tv Washington Journal Representative Francis Rooney Discusses Presidents... CSPAN May 25, 2017 8:32am-9:01am EDT
schneider at adrian community college in michigan. saturday night at 8:00 eastern n c-span and c-span.org. >> it resulted in a naval victory for the u.s. over japan just six months after the attack on pearl harbor and on june 2 american history tv will be live all day from the macarthur memorial visitors' center in norfolk, virginia for the 75th anniversary of the battle of midway. featured speakers include walter borneman author of "the admirals" the five star admirals who won the war at sea, elliot carlson with his book. anthony tully, coauthor of "shattered sword" the untold story of the battle of midway. and timothy orr coauthor of "never call me a hero" a legendary american dive bomber pilot remembers the battle of midway.
watch the battle of midway 75th anniversary special live from the mcarthur memorial visitors' center in norfolk, virginia on june 2 beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from capitol hill congressman francis rooney from florida, a former ambassador to the vatican from 2005 to 2008. i want to begin with the secretary of state rex tillerson to answer questions from reporters aboard airforce one as they left the vatican yesterday and headed to brussels. here is what he had to say ahead of the president's meeting with nato leaders. >> well, as the president has said, you know, he really wants to persuade nato members to step up and fully make their obligations under burden sharing. the two percentage g.d.p. was a target they all agreed to.
i think you can expect the president to be very tough on them, saying, look, the u.s. is spending 4%. we're doing a lot. the american people are doing a lot. for your security, for our joint security. you need to make sure you're doing your share for your own security as well. i think that's going to be the core of his message to nato. host: congressman rooney, do you agree with the president here, and if so, why? guest: i don't think it's unreasonable to expect our partners in europe to pay their share. that's the way nato was established originally and we have many priorities in the united states and nato is certainly one of them. but i think that the rest of the country should pay their share. interestingly, the newer members of nato in former eastern europe areas seem to be paying up more than old europe. host: we can show our viewers the "washington times" shows the united states paying about 3.6% of g.d.p., greece 3.3,. u.k. 2.2.
estonia 2.1. france 1.7. turkey, norway, lithuania, romania, latvia all below 2%. do the numbers need to go up and if so are they capable of doing it? is it realistic? guest: if greece can pay more than 2% i would certainly think italy, spain, and france can do it. we are protecting them. nato is protecting them. they owe the rest of the european nations and the united states an obligation to do their fair share. host: the president is also wanting to ask nato to step up in the fight against isis. is that the role of nato? guest: that's a little more complicated. that's up to the president to decide how he wants to try to move nato. i know nato was very successful in the breakdown of the former yugoslavia, bosnian-serbian war so maybe there is a role for them, but really in the middle east it's more important that the people over there provide
the boots on the ground and ight the fight -- kurds, turks , sunnies. host: the former ambassador to nato wrote an opinion piece writing that troops, ships, tanks, and planes are not the core of nato's strength. at the core of the most durable, most successful alliance in history are its common values, democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law. values are what binds the 28 nations of nato together. today these values are being challenged from multiple directions including from the inside. protecting these values is vital to america's security and is a process that begins at home in all 28 member capitals. this is a message again nato needs to hear. your response? guest: i'm not sure what that message is trying to say. nato is a military alliance. he makes it sound like it is some kind of soft diplomatic alliance. the other point is who can be most successful in on-the-ground deployment in the middle east and recent years
have shown this is a fight that needs to be waged over there by the people that live there. host: and should the president commit to article 5? guest: well, without article 5 you really don't have much of a nato, do you? it's kind of like the monroe doctrine. host: the president -- there are some who nato leadership who say they want to hear the president publicly recommit to article five. that he needs to say it while he's there. in order to get nato to agree to what he's asking for. guest: that would probably be a reasonable request to the president to say, sure. if we're going to consider reciprocal obligations you need to pay up. host: congressman, what did you make of the president's meeting with the pope? guest: first i spoke with some of my former counterparts in the mission this morning and the word i got was it was a "huge success and improvement in holy c united states
relations" so that is a good sign. i liked what i saw in the communique about promoting peace through interreligious dialogue and negotiation and i think it resonates with the alignment of the united states and the holy c and the unique soft power which it can bring to bear in this fight against radical i islamic terror. host: why did they say they believe that this was successful in relations? guest: i think there had been some things which came up in the campaign which were widely reported both by the pope and by president trump. this meeting was a way to put that behind and move forward and leverage the areas where we are aligned and have a few frank discussions about things where there have been differing opinions. host: congressman, you served as u.s. ambassador to the vatican. what goes into preparing for a u.s. president to come to the vatican and meet the pope?
guest: the mission to the holy see is unique. rather than dig deeply into the affairs of state, practical affairs of business, and activities, you focus on the big picture issues of humanity -- human rights, human dignity, and religious freedom all across the world. for example when president bush was there we spoke with secretary of state about activities where the united states and the holy see were aligned in 16 different countries, so the briefing for the president would have involved a wide range of geographical locations where freedoms are at risk, human rights are at risk, and where the united states and the holy see can work together as well as a few areas where the united states and the holy see part company. host: mike in new york a republican, you are up first for the congressman. question or comment? caller: yes, with the president being out of the country isn't it very bad form for the u.s. intel to leak the intel given them by the u.k. on the manchester bombing?
host: congressman, we learned from the associated press this morning that according to manchester officials the police there will no longer be sharing intelligence with the united states because of leaks. what do you think this could do to our relationship with the u.k.? guest: i think there are probably some hurt feelings on the part of the police who would rather have been the first to describe, give the name, and describe the background of the perpetrator, and it's a little unusual that we would have rushed to get that out before giving them an opportunity to speak. host: does this do damage to our relationship with other countries? guest: i doubt long-term damage, but it certainly probably ruffled the local police department that would have rather had the spotlight. it was their investigation. long run, we have such durable relationships around the world based on our intelligence sharing that one little incident of a premature disclosure of this perpetrator
can't do too much damage. host: we'll hear from arnette in alabama, independent. you're up next for the congressman. caller: good morning, congressman. how you doing? guest: great. how are you? caller: i'm doing fine, sir. as a former member of the military who served in europe during the fall of the berlin wall and also the former member of the military who served , veral tours going to korea at what time did the united states stop fighting for human rights and human dignity and democracy around the world that will ensure members of our military would just go to these places instead of actually having to fight in them? it is appalling to me that the russians are in the white house, that they actually went into the oval office with no american press and that there are members of your party who continually attack the press, which in our constitution guarantees them the right to be anywhere. it's not trump's white house.
it is the people's white house. host: congressman, i'll have the congressman respond. guest: the russian foreign ministers and presidents and other people have been in and out of the white house for years. that's part of the presidents having meetings with people all around the world. host: congressman, "the financial times" out of london this morning has this headline about the president's trip -- "europe pushes trump to stick with the paris climate pledge." do you think he should do that? guest: i personally don't. i personally think that was an asymetrical set of obligations that the obama administration undertook to reduce climate -- reduce emissions here without a correspondingly equally accountable set of obligations on the part of a less developed world. host: robert, baton rouge, louisiana, independent. caller: hi, greta. i wanted to ask representative rooney, turkey is a member of nato. how does that affect the united
states' role in the war on isis clash with w, the the kurds, if you could please comment. thank you. guest: sure. that is a very good question. the situation with turkey as a long standing, very important ally, occupying a very important piece of geography in the middle east with a highly industrialized economy makes them very important to the united states. at the same time, so are the kurds. the kurds have proven themselves to be one of the most effective fighting forces in the middle east. in the iraq portion of kurdistan it's virtually autonomous right now, functioning as an independent country. we haven't recognized them as such. i would like to see our diplomacy work to bring the turks into appreciation of the ability of the kurds to help us all deal with syria even though they have their own internal problems with them. host: what do you think this president or the administration can do to make that happen? guest: there are probably some things we can do with turkey to
ameliorate the risk of terrorism inside of turkey. certainly the recent hardening up of the border with syria should help allay some of their fears about the ypg and maybe if we pledge cooperation with them from a terrorism point of view the ypg and pkk, they might be more willing to allow the pkk to continue to fight with the sunni resistance in iraq and syria. host: let's go to joe, cleveland, ohio, republican. caller: thank you. i so support what this president has done in europe. it's been absolutely amazing. it's obvious this man truly loves his country, our country. and i would hope that the senate and the house really support him when he comes back. this weekend was memorial day. besides putting our flags out, i think all the voters that voted for donald trump should take their signs back out and put them on the lawn, supporting this president. put the trump signs back on. america, let's show these liberals that hate this country
how much we love it. and i thank you for your time. host: congressman, what do you think of the president's trip so far? guest: i think it's been a very important trip. a big success. i think the -- clearly undertaking the realignment in the middle east a little more oriented toward israel and our sunni allies and away from the ayatolla is a good thing. i think the recent overture of saudi arabia to entertain the -- enter into the struggle for reforming islam for its more moderate religion is consistent with the modern 21st century values in helping find a aging to give people reasonable alternative to radicalization is a very good thing. host: congressman, the president met this morning, had a working lunch with the new french president. what do you think about the president at these nato meetings meeting with these different european leaders?
what is the message to europe from the united states about going forward under this new administration? guest: first, it's very important that the president develop personal relationships with the other world leaders. at the end of the day diplomacy is based upon personal relationships and a feeling of trust, that you can trust motives and what they're saying. this is a good start for president trump. as far as the message to europe i think it is going to reassure europe that we are their partner in pursuing the values and culture of the judeo christian ethic in western civilization and working together to try to bring the other abrahamic faith, islam, into conformity with the modern world and fight these terrorists that are taking advantage of religion. host: give me your thoughts, congressman, on the role of diplomacy. are you concerned at all that the president's budget for the state department is -- he is requesting a cut of 31%, a reduction of $17 billion.
guest: well, i need to take a look at how much of that is a.i.d. and how much is internal operations of the department. diplomacy requires that we deploy people all around the world, and that costs money, but it is a very important alternative to hard power. on the other hand, there are so many abuses of a.i.d., i found out that a.i.d. has given money to support the world economic forum. why would the united states taxpayer be subsidizing the world economic forum when everybody that arrives over there arrives on a gulf stream g-5? the other thing they did is they did $17.5 million of voluntary contributions to the u.n. human rights commission. something that is dedicated to undermining the united states and israel. host: elizabeth is up next in las vegas. democrat. caller: good morning. good morning, congressman. it's just a pleasure to be on and speak with you. what i wanted to suggest is at when you talk about
nding or giving saudi arabia $110 billion moneys to build a military and you talk about taking all of the money from globally from supporting human rights, which is what america is a beacon of light for the world and they count on us, they look to us for that kind of support, for that kind of love and guidance. when we are speaking to building the border wall and spending $100 billion on a border wall, and taking money from seniors in the health care bill, my mother is legally blinald, worked all of her life, has gone through her savings. is 85 years old. gets $1300 a month and barely can make it without her children supporting her. i am legally blind. i am on disability. i do work but without both incomes i would be out on the
street. the president wants to send people back to work. there are no jobs. he does not want to raise the minimum wage so it can be a living wage. so when you're speaking about all of these things, putting people back to work and stuff, there is no real support for their income. and giving the top percentage of the world billionaires more money, more tax breaks in order to keep their money, they don't give -- there is not trickle down economics. that did not work with reagan. all of us looked at that, voted for that, it did not work. fact that it ical did not work and i think the gop is really very, very political and not very, very supportive truly of the american people. host: okay. i'll jump in and have the
congressman respond. guest: first of all let me start with the last one. it is not political to face the serious work place challenges we face in this country. there are so many needs for workers right now in all industries. it's very difficult to find enough workers. i know in one of our family companies we could probably use 100 welders and carpenters if we could find them. the skill set deficiencies have been documented all across industry. that's why we have this need for immigration to get people to do jobs. there are three ta to 55-year-old males out -- 25 to 55-year-old males out of the work force for every one that is unemployed. that's 3-1. if we can figure out how to get those people trained up and in the work force it would go a long way toward solving our work force problems. as far as the medical bill, the ahca doesn't take away anybody's care. it just replaces one broke system with an effort to bring the free market in and make the manner of delivery of the care
more patient centered and more available for freer choice. it devolves some power to the states. i think city area is a good thing. let the people closest to their legislators decide what to do in their states. host: c.j. in titusville, florida, independent. caller: yes, congressman. i wanted to ask my own representative, cram cram posey, this question, but he has not had a town hall meeting since 2009 and is doing everything he cannot to deal with his constituents so i'm asking you the question. it's clear to me iran is the next target. are you going to send your kids or grand kids to the next war? guest: i appreciate you asking that question and i'm more than glad to answer it. i was actually in prerevolution iran. i know something about the country. as long as the ayatolla and the revolutionary guards are controlling everything, it's not something that we can
engage with and i disagree with the president's accord. i won't call it a treaty. i think we need to isolate iran, try to isolate the shiite axis of evil across through syria and hezbollah, but i don't think we'll be invading iran. i don't think you have to worry about that. i think we're starting to learn in this country that this is a geography at least that is very difficult for americans to succeed on the ground. we need to work to back up local fighting forces and use tools of diplomacy and containment to isolate the damage over there until it ultimately can be resolved internally. host: beverly is watching in california on our line for democrats. caller: yes, congressman, and to c-span, thank you so much for the call. i want to make two quick points. there was a serviceman that just called in and i noticed that you didn't give deference to thank him for his services. i expect the republicans to respond to our servicemen with
respect, because, after all, the drumming up of war with sending our children and our soldiers into harm's way, and it's important that we acknowledge them. my other question that i wanted to raise also is that with at's going on now in the middle east and selling more weapons to saudi arabia, who do not participate in protecting against isis and the situation with the kurds, and the kurds have been fighting with us. just last week when the president from turkey came to the united states, his diplomats or support people were kicking people that were protesting. there was nothing said. no one from the gop said one word about that. guest: actually chairman royce of the house foreign affairs committee sent out a very
strong letter to the white house urging them to denounce this. we've all spoken a great deal that in the united states we don't beat protesters. we allow them to exercise their first amendment rights. i think it has been actually a bipartisan response to that. you know, it's unfortunate we need so much hard power in the world, but we do. i am always a proponent of diplomacy and soft power where possible but saudi arabia getting a few arms to help them fight in yemen where 58,000 huthis backed by iran are trying to hold a 28 million people hostage is not a good thing, so i think a lot of these weapons will go to help saudi arabia deal with yemen as well as fortify their border with syria and iraq. host: let's go to bart in keystone heights, florida, republican. caller: good morning. i only have two things and they're both off topic. e first is i don't believe
forte should be allowed to take his seat. the second, i've been a republican all my life. i'm 75 years old and i am no longer proud to be a republican. you guys are not doing things that are good for the american people. thank you. i'm done. host: congressman? guest: well, i'm sorry you feel that way. i think that the socialist top down government control way of the last eight years hasn't worked and i think that ronald reagan showed that when you reduce regulations, control your spending, and empower people, that you can have a growing economy and that's what we're trying to get done here. first thing is fix the broken health care system so that people have patient-centered, choice-oriented care, and let the free market work in an environment where high risks are covered separately instead of trying to spread them across everybody and making insurance too expensive. host: congressman, i want to show our viewers "the
washington post" this morning. there's several pictures of people in somalia with the headline "somalis fleeing famine face another deadly peril." and it says that half of somalia's population, about 6 million people, are now dependent on humanitarian aid. is there a role for the united states government here in countries like somalia to help out with the situation when hey have endemics like cholera and famine? guest: i think there is a role for all of the wealthy nations of the world to come to the aid of people that are disease-ridden and in situations of starvation. you know, this whole immigration problem in the mediterranean results from these terrible economic and living conditions in somalia and across subbuteo harrahn affer and that is one of the things the g-7 will talk about
is there anything that can be done to create better conditions there where these people can see a future not want to flee their country. host: is there a limit on what u.s.a.i.d. can do in a country like somalia? guest: sure. there is a huge limit. we have so many cost pressures facing us right now. that's what this whole budget debate is all about. we have $20 trillion of debt burdening the american taxpayer and mortgaging our children's future. host: we'll go to kim next in iowa. democrat. good morning, kim. are you there? one last call for kim. all right. let me move on to ron in missouri. independent caller. ron, you are on the air. make it quick here because the house is about to gavel in. caller: will do. just wanted to find out from the congressman why the republican party still is attacking president obama after he's out of office and standing up for trump who is just basically dishonest as a $3 bill and not trust worthy.
host: i think we've got the point so i'll have the congressman respond. guest: i would agree president trump as an outsider to politics and a businessman doesn't always appreciate the political and media spin ramifications of some of his comments. but i think we ought to take him at his word and look at what he's doing and look at his acts and i think so far he's shown a commitment to our country, a commitment to the principles of free enterprise, and a strong security, and i think those are important values we need to put forward. host: congressman, do you trust president trump's judgment? guest: i think what i've seen so far i do. i think that he's, like i say, some of the words could have been phrased better, but, you now, he was willing to cut flynn loose when he realized the obvious evidence that flynn was taking money from foreign countries while receiving classified briefings. that's very important. i think he followed the advice of deputy director rosenstein
about comey though i don't understand why he didn't get rid of him on january 20 after the way comey bungled the hillary clinton mess. host: congressman, what do you want the president to achieve when he travels next to italy for the g-7 meetings? guest: well, i hope that he will make clear our commitment to europe and to the collective security of the western world in the midst of all these problems in the middle east and the challenges that we face there. we're all united in that struggle. i hope that he will talk a little bit with them about this africa problem that you mentioned earlier. what ways might be available to stem the tide of refugees cross libya and algeria into italy and i guess also out into the canary islands. it's a huge humanitarian crisis that affects europe. host: congressman rooney, francis rooney, republican of florida, member of the foreign affairs committee, and also the former u.s. ambassador to the
holy see, thank you, sir, for your time. guest: thanks for having me on. host: we'll bring you now to the floor of the house. they're about to gavel in. we'll bring you gavel-to-gavel coverage here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god we give you thanks for giving us another day. the members of this people's house will be leaving for the memorial day recess. as they meet with their respective constituents, give them the gifts of wisdom and discernment that in their words and actions they will do justice, love with mersy, and walk humbly with you. may they also have the attentiveness that is called for to hear the concerns of those whom they represent. on this wk