tv C-SPAN Presents Profiles of Trump Administration Cabinet Officials CSPAN April 25, 2017 3:53am-6:18am EDT
biographies of all 45 presidents. find out more about it at c-span.org/classroom. announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. c-span was created as a public service by america's cable and television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: with the first 100 days of the trump administration approaching, c-span takes a look cabinet,esident's which includes the seniormost appointed officials in the executive branch. we begin our program with attorney general jeff sessions, who was announced as the nominee on november 18, and confirmed by the full senate 52-47 on february 8.after working for a number of years as u.s. attorney for the southern district of alabama,
mr. sessions was nominated to be a federal judge by ronald reagan but was rejected by the senate judiciary committee. jeff sessions later served as alabama attorney general and spent 20 years in the u.s. senate. here's a portion of his confirmation hearing from january. >> the attorney general of the united states is, of course, the nation's chief law enforcement officer. he or she is not the president's lawyer, nor is he the president's wingmen, as attorney general holder described himself. rather, he or she has an independent obligation to the constitution, and to the american people. i know you care deeply about this foundational principle, so i am going to ask you a question i have heard you ask other nominees for attorney general. occasionally, you will be called upon to offer an opinion to the
president who appointed you. you will have to tell him yes or no. sometimes presidents don't like to be told no. so i would like to know, will you be able to stand up and say no to the president of the united states, is in your judgment the law in your duty demands it? the reason i ask that is because i know you worked very hard with the president elect. >> mr. chairman, i understand the importance of your question. i understand the responsibility of the attorney general. and i will do so. you simply have to help the president do things that he might desire in a lawful way and have to be able to say no, before the country, the legal system, and for the president to avoid situations that are not acceptable. i understand that duty. i have observed it through my years here. i will facilitate responsibility. >> so my colleagues don't think
i'm taking advantage of time, somebody start the clock. oh, ok. the light isn't working, i'm sorry. so i heard what you said, but just to emphasize, let me follow up. if you disagree with the president's chosen course of andon, and you told him so, he intends to pursue that course of action anyway, what are your options at that point? anmr. chairman, i think attorney general should first work with the president, can hopefully that attorney general would have the confidence of the president and avoid a situation that would be unacceptable. i do believe that if an attorney general is asked to do something that is plainly unlawful, he cannot participate in that, and that person would have to resign
ultimately before agreeing to execute a policy that the attorney general believes would be unlawful or unconstitutional. i think mr. chairman that there are areas that are rightly clear and right, areas that may be gray, and areas that are unacceptable. a good attorney general needs to know where those lines are to help the president, where possible, and to resist improper, unacceptable actions. >> you served in this department for 14 or 15 years. you served as your state's attorney general. and of course you serve on this committee for a long time. we have oversight over the department that you had. you have done that over 20 years. i have had my share of disagreements of the department's leadership over the last few years. some of those were purely policy disagreements, but some issues were especially troubling to me
the department failed to perform fundamental functions to enforce the law. as attorney general, day in and day out, you will be faced with difficult and sometimes thorny legal problems. what will your approach be to ensuring that the department enforces the law, and more broadly, what is your vision for the department? >> mr. chairman, the ultimate responsibility of the attorney general and the department of justice is to execute the laws passed by this congress and to follow the constitution in that process. you can be sure that i understand that. we may have had disagreements about whether the law should be passed but once passed i will do my dead level best to ensure it is properly and fairly enforced.
ado believe that we have problem -- i won't go into it unless you want me to -- to describe what we can do to address that. there are other challenges this country faces. i would be pleased to recognize the influence of the legislative thech and to welcome insights that you might have. >> that's a very important issue with me and i suppose every colleague here. let me emphasize by saying, is it fair to say, then, that regardless of what your position may have been as a legislator, your approach as attorney general will be to enforce the law regardless of policy differences? >> absolutely, mr. chairman. i don't think i have any hesitation or any lack of an ability to separate the roles that i have had, to go from the executive -- from the legislative branch to the
executive branch, is a transfer of not only position, but of the way you approach issues. i would be an executive function on enforcement of the laws this great legislative body might pass. >> as you know, the department of justice has at its heart the career prosecutor and attorney core that staffs it. on social media, conservative bloggers are circulating names of career attorneys in the department who they say should be demoted or reassigned because of positions they argued under attorney general holder and lynch. one commentator for the heritage foundation has made the comparison to filth within the department of justice and said you need to run rivers through the department and wash out the
agency from top to bottom, and you yourself have criticized department attorneys for being secular. now that was as recently as november. now in rhode island, we have a long tradition back to roger williams of separating church and state, and as an attorney general and u.s. attorney, we also have a tradition of allowing career attorneys to follow the policy dictates of other administrations and not holding the career people responsible for that. i am wondering how you will react to this. do you have a problem with career attorneys? if their private, religious goiefs are secular ones that -- secular ones? and will you support the career attorneys against the pressure
from these right-wing organization seeking to wash them out like filth, to paraphrase the heritage foundation. >> the department of justice is composed primarily of career professionals, as you know , senator whitehouse. you served a believe there as u.s. attorney, and i give them highest respect. most of those attorneys reach high standards and they are willing to follow lawful orders and directions from their superiors, even if they might have a different philosophy. i do think it it is often that they are put into non-career spots. you can go back to career spots, but i don't know how exactly that works, so you would normally expect, and i am sure the obama administration made changes in the leadership of the department.
they put career people in positions they thought would be most advantageous for them to advance the causes they believed in, and that is sort of within the rules of the game, but the to target people and demean them if they are fine public servants, following the law, and carrying out the legitimate policy of their supervisors would be wrong, and we should respect them. >> does a secular attorney have anything to fear from attorney general sessions in the department of justice? >> no, and i use that word at the 90,000 foot level. a little concern i have that we as a nation are reaching a level in which truth is not sufficiently respected, that the very ideal, the idea of truth is not believed to be real, and that all of life is just a matter of your perspective and my perspective, which i think is contrary to the american heritage. let's just say -- we are not a theocracy. nobody should be required to believe anything. i share thomas jefferson's
words, and i think we should respect people's views and not demand any kind of religious test for holding office. >> a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious? >> well, i'm not sure. in what method? >> an attorney would bring to bear -- >> let me just say, we will treat anybody with different views fairly and objectively, and the ideal of truth and trying to achieve the right solution to me is an important goal of the american jurisprudential system, actually our legislative system. what is the right thing? what is the truth? and let's act on it and do the right thing. >> a little over a month after winning the presidential election, donald trump chose rex
tillerson for secretary of state . he was confirmed by the senate 56-43 on february 1. mr. tillerson spent his entire professional career at exxon mobil, starting at the company in 1975 as a production engineer and rising through the ranks to eventually become chairman and ceo. there is a portion of his confirmation hearing before the senate foreign relations committee. >> i have found the russians to be very strategic in their thinking, very tactical, and they generally have a very clear plan that they have laid before them, so in terms of when i make the statement they are not unpredictable, if, if one is able to step back and understand what their long-term motivation is, and you see they are going to chart a course, then it is an understanding of how are they likely to carry that plan out, and where are all the elements of that plan that are on the table? in my view, the leadership of
russia has a plan. it is a geographic plan that is in front of them, and they are taking actions to implement that plan. they are judging responses and then making the next step in the plan based on the response in that regard. they are not unpredictable. if russia does not receive an adequate response to an action, they will execute the next step of the plan. >> give me some specifics and summarize that plan you see they have. >> well, russia more than anything wants to reestablish its role in the global world order. they have a view that following the breakup of the soviet union they were mistreated in some respects in the transition period. they believe they deserve a rightful role in the world global order because they are a nuclear power, and they are searching as how to establish
that, and for most of the past 20 plus years since the demise of the soviet union, they were not in a position to assert that. they have spent all of these years developing the capability to do that, and i think that is now what we are witnessing, an assertion on their part in order to force a conversation about what is russia's role in the global world order, and some of the steps being taking are simply to make that point, that russia is here, russian matters, and we are a force to be dealt with, and that is a fairly predictable course of action they are taking. i think the important conversation we have to have with them is, does russia want to now and forever be an adversary of the united states? do you want this to get worse, or does russia desire a different relationship? we are not likely to ever be friends. as others have noted, our values systems are starkly different
and we did not hold the same values, but i also know the russian people because of having spent so many years in russia. there is scope to define a different relationship that can bring down the temperature around the conflicts we have today. as secretary gates alluded to an secretary none of diluted to in their opening remarks, dialogue is critical so these things do not spin out of control. we need to move russia from being an adversary always to a partner at times, and on other issues, we will be adversaries. it is not unlike my comments on china, at times china is friendly, and at times an
adversary, but with russia, engagement is necessary to define what is that relationship going to be, and then we will know how to chart our own plan of action to respond to that. >> in my mind, if i take a look at the spectrum of america's relationship to different nations, you have friends and allies, friendly rivals, unfriendly adversaries, enemies, and right now you are basically putting russia in the unfriendly adversary category? >> well, unfriendly to enemies. i think at this point, they are clearly in the unfriendly adversary category. i hope they do not move to enemy , because that would imply more direct conflict with one another. >> you do not hold out much help that we can move them into the friendly rival category? maybe partners where we have mutual interests? >> i tend to think in three categories, they are our friends, our partners, and adversaries. at times, certainly our friends are partners from time to time on specific actions. our adversaries from time to time can be partners, but on other issues, we are not going
to agree, so we remain adversaries. an adversary at the ideological level is one thing. and adversary at the direct conflict level, that is very different. >> i want to switch subjects are little bit. i agree with former senator nunn , your background and your relationship with putin is an asset coming into this position. i come from the private sector. i think that perspective is sorely needed. i don't think we have enough from people from the private sector. i think economic strength is inextricably linked to national strength. your background traveling the world, i know i ask you -- how many countries have you traveled to? >> i have never counted them up. i would say 40-50. i have never counted them. >> how many countries have you done deals with?
where you dealt with top leadership? >> i have never counted those, but it is certainly probably between 10-20 where i was directly engaged in a significant way. >> let me ask you as someone from the private sector being asked to serve your nation, i understand you will be going through processes like this, understanding all the disclosure, leaving the life behind that i'm sure you value. what was your greatest reservation saying, yes. >> senator, when i went to all the analysis come all the reasons i had for saying no, which is your question, were also as reasons, so i had no reason to say no. >> you obviously had a responsibility as the ceo of exxon mobil, a fiduciary responsibility. your role is going to change. do you have any reservation come
-- reservation, and can you just describe what your mindset is from making that transition? >> senator, i have no reservations about my clean break with my private sector life. it was a wonderful 41.5 year career and i am extraordinarily proud of it. i learned an awful lot, but now i am moving to a completely different responsibility. my love of country and my patriotism is going to dictate that i serve no one's interests but that of the american people in advancing our own national security. >> as you have traveled the world with the business mindset, working at developing projects around the world, obviously you are hearing from people around the world. former president carter in june 2015 was commenting on president obama's foreign policy, and here are some excerpts from his quotes. he said he can't think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship then
when president obama took over. the united states' influence and prestige is probably lower than it was six years ago. is that your sense as you travel around the world, that our power, influence, prestige, respect is lower, that we have not developed better relationships around the world? >> i don't know i remember if i shared it with you in the meeting we had. i know i shared it with others in meetings. in many respects, i spent the last 10 years on an unintended listening tour as i traveled about the world conducting affairs, engaging with top leadership, heads of state in many of these countries, and i have had the opportunity to listen to them express their frustrations, their fears, the concerns, as to the withdrawal and stepping back of america's leadership, the lack of that engagement, and they are yearning and want american leadership reasserted, and when i met with the president-elect
and we were meeting about his ultimately asking me to do this, i indicated to him -- i said, mr. president, we have a tough hand of cards that you have been dealt, but i said there is no use whining, complaining, or pointing fingers at anyone. we are just going to play that handout. america still holds all the aces. and that leaders around the world want our engagement. i said, you will be pushing on an open door because people want america to come back. >> since you have worked in one sector for one company throughout your entire career, getting a sense of your worldview is incredibly important since you will be the chief advocate and advisor to the president elect on those issues, so i would like to go through a series of questions. i think many of them can be answered by a simple yes or no. others will probably take greater, more extensive answers, and you alluded to some of this
in your opening statement, so let me go through several of them. do you believe it is in the national interest of the united states to continue to support international laws and norms that were established after world war ii? >> yes, sir. >> do you believe the international order includes respecting the territorial integrity of sovereign countries and the inviability of their >> yes, sir. >> did russia violate this order when it annexed crimea and invaded ukraine? >> yes, it did. >> did russia's occupation of countries by late international -- countries violate international norms? >> i'm not sure which countries you are referring to. >> the annexation of crimea, eastern ukraine, georgia just to mention a few. >> yes, sir. syria'srussia and targeted bombing campaign and aleppo on hospitals violate this international order?
>> yes, that is not acceptable behavior. >> do you believe these actions constitute war crimes? >> again, senator, i don't have sufficient information to make that type of serious conclusion. coming to that conclusion will require me to have additional specific facts. >> you understand what the standard is? >> i do. >> and knowing that standard and all within the realm of public information, you cannot say whether those actions constitute a war crime or not? >> i would not want to rely on what has been reported in the public realm. i would want confirmation from agencies who would be able to present me with into suitable -- present me with indisputable facts. >> if i could, let me ask -- >> if you won't take my time. i will not take your time. it will be added back. if you had sufficient evidence and looking a classified information that that had took in place, with that not be a war -- would that not be a war crime ? >> yes, sir. >> for all these answers you have given me, does the president-elect agree with you?
>> the president-elect and i have not had the opportunity to discuss this specific issue or the specific area. >> in your statement on page three, you say, in his campaign, president-elect trump opposed a bold new commitment to advancing american interest in our foreign policy. i hope to explain what this approach means and how to implement that policy if i am confirmed as secretary of state. so i assume to some degree that you have had some discussion about what it is that worldview is going to be in order to understand whether you are willing to execute that on behalf of the person you are working for? >> in a broad construct and in terms of the principles that will guide that, yes, sir. >> i would have thought that that russia would be at the top of that considering all the actions taking place. that has not happened? >> that has not happened, senator. >> that is amazing. you built a career at exxon mobil that allowed you to engage with world leaders, including
vladimir putin in russia. in 2013, you were awarded with the order of friendship award, and in your conversations come -- conversations, you said you had direct access to the president over your tenure there. then in 2014, exxon mobil lobbied aggressively against sanctions on russia after their invasion of ukraine. exxon lobbied against the stability and democracy for ukraine act. you employed well known washington-based lobbyist to support these efforts. you personally visited the white house and reported you were engaged "at the highest levels of the government." in essence, exxon became the in-house lobbyist for russia against the sanctions, sanctions are one of the most effective diplomatic tools in our arsenal, one we rely on to avoid putting american lives at risk by engaging in traditional kinetic warfare. now today, in response to a previous question, you said
sanctions are a powerful tool, but you have made statements and given speeches where you said you do not believe sanctions are a useful tool, so if sanctions are not a useful tool, have you changed your view? what are the tools of peaceful diplomacy you will use to get countries to return and interact within the international order? what are you going to say to vladimir putin when you said sanctions are bad? >> senator, it is important to acknowledge that when sanctions are imposed, by their design, they are going to harm american business. that is the idea, to disrupt america's business engagement and whatever country is being targeted for sanctions, and so broadly -- >> i don't think it is to disrupt american business. i think it is to disrupt the
economies of those countries. american business may or may not be >> american business -- if america is going to have an influence on disrupting those economies, and the intent behind the sanctions is to disrupt that countries access to american business, investment, money flows, technology, or the financial sectors. so i am only stating a fact. i am not debating it. but the fact is sanctions in order to be implemented do impact american business interests. in protecting america's interests, and i think this is where the president-elect would see the argument as well, sanctions are a powerful tool. let's designed and well, target them well, and then enforce them fully to the extent we can. if we can have other countries join us, and if we are designing sanctions in concert, let's ensure those sanctions apply equally everywhere. >> when you made your remarks, and i have a long list that i
will introduce for the record, you did not differentiate that way. you basically made the broad case that sanctions are not an effective tool. now, i had heard your response now, but in your opening statement, you said "america must continue to display commitment to personal liberty, human dignity, principled action in our foreign policy, and we are the only global superpower with the means and moral compass capable of shipping the world for good." i totally agree and that respect, but mr. tillerson, our efforts leading the international committee on sanctions against our adversaries like iran and north korea represent exactly that, leadership, and a moral compass. it is not about this advantage -- disadvantaging american businesses. it is about putting patriotism over profit. diplomacy is not the same as dealmaking. diplomacy and there isn't necessarily something to trade.
this is how we were able to build an extensive and effective sanctions network against iran. through legislation from congress and diplomatic pressure from different secretaries among different administrations, we were able to ultimately cripple iran's economy. you lobbied against the comprehensive iran sanctions and divestment act, which i was an author of pure you -- and author of. in 2003 and 2004 and 2005, you were engage to a subsidiary company with businesses and companies -- in countries that the united states listed as state sponsors of terrorism including iran, syria, and sudan. exxon mobil could not have been dealing with.
an advocacy group lobbies against sanctions, including against iran and employed passage of the joint plan of action. my question is with that as a history, the work they did in spring 2011, where you oversaw annex on mobile deal with the kurdish regional government of iraq, after the united states government expressly did not want to see that happen, saying that it under adult -- under my did the deal with iraq and, what message can you send to businesses that are intent on pursuing their own interests at the expense of u.s. policies? how will you recalibrate your priorities as secretary of state?
your shareholders are the american people and their interests. >> well, there was a lot in that question, sender. i have never lobbied against sanctions personally. i continue to believe -- >> the company that you directed did. >> to my knowledge, exxon never lobbied against sanctions. not to my knowledge. in terms of all of the other actions that were mentioned, they were all undertaken with a great deal of transparency and openness and engagement and input to the process to a that is the beauty of american process. others are invited to express their view. my pivot now, if confirmed to be secretary of state, will have one interest only, to serve the american people. sanctions are an important tool.
having poor and ineffective sanctions can have a worse effect than having no sanctions at all if they convey a weak response. it is important and designing sanctions, as i said, that they are carefully crafted and targeted with an intended effect and enforced, to the extent that american leadership can broaden those sanctions, you are exactly right. the stations were affected because others joined in. >> president trump's choice for defense secretary, james mattis, was announced on december 1 and confirmed on january 20. he served on u.s. central command from 2010 to 2013. he is the first military officer to serve as defense secretary since the truman administration. this includes questions from dan
sullivan and gary peters. >> i want to turn to china. china's leaders have stated they are not militarizing the south china sea. you agree with them? >> i do not. >> yesterday, rex tillerson said that we should prohibit access to the islands in the south china sea to the chinese. what, in your view, should our response to china's militarization of the south china sea be? >> we will have to put together a policy put together by the state department, treasury, dod. we will have to integrate this so we are not dealing with an incomplete or incoherent strategy. the bottom line is the international waters, we have to figure out how we deal with holding onto the rules we have
made over the years that led to prosperity for many nations. not just ours. >> you have emphasized, i think rightfully so, our allies as a key strategic element of u.s. national security. what role should they be playing? >> my view is that you always want more allies with you then fewer. i have never gone into any fight in an all-american formation. also i believe that allies can be a deterrent and -- to those who may disrupt the global order. >> the u.s. has lost credibility internationally where our
adversaries no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us. perhaps the most glaring example of that is iranian actions in the persian gulf, taking sailors hostage. i want to finish with one question. how do we regain our credibility internationally? you are a historian. do you believe that the new demonstration will have its credibility challenged early in the tenure? senator, i have took assume that our credibility will be challenged. that is simply part of the responsibility that i carry. i think the way that you maintain credibility is you say something and you live up to it. you put together policies even if it is more difficult so that they are with us went policies
-- with us when they policies, under pressure. eo --it a dangerous dangerous period when you're trying to regain credibility? >> it is. >> senator, your time has expired. senator peters. >> thank you. i will think -- join my colleagues in thanking you for your service. you have spent your entire life keeping us safe. you have done that with honor and integrity. thank you on behalf of a grateful nation. many of my colleagues have quoted from your book that you edited. i will follow suit. i want to elaborate on a passage that i think is worthwhile for us to know about. how you will approach this job
as a strategic thinker, providing advice to the president as well as congress. i will ask you to comment on this. the american public holds its military in such high regard. we are putting it at greater risk. we have allowed our thinking to atrophy, allowing policymaking to become flabby. because our military's high level of performance has lulled our sensitivity. this is both a political failure and a moral one. if you could elaborate on moral failures and how those involved in policymaking have become flabby.
gen. mattis: it was certainly not meant in any personal sense. sen. peters: i understand that. although, i do have to have my fitbit. that is true. gen. mattis: senator, it goes back to my belief that america has two fundamental powers. the power of intimidation. america will defend ourselves and the idea that we call america. that is all it is. an experiment in democracy. the other power that i think we have used less in recent years, the last 20 years, maybe, is the power of inspiration. i think the power of inspiration of america, at times, has to be employed just as strongly. because the u.s. military is devoted to being the top in the game where the competition means second place is last place. we should not be simply turning to the military because it is a capable military that is well led. it is now a national treasure. i will be the first to admit that. it does that mean that we should turn to the military to answer all of our concerns in the
relations with the world. that is the source where i was coming from in that statement. sen. peters: in terms of strategic thinking, of which you will be intimately involved in, and a student of history, you know as well as anyone else that we cannot fight the last war. throughout history that seems to have repeated itself all too many times. we need to be thinking forward. in our meeting together, i was struck by a statement where you said that as a commander in the field, you benefited from decisions that were made 10 to 15 years before you put on the uniform and were in command. we are facing an unprecedented time of change. when we look at technology and how it is transforming our world, we are probably one of the most exciting times. the world we see today will be radically different in 10 years. that means that weapon systems are likely to be different.
how ciber has changed political warfare, has given leverage to political warfare in unprecedented ways. as evidenced by the russian attacks on our, and in their interference in the political system. in biotech, we are seeing dual use technologies that will give enemies of low-cost yet very high impact weapon. also areas in artificial intelligence. we recently had a study that came out and said artificial intelligence may be one of our most important weapons to maintain a unique asymmetric advantage over adversaries. about you plan to think understanding where we need to be, to utilize the strategies and understand the threats? gen. mattis: you have to make sure we are not dominant and irrelevant at the same time. i believe the way do this is you
get your strategy right. that starts with getting policies right. you match the strategy, economic, diplomatic, covert, education, all of this. you map that to ensure you are going to be relevant for the future. once you do that, you also adopt that in the paradox of war, the enemy always moves against your perceived weakness. you cannot opt out of certain things. bottom line, you get to the point where you have the fewest big regrets when the crisis strikes. you will never have no regrets. we are dealing with something that is fundamentally unpredictable. it also means we will have to communities that are leaders in some of the areas that you and senator warren talks about. -- talked about. artificial intelligence, and what the labs are doing, but more important, we are
integrating them. it does no good to be the best in the lab, and you don't mainstream. it is a matter of how you maintain current readiness. if you fight tomorrow, the young men and women have got to be at the top of their game, but for me, someone who is not even in the military yet, when looking 10 years back, what we did wrote the headlines that we want to read 10 years from now. announcer: c-span's profiles of the trump cabinet continues with homeland security secretary john kelly, whose nomination was announced on december 12. he was confirmed on january 20 with a vote of 88 to 11. secretary kelly spent 40 years with the marines, including three tours in iraq and the u.s. southern command. here's a son, first lieutenant robert kelly, was killed in combat making him the highest ranked officer to have a son die in combat.
-- in iraq or afghanistan. >> in today's world, the department of homeland security, is much like a combat command. complex defending our nation and people. among its diverse responsibilities are protecting us from terrorism, guarding our coast, deciding who can get into the country, defense against cyber attacks, providing help when disaster strikes. i can think of no one better prepared to lead homeland defense than john kelly. the department of homeland security, as this committee knows, is a complicated mix of organizations and agencies with different cultures and histories. as the commander of southern command john kelly successfully
, managed relationships with seven different cabinet departments and more than 20 civilian organizations. leading a combatant command requires multiple domestic and foreign relationships. general kelly did so with great skill and success. i'm confident he would do so as well as secretary of homeland security. in addition, as senior assistant -- senior military assistant to two secretaries of defense, he successfully led the most diverse organization. he was invaluable to me and leon panetta in helping break down areas of cooperation and help leaders accountable. -- accountable for decisions and performance. the needs of the front lines were always foremost 10. john kelly was twice assigned as marine corps liaison to congress. the second time as the commandant senior legislative assistant.
he has a deep understanding of the legislative process and the of the need to be responsive to congress, and have a relationship of openness and trust. in terms of skills and experience, general kelly is, in my view, superbly qualified to serve as secretary. it is john's character and values that truly set him apart. to put it simply, he is one of the finest people i have ever known. i would trust him with my life. indeed, many others mainly young , marines, have done so. how often is it that a tough commander is genuinely beloved by his troops? integrity in word and deed is the source of moral authority. it is moral authority that moves people to follow a leader even at personal risk and sacrifice. john kelly is a guy of great moral authority. if he is confirmed, professionals throughout the department of homeland security
will realize that their new secretary cares about each and every one of them. he will do everything in his power to protect and support them, and get them what they need to do their jobs, protecting all of us. i commend the president-elect for nominating general kelly for this position. as i know firsthand, john is a straight-talking, candid, courageous leader who will say exactly what he thinks. his values are a reflection of america's best values. he will not disappoint. over a military career spanning more than 40 years, john kelly and his family have sacrificed much, serving our country. yet, here he is, willing to serve again. it is with great pride that i introduce you to him today. thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member mccaskill, distinguished senators of the committee, please accept my thanks for the
consideration of my nomination to lead the department security. -- the department of homeland security. senators mccain, harper, secretary gates, thank you for taking the time to be here on my behalf and for your very kind words. my wife and family have already been introduced, but i will say again, my wife karyn is here with me today. she is my hero. she has put up with more in our 40 years of marriage than you can imagine. my daughter kathleen is here as well. and her recent husband, retired corporal jake fox, another american hero. i thank them for their service and sacrifice. over the past 45 years, i've been privileged to serve our country as both an enlisted marine and officer. i held senior command positions in iraq. served as the combatant commander of the united states senator command, as gates mentioned, and served as
senior military assistant to two of my heroes. secretaries gates and panetta. i have worked across agencies, with our allies, independent experts to identify solutions to current and emerging threats. these assignments, while varied, shared the common characteristics of working within an leading large, complex, very diverse, multi-missioned while under pressure to produce results. i'm humbled once again to serve. this time with the wonderful men and women of the department of homeland security. as a nation, we are reminded almost daily that the threats to our homeland have not receded in any way. the challenges to our way of life have not diminished. as i solemnly swore when i entered the marine corps, i will faithfully support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, every second of every day.
i believe in america and the principles on which our way of life are guaranteed. i believe and respect the diversity of opinion. a respect for the law and will always strive to up hold it. i've never had a problem speaking truth to power and i believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations. i also value people who work for me, people speaking truth to power. i love my country and i will do everything within my power to preserve our liberty, enforce our laws, and protect our citizens. i recognize the many challenges facing the department. should i be confirmed, i look forward to partnering with you to protect the homeland. i look forward to discussing the future of the department and answering the committee's questions. sen. mccain: as you know, we passed legislation on the defense bill prohibiting torture, including waterboarding. do you intend to follow that law?
gen. kelly: absolutely, senator. sen. mccain: what is your personal view of waterboarding and other forms of torture? gen. kelly: i do not think we should ever come close to crossing a line that is beyond what americans expect to follow in terms of interrogation techniques. sen. mccain: would that be basically the geneva conventions? gen. kelly: yes, sir. sen. mccain: there is an epidemic in this country, it is opioids. it is coming from mexico. manufactured in mexico. regrettably, according to information i have, a lot of it is coming across the arizona-mexico border into phoenix, arizona and being disturbed did nationwide. as you know, we are experiencing a dramatic increase in deaths from overdose. that is taking place among many
older americans that have turned from oxycontin and other substances. in fact, a former governor of new hampshire will testify here of the really severe aspects of this. what many have called an epidemic. i am very interested in your views and taking into fundamental economics that if there is a demand, there is going to be a supply. what is your view of the situation, general? gen. kelly: i will start off by saying, it is amazing to me. i just found out recently that an old friend, who is not so old, 62 years old, just after a successful life, overdosed on heroin. i think it to your point, it is
cheaper and more available in many ways than some of the other opioids, since she could not get a prescription for what she thought she needed. most americans don't realize it, but 100% of the heroin that we consume in the united states is produced in mexico. it is creeping down into central america. they have responded, the cartels and networks, have responded to the demand. instead of asia and south asia, it is all produced in the western hemisphere. poppies are grown as far south as guatemala. it is all produced here. an awful lot of the opioids, what looks like pharmaceuticals, are produced in mexico and then pirated up through the border. part of the problem, i think, and this would be outside my particular area if confirmed, but part of the problem is we have an overly medicated society.
huge amounts of opioids are prescribed legally for things that, in the past, would not receive that level of medication. the point is, it is a huge problem, getting worse. the profits are unbelievable to the cartels that control the marketing and transport. sen. mccain: there has been a great deal of conversation about building a wall. it has been my experience that we need to have barriers. but building a wall is not the way to prevent the flow of drugs or people illegally across the border. i think it requires ranging from drones, to towers, to use of some of the technological advantages that we have. if you would briefly tell us what you think is necessary to
have a secure border? gen. kelly: a physical barrier in and of itself, certainly a military person who understands defense and defenses, a physical barrier will not do the job. it has to be a layered defense. if you were to build a wall from the pacific to mexico, you would still have to back it up with patrols, sensors, and observation devices. as i have said to many of the senators present, and as i have said for three years, i believe that the defense starts several hundred miles south. -- 1500 miles south. as far south as peru. to include mexico, we could have better partnerships, we could give them more of what they
need. we share intel with them now. information with them now. we have legal attaches with them now. they have developed unbelievable amounts of -- sen. mccain: i don't mean to interrupt, but isn't it technology that would help us to secure the border as much as anything else? i'm talking about surveillance, capabilities to intercept, but not just sit there. in other words, the kind of, frankly, the kind of border security that we see in israel. gen. kelly: technology would be a big part of it. yes, senator. sen. mccain: that technology, would it be drones? gen. kelly: observation devices mounted in certain terrains, uav's, for sure. sensors in place is, perhaps, where the wall cannot be built, or won't be built anytime soon.
yes, sir. >> kansas republican congressman mike pompeo was chosen to lead the cia on november 18, and was confirmed on january 23 with a vote of 66 to 32. he served in the house for three representing kansas's fourth district. during his time in congress, he was a member of the intelligence committee. director pompeo previously served in the army with his last tour taking place during the first gulf war. here is a portion of his confirmation hearing from mid-january beginning with opening remarks. >> chairman burr, vice chairman, senators, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i want to thank the staff of this committee for your time in this nomination process. i would like to thank president trump for nominating me. it is an honor to be selected. i look forward to working with
the nominee for the director of national intelligence, and supporting him in his critical role should we both be confirmed. i also want to thank director brendan and director clapper for their many years of selfless service and determination. i'm grateful to the people of the fourth district of kansas who have trusted me for the past six years, to represent them in the house of representatives. it has been a true honor. finally, i want to thank my patient and patriotic wife, susan and my son nicholas, each , of whom i love dearly. the two of you have been selfless in allowing me to return to public service. now, working with warriors to keep america safe. i cannot tell you how much it means for me to be with you today. having been a member of the select committee on intelligence, i understand full well that if confirmed, my job will change roles.
the director must stay on the side of collecting intelligence, providing intelligence to policymakers including for this , committee. i spent the majority of by life outside of politics, first as an army officer then a litigator, and then running to manufacturing businesses in kansas. returning to duty that requires hard work and unerring candor is something that is in my bones. i would like to sketch some of the challenges and describe trends in intelligence that i see as the central intelligence agency's role of addressing those. this is the most complicated threat environment that the united states has seen in recent memory. isis remains a resilient movement that controls urban centers in the middle east. the conflict in syria is one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the 21st century. it has led to the rise of extremism, as well as created instability throughout the
europe, and indeed, throughout the world. iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror, has become a more emboldened player in the middle east. russia has reasserted itself aggressively invading and occupying ukraine, threatening europe, and doing nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of isis. as china flexes its muscles, its activities in the south and east china sea and cyberspace are now pushing new boundaries in creating real tension. north korea, too, has dangerously accelerated its ballistic missile capabilities. intelligence helps to make the other elements of national power effective. including economic and legal measures against terrorist financiers and other criminals.
it is important that we think and appreciate the foreign partners that stand with us in making sure we have the intelligence we need to keep america safe. toconfirmed, i intend advocate for a strong and vibrant intelligence community. there are 4 long-term trends that make intelligence paramount . first, the intelligence committee finds itself the victim of a long-term budgetary trend that could weaken the fabric of our community. with chemical weapons technology, north korea has overcome a low barrier to engage in -- the united states must continue to ask wisely to maintain a decisive advantage. third, the effects of dislocation and poor governance present new challenges but also
targets opportunities for the cia's collection and analysis. finally, the insider threat problem has grown exponentially in the digital age. the greatest threats to america have always been the cia's top parties. it will be the cia's mission, and mine, if confirmed that the cia will remain the best in the world. collecting what the enemies do not know. in short, the cia must be the premier espionage organization. one of emerging area for increased focus is the cyber domain. for sophisticated adversaries like china and russia, and less sophisticated adversaries like iran and north korea, hackers are taking advantage of the border-less environment. the cia must be at the forefront of the issue. what of my top priorities is to assist in the defeat of isis. we must maintain an aggressive counterterrorism posture and address manifestations beyond
isis and al qaeda. in iran, we must assess the progress made under the joint plan of action. if confirmed, my role will change. i will lead the agency to ensure analysts have the time, political space, and resources to make objective and sound judgments. it is a policy decision with respect to how we will deal with russia, but it will be essential that the agency provide policymakers with accurate and robust intelligence and clear eyed analysis of all activities feasible. i fully appreciate the need for transparency and support from members of congress. i have lived it. we owe it to our constituents to get to the bottom of failures. intelligence committee not to shirk our responsibility when unauthorized
exposures reveal activities. or, when edward snowden misleads the american people about intelligence activities. on my first visit to cia headquarters i visited an analytical targeting cell. i saw a woman who appeared to not have slept for weeks. she was pouring over data on her computer screen. i asked what she was working on and she said she was hours away from solving a riddle to locate a particularly bad character that she had been pursuing for months. she had her mission. its completion would make america safer. she was a true patriot. in the past few years, i've come to know there are countless men and women just like her in this agency to crush our adversaries. this past weekend, i took a moment to visit arlington national cemetery. i have done this several times, but on this visit, i paid tribute to those ensuring our freedom.
in many places and will never know, the agency put themselves at risk. we know the sacrifices of the family of each of the cia officers. those family sacrificed greatly as well. as i walked among these heroes, i was reminded of the sacred trust that would be granted to me if i am confirmed. i will never fail it. >> i have been critical of the of thef the some president-elect's comments about the workforce. in your opening statement, you were eloquent about the woman being without sleep for some time. in light of some of those comments, i have concerns about morale particularly at the cia. what plan do you have to go in and ensure people working at the
we ensure that we are working in a world where there's increasingly challenging to ensure retention, you will confirm that you will have cia employee's backs? >> i'm confident that the cia will play a role it has in every previous administration, providing powerful intelligence inside this administration. i'm confident that president-elect trump will not only step up and demand that from the cia but all of the 17 intelligence communities. with respect to me personally, i've come to understand the value of the central intelligence agency. i have seen their morale through tough times when they have been challenged before. i have seen the walk through fire to make sure they did their professional way, and they were always getting the truth in an in depth and robust way to policymakers. i have confidence that they will
continue to do that under my leadership if i am confirmed. >> i think it will be an ongoing challenge. if you are confirmed, i wish you the best. i see many of the cia employees with the opportunity to represent them. they live in the commonwealth of virginia and it has been a challenging time for them. i also want to get to light of some of the comments during the campaign that the president-elect made. forward, theoing cia represents the diversity of the world. as far as muslim-americans being engaged how do we reassure them , in the light of comments being made? how would you go forward to make sure muslim allies in our fight against isil, they will continue to have a strong partner in the united states, not one that will discriminate taste upon faith?
>> it is absolutely imperative. we have a workforce that is incredibly diverse. to achieve their mission we have to have people from a broad background set as well as language skills representing all parts of the world to perform intelligence operations properly. we have partners in the muslim world that provide us intelligence, and we share in ways that are incredibly important to making america safe. i am counting on, i'm not know you are as well, that these liaison partners continue to be additive to our workforce. i hope we >> nikki haley was announced as president trump's pick for you and ambassador and was confirmed on january 24 by a vote of 96 to four. she served in the south carolina house before going on to being
governor. she is the first woman to hold that post in south carolina and just the second indian american to win the governorship in u.s. this portion of the hearing features questions from cory gardner and chris murphy. >> last week we had an opportunity to hear from rex tillerson to talk about the importance of u.s. global leadership. we had a great interaction about the need for the u.s. to share our values around the globe. no one else will do it. he does what security, liberty, prosperity and the great need to share those values. and in his words, we are the only country to protect those values with authority. in 1950, in the observance of the fifth anniversary of the creation of the united nations, , itsdent truman stated
foundation does not rest upon power and privilege, it rests on faith. on the belief that men and women strive for the same goals of justice. this is held by the people of the united states of america and the peoples of all other countries. it seems that united nations today is far from the vision that president truman outline. it is this idea of the faith of men and human values. human values in crimea means torturing people. the human values and iran means the leading sponsor of terrorism around the globe. the united nations recently, as we have talked about here, the passage of resolution 2334. i courage you to watch the video.
applause broke out in the security council. contrast that with the passage of 2270, the passage of sanctions and north korea. the world apparently applauds when we attack our ally, but sits by silently when we condemn dictators. so, to you, governor haley, how does the united states continue to project our values in the absence that we've seen in the last eight years to ensure that we will be in deep working with the world on those ideas that rex tillerson laid out on prosperity and liberty? >> so much of this goes back to the fact that the world has seen us great. have not seen a black-and-white
of where we stand and don't stand. we need to stand and stand strong. the world wants to see a strong america. that is what they are used to. that has faded. when it shows that we will not stand with our allies, that is a sad day in america and a sad day for us in the world. i do think that what we will now do is show our strength, not be afraid to stand up. when we decide to make an action, we will follow through with it, and we will make sure that is known. we have to be loud and strong about that. >> when we talk about the importance of projecting that strength and leadership. i want to talk a little bit about alliances. the commitment to our allies. organizations and alliances such as nato matter, matter greatly. is it your commitment to strengthen alliances like nato through the work that you carry
out at the united nations? >> absolutely. we need as many allies as we can get. at this point, it is a numbers game. sanctions just by the u.s. do not work. sanctions, when we combine and work with alliances, that makes progress. so much of what i look forward to doing is not just expressing the ideals of the united states and where we stand and the agreements and disagreements that we have, it is also building coalitions so that we look so strong, everyone wants to be our ally. >> when it comes to calling out the united nations in public forums, when a dictator is corrupt, when a dictator abuses human rights, we will call it as we see it. you will not be afraid to do that? >> you should ask the people of my general assembly in south carolina. i have no problem calling people out. >> very good. senator menendez and i worked on the passage of sanctions, the
first stand-alone piece of legislation on north korea's ability to proliferate its sanctions. just last week, sections were levied by the administration. mandatory cyber sanctions requiring them to be put in place. in 2016, the obama administration lead and helped lead those sanctions through. have we effectively enforced the north korea sanctions? have we effectively major they are effective, including the united nations sanctions, are they effectively enforced? >> clearly there is more to do in north korea. when a line is crossed, to not saying think is a problem. i think north korea is
definitely one to watch. i think we will have to work closely with china to show the threat of what is happening. we cannot let up on north korea. what we're seeing now is production of nuclear weapons. he does not care. he is going to continue to do it. we have continue to make sure we are making our voices loud, we're talking about north korea and we make sure north korea does slow down. >> what should we do in china to make them more active in their ability to denuclearize north korea? >> china has already started to pull back economically. china is the greatest threat to north korea, and they know that. this affects china. this affects their region of the world, this affects us. not talk about it from our results and what it will do to the united states, talk about in
terms of china and encourage them to say, you can make a difference here and push them into this direction. >> thank you for your history of speaking truth to power. i appreciate the time that week spent together. i appreciate you being before the committee. i say this respectfully. i feel like the hearings we have had, this hearing and the hearing on secretary of state nominee tillerson have occurred in an alternate universe. i hear a lot in clear what you are saying about the united states being clear and where we stand and strong in our values. i think mr. tillerson uses the same phrasing over and over again. i think we would all agree that those should be goals of u.s. foreign-policy.
president-elect trump has downplayed russian attempts to influence our election, he has adjusted that nato is obsolete. he has openly rooted for the breakup of the european union union. he has lavished praise on fiber -- praise on vladimir putin and refused to continue sanctions. he has criticized one of our most important allies in the world, chancellor merkel. he has promised to bring back torture, and he has called for japan and south korea to take a look at obtaining nuclear weapons because they probably cannot rely on our security guarantee any longer. i hear what you are saying. can you understand why, right now, the world perceives the ciampa mr. trump's
foreign-policy -- the trump administration's foreign-policy as the exact opposite of where we stand in our values? i understand where you stand, but can you explain how the world's perception of the values is the exact opposite of what you describe. >> i understand nervousness before a new administration. that is something that is natural. it is natural for the world to watch the united states. we expect a leader who will follow it. it is also natural for a politician to look at things and say things. once you govern, things are very different. what we have seen is once the president-elect gets to hear from his national security team, i think what he said after that will be most important. i think those of the focuses we will have with the national security council and making sure we educate, inform him of what we know, of strategies, and go along with whatever decision he decides to make. >> i heard a version of this in your answer to senator shaheen. you believe that after two years of suggesting radical changes
regarding u.s. policy about conveying really muddled messages about where we stand, that will all change after friday? >> not all of it will change after friday. what i know is i will control the part that i can. i can control the u.n.. i will use the power of my voice in the u.s. to talk about america's ideals, strengths, freedoms. i will talk about our strategy in dealing with russia, china, north korea, and syria going forward. i think we will have a lot of opportunities to make that better. i do think that my counterparts as mobile inform the president-elect of what they are seeing. that is how and a works. you surround yourself with people who do not just say yes to what you think. the action challenge you and tell you other opinions.
what i know about the president-elect is he will listen. >> let me ask about the future of the u.n. you have a lot of people in north carolina who do not always get what they want from their governor. would you advise democrats in the state legislature in north carolina -- south carolina to boycott the legislator is a don't get what they want or registered democrats to stop paying their taxes if they do not get what they want from the state government? >> we have laws in place so they cannot stop paying their taxes, or they will deal with that. legislators have been know to do with they want. -- do whatever they want. as governor, i have seen that happen. it is two totally different things. >> you understand why i am making the point. the reason that we invest in the u.n. is- invest in the not because we expect to win every fight or have our views prevail, but we think it is important to have a body in which differences can be expressed out in the open rather than always do with behind closed doors.
the risk of pulling funding is potentially catastrophic. the u.n. provides food for 90 million people in 80 countries around the world. it fascinates 40% of the worlds children. it assists 55 million refugees and provides maternal health care to 30 million phone boat women. i guess my question is you are's adjusted that we pull funding from the united nations if we do not win votes in the general a silly. >> i have never suggested that. if that is the we took it, that was not what i intended to say.
i do not think we need to pull money from the u.n. it was not anything i considered as governor, i would consider as ambassador. what i think is important is we look at every organization, see if it is something that we want to work for. i know he has made comments about the u.n., but those are not my feelings and not what i think will happen. >> i want to ask you to maybe make the answer a little clear. you do not believe that we should be threatening to pull funds based on outcomes in the us of the that we do not agree with? you would pull funds if you do not think programs are effective, but not to pull funds because we don't get the outcome of the process? >> my job is to make sure we get the outcomes and negotiate and work with leaders to do that. if for example we seek in the human rights council that cuba is there, and we don't see the values the way we are supposed to, yes, i will come back here and say, this is a big problem.
i may go there and find a way to resolve that. no, i don't think we should have a slash and burn of the u.n. >> i would just note that since rejoining the human rights council -- we were out of it join2007 to 2009, once we special sessions on israel dropped 20% and resolutions -- >> on january 5, president trump announces nominee for sick or ofnominee for director national intelligence, dan coats. he was confirmed in a vote of 85 to 12. he served twice in the senate and was a member of the intelligence and armed services committee. he also served as ambassador to germany. here is his opening statement in
late february. >> while i'm no longer retiring from public service, what i am retiring, as i sit here today, is my policy had. a hat i would -- wore probably for years, made judgments, cast votes in committee and on the floor. that had will be retired. if confirmed, i will put on a new hat. as the government transitions to new leadership, i too hope to transition to the role of intelligence advisor to the president. in this new role, it will be my response billy to present the president, senior policymakers
throughout the mr. shank, and you, the congress, with the best and most objective, time intelligence that you consider in the future of our great nation. the president and i have discussed our potential role as the potential intelligence advisor and we both recognize that this position is frequently the bearer of unpleasant news. if confirmed, my responsibility would be to provide him with the most accurate and objective and nonpolitical intelligence as possible. in my conversations with you prior to this hearing, i was asked how i see the larger role of the dni. those who know me, i am an avid sports fan, and this year, i witnessed the seemingly impossible compass me of the chicago cubs. allow me to compare my role as dni as not a baseball analogy, but a football analogy. on a football team, the players are guided by coaches.
one time i counted and thought they were 17. i thought that meant something here, relative to the number of agencies that we look after. one for the offense of light, one for the defensive line, and on it goes. every team has a head coach. the leader who walks the sidelines and while not dictating to each coast how to do their specific job, pulls together each of the specialists on the team. i see the director of national intelligence as the head coach role in the intelligence community. we have a mess of talent, -- we have immense talent, resident in many agencies across the ic. each presents a number of capabilities or expertise that is necessary for the team to be,
as a whole, successful. unique access of our intelligence service and detailed analysis of the intelligence agency, the important input from the defense intelligence agency, the expertise of the national security agency, which i believe is second to none. the acquisition proficiency of our satellite specialist at the national reconnaissance offices. the work done by the federal bureau of investigation. and the specialized skills of the elements resident within the departments of state, justice, homeland security, and energy. like a head coach, i see it as my job to pull all of these team
members together under the same game plan to produce the best coordinated and integrated intelligence that we can find. to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. given the compass get an -- given the complicated threat environment that we face today in this country and around the world, now more than ever, the ic must work as a team. the threats we face today are more challenging and diffuse than ever before. allow me to address and no particular order what i see as the most challenging issues we currently face. i could spend a lot of time on this. i will abbreviate and talk about just a few. clearly the rising cyber threat must be highlighted. cyberspace is both a resource and liability in an increasingly connected world that creates opportunities but also form -- but also many vulnerabilities. not unrelated, i would highlight the threat of radical islamic terrorism, which continues to be a significant threat for the united states and its allies abroad. they are spreading the message
of fear and hate through cyberspace and mobilizing to venues beyond their self-described caliphate. china's activism including its disputed territory in the east and south china seas is troubling and will be a long-term challenge for the united states. russia's assertiveness in global affairs is something i look upon with grave concern, which we need to address with eyes wide open and a healthy degree of skepticism. north korea's nuclear ambitions and quite frankly publications are something that the intelligence community needs to be laser focused on. the list continues with a diverse set of challenges including other hotspots around the world. in order to address these threats, i will bring my years of experience on how to execute on a plan and bring together teams of people towards a common goal. as the ambassador of germany, i oversaw the activity of more
than a dozen federal agencies at the american embassy. i trust my experiences coordinating that many different departments and agencies, overseeing their activities, leveraging their strengths, and bringing them together under a single strategy will serve me well. as a member of congress and both the house and senate i have had a keen interest in ensuring we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. in evaluating federal programs i was made a point to ask questions about what works, what doesn't, and why. i also believed it was important to assess how we establish priorities. we must ask ourselves, in a time ofheightened budgets -- tightened budgets, what programs are truly essential and which may no longer be necessary, partly necessary, or lower priority? how do they support our goal or strategy? is it duplicative of another effort?
i will be looking to ask the ic this and many more questions if i become dni. there's been much discussion about the role of the dni. let me share with you what i have learned in preparation for this opportunity. over the past 12 years since its inception, it has been tasked with a variety of responsibilities. many in statue, presidential orders and memorandums. the people supporting these directives are hard-working folks from all across the ic. i have noted some of their workforce is on rotation from
other ic agencies. another organization of 750 people by the crypto law enacted in 2005, is counted and that number we have, which is less than 2000. that is less than one third the amount of armed services. odni was made to counter the stove piping by intelligence agencies and ensure collaboration across the intelligence elements. people supporting these are hard-working folks from all over the ic. odni brings talent from the community to integrate intelligence. not just a specific dots from specific agencies and specialties. in keeping with my earlier
football analogy, you cannot play a complete game with just a star quarterback and wide receiver. maybe if it is the new york patriots you can pull that off once in a while. even the pats need a stout defense and placekicker along with many other players to be the best in the business. not every player on a football team will be in m.v.p., but everyone on the field plays a critical role. when we succeed, we succeed as a team. if we come up short, we fail as a team. we use that experience to address it so it doesn't happen again. when i look at the various orders and recommendations i have been impressed by the office's responsiveness to these many tasks within the reasonable resources they have. recent commentary on the size of the odni does not mesh with what i have seen firsthand and does a
disservice to this committee in order to keep the size of odni in check, which is your obligation and mine. i believe every government agency must constantly review its operations. i will be taking a look at not only the office of the odni but the entire ic and try to learn how we can do things more efficiently and effectively. we do not have a choice. much as been made publicly about the role of our intelligence enterprise and how it will work in the future. with the leadership committee in place, i know it will be a world-class enterprise as it is today. >> rick perry was announced to lead the energy department. he was confirmed on march 2, beginning his career as a
democrat, he switched parties in 1989 and served as texas agriculture commissioner and lieutenant governor. he went on to become the longest texas governor in state history, with office in 14 years. he also ran for president in 2012 and 2016. here is a portion of his january confirmation hearing. mr. perry: i have learned a great deal about the outstanding work done every day by the outstanding men and women of the department of energy. i have spoken about the operation. i have spoken to his predecessors. if confirmed, my desire is to lead this agency and a thoughtful manner, surrounding myself with the expertise on the core functions of the department. my past statements, made over five years ago about abolishing the department of energy do not reflect my current thinking. after being briefed on the vital
functions of the department of energy, i regret recommending its elimination. if confirmed, i will enter this role excited and passionate about advocating and advancing the core missions of doe, drawing greater attention to the vital role laid by the agency and the hard-working men and women who dedicate themselves in pursuit of these missions. second, let me speak to the issue of climate change. i believe the climate is changing. i believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some is due to man-made activity. the question is, how do we address it in a thoughtful way that does not compromise economic growth. it affects the affordability of energy and american jobs. in texas we have a record of addressing environmental change. despite the fast-growing population. i had one of the largest petrochemical refining industries in the world.
we saw our climate and air improved during that period of time. we reduce carbon by 17%, sulfur dioxide. we decommissioned 137 of these older, dirty burning plants. we did it by using incentives to move to new technology, clean technology, clean coal, carbon capture, underground storage. in houston there is a billion dollar plant that will be open to soon using carbon capture sequestration. also using the carbon that is then injected into wells for secondary and tertiary recovery operations. i signed a law in the place to retrofit some 15,000 engines under the texas admissions reduction plan. we provided incentives for
energy efficiencies. our willingness to develop natural gas helped not only texas reduce its carbon footprint, but other states and mexico, as well. we truly advocated and all of the above strategy, reducing carbon emissions, not just their development of cleaner fossil fuels, but through the development of the global resources, as well. during my time as governor texas took the lead in wind energy development, now produces more wind as senator corbyn reminded you of in five countries. when it comes to climate change, i make decisions on sound science and take into account the financial impact.
we need policy that is focused on promoting american energy. i am committed to working with this committee and the incoming administration to do just that. senators, this is a historic time for america and the energy sector. i would be honored to be a part of it. thank you. >> in your opening statement you talked about different types of energy produced in texas because we need and all of the above energy policy for our country, one focused on empowering states rather then a federal, one-size-fits-all. i know you understand that. i appreciate you are a leader in texas in producing fossil fuels
like oil and gas, but you are also a leader in renewable energy. my state produces one million barrels a day, second only to texas. we also produce wind and biofuels and other renewables. you talked about that. i want to commend you on that and bring up something we talked about when you came in to see me. that is that technology is the way forward as we develop these sources to produce energy more cost-effectively, but better environmental stewardship. you talked about a project to capture and sequester co2. we have a project where we take coal, produce synthetic natural gaspetronova and we capture the seo do and put it in the oil fields for secondary oil recovery. we want to do more of that. i know you understand, so i've asked you to come to north dakota to see our center. we have projects to capture co2 on both the front end, and
projectunder a -- tundra to retrofit plants. you need us to help us continue to develop and commercialize that technology. i am asking you for your commitment to do that. it does not just benefit our states, but our country and beyond, as other countries develop this technology it is a global type of solution. talk about that for a commitment for a minute. and your commitment. mr. perry: you have my commitment to commercialize. i will go to your home state at the first possible moment. i think i will spend a lot of time traveling to your state. >> how about west virginia? any chance? mr. perry: west virginia thought
i was an honorary citizen for a while. i have been to morgantown lots of times. back to your salient point, senator, i am a big believer that one of the reasons we have a responsibility to fund our basic research, we do not know what the outcome of that will be -- we hope we know how it will turn out. senator, and may be a generation down the road on basic research. but with applied research we have a lot better idea about how it reaches fruition, how it can be commercialized. i saw that as the governor of texas. we have to create a fund. i do not get confused about the difference between federal
government and state government. you and i are both strong supporters of federalism. but my life's experiences are going to affect the way that i operate as the secretary of energy, if i am confirmed. one of those happens to be about investing in the technology that can be commercialized to improve people's quality of life. one of thing we talked about, one day i hope he and i and a host of other individuals can stand up together with technology that came out of the department of energy, that we are able to sell to the chinese to start making the environment in china better. that is the potential that is there. my home state and your home
state were virtually changed in a life-changing way with hydraulic fracturing. that technology had its genesis at the department of energy. the concept of using that agency, whether it is on cyber security, new ways to use the natural resources we have, and the management of that -- one of the things i bring to you is my 14 years of managing the 12th largest economy in the world from the standpoint of efficiently and effectively putting programs and the place, and the seeing a result of that action. that is my commitment. on a daily basis, i will have men and women who i trust, who
have the expertise, who have the authority to implement these programs that can affect the citizens not just of your state, but hopefully the citizens of this world. mr. hoeven: governor, as you know, two thirds of the energy budget is dedicated toward our nuclear weapons program. the united states already has the world's most formidable nuclear arsenal. more than an effective deterrent. but we are on track to spend more than $1 trillion over the next three decades to sustain, replace and refurbish delivery systems warheads and their infrastructure. this plan was launched in a different budget era. i can tell you that numerous, very distinguished national
security experts believe this investment will significantly hamper the ability of the u.s. to respond to conventional and unconventional threats that we may face. if you are confirmed, would you be open to altering the pace and scope of the current plans if it is clear that significant taxpayer savings can be achieved, while still meeting the deterrent requirements? mr. perry: senator, i will address your remarks by saying, i understand my role as secretary of energy being the manager of that agency. from my perspective, the issues that you bring forward, which are legitimate issues for us to talk about as a country, those
lie in your purview. and the congress, making those decisions, i would suggest relative to the numbers, by the funding stream and what have you. i will be following the statutes and the laws of the united states congress put in place regards to those issues. mr. franken: you may have influence in this debate, so let me alert you to this. these are weapons we are weapons -- these are weapons we are never going to use. one jillion dollars over 30 years. mr. perry: yes sir, real money. >> c-span's special program continues with mick mulvaney. he was announced december 16 and confirmed 51-49 on february 16. director mulvaney served three terms of the republican representing south carolina's
fifth district and was a member of the republican study committee, the freedom caucus, and the tea party caucus. mr. mulvaney served as a south carolina state senator and representative. this portion includes his opening statement and questions from vermont senator bernie sanders. mr. mulvaney: you deserve the truth about budget matters, as to the american people. it is a director's responsibility to tell you the truth, even from time to time when that might be hard to hear. one truth is this, for the first time in america's history, the next generation could be less prosperous than previous. it is unacceptable to me. we can turn the country around but it will take difficult decisions today. the debt has increased almost $20 trillion, so large it almost
defies description. i look at it through the lens of the ordinary american family. if you are an ordinary american family, the equivalent is a credit card bill of $260,000. american families know what that would mean to them. it is time this government learns what it means to us. it is a matter of principle of must be addressed sooner rather than later. fundamental changes are necessary and how we spend and tax if we want to help the economy. we must change our fiscal path, which is unsustainable. that means taking a hard look at government waste and ending it. american taxpayers deserve a government that is efficient, effective, accountable. they earn their money honestly and they deserve a government that spends it in the same fashion. fixing the economy does not mean taking a green eyeshade approach, it is more than just
numbers. a healthy economy allows us to take care of our most vulnerable. my mother-in-law relied on social security in her retirement. she relied on medicare to help her before she died of cancer. pam and i were happy to have that safety net for her. we would also like that safety net to be there for her grandchildren, our triplets. i know many members of the committee will want to know my position, should i become director. i do not presume to know about the decision i might make, nonetheless what the president might make after consulting with his cabinet. i do know what i believe, however. i have not exactly been a shine -- shy member of congress in my six years here. i do not expect to end that today.
good public service takes both courage and wisdom. the courage to lead and the wisdom to listen. i do not have a monopoly on good ideas. facts and the cogent arguments of others matter. my commitment is to a fact-based approach and to listen to different ideas on how to get our financial house in order. mr. sanders: congressman, my friends in the house have said you were honest and a straight shooter, that is how you have presented yourself today and i appreciate that. mr. mulvaney: think you, senator. mr. sanders: let me ask you a philosophical question. if appointed, you will be a key advisor to the president. as i mentioned earlier, the president made a cornerstone of his campaign his belief that social security, medicare, medicaid should not be cut in
any way. he said it over and over again and i suspect he won the election based on that promise. you disagree and that is certainly your right. you believe we should raise the retirement age, you have voted again and again to cut social security in one way or another. when you talk to the president about social security, medicare, and medicaid, do tell the president it is more important that he keep faith with democracy, keep faith with what he told the american people, or should he acknowledge that he lied and then change his views and cut social security? mr. mulvaney: senator, i have no reason to believe the president has changed his mind from the statement he made during the campaign. as we have talked about here
today, my job is to do exactly what you said in your kind introduction, which is to be completely and brutally honest with him. mr. sanders: do you believe the president will keep his word and not cut social security, medicare, and medicaid? mr. mulvaney: i have no basis for telling you what the president is thinking. what i want to be able to do is lay out the facts. mr. sanders: my question was, it is an interesting question, because you do advise the president on budget. everyone knows no matter what our politics may be, there is a lot of disgust with politics in america today. people say one thing, get elected, do something else. would you tell the president is -- it is more important to keep his word, keep faith with the american people, or do what you think is better policy? that is my question. mr. mulvaney: it is a fair question, you're probably asking the wrong person. i do not think it will be my role to advise the president on that. my role is to advise them on financial ramifications of decisions he might made. mr. sanders: let me ask you this. we talked a lot today about the
deficit and the debt, important issues. what we have not talked about is the grotesque level of incoming wealth and inequality in america. what we have not talked about is that from 1985 to 2013 there's been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1/10 of 1%. my question is, when we talk about the budget, we have multi billionaires like donald trump who proudly tell the american people he is not paid in nickel in federal taxes, and yet we have people talking about cutting medicare, social security, and medicaid. is it more important we tell billionaires like president trump and others that we tell large multinational corporations like general electric and others, who in a given year did not pay a nickel in federal
taxes because they harbor their money in the cayman islands and elsewhere -- is it more important to tell the rich and the powerful that maybe they should start paying their fair share of taxes before we cut social security, medicare, or thed or the fund -- fund planned parenthood? mr. mulvaney: the most important thing to tell people is the truth, which is what i see my role being. mr. sanders: is it true over the last 30 years we have seen a massive shift in wealth from the middle class to the top 1/10 of 1%. mr. mulvaney: i am not sure what massive means but if you give me a chance i will say i agree that income inequality is growing. mr. sanders: we can argue what massive means. right now you have the top 1/10 of 1% owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. given that massive, grotesque level of income and wealth inequality and having people
like president trump not paying a nickel in federal taxes and having people wanting to cut programs for the elderly or sick and poor, don't you think maybe we want to go to the very, wealthy, the top 1/10 of 1% and may be the large corporations that do not pay a nickel in taxes? mr. mulvaney: i welcome the philosophical question, i welcome it. if you ask me about the disparities between the most wealthy and the worst off, i am more concerned if the wealth is controlled by the folks -- mr. sanders: middle-class wealth has shrunk from 1985 to 2013, the bottom 90% has seen its share of wealth go down from 35% to 22.8%. that is a huge contraction of wealth for the middle class, is it not? mr. mulvaney: what you saw on saturday were president trump's ideas on how to fix that
problem. mr. sanders: no, what i saw on sunday were millions of people saying we do not want more tax breaks for millionaires. thank you very much. >> president donald trump's interior secretary is a ryan zinke, confirmed march 1 by a vote of 68-31. secretary zinke served as a navy seal for 23 years. he was elected as a republican to the montana senate and later the u.s. house of representatives. there is a portion of his january confirmation meeting with questions from the chair and ranking members of the energy committee. >> congressman, i would like to talk about land management. it you and i have had a great deal of conversation about the necessity to manage our lands and manage them well. if confirmed, you will be responsible for managing over
245 million surface acres and a 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. i think we both recognize the weighty responsibility over 1/5 of it is in my state. that means your land management efforts have an overwhelming impact on the state of alaska. we refer to the secretary of interior as alaska's landlord. you are probably the most consequential member of the administration outside of the president, in terms of issues that we work with. i think this nomination very, very seriously. as mentioned in my opening statements, we have had a number of disagreements, and a difficult relationship at times with this administration. you have acknowledged that each of our states are different.
i have walked you through our map and tried outline why we are unique, why we are bigger, better, faster, more complicated and challenging than most others. my question to you, very broadly, how will your approach to management of alaska's land be different than what we have seen? how will your recognition of the unique aspects of the state like alaska be different in these years going forward? mr. zinke: thank you, thanks for the question. as you know, alaska is different, and i recognize that. as a navy seal i have spent time in kodiak. i have not spent a lot of time in the interior. clearly what has happened is,
folks in alaska are upset. they feel like the management -- they have no voice. if you're looking at timber assets along the coast in alaska, those timber assets, forest fires occur and yet we cannot harvest a tree. inland, your pipeline is down 40%. engineering-wise, there are a lot of issues when your pipeline, the backbone of alaska's energy, is at a lull. it has to do with the cost saving mechanisms put in place. we have taken the field and made those -- taken away the resources and bringing them up to consolidation, layers and layers and layers. these decisions should be made in the field, on the ground by people closest to the problem. these are people that live in communities.
a lot of them live in the communities and they understand the communities have to have a voice. i do recognize alaska's different, it needs to be handled different by the size. thanks to your maps, i clearly understand that private land equity in alaska is so incredibly small, your resources are incredibly large, and the great people of alaska need to be a partner in the proper development of those resources. ms. murkowski: we look forward to a partnership and an even partnership, because when it comes to consultation, to truly listening to alaskans, it feels we have fallen upon deaf ears. a more welcoming dialogue is what we look forward to going forward. when we look at the resources of alaska and its willingness to
share resources with the country and world, one of our great assets is our oil reserves up north. our trans-alaska pipeline is running three quarters empty. it now carries a little less than 500,000 barrels a day. it is not due to lack of resource, but a lack of permission to access those resources. will you commit to a formal review of all of the obama administration's actions it took, resource-bearing lands and waters in alaska off the table, including the decisions to specifically prevent the leasing of those lands and waters for development, and determine whether or not they can be reviewed? -- can be reversed? mr. zinke: yes, the president-elect has said we want to be energy independent. as a former navy seal, i have been to 63 countries.
i guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulations, be producedit overseas with no regulation. i have seen the consequences of what happens when you do not have any regulations in the middle east. we can do it right, the backbones of our environmental policies has been epa, and i am a supporter of epa. if we do not have an economy as a country, the rest of it does not matter, because we will not be able to afford a strong military or look forward to keeping promises we have made as a great nation, and we have made a lot of promises for education, our children's future, infrastructure, social security. all that takes an economy that is moving forward. energy is a part of that economy.
alaska is a critical part of that economy. alaska is different for a reason, you are blessed with a great resources, recreation -- a little cold in the winter -- but it is not palm springs. mr. zinke: you are from montana, you can handle. we need to review things to make sure we're doing it right. the government keeps on getting bigger and bigger, the bureaucracy gets larger and larger, and we cannot get something done. i think we do, as a nation. we should look at everything with an objective eye to get things done. ms. murkowski: thank you. >> thank you for your willingness to serve and going
from congressman to secretary of interior means a different kind of port olio, so i was hoping this first round, summary people want to ask questions, if i could cover three issues quickly with you and give our colleagues a chance to ask questions. first, you representing the district that you do in montana have made a lot of statements about coal. do you believe the administration does have a right and should have a review of updating information about our coal program? mr. zinke: transparency is important, any administration has the right to look at it and ask questions, in all of our energy fields. ms. cantwell: you would not stop the review underway now? mr. zinke: i think a review is good, i do not know the specifics of that review. we should always look at our energy portfolio with an objective ms. -- objec
tiveness because it is important. ms. cantwell: you do not have an objection to taxpayers getting a fair value? mr. zinke: no, i think taxpayer should always get a fair value. ms. cantwell: including on coal? mr. zinke: on coal, wind, all of the above. ms. cantwell: and making sure coal companies have the capability like others do, do you support that as well? mr. zinke: i have not read the specifics, but if it is a question that involves bonding -- i am from montana, where we have a lot of coal mines, and i think bonding is important. i am from a state that in the 1800s mined gold by going up and down stream beds and turned it upside down. we do not want to go back to those days. the reclamation problems we face in the west are still not repaired. teddy roosevelt have the courage to look 100 years forward.
i think we need to have the courage today to look 100 years forward and look back and say we did it right. ms. cantwell: i hope that was a great endorsement of stream protection role. on the teddy roosevelt point, you made comments, do support making the land and water conservation program permanent? mr. zinke: i do. i think land and water conservation has been important to montana, and many states. if you are in the gulf states, i understand their point, revenue comes from all offshore and very little of it goes within the states that are affected most by the offshore industry.
so we need to look at revenues and evening out the revenue source. we should look at programs and make sure more revenue goes to projects. making sure the bureaucracy has not grown over time. lastly, i believe the states and local communities should have a say where those funds go, more than they do today. ms. cantwell: that might lead me down a different line of questioning as a relates to making sure federal lands stay in federal hands, as your colleague from montana said. i want to cover the park area backlog and budget. as i mentioned in my testimony, we face the 100 year anniversary, the teddy roosevelt theme you have struck is important. we are talking about billions of dollars to our economy to the outdoor access to our public lands. do we need to go further what we have done in supporting our national parks and getting rid of the maintenance backlog? mr. zinke: i do. i feel strongly about it because as you pointed out, a lot of our national parks are at capacity. we have had a record numbers. looking forward, what do we do about it?
a lot of it is repairing roads, trails, and public land around the park, to make sure the restrooms are clean, the sewer systems work. when you're talking about a $12.5 billion backlog, i was at the transition office and i look at the park in front of the department of interior. the very park that they go by every day. the water fountains don't even work, and they are in need of repair. what about the rest of washington, d.c.? it turns out the very few fountains work. you look at the memorial bridge that goes across to arlington, that needs $150 million, so he better get on it. ms. cantwell: we are time, but i will get back to this question. there's been a lot of question about your viewpoint and resolutions amp up forms and houseboat about -- houseboat and
federal lands staying in federal hands but we will come back to that in the second round. >> originally an appointee of the obama administration and was confirmed unanimously to his current post on february 13. he had been serving as veteran affairs undersecretary for health. he was the chief medical officer for the university of pennsylvania health system and served as chair of medicine for drexel university. we will show you a portion of his confirmation hearing from early february. a reminder, you can watch all confirmation hearings for trump nominees by going to our website and searching by name. mr. shulkin: our country sacred obligation to honor our veterans is personal to me. i was born on an army base. my father was an army psychiatrist. both of my grandfathers are army -- cuts and my fraternal
terminal grandfather was the chief pharmacist at the va hospital in madison, wisconsin. i trained in several va hospitals. i came to the v.a. at a time of crisis when it was clear veterans were not getting timely access to health care they deserved. i soon discovered it was years as an effective systems and deficiencies in workplace culture that led to these problems. i concluded it would take years to fix these problems. but because veterans lives were at stake there was no time to , waste. that is why focused on meeting the most urgent needs first and reorganizing the approach to reflect that. as a result we have reduce the amount of those waiting for urgent care. the v.a. has same-day services and primary mental health at all of our medical centers to make sure veterans get the care they need. over the past 18 months i have
, traveled across the country to hear directly from veterans, their service organizations and stakeholders about their concerns. i appreciate the candor and overwhelming support and commitment i have received from so many in improving v.a. the opportunity to spend with and learn about the needs of veterans we serve was the best preparation i could've had for this nomination. the v.a. has been working hard, and to that end i work closely with my colleagues in the veterans benefit administration and the national cemetery administration. veterans see us as one v.a. it creates a seamless experience for veterans accessing benefit and services is critical to fulfilling our mission. if confirmed i would build upon , my foundational understanding. accelerate change across all three administrations. v.a. is a unique national resource worth saving and i'm committed to doing that. one thing i want to be clear on,
v.a. has many dedicated employees across the country. our veterans tell us just that every day. it is unfortunate that a few employees deviating from our values have tarnished the reputation of so many who have dedicated their lives to serving those who have served. but there should be no doubt that if confirmed as secretary i , will seek major reform. there will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness and expanding care options. but the department of veterans affairs will not be privatized under my watch. if confirmed, i intend to put parents first and allow them to get the best possible health care and services wherever they may be in v.a. or the community. i have demonstrated my commitment to moving care to the community where it makes sense. when i begin my tenure as under secretary for health 21% of care , was delivered in the community but today that figure stands at 31%.
but veterans tell us even with the ability to seek care in the community they want v.a. , services. of the one million veterans to took advantage of the choice program can only 5000 have sought care solely in the community. the rest use both v.a. and the community. should i be confirmed, i intend to build an integrated system of care that will strengthen services that are essential for veteran well-being and use services in the community that serve veterans of better outcomes and values to the taxpayer. we will need to work closely together to extend and reform the choice program to make sure veterans can seek care in the community they need. we made significant progress in suicide prevention, including hiring more mental health professionals can implement in a predictive tool to identify those at greatest risk and , fixing the veterans crisis line. we must continue progress in addressing the unique needs of women veterans by expanding women's health services and
ensuring our facilities are welcoming. i want to recognize the importance of supporting the efforts of families and caregivers involved in the care of our veterans. we have to continue our work to eliminate our disabilities claim backlog and legislation that would allow us to reform the outdated appeals process. we must continue to progress in reducing veterans homelessness and modernize our i.t. systems. we have to address infrastructure and look at facilities that no longer serve a useful purpose. --must six or expansion of we must explore private-public partnerships, rather than build new ones that take too long to build. with the support of the members of this committee and others in congress, veterans organizations , the american people, we can fulfill president lincoln's promise and our sacred mission to care for him and now for her, who shall have borne the battle. there is no higher calling for
me and it would be my privilege to lead this effort. our veterans deserve the best , and with your support i'm , confident we will succeed. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> we have had problems with third-party administrators in the state. you are aware of it. what can we do to hold them more accountable to their contractual obligations to the veterans and taxpayers? mr. shulkin: it is called competition. when we brought the choice program up we only had two , bidders, and we accepted both of them. an that we are going out for rfp, it will be a much bigger competition. we already had interest from many more vendors. frankly, this will be an open process. those who can deliver on doing the better job will win the contract. mr. tester: there was only one that bid on montana. i will tell you they have taken
some things, they have embedded some people, increase or call center. is there any thought of having the v.a. be the administrator for the choice program? mr. shulkin: the redesign of the choice program allows the v.a. to do the things it does well, which is dealing with veterans, doing me customer service, making sure their needs are met. we outsourced that and a learned it was a mistake, we won't do that again. but v.a. is not good at many of these managed fares best managed affairs functions, claims processing, network adequacy you have to maintain. we want to make a decision based upon what makes sense for the veterans, what needs to be done by v.a. or private industry. we believe we can find that balance. mr. tester: the v.a. may need improvement, but third-party administrators are worse,
truthfully. at least in our case. i would like to cut to the chase. there is a lady from billings wrote me a note and said, what can david shulkin do to ensure that all men and women services coming from overseas duty get medical attention they need, including mental health care? mr. shulkin: we have to do a couple of things. the most important is access. that is been our focus. if you go to billings you will find same-day services, but we need more mental health professionals and we are seeking to hire more. we need to use our technology, that we are using for 336,000 veterans today. we need to continue to expand that. we're just established national can reach area like billings that may not have a
number of health care professionals and needs. we have a lot more to do but think we're headed in the right direction. we are committed and we will not rest until we meet everyone who is returning to have their needs met. mr. tester: you come from the health care side. there has been some concern by some folks who are paying attention that it may suffer with the u.s. secretary of the v.a., i am being flat honest. you have commented about the freeze. and you did -- i congratulate you on that, get them to unfreeze for most part, the health care folks. but you still have a backlog in veterans benefits. what is your intention to do their? is this not a manpower issue? mr. shulkin: it was not just health care got exempted, the national cemetery, too. it is important to get a proper burial. mr. tester: thank you for that.
mr. shulkin: but i firmly believe, what i have learned over 18 months, we are one v.a. you do not get health care if you cannot get benefits. benefits is not going to suffer if i am confirmed as secretary because it is important veterans and we have to focus on it. the issue of a 90 day freeze -- i am working with our current undersecretary tom murphy, that if this really starts to impact our ability to get veterans' benefits, that is something i'm willing to address with the am administration. i am going to forget about it. i will advocate for what veterans need. mr. tester: over the course of the campaign president trump , said the v.a. is a disaster, the most corrupt agency in the united states. do you agree with that? mr. shulkin: the president and i spoke about where the v.a. needs to go and that is where we focused all of our attention. i did not talk to him about his past comments, but he and i
agree, firmly aligned, we need to do better for our veterans and we agreed upon that moving forward. that the secretary's role is to get those changes made. mr. tester: how do you feel about the workforce at the v.a.? mr. shulkin: we have such a tremendous workforce. i am proud of our employees. and just bear with me one second. i just can't stop taking about this. when i was in st. louis and i the v.a., they asked me to see one of our employees. she did not want to talk to me because she was humble. what they told me about her is, the week before, there was a veteran that had come three hours into his appointment and they kept them waiting so he missed his bus home. she is walking out to go home and sees him in the waiting room and says, can i help you? he says i missed my bus, i have
nowhere to go. i don't know st. louis. i am worried about staying overnight. she said, i will drive you home. he said it is three hours. she said, let's go. she drove him home. these are our employees. these are the people people don't hear about. they are there not for the money, they are there despite the bad press. they are there because they are passionate about helping veterans. 35% of our people are veterans themselves. these are the best people in health and i am proud to serve with them. mr. tester: do you believe the entire v.a. workforce is productive? mr. shulkin: it is destructive, it is demoralized our workforce, it demoralizes those trying to improve it and it has to stop. i appreciate the chairman and you helping us. mr. tester: the v.a. job applications are down by about one third? mr. shulkin: even more, at the height of the crisis, down 70%.
because believe it is come and go -- >> a big part of the reason. where history and full stately. in 19 79, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> this it at arm services committee holds a hearing today on u.s. policy in the asia-pacific region. that is live at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. later in the day, hearing on u.s. aid to egypt. witnesses include former state department officials testifying before the senate appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations. that is live at 2:15 eastern also on c-span3. you can watch both hearings orine at www.c-span.org
listen on the free radio app. sunday, april 30, join washington journal and 9:00 a.m. eastern for the annual cram for the exam to help students prepare for the advanced placement u.s. government and politics exam. sigh school government teacher s from lincolnshire, illinois, will take your calls and review sample questions you might find on this year's exam. >> relax, call him down, there's going to be questions on the multiple-choice you don't know. don't blame your teacher or try to withdraw your shout out. there are going to be questions you miss. we all do. do your best. and if you don't know the answer, make it a good guess. don't leave it blank. keep writing. think less, ink more. >> but if you blank on
something, go back to what you do know. use those context clues. you have studied hard and worked hard. your teachers have prepped you well. use those context clues and take a deep breath, problem solved. >> the annual cram for the exam is always fun and informative. join us under this joint is sunday, april 30 on c-span. attorney general jeff sessions talks about ethical standards at the justice department. the ethicssterday at and compliance initiative conference in washington. this is 40 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm the chief executive officer of the ethics and compliance initiative. for those of you just joining us, we welcome you to our annual conference. just a word about our order. i have the pleasure of introducing