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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  March 13, 2018 5:00pm-5:34pm +03

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you know all the facts about u.s. relations with qatar and the region it's clear that the united states seems to want to resolve the g.c.c. crisis i think there's no doubt about that it's also clear that they haven't been able to use their influence to get that done with the kuwaitis so this is very strange in many ways and i think it's a show of the with the new face of the united states in the middle east that is it uses military power well when it just wants to do something in the in syria or in iraq or in yemen or or drones all over the place but otherwise when it gets into sophisticated diplomacy it either lies down and rolls over and doesn't do very much or in the case of say jericho or on the allegedly arab israeli peace plan that is coming up with they just take the israeli side and go that and hope that it works so this is not a good sign of the united states as middle east policy has been somewhat of a train wreck ever since it started and there's very very very very few signs of
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progress or positive developments that the united states can point to in the middle east the only conclusion we can draw is that this is because the middle east doesn't actually count prove very much for the united states anymore and that's a sad situation but it's probably a reality could we not be a tiny bit more positive pattern and optimistic and maybe look at this is as if it's a resettling of the council maybe it's a rebooting of the administration and perhaps the administration is preparing to grapple with these many many problems with some new kind of result of i mean obviously he wants people around him who are in step with his thinking. a maybe that could that could prove useful for having decisive policy. well i think all of us would hope that's the case some we desperately want the united states to take a rational constructive role in its global leadership role in this of its
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responsibilities and the use of its power but you know there's been no sign of that if that were the case his trump has been in power now for a year and so the months almost or a year or two months or so there would have been some hints of that and there really hasn't been other that he uses the tele promp ter a little bit more than usual there hasn't been any serious sign of any kind of a readjustment in the either the style or the content of how president trump behaves the people around him in the white house have been like a merry go round of people jumping on and off half of them are incompetent people the other half have serious ethical issues so i don't see any sign that this is a reset towards a really constructive policy the only thing that was done was bring in the united security advisor the new chief of staff that has felt
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a little bit but everything else is not really very impressive and we should all be a little little bit we're all right rami khouri talking to us live from beirut thank you very much indeed. now we're covering the breaking news out of washington d.c. where president trump has fired sexiest sage rex tillerson he is to be replaced by the current director of the cia mike pumpin who is close to the president on many issues they get on well he's talked about there being a great deal of chemistry there mysa to listen was in office for just a the thirteen months he had no diplomatic experience prior to this post he spent his career in the army industry and he was their chief executive officer of exxon mobil before becoming section of st over the past year he's been navigating growing tensions between the u.s. in the. korea and he tried unsuccessfully as it turned out to resolve the diplomatic crisis between cats are and its neighbors in the gulf most recently mr
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tillotson was in kenya but he cut his trip his africa tour short on monday he cited pressing issues in washington d.c. well donald trump has been speaking and he's praised his new century of pompei and it misted that he didn't always see eye to eye with rex tillerson. i've worked with my mom failed now for quite some time. for mendis energy tremendous in the last year always on the same wavelength. the relationship has been very good and that's what i did as secretary of state i wish rex tillerson well gina by the way who i know very well who i work very closely will be the first woman director of the cia she's an outstanding person who also i have gotten over well so i've gotten to know a lot of people very well over the last year and i'm really at
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a point where we're getting very close to having the capital and other things that i want but i think mike pump aoe will be a truly great secretary of state i have total confidence in him and as far as rex tillerson is concerned i very much appreciate his commitment that his service and i wish him well you could down. right. direction i've been talking about this for a long time we we've got a long actually quite well but we disagreed on thing when you look at the iran deal i think it's terrible i guess he said it was ok i wanted to see the brake it or do something and he felt a little bit differently so we were not really thinking the same with my my company a we have a very similar thought process i think it's going to go very well rex is a very good man i like rex
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a lot i really appreciate his commitment to the service and i'll be speaking directly over a long period of time. all right let's go to washington correspondent white house correspondent he's me kimberly kimberly how it came and i want to take you to this state department. statement that came out and i'm quite taken by the. that is directly contradicting the president's words it says that the secretary mr tillerson did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason unaware of the reason for his sacking i mean what do you make of that. i think what you make of it is that perhaps donald trump can play fast and loose with the facts sometimes and in his mind they've had conversations but apparently it wasn't the conversation where. the secretary of state was expecting the exact
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wording to be i no longer want you in this role perhaps they were these conversations that were these sort of vague characterizations in terms of policy and their differences in policy we did hear the president acknowledging that there were differences in policy it wasn't just the iran nuclear agreement that we know the president doesn't like was the paris climate accord it was the issue of the ongoing embargo against qatar and i'd also whether or not and what track to approach diplomacy with north korea i mean at one point despite the fact we now have this meeting that is imminent between kim jong un and donald trump there was a point where donald trump said on twitter embarrassing the secretary of state at the time rex tillerson saying that he was mitt wasting his time trying to talk with the north koreans so certainly there have been a number of differences of opinions apparently it seems that donald trump believes
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the those various conversations where they have those differences collectively could be enough for rex to surmise that he was not going to be in the role long but according to that statement that you just read in that i have here in my hand from the state department in fact the secretary is very clear there was no conversation in which he was told he was being fired and he is unaware of the reason this just underscores this larger point that we have been making now since learning of this news that rex tillerson without pay would be replacing him and that is that these two men did not get along all right and do you get the impression i mean you know. a little more than a year you've got a sense of how the administration was to get a sense that there is a kind of a grand design or do you get a sense that this is another random tree. by the president himself. i think it's the latter given to how i've seen this white house operate donald
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trump is a person that very much operates in the moment he thrives on the energy of those who are immediately around him and often take sort of rash actions that are based not on nothing more than impulse and that has been the frustration for a lot of the people in washington who have been more comfortable with the more measured approach which often does not yield results but is sort of a careful check and balance on this kind of emotional response to any sort of particular desire or action and so this is the clash we've got going on right now we've got a reactive president who likes to act based on the moment and it appears he has done that in the case of replacing the secretary of state but which leaves many uncomfortable including i should point out the top democrat in the u.s. senate chuck schumer who has released a statement saying that the instability of this of ministration in just about every area weakens america once confirmed we hold the hope that might come peo will turn
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over a new leaf and we'll start toughening up our policies toward russia so clearly that is what many of the more establishment politicians are hoping will come out of this transition and certainly we have heard from mike pump a in some of the statements there's no question he does believe that russia is behind the meddling that that occurred in the twenty sixteen us election even though we've had the trumpet ministration dragging its heels on wanting to condemn russia for its involvement all right kimberly thank you for that now let's have a look at the statement to come out of the white house's self. donald trump the president is quoted as saying this i'm proud to nominate the director of the central intelligence agency my home page to be a new secretary of state mike isn't the praise of members in both policies by strengthening intelligence gathering and modernizing our defensive in defensive capabilities i have gotten to know mike very. leave the past fourteen months and i'm confident he's the right person for the job at this critical juncture finally
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i'd like to thank rex tillerson blah blah so he sort of says goodbye nicely to rex tillerson but he's really justifying this quite sudden appointment now we can speak to bruce fein who is a former us associate deputy attorney general he's in washington d.c. is this a good move bad move or are you undecided. well i think it's a poor move first of all i do think that rex tillerson statement that there was no consultation has credibility and i've been here almost fifty years in washington d.c. all three branches of government and typically in a situation like this where there's a disagreement between the president and cabinet officer the president calls the cabinet officer and they talk about it the cabinet officers submit their resignation oftentimes says he wants to spend more time with his kids or there's some pressuring moment but it doesn't look so embarrassing here it looks like he was fired on the on the on a t.v. show like the apprentice which is humiliating i think mr tillerson so that's on
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just in terms of the stalin which this was done it rather clumsy the second thing is that it shows that we have an administrator and that's very erratic just on the verge of the high level negotiations probably with north korea issues relating to iran and russia being foremost we now have over all of the state department where you need continuity if you're going to have diplomacy at all we know that mike pompei a will bring in his own people he'll have to go through a confirmation hearing at the senate which will take months in appointing new people at the state department and the secondary and tertiary levels will take time to put all diplomacy on hold because acting secretaries assistant secretaries take no risks they wait till somebody is new there and there seems to be no coherent reason for this for example as was pointed out by your prior commentator mr pompei always had disagreements with mr trump every bit as much as mr tillerson especially
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on russian involvement or attempt to influence the two thousand and sixteen elections now mr trump said he parted company with mr tillotson over iran but if there's anything that tom's been more emphatic on than any other issue in his entire presidency that there was no collusion that he believed that it bled a mere putin when he said we did try to be involved so we already have the stage set for perhaps another fiery because we know this issue. russian involvement is not going away it's not only before the special counsel mr mohler it's before the house and senate committees even though one all right seems to have concluded a prius let me let me jump in may be called as a witness let me jump in there and let me get you to focus in on that on the north korea meeting because apparently it is because of the proximity of the date by which this meeting needs to take place that the shuffling of the cards has taken place if you're from what you're saying it's actually a rather lengthy process to to install a new
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a new man at the top of the department along with all of the people that head the various departments so that is not going to work in a seven week window. i agree with that how can you have a whole new team to go there we've got to go under who probably new security checks senate confirmation they already have backups there it's easy for the democrats if they're distrustful of the administration to slow down the process of confirmation and there are clearly going to be questions raised in the confirmation hearing mr pompei about russian collusion in trying to underscore his difference of opinion with mr trump to try to drive a wedge between them so the focus is going to be off of north korea it's going to be on domestic politics and we know the north korea issue is very very dicey you have to do a lot of diplomacy it's not just the meeting if you're going to have an agreement what are the substance how do you verify it you know what are the exit strategies all of those things take people who have been in the system for
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a long time because this issue was nuclear armed north korea's been around for twenty some years and you need people with that kind of experience to do what is almost here inside of people and she has a usable within seven when it says let me ask you this why do you think president trump has taken what is a very risky course of action at this particular juncture when he's he's got my pump a is imposed and he is you pointed out is every much is prepared to be with him as mr to the someone else. well it's got to choose the fall guy i mean when you take a you when you fire a cabinet official and then you can try to insinuate and i think mr trump has that the reason why is team wasn't all working in sync and hadn't made as much progress as he had was because the secretary of state was out of kilter and so the blame game now it's the mr jealous and he was not doing a proper job at the state department and now he's got a new figure in and so everybody always says you got another six months to see
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whether the new configuration is going to work going may find another firing but it's a way to distract attention from the fact that the foreign policy is in the literal chaos all right chris fine thank you so much for joining us from washington d.c. all right time for us i think then to take a look back at rex tennyson's career pepsi co hey my point. rex tillerson was an unusual choice for secretary of state he had no experience as a diplomat instead he spent his career first as an engineer rising through the ranks eventually becoming the c.e.o. for energy giant exxon he was controversial because in that job he was awarded a high honor by russian president vladimir putin and that became an issue as he looked to the senate for confirmation is one of the war criminal. i would not use that term that he got more no votes than any other secretary of state in the country's history but he was confirmed and quickly set out to reassure
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a nervous department i'm the new guy. tillerson is first goal find out how to shrink the state department and foreign aid agency launching a survey to figure out where cuts could be made which departments streamlined he said until it was done most top positions would not be filled in unheard of move in washington and he seemed to embrace a proposed cut of almost thirty percent of the department's budget but it turned out his biggest challenge trying to be on the same page as his boss during the g.c.c. crisis he called for an end to the blockade only to have president donald trump contradict him just about an hour later his first attempt at shuttle diplomacy failed to move the g.c.c. crisis to resolution and when it came to north korea he once again seemed out of step while tillerson expressed hope that the crisis could be handled diplomatically his boss promised fire and fury they will be met with fire fury and frankly
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power and the discord continued when tillerson announced the u.s. was speaking directly to north korean officials the president tweeted that tillerson was wasting his time writing save your energy rex will do what has to be done. but the clearest break came after the president seemed to equate white supremacists with the protesters fighting back against their message of bigotry in charlottesville virginia asked about it on a talk show tillerson gave this unprecedented response from a cabinet secretary. i don't believe anyone doubts the american people's values or the commitment of the american government or the government's agencies to advancing those values and defending those about you and the president's values the president should make for himself chris. are you. separating yourself from that sure. his relationship with the president became even more tense when tillerson had to speak out after reports emerged he had called trump a moron and that he had to be talked out of quitting which led trump to challenge
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his own secretary of state to an i.q. test p.j. crowley worked in government for thirty years he says to us and leaving sends the wrong message to the world if a secretary of state. leaves barely you know less them a year on the job that that will communicate significant turmoil to the rest of the world and that you know that will add to the concerns that the world house about the direction of american foreign policy a foreign policy the tillerson tried to set even a president trump often got in his way to call he an al-jazeera washington ok working till he can now to juan cole he's a visiting professor at castle university. we've talked about the upcoming north korea meeting but the other major issue that must be bothering the president right now is this issue that's taking place across the pond in the u.k.
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where the british government has pretty much directly accuse russia of involvement in using a nerve agent attempted murder they've called it of a former spy now this is calling for a certain amount of solidarity from britain's allies he's in a bit of a quandary saying this yes will trump for some peculiar reason is very reluctant to criticize flooding there putin and one would have expected a very strong statement from the white house under these circumstances. while mr trump has to you know give off the idea that he's supporting britain he's not enthusiastic about it obviously whereas tillerson was quite straightforward in his condemnation of what russia appears to have done. this is the thing isn't it rex tillerson for all of his flaws as many people pointed out he was actually quite straightforward. yes well and often contradicted the president which
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is one of the reasons he's now out of office he's he's spoken his mind he's taken strong stances contradicted the president on the paris climate accords contradicted the president on the iran deal and has been although he himself is very connected to russia through exxon mobil's past oil deals he's been harder on putin than trump has and what about this as a as an indication of a style of management it doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence from anyone he might be off that a job in the white house or in any of the organs of government given that there are other random and rather. albert tree way in which the president seems to either appoint all sack unfortunately tillerson himself there is a lot of blame for creating enormous uncertainty in the state department he clearly
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was given a remit to size it down it's already a very small department large numbers of experienced diplomats have left under tillerson and tillerson has left extremely important posts unfilled ambassadorship of in his gift i mean what could he have done something about that well as his secretary of state he's in charge of the ambassador so if he's unhappy that there's no ambassador to cutter he could do something about that he could press trump to appoint someone but you know u.s. diplomacy is a mess in part because there is no ambassador in certain very crucial countries and until or soon was seems to have been on board with this the more all of the department under to listen was very bad so there's a natural tendency to praise him now that he's going out of office and he's a victim of trump's erratic behavior but the fact is that tillerson was not good for the state department and often hasn't been good for u.s. diplomacy i've asked the question one hundred two. times where does us foreign
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policy actually come from does it come from the white house's does it come from the state department u.s. foreign policy. is always a fight among agencies and we've seen this we saw it in vietnam we've seen it over the decades the cia has a policy the national security council has a policy the state department the department of defense all have policies and often they fight over these policies and you it's one of the reasons for what failures have come to pass in american foreign policy in vietnam in iraq internal fighting is part of the reason for this is so that's not unusual that tillerson had a different foreign policy than the president that happens but to be so open about it and then also to to cripple his own organization at a time when he was making a push for policy is sports unusual all right thank you very much for that by now
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we can actually talk to last state department correspondent roslyn jordan she's there at the state department and rose and i'm still really quite taken by the statement that's come from the state department. that's right this statement is from the undersecretary for public of home diplomacy and public affairs steve goldstein and i'm going to read the entire statement so that our viewers can appreciate just how unprecedented this particular development really is and i'm quoting here the secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues he established and enjoyed relationships with this counterparts he will miss his colleagues at the department of state and enjoyed working together with the department of defense in an uncommonly robust relationship the secretary did not speak to the president this morning and is unaware of the reason but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve and still believe strongly that public service is
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a noble calling and not to be regretted we wish the secretary designate pompei oh well again martine this is unprecedented that someone would have to learn that he has been dismissed from the cabinet of the united states government on twitter but there is a bit of president the f.b.i. director james comey also found out from twitter that he had lost his job and in fact it wasn't just on twitter he was at an event and had to be told by reporters that he had been fired on twitter so this is it seems to be the way that the u.s. president likes to do business there's a lot of speculation now on the reasons why rex tillerson is being made to leave the state department now rather than six months ago or even three months ago when he had to hold a press conference essentially arguing that he was going to hold on to his job mr tillotson is what they call an establishment republican someone who believes in
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diplomacy but also in pragmatism although there are liberals and progressives who will disagree with that kind of foreign policy approach when the mist when mr heller sin was. trying to find ways of engaging with north korea as that country was ramping up its efforts to test nuclear devices and ballistic missiles the president roundly criticized him not in a meeting at the oval office but again on social media when the secretary of state made comments saying that russia was in essence trying to meddle in u.s. affairs whether politically or in national security terms or in the way that the russians have been supporting the syrian government in its war against rebel forces again that displeased the president when the secretary of state talked about his belief that there could be some ways of improving the iran nuclear agreement when the president campaigned on tearing up that very agreement there was another rift
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it really is impressive to put a fine point on it that the president has basically kept rex tillerson in this position for as long as he did given how irritated everyone knew that donald trump was with rex tillerson and yet the final move happens in the run up to perhaps the most important meeting that the president is going to have in his. a high risk gamble where he is going to be sitting face to face opposite a widely operator who's well used to dealing with high stakes negotiations and the preparation presumably is not even begun. that's right in fact when rex tillerson found out while he was on his africa trip in the last several days that the president had decided by himself that he would in fact meet face to face with kim jong un the north korean leader tillerson said exactly that
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he said that the state department has a lot of work to do in terms of trying to get you know do its research try to gather whatever intelligence it can on north korea's nuclear program and try to have the right people in the room both to prepare the president for this meeting and to be there on the sidelines as these discussions were to take place and of course it underscores the point that joseph unit the special envoy for north korea issues is retiring it does point out the fact that there is currently no u.s. ambassador to south korea because the white house hasn't decided on the right person to nominate for the post and it also raises concerns because a number of senior diplomats here at state have left one because they have objected to the secretary's efforts to cut the number of staff here at state and two because
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they did not feel that their views their experience count for anything and so a lot of experienced hands have stepped aside and it's a question of whether any of them could be persuaded to come back into government as this important discussion with the north koreans is on the horizon so now you're having a situation where if mark mike is confirmed to be the secretary of state will his experience as the head of the cia be enough to help him prepare the president for this meeting with kim jong il and and more important will he be able to get enough people in place in the department of east asia affairs who can actually help make this meeting once it's scheduled something that the u.s. would consider sick. well from a foreign policy standpoint questions questions questions thanks very much indeed for that reason and state department correspondent out of d.c. now we can talk tomorrow on bashar he is out as there is senior political analyst
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he's joining us from london i'm wondering what you think now and not for the first time all is not well in washington d.c. . indeed to say the least as it were and clearly the president has in for size more than once he's comfortable with this order he likes chaos he said and in so many ways while he does enjoy functioning in a disorderly environment the world does not and american system does not like this order if anything the strength of the american democracy an american establishment and american foreign policy is precisely in the fact that it is an orderly system a twork all the time a will or oiled machine as it were but president trump clearly likes to function more as he where as he was or as he is in his office at
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trump tower in new york is that as a president of the united states and in that sense he prefers to have his family close to him and his close associates and then his lawyers and all of them should be at the ha. for his brilliance and and great ideas and looks and and so on and so forth and this should be no disagreement everyone can walk in and out and suggest whatever as long as they are allies they are more than our allies they are loyal admirers of the president well unfortunately the american system as any you know self respecting state or super power not to see empire would like to function more in the sense of it combined efforts of a number of talents number of people who come together with their different ideas with their different leanings and speciality s.
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and weigh in on any particular subject and they think that for the president at the end of the day to make his mind on this or that policy so for example we heard from the president earlier that he disagrees. where the secretary of state or should i say the former secretary of state rex tillerson on the question of iran but that's precisely why he should be in the room meaning instead of having everyone in the room from the national security council disagreeing on iran it's good to have different voices on whether the agreement the nuclear argument is good or bad for the united states in order for the president decide at the end of the day i'm evaluate if you will the contribution made to international affairs by rex tillerson many people pointing to the fact that he came across really is a steady pair of hands somebody who was rational coming from an administration that often appears to be the opposite where you know i heard a good number of your guests in the earlier hour or two and clearly there is
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disagreement on on the on the balance sheet if you will send his expertise his mindset and his contribution to foreign policy but that's also a good thing because over the last year the american pundits of also disagreed over text us and so there are some who consider him to be you know a former c.e.o. who's he knows how to handle a big institution like this like the state department but that also makes him not so good at having a boss like like donald trump you know bossing him around telling him what to do and so on so forth so being a c.e.o. of exxon you know a conglomerate a global. forum as it were gave him the knowledge of the world and certainly the hot spots of the world like the middle east and other such places russia and so on.

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