tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 17, 2016 3:00am-7:01am EST
given how much is it at stake in terms of the world economy, national security, our presence in the asian pacific, china's china's increasing role in international affairs, there's probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance and where there's also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into full conflict mode that everybody is worse off. i think it's fine for him to take a look at it. what i have advised the president-elect is that across the board on foreign policy, you want to make sure that you're doing it in a system attic,
deliberate and intentional way. and since there is only one president at a time, my advice to him has been that before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments owner the usual courtesy calls, that he would want to have his full team in place, he should want his team to be fully briefed on what's gone on in the past and where the potential pitfalls may be, where the opportunities are, what we've learned from eight years of experience. so that as he's been taking foreign policy in a new direction, he has all the information to make good decisions and by the way that all of government is moving at the same time and singing from the same hymnal.
and with respect to china and let's take the example of taiwan, there has been a long standing agreement essentially between china and the united states and to some agree the taiwanese, which is to not change the status quo. taiwan operates differently than mainland china does. china views taiwan as part of china, but recognizes that it has to approach taiwan as an entity has its own ways of doing things.
the taiwanese have agreed that as long as they are able to continue to function with some agree of autonomy that they won't charge forward and declare independence. and that status quo, although not completely satisfactory to any of the parties involved, has kept the peace and allowed the people of taiwan to be pretty any of the parties involved, has successful economy of people who have a high agree of self-determination. but understand for issue, the issue of taiwan is as important as anything on their docket. the idea of one china is at the heart of their conception as a nation. and so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what the
consequencesr because the chinese will not treat that the way they'll treat some other issues. and won't even treat other issues like we have had around the south china sea, where we have had a lot of tensions. this goes to the core of how they see themselves. and their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant. that doesn't mean that you have to adhere to everything that's been done in the past, but you have to think it through and have planned for potential reactions that they may engage in. all right. politico. reporter: two questions on where this leaves us. president obama: where my
presidency leaves us? it leaves us in a really good spot. [laughter] reporter: what do you say to the electors who are going to meet on monday and thinking of changing their votes? do you think they should be given an intelligence briefing about the russian activity or bear in mind what you have said and be battle ready. should folks be bound by the state votes as they have gone? and long-term, do you think there is need for electoral college reform that is tied. president obama: sounded like two but really was one. [laughter] president obama: two questions, but each one has four parts . reporter: on the democratic party, your labor secretary is running to be the chair of the democratic national committee.
what do you think the party needs to be focused on and what do you think about the complaint the democratic committee shouldn't be part of your approach, part of that is decisions that you have made as president and leader of the party has structurally weakened the d.n.c. and democratic party and has led to or help lead to some of the losses in elections in the country. do you regret any of those decisions? president obama: i'll take the second one first and say that tom perez has been i believe one of the best secretaries of labor in our history. he is tireless. he is wicked smart. he has been able to work across the spectrum of labor, business
activists. he's produced. and if you look at his body of work on behalf of working people, what he's pushed for in terms of making sure that workers get a fair deal, decent wages, better benefits and their safety is protected on the job, he has been extraordinary. now others who have declared are also my friends and fine people as well. and the great thing is, i don't have a vote in this. so we'll let the process unfold. i don't think it's going to happen any time soon. i described to you earlier what i think needs to happen, which
is that the democratic party, whether that's entirely through the d.n.c. or through rebuilding of state parties are some other arrangement, has to work at the grassroots level and has to be present in all 50 states and has to have a presence in counties and has to think about message and how are we speaking directly to voters. i will say this and i'm not going to engage in too much punditry. but i could not be prouder of the coalition that i put together in my -- each of my campaigns. because it was inclusive and it drew in people who normally and has to think about message weren't interested in politics and didn't participate.
but i'd like to think -- i think i can show that in those elections, i always cast a broad net. i always said first and foremost were americans, that we have a common creed, that there's more that we share than divides us. and i want to talk to everybody and get a chance to get everybody's vote. i still believe what i said in 2004 which is this red state blue thing is a construct. now it is a construct that has gotten more and more powerful for a whole lot of reasons from gerrymandering, to big money to a way that the media is splintered and so people are just watching what reinforces their existing biases as opposed to listening to different points of view. there are all kinds of reasons
for it. but outside the realm of electoral politics, i still see people the way i saw them when i made that speech full of contradictions and some regional differences. but basically, folks care about their families and care about having meaningful work. they care about making sure their kids have more opportunity than they did. they want to be safe and want to feel like things are fair. and whoever leads the d.n.c. and any candidate with democratic brand going forward, i want them to feel as if they can reach out and find that common ground and speak to all of america. and that requires some organization.
and you're right. and i said this in my earlier remarks that what i was able to do during my campaigns, i wasn't able to do during mid terms. i spent time and effort into it. blue but the coalition i put together didn't always turn out to be transferable. and the challenge is that -- you know, some of that just has to do with the fact that when you are in the party in power and people are going through hard times like they were in 2010, they are going to punish in some degree the president's party regardless of what organizational work that is done. some of it has to do with deep standing challenges for
democrats. the electorate is older and we do better with the younger electorate. we know those things are true. and i didn't crack the code on that. and if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, i'm all for it. so with respect to the electors, i'm not going to wade into that issue. because again, if the american people's job and electors' job to decide the successor and not my job to decide the successor. my job to decide the successor. and i have provided people with a lot of information about what happened during the course of the election, but more importantly, the candidates themselves i think talked about their beliefs and their vision
for america. the president-elect has been very explicit what he cares about and what he believes in. and so it's not in my hands now. it's up to them. reporter: long-term with respect to the electoral college? pres. obama: long-term, the electoral college is a vestige, a carryover from an earlier vision of how our federal government was going to work that put a lot of premium on states. it used to be that the senate was not elected directly. it is the same type of thinking that gives wyoming two senators with a half-million people and california with 32 million gets the same two. there are some structures in our
political system as envisioned by the founders that sometimes are going to disadvantage democrats but the truth of the matter is that if we have a strong message, if we are speaking to what the american people care about, typically, the popular vote and the electoral college vote will align. and i guess, i guess part of my overall message here as i leave for the holidays is that if we look for one explanation or one silver bullet or one easy fix for our politics, then we probably are going to be
disappointed. there are a lot of factors in what has happened, not just over the last few months, but over the last decade. that have made both politics and there are a lot of factors in governance more challenging. and i think everybody has raised legitimate questions and legitimate concerns. i do hope that we all take some time, take a breath, that is what i am going to advise democrats, to just reflect a little bit more about how can we, how can we get to a place where people are focused on working together, based on at least some common set of facts. how can we have a conversation about policy that does not
demonize one another? how can we channel what i think is the basic decency and goodness of the american people as it reflects itself in our politics as opposed to it being so polarized and so nasty that in some cases, you have voters and unelected officials who had more confidence and faith in a foreign adversary than they have in their neighbors? and those go to some bigger issues. how is it that we have some voters or some elected officials who think that michelle obama's
healthy eating initiative, school nutrition program is a greater threat to democracy then -- than our government going after the press if they are issuing a story they do not like. i mean -- that is an issue that i think we have got to wrestle with. and we will. people have asked me how i feel after the election and i say -- look, this is a clarifying moment. this is a useful reminder that voting counts, politics counts, what the president-elect is going to be doing will be very
different than what i will be doing and people feel the need to compare, contrast, and make judgments about what worked for the american people. and i hope, that building off the progress that we have made, that what the president-elect is proposing works. what i can say with confidence is that what we have done works. that i can prove. i can show you where we were in 2008 and i can show you where we are now. and you cannot argue that we are not better off, we are. and for that, i think the american people and more importantly i think -- not more importantly, as importantly -- i was going to say josh earnest, [laughter] for that, i thank the american
people, i thank for the men and women in uniform that serve. i have not yet gotten to a point where i am overly sentimental. i will tell you that when i was doing my last christmas party photo -- right at the end of the line, the president's marine corps band comes in. and i take a picture with them. and that was the last time i was going to take a picture with my photo -- right at the end of the marine corps band after an event and i got a little choked up. i was in front of marines though so i had to tamp it down but it was just one small example of all of the people who have contributed to our success. i am responsible for where we screwed up, but the successes are widely shared with all of the amazing people that have been part of this administration. ok. thank you, everybody. mele kalikimaka.
>> [indiscernible] pres. obama: i enjoyed it. >> president obama and his family left washington on air force one this evening heading to honolulu for their annual christmas vacation, his last as president. the president has one work-related event planned for his vacation. he will great japanese prime minister shinzo abe at pearl harbor for his planned historic visit. vacation consists of golf and vacation consists of golf and party with friends. the first family will not return to washington until after new
recent study that shows a decades long stagnation in graduates and critics even fewer students will graduate in 2017. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. universityhio state with a public celebration of the life of john glenn. the former astronaut and senator died at the age of 95. his service in our live coverage begins at 2 p.m. eastern at 4:00 p.m., we will be live as donald trump speaks at a victory rally in mobile, alabama. watch both events on c-span. >> every weekend, book tv brings you 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors. the are some programs this weekend. saturday night at 10:00,
georgetown university professor jason brennan looks to provide the best outcome, incorporate change in how government is run in his book. he's interviewed by david bose, vice president of the cato institute. that, don't they want because they think it will not work very well. they are probably right. i care about not just fairness, i care about bad outcome. ok, well, how will you way weigh fairness? >> sunday, the before columbus foundation presents the american book awards which recognizes outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of the american literary community. the awards are in san francisco. at 5 p.m. eastern, jonathan historyn, professor of
of education at the university of pennsylvania, argues free speech is under threat at college campuses across the country in his book. >> the problem is the second kind of pc. it does not taboo words, but taboos ideas, right? if 40% of the faculty opposes affirmative action, we are not human from them. that means there is a serious pc problem. >> goo to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> now, united nations secretary-general ban ki-moon holds his annual end of the year news conference. this is also his final news conference as secretary general of the u.n. this is just over 35 minutes. >> good morning.
good morning, welcome to this press conference. the secretary-general will make thehank you -- secretary-general will make opening remarks and we will take some questions. sir? general ban ki-moon: good morning, everyone. a pleasure to see you this morning. usually, at this time, but now, we meet at the end of my term.
believe it or not, i will miss these exchanges. [laughter] general ban ki-moon: we have spent much time together in this spent much time together in this halls of this building and all over the world the last 10 years. you are part of the united nations' family and i thank you strong courage in working together and working for the united nations. more than that, you have an important job to do and informing the world about our work, where we make progress and when we fall short. i deeply believe in your mission. i have been saying you are connecting the world. a connector between the united nations and the world. at a time when governments across the world are harassing journalists, cracking down on press freedom, i have worked hard to be your allies and defender. the fight for freedom of the press is everybody's fight. i have a brief today to allow
maximum time for questions. let me make three points. first, syria remains a gaping hole in the conscious. it has become a synonym for hell. as i told the council three days ago, we have collectively failed the people of syria. peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen. second, i am closely following the deteriorating situation in south sudan. this week marks the third anniversary of the fighting. the country's leaders have betrayed their people's trust and squandered a peace agreement. tens of thousands lie dead.
my special advisor has warned of the risk of genocide. we continue to push for access for life-saving relief and i urge the security council to take more concerted action, including through punitive measures. third, we'll continue to support the momentum behind the paris agreement on climate change. climate action means jobs, growth, cleaner air and better health. leaders from across the globe and on every front understand this from fortune 500 ceos to governors and mayors. the paris agreement on climate change is a precious achievement that we must support and nurture. there is no turning back.
during my final days in office, i went to speak at the university of illinois in carbondale and to visit abraham lincoln's presidential library and museum in springfield. one can draw a straight line for the principles that president lincoln defended to those that represent the best of spirit of the united states and the united nations. lincoln was a force for equality, integration, reconciliation and we need that spirit today. this has been a decade of tests. i've also seen collective action. a change in millions of lives for the better. sometimes, it may be
international corporation as the path for more prosperity going forward. i will continue to appeal to world leaders to recognize and preeminent 21st century facts. i wish to express my appreciation to my host city and country. yesterday in washington d.c., i thanked president obama and vice president biden and secretary rice for their strong support over the years. we all stressed the centrality of close, productive ties between the united states and the united nations. i have also recently met with mayor deblasio of new york and
governor christie of new jersey and i will speak to governor cuomo from new york. the united states continues to grow strength and the new york metropolitan area. thank you again for your friendship over the past decade and i wish you continued good success and engage more closely with the united nations so that you will always deliver and connect the world with united nations. thank you very much. let me say one last thing. i am happy to take your questions. thank you. >> mr. secretary-general, thank you again for the last press conference, but thank you also for your cooperation and friendship with us. we really appreciate that. we also thank you for your battle of freedom of the press. my last question to you is a simple one -- i have a soft one.
in two weeks, you will face two options. relax and retire, or run for president of south korea. because this is your last question, we would like to know which one you will choose and you have to give a clear answer now. thank you. [laughter] general ban ki-moon: the first part of your question -- of course, i will take some more days to take rest. as you know during the last 10 years, frankly speaking, i have not been able to take any proper vacations and rest. it has been quite a tough 10 years. i have been working first to make sure that the united nation's is there when people need me and the united nations and for the second part of the question, i have been repeatedly
saying i am still the secretary-general. i still have 15 days to go. after 15 days, when january 1 comes, then i will take some rest and go back to korea. and then i will try to meet as many people as possible, which may include political leaders and leaders of societies and my friends, consider seriously what is best of what i could and should do for my country of korea. as you know, the situation is very, very difficult. it is in turmoil. i understand the anxiety of the
people about the future of their country as this is one of the biggest challenges that the korean people encountering. i know that they do not want to lose the hard-earned to democracy and economies development, which transformed korea from a recipient country to a global donor. that is one of the prides that korean people have. koreans have been known as even-tempered to other nations. i also understand people want a new type of inclusive government that can help them overcome the challenges. and the many issues of how to reconcile the differences and
they're thinking the differences of their incomes. many issues which we have to think about. that means social integrity, reconciliation and much more democratic institutions. at the same time, they all present great challenges for koreans and the korean government. i am coveted the korean people with their resilience and their democratic institutions, i am sure they will be able to overcome this difficulty soon. thank you.
>> thank you very much, mr. secretary-general. you mentioned aleppo. i wonder if you could elaborate a little and tell us what your expectations are since there seems to be some holdup in the evacuations today. and whether the u.n. has been involved in trying to promote this? that was a follow-up. my real question is you have talked about unfinished business and you have mentioned syria. today, you have mentioned south sudan. what other unfinished business do you think should be at the top of the agenda of your successor, mr. guterres? sec. gen. ban ki-moon: about the
situation in aleppo and the situation in syria, this is -- this has been a heartbreaking for me and for all of the people who love peace and stability. the syrian people have been really suffering too much, too long the last five years. we will soon see the sixth year, march of next year. more specifically about the situation in about aleppo, our operation which started yesterday and continued into the early morning today local time, thousands of people were able to leave aleppo. including 194 patients who were evacuated with the assistance of the syrian arab presence, red
cross and the united nations. they were brought to hospitals in italy, western rural aleppo, and turkey. they were brought to hospitals nearby with the support of humanitarian health partners in -- evacuations of wounded and besieged civilians in eastern aleppo was unfortunately suspended today because of the syrian authorities earlier today. i feel very much regret that we had to stop this operation at this time. the united nations is engaging
and mobilizing all possible resources and man power, engaging and urging the parties to take all necessary measures to allow for safe resuming of this evacuation process. the u.n. partner in italy has pre-positioned supplies which we can easily deliver to needy people. i can tell you that the united nation stands ready full-time to do whatever that is needed to rescue as many people as possible. as i told you, because of this fighting by syrian armed groups, we have to stop this. thank you. about unfinished business -- that is hard to pinpoint.
the tendencies that once violence happens, it seems the syrian crisis has been continuing six years now, the situation in yemen and south sudan and central african republic mali and elsewhere, all of the fires are still burning. the reason is clearly, lack of solidarity, global solidarity. many people who believe that military solution can a all of these issues. as i have repeatedly been saying, there is no such military solution, only inclusive political solution can bring a sustainable solution of the issues. bring a sustainable solution of
i feel sorry that i have to leave so many unfulfilled issues to my successors and member states. after the end of our day, we also have to understand that we need to do much more with global solidarity and leadership. that is what i am urging the leaders to engage much, much more. thank you. >> thank you for giving me a chance to ask the secretary general. a question is about a northeast asian situation because the secretary-general is the first
secretary-general from east asia and the diplomat of south korea. looking back at these 10 years, the d prk has been pursuing nuclear ambitions and china has to medically enhanced its power in the international area. south korea and japan, immigration has been up and down. it is still unstable. what is your view on northeast asia's situation during your tenure? and expectations for the future shape of this region? thank you. sec. gen. ban ki-moon: people often have been saying that the
21st century would be an era of asia-pacific. among asian-pacific, northeast asia has been regarded as powerful force and dynamic, economically, politically and socially. that means that that china, and japan and korea and these are very important drivers and have been commended even envied by many people around the world, many countries around the world for their dynamic forces. i am concerned that the relationship among and between the countries in northeast asia and also in asia totally have not been smooth. in all of this, there is a very
serious security concerns brought about by the democratic people's republic of korea. particularly, they are continuing efforts to develop nuclear weapons and develop ballistic missile technologies. the security council has been seriously engaged to stem, to deter this kind of north korean activities. the security council has met 10 times this year only. it is very rare that the security council engages so frequently, so heavily on any single subject. they have taken already five sanctions of resolutions,
including more recently, which was taken on november 30. all of this kind of sanctions, also implications to northeast asian region and there has been some differences of opinion and positions on how to advance all of this, particularly in north korea nuclear issues. china, japan and korea and the united states and russia, all of these countries surrounding northeast asia have not been -- have not been consistent in their positions. i hope that with all of this continuing security instability and the political disharmonies among these countries, the leaders of northeast asia will continue to meet together and
try to work out differences of opinions. i wish and strongly urge again the dprk to come to an international community and abide by all of the international norms, including the security council resolutions and many resolutions. therefore, they can be a part of the society. this is what i see the hope as the secretary-general.
>> thank you. joseph klein of canada free press. mr. secretary-general, whatever you decide to do, i wish you all of the best. given the prominence in the news lately of cyber attacks against political institutions and private enterprises, what concrete steps would you recommend the united nations take to galvanize member state support for an effective u.n. invention containing rules and norms to regulate cyber warfare, i can to the geneva convention, and help build member states for their critical infrastructures from cyberattacks? thank you. sec. gen. ban ki-moon: we are enjoying all of this dramatic transformative development of technology, especially communications technology. at the same time, we are concerned about using this technology for other negative properties, cyberattacks. this must be prevented in
concerted efforts by the international community. i hope the united nations and agencies will look into this matter very seriously and try to have international conventions so that we can prevent this such misuse of privacy's of technologies. this is my vision. as for the specific agencies or departments, we will have to discuss this matter with the general assembly. >> mr. secretary-general, a question of going back to aleppo. you have called aleppo a synonym for hell. we also know about south sudan. how would you assess the status of the concept of responsibility to protect?
is it on life support? is it moving toward death? sec. gen. ban ki-moon: in 2005 during a special summer meeting, world leaders have agreed, a consensus on responsibility to protect. as secretary-general, even while i was campaigning, i was pledging to the member states that i would try to translate this into action in application toward addressing all of these issues. unfortunately, member states have shown some stepping back from their agreement on a
responsibility to protect. that is why the united nations international community has not been able to fully and effectively address many issues, particularly we fully support the sovereign nations. every country, small or big, has a sovereign right and utility. when it comes to a situation when the leaders are not willing or not able to defend their own people, international communities should be able to intervene with necessary resources. that has been done at the time of resolving this libyan crisis. i regret very much that the member states have not been given the full support and full engagement in implementing this
very important responsibility to protect the principles. again, this is one of the unfinished business. we had a good framework, we have an agreement. why are we not using these tools? these tools and principles should fully be used so we can handle and address the many conflict issues. we fully support this sovereignty. these tools and principles should fully be used so we can handle and address the many but when the country is simply not able or not willing to then the international community has a responsibility to protect those people. >> is there anything that you
would recommend for the international community to do at this point regarding syria? sec. gen. ban ki-moon: i have been appointing, i think three of the world's best diplomats, including my predecessor, kofi annan. it is not in issue of negotiators and facilitators. it is an issue of lack of solidarity, lack of compassion. and the people, just speaking to very narrow, personal, or national interests that has been killing hundreds of thousands of people now that we have to reject in the name of humanity. how come this issue has been so long taking without being resolved? first of all, the syrian people, they should be united.
unfortunately, they have been unfortunately, they have been divided completely. the regional powers, these powers they have been supporting, both sides, the government side and the other group's side, the united nations security council has also been divided. individuals in three important areas and institutions have provided a perfect storm for extremists, isis, daesh, terrorists take a firm root. they are taking a firm root among the people. taking advantage of all of the grievances of the people and the leaders. >> thank you, mr. secretary-general. just before i start my question, it was a pleasure covering you and united nations the past five years in new york and overseas. reflecting on your tenure, in hindsight, what was your top
three moments of pride and your top three moments of regret? i understand there are ups and downs, as we have witnessed. thank you. sec. gen. ban ki-moon: it is not good timing for me to talk about what has been achieved or what has been a good moment for me. i am more of the regrettable side, frankly speaking. since you have raised this issue, i believe that while we think we are living in an era of turmoil and challenges, the world leaders have shown very important guidelines and visions
by adapting sustainable development goals, the 2030 agenda and goals, which covers all spectrums of life, our life, human beings, and planet earth. if we are able to implement and achieve all 17 goals by 2030, i am quite confident and will be very proud to say we are living in a world much more prosperous, much more peaceful and much healthier for people and the planet. that is one thing. even though it is heart of the same development goals, the climate change has been a separate track, a different track then sustainable development goals.
the agreement of peace -- i mean, the paris agreement, that has to be commended. it has taken longer than 10 years. when i took over as the secretary-general in 2007, the negotiation was almost dormant. it was not working at all. i thought that my priority as secretary-general should be on this climate change. i have been really mobilizing the political will of the leaders and business communities and i have really been asking the civil societies to raise their voices to challenge the world leaders. now, with this paris agreement, once it was known as
unthinkable. now it is unstoppable. nobody can stop this one. nobody can stop this one. it is government, business communities, and civil societies. they all demand it. they know without changing our course, our pattern of consumption and production, without going with a climate resilient economy, decarbonizing, our future will be tragic. that is one thing which i have been able to awaken of the people's minds. that is one thing in which i am proud. we will have to go 85 years of our target until 2100. i think we have made a very good start. when we implement this, we can
be proud. another one, at least i have, again, tried to change the mentality of communities and societies that it is not only men. men should lead together equally with women. there is a gender parity. there are more women living on this planet. and if not for women, at least equal rights should be given, politically, socially and economically. this is a fundamental principle for human rights declaration, a universal declaration of human rights. as a human being, i think we must adhere to this. i've been trying to appoint as
many capable women advisors and the number of women i have appointed in my 10 years is much, much greater than the number of women appointed during my seven previous predecessors combined. my successor has committed in his oath of taking ceremony that by the end of his term, i do not know when will be the end of his term -- [laughter] sec. gen. ban ki-moon: at least 10 years, then this world will be 50-50. by 2030, while the leaders have already committed by 2030, this world will be 50-50 planet. thank you.
>> former portuguese prime minister antonio gutierrez has been sworn in as secretary-general of the united nations. the former u.n. refugee chief was elected to the top job by proclamation by the general assembly in october. he takes over from ban ki-moon on january 1. here's a look at the swearing-in. high-resolution 71/4, 13
october, 2016, the general assembly has appointed high-resu secretary-general of the united nations for a term of office beginning january 1, 2017 and ending on 31st december, 2021. now ask him to take the oath of office into repeat after me. rizzi right hand. -- raise your right hand. tterezonio gu solemnly swear to exercise in a loyalty discretion and , the functions entrusted to me as secretary-general of the united nations to, discharge these functions and regulate my interest of the
united nations only in view and acceptseek or instructions in regard to the performance of my duties from any government or other authority external to the organization. congratulations. [applause] >> on "newsmakers," kevin brady, chair of the ways and means committee, talks about republican plans for a task overhaul and repeal of the affordable care act. "newsmakers," sunday at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. >> i do think you can learn from failure. i think that it next president wants to aspire to be like
somebody, they would want to aspire to be washington arlington. but you can't re-create the country and have the civil war, so you aspired to be james monroe, i don't know. you can aspire not to be james buchanan. >> sunday night on "q&a," historian robert stress talks about james buchanan's his latest book "worst president ever: james buchanan, the potus rating game, and the least of the lesser presidents." >> i think the differentiation of good president and that president -- washington, lincoln, fdr always at the top, -- they were decisive men. you can't come to the top of the ladder and not be decisive. buchanan was a waffler. james pulled hated him for it. was as president. >> something at 8:00 p.m.
eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> now, former cia director, retired general david to tray us -- david petraeus, talks about combating terrorism and other global threats. this took place on the campus of george washington university in washington d.c. this is just over an hour. michael: good evening. i am the president of george washington university. i welcome you to the national library, lie at the heart of the building intellectually and structurally in george washington university. i am the president of george he opened this years ago after years of planning and partnership with the organization known as the international churchill center. part of our plan was to have this new center serve as a venue for exactly the kinds of event
we are hosting this evening. welcome to the first of what i am confident will become an important series of conversations on topics important to the national interest. george washington president emeritus stephen gold trachtenberg, and of course, our featured speaker, general david petraeus. we have gw students coming to us from all 50 states and 140 nations enjoy a front row seat in the theater of history. tonight is a good example of why that is true. it is hard to imagine someone who would be more important to hear at this moment in history than this evening's featured speaker. david petraeus was one of the most prominent military leaders of the post-9/11 era. his achievements in his career in the army including his
leadership of the surge in iraq. he held six successive commands, five of those in combat. after retiring from the military, general petraeus was nominated unanimously as the director of the cia, where he established a strategic plan for the agency. he is now partnered with a global investment firm kkr and he hopes to hold roles that numerous institutions. his honors and awards are too many to list. i first had the honor of meeting general petraeus when he spoke at an event for the international churchill society in 2012. general petraeus will be conversing this evening with the inaugural director of the national churchill society. [applause]
>> thanks for your service and being our first honored guest. the ncl see is the first research facility in the nation's capital devoted to the study of winston churchill. here, students, scholars, and visitors have access to substantial and growing primary and secondary sources, a touchscreen exhibit, and access to the churchill archive. in the months to come, art, artifacts, and other historical treasures will be on display. for the development of the library, one might say this is not the end. [laughter] michael: it is not even the beginning of the end. it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
the nclc is not just a place for study, but also a place for study and debate. it will be a forum for historical and modern issues. general petraeus, welcome to the nclc. gen. petraeus: congratulations on all you have done to bring this to fruition. thanks to all of you for being here on a frigid night in our nation's capital. congratulations on this terrific library. it is a special privilege to walk point for this effort, as we say, as the first speaker. as a huge admirer of the man, rightly described as the last
lion. to be in a place inspired by him is quite special. michael: i thought we would begin by discussing your current activities with kkr, which i understand have taken you all over the world, although your travels were briefly interrupted by a trip of trump tower, i think a subject that everyone here will be very curious about. i am wondering if you could tell us what you are up to now and share a few details about the recent trip to new york. gen. petraeus: i will start with the -- kkr is literally across fifth avenue, across the street from where trump tower is. i went and had a variety of exploratory conversations with folks. i think the way to understand
where the president-elect and his team are is to recognize that what they are now doing is a process where he personally, and the team collectively, are putting policies around what understandably were campaign rhetoric. you can run on very short, statements. they are in the process of putting architecture around that that are true strategies. what i found fascinating was when you talk about one of those campaign promises, if you will, campaign slogans, and then campaign slogans, and then discuss what would be around it. he would say, should we build a wall? we should build a wall, that in the context of an overall, comprehensive strategy to improve security in our southern border, which would include more border officers, more reconnaissance access, or technology, or work with our mexican neighbors and help them
with their southern border, which is far more porous than ours. it is the source of the flow is coming into our country by and large. part of that is there should be a wall where there is not one already. we had those kinds of conversations. they went both ways. they would ask about nafta. there is a council and foreign relations task force in america that have five pages of issues that need to be resolved. there are tons of issues that we need to address. i am sure they have issues. you call president pena, prime and mr. trudeau, get together and hammer out some of these. you drive through various implementation periods and you could get this going. globalization is here to stay. there will be back and forth. i do recognize there have been
sectors in our country, in our economy where there have been serious losers due to global trade and trade agreements, whereas all the rest of us generally pay a little bit less for sneakers or blue jeans or something like that. for those who are effective, this is an existential issue. for the rest of us, it is for the better welfare, but what we need to do is better with trade adjustment assistance. this is the funding that is allocated in the legislation for these kinds of deals that takes care of those who have been displaced, help three educate, what have you. there has not been enough overall and it has not been of sufficient duration. that is one of the challenges with that. i just want to understand -- you are not anti-trade, you are anti-unfair trade. he said that is exactly right. it was that kind of process.
it has been going on. his team is working on a variety of different policies and different transition team elements. it was a stimulating conversation in that regard. you walk all the way around the world and then you leave and walk the gauntlet of the press. it was interesting because i want across this street, broke contact with the press, not an uber, and went to the city of university new york. you have fifth avenue and then the college. it is great. i have been very fortunate government. i worked hard at it. very, very privileged to be with kkr. i have been there three and a half years, two years a partner. it is one of the biggest private equity firms in the world, $130 billion under management. they are in 40 countries. many of them multiple times.
mexico, canada, u.k., and the mideast countries as well. i also have academic appointments. i teach once a week in new york, a course called the north american decades, which is i try to describe now. we are no longer in the american century but we are not yet in the chinese century or asian century. that is a good policy school right here in our nation's capital. it has been great fun. i have done it for seven semesters. i have a chair at usc where i spent a week per semester. we do our version of the "shark take." i am a venture capitalist in 11 startups. i have a fellowship at harvard as well. we started this morning with an event for that. i am on the speaking circuit.
this is the highest form of white-collar crime in america. [laughter] gen. petraeus: i do participate in that. it is great fun. there is no speaking fee at all tonight. michael: we are very grateful for that. [laughter] gen. petraeus: and i am active with four think tanks. there are about 10 veterans organizations that i am in, along with byron. it is very hard to say no to those. it is a very full experience. a huge amount of traveling, i managed to get home on most friday evenings when i'm not at the churchill library for dinner with my wife and family. we live in new york. i have been very fortunate. michael: there is definitely life after government. gen. petraeus: it can be incredibly stimulating. that is really the essence of what it is you are seeking. it has to fit together. michael: i thought we might step back a little bit and look at
fairly recent history. churchill's funds tower may have been in 1940, but yours began in 2007. the commander of coalition forces in iraq. you inherited a failing war effort, but under your forces in iraq. leadership the situation there was completely reversed. as you look back on that experience, what are the leadership lessons we can draw from what you accomplished? gen. petraeus: there are a lot of them. the first is always about the team. there is no i in team and all the rest of that. this has to be an extraordinarily collective effort. 365,000 americans, tens of thousands of coalitions, hundreds of thousands of iraqi partners. at the end of it, what you should take from the surge in iraq is the surge that mattered most is the surge of ideas, not the surge of forces. we had 25,000-30,000 americans
added to an existing force of 45,000. we brought violence down by 85% and stay down for three and a half years. unfortunately, it was undone by highly sectarian prime minister that we worked with to begin with. it was a change in strategy and many of these were a 180 degree shift. from consolidating on big bases to living with the people. 77 additional locations just in baghdad. the vast of majority of which we had to fight for him determinedly against an enemy who did not want us in their where they were trying to cause problems, either as sunni extremists or shia militia.
the big idea piece of this was enormous. we're going to embrace reconciliation. you have to strip away as many of the rank-and-file. then we will expose the irreconcilables. the national security advisor designate, we were doing 10-15 high-volume target operations a night. a staggering number of those. previously, it had been used for ship takedowns, rescuing hostages or what ever. a whole host of others. we would not release attain ease until we got extremists out of their midst and had rehabilitation programs and were going to reintegrate the civil
and military aspects. it is the big idea. beyond that, there are four tasks of a strategic leader and you have to perform all of them adequately. the first is to get the big ideas right. for me, that is not something where you get hit on the head by newton's apple fully formed. it is generally a process where you start with a kernel of an idea and you shape it into clay. we had the benefit of being back in the states for 15.5 months prior to this. that is where we did the counterinsurgency field manual. that is where we built the capital from which we drew. you have to have the very first speech making command, the letter on the first day to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and civilians of the multinational force in iraq. all that this you were doing. the commanders would change the
mission statement in the first week. all of this. and then you keep working from there. and then you have to oversee the implementations of the ideas. where do you spend your time? semiweekly, weekly, monthly, all the way up to the quarterly combined campaign plan and review with the military and civil ambassador and right here together, with all the other nations' ambassadors, three stars, two stars, others all there. a really, really painful endeavor every time. about six hours glued to a chair, the really important. that is how you drive a campaign. this rhythm of contact with these guys, the planners, the trainers, on and on. the last task is overlooked, and that is where you gather together. you are constantly trying to be
a learning organization. this is where you have to determine the big ideas are. then you take the action. these are lessons, but they are not lessons learned. they are not learned until they are incorporated into the campaign plan, policies, so forth. this works in the private sector. you think of a firm like netflix. hugely impressive. huge idea. we will put brick and mortar out of business by mailing cds out. they did that. works terrific, right up until others do the same thing. now broadband is fast enough. now we are going to deliver movies over the internet. that is great until others catch on to that. then they'd that $100 million on house of cards and others. we will do content and go all the way through that. i know that ceo reasonably well. kk argues to and to speak.
we spent a lot of time on innovation. that is a hugely impressive firm. you contrast that with kodak, which knew digital photography was coming and they got all the way down here and they were too slow to recognize the lesson they needed to learn and boom, you are gone. americans will pay for dial-up access to the internet. they sure will, until google starts giving it away for free. it is who can adapt fastest. on the battlefield, we have strong conviction that the side that learns and adapts the fastest is normally the side that prevails and we tried to be that side. michael: we have learned the power of netflix at the international churchill society, of which i am also executive director, because of john lithgow's portrayal of churchill in "the crown." gen. petraeus: it is a great big idea.
michael: absolutely. speaking of mr. churchill, he famously rallied his nation and the world during the darkest days of world war ii with his great and uplifting rhetoric. not everyone was so moved. a novelist famously mocked what he called churchill's sham pros and claimed he and fellow officers hated the broadcast. in your long experience, how did the utterances of leaders affect the morale of your troops? gen. petraeus: i think it is hugely important. medication is important. that is the second task of a leader. whether it is political or that is the second task of a military rhetoric or communication, and for what it was worth, i was a speechwriter
a couple of times for the nato commanders, essentially for the chief of staff. i am really big on words and i think they do matter. the very first day i put out a letter to the troops. that was setting the tone that the number one task is securing the people. the decisive terrain is the human terrain. we can only secure it by living with them. we're going to live with the people. you have to distill those as well. i had several pages of counterinsurgency guidance. the very first one, live with the people. there is one that said walk. there was another, promote initiative. that was added in and you would see these examples of initiative, you would capture them and try to distill them. in that case, i found on a company commander's plywood door of his command post in what used to be a seriously difficult place in baghdad, and on their
it said in the absence of guidance or orders, figure out what they should have been an execute aggressively. [laughter] gen. petraeus: so you are always looking for that kind of thing. i think that communication can establish the tone, impart guidance, give energy, promote determination. think of the ringing words of churchill and how they steeled the citizenry of great britain. hugely important. as a whole variety of ways of doing this. i would caution that that rhetoric has to be grounded in reality. you can't view sunshine if it has been a really tough day. in fact, i made some changes. we had a senior guy called the director of strategic
communications or something like that. on one occasion, when we had had a horrible day in baghdad. three suicide car bombs in different major markets, hundreds of people killed. it started out by giving good news. there was good news. the soccer league did start back up. yes, the swimming pools and operation in sadr city and a couple of other things. i said, look, the people of baghdad, they know that this was a terrible day and we owe it to them, to our troops, to everybody to step up to that microphone and say today was a terrible day in baghdad. here is what took place. here is the latest on that. here is what we are doing in immediate response to that. here is what we will do in the future. we are never going to stop all of this, that we are determined to stop more and mitigate the risk. you can't get ahead. the challenge is if the political rhetoric is too ringing and not backed up by
action, you have a problem on your hands and credibility starts to be called in question. michael: we turn to an issue that has occasioned a great deal of rhetoric but far less action, the fall of aleppo. it falls to churchill's wartime words, tonight, the sun goes down on more suffering than it ever has in the world. president putin has shown no desire to slacken the campaign in syria. under president obama, the united states has mostly stood by and mr. trump has made conciliatory comments about putin and russia. what does this portend for syria in which it we do about the
ongoing carnage? gen. petraeus: i think it portends more bloodshed and it also may portend a situation where humpty dumpty cannot be put back together again. it is hard to see. i don't have a sense that bashir al-assad and the shia militia and even russian airpower necessarily will enable him to conquer all the remaining elements. one of the questions right now is he is in aleppo. does he go back and get palmyra, and he pull troops out to go to aleppo and isis is back in there. there is a question about how much farther he can go, number one. number two, we have a real problem. you can never have legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the country, which is sunni arab, albeit though with a reasonable shia population from which he springs, but also syrian kurds and even christians in the population, but how to put that back together.
the dilemma is -- the regional policy, the president was go and now it is not. although none of us want to see him stay because of the legitimacy issue and he is the magnetic attraction from would be jihadi's from around the world, you should not go on till you know who will follow him. it could get worse. there is a real conundrum here. our focus is twofold. it has been. it has been to defeat the islamic state and an al qaeda affiliate. it is also in some fashion how to establish a way forward for the country. originally it was he would go and it would be a great consensus and you would end up with a multi-ethnic government. i don't think that is coming. you have to figure out how to stop the bloodshed without
completely capitulating. the sunnis and others will not completely give in. at some point in time, you sure them up further, maybe time to do a no-fly zone. folks will say, gosh, the russians are there, you could precipitate a conflict. just be very clear. you then have to be ready. what you cannot do, needless to say, is have a redline crossed and not act on it. that is obviously injurious to credibility. at some point with the new administration, and this is a case where a new commander in chief, a new team can potentially embark on new opportunities.
i do think with eyes wide open about president putin ordering invasions of georgia, crimea, and other actions, their knees to be a dialogue with him and talks about what is absolutely unacceptable to us and the article five guarantee, coming to the defense of anyone in nato. that has to be ironclad. it also was discussing the issues. what will be the future in ukraine? how can you resolve the situation in syria? there are cases where we have mutual objectives.
they want to see islamic extremists defeated just as we do. again, moving forward in that way is going to be important. on the other side of the world, the relationship between the number one and number two economies in the world. china and the u.s.. michael: you mentioned china. present elect trump has shown a desire to shake up arrangements by receiving a congratulatory phone call from the president of taiwan. do you think this was a mistake, or is it time to revisit the one china policy? or is it more of a negotiating gambit that has more to do with trade than security policy. gen. petraeus: i really don't know, without knowing how it was arranged and what the briefings were and whether people consider the pros and cons. i would like to think, and i think there's some foundation for this, that this is shaking it of event.
this is a president elect that has said he wants to be unpredictable. you have to be careful because you don't want to be seen as unpredictable in a crisis where they think they need to take the first shot before you do. in some situations, that can be useful. i have seen comments by european leaders that say, we really do have to get serious about spending more on defense. yes, we were lectured by secretary gates and other u.s. leaders, but this is different. this guy is really serious. i don't think you want to shake the one china policy, nor do you forget the taiwan relations act, which you want to remind people about as well. this is really deft and delicate stuff. i think a little bit of a disturbance of the force is not all bad. but you have to think about what is next and then what do they do and then what do we do and so forth down the road.
michael: another pressing issue, much debated, and now with the new administration will be confronting possibly new realities with iran. should, and more to the point perhaps, do you think the u.s. will withdraw from the iran nuclear treaty? gen. petraeus: let me put that in context. it is always really good if you take what is a discrete action and put it into context. it seems that our objectives are to make sure iran never gets a nuclear weapon and number two, their malign activity is
countered. we counter that together with our gulf state partners and israel. if you look at the deal, which iran is generally abiding by. there have been two violations of the amount of heavy water they can store, but they quickly got rid of that when it was identified, to be fair, there are positive elements and significant downsides. the enriched in rainy them is gone. the plutonium path to a bomb is no longer. the deeply buried site, that one is now a research facility. that is the one that is publicly known only the united states could crack. there is a reasonably obtrusive inspections regime. this either ends in 10-15 years, and there is no provision for what happens after that. if you think your way through this, they also have access to frozen assets around the world,
reintegrated into the economy once the sanctions that used to cause the sanction on oil exports are off, they are getting a lot more revenue. some of which is without question going to the revolutionary guards forced to fuel mischief in the region. you weigh that, figure out what we can do to complement the deal, and it is very unclear that you could reimpose sanctions if we were the only ones that conclude we should and our observation of that deal. what else can you do? how about the white house and congress, both controlled by republicans, get together and
say, we will have a statement of national policy that iran will never be allowed to enrich weapons grade uranium? the iranians shouldn't be bothered by that because they have sworn they would never pursue a nuclear weapon so no big deal. we maintain the capability that u.s. central command has had and that contingency plan developed during the time i was privileged to command the organization. beyond that, to get together with israel our ally to figure out how we can more effectively counter the malign activity of iran. we are not out to start a big war in though gulf. we want to preserve maritime freedom of navigation and the flow of energy resources, even though we are much less dependent on mideast oil than we were before our energy revolution. nonetheless, that fuels the
economy of the world which we are part of. it still does matter. we want to preserve that and ensure that is the case. i think that is how i would go forward in this case. i was just out in abu dhabi, bahrain, riyad and i have a reasonable feel for what is going on out there. there is a degree of uncertainty. a transition of one party to another already. not a huge amount of knowledge about the views in detail of those who are going to be in new positions. i think that could be sorted out in short order. michael: i would like to turn to one of the major themes of winston churchill's career and ask you how it applies to the present.
do you think we are strong or weak and how are we comparing to china? gen. petraeus: you can take our defense budget, and then take china's, and most of third of our budget. the next seven or eight countries altogether, and then you would not equal what we have. there is no question chinese military defense spending has increased dramatically at a time when ours was either flat or when down. during sequestration, particularly bad blow. there is fraying of some elements. a lot of recapitalization that
is needed. you take all of our aircraft carriers and flat decks. that is more than all the rest of the world put together. there is enormous capability. the challenge is we have to operate globally. china and other countries generally focus closer to home, although china is building maritime expeditionary capability that gives them as far as the horn of africa and into the gulf. relatively speaking, there is no question the chinese military is coming up. no question ours is far and away the finest force in the world. also no question there are pockets of readiness challenges for our forces. there is a readiness crisis and other areas. if we can avoid sequestration -- for those who say you love the
military, if you really do, and sequestration. that is a horrible way to budget. it destroys management in the department of defense. the second is pass a budget. let us know how much there will actually be. the additional amounts for overseas contingency operations added in. well enough along in the year, even before you have started the fiscal year. at least early enough so you can program it out. and do we need to add tens of billions of dollars to the bottom line, noting that is challenging because we want to keep -- one of the other objectives is to keep the debt to gdp ratio going down which it has been gradually doing but is projected to go back up in another year or two as entitlement spending increases. we are going to have to come to grips with that. michael: i want to apologize for calling the iran nuclear deal a treaty. i inadvertently promoted it.
not ratified. i know you are an admirer of winston churchill, which partially explains why you are with us evening. i wonder if you could reflect on what his example has meant to you in your life and career. gen. petraeus: again, i guessed it was the book, "last lion," really captured this individual and the extraordinary achievements. to be sure, look is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. and you think about what he accomplished over the years in varied fields, even when he was performing all these other tasks for government, he was churning varied fields, even when he was out book after book.
i forget the quote he used to have about history, but it was basically -- michael: history will be kind to him. gen. petraeus: because i intend to write it. he had a wit that was unbelievable. he could drink all night and all day and still be productive. you give me a glass of wine and i would be asleep in the chair. he is just extraordinary. i went to his house. just a funny aside. i guess it was when i was the central command commander, we would go to different countries that had forces in our region. i tried to get a couple of hours usually. if we were going to be at oxford, let's see this place on the way back to london or wherever we were staying. one of the times i said, let's go to churchill's home.
we come out of oxford and return. i said, this is the way. this is -- chartwell was his home. one of his great great grandson's actually escorted. you get this incredible sense, he could paint, probably even after drinking. the literary accomplishments were amazing. he wrote about the field force in pakistan. all that stuff still rings true. i would read his work. it is all the same stuff we are still doing. the same customs, traditions, and everything else you are grappling with. to say that he achieved prodigious amounts in every different field he touched would be an understatement. he even managed to coin the phrase is that defined entire eras.
the iron curtain. the cold war, all of this. really extraordinary. i have been to westminster and done something there at that great library, which is truly inspirational and educational and fun. and i go back out there in april. this is a guy that is exceptional in every regard, except i do think i could out run him. michael: of that i have no doubt whatsoever.
his idea of athleticism -- it was polo until he had 40. and it was drinking rose after that. the united states has just undergone a dramatic political convulsion and our cultural divisions seem very deep. to some, they seem intractable. are you an optimist or pessimist? gen. petraeus: i am a rational optimist. in this case, i teach a course called the north american decades. you look at north america 21 years into nafta. the integration that is so extraordinary. you cannot unwind of that. and then you look at for revolutions, in each of which the u.s. is a leader or among the leaders. the i.t. revolution. the energy revolution.
the manufacturing revolution, and the life sciences revolution. these are all extraordinary. they are all gathering momentum. some are ahead of others. many are examples of what has made america great in the past and i think what will make it great again in the future. combinations of factors. there is never a single factor that will explain it. whether you are a fan of fossil fuels or not, the fact is we did something extraordinary by going from 6 million barrels per day to 9.6 million barrels per day production in the space of about five years. that is unprecedented. no country has done anything like that. if you look at why that is, noting a lot of this is getting oil out of shale, also, by the way, natural gas. how did this come to pass? china has double or more the amount of will and gas. and yet it only happened in appreciable amounts in the
united states. we invented the technology. deep directional drilling because you have to go horizontally. hydraulic fracturing. the last was seismic big data, tying into the i.t. revolution. we have capital markets that are agile. we have small and medium enterprises that can vary rapidly build up technology. and can be fueled by these capital markets. we have property rights laws that allow owners to sell or lease the mineral rights under their lands. we have reasonable infrastructure for pushing around pipelines. all of these factors come together uniquely in the united states. yes, we are fortunate and blessed to have will and gas in the shale and water nearby, in
most cases because it is liquid intensive process. only here has that happened. that gives me a degree of rational optimism. i steal that title from a book by matt ridley who writes about the sweep of mankind and time after time, mankind is confronted by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. after whatever it may be, the 30 years war, the black plague, finds a way to go around it or resolve it. in that sense, i am a rational optimist. the challenge for our country is we do have policy headwinds. there are shortcomings that can only be resolved by policies. one of these is infrastructure and investment.
we very much need to improve productivity. you've got to increase that in particular. there are a lot of economists worried you cannot get that high growth because we just don't have the kinds of dramatic productivity gain that have been associated with previous times of high growth. we need to educate the workforce of the future. one of the challenges of the manufacturing revolution is technological displacement. we are talking about bringing manufacturing back to america. manufacturing output is at the highest of all time. it is here and it has come back in a number of ways. the jobs have not necessarily one of the challenges of the come back. manufacturing employment has gone like that. that is because of the rise of the robots. there is displacement from those kinds of jobs. and yet there are millions of
jobs lacking people, and we got to train those the best we can. in some cases, you are not going to be able to do that. immigration reform, there is double the applicants every year for the h-1b visas. we should come to grips with that. we ought to come to grips with what we are going to do with the 10 or more million people here without proper documentation. there needs to be a pathway for unskilled labor to come to the country legally and perform the tasks we don't have enough labor here in the u.s. agriculture and a variety of other fields. those are a handful of examples we talked about. one of the exciting -- the markets have taken an upswing because they think there is a real prospect for reduction in corporate tax rates, the third or fourth highest in the developing world. because of the prospect of a tax holiday for the 2.9 trillion in
profits firms will not bring back because the tax rates are so high. you won't get all of that, it is not all liquid. if you get 1.5 trillion of that. multiply it times 15%, that is hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure investment right there and that is before you do public-private partnerships and other initiatives. these are the kinds of initiatives that are being talked about. speaker ryan has a whole host of these. again, working through those to attorneys policy headwinds into policy tailwinds enable us to capitalize in these four revolutions are opportunities for what is very much still the greatest country in the world. michael: i would love to open this to questions from the audience. we have a microphone over here.
if you would like to ask the general a question, we would like to ask you to come to the microphone and ask your brief question. >> i have one question for you. if iran and the u.s. were to come to a negotiation table for a grand bargain, what do you think are the realistic offers they could give to each other. when iran could offer to the u.s. and the u.s. could offer to iran. gen. petraeus: i think what was hoped, very cautiously hoped, the iran nuclear deal, the joint comprehensive land of action would lead to further achievements and other fields. it obvious we did not have any effect on the malign activities iran is pursuing. it certainly hasn't slowed their missile program. if anything, each of those has accelerated. those are areas of huge concern to our partners and allies in the region. into the coalition that we are
part of in the fight against the islamic state in that region. i think this administration reached out and open hand on a number of occasions. i think president obama went above and beyond in trying to establish dialogue with the supreme leader and various talks with government officials. the challenge with iran is you cannot forget this is a state that is really two states. there is the traditional president that is elected, and this happens to be the quote moderate. they eliminate some of the real moderates, the council that
approves whether you can run or not. but he is, compared to the others that were running, there were ministers and army navy, air force, and so forth. not always in rhetoric reasonable. and then you have the deep state, the revolutionary guard, the quds force, overseas individuals carrying out often very nefarious officials. you're not going to see another revolution on the streets of tehran. that state has actually gotten stronger during the period of sanctions. it is hard to see how that would ever relax its control. it has the support of the supreme leader who's up here with some of the councils that surround him. the people over here, and there
are tens of thousands of tourists pouring into iraq on a daily basis because there are holy sites, i really think this administration worked very hard to try to build bridges. to try to establish reasonable dialogue. maybe it is just our perspective, but i did not think we were asking for great deal. but clearly, iran is bent on achieving a degree of regional hegemony at the very least. solidifying a shia crescent from damascus to lebanon, increasing
their political control. trying to lebanonize iraq. the sunni militia that are trained and equipped by iran with the quds force commander sometimes on the ground. they are very, very worrisome. they are led by individuals who were in detention centers for murder and are individuals and they are in some cases members of parliament. you may leave iraq, but iraq will never leave you. it is a place, there are certain
very special attributes to the land of the tigris and euphrates that there are also maddening aspects of it, too. >> good evening, general and , thank you for your service. you talked about private property rights being a boon to american innovation. some folks may not know but congress passed legislation and the president signed into law legislation that will recognize private property rights in outer space. so i think that will be interesting to see how that plays out. gen. petraeus: can you rent or sell the mineral rights? >> yes, yes. billions and billions of dollars. you talked about the rise of robotization. the military in terms of unmanned systems has been on the forefront of that. you have people in the national security for years talking about thinking machines. where do you see that going in
the years to come? gen. petraeus: let me just note that you raised a point that i think has not been recognized as fully as it might have been. i think there is a real revolution ongoing in the way we are able to conduct, at least the kinds of wars we are engaged in in the greater middle east. it has been made possible by the enormous increase in unmanned aerial vehicles. in particular, the u.s. air force predators and reapers, which are the coin of the realm. in particular there because they have roughly 150 people as their back end that fly it, payload it, arm it, do the imagery and signals interpretation, the communication architecture to fly it from the u.s., bouncing it off of satellites. on and on. and the dissemination of it and
all the rest. if you take seven days a week, 24 hours a day, that means it is multiple platforms and three plus shifts of these people performing these important tasks. this is really extraordinary. this is what is enabling us to fight in a very different way. we are enabling the iraqi security forces, not fighting on the front lines with them or for them. we are doing training and assistance, training and advice. equipping. we are certainly helping them with planning and a variety of other tasks. but at the end of the day, they are the ones who are fighting and dying on the front lines for and dying on the front lines for their country. and i think that is what they want as well is what we want. there are five important lessons i think we should take from the middle east, the last 10-15 years. very quickly i will layout. one that is very relevant, the first is that ungoverned spaces
in the north africa, middle east, central asia will be exploited by islamic extremists. it is a question of when. las vegas rules do not apply, what happens there will not stay there. the effects tend to spew violence, extremism, refugees. not just in neighboring countries but in some cases all nato allies,o our sometimes causing huge problems for them. the third is in responding, u.s. leadership is absolutely vital. in part because of the military assets which we bring which are , so incomparably greater than all the others put together, unmanned aerial vehicles times six or seven. and all the other capabilities. but we do want a coalition. churchill was right on this one, too, when he said the only thing worse than fighting with allies is fighting without them. and we very much want them, as having commanded the largest coalition on the ground up until this time in afghanistan coalition maintenance is hugely
, intensive work. it is worth it. we especially want islamic countries because this is a class that is existential for them. it is more of a clash within their civilization then between civilizations. forth is that in responding to this, there is a paradox that countering terrorist forces like the islamic state requires more than counterforce terrorist operations. you have to have forces on the ground. you have to have reconciliation, ,olitics, local governments basic service restrict -- reconstruction, rule of law, communication. all of these things. now we are able to help them do it rather than do it for them as we had to do during the surge which i believe was absolutely vital or the country truly would have gone up in flames. now we can do this a different way. that is crucial because of the fifth lesson, and that is recognizing we are in a
generational struggle. this is not a struggle of the decade, certainly not of a few years. we will put a stake through the heart of the islamic state, that is the army in iraq, there has never been a question about that. it is just a question of how to do it without killing civilians and infrastructure. which is why it is going slowly in mosul. it has to be sustainable and we have developed something that is sustainable, at least for these types of wars, because of the assets we have. and we are thereby -- the two metrics that matter most our -- our blood and treasure. and treasure. we have reduced dramatically the loss of life. very reduced. the expenditure, when you compare to what we have spent in a single year in the surge in
iraq or afghanistan, it is very reduced. these are sustainable. for those who say democracies cannot fight long wars, we have been at it for 15 years and afghanistan. yes the situation is more , fraught than i would like. we restricted the rules of engagement for the use of our airpower in support of the afghans overly much, but that has been relaxed now. this is actually, this is quite a dramatic development. at the end of the day, the next -- a variety of advances in technology. the next steps will be what you are talking about. it is artificial intelligence. you are going to get to systems that are semi-autonomous. your wing man may be -- there's no pilot -- maybe you have a couple of wingmen. you will have that kind of situation. there will be situations in which will give conditions in a sense to the machines.
as we do right now to men who are controlling machines -- say, you identify the target, there is no collateral, there is this, there is that. the political situation is ok it is not going to imperil our on take theon and , shot. i can see the day where you might do that to a machine that will be able to check those blocks because of its optics, because of its information. that is not too far down the road necessarily. it is really quite breathtaking what is happening in the space and also what is happening in cyberspace. michael: i'm afraid we only have time for one more question. >> thank you for your service. what is happening in the media and democratic party makes me go back to one of the highlights of 2012's debate when obama kind of
mocked romney. when he said he thought putin, russia was our biggest enemy. what can you say obama failed to do or didn't do where these people are saying, putin picks the president of the united states. petraeus: first of all, let me just note there is a very important development this afternoon. the dni and the director of the a pi have joined the director and the cia concluding together there is no question the russians did seek to influence this election and do it to favor one candidate, obviously. and that is quite important. it would have been nice if they had come forward and done that earlier, if they could have gotten that together. at least it has happened now. i think that is quite significant. look, i think history will look back and ask whether, could we have been more firm at a particular juncture?
because this is an individual who does keep pushing. if you can keep penetrating further, it seems as if he keeps on going. and actually, when i ran his separatist -- russia supported separatists in southeastern ukraine. when they ran up against ukrainian forces that were going to bend but not break, all of the sudden they realize the cost was too high. i think you can look back and ask, should we not have given iranianranian -- forces, should we not have given shoulder launched anti-tank missiles? it is that kind of question we will look back at and wonder, could we have done that? you are not going to run to moscow with this thing on your shoulder. it comes down to those kinds of issues, i think.
and certainly there are others having to do with syria. and so, ensuring there is no doubt in a competitor's or adversary's mind is that there will be a consequence for an action, i think is awfully important. when we have not done that at various times, it has rebounded in the wrong way. michael: thank you all for your excellent questions and for coming out on this very cold night to the national churchill library and center. i hope you will return when we welcome future guests, including the creator of house of cards, michael dobbs. the british ambassador to the united states, sir kim derek former mi six chief john , scarlett and others. and thanks to general petraeus. [applause]
>> today, ohio state university is the site for a celebration on the life of john glenn, the former astronaut and u.s. senator from ohio died at the age of 95. the service and our live coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern. live at 4:00 p.m., we will be live as president-elect trump speaks at a victory rally in mobile, alabama. watch both events here on c-span. hawaiian representative colleen hanabusa spoke to c-span about her return to congress. she represented hawaii's first congressional district from 2011 to 2015. she vacated the seat to run for the u.s. senate, and was elected back to her old seat in november.
she immediately assumed office because of a vacancy caused by the death of representative mark takai. congresswoman, remind our viewers how it is you are returning to congress -- congress. rep. hanabusa: it really is an unfortunate situation. congressman tokai unfortunately passed from pancreatic cancer. he was young, and it is one of the saddest things i have had to contend with. but before he decided to withdraw his name from the election process, he called and asked me if i would run for my seat again, so that is what brings me back, the people of the congressional district overwhelmingly voted for me and its a very nice feeling to be
supported, but at the same time, extremely bittersweet. >> why is it you said yes to the late congressman? rep. hanabusa: i think it is because he did not want his legacy to be a situation where, we are both democrats, so we may have lost the seat, and more importantly than that, you know that he wanted somebody to continue in congress who had a sense of what it was like to be here so the district would not lose anything, miss a beat so to speak, and that is what the reason was, honoring his wish. and also being very honored by it was the reason i did it. what about his legacy will you pick up and carry on. and what about your previous work here that you want to pick up again and try to fight for in washington? rep. hanabusa: mark really wanted to continue in the armed services area. he was part of the guard, and the armed services committee was something i served on for four
years, and for myself, one of the issues i was very passionate about before i left the congress was what did it mean when , president obama said we are pivoting to asia-pacific. and as you can imagine when representing hawaii, asia-pacific is critical. we are the most forward of the states in the asian pacific but , more importantly than that, what they called the pacific command area of responsibility is 55% of the earth's surface, and i told everyone don't forget what is right smack in the middle of the pacific. it is hawaii. and as you know all of the , military services are located in district one in some form or another. so it was very important, and i believe we shared that, but for me in particular, it is something i look forward to. president obama said the 21st century would be defined by asia-pacific, whether in conflict or cooperation, and
then secretary of state hillary clinton said let's not forget that hawaii is the gateway to asia-pacific, so that has been something that has really driven me, and it is not only for what we call the pivot, which people think is a military pivot, but it is not that. it is one of the greatest peace movements that we have, and in addition to that, diplomacy and a military presence in the area. >> since you left the house, what have you been doing? rep. hanabusa: i have been doing a lot of fun things. i was teaching at the university of hawaii law school as well as the university of hawaii's political science department, and in addition to that, i was asked to sit on various boards. and also resume my practice of law. so it was only a matter of 18 months, but during that time, it was a wonderful experience to reunite with people, and there are so many different types of issues that hawaii was faced with. a lot of it related to our
native group, indigenous people, the native hawaiians, so i was able to keep abreast of a lot of the issues just because it wasn't long enough to be away to divest the major issues facing our community. >> anything that you would do differently from your previous years in the house? rep. hanabusa: one thing i think i would do differently is i feel that having been here four years before is that you can hit the ground running, and you are also able to look at things and know what to do. you know i jokingly tell people , i don't have to know where the bathrooms are. i know where they are. it is a thing where, you are familiar with the setting. and also having the relationship. i tell people that no matter what anybody says, congress is no different than any other local government or local legislature, what it is is a matter of relationships. so we may have partisan labels on us, but the bottom line is it
is the relationship and trust you build, and i am so fortunate i built i lot of them and they are all here, so because of that, i think that it's not, can we get along? you know who you can go to, and you know who you can rely on, and that is the greatest difference and how i can better serve the constituency. >> do have a mentor here in washington? rep. hanabusa: you know, i did. my mentor was senator daniel k. inouye, who passed in 2012. since then, senator acosta who retired in 2012, he is somebody i see all the time in hawaii, but senator neu has probably taught me the best lessons and what it means to be bipartisan. i did this last year, the joint -- sort of like the appointment as the daniel k. inouye visiting scholar. with thejoint effort
library of congress when they did a series of lectures. my topic was civil liberties in that time of national crisis, and that is also something i feel passionate about, especially given the fact we are coming up on the 75th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, and the result of , which this series really brought up with the internment of japanese-americans, so having watched what he went through, or heard what he went through and understanding that he always felt the most important thing was never forget who you represent, and never forget the power structure swings back and forth, so you need to have those relationships, because without those relationships, it is your constituency that really suffers. so that is what i walk away from, a very great man who knew very well that to be bipartisan and to understand the needs of all the various states, never losing your concentration on
your own state, was really what this was all about. >> a name known to our c-span washers, congresswoman, thank you very much for your time. rep. hanabusa: thank you for having me. aloha. president obama: >> now, president obama reviews his administration's achievements. he also talks about syria, the russian hacking and the integrity of the election process in a new year -- and of your conference. this is about 90 minutes. president obama: alright, everybody. good afternoon. this is the most wonderful press conference of the year. i've got a list of who has been
naughty and nice to call on. but let me first make a couple of points and then i will take questions. typically i use this year in , press conference to review how far we've come over the year. -- the course of the year. today, understandably i am going to talk a little bit about how far we have come over the past 8 years. as i was preparing to take office, the unemployment rate was on its way to 10%. today it is at 4.6%, the lowest in nearly a decade. we have seen the longest streak of job growth on record, and wages have grown faster over the past few years than at any time in the past 40. when i came into office, 44 million people were uninsured, and today we have covered more than 20 million of them. for the first time in our history, more than 90% of history, more than 90% of americans are insured. in fact, yesterday was the biggest day ever for healthcare.gov, more than
670,000 americans signed up to get covered and more are signing up by the day. we have cut our dependence on foreign oil by more than half, double production of renewable energy, enacted the most sweeping reforms since fdr to protect consumers and prevent a crisis on wall street from punishing main street ever again. none of this has a stifled growth as critics predicted. instead the stock market has , tripled. since i signed obamacare into law, businesses have added 15 million new jobs. the economy is more durable than the day when we relied on oil from unstable nations and banks took risky bets with your money. added all up and last year, the poverty rate fell at the fastest rate in almost 50 years, while the medium household income grew at the fastest rate on record. in fact, income gains were larger for the household at the bottom and middle than for those
at the top. and we have done all this while cutting our deficits by nearly two thirds and protecting vital investments that grow the middle class. in foreign policy, when i came into office, we were in the midst of two wars. now nearly 180,000 troops are down to 15,000. bin laden, rather than being at large, has been taken off of the battlefield along with thousands of other terrorists. over the past eight years, no no -- no foreign terrorists organization has successfully executed an attack on our homeland that was directed from overseas. through diplomacy, we have insured that iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon without going to war with iran.
we opened up a new chapter with the people of cuba and we have brought 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could very well save this planet for our kids. and almost every country on earth sees america as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago. in other words, by so many measures our country is stronger , and more prosperous than it was when we started. it is a situation that i am proud to leave for my successor. and it is thanks to the american people, for the hard work you have put in, and the sacrifices you made for your families and communities, the businesses you started or invested in, and the way you looked out for one another. and i could not be prouder to be your president. of course, to have this progress does not mean we are not mindful of how much there is to do. in this season in particular, we are reminded that there are people who are still hungry, people who are still homeless, people who still have trouble
paying the bills or finding work after being laid off. there are communities are still mourning those who have been stolen from us by senseless gun violence, and parents who are still wondering how to protect their kids. and after i leave office i intend to continue work with organizations and citizens doing good across the country on these and other pressing issues to build on the progress we have made. around the world as well, there are hotspots where disputes have been intractable, conflicts that have flared up, and innocent people are suffering as a result. and nowhere is this more terribly true than the city of aleppo. for years, we have worked to stop the civil war in syria and alleviate human suffering. it has been one of the hardest issues that i faced as president. the world as we speak is united in horror at the savage assaults
of the syrian regime and its russian allies on the city of aleppo. we have seen deliberate strategy of surrounding, the season, -- besieging and of starving innocent civilians. we have seen relentless targeting of humanitarian workers and medical personnel, entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble and dust. there are continuing reports of civilians being executed. these are all violations of international law. responsibility for this brutality lies in one place alone. with the assad regime and its allies, russia and iran, and the blood and these atrocities are on their hands. we all know what needs to happen, there needs to be an impartial international force in -- observer force in aleppo that can help coordinate and orderly orderly evacuation through safe corridor doors. there has to be full access for humanitarian aid, even as america continues to be the
largest donor to the syrian people. and beyond that there needs to , be a proper cease-fire that will serve as a basis for a political, rather than military solution. that is what the united states is going to push for, both with partners and through multilateral institutions, like the u.n. regrettably but unsurprisingly, , russia has repeatedly blocked the security council from taking action on these issues, so we are going to continue to press the humanitarian council on these issues so we will continue to try to help improve the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who are in desperate need, and then ensure accountability, including continuing to monitor the potential use of chemical weapons in syria. and we are going to work in the -- withassembly as well the u.n. general assembly as well, both on accountability and political settlement. although we may issue tactical victories, over the long-term, the assad regime cannot
slaughter its way to legitimacy. aat is why i will press to more democratic government. that is why the world must not ever its eyes to the terrible unfolding. they are trying to obfuscate the truth. the world should not be fooled. and the world should not forget. so. season whereeason the incredible blessings that we know as americans are all around us, even as we enjoy family and friends and are reminded of how lucky we are, we should also be reminded that to be an american involves bearing burdens and meeting obligations to others. american values and american ideals are what will lead the way to a safer and more prosperous 2017, both here and abroad.
and by the way, if you embody -- a few embody those ideals like our brave men and women and their families. i want to close by wishing all of them a very merry christmas and a happy new year. with that, i will take some questions and i am going to start with josh letterman of ap. reporter: thank you, mr. president. there is a perception that you are letting president putin to get away with interfering in the u.s. election. and the review just doesn't cut it. are you prepared to call out president putin by name, and do you agree with what hillary clinton now says, that the hacking was partially responsible for clinton's loss? and is the smooth transition of power that you promised being
tarnished? president obama: first of all, with respect to the transition, i think they would be the first to acknowledge that we have done everything we can to make sure that they are successful, as i promised, and that will continue. and it has just been a few days since i last talked to the president-elect about a whole range of transition issues. that cooperation is going to continue. there hasn't been a lot of squabbling. what we have simply said is the facts, which are, based on uniform intelligence assessments, the russians were responsible for hacking the dnc and that as a consequence, it is important for us to review all elements of that and make sure that we are preventing that kind of interference through cyber-attacks in the future. that should be a bipartisan
issue. that should not be a partisan issue. and my hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don't have potential foreign influence in our election process. i don't think that any american wants that. and that shouldn't be a source of an argument. i think that part of the challenge is that it gets caught up in the carryover from election season, and i think it is very important for us to distinguish between the politics of the election and the need for us, as a country, both from a national security perspective, but also in terms of the integrity of our election system and our democracy, to make sure
that we that we don't create a political football here. now, with respect to how this thing unfolded last year, let's just go through the facts quickly. at the beginning of the summer, we were alerted to the possibility that the dnc has been hacked, and i immediately order law enforcement as well as our intelligence teams to find out everything about it, investigate it thoroughly, to brief the potential victims of this hacking, to brief on a bipartisan basis the leaders of both the house and the senate and the relevant intelligence committees, and once we had clarity and certainty around what, in fact, had happened, we publicly announced that in fact russia had hacked into the dnc. and at that time, we did not
attribute motives or any interpretations of why they had done so. we didn't discuss what the effects of it might be. we simply let people know, the public know, just as we had let members of congress know, that this had happened. and as a consequence, all of you wrote a lot of stories about both what had happened and then you interpreted why that might have happened and what effect it was going to have on the election outcomes. we did not. and the reason we did not was because in this hyper-partisan atmosphere, at a time when my primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any
way damaged, at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the white house would immediately be seen through a partisan lens, i wanted to make sure that everybody understood we were playing this thing straight. that we were not trying to advantage one side or the other, but what we were trying to do was let people know that this had taken place and so if you started seeing effects on the election, if you were trying to measure why this was happening and how you should consume the information that was being leaked, that you might want to take this into account. and that's exactly how we should have handled it. imagine if we had done the opposite. it would have become immediately just one more political scrum, and part of the goal here was to make sure that we did not do the work of the leakers for them by
raising more and more questions about the integrity of elections right before the election was taking place, at a time, by the way, when the president-elect was raising questions about the integrity of the election and, finally, i think it is worth pointing out that the information that was already out. it was in the hands of wikileaks. so that was going to come out no matter what. what i was concerned about in particular was making sure that that wasn't compounded by potential hacking that could hamper vote counting, affect the election process itself, and in early september when i saw president putin in china, i felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, there were going to be some serious consequences if he didn't. and in fact, we did not see
further tampering of the election process. but the leaks through wikileaks had already occurred. so when i look back in terms of how we handled it, i think we handled it the way it should have been handled. we allowed law enforcement and the intelligence community to do its job without political influence. we briefed all relevant parties involved in terms of what was taking place. when we had a consensus around what had happened, we announced it, not through the white house, not through me, but rather through the intelligence communities that had actually carried out these investigation, and then we allowed you and the american public to make the assessment as to how to weigh that going into the election. and the truth is that there was nobody here who didn't have some sense of what kind of effect it might have.
i am finding it a little curious that everyone is suddenly acting surprised that this looked like it was disadvantaging hillary clinton, because you guys wrote about it every day. every single leak, about every little juicy tidbit of political gossip, including john podesta's recipes. this was an obsession that dominated the news coverage. so i do think it is worth reflecting how it is that a presidential election of such importance, of such moment, with so many big issues at stake in -- and such a contrast between the candidates came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks. what is it about our political system that made us vulnerable
to these kinds of potential manipulations, which i -- as i have said publicly, were not particularly sophisticated? this was not some elaborate, complicated espionage scheme. they hacked into some democratic party emails that contained pretty routine stuff, some of it embarrassing or uncomfortable because i suspect that if any of us got our emails hacked into, there might be some things that we wouldn't want appearing on the front page of a newspaper, a telecast, even though there was not anything particularly illegal or controversial about it, and then it just took off. and that concerns me, and it should concern all of us.
but the truth of the matter is, is that everybody had the information. it was out there, and we handled it the way we should have. now, moving forward, i think there are a couple issues that this raises. number one is just the constant challenge that we are going to have with cyber-security throughout our economy and throughout our society. we are a digitalized culture. and there is hacking going on every single day. there is not a company, there is not a major organization, there is not a financial institution, there is not a branch of our government where somebody is not going to be fishing for something or trying to penetrate or put in a virus or malware, and this is why for the last eight years, i have been obsessed with how do we continually upgrade our cyber-security systems? and this particular concern around russian hacking is part
of a broader set of concerns about how do we deal with cyber issues being used in ways that can affect our infrastructure, affect the stability of our financial systems, and affect the integrity of our institutions like our election process. i just received a couple weeks back, it was not widely reported on, a report from our cyber security commission that outlines a whole range of strategies to do a better job on this. but it is difficult, because it is not all housed -- the target of cyber attacks is not one entity, but widely dispersed and a lot of it is private, like the dnc. it is not a branch of government. we can't tell people what to do,
what we can do is inform them on best practices. what we can also do, and -- on a bilateral basis, warn other countries against these kinds of attacks. and we have done that in the past. so, just as i have told russia to stop it and indicated there will be consequences when they do it, the chinese have in the past engaged in cyber tax -- cyber-attacks directed at our companies to steal trade secrets and proprietary technology. i had to have the same conversation with the president. what we have seen is, some evidence that they were reduced, but not completely eliminated these activities. is -- you cansons
use cutouts, one of the problems with the internet and cyber issues is there is not always a return address and by the time you catch up with it, attributing what happened to a particular government can be difficult. not always provable in court, even though our intelligence communities can make an assessment. what we've also tried to do is start creating some international norms about this in order to prevent a cyber arms race. because we have offense of capabilities as well as defensive capabilities. my approach is not a situation in which everyone is worse off because folks are constantly attacking each other back and forth, but putting guardrails around behavior of nation states, including our adversaries just so they understand that whatever they do to us, we can potentially due to do to them.em --
we do have special challenges because oftentimes, our country is more vulnerable particularly because we are a wealthier nation and more wired than some of these countries. and we have an open society. and engage in less control and censorship over what happens on the internet, which is part of what makes us special. last point. and the reason i am going on is because i know you guys have a lot of questions about and i -- about this and i have addressed all of you directly about it. with respect to response, my principal goal leading up to the election was making sure that the election itself went off without a hitch, was not a -- tarnished and that it did not feed any sense in the public that somehow, tampering had
taken place with the actual process of voting. and we accomplished that. that does not mean that we are not going to respond. it simply meant that we had a set of priorities leading up to the election that were of the utmost importance. our goal continues to be to send a clear message to russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you. but it is also important for us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way. some of it we do publicly. some of it we will do in a way that they know, but not everybody will. and i know there have been folks out there who suggest somehow that if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow that
would potentially spook the russians. but keep in mind that we already have an enormous number of sanctions against the russians. the relationship between us has deteriorated, sadly, significantly over the past several years. and how we approach an appropriate response that increases cost for them for behavior like this in the future, but does not create problems for us is something that is worth taking the time to think through and figure out. that is exactly what we have done. so at a point in time where we have taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so. there are times where the message will be directly received by the russians and not publicized. and i should point out, by the way, part of why the russians have been effective on this is
they don't go around announcing what they are doing. it is not like putin is going around the world publicly saying, look at what we did. wasn't this clever? he denies it. so the idea that somehow public shaming is going to be effective , i think, doesn't read the thought process in russia very well. ok? reporter: did clinton lose because of the hacking? i'm going to let all of the political pundits in this town discussion political about what happened the selection. and it was a fascinating election. i'm sure there will be a lot of books written on it. thought is what i important for the democratic party going forward, rather than try to parse every aspect of the
election, and i said before, i couldn't be prouder of secretary clinton, her outstanding service. i think she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the american people and i don't think she was treated fairly during the election. i think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling, but having said that, what i have been most focused on, appropriate for the fact that i am not going to be a politician in about -- what is it, 32 days? 31? 34? [laughter] but what i have said is maybe i can give counsel to the democratic party and the thing we have to spend the most time on because it is the thing we have the most control over, is how do we make sure we are
showing up in places where i think democratic policies are needed, where they are helping, where they are making a difference, but where people feel as if they are not being heard? and where democrats are characterized as coastal, latte-sipping, politically correct, out of touch folks, we have to be in those communities. and i have seen that when we are in those communities, it makes a difference. that's how i became president. i became a u.s. senator, not just because i had a strong base in chicago, but because i was driving up and down the state of illinois and going to fish fries and sitting in halls and talking to farmers. i didn't win every one of their
folks but -- votes but they heard what i was talking about that i was for working people, for the middle class, the reason i was interested in strengthening unions and increasing the minimum wage and rebuilding our infrastructure and making sure that parents had decent childcare and family leave was because my own family's history wasn't that different from theirs, even if i looked a little bit different. same thing in iowa. and so the question is, how do we rebuild that party as a whole? so there is not a county in any state -- i don't care how red, where we don't have a presence and are making the argument. because i think we have a better -- the better argument. but that requires a lot of work. it is something i have been able to do successfully in my own campaigns.
it is not something i have been able to transfer to candidates in midterms and build a sustaining organization around, that is something i would've liked to have done more of. but it is kind of hard to do when you are dealing with a bunch of issues here in the white house. and that doesn't mean it can't be done. i think there are going to be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values, who are going to be leading the charge in the years to come. michelle, cnn. reporter: thank you. this week, we heard hillary clinton talk about how she thought the fbi director's announcement -- recent announcement made a difference in the election. we also heard in an op ed, something being deeply broken within the fbi.
we heard him talking about the investigation early on was lackadaisical -- do you think there is any truth to these comments? do you think there is a danger there, that they are calling into question the integrity of institutions in a similar way that donald trump's team has done. in the second part, donald trump's team has repeatedly -- is giving the indication that the investigation of the russian hack, as well as retaliation, might not be such a priority once he is in office. so what do you think the risk is there and are you going to talk to him directly about some of those comments he made? president obama: on the latter point, as i said before, the transition from election season to governing season is not ernance season is not always smooth. it is bumpy.
there are still feelings that are raw out there. there are still people who are thinking about how things unfolded and i get all of that. but when donald trump takes field of office and is sworn in as the 45th president of the united states, he has a different set of responsibilities and considerations. i have said this before. i think there is a sobering process when you walk into the oval office. i've should previously private conversations i have had with the president-elect. i will say they have been cordial and in some cases, have involved me making some specific suggestions about how to ensure that regardless of obvious disagreements about policy,
maybe i can transmit some thoughts about maintaining the effectiveness, integrity, cohesion of the office, our various democratic institutions, and he has listened. i can't say he will end up implementing, but the conversations themselves have been cordial, as opposed to defensive in any way. and i will always make myself available to him, just as previous presidents have made themselves available to me as issues come up. with respect to the fbi, i will tell you that i have had a chance to know a lot of young agents. i know director comey. they take their job seriously. they work really hard. they help keep us safe.
and save a lot of lives. and it is always a challenge for law enforcement when there is an intersection between the work that they are doing and the political system. it is one of the difficulties of democracy, generally. we have a system where we want our law enforcement investigators and our prosecutors to be free from politics, to be independent, to play it straight. but sometimes that involves investigations that touch on politics and particularly in this hyper-partisan environment we have been in, everything is suspect. everything you do one way or another.
one thing that i have done is to be pretty scrupulous about not ng into -- wadi investigation decisions or prosecution decisions or decisions not to prosecute. i have tried to be strict in my own behavior about preserving the independence of law enforcement, free from my own judgments and political assessments in some cases. and i don't know why would stop -- i've -- i would stop now. mike, of bloomberg. reporter: thank you, mr. president. on aleppo, your views of what happened there, responsibilities of the russian government, the iranian government, the assad regime.
you have pretty well aired. but do you as president of the united states, leader of the free world feel any personal , moral responsibility now at the end of your presidency for the carnage we are all watching, which i am sure disturbs you. secondly, on aleppo, europe made clear your made practical disagreements -- and president-elect has, throughout his campaign and again last -- do you feel in this transition, you need to help them towards implementing that? was that not something you should be doing? president obama: mike, i always feel responsible. i felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers. i felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced.
i feel responsible for murder and slaughter that has taken place in south sudan that is not on, partlyted because there is not as much social media being generated from there. there are places around the world where horrible things are happening and because of my office, because i am president of the united states, i feel responsible. i ask myself every single day, is there something i could do that would save lives and make a difference? and spare some child who doesn't deserve to suffer. so that's a starting point. there's not a moment during the course of this presidency were i haven't felt some responsibility. that is true, by the way, for our own country.
when i came into office and people were losing their jobs and losing their homes and losing their pensions, i felt responsible. and i would go home at night and i would ask myself, was there something better that i could do or smarter that i could be that would make a difference in their lives? that would relieve their suffering and relief their -- relieve their hardship. so with respect to syria, what i have consistently done is taken the best course that i can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long-term national security interests of the united states. and throughout this process, based on hours of meetings, if
you tallied up days or weeks of meetings where we went through every option in painful detail with maps and we had our military and we had our aid agencies and we had our diplomatic teams. sometimes we would bring in outsiders who were critics of ours. whenever we went through it, the challenge was, short of putting large numbers of troops on the ground, uninvited, without any international law mandate, without sufficient support from congress, at a time when we still have troops in afghanistan and still have troops in iraq and had just gone through a
decade of war and spent trillions of dollars and when the opposition on the ground was not cohesive enough to necessarily govern a country and you had a military superpower in russia prepared to do whatever it took to keep its client-state involved and you had a regional military power in iran that saw their own vital strategic interests at stake and were willing to send in as many of their people or proxies to support the regime, and in that circumstance, unless we were all in and willing to take over syria, we were going to have problems, and that everything else was tempting because we wanted to do something and it sounded like the right thing to do, but it was going to be impossible to do this on the
cheap. and in that circumstance, i have to make decision as president of the united states as to what is best -- i'm sorry. what's going on? somebody's not feeling good? all right. why don't we have -- we got -- we can get our doctors back there to help out. somebody want to go to my doctor's office and just have them -- all right. where was i? so we couldn't do it on the cheap. now, it may be -- >> can we get a doctor in here? can that be arranged? president obama: can somebody help out, please, and get doc
you guys know where the doctor's office is? so just go through the palm doors. it's right next to the map room. there he is. all right. there's doc jackson. ok. the doctor's in the house. so -- and i don't mean that -- i mean that with all sincerity. i understand the impulse to want to do something, but ultimately what i've had to do was to think about, what can we sustain, what is realistic? and my first priority has to be,
what's the right thing to do for america? and it has been our view that the best thing to do has been to provide some support to the moderate opposition so that they could sustain themselves and that you wouldn't see anti-assad regime sentiments just pouring moderate opposition so that they could sustain themselves and into al-nusra and al qaeda or isil and we engage our partners in order to put pressure on all the parties involved and to try to resolve this through diplomatic and political means. i cannot claim that we have been successful, and so that's something that, as is true with a lot of issues and problems around the world, i have to go
to bed with every night. but i continue to believe that it was the right approach given what realistically we could get done. absent a decision, as i said, to go into much more significant way, and that i think would not have been sustainable or good for the american people because we had a whole host of other obligations that we also had to meet, wars we had already started and that were not yet finished. with respect to the issue of safe zones, it is a continued problem, a continued challenge with safe zones. as if you are setting up those
zones on syrian territory, then that requires some force that is willing to maintain that territory in the absence of consent from the syrian government and now the russians or the iranians. it may be that with aleppo's tragic situation unfolding that in the short term, if we can get more of the tens of thousands who are still trapped there out, that so long as the world's eyes are on them and they are feeling pressure, the regime and russia concludes that they are willing to find some arrangement,
even that will probably be temporary, but at least it solves a short-term issue that's going to arise. unfortunately, we are not even there yet because right now, we have russians and assad claiming that basically all the innocent civilians who were trapped in aleppo are out when international organizations, humanitarian organizations who know better and who are on the ground said unequivocally there are hundreds of thousands who are trapped and are prepared to leave under any conditions. right now our biggest priority is to put pressure wherever we can to try to get them out. ok. reporter: notwithstanding -- president obama: mike, i can't have too much -- reporter: responsibility notwithstanding -- to move in that direction and help president trump -- president obama: i will help president trump with advice, counsel, information that we can provide so that he, once he's sworn in, can make a decision. between now and then, these are decisions that i have to make based on the consultations that i have with our military and the people who have been working this every single day. peter alexander. peter: mr. president, thank you very much. can you, given all the
intelligence we have now heard, assure the public this was once and for all a free and fair election? and specifically on russia, do you feel any obligation now as they have been insisting that this isn't the case, to show the proof that it was, put your money where your mouth is and declassify some of the intelligence, some of the evidence that exists and as it relates to donald trump on this very topic, are you concerned about his relationship with vladimir putin, especially given some of the recent cabinet picks, including his selection for secretary of state, rex tillerson, who toasted putin with champagne over oil deals? president obama: i may be getting older because the multipart questions, i start losing track. [laughter] i can assure the public there -- they don't innovate. but they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. they can impact us if we abandon our values. mr. putin can weaken us, just like he is trying to weaken europe, if we start buying into notions that it is ok to intimidate the press or lock up dissidents, or discriminate
against people because of their faith or what they look like. and what i worry about more than anything is the degree to which, because of the fierceness of the partisan battle, you have started to see certain folks in the republican party and republican voters suddenly finding a government and individuals who stand contrary to everything we stand for, as being ok because that's how much we dislike democrats. i mean, think about it. some of the people who have historically been very critical of me for engaging with the russians and having
conversations with them also endorsed the president-elect, even as he was saying that we should stop sanctioning russia and being tough on them and work together with them. against our common enemies, and was very complementary of mr. putin personally. that wasn't news. the president-elect, during the campaign, said so. and some folks who had made a career out of being anti-russian didn't say anything about it. and then after the elections, suddenly they are asking, why didn't you tell us that maybe the russians were trying to help our candidate? come on.
there was a survey some of you saw where -- now this is just one poll, but a pretty credible source. 37% of republican voters approve of putin. over one third of republican voters approve of vladimir putin, the former head of the kgb. ronald reagan would roll over in his grave. and how did that happen? it happened, in part, because for too long, everything that happened in this town, everything that is said is seen through this -- does this help us or hurt us relative to democrats or relative to
president obama? and unless that changes, we are going to continue to be vulnerable to foreign influence because we have lost track of what it is we are about and what we stand for. with respect to the president-elect's appointments, it is his prerogative, as i have always said, to appoint who he thinks can best carry out his foreign-policy or his domestic policy, it is up to the senate to advise and consent. there will be plenty of time for members of the senate to go through the record of all his appointees and determine whether or not they are appropriate for the job. reporter: mr. president, i want
to talk about vladimir putin again. just to be clear, do you believe vladimir putin himself authorized this hack and he authorized that to help donald trump? and on the intelligence, one of the thing donald trump cites is saddam hussein and the weapons of mass destruction, that they were never found. can you say unequivocally that this was not china, that this was not a 400 pound guy sitting on his bed as donald trump says, and do these types of tweets and statements from donald trump embolden russia? president obama: when the report comes out before i leave office, that will have drawn together all of the threats.
and so i don't want to step on their work ahead of time. what i can tell you is with the intelligence i have seen, gives me great confidence in their assessment that the russians carried out this hack. the hack of the dnc and the hack of john podesta. me great confidence in their now, the -- but again, i think this is why i want to report out, so everyone can review it. and this has been briefed and the evidence in closed session, has been provided on a bipartisan basis, not just to me, it has been provided to the leaders of the house and senate and the chairman and ranking members of the relative committees. and what you have already seen is some of the folks who have seen the evidence don't dispute the basic assessment that the russians carried this out. reporter: but --
pres. obama: well, martha, i think what i want to make sure of is, i give the intelligence community the chance to gather all the information. but i make the larger point, which is -- not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. this is a pretty hierarchical operation. last i checked, there is not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the united states. we have said, and i will confirm, that this happened at the highest levels of the russian government and i will let you make that determination as to whether there are high
level russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the u.s. elections without vladimir putin knowing about it. >> so i wouldn't be wrong in saying the president thinks vladimir putin partook in the russian hack? president obama: i said what i am going to say. your second question? reporter: do tweets and statements by donald trump embolden russia? president obama: i think the president-elect is still in transition mode from campaign to governance. he hasn't gotten his whole team together yet, he still has campaign spokespersons sort of filling in and appearing on cable shows, there is just a whole different attitude and vibe when you are not in power as when you are in power. rather than me characterizing
the appropriate or inappropriateness of what he is doing at the moment, i think what we have to see is how will the president-elect operate and how will his team operate when they have been fully briefed on all of these issues, they have their hands on all the levers of government and they have to start making decisions. one way i do believe that the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan, independent process that gives the american people an assurance that not only votes are counted properly, the
elections are fair and free, but we have learned lessons about how internet propaganda from foreign countries can be released into the political bloodstream and we have got strategies to deal with it for the future. the more this can be nonpartisan, the better served the american people are going to be. which is why i made the point earlier, and i am going to keep repeating this point, our vulnerability to russia or any other foreign power is directly related to how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is.
that's the thing that makes us vulnerable. if fake news that is being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it's not surprising that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect. because it doesn't seem that far-fetched compared to some of the other stuff folks are hearing from domestic propagandists. to the extent that our political dialogue is such where everything is under suspicion, everyone is corrupt, and everyone is doing things for
partisan reasons and all of our institutions are full of malevolent actors. if that's the storyline that is being put out there by whatever party is out of power, then when a foreign government introduces that same argument with facts that are made up, voters who have been listening to that stuff for years, who have been getting that stuff every day from talk radio or other venues, they are going to believe it. so, if we want to really reduce foreign influence on our elections, then we had better think about how to make sure that our political process, our political dialogue is stronger
than it has been. mark? reporter: thank you, mr. president. i wonder if i can move you from russia to china for a moment. president obama: absolutely. reporter: the president-elect spoke with the president of taiwan over the phone briefly and declared he wasn't sure why the united states needed to be bound by the one china policy. he suggested it to be used as a bargaining chip for more cooperation with china or north korea. just today, the chinese have evidently seized and underwater drone in the south china sea. do you agree our china policy could use a fresh set of eyes and what is the big deal about having a short phone call with the president of taiwan? or do you worry that these kinds of unorthodox approaches are
setting us on a collision course with our greatest geopolitical adversary? president obama: i am somewhere in between. i think all of our foreign policy should be subject to fresh eyes. i have said this before. i am very proud of the work i have done and i am a better president now than when i started, but if you are here for eight years in the bubble, you start seeing things a certain way and you benefit from the -- democracy benefits, america benefits from new perspectives. and i think it should be, not just the prerogative, but the obligation of a new president to examine everything that has been done and what doesn't. that is what i'd did when i came in and am assuming any new president would undertake the same exercise.
given how much is at stake in terms of the world economy, national security, our presence in the asian pacific, china's increasing role in international affairs, there is probably no bilateral relationship that and whererobably -- there is also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into full conflict mode, that everyone is worse off. i think it is fine for him to take a look at it. what i have advised the president-elect is that across policy, you foreign
want to make sure that you are --ng it in a systemic systematic, and intentional way. since there is only one president at a time, my advice that before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments, other than the , that hertesy calls should want to have his full team in place, that he should want his team to be fully briefed on what's gone on in the past and where the potential pitfalls may be, where the opportunities are, what we've learned from eight years of experience so that as he's then maybe taking foreign policy in a new direction, he's got all the information to make good decisions, and by the way, that all of government is moving at the same time and singing from the same hymnal.
and with respect to china -- and let's just take the example of taiwan, there has been a longstanding agreement essentially between china and the united states, and to some agree the taiwanese, which is to not change the status quo. taiwan operates differently than mainland china does. china views taiwan as part of china, but recognizes that it has to approach taiwan as an entity that has its own ways of doing things.
obama: the taiwanese have agreed that as long as they're able to continue to function with some agree of autonomy, that they won't charge forward and declare independence. and that status quo, although not completely satisfactory to any of the parties involved, has kept the peace and allowed the taiwanese to be a pretty successful economy and -- of people who have a high agree of self-determination. what i understand for china, the issue of taiwan is as important as anything on their docket.
the idea of one china is at the heart of their conception as a nation. and so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what the consequences because the chinese will not treat that the way they'll treat some other issues. they won't even treat it the way they issues around the south china sea, where we've had a lot of tensions. this goes to the core of how they see themselves. and their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant. that doesn't mean that you have to adhere to everything that's been done in the past, but you have to think it through and have planned for potential reactions that they may engage in. all right. isaac dovere, politico.
question: thank you mr. president. two questions on where this all leaves us. obama: what leaves us? where my presidency leaves us? it leaves us in a really good spot. (laughter) obama: if we make some good decisions going forward. question: what do you say to the electors who are going to meet on monday and are thinking of changing their votes? do you think they should be given an intelligence briefing about the russian activity or should they bear in mind everything you have said and have said already -- should they -- should votes be bound by the state votes as they've gone? and long-term, do you think that there is need for electoral college reform that was tied to the popular vote? obama: sounded like two but really was one. (laughter) obama: i love how these start. i've got two questions, but each one has four parts. (laughter) question: on the democratic party, your labor secretary is
running for -- to be the chair of the democratic national committee. is the vision that you've seen him putting forward what you think the party needs to be focused on? and what do you think about the complaint that say that the future democratic committee shouldn't be a continuation of some of your political approach? part of that is complaints that decisions that you have made as president and leader of the party has structurally weakened the dnc and the democratic party and they think that that has led to or has help lead to some of the losses in elections around the country. do you regret any of those decisions? president obama: i'll take the second one first and say that tom perez has been, i believe one of the best secretaries of labor in our history. he is
tireless. he is wicked smart. he has been able to work across the spectrum of you know, labor, business, activists. he has produced. i mean, if you look at his body of work on behalf of working people, what he's pushed for in terms of making sure that workers get a fair deal, decent wages, better benefits, that their safety is protected on the job. he has been extraordinary. now others who have declared are also my friends and fine people as well. and the great thing is, i don't have a vote in this. so - so - so we'll let the process unfold, i don't think it's going to happen any time soon. i
described to you earlier what i think needs to happen, which is that the democratic party, whether that's entirely through him -- the dnc or through rebuilding of state parties, or some other arrangement, has to work at the grassroots level, has to be present in all 50 states, has to have a presence in counties. has to think about message and how we are speaking directly to voters. i will say this, and i'm not going to engage in too much punditry. but that i could not be prouder of the coalition that i put together in my -- each of my campaigns. because it was inclusive and it drew in people who normally weren't interested
in politics and didn't participate. but i'd like to think -- i think i can show that in those elections, i always cast a broad net. i always said first and foremost we're americans, that we have a common creed, that there's more that we share than divides us. and i want to talk to everybody and get a chance to get everybody's vote. i still believe what i said in 2004 which is this red state-blue thing is a construct. now it is a construct that has gotten more and more powerful for a whole lot of reasons from gerrymandering, to big money, to a way that the media is splintered. and so people are just watching
what reinforces their existing biases as opposed to having to listen to different points of view. so there are all kinds of reasons for it. but outside the realm of electoral politics, i still see people the way i saw them when i made that speech, full of contradictions and some regional differences but basically, folks care about their families. they care about having meaningful work. they care about making sure their kids have more opportunity than they did. they want to be safe. they want to feel like things are fair. and whoever leads the dnc and any candidate with the
democratic brand going forward, i want them to feel as if they can reach out and find that common ground and speak to all of america. and that requires some organization. and you're right that -- and i said this in my earlier remarks, that what i was able to do during my campaigns, i wasn't able to do during midterms. it's not that we didn't put in time and effort into it. i spent time and effort into it. but the coalition i put together didn't always turn out to be transferable. and the challenge is that -- you know, some of that just has to do with the fact that when you are in the party in power and people are going through hard times like they were in 2010, they are going to punish to some degree the president's party regardless of what organizational work is done.
some of it has to do with just some deep standing traditional challenges for democrats like during off-year elections the electorate is older and we do better with the younger electorate. but we know those things are true. and i didn't crack the code on that. and if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, i'm all for it. so with respect to the electors, i'm not going to wade into that issue. because, again, it's the american people's job and now electors' job to decide my successor. it is not my job to decide my successor. and i have provided people with a lot of information about what happened during the course of the election, but more importantly, the candidates themselves i think talked about their beliefs and their vision for america.
the president-elect i think has been very explicit what he cares about and what he believes in. and so it's not in my hands now, it's up to them. question: what about long term about the electoral college? obama: long term with respect to the electoral college, the electoral college is a vestige, it's a carry-over from an earlier vision of how our federal government was going to work that put a lot of premium on states, and it used to be that the senate was not elected directly, it was through state legislatures. and it's the same type of thinking that gives wyoming two senators and -- with about half a million people and
california with 33 million get the same two. so there's -- there are some structures in our political system as envisioned by the founders that sometimes are going to disadvantage democrats, but the truth of the matter is is that if we have a strong message, if we're speaking to what the american people care about, typically, the popular vote and the electoral college vote will align. and i guess -- i guess part of my overall message here as i leave for the holidays is that if we look for one explanation or one silver bullet or one easy fix for our politics, then we're
probably going to be disappointed. there are just a lot of factors in what's lot of factors in what's happened, not just over the last few months, but over the last decade that has made both politics and governance more challenging. and i think everybody's raised legitimate questions and legitimate concerns. i do hope that we all just take some time, take a breath, that's certainly what i'm going to advise democrats, to just reflect a little bit more about how can we -- how can we get to
a place where people are focused on working together based on at least some common set of facts? how can we have a conversation about policy that doesn't demonize each another? how can we channel what i think is the basic decency and goodness of the american people so it reflects itself in our politics, as opposed to it being so polarized and so nasty that in some cases, you have voters and unelected officials who have more confidence and faith in a foreign adversary than they have in their neighbors?
and those go to some bigger issues. how is it that we have some voters or some elected officials who think that michelle obama's healthy eating initiative and school nutrition program is a greater threat to democracy than, you know, our government going after the press if they're issuing a story they don't like? i mean, that's -- that's an issue that i think, you know, we've got to -- we've got to wrestle with. and we will. people have asked me how you feel after the election and so forth and i say well, look, this is a clarifying moment. it's a useful reminder that voting
counts, politics counts. what the president- elect is going to be doing is gonna be very different than what i was doing and i think people will be able to compare and contrast and make judgments about what worked for the american people. and i hope that building off the progress we've made, that what the president-elect is proposing works. what i can say with confidence is that what we've done works. that i can prove. i can show you where we were in 2008 and i can show you where we are now. and you can't argue that we are not better off, we are. and for that, i thank the american people and then more importantly i thank -- well, not importantly, as importantly -- i was going to say josh earnest...
(laughter) president obama: -- for doing such a great job. for that, i thank the american people, i thank the men and women in uniform who serve. i haven't gotten to the point yet where i've been overly sentimental. i will tell you that when i was doing my last christmas party photo -- i know many of you have participated in these, they're pretty long. right at the end of the line, the president's marine corps band comes in, those who have been performing. and i take a picture with them. and that was the last time that i was going to take a picture with my marine corps band after an event. and i got a little choked up. now i was in front of marines so i had to like tamp it down. but it was just one small example of all of the people who have contributed to our success. i am responsible for where we've screwed up, the successes are widely shared with all of the amazing people who have been part of this administration.
ok? thank you, everybody. mele kalikimaka! >> today, ohio state university is the site of a public celebration of the life of john glenn. the former u.s. astronaut and senator died december 8 at the age of 95. the service and our live coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern. at 4:00, we will be live as donald trump speaks at a victory rally in mobile, alabama. watch both events here on c-span. arizona representative elect andy biggs spoke with c-span for a house freshmen profile interview. he was elected to the fifth
congressional district in november 2016. prior to winning the u.s. house seat, he served in the arizona senate and house. representative elect andy biggs representing the fifth district. you are replacing a republican who has a long history. what advice if any did he give you? friend.is a good he has represented the district well for five terms. his advice was to be myself. represent the constituents interests and really remember where i am coming from. and i have lived there for 30 years and i am in arizona native. i know the district pretty well. matt is right there still if i need help. he will respond anytime. >> what is your background? attorney, i am
retired. i have served the last 14 years in the arizona state legislature. the last six in the state senate. for the last four years i have been the state senate president. i guess that is the immediate background. >> what about that experience do you think well help you in this job out here in washington? >> for one thing, i am really familiar with the legislative process. we just attended a meeting on rules and although the rules are somewhat different, the process remains the same and that is helpful. the other thing is that being the author of the arizona budget for the last six years, one thing i know is how to work with people from the virgin viewpoints -- from divergent viewpoints to get something done. looking at congress and my constituency, people want to see
things get done in a positive way. that does not mean i will go into an isolated shell. >> what is on your agenda? >> the most important thing for members of my district would be regulatory reform. we have small and large businesses in my district and they would like to expand though they are being hampered by regulations. it is a drag on my district economically. everything from epa, clean air regulations shutting down one of our power plants that impacts our district. the other thing people talked about was budget. everyone is series sensitive to the fact that we have a massive national debt. whatare concerned about the direction of the country is going to be. the third thing would be wrapped up in the idea of national security and order enforcement being on a border state. there arewers know
factions within the republican party out here including the house freedom caucus -- that is one name they know. do you plan to join that group and if so why? >> i would be honored if they asked me to join. they have not. but if they do, i would be happy to join. one of the cofounders of the freedom caucus. the other thing my legislative experience tells me is that i know where i am and i know what my belief system is. it is good to have others that share that believe system. in a place where there are so many people, sometimes you need to leverage that up a little bit. but at the same time, i know how to get things done and work with anyone that will help me get the stuff done that i believe is important to the nation and to my district. >> you also are a lottery winner. the clearinghouse winner with a $10 million jackpot. is that right? >> there were two sweepstakes at
the time. the one you hear about on tv with the prize patrol. and then there was another one called the american family publishers with edmund dan and dick clark. won.is the one i it was $10 million. they did not come out with loons and eight check. they notified me by fedex. i have been very blessed. >> is that experience change you? you if ithat impact all in this job? i will be honest with you, i don't think anyone can go through that without being impacted. it did impact me and my family. but really, it did not change as too much. -- it did not change us too much. we still live in the same town, we have the same friends.
we have the same places of worship. i guess i would say that i know how to stay grounded when people are really looking at you. believe me, people were really looking at me for a while after we won that sweepstakes. i think i have learned how to stay grounded with the family. >> tell us about your family. >> i have been married to cindy. we met on a blind date at a political event and we have been married for 35 years. we have six children. only one left at home. the other five are all out of the house doing their thing and four of them live on the east coast doing different things. we have four grandchildren as well. >> will your wife and your remaining child join you here in washington? is a junior inld high school and she is really
reticent to leave behind the friends that she has made. and she loves her school. commitment is to get back every weekend if at all possible and when i am here, i will be working as long and as hard as i need to to get the work done. >> where would you be living here in washington? >> one of my kids and i will probably move together into one of the suburbs of d.c. >> no sleeping on the couch in your office. >> no plans to do that. >> what committee would you want to work on? >> judiciary at this point. -- i think irs have an expertise in international relations and foreign affairs. i have been recruited to be on the science committee which i think might be interesting. natural resources are hugely
important to arizona. but my wheelhouse is really judiciary. out here, yours short time out here with these orientation meetings and setting up an office, what have you been told that may have surprised you or stays with you as you serve this new job? >> we have been told a lot. i am not sure how much has stayed with me because we have had a lot. i think what is really important and we find it at every level. atound it in my experience the state. is how you treat people and the relationships that you form and that you must always be honest. 100% honest in everything you do. if you do that, you will be in good stead. >> representative andy biggs. we appreciate your time. >> thank you so much. glad to be with you. >>
, live, your calls and comments a memorial service for john glenn. president-elect donald trump speaks at a victory rally in mobile, alabama. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, this evening just before 7:00 p.m. eastern, providence college history examines patrick green the life of nat turner, the slave rebellion he led in 1831, and the confusion and uncertainty among the blacks and whites in the aftermath. embodied the dramatic differences that existed in the black community as some including artists decided to support the revolt while others elected to support the whites. lectures inn
history, the university of theland ted arena king on evolution of advertising and marketing as a profession in the early 20th century and how consumer experiences have changed over time. >> instead of selling an automobile as a means of transportation, you can sell a car as prestige. >> just before 9:00, historian todd discusses the post world war ii of two templates are winning editorial cartoonist bill malden, and army cartoonist. >> he had avoided ideological outbursts and he never allow partisan politics into his cartoons. back home however, he jumped into the political fray with both feet. >> and on sunday on american artifacts -- >> one of my favorite documents in the gallery is a draft
version of what became the bill of rights. the senate took 17 amendments passed by the house. committeenference there were 12 amendments sent to the state for ratification. and 10 of the 12 were ratified by the state. >> christine and jennifer johnson took a tour of the archive exhibit marking the anniversary of the ratification of the bill of rights. for a complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. morning, chris uber, republican member of the electoral college from texas explained why he will not vote for donald trump when the college meets on monday. later, former colorado lieutenant governor joe garcia, president of the western interstate commission for higher education talks about a new report on high school graduation
rates and why that number is expected to decline in 2017. ought -- as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal is next. ♪ >> good morning. it is saturday, december 17, 2016. in the headlines, president barack obama if his end-of-the-year press conference yesterday where he highlighted the achievements of his eight years in the white house as well as addressed his biggest challenges during that time. the issue of russian computer hacks before the presidential election dominated the press conference and the president lays the blame for the cyber intrusion on the rusan