tv Washington Journal Samuel Charap Discusses U.S.- Russia Relations CSPAN August 6, 2017 8:04am-8:36am EDT
the meeting was anything but harsh. they would adhere to revenue neutrality which means they will prescribe a number of dollars around in the current system. where i think there's going to be broad disagreement with democrats is his ejection of neutrality. that's where the nub of the resistance will come in on the democratic side. host: and the phone interview with congressman neal will air on "newsmakers" at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span and you can hear i on c-span radio and "newsmakers" is available online at c-span.org. we want to introduce you now to samuel charap who is the rand .orporation talking about u.s.-russia
relations. what did the most recent sections that now have been put on russia actually do? guest: it's a variety of things. the most unprecedented element of it is the congressional review. so basically, the number of the sanctions that have already been imposed by executive order, by president obama and could have been repealed by the stroke of a pen by president trump can now only be repeeled with essentially the approval of congress. and that is unprecedented in the history of u.s. sanctions. there are a huge variety of news sanctions imposed for a number of different activities such as the interference in the election, russian activities in syria, this activity in ukraine. there are reports demanded from the executive branch by the russian olgark. -- ol garth.
host: what are we talking about? guest: the sanctions come in a number of different forms. there are visa bans and their asset freezes. there are financing restrictions on russian institutions. there are transaction bans. any companies that does business with the u.s. can't do business with certain sectors of russia now. a number of energy firms. and so much these are in theory, third-party sanctions. in other words, even if it's not an american company, that company could be sanctioned with being business with russian firms. they could be pretty wide ranging. president trump when he signed the bill issued a signing statement basically saying parts of the bill he finds unconstitutional. and therefore, he leaves himself a bit of a room to maneuver about how it's implemented. host: and what does that mean?
guest: so -- host: what can he do? guest: the signing statement which is something that does happen, particularly on foreign policy when congress passes a law because the presidency under the constitution has, you know, it's a vast majority of authority to make foreign policy. in this case, there are a number of elements of the congressional review, particularly that as he pointed out, citing some particular supreme court press sense, take away authority from the executive branch and give them to the legislative in such a way that in the administration he was in with the constitution. host: so how the president implements is still yet to be seen. host: so if you would like to participate in this participation, the numbers are on your screen, 202-748-8001. for republicans, 202-748-8000. republicans and democrats can call in at 202-748-8002. we are talking about u.s.-russia relations. how many layers of sanctions had
been played on the russians over the years beginning with ukraine, etc.? guest: i suppose two distinct moments where under the obama administration, sanctions were played in russia in a way that was unprecedented. russia at the time was -- its economy was twice the size of all the other sanction in the other countries combined. so it was really a step change in the way the u.s. was applying sanctions. and in 2014, the most stringent sanctions were placed in russia as a result of that. since then, of course in december of last year as a result of the interference in the election and he administration at the time placed a number of additional restrictions specifically related to that and also the expulsion of democrats and seizure of these diplomatic facility that is the russians have here. host: recently, there were about
700 u.s. diplomats that have kicked out of russia. have they left the country? guest: that number was tricky in that basically t 755 people who work at the u.s. consulates and the embassy in moscow. there aren't 755 zip matz in russia. there are only about 350. there are about a total of 12 people who work in these embassies, most of them are russians, local hires. it sounds like they are going to feel the brunt of the russian retaliation of the december move. host: yet somebody who worked in the obama administration, do you agree with what congress did as far as sanctions go? not necessarily the restriction on the president but the sanctions? guest: it's a tough question with. sanctions are in theory, they work best when the prospect of the release is real. you're trying to change another state's behavior. and you are putting a penalty on them until they do so. but with the credible promise of changing the sanctions when and
if their behavior changes. and the challenge with these sanctions particularly in the congressional review element is that they make sanctions relief much more difficult. and more broadly, sanctions need to be connected to a strategy. what it is that we want, how we want this relationship to develop. and i think we have yet to see that. there's mostly a reaction here to both russia's interference in the elections and understandable elections and broader concerns about how the administration is going to be handled in russian policy. host: what's the situation in ukraine today? guest: today, we're in a situation where i call it simmering conflict. we have fighting of conflict between the russia-backed rebel held in eastern ukraine and government forces. this is -- basically, every week, there are casualties. but it never has spilled over into a hot conflict since
february of 2015. but it could at any moment. there's a sort of economic war between russia and ukraine. ukraine is has suffered economically and the effects of war are being felt on politics as well. so it's a precarious situation, really, and it's a situation that i think that affects the broader relationship with russia in a number of ways because a lot of the sanctions are tied russian behavior and ukraine and russia's behavior is the function of the ukraine crisis. ukraine is just about as important to russia as any foreign policy priority you could imagine. so how things go there really affects how russia sees everything. host: everyone loses is the name of your book, the ukraine cry is and the ruinist contest. that came out in january of 2017. samuel charap is a senior political analyst with the rand corporation. we're talking about u.s.-russia relations. the numbers are on the screen
and we'll begin with keith in chicago. democrats line. hi, keith. caller: good morning. i just have to say the first hour is brutal. i tuned in c-span and thought i was listening to fox and friends. moving on to the subject at hand. ny objective analysis indicate that. president trump insulted or kicked off most of our allies from australia, canada, mexico, england, france. there's one person he's never spoken about and that's vladimir putin. objectively ask yourself only
one question. why? secondly, kudos to congress for ing the right thing in a bipartisan fashion. boy has that been a long time coming particularly. but i want to ask your guest that question. you can ignore all the rest of the questions. why won't he criticize putin? host: samuel charap, what's your answer to that question why? guest: a tough question. i'm not sure i have a good answer but it is quite interesting that that is -- like there's a distinction between the way putin has talked about and the way others have talked about. one can only guess. and i wouldn't want to speculate. host: well, what's your take on their relationship? what's your take on that investigation? guest: in a way, so far, we have
seen, you know, only one meeting between the two. and what has gotten lost in all f the headlines because they have these secret meetings that weren't revealed until a couple of weeks later is that they actually do something at that meeting that was relatively important. in other words, there was this de-escalation agreement in the south of syria that has for the first time, i think really shown that there's prospects for actually working with the russians to reduce the at least intensity of the violence in syria and bring the civil war to a resolution. so there's that on the one hand. on the other hand, you know, we have the broader political environment surrounding u.s.-russia relations that's not conducive to doing business and that is particularly the case after the sanctions bill has been passed. i mean, the investigation is
kind of its own beast and it has a lot of domestic political context that i would hesitate to dive into. but, you know, i think we're seeing -- what i think is important to note is the uncertainty surrounding it. every week, we seem to something new. and that creates particularly among legislatures a concern of what might happen next? and you see the legislation that you saw signed by the president last week that switch the tides' hands to a certain degree. host: mike from virginia. independence line. go ahead. caller: when did russia become our enemy? during the second war, we gave them everything they needed to beat the germans. so when did they become our enemy and why is it so important
that they meddle in other people's affairs when we headle n everybody's affairs? so that's my two questions. host: thank you, mike. guest: the second world war was quite a unique moment where the u.s. is helping the soviet union to defeat the germans a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. the soviet union was our enemy in the world -- cold war. but things were supposed to change in 1991 when a new democratic russia emerged from the rubble of the soviet collapse. and i think the reasons we've gotten are multiple. the point i would make and the point i make in the book is that things were bad before 2014. there were lots of negative
incidents. the snowden's arrival in moscow in 2013. what happened to the annexation of eastern ukraine is things become unmanageable and the tensions have spiraled out of control. and it was one thing on top of another rather than a particular incident since then that has create the broader climate. and russia's actions during the election in 2016 are only understandable in the context of the broader crisis in the u.s.-russia relations that has been underway since 2014. in other words, russia had the capability to do what it did in 2016 and 2017 and probably even 2008. it's a very capable cyber actor but it didn't. and the reason i think is that it's gotten to a place where risk taking behavior has become something that the russian government is more prone to engage in because of the war
footing that they feel they're on more broadly. host: how large is our relationship with russia economically in other ways today? guest: economically, it's pretty insignificant. it's less than 1% of u.s. overall trade, which is -- and it's decreased significantly since these sanctions were first imposed in 2014. there are ways in which we depend on russia for things from getting our astronauts to the international space station. to launch the u.s. military satellites. they use the russian rockets because we don't have the rocket technology at the moment to do it ourselves. so, you know, on particular -- our titanium, bogey can't build planes without the titanium it imports from russia. there are ways in which the u.s. depends on certain things from
russia too. but on the whole, it doesn't matter in the same way like u.s.-china economic relations. host: barbara in south carolina. good morning. you're on our independents line. talking u.s.-russia relations with samuel charap. caller: hi. why don't congress get together and pass a law for donald trump to be evaluated to see if -- what his mental status is? because he's a compulsive liar. and everything he said has only been lies and lies and lies. you know, he's a disgrace to this nation. that's all i have to say. he's a disgrace to the nation. host: all right. we are talking about u.s.-russia relations. we will let that comment stand and move on to westfield, indiana, republican line. caller: good morning. i'm 77. i lived in america 41 years.
i am a business consultant. and i do consultation to america and lots of friends. what is my main interest to know is why our news media is failing to educate americans. the majority of americans are having great time the last quite a few years and they do not . sten enough the news, really we need to have good relations with russia. but does everybody know that putin is -- and he is a good ka nifere and he is hurting america. trump may be a good businessman. he has connived the american government for many years. that is why his attorneys do not want his -- in his own son,
donald jr., he said they can make more money in russia. we do not need to sponsor war because we do not need wounded homes. whenever we sponsor a war, we drop too many homes. we destabilize the part of war and people get nervous and get destroyed. so america has to wake up because to each of our people what is right from wrong, we need americans to understand how to select good candidates. look at republican party. every republican candidate -- host: we're going to let your comments stop there and see if our guest has any response for you. guest: well, what i'll say is all noted.is
that's an important part to keep in mind even if the economic relationship isn't central to the u.s. just yesterday, for example, the u.n. securities council imposed a nuclear program. u.s.-russia cooperation is difficult to get anything done. so, again, there you saw unanimous vote. russia supporting a resolution that the u.s. was pushing forward. and it's on those kinds of international security issues that the two, you know, great nuclear powers in the world really do have both an obligation and opportunity to work together constructly despite all the other problems in the relationship. and i think, you know, the challenge is right now that we have are very difficult atmosphere in which the two
countries have to do the kind of business that regardless of what they think of each other, they're going to have to do because that's sort of like a movable object in international relations. it's there whether they like each other or not. for example today or yesterday, secretary of state tillerson is meeting with his russian counterpart and a meeting in asia despite the fact that the sanctions were soibd days ago. so i think you're going to see continued interaction between the u.s. and russia on international issues. despite the broader political climate on the sanction. host: what are some of the nations in europe's current relationship with russia? guest: well, so the ukraine crisis looms large in russian relations with russia, particularly the e.u.'s relation with russia the e.u. suffered more including by the e.u. since 2014 because europe's economic
relationship with russia is far more central than europe's economy than ours, particularly in terms of natural gas imports where a number of european countries really depend quite heavily on natural gas from russia for both heating and powering their country. so in that respect, but it's also true of industry in germany, for example, there are russia. ll ventures in so they have taken on some more significant economic burden to impose russia following its actions in ukraine. the challenge right now is whereas before, the executive branch was coord nated closely in in the sanctions. now it's more difficult because
congress is going to be nvolved. the e.u. has reacted quite negatively to this bill. host: we are talking with samuel charap of the rand corporation about u.s.-russia relations. the most recent sanctions put on that nation. and the numbers are on the screen. katherine in palm bay, florida, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, peter. thank you for taking my call. i really wanted to bring up that last week, mr. prouder spent two days testifying in hearings bout russia. and a lot of very interesting things came to life. he put his own life and his family's life in his own hands to give this testimony.
and one thing he point out was hat russia wants to meddle and disrupt our whole democratic processes whether it be in favor of the -- it's really not in favor of trump. it's actually to disrupt the whole voting process in the united states. also another thing is that i think people are ignoring that russia has a stronghold in the middle east now that it haven't had in many, many years. no ladimir putin, there's such thing as a former k.b.g. agent. his timing is impeccable on the very night that president chi from china was meeting in mar-a-lago with president trump. the very next night after president chi left florida, he was meeting with vladimir putin. and one thing that concerns me
the most is not just the nuclear power with russia, but the fact that iran is also launching missiles and tor peados. -- torpedoes and north korea is having hydrogen bomb capacitys andthey're launching icbm's then we have china. the sanctions have never worked against north korea. so with a it comes down to we can impose these sanctions, but the thing is 90 percent of the funding for north korea is china.from host: hey, katherine, you seem well-above knowledge
in this area. has this always been an interest for you or what? caller: i started my ph.d. program in north tennessee. i'm a nurse practitioner. what i want to bring to light is vladimir putin is one of the richest men in the world. and he has a lot of financial interest in u.s. banks. and the one thing that upsets vladimir putin the most is the fact that he doesn't want those financial assets frozen in any way. host: you put a lot on the table. we have a lot of calls in. dr. samuel charap is working on a ph.d. in this area. guest: yeah. there were a number of issues there. let's start with the last one. we don't know all that much concretely about president putin's personal financial financial state.
there have been some revelations about people who are close to him and their financials but since the u.s. started imposing sanctions which have asset freezes in putin's inner circle, i can guarantee you that they've kept their assets out of u.s. anks if at all possible. it would be foolish not to. the political their presence in syria is most significant in the middle east since the cold war. that having been said, it's modest compared to any number of u.s. bases throughout the region. and syria was not a place where the u.s. had significant influence before this conflict began. so it's not a major shift, i would say. and the russia essentially trying to hold the line. the extent of russia's ambitions is a big question on a lot of
peep's mind and washington and beyond. no one can say for sure. i think we should keep in mind that it is not the soviet union. it does not have the same kind of global ambition and there were times when russia did differently. some part of that is going to involve coercion, like measures of sanctions. ut to get to a sustainable new equilibrium, we will need new negotiations as well. host: time for one more call. caller: hello? can you hear me? host: we are listening. caller: i'm a retired math teacher. from greece. i came here in 1954. and i used to be on the
democrats' side. but a few years ago, i switched and became a republican. i think this whole thing, the russian probe is a big joke. let's look at ourselves. the united states and russia both interfere with elections all across the globe. so what are we complaining about the russians? rump will not win with their help. he won a landslide. the people wasn't for him because the ones that change. not because of the russians. e russians -- one person's vote changed, but trying to interfere. made sident, mr. trump,
the mistake when he was talking on tv and said i wish the russians would go and release hillary clinton's e-mails. now that was just an expression. that doesn't mean the russians helped him get elected. host: we will have to leave it there. we're out of time. samuel charap, final comment. guest: well, the logic of the u.s. interferes in other country's election and therefore, why should we be so upset? i don't think it really works for me. two wrongs don't make a right even if we'red a fighting there wrong here. it seems relatively clear that it happened. even if it didn't affect a single vote, the attempt to do so should be concerning. and i think that's why you have
now, special counsel investigating a number of elements here and you have a number of congressional committees doing that as well. our democratic process is central to our way of government. and if foreign countries are trying to influence that or have an impact on it in a covert way, then that's a problem. even if it didn't have an impact on the vote outcome. host: our guest has been samuel charap of the rand corporation. thank you for your time. coming up next a discussion on gangs and the trump administration's efforts to crack down on them. that's what florida international university's jose miguel cruz. but first, if you are familiar with book tv or american history tv, you have seen our city's tours. we go to cities throughout the united states and visit them and look at their literary and
historical culture. this weekend on both book tv and american history tv, we're in tacoma, washington, near seattle, right at the south end of the puget sound. here is a look at some of the programming that you'll see this weekend on american history tv. >> the bridge was opened on the first of july in 1940 after two years of construction. the tacoma narrows is also a bit of a wind tunnel. and people working on the deck began to notice movement. and almost like airplane wing lift in the bridge. so there was an unfamiliarity with just how a big thing like this was supposed to behave. so people excited about it. there's a certain musical kind of gratefulness about a bridge like this. so people, i guess, just wanted to -- it wasn't anything wrong,
it was normal. and once they get all the concrete down on the deck and everything, they said that would all go away. and as we went out of summer and began to get into fall and the winds picked up a little bit, they began to notice there was an undulation in the deck. not just influence, but feet, to a point where the undulation was so severe that two automobiles or a truck and an automobile coming in opposite directions, the headlines of the vehicle coming at you would disappear under the rolling kind of rolling hill of the deck. host: and you will see that and a lot more on american history tv on c-span3 and on book tv. different segments on book tv, on c-span2 this weekend on "our ci