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tv   Shepard Smith Reporting  FOX News  January 10, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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flags this, because the role of the antitrust regulator to is to look out for anti-competitive concerns arising out of the merger, that's where they're inquirying to focus and conditions ought to be focused. do you disafree with that? >> i would agree with that. as you formulated, i believe, i agree with that. it would be wrong to further some other separate, discreet agenda, that is not reasonably connected to the merger itself. i think we should ensure that we have the highest integrity in antitrust adjudications because they can have great impact. the law is not crystal clear about what is lawful and what's not lawful and what antitrust division is required to do. and it leaves dangers of if not politicalization of it, it remains -- endangers policy
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agendas getting embroiled in it. it's an important division that requires great integrity and ability, i believe, in the leadership with the antitrust division. >> thank you. just a minute. senator leahy. >> thank you, thank you mr. chairman. listen to senator lee asking these questions, it on kred that you are -- occurred that you are one of a very, very small minority of members who oppose the usa freedom act, that i drafted with senator lee. it passed a super majority in the house and the senate. even though you voted against it, this is the bulk collection by nsa, both senator lee and i oppose, do you think they cannot
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replace american bone records without amending federal statutes? >> senator leahy that appears to be so. and i can't swear that that is absolutely totally always true. but it appears to be show. >> whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. either we passed the law or didn't pass the law. the soup mare jort voted for the lee-leahy law, the president signed it into law, you voted against it. are you a owes po issed to it? >> i will follow the law, sir. >> will you not allow the nsa to engage in bulk collection of american records based on the theory that whoever e is president has the power to disregard the statute? >> i do not believe that statute
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can be disregarded and it should be followed. >> thank you. i appreciate that. we had a dustup in the press, as you recall when mr. trump bragged about how he had grabbed women and so on. you -- shortly after the tape came out, and i realize there's an explanation there, you said i don't characterize that as sexual assault. then you said later, the weekly standards characterization of comments i made following sunday's presidential debate is completely inaccurate. my hesitation is based solely on confusion of the content of the 2005 tape.
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hypothetical posed by a reporter which was asked in a chaotic post debate environment. of course it is crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. i would never intentionally sougt they are wise. that's basically what you said after the confusion on your first comment. is that correct. >> i believe that's correct. >> thank you. is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? >> clearly it would be. >> thank you. if a sitting president or any other high federal official is accused of committing what president-elect described in a context in which it could be federally prosecuted, would you be able to prosecute and investigate? >> the president is subject to
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certain lawful restrictions, and they would be required to be applied by the appropriate law enforcement official. if appropriate, yes. >> and the conduct described based on the description would be sexual assault. >> well, the confusion about the question with a hypothetical question, it related to what was said on the tape. i did not remember at the time whether this was suggested to be an unaccepted, unwanted -- certainly it would meet the definition, if that's what the tape said then that would be -- >> my question is very simple. is grbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault. >> yes. >> thank you.
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now, you were asked earlier about having call the naacp and aclu unamerican. you said that was before you were a senator. as a senator you have continued to be hostile to them, you criticized nominees for having what you called aclu dna. now, i remember when republicans of the justice department, inspector general found the bush administration engaged in unlawful politicized hiring practices. that's the republican administration inspector general. they said ashcroft justice department used litmus tests whether applicants would be sufficient and conservative, if they were ever in the aclu they couldn't have a job. i said in a radio interview,
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justice has to be saved from secular, progressive liberals. okay. let me ask you a couple of simple questions. are an individual's religious beliefs relevant to their employment at the justice department? >> not unless it's such that they can't perform their duties. in an honorable way consistent with the law. >> what would be that? >> if an individual believed abortion was unlawful, that they block constitutionally approved adporgs borgss that, with make them not subject to being employed in the department of justice. >> are you going to have a litmus test at the department of justice for people who worked at civil rights organizations? >> no. >> senator graham mentioned you've long been a champion of state's rights and certainly you
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and i have had discussions on that. and i realize those are deeply held beliefs. but states have also voted on the issue of marijuana and regulation. i believe your own state of alabama permits the use of a derivative of marijuana known as cbd oil, legal in alabama. illegal under federal law. if you were confirmed as the nation's chief law enforcement official, and you know that we have very, very limited federal reers ises, in fact we spend about one-third of our budget to keep the prisons open because of mandatory minimums and what not, would you use our federal row sources to investigate and prosecute sick people who are using marijuana in accordance with their state laws, even
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though it might violate federal law? >> well, i won't commit to never enforcement federal law, senator leahy. but absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government. the department of justice under lynch and holder set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized at least in some fashion some parts of -- >> do you agree with those guidelines? >> i think some of them are truly valuable, in evaluating cases. fundamentally, the criticism i think that was legitimate is that they may not have been followed. using good judgment about how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine.
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i know it won't be an easy decision but i will try to do my duty in a fair and just way. >> the reason i mention it, you have had very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for anyone convicted of a second drug trafficking offense, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional. >> well, i'm not sure under what circumstances i said that. but i don't think that sounds like something i would normally say. i will be glad to look at it. >> would you say that's not your view today. >> it is not my view today. >> thank you very much. >> i perked up when he started talking about federalism. everything senator leahy said was interesting but the federalism stuff is interesting. i appreciated that, that was great. >> i praised your legislation. >> federalism is an issue that's near and dear to many of us. it's important to you. the notion that our federal government possesses powers that james madison described as few
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and defined. those reserved to the states are numerous and indefinite. we were supposed to be a different legislative body. our federal government was always intended as a limbed purpose national government, not a general purpose national government, one possessing complete police powers. we've seen a slow but steady drift over the last 80 years away from this principle of federalism, such that powers exercised at the federal level could no longer be described as few and defined, but more appropriates numerous and indefinite. in liement of the supremacy clause, any pouser we exercise through the federal government are by definition replaced from the states. when our action conflicts with state action, it's our action that prevails. it's one of the reasons federalism needs to looked out for so carefully. one of the reasons why i think a view you and i share, u.s.
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government officials in all three branchs of government, whether they wear a black robe or not, are expected when they swear an oath to uphold the constitution to look out for basic structural protections in the constitution like federalism, so that we don't have an excessive accumulation of power in the hands of a few. the founding fathers set up the system in which we have structural protections, vet cal protection federalism, which we described, and the horizontal protection, separation of powers. to protect against the risks of accumulation of power in the hands of a few we have one branch that makes the laws, another branch that enforces the laws and a third bran that much interprets the laws. as long as we keep each branch within the same lane, the people are protected from what happens when one person or group of people gets too powerful. over the last 80 years as we've seen a deterioration of federalism, we've seen
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deterioration of separation of powers. you have an interesting set of circumstances with our laws, our controlled substances laws, concerning marijuana. in that for the first time in a long time, you've seen some attention paid to federalism. but in the limited area associated with marijuana. in other words, there are federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, the sale of marijuana, the production of marijuana that apply regardless of whether a state has independently criminalized that drug, as every state until recently had. then you have some states coming along and decriminalizing it, sometimes in the medical context, other times in a broader context. the response by the department of justice during the obama
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administration has been interesting and it's been different than other areas. we've been slow to recognize federalism elsewhere, they chose to recognize it here. the way they respond to the federalism concern, dogs it run afoul of separation of powers? did what they -- did the department's approach to this issue that they identified as a federalism issue, contravene the understanding that we were the rawmaking body, the judicial branch is the law enforcing body? >> i'm not sure i fully understand the point of your question. are you talking about separation of powers within the federal government, the three branch's of federal government. >> yes. >> how does that implicate the marijuana laws? >> yes. are separation of powers concerns arising out of the department of justice's current approach to state marijuana
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laws. >> well, i think one obvious concern is that the united states congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state, and distribution of it, an illegal act. if we need, if that's something, that's not desired any longer, congress should pass a law to change the rule. it's not so much the attorney general's job to decide what laws to even force. we should do our job and even force laws effectively as we're able. >> thank you. i'd like to get back to antitrust issues for a moment. in 2010, you co-sponsored some legislation that extended the antitrust division leniency program and extended it all the way out to 2020. it was ten-year extension at the time you helped move that through. the legislation provided that members of a cartel could receive reduced penalties if they reported cartel activity to
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the department and cooperated with any investigation the department had in connection with that antitrust car tell. the antitrust division considers this tool, quote, its most important investigative tool for detecting cartel activity, close quote. it creates an incentive for cartel members to self report, to come forward and identify things that the antitrust division needs to be aware of. so, i applaud your leadership in this area, it's been very helpful to the enforcement of the antitrust laws. i have two questions. given its importance do you think the program should be made permanent? and second, are you open to any other ideas that might strengthen the program? >> senator lee, i would not commit to use it.
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i have formed than -- i haven't formed an opinion on that. these are complex areas of the law. i'm not a member of the antitrust subcommittee as a member of members of our committee are. and have achieved levels of expertise. i would just have to commit to you, that i'm open to hearing the views of this congress and that subcommittee, and would try to work with you. but i do understand that antitrust policy is an important issue for america. and we need to get it right. and that would be my goal. >> thank you. one important question, sometimes arises in the antitrust context. relates to what the department of justice -- what role they should play in communicating with foreign authorities.
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authorities in other countries that deal with competition laws. deal with things annal gus to our antitrust laws in this country. the department of justice has typically played a leading role. but in recent years it's allowed the federal trade commission, ftc, to become heavily involved. to my mind, this raises some potential concerns. the ftc is an independent agency. as compared to the department of justice, of course, which is headed by a presidential appointee who with senate confirmation serves at the pleasure of the president. do you have any opinion, this point, the department of justice which is more accountable to the president and therefore has some connection to the people, should be more actively involved in communicating with foreign antitrust or competition
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authorities? >> i really wouldn't attempt to comment today on that. i would be glad to hear your thoughts on it. i think it request be problematic if the u.s. officials encourage foreign officials to join with them, against an action of a private company. they could put so much excessive pressure on them that they're not able to resist. when they may have a lawful basis to resist. but these are big issues. you have to be sensitive to the power that the department of justice has, antitrust division has, and make sure there is a principled policy and lawful basis for what is done. >> thank you senator sessions. i see your chairman is back. he's not back? >> senator feinstein. >> it's my understanding that senator durbin has not had his
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second round. i would like to defer to him. i'm going to defer to durbin. because he somehow got missed. >> thank you very much. i want to thank the chairman and my friend senator feinstein. this morning before the senate intelligence commit i, director comby was testifying on the question of investigating the russian involvement in the last election. and he was asked if there was any ongoing investigation about context between moscow, the russians, and any presidential campaigns. and he refused to answer, said he wasn't going to discuss any ongoing investigations publicly. i would like to ask you a question related to recusal. you stated earlier today that you had made the decision, you haven't given us a real background on it, but made the decision that you would row cues yourself from any prosecutions
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involving hillary clinton or the clinton campaign and e-mails. then i understand, i wasn't present, senator blumenthal asked you for hypotheticals whether you'd recuse yourself on emule. and you said you'd take it case by case. what if hypothetical, same as hillary clinton, we deal with an investigation that involves the trump campaign or anyone in the trump campaign, would you recuse yourself as attorney general from that prosecution? >> well, my response to the -- my recusal issue, i made public comments about it that could be construed as having an opinion on the final judgment that would have to be rendered. i don't think i made any comments on this issue. that go to that. but i would review it and try to do the right thing as to whether or not it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not.
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>> it would strike me that this is an obvious case for special prosecutor if it involves the campaign leading to a candidate who selected yous the attorney general. wouldn't an abundance of caution suggest that you wouldn't want any questions raised about your integrity and that type of prosecution? >> senator durbin i think it would be incumbent upon anybody who is holding the ochs of attorney general at that time to carefully think his way through that to seek the advice and to follow the normal or appropriate special prosecutor standards. and so i would intend on do that. but i have not expressed an upon the merits of those issues to my knowledge. >> senator sessions, there's been a lot of controversy about refugees. the united states had a dubious record on refugees during world war ii refusing to accept jewish
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refugees who were then in some cases returned to europe and the holocaust and perished. after world war ii a new policy emerged in the united states, bipartisan policy, the united states became more open in some cases generous to accepting refugees. the numbers i've heard various numbers. but 650,000 cuban refugees who came to the united states during the ascendency of the castro regime. 125,000 or more soviet jews accepted in the united states, spared from persecution in the soviet union. 400,000 from eastern europe after world war ii. 400,000 from vietnam. 100,000 from the former yugoslavia. in the audience is omar, please stand here, he is a syrian refugee. his story is the story of a
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journalist who for more than a decade publicized human rights abuses by the asaad regime, impressed for two years, arrested 7 times, refused to stop righting after that the prison guards broke his hands. after his release from prison he continued to write about the abuses of the syrian security force when is he was again pursued by the regime he fled to turkey. he was resettled in the united states by catholic charities after receiving refugee status. there have been some strong words spoken about syrian refugees. in fact, during the course of the campaign there were some who said we should accept none. many have question whether we should accept any refugees from anywhere. despite the lengthy vetting process and background checks, some have said no refugees, we're finished with that business. one of your responsibilities as attorney general will be the involvement of prosecutorial discretion, decisions that have
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to be made about the fate of mel like ail ton mills i introduced earlier, served 22 years of a life sentence for the possession of crack cocaine. cases of oscar vazquez, a man who was a dreamer and wanted to serve the united states uniform. in this case involving omar. the american bar association standards say the duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict. it is an important function. prosecutor to seek to reform and approve the administration of criminal justice. when it comes to cases like these, in your role as the leading prosecutor in the united states of america, what is your feeling about your discretion to make the decision as to whether or not to spare individuals like those i've described. >> i've been made aware in the last several years how this process works. it's really the secretary of
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state, usually through consultation with the president, that decides how many refugees should be admitted to the country. there's little congress can do other than getting into a funding argument with the president about that. secretary kerry met with members of the judiciary committee to announce what he planned to do on refugees. that will be how it would be decided. legally, the president appears to have that power. but it would be my responsibility, i think, to make sure that it was exercised within the bounds of law. >> but you have a responsibility, too. you oversee the office of the pardon attorney which recommends the sentences like those of alton mills of commuted. you oversee the immigration courts which are responsible for irn terpting how the nation's laws apply to dreamers and refugees.
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so this isn't another agency, it is the department of justice. and you will be the leader of that department. you will have the authority and prosecutorial discretion. you can't point to congress and you can't point to the state department. there is a responsibility within your own department. >> well, a refugee is admitted or not admitted to the united states on the approval or disagrooe approval by the secretary of state and its consular officials. it's not a trial or litigation. that's how that would be determined. the gentleman from syria that you mentioned, should have be able to make a strong case for his acceptance as a refugee because he's been damaged and injured attacked and at risk for his writing. so that would give him, proving that should give them, put him
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at a higher level of potential acceptance. >> you and i can disagree on that one point and your authority over immigration courts as attorney general. i hope that we both agree that there are compelling cases of people who are victims around the world of terrorism and war, discrimination, and mall-treatment, men and women, and many of them look to the united states as the last possible place for them to find safety and security. i hope after the heated language of the last election campaign that we can come back to some of the standards that have guided this nation since world war ii. >> well, we will not end the refugee program. i would not favor that. but we do have a responsibility to be careful and make sure those who are admitted have been properly vetted and are not a danger. >> thank you. >> this is what i'd like to do. the votes kind of made this a
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con so luted round. one person has had third rounds, another person with no rounds. >> shepard: half past the hour in new york city, shepard smith in new york. this hearing and another one to come. we're going to reset you where we are today with the hearing. senator sessions of course, expected by many, i believe, to have been grilled on his personal views on race and other matters by democratic senators today and one at least went there to some degree. that's not largely what this hearing has been about. matt murray is here, from the "wall street journal." the journal's deputy editor in chief. this is more of, it seems to me and i want your thoughts on this, a layout of the groundrules and the strategy for a trump presidency. >> i think that's exactly right. there's been two things that have stood out. one, sessions has done a pretty good job, a job he needed to do more or less navigating between the concerns about him in both
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parties. he came out and he said talk of having a racist past was dam nabl lies, he said i'll uphold the law on stoeshl issues, he said you can't have a blanket muslim ban. he isn't going to win a lot of democratic support, he was pretty unequivocal. he talked about federalism, state law, deferring to congress, he was very careful about those things n that sense he's done a good job. there's been another kind of undercurrent to some of this, which is questionable. how would you deal with the special prbtor, what do you think about sexual harassment, what do you think about refugees in possible cases. what do you think about hacking. there's a number of areas where you can see, mostly democrats, people on both parties thinking about possible areas of peril down the road. >> shepard: thinking about it, as you said earlier while we were watching this and the lawmakers made clear, thinking about the possibility of investigations in prosecution of things that are trump.
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they were specific on some of those matters. >> he was careful about that. senator leahy went after him on the sexual harassment thing. his caution didn't necessarily help. he was cautious until he finally said to the extent senator leahy, is this what donald trump said, is that sexual harassment, he said yes it was. >> shepard: grabbing of the genitals. >> i didn't know if i should go there. >> shepard: it is what it is. >> they're trying to lay out the boundaries how to think about this. what he said consistently, which i think is what they need to hear, i will be an independent agent and obey the law particularly as dictated by you. on hillary clinton, he said i will recuse myself i was a political actor in that and i will -- if there's any investigation i won't be part of it. >> shepard: you don't prosecute political matters. >> right. that's interesting in terms of who might be the deputy, might report up to him, that adds weight to those things. he has gotten quizzing on that. >> shepard: also gave him an opportunity not to answer the
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bigger question, regarding that matter, wouldn't you agree? >> i would but that's the nature of the hearings. >> shepard: agreed. >> especially a senator in front of other senators i don't care what party they're, in not one is thinking tr but for the dpras of god go i. >> shepard: i found it notable that senator sessions stood in stark contrast to some of the issues that candidate trump laid out. candidate trump said he would bring back walterboarding which is torture, is against the law in the united states. >> he was unequivocal that's against the law. >> he also said no to a muslim ban, something donald trump talked about in the early going but donald trump has changed his position on that matter. >> i think he potentially, for instance, in terms of immigration policy we saw again, senator durbin going after him, he's leaving a little room there for congress to set policy in the law. he's saying i will uphold the law. but he's against the blanket muslim ban.
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>> the reason we came in after senator durbin there, there's another hearing that's beginning on capitol hill you should get a taste of. that's john kelly, retired careen corps general, no nalted to be the next -- head of homeland security. homeland security is the department that was created after the attacks of 9/11, under the bush administration, as a $40 billion budget. 22 agencies under it, most notely u.s. cussdoms and border re-tex, immigration, ice, transportation security administration, secret service and fee ma, all under his jurisdiction. terrorism defense and civil rights will be among the questions. and the bam lance between border security and the rights of detainees, the balance. this is not expected to be a controversial hearing that might be a matter of question. >> i think the mexico wall, what is the wall going to be, what you are going on do, what is the enforcement policy, how do we feel about the southern border. i think it's going to be all
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about that. this is the department that will have the most direct impact of any on this policy which is pretty central to donald trump. >> shepard: it felt as if what we were hearing in the later days of the campaign was listen to what is in donald trump's heart not what he says specifically. and that the border wall was a bit of campaign rhetoric, a border wall, frankly, in its entirety is impossible. the foreign minister in mexico makes it clear they aren't paying for this. there was talk he would go to congress for the $36 billion necessary, but very good luck, you don't get a rubber stamp. this border law, dogs it just -- >> that's a great question, that will be something for donald trump to answer. my guess is what you will hear in the hearing is we need to be vij lanlt and not take for granted that the border is secure and not take for granted there aren't threats. the nature of the wall, how we build it, what is that door inside.
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i imagine that the question, what you want in a hearing like this are send the message that we will be firm and june hold the campaign process but a long cal process will be humane. i think they'll stick to that. >> there's a cyber security issue big in the united states for a lot of reasons, i'm guessing that will be addressed. >> i think you heard senator sessions hacking came up there as well. i think a policy of how to protect is really important but that may fall with the intelligence agencies. i think another area that might be addressed in this hearing might be the tsa, and safety protocols at airports. that's an issue that on this visceral level makes voepters fewer rouse, they really interact with their government, there's a lot of unhappiness. that's part of this department. >> shepard: one of the places where voters, citizens seem to say, we realize that you're trying to make us feel protected and we realize this isn't doing it any more than the infamous quote from tom ridge of wrapping our houses in plastic wrap was going to stop whatever happened
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after something went boom. this is just sort of placating the people. we're tired of it. >> right, right. another thing he may be asked about, he among other things, oversaw guantanamo bay. and he said in the past there are no innocent people down there. now, i think given that guantanamo is still open and president obama going to leave office with it still open, i don't think that's going to be closed. but he may be asked what do you think about suspects who would go to guantanamo bay, do we keep it open, how do you treat the people, try them in the united states. my guess is he is strongly in favor of keeping guantanamo open and vigorous. >> shepard: one thing that seems clear for anyone who might not have realized, the world will quickly become a different place. john kelly said early and often and i'm guessing we will hear again over and over today that he believes in tolerance and diversity of opinion, there have been accusations of the lack of that within the president-elect.
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>> senator sessions was careful to say that, he started his statement by denying vigorously the racism oceans and clearly said, because -- allegations, he was asked about social positions, gay marriage is the law of the land. he said roe versus wade is pretty settled and he isn't going to challenge that. you are seeing the attempt to get that balance for these nominees. and by the way, donald trump personally, despite some of the issues around the campaign that were raised, we don't think of -- donald trump and his social views historically have not always espoused conservative standpoint. >> these were new campaign views. >> fresh. >> great to see you, thank you. we'll look for more in the "wall street journal." happening now, senator ron johnson, republican of wisconsin, is introducing the candidate. no, yes? introducing the candidate. the nominee. for secretary of homeland security. and this hearing will continue for a little bit.
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we'll let you listen. >> i appreciate, you certainly joined this committee. i could either go five-minute rounds or full seven. but then i think we'll go full seven but we want to discipline that. watch the time. asking questions not beyond that. and general kelly has agreed to look at that. every senator can have a chance at asking questions. and with that, i'm happy to turn it over and welcome my new ranking member, senator mccaskill. >> thank you. chairman johnson. today's hearing ig the first full committee hearing of the new congress, the committee's first hearing of one of president-elect trump's nominees. i welcome to working relationship with you, we have worked together and we have many areas of agreement and just a few of disagreement. i'm confident we can work past that and do good work behalf of the american people and
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aggressive oversight of the government. as xhebs of the committee and the senate we have a constitutional decision to review the nominations and con sent to appointments. we are e not here to participate in a partisan or political exercise, we are here to fulfill the cincinnati's constitutional obligations as part of the orderly transfer of power to a newed a mshgs. general kelly has answered all of the committee's advance questions and has provided all the information required for this, for us to hold this hearing. i can't say how grateful i am that that occurred. it was going to be an awkward moment when i was going to have to object to this hearing because the office of government ethics or the f.b.i. check hasn't been completed. i'm pleased to report that all was completed and identify had a chance to review all of that information and i'm very appreciative of that mr. chairman. welcome general kelly. thank you for your service to this country and most importantly, thank you for being willing to serve again. it's very important that people stand up when their country calls. i appreciate your willingness to
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do that. you've been asked to serve as fifth sek friday of homeland security. the department of homeland security has tremendous responsibility to protect us. at this moment in our history i can't emphasize enough the need to protect our critical instra tur, whether it's electric grids, public transportation or power plants. we need to understand what steps you will take to defend that instra fra structure against intrust and arm. our intell jeans community, dhs is a vital part of, is among the fine nest world. i argue it is the finest in the world. interest is made up of dedicated public servants including members of the military. in order for these people to do their job of protecting americans, in an increasingly challenging environment, they need the support of our government. all the way to the top. i want to understand whether you will take intelligence seriously and engage with the people whose job it is to give good information stow that we can make better decisions so the pep
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can make better decisions. in your answers to the committee's xis you said drug de danld is causing much of the violence in central and south america and this is the major reason for the large number of people moving illegally from that area to the united states. the issues underlying border security are complex. one thing is clear. people coming across the border aren't trying to sneak in under the fence, or evade the border patrol. they're seeking refuge from the incredible violence in their home countries. i know that your experience at south com will help new determining a comprehensive, inclusive approach to addressing immigration and border issues i was also encouraged to see you discuss the necessity of engaging law enforcement, medical treatment and rehah billtation and local communities in a comprehensive drug demand reduction campaign that includes the opioid misuse.
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i hope this will remain at the top of your priority list. another major component is the department's counterterrorism efforts. efforts that you are very familiar with as your experience as an important leader in the military. in today's environment, effective counterterrorism utilizes using existing and new technology as well as other tools to counter evolving adversary across shifting borders. i plan to ask how you will address this challenge in new and innovative ways. i hope you will employ the thoughtful approach to counterterrorism as in your proper proposal to address the challenges at the border. resent events have shown us that terrorism has many faces. we have to get at root causes of extreechlism and must ensure that peep in our communities feel empowered to report concerns. i hope to hear from you today that you understand in our fight against violent extremism, it's not singular in its focus and you will fight against any narrative that encourages
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committing crimes against any americans based on hate or country of origin. as members of this committee, we also have a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of taxpayer dollars. this is one of my favorite areas. i can tell you right now, that if you are confirmed when you come before congress to seek funds have to be prepared to answer some tough questions. i particularly am going to continue to be interested in contracting and cost benefit analyses. i'm going to want to see independent government cost estimates, performance plans and real metrics, decisions must be made on facts and date a i expect some one with your experience to be a strong leader. but even the best managed federal agency has waste, fraud and abuse. i believe that whistle blowers are essential to good government and i have made it one of my megses to expand and enhance protections for them i want you to understand the open lines of communication, responsiveness to employee concerns, and a swift response to retaliation are things i expect from agency
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leader shismt also encourage any whistle blowers to contact my office if they have information to report. i believe you will also take seriously the role of congressional oversight in your new role. you have already agreed to work with me as ranking member of this committee we have a lot of work to do. if you are confirmed, i will look forward no building a strong working relationship with you. our country is facing a difficult time and we have difficult problems to solve. the department of homeland security needs good management and strong leadership and your responses to the questionnaire in our meeting before this hearing, you said that one of your greatest strengths as a leader is speaking truth to power. general kelly, i can't tell you how that was music to my ears. i believe very much in that principle. and i think that we all anticipate that you will need it in your next job. where you will have the responsibility and obligation to speak truth to the commander in chief. who has used some of his most
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extreme and divisive rhetoric about issues under the department of homeland security jurisdiction. given your experience i expect you to be up to that challenge and i think if yier backing down you will probably hear from me. i thank you for being here today and i look forward to your testimony. >> thank you, senator mccaskill. >> we have three distinguished individuals making introductions. senator mccain, who needs no introduction. senator mccain. >> but he enjoys it. [ laughing ] >> didn't have anything written up. >> thank you mr. chairman. ranking member mccaskill, members of the committee. it's a privilege to speak to john kelly's nomination to be the next director of homeland security. superbly well qualified, excellent choice, person of the highest integrity. the american people are fortunate that a man of his caliber is, again, willing to serve them in an important
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office after having already devoted many decades of his life to the distinguished service of our country. when he retired from his last command, commander of the u.s. southern command, general kelly was the longest serving marine corps general still on active duty, having worn the uniform for almost half a century. he was the longest serving active duty general in marine corps history. i believe i think he was the second longest serving general officer in the entire armed forces, only the late general john busy also an officer of the highest integrity served longer, john bessey, 46 years to general kelly's 45. nearing the end of his tour as south-com commander and approaching retirement, he said in an interview, yet, his greatest fear was that i'd be offered another job. mr. chairman i have no doubt that general kelly's statement was entirety sincere. those of us who have had the
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privilege of knowing general kelly for a while, heard him testify before our committees and paid attention to his answers to our questions, know that john kelly says what he believes to be the truth. always, no matter the invenls it might cause him -- inconvenience it might cause him. speaking truth to power is something he's renowned for and no less for his respect for the chain of command. secretary gates who is here, one of our great leaders, will mention his relationship with him when they serve together. if anyone has earned a peaceful retirement from public duty, it's general kelly. he is a patriot, always. like jack bessey, he doesn't refuse his country's call. president reagan called general bessey out of retirement to serve as special emsarry to vietnam to get an accounting for america's missing from the war.
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president-elect trump has asked general kelly to lead the department of homeland security and help keep the american people safe from those who wish us harm. it's work he's obviously well qualified for. he fielded three towers of duty in iraq, was a key figure in helping sustain the anbar awakening, tumpbld around a war that we were near to losing n that role he lirnd the value of developing local relationships, based on mutual respect. a lesson that served him well in future commands. as southcom commander he was highly regarded for the skill and success, working relationships with the si skr skrilian leaders of latin america. many consider him a friend. they all respect him. even more important for his pending assignment, general kelly has had active, extensive experience with many of the challenges that await him as homeland security secretary.
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the threats to our security posed by drugs and violence, that make their way into our country across our southern border. the potential for developing strains of islamic extremism in the hemisphere to foment terrorist attacks here. he's the right man to meet these and the other challenge is a waiting him. general quelly, i'm sorry to say, isn't a dprad walt of the united states naval academy. it might surprise the committee that i don't find that lack of credential disqualifying. i barely graduated from the place myself. [ laughing ] but he has more impressive credentials. he enlisted in the united states marine corps. he came from modest beginnings. he's the proud son of his working class family, in the great city of boston. in conversations with me, he's recalled the childhood friends he has lost to the scourge of drug abuse.
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before he went to college he volunteered to risk his life and limb in an infantry company of the second marine division. he was a sergeant when he left the corps and a second lt. when he returned to it four years later. what followed was an exemplary career with many challenging assignments and quite a few very dangerous ones to which he gave every measure of his talent, discipline, courage and love of country. general kelly has sacrificed a great deal to his country. in every day of his service he knew and respected and remains in awe of the courage and dedication of the men and women enlisted in officers who stand in harm's way so that the rest of us can pursue our aspirations and live our peaceful lives without fear of the terrorists they face for our sake. should he be confirmed as he deserves to be, i'm confident he will be he will be entitled to
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the open pelation "the honorable." few can tret sek tribs deserve it more. i endorse him for gratitude of willingness to serve and honor of introducing him to you today. >> thank you, senator mccain. we're going to move the microphone there. our next distinguished guest, offering introduction, will be senator carpo, also who needs no introduction. >> thank you. >> that works. >> mr. chairman i'm happy to yield to secretary gates. i'd like to do that. thank you for the courtesy. >> okay. our next guest then is secretary robert gates. secretary gates, the former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence. secretary gates led the department of defense from twiex 2006 to to 11. prior to this, secretary gates served as president of texas a&m university.
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secretary gates began his career as officer in the united states air force, and joined the central intelligence agency in 1966. he served 26 years of the cia and only career kachlt ia officer to rise from the entry level employee to director, a position he held from 1991 to 1993. secretary gates has earned numerous honors and distinctions during his career, national security medal, presidential stenls medal, national intelligence distinguished service medal twice and distinguished intelligence medal which is a cia highest award three times. welcome, secretary gates, it is an honor to have you here to introduce general kelly. secretary gates. >> thank you chairman johnson, ranking member miskas kill, distinguished members of the committee. it gives me great pleasure to introduce my friend and former colleague, john f. kelly as the nominee to be the next secretary of homeland security n today's world the department of homeland
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security is much like a combat command, perhaps the most complex such command defending our nation and our people. among its diverse responsibilities are protecting us from terrorism, guarding our borders and coasts, deciding who gets into the country, protecting our transportation networks and infrastructure, defense against cyber attacks, and providing help when disaster strikes. i can think of no one more qualified, more familiar with these threats and challenges or better prepared to lead our homeland defense than john kelly. the department of homeland security as this committee well knows is a complicated mix of multiple agencies and organizations with different cultures and histories. yet as commander of southern command, general kelly successfully managed relationships and partnerships with seven different cabinet departments and in all more than 20 civilian organizations. leading and combatant command
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requires managing multiple dough mystic areas. i'm confident he would do so as well as secretary of homeland security. in addition, as senior military assistant to two sek secretaries of defense, john successfully helped lead the largest and most complex organization in the country. he was invaluable to me and leon panetta in helping break down bureaucratic barriers to operation and holding senior officials accountable for decisions and performance. the needs of the troops on the front line were always foremost for him. special importance to this committee, john kelly was twice assigned as marine corps liaison to the congress. the second time as the could man dant senior legislative assistant. as a result, he has a deep understanding of the legislative process and especially of the need to be responsive to congress and to have a relationship of openness and trust.
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in terms of skills and experience, general kelly is in my view superbly qualified to serve as secretary. but it is john's character and values that truly set him apart. to put it quite simply, he is one of the finest people i've ever known. i would trust him with my life and indeed many others, mainly young marines, literally have done so. and how often is it that a tough commander genuinely is beloved by his troops? integrity in word and deed is the source of moral authority. and it is moral authority that moves people to follow a leader, even at personal risk and sacrifice. john kelly is a man of great moral authority. if he is confirmed, the professionals throughout the department of homeland security will realize that their new secretary cares about each and every one of them. and that he will do everything in his power to protect and support them and to get them
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what they need to do their jobs. protecting all of us. i commend the president-elect for nominating general kelly because as i know first hand, john is a straight talking, candid, courageous leader who will say exactly what he thinks. his values are a reflection of america's best values. and he will not disappoint. over military career spanning more than 40 years, john kelly and his family have sacrificed much serving our country. and yet here he is, willing to serve again. it is with great pride that i introduce him to you today. thank you. >> thank you secretary gates. senator? >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you, i chank and congratulate our new ranking member, clare mccaskill. see all of my colleagues from this point of view, it's good to see you up there.
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it's a privilege to join senator mccain with whom i served during the vietnam war. and would i just say from my vantage point, john, you are a hero. i'm proud to have served with you and proud to know you today, to sit with you today. secretary gates, you are one of the finest secretaries of defense we have ever had. i'm honored to be with you today. we're introducing a man who needs little introduction to this committee. general john kelly, john francis quelly, and to welcome his wife, karen, and their daughter, kathleen and her husband, jake, sitting behind to us this confirmation hearing. karen, i said to your his band yesterday, given all of the years that he served and you allowed him to serve, for you, no purgatory, straight to heaven. thank you for sharing this great man. about a dozen years ago, the department of security 240
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employees get up every -- 240,000 employees get up every day to protect our homeland. for the past four years i've gone to the senate floor as some of my colleagues know to talk about the remarkable work they do for all of us. they respond to devastating hurricanes, saving lives and helping people put their lives back together. they protect us from cyber attacks and help secure thousands of miles of our country's borders to the north and the south, east and the west. the expedite the movement of billions of dollars of commerce every day. while intercepting drugs and disrupting human smuggling and trafficking rings. they keep us safe when we fly to sometimes not familiar skies over this country and this world. they protect presidents and voice presidents and their families as well as candidates for these offices, the leaders and scores of other nations that come here. they could this and a whole lot more. oftentimes without a word of thanks.
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john kelly is an exceptionally well qualified nominee to lead the department of homeland security. if cop firmed he would succeed another exceptional leader, secretary jay johnson. jay johnson, who with the help of his leadership team, his committee and congress, has begun i think a remarkable transformation of the department. badly needed and much welcomed. i found over my lifetime that the key to success of any organization whether it's military, government, business or whatever, success of any organization i've been a part of or witnessed is almost always enlightened leadership. >> shepard: the confirmation of general john kelly, donald trump's nominee to department of homeland security. there are a number of hearings on capitol hill. nine hearings for pential -- cabinet nominees this week alone. we will have coverage throughout the hearings streaming live on the dow is closing, as we approach 4:00 on the east coast.
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the nahs dark hit an all-time high, 21, the dow is off about 25. "your world with neilca vupt owe," coming up. >> welcome everybody. >> neil: this is a world of hearings. nine planned at a minimum. two of them going on con currently today. a break in the one for jeff sessions, he is donald trump's pick to be the next attorney general of the united states. they have had rough questions for him. but so far, they've not really played a glove on him as they say. so his appointment to that position ultimately is not seemingly in began jer. the real fireworks could come tomorrow. it's not done today. but tomorrow we'll see new jersey senator corey booker in the rare case of testifying gains fellow senator. we have not seen set


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