tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 30, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
jonathan: one of the things you bring up in the book -- it is not a huge point, but it is a point worth stating now, where he himself says most muslims have not read the koran themselves. and that -- you alluded to this earlier, about people if you can , memorize the koran, you get that honorific. but there is a difference between memorization and intellectually engaging and interpreting, so i thought that was a really important reminder. and so, what you have then are a lot of muslims that do not read the koran, and a lot of critics that have not read the koran. carla: you mean non-muslims? yeah. yeah. jonathan: yeah. carla: yeah. our first lesson, i was
absolutely terrified to tell him. it seems to me -- i have written about muslims, you know, for more than 15 years and to admit , at this point in my career to not having read the koran is tenured professor and admitting to skipping hamlet and homer. so i was tremendously nervous to tell him. he was like, don't worry. most muslims don't either. and not only most wanted a muslims, but the thing i found fascinating was he said, if you look at madrasa curriculums, in the seminaries, koran is kind of, you know, an assumption. but if you are a really, you know, ambitious young man, the , big, sort of real positions are in law, jurisprudence, maybe you're a bit grammar, or maybe in other things. -- maybe arabic grammar, or
maybe other things. the koran does not get you that far in terms of worldly gigs after you leave the seminary. that is his argument as to why it is so forgotten. jonathan: well maybe this is a to segue to the audience, which is why does islam get more than its share of negative press in the united states? you write about that from your own personal standpoint in the book. and i think perhaps it is relative to answering the question. carla: yeah. i think the sad thing is we are in -- you and i are in an event-driven business. and the violent extremists have figured out a way to insert themselves into the headlines. and the vast majority of the rest of the world's 1.6 billion muslims have not. you know, it is depressing, but the old saying -- if it bleeds, it leads is true for all groups. but sadly, there are not too
, many counter narratives that make it into the news headlines about islam. there was a recent study that asked people about what the face of various religions was. and because islam is so diffuse , you know, there is no hope. clergy ino mainstream sunni islam. with shia, it is different, but for catholics, the face of catholicism was the pope. unfortunately, among americans, the face of islam was al-baghdadi, the head of isis. and, you know, it is a really, really difficult problem, i think. i remember pitching about a year ago -- i was really excited. because it seems to me, a seminal text had come out. a group of women scholars had
gone to verse 434, which has been referred to as the dna of patriarchy in the muslim world. that is the verse in the koran that has been privileged among many others in gender relations. and it argues that men, in many translations, men have authority over women. and this, you know, when you see, you know, wives having to take a second wife, having to , you know, allow their husband to take a second wife, it is verse 434. when you see the saudis saying, every woman is a minor and needs a male guardian to let her get a passport, a job, and an education up until recently, then that is verse 434. so this group of muslim feminists had gone back and
analyzed the grammar, the history of the privileging of this verse in islamic jurisprudence. they had looked at it and come up with a book on this, sort of questioning and they pointed to , lots of other verses in the koran that describe much more egalitarian relationships between men and women. you know be a comfort to one , another. be help-mates. and all sorts of other verses that were ignored in medieval jurisprudence. and this was the privileged first. i got very excited about this book. it seemed to me that this was news. and i went to an editor, and i pitched it. i said, this could change gender relations in the muslim world. you know there are all these , battles being fought as we speak of feminists in various countries trying to change the laws on inheritance and so on. and this would really be grist for their mill.
and the editor said, it is a good story, but let's put it in the ideas section, which was a sweet little backwater. relative to the news section, and, of course, the irony is, you know, if these women had blown something up, they would be in the news, so that is the horrible dance we are doing. and i hate to say it, but the media has been complicit in some ways with the outlier, violet because that is something horrible, and we obligingly stick it on the front of websites or the front page. jonathan: well i'm going to ask , one related question. i am going to combine some questions. i believe you say he earned his salary from oxford. rafa --nds his much
madrasas. the question is, does the koran promote violence against nonbelievers? you get into that, as do a lot of scholars, well, at the time it is complicated. phet saw jews --it gets more complicated than that. carla: the famous verse which extremists of all stripes like to cite, kill the unbelievers where you find them, is linked to a very specific moment in early islamic history when the muslim armies were way outgunned, effectively. and there were many other attempts. muhammad said, can i use violence now? can i use violence now?
and, finally, because there was a breakdown and the meccans who were attacking them had gone back on their treaty, that is the specific moment you can kill the unbelievers. but there are other verses in thatoran at other times say, you believe what you believe, and we will believe what we believe, and we will go together. there is an argument that when muhammad moved from mecca to medina, there is a central moment where because the tribes --because theyso are treating this tiny band of so badly and pelting them with garbage, and muhammad's life is actually in danger, they moved to medina nearby.
which is where the first sort of butmic community is found, when the prophet and his followers move there, there are are pagans, and so on. the prophet, for the first few years, thinks there is not much difference between monotheists. and the muslims, there is an argument, and there are scholars who believe he did not see much difference between them. they were all monotheists as , buted to the polytheists this all sort of change. but that sort of happy togetherness does not get much airtime. jonathan: i am going to take a few of these questions and try to combine them. one -- this is more a point. that a question.
why are there so many issues about women scholars when what about buddhists? all religions deface the value of women scholars. another question is related to that. an audience member says around 2000, i visited a mosque in boston with a religious education class from our unitarian church. and we came away thinking that islam discourages questions or by their followers, i'm guessing no but yes. no, but ny, many -- yes. i have to say a lot of the sheikhs students are, in the british term, gobsmacked, when they can come into a class and ask questions. one of the most dramatic moments in the book came when two of the sheikh's youngest, smartest scholars made him change his
mind on child marriage, one of the most painful conversations we kept having over the years. he refused to condemn it in a blanket sense. these young women went and argued with him. in the context of a situation where, often, in many madrasas, you listen and the teacher talks. and speaking back to authority and questioning the professor is not the done thing. so i think -- i think, as you say, yes, and not the sheik, but i think it is a rare thing. jonathan: there may be a few people in the audience who have read the book already. after i read it, many things came to my mind. one of them was the movie, my dinner with andre. i will say it because that movie, those of you who are old
old enough, like me is about two , people mulling the big questions. it is very much funny, but a serious way to challenge each other. in a way, you were doing that with the sheikh. and he was doing that with you. it was the proverbial two-way street. you did ask about gays and lesbians. we have a question from the audience. you seem to have skated over the issue of gays and lesbians. i am gay. i have lots of close muslim friends. i would like to know where i stand. [laughter] carla: well, he, i mean, homosexuality was yet another big, big departure for both of us, because i kept saying, this is going on -- we were talking over the course of the year. you know, gay marriage became legal.
and it was obviously very exciting for me. and he said, i am not denying that god gives some folks different urges, but that is a test from god. and the reason --, you know, marriage is heterosexual, and that is it. now i have to say that is his , view. but there are some really exciting things going on in south africa and here and in europe, as well, where people are really working on gay theologies in islam. and, i think after orlando, , there were a lot of gay muslims came out and talked about it. too,here are scholars, who are working to see if there is wiggle room here in terms of the texts themselves, and so my answer to you would the just go to the right sheikh and you will be fine.
[laughter] carla: which is another thing. i mean, that is the thing. people have this sense of, you know, islam being this strict, brittle, single thing. there is one law. over and over again, one of the great surprises was how flexible it can be and how flexible your relationship to islamic scholarship can be. the sheikh's daughter, the one who defied her dad and started wearing the niqab for awhile, sheed to dye her hair, and asked her dad his opinion on dying her hair. he said, i do not think it is a great idea. she went down the block and went to another sheikh who said, i have no problem with people dying their hair. and she is like great, and she dyed her hair. there is this kind of fatwa
shopping that you can do, so -- [laughter] jonathan: i am going to combine a couple questions again. in the book, you talk about living as a young girl in muslim majority countries. and i believe you were five years old in tehran when you tried on your first -- you talk about the feeling it gave you. in a sense, you -- it was a multi sensory experience for you. and given your -- given the arc of your life, for you did live in cairo and kabul, granted in privileged circumstances, right? and your parents moved, and you asked your parents in the book, how could you have not known there were these underbellies of society.
you are kind of in this protective bubble. how could you not know? in a way, you are talking to your parents but to the reader. carla: i mean one of the things , i wanted to do in this book was look at how westerners have viewed the islamic world. and i did that through my father in my story. my father was a chronic depressive. he was a law professor. really, the only way he could be happy with either being in san francisco or the islamic world. and so we went abroad for , professional reasons, but it really was he found, aesthetically and in terms of the culture, it helped his depression. and i also think i was really privileged because the era was the 1970's, which was an incredibly important turning point in, certainly, america's relationship with islamic
societies, and with the tumult in the islamic world itself. and so my father's islamic , world, it was the last time you could kind of do what westerners have been doing for the last 200 years -- more than 200 years. i don't know, since queen elizabeth signed the east india company tract in 1501. or whatever. that islamic countries were out there. you know, there was a mysterious orient, and it was other from us. i came of age, and that was not true. as you have written in your books, you have -- that there were muslims here much earlier than the 1960's and 1970's, when there really was a mass movement of professionals to america and of factory workers and other less professional jobs in europe. but i think that change,
watching my father's distant orient become now household words here, and also islam is us. we are muslim. it has totally changed in the past 30 years with migration, with technology, and with a change in demography. jonathan: i think we are coming down to the last -- no, we have about five minutes or so, but this is a good question from the audience. in the book, it is what the sheikh is telling you and other people about islam, its arc, how he is living the muslim life. a good muslim life. the question is what, if anything, do you think he learned from you? how did you change his perspective or perspectives? carla: it was funny. because in our last lesson, we
met at this museum in oxford. and i was really excited. because i was sort of like, you know all through the year, i was , kind of like, you know don't , you want to know about what the beatles are? don't you want to know? are you as curious about me as i am about you? and he was not. he was incredibly polite and would always ask after my kids and my husband and what i was writing. but there was a self satisfaction there. and so we go to the museum. ,and there is a leonardo on the left and michelangelo on the right. and we are going through, and i did not expect him to sit there -- of course, because of the muslims frowning on idols. on depictions of the human form, so i did not expect him to want to stare at the michelangelo nude with me. but i was -- i was, i wanted to
know about curiosity. i wanted him to sort of be excited about the aesthetics we were seeing. we were even in the islamic wing. and he was very happy to get on with our lesson. and i said, have i changed you? sheikh?hanged you, he said, carla, just to be here, i am sitting next to you, aren't i? if the sheikhs back at his madrasa could see me sitting next to another man's wife in a museum, they would not believe it. they would not know what to do. so basically, his answer to me, and the most polite diplomatic way, was, i am talking to you, aren't i? i am talking to you. i am talking to you about sex and that's and relationships.
and death and relationships. what is this, if not your precious pluralism? what you want, so that was my answer. it was extremely humbling. it was the conversation that was the connection. jonathan: another thing i was reminded of as i was reading the book, i don't mean this in a bad way. there was a controversy maybe 10 years ago, a european journalist hung out with a man in afghanistan -- that was controversial because the bookseller himself after the book came out read the book and said, you have to be kidding me. you have portrayed me in such a negative light. i would never have cooperated with you if i knew what you were going to say, so in a sense, as writers and journalists, the people we interview take a leap of faith with us. and they can do that based on instinct. they can do it these days based on the internet and libraries, like let me see your work before
i even allow you to get near me. you have the luxury of being friends with the sheikh, but he did take a leap of faith with this project. now the book has been published , for how long now? carla: it was april last year. jonathan: april last year. plenty of time for people to digest it and say -- and finger point. i would quibble with this chapter, why you -- this isn't flattering. has he read the book, and have people elsewhere read it, and what has been their thoughts? carla: i mean i was incredibly , nervous when i showed it to him. and he'd like it a lot. he gives it out when he goes on lecture tours. he gives it out to people, which is really nice. yes, i mean he said, my , daughters learned more about me from you than from -- and, i i continue to be amazed
and grateful because he's an intensely private guy. i come from the land of oprah , and i kept -- it was like pulling teeth, literally saying, tell me a narrative. what was it like when you were growing up? what was it like? and the sense of talking about the self. at one point -- he's never cranky but at one point he was like, the prophet mohammed didn't have to talk about his childhood or what happened in his childhood. [laughter] carla: it is fine. so that whole notion of, i'm doing a narrative of you and you are going to be at the center of it, i suspect made him slightly uncomfortable. but when it came around, and when he saw how it was accordion like and opened into all sorts of different issues, he approved, which was a huge relief. jonathan: do you think he approved of you initially?
let's go back 20 years, when you are at oxford university, right? you are in your 20's, and write in the book -- you admit a lot of things. one of the things you admit is, i wore a short skirt, the shorter the better. because -- i think the way you put it was, i wanted to bring the world into this oxford center. and you were in your 20's, i don't know if you would say the same thing now. what about that? did he have a good impression of you? carla: i think, yeah, i was 24 and i literally, all i knew was the importance of myself and that was it, you know? know, he was very polite back then, and i don't know. i don't know what he thought of me. but i do have to say that i edited less and less about myself as our friendship went on
, and he accepted it. i think he knows that, you know, i am much more liberal than he is, and he accepts it. i think, quite literally, what worries him is that i'm going to end up in hell. so there is a real mutual respect and fondness. i think one miniskirt is not going to upset us. too much. -- i'm notut are you trying to be snide with this, but are you worried you are going to hell? [laughter] am i worried about going to hell? jonathan: after this book and getting into the spirituality, have you changed that at all? carla: i'm not worried i'm going to go to hell. not because i'm a particularly good person, but because i have not yet taken that leap of faith to believe in it. so no.
jonathan: so much, a again, one of the many layers of the book that i enjoyed as a parent was that it is really in some ways about the passing on of knowledge and of love. it is not just memorization. it is actually fondness and love for your offspring and for people who are in -- who come into your family. they don't have to be blood relations. and in a way, one of the things you make very clear in this book, and a lot of other authors have, as well is that islam , breaks down the barriers of tribalism, or has trying to and for the first time said, we don't care what color you are, what tribe you are in, all are welcome. i don't care how much money you have. and so, that point is very well made. growing up myself in a sort of jewish tribalism, it was one of the things i was really taken by. but also, just the love he has for people. carla: yes he's quite
, extraordinary that way. again, i think some of his students find, not that they are not loving people themselves, but he is so eager for everyone to concentrate on their personal piety rather than say, politics, is very difficult. and some have said, you know, there you are sitting in leafy oxford. it is fine for you to work on your piety. but, you know, one of the most moving moments was when one of his students, a brilliant young scientist at cambridge who came to his koran classes on weekends, and she was egyptian, and her brother was in the muslim brotherhood. and she was in the muslim brotherhood too, because she had decided that in egypt, the only real opposition, the only real way to make things better , was to join the brotherhood.
and her brother under morsi when there was the coup, when the brotherhood were in, he was the foreign secretary. and when there was the coup by the military, he was put in solitary confinement and in jail, and i remember going up to the sheikh afterwards and saying, you keep saying we should just concentrate on personal piety and doing good things, but what am i supposed to do? let my brother hang? and he said, you know it's a , test from god. so that kind of frustration from folks who were coming from countries that didn't have the freedoms that he has in the u.k., i think was very frustrating for some people. jonathan: this may be our last question. coming into tonight's talk, i was scanning the headlines. one of them, of course related , to donald trump. [laughter] jonathan: yeah.
but he's continuing antagonism toward american muslims and muslims in general, and the fact that he wants to essentially have every muslim immigrant put to a litmus test. kind of a litmus test. saw, and,headline i again, i am focused on this because of the talk and by own interest, is that in france, another town has banned the burkini, and it has caused quite a controversy there. and in your book, the sheikh talks about, well, whether you wear a burka, burkini -- he doesn't mention the burkini, but he might as well as have, whatever, these are just outward manifestations, and within your own homes, you can be as private as you want to be, and the reality of that, people said, this is unfair. they are specifically criticizing and punishing muslims. how do you as an observer who
has written this book, who has lived and traveled, how do you respond or analyze the commotion carla: i think it is interesting you picked up on the veil. it has got to be the most written about, must contested flap of fabric in the history of humankind. that, or thelike inght of your minaret switzerland, it is these very superficial things that become lightning rods for everything else. superficiality is sad. when, 63% ofme
americans say they don't know a muslim. often, the places where there is greatest fear that sharia law is going to take over, or that the muslims are coming, are precisely the places where there are no muslims insight. quite literally. i live in britain, where the biggest voters for the anti-immigration party are all in places where there are no migrants. it is this disconnect between knowledge and actually having -- whenever anybody asks me, what can we do to break down these barriers? my answer is incredibly low-tech. go to a mosque. the shake is trying to organize sheikh is trying to organize alike, have your neighbor over
for dinner. it is these things that will ultimately break down these prejudices. jonathan: i think it is a good spot to leave on. our thanks to color -- carla power, author of the pulitzer prize nominated book. paperback copies of her book are on sale that way, to the left. she will be happy to sign a copy for you. this meeting of the commonwealth club of california, the place where you are in the know, is adjourned. [applause] ♪
>>: florida close -- polls in florida close to less than half an hour word never -- debbie wasserman schultz and marco rubio phase primary challenges. millions ofalready floridians had voted by mail or early voting.we will show you results and bring you speeches from candidates, and also follow what is happening in arizona, where senator john mccain is seeking the republican nomination for a term.consecutive our coverage includes your reaction by phone and twitter. on the presidential campaign trail, the headline of this new saying plane rides and presidential transparency. we spoke with the columnist who wrote it from the campaign press
corps, and how their travel a residence -- travel arrangements are affecting coverage of presidential candidates. >> plane rides and presidential transparency. the story available online at nytimes.com. thank you for being with us. for those in the media, some alarming parallels between the access we are getting are not from the clinton and trump campaigns. what did you learn? >> i think the thing that i found most surprising, and i have been doing this a while, is that neither candidate is having the press on his or her airplane. is especially surprised me that this is clinton, because she is traditionalch more campaign. mr. trump is flying his own plane. either way, it robs the public of glimpses of the candidates, aspect.hat it takes and more impliedly, some people say, we don't care, it is all it is symbolic of their
approach to the press, which can be very controlling. mr.ly, i would say that trump has been at least far more accessible in terms of interviews and interacting. this is the onus a little bit more on mrs. clinton in this case. >> do you think this is a precursor for what we can expect from a trump or clinton white house? >> absolutely. and i would say that the signals, perhaps surprisingly to the listeners, the signals from trump's camp are even more alarming. mr. trump has done some frankly, horrible things in terms of media blacklist, and talking about making it easier to see reporters. but you know what is happening inside his campaign.you see him, you understand what he's thinking, as much as you can follow his thinking. in mrs. clinton's case, she is very guarded.
in fact, the e-mail server story we have all been so closely following this year is not only some very sensitive national security documents were handled. it started with an attempt to turned outn e-mails, thousands of them come out of searchable public record. that to me is the more important, or as important aspect of the theme -- the e-mail scandal. >> what are the analogies that you put in your piece? 1964, the campaign by republican nominee barry goldwater. is that a fair comparison? >> carries a candidate who famously fought with the press, and made a talking point, yet he had them on his plan and actually came to like it. you canif you go back, read the coverage of the campaigns, and you knew what the -- what the
atmosphere around them was like at key points. in mrs. clinton's case, this is a historic run. any ofthe first woman on the democratic party. we don't know what the vibe was around her from any first-hand reporters wednesday, she loses -- when say she was in michigan or any other challenges come along. i think it robs the story of important human details. >> you added in your column that this is about openness and accessibility. two additional examples. november, 1963, the rp -- ap withter on air force one lyndon johnson after the assassination of john f. kennedy, and additionally the flying bunker as president george w. bush traveled from florida to various parts of the country before returning to washington dc. what is your take away in all of this? >> subdivide taken issue with me, saying, that was air force one. two historicu have
candidacies. there will be moments when you want the press did the -- to be there. you don't want to rely on family in these moments. not just denigrate them, but they have loyalties. haveme cases, aides loyalties, but they are also paid. you want objective narrators. the sad thing is people think the press cannot be objective. i think that is false. i think what people would learn if they talk to more reporters, which is obviously not easy to do, but that reporters really do care and want to get the story right, especially when they are in observational mode. >> when you reached out to the trump are clinton campaigns, what did they tell you? >> the trump campaign did communicate with me, but a did not have anything to say about the plane, when asked if they would let reporters on the plane. clinton campaign said they will have reporters on the plane
after labor day. very late in this process by historical standards. they don't provide a why. they say she does a lot of interviews. the context of this is she has not done a press conference in nine months. she does interviews, she is out there enough. maybe some people would agree with her, but by historical standards, she is not out there as much as any other presidential candidate before her. >> as you know, this is a story that we in the media talk about, but you sense that the public cares about this, and if not, should they? >> i think they probably don't, in some cases, they say good riddance. but i think what they will find is that they will miss us when we are gone. it is not about us, it is about the information we get. you want to know that your presidential candidate, which i think you should want to know,
that the presidential candidate is being transparent. that the democracy is working. that this transparency is in good supply. or not you care about us is beside the point. do you care about the information we are paid to ferret out? >> why do you think the trump and clinton campaigns both have been so reticent to allow reporters on the planes, or make their candidate available to the press? >> i think it's probably two things at play. in mr. trump's case, his airplane is partly his own home for years. he probably doesn't want a ton of press traipsing in their. it is where he is used to having a private space. i say, too bad. lease a bigger plane. that are late than never. in mrs. clinton's case, i think there has been an arms length relationship with the press for some time. whilst that has always been the case, when she ran eight years
ago, she had reporters on her plane, and there was much more interaction. i think she has just kind of gotten hunkered in. i think she sees a strategic benefit here, that helps her run against mr. trump when he's out there so much. she will let him flail around. but it is the public's right to know and that should not be second to political imperatives, and while she is candidate, you wonder what happens if she wins the white house. write in you -- as you your piece, this is about something much bigger than eyewitnesses accounts and play nice. online atvailable nytimes.com. thank you for being with us. >> thank you so much. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up once a morning, michael is a calm, chief investigative correspondent for yahoo! news, discussing a scarry detailing the fbi's
investigation suggesting foreign hackers penetrated to state election databases. then caitlin owens, from morning console, talking about the controversy over the recent hike in the cost of epipen's. the spotlight on magazine sections, a contributor for the atlantic will discuss a september story, are we any safer? looking at whether the $1 trillion spent to protect the u.s. has made an impact. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," at seven 8 a.m. eastern -- at 7 a.m. eastern. joined the story. >> with the house and senate returning from their summer break next week, on thursday at 8 p.m. eastern, we will preview for key issues facing congress this fall. federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant here and why? because that mosquitoes ravage pregnant women. >> but today, they turned down
the very money that they argued for last may, and decided to gamble with the lives of children might this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this turmoil,nd a time of in a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this body, every republican and any democrat, >>very wants to see less gun violence. theust >> continue with work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john costin . house resolution h 28, impeaching the commissioner of
the internal revenue service for high crimes and misdemeanors. we will review the expected >> congressional debate with the senior congressional for respondent for the -- join us at eight eastern on c-span. fbi director james comey today responded to a question about an fbi investigation into russian hackers attempts to gain access to state voter registration databases. his comments came one day after the fbi issued an alert about possible hacks, for the election offices in illinois and arizona. >> we mentioned the sony hacked several times. one of the reasons that was considered significant was it was a foreign entity attacking a constitutionally protected speech. now, we have confirmation that potentially foreign actors have conducted intrusion on to state election systems. how would you characterize an
that?nt like and also as we head into the november elections, is this something that would require some immediate action on behalf of the federal government, particularly on dhs? director comey: that is a very important question. it won't surprise you i am not going to give an answer that touches on any particular matter we are looking at. maybe i can say this. we take very seriously any including any actors, nationstates, maybe especially nationstates, that moves beyond the collection of information about our country, and that offers the prospect of an effort to influence the conduct of affairs in our country, whether that is an election or something else. i don't want to comment on the particular, but those kinds of things are something we take very seriously, and work very very hard to understand, so that we can equip the rest of the government with options for how to deal with it. that is i -- all i'm going to
say this point. fbiou can see all of the director, he's comments at an event held today on cyber security, at eight p.m. eastern here on c-span. now, white house press secretary josh earnest speaks to reporters briefing.ly he also answers questions about whether americans can have confidence in the election system in light of recent russian hacking. sec. josh earnest: good morning, everybody. i do not have any announcements at the top, so we can go straight to questions. is there any reaction today to the french president saying
trade talks between the u.s. and that eu cannot be completed before the president leaves office? sec. josh earnest: our position has not changed. which is that we are continuing to work toward a goal of completing those negotiations before the end of the year. there are significant aspects of the deal that need to be negotiated, but that is precisely why the president is sending his trade investor to travel -- trade ambassador to travel to europe in a couple weeks to continue negotiations. he was there in july, and will be back in september. all in pursuit of the gold the president has laid out to try to complete these negotiations before the end of the year. i know that is a sentiment that my counterpart at the eu, who is involved in talking about trade negotiations, has also echoed. that is the ambitious goal we are trying to meet. >> the french president comments
as you know follow comments earlier that german officials time to just not focus on tpp with the upcoming trip to asia? sec. josh earnest: with the dpp agreement coming terms of negotiating, has been completed. the work now on tpp to get done is in the united states congress. will be working closely with leading democrats and republicans in congress to determine the most effective way to get that done before the end of the year. that is a separate piece of work, and continuing to negotiate with partners overseas. there's no reason that work on one needs to prevent work on the other. is somebodyrom and
that has an ambitious view on the right way to pursue these kind of agreements. he is a tenacious negotiator. i anticipate that when he travels to europe in mid-september that they will be engaged in substantive discussions, and hopefully will be able to make additional progress. >> secondly, is there any reaction to, or comment on, the eu forcing apple to pay lots of money in back taxes? [inaudible] sec. josh earnest: apparently they had a lot to discuss this morning, based on your interest in the economic relationship between the u.s. and europe. obviously, this ruling is something that is attracted to the -- to them. i will not be a to comment on an individual case, primarily there is anow that
process for appealing these kinds of decisions. i know that the irish government has signaled their intent to appeal. i won't comment on any specific case, but there are a couple of important principles at stake here. i will walk through a couple of those principles. we are concerned about a unilateral approach in state aid negotiations that threaten to undermine progress that we have made collaboratively with the europeans, to make the international taxation system fair. when i say fair, i mean fair , but alsoto taxpayers fair to companies that are trying to do business around the world. that ultimately benefits the economies in countries on both ifes of the atlantic, and
there are concerns the europeans have about some of these international mechanisms, then we should continue to make progress by working those issues jointly, as opposed to a more unilateral approach like a state investigation. second, it is also possible that that wereof payments contemplated by the eu decision of the day arend merely a transfer of revenue from u.s. taxpayers to the eu. i think that is the crux of our concerns about the fairness of this kind of approach. thirdly, we will continue to monitor this case and others that are being looked at the -- up the europeans.
it is our view that there is no reason that as we monitor this case that we should not be able to continue to make progress on a shared goal. and that shared goal is to prevent the erosion of the tax base, to ensure that taxpayers in the united states and europe are treated fairly, and to ensure that businesses are treated fairly. there's a lot at stake. these are the kinds of issues that get a lot of attention behind the scenes, inside the administration, and have for the last seven or eight years, particularly in an increasingly interconnected global economy. benefitsrconnectedness the united states and our economy, it benefits workers, and u.s. businesses. but you also need a government like the obama administration
that is committed to fairness in fighting for the interests of u.s. taxpayers and u.s. businesses. that is what we will continue to we and we are hopeful that can continue to work there are some of these issues in a collaborative, cooperative way with our european partners. >> to your second point, it did not make sense to me. from thefer of money trent -- taxpayers to, the eu would be a transfer of tax money from apple to ireland. sec. josh earnest: the issue, as you know, is that consequences for that transfer would be that it could be treated in the u.s. a current tax payment that would allow, essentially, apple to deduct that eu tax payment from their u.s. taxes.
that wouldn't be fair to u.s. taxpayers. i think that is an indication of the concern we have about why it is important for us to work collaboratively. we share the goal that has been articulated by the europeans of preventing the unfair erosion of the tax base. interest ine an andng european taxpayers the european economy suffer from the erosion of their tax base, and we are going to do everything we can to prevent here.rom happening president obama has put forward several legislative proposals that would further prevent the erosion of the tax base, but unfortunately, republicans have not acted on that. that's a different issue, but i cite that to indicate the president's priority on this issue. that is why we would prefer if there are legitimate concerns raised by the europeans about the erosion of the tax base, that they actually work effectively with the united
states to address those concerns collaboratively, as opposed to taking the kind of unilateral approach that could have a totally unfair impact on u.s. taxpayers. that is the nature of our concern and the point i was trying to make. does the u.s. have any sympathy for the concerns by the europeans about an unfair playing field within europe, between a country like ireland that has a much different taxpayers from others, within the eu? that's also one of the things they were trying to address here it is. not josh earnest: i will get into any internal eu business. i will let the administrators at that tax policies implemented by their states. what i can say in general is president obama has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring u.s. taxpayers and u.s. businesses are treated fairly, because it is in our economic interest to see them be treated fairly around the world. -- the approach
president obama has taken is that the american people and the american economy benefit when the united states is deeply engaged overseas to try to protect our interests. the inclination to withdraw from that engagement is counterproductive, and undermines the position of the u.s. economy and u.s. workers in an increasingly competitive international economy. that is why the president will spend a lot of time on this trip in asia advocating for the ratification of the transpacific partnership, and under stirring -- underscoring how the u.s. economy and united states benefit from a deeper u.s. engagement. the united states has invested a lot of time and energy and attention into trying to broker fair agreements when it comes to taxation policies between the u.s. and europe. we would welcome further coordination that could make
potentially those kinds of arrangements even more fair. we don't have the built-in interest in seeing an unfair in a way thatate has negative impacts for the european economy. we just want something that's fair. both the u.s. taxpayers and u.s. businesses. the obama administration is not going to hesitate to speak out when we perceive that u.s. taxpayers or businesses are being treated unfairly. >> what kind of interaction is the white house hopping with this?specifically about sec. josh earnest:sec. josh earnest: i can't speak to any specific conversations. what i can say is obama administration officials have heard from officials at apple who are concerned about the way they are being treated by foreign governments. i think that shouldn't be a particular surprise to anybody.
true is the obama administration has repeatedly indicated our willingness to go and fight for american taxpayers and american businesses overseas, when they are being treated unfairly. that is true when you consider the actions that the united's has brought at the wto. you will recall when it comes to cases decided by the wto, the obama administration's record is undefeated. that means that we have been tenacious, advocates for american businesses and effective advocates for american businesses. that is also why we have sought to engage in the tpp. trade negotiations involve leveling the playing field and raising the labor and environmental standards everyone to.to live up the way that benefits the united states is that american businesses and workers already live up to extraordinarily high labor and environmental standards. when we impose the standards as part of an agreement, other
countries increase their ambition. that is a tangible example of the obama administration effectively and forcefully advocating for the u.s. economy, u.s. businesses, and u.s. workers. this is just one example of that, but there are a variety of ways, particularly in the area of international trade, with the obama administration has been a particularly effective advocate and enforcer of international because we believe that the effective observation of those standards by companies and countries around the world ultimately benefits the u.s. economy. >> when you look at the latest thes of these databases, u.s. doing a good job on cyber security? sec. josh earnest: what is true is that president obama is making cyber security a priority. president obama has proposed additional resources being dedicated to this.you will recall the president put in proposal in the
budget, the republicans for the first time in 40 years refused to even consider. they would not even hold a hearing to discuss the budget with the president's top budget officials. i think there are significant concerns that have been raised about whether or not republicans in congress understand this should be a priority, but president obama has certainly made it a priority. whether it comes to working effectively with the private the computereguard networks, businesses or media organizations, the administration has been tenacious about that. we have also taken steps to try to upgrade the cyber security that is used to protect critical infrastructure and government computer systems. the president has made is a priority. we only wish that republicans were reeling to put -- willing to put cyber security of the u.s. ahead of their own politics. they have not been able to do that.
>> overall, do you think the u.s. is doing a good job to ward off attacks? sec. josh earnest: i think there is no denying the united aids government is operating in a very dynamic environment, that the adversaries of the united states, whether criminal organizations or countries, arp constantly probing -- are organizationsbing looking for vulnerabilities. we need to be conscientious and interment about our efforts to deter those kinds of incursions. policy matter, this administration has made that a priority. we do have an effective working relationships with technology companies and private businesses to help them to turn those kinds of intrusions. we do have working relationships with state and local governments to offer resources and expertise, as they try to protect their systems. this is a serious threat, and won the administration take seriously. we are aware of the evolving that, and have
taken the kinds of appropriate steps the american people would expect the government to take to ensure american people are protected. -- there is, however more we could do, and that we would like to do, if republicans were willing to do their job here at so far, they have not been. >> we talked about the climate agreement yesterday and how that relates to the upcoming -- you look at the latest studies that show even as everyone gets on board and implements this, the temperature change is still not 50ng to be well below degrees, which was the goal. how much is the president bothered by that, and how much will that factor into the meetings? is he going to try to press for more to get it below that number or, how does that factor in? sec. josh earnest: you will recall last year when we announced the completion of the paris negotiations. everybody involved, not that u.s.,- not just the
acknowledged it was an important first step. what was significant about this countriesre than 198 where taking that step together. there is a joint mission on the part of countries around the world, large and small, developed and developing, working together to make progress. previously, even earlier in this administration, the approach had been somewhat different. we had seen developing countries looking to countries like the u.s. and other advanced economies to bear the weight and the burden of dealing with this challenge. instead, there's a much more collaborative approach being taken that has countries around the world invested in our success. that leaves the president much more optimistic about the ability of the world to confront the challenge. what i think is also true is there is a variety of ways in which the united states and countries around the world has
been making progress, even outside the context of the paris agreement. whether it is ongoing , ortiations about hfc's other steps the u.s. has taken to invest in renewable energy, there are other things we can do that or even outside of the commitments we made in the paris talks that can continue to advance progress to combat -- confront the challenges you refer to. >> speaking of climate, it looks like there's really bad weather, maybe the form of a hurricane near hawaii. how closely are you watching and what do you think are the chances this will change the course? sec. josh earnest: we are watching the weather in the pacific ocean closely, in advance of the president's trip. at this point, based on the storm, wetrack of the
do not anticipate it having any impact on the president's itinerary. but if that changes, we will keep you posted. agricultural [inaudible] can you elaborate on the nature of these terms? sec. josh earnest: what i can tell you is that the department of agriculture is working closely with the department of homeland security to ensure the safety of their offices and the personnel that were there. -- work there. i don't have details about the nature of the threat but, when it comes to the safety and security of u.s. personnel, military or civilian, we take that quite seriously and place the safety of those workers at a high priority. in consultation with the department of homeland security, the usda has taken prudent steps to ensure the protection of their facilities and personnel,
but i don't have any updates on the situation. i'm sure my colleagues at the department of agriculture will keep you updated in the days ahead. >> on the trip, when you talk about tpp, you frequently say it is a choice between the united states setting the rules and the trade framing in the region are trying to decide. at this point in the president's tenure, does he view china as a regional rival, a global rival, i don't think enemy is the right word, but how would you describe the relationship? sec. josh earnest: i would do it in a couple of ways. the first is, i would thatwledge something president obama has repeated a number of times. which is that the united states welcomes the peaceful rights of china. china is a company -- a country that has a large economy, and a large and growing population. we would expect that a country like china would see their
, certainly in the asia-pacific, but even around the world. the united states welcomes the peaceful rise, and we welcome the kind of corresponding investment in international institutions and norms that have presented a hospitable environment for china's rise. the naturet will be of a lot of the kinds of discussions president obama will have, not just with china's president, but with other countries in asia pacific that ,re a little uneasy right now about the questions that have been raised about china's commitments to those kind of norms. i think the best example of that concerns about maritime security in the south china
sea.there has been a ruling in the hague . the question now is, to what extent is china prepared to recognize and abide by that international ruling? i think there are a couple of good examples. obviously,ould be the united states and china have been able to work effectively together to establish a framework to address climate change. yesterday,iscussed the progress made by the united states and china, in the context of that architecture, really catalyzed broader international progress on this issue. and without that kind of progress, between the u.s. and china, it is difficult to envision the kind of international progress that we have seen on this issue just in the last year or so. that is one example. the second would be on cyber
security, which i think is a little more of a mixed message, which is that we welcomed the statement from president she in the -- president xi rose garden when he visited last fall, indicating his country's tomission -- commitment abiding by international standards when it comes to cyber security and cyber espionage, and avoiding cyber theft, our economic -- for economic gain. there are other concerns we have about china's activities in cyberspace. that we can work architecture the that governs everybody's activities in cyberspace. certainly, making progress on that issue with china would not just benefit the united states, it would benefit the world. situation,acking
what does the administration think the what russians are up to. why would they do something like that? sec. josh earnest: in terms of investigating these matters, i would refer you to my colleagues at the fbi who can talk to you about what sort of response they have implemented to these reports. the u.s. government has not any specificared entity or country as responsible for these reported intrusions. my colleagues at the fbi can be in a better position to speak about that, if they choose to do so. >> in a more general sense, the involvement in the dnc, why would a foreign government want to hack into this particular it for general
data, or is there some suggestion are concerned are concerned there is political influence their trying to impose at the state level? sec. josh earnest: there is not a foreign government that has been assessed to be responsible for this reported activity. if something like this is under investigation by the fbi, part of what they will consider is the motive, or the intent of the malicious actor. there are a variety of ways they can try to determine that, but it is not something that i will be able to speak about from here. august is the worst month in violence in several decades. obviously, we focus on these things and hit milestones, and i'm sure the president think about it all the time. what is his response to this, and what is his response to the top statement that essentially trumpgoing to make -- the
statement that essentially he will make these shootings. stop, and that the president has not done this job in the area? sec. josh earnest: you have heard the president far too often express his profound the incidents of gun violence that we have seen in this country. i guess i would start by saying it is important to keep the context in mind. overall, crime levels in this country, including the level of violent crime in this country, is at or near historic lows. thing, and the american people are benefiting from that. there are certain communities that have experienced a spike in gun violence in particular, chicago, unfortunately is one of those communities. the president does believe this
is something worthy of our attention. there is a flurry of media attention for 24, or 48, or 72 hours around an that is a mass shooting. i'm not suggesting the media should not pay attention to what gets muchut less attention are the kinds of day to day outbursts of gun primarilyhat we see in americans in inner cities, including in a place like chicago. the president is deeply concerned about addressing some of the root causes of violence in those communities. the president is deeply doing a better job of preventing guns from
falling into the hands of those who should not have them. too often, the kinds of guns that are used carrying out these crimes, these are guns that were obtained illegally. there is more that congress could do that would not undermine the constitutional americans,aw-abiding but would make it harder for criminals to get their hands and guns. the president is frustrated there has not been more progress on that. there has been a lot of focus thereporting on relationship between the chicago police department and some communities in chicago. the president has made a strong case that addressing the sources of that mistrust can actually make our communities safer, and can make police departments more effective at doing their job. i know that is something that mayor emanuel has been quite focused on, and there are some indications that the situation there has improved, but i think the mayor would be the first
person to say that there is more that they need to do. i think those are three areas hopefule president is that additional progress would stem the rising tide of violence we have seen in a handful of communities, including unfortunately, chicago. >> but is there anything specific to chicago that the president has the or observed, that he thinks specifically would deal with this?as you point out, crime is down in most places, but spiking in a couple of places. the police chief has talked about some of the sentences that gun offenders get or don't get, and we know about the gun control laws in chicago versus surrounding communities. but when you look at that place, his hometown, is there something more specific that the president thinks should have been right now? sec. josh earnest: i'm not aware of any specific prescription the president has put four to
address the situation just in chicago. i know mayor emanuel is quite focused on that. i have a lot of confidence in his ability to work through some and see ifsues, there are some specific local solutions that can be implement it. i'm confident there are officials at the department of justice that have expertise in this area, that would be eager to lend that expertise and land resources to the city of chicago and other cities experiencing a spate of violence like this. but the president is deeply concerned about this situation. about criticisms by donald trump and others that he is a line order candidate, that he would make the shooting stopped, and saying that the administration has not done everything it should to prevent violent? sec. josh earnest: president obama has presided over an eight year period in american history where, across the country, violent crime is at or near historic lows.
the president has been committed to investing in professional police work, and providing support to police officers and police departments across the country. when it comes to responding to the claims of the republican nominee for president, i will let him make the case he chooses to make for his candidacy. i think what i would encourage the american people to do is to press the candidate for specifics about how they intend to make progress on their agenda, and evaluate those promises accordingly. >> the syrian refugees story topping 10,000, little earlier than perhaps anticipated. i'm just wondering from a broad perspective, how is this more humane than some of the illegal immigrants that try to make that are also,
fleeing devastating and desperate circumstances all over say central america, for example? sec. josh earnest: the situations are quite different. they aree right, but both in sometimes devastating circumstances. sec. josh earnest: true. but our approaches to confronting these have been different let's talk about central america first. there are some communities in places like honduras and guatemala and el salvador that are wracked by violence. where people are under a grave threat from that violence. has actuallyration worked closely with the central governments in some of those countries to try to invest in crime-fighting initiatives, to invest in the kinds of programs that could address the root causes of that violence. there is some progress we have made. the point is, we have governments with whom we can work effectively in that region
of the world to try to address these problems and then the flow -- stem the flow of people fleeing back finance. -- violence. recently, the u.s. government has been able to work effectively through the u.n. and costa rica to establish an in country processing system for refugees, or people fleeing violence, from those countries. we are hopeful that will also sort of stem the tide of people who are attempting to try to make the changes journey -- dangerous journey from central america to the united states. it is also consistent with our commitment to recognizing the humanity of these individuals. these are often our families, women and children, being a desperate situation. it is important for us to not lose sight of that humanity. the situation in syria is quite different. even as some of the civil institutions in central america
might be fledgling, the kinds of institutions in syria are nonexistent. thee is no government united states can work effectively with to try to address the root problems that chaos insideo much of syria. that is causing people to flee to places around the region and around the world. so, our approach has been different. that includes the united states being the largest donor of bilateral assistance to the humanitarian assistance. we have been supportive of countries like jordan and lebanon, that are bearing a significant burden in terms of housing people fleeing violence. there are large camps of people who have fled syria, and are desperate to get access to just basic supplies. that is putting a significant strain on other countries in the and the u.s. is trying
to do our part financially to address that strain. the other thing we can do is to work effectively with the u.n. applications of people who want to apply to be refugees in the united states. >> including in central america? sec. josh earnest: i'm talking about the situation in syria right now. one of the things for example we can do to relieve the burden of the country of jordan is to process some of those people, consider their application for refugee status, put them through the paces in terms of ensuring that we are conducting all the relevant screening measures to do background checks, collect biometric information, due in person that gun interviews, get them through international databases maintained by organizations by -- like databasesbut also maintained by the u.s. intel community and u.s. military. after going through that screening, and giving them the opportunity to resettle in the
u.s. a smallermeans that group of people for jordan to support. ways wee a variety of have used international leadership and resources in the u.s. to try to address these kinds of significant challenges. the situations are so different, it is hard to compare the two. >> let me drill down a little bit on immigration, legal immigration in particular -- illegal in addition a particular. the president is labeled the to porter in chief by some groups. the numbers are pretty eye-opening. 2.5 million people departed. that is more than all the other residents combined. onecurious, first of all, of the statistics i read from dhs suggests that in 2015, 90 1% of those that were deported were criminals or had criminal records. is that far from what donald
trump is basically saying? when it comesest: to the president's record on this, we have made clear, and they said -- secretary of homeland security has made clear what the priorities are going to be. those are individuals who have a criminal record, individuals who pose a threat to national security, or individuals who have only recently crossed the border. the president has been quite serious about making sure we enforce the law. that is exactly what this administration has done. what we have also tried to do is to enforce the lot consistent with our values. we want to focus limited -- we don't want to focus limited resources on deporting families. that is the approach the administration has taken. that has led to significant investments in border security. there are more resources in terms of equipment and
technology and personnel on the border, then any other time in the history.it is a testament to the president making that a priority. the unfortunate fact is there would be even more, resources securing the border if republicans and in the house of representatives have not blocked immigration reform and perpetuated a system that even senator rubio describes as the closest thing we have to amnesty. that is on the conscience and the hands on republicans who have failed to deal with the situation. president obama has taken on this challenge with a lot of determination, a sense of seriousness, and ensuring that the policies we have on the books, and the policies we have implemented are both consistent 's status as an nation of laws and immigrants. >> a couple more. secretary kerry was asked, about comments about coverage as it relates to terrorism. he said to remember no country
is immune from terrorism. government and law enforcement has to be correct 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 a year. but if you decide one day you will be a terrorist and kill yourself, you can kill people, you can make some noise. perhaps the media would do us all a service if they did not cover it quite as much. what does the president think about a state like that? maybe the media should tone down coverage of terrorism? sec. josh earnest: i think the president has talked about this a little bit himself. i think what the president's point would be, that the challenge that is facing the united states, law enforcement, national security and homeland security officials, is to be perfect. but we should still talk about it, shouldn't we? and we should still cover it? sec. josh earnest: the president does talk about it a lot. we talk about resources invested
in protecting american people at home and around the world. i think the president wants to make clear that it is also important for people to have perspective. that kind of perspective is what he is hopeful will be part of a political debate about the most effective way to keep the country safe, the most effective way for the u.s. to continue to live up to our values, and for the united states to continue to be a beacon of freedom around the world. >> the last one, on obamacare. the modification for 2018, a adjustments. can you tell me what that might look like and why the president feels that would be important? sec. josh earnest: the president and his team continue to be focused on the long-term health of obamacare, because there are millions of people across the country, who for the first time, have access to quality affordable health insurance, because of the reforms the administration passed and
implemented. at the same time, we are looking for ways to strengthen the implementation of these policies, and the president is determined to ensure that we are handing off to his successor an obama care system that continues to strengthen, continues to provide quality affordable health insurance options to people across the country, and continues to provide important protections, both to people who buy their insurance on the marketplace, and also to people who receive health insurance through the employer. implant -- employment is a problem? sec. josh earnest: i think it should be fixed through the obama care system and that is what we are doing. reaching the about goals of 10,000. is there a reason we have not heard from the president are seen the president? the neighbors to the north have the prime minister greeting refugees at the airport.
sec. josh earnest: i think you certainly will hear from the president when he comes -- travels to the u.n. , where he will convene an international meeting of leaders from around the world to discuss what steps countries around the world should take to address the population flows we have seen, not just in the middle east, but around the world. the president is determined to ensure the united states continues to play a leading role in mobilizing international response to people fleeing violence, who are otherwise in need of humanitarian assistance. i think the president has been this, both in terms of advocating for the policy and will continue to be visible at the advocates for a more effective and better cordon needed international response to dealing with the problem that plagues many regions around the world. >> that is a worldwide refugee problem the president will be addressing in september. is there something specific to syrian refugees? 30 governorsoment,
in the country trying to block syrian refugees and their states. this is a different issue than the rest of the world. is there a reason the president to?e not is it because someone would say diplomatically, this is 1/5 of 1% of syrian refugees? other countries like germany and canada and jordan, turkey, are making, by concerts and -- by comparison, that it is a small sliver, or because it is toxic politically, or is it just not something to address now? sec. josh earnest: i don't think it is either of those things. with regards to the way other countries see us, the president is convening with other world leaders in the largest spotlight in the international community. >> but not on syria, on all refugees. sec. josh earnest: i'm confident that the situation with regards to syria will be the topic of extensive conversation in that meeting.
i don't think that will be lost on anybody. with regards to politics, i think you have heard the president more times than i can count over the last year talking about why handling the situation appropriately is the most effective way to protect the american people. he has done that in a political context, and the face context and in the face of harsh political criticism. i think the president feels very good about the way we have made that argument to the american people and the way we have been able to overcome their objection to implement a successful policy in the president believes that is the right thing to do because consistent with our values, it's consistent with our national security and with the obligations the u.s. has to lead on the pressing issues facing the world. will the president meet with any of the 10,000? sec. earnest: i'm not aware of
approachunilateral that the eu has taken in some of these state aid investigations is fundamentally unfair. it attempts to relitigate already established taxation setements that could .nfair, new precedents if there are specific concerns european officials had about the fairness of certain tax policy is, they should engage in a situation with the united states. particularly when you are evaluating the fairness. to the specific
ruling and the impact it could have, i refer you to my colleagues at the treasury department and cannot speak much about the specific ruling because of a subject to an appeal. when it comes to this principle about addressing concerns europeans may have about the fairness of certain tax policies, a more effective approach is coordinating with the united states and working cooperatively to make progress as opposed to unilaterally. frankly, that is something the obama administration will contest. >> you are seeking tax fairness. did you not have a dialogue with
european officials? are you saying you didn't have any kind of conversation at that ?ime about those concerns for conversations the united states has had, i know they have had extensive conversations about a range of international issues. there's an ongoing dialogue about these issues. treasury speak to the contents of the paper they issued last week but am papers werehe white issued fully aware of the context in which it would be received, which is the impending decision i announced earlier this morning.
>> the u.s. is not ready to say it will seek any back payment? sec. earnest: i would refer you to the treasury department for a direct answer. >> what was the white house response to the breach? sec. earnest: it shouldn't be , that a u.s.at the company would contact senior government officials when they have concerns about being treated unfairly.
clerics which individuals reached out and to whom here at the white house? sec. earnest: i'm not aware of any conversations like that that involve the president directly. but i'm not in a position to confirm. >> is there a particular focus of that meeting and number summer is winding down, has there been any rethinking of how much zika funding is still needed? sec. earnest: there has been no rethinking of the amount of money the administration needs for zika. a detailed package that would
allow them to do everything possible to protect them from the zika virus. it is prevented, as i said, our public health officials from do .verything possible right now, members of congress are enjoying a seven-week break. some members of congress are spending that break dragging about not doing their job. that is unfortunate. i guess the rules are different when you are a republican leader in the u.s. congress that we are hopeful when they do return that a republican in congress will have an opportunity to rethink their priorities.
>> part of what i'm confident they will discuss is the ongoing implementation of the affordable care act. >> i want to go back to the u.s. trip. do think it's a coin to vince france and germany have election soon? >> i wouldn't speculate on the impact of upcoming elections. i think the next president will have to determine the path .orward we have made important progress in negotiating.
there are details that remain to out and as we always say in the context of these negotiations, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to but we have made important the president has directed his team to try to complete those negotiations before the end of the year. that is certainly what we are aiming to do. we are hopeful enough progress will have been made that the president's successor will be able to take part in these negotiations and continue that progress. i wouldn't prejudge exactly what that will look like. click the general said he believes mosley could be retaken this year. is that the view of the white house? sec. earnest: nobody will be in
a better position to put forth that kind of assessment than the general. obviously he is both keenly aware of the kind of support that u.s. and coalition troops have provided and keenly aware in iraqact officials will determine the pace of operations there. other senior military leaders in the united states have been in close touch with iraqi counterparts. he's in a good position to make that assessment. i would defer to him. >> does that say something about the u.s. tax system and why a u.s. company can have so much money abroad and does this
ruling make the case that there should be a form for the treasury to take action to encourage companies not to have so much of that money overseas? sec. earnest: i am limited in how i can answer your question. i will not talk about the individual business actresses of a company. i think what i can say in general is we have spent a lot of time over the past several years about why the president believes that tax reform should be a priority. right now, our tax code wrongly gives too many companies and incentive to ship jobs overseas. and we should close them of those loopholes and by closing some of those, we could more effectively ensure we can invest here in the united states of america. it would also contribute to a more fair system of taxation,
the kind of loophole we are referring to, not the kind of loopholes middle-class families benefit from. the president will continue. i even -- even through his remaining four months in office, that the next counter should make some of those closing loopholes a top i already. -- priority. >> at the white house have any opinion about this decision and what is your general reaction to the factory will your more about this investigation into the internal documentation of the fbi? sec. earnest: i can tell you the white house did not consult with the fbi about that decision or any other decision they have
made in terms of handling the investigative material they have collected where they looked into this matter. i will leave it to them to describe what steps they are taking and why they are taking them. with regard to potential impact on the election, there are any number of people employed that will question the political impact or political fallout. i let them do that. >> is the president satisfied at this point to the fact that two of our alleys -- allies are trying to work it out and talk about where the white house is on that today? sec. earnest: i can say the u.s. welcomes the overnight calm between the turkish military and other counter isil forces in syria. the u.s. continues to encourage these moves as a way to prevent
further hostility and loss of life between all counter isil forces operating in the area. our priority needs to be on fighting isil. that's why we describe it as the counter isil coalition, why these forces have signed up, to closely with coalition members because they are worried about the impact of isil. in making decisions about appropriate military action, it's important to be focused on the shared goal of destroying isil. >> thank you. i want to go back to the attacking. the senate minority leader sent president. the do see this affecting any outcome of the election? sec. earnest: as an mentioned in response to an earlier question, position toe in a
confirm any individual entity or criminal enterprise or government as responsible for dnc.eported hacking at the more generally what i can say is u.s. officials particularly at the department of homeland security who have a responsibility for protecting the american people in take all these kinds of reports and threats quite seriously. that is why in the last couple weeks, secretary johnson convened a conference call with election officials across the country to talk to them about the resources the dhs has and can be made available for them to safeguard their system.
their systems across the country that maintain the records of these elections. sometimes, the consequences for that kind of they read system means it is hard to implement reforms across the board. it is hard to implement reforms across the board. that also makes it harder to access the system. it certainly wasn't designed that way. the response from dhs will be taken seriously. active discussion going on about whether or not to election administration systems as critical infrastructure.
if so, that would qualify the systems for enhanced resources from the federal government. but no decision has been made at this point. meantime, we will continue to stay in close touch with election administrators to help them safeguard their systems and continue to give people of anence in the ability election to take place and to get that confidence in the results. >> the fbi said once it was successfully hacked and there was another attempt and another state. are you kind of admitting there are weaknesses in those states? the earnest: with regard to fbi's communication with computer systems, i would refer to them. they can tell to you about their assessment.
is that wek is true are vigilant about the threats that exist out there and it is an evolving environment so we need to be aware of the fact our adversaries whether they are ,riminal or state organized that they are always evolving and their dynamic and tenacious to devoted significant resources and be similarly creative to deter those threats and we certainly are committed to working with state and local officials responsible for administrating elections. >> turning back to central america, the mission here delivered a letter to the state department with foreign administrators expressing deep concern about the negative effects of the u.s. migration policy in respect to cuban migrants. given the president opened up to
more direct commercial flights starting tomorrow, is there any consideration of adjusting what drives that policy that is really impacting a region that you yourself said partnered closely with to address their own migrant crisis in the u.s.? sec. earnest: the u.s. is in a region of the world where our migration policies are complicated. and there is essentially a system in place that administers and enforces those laws. , thementioned earlier administration has not put forward a congressional proposal seeking to change that. like these are countries trying to send their own flow into our country and they are saying your policy is really impacting us personally and we can't focus on these things when we have to deal with the cuban migrant tuition because of the u.s. policy that treats humans -- cubans different
than any other nationality in the world. sec. earnest: we have been working in the region to address the migration challenges whether it's with regard to individual fleeing violence in central to use or cubans seeking the a landrieu does her central america and mexico to enter the u.s. one of the benefits of the efforts we have made to reform our approach and relationship with cuba has been to have a positive impact on our relationship with countries throughout the western have missed here and that has made the u.s. more effective in trying to resolve his concerns. with the flights starting tomorrow, are there any announcements of cuba regulations? sec. earnest: nothing i'm prepared to announce at this point. weekend, a senate republican spokesman said the senate could use one of its pro-
positions this week to pass the zika funding bill if the democrats went through their objections. is that something the white house has no interest in? sec. earnest: i think what the democrats and senate would like what democratic and republican governors across the country would like to see, congress act on the funding request that is supported by our public health professionals. that is the $1.9 billion funding request the administration put forward back in february more than six months ago. and republicans continue to block that request even while they are enjoying their seven-week recess. i think we have made clear that we need to see congress act and become a bill that was passed by the house includes a bunch of
ideological writers including some that involve confederate flag and blocking funding to planned parenthood even though we are talking about a disease that could be transmitted sexually. it doesn't make a lot of sense. frankly neither of those positions make a lot of sense and is a clear indication republicans in the house are much more interested in politics than they are and protecting the american people from the zika virus. likes you have seen the stories in recent days based on the , is there secretary any chance the white house would release the president's private schedules during his time in office. consistent with the presidential records act, at some point, the president schedules will be made public and presumably you will have the opportunity to peru's them when
you are enjoying a visit to the barack obama presidential library. policies ben the transparent now? sec. earnest: he is committed to complying with the presidential records act and that will ensure the american people does have an opportunity to take a look at the schedule. >> i'm not aware of any informal bilateral meeting that the president will have with president pak. but it's not uncommon for the president to have an opportunity to visit some of his counterparts along the margins in these meetings.
if something like that does occur, we will let you know and if there's an opportunity, i'm confident the president will use it to express the united states strong support for the safety allied public of korea. >> [inaudible] of. earnest: i'm not aware any multilateral meetings at our plan but if there's an opportunity for the president to express his strong support for the safety and security of our allies, we won't let that opportunity pass by. thank you. take care and hopefully we will see some of you in asia.
>> c-span's washington journal every day with news and policy issues that impact you and coming up wednesday morning, the chief investigative correspondent for yahoo! news will discuss this story detailing the fbi's investigation suggesting foreign hackers penetrated to state election databases in recent weeks and caitlin owens will
talk about the controversy over the recent hike in the cost of epipens. and the contributor for the atlantic stephen brill will discuss "are we any safer?" be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. with the house and senate returning from their summer on thursday at, 8:00 p.m. eastern, we will preview for key issues facing congress this fall, federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america want to make sure they had the ability to not get pregnant because mosquitoes affect pregnant women. >> today, they turned down the very money that they argued for last may and decided to gamble
with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this nation in a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this a-day, every republican and democrat, wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue the work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach the irs commissioner. and,peaching john costin commissioner of the internal revenue service, for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we will review the expected .ongressional debate
join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. it's 8:00 on the east coast and polls closing in florida. we are watching several races debbie, including wasserman schultz, the incumbent ,acing off against tim canova who back to bernie sanders for president. some early results. those are very, very early. the other raise is alan grayson and patrick murphy. too congressman challenging fight marco rubio.
congressman murphy posting today from several locations across florida, meeting with florida residents. on marco rubio in an article marco rubio will commit to serving a six-year term. he said on monday he refuses to commit to a full six years in a term and he settled his adjusted if he ran for the white house again, he would be prepared to leave politics behind if he lost. later on, not only from florida but from arizona, result in arizona where john mccain is againsthis sixth term kelly ward. also one of the key house races, congressman paul gosar facing in ourinst ray strauss coverage of arizona results. the results coming up live tonight here on cease and. on c-span2 tonight, the congress still in recess.
we are bringing you book tv programs all this week in prime time. tonight, biographies and memoirs. we begin with brooke hauser's book about helen gurley brown. after that, marlene trestman discussing the life and legal career of new deal attorney. then later, buzz aldrin's book now getting way over on c-span2. fbiill take you next to director james comey talking today to the semantic government symposium on cyber security and the recent breach of election systems by hackers. >> thank you, >>. he had dire straits for his walk-up song.