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tv   Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice Others on Foreign Policy  CSPAN  October 12, 2019 11:35am-12:39pm EDT

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monday, columbus day, and in, supreme court justices ruth bader ginsburg and sonia sotomayor discussed the judicial on theof the first woman u.s. supreme court, sandra day o'connor. >> sandra, if you read between the lines what she is saying, if you want to improve the status of the lives of the women in the nursing profession, the best way to do it is to get men to want to do the job, because the pay inevitably will go up. [laughter] past onre our nation's american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. now, former national security advisor susan rice, congressman jamie raskin of maryland, and the european union ambassador to the u.s. take part in a series of one-on-one interviews on u.s. foreign-policy. china, syria, ukraine, and the house impeachment
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inquiry. this is an hour. margaret: good morning and thank you for joining us for the news shapers breakfast. we have an awesome lineup today. in the new white house and for axios.itor happy to be joining the family so thank you for helping me through my first breath this year. we have great food but if you do not like things that taste like pumpkin, you're in trouble. there's definitely coffee and i had one of those muffins that was really good. we have got a great lineup of guests today. we have ambassador susan rice, here to talk about her new book, love" and maybe a couple of other questions.
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we have the you ambassador stavros lambrinidis and congressman jamie raskin. i also want to thank bank of america for making today's program possible. so please turn your attention to the screens for a word from our sponsor and then we will be right back. ♪ >> [video] we have said we are here to drive responsible growth -- got to grow, no excuses, because if you don't, someone else will be here. you have to do it in a customer focused way. you have to do it by taking the right risk consist without risk appetite. the last part is to be sustainable. by sharing our success with communities here and around the world. >> when we look at all the problems there are, what is the most efficient way for the world to solve the problems and what role can we play. >> you can get a lot of agreement and a lot of common thinking around global problems that we are all trying to solve as responsible corporate
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citizens and members of a global community. >> one of the things that has become apparent to people is there is not enough philanthropy in the world. you need somehow to marry capitalism and philanthropy to create the kind of investment you need to make a dent in the issues. >> to get capital moving, you've got to engage all the different parties and communities. that is going to be banks like ours. but it is also going to be partners who share common visions and goals. >> whether it is affordable housing or climate change or gender parity, we feel we can be part of the solution of the much larger issues that are going on in the world today. ♪ [end of video] margaret: so before i introduce our first guests for the morning, for those who have not attended before, we are
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doing it like our axial smart breakfast, where brevity is the key. we want to make this fun and tell you what you need to know and leave you with one or two big takeaways. if you're watching along at a tweeting, please use the hashtag #axios360. if you do not already get our newsletter, now is a great time to sign up, before i start talking, and you can sign up at sign-up. we are going to dig into news of the day. i will tell you little bit about ambassador l ambrinidis and asking to join us. he is the e.u. ambassador to the united states. he has been on the job for about six months. and a long-time practitioner of trade, economics, foreign policy and how it all fits together. he spent many years in the u.s. prior to his latest incarnation. we will get to talk about that as well as foreign policy and some trade. please welcome ambassador lambrinidis.
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[applause] >> thank you. margaret: thanks so much for joining us. from neighboring ,bulgaria, but lambrinidis it is still hard to not switch the letters. so forgive me for hesitating. >> sometimes people say you could have been called lamborghini and you would not have to work. [laughter] -- are great: i want to abouttalking with you very recent announcement where the u.s. is planning to put $7.5 billion on the e.u. on aircraft, food, and some booze because of the e.u. subsidies on airbus. where is all this headed. is a trade war between the u.s. and europe inevitable?
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amb. lambrinidis: i hope not, but it is not a good place to be in. what happened is the world trade organization ruled in official rulings that the european union was subsidizing airbus and that the united states was that the diving boeing. so both of us were found to have -- was subsidizing boeing. so both of us were found to have been at fault. we from the first moment told our american friends that when you're in a situation where both have lost the case, you sit down and try to settle it. and to settle it and discuss issues of settlement, that can be applied to others. subsidy principles are a very sensitive and important sill -- important in the aircraft industry. now, the u.s. has decided that it was going to apply what it legally can apply, tariffs in this case, for the airbus case, the boeing case and how much we would be entitled to receive comes up in about six months, and then we will be forced, of course, to apply our own tariffs.
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so instead of sitting down and settling, we are getting into a situation that is entirely unnecessary. the key thing here for everyone to understand is that as we are talking about this issue, the countries around the world, china, russia, others that are building civil aircraft today, with 100% subsidies, without any controls or any rules, are hoping that they can flood the international market with those aircraft in a few years. it is and our fundamental -- it is in our fundamental strategic interests, europeans and americans, not to be fighting over this issue, but to be settling it and to be setting the rules for everyone else as well. margaret: you're saying as the u.s. and europe are fighting, everybody else is gaining ground. amb. lambrinidis: without rules and we can set the rules. i hope he will begin discussing very, very soon. and i hope we can avoid most of these negative consequences, in cluding those announced tariffs. margaret: you might have heard there is a u.s. presidential election in about a year? amb. lambrinidis: really?
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[laughter] maragaret: does that help or hurt this effort. do you see this latest tariffs a message,t as political messaging or the opposite, the need for the economy to remain in good shape is going to temper some of the president of the include -- president's inclinations? amb. lambrinidis: i think terra -- tariff wars have proven until now and in the future very bad for the art i -- in the past and in the future bad for the u.s. economy. you see today industrial and affecting investment in the united states slowing down to radically. every business person i talked to tell me that is because of the insecurity created around the world, with the weakening of the world economy because of the trade wars, is the reason why they will not take the risk to invest in things they do not know if they can make money out of. especially because supply chains, as you know now, no product is created in one particular city in one particular town in one
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particular country, the whole economy is interconnected. absolutely, if there is a tariff trade war between the u.s. and other major countries of the world, that would have a negative effect, both on their economies and on the u.s. economy. margaret: the vice premier, chinese vice premier, and president trump are meeting. how do you see the state of play between the u.s. and china right now, and has that been instructive in understanding what is next for the e.u., or do you think they are fundamentally different approaches that the u.s. is taking? amb. lambrinidis: look, china is a really bad trade competitor. unfair, steals intellectual property, subsidizes its companies and products. it does all these things the u.s. and the e.u. want it to stop doing. so the real question there is, what is the best way to achieve that? there is no question in our mind that only if we work together, europeans and americans, can we
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ensure not that china plays by where the rules need to be amended, like with the wto in some instances, this can be done with a maximum possible consensus of everyone around the world because china is, whether or not we like it, a major world economy. it is out there doing things, said, unfair things, bad things, so for me, my goal is to build this alliance. i have another there you to -- there to highlight as i did in massachusetts last week, as i did with kentucky and texas and other states recently, to highlight we are each other's best partner by far. what people don't know and they should know is the european union fundamentally is 28 major world countries coming together. and those countries deciding that they are going to eliminate the 28 individual regulatory and legal regimes and combine under one.
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that, which is a hugely difficult exercise, has created the so-called single market in europe, the biggest, most open and most prosperous in the world of 520 million people. the fact we have the european union and therefore that market has allowed u.s. companies to be able to set up shop anywhere they want to and be able to trade and sell everywhere to those 500 million rich consumers without any barriers. this is revolutionary and that is why european companies make in europe more money than they make anywhere else in the world, and that is why we have big, strong, rich european companies that invest in this country, also creating millions of jobs for americans in every state in this country. margaret: you are arguing efforts to weaken the eu as an organization would hurt u.s. business. amb. lambrinidis: i am arguing that we have the biggest relationship anyone has in the world together right now, and if
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we build on it, we can create even more prosperity for our people. this is my goal at least in my job. margaret: i want to talk about texas and kentucky in a minute. i want to do a little more foreign policy first. some very disturbing developments at the turkey-syria border. what is the eu doing to address turkey's moves into syria? well, we haveis: done at least two things in the past our president, president 24 hours. juncker, our as secretary -- and our secretary of state, we united. we called on turkey to stop immediately its military action. we are not wishy-washy about this. it is remarkably dangerous and destabilizing. it also fundamentally weakens the alliance we have against daesh, with the way it is dealing with some of the allies we have in the alliance on the ground in syria and we have made
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a very clear announcement that we will not in any way fund or support any efforts of turkey to forcefully transfer refugees back to syria to change the demographics of the country and basically put them there. this we also think is a dangerous thing and destabilizing. radicalizing people and take away human rights for millions of syrians and create more violence. our concern is what turkey is doing now can create more violence and we think we should all be stopping it from doing so. margaret: you used the word wishy-washy. is not being wishy-washy. do you think the u.s. is being wishy-washy and you think there has been clarity in terms of response from this administration about the u.s. position on what turkey can do and what the consequences will be? amb. lambrinidis: we certainly
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follow very closely the develop into of u.s. policy in the country right now. all we can do at this stage is ourselves make clear to turkey, which is a candidate country to the e.u., so we have a special relationship with turkey, and to what we think should happen. we have an influence independently. we have told turkey its should be concerns addressed, but not with weapons. it would only create more violence and harm turkey's interest. we will continue supporting turkey in turkey, where it has 3 million refugees from syria and elsewhere. the e.u. is the biggest by far supporter of the refugee camps in turkey, under the turkish government, and we will continue doing that. but we will not be supportive in exporting and exploding this problem back into syria in a way that violates security concerns and human rights. margaret: you have been on the job here since march. amb. lambrinidis: indeed.
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you are saying this like it is a good thing or a bad thing? [laughter] maragaret: like you sort of have to hit the ground running because there is a lot of stuff. amb. lambrinidis: i have not stopped hitting the ground. the ground has not stopped hitting me. [laughter] maragaret: we all feel that way right about now. for those in the audience who really don't know you yet, can you give us a quick like minute or two introduction? you were born in greece and but you have been in the united states since you were a teenager, basically, then college, back to greece. amb. lambrinidis: i was raised in greece. i was born in greece. i went to a boarding school. i didn't have strong reasonable connection to stay in greece for university. i came to the states to study. i went to amherst college in massachusetts, a small liberal arts college, and then i did not know what to do with my life so i went to law school. [laughter] amb. lambrinidis: and then i went to yale law in connecticut and then went to
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washington and practiced here in a big law firm for a number of years. and then the greek army found me. every greek male has to serve. i went back and got caught back in greek politics and i stayed. i did many things in my life since then. sometimes i look back and think, my god, it is just too many. recently i was vice president of the european parliament, foreign minister of greece, and then i ran the human rights foreign policy for the european union. then they thought he has been to enough difficult countries doing human rights, let's send him to the u.s. [laughter] maragaret: easy rotation. some of your legal background also was in trade, all those years back. amb. lambrinidis: absolutely, it was in trade. that makes it easier for me to deal with complex trade issues issues havee trade always been top of the agenda.
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there is a rhetoric that somehow there is unfairness in our trade relationship, and i think it is very, very important to address this. for those of you, trade is fundamentally three things. goods, services and investments and profits you make off of those. when you look at the openness of the u.s. market to europe and the openness of the european market to the u.s. and look at the facts and figures, the u.s. has a slight trade surplus with europe, when you look at those things. that is something you never hear. there areometimes deficits in goods trade, but the fact of the matter is that it is consumers who make decisions on what to buy and what not to buy everywhere. both in europe and the state. people in the states decide there are some european goods that they very much appreciate and want to buy, that is their right. people in europe decide there are american goods they want. that is the way it works with open economies. we are not unfair to the u.s.
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we u.s. is not unfair to us , have disagreements. friends sit down and negotiate. i am very hopeful we can negotiate any disagreements we have. in fact, we are doing it already. look at what has happened when it comes to imports of energy, lng, natural gas from the u.s. they have exploded after juncker and president trump met in july. we decided we wanted to diversify our energy supply to make sure we don't rely on any one particular country to give us everything. the u.s. has a renewed and amazing ability to export lng and we have invested billions in building energy terminals allowing for the guests to come in. it is a win-win. a win for the u.s., a win for the e.u., this is what we are focusing on and i hope the u.s. will as well. maragaret: mr. ambassador, as we
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close this conversation, we like to talk about one fun thing. there have been really fun things at your residence recently. a party for and about and with many guests from kentucky and some bourbon. and a party with some art from texas. i'm wondering -- you have taken an approach of kind of flipping the script on what an e.u. party should be about. amb. lambrinidis: usually ambassadors come around and go to washington and different states and tell people why it is that the u.s. should like them. so you should like europe because they are creating millions of jobs for the u.s., you should like europe because of all of these things. that is something i have to do. everyone does. but rarely has the opposite happened, which is to try to find ways to indicate to
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americans why it is that the europeans love you. this is in fact a daily thing. we have 60 million europeans in this country and descendents of europeans who have come and made their families. in your case, for example, margaret. the bridges we have built, economic bridges, personal bridges, family bridges, they are huge. when i came to my house in washington, which is a very beautiful house, the obamas were two houses to the left and the kushners were two houses to the right. just to give you a sense of -- [laughter] amb. lambrinidis: i am very well protected. i walked in and the walls were empty. the previous ambassador and his wife had moved out and of course, they took everything away. i asked my people and they said ok, we will get some european art, if we can.
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and i thought ok, that is interesting, but i don't want my house to be a mirror reflecting myself. i want my house to be a window connecting me to the country i have come to serve in. and then i thought, can we get art from a state? and thankfully, for a number of fortuitous coincidences, the angelo museum of fine arts in texas decided to donate to me a huge collection of art, a fantastic collection of art, which now is in my house. in the case of kentucky, we decided to have a celebration of kentucky, in which we had the biggest bourbon producers in the state bring the best -- sorry you were not there. [laughter] amb. lambrinidis: the best bourbon. we had light blue grass. in both events, we had congressman from kentucky and from texas, which would probably not be interested to come to my
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house if i committed my favorite greek art -- yes, i don't know. but they are there. and of course there was a lot of press and media interest. and we had the mayor of louisville in the case of kentucky and then other mayors in the case of texas. so we created something entirely different. we are not in this country to tell people only why we are grateful for this country, although we feel like we are. we want to tell americans what we are grateful for what you have done for europe and why it is when it comes to the big challenges of the future, where artificial intelligence is going -- indeed, where subsidizing aircraft is going, where robotics are going, space is going, and what we are going to be doing up there. all of these are not small issues. they can determine big values matters, such as freedom, security and we cannot lose that to anyone else. we have to work together and win this battle. maragaret: and texas -- it is not a question of whether texas
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is going red or blue but whether e.u. is going for the [laughter] ambassador, thank you so much for coming this morning. [applause] maragaret: i hope congressman raskins brought the bourbon. raskin brought the bourbon. that is all i am going to say. what is that? montgomery county bourbon. jamie raskin is that representative for maryland's eighth congressional district, near to the sixth. it if you on this side of the street you might be on the eighth. if you are on this side, the sixth congressional district. my house used to be right at the edge. i live in d.c. now. he is also a member of the house judiciary and oversight committees, so sort of busy these days.
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also a constitutional law professor by trade, so we are going to have a lot to talk about this morning. welcome, congressman raskin. [applause] maragaret: thank you for joining us. rep. raskin: i didn't realize you were on the outskirts of the eighth district. we will have to gerrymander you in next time. [laughter] i moved to d.c., so i am out of the game now, but thank you for your service. [laughter] maragaret: why don't we start with constitutional law, because we are all thinking about it and that is what you do. it has been a crazy couple of weeks, i think it is safe to say. do you think the current impeachment inquiry is ultimately headed to the supreme court? rep. raskin: no. maragaret: why? or why not? rep. raskin: there is no role for the supreme court. the article says the house of
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representatives has the sole power of impeachment. the senate has the sole power to try and impeachment the founders rejected that the idea of the supreme court involved. president trump thinks all of his problems can be solved by his friends on the supreme court but it is one the supreme court cannot solve for him. and it is an important statement by the founders about who governs. they considered the idea of making impeachment a judicial process and rejected it and said it is too important to leave to justices who have been appointed by the president. it has got to rest with the people. we are in a time of rediscovering the fact that we are not coequal branches. a lot of my colleagues get up on the floor and say mr. president, treat us like a coequal branch and i want to say, -- subject -- i want to yank them down and subject them to an entire semester of constitutional law because we are not.
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our constitution was created by people who were overthrowing kings. they got rid of monarchy and kleptocracy and theocracy and replaced it with government by the people. the preamble, we the people, to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and preserved to ourselves and our -- preserve to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty do ordain and establish the united states of america. the very next sentence is all legislative power is vested in a congress of the united states of america. so the sovereign power of america is the people who created the constitution and that power flowed to congress. so we represent the people. you get a numeration of all of the powers from regulating commerce domestically and internationally to establishing a post office, intellectual property, naturalization.
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all of it is in there. including clause 18. all of the other powers necessary to the execution of the foregoing powers. then you get to article two and the president's main job is to take care that the laws are executed. one of the four sections is about impeachment. the president can be removed for committing treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. the president's job is to enforce and implement the laws that we adopt. we have the power to impeach if he violates the law. he doesn't have the power to impeach us. we are at a moment when we are trying to recapture the original vision and design of the framers. margaret: are you arguing in this age where executive power has been consolidated for the last three presidents, are you trying to argue congress is a more important branch or that -- rep. raskin: yes. -- rep. raskin: yes.
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margaret: ok. rep. raskin: i want to get back to the original design because we have this imperial presidency which now is off of the rails and out of control. the president declared under article two he can do what he wants. they are making the argument in court not subject to criminal investigation or prosecution because congress has the power of impeachment. when congress is engaging in impeachment, investigation because of high crimes and misdemeanors, he says i can't he impeached. that is unconstitutional. he wants to be a king. that is what we had a revolution about. margaret: this might come up in a campaign context. you think there is not a role for the supreme court but if the president does, doesn't it mean -- does think there is a supreme role, does it not mean that it is going to the supreme court? rep. raskin: anybody can sue anybody and they will. i don't doubt there will be
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cases but the courts have started to repudiate the president's arguments. you look at the court in new york, which just chewed out the president and his lawyers, saying what you are asserting is the president is above and beyond the law. that is not the system. we are all subject to the law. the design of the founders was any of us who aspire and retain public office are nothing but servants. think about that. that is a radical inversion of everything before. the idea was monarchs would get into power and the government was private property. they could do what they wanted. we have got the emoluments clause which says none of us can accept without the consent of congress a present, emolument, payment, officer title from a prince, king or foreign state, whatever. and the president is limited to a salary in office which can't be increased or decreased by
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congress and can receive no other emoluments or payments from the u.s. government. anytime they go to mar-a-lago and we spent $75,000 of taxpayer money for the white house staff to stay and the secret service, it is unconstitutional and congress cannot bail him out. it is a ban on him receiving money from the u.s. government. the framers had a clear conjecture of what public desk conception of what public -- of what public servants should be. we are so far away from that that we have completely allowed the constitutional scheme to be betrayed. the president has converted the presidency into an instrument of reelection. it is the opposite of what the founders wanted. margaret: there are many democrats in congress who reluctantly came to the conclusion that pursuing
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impeachment was the thing that needed to happen even if they did not like the political implications for them pursuing impeachment inquiry. setting aside the substance of the inquiry, do you think it is -- i won't say stupid but do you think it is risky there is a big hurdle for redefining the message? when you look at the polls impeachment is -- americans are , -- is something americans are increasingly i guess warming to it or coming around to it, but there is still a lot of mixed feelings about whether it is the right place for the country. i suspect they will play out in swing states. what do you think are the risks? rep. raskin: there is a genetic -- dramatic shift in public opinion. impeachment support is going up
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one point per day. fox news found a majority of the public not only favors the inquiry but also removal from office. recent numbers showed 58% of the public favors the inquiry. because the public understands and has fastened on to the story about what has taken place with ukraine. margaret: i barely understand this story and i do it every day. rep. raskin: people understand the mob style shakedown. he was withholding money to ukraine which we voted in congress to send to a besieged ally resisting vladimir putin's aggression and involvement. the president used that as leverage to extract political information that he wanted the president of ukraine to produce on the bidens. that is extraordinary. people understand nothing like that has happened in american history with a president who is
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using the legal machinery of the presidency and the military might and the wealth of the country to coerce a foreign nation to participate in the political campaign. it is a complete collapse of his private ambitions and the public role. i go back to the emoluments clause. it was the original sin of this administration when the president said i will not invest -- divest myself from more than 500 businesses. i will keep the hotels and resorts going and i will allow foreign governments to come over and patronize us. even in the july 25 phone call from the memorandum we got by the white house personnel, the president said we got to stay at your wonderful hotel in new york. you see what is going on. we have got to get back to
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constitutional basics. the president has collected millions of dollars in ireland, scotland, mar-a-lago, new jersey, the headquarters of the corruption, the national hotel which we call the washington emolument. >> [laughter] margaret: is that where all of this is going or do you think that the impeachment inquiry can or should remain narrowly tailored to ukraine? we haven't brought up other countries. not sure what we know about. there has been developments with rudy giuliani and ukraine associates yesterday. things took another turn. everyone -- i am not sure everyone knows what this is about. do you support a narrow focus on ukraine or a wider, broadened investigation? rep. raskin: it is a difficult question. the president is like a one-man crime wave.
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there are so many high crimes and misdemeanors out of the white house, the difficult part is conceptualizing how to mount -- map them together and create one comprehensive narrative. it is clear the ukraine story is far clearer to everybody than what robert mueller described. the seven or eight page memo we got from the whistleblower is a far more compelling piece of work from what robert mueller -- dan from what robert mueller did -- the and from what robert mueller did in 600 or 700 pages. i think it begins with that. we will lead off with that. i hope we do. you can see why. for one thing the president is president now. he was a candidate back then. now he is engaged in criminality and wrongdoing as president. number two, it wasn't all delegated. clearly he had rudy giuliani and the new guy, rosencrantz and
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guildenstern and whatever their names are. other people involved in the operation but we know from the top it started with donald trump saying i want to get -- he wanted to cover up russia's involvement in 2016, which robert mueller said was sweeping and systematic. he wanted to cover that up with a fake story with ukraine. it is a complicated story to tell. ukraine is the leadoff the obstruction has been totally -- leadoff but the obstruction has been totally unprecedented. the president has ordered noncompliance, noncooperation with essentially every material legislative investigation we have got going in congress. it was funny the other day when they released a letter. they said we will not cooperate anymore. when were they cooperating?
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they have not been for months. margaret: you don't believe if there was a formal vote, it would have changed, if the speaker had executed a formal vote to start the process? you do not thanks that would change the white house? rep. raskin: they didn't even say that. it was one more obstacle and roadblock thrown up there. the reason they were insisting -- there were two reasons they -- one was to distract everybody from the clarity of the story, the shakedown against ukraine, the sellout of our constitution and election and national security and the cover-up of the whole thing by sticking it on the secret server. they were trying to change the subject, but they were experiencing erosion in public opinion including in republican public opinion. i don't think they will be able to arrest it, but they want to freeze republican party public opinion.
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they would like to commit republican members of the house to vote against it because who knows what it will be in two or four weeks especially with their outrageous betrayal of the kurds and their exposure of the kurds to syrian military land and air onslaught. it is amazing to me my colleagues can call out the president for his betrayal of the kurds but most cannot call out the president for his betrayal of the americans. margaret: you said two weeks or four weeks. can this inquiry go past the end of this year? or if there are articles of impeachment, do we need as a country realistically to have a decision by the end of the year? it is hard to imagine how both of those things get totaled -- juggled and the country continues to run. how long does this go on? rep. raskin: the over it -- the
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evidence is overwhelming. a delay would only benefit the president. they are trying to slow this down by withholding witnesses and evidence. it hurts them because it becomes another article in impeachment counts against them, they are obstructing congress. we are treating it as essentially a concession to the truth of the underlying allegations that the people are refusing to testify about. margaret: we are out of time but i did want to ask you because we like to end this with something interesting we didn't know about you. rep. raskin: this wasn't fun? [laughter] margaret: you were telling me recently that you are reading a book that has helped instructor -- instruct your thinking on these times. what have you been reading? rep. raskin: blumenthal's volume three of his series about lincoln. it is a brilliant series.
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it is called "all the powers of the earth." people say names have never been this bad, never been this partisan. check out this book, about 120 pages on congressman preston brooks from south carolina. his beating of senator charles sumner from massachusetts. basically beat him nearly to his death on the floor of the senate while stephen douglas stood by and shuffled some papers and watched the whole thing happened. people were coming to work armed. it has not gotten that bad yet. one of my colleagues has been arguing that people should be allowed to exercise their second amendment right on the floor of the house. but, so far, it has been nonviolent. we will make it through this period. the constitution is going to prevail and democracy will survive. margaret: an optimistic note.
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rep. raskin: thank you so much. margaret: thank you so much for joining us. [applause] margaret: now, if you would, please turn your attention to the screen for a minute. [video clip] >> this has been established as a common language of we transform normal buildings to be sustainable buildings. we expanded, traditionally used for transforming buildings. the bank of america's recent commitment is the most exciting part, because we received a substantial grant from the bank. a clear objective of helping cities in the u.s. to have the right resources, to be recognized for our leed for cities program. we are working with cities,
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sustainability offices, planning leaders to think about responsible planning. the vision is to create a sustainable future for all. our partnership with bank of america gives our community the power to change the world by creating sustainable and equitable societies. ♪ [end video clip] margaret: i'm excited to welcome our next guest to the stage. ambassador susan rice, as you all know, was president obama's national security advisor and also before that the ambassador to the united nations. if you have been in a coma this
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week, she is also on a book tour for her new book. we have a copy of it here. i know she will be doing an event later today so if you want to catch her, catch her there because you will not catch her here. we are going to get out of here right now. i will endeavor. we have so much news to talk about but i want to also talk about this book. it is a long, very thoughtful book with a lot of personal history and exploration as well an analysis from everything from the clinton years to the obama years and now, of course. without further ado, ambassador rice, welcome. [applause] margaret: thanks for joining us. i would have worn my red shoes. fmr. amb. rice: you didn't get the memo?
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margaret: i want to start with a little bit of news of the day because the nobel prize has gone this morning to ethiopia's prime minister for his role in brokering a peace deal. and, africa is a continent that you paid so much attention to professionally over the decade. i'm wondering what you can tell us about ethiopia's prime minister and what all this means? fmr. amb. rice: most mornings when the radio comes on as my wake-up, i don't want to get out of bed because there is some terrible news to have to digest. this morning, which was the rare occasion when i was so excited to hear that the prime minister had received the nobel prize, the context is this is a new leader of ethiopia. he has been in not even two years. as soon as he came in, his
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decision was to implement, finally, the peace agreement that we brokered during the clinton administration that ended the very hot war between ethiopia where nearly 100,000 people were killed. the deadliest conventional war on the planet at the time. we got the fighting to end. we got a cessation of hostile activities. we got a peace agreement, but the sides had failed to implement it fully. they did not define their border and it was a cold peace. neither war or peace. abiy came in and reached out to his counterpart and they normalized relations. now there is air travel and families can cross the border and there is telecommunications. it is not perfect by any stretch, but it is a huge step forward. margaret: you did say the deal
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brokered under the clinton administration -- fmr. amb. rice: that shows you how long ago it was. that is when i was sprightly young in my 30's. margaret: you look exactly the same. [laughter] margaret: so, what do you think that will actually need? -- actually mean? you talk about this in the book, there have been many examples of times when you are hopeful about a policy initiative that would lead to more peace and less violence in other countries in the continent, and those hopes were tempered over time. what are your concerns about the prospects for real lasting emergence of a more peaceful time between the two nations and what are the pitfalls? fmr. amb. rice: i'm hopeful the peace will sustain itself. i'm hopeful normalization will continue. there are many challenges within each of the countries.
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within ethiopia, there is still political repression even though he has made some progress in that regard. are still political prisoners, real ethnic conflict. in eritrea, it has sustained an autocratic government for almost 30 years. so, there is a long distance to go in each, but between them, there is reason for hope. when was the last time that you can remember an african won the nobel peace prize? it has been a long time. i just think it is worth stepping back and acknowledging there are many parts of the world we are concerned about things going badly wrong. it is nice to even celebrate for a moment the place with the right motivations and right efforts, things have the potential to move in a positive direction. margaret: why don't we talk about some places where things are going wrong? fmr. amb. rice: like here?
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margaret: we will get to here. we will start outside and come home. quickly on syria and quickly on the ukraine -- on syria, do you think the u.s. has clarified his position to the turks clearly enough? [laughter] fmr. amb. rice: yeah, the position is greenlight. margaret: you think that is clearly the message? fmr. amb. rice: there has been an effort to walk back or redefine -- fmr. amb. rice: i think there has been an effort to clean up the huge mess the president made with his base here in washington. margaret: you think it is political? fmr. amb. rice: absolutely. you look at what is happening on the ground -- first of all, the president gave erdogan the green light on the phone. we continued to provide them aerial imagery through monday when the offensive was about to begin. we did nothing to defend the
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kurds when they were under assault from the air and deliberately ordered u.s. military personnel not to intercede to help the kurds. now, we are just having a few more days of the normal trump bluster about i didn't tell him to do that. margaret: you think this is about the evangelical vote? fmr. amb. rice: no, i think it is about folks on capitol hill who have stepped out of their box. margaret: republican senators. fmr. amb. rice: yes. margaret: the ukraine story keeps evolving. do you think it is primarily about the president trying to pursue an investigation of the values now or do you think it is -- the bidens now, or do you think it is more about rudy
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giuliani and business deals? where do you see things going? fmr. amb. rice: these are not mutually exclusive. it's certainly about the president of the united states trying to elicit, and indeed, extort false information from the government of ukraine that the president can use against joe biden or try to use against joe biden. there is no question that is the case. it also appears there are some shady business dealings going on on the side involving giuliani, some of his associates. now we see the campaign financing seems to be another angle. we need to learn more about what rick perry was up to. it's quite conceivable and looking increasingly probable that this is a multifaceted emerging scandal. margaret: the president has maintained that this is much ado about nothing and he is against
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corruption. do you think -- you have seen the ukrainian leader come out, you saw what he said. do you think it is possible democrats are over torquing this and the story is unappealing and raises a lot of questions, but is not impeachment level? or in your mind, this is impeachment level inquiry? fmr. amb. rice: it is certainly impeachment level inquiry. i think the inquiry needs to be conducted thoroughly and responsibly. i for 1 am not prepared to prejudge its outcome. i think what we have seen is -- this is why many people are now taking the view it is time to conduct an inquiry. we have concrete evidence in the form of the president's own words that he, from ukraine and china at least, has solicited the help of a foreign government to interfere in our elections.
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which is not only illegal, it violates the fundamental premise that our founders tried to protect against. if that is not something that merits an inquiry into impeachment, i find it hard to know what is. i think what the democrats have come to is a recognition this is so bad, that it is beyond political calculation. it is not only a question of is it beneficial or not beneficial to launch an impeachment inquiry? will it hurt us or help us? what they are saying is if we don't stand up for the constitution and rule of law now, then whenever will we? margaret: i want to talk about the book now. i'm not going to ask you this question i was going to ask you which is trey gowdy has been tapped as outside counsel by the white house. we can talk about that. fmr. amb. rice: i have one sentence.
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i have no idea why he would want to do that. margaret: i will leave it at that. you have been on tv and radio and in newspapers all week talking about -- actually, not talking about your book. promoting your book but not talking about your book because there has been so much other news. i was hoping you could spend just a minute telling the folks who have not read your book yet -- fmr. amb. rice: everybody, right? margaret: i have a couple of highlights but i will turn it over to you first. maybe, what are the two fundamental things you want people to know about you that they would not know before reading this book and about the way the obama administration made foreign policy, or what you learned from your experience? fmr. amb. rice: it is a very personal book that goes back to my parents and grandparents and tells the story of their history. my maternal grandparents came from jamaica to portland, maine
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in 1912 with nothing. one janitor and a maid. they had five kids. in the classic manifestation of the american dream, they scraped and saved and sent all five of their kids to college. two became doctors, one became an optometrist, one became a university president, and then there was my mom who was the youngest who became a corporate executive. sat on 11 public traded boards. most importantly, was instrumental in the establishment of the pell grant program. and, was lauded as the mother of pell grants when she passed. through her effort, 80 million americans have the opportunity to attend institutions of higher learning in this country. [applause] fmr. amb. rice: thank you.
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my dad is the descendent of slaves from south carolina. he was born in 1920 and grew up in the worst of jim crow. and served during world war ii at tuskegee in the segregated army air corps. out of that, he emerged very bitter in many ways. he was proud to serve his country and an extraordinary patriot, who ended up being a governor of the federal reserve. he resented mightily the notion as an african-american, he had to prove to white people he was as good as they were. that black people could fly planes as well as white people. he also resented mightily he was serving in an army air force that was trying to ensure the freedom of everybody, but african-americans. when he went off base, he saw german pows being served in restaurants he could not enter.
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this experience shaped him and made him ultimately very resilient about issues of race, which he passed on to me and my brother. his fundamental philosophy was if my being black is going to be a problem, it's not going to be a problem for me. it is going to be somebody else's problem. between these two parents who came from little and rose through hard work of their parents and their own hard work to become quite accomplished individuals, they taught me and my brother to have faith in ourselves. to believe we could do what we set out to do. that we were not limited by anything other than our abilities and our hard work. that core sense of having faith in yourself, of having an ambition of serving something larger than yourself is how i
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was raised. it is what shaped me. i spent a good bit of time. the book delving into family, delving into the forces that shape me. i was raised in washington in the 1960's and 1970's. so, i also get into the struggles i had as a working mother, a breast-feeding mother at the state department at 32 when i took over as assistant secretary of state for african affairs. as i had to deal with sick parents and young children with health issues. as you and ambassador and -- as u.n. ambassador haley national security advisor. ambassador-- u.n. and national security advisor. i tried to weave in the personal with the professional and tell a story that sometimes painful and sometimes raw, but i think certainly as honest as i can be. margaret: there are a number of -- our time is so limited, but i want to give people a sense of the scope of what the book covers. it is everything from an
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assessment of the policies, successes or failures or mix of both in rwanda, south sudan. there's a story about giving nicole brooke the finger, that was you. there was a portion of the book where the fbi did a counter intel operation on you when you are trying to have quiet meetings that was the precursor to what became the iran deal. i know you hate this. there is a scene at the white house correspondents dinner four years ago where someone emerges from the darkness to hug you and whisper in your ear, and it is donald trump. he is telling you you did a great job, getting a bad rap in benghazi. there is a lot in this book. a lot in the book. you talk a good deal about your family, your children. some of the discoveries of your parents. there is also a recognition of the idea of accepting or
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acknowledging failures as a part of a successful or generally successful career in public service. you talk about syria and libya. you talk about what president obama and you and the administration learned on the job. i'm just wondering if you would leave us with a thought, not about the specific policies, but the idea of building on failures as well as successes moving forward. fmr. amb. rice: let me answer that and also try to answer the second part of your prior question. what i hope people will take away in part from this book is that there is a reason why for decades we have had a well-functioning national security decision-making process. one where options are surfaced and analysis is provided and
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consideration is given to the recommendations made by the president. the president actually considers the outcome of his actions before he takes them. this is hugely important and i am deeply concerned that we are losing a sense of what is normal in the moment. and, we can't lose the sense of what is normal because when the system doesn't work -- whether we are working on iran, syria, whatever -- it does not mean the policy outcomes are perfect, but the proper consideration is given to very complicated issues. when we lose that, we lose any compass in terms of how to affect the national interest and how to enhance our national security and work with our partners to accomplish what we need to. i get into many of the issues we work through and wrestled with in the obama administration. i tried to give a fair assessment of where we got it
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right and where we got it wrong without a lot of sugar on it. but, the overarching message is we need to insist that our leadership maintain a rational thoughtful national security decision-making process because without that, we are unmoored and we are now seeing the consequences of it. we have to remember what normal is an insist we get back to it. margaret: ambassador rice. thank you very much. fmr. amb. rice: thank you. [applause] margaret: i would like to thank all of our guests for joining us this morning. i would like to thank all of you for joining us this morning, and bank of america for making the program possible. on your way out, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter. get some pumpkin stuff. have a great morning.
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thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> today president trump delivers her market the valiant voters summit. eastern.:15 p.m. online at or listen live on the free radio app. thinking about participating in c-span's studentcam camera 2020 competition you have never made a documentary film? no problem. we have resources to help you get started. check out our getting started and download pages on on producing video information and footage in
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the c-span library. teachers will find resources on the teacher's material page. anyone who wants to compete this year is to find a topic that you are truly passionate about and pursue it as much as you can. >> we are asking middle and to create a short documentary on the issue that you would like the presidential candidates to address during the 2020 campaign. c-span will award $100,000 in total cash prizes including a $5,000 cash prize. >> get a camera, and a microphone and produce the best video that you can possibly produce. from -- for more information today. the brookings institution hosted this forum on the importance of military and civilian national service. the discussion included americorps members along with people from other national service programs. this is in our.


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