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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 8, 2014 12:30pm-2:31pm EDT

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powell. general powell in connection with a north carolina effort asked the following question: how can this phenomenon of voter fraud be so widespread and at the same time so undetected? and when we did our case in texas, the record demonstrated over a ten-year period i needed one hand to count the documented issues -- incidents of alleged voter fraud. and when i went to that one hand, actually it ended up being at most one thumb that i needed to document the so-called voter fraud for which this was the solution. it is our most sacred right, and we should be working to expand the rights of eligible voters to vote. and you've been working on that. that's never been a bipartisan -- that's never been a partisan issue, and it shouldn't be a partisan issue. and that's why people like colin powell and john lewis speak up about these issues.
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and so we continue to move to make progress, but we have a lot of unfinished business. we have a lot of unfinished business in the area of economic justice as well. and it starts with the minimum wage. nobody who works a full-time job in this country should have to live in poverty. [applause] and what we see all too frequently are people working hard and falling further behind, people who have to make choices between do i pay the mortgage, do i pay the rent, or do i pay for my daughter's medicine? those are choices that we should never have to make here in america. i applaud the san diego city council, i applaud other local councils who are tackling this issue. thirteen states in the last year have raised the minimum wage. business openers across -- business owners across this country tell me, tom, this is a consumption-deprived economy, and the way to get more
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customers is to put more money in their pockets. that's why we need to raise the minimum wage. and if we want to expand opportunity for everyone, we need to get back to immigration reform as alex correctly pointed out. i haven't given up, this president will never give up because this is an economic imperative, a moral imperative, a public safety imperative, and is we're continuing to move forward on this because so many people depend on this. i talk to folks in the silicon sali, and they tell -- valley, and they tell me the most important issue in -- is immigration reform. it's always been, like the might minimum wage, a bipartisan issue. so we need to continue our work in these efforts because there is so much unfinished business. i couldn't help but note a story i read from leader boehner
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saying he was going to sue the president for, in his terms, the unlawful exercise of executive authority. well, the president wouldn't exercise executive authority if congress would just vote and pass some damn laws, you know? that's what needs to happen here. [applause] and i will tell you, on immigration reform, on the minimum wage, on extending unemployment compensation for long-term unemployed, on infrastructure, every single one of these issues until now has been a bipartisan issue. it was dwight eisenhower who built the interstate highway system. you know, we can't eat cake and lose weight. if we're going to repair our roads and bridges, the money -- i know we want to eat cake and lose weight. [laughter] i'm all for that. and whoever invents that, and if it's going to be invented, it'll be invented in california. [laughter] but we need this. you know, they're expanding the panama canal.
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there are opportunities that abound here in this country, and we need to be ready for this 'em. and so -- for them. and so i hope we can rekindle that spirit of collaboration and cooperation, and that really brings me to what my final point is which is that your role in building an opportunity society so critically important. because, you know, change doesn't initiate in washington, change comes to washington. i think about so many of the important issues of our day, and i see how they started in states and they then came to the federl government. the affordable care act was a product of learning from the massachusetts experience and look where we are now as a nation. so many more people including but not limited to latinos finally for the first time in their lives have access to health security. and that was the result of experimentation at a state level. and we're seeing the fruits of the affordable care act.
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and by the way, we see opponents talking less and less about the affordable care act because it's more and more successful, and i applaud governor brown. and i would note the conversations i've had with chamber of commerce people in texas and florida who can't understand why they have not expanded medicaid, because you're leaving billions of dollars on the table not to mention the tact that those are the -- the fact that those are the uninsured capitals of the united states. but that is where you are leading. you're leading on the minimum wage. thirteen states in the year have enacted increases in the minimum wage. mayors and other county executives doing the same. you look at the issue of paid leave and workplace flexibility, and you see leadership at state and local levels across this country. you look at leadership in the civil rights context, and i implore you to continue at a state and and local level to enact these laws. because what we need is what i
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call redundancy this law enforcement. if we're going to protect people against discrimination, we need federal laws, we need state laws, and we need local laws. because laws are only as good as the political will of the people enforcing them. and at any one given time, the will to enforce may not be there at one level. and that is why you need to continue those efforts to put this place those protections at a state and a local level. because you really are those drum majors for justice. i firmly believe and i leave you with this, that the moral arc of our nation and our universe bends toward those who seek to expand opportunity, not those who seek to restrict opportunity. those who have sought to expand access to health care in the 1960s, they were right when we passed medicare. and there was a cacophony of people who said medicare would
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lead to socialized medicine. those who opposed the civil rights act were on the wrong side of history. those who opposed the voting rights act and expanding opportunity were on the wrong side of history. those who oppose, i believe, the afford to be bl care act -- affordable care act will be proven to be on the wrong side of history. those who are expanding voting rights, are expanding opportunity, you are on the right side of history. there's that where were you, mama, and where were you, daddy, moments that i think about a lot when we're debating these issues. i want to be able to look my son and grandson and granddaughter and grand -- all my nieces and nephews in the eye when we're talking about these most challenging issues of our time, and i want to be able to say that i was on the side of delores huerta, i was on the side of cesar chavez, i was on the side of john lewis, i was on the side of the chinese railroad workers. [applause] i was on the side of wage
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fairness. i was on the side of expanding opportunity. that's who we are as a nation s. and in your positions, that's what you're doing day in and day out. keep up the great work, keep the pressure on washington. we can move this nation forward. i come to you with an unrelenting sense of optimism because, you know what? we've tackled more serious challenges before in our nation's history, and we defeated them, we moved this nation forward. we're going to do it again now because there's a lot of human capital, talent in this room and across this country. and with your leadership, we will, indeed, continue to build a more perfect union for everyone. thank you so much for having me. [applause] >> in a few moments, we'll take
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you to the white house for the news briefing with press selling tear josh earnest. when it starts, you can see it live here on c-span2. while we wait, more from the national association of latino elected officials conference. it's a panel discussion with bush administration attorney general alberto gonzales, a labor leader and juan williams of fox news. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> please. no, one over. senator padilla, thank you so much for that introduction. it's been a pleasure for me to be here with naleo to meet so
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many people. you know, i had an experience today. alex mentioned i used to work for npr. when i worked in radio, people would come up to me and say, juan, it's nice to be able to finally put a face with the voice. i would say i didn't know what you looked like either, so surprise to me. [laughter] but then today i had this incredible experience where a woman came up to me and she said, wow, it's great, finally i'm able to put a body with the face. [laughter] i never had that said before. [laughter] i could only think, i hope she liked the body, you know what i mean? [laughter] so anyway, first, before i introduce our esteemed guests, let me just say thank you so much to wells fargo for their sponsorship of this annual meeting as well as this session. i also want to thank all of you following the live stream of our
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session at, and i have one more thank you, thank you to everyone who is using the conference hashtag, naleoconf. it is trending, and so thank you. people are using it. now, the main event of this 31st annual conference, our plenary, 50 years after the civil rights act. with us, delores huerta, former attorney general alberto gonzalez -- [applause] and naacp san diego president lashyla wilson. please, welcome all of them. [applause] the way we're going to do this is i'm going to have a brief conversation with each of them for one or two minutes, and then we're going to have the conversation among the entire group and, hopefully, we will reflect all of your interest and
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questions. now, so much has been said about ms. huerta, it's hard to have to introduce her, but let me try and simply say she created the agricultural workers' association in 1960, she co-founded the united farm workers' union, and now she works through her own foundation. let me tell ya, she is an icon not only in the latino commitment, but in america -- community, but in america. she is american history. [applause] so my first question goes to delores huerta. fifty years later what's the most significant outcome of the civil rights movement? >> well, i think we see today we have a lot of latinos and african-americans organization, we have engineers, we have attorneys, much more so than when i went to college and there were maybe six of us on the
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whole campus. and, of course, with women also we have large numbers of women that are now doctors, attorneys, engineers, etc. so we know that we've made a long, we've come a long way. we have, of course, more representation, african-american and latino representation, in our legislatures. but at the same time, we know that we still have a long way to go even though the civil rights movement was about getting the right to to vote. in today's world we see that voter suppression, and one of the areas that we don't talk a lot about voter suppression is the whole area of redistricting. we have still each in the state -- even in the state of california we have many, many of our cities here where you have to have general elections in general districts and not by districts where people can elect someone that looks like them. and right now there's a bill in the state legislature by roger hernandez to try to say it's got to be a law in the state of california that elections have got to be by districts so that people of color then can get
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somebody that looks like them, you know, to be able to sit on those councils, their school boards, supervise sor y'all districts, etc. so while we've gained a lot, we know that voter suppression and some of these tactics, another one is not allowing felons to vote. i'm actually on the national voting rights commission, and we had hearings throughout the united states. in the state of washington, for instance, if you've been in prison, they make you pay restitution. you cannot vote until you pay all of the money that you owe. so that means people, about 300,000 people we heard that testimony in kings county alone in washington state cannot vote because of that. so we have all of these other little ways that they are trying to keep people from voting. >> now, when you look back to this period, and i don't mean to give away your age -- >> oh, i don't mind. i'm 84. >> i know, i'm teasing you. [laughter] [applause]
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i tell you, when i'm 84, i hope to look as good as you sweetheart, you know? [laughter] so it is such a pleasure to be with you every time, but i just wanted to say when you look back 50 years to your life, 1960s, and that moment, the passage of a civil rights act, a voting rights act, did you have any idea that it would have real impact on america, that it was going to really change, that one day you would have latinos as the second largest minority in the country? >> with -- well, i know that from my own experience and being involved and getting people to vote, whatever, that it was going to be able to make a difference in who we elected to represent us. and, of course, if we don't like the laws, then we have to elect people to office that will change the laws. so i did foresee that kind of an impact. i was involved, like, ten years before the civil rights act was actually signed. but at the same time, i remember the kind of harassment that i as
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a young latina suffered at at the hands of lis and teachers -- police and teachers sometimes, etc. and i see my great grandchildren, you know, suffering those same types of discrimination, so to speak. and so i think on the political level, yes, we have made a lot of headway, but still on a personal level i think we still -- and we know that racism is still a alive and well in our united states of america. even though we do have an african-american president and people use that as an excuse. no, it's there, and we can see that in play in all of the politics that is happening right now including the refusal of the republican congress to take up the immigration reform act. >> thank you so much. [applause] now let me introduce our second guest, former attorney general alberto gonzalez, the 80th attorney general of the united states from 2005-2007. he was the former general counsel to texas governor bush,
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former texas secretary of state, a member of the texas supreme court and now a law professor at belmont university in tennessee. he's also, in keeping with what we're going to be doing here at the convention in the next couple of days, he's also, you should know, an air force veteran. please join me in welcoming attorney general gonzalez. [applause] judge, 50 years ago the government in this country enforced laws of segregation. today in your mind, what is the government's role -- specifically the department of justice's role -- in protecting civil rights? >> well, i, first of all, let me just say that my story is the american story. your story is the american story. and that story has been written on the backs of individuals like this woman sitting to my right. it's also been written based upon the work, the laws like the civil rights act, and i think the department of justice has a very important role in enforcing
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laws like the civil rights act. but let's be clear, from my perspective as a former attorney general, laws cannot change the hearts of man, men and women. and i don't know, you know, whether or not education, communication will some day eradicate the fear that motivates the prejudice that exists in this country. maybe so. i hope so. i think we can all work toward that. but until that day comes, we do need laws like the civil rights act. and i'm very proud of the work of the department of justice, civil rights division, acknowledge them and want to give credit to perez, secretary perez for his work there. but we have got some serious challenges each within the department of justice, to be quite honest with you. just last year this was a very tough report issued by the inspector general, very critical of the civil rights division under both president obama and under president bush. too much partisanship, too much division within the civil rights
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division which is charged with keeping a level playing field here in america. and if they can't even do that within their division, how can they hope to be effective nationwide? so it's something that i think we need to keep our eyes on. but, clearly, i think the civil rights act is one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by congress. it exists today because we need it still today. >> now, when you look at all of the arguments that are going on in the states, ms. huerta referred to this, about voter disenfranchisement and efforts to limit voter turnout, does it concern you as a matter of law, or do you think that's just politics? >> when i was secretary of state, i traveled the state trying to get texans, more texans to vote. we have a serious problem simply getting people the vote, and that's particularly true in the hispanic commitment. we're not going to enjoy any power or influence unless we come out and vote on election day. and i, for one, support two goals. one is that we encourage as
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much -- many eligible voters to vote and, two, we protect the sanctity of the vote. i think they are not mutually exclusive. i think we can have both, quite frankly. i don't have a problem, and i am on record supporting voter id laws so long as the laws passed by the states are not passed with the intention of discriminating against minorities and the elderly and the poor and thatthe poor and te provide a mechanism people that are poor, that they don't have the money, that they do have access to some kind of id that does allow them to vote, even secretary perez talked about the fact of expanding the right to vote for eligible voters. how do we know whether or not they're eligible? that's the key. they have to be eligible voters. >> okay. and our third guest this afternoon is lashylashe is the n diego branch of the naacp. she's serving there for her sixth year.
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ms. wilson was a san diego public defender for more than 24 years. so, please, join me in welcoming ms. wilson. [applause] when you think about the commemoration, 50 years, what extent do you think the united states has changed with regard to race relations, to what extent do you think the country has stayed the same? >> well, i would have to mirror what ms. huerta said. we have made some progress when you look at jobs, when you look at employment, you know, segregation, things have gotten a little better. but i still think a lot of things have remained the same. so when you look on the outside, it looks like we've made a lot of progress, and i hesitate to always use that word we have much work to do. we've been talking about doing a lot of work for the last three or four hundred years, and my people are tired of always having to work. i mean, no matter what we've done in this country, my people
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and other people of color, we're always struggling. and so i'm not sure why we're always struggling, and the best way i can explain it is i try to tell people that being black in america is like watching a bad movie. it's the same movie playing over and over again, the only difference is the characters or the scenery. but it seems like -- i guess it swings back and forth, but we keep struggling. and i wish that would change. and, of course, we are going to have to, you know, keep trying to get better. but in a way sometimes i wonder we're in 2014 or in 1940. because it just seems like it's the same old battles. when my people reached this country, it was always education, they denied that, voting. we had jim crow, and now it's like jim crow's son grew up and now we've got james crow -- [laughter] and we're still having problems with the vote which is very important to me. [applause]
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and there's no reason to
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. >> you have more blacks, more asians so that you have about a third of the oplation as people of color. how has that impacted the change in the last 50 years? >> i don't know if it's impacted change because the problem is the more people of color you have, those who are in power, they are in fear. and that's the reason that i think we're having these problems, is demographics are going to change, and there's fear. and as a result of that, that's why you have these type of laws. and the only reason why you want to keep out, to keep people not educated and not vote is you want to keep them out of power. but eventually, the numbers are going to change, and it's going to be a whole different ball game. i'm not sure if i'll see that within my lifetime. then again, i didn't expect to see a black president, so there's still hope there. >> all right. well, now i just want to
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encourage all of my panelists to join in the conversation, interrupt each other, argue with each other. already -- [laughter] we have seen some difference of perspective with regard to what is going on with voter id laws. and as we know in this session for all of you as elected officials, there's a tremendous emphasis on increasing voter turnout this year, 2014, in the midterm elections. people are looking for that kind of increase. in fact, today naleo has announced that they project that there is going to be an increase from 2010, the last time we had midterms the 6.9% of the latino vote, this year, 2014, the expectation is 7.8% of a latino vote in the midterm elections. ..
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with respect to immigration reform people are fearful of the way the country is changing and the fact that it's changing without any kind of regulation or guidance from our leaders and i think that has been the first of some of the problems we have with respect to not making progress. it's understandable there needs to be better communication and understanding among our groups
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in order to make progress in this area. yesterday in congress they held on the voting rights that was gutted by the u.s. supreme court which is also but why is it that when they took the vote not one republican voted for there to be a vote on it now all of a sudden it has changed and you would think the country that goes around trying to spread democracy cannot even get it right right here at home. [applause]
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>> but it sounds like you know the answers. >> you think you know the answer with regard to not why one would vote to reauthorize the voting rights act. what's the answer? >> they vote for democrats. they want to suppress those votes. >> it's not my place to speak for republicans in the congress or the senate and i don't know what legislation you're talking about i think that your talking about revising the provision of the voting rights act. it could be as simple as a complicated formula being able
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to impose the requirement. they don't comport with me anymore. i don't know the reasons for that but that's what we are talking about is they shut down the formula that is based on racial demographics and the court said you can't do that so now this is an attempt by congress that would allow them the department of justice to impose these requirements. >> when you hear about things like limiting the number of days people can vote, limit the hours the precincts are open does that strike you as punitive or do you think know if it's for everybody, that's fair. >> i think it is fair and we need to change that and if we
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have the same law for the whole country instead of every state having their own different kind of law. one thing they really need to understand, look at this figure. every single month 73,000 latinos reached the age of 18. let me repeat that. every month in the united states of america 73,000 latinos reached the voting age of 18-years-old and that is something they need to look at. the governor of the virginia campaign he won 53,000 votes. 63,000 latinos voted. because his opponent was anti-immigrant harry reid was for the senate in nevada and the latino community and the latino
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community pushed him over the top in the state of nevada so they need to take note. and the more that if they attack the immigrant communities because they are attacking me. my great grandfather was in the civil war in the army. [applause] my children and my grandchildren get the attacks and they have to understand that every time they come out and attack the community our community gets very angry into this whole thing about the immigration reform of the have to do is set up for the vote. they will have the vote on immigration reform and 75% of the country supports and 60% give us a vote.
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they also have the government. they think the problems we have in the society we need the government to carry them so they are on the wrong side of the messaging right now. i don't know if damage they do but eventually people will be able to vote no matter what you said but it's up to john boehner and mccarthy and that is on the republican side and the house of representatives and we were together a few weeks ago you would have said that john boehner and cantor but you know what happened to mr. cantor he was defeated in virginia and one of the issues his opponent used against him was that he supposedly was for amnesty?
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they are using that on this issue. [applause] we want to get immigration reform we have to call on our corporate buddies to help us and i'm going to use this as kind of a comparison. in arizona when the legislature passed a law that they were going to let places discriminate against them in the community, they jumped in right away and said to the governor don't sign that bill. they jumped in there and immediately.
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where are our corporate buddies as now? we are not going to give up. [applause] >> attorney general, i saw you nodding a moment ago when we were talking about what happened to eric cantor. >> good afternoon everybody. it's nice to hear you on this friday afternoon. just a nice little buzz in the room when i walked in. maybe it is the buzz of anticipation. either way, i like it. pretty close. thank you. set the record straight.
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i don't have any announcements at the top so we will go straight to the questions. would you like to get us started? following on the air strike earlier today do you suspect there will be additional airstrikes over the weekend and do we also get the sense -- spec i love that you described that way because the authorization to president has been given for the military action or has given for the military action is very limited in scope and was clearly described in the remarks that he delivered last night. i don't have any operational updates to share with you in terms of additional military action. as you pointed out the department of defense did come from this morning that a military strike was carried out in iraq. the updates will come from them
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and the department of defense has a significant capability and will be prepared to use that in pursuit of the goals of president articulated last night. >> there are two ways the president described. described. what we say we would describe it in three different ways. the first and foremost is the protection of american personnel to me that there are military and diplomatic officials committee artillery position that was maintained by the isi and struck early this morning east coast time was focused on targets and that is why it struck it was authorized and occurred. the personnel is a top priority and one that merits the use of military force.
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but the second is related to the urgent humanitarian situation that exists and there is a religious and ethnic minority with thousands of people coming in womecome inand women and chid at the top of the mountain. that is an urgent human of terri and situation and the united states military last night upon the authorization the president carried out in the air drop of the supplies, room and water and basic medical supplies to those individuals who are stranded on the mountain to try to avoid some humanitarian relief. the president has authorized military strikes that could be used to address that situation at the mountain. there are kurdish security forces that are seeking to dislodge the siege at the mountain and if the assets can be helpful in supporting the
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kurdish forces, then the airstrikes could be carried out in pursuit of that goal. the third is slightly broader but it is related to our belief and commitment to supporting integrated iraq he security forces encouraged security forces as they unite the country to refill the threat that is posed by advance. what will be required by that of course is an integrated and inclusive political leadership in iraq and that is why this country stands ready to support the formation of an included government in iraq. there've been significant -- there has been significant progress on that front in the last few weeks. there's been the appointment of a president, speaker and two deputy speakers that reflect the
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diversity of the population. i will be the response ability of the iraqi people and once the government has formed we would anticipate and it certainly be continuing to urge the government to pursue the governing agenda so they can unite the country to confront the threat that is posed and the united states stands ready to support the formation of the government and the government efforts to refill the advance and that includes where necessary the deployment of the military force but i that it wit include, however, the additional american combat troops being deployed to iraq. >> on the humanitarian situation is there a plan to get those people off the mountain and would there be a role for the u.s. in any such operation? >> the strategy right now is to try to meet the basic and
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immediate needs of those that are trapped in the typical conditions. that is what prompted the supplies that occurred overnig overnight. it is at the possibility of the targeted military strikes that could dislodge the forces that are carrying out the siege of the mountain? that would be in support of the kurdish security forces that are trying to disrupt the siege so we will be acting in support of the kurdish forces that are trying to free those of the top of the mountain is the introduction of the troops in the combat role to deviate the situation. >> can you get a sense of the enrollments today?
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there are other leaders trying to get the allies to join. >> if the place additional phone calls that can read we will try to do that in a timely fashion today that the president has met with members of the national security team to get an overnight update about the situation in iraq and briefed on the military strike that was carried out this morning. the president will stay in close with his national security team over the course of the day so he can be updated as necessary. >> as we have seen the isis they sent military advisers and you have said that there are no military solutions to this and that the united states should instead dragged into a war.
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what is to stop that from happening and what is to stop the islamic stat state forces fm advancing further into iraq? >> let me try to take that answer. you asked a couple questions let me get those individually. the first one, and this is the most important thing for the american people to understand. the president said this in his remarks last night if you will indulge me for a second i will repeat them as the commander in chief i will not allow the united states to be dragged into fighting another war in iraq. and so even as we support the irairaq ease as they take the ft to the terrorists, american combat troops will not be returning to fight in iraq. so, that is a pretty clear expression from the commander-in-chief what our intentions are and of the limit of the action would be and that is a clear enunciation of the kind of principle that is at stake which is disbelief that
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there are many challenges facing the people of iraq right now and it's the view of the president of the challenges cannot be solved by the american military. they can only be solved through an inclusive government of the people of iraq and they try to format the government and we are hopeful ones that government is formed they will pursue the kind of inclusive governing agenda that is required to unite the country in the face of the threat that exists in this country right now. if there is a role for the military to play in supporting the iraqi people in that inclusive government and integrated security force then we will use that american military prowess in pursuit of that goal as well. it is in the national security interest of the united states for there to be a stable iraqi
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government that can preside over the stable iraq and security force that has the necessary capability to address the security situation in the country. these are all difficult challenges and i do not mean to minimize them, but we have a very clear point of view it's based on our recent experience about the limits of american involvement in that kind of endeavor, and what that means is this is a situation that is a very difficult challenge, but it's not a challenge that can be solved by the american military. there is support that can be provided by the american military but this is a situation that will only be solved by the iraq he people and the government that reflects views of iraq's diverse population.
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>> does the president believe or hope that it effectivel effectil buy time so that they will be able to organize the government and the defense forces to retell isis? >> i don't think i would describe it that way. they try to address the urgent and even dire humanitarian situation in the mountain. and more generally, the willingness on the part of the american people to continue to stand with the people of iraq as they pursue the future that is reflected of the diversification of the nation of iraq. they were the extremist making advances across the country and our desire isn't a clear interest of the american national security for us to support for the iraq he people as they confront the threat.
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this isn't one that we can come from for them i then it can onlt and defeated by the unified iraq in support of an integrated capable iraq security force if that requires the support of the american military and that is support that we are ready to offer but will not offer in the form of the military conflict and that involves the united states of america an and it will not involve the troops returning to iraq in the combat world. >> the number of children being apprehended and adults as well. how does that data factor into the thinking unilaterally on the situation? >> let me say a couple things of the data and the presidencies. the first thing important to understand is we have see as wet
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downward trend over the last four to six weeks. however, it's important to understand that compared to a year ago or even two years ago there still is apprehension taking place at an elevated rate so while they have come down from the peak that we saw earlier this summer, the rate is still high when you compare it to the broad historical trends. the second thing, the second point i want to make on this is the historical trend is also indicate that as the weather cools down and we entered the fall and winter season traditionally, the rate of that retention, the rate of those that attempt to the illegal entry of the country go back up. anand the volatility in the numbers is something that the administration remains concerned about. and it is why we have taken some steps within the executive
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branch to reprogram the funds and decode additional resources to the border and even though we see a decline in the rate we need to made sure if and when the volatility is reintroduced into the numbers start to go back up we want to make sure that we are ahead of the curve. it's also why we are continuing to urge the congress to take action to provide additional resources to ensure the federal government has the necessary resources to deal with the problem and the congress (-left-paren without acting on that specific request that was in the administration for the additional resources that we are hopeful that when they returned they will take steps to provide those resources. as it relates to the president committed to acting in a letter late to address the problems of the broken immigration system i would say a few things about that. first congress failure and house republicans failure in particular to take action on the
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commonsense proposal to address the problem that we all know exists is evidence of how poorly the congress has performed in trying to address the problem and because the congress has failed to act, the president is going to use the power that is vested in the executive branch to try to take some steps that will address the problem. the steps will not be as robust or impact or long-lasting as the enactment of legislation, but there may be some things the president can do using executive authority in the confines of the law to address the problem and if there are he will not hesitate to act. the final thing i will say is immigration over the course of the last couple of years was something that was talked about quite a bit and was the need to reform the system was held
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pretty intensely by certain segments of the population that many americans consider this to be something less than a top priority item because of the economic benefits that exist and the potential for addressing some of the problems in a commonsense way was great. there was an important piece of bipartisan legislation to address some of the problems and as a result of the media attention around the problems at the border i think that we have seen, and i think some of the public polling that the news organizations have done indicate that there is a broad awareness in the electric that this is a significant problem and there is awareness on the electorate the congress has done nothing to solve the problem and in fact there is broad awareness that congressional republicans have beecongressional republicans hae been actively blocking efforts to solve the problem so that only strengthens the hand of the president to make the kind of
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decisions necessary within the confines of the law to take executive action to solve the problems. >> president obama is the fourth in a row to engage the military action in iraq. he read for president on the a platform of ending the war in iraq. was he reluctance to make this decision? >> i think he was determined to use military action to protect american personnel in harm's way. he was determined to use american military assets to address the urgent humanitarian situation and the president is just as determined to make sure the united states is not dragged back into a military conflict in iraq. >> given the fact that he attended the war in iraq this might not be a good idea. >> on numerous occasions, the president has demonstrated his commitment to using american military might to protect american people all around the globe.
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that was evident last night and other situations as well. that has not changed. but what is also evident is the determination to end sure the united states is not dragged back to the conflict in iraq. >> when you told the new yorker when assessing the threat he said that the analogy we use around here sometimes, and i think is accurate, is the team puts on a lakers uniform that doesn't make them go the bryant. is it safe to say that they are no longer? >> there is no question of the leakers uniforms that were warned to use that analogy a little, to draw the analogy a little bit that were warned by the al qaeda leadership in afghanistan has been decimated in the defeated in afghanistan. that is the result of the many
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decisions made by the president and the courageous service of the men and women in uniform and the intelligence agencies. what is also true as there are other organizations that subscribe to the violent extremist ideology that is exposed and promulgated by al qaeda. many of those groups in the nations across the globe are not particularly sophisticated and are focused on the local sectarian conflicts that don't pose a significant work immediate threat to u.s. interests or the u.s. homeland. there are of course a couple other organizations that do pose a more substantial threats to the unite united states in our interest. al qaeda and the arabian peninsula is one of them and you've seen the united defense on search with our allies and partners take significant important steps to mitigate the
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threat posed by those that do have designs and capabilities to try to strike the united states in some cases try to strike the homeland. we do remain concerned about the military proficiency that has been demonstrated by isis and that's why you've seen the president take steps including the authorization of military force that would protect american citizens who might be harmed by. >> ultimately it's up to the iraq east to eradicate the isis friend clicks >> alternatively it'alternate le iraqi security people and government to address the security situation in the country. again, we talked about what would be required. there would be american support that is provided but there will not be the troops returning to the combat world. the president is determined that they will not have to be driven back to the conflict there but ultimately, the challenges that face iraq right now are the kind
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of challenges that can be solved by the iraqi people. >> first the rationale with military strikes here and serious for the humanitarian purposes. >> there are a couple differences. more than a couple differences between the situation in syria and the situation in iraq. they might illustrate the kind of things that are driving the president's decision-making. the united states military involvement was at the invitation of the iraq he government. that is obviously an important distinction between the relationship if there is one between the united states and the establishing. second the united states in iraq and this is something we took to the previously the significant
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reconnaissance resources that ensures that american decision-makers and of the american military and american intelligence officers have pretty good visibility to the situation on the ground in iraq. this kind of assets into that kind of intelligence through that extent does not exist as it relates to the situation in serious debate for serious. the consequence has been an for quite some time we have enhanced military capabilities in iraq that using that intelligence and using the partnership that exists between the united states kurdish security forces and iraqi security forces, there is more capability for us to take the kind of steps that would be beneficial to the security situation in the country but this highlights the need for people who are trying to make
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decisions about comforting to situations to consider them on a case-by-case basis while there are lessons that can be drawn from our involvement in other places there is no direct correlation between the action in one place and another in terms of guiding the decisions that are made by the consequences for american national security. >> the white house continues to get criticism. a lot of the critics say isis wouldn't have gotten this big and we wouldn't have come to this point. what are your thoughts? >> i have heard that argument made by some. the argument of those individuals are making is that the situation might be different if there were still tens of thousands of troops into combat role in iraq. the consequence of that sort of military posture is that right
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now servicemen and women would be on the front line fighting in the cities and towns all across iraq. the president does bobby leave that that would be in the national security interest of america and the president doesn't believe that would be in the best interest of the united states military and there is a fundamental disagreement about that. however, i would rethink the vast majority of the public would be on the side of the president an in reaching the conclusion that the situation in iraq that is best resolved by the iraqi people by the inclusive iraqi government and by a capable iraq security force that has the ability to represent and protect every citizen in iraq and of the united states can be in the position to offer support military and otherwise to the iraq he government and forces as
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they carry out the efforts of the president does not believe that it would be in the interest of the united states of america for tens of thousands of combat troops to be on the ground in iraq fighting isil into tha ands an honest disagreement into critics many of whom are on the republican party. >> what about less than that? there are less than 10,000 in the troop levels in afghanistan. >> again even if you add thousands of american troops on the ground in iraq they would still be in the position they would be on the front lines fighting isil to protect iraq he towns and cities and the president does bobby leave that that would be in the interest of the american national security. >> how is the invitation to intervene and by whom? >> it was conveyed by the leadership to the american political leadership to what the
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conversation was like on either end that they've talked about it publicly. >> do you know when? >> can you tell us if iraq was the subject of the weekly address plaques >> i wouldn't be surprised. [inaudible] earlier today to coordinate the regional partners and allies that might be interested in the ammunition or the aid supplies. i'm wondering if part of the conversations that included bringing them in for military operations in iraq. >> i would teach her to the department of defense on that matter. but let me say a couple other
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things about that that might be instructive for you. first of there are joint operation centers that exist in iraq. these are operations centers that include american military personnel, officials from kurdish security forces and personnel from iraq security forces. they are up and running and they are importan important to clintg the efforts of all of those involved right now on the ground. through those joint operation centers, for example, the iraq he security forces have been able to support the kurdish security forces operating on the ground. that's been a pretty effective tactic so far and something that we are them to continue to consult with them at all. there are other herders in the region that the united states has worked with on a variety of issues to try to confront this and other challenges and stability in the region.
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those are nations like jordan, the president spoke to the king just this morning and we certainly will be in touch with them as we confront the ongoing situation in iraq. there are also other nato allies in the united stateand the unite concerned and have made public concerns about the humanitarian situation in iraq and the broader security situation and i would anticipate that we are going to continue to consult with them in the data. >> we are going to continue to consult with them and if we have any specifics to make of them we will make them interact with. >> house speaker john boehner commented today and said he was dismayed for political reasons refusing to reengage so i'm
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wondering what your reaction to that is. >> the speaker might be one of those individuals that suggests it would be in the core interest for there to be thousands or even tens of thousands of troops to be on the front lines in iraq to state the position if that's the case. it is an honest disagreement between the president and the speaker of the house on that specific issue. i would plan ou would point oute been specific consultations between the president and the leaders of congress and conferencing this issue if you will indulge me for a minute i will go over the highlights of that consultation. you will recall the president convened a meeting at the white house with the congressional leadership to talk about this issue. this was the leadership in both houses and both parties and it also included members of the event committees, national security committees on the topic. that was a follow-up to the president wants to go with the
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four leaders of the house and senate, the bipartisan leadership in the house and senate. in a statement last night and the official announcement of the authorization to use military force in iraq there were a number of phone calls that were made from senior members of the national security team to the members of congress that included the bipartisan leaders of the house and the senate and also included the chair and ranking member of th the house d senate intelligence committees in house and senate armed services committees i and forein relations committees and the even some members of the appropriations committee in both the house and the senate. so there has been a genuine and sincere effort on the part of the administration to closely consult with members of congress on this issue and we certainly welcome the partnership in support of those members of congress as w we confront these
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challenges and i would point out there were statements issued by democrats and republicans that were complementary. >> the appropriations that are going to speak to the -- it does indicate a sincere commitment on the appropriations committee that should need a rise in the future to have a keen understanding as to why that request is necessary. it triggered this intervention was wort were the particular ths on the ground wasn't a particular movement in a particular place and when was he told can you walk us through that?
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on the last question a lot of the reaction from the hill while there've been statements from republicans yes we think this is a good idea most of the statements have said it's too late. it should have been done sooner and encourage it to be in the words of mitch mccarthy abroad and more comprehensive plan. are there efforts that will be underway that layout with the kind of longer-term strategy of this is at some point? >> i think that he may be in the category of the individual to feel it was raised as earlier. >> that he wanted tens of thousands of points on the ground but there are lots of people saying the very limited target that you're talking about should be broadened and is there a reaction to that?
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the >> i only raise that to note it is likely even that mr. mccarthy may have a difference of opinion about what our national security interests are in iraq. they are coordinating and consulting but make no mistake the decisions that are made in iraq in consultation with congress will be decided or guided by the president's views in the equities relating to the national security and it's our view again the protection of the personnel is a paramount concern and a stated willingness on the part of the president. it's the president's briefing
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and to talk and a lot of detailed the president did receive a number of updates from the members of the national security team over the course of the day yesterday. let's talk about last week or two to have led the president to decide after weeks and months of pulling back on th the airstriks what was it specifically that sort of triggered in him we are going to have to move in this direction there are three things i can cite for you probably not in the detail that you would like there's an additional detail that we can provide there are three things that come to mind. the reports that we were seeing out of the mountain about the de
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here and deteriorating humanitarian situation in that region of the country those reports were deeply disturbing and certainly influenced the president's decision to take military action in support of humanitarian mission. there is no doubt about that. >> over the course of the week. we sell the reports over the course of the week. >> the second thing that i would note is there were reports of and many of these were public records advances that isil was staging and that was about the safety and security of american personnel that also led to the president's conclusion that the more robust military action could be required to ensure the safety and security of those american officials.
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the third thing i would note and this is also an important part this relates to what the president first discussed in may to june when there were reports as of the advances that isil had made sort of in the first time around here and that relates to the progress that the iraq ease has made in forming their government. it was only in the last few weeks that we have seen the political leadership take the necessary steps to appoint a speaker to appoint a deputy speakers one who occurred and the other was a shia and a kurdish president and progress towards eventually appointing a prime investor who would be the governor and so the success they have or i should say the progress that they have made in forming the government in line with the procedures laid out in the constitution was a source of
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some encouragement that the political was to prepare the kind of inclusive government agenda that would be required in the country that there is a lot of work that remains to be done on that effort and we will continue to urge them to make that progress. the vice president as you know has been on the phone frequently over the last several weeks and in touch with members of iraq's political leadership and obviously he was in touch with the president in the last day or two to discuss some of these issues so he's obviously played a very important role in the urging of the political leadership to pursue the kind of governing agenda that we believe is necessary but also closely covered a meeting with them in terms of their assessment of the situation on the ground in iraq. but if there is additional detail. >> is it over and ended in terms of timing or is there an end to
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date? >> they haven't laid out a specific end date. we will take this approach in which those kind of decisions are evaluated regularly and are driven by the security situation on the ground both as it relates to the safety and security of the american personnel and as it relates to supporting the ongoing efforts of both kurdish security forces in iraq he security forces. >> are those meetings related to this? >> i don't have an update when he does return. i wouldn't be surprised if he does have a conversation on the topic when he is back in the white house not next week but the week after. the president planned to return to the white house before the recent announcement. there are other meetings to. >> and you said that the top priority is protecting the
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american serving -- the top priority is protecting american serving overseas. if that is the case why not simply evacuate that's one way to make sure there' there is imt work that's being done at the consulate and the joint operation center that i mentioned earlier. >> at the top priority is protecting americans. >> if we are in the position that we can conduct the kind of military action that will protect americans that allow them to do the very important work that is underway and that is what we would like to do and that is again what we are pursuing right now. >> you can check with the department of state in the posture when it comes to the
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personnel in the consulate. >> in the humanitarian effort given those that have been killed in syria more than 2 million from their homes how does that not rise to the level of the humanitarian intervention with a significantly smaller number there's been a situation in serious. it's not a military interventi intervention. the united states remains the largest bilateral donor of the assistance to serious and to this area and refugees and other countries to eastgate violence in the countries. there've been significant resources dedicated to try to build up the opposition is urea to counter the threat. both as posed by the extremist opposition groups in serious and also to withstand the assault from the regime. so the response has been very robust that it's important to
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understand that the situation on the ground in both iraq and syria is different and has consequences for the kind of military capabilities and risks that are associated in the different responses. the president is constantly evaluating the situations to determine what is in the best interest of the national security and that is what is driving the decisions he's making in both countries. >> so you told jonathan there is no specific end date but you mentioned the military wouldn't be prolonged so i'm wondering if you can give the definition of what prolonged is. >> i'm not into position to offer a specific date from here but the president is determined and ran for this office determined to try to wind down the conflict in iraq responsibly and to bring servicemen and women home. >> there is no end date but it's not going to be prolonged. i wonder what the american
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people should expect in the timeframe. >> there is not a timeframe i can share right now but there are two principles at stake here and you are insightful to notice the tension between the two. it happens to be true that there is a determination on the part of the president to use the military ongoing situation the national security which is a stable government that is able to exercise over this country. that's necessary because we are talking about a volatile region of the world and trying to restore some stability to that region is an important goal of the national security and at the same time the president is determined to end sure that the united states isn't dragged back into the conflict in iraq. one way that we can prevent that
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from occurring is to not return the combat troops to american troops in combat world to iraq and that is something the president has made very clear and that is a principle that will apply so i'm not in a position to offer a specific date, but i am able to offer a specific presidential commitment that a prolonged military conflict that includes u.s. involvement is not on the table here. >> i just want to get fewer reaction to the other.. we cannot bomb the extremist into submission but it records more supporters. is she right or wrong and what are your thoughts on that? >> i read a statement on the presidential remarks last night and there is a key phrase that i truncated for that in light of
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your question i shouldn't have cut off because it's important to give the president said american combat troops will be returning to fight in iraq. he continued to say because there is no solution to the larger crisis in iraq and that is an indication that the president believes in the principle i spend time articulating yesterday which is there is no military solution to the underlining problems in iraq is only an iraqi political solution so our efforts including our military efforts are in support of the inclusive iraqi government that can bring stability back to the people of iraq. it will require them to govern in a way that inspires the confidence of all of the diverse population that the government is looking at for their interest and security. >> so the use of military force even if it is not on the ground has a potential to be counterproductive. is that a concern shared at all
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in this administration? >> of course that is something that is considered that there are other principles at stake in terms of the protection of addressing the humanitarian situations and supporting the formation of the government. these are difficult equities to balance but the president has been clear what he thinks the best way is to balance the equities in a way that maximizes the benefits. >> i'm hoping to get you to clarify something you talked about which is the need for a public call solution and use it if the iraqi government forms and inclusive government it seems like you're saying there could be more military involvement and i'm hoping you could expand on that does that mean there would be a broad mission of airstrikes or what are you saying happens if the government works in a way that
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is satisfactory to the u.s.? >> these are the kind of decisions that we made based on the conditions on the ground and the capability of the military and the kind of decisions that are made by the political leadership will also be evaluating that capability and integration of the security forces and we will be testing the degree to which you are able to coordinate in the kurdish security forces to confront the threat that is posed and we will also be monitoring what sort of conditions isil is in and whether they continue to have the capacity and the capability to destabilize the situations that there are a lot of factors in play. despite the factors there is one underlining principle which is this is the situation we cannot solve for the iraq he people. it's a situation they must solve for themselves. they are prepared to stand with them as they confront this difficult challenge but
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ultimately it will be for the government and security forces to confront the threat. if the military assistance from the united states is necessary the president will evaluate that request and the conditions on the ground and other things i mentioned to determin it to dett is in the best interest of the national tv. what will not occur is they will not be dragged back into the military conflict in iraq and the president will not send the troops into combat roll back into iraq. >> it sounds like they are not closing the door to a broad mission broader than the amount which is in the correct terminology that it sounds like it is potentially broad depending on the political situation. >> the president indicated in the remarks last night and even six or eight weeks ago when he spoke on the topic a willingness to use military action in
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support of and inclusive iraqi government that is successfully inspiring the confidence of the iraqi public and representing the interests o interest of thee population. there is a long-standing military relationship that exists between the united states and iraq. there are long-standing political ties between the american government and the iraqi government and the united states is committed to standing with our partners in iraq as they confront some of these threats. there are limits however and they are in the fact that these are only challenges that can be solved by the iraqi people. >> the president said when he brought home the troops iraq is not a perfect place that we are leaving a salford, said david castillo and self-reliant iraq. why did that turn out to be so wrong? >> the government pursued an agenda that was not inclusive
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and that did not succeed in dividing the country were even unifying the security forces and that meant that iraq was not able to withstand the pressure individually a salt from isil. that is why the president for a number of months now has been urging -- the truth is longer than a number of months, even years encouraging them to pursue the kind of inclusive agenda that would unify the country to make it strong, stable and better able to confront the threats that are posed by these extremist groups like isil. >> that's what happened before. what is the strategy now? something else he said his eye and dismayed by the ongoing absence of the strategy for countering the greatest threat. so what is the strategy to stop isis? >> the strategy is related to ensure they cannot use
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instability in iraq as the basis of the operation so what we are doing is a couple different things. the first is we are taking the kind of action that will ensure close coordination between the kurdish and iraqi security forces and american military forces to confront isil. the president announced he was having an assessment team go into iraq. these are military advisors that can assess the situation on the ground and the capability of isil and the capability of the security forces and offer some advice as they confront the challenge. the president also signaled a willingness that if iraq's political leaders are willing to take the necessary steps that the american military could come in behind and offer support to the iraq security forces to confront them.
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be mac the goal has been to defeat and decimate al qaeda. is the goal to defeat and decimate isis? >> as it relates to this specific situation, it is the need for iraq to confront the need that is by isil. the difference i is come and les walk through this because it is important, the al qaeda were operating with virtual impunity in the area between afghanistan and pakistan and the rainbow to set up a network around the globe a pretty sophisticated control structure. it's to organize order and carry out catastrophic attempts against the homeland. the situation while dangerous is different. and that's why it's so important for iraq with support of the united states to confront the
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threats that isil currently poses to the stability of iraq and the populations including some minority populations but right now are being counted for the different approach and the situations. but the threat that is posed -- the threat that is posed is still one the president takes very seriously. they have demonstrated a pretty sophisticated military capability in the last few weeks in terms of the success that they have had in advancing in iraq even in the face of the opposition of the security forces. the key difference from al qaeda to the secretary of state john kerry had a conference he was saying that the president believes isis is a threat in the region and could be a long-term threats to u.s. security said
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there is a fear that it could be a long-term threats why is the goal not to defeat and decimatee just to offer support to the iraqi government that says it's a chance. >> i don't think i said it was in shambles i think i noted the progress they have made -- they've made progress in putting together a unified iraq he government that can successfully unify the country to confront the threat that is posed. that is the key to defeating the threat and reducing the potential that isil can't attack the united states are allies in that region but eventually around the globe. >> i don't know if you saw this where the isis officials said we will he really i is banned everywhere and raise the flag and the white house. how do you react on that?
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>> i think the president spoke pretty forcefully about the resolve and commitment and willingness to use military force to support the efforts of the security forces to defeat isil and prevent them from using iraq as a base of operations and also to ensure that we can restore your strength in the situation in iraq and that we can present the isil terrorists from categorizing the minority populations in iraq. we've been disturbed by the reports that there are christian villages that are being decimated by on play by isil and we talked quite a bit about the population thousands of whom are trapped on the mountain.
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a very deethey were a deep conce united states and its why you are seeing the kind of reaction that you see from the president and the united states military. >> some military analysts have described. is that how you would characterize the airstrike today and can you tell us what they were? >> how it would be interpreted by someone i was and that is something i can't speak to that what i can speak to is the stated goal of the military action as described by the department of defense and that specifically was to take out a military asset operated threatening the city where the personnel are located and that is why that strike was authorized.
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>> [inaudible] >> i'm not into position to offer an updated on the ground assessment of the situation of the security situation. i would refer you to the department of defense. >> on the question of what's next step, would he consider arming the course is? >> we have a strong military to military relationship in the security forces and they have shared some of those with the kurdish security forces. we've also demonstrated a willingness and we are carrying out efforts to increase the flow of supplies including arms to the security forces has become for those that are posed by the isil. the joint operation centers that exist have been very helpful in coordinating the activities of the military is that are acting there.
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.. i'm not in a position to offer any additional information about that. you should check with the faa. they make those decisions independently and based soley on the safety of the traveling public. >> one more on syria. the president last night in addition to saying that there was the government mandate from iraq, that when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, and i believe
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the united states of america cannot turn a blind eye. is he satisfied he has done enough to prevent that massacre that seems to be ongoing there, 70,000 people have been killed so far? >> i think you're conflating two things. he was talking about the urgent humanitarian situation on sinjar mountain but you're talking about syria. >> syria as well? >> of course and that is why you have seen a strong response from the ute -- the united states is the largest donor of bilateral assistance to syrian refugees and those fleeing violence in syria. the united states government is closely coordinating any aid organizations, including the u.n. and the governments housing these refugees in turkey and jordan in particular. the united states has provided assistance to those would countries as they tried to meet the basic humanitarian needs of those fleeing violence in syria. you have seen united states take aggressive action to support the
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efforts of the moderate opposition to withstand the assault from the asaud regime and some cases to counter the assault. so, the united states is invested and is working to try to meet the-under general humanitarian situation in sera as well, but is a mentioned earlier, the situation on the ground in iraq different than the situation in syria and merits a different response from the united states. when you're focused on the best core national security interests of the ute. >> the massacre seems to be ongoing on a daily basis. continuing to be shalt erred there. so the -- slaughtered there. >> it is a tragic situation and why our efforts continue in that country to try to bring an end to that suffering. >> i'll get to iraq but a couple of things. the agreement to form a unity government in afghanistan, and the restarting of violence in the middle east. i imagine the president has -- identity -- i'd like you to
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react. >> as relates to afghanistan, the secretary of state was obviousfully afghan over the last day or two to try to broker an agreement between the two presidential candidates there. >> difficult to achieve a ewany -- unity government? >> afghan? >> yes. >> i think what they have -- he went there with a goal to brokery political solution to that electoral dispute, and that was centered on ensuring that both candidates rear mained in engaged in the effort to count all the ballots and inspire confidence in the electoral outcome of that contest. that is important because it will inspire confidence among the afghan people in their democratic institutions, and that will increase and strengthen the mandate of the eventual winner of the contest and that was the goal of secretary of state, to continue to encourage and support the
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transition of power in afghan from president karzai so the next president democratically elected. >> the resumption of violence in the middle east to whom do you ascribe the blame and what is the next step. >> the united states is very concerned about the developments in gaza. we condemn the rue knewed rocket fire and are concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides. we call on all sides to cease hostility and resume cease fire negotiations and we continue to urge all parties to do all they can to protect the lives of innocent civilians. israel has agreed to extend the negotiations. but hamas refused, without israel meeting a list of their demands. hamas' decision to resume rocketfire will not only put the people of israel and gaza at greater risk, it will do nothing to meet the expectations of the palestine want people. so it's our hope the parties will agree to an extension of the cease fire in the coming hours and ultimately conclude an agreement to cement a
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sustainable cease fire. there are americans who are in -- participating in the negotiations, and we are urging both sides to try to put in place a sustainable cease fire agreement. >> u.s. negotiators -- [inaudible] >> well, that's something for them to be -- that's a question to be resolved the negotiating table. we certainly do not believe that it was appropriate for hamas to restart rocketfire. >> on iraq, just practically, simply, how are -- are they going to get off sinjar mountain and what's the u.s. plan to do that? there's scant worthiness to feed them and give them water if they're going to be slaughtered in four days as opposed to two how are they going to get off that mountain? >> well, there's a strategy in place that is related to, first, meeting their immediate basic human tear yap needs and that's what the airdrop was --
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>> pentagon disclosed it's not feeding or giving water to everyone who is up there, and so we would human there will be more of those in the coming days. >> as needed. the united states military stands ready to conduct additional operations to provide additional life-saving supplies to the individuals stuck at the top of the mountain. now, separate from that, the president has also ordered that military action could be used to try to end that siege. right now, there are kurdish security forces operating in the region that are countering isil forces and if there is american military might that can be deployed to tip the balance in support of a kurdish forces operating on the ground, then we'll certainly look for an opportunity to do that. >> but to drive isil forces away through the air and then create a corridor that the peshmerga would operate and evacuate those civilians. >> well, the kurdish security forces have been operating in this region for some time, and
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if there is an opportunity to use military force in support of those ongoing ground operations, then the president's authority the military to take that kind of action in the hope that the siege at the mountain would be ended. >> the military strike today was to take out a piece of artillery firing on peshmerga. seems in both places the united states is offering air support fort what it hopes would be a rejuvenated kurdish force in both places. is that the overall strategy throughout the u.s. military interactions with isil, relying on ground-for-s that are peshmerga to retake land, retake places, retake facilities, dams, electrical plants, lost to isil, with the added benefit of air support, which is what to -- rejuvenate and get them back in the field fighting more effectively than now.
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>> well -- >> accurate description of what is going on? >> legitimately speaking i would say, yes. let me take a shot and see if i can describe the strategy. the first thing that is important is it's important to understand that we do have confidence in the kurdish fighting forced. we do assess the kurdish fighting forces are demonstrating a willingness to fight, as evidenced by several attempted cows attacks against isil launched of the last several days. it is true that in some locations kurdish forces have one drawn in the face of better equipped and more agile isil forces, but -- while the kurdish withdrawals appear to be orderly, they continue to face challenges about regrouping and redistributing their forces, so they're better positioned to blunt isil offensives. so the peshmerga, which is the name for the kurdish security forces, are capable -- are a capable fighting force and
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continue to fight isil forces in iraq. what may be necessary in some situations is support from the american military to enhance their fighting position or to take out key isil targets that would allow them to have greater success. the -- but, then, there are couple of limitings factors here that are important. first is the president's determination to not send american troops back to iraq in a cam about role and being sure this is coordinated with the broader iraqi security forces and coordinated with an inclusive iraq government. >> right. the iraqi army is not currently relevant in this fight. the peshmerga are, and the u.s. military. that's all that is relevant. seems to be a potential turning point only in dealing with isil but the future of iraq. the fighters who are fighting right now to raid the dish rid
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the northern part of iraq are the peshmerga and they may have the opportunity to regain facility, the dam in mosul, electrical facilities. what i'm curious about is the united states going to say, no, no, don't do that, we won't help you with that even though it's crucial to iraq's future because it's not mount sinjar. what's the overall interaction with the peshmerga going to be if they do get back in the fight and start rolling isil back. >> we have seen that the peshmerga are prepared to get back into the fight. let me -- i first want to dispute the premise of your question related to iraq security force. we do believe there's an important role for them to play in this broader fight. that's why iraq security forces are included in the joint operating centers innerbill and baby and the united states parents the coordination that existed. but the reasoning, according to assessments of our analysts, the reason we saw a -- a decline in
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the capability of iraq security forces is it was not integrated in a way that reflects iraq's diverse population. and that is a consequence of failed political leadership. when you have a political leadership that is not demonstrating a commitment to an inclusive governing alleged that's going to impact their ability to command and control an integrated security force. so, that is why this all starts with, as difficult and challenging and occasionally frustrating as it is, this all starts with iraq's political leadership making the kinds of difficult decisions necessary to form an inclusive government and pursue the kind of agenda that will inspire the diverse population of iraq, and inspire he confidence of iraq's diverse population in their security forces. so, if the people of iraq are invested in the success of the government, it will make it easier for the security forces to also be integrated and united and better confront the advance
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that we have seen from isil. >> that's all over the horizon. i'm just trying to figure out peshmerga asks for more help outside of mount sinjar to accomplish military objectives relevant to pushing back sizele will they get assistance from the united states,ey or no. >> a decision made on a case-by-case basis but we're closely coordinating with the peshmerga forces, we're increasing the flow of arms and assistance to the peshmerga and closely coordinating our efforts in the context office these joint operation centers of both innerbill and baghdad. it's difficult for me to generalize about the situation because these decisions are made case-by-case by the american military that knows this area of the world very well, by the assessment teams oned the ground that the president sent there. and by american officials who are evaluating this -- these kinds of objectives through the lens of america's national
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security priorities. >> lisa? >> does the president anticipate developments cause him to change this vacation plans. >> i don't have any changeness the president's schedule to announce. >> still participating in the fundraiser on monday. >> the president's skid all has not changed but the president will be traveling to massachusetts with one array of communication equipment and national security advisors ands to ensure he has the capacity to make the kinds of decisions required for the commander in chief. and if there's a need for the president to return to the white house, it's not a long flight from martha's vineyard back to washington, dc. [inaudible] >> as we said earlier this week the president did want to return to washington for a day or two, to meet in person with some white house staff for some meetings. i'm not -- they're still more
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than a week away. >> thank you so much. think that jews and christians are civilians -- [inaudible] how do you change attitudes like that? >> well, connie, the united states stands as a beacon for freedom and respect for basic human rights. that is what distinguishes the united states and it is so critical to the founding values of this country, and we have condemned in clear terms the efforts of extremist groups to target and in some cases massacre minority populations solely because of their religious or ethnic identity. you saw a willingness last night from this president to authorize military force to try to confront an urgent mew humanitarian situation predated on the evil intentions of this
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extremist group, and the president's commitment to those values and the bravery of our service men and women, to take the kinds of actions necessary to try to prevent the situations from occurring, again, is inspiring, and is something that speaks to the core american values that we hold so dear. [inaudible] >> well, i think the way we deal with. the is pretl÷&+qñiwmfñçwfióñ the president's strong words and willingness to take military action again them. [inaudible] >> no update. carey? >> been asked a couple times about the different between the situation in iraq and syria in terms of the response. is it -- just wondering, is it an instance where iraq has a iraq and circumstances on the ground in terms of personnel?
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can you expand why the situation there is necessitating this response verse any similar situation beyond syria, anywhere in the country or part of the world, a humanitarian response from the president? >> well, i think in terms of the core objectives and the core priorities the president laid those out prettysa clearly lasç night. what is also true, and i think that is what your eluding to and if not stoop me. i think what you're eluding to is the significant investment and sacrifice already made in iraq by hundreds of thousands of american service men and women, who have served that country. they served in very difficult conditions. many of them were injured and many of them died. and that is evident -- that is an indication of the united states' commitment to iraq's success. we have -- that service was in
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support of the iraqi people having access to the opportunity to determine the future of their country, and we have been disappointed that iraq's political leaders have not seized that opportunity in the way we believe is necessary for iraq to remain the kind of secure, stable country that i think the vast majority of iraq's diverse population would like to see, and that is why the united states does continue to urge iraq's political leaders to pursue a more inclusive governing alleged, do governing agenda and does speak to the commitment of the american people to stand alongside the people of iraq, even in very difficult times, as they pursue and make the kinds of decisions required to ultimately achieve the future of their country they would like to see. >> special -- plays a role here and makes this situation
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different than any number of other humanitarian situations? >> well, i think the thing that is harder -- there's no doubt that the history is pretty obvious. what is harder to assess is what consequence that has for our ongoing national security, and how decisions are made about our ongoing national security. so i readily acknowledge the history that you're highlighting, but in terms of what is driving the decision that the president has made to authorize some military action in iraq, i'd refer you to his remarks in terms of what those priorities were. >> what role did the president's atrocities prevention force play in the leadup to this in terms of informing anything he has done? did they have a role in any sort of way? and they did a report last year that has remained classified and other similar reports that didn't -- can you speak to that. >> i'm not in position to speak to the report. i have not seep it. but the establishment of that
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board is a testament to some of the principles that president discussed last night, which is that the united states does remain a beacon of freedom and protection of basic human rights, that certainly applies in this country but applies, that principle, to populations, including minority populations around the globe. that means the united states stands squarely with those minority populations being targeted because of their religious or ethnic identity. so the american people stand with the usaids and the christians in iraq who are being persecuted by isil, and the president's commitment to those kinds of issues and strong statements that indicate our support for those populations that are being persecuted is clear, and goes to a core value of what it means to be an american. [inaudible] any role they can play in the leadup to making this decision to act in this circumstance? >> i'm not aware of any specific
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actions taken by the board but we can look into that for you. the creation of the board is evidence of how deeply held the presidents views are in this area, alexis. >> i want to follow up on what tamara asked you earlier. you said between june and now, the formation of a more exclusive government and progress was a source of encouragement. i just want to clarify, between june and now, was the president's agreement to respond to the request ever communicated as college to the iraqi government -- college to to dr. -- conditional to the iraqi government? >> i didn't bring his remarks with me but when the protest spoke on this topic on june 13th, he delivered a short statement on the south lawn prior to boarding marine one, and in the context of those comments -- might have been in response to a question -- the president indicated that the key to solving iraq's underlying
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problems and destabilizing their security situation was the formation of a government that reflects iraq's diverse population, and the president was resolute about his commitment that the united states military would not be used to prop up an iraqi government that didn't reflect the deverse iraqi population and diverse views of the iraqi people. so, it was, i think, evident to anybody who was trying to divine the president's priorities that a commitment to use military force could not be separated from the commitment of iraq's political leaders to form the kind of inclusive government and pursue the kind of unified governing agenda that will be required to unite that country in the face of this threat from
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isil. >> just to follow up. separate apart you're saying the president was responsibling in large measure to humanitarian and genocidal situation. but you're saying that he would not have done that if the progress had not been seen that he had made clear he needed to see before the united states would step in militarily. >> i'm not in a position to evaluate that hypothetical situation, fortunately. we have seen a slightly more optimistic scenario than the one you laid out. that we have seen iraq's political leadership take some steps in the right direction of forming an inclusive government. there's still a really important step remaying which is the appoint. of a prime minister in iraq, and that is not a minor step. >> one other quick question. there are any circumstances in which the president will be consulted directly before additional military strikes are taken? or is he now out of the picture in terms of approving the actual prosecution of this?
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>> well, the president has authorized the military to use force in this situation, based on the limited scope that he has articulated. he will not be in a situation where he is signing off on individual strikes but there will be regular consultation from the president's military commanders to their commander in chief about the situation on the ground and about the strategy that they're pursuing. >> he was advised before 6:45 this morning what was going to happen? >> well, that -- again, he is not going to be in a position to authorize individual strikes but will be regularly consulted by his military commanders about their strategy and about the assessment that they've reached. three more and then we'll go. so, bob? >> does that include the sinjar mountain situation? because erbil may be one thing, advisers there, what about air
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strikes on sinjar mountain and people surrounded there? would the president have to sign off on that? >> the president has already authorized military action in support of the humanitarian efforts underway at sinjar mountain. jeff? >> been very clear about the importance of -- [inaudible] reforming a new inclusive government and electing a prime minister. what if prime minister al-maliki is re-elected, can the white house work with him? >> ultimately the responsibility of iraq's political leadership and the iraqi people to determine who should lead their government and that was not a decision that will be dictated by the united states, and it's not a decision that should be dictated by any outside actor. this should be squarely the decision made by iraqi political leader ands their people, and what we're focused on is not just who the person is, but what is the governing alleged they pursue? and if they pursue a governing
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agent, like i said, that has the support of iraq's diverse population and makes clear to every citizen in iraq that they have a government that is representing their interests, that is fighting for their future, that's the kind of government that will succeed in unifying the country, and having unified country is particularly important when you're facing a threat from a.m. an extremist group like isil. >> does the political transitional -- transition alter their response. >> we will stay in touch to encourage them to pursue the inclusive government they have started to form. we have been encouraging them ever establish of the way and there continues to be regular consultation with them as the move down the path. if you look at the history, it would indicate that there is not a history of iraq moving quickly to make these kinds of
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decisions, but we have seen significant progress in just the last few weeks. so we hope that momentum will be sustained and that there will be an announcement about a prime minister soon. the last one. >> thank you for sticking around. first, i have a couple of -- first, building on -- open-ended versus not prolonged. does the president plan to abide by the war powers division that requires him to submit a request if it goes over 60 days? >> well, there some important war powers act requirements, and the united states will -- the administration will abide by them, where i should start. the administration has been consulting closely with congress, as i mentioned earlier, and we have consulted with the relevant members of congress from these commiteeses just in the last 24 hours about the military action that the
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president has authorized. consistent with those consultations the administration will comply with any applicable report can requirements in the war powers resolution. sometimes these war power notifications are classified, sometimes they aren't. in this case is one is necessary i would anticipate that it's something we likely would be able to release publicly. so stay tuned. >> indications but not the request for congressional action, right? there's a 60-day point at which the president is supposed to go back and ask -- >> the only thing i can speak to right now is this administration's commitment to complying with the requiremented of the war powers act. [inaudible] can this president live with isil holding any stretch of territory, whether it's carved out of iraq or syria or anywhere else? >> that is a hypothetical that is difficult to evaluate but a there are lot of variations on
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that question. so, -- >> goes back to ed's question about the longer term strategy regarding isil. >> well, it does. let me -- let me at least take a shot in one vein and say this. it's difficult to imagine a scenario where you would have a stable iraq with a security situation that is under control, where isil is freely operating in the countryside. and that is why we have worked so closely with forces to counter this threat and it's wise -- it's only the iraqis that can front this problem. the united states stands ready and has a willingness to support them but ultimately this is a problem for iraq to solve. okay? >> typically on a any i would do a week ahead. as you all know the president is planning to depart the white house tomorrow morning to begin
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his vacation with his family in martha's vineyard. he is looking forward to spending the next week or so with his family up there. there is one item on the president's scheduled next week, fundraiser, that will take place on monday afternoon on martha's vineyard. the president is planning to return to washington next sunday. just for a day or two -- and return to martha's vineyard and then return next sunday back to the white house. >> i do not anticipate there will be briefings at the white house during the two days, not next week but the week after, when the president is here so the president is traveling with members of the national security staff and the president's able principle deputy press secretary will be on the trip with him so you will be informed


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