tv Sens. Graham Van Hollen Announce Legislation Imposing Sanctions on Turkey CSPAN October 17, 2019 5:09pm-5:49pm EDT
chris van hollen held a press conference to introduce a bill that would impose more sanctions. it was in response to turkey's military operations targeting kurdish forces in northern syria. ms. graham: thank you very much. i'm senator graham from south carolina and here with bipartisan group of united states senators to make a clear statement in uncertain times. what turkey did in syria is unacceptable. turkey's incursion hurts america's national security and puts at risk our kurdish allies
as there for us and the syrian ground forces were to destroy the caliphate. but the infantry for destroying the caliphate and we believe that erdogan's decision to go into syria puts our allies at risk. we believe that the rise of isis is imminent if this continues. we appreciate what the president did with sanctions against turkey. we are here to add to it and supplement what the president did and let turkey know there are three branches of government. but congress is going to speak with a sing did you lar voice that we will impose sanctions in the strongest measure possible against this turkish outrage that will lead to the re-he mergens of isis and benefit to
iran to the detriment of israel. i will briefly go over what's in the bill. but i would like to make a statement that the house passed yesterday a resolution urging the president to change course inside of syria. 354-60. i believe that same resolution if brought to the floor of the united states senate would get over 80 votes and i'm urging senator mcconnell and senator schumer to do that. because people are dying as we speak and we want the president to be successful. secretary pompeo and vice president pence are meeting with turkey as i speak. i called this morning to our envoy regarding syria to tell him we would be here at 12:0 east coast time and let turkey that the sanctions by the administration are the first step in what i think will be a
crippling journey and turkey needs to withdraw to the areas before the invasion, for them to stop operations against our kurdish allies and reset the table. and what we are doing is sanking turkish officials beyond what the administration did and restricting visa assets to the country, asking a deep dive into erdogan's finances and i find that f-16 designed by the united tates are being used to bomb a good ally. considering the purchase of the s.-400, the russian missile system could be a significant ent and sanctions
could be imposed within 0 days and prohibit u.s. military assistance and prohibit any u.s. person from purchasing sovereign debt from the country of turkey. and i send it over to senator van hollen. the turkish-u.s. relationship a be salvaged but they are nato ally and i find it incredible that a nato ally is attacking a ground opponent. so to the average american, what does this matter to you. isis cannot re-emerge, the caliphate is destroyed but they are alive and well. 15,000 to 20,000 fighters and without the kurds they will come back. and without the kurds, good luck
to help in the future. israel, the nightmare is for iran to be the biggest winner of the vacuum we created from withdrawing from syria if they take the oil from syria and get richer and israel gets surrounded. so at the end of the day, this is about israel, it's about isis and about iran and aligning with assad is not a good outcome for the united states. if the kurds are forced to align with assad, they are aligning with iran and i can't think of a worst outcome to force them in the arms of the iranians at the expense of american national security and prestige. our kurdish friends cannot do it all. and for a few hundred proops, we can fix this problem.
we need to reset and get turkey to stand down. the sanctions will receive a large bipartisan vote and will stay in place until turkey changes its behavior. senator van hollen. senator van hollen: let me start by saying maryland and the country have lost an incredible leader and hero with the passing of elijah cummings, he was a good friend and one of maryland's favorite sons and to my mind he was a here oove and we will miss his sense of dignity and principle and it is that sense of standing up for america which brings us here today. it is not a surprise to anybody that senator graham don't agree we do of things but agree this is a precarious
moment for our country and our role in the world and when we first learned of the president's decision and turkey's response, we both had the same reaction. first to call upon the president to do everything in his power to undo the damage that has been caused but also, also, we in this congress have a bipartisan responsibility to stand up for america's role in the world and i'm pleased that we are joined by a bipartisan group of senators, senator shaheen, senator blew men that will and senator blackburn. we need swift and bipartisan action to repair the damage caused by the decision to allow turkey to attack our chief partner in the fight against isis terrorists and to make sure that we stop the revival of isis. the syrian kurds have been the
tip of the spear in our fight against isis and its re-emergence. the senate should vote on the bipartisan resolution that senator rand mentioned that passed the house yesterday but move immediately to take up the bill that we are introducing today. i think we recognize that many damage has been done. as senator graham, russia, assad, iran and isis are moving quickly to fill the void, but we can demonstrate that american leadership matters here in the congress and take the measures that we are calling for today. we have to send a message. we have to a send message. and we will fight to make sure that isis does not get more oxygen and come back. they have been down, but they are not out. and this action that has been
taken gives them the opportunity to come back and we cannot allow that to happen. that is the result of the decisions that have been made in the turkish aggression. i want to hold up a headline that tells you what the problem is. turkish-backed force are freeing islamic-state prisoners. we can't expect the syrian kurds to be detaining prisoners and fighting for their lives and fighting against isis. we are doing the one thing in our power here in the united states congress to stop the slaughter of syrian kurds and cleansing. ic this fight includes a lot of elements. they have al qaeda karr d.n.a. and intent on wiping out the
syrian kurds and we are doing everything in our power to stop the resurgence of isis. senator graham went through the items in the bill. it is in turkey's power to avoid these sanctions. we wish we were not here imposing these sanctions and these sanctions would be lifted immediately if turkey stops killing our siren kurdish allies and if turkey moves itself to where they were before this invasion. these sanction would not go into place and i agree with senator graham. we want turkey as an alley but they are testing their role within nato and the russian s.-400 defense system.
but we do not want these sanctions to go sbooling effect. beyonde world will stand our kurdish forces and to make sure that those things happen. we are insisting that this will take place if turkey does do this to protect our interests. it's my privilege the podium over to senator marsha blackburn from tennessee. senator blackburn: thank you, senator van hollen and he and i have been in agreement for a very long time on the importance of standing with the kurds. and when we were each house members we co-chaired the kurdish forces and the reason i was involved is because of the population of kurds that called nashville in tennessee home. and the kurds have stood with us
without fail. they have been resolute in their bility to push back on evil. they have been resolute on pushing back on isis and they have lost thousands of lives. and the kurds that have been there fighting, making certain that we have this safe area, making certain that the s.d.f. withholding these providers. this is something that is not lost on us or them. s you have heard, turkey could stop this right now if they wanted to. allies, ng at our nato we hope that turkey will receive a message that it is important for them to stop this. and i want to commend senator
graham, i want to commend senator van hollen for bringing the legislation forward, sanctions are important. and it is important to realize that we will not stop. this is not going to be the last step, this is the first step, to make certain that all that we have fought for, the gains that we have made, are not going to be pushed aside because of turkey's aggression. >> good afternoon. i'm pleased to join my colleagues here both republican and democrats to address the tragic disaster in syria. senator graham and i had the opportunity to visit northeastern syria and walked around the markets and broke bread with our arab and kurdish partners and children were
flashing v-signs when they saw the members of our american military and what we heard over and over again from the kurds, syrians and arabs were saying please don't let the united states abandon us. well, that's exactly what we have done and it is heartbreaking to see those videos where kurds are being killed by turkish fighters and seen the worst case scenario in the region that many of us have long feared and make no mistake, the seeds of where we began today began when the administration withheld the stabilization dollars in northeast syria and president withdrawounced he will troops. in one week, we have undone five years of hard-fought stability
in northeast syria and president erdogan needs to hear a message of this incursion. that's what these sanctions hopefully will help send a message. we can't undo the damage that that already been done but we can demonstrate it is not just president trump but also the congress. and i want to thank senators graham and van hollen for their leadership. and also point out that i believe the president should withdraw his invitation to president erdogan to come be his guest here. it is totally unacceptable because of turkey's actions and this president's decision that we are extending hospital to president erdogan in the white house of the united states of
america. that state visit needs to be canceled and canceled immediately. with that, let me turn it over to senator blumenthal. bloom bloom my thanks just for the people of south carolina, i do degree a lot with senator graham. i sat me just emphasize through a classified top secret briefing from the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff my feeling was horror and shame. to the people of the united states, you should feel horror and shame and deep disappointment in the abdication of leadership and our values by
your leaders. president trump has advocated leadership. the congress must act. the congress must act to stop isis from resurging, which is happening right now, unfolding in real-time, right before our eyes, making a potential mockery of the lives lost, the bloodshed, the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform and partners who have fought with them and lost lives with them. and there is nothing more basic o a great nation than its word when its promises are broken, ts credibility is lost, as a partner and an aly and as an
adverse. and americans should feel great disappointment that that lasting damage is being done to america's credibility. the wind fall here is to iran and russia. again, to vladimir putin. hy always is putin the winner? this kind of shredding of american credibility will do lasting damage. we may not be able to unscramble the aid but we can undo some of the damage and that will be the result of strong, stiff sanctions imposed swiftly in this act. this measure gut punches turkey where it hurts.
and that is what is necessary to get erdogan's attention to force him to roll back this foolhardy and tyrannical step. the american people deserve to hear what we heard today behind closed doors. and i said as much in that hearing. they deserve to hear all of the facts on the ground so they will know what can and should be done to reverse this misguided policy. and let me just say and i never thought i would say about the united states of america. we are going to be complicit in the ethnic cleansing that occurs as a result of this absolutely abhorrent action. we will be held responsible and rightly so, by history.
for the potential genocide that will occur in that region. if we fail to act. history will haunt us if we continue to retreat from those basic principles. going an say that we are to have strong bipartisan support for this measure. the best measure, the best sign of it is the numbers of our colleagues who want to support it now and i look forward to imagining support as we go forward. thank you. [indiscernible question]
senator graham: i don't need to lecture the american people. if you missed the last four years, you missed a lot. if you think they are going to europe, they want us more than anybody else. the kurds in their eyes are the enemy not an ally. the bottom line is what the administration has done has gotten turkey's attention but clearly hasn't worked. its president didn't give a green light but erdogan went in any way. and that's the problem. the reason we are doing this is china's watching, russia is watching and iran is watching. you will not get a pass. if you do something in hong kong, you are going to get
harder. if you move into parts of eastern europe, we are still here. iran, if you keep threatening the neighborhood, more is coming your way. not only is it important to restore the credibility of erdogan but restore our position and what comes your way. senator van hollen: erdogan listened to president trump on that phone call and the message he got was go ahead and attack the syrian kurds, that's the way he interpreted it. right now the president has said he is going to quote destroy turkey's economy if they keep doing what they're doing and my question is, for god's sakes, when are you going to act? the slaughter is going on right now. the sanctions on turkish steel
were the same sanctions that president put on turkey when we had a pastor who was in turkish -- held by turkey. they represent 4/10's of 1% of all of turkey's exports. the president if he wants to act, he has the authority today to undertake a lot of sanctions that we're calling for and he should do it. but the point we are making today is in the absence of presidential action to stand up for the principles and values and support our allies and stop the resurgens of isis. [indiscernible question] >> do you think president trump will sign these sanctions? vol senator graham: i don't know what pompeo and pence are going to accomplish today.
hopefully they can have a crease fire. and if we stand on the sidelines and these people get rolled over, god help us. i think president trump's team is on the grouped trying to talk sense to erdogan. i want turkey to understand, it's not just trump's intent and pompeo, but the rest of us. i'm hoping that this will help their hand. but i think we ought to vote on these sanction ngs and it will be veto proof and i would hope that president trump would welcome them. >> senator graham, how does the prohibition on military assistance comport with the nato ission to the air base and ongoing military operation? senator graham: it is
complicated but we are trying to not ure the f-16's are longer bombing kurdish allies. and if you want to be a nato ally. can you imagine any nato country invading syria to the benefit of isis. that's what they're doing. they are invading syria to the benefit of isis. and they have concerns about y.p.g. elements and i get that. this is not a solution. and it was used. president erdogan allowed fighters to begin with. reporter: why do you think that president trump listened to you last december when he wanted to withdraw and why he is not listening to you?
do you think it is election year politics? ? d what specific assurances senator graham: president trump did not wake up two weeks ago and said erdogan, you can have syria. in december, he announced the withdrawal. to president trump's credit, we slowed it down and reassured the kurds that we are not going to abandon you. and create a safe zone where y.p.g. ould feel -- the kurds areize of the terror. we are trying to accommodate both interests. erdogan called the president and accused our germs of slow-walking the safe zones and he could not tolerate it anymore. so it's not like president trump
just woke up one day and said i'm tired of syria. erdogan said i'm going to go in and the president counseled him not to but it did not work. and here's what i fear if it doesn't work with erdogan and not work with the eye tolla. now is a moment for the president to embrace bipartisan and work with the congress, let us be your partner. the objective is to reset the table and stay in touch with the kurds and make sure isis doesn't come back and give turkey some reasonable sense of security. that can only happen if we stop the bloodshed. [indiscernible question] s. schakowsky: it's not --
>> it's not just passing the bill. president trump needs to send a strong signal to presidents erdogan that he himself does not approve what's going on in syria. i say, extend our invitation to president erdogan and we are not going to be nice to him until he changes his behavior. senator van hollen: the action that president trump took after that earlier phone call from erdogan was to withdraw our special forces that left the kurds vulnerable. we are left to salvage a difficult situation. i want to stress that the president has the authority today to do a lot more than the pinprick steel measure that he undertook. he could do a lot in this bill today, but what we are saying,
we are not moving one way or another and do what is right and stop the resurgens of isis [indiscernible question] ms. graham: if he withdraws from iraq. it's not about personality but about policy. here's what i hope will happen. i hope president trump will seize the opportunity to work with us for the greater good.
i hope he'll listen to his generals. he made a remark about me. i want to belong enough until we are safe. the lion would be lying down with the lamb. i spent 33 years in the military. so this is no casual thing for me. i don't love war. what i crave is security for my country and my allies. mr. president, if you don't understand that isis is coming back, you are missing a lot of good advice. if you don't understand that these bastards would come back and this would be a stain on your presidency. how do you fix this? you leave. you tell erdogan, i am speaking for a nation now. i have the backing of the united states congress. we will not tolerate this. we want a good relationship, but you are destroying it and i have
the backing of the united states congress. i have the backing of people who want to impeach me and i have the backing of the people who want to defend me. what i want is erdogan to stand down and get out of syria and give us a chance to deal with legitimate concerns. do not abandon the kurds. some of our troops need to stay involved in the counter isis fight and 15,000 fighters still on the loose. the day we leave where we can say we are safe. every military leader, mr. president, believes we need a few hundred of us to keep the isis fight going into the right direction. 10,000 kurds were injured or killed. every one that went down was one of us that didn't have to go down. this is a model that works, mr. president. you had a light footprint and we
destroyed the caliphate with eight casualties. good bless the eight. just listen to the commanders, and don't listen to rand paul and we'll talk about golf. if you don't know then i'm a war monger just write me off. all i'm asking is that you do what president obama did not do, listen and adjust. you have the opportunity to reset the table with a configuration of american forces in the hundreds and not the thousands that will reassure a valuable ally and protect our friends in israel. if you continue on the course you're on, you will have brought a lot of damage to the nation and abandoned a valuable ally and mr. president, as much as i like you and want to work with
you, i'm going to be consistent. i will hold you accountable. >> the answer is yes. based on publicly available knowledge, the answer is yes. e have the resources to act. senator van hollen: let me say in closing, over the congressional break i was in hassan.tan with senator e, some of them had been arm-in-arm with our kurdish partners in the fight against isis and for them the president's actions was one of the most shameful days. we heard from our commanders, their bigger concerns these days in afghanistan is not al qaeda, although that remains a concern but the rise of isis in afghanistan, taking direction
from the folks isis folks who remain in syria and iraq. while they lost some territory, they were already, unfortunately alive and kicking before the decision by the president and the action by erdogan and turkish forces but now they have been given new fuel and new oxygen and we must do our part. sanctions are never a perfect tool but we have to do what is in our powers to do what is right. [indiscernible question] >> are you hoping that some troops remain? have you gotten word? what is happening with u.s. troops? can you clarify that? senator van hollen: it's not clear to me. things come out of the white
house that change by the hour and so the answer, i don't know. we need to move quickly to put in place these sanctions and they are tough sanctions, but they can be avoided or lifted when turkey stops slaughtering the syrian kurds and stopping the resurgens of isis and takes its proxies to where they were before they were attacked. hanks. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org c-span campaign 2020 coverage continues tonight. president trump holds a keep america great rally in the merican rally in dallas.
senator warren holds a town hall and saturday, senator bernie sanders at a rally in new york city. watch on c-span, any time on c-span dorgan listen to wherever you are on the free c-span radio app. a new poll shows american toports a variety of changes how united states conducts election the. only 26% of republicans agree, three-quarters of democrats and 5% of independence support the idea. here is greater partisan consensus that people show government i.d.'s. 78% of americans support this.
this includes significant majorities of republicans, democrats and independents. in addition to requiring candidates to release their tax returns, majorities of americans favor making election day a national holiday, randomizing all mes, and registering citizens to vote and allowing people convicted of felonies to ote after they serve their sentences. >> sunday night american university distinguished professor of history looks back at policies on managing immigration. the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment is not different from what we have seen in the past and while it seems to be peppered with acts of violence and philosophy, there
have been other acts of violence, anti-immigrant riots in the period before the civil war and in the 1880's. there have been a lot of moments in american history when the anti-immigrant sentiment has been translated into true ugliness. >> watch it or sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. >> president trump's acting chief of staff announced that the gmb-7 will be held in miami. and during questions with reporters. vladimiraney said that putin could be invited and answered questions with regard to ukraine. mr. mulvaney: hi, guys. first things, first.