tv Washington Journal Herman Pirchner Discusses President Trumps First G20... CSPAN July 8, 2017 8:00am-8:31am EDT
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host: joining us now is herman pirchner, president of the american foreign-policy council. he is here to discuss president summit.first g-20 thank you for joining us. remind our viewers what is the american foreign policy council. guest: we are a think tank that specializes in the former soviet union and the broad question of islamism. we also work in high-tech and national security. host: but stick a look at president trump when he was in poland on thursday. and the message she had for russia. president trump: we urge russia to stop is destabilizing activities and support for hostile regimes, including serious and a run. and to join a community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in
defense of civilization itself. host: do you think the meeting between president trump and vladimir putin overshadowed everything else that was going on at the summit this weekend? certainly was it a headline of the summit. it was long-awaited. i think president trump's speech in poland did a good job of setting the tone for that meeting by putting putin on notice to actions in syria and ukraine were on the agenda. polandn that speech in the president struck a very nationalist tone. he talked about western civilization and any to defend that. sort of like his inauguration speech. after his last trip to europe did not seem to go as well as some european allies wanted, the you think this was a good way to
start this next round of talks with european allies? guest: i think it was a step towards repairing frayed relationships with europe. in his previous trip he did not mention article five of the nato treaty. this was mentioned in the poll speech and i think that was reassuring to many in europe, especially in poland which is threatened by russia. host: we are talking with herman pirchner, the president of the american foreign-policy council. we are talking about president trump's first g-20 summit that is wrapping up now. democrats can call (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. --ndependent, (202) 748-8002 independents, (202) 748-8002. upeign policy gives a wrap of how the g 20 is going. trump's to visit in hamburg is being treated in poland as a
diplomatic coup. in a limited sense that is fair. -- established by the poland president must than a year ago in august. president this early is a pr triumph. make up lesses than 10% of the european union's gdp. guest: i think there are several reasons for stopping in poland. poland is one of the founding nato countries that makes their 2% commitment of their budget to defense. polish americans are strong backers of the president. you can argue that polish-ukrainian rally in the home state of michigan helped to tip the balance to trump in that
state. poland is especially worried about russian aggression in ukraine given their history. they have been invaded many times by russia over their history. host: marcia from pennsylvania on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a lot of concerns. we have yet to see a tax return on donald trump. the investigations. i understand there are two ongoing. how you can have a meeting with third-partieso to give an honest accounting. all we know -- for all we know he is furthering his economic gains. how much does he have invested in russia? is clothing companies are not in the u.s. i don't understand how the american government can let him
go on monitored when he has got -- unmonitored when he has got this trail behind him. guest: i am not an expert on trump's finances. my area's foreign affairs. i think the reason why there were no people other than the secretary of state and the russian foreign minister, to translators in addition to trump and putin in the meeting his concern over weeks -- leaks. i limiting the number of people in the meeting it may frank conversation more possible. further concerns about what was said? should there be concerns? yes, and in due course we will find up with the policy towards russia will be. right now it is in the discussion stage and nobody really knows. host: according to the secretary of state rex tillerson, president trump started the
meeting by pressing vladimir putin on interference with the russian election. let's listen. we have audio of what the secretary of state tillerson said to reporters after the meeting. >> with regard to the interference in the election, i think the president took note of actions that have been discussed by the congress. most recently additional sanctions that have been voted out of the senate. to make it clear as to the seriousness of the issue. i think what the two president's, i think rightly focused on is how do we move forward. how to remove forward from here -- how do we move forward from here. it is not clear we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations. what do we do now? i think the relationship, and the president made this clear as well, is too important to not find a way to move forward. not dismissing the issue in any
way, and i don't want to leave you without impression. that is why we have agreed to continue engagement and discussion around how do we secure our commitment that the russian government has no intention and will not interfere in our affairs in the future, nor the affairs of others. a framework create in which we have some capability to judge what is happening in the cyber world and who to hold accountable. this is obviously an issue that is is broader than just u.s.-russia. we see the manifestation of the threat in the events of the last year. i think the presidents rightly focused on how to remove forward from what may be an intractable disagreement at this point. host: what is your reaction to secretary tillerson calling them meddling a disagreement and saying what needs to happen now is a relationship should move
forward? the nine bututin everyone knows to be true -- denying what everyone knows to be true. we can't undo what has been done , so moving forward i think was a proper thing to do and also you needed time to talk about serial, talk about -- syria, russian aggression in ukraine, and other intrusions into the security of western europe. host: the new york times today in its editorial page questions whether trump is taking the election hacking seriously enough. "there are important questions about the rest of the exchange about whether no mr. trump understands the gravity of russia's interference in america's democratic processes. rex tillerson said mr. putin denied involvement in the election, as he has in the past,
and asked americans for proof. a familiar diversionary tactic by russians caught red-handed. there is no indication mr. trump demanded responsibility or promise to will not happen again." do you think the president took it seriously enough? guest: it is hard to know what is in the president's mind. going back to secretary tillerson's point, if you have a putin denying what everyone knows to be true, when you beat a dead horse or get something done or progress is possible. host: we are talking with herman americanof the foreign-policy counsel about president trump's first g-20 summit. death from brunswick, maine. -- beth from brunswick, maine. caller: i know my time is short. i will try to keep it limited. trump is definitely a derelict
and not fit to be president of this country. one man was correct by saying he is selling our country out. i hope everyone enjoyed their independence day because if we stay on this path, this may well be our last independence day. america first. that is a bunch of b.s. he is the number one liar, the father of fake news and fake propaganda. pushed putineve he on anything. he probably said they say you hacked us. if you hack us? putin says no. he says i believe you. tillerson has been friends with put in for a long time. -- putin for a long time. i think they were having a social meeting, having a good time. host: let's give herman pirchner a chance to respond. guest: i think we don't of what
was said in the meeting. we have accounts sometimes differing between the russian and american version. i think before we get into heavy trump'sm of president policy towards russia, we should wait to see with the policy is. at this point it is not known with the policy will be. host: what objectives does the united states have in his relationship with russia and what are the objections of russian officials? that: i don't know objectives having clearly stated, but some have been outlined. for instance, we are standing -- the united states is standing behind ukraine and it's ever to get back sovereignty over the territory's taken over by russia. -- territorie taken over by russias. wasted -- we stood for the removal of assad in syria.
we spoke against iranian aggression in the middle east. hereon is an ally of russia. -- iran is an ally of russia. there are brought objectives that have been stated, but what policies to achieve those objectives are not yet clear. host: one thing that came out of this meeting is the announcement of a cease-fire in syria, in the southern most region according to the new york times. secretary tillerson said this is the first indication of the u.s. and russian being able to work together in syria. how significant is this? it is just a partial cease-fire in the southwestern region bordering jordan and israel. how significant is this? guest: one thing about vladimir putin, he makes a lot of deals any break them. he has broken treaties and agreements made by previous presidents. cease-fires in recent months in
ukraine in the last days of the obama administration. cease-fire deals were broken. we have to see it this time the deal is kept. sometimes he does keep his word and we don't know this will be one of those cases. there is a lot of u.s. concern about this area which borders on jordan, a very reliable and long-standing ally of the u.s. -- would beth the the fighting was spillover in a jordanian territory and what effect the large number of syrians refugees that are housed in jordan. a tremendous burden on the jordanian state. guest: omari from sioux falls, south dakota. caller: good morning. i want to remind everybody that with a four-star president to go -- he is trying -- trump is
trying to undo a lot of the things forced on him. we have a lot of corrupt politicians in the slump that in taking all those millions and billions and making -- they have in making out of oil money. talking, it sounds like the same thing. i am part african as well. the way they have us hating each againstd trying to go what president trump is trying to do, taking us for granted and manipulating our minds. you have to remember the clintons and even on the republican side, the mccains and all those saudi lobby, we are didn't. -- doomed. host: let's give herman pirchner . a chance to respond guest: i was not clear what the question was.
that russianht say aggression in the ukraine is well documented. there are many bad fax about what russia -- facts about what russia has done. russian propaganda is effective. two weeks ago i was in ukraine. to the russian language in the street. their second-largest city is a russian speaking city. many ethnic russians and russian speakers are with kiev against moscow because it is not just a question of ethnicity. it is a question of the way of life. ukrainians now in reaction to russian aggression have moved decisively to support the ukrainian state and a call for integration with europe, at least culturally down a better
standard of living. host: american foreign-policy counsel's herman pirchner talks about going to ukraine. he visited it more than 65 times, the region of the former soviet union, as well as china annually since 1994. we are talking about the president's g-20's summit. looking at the summit in general, what are your measures for a successful trip for president trump? what are you looking for? guest: you can't build it entirely around russia. what was done in poland was good. what was done with other countries involved in the three c's initiative was good. trade questions, it was good to be raised. we can to frame it in terms of putin and trump. there are 19 countries, plus the e.u., and there were many sidebar conversations over a variety of topics in a country as big as united they test to
address. host: some reports made it seem and trumpre the g-19 on opposite sides on issues, including trade. the new york times says were previous american leaders saw the power is in the know what force and were able to spread prosperity through open markets and multilateral corporation, mr. trump has portrayed himself as a nationalist, a unilateralist, and a protectionist year to save american jobs. what recent events underscored and especially of energy-20 -- is that no nation can impose its will on everyone else. alliesmp has alienated invaded the u.s. look like it's own private island. do you agree with that? guest: not quite. we have our interests and the europeans have their interests, and it is a good case to be made a trade agreements do not treat
the u.s. fairly. thatnk it is also some rub trump has pushed nato members to get to 2%. when you have only five members that are meeting that threshold, it's a fair question. what is the u.s. paying for the defense of europe? it has been raised by president obama, and president bush for him. germany, 1.2% of the budget on defense. a rich country like that not taking care of their own defense needs. arl on the democratic line from massachusetts. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. pirchner, mr. i would like your imments -- mr. pirchner, would like your comments. arms dealers are making money selling arms to poland and romania, the baltic countries.
the united states is just making target set of these countries. out,confrontation breaks they will get nailed first. we are relatively safe here. those places are going to get nailed first. they are making targets out of them. if there is time, i would like to comment or hear your comment about crimea. i will just say it. putin would have gone into crimea if the united states had not removed -- guest: i think two good questions. the first question was arms by us making money selling arms to be put the countries of central europe and other places in greater danger? army,d note the ukrainian virtually nonexistent when they went into ukraine and invaded eastern parts of ukraine, you
now have 2 million refugees from ukraine. over 10,000 dead, including 3000 civilians, and tens of thousands wounded. was aing armed was what provocative weakness and encouraged him to think he could simply grab it. does poland not have a right to defend itself? : disappear from the -- poland disappeared from the map because of russia. after world war ii, poland became a captive nation. they were under russia's th umb. they have a right to be read about further russian aggression right to arm themselves to defend their sovereignty. on the question of crimea, i note the law used to annex crimea passed in 2001, long before got a code which can to
kovich came to power. russia was thinking about that long before the current of peoples in the capital of kiev . host: stewart for mechanical, virginia. good morning -- mechanicsburg, virginia. you are on with herman pirchner. caller: it must be a full moon. you have a lot of crazy people calling in this morning. look at this realistically. all presidents have met privately with foreign adversaries. it is one thing that needs to be said. when people are talking with one another and not shooting at one another. a lot of private meetings have gone on. the former president clinton meeting with the attorney general on the tarmac.
they kicked everybody off the plane. was at a private meeting? i think it was. everybody just stay cool and let's see what happens. i think it is good we are talking to adversaries. we are not shooting at one another. guest: there is a russian proverb that roughly translates, a bad relationship is better than any war. i think any time you can talk it is good. the danger of talking is you give away too much, but sometimes you can get too much or a lot. talking is necessary and even during the worst days of the cold war we engaged with the russian leadership. the: you pointed out president's first trip abroad at the nato summit, he did not exquisitely reaffirmed his article five commitment. let's look at what he said in
poland about the article five commitment. [video clip] president trump: americans know a strong alliance of independent nations is the best defense for our freedoms and for our interests. that is what my administration has demanded all members of nato finally meet their full and fair financial obligations. [applause] president trump: as a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into nato. people are shocked. billions and billions of dollars more coming in from countries that in my opinion would not have been paying so quickly. to those who would criticize our tough stance, i would point out the united states has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that
we stand firmly behind article five, the mutual defense commitment. [applause] easydent trump: words are but actions are what matters. for its own protection, and you know this, everybody knows this, europe must do more. europe must demonstrate it believes in its future by investing its money to secure their future. that is why we applaud poland for his decision to move forward this week on acquiring from the united states the battle tested patriot air and missile defense system, the best anywhere in the world. tot: what is your reaction affirming article five and that theng this thing countries need to pay their fair share? guest: it is a long bipartisan
tradition to ask europe to do more in its own defense. i think trump's harder stand has contributed to the rising defense budgets of many nato countries. it is also fear of russian aggression. we think the russian aggression in ukraine but not so much about what they had done against the threaten -- the baltic states and other european countries. you will find the closer our country is to the border of russia, the faster defense budgets are going up. find in the next two years many other nato countries will meet their 2% threshold, including france which is about 1.8% now or something close to that. host: let's talk about some of the areas that were pointed disagreement between trump and some of the allies had the g-20.
"on the first day of the summit of leaders yesterday, germany's chancellor said he was urging compromises in disputes over migration, as well as training and climate change." merkel indicated not all disagreements would be revolved -- resolved at the meeting. let's talk about that. how has the decision to pull out of the paris pact affected president trump's relationship with european allies? guest: i think it is wildly unpopular he has pulled out. it is frayeds relations. one thing people are looking at is some new agreement coming in its place. i think our secretary of energy has pointed out huge american gains over the past decades in cleaning up air quality.
i grew up in cleveland, ohio. i can remember when people in business would take a second shirt to work because by noon the first one was too dirty to where in a business meeting. pittsburgh was like that also. we have a lot to do, but it's important to recognize they are just using free market and common sense. we have made big progress. host: another point of contention is trade. according to the washington post, "one of the most consequential decisions of the young administration, trump could impose the restrictions on imports -- steele steel imports. we will respond with countermeasures if need be, hoping this is not actually necessary. the european