tv President Trumps America First Policy CSPAN July 1, 2017 11:01pm-12:15am EDT
the u.s. is perceived around the world. now, former bush national security council senior director michael doran and wendy sherman debate president trump's foreign policy decisions and the america first agenda. this american jewish committee 1 hour and 10 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome councilmember robert lapin. [applause] mr. lapin: good afternoon and welcome to my own personal favorite moment of each ajc global forum, the annual great debate. debate. this year, 2017, perhaps more than any other year in recent times i think we would all agree is defined by polarizing and oftentimes painful disagreements.
from the boardroom and beyond, and of course the global forum is no exception. ajc is not new to this reality. every year we have featured passionate debate about the day's most pressing issues in global affairs and overtime this segment, the great debate, has become an enduring fixture in our programming. as many of us will recall, last year steve israel faced off anor,st danson nor -- dan s over which party represented jewish interests. the year before we witnessed a fiery exchange between two well-known israeli journalists. about the future of the two state solution, or the lack thereof. in years past we have hosted vigorous and memorable contests between roger cohen and bret stephens on iran, and peter by
heart on zionism, and barney frank and last night's guest bill kristol on the election. goal herehout, our has been of course to foster respectful, but spirited conversations between two prominent thinkers who hold very opposite opinions. and that holds true today. in a minute we will welcome to the stage the two debaters, both of whom are close friends of ajc. on the one side we will welcome ambassador wendy sherman, the ambassador for president obama and a lead negotiator on the iran deal. on the other side we will from theichael durand, national sick at in the george w. bush administration and one of the architects of that administration's policies. isaacsons on jacek
serving as our moderator, ambassador sherman and mr. durand will try to answer the question, the america first approach, is it advancing or is it compromising u.s. interests abroad? ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and before we begin i want to turn your attention please to the presentation on the screen for a brief video introduction. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> my foreign policy will always put the interests of the american people, and american security, above all else. you have to be first. policyromised a foreign that would put america first. president trump's first months in office have the pundits and public asking, is america first more about style or substance? ♪ >> so i am looking at a wednesday and tuesday and i like the one of both parties like.
>> president trump has signaled a potentially new approach to arab israeli peace following strains between the obama administration and israel. what will this mean for u.s. policy on the conflict? >> one of the worst deals i have ever seen is the iran deal. >> this by blasting the iran nuclear deal, president trump shows no sign as of yet on avoiding the agreement with toronto -- tehran. will his stance change? >> we have been very clear that a redline for us is chemical weapons being utilized. redlinedent obama do a to syria on chemical warfare. but it was president trump, not president obama, that launched missile strikes against the assad regime. how does marmont -- more muscular posture affect the conflict? >> i'm committed to resetting
the relationship between our two nations. >> the obama initiative to read populations faltered as vladimir putin challenged his neighbors and expanded moscow's influence. >> it would be wonderful with nato and our country could get along with russia right now. we are not getting along with the model. >> president trump's attempts to setting the course with the kremlin better? >> looking at the america first policies, one thing is certain, the world is not waiting. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen welcome
ambassador wendy sherman, michael durand, and jacek isaacson. [applause] >> good afternoon. months since his inauguration, and with the promised quote from this day forward it will be only america first, president trump has put forth policies that seek to reposition the u.s. on the world stage. asserting that america has been taken advantage of, he has taken a series of steps in order to reverse of the unfair treatment he believes our country has suffered. the president has withdrawn the u.s. from one major trade deal and he plans to reexam 14 others. he has proposed shortcuts in the state department and he has
lashed out publicly at mexico, australia and germany and in his first summit a weekend a half ago he scolded our closest allies. last week the president announced that the u.s. would pull out of the paris climate accord, arguing it would cost the country trillions of dollars and stating "i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris." against this disruptive record, there have been signs that foreign policy was not so different after all. the president has asserted that nato is no longer obsolete. he has stuck with the iran nuclear deal. principally negotiated by ambassador sherman. while seeking to intensify pressure on iran for dangerous -- is dangerous missile program. with 50ade common cause muslim nations and he has pledged partnership with israel.
i want to begin our debate by asking ambassador sherman and might durand to define the intentions and implications of the america first foreign policy and to step back from the daily tidal wave of russia date -- ga te and tell us whether the administration is pursuing a course correction and traditional u.s. foreign-policy or pursuing what might be described as a disengagement from world affairs. before turning to our debaters, a quick word about ground rules. ambassador sherman and might durand will have five minutes to speak and three minutes of these to respond to each other. while they are speaking and while i am following up with questions of my own, i will ask you to write in your own questions on the cards in your chairs and pass them to the staff circulating in the aisles. or if you are watching online, tweak -- tweet your questions.
after i pose as many questions as time allows i will ask the debate is for closing remarks. we will begin. ambassador sherman. ambassador sherman: thank you. , am honored to be here today part of your annual great debate on this consequential question. like the new york times lead editorial said yesterday, i believe president trump is leading america in retreat from the world. seedserous position that control to others, and undermines american values. to set america first in its historic context, especially important for all of us who are jews. as most of you know, america first was the organizational america inement in the 1930's led by charles lindbergh and others to get america out of war two. lindbergh was anti-semitic and
pro-german, and isolationist and a nationalist. the hero of the skies was also somebody that wanted to keep out of america those that did not look like him, people who are not "real americans." president trump adopted this moniker and it should concern all of us as jews and as americans. the echoes of isolationism, building the wall, fear of people not like us, are too loud for comfort. the president, as the campaign, understood that there were people hurting in america. families that lost jobs through technology and trade, buffeted by rapid change. first,"er was "america but the answer lies elsewhere. even if some are underemployed and try to take care of kids on incomes stagnated in the recession. the answer for these families is better top training, real trade
adjustment assistance, a college loan system that works, and the embracing of the future economy. it is not america first in a retreat from the world. historically, we as a people know better than anyone the closing of was eyes to the world is a recipe for disaster. the donald trump administration has for the most part try to disconnect from critical alliances, and life-saving objectives, most recently of course the president withdrew from the pairs climate agreement, a non-binding commitment by 200 countries to voluntarily reduce harmful emissions to save the planet. with trying from the agreement will not bring back old jobs, but it will make it harder for us to compete in new technologies. hopefully, leadership by governors, mayors and major employers will save us from ourselves and ensure that our grandchildren have a future. the very start of his presidency, president trump with
a true from the transit -- leaving allies and partners to wonder if they should turn to china. although the president backed off of nato, he heckled at european partners and left them to fend off russian aggression. following the stop in saudi arabia committee visited israel but left unclear his way forward . and of course he withdrew from the paris agreement. the president has offered a budget that reduces the state department by 31%, while substantially increasing the defense department. i want a strong military, the credible threat of force is a critical moment of successful diplomacy, but as secretary mattis hasn't said, if diplomacy is gutted he will have to buy more bullets. secretary tillerson, along with the white house, has not filled many of the state department positions leaving us -- on many
fronts. most concerning is the recent cohen, whomaster and said that the world is not a global community, but in arena where nations, nongovernment actors and businesses compete for advantage. as the new york times said, this is not hardheaded realism, but quotes "a vision of the world with cutthroat competition, deeply at odds with the most at all division that has -- " the cap administration's vision of competition will not allow nations to defeat terrorism, deal with climate change, advance have a security, stop pandemics, reduce poverty, creating middle-class that prevent and a brace values. we believe in the concept of -- and america should as well.
the american jewish committee was founded in 1906 to prevent the infringement of civil and religious rights of jews and to alleviate the consequences of persecution, i know i have three seconds. as ajc developed it fought rights,-- and human equality for human rights in the in the 90'stoday, began international engagement in a diplomatic marathon and supported nato intervention in kosovo and in the 21st century opened a transatlantic institute in brussels, helped to raise money for victims of the south asians in on the and hurricane katrina, and advocated for energy independence and green policies. hasuld go on about all ajc done to engage in the world, clearly it believes the united states and its people are a force for global peace and security. americanever been an first organization, nor should
our country be. [applause] mr. isaacson: thank you. thank you, windy. you have an extra 30 seconds. [laughter] mr. doran: thank you. thanks to all of you for coming. thank you to the ajc for inviting me. i agree with ambassador sherman, it is a great honor to be here debating this consequently shoot. i do have a different position. the starting point for understanding the historical -- the historical starting point for understanding america first is not charles lindbergh. as a former educator i can guarantee you that nobody under the age of 55 in the country remembers charles lindbergh and america first, 1%. a better place to start would be
march of 2016. i know the phrase predated that, but to understand what it is about we should go to then. that is when bernie sanders defeated hillary clinton in the democratic primary. for those that have read the ed" you know that sanders' victory blindsided hillary clinton. she walked around after that, talking to the staff, saying that she was utterly mystified by the behavior the voters and did not understand why she was not connected with them. the book also tells you in the first chapter, that the campaign had a great difficulty at the beginning, coming up with an explanation for hillary clinton's, for her desire to be president, to explain what it is, or why she wanted the presidency. that is after a decade of running for president. the book is in lightning about hillary clinton and she is the
subject matter but really i think it is a much deeper message to us than just hillary clinton or her campaign. it is really a story about the complete disconnect between the washington elite and the voting public and that would include in the ambassador sherman and myself. i think the last election was a wake-up call for all of us. our foreign policy elite is not fashioning a message in policies that resonate with the priorities of the american people and that is what america first means, number one, inform policy that resonates with people and it demonstrates to voters that the elite is indeed trying to advance their interests on the global stage. that is the first point. the second point is it is a resounding rejection of the philosophy of the obama administration, and i would say the absolute failed philosophy of the obama administration, which was heir to a point of
view after the end of the cold war, for lack of a better term i will call the end of history viewpoint, advanced by fukuyama. our elite decided, especially the democratic elites, decided things like alliance, credible use of force, military deterrence and so on were often counterproductive and damaging to the united states. if you doubt me, go back and read the u.n. general assembly speeches that president obama gave year after year, where he explicitly, explicitly developed this concept saying things like, we are no longer in an age when one country can dominate another and so forth. this was the philosophy that led the administration to reach out to enemies and to distance themselves from friends. we saw it in the middle east
most dramatically with the iran deal. his attitude toward the middle east was it was an arena populated by friends and potential friends. and he went to a great extent to win over the potential friends like iran at the expense of our friends israel. in order to do this he had to deceive the israelis and the american public on a number of, on a number of areas, with the consequences that we all see now. forum income to this 2018 it is said that the consequence of obama's policies was going to be the rise of an iranian alliance, from toronto beirut, the displacement of 10 million people in syria, and the ejection into europe of millions of refugees, or at least over one million refugees, if i told you that iran was going to
emerge from the deal with the right to enrich and reprocessing uranium, and within 10 years it would have a completely unfettered program which the international community would look, the program of any other country, that it would be effectively in international law on par with belgium, you would have laughed, he would've rolled your eyes and said it was a completely dysfunctional fantasy. but it is not, it is a reality and one that was the direct result of the philosophy of president obama, which president trump has rejected. in his trip to the middle east -- [applause] mr. doran: thank you. you have to do it louder. it was not as strong as the other one. if you notice in his trip to the middle east he was embraced by our allies, by israel, by saudi arabia, with something like euphoria. they are doing cartwheels and
that is what america first means. mr. isaacson: perfect time. i am looking at the timer. ambassador sherman: impressive. [applause] mr. doran: thank you. mr. isaacson: thank you. you have the right to rebuttal. ambassador sherman: a couple of points. 65haps you have to be over mo which i certainly am, to remember charles bloomberg. but i think that we all teach every generation never again. [applause] ambassador sherman: and to ensure never again means not closing one's eyes to the world, but rather understanding the world as it is. has the world in many ways gone more complicate it after the end of the cold war. because everybody had lined up with one side or the other. and yes, it is true that there are many powers and rising
powers, though the u.s. represents the only superpower in the world at the moment. that is not to say that russia and china are not trying to become superpowers. china most decidedly and it certainly and vladimir putin is trying to reconstruct the soviet union in whatever way he can. region.s engage in the but imagine how much worse it would be if they had a nuclear weapon and they could project power into the region and the terror our -- deter our actions and our allies' actions. just as a factual matter, reprocessing is not allowed in the iran deal. and it is only allowed extremely limited enrichment under very strict monitoring. just a sort of get this issue out of the way, which i know we
cannot entirely, i just want to be clear that what president obama understood, painfully, was that iran knew how to do what it knew how to do. they had mastered the entire nuclear cycle. we could bomb away the facilities, and the president in fact commissioned a weapon to do just that, to be able to penetrate the underground facility. and we told the iranians that the military threat was a part of the negotiations. but we also understood that if we bombed those facilities iran would re-create them in two or three years and do them underground. we could continue to try to sanction iran, but they were beginning to fray and the only reason, the only reason our allies and partners stuck with us, japan, korea and many other countries cut back their oil from iran, was because we were
involved in serious diplomacy. those sanctions were not held up so we thought negotiations under strict limits was the best way to go to ensure that iran never, ever, ever obtained a nuclear weapon. my last point, israel. it was part of what we did every single step of the way. i consulted with them on a constant basis and their experts will tell you that at least for the next decade, in their point of view, israel is a safer as a result of the deal then not having the deal. at the end of the day -- [applause] ambassador sherman: at the end of the day the prime minister made a decision that israel, that this is not a good deal, and i honor, i honor him as prime minister to make the decision he believes is best for israel's security and i never doubt for one moment that the leaders of a country do with a
believe is in their best interest, even when i do not agree. [applause] mr. isaacson: thank you. mike? mr. doran: the united states is a very powerful country. it is extremely powerful and extremely influential. iran were noton going to fray, they were not going to disappear, they would have remained firm. they had grown from 2005 by the time i got into the white house, we put that program together and they grew under the bush administration and further under the obama administration and we had our boots on the neck of the economy. what --t obama traded deep and irreversible concessions by the united states, permanent and irreversible concessions for temporary and reversible concessions by the iranians, who have cheated on every deal they
have ever made. this deal the not stop them from getting a bomb. it did not stop the program. it put their program on a very fast path to a bomb and it started a nuclear, a nuclear race in the region. because the other actors in the region, including israelis, will not be waiting 10 years to find out if this has stopped of them. at the heart of the deal was a philosophy that the democrats in particular came out after the cold war, if we just smooth over problems and move them to the side they will go away. that we can turn the iranians in do not if allies, but partners in the region and make no mistake part of the deal was the deal over the region. hesident obama believed if got the nuclear deal out of the way temporarily, then he would turn iran into, he could come up
with an accommodation with iran over the region, over iraq, syria and elsewhere and they would moderate. that is a field theory. -- failed theory and the consequences have been catastrophic. those of the consequences that the trump administration is having to deal with, in a weaker position than it would've been if we had never removed the sanctions to begin with. [applause] mr. doran: the united states is a very powerful country and that means that everybody has to go along with what we do. we are like a ceo in the region, standing next to a secretary, saying to the secretary, how am i doing in my job? the secretary will always say, you are doing great. they will never say you are doing horribly. that is why president trump got thatuphoric reception he got. make no mistake, there was
severe deception of the american people and of allies over the iran deal. at every stage in the negotiation we were told we would get one thing when in the end we got something else. to this day we do not know the exact details of the deal. and is a failed philosophy the rejection of it that donald trump represents, it is a great corrective to our foreign policy in the middle east. [applause] mr. isaacson: thank you mike. i am confident that we could spend the next hour on iran, but let me move to a different track. what i would like to start with is, i would like to restate something that ajc's ceo said last night. defendingabout ajc democracy, rule of law and pluralism. ajc relying on global leadership of america and believing in and is standing by israel. i would like to ask each of you,
how do these beliefs align with the president's worldview and are they consistent with america first? ambassador sherman: i believe he does not see them as consistent with his philosophy of america first. went to the president the gulf and he had a good meeting, but clearly did not bring everybody together because now egypt, saudi arabia, and the united arab emirates have cast a shadow on qatar and cut off relations. we have a long way to go to keep those countries together. i have not heard the president talk about democracy at all. and he is gutting our diplomacy and our ability to bring those values around the world. as i said in my opening statement, when you have national security advisor mcmaster and cohen say that we only have competing interests
out there, this is not about pluralism, this is not about solving the problems that cross our borders that require a community of countries to come together. and where role of laws concerned, i feel like i am just buffeted on a moment by moment fact theut what in president believes about the law. non-traveles to his ban ban, since everyone in the white house except the president says it is not a travel ban and the president continues to tweet in mostly about a travel ban, and says that in fact the courts have to hurry up and get this done and why is it not done, and castigate his own justice department, which i assume he approved for cutting down the ban, to less of a ban,
that still is probably going to be seen as a ban, i think and part he is trying to get in front of the supreme court, which although the supreme court often supports the president of the united states and defers to that authority, given the checks and balances, clearly the president is concerned this time that may not happen. we have seen -- [applause] ambassador sherman: a great. --a g agreed. we have seen the president deride judges and say they are not important. that because they are of one background or another they cannot be fair. we have seen the justice department tell our mayors that decisions that may have been made to put laws into place and frameworks in place, to make sure that civil society is civil, are no longer good and will be reviewed. i come from the city of baltimore and it has serious problems, they have planned to
move forward and now the justice department says they cannot. rule of law, pluralism, democracy -- it is not part of donald trump's america first. mr. isaacson: global leadership and standing by israel. mr. doran: u.s. global leadership and a standing by israel. ambassador sherman: i did not speak to that because it is so and parent -- apparent to me that the president believes the inside its only lead own country. london ishappened in terrifying, appalling for everyone, as the former acting head of the cia and deputy of attacks arene wolf something that we will live with for some time to come. but the president's response to that was not to embrace what is going on in the leadership of great britain and work together,
but rather to attack the mayor of london. not once, but three times now, to the point where the prime minister of great britain has derided that kind of attack. this is a moment when the kind of work that ajc has done and has been a groundbreaker in doing so, to try to say that muslims, jews, christians, buddhists, we all have to find a way to live together, to ensure that each of our rights are preserved, is completely denied by the president. and quite frankly, his anti-muslim rhetoric really is going to increase the anti-semitism that senator schumer spoke about earlier in this country, because there is always a reaction. when there is a reaction it usually comes on the jews.
[applause] mr. isaacson: thank you. mike? mr. doran: thank you. i do not, i agree with the president that i do not want paris here in the united states, i do not want london here in the united states. we heard from president obama rhetoric similar to ambassador sherman's. we heard after every attack in the united states and abroad, we heard from president obama that everybody should live together. and also we should become more resilient. in his interview with jeffrey goldberg on the obama doctrine, he discussed how impressed he was with the israelis that they had lived with terrorism. living with it like it is the weather. meanwhile president obama is in paris signing a completely meaningless climate accord, which is unenforceable --
[boos] mr. isaacson: please, everybody. anddoran: unenforceable nonbinding, except that calls for the u.s. and some of the other leading economies of the world to transfer $100 billion a third world.to the we are paying the chinese on a claim that this is actually going to change the weather. so terrorism, we have to live with like the weather, but we will actually change, we are going to change the weather. the practical acma this philosophy -- practical outcome of this philosophy is that france is becoming a country without jews. we hear never again rhetoric, we heard it from the obama
administration, but we see daily that the french jews are leaving. some are coming to london, summer coming to the united states, and i was just in israel, growing faster than many parts of the country, thanks to the influx of french jews. we can stand here and we can say that we want everybody to live together, and those of the values that we will uphold, but on the ground in the middle east and in europe there are people who are carrying out a legal campaign to undo us and undo our values. [applause] mr. doran: you may not agree with the approach of donald trump and that is fine. that is fine. but you have to come up with a practical answer to this practical problem, and standing on podiums like this and extolling values and, lamenting ourselves for saying never again is not going to work. you can see that. we have had eight years of this.
it is time to move past the rhetoric and develop practical policies to defeat the enemy. to kill the enemy. there is an enemy out there and he wants to kill us and we should kill him first. [applause] mr. isaacson: mike, baked to the issue of u.s. global leadership and how the president's america first concepts square with our belief in global engagement and leadership. mr. doran: the, the america first, the critique of america first, that is a withdrawal from glover leadership is false. leadership is false. it is created in the shocking defeat of the democrats. the media and the democrats have now combined together to depict donald trump's america first as chaotic -- [boos]
mr. isaacson: people. sh! mr. doran: president trump's strike on syria for its use of chemical weapons did more for american deterrence and american leadership in one short 65 hour period, then anything president obama did in his eight years. and in doing so it showed a number of the lies, i choose that were carefully, the lies the obama administration told us about syria. they told us we could not strike syria because of the antiaircraft defenses that they had. they told us for months after assad had used sarin gas that they could not determine that he had used the gas. the donald trump administration made a determine -- determined that within hours.
susan rice told us that the gas, that the gas deal he came up with, the poison gas he came up with with the russians actually rid syria of sarin gas. it did not and we knew it, but we continued to say it, the administration continued to say that it did. that is not global leadership, that is global deception in order to protect failed philosophies that i described before. i. isaacson: before i go on, want to remind people if you want to provide a question that we can pose to debaters, write it down on a card and it will be picked up. if if you are watching online, please tweet your question. and i want to ask people to be respectful of our debaters. while i have allowed cheering and clapping, we do not want booing.
maybe we will just not react. [applause] mr. isaacson: but you can clap for me, thank you very much. let me try another question and perhaps we can open it up to the floor. mike, you wrote an op-ed last month as president trump was on his way to saudi arabia, that had one particularly memorable line "the choices in the middle east are between very bad and much worse." i like that grim as it is. you are clearly referring to the obama administration's policies toward allies when you wrote, "it is false that are support for a long time friends is a cause of instability. that by distancing ourselves from them while reaching out to enemies we can make the world a safer place." i would like to ask ambassador sherman to respond to the notion that the administration you served tilted against our friends. mike, and whether some of our
european friends might be feeling some of the same tough love that the predecessor of the president gave to egypt. ambassador sherman: i think it is important for any leader of our country to be open to reaching out to anyone that can serve our interests. not through secret back channels, before they become an elected official or appointed official. because that is dangerous for our country. thatut i do believe dialogue, being very clear about what we are trying to achieve, is important. many in the that gulf and in israel felt that president obama did not engage with them in a way that moves the ball forward. i understand. and on some policy issues i did not agree with the president and had taken a strike
against syria early on. many people in the administration did, but i also understand why he didn't, he was concerned about a slippery slope, concerned we spent some a years in afghanistan already and we will spend many more years there now, i believe. but he did try to engage. clinton, terry, both of whom i worked with closely, spent hours and hours and hours trying to see whether the u.s. could play in traditional role of facilitating a peace between the palestinians and israel. and again, at the end of the obama administration i probably would not have done the un security council resolution, but i was no longer in the administration and again, i think it was out of a sense of frustration and wanting, in my view, probably not appropriately to set the table for the next
the ministration. what concerns -- next administers and print what concerns me now --administers. what concerns me now but president trump is not that he went to the middle east to meet with leaders. i think that was a good thing to do. even an arms deal with saudi arabia is something worth considering, and it is falling on plans that obama had begun. it is nothing new. what matters is, what is the strategy? a strike in syria is a good thing and i applaud it. but what comes next? what is the strategy? it is not clear to me at all that there is a strategy. said whatnt obama had president trump did about settlements, you would have been protesting. outside of the white house. i see no protests by the community against president trump's comments about settlements, nothing, zero. i believe there is a double
standard and i think it is an unfortunate double standard. trumpeve that president believes in action. we see that every morning. he believes in action. but action, a strike, the mother of all bombs in afghanistan, although they are worthwhile signals, are not a policy. and my favorite of all time is mr. gorka saying to an interviewer to ignore the president's tweets because that is not policy. this is the president of the united states speaking. the methodology may be different and it may not be an executive order, it may not be an interview with an anchor, but it is the president and we cannot listen to his words? we should not consider this policy? so when he says travel ban, we should ignore it? when he says he thinks that the
mayor of london is pathetic, we should not take that to heart? this is not a way to lead the greatest country in the world. yes, we can make america even greater, but we do not have to make america great again. it already is. [applause] mr. isaacson: thank you ambassador. mike, getting to the same question, you said moments ago that the previous president reached out to our enemies and distance ourselves from friends. are we distancing ourselves from friends in europe now? mr. doran: we are engaged in a recalibration in europe and it is a continuation of negotiations that have been going on for a long time. the bush administration repeatedly raised, repeatedly and consistently and energetically raised with the
europeans their failure to reach the 2% commitment, 2% of their gdp for defense. the obama administration also raised it repeatedly and energetically, consistently with the europeans. i would urge you to go back and read goldberg's interview in the atlantic monthly, where president obama talks about an campaign,rider discussing the allies. insause" -- it conta everytory quotes about european leader basically except for angela merkel. when i was in the defense department in 2007 and 2008, when i personally witnessed when the secretary of defense spoke to a delegation, a high-level delegation of europeans and he lectured them very quietly but
aggressively and said, the american public is starting to notice you are not paying for your defense and this is politically and -- an individual -- an indefensible position for the mac and president. the reckoning is coming, it is here now. the failure of the europeans to meet their obligation is simply indefensible. what i prefer that president trump raise this issue in a slightly more diplomatic language? i would, absolutely. you cannot defend the position that the europeans are taking on this. that is what it is, it is a negotiation. in terms of the america first commitment of the president, the president went to pennsylvania and michigan, went to florida and he said, i hear what you are telling me, that you do not have jobs and you do not want to see american jobs going abroad and you do not want to see the u.s. investing in a disproportionate fashion abroad, and others have
to step up. the saudis have done that. they pledged $300 billion to us and the trump administration, the obama administration gave tens of billions to iran. there is a different philosophy and it is going to achieve different results. the europeans need us. we need the europeans. i do not want to suggest that we do not. we need them badly and they are democratic allies, they are our frontier with russia and the middle east, they are the frontier against islamic radicalism and is someone. we need them and we need to support them. but they need us more than we need them, and that is the essence of politics. international politics is indeed what national security adviser mcmaster and gary: said in their op-ed -- cohen said in their op-ed, it is a competition and we have enemies and we have allies. the chump administration has
that correct -- trump administers and has that correct. mr. isaacson: quickly. ambassador sherman: do have objectives? do you have policies? mr. doran: absolutely. ambassador sherman: do you have a strategy? a go to nato, to unveil and tol to 9/11 at nato, have had in your speech as we are told by reporters, a recommitment to article 5, and then pull it at the last minute. when in fact the only time article5, which is an attack on one is an attack on all, the only time it has ever been invoked ever by nato was for america after 9/11. so that nato troops went to and is still are in afghanistan for us. so yes, i want everybody to get
to 2%. everybody pays their dues the nato, the 2% is a deepening of defense give abilities a want everyone to go to 2%. you are right, every administration has pressed every way they can to make it happen. the question is, do you begin your relationship by hectoring your friends? is that the best way to move forward? the strongest economic relationship we have is the transatlantic relationship, so how this in fact helps the president's agenda to ensure jobs, that is our market. canada is our market, mexico is our market for that matter, is beyond me. [applause] mr. doran: i will make a prediction. i am going to make a prediction. and remember that in 2013 i did predict that there would be dire consequences from not taking action in syria. dystopian,oresee the
the dystopian results that we got, but i was correct in my production. i will make another one, that nato will pony up the 2% and they will do it because president trump took this aggressive position. as i said, it is not the way i would've liked to have seen it, but it did not start, the discussion did not start in 2017. it started well over a decade ago. the european have been playing us. we do not like to say it to our allies, but they have been coming up with increases that 2% inesult in a rival of 2024 when nobody who is currently serving in the government is going to be around to hold them to it. and we keep buying the same donkey from the north koreans with their nuclear program, and as we will keep buying the same donkey from the iranians, we keep buying the same donkeys from our allies.
wem we support -- allies support and we work closely with. but there is a lesson we should take from this. as for strategy, make no mistake my donald trump is a strategist -- mistake, donald trump is a strategist. i hear you. i hear you. audience]in mr. doran: if i had told you last year that he was going to win the election i would've gotten a bigger laugh. he said, i will win florida, pennsylvania, michigan and i will bring new voters in and i will capitalize on the people that are voting for bernie sanders and i will pull them into the republican party. that is what he said he would do and he did it. after he didn't, the media -- he did it, the media and the democratic party, in order to explain why they got it so wrong, instead of saying maybe
he is a strategist and i missed that. instead they came up with a conspiracy theory on how the russians stole the election. ambassador sherman: are you saying the russians did not interfere with our election? mr. doran: handed him the election. ambassador sherman: did the russians interfere in our election? mr. doran: let me finish and i will answer. mr. isaacson: please. mr. doran: he has a strategy in the middle east and it is very clear, the strategy begins with the point that the russian iranian alliance is a threat to the united states and to its interests. on monday obama administration, all the principles in the trump administration believes the rise of iran in the middle east is a threat to the united states. to the united states and to its allies, and to its ally israel. the obama administration did not see it that way. ambassador sherman: that is not true. mr. doran: the germans, the president obama says
interviews, in his was operating under the notion he could bring about in equilibrium in the middle east between our allies and the iranians, which means a moderation of the iranians, which has not happened. ambassador sherman: that is not true. i sat in all of those meetings. the president of the united states, president obama, believed what he was doing was ensuring iran never had a nuclear weapon, that it could never project that power into the region. you may not agree with the deal, i get that. but he always understood the activity, their support for hezbollah, and to do everything we could do to stop them. mr. doran: what steps did he do to deter the russians and iranians? ambassador sherman: the russians came into this late in the day and they came into it --
mr. doran: they went to moscow the minute that -- mr. doran: ok, guys. mr. isaacson: break. please. [laughter] mr. isaacson: we wanted that, so i should not complain. [applause] mr. isaacson: we are moving toward closer remarks. but since i heard the word russia mentioned once or twice, let me ask both of you to describe how a warmer attitude toward vladimir putin, this is a question from the audience, advances american national interests? how does it fit into the american first construct? ambassador sherman: why don't you start? mr. doran: it is clear that one of the ideas that president trump has is finding an accommodation with putin, particularly in the middle east and in syria. it is not one that i happen to agree with, but it is one that
is common among our foreign policy, on the democratic side and republican side. where he differs considerably and significantly in terms of his strategy from the obama administration is he believes he needs to push back against the iranians across the board, and that was the meeting -- meaning of the trip to saudi arabia and israel. because the russians and iranians are in an alliance, pushing back against the iranians is pushing back against the russians. i think the idea is to create tension, to split the russians off from the iranians and syrians. the also involves reinvigorating our deterrent, our military deterrence, which was neglected by president obama. he had a pathological allergy to military deterrence and he never engaged in it, almost never.
already with a strike against syria, that is the reinvigoration. so there is outreach to russia going on, for sure, but it is happening in a different context obama's administration. ambassador sherman: i obviously have a different point of view. i guess i have had privilege, opportunity, to be with secretary kerry and meet with vladimir putin for about four hours. as in be utterly charming, think he was the megyn kelly for the last three days. kgb, through and through. he is very smart. he is very strategic. he knows exactly what he is doing and he plays his hand very well. no one should expect that vladimir putin will do anything other than what will keep him as
king for the foreseeable future. he has a presidential election in 2018, maybe he will get 96 instead of 90% of the vote -- 96% instead of 98% of the vote. i do not think we would call it a free or fair election. there are times one can work with russia, but now is not the time. russia is pushing against our european allies, partners and friends. against the baltics. he is indeed trying to gin things up in syria. yes, his alliance with iran and syria is a bad thing and yes we should do everything we can to push iran back from that unbelievably horrific action. but russia is not a good actor
on the world stage today, and it is sort of disturbing quite frankly that there were 4000 people at the st. petersburg for him -- forum over the last few days treating him as if he is a normal player on the world stage. and finally, the very fact michael that you would leave any space to believe that russia did not try to affect our election -- mr. doran: i did not say that. ambassador sherman: do you believe russia tried to interfere in our election? mr. doran: i believe that they hacked podesta's emails in a fishing expedition mr. doran: i don't believe as hillary clinton said last week, i don't believe insiders helped
in a russian information campaign against her. the clear implication is that trump campaign a putin advice about how to shape his message so as how to win the election .ord ms. sherman i'm going to go with 17 intelligence agencies. mr. doran: i'm going to go with the john brennan. ms. sherman: i did not speak to the collusion issue. i did not say who they were trying to affect, though i have my own views, but the 17 l intelligence agencies and pressure interfered with our election, and it appears from their analysis that they did so, at least towards the end, to advantage donald trump.
i have no idea. mr. doran: i do. ms. sherman: wait a minute. i have no idea there was conclusion. that is why i hope the senate intelligence committee and the house intelligence committee does their work. [cheers and applause] ms. sherman: we need to know what happened. not because it will give us a different president of the nine united states, but that set aside, it is important that we find out what happened. that is why robert mueller's investigation is not enough. we need to send it and house because we can never have a foreign power interfere in our election again. [applause] a few seconds, then i would like to go to closing remarks. then we will take it outside. [laughter] mr. doran: i have to make to two points. --
one, i know what putin was doing, and i will share it with you now. had no ability to predict the outcome of our election that was better than any of our best observers. putin did not have a crystal ball to understand anything better than nate silver, who told us hillary clinton was going to win, so the extent he engaged in an information operation against us, and i believe he did, but i believe the impact has been exaggerated. what he was trying to do was to tarnish president hillary clinton, and to tarnish our institutions and spread dissension among us, so that she would be a weakened president. of thes the goal information operation.
hope we will i do find out everything in this investigation, and one of the things i hope we will find out about is the obama surveillance of the trump campaign. thank you. i won't go into great detail. let me direct your attention to one thing, one thing only, january 12, 2017, david ignatius's opinion piece in the washington post in which he said official told himi about the contents of the conversation between my client and the russian ambassador and also suggested that it , henstrated collusion demonstrated it suggests collusion between the trump administration and the russians. there is the evidence for you right there. that is the dna at the crime scene.
that is top-secret surveillance information taken out of foreign policy channels, moved into political channels, spread into our press in support of the .ollusion lie that is a misuse of surveillance information, and it is a crime, and it is the only crime that we know of so far that has been committed within this framework of russia and trump, and i surely hope that all these investigations will also look into that leak, which as i say, was a crime and an abuse of power. mr. isaacson: thank you, mike. ok, now, recalling the title of is american which first advancing or compromising u.s. interests abroad? we will conclude. i know it is hard to imagine we are leaving. [laughter] mr. doran: is ms. sherman: is it tomorrow yet?
mr. isaacson: i will ask sherman then mike doran. mr. doran: thank you for ms. sherman: it is important to jc tothese debates, for a continue the work it does around the united states and around the world. ajc is an international organization, because to stop anti-semitism, support israel, never havee another holocaust that we need to engage ourselves in the world and not isolate ourselves from the world. the last time america did that, you all know the results. i am blessed to have two little , and if i could, i
would spend every single day with them. i'm sure some of you feel the same way about your grandkids, that i'm glad to get them back to their parents, but -- [laughter] ms. sherman: but i worry for them, because in the world in which we are living, we are .reating a moat around us we are pulling up the drawbridge to the rest of the world. an immigration asylum attorney, helps run the clinic at boston university, and day after day, young people who are afraid they will be deported stop talking to the police, stop talking to law enforcement, stop talking to any official for fear for their families and for their lives. , that kind ofear isolationism from the world
never in history has it bread anything good, never. [applause] we teach our children, i hope, and i know ajc does, to understand the world. it does not mean we don't stand up for our interests, of course we do, but even when kids are on a playground, even when they are competing at soccer, at the end of the game, we ask them to walk down the line and shake hands because it is a community that is playing that game, not just to opposing sides competing -- two opposing sides competing. i understand president trump was a successful developer. after the election, going through dulles airport, i picked
up the art of the deal and read it. negotiating a building is not the same as being president. [laughter] ms. sherman: if the building does not give bill, you build another building. if you don't work through peace in the world, you have war, death, and destruction. i am all for disruption, but i'm not for destruction. [applause] mr. isaacson: thank you, wendy. mike durand, i think you have the last word. doran, i think you have the last word. mr. doran: david goodhart has developed some concepts that are useful for understanding the world we are in today. anywhere people and somewhere people. anywhere people are extremely, he developed this idea to talk
about the brexit vote in britain , but i think it applies all across the west. anywhere people are highly , andted, mobile, flexible not rooted in any particular place, they are software ,ngineers, media professionals and working in new york, los angeles, london, paris. they lose their job in los angeles, they can move to new york. they can move to london. value the globalist ideology and globalist agenda of our foreign-policy elite. in fact, they are our foreign-policy elite. they are the people running the country, running britain, and running america for the last two decades. somewhere people are rooted in a particular place, pittsburgh, anywhere in one of those red states from new york to
california. they are less educated, less mobile, and concerned about the communities. thee somewhere people won vote in the last election, and they will continue to win the votes. seeing in the are foreign policy of the trump administration would have in thed i firmly believe clinton administration, and even more in the sanders administration. what we witnessed in the last election was a tectonic shift. committed to american engagement in the world need to be doing the hard intellectual work of thinking how to remain engaged, and yet meet the needs of the somewhere people. thank you. [applause] ms. sherman: thank you, mike. mr. isaacson: and that concludes this great debate. thank you to ambassador sherman, mike doran. we will see next year in jerusalem. ms. sherman: thank you. announcer: ladies and gentlemen,
that concludes our afternoon. we will see you back in the >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact here. coming up sunday morning, jack maline talks about his group's efforts to bring civility back to politics with political dialogue. then james dobbins discusses vice, and foreign ser the trump administration's foreign-policy challenges. and alexandra pelosi on her new hbo film the wars that built america. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern sunday morning.
joined the discussion. sunday on q&a - - >> anybody thinking in 1962 after nixon's last press conference that he would be in a 49 state landslide. then it all came apart. political political commentatot buchanan served as speechwriter for president nixon and discusses his book nixon's white house wars. saying ie him a memo think you have to keep the tapes of conversations of tape with dean. i didn't think it would be that damaging to us. stuff you need. stuff you should tape. take the rest out and burn it and shut down this special prosecutor's officejoined the d. now before this grows into a monster. and i didn't know it at the time, but nixon had called in
fred bizarre and entertained this idea. they said it would be obstruction of justice. i didn't recommend burning subpoenaed tapes. they were his property, executive privilege and everybody knew. he simply got rid of it. said in effect, impeachment be damned, i think he would've moved right through it. said in hisxon memoirs that if he had burned the casetapes, he would have survived and i think that is right. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> now the results of a new pew research study on global image of the u.s. and regions of europe, africa, asia and the middle east. hosted by the brookings