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  President Says AG Should Not Have Recused Himself From Russia Probe  CSPAN  July 25, 2017 8:51pm-9:15pm EDT

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>> as the senate moves ahead with debate on their health care bill, we will have live gavel to gavel coverage on c-span 2, online at www.c-span.org, and streaming on our free c-span radio app. ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal ," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up morning, california democratic congressman raul ruiz will discuss republican efforts to repeal and replace the informal care act. about humanking smuggling and trafficking after 10 suspected migrants died in an overheated tractor-trailer in san antonio last weekend. also, steve russell will join us to talk about key issues facing congress, including the future of health care and federal spending, as well as his opposition to air traffic control privatization.
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be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. >> president trump posted the lebanese prime minister earlier after a meeting in the oval office. they spoke at a joint news conference in the oval office. here is a look. >> thank you very much. please, i am very happy to , with zero of the democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed. and now we move forward towards the -- truly great health care for the american people. we look forward to that. this is a big step. i want to thank senator john
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mccain. very brave man. he made a tough trip to get here and vote. we want to thank senator mccain and all the republicans. we passed it without one democrat vote. that is a shame, but that is the way it is. it is very unfortunate. but i want to congratulate american people because we are going to give you great health care. and we are going to get rid of obamacare, which should have been frankly terminated a long time ago. it has been a disaster for the american people. thank you very much. good afternoon and thank you all for being here. it is my honor to welcome prime minister saad al-hariri of lebanon to the white house. the prime minister and i have concluded an extensive conversation about the changes and challenges facing lebanon and its neighbors. lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against isis, al qaeda, and hezbollah.
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the lebanese people, of all faiths, are working together to know this and we have been discussing this at great length -- their country is safe and prosperous. they will keep it safe and prosperous. mr. prime minister, i want to commend you and your people for standing up for humanity in a very troubled part of the world. the ties between our two countries stretch back more than a century. long, long, long relationships. in 1866, of american missionaries founded the american university of beirut. now more than 150 years later, and with ongoing american support, this university continues to educate generations of leaders in the region. today, our two countries seek to strengthen our relationship in many ways, including the pursuit
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of stability, mutual prosperity and peace. what the lebanese armed forces have accomplished in rect years is very impressive. in 2014, when isis tried to invade northern lebanon, the lebanese army beat them back since that time, the lebanese army has been fighting continually to guide lebanon's border and prevent isis and other terrorists, of which there e many, from gaining a foothold inside their country. the united states military has been proud to help in that fight and will continue to do so. america's assistance can help ensure thathe jet -- the lebanese army is the only defender lebanon needs. it is a very effective fighting force. threats to the lebanese people come from inside as well.
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hezblah is a menace to the lebanese state. the lebanese people and the entire region. the group continues to increase its military arsenal, which threatens to start yet another conflict with israel. constantly fighting them back. with the support of iran, the organization is also fueling humanitarian catastrophe in syria. s la likes to portray itself -- hezbollah likes to portray itself as the defender of lebanese interest, but it is very clear that it's true interests are those of itself and its sponsor, iran. i repeatedly emphasized the leaders in the middle east must take responsibility for helping syri refugees until they can return home and rebuild their country.
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the lebanese people have led the way, accepting more syrian refugees per capita than any other nation. it's not evenlose. i want to thank the prime minister and the lebanese people for giving shelter to those victimized by isis. the assad regime and their supporters and sponsors. and pledge our continued support to lebanon. since the start of the syrian crisis, the united states has helped lebanon support syrian refugees, with clean water, food, shelter, and healtcare. the -- our approach supporting the humanitarian needs of displaced syrian citizens as close to their home country as possible is the best way to help most people. america is proud to stand with those who have the courage to stand up to terrorism antake responsibility for affairs in
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their own region. the reliance and resilience of the lebanese people in the face of war and terror is extraordinary. we honor the citizens of lebanon who are working to secure a future of peace, stability and prosperity for the children. mr. prime minister, am grateful you are here today. it is a big day in our country because of the vote you just heard about. we stood and watched the results on television before coming out and you found it very interesting, i hope your >> yes, i did. -- i hope. >> yes, i did. >> and very important. i look for to workinwith you to strengthen our partnership and the enduri friendship between the american and lebanese peoples. thank you very much. >> thank you. good afternoon. i had the honor and pleasure to hold a very good meeting with president trump.
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i appreciate his leadehip in the united states leadership in the world today. we discussed the situation in we ingion and the efforts lebanon are making to safeguard our political and economic combatingwhile terrorism. i thanked psident tru for his support to our army and security agencies as well as to maintaining peace and stabily along our southern border. where our government is committed to the united nations security council resolion 1701, as well as all resolutions. we also discussed the pressures lebanon is facing as a result of 1.5 million syrian displaced in our country. i outline to the president, to president trump, mgovernment's
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vision for dealing with this crisis, with the support of the international community. we also discussed economic prospects in lebanon and our government's fort to jump-start inclusive economic growth with a particular emphasis on job creation. i thanked president trump and the united states of america for their support to the lebanese people, striving to keep their country a model of moderation, dialogue, co-existence and democratic governance in our region. thank you. >> thank you very much. margaret, talev, please? >> thank you. >> hello, margaret. >> hello, mr. president. prime minister, i will have you
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-- i'll have a question for you, also, in just a second if you'll bear with me. you spoke earlier today to "the wall street journal" we've seen those comments, i think everybody here probably is hong that you could talk a little bit more about this. you have called your attorney general beleaguered, you've criticized his decision to recuse himself on the russia matters. and your kind of catchphrase or motto before the white house was ."ou're fired i'm wondering if you would talk to as you little bit about whether you've lost confidence in jeff sessns, whether you want him to resign on his own. whether you're prepared to fire him if he doesn't. and why you're sort of letting him twist in the wind rather than just making the call for him. thanyou. >> i don't think i am doing that. but i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. almost immediately after he took office. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office. i would have quite simply picked somebody else. so i think that's a bad thing not for the president, but for the presidency.
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i think it's unfair to the presidency. and that's the way i feel. thank you. >> thank you. . prime minister, could you tell us what you think about the saudi-led blockade of qatar? this is something that has been of great concern to the u.s. also in terms of resolving. do you think that qatar is doing enough on terror? and if so, would you like to see president ump increase the pressure on the saudi coalition to ease the blockade? and mr. president, if you would give us any more of your think ing going forward with the path to attorney general sessions and maybe your timeline for making a decision, that would be great, thank you. >> you don't give up. that is ok. i think there is an effort by the kuwaitis, they're leading this effort. i think they made some progress. we believe that alogue is the best way in improving this relationship between saudi arabia and qatar.
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i believe that maybe the united states also, could help in solving this issue in the gulf. denise? >> i have one question for the president. and also for prime minister. congress introduced additional sanctions against hezbollah last week. what is your position towards these sanctions and the role that hezbollah is playing in the region and syria? >> i'll be making my position very clear over the next 24 hours. we're going to see what is exactly taking place. i have mtings with some of my very expert military representatives and others so i'll be making that decision very shortly. ok? >> and about his role syria and the region? >> whose role? >> hezbollah's role. >> i'll be talking about that tomorrow.
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[speakinginister, lebanese] lebanese] g >> blake berman? thank you.
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hello, blake. >> president trump, hello. >> indulge us for a second. just to pick up where margaret -- the american people i think would like to know, do you feel that the attorney general should indeed stay -- do you intend on -- [indiscernible] why should he remain as the attorney general? and secondly on a separate topic with the health care vote that just came about, still a long ways to go at what point do you feel that republicans, if they can't get something done, should just say, you know what, we gave it a go, let's move on to tax reform instead? thank you. >> i want the attorney general to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies. which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before at a very important level. these are intelligence agencies. we cannot have that happen. you know many of my views in but i thinkthat,
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that's one of the very important things they have to geon with. i told you before, i'm very disappointedith the attorney general. but we will see what happens. time will tell. time will tell. on health care, i'm extremely happy that we got this vote. they say, if you look historically, this is the tough vote to get. now w're goi to sit together and come up with something that's really spectacular. we have a lot of options, a lot of great options, and the republican senators real went out there. 's not easy when you have 52 senators and a block of 48 ting against you. no matter what it is. no matter how good it sounds, it's very hard to get the kind of numbers that we got. we ended up with 51 votes, 51-whatever. i don't know what it is. yeah, 510. so we had twrepublicans that went against us. which is very sad, i think, it's very, very sad for them. but i'm very, very happy with the result.
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i believe now we will over the next week or two, come up with a plan that's going to be really, really wonderful for the american people. amacare is a disaster. it's iling on every front. it's too expensive. it gives horrible coverage. it was gotten by a lie. 28 times it was a lie. you can keep your doctor. you can keep your plan. all lies. and the people are sick of it. and we're going to come up with a great health care that satisfies the needs of the people that we serve. which is the people of the united states. i will say and i said it right at the beginning, health care is alwa difficult. because you have to weed a very, very narrow path like a quarter of an inch wide, right down the middle. and if you go a little bit too far right, you lose three people on the left. and if you go a little bit too far left, you lose five people on the right.
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it is a very, very complex and difficult task. but it is something i actually know quite a bit about. i want to thank the republican senators who were fantastic in getting us here. particularly john mccain for making the trip. but i think you're going to have a great health care. this is the beginning of the end for the disaster known as obamacare. thank you very much. > mr. president -- president, how can the united states have lebanon cope with the massive number of refugees, syrian refugees? and is there a way that you can help facilitate the refugees' return to their home country? >> we are helping. one of the things we have made tremendous strides at is getting rid of isis. we have generals that don't like to talk, they like to do. and we were with general mattis last night and the success they've had against isis is extraordinary.
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we've made more progress in the last four or five months than previous, you could say the previous administration made in eight years. and then we have to see what we will have to see. i will tell you, isis in syria, isis in iraq. isis in other locations. we have made tremendous strides, our military is an incredible fighting force. and as you know, i let the commanders on the ground do what they had to do. before they used to have to call on this beautiful house, and speak to people that didn't know what was happening. where they were, what locations. practically, probably never heard of the countries they were talking about. or the towns. i let the generals do what they had to do. and we have made tremendous plans, we have made tremendous gains.
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with respect to isis in syria. iraq and other places. >> [indiscernible] >> i'm not a fan of assad. >he will tell you that. we hit 58 out of 58 or you could even say 59 out of 59 where we launched the tomahawk missiles know, -- missiles. no, i'm not a fan of assad. i certainly think what he's done to that country and to humanity is horrible. i have been saying that a long time. i am not somebody that will stand by and let him get away with what he tried to do. and he did it a number of times it -- of times. when president obama drew the red line in the sand and then he should have crossed that red
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line. because some horrible acts against humanity took place. including gas. and the killing through gases. that was a bad day for this country. and i go a step further, that had president obama gone across that line and done what he should have done, i don't believe you'd have russia and i don't believe you'd have iran to anywhere near the extent and maybe not at all in syria today. thank you very much. [speaking lebanese]
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>> thank you very much, everybody. mr. prime minister, thank you. [cameras clicking]
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>> looking ahead, senator bob corker, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee sits down with a columnist from the washington post to talk about the committee efforts to expand sanctions against russia and iran and the status of the iranian nuclear deal. live coverage at 8:30 a.m. eastern on season and two. later, justice department officials testify at the judiciary committee hearing
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about foreign agent registration requirements. that is live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, you can or onatch on c-span.org our radio app. meant to lookrats at ways to improve the affordable care act feared they hed from formal -- former officials and the congressional budget office. this hearing of the democratic steering and policy committee runs about an hour and a half. >> thank you very much for joining us today as we step forward on a path of keeping america healthy, making america even healthier. we have a three very distinguished witnesses whom we will hear from shortly. our cochairs will be introducing them, but i want to add --wledge their great service acknowledged the great service to our country.