optimistic. you have already shown that you can make a difference. we want to connect you with each and -- thatsources can help you become the leaders in businesses and civil society
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of tomorrow. response has been overwhelming. across africa, more than 250,000 people have joined our network. have a network of peers across africa. we have issued nearly 100 80,000 certificates. when i have a little more time, i might teach one of those courses myself. [applause] right now, i'm kind of. we are training thousands of young people in leadership, entrepreneurship and networking at our four regional centers. today, i'm proud to welcome all of you, the third class of mandela fellows. [applause]
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more than 40,000 people applied. you are our biggest class yet, double the size of the previous year. have then studying and learning at some of america's test universities. guys --hot guys and you hawkeyes and buckeyes and sun devils. we have some fighting irish here. we have our first class of energy fellows. studying to promote clean energy and fight climate change. you have immersed yourself in american culture and have looked at sites in our nation's founding from boston to philadelphia.
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my spent a lot of time in hometown of chicago. you got a taste of america, includesarently lobster ice cream, which i have ever tasted myself, which i have to admit sounds terrible. but that's ok. you are veryu arvery brave. you've also gotten a front row on the fascinating roller coaster process of american democracy because you are here during election season and i hope you have a cold your seat else. -- have a cold your seat else. [laughter] democracy is hard everywhere, even in the world oldest continuous democracy, it is always challenging and always messy.
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but if you are watching our election, i want you to know one of the things leaders in washington agree on both sides of the political aisle come republicans and democrats, is a strong partnership with the nations and peoples of africa. that is true today and i'm confident it will be true years to come. so we are going to keep standing with you and standing with activists -- [applause] a lawyer and human rights activists. she thought people in tanzania should be able to use their mobile phones to read their constitution. show -- so she designed database ofirst constitutional resources, opening up the government to more of their people so they could understand their law, the
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rights and their responsibilities, said thank you for the great work. -- so thank you for the great work. we're going to expand with social entrepreneurs. [applause] over here. [applause] who is this guy who jumped up? he is what you call your hype man. he was hyping you. he cofounded a tech hub to offer free training in coding and i.t. skills and started an e-commerce platform to help senegalese women take their products
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whether it is cosmetics or fruit or jam to the world because he knows when our women succeed, our country succeeds. [applause] we are going to keep standing .ith strivers [applause] he is his own hype man. two years ago, he wanted to be a mandela fellow but did not qualify because he didn't speak english. learned.d and and finally, we stand together in memory of john paul, a bright
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young leader from nigeria who inspired people with his work for peace. tragically, he lost his life in an accident. i know you are showing solidarity with some of the ribbons you are wearing. i have faith that john paul's legacy will live on. this is a two way street. experiences you are gaining in the united states, we are learning them you. we are energized by your passion, we are learning from your perspectives, and that his wife or the first time, americans traveled to africa to visit mandela fellows in their home communities. [applause] so that americans could learn about community building and
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evenfrom africans and more, americans will participate in this exchange next year. it is why i'm excited to announce new support from the millennial challenge, the city foundation to provide even more africans with grants for professional opportunities. give them a big round of applause. [applause] just partnerships don't change the lives of young people like you, they are energizing our countries and shaping our world. we created programs like this not just in africa, but in southeast asia, europe, so you are part of a huge and growing network of growing leaders around the world. while i will leave it up to historians to decide my overall legacy, one of the things i'm really proud of his my
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partnership with young people like you. because all of you inspire me. years from now when you are running a big business or doing a great nonprofit or leading your country as president or prime minister or minister of finance, my hope is you can look back and keep drawing from the strength and experience you have got here. remember those of us who believed in your potential and i hope you then give back to the people coming up behind you because that is how we keep making progress together and across generations. as you do that, you should know you will always have a partner and friend in the united states of america. i could not be prouder of you and the great work you have done. thank our outstanding
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institutions and universities that have an hosting you. we are very proud of their work. [applause] to openith that, i want it up questions. i know some people are watching online. hello, everybody. questionsin sending someone here to read our first question. where are you? go ahead. might wonder if your cousins. in this room, we are all brothers and you are one of them. [applause] i have to say at this point, i'm probably an uncle. i wish i could say i was a brother or cousin, but i've got
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some great hairs. you have to call me uncle. [laughter] >> thank you very much. by may 2015 alum. here they are. is about 250,000 people, so we could not all be here. first question comes from zambia. what has been the most challenging issue you have had to handle such became president of the united states and what is your message to the young people across the room? president obama: i have had my share of tough issues. the issue that had the greatest magnitude was the issue i faced when i first came to office,
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that the world economy was in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis that was spilling over into the broader economy. the growth and trade and the entire financial system was contract at a pace we had not the great depression. the series of action we had to take to strengthen our banks, to coordinate internationally to unlock the financial system to make sure people did not engage in protectionist behavior, to resuscitate our automotive industry and put people back to work, to make sure we did not to a further downward spiral destabilize housing market, that was important internationally
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because we are such a big engine for economic growth. we are still suffering rum some of the scars from that great recession he had in 2007 and 2008. but overall, we averted the worse -- the worst of the crisis and were able to stabilize things of the world could grow again means jobs and opportunity are a lot of people. probably the most frustrating challenge i have had on an ongoing basis typically involves conflicts outside the united states. topics -- is the toughest example. we continue to see conflicts in south sudan where after years of fighting and aliens that, finally there was the
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opportunity to create an independent country of south sudan and yet now, there is still conflict between two factions. becausee challenging the united states on the one cannot govern every spot in the world. on the other hand, people look to us to have a positive influence and our goal has been to bring people together so that they can sit down and solve issues lyrically rather than politicallyence -- rather than through violence. it is a source of ongoing daily frustration for me that we have not been able to stop some of these conflicts. one of the things we have seen in the world today is a shift. you used to have wars between
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great hours. now, so often, the greatest suffering arises out of either ethnic conflict or sectarian states that are unstable in the concert once is for ordinary people knows countries are enormous. in some ways, it is harder to stop those kinds can't looks than it is to defeat an army that is clearly identified. of terrorist ongoing, which has been project of hours in many of our workers around the world is tied up because when you have regional con within young people are displaced and are without education, prospects or hope,
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the possibilities of them into ancruited isil, al qaedake , or boko rom, it's going to be larger than if people are given opportunity and there is stability in their lives. the waything i know is we're going to solve these problems is not in isolation, that by having the will of good will from across regions, cross continents working together and that begins with young people like you around the world trying to do the right thing. next. [applause] by the way, i always go away, girl, boy girl to make sure things re:.
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that was a young man who asked that. it is ladies turn. right. >> thank you for the chance, mr. president. i am from sudan. [applause] i worked in international advocacy a lot and we meet representatives from your government and a play a big role in influencing the resolutions that come about. i want to understand how the united states stands because we have differences but i feel they are not enough. how can they help people like us and to bring
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democracy to the country? [applause] president obama: excellent. sudan is an example of some of what i was talking about earlier there is a history in darfur and other parts of the country with enormous conflicts internal to sudan. -- sorry, i'm tearing up the stage here. we put together a tokage of sanctions is not punish the people that country, we canher to make sure exert some leverage so the country is more responsive to the needs of people, that they are more prepared to open up
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concernst to peaceful and people trying to organize around them and rights and the fourth. lie is note we always enough to entirely change the practices inside those countries and sometimes, let's face it, there are countries that are very present all and sick just why don't you mind your own business -- that are resentful and remind us why don't you mind euro business? is america has to have some humility in wreck rising we have our own issues, that ultimately, whether it is people in cuba or people in partsmore people in other
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of the world where there are challenges around human rights, it ultimately going to be up to the people in those countries to determine their fate. i do believe there are certain principles that apply everywhere. governments should follow the law and not the arbitrary. i believe every individual has certain rights to speak freely and practice their own eighth freely and assemble peacefully to petition their government. i believe women should be treated equally and if you come from a country in which it is traditional to be women or not give them education or engage in
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genital mutilation, you should change or tradition because those are bad practices. [applause] i think it is important to stand up for those principles, recognizing we are not perfect, that we need to listen to criticism just like other countries to and also recognize as we may sanction a country, we need to engage with them. so that there becomes the opportunity for dialogue and hope we can have some positive influence. there are going to be times where the united states is standing up for human rights but the country we're standing up to is a partner on national security issues. needshave to balance the havingurity interest and
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diplomatic relations with that country well still applying some pressure. i think sometimes you this as a critical -- why are you putting pressure on every country if the country is doing that rings to its people, he no dealings with them at all. i will tell you that is a luxury for people who are outside of government to say that. when you are inside of say i'mnt, you have two going to engage with this acknowledge our differences even as we work with them on some things we agree on. someully over time, it has impact. hopefully it is more responsive
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to the basic principles we have discussed and i engaging with them, sometimes around regional con is really have common interests or around terrorism opportunitiesthe for dialogue improve the prospects for human rights. ultimately, it's going to depend cash to depend on the courage of people like you, people inside of sudan, people inside your countries to bring about change in a peaceful fashion. we are proud of you and be proud of your work. [applause] turn.a guys that man in the corner right there. right here. right there. >> thank you very much, mr.
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president. thank can allow me to again once more president obama. [applause] president obama: thank you. >> i appreciate you too much. all, i would like to thank you because you have given me the opportunity to know something about america. america is not perfect. am countries are not, that i a journalist and we have to use media. today, all they know about africa is poverty and hunger and malnutrition. my country has many natural
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powerful countries have used these to bring more to ,ur countries and people countries which are making disrupting and this is not good, so i am going to ask a favor from you. [indiscernible] i will ask you one favor. soon as you leave the white
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house, please be invited to our african leaders. is second favor -- [laughter] this is as good a time as any to let you know that after i am done i will shake everybody's hand. [applause] when i say: everybody come i do not mean literally everybody. [laughter] pres. obama: because there are thousands of you, i cannot shake everyone's hand. [chanting] pres. obama: i have another job
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i have got to do. do,here is what i cannot because then i will be here for the next four hours. so no, you cannot get your picture, i am sorry. let me address your broader question. example of aa good country with enormous natural and a terrible history of abuse during colonialism, of conflict, as you said, weapons that are not made in the congo that pour into the congo as part of other people's agendas. you have enormous opportunities but enormous challenges. of things i would say. number one, even though it is ofortant to know its history
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what happened during colonial times in the congo and what happened subsequently during efforts of independence, and the way other countries from the outside have meddled in ways that were not helpful to the it is alsoe, important for every country at some point to say, it is now our responsibility. [applause] even if we have an unjust history. now, it is our responsibility. and we cannot use the past as an for some of the problems that we have today. and that is true everywhere. you have to be mindful of your history, because if you were not
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mindful of your history, you would think wow, what is wrong with us? a fact, there are reasons why country like the congo has had so many problems. but they cannot be an excuse to sit back and say it is some the else's problem or fault. that is a very important principle for every country on the continent. we know the history of africa. now the question is, what is the new history that we will write? what are the next chapters that we will rights -- write? terms of media portrayals of africa, you are correct. the united states sometimes only sees africa in terms of stereotypes. either the wildlife channel where it is beautiful with safaris, or it is poverty and war.
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too often, americans do not are a lot ofthere people just going to work every day. clothes.ear close -- getting anilies, education, creating businesses. onee you are a journalist, of your goals should be to tell africa's story. [applause] news is,ma: the good because of the power of the be that -- it used to in order to make a film, you had to have millions of dollars in cameras. now you take out your phone, or you have a small camcorder and you can produce content that is immediately reaching millions of people. so you can tell your own stories in a way that you could not
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before. you, noencourage all of matter whether you are in business or politics or working think about how you are telling a story about africa. exists the platform now for more and more people to understand the enormous thattial and the goodness is taking place in africa, not just the bad news. [applause] it is a woman's turn, i do not want to neglect everybody here in the back. this young lady in the purple here. >> thank you, sir. i am from botswana. i want to ask a question about violence and responsibility.
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i have watched how you have led , your familydency life in the public square and how you up managed to have balance between your public office and your home. america,that about that your democracy is so open, even when you are in power. how important is it for young people today to understand that it is important when in public office to run your family well and take care of your wife or husband and children? also, important for us to hold each other accountable not to engage in greed or nepotism or corruption, and hold them responsible for what they are doing? [applause] i think that is a great question. let me separate out the two questions. holding leaders
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accountable in their public lives and how they do their jobs. and the other is a more personal question about maintaining balance in your life. with respect to the personal say isn, what i would that maintaining balance, having a strong partnership with your wife or husband, raising kind and useful and allng and generous the things that my wonderful -- that really is its own reward. the truth is, we have had some very great leaders who did not always have a great personal lives. i am not actually somebody who believes that, if you go into
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public office, that your personal lives -- unless you are committing crimes or things like that -- that that is the best measure. we also have people who are wonderful fathers and great husbands who were bad leaders. so the two things do not always a line. for me, it has been useful for me to maintain that balance it has given me a sense of perspective. it has allowed me, during the course of my presidency when tongs are not going so well, remember that i have this beautiful family and this wonderful wife. [applause] and, when things are going very well, it is good to go home and then my wife
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teases me about how i left my shoes in the middle of the think room, or my girls, what i am talking about over dinner is boring. it has been good for me to maintain perspective in my work. do that for a, i very selfish reasons, for my own rewards. -- not onlypositive am i almost, i am positive. lucky enough to if i ama ripe old age, on my deathbed, thinking back on my life, i will not be remembering some speech i gave, i will remember holding hands
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with one of my daughters and walking them to a park. that will be the thing that is most precious to me. [applause] so that is on the private side. on the public side, what i would perfect,lthough not the united states is actually pretty good about holding its leaders accountable. part of that has to do with freedom of the press. part of it has to do with our separation of powers, so that it is not one person in charge of everything. even the president of the united states is subject to a constitution. that constitution is interpreted by a supreme court. if i want to pass a budget it has to go through congress. even if i get everything through the federal level, there is still state and cities that have
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their own perspective. sector, soprivate power is not just in one big man, but across the society. and i think that is very good. it is frustrating sometimes, i will not lie. there are times when the press -- right now i am at the end of my presidency, so the press is feeling sentimental and thinks, he has gotten old, look at him. we have beaten him up. now let's focus on the new guy coming in. [laughter] pres. obama: but there were times when i thought the press was very unfair and i would open up of the newspapers and start arguing. but, there have also been times when the press investigated something and i thought, this is a problem. government, ites
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have 2 million people in the federal government. we have a budget of over $1 trillion, the largest organization on earth. so there will be times when government screws up. and the fact that the press is there to ask questions and expose problems, does make me work harder. it focuses me on the fact that it is a problem. into many countries around the world, the attitude is, i people in charge want to shut up the criticism instead of fixing the problem. and that is not good for the end, it is in the not good for the president, the prime minister, those in charge.
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because over time what happens is, you just hear what you want to hear. as if you had a doctor, whatever the checkup, he just kept telling you you are fine. having a bigstart problem with your neck -- do not worry about it, it is fine. and then you start limping, and he says you are healthy, you are great. and you never get well. i think the importance of accountability and transparency in government is the starting point for any society to improve. that also means that the press has responsibility to make sure to makeis accurate, sure it does not just chase whatever is the most
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sensational, but tries to be thoughtful and present as best it can a fair view of what is happening. in the end, i would rather the err on the side of freedom even if it is a little inaccurate, rather than have the person who is governing the abouty making decisions who is wrong and to his right and you can say what and who can publish what. not only toth dictatorship, but not fixing the real problems that exist. [applause] gentleman's it is a turn. i will call on this guy right here. so i need a translator. my sign language is not so good.
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we need a sign. >> thank you so much. you are definitely a visionary, and with martin luther king i can relate to you, i can relate to both of you together. there are a lot of states and countries we are coming from that have diversity. are visas that have to be filled out, a lottery system that has to be gone through. and so while everybody is coming to the u.s., there is a medical , there are people who are
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seeking to get their phd's, their doctorates, a lot of educational advances. there are a lot of educational advances people are having. while people are coming here, they are seeing that they are -- sorry, trans letting multiple linkages. translating multiple languages. >> for example, becoming a physician or engineer. the individuals from africa can achieve their dreams, come to the u.s. and have limitless objects of educational tracts they can take and get good work,
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but not depend on the profession to do it for them. and the government can be an aid in that process to help them excel in a profession. and also, the second part of my question. there are many objectives and goals. but right now, as you are coming to the end of your presidency, how do you feel as though you can personally continue the initiatives you put forth for africa, since you are coming so quickly to the and of your presidency? what are your plans to continue those objectives? [applause] i am sorry. >> i have a supplementary third part, i am sorry. pres. obama: we do not want to long a question.
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can i answer? no? first of all, i thought that was very cool that you had a three-way translation. you had sign language signed back and translated into english, there was a whole bunch of really smart people communicating. [applause] if i understood the first part of your question, one of the great achievements of the united states is our university system. it really is unparalleled anywhere in the world. it is not just one or two great universities. we have hundreds of great universities. entire community college system that allows people to get practical
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training, as well. even if they do not get a four-year degree. that is a huge advantage because those countries that are investing in human capital, training people, are going to do better. that is the most valuable resource. there are countries with natural resources, but if people are not valued as the most important resource, those countries will not succeed. withrday i had a dinner the prime minister of singapore. singapore is a tiny little piling -- island. just a little dot on a map. but, it has one of the most wealthy, well, advanced populations in the world. or because they have oil precious gems, but because their
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people have been educated, and they can thrive in this new knowledge-based society. it is a huge advantage for us. i think in each of your countries, it is really for your current leadership, and many of you will be future leaders, to make sure that first and foremost, that educational infrastructure is in place. [applause] pres. obama: and it has to be provided for everybody, not just boys, but girls. and it has to start early, because you cannot leave half of your population behind and expected the you will succeed. it,by the way, let's face mothers, even in enlightened marriage is like mine, are probably doing more, in terms of thehing children than
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fathers are. so if you are not teaching the mother, that means the child is also not getting caught -- talked -- taught. so you have to create an infrastructure where people are learning. we have some countries where butle are getting degrees, because of the rules and regulations and the policies, are not allowing for enough entrepreneurship or enough private sector growth, then you have people who are educated but frustrated because they cannot find good work. it is not enough just to educated population. you then also have to have rules where if you want to start a business, you do not have to pay a bribe. [applause]
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or you do not have to hire somebody's cousin who will not show up on the job, but expects to get paid. or, if you want to get electricity installed, you have to get aive months line into your office. so all of the rules, regulations, the laws, the structures that are in place encourage development and growth. that has to be combined with the education in order for those young people who now have talent to be able to move forward. seen inn, what i have african countries, and i have seen and a lot of places, there is a perspective of, you get an
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education, then you get a slot in a government office somewhere. if you do not get one of those slots, that is it. there is no opportunity. i am a strong believer that government, strong, effective, transparent government, is a for a market-based economy. you cannot have one without the other. if what is also true is, every job is a government job, then there will come a point where you will not be able to accommodate all the talents of your people. so you have to be able to create marketplace,tor, a where people who have a new idea or a new product or service, they can go out there and create
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something. thenu do not have that, you will frustrate the vision many youngns of too people in your country. i think america in the past has done this well. our big problem here in this country is, sometimes we forget how we became so wealthy in the first place. you start hearing arguments of, we do not want to pay taxes to we do notrsities, or, want to pay taxes to maintain because, whyperly should i have to invest in society, i made it on my own? forget that the reason you have an opportunity to work motors oror general ibm had to do with a lot of
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investments made in science, and all, roads, courts, the infrastructure that helps preserve the ability of people who want to operate effectively in a marketplace to be able to make it. areways tell people who anti-government, try going to a country where the government does not work. [laughter] pres. obama: and you will see, that you actually want a good government. it is a useful thing to have. but it is not enough on its own if you also do not have the ability of people in the private sector to succeed. [applause] woman'sama: it is a turn. guys, you can set down, it is not your turn.
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no, not you. i said that this young lady right here. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: what is your name? >> thank you, mr. president for giving us this opportunity. you spoke about leaving people behind. i want to use that same phrase to mention here that we have left a lot of young and dynamic people behind to come here to the united states. i want to pay tribute to everyone from african countries, but i want to pay a special li,bute to those from ma
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senegal, and others. only do we have to qualify as good leaders, we have to qualify as good english speakers. we have people back home who cannot speak this language. mr. president, you are at the end of your term. withld like you to partner to helphese countries, us build english language centers for young people to be more mobile and get opportunities. thank you very much. [applause] pres. obama: i think you make an excellent point. obviously, we have people here countries orile portuguese-speaking countries.
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but we also want to make sure everyone can participate. for a range of historical reasons, english has become in some ways, a lingua franca. frankly, i wish that we as americans did a better job of learning other languages. the things about being a big country, we have always felt like we did not need it. -- now, in an internet interconnected world, the more languages we speak, the better. it is excellent practical advice, and we will work with our team to think about how we english-learning into our program. so thank you very much for that news i can use.
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the gentleman over here, in the hat. well, you both have cool hats, but i was calling on him. [laughter] >> thank you so much, mr. president. thank you for the opportunity, i think you have done a great job as a president and inspired all of us. [applause] i want to say, where i come, i am nigerian, there are barriers to the youth participating in public policies of change that we desire to implement. what is your advice in the white house? what advice you have for young
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africans who aspire to run for office, and what do you think they can do to make a difference? a big shout out to my wife. [applause] pres. obama: you see, he is keeping balance. [laughter] pres. obama: making sure he can i back home and say, honey, was looking after you. states, we in the have the white house interns program, and i often talk to the young people after they complete their internship at the white house. they ask me a similar question, what advice i give to people who are interested in public service in politics?
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different, some countries are more challenging policies areratic not deeply entrenched, oftentimes, there is not as much turnover in government because people once they get in, they do not want to leave. with a, that has to do lack of opportunity in the private sector. one of the reasons why you want to have a country with a good, strong government, but also a is that if you do not have a good, strong, private sector, then the temptation for people to stay in power in government because that is the only way to make a thatg, or to succeed, becomes a strong temptation. that then leads to the temptation for corruption or to or not haveosition
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honest elections because you are hanging on because if you lose, you have nothing. right? one of the good things about the united states is, you run for office, if you lose, there are other ways of making a living. it is not a tragedy. and it is interesting. there are times when during my thought, career, i this is not going all that well. and i remember when i ran for the united states senate, i had already lost a race to be in congress. i had been in the state senate for eight years. it was putting enormous strains of my family because i was traveling a lot, and i thought to myself, this is it. if i do not win this u.s. senate race, i will get out of politics
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and do something else. and i was comfortable with that view. it meant that once i became president, and people have talked about for example, my first time when i was trying to get the health care law passed, and the politics of it were not going well. people were very angry and often times misinformed about what it would do. even if this means i do not get a second term, i'm going to do it anyway. because if reason is i lose, i will be upset, it will be a little embarrassing, but, i will be ok. in meere is no point being in office if i cannot actually do something with the office. [applause] that leads me to the main advice i would have a for those of you who are interested in politics or government.
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people, say to young worry less about what you want to be and worry more about what you want to do. [applause] pres. obama: those are two different things. i think one of the problems we is, wee in washington everybody, butt some had in their minds early on, they want to be a congressman. then, they do everything they can to be a congressman. and once the become a congressman, they do not know why they are a congressman. all they know is, they want to stay a congressman.
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this is true not just in politics, but business, as well. the most successful business people i know do not start off saying i want to be rich. is, i want to invent a personal computer. and then it turns out, steve packard orlett and bill gates, you guys did a very good job. it just so happened that made you very rich. but there was a passion about trying to get something done. it is certainly true in politics. if you want to be in politics, my advice to you is, why? what is it that you want to do? [applause] pres. obama: do you want to provide a good education to young people? do you want to alleviate poverty?
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you want to make sure everybody has health care? do you want to promote peace between ethnic groups in your country? do want to preserve the environment? do,ever it is you want to start doing. because you do not have to have an office to do that. [applause] you can start a program to help young women in your village get an education. decide in whatever part of nigeria you're from, that you can go back and try to promote health and wanless programs for ssung people -- wellne programs for young people. the experience you get from
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doing these things will inform the nature of why you might want to go into politics. that you'reout making such a difference and having such an impact without going into politics, the you decide, i do not want to do that, i want to keep building what i am doing. if you do decide to go into have not onlywill the experience, but the credibility with the people you want to represent because they see you actually doing something useful. the last point i would make, politics is a little bit like going into acting or being a musician. and when you buy that is, you can be really talented, but maybe the timing is off. review did not get a lucky break. not get a lucky
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break. you cannot guarantee you will be lucky or successful in a office. when you think about me being president of the united states, it was quite unlikely. [applause] i still remember, i ran for the senate and won my primary but still have the general election. then i spoke at the democratic national convention in 2004. kerry picked john me to speak was accidental. speech. pretty good -- i gave a pretty good speech. my day after the speech, name was everywhere and i was on television and people were saying, wow, who is this guy obama?
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that was wonderful, we were impressed and he has a future, maybe someday he will run for president. we i told my friend, because were still in boston and walking, there were huge crowds, people wanting to shake my hand. i am no more smarter today than i was yesterday. [applause] suddenly,a: i did not magically become so much better than i was when i was just a state senator. some of it had to do with chants. -- chance. it was luck. you do not have control lucletely overlook, -- over k, fate, chance. but you do have control over doing useful work in your community. [applause] pres. obama: focus on that. if you stay focused on that,
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maybe success comes in politics, but if it does not, you will still be able to wake up every morning and say, i am making a difference, i am doing good work. i only have time for one question. i have been working hard appear. -- up here. one question. the young lady right there. go ahead. where are you from? >> sudan. no, i cannot do another sudanese. i need a make sure another country gets a chance.
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wait, wait, wait, wait i cannot hear. from cameroon. i will shake your hand because i felt it was unfair for me to call on you. you can come up to the front, i will make sure to shake your hand. >> thank you, mr. president for this opportunity. i am from cameroon. some of us come from areas where we do not integrate what we do here in the u.s., governments and environments are hostile. place tod be put in make sure our government integrates all we have done here so that we can better impact our environment? thank you.
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[applause] pres. obama: we have been talking about this with the state department because one of my goals is to make sure the program continues after i leave. [applause] i think that we have a great interest in both promoting this program, but also working with your government so that they see this is an enormous opportunity for them. what we want to let them know is that all of you represent will be the future of tires. --try's -- coun countries. we will partner with you and your governments on the projects you have designed, to make sure
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you have a sponsor that is looking out for you. i think the fact that we have regionalhese four centers and this network, and embassies in each of your countries are aware of what you have done, will be helpful to you. but if the end of the day, as i you are goingre, to be the ones who have to take advantage of the opportunities. there will be some things we can do, but at the end of the day, your vision will have to be one fellowby you, and your countrymen and women. part of the reason i love this program, it is not a matter of what america is doing for you, but is us being partners,
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mainly, seeing what you can do yourselves to change and transform your countries. i want to be honest with you. there are over 50 countries represented here. it represents a wide spectrum. some of you will go back, and what you are doing is welcome. and,of you will go back, not so much, depending on the kinds of things you want to do. maybe if you are just focused on public health you will get less resistance. if you're interested in human rights or democracy, you might get more resistance. whereare some countries you being active and speaking out publicly can be dangerous.
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there are some places where it is welcome. there are some places where freedom of the press is observed, others where it is viewed as objectionable. cannot, and america cannot, solve all those problems. and if i were to promise that, i would not be telling the truth. is to makecan do, sure that the program continues, that the network continues to get built, and that the state department is engaged with your -- countries, explaining why what you represent is so important for the continent. and i can also commit to, even after i am president, that this is a program that i continue to
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participate in and work with because it is something that i am very, very proud of. thank you, everybody. thank you. [applause] ♪
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> that the secret service the young a -- african initiatives, the third time the state department has held a group between leaders between eight at 25 and 35. washington. the six-week program looking at business and politics and entrepreneurship. tweetingrom that event
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that education, has to be provided not only to boys, but to girls in your countries. that is from the event we just saw. president obama getting pushback from republicans in congress even though congress is out until early september, that is because of a story today in the wall street journal about payments to iran. responding, that the obama administration secretly organized a secret airlift to iran that coincided with the release of four americans released in tehran. today,leased a statement saying whatever the ministry should make claim, it is clear that this payment was a ransom of four americans held hostage in iran, just like the administration's reckless nuclear deal. belligerent, iranian behavior, such as the arrest of two more
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iranian-americans. this came up in the white house briefing from josh earnest. he said it was not a ransom. here is what he had to say. >> that is not surprising. itisoners -- isn't essentially a ransom payment, even if the u.s. does not view it that way? no, the u.s. does not view it that way, it is not accurate to view it that way. >> what they have been released if the money was not paid? ernest: we have to start from the beginning. what i know is true, there were negotiators in the united states that were interacting with iranian officials to secure the release of five americans who were unjustly detained in iran.
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that negotiating was a successful, and those americans are at home. there is a separate group of negotiators working through a process for decades to try to reach an agreement, a settlement, on these financial claims. there is momentum in our relationship where we are closing out accounts. there are long-standing concerns , and in each case, the united states reached agreements and close out accounts and a way that benefited the american people. whether that is detaining -- preventing them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, securing the release of five american citizens who word unjustly or reaching an agreement on a long-standing financial claim made from iranians about iranian money in a way that essentially saved american taxpayers millions of dollars, there were lots of benefits to this deal. januaryd about it in
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with a lot of transparency, you all reported on it. it seems that people just want to drum up innuendo in an effort to cover up the benefits of all of these agreements. >> a lot more people find this interesting, then the people who are opposed to it. but again, with those prisoners have been released if this money had not been paid to them? i can tell you that our negotiators, who were talking to the iranians about what was necessary to secure the release of american citizens in , succeeded. that was different than the group of negotiators who were involved in the hague, negotiated with of their iranian counterparts, to settle these long-standing financial claims. isbecause u.s. policy opposed to ransom payments, even if it were only for the appearance of this not being a ransom payment, why would you not have made iran wait even a
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week longer? why was iran's eagerness to get their hands on their money be more important than making sure that this was not a quid pro quo that was based on the exact timing being right? mr. earnest: i think the answer to that is pretty obvious, which is, that even a week delay would not have prevented paul ryan and marco rubio from falsely claiming they were ransoms. announce this financial settlement on the same day the prisoners were released, that is fodder to our republican critics, i get that. >> there is an election coming up. it goes both ways. >> of that is just part of today's nearly 90 minute white house briefing, you can see all
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.f it online at we will hear from homeland security secretary, talking about the election system, and may be a critical if a critical infrastructure, just like the financial sector and the power grid. we will have that for you tonight at 8:00. and over the course of the next few weeks on c-span, we keep track of what the members are up to while congress is in recess. in response to the dallas police shootings a few weeks ago, texas fbi andmet with the their rapid response training center in texas. here is a look at the video he shot. >> we just witnessed an active shooter scenario in the alert center. we to learn more about integrating local state law
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enforcement. we are working nationwide on this active shooter technique. >> that is texas senator john cornyn. lots of members holding town meetings, some holding telephone town meetings. here is a term democrat susan davis and a photo of her with her telephone town hall having an engaging constituency. makes for an informative townhall. thanks to all who took part last night. one of the most active senators among democrats is cory booker of new jersey, posting lots of comments and video of his tour across new jersey. >> where are we going out?
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warren county is important. so where are we going there? >> mars inc, where they make m&ms. >> you don't see enough enthusiasm for that. new jersey intended to the eminent! -- the m&m! i don't care that it's exit only. break some laws. about encouraging done it all. [laughter] the left! we are arriving at m&ms central. i am very excited about this. they have m&ms. i can even see them at the door. they are! when i was not a vegan, that was my favorite candy. seven days, all-day event. >> there is cory booker at the mars company in newark, new jersey. follow our members of congress list. on the mysterious side in
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wisconsin lots of focus on the race that paul ryan will have next week. this is the journal sentinel in the lucky they rate this afternoon that wisconsin's top three republicans are skipping donald trump's visit to green bay. the billionaire gop nominee's trip to the badger state coming days after he declined to endorse house speaker paul ryan been praised his primary opponent. on wednesday, trump's running mate mike pence told fox news that he was backing ryan in next week's republican primary. and said he was doing so in part of the behest of trump. scott walker made clear where he stood in the feud between trump and ryan. 'i am 100% with paul ryan.' that was governor walker from this afternoon. the primary is next week. some early road to the white house coverage information.
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donald trump in green bay will have friday night coverage live at 8:00 eastern. also part of tomorrow morning's washington journal on that specific race paul ryan faces next week, and a look at campaign 2016. washington journal starting tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, part of this morning's program looked at the comparison between the 1968 richard nixon campaign and that of donald trump's. now from athens, ohio is kevin mattson. he is a professor of contemporary history. good morning. guest: good morning. host: your joining us to talk about comparisons that have been made to richard sick -- richard nixon's 1968 campaign and what we are seeing out of donald trump. before we talk about the gentleman involved, how does it compare to 1968? what are the similarities and
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differences? guest: donald trump is trying to paint a picture of the country as falling apart and collapsing which is the sense that a lot of americans had in 1968. we are not near this domestic turmoil that you had going on in 68 without -- with assassinations and confrontational protest. seem more like the country was falling apart back then, but that is one of the things that donald trump is trying to project. i do not think it works, but i can see why he would want to do that. host: why do you not think it works? guest: the tank -- the country is not as -- in as much invested turmoil. we do not see as many confrontational protest. the places where you can see some similarities is the violence that has gone on within certain communities between police and predominately african americans, but no level -- no word in the level which occurred
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in 1968, nothing of that level. host: as far as the messages coming out of both campaigns, donald trump has been described as a populist. how would you compare that to richard nixon? guest: i think he wanted to be seen as a populist. richard nixon did not coin the term silent majority until 1969, but richard nixon saw himself speaking up for that silent majority, which for him meant middle america, people who are not protesters or african-american -- african-americans rioting in the wheres and that is populism was a part of his campaign. the challenge in 68 was another very vocal populace and that was george wallace who was using very emblazoned populist language. richard nixon had to be careful to a certain extent because he could not run as a full populist
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campaign to steal the thunder away from george wallace. host: you said that term silent majority. for those who do not know, what the you mean? richard nixon claimed it in his speech in which he was asking for americans to back him up on the question of continuing the war in vietnam. aboutbefore he was continuing the war, but about to expand the war and especially in the cambodia he gave them -- in cambodia. he gave a famous speech where he said the country is under siege, there are these angry and very loud protesters, but there is this thing called the silent majority, and they are people who are not represented. they are behind us and they do not want to dishonor the country. he used on her a lot in that speech about the silent majority to say that the student
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protesters, those writing in the cities and streets were dishonoring the country. conceptually, it is a conservative term and made it sound like he was speaking for a large number of people whose voices had not been represented. host: we will take a look at richard nixon in 68 and compare and contrast that with donald trump in 2016 and we welcome your questions for our guest from ohio university. if you want to call and make your thoughts known. for --48-8001 republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8002 for independents. in 68 that weerm are hearing from donald trump today, and we will let you hear a bit of the speeches. >> let this message come through clear from what i say.
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time is running out for the merchants of crime and corruption in american society. the wave of crime is not going to be the wave of the future in the united states of america. [applause] we will reestablish fear -- freedom from fear in america so we can take the lead in establishing freedom from fear in the world. justice, justice for every american. if we are to have respect for law and america, we must have laws that deserve respect just as we cannot have progress not order, we cannot have order without progress. as we commit to order, let's commit to progress. host: we hear a theme of law and order coming out of richard nixon. we hear a similar theme from
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donald trump. trump hasald recognized the fact that he is doing something we could call local speech borrowing. he has recognized the fact that he has gone back to that law and order speech that the next and gave at the convention, and he wants to appropriate it for his own political arguments. in many ways, the root of it is richard nixon. one thing we have been touching upon as we have talked about this, 67 and 68, you saw a rampant riots in predominately african-american neighborhoods. when you heard richard nixon have to say there are those who will say that law and order claims are basically cloaked racism, that is recognition that for a lot of americans, that was seemingly the case. it was always being pointed at african-americans in inner cities as being the violent agents.
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donald trump once the borrow from that. my personal feeling is that when you do such a thing, it can sometimes sound a little canned, and you can take the speech out of the historical context. the reason they think could make that work for him was because it did heal in 68 that the country was falling apart. your specially saw that in the convention of the democrats in chicago, where they were massive riots and police violence. as much as i think donald trump may want to put americans in the mindset of 1988 and the fears, it is not quite as easy as he might think. host: was it fair to think that donald trump tries to take the argument about domestic terrorism and apply it to that kind of situation? guest: i cannot speak for him in terms of where he thinks the term can be applied, but i would assume that he has that in mind as well, and that is a place where i don't think richard
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nixon was worried about northern vietnamese citizens flying into the unit -- united states and creating acts of terrorism at home. that was something you would not see them play. this is some of the difficulties with different historical context in trying to appropriate language. kevin mattson joining us to talk about these comparisons. indiana,irst up from immigrant line. -- democrat line. caller: another thing you have to realize. whens racism back then nixon was talking about it. with the free trade deal, it is going to be racism against the american republic itself for the reason that we are all going to be out of work. at -- the caller raises a
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good point, and i think it is that it is not really clear if all of these law and order issues and one thing to be a little bit careful about is that there is a racial issue going on in the contemporary situation, and that has to do with the relations between city police forces and predominately african-american communities. there is a racial issue, but the caller raises a good point. it is not clear that donald trump is going to be able to keep the focus on the law and order issue, because the economic issue is going to be so first and foremost in many american voters' mines. it is not clear that he will be able to play this language out and sustain it. it may be likely that we are going to be focusing on the state of the economy. host: anthony joins us from
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puerto rico, republican. caller: good morning. i would like to ask -- you say the country is not in turmoil. what is turmoil to you? almost 10 officers killed in less than a month. -- you haveizens mothers and children living in shelters. what is turmoil to you? guest: i would not say that those situations are not turmoil. i don't want to sound overly critical and deny the right of justice on the part of people who are being violently attacked , but i do think that there is a difference when you look back at 68. one of the things that is clear is we have the assassination of two very prominent public figures, martin luther king and robert kennedy. robert kennedy in the midst of a .rimary in the midst o
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in the case of king, you had riots on a level that you just could not see today. i'm not saying that there is not some turmoil in the country at this time, but i don't think you have a sense of the kind of national turmoil that you had in the year of 68. host: independent line in california, mark, you are on. caller: speaking with the first racistabout it was a part of his speaking, it was and the college students, make --that if he could
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that he could really quiet the college students down, so it was a racist thing, and it was a way -- from the college students from getting out there and expressing their rights as far as protesting. guest: that is a good point. college students were definitely a part of those people that did not hit the silent majority. they were the ones who were loud, they were the ones who were in nixon's mine, tearing down campuses and protesting the vietnam war. that was a crucial element of what richard nixon did. he did not think that protest was a good thing for the country .
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he constantly said the only people who can dishonor america are not the north vietnamese, but the people protesting at home, who are calling the country's cause into doubt. that language of being opposed -- iotesting and dissent would characterize it as having a very authoritarian flair to it. it seems to be suggesting that those who are protesting a war they disagree with our necessarily dishonoring the country. that is not the way the protester saw it, but clearly nixon's saw it could work to his advantage. college students and protesters and these things called hippies were something that fell outside of the silent majority for richard nixon. host: as far as who the candidates were directly idealing to, who was the voter that nixon was after? how does that compare to who is donald trump -- who donald trump is after? guest: this goes back to this
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problem that nixon had in 68, it was a two word problem and that was george wallace. george wallace who had been a southern governor and very much opposed to the civil rights onement and very opposed what we can only characterized as racist grounds. he was running and 68 and where he saw lot of his supports were among northern urban working-class white voters. one of the demographics that richard nixon really hoped to get in 68. wallace did very well, but richard nixon thought he could get those types of voters. they were people, who perhaps lived in a place like chicago who were upset by the democratic convention and the violence that they saw against the chicago police even the most of the violence was on the part of the chicago police. richard nixon hoped he could win into the republican fold.
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of reagand to a lot democrats. he does not do as well in 1968 as he would in 72, when he does sees the urban white working-class. it is clear to everybody who has been studying donald trump's campaign that he has seen himself as someone who could win the white working class. that is something for you can see a direct lineage between what richard nixon projected in 68 and what donald trump is projecting now. host: how did richard nixon used television and commercials? -- use television and commercials? guest: one of the key commercials that nixon ran and 68 was that they simply used footage of the violence that had corrupted at the democratic convention. was if they can't govern their own convention, how
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can they govern the country? it was a clever way to employ the kind of law and order argument, to spread a message through tv commercials to appeal to voters and say the country is falling apart, and we are the party who can put it back together based upon this vision of law and order. in many ways, it was a rather crafty use of commercial messaging, and whether or not donald trump -- the problem he is running into is he does not have as much cash in the bank to roll out a series of commercials. host: for context, here is that add from 1968. ♪
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>> it is time for an honest -- dissent is a necessary ingredient of change, the new system of government that provides for peaceful change, there is no cause that justifies the resort to violence. let us recognize that the first civil right of american is to be free from domestic violence. i placed to you, we shall have order in the united states. host: there is the ad. how was this perceived in 68? i is an interview with the new york times about these kinds of comparisons and one of the things i pointed out was that clearly, donald trump is
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taking that language of law and order every much and why? because richard nixon won in 68. this was not a landslide, he got his landslide in 1972. a lot of americans reacted to that message with a great deal of endorsement of richard nixon. i think that talk of law and order can reach people and can be very effective at mobilizing them into the voting booths. host: here is what donald trump said about richard nixon in interview with the new york times. let's go to william, new york city, republican. caller: as you are speaking and talking about donald trump and am donaldates, -- i
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trump's age, almost. i don't know where this young and not trying, to demean him, but i lived through that as a student. something about hillary clinton reminds me a lot more of nixon then donald trump, -- than donald trump. a lot of those riots across the country came about because of the murder, the assassination of martin luther king. these terrible riots happened only in the black neighborhoods across the country. there were fires. some of us were studying. the university was like a gauntlet you had to walk through just to get from the
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subway to the music school because all of these leftists were taking over the university. university riots, taking over the university. doing citizens. taking spray paint and spray painting. you had to go through communist slogans to get to class. and i wonder, what were these guys doing in school? not all of us fell into that camp. host: ok. what do you think? guest: a really good point and pointing to columbia is a good focus. the comparison of the feeling within the country is just not the same. throughout the 1960's, it moved to confrontation or worse they called resistance. a represented
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that. that is until they were evicted by the police force and the police force in new york city was white and working class. and they saw the college students as being snobs and elitists, of taking advantage of their education by not serving in the draft. so they were gleeful to get those protesters out of the buildings at columbia. where ione of the cases just don't see the millennial today doing this sort of activity, what the protesters at columbia did. they are certainly active. but i think there is an enormous in awareness on the part of many young protesters, and i see them, as a history professor who has them in my classes, there is an awareness that there is a problem with backlash in this country.
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if you are violent and confrontational, it is likely that your message is going to fail. people reactse against rowdiness and confrontational as him. see the, i just don't same level of student protests in the united states at this time where you could make a good analogy with 1968 when there was a lot of protests and confrontation. your collar is exactly right. host: david, hello. caller: hello. it is amazing how history repeats itself. i might add to the professor that history has a way of repeating itself. the extent of the present-day protests and reactions to a state that is failing the people, i think we are seeing the signs that things could get as worse as they were in the 1960's.
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back in the 1960's -- i am from used to's -- policeman just pull over a black man and beat him on general principles. so when blacks began to assert rights. the was the reaction to crazy racist notion that was coming out of apartheid. right? so when we talk about history and the strategy that always seemed to work with the white people and reacting to those who were fed up with having enough ,f oppression and brutality their reaction always seemed to pull out the tricks of racial
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identity instead of dealing with the issue at hand. host: we will leave it there, thank you. let our guest respond. actually, i agree with a lot of what the caller is saying . when we go back to the term -- "silent majority" that richard nixon used, i don't think nixon was a racist but i think he knew -- enter caller referred to the southern strategy, appealing to the southern states because the democrats had become associated with the civil rights movement which was fairly successful in tearing down some of the formal barriers for african-americans. so i think that your collar is right. i think you could take a term like the silent majority and suggested that the locations
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behind the term is probably a group of people that doesn't include a lot of african-americans. that it is racially coded. on that, no doubt. polarization is the thing that richard nixon was notorious for employing. it was almost rhetoric. and i think the collar has legitimate points to make. this seemed to be a bag of tricks. returned to and seemingly, it is a bag of tricks that donald trump is returning to. headlines this morning, stirring relationships with trump and senator mccain and paul ryan. what was nixon's relationship with republicans in congress? mind: one thing to keep in -- first off, another reason why this is a different context is because these are different people. richard nixon had been in parliament and had held elected
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office for quite some time. an unsuccessful governor bid but he had been in politics for quite some time. so in many ways, he was much more of a professional politician. even if you wanted to use populous language. donald in opposition to trump, who truly is an outsider. one thing about nixon, he felt that being a western republican made it difficult to crack into a predominant the eastern establishment wing of the republican party. so in some ways, although he held critical office and it is hard to describe him as an outsider, he certainly thought his western nests and non-eastern identity as something that elevated his status. al.: from illinois, here is
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go ahead. caller: hi, bringing up the democratic convention again during i was arrested the convention. and i want to explain what happened. theof the riots in front of hotel were antiwar and they were -- i was coming out of way far away, away from the hilton downtown, but i was coming out into a hippie area of the time. i was watching it and it is funny. watchedts like that, i
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the police go by. and throwing rocks through windows. protests bring out the bad people who want to get away with something. out ande people coming -- going after these people saying yes, they came to the door and dragged us out. and i wasn to jail locked up, seven of us in a cell. and there were hundreds of people arrested. was the happened then mccarthy lawyers came early in the morning to hear our stories. thank you, for the story. of the key things in contemporary history is that you
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hear from people who were participants. and it is always fun to hear -- not necessarily fun but interesting to hear what experiences are that we describe. the chicago convention was absolutely a mess. and one of the things that is important is that there were people who went to chicago who wanted a confrontation. there were plenty of people who went because they wanted to protest the vietnam war and they wanted to support a candidate who was opposed to the war. but there is also a clarity with the people who went to chicago with the confrontational mentality. they wanted to provoke the police riot. and when the police started to attack protesters on the streets -- and you have to keep in mind that these were illegal protests because they didn't gain a permit and police started to essentially beat up on the protesters, those who were watching would hear protesters
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chant -- the whole world is watching. protesters saying that we would expose violence in society. but when people watch it on tv, mosul say they sided with the police and not the protesters. fact thatoes with the there was a huge backlash against violent protests. the color makes a good point humphreys was going to be the primary candidate that richard nixon was going to have to take on and humphrey was tainted by his vice presidency is it maden johnson it difficult for people to believe that he would be adamantly opposed to the vietnam war. and that was one of the advantages for richard nixon. host: don, hello? caller: yes, i want to thank
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c-span. it is always fear that works. with terrorism and everything. trump, i was for him until i saw the speech. he was talking about police but didn't say anything about on our slack people getting shot. police, you are going after america, for any american it's wrong. isaw him to that speech and want to talk about mussolini. i watch a documentary about fiddler. his uniform on but he couldn't get elected. democrat,me a social put a suit on said everything he
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wanted to hear and as soon as he got into power, he put his uniform on and that is what got me about trump. just using fear. absolutely. i will be brief here but two points to that. there is no doubt that fear is a in element that was present nixon's rhetoric and donald trump now. i absolutely agree with the caller. colorat you heard the talk about was the analogy to mussolini and hit left. and this is something that a number of people have made this accusation. donald trump is a homegrown american fascist. i actually don't agree with that argument. a road apiece that tries to tear the argument apart.
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tash't think donald trump -- donald trump does not have fascist politics. a glorification of the state or national community. in many ways, donald trump is too much of a narcissist to really be a fascist. is can't say to people there a higher cause than me. and hitler's, as awful of a , hitler's hadas higher ideals than just him being the fuhrer. and i don't think donald trump has that within himself, fascist politics. using the fascist cardica something that i think it is a bit dangerous and unfair. guest previously taught at record university and is the author of plenty of
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books. professor kevin mattson, why the fascination with richard nixon? extent, i'llertain waste think i have been stuck in my books too much. he is a fascinating character. in some ways, i would argue having studied his life that i think he is an emblematic american in many ways. he was a very successful politician. in terms of seizing power. so i think those things are enough in my mind. he's a very complicated guy. someone who you can still study on a psychological level and look at psychological problems and try to whose politics to those out.
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but basically, when people ask justy, i have to say he is a fascinating character. that doesn't mean he's a good character. one of the things that i think is funny as a talk about the analogies with donald trump richard nixon, let's be clear. one of the things donald trump is not talking about -- he used the silent majority and he has used law and order. but one of the things he will never talk about would be watergate. but i think one of the disturbing signs about richard nixon and one of the things that makes him fascinating is that he a fear of the executive branch. lyndon johnson had this. and he really saw the need to project power from the executive branch. and i think in many ways, that created the water great crisis.
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will is from north carolina on the republican line, you are on. caller: yes. on the psychological problems with richard nixon and the fact that he used politics to try to straighten his own problems out. i am a republican and i will vote for donald trump because clinton is not an option. she is so far out there. afraid.d -- i'm i think donald trump is so much like nexen because he uses the mental a bomb in its own people when he talks to people and about people.
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nixon used the same kind of dominance on the people he interacted with. i believe there are a lot of similarities between them. nixon hit his psychological problems but donald trump, he just puts it out there. he lets people know how he feels even when sometimes he may be should keep his mouth shut. host: thank you. guest: that caller raises an important point. where people want to make direct analysis, we have to be careful. think richard nixon had a lot more talent than donald trump does. you can talk about how he felt like he was an outsider -- richard nixon but he held office. he had had the role of governor down in many ways. so you know, one of the things
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about donaldling trump is that he is impulsive and he shoots from the hip. we have seen that recently where it has gotten him in a lot of trouble. i don't think he has the capacity that richard nixon did to be a little bit more careful ,hen you are in public light donald trump seems to not have that. i agree with your caller that in many ways what we notice is that very often, the projection of dominance can cover up an enormous amount of insecurity on the part of a politician. one of the things we know about while heixon is that projected dominance and while he was adamant against the people he considered to be his enemies, there was a profound insecurity that richard nixon had. and there is an irony in a studying people who
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protects dominance. host: linda from connecticut. good morning. caller: good morning. it is funny because richard nixon and his insecurities, we know about them because of watergate and the exposure of the tapes whereas donald trump is putting it out there on social media. i don't think we would have ever realized how insecure nixon was and he was facilitated by hoover and the fbi. but talk about psychological -- it is a good discussion when we look at the violence and law and order. two of the police officer anders were committed by -- i think we have to look at the psychological effect of veterans and how the war in vietnam or iraq -- there are similarities
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we're missing that we could really use and may be have our veterans have a two week are and weeks rest and relaxation like astronauts do. it could really help our military, as well. thank you for listening. have a great day. guest: that is an excellent point. i think the problem of the returning veterans is something we could learn a lot from in looking at vietnam and the war today. thathing to keep in mind i'm surprised people have not done more with is that 1969 was the year in which we would first hear more about this thing fracking -- low down in
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the military, trying to kill their superiors because they have grown so distrustful of the mission in vietnam. being so opposed without being able to articulate it. and i think the notion that those people will be coming back into the country and how they are treated when they come back into the country is something that i think the country did a iod job of during vietnam and agree with the caller that we have not done as good of a job as he possibly can with the returning veterans of today. host: joining us to take a look at the compare and contrast of donald trump and richard nixon is kevin mattson of ohio university. tonight, homeland security
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secretary jeh johnson, talking about the election system being critical infrastructure just like the financial sector or power grid. we will have got at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. on the primary elections potential scam saying house speaker paul ryan did not do enough to help the conservative speaker and they are, that link to block his reelection bid as speaker. congressman jules was defeated by roger marshall last night. next up, more from "washington journal" with a discussion on the obama administration's plans to move ahead the transpacific partnership trade deal. our next guest, jordan fabian of "the hill." covering the issue of trade. talk about the press conference you attended yesterday and what
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you wanted to talk to the president about. caller: the white house gave me a 15 minute heads up. i wanted to ask him about the tpp. he met with the president of singapore yesterday. i wanted to ask the president about the fact that hillary clinton opposes the deal, tim kaine opposes the deal. donald trump opposes it, to make. -- opposes it, too. will you get this passed before your successor takes over? [video clip] president obama: right now, i'm president, and i am for it. i think i have the better argument. i have made this argument before and i will make it again.
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we are part of a global economy. we are not reversing that. it cannot be reversed. because it is driven by technology and it is driven by travel and cargo containers and the fact that the demand for products inside of our country means we have to get some things from other places. our export sector is a huge contributor to jobs and our economic well-being. now manufactured products involved a global supply chain where parts are made in all corners of the globe and converge and then get assembled and packaged and sold.
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the notion that we are going to isl that up root and branch unrealistic. it is absolutely true, the that some past trade guilds have not delivered -- trade deals have not delivered on all the promises. , jobs were jobs created. people who experienced those losses with those communities did not get as much help as they needed to. host: what about members of congress? how do they take to this argument? caller: members of congress are taking cues from the president.
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leaders in congress are not very sympathetic to this deal. speaker ryan is the leader who he admits thatt is not in favor of this deal. you have centrist lawmakers in , butparties who support it if the leaders do not support it, i don't see how it moves in a lame-duck session. host: give us the bullet points, the highlights. , north it is 12 nations america and asia-pacific and it encompasses 40% of the global economy. allow imports to and exports between all those countries to flow more freely by knocking down tariffs and other trade barriers.
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it contains protection for workers overseas -- theoretically, that will prevent u.s. jobs from being shipped overseas. and also protect intellectual property. it is a really unprecedented deal. is it you're thinking right now that it will survive? caller: i think there is a very slim chance because the leaders oppose it and whoever the next president is opposes it. pushnk there will be a from president obama. really think and that two-month span, it will be difficult for congress to do it. there are certain timelines that need to be hit under the trade
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promotion authority. they have not even started those yet. if they want this to even happen in the lame-duck, they have to ask him. if it fails, it is effectively dead. caller: let's say hillary clinton came into office -- she used to be in support of this deal. she helped negotiate it. she comes in and negotiate some some sitements -- somements -- negotiates side agreements -- host: we have divided the lines differently. if you support the tpp, 202-748-8000. if you oppose it, 202-748-8001.
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julius is up first from maryland. he supports it. you are on with jordan fabian. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. yes, i am in support of the tpp. does america need trade agreements? yes, we do. we live in a globalized society. previoushas shown that trade agreements have not been for the benefit of the american , but what the tpp has in terms of what it corrects in regards to the previous trade deals, this is what people need to research. no deal will be 100% perfect. it is something that needs to be
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worked upon. political used as a support -- a lot of us don't even know what is in the packet. we get one or two extracts from it and people blow the whistle. i don't think that is the way it should be. it is open. the president also done with whoever from both political -- that them debate the package. guest: i think julius brings up a lot of interesting points. his statement that people don't know what's in it, pulling finds that's true. a poll in april showed 72% of registered voters either don't know what's in it or have not
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heard a lot about what is in it. it is an issue that has inspired a lot of passion. as far as actually knowing the specifics, there is a shortage this spans thousands of pages and it is highly technical details about the trade of beef and pork and car parts. is --s sort of become the it has become such a passionate subject and that is why donald trump and bernie sanders have been able to inspire this uprising against this trade agreement. host: illinois from our line for those who opposed the tpp. robert, go ahead. i'm similar to the previous caller.
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is there a place where we can go to read this text? so that we don't get something like obamacare crammed down our throats again without knowing what's in it. i don't trust hillary. she will definitely reverse herself. the full text of the agreement is available on congressional websites. a lot of the websites have fact sheets summarizing it. there is information out there, if you seek it out. we are having this debate over this agreement and it has become this nebulous debate and we are not debating what are the actual economic benefits. a lot of economists believe the
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economic benefits to the u.s. are not going to be so great. even though hillary clinton has weighed in against she: is there any chance might change her mind on the idea of how trade deals are conducted once she gets in office? guest: current advisors and herself have said she opposed the tpp, but a lot of people believe and i am inclined to believe that if she negotiates some kind of concessions with the other countries as a side agreement to the deal. if she identifies some areas like intellectual property like wanting stronger protections, if she gets that, that i can see her moving back into the support column. host: another person who opposes the deal, tony in florida. deal.: i oppose this we lost more than 60,000
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companies to overseas countries like asia, central america and mexico. clinton -- [inaudible] she is a flip-flop or -- flip-flopper. it is bad news. itwould keep losing jobs and is the worst thing that can happen in american jobs. 60% -- [inaudible] all of our american jobs are
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going overseas. it is common sense because it is cheap labor. host: we will leave it there and let our guest respond. guest: i think tony heads on the central concern of opponents of the deal that the deal is going to ship jobs overseas. bernie sanders and donald trump oferated a big following people for which nafta is kind of the bogeyman. did shift jobs overseas, but there are broader things of play. what supporters of tpp say is the labor standards in the agreement which include a higher minimum wage overseas and caps on the number of hours a worker can actually work will help prevent jobs from being shipped overseas because u.s. manufacturers will have less they won't say
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singapore has really cheap labor to send -- and send all the jobs over there. those provisions may not be enforceable, so this is a real point of debate. host: effect that you have the singaporean prime minister -- how does singapore benefit from something like that he -- the tpp and how does the u.s. benefit? guest: the way foreign countries benefit is that tariffs on u.s. goods are lower, so they can get cars and cultural products, food, clothes, anything that is made over here, over there, for cheaper. we get the same, we are breaking down these tariffs that make goods more expensive. i think the economic benefits of this deal can be debated all day . the bigger debate is the geopolitical debate. that is what the singaporean prime minister touched on.
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he made a point that of the u.s. backs away from this deal, it would hurt u.s. credibility overseas because we negotiated this deal, and now we are backing away from it. that is what the bigger debate about this tpp deal has become. host: from the line for those who support, north carolina, here is kerry. -- carrie. caller: i am calling as a free trader and i would support that negotiate with other countries who are interested in trading with us. after the nafta experience and as an independent watching both signstions, the multiple in the democratic convention that are anti-tpp with a high level of concern. we had president obama for two
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terms and he is not a businessman, and we have economists saying this is not going to be a good deal, and it's almost as if he goes in front of the convention of his own party and is ignoring, by having the singaporean prime minister here, that we don't want or have high concern about this deal. we have had a president who is actually putting our government in a role of a businessman. he is making deals for all of us , but he is ignoring when his own party members are saying they are concerned about this deal. we do want to have participation in the global economy, but that dissipation is hurting our ability to fund the charity that the u.s. citizens want to reflect in the global economy and have relationships with other countries. we are broke.
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cannot support military operations, we can support our own inner cities. we can't support our own education for the future of our children, and these are business deals. obamacare was a bad deal. it took over a huge segment of our own economy. i just can't understand why when i am trying to reserve my vote , and i am fully informed i'm waiting for these candidates to speak to these issues, i have a guttural reaction to hillary clinton not being followed where she stands on this. guest: she brings up an interesting point about the support of the tpp. the polls show the public opinion is mixed on this and a lot of people are just not following the issue. opponents of the deal feel much more intensely about it then supporters -- then supporters --
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than supporters. we saw at the convention, the anti-tpp signs. bernie sanders have the biggest applause of the night when he said this deal must not get the vote. and make it hard for supporters of this deal to move it in congress. this is a larger issue and whatis really about china? happens if this deal fails? guest: i would say the economic centerpiece of the presidents pivot to asia. he wants to make the u.s. a major player over there and counter china's influence. by setting up this free trade area in southeast asia, he is trying to do that. what supporters of the deal say is if it falls through, they
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will give china the rules of the road and they can set the tariff levels and etc. that remains to be seen, but that is certainly the warning signs that supporters are setting out. that is cutting -- undercutting donald trump saying that china is killing us in trade because president obama is saying it will be worse if we don't take this deal. for many oppose tpp reasons, but i want to make a couple of points. let's take a look at nafta. we run $700 billion a year in deficit. how can that be good for workers in america? we took 30 million jobs out of this country. tpp, we made a lot of mistakes in nafta and over -- no one is overseeing what is going on.
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how can taking good paying jobs out of this country, hiring our , howe back for $10 an hour is that good for our workers? we will not have good infrastructure in our country if we continue going in the direction we are going. when need to protect the american people and jobs to make sure they are in the united states of america. at the same time, there is nothing wrong with making the trade deal as long as it is fair, open and honest trade. each party needs to come out in a good way. right now, the u.s. is getting screwed all over the world and president obama are saying let's keep on doing it. it makes absolutely no sense. if we use a little common sense, we can make this work. i don't see a lot of that up there.
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host: thank you for calling. guest: he brings up an interesting point about trade deficit. this is something that has become a flashpoint in the debate. donald trump consistently sites this on the campaign trail. running a trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing. some economists are concerned about the size of it. one thing the tpp does not really address is the trade deficit. it does not have any language about currency manipulation. this is what foreign countries do to make their exports cheaper , and it sort of jacks up the deficit for the united states and that language did not find itself into the deal. that is one area where you are going to see opponents of the steel hammer away if it does come up for a vote. host: can congress amend the deal? guest: they cannot, and this is
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something they agree to them last summer's debate over trade promotion authority. this was a vehicle that they considered to bring up a broader heal itself and one of the roles they agreed to was that they could not make any amendments to the deal. any changes are going to be made , they will have to be made by the next president and the other 12 nations. that will be difficult to do too manyf we push for concessions, we could see other countries drop out of the deal and that would certainly lead to a mass exodus and that would be very concerning for supporters of the deal. host: good morning, you are on with our guest. caller: good morning. i am against it and i was -- i am afta and democrat, but i vote with my conscious. against the president who
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is president right now because of my religious beliefs on says if hisause he daughter got pregnant, he would take her there. the thing is, he is trying to do all of these horrible things and -- ard that even host: will you like our guest to address? caller: i would like him to address that we are losing everything. all of our goods are going out of the country and we are getting all of these cheap goods coming into our country, and i mean cheap.
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the thing is, all of our great things that we used to make out of steel and all these other china and weven to are getting all of these junky things and there are bridges breaking and everything. thet: the expression of last couple of color -- callers, we are losing everything, not getting anything back. does that play into the negotiations of this deal if it passes? guest: this deal has morphed into something bigger than a trade deal. it is a vehicle for people to express all their economic the zaidis because this is the biggest economic policy that is up for debate right now, so -- allare worried about that things, the study say this might have a negligible
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effect on u.s. wages and jobs, but people feel that it is going to affect it, us that is what is spurring all of this opposition. they're worried that if we seen of a deal at nafta, it will happen all over again, even know there are differences between the two. host: who gets impacted the most if this deal fails? guest: i would say japan, because japan does not have a free trade agreement with the u.s. and a lot of other countries do. canada and mexico are some of the bigger partners in that deal. there are very high tariffs on u.s. goods to japan and vice versa. it is physically impossible to buy american-made cars there. fails, and the prime minister has staked a lot of his political camp -- capital on getting this can -- this deal done. the is a point that singaporean prime minister said
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-- i think that is the country that gets the most. host: on the line for those who oppose it, california, mark. caller: i think this is far deeper than what the discussion is. this is a seismic shift. it is globalist versus american first. if you look at the clintons, the mitch mcconnell's, the paul ryan's, the john mccain's, all for globalization, and individuals that want to have america's economy first, everyone is talking about free trade. it is not about free trade, it is about fair trade. give to the world as opposed to the u.s. eating treated fairly. there is currency manipulation that will not be addressed in these agreements because currency manipulation keeps the
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united states from being able to compete as it otherwise would be able to. we are the world's currency, so we can't manipulate hours, and this gentleman who sits there and says that japan would be the one that hurts the most. how in the world can he make a comment that japan has been hurt by the lack of a free trade agreement when they pour cars into the u.s.? americarump represents first and it will be a loss of sovereignty for our country because we have to comply rules that are internationalist as opposed to hours. guest: i think japan would still get hurt. their economy has been stagnating for quite a while, so they need this deal more than we needed -- need it. the caller is right in that this debate is more than about free
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trade. it is about our posture in the world, are we going to be engaged in the world economically, on foreign policy, on a bunch of issues, or are we going to take a more inward looking approach which is something that donald trump wants to do. this is a broad debate and it touches on a lot of different issues. host: he used the term loss of sovereignty. about there is a concern -- it is called the settlement dispute board -- let's say a company in the u.s. is dealing in malaysia and malaysia wants to confiscate the company's property. going before that come -- that country's judicial system, you go in front of this international dispute board. upon its of the deal are worried that this would cut into u.s. sovereignty. let's say a foreign company
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makes the same allegation about the u.s., we would not be at the deal with this and our judicial system, we would have to go before a international tribunal and what supporters of the deal say is we have won these cases pretty much every time. jordan joining us, he covers the white house for the hill, talking about trade issues. our next call is pennsylvania, bob, who supports the deal. caller: the reason i am calling is. have you ever heard of sea?ration from the how much terrorism has contributed to the cost of the national deficit? states and russia back in 94 to 98 worked together in disaster related problems --
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if they use this as a tool against terrorism, how much would we have to use to fight terrorism if the people in the countries that say hey wait a second, two big nations that were already fighting one another can work together. if they can do it, why can't we do it? maybe we could be an example of the world to see, instead of looking at us as a police man breaking down your door, or a fireman to break down your door, to save your life. which one would you look forward to having break down your door? the one trying to save you or the fear of somebody doing harm to you? i think the broader theme
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that the caller is touching upon is again, this issue of america's role in the world. i don't want to put words in his mouth, but it seems to me that he says america needs to be a leader in the world, creating partnerships with other nations and that is what supporters of this trade deal want, that is what they think is at stake. with regards to the terrorists, i don't think there are any trade implications, but we certainly see it overseas in countries like france, terrorism hurting the economy. there is an economic impact. host: a question on twitter, who enforces the rules in tpp? how easy would it be for, -- a country to cheat? you have these international tribunals and it is up to the individual countries, if we are talking about environmental and labor standards, they would have to pass laws in their own countries
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to enforce the standards and it is up to their governments to support it. there are mechanisms other countries could use to say indonesia is not part of the deal, you are not abiding by the rules, we will punish you. there is that mechanism, but it is not clear if the u.s. or canada or mexico or another country would actually use it. host: rob in texas opposes the tpp. because iam opposing it,t know a whole lot about but it sounds like it might be a good thing or might not. there was another thing about the deal. suggests that he would put a 35% terror attacks on products coming in. what does that do, really?
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is the consumer will end up paying that 35%. i think america has gotten .poiled on buying cheap things [inaudible] we need to do a better job of buying our own goods. thought.ust a the first point is something we have not touched on which is this notion of what is
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donald trump's trade policy? he does not support that -- the tpp, and he is saying he wants to drag -- jack up tariffs. some people think that could lead to a trade war and we could see countries saying if the united states is going to raise tariffs on our goods, we will raise tariffs on your goods. we could see the price of consumer goods go up and that would certainly not be great for american consumers. host: hello to clinton's approach -- hillary clinton's approach? guest: it has not been clear. aside from opposing the tpp, she has said she is or free-trade. it is not really clear how she would proceed if she is elected. unfortunately, we have not gotten to ask her a lot of questions for quite a while. host: jean in maine, opposes the deal.
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caller: i believe that these of thegreements are part wealth redistribution program that we have going. i think we have it in this country, but it is also part of agenda 21 with the unit -- united nations. we overregulated, making our products very expensive so that we by the imported products that are cheaper from other countries. they have the winning side of this because we want to flatten -- we want everyone to be equal, everyone in the world to be at the same level of economics. i think that is the plan, and the way that i think it could be changed are americans who want us to remain progressive -- not begressive, who want us to
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prosperous. the way to do that is to cut regulations. the regulations that are put in place are ridiculous. i just have a dairy farm in connecticut, and beef was always a very farmt on because you had animals that you have to get rid of. what happened when nafta went , we realized that beef was being grown in south america , and it was a lot cheaper because of inspections, so they put in some rules that made it harder to get beef from south america to protect the american farmers. canada,o problem with so south america ship their beef up to canada, and then it was brought into the u.s., much
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cheaper because the inspection process did not apply. guest: this is a legitimate roles inthat are the the u.s. adequately balanced with the rules overseas, and this applies to beef, it applies to labor, workers, shipping jobs overseas. supporters of the deal say we will create these environmental standards that would potentially mitigate some of these problems, but the questions about whether how would be enforced, strongly they would be enforced and whether the countries would actually follow them. host: is the deal based on agriculture? is it industrial? what are the major elements? guest: it is everything. dairy,s beef, pork, industrial products, intellectual property. we are talking about forcing partners of the deal to adopt
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ill actual property standards so that movies and songs cannot be you cannot be selling five dollar dvds on the street, basically. in new york, robert is next, a supporter of the deal. i have some points and i appreciate your patience. start not we have to just putting pressure on the ,oliticians or local senators governors, but also the ceo of corporations. let's face the facts, nafta and these trade deals are huge lobby groups that are promoting these trades for corporations. americans working have to start to wake up, we have to put pressure on the
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corporations. companies --ican do you think it is the government the push that no, it is the corporations, these are huge corporations. new jersey, from also a supporter. caller: good morning. i support the tpp for two reasons and i have to go back to nafta. the only two of countries that benefited from nafta are canada and mexico. we have to take responsibility for that, because canada kept their jobs in canada. mexico did not have to do anything because the american ceos shipped their jobs to mexico, so mexico made a profit. when we ship jobs to foreign countries, we have to ship our
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technology to show them how to make our products. in this country, we have to compete against that. in terms of tpp, it is a global economy and if we do not take part in the global economy, we are going to be -- all of those countries are not going to import goods from the united states. we waste so much in this country and if we cannot export of goods, we will have some big problems. it is not the government that is the problem, it is the ceos of the big companies who want a wider bottom line and they decide to choose the bottom line over the country. the tpp would be a good thing because it is global and if we are part of the global economy, we will have to be a part of the tpp. guest: the caller brings up an interesting point, which is that
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this is a limit is outside the trade deal, but in this era of globalization, how is the u.s. adjusting? how are we replacing these manufacturing jobs because a lot of people recognize those jobs are not coming back. policymakers have been slow to create new kinds of jobs to promote education and pass pro -- half programs that help workers who have been displaced. this is a major concession. it was not for nafta. in that trade promotion authority bill we talked about earlier, it included a robust program to assist workers whose and are displaced by tpp help them train and get into a new deal -- new field. that is of it is being talked about -- that is something that is being talked about. it is difficult to attract workers to sign up. butll looks good on paper,
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can you convince the workers to join the program? will the training programs be successful? how successful will they be, getting placed into new jobs? and if the companies are not making these new jobs, there is a myth -- a mismatch. host: that on the line for those who oppose the deal. caller: i would like -- host: beth on the line for those who oppose the deal. caller: i would like to thank your guest for his knowledge of the subject. i do enjoy enthusiasm of our young people. i would like to say that there was a company called bethel steel. now it is a casino. my grandfather was a machinist his whole life. his son, my father, worked nights and was able to fund his college education.
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he went on to become a phd in microbiology. his two sons, my brothers, one became a surgeon and the other one became a molecular biologist with the national in to health. that is what is possible in this country if we put our best interests first. what do you tell these retirees? the bench -- the pensions went bankrupt and they had to go to the pensions benefit fund which is now bankrupt from all the companies that have gone bankrupt. we need to put the focus back on what is best for us, and if we do that, we will be in a position like we were when george bush spent a lot -- sent a lot of money to africa to deal with the aids epidemic. we will be strong economically, and if you want to encourage people to go to college without
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--t, then these corporations we need to strengthen these corporations in this country, because they will provide opportunity these for people. they will pay their tuition. education,er education and general is what is now driving the information-based economy. that is a major gap that callers like that are -- beth are talking about. it is actually passing programs. it is a sad story that families who have worked for generations in manufacturing and those just go away, so what do you do? it is one of the most pressing issues in this economy. host: on our line for those who oppose the deal from georgia, steve, good morning. caller: i have a question.
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hillary says if she is elected president, she will bring jobs back to america and she will make her husband over the jobs. she -- he is the one who sent them overseas. a verythat is interesting question, because it touches on how difficult it is for heather clinton to create this new political brand for herself. she is trying to pitch herself as a presidential candidate, but she is tied down by a lot of the baggage of her 20 plus years in the public eye, in washington. like the caller said, though clinton is tied the nafta and all of that comes along with the good and the bad. how does heather clinton get -- hillary clinton get beyond that shadow and address voters and convince them that her policies are the right ones. host: from maryland on our support line. i think that donald
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trump, as well as bernie sanders and a lot of the american public really need a unit test economic education. the fact of the matter is, when you look at all the countries that we have trade agreements with, and you can go to a commerce department and get that information, see our trade balance. what you find out is that the u.s. actually has a trade surplus in manufacturing. deficits on trade job losses, on trade deficits is just an erroneous argument. it is being put there because these politicians want to sew fear. whatever one talks about manufacturing jobs going overseas, some of them go overseas, but some of them come here. manufacturing output is at an
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all-time high. at the same time, employment is the lowest levels they have been since 1962. the reason for that is technology,. simple. the tpp is going to make it easier for u.s. manufacturers to sell products overseas. that is the main thing. we are already a free-trade country. i don't think there is any economic argument against this, and those who are trying to say, orders are taking our jobs and we are getting the shaft, they are just trying to blame trade the fact that manufacturing sector has not created a lot of jobs. the fact of the matter is, the manufacturing sector is not going to be creating a huge number of jobs over the next 20 years. it is not going to happen because of technology. guest: a very interesting point about manufacturers, which
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touched upon a lot of that we discussed, which is workers need to be retrained to work in high-tech manufacturing and other jobs in technology fields. the trade deficit point is interesting. that is the main crux of the debate and a lot of these arguments about globalization and foreign policy have been lumped in, but this trade deal is just about knocking down these barriers, allowing u.s. goods to be exported more easily. host: what is the white house strategy to promote this deal? guest: they have been kind of silent on it for a while as the campaign has taken over, and the president's comments yesterday and his visit with the singaporean minister was the first things we have seen in the last few months, as a big push for this deal. there is constantly conversation going on behind closed doors between the white house and
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leaders in congress and i expect those talks will intensify with the come back from recess. the problem is, lawmakers have been away from congress since late july, so the talks may be on hold for a while, but after the november elections, you can expect the president to get on the phone with mitch mcconnell at paul ryan to get these talks started again. host: what is the timeline on this for congress?congress gets back soon after the election guest: and the president takes this on in january. you are talking about just over two months where they can get this done. fifth -- that is not a lot of time when you consider stuff like obamacare, wall street reform, the big types of legislation that take a long time to get passed. there is a certain time limit needs to be hit, but two months is not a lot of time. host: jordan fabian who covers the white house for the hill and
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the tpp. washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. coming up in the morning, political fact checker angie holan will check out political fact -- how politifact measures the honest list -- honesty of politicians. be sure to watch "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. 80 thursday morning. issues spotlight looks at race relations. we will show president obama at the memorial service for the
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police officers killed in dallas . pres. obama: when the boat started flying, the men and women of the dallas police did not flinch in the did not react recklessly. scott giving a speech on the senate floor about his own interactions with police. >> the vast majority of the time, i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new neighborhood,ng or some other reason just as trivial. program includes one family story about an encounter with police in washington, d.c. -- owed by >> most people get defensive if if you like you are being offensive. if it's not aul crisis were a dangerous situation. demand. versus those things change the dynamics of it.
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>> watch the issues spotlight on police and race relations. >> tonight, homeland security secretary jeh johnson talks about nationalizing security at the election process saying that the election system may be considered critical infrastructure just like the financial sector or the power grid. we'll have that coming up in 8:00 p.m. et on c-span. handover ceremony at the pentagon where the new -- the new chief is with the four-star general.
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[inaudible] oh say can you see light dawn's early what so proudly we hailed gleamingilight's last
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whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous night o'er the ramparts we watched streamingllantly and the rocket's red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night thereur flag was still oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave? o'er the land of the free brave ♪home of the
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>> let us pray. lord, our god, on whom this nation was founded and to whom we look for strength, guidance,
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and peace. we bow our heads to you. we stand in his hollowed place and render with love and distinction those who served with and gave their lives for freedom. yourank you for sending servants and faithful sons. this day and always they make us proud. we ask you to extend the hand of blessing on them and all who serve this nation that we love and call home. may our efforts bring us justice and peace. we are always proud to be one nation, under our god, forever and ever, amen. marciano.ou, chaplin ladies and gentlemen, please welcome general frank grass, outgoing chief of the national guard bureau. [applause]
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gen. grass: thank you. thank you very much. [applause] thank you so much. thanks. thank you for that warm welcome for pat and i. what a great opportunity i have had. we were together when you were the deputy secretary and as the secretary. what a great mentor and what a great leader for our nation right now. when we are out and about, it is hard to get us all together. the secretary of defense, secretary carter is in town, he will try to get together with us every two weeks. he will carve out time.
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sir, thank you for your leadership. it has been phenomenal. working for you has been incredible. i could not have picked a better person. this is my sounding board in so many ways. a tough issue that you have to deal with in today's world. what he did for the national guard and fiscal stewardship alone will create a legacy for him. five-star,re now a do not let him get too big.
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a tough time for your family in vietnam. thank you. to general dunford and ellen, what great partners. for the joint chiefs and spouses, friday was a special day. we had a chance to sit and chat for a few minutes.
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my good friend and my mentor, fema is a difficult job. especially in a situation where we have to respond to the needs of american citizens. me, he is a domestic ops master. i have picked his brain on some of the work we have been doing. thank you for what you continue to do. my time toonot blow bed, for all of our enlisted team at search with the joint chiefs, what a great team. back seating us, front seating us. you have done that fabulously.
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for the congressional staff, i wish every american could see with a do for us on the hill in a very difficult time. this whole team has been phenomenal to work with so i want to thank them and their members for the great work that they do and the support they continue to provide to the department of defense. to everyone here who has meant -- i cannot say each -- of your's names names, but thank you for everything you have done. every time we talk so many senior statesman would come in and give advice and i will treasure that forever because it makes a difference when you have a sounding board. for the adjutant general, it's like my family. we have had to work through some tough issues where they are
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trying to defend what the state needs and have their men and women ready to go overseas at a moment's notice. make sure they are the most ready because they might get a or will respond to a hurricane or tornado. thank your wives for allowing you to do what you do and thank you for providing me with such a tremendous sounding board and tremendous support. -- 10,000 map we have guardsmen. that would not happened and we could not provide this combat-ready forces for the men and women who serve overseas side with their active counterparts. send on my thanks as well. >> miss kerala gussie, you're an your eighth chief. each of us grade
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someday. but may shift gears to the family. we don't do this without support from our great family my wife and i met when we were already in the guard. my first tour as an enlisted soldier. we got married and she has been with me for cents. i will be ready to take on that list of things that you want me .o do we will be doing my official retirement in the state headquarters in missouri where i was sworn in as a lieutenant. the kids will all be there but i wanted to do a shout out to them, amanda and grant are three great grandsons. ashley will be looking for to seeing them. sophia and kaylee, two wonderful
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granddaughters. patrick and his girlfriend kaitlin, mark, tracy and jerod are moving to fort sam houston. the last thing that i wanted to say to this group is that i really want to put this message 453,000 citizen soldiers and airmen. in all my years i have served i have never seen a force so dedicated, so equipped so trained then this force today. ani traveled, we have had opportunity to visit so many of them and everybody will tell you that they do this so that their children and grandchildren can live in a country like they grew up in and they are so dedicated. today.e them all that salute goes to every person
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who serves in the military. every family member, the sacrifices i have watched. they stay with us and they pack up again when the nation also. i told the secretary that the protocol here has been phenomenal. today,ou all for coming thank you for this great nation and god bless america. [applause]
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>> thank you, general grass. ladies and gentlemen, secretary ash carter. >> good morning fans of franka nd and fans of joe. glad to have you all here. thank you for being here. miller, general greene, international partners, friends, family, all of you. ambassador, thank you. thank you for joining us. here for two of our military's most accomplished
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leaders. general frank grass and general joe lengyel. before i speak about the character and contributions of these two extra gary officers, i extraordinary officers, i want to speak directly to all the citizens here today and our family, i am so proud of you and so grateful for your vital contributions to the security of our nation. you keep our skies free from danger, you respond to danger with compassion and professionalism at a moments notice, you stand watch at home and around the world, you responded when we needed you during the conflicts in iraq and afghanistan all those years. you helped keep our most solemn commitment as a military, which is to provide our citizens the security they need to dream their dreams, raise their children, and live full lives.
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even if that means sometimes putting your own lives on hold or online. that has been the spirit, the mission, the enduring commitment of our national guard through the century -- the centuries, and never more so in the past 15 years. in september 11, the men and women of the national guard have answered the nation's call to deploy over -- get this -- 787,000 times. as a result, today's guard is battle tested, agile, flexible, deployable, with combat experience and a broad range of skills gained both on the battlefield and in civilian life. the national guard is a critical component of our total force, bringing to bear the experience and skills of our citizen warriors wherever and whenever needed to confront the challenges of a complex world. and we've got them. today, our nation faces and the guard is helping us to meet no fewer than five major immediate
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and evolving challenges. first, countering the prospect of russian aggression and co., -- aggression and coercion, especially in europe. managing historic change in the vital asia-pacific region, where china is rising, which is fine, but behaving aggressively, which is not. strengthening our deterrence and defense forces in the face of north korea's nuclear missile and other provocations. checking iranian aggression and malign influences in the gulf. and of course, confronting terrorism, including accelerating the certain defeat of isil, its parent tumor in syria and wherever it metastasizes. history has shown we can never predict the strategic future. in fact, it shows the opposite of that.
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we must be flexible and agile in preparing for unknowns that we cannot anticipate today. we do not have the luxury of choosing among these challenges. we have to do it all. all around the world, the guard does it all. from eastern europe, where the north carolina national guard participated in exercises with 24 nations in poland, to the pacific where the hawaiian national guard stands ready to respond throughout the pacific rim. to the middle east were eight thousand national guard members are deployed in the air and on the ground, including the wisconsin national guard as it supports the 101st airborne mission to enable local forces to take on and defeat isil. right here at home, cyber warriors, whom i met earlier this year, wonderful folks, they are using the skills and experiences they have gained in
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america's wonderfully innovative technology community to protect our networks and do things like counter isil's influence online. the days of the national guard serving exclusively as a strategic reserve called up only in emergencies are over. the post 9/11 environment has proven the guard is an indispensable component of a total force and day-to-day activities and large-scale operations, planning and execution in conventional conflicts and novel threats, the national guard remains critical to accomplishing all of our nation's security priorities. to ensure preparedness for existing threats, the army will be doubling the number of rotations at national training centers for guard teams. the guard will receive an increase in the number of helicopters, enhancing capabilities for strategic reserves and providing more flexibility for missions in the
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here and now, including over the homeland. guard will be instrumental not only in fighting and winning on today's battlefields but in shaping tomorrow's conflicts as well as the cyber and space means become increasingly contested, the national guard will be on the vanguard of these missions. by 2019, national guard will have over 30 cyber units in 34 states to support these services in u.s. cyber command. the more deeply committed they become, the better paired the nation becomes. the presence, the skill and the readiness of citizen warriors across the company give us the agility and flexibility to handle unexpected demand at home and abroad. it has been an essential component of the total force and a linchpin of our readiness. that is one of the reasons that position of national guard was
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elevated to the joint chiefs of staff in 2012 and is the first national guard bureau chief serves a full term in the tank, national guard bureau chief general frank grass has led this historic transition with character and skill. building the good work -- building on the good work of his right assessor, general grass worked tirelessly to form the most integrated and total force in our history. he has helped increase our rapid deployment capability to respond to any crisis and respond to the local, state and international levels. he has been a strong and steady voice at the table for the men and women of the national guard because for his entire career, he has personified the finest qualities of our citizen warriors. frank grass has in committed to the defense of this nation since
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he turned 18 and enlisted in the missouri national guard as a private in 1969. president harry truman said "progress occurs when the courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better." frank, you have changed things for the better at every step in your career for the first commission in the engineering corp to the protection of the homeland as deputy commander and as chief of the national guard in these past four years, you have been a courageous and skillful leader, exactly the one the nation needed. you have seized every opportunity to make progress in our total forces stronger as a result. you have said yourself the three critical traits of the leaders you admire most are that there are analytical, decisive and compassionate. remember that?
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in the time we served together, i see the way you have met all of these standards that continue to benefit long into the future. your analytical approach to homeland security and disaster situations has helped inform and advise the president, me, and chairman dunford during times to protect our nation at home against the threat of tomorrow. your decisive actions to prioritize skills and readiness through times of budgetary uncertainty have turned the guard from a post 9/11 necessity into an effective operational reserve by design. your compassionate dedication to our national guard families has resulted in stronger support networks, greater employer cooperation, and deeper connection to all who serve. you have never forgotten that
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families are the foundation of our force. i appreciate everything pat has done for our national guard families as well. i also want to thank your -- you are watching, hope you are -- and your many grandchildren for your service about the years. frank, as you and pat beginning your well-earned retirement, you can rest assured the national guard family is in the good hand of another proven strategic thinker and citizen warrior, a man who served by your side as vice chiefe net -- of the national guard bureau, general joe lengyel. he know what it means to serve. he has logged almost 3000 hours behind the controls of an f-16. his 34 years include operational staff and command assignments that included services in desert storm, provide comfort, southern watch, and enduring freedom among others.
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perhaps most importantly, joe knows what it means to be a military family. he knows the meaning of service, sacrifice, and separation. joe's father was shot down over vietnam in august 1967 and held as a prisoner of war for six years. it felt to joe's mother, margaret, to raise joe. his sister dottie and his brothers dan and greg. john milton wrote "they also serve who only stand and wait." joe's entire family served through those long years of uncertainty and strength, and they continued to serve when joe's dad returned to service in the and on a 5, 1 of only two in thepilots to do so --
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only two p.o.w. pilots to do so. his parents are here today as is his brother, and i will take a moment to thank them for their service and sacrifice. [applause] secretary carter: we pray that no military family ever has to go through joe's experience growing up again, but we know that every deployment, every separation is a strain. i am confident joe will
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continue the work that frank has done for strengthening our warriors and their families before, during, and after deployment. there is no finer example than joe's family. we are joined by his wife, sally. welcome aboard. you have been aboard for a while, but now stepping up. [laughter] secretary carter: an air force veteran herself, his daughter katie, his sons joe and mike. that the men and women of the national guard who stand by them will be well served by joe, who is not only an accomplished pilot and experienced commander, but also a military son, a husband, a brother, and a father. it is a big world out there, and we are a great nation with with extraordinary challenges around the world. you cannot predict how or when
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or where the men and women of our national guard will be called on to serve their fellow citizens, but we know that thanks to the strong and steady leadership of general frank grass, the national guard of today is an indispensable force, trained and ready to respond wherever it is needed. we know general lengyel will certainty,orce with clarity, and the full confidence and trust of myself and the president. to general lingo to general grass, to all of the men and women in the national guard, thank you for all you do, for remaining always ready, always there. [applause]
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>> thank you, secretary carter. general grass has asked that his declaration be presented during his retirement ceremony later this month, so at this time, please joineral secretary carter under the flags for a presentation of his service medal. ladies and gentlemen, please stand. attention to orders. lieutenant general joseph l. lengyel distinguished himself as vice chief of national guard bureau from august 2012 to august 2016. the decisive leadership, superior professional skills, and ceaseless efforts were instrumental in improving the national guard's engagement around the world. despite significant fiscal
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challenges and reduced resources, the general insured the national guard remained a competent, capable operational force and the united states' premiere first responders. as the first three-star vice chief of the national bureau, he collaborated with national defense partners, state governors, and foreign military the nationalling guard to effectively serve our nation during this critical time. his extraordinary service and pursuit of excellence ensured the national guard was well-positioned for future challenges. the distinguished compliments of the general reflect on himself, the united states air force, and the department of defense. [applause]
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>> secretary carter will now promote lieutenant general lengyel to general. he is extended federal recognition and appointed as a reserve of the air force in the grade of general on this day, the third day of august, 2016. [applause] >> thank you, secretary carter. ladies and gentlemen, please be seated.
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general lengyel's wife and father, and former pow lauren lingo, will now pin on the new rank of general. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please lengyel as mr. and mrs. joined the secretary of defense to administer the oath of office.
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name --ate your >> i, joseph langdale, having an appointed general of the united states air force do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that i take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which i'm about to enter, so help me god. congratulations. [applause]
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>> thank you, mrs. lengyel. >> general grass and the senior listed advisor to the chief of the national guard bureau, mitchell brush, will join secretary carter and general lengyel for the official passing of the positional colors.
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[applause] >> thank you, secretary carter, general grass, and chief brush. ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to prevent for the first time general joseph lengyel, chief of the national guard bureau. [applause]
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>> mr. secretary, thank you very much. chairman, my sincere thanks to me for this position. honor of my military career. ambassador patterson, i am so happy to see you. i want to tell everybody i've had the honor to serve with ambassador patterson right after the revolution, and as the professional development part of my life, from military interactions, i learned much from her and saw a lot that i had never been exposed to. thank you very much. i am honored you came.
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to the many generals and former chiefs and everyone here today, thank you for coming. i am honored to be the 28th chief of the national guard bureau. sir,, to joe grass, first, my thanks. being a vice for four years is a hard job. [laughter] >> i have been tailoring my talking points to you and all of your talking points have been mine, so i'm going to try to not repeat everything joe grass has said today. [laughter] >> but it has been my honor to see you and pat lead this bureau with elegance and grace, and because of that, we have friends all over this building, all over the hill, and all over the world. sir, i will endeavor to follow your model. it will be tough, but it has been my distinct honor for sally and i to work with you and watch you lead the bureau the last four years. thank you.
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really quick, because five minutes was our limit, frank. [laughter] >> i'm going to leave with three things. you heard a little bit of all of them today. i do not want to repeat them, but i want you to think about the national guard and about three things. this will be my focus as i endeavor to take on the role of chief. first is more fight, homeland, partnerships. it is to take the $25 billion given to the national guard to be part of the army and air force. i have been in the national guard for 25 years, and i have lived the transformation of the national guard from confident, qualified force that it was to the operational force that it is today. it has lived up to what the air it be, and we have
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similar equipment, the same tactics a force that any commander will have in his force anywhere in the world, in any place. the more fight -- war fight mission is our number one focus and it has to be. i see general millie taking the national guard in a different direction, and i could not be more pleased with what i see about the integration of the active force within reserve components. we have no other choice but to leverage the business model of the reserve component as we go forward, and i believe that with all of my heart. that is the war fight piece. the homeland piece, this is connected that we bring -- connected -- we bring resiliency to america all over the place. many pieces of this country, the men and women under the command of these generals are the only uniforms these people see. we are in every state, territory, and district of columbia, and we do things as they organize them. we are prepared every day to defend the homeland and secure our communities. i got a call yesterday from my
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governor, governor abbott from texas. he called me to tell me, congratulations, week are proud to see a texan, and we are happy with what you are doing, and i just want to tell you how important the guard is to the state of texas. last year, half a million mandates -- more than 300 times they were called to serve in their communities for a variety of reasons, for natural disasters, terrorist activities, just security in general, and we are postured everywhere to do it today. it is what we do 24/7/365. it is our job and responsibility. that is the second thing we do. the third thing, building partnerships all around the nation. we have partners with 70 state partnership programs. highly successful, leveraged trust relationships. show the military as a force for good. we have deployed 80 times with 15 countries to iraq and afghanistan, who said they would go provided i go with my state
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partner. we got another flag on that war and that coalition as we fight for the security interest of the united states. that's important. the last thing i would say is, the thing that makes it all work is the soldiers and airmen and the 453,000 men and women who i am honored to serve and represent here. we can't do any of those three things without them, and they are our most important weapons systems. it takes just as long to grow a soldier or airmen and develop them as it does to buy a new bomber, buy a new carrier, by a new missile. all of those things take decades. it is well outside us, and it will be my huge important task to continue that growth and development of the leaders of this force to do those three things that i talked about. i was worried that i might forget talking about my family. so i am going to do that. [laughter] >> i am going to do that right
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now. we've got a pretty good joint force, mr. secretary. it is almost worthy of a d mag. [laughter] >> i've got my uncle rod, who is ron, who isy uncle a navy fighter pilot. my dad, an air force fighter pilot. my wife was an air force supply officer when i met her. my brother, greg, everybody knows him. there is one less reason for people to confuse us now, greg. [laughter] [applause] >> as we get each other's e-mail, this is yours, no, it is mine. i want to mention the next generation behind us, my son, active-duty air force f-16 pilot , and greg's son, sitting behind him, is is on his way to pilot training. greg's other son is in the marine corps. he is in kingsville.
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i am incredibly proud of all of my family. my children joe, mike, and katie. they have been following us around the world. , did the delta thing for a while, then we took military leave from delta, and i want to give a shout out to those folks. but i could not do all of this without their support, and they are better for it, i think. i keep telling them that. [laughter] >> it is a good thing. and to my wife, we talked about the flower thing. i said, hey, i just took you to "hamilton" last week. that's got to count for something. we went up to new york and saw a great play. [laughter] it has been fantastic. so the 453,000 men and women who are out there, we could not get our job done without them.
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part of the partnerships that we do in addition -- we have partnerships with our communities, partnerships with our services, partnerships with everybody that allows us to do our jobs. one of the most important partnerships is our employers. our business model does not work without them. i have been on an extended period of leave with delta airlines. thank you, sir. [laughter] >> vice president of operations steve dixon is out there somewhere. i cannot see him. i've got to tell you, delta has got more than 200 pilots right now on long-term military leave. this is a business, a thing they work to make a profit. and this is just for people like me under extended military orders. there are hundreds more that have to manipulate the schedule
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that delta has to work around to make their model work so that we are not late and there are pilots and aviators. there are a lot of pilots that are flying for the airlines and some people get mad about that. i'm telling you, i remember flying a 727 flying to syracuse and it was snowing and windy and full of people in the back. i thought, i am glad the air force trained me how to be a good pilot, because we are flying america's people around the country and keeping them safe, and that is not a wasted resource. the key is to allow the system to work such that they do not have to choose to be one or the other, they can be both. that is my goal, and i want to thank delta and all the other airlines doing similar things, and all of our employers who are doing similar things around the world. i will leave you with this. i went to general millie's
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ceremony about a year ago, and at that ceremony we talked about the general. he was a yankees fan, and we talked about everyone being a red sox fan. i went home and had all these personal conversations with your wife about your career. i said, honey, we have a shot at this chief thing. i think they are looking for red sox fans. [laughter] [applause] >> again, my thanks to all of you for coming. many of you came a long way, and i am honored and look forward to serving with all of you. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the inaugural playing of the national guard march, performed performed by the army national content -- quintet, followed by the departure of the official party. please stay seated until the official party leaves the room. ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this
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concludes today's ceremony. room will be a receiving at the end of the auditorium, along with a reception in the corridor. ♪ tonight, jeh johnson talks about nationalizing security of the election process in november, saying that the election system may be considered critical infrastructure, just like the financial sector or the power grid. we will have at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. sunday night on "q and a," civil war historian meredith james robertson discusses his book "after the
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civil war." >> state religions was very -- state allegiance was very deep. it went back generations as there were settlers in the country. one has to keep that in mind. i am not belittling slavery, but you can explain the actions of good, decent men like robert e. lee and stonewall jackson. they fight because for genia needs them, not that they supported the confederate cause. neither one did. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 eastern. c-span's: on saturday, issue spotlight looks at police and race relations. we will look at president obama at the memorial service for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. when bullets
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started flying, the men and women of the dallas police did not flinch, and they did not react recklessly. announcer: and south carolina republican senator tim scott, giving a speech on the senate floor about his own reactions with police. sen. scott: the majority of the time, i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a car in the wrong neighborhood, or for some other reason just as trivial. announcer: it also includes one family's story about an encounter with police in washington, d.c., followed by a panel with the police chief. >> most people get defensive if they feel like you are being offensive. being very respectful and encounters and requests -- if it is not a crisis or a dangerous situation, requests versus demands -- those things change the dynamics. announcer: wash our issue spotlight on police and race relations saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
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obamacer: the administration said today that $400 million in cash paid to iran soon after the release of americans detained by at today's state department briefing, the spokesman responded to a series of questions about it. that part of the briefing is about 30 minutes. there is a lot to go through. let me start with iran. i know this was raised at length during the white house briefing. i will try to make mine extremely short. as it has been pointed out over and over by colleague over there, the disagreement on the head claim. it was settled and announced by you all publicly and dinner. do you know why at that time were not prepared to say that the $400 million that iran was
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owed, why were you not prepared to say or describe the manner in which that was transferred? i'm still frankly not prepared to talk about it in the mechanics, why? >> that is a fair question. don't just repeat the same thing. >> what i would say without getting into the city gritty details of how that was made. iran was at that time, ethically still is to some degree relatively disconnected from the international financial system and that rates certain
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challenges and giving them their money. it cannot be done over wire transfers or any of the legal methods or financial methods that are commonly used to transfer large sums of money. we had to mind that figure out ways to get them the money. we've never reestablished a direct banking relationship with iran and still don't intend to do so. the limitations under which we are operating. >> seems like there are other ways, or other ways considered and discarded, you caps on them gold. that is pretty heavy. or, could have gotten a cashiers check from some european bank presented that to them. get too't want to
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deeply into this. we have seen subsequent from this dish epa and the lifting of some sanctions, and a separate letters toher, engage into business and financial transactions with iran due to several reasons. one is, as the president has made clear, that iran's continued bad behavior does make make them reluctant. let me finish. that there are sanctions, laws, rather, that are still in place that financial institutions, international banks still don't have a clear understanding of, and all of that weighs on, again, our ability or anyone's ability to engage in financial transactions with iran. >> so physically whose cash was it? was of the government's? mr. toner: i'm not going to get into the details. i'm just not. >> did you have to give the
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governments that supplied these bank this currency the , equivalent? >> i mean, it seems like you could have gotten a great deal post-brexit if you had paid them in sterling, per se, you know? mr. toner: i'm not privy to those details and i don't have them and i don't know that i could get into that level of detail. >> i just don't get why not. mr. toner: again, i don't think i don't know how common it is for us to get into the details of these kinds of transactions. >> well, you see what happens when you don't and then it comes out how, i mean, the amount of. mr. toner: i guess so. conspiracizing or whatever, without you giving a definitive account of it, people are draw -- people draw their own conclusions. mr. toner: but we did acknowledge that this took place at the time. the president and the secretary both spoke to it. i mean, frankly, other than some of these salacious details that they're trying to put forth as
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to the transactions. >> salacious? mr. toner: well, in terms of -- >> i thought it wasn't salacious. mr. toner: no. >> your whole point, the administration's whole point is that it's not salacious. mr. toner: that's not true. i'm saying that the article alleges. >> well, we can get to that later. mr. toner: -- there's very little news to this. we have been out, from the day or the time that the implementation or the jcpoa was signed on implementation day and have talked about all of these all the elements: the freeing of the detainees, obviously the agreement signing and reaching implementation day, but as well as resolving this claim. >> do you know why it was this claim, there are more other outstanding claims. mr. toner: there are. >> -- that iran has against the united states. why was it decided back a year ago, whenever it was, that the litigation on this really got heated up in the course of the nuclear talks, why was this one the one that was chosen to be settled? mr. toner: sure. i think my understanding was that they were close to reaching a settlement, so it was within grasp.
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i think there was concern and we talked about this from legal experts that if it didn't, and it went to the tribunal, it would not be favorable. >> and my last one on this is just -- mr. toner: yeah, please. >> if a private citizen owed the iranian government, let's say, a more modest amount of money say , $40,000, still more than 10,000 that would require to be transferred would it be legal , for that person, whoever it is, to send cash to the iranian government? would it be legal under current u.s. law to send that cash to iran? mr. toner: good question. i'm not sure the answer. obviously, there's no applicable sanctions that i'm aware of, but i know we are not doing from u.s. financial institutions, we're not engaged -- >> well, did the administration require to get from itself, from treasury, a special, specific license to do this. mr. toner: yeah.
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>> 400 million cash transfer? > mr. toner: i'm not aware of that, but i can certainly ask. >> all right. >> and you used the word salacious do you feel that , there's something unseemly about having made this transfer to the iranians in the form of cash? mr. toner: i mean, i was being a little glib and i should never do that from the podium. the point i was trying to make was that other than some of the, again, alledge details because , i'm not going to speak to the mechanics beyond what i just said that there really wasn't , much new to this article. it made a lot of allegations that this was ransom. it is not, it was not, we said that from the beginning. but again, there's not really anything that all of you weren't aware of at the time that this happened other than, as i said, we have not gotten into the details of how that transfer took place. i'm sorry, your question one more time on this? >> my question was: is it unseemly that you paid this in cash? mr. toner: i mean, there were
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reasons to do so, again, operating under the constrictions that we were operating under, which was that at the time, and to an extent, it remains the case that iran is or was disconnected from the global financial system. and so this is not something new, it again, we've seen this manifested elsewhere as it tries to get back into the international marketplace. it's having a hard time connecting with banks and other institutions. so, no. all options were vetted. this was considered to be the most efficient way to do it. and again, i'm not trying to confirm the details in that article. i don't want to do it. >> well, can you say what other options that were considered? mr. toner: i don't. i don't have them in front of me. i apologize. >> one particular option? mr. toner: please. >> i mean, you'll recall that when treasury designated banco delta asia under the patriot act
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as a primary money laundering concern and then froze about $25 million in north korean accounts and then the u.s. government ended up giving the money back and as i recall, that transfer also to a country with very little access to the outside banking world, you ended up having the new york federal reserve execute that transfer through an obscure third or fourth or fifth-tier regional russian bank. i mean, was there any way of doing it through the russians or through the chinese or through somebody else? mr. toner: in all honesty, arshad, i don't in answer to matt's question, i don't have kind of a list of the various options that were looked at. i just know that in the effort to conclude this settlement as quickly and as efficiently as
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possible, that they did clearly vet all of the available options and arrived on a solution. >> and one other thing for me. mr. toner: sure. >> the coincidence, or near coincidence, in terms of timing of the release of the four and eventually a fifth u.s. person detained in iran and this payment naturally leads people to wonder if they are causally related. without using the word "ransom"" why shouldn't people believe that the two events are somehow linked and that you would not have gotten the u.s. citizens out absent the resolution of this matter and the payment of these funds? mr. toner: sure.
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honestly, it's a fair question given how these all came to a head at the same time, and i think we've addressed that in at the time we addressed it, , obviously. and what i think is that you saw these were three very separate efforts, and in fact, with regard to the tribunal and the settlement of those claims, i mean, that tribunal was established in 1981. some of these claims have been had been in process or in training for the settlement of them for many, many years, decades in fact. i think what one can fairly say and i think we acknowledged this , at the time, is that our negotiations to reach the nuclear deal with iran did open up enough space, if you will, for us to reach a resolution on other outstanding issues.
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we were very clear all along and that there was never a linkage , between reaching the jcpoa and freeing the americans, but we never failed to advocate for their release, and every time we met with the iranians. and similarly, there was no linkage between the settlement and the freeing of these americans, but we saw an opportunity to resolve these three separate pieces concurrently that were being resolved at the same time, and of course that was two what we believed are national security interests in our advantage. and in the case of the settlement, we've made the case the president on down has made , the case that because of this settlement, as it was not decided by the tribunal, we believe we saved american taxpayers lots of money.
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>> and by "no linkage," is it there i got two more quick ones. , sorry. mr. toner: sure, sure, go ahead. please, i'll get to you. you mean no quid pro quo? mr. toner: exactly, thank you. >> okay. and then second, do you understand why the iranians may themselves see a quid pro quo here? mr. toner: yeah, i and it's hard for me to speak to that, and i saw the quote in the article by an iranian commander. i mean, we've said before we see things in the iranian press all the time by senior iranian officials. we try not to respond to them, frankly, because they're largely meant for domestic consumption. they have their political sphere, as we do, or their political environment. i would just say there was no quid pro quo, and i don't know
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for what reason they would be saying there was. >> all politics aside, i'm a little bit confused on a couple things regarding this issue. mr. toner: okay. >> one, these are iranian money that were unfrozen because -- mr. toner: that's right. >> legally unfrozen, correct? mr. toner: yep. >> okay. mr. toner: yeah, this was money that -- >> second -- mr. toner: yeah, go ahead. i'm sorry. >> right, okay. second, i understand you're saying that the global financial system was not open to the iranians, but explain to me, why couldn't this be done like a straightforward financial transaction through a third party? i mean, directly with through , one of your allies, and so on? i mean, this gets done every day hundreds of times. i mean, not in terms of cash that is carried in bags and so on, but in terms, let's say -- mr. toner: sure. >> upfront, open, declared kind of a financial transaction. mr. toner: sure. again, i don't want to go down , get too far into the details of how the financial transaction took place other than to say that we were operating under certain limitations, that all of
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the various options were looked at and vetted, and we went with an option that succeeded in getting the iranians the money that they were owed through the settlement. >> now, there is still some money for the iranians, as you said to begin with. is it likely to happen the same way, or is it going to be done differently? mr. toner: i can't speak to that. i mean, we'll obviously make good on all our commitments that we've reached with them legally through the settlement process. but i can't speak to even what the timeline is for that. please. >> on the same. mr. toner: go ahead, tejinder. >> i just want to clarify this, that the executive branch can go ahead and do what it wants to do to carry out, and in this case i have no questions on that. does the executive not supposed to inform the legislative, the congress or senate, about these actions?
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because just -- mr. toner: yes, we always inform them, yeah. >> i think less than an hour ago, senator mccain has issued a statement. and it says "it is clear that this payment was a ransom for americans held hostage in iran"" quote closed. if he knew about this, he will not make that statement like that. if this had not come out in that story, how this would have been a hush-hush thing, or it would have you would have put out a , statement saying that we have transferred 400 million -- mr. toner: yeah, i can -- >> didn't you put a statement out in january saying -- mr. toner: yes, we did. yeah. and i can assure you that we don't do anything without notifying congress, regardless of what that may be. we always make congress aware of whatever actions we're taking. with all due respect rome, to
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senator mccain i would also , object to his comparison that his allegation that this was some kind of ransom. as i said, it was not. it was not a quid pro quo; it was not a ransom. what you saw was the culmination, as i said, of several lines of effort, in particular this one that had been ongoing over the course of many years, that we saw an opportunity to resolve quickly and to our advantage. please. >> just a -- mr. toner: yeah, go ahead, tejinder. >> going back to the matt's question about the -- mr. toner: yeah. >> i went through the government of u.s. rules about taking out money out of the country. and so in that there is no exception that the government can do this. who authorizes it? how this is done? are those rules not applicable to the government around
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sanctions? or is it the first one? because we have heard about suitcases of cash to afghanistan or other places. so can you just throw some light on what exactly goes on? like -- mr. toner: well, again, i said this before several times, tejinder. i'm not going to speak to the mechanics of how this settlement payment was made. if you have broader questions about how money is exchanged for these kinds of settlements, i would probably direct you to the department of treasury. please. go ahead, james. >> can you at least assure us that the hostages were in the process of being set free prior to the touching down of this plane with the pallets of cash? mr. toner: i'm so and i'm going to be very precise here.
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and i was actually with the secretary in vienna, i want to say, when we did reach the this , this is the night of the implementation of the jcpoa. and as i said, it was a moment where three separate lines of effort were culminating at the same time. and all of them were, as i said, separate but distinct lines of effort operating concurrently. you had the jcpoa implementation day, you had the freeing of the american hostages or detainees, and you also had this hague settlement taking place. so as to the timing, i simply i can't answer conclusively that , is detainees, americans, were on a plane before that money arrived. i might be able to get you an answer on that, but what i can say -- >> if you could take it as a taken question.
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mr. toner: sure. what i can say though categorically is that there was not any kind of understanding on the part of the iranians and certainly not on the part of us that these two were linked, that one had to happen before the other would. >> was this a u.s. military plane that transported this currency? mr. toner: i'd have to refer you , i apologize for doing that, to department of defense to really answer if that was the case. and again, i can't speak to the mechanics of how the -- >> do you happen to know the answer to my question, whether you see fit to address it from this podium? mr. toner: not with 100 percent certainty, no. >> would you describe this arrangement whereby the united states wires a large amount like this to european central banks for the purposes of conversion of the currency, and then the stacking of it in this way on pallets aboard an unmarked plane for delivery to a foreign
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government, is that typically how we do business? mr. toner: no. i'm not going to confirm the allegations that are made in this article. what i will say is that when we're forced to get a little creative, let me put it this way when we're dealing with a , country that was largely cut off from international financial institutions and the international banking system due to years of sanctions, and so operating in that environment we had to look at available options to us in order to get that money to them. money that, frankly, was their money, plus interest. >> and one other development that appears to have taken place roughly around the same time was the capture and release of the u.s. navy sailors by iran, which was just a few days before the arrival of this unmarked cargo plane. and so can you assure us that no ransom was paid for those hostages? mr. toner: absolutely no linkage
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on that, absolutely no linkage at all. i can absolutely 100 percent confirm that there was no linkage in that regard. but i thought that was several weeks after the fact but no quid pro quo, no ransom, nothing to do with the freed american sailors. >> thank you. mr. toner: yep. >> this is a question about the actual deal itself. mr. toner: yeah, okay. >> it's a question that i asked earlier this week, yesterday. mr. toner: yep. >> you have seen the report from david albright's isis, the good isis, on breakout times after your 13. mr. toner: yes. this involves the ap story that was from last month. >> correct. >> their estimate is that the breakout time after year 13 doesn't go down by six months as we had calculated it, but goes down to four months. mr. toner: this is after year
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10? >> thirteen. mr. toner: thirteen, rather. okay, sorry. >> i asked kirby about this yesterday. he hadn't said he hadn't seen it, so i'm just -- mr. toner: yeah, and i apologize, matt. i don't have it in front of me. i think we would stand by what we've said previously. we've had this we've had all of our experts look at this, and we would stand by what we've said, which is six months. if that changes, i'll have to get back to you. >> which is six months. no, that's what we estimated it to be. mr. toner: you're talking about the report that -- >> they said that well, the ap report calculated it as six months breakout after year 13. isis says that it's not six months, it's four months. mr. toner: i know. yeah. >> it's actually less. the breakout time would be less after year 13. mr. toner: all i can say, we haven't changed our assessment. let me put it that way. >> well, listen, back in april of last year, before the final deal was done --
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mr. toner: yep. >> but after the interim agreement was reached, president obama did an interview with npr this was on april 7th and he was asked about concerns about the deal and especially in the out years of it. and he said: what is more what is a more relevant fear would be that in year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout time would have shrunk to almost down to zero. now, that would seem that the administration four months is , not zero, but it would seem that the administration had this same concern. does it not? has that concern faded? mr. toner: well, i mean, not at all, matt. when we're addressing the initial leak of the report in the ap story that did so, i think we were very clear in saying that what we believe the jcpoa has allowed us is to have eyes on iran's nuclear program so that if after year 15 we see
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a concerted effort for them to attain a nuclear weapon, we will be able to detect that with enough time. >> okay. well, breakout year 13 not 15. that's just one, but -- mr. toner: sorry. >> but anyway, the same day that that interview aired on npr, one of your predecessors was asked about this comment and it was unusual because the president was trying to sell the deal as something good, and yet here here it was saying he was saying or appeared to be saying that the breakout time would shrink almost down to zero, he said. we're now talking four months, according to independent experts. and what your predecessor said was that the quote was garbled it was a little confusing, but that the president was referring to a scenario in which there was no deal at all, not to a scenario in which you had reached a final deal. mr. toner: yeah, i -- >> and that just seems to be now flat out wrong, so i'm wondering if you can explain that. mr. toner: i can't. i don't have the president's transcript in front of me.
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>> i have it right here. so i'll show it to you afterwards and -- mr. toner: why don't we do this yeah, i mean, i'm happy to try , to get you answers to your questions. i would just say that, in general, we understand that the breakout time will be diminished after specific years. we're aware of that. but part of the jcpoa is to provide us with the access, the eyes on iran's nuclear program, civilian now nuclear program so , that we're able to detect any shift whatsoever towards the possible attainment of a nuclear weapon and address it accordingly. >> okay. so then just to put a very fine point on it, and i'll stop then. mr. toner: yeah, yeah. >> the administration concedes that the year-long minimum breakout that you had sought, breakout time that you had sought in the negotiations, essentially disappears after year 13, not after year 15? mr. toner: i don't want to confirm that. sorry. >> can i change topics? mr. toner: sure thing. >> before we do, i just wanted to -- mr. toner: oh, wait. i'm sorry.
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please, go ahead, james. >> express my gratitude that you agreed earlier to accept as a taken question the matter of whether or not this plane carrying all this cash touched down before or after the process had begun to release these detainees. mr. toner: what i will say to you, james, is that whatever transfer of funds took place to the iranians i can try to see was, bute time i again, making very clear that there was no quid pro quo, there was no tit for tat involved. >> my inbox is always open. mr. toner: thank you, sir. why don't i go back? >> okay. so the russian ministry of defense reports that in aleppo there was recently. mr. toner: are we ready to switch to syria? >> a chemical weapons attack. mr. toner: i'm happy to do so. >> i just had one more on iran. mr. toner: oh, let's finish. i promise i'll get to you. >> so just really quickly cnn. is there any concern in this building about the optics? i mean, i know you're saying there's no quid pro quo, but when you're doing it on the same day and that much cash, i mean, was there not that both in iran
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and just internationally, this would be seen as potentially linked? i mean, was that not a concern? mr. toner: it's a fair question. and of course, yes. i mean, look, we were aware that this was the optics. however, one of the reasons we try to address it up front and , as i said, the president spoke to this settlement, secretary kerry spoke to the settlement at the time and tried to say, "look, guys, i know it looks like, but there's no there there. " and so we've always been aware of it, but that didn't keep us from, frankly, sealing a deal that saved the american taxpayers a considerable sum of money. >> and then just on the fact that it was cash i don't want to , go too much into the mechanics was there any also concern that bulk cash like that could be used by iran to fund some of its more -- mr. toner: nefarious activities? >> nefarious activities? mr. toner: i mean, what we've seen and i think it was brennan who spoke about this a week or so ago. what we've seen thus far, and that's not saying that there's any guarantees to any of this, but so far what they've used the
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settlement for has not been for any nefarious activities. in fact, it's been directed towards development projects, infrastructure projects. now, i say that with no guarantees, but that's what we've seen so far. please. >> wait, wait. just one more and this will be very brief. mr. toner: okay. >> did the iranians agree or demand that this, whatever form of payment it was, did they agree on a specific form. mr. toner: i don't know. >> or did they demand a specific form? mr. toner: i don't know. >> i mean, did you guys offer them, "how about 400 million in diamonds? " and they said, "no, no, no. we want cash." or can you give did they have to agree to the , method of payment? mr. toner: i honestly don't know the answer to that, but you go back to the diamonds and gold like that's some easier currency. >> well, it's outside the international financial system -- mr. toner: i guess so. i guess so. >> today state department meeting with quite a few questions on a story that was getting a lot of play in the nation's capital to the.
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the $400 million payment to iran for america's least to that country. this story in the near daily news today. justice department objection to sending $409 to iran on a plane reportedly organized -- ignored by state department. sing it is not a ransom payment. the story, officials in the justice department are wary of sending a planeload of cash to iran at the same time that americans were released from the country according to reports. the store -- state department over the objections in the question of a timed 409. payoff went forward. people knew what was going to look like and there was concern that the iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment. a person close to the negotiations told the newspaper. response from republican numbers, this


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