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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 15, 2015 7:00am-9:01am EDT

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nd other items including the patriot act. oklahoma congressman steve russell will discuss government waste, the tax bill and the defense bill. join the conversation by phone facebook, or twitter. ♪ host: jack shafer in "politico," "the contributions george stephanopoulos made to the clinton foundation erode journalistic ability george stephanopoulos has so carefully built." that is our topic on "washington journal," is there a conflict of interest in your view with the contributions george stephanopoulos has made? we have put our lines aside -- yes and no. explain your view as well. 202-748-8000 if you think
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there's a conflict of interest. 202-748-8001 if you say no there's not. you can make a comment via social media. @cspanwj is our twitter handle. send an e-mail to here's jack shafer's article in "politico." "the great stephanopoulos mess." george stephanopoulos who has excelled at politics and journalism, appears to have failed both professions with a single transgression. as my colleague reported to date abc news this week and "good morning america" host stephanopoulos has donated 75, 000 to the clinton foundation, something he had not disclosed to viewers or employers. stephanopoulos apologized for
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not disclosing the gifts. abc news called the oversight a mistake. a sentiment stephanopoulos amplified and an afternoon interview. "we stand behind him," the network offered. corporate speak for we will bind george and barbed wire the minute he becomes a distraction. the donation corrodes much of the journalistic credibility stephanopoulos has labored so carefully to build since joining abc news in december 1996. stephanopoulos critics were many at the time of his appointment predicting his crackup before he completed his first assignment. "the los angeles times'" howard rosenberg prophecied that stephanopoulos would not be able to shed his intense loyalty for
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clinton. that is a little bit from jack shafer's article this morning in "politico." 202 is the area code. we want to hear from you, whether you think the contributions stephanopoulos made to the clinton foundation are a conflict of interest. 202-748-8000 if you say yes. 202-748-8001 if you say no. this article goes on to talk about the fact that george stephanopoulos recently interviewed peter schweitzer, who has written the book called "clinton cash." here's a little bit of that interview. [video clip]
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>> i think it warrants investigation -- george: a criminal investigation? >> that is what governor mcconnell and menendez has faced. the evidence here is more widespread in terms of repeated action. george: the clinton campaign says you have not produced a shred of evidence. we've done a work at abc news and found no proof of any kind of direct action. an end independent government analysts said "no smoking gun no evidence that she changed a policy based on donations." is there a smoking gun? >> yes, in the pattern of behavior. host: back to "politico," sorely went stephanopoulos -- surely when stephanopoulos cross-examined peter schweitzer, the meta-aspect of the segment must have occurred to him.
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no stephanopoulos' went through the interview without any acknowledgment of his cash endorsement to the foundation. 202-748-8000 if you say yes, there's a conflict of interest. 202-748-8001 if you say no there is not. first call is from mike in massachusetts. you say no. why not? caller: i believe there is no conflict of interest. host: why? caller: basically, he likes the candidate over another candidate. if he decides to donate personal funds to that candidate, that is his personal choice. when you talk about favoritism, i do not see that as being favoritism. let's say i like a blue shirt my friend likes a green shirt. i buy the blue shirt when the green shirt is three dollars less. am i considered corrupt because
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i like the blue shirt? i don't think so. host: is that a comparable, a fair comparison? you are talking about shirts and we are talking about journalists interviewing politicians. caller: this journalist, that is his profession. i understand. you have to be unbiased in journalism, correct? he can still continue to do his job and have his personal opinion. it sounds to me like the media wants us to strip away his personal opinion. host: mike in massachusetts. next is john in ellicott city, maryland. hi. caller: good morning. it is absolutely a conflict. it was not the first time. if you look at stephanopoulos' performance with that romney in the interview, he brought up contraception. he has been a force for the democratic party all along. i'm praying this exposes him for what he is. host: back to the "politico"
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article. one reason stephanopoulos made such a graceful switch is because there is not much to making the switch as long as you can do the work, the journalism profession does not care if your last port of call was a federal penitentiary. other politicians who have crossed over to tv news included my company could be, joe scarborough, tim russert, john kasich --
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shelling out $75,000 to the clinton foundation stephanopoulos has betrayed that compact, shafer writes. "torched the journalism cred and forgotten the lessons he learned as a member of bill clinton's inner circle." bill connecticut, what is your opinion? caller: good morning. i have mixed feelings. george stephanopoulos, i am a democrat. i like the clintons and whatnot. we've always been kind of mad at him for the way he treated the clintons. he bent over backwards to go the other way. this, kind of on the surface looks fishy. he is not donating to campaigns. if you go on fox news, everyone there is donating to a republican candidate. they have them on their show. it is like campaign
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contributions, the amount times the guys are allowed to go on the show and talk their stuff. this is minor, i would say. host: bill in connecticut. this is lou in upper marlboro, maryland. here in the suburbs. caller: good morning. to me it is very obvious that all of these people who switch from politics to media are in bed with these people. c-span itself shows the white house correspondents' dinner every year. we do not know how many of those people are contributing to the back end of these political candidates and politicians. absolutely it corrupts. absolutely they are all tangled and mixed. that is why mainstream media has such a problem today. host: that's lou.
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tyson is in l.a. you're on "washington journal." caller: thank you very much. i have to agree with the last caller. i believe the members of c-span the anchors you in general, do an outstanding job of not being biased or displaying any conflict of interest. in george's case, it' ironics because i have always seen him as being a part of the clinton circle. he worked in the white house, it is just a fact. the fact of the matter is he is good on tv as well. the conflict of interest is occurring. it occurs with all journalists whether they show it or not. i think the viewers understand that. i think we are intelligent enough and can turn the channel to the desired network.
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mine is c-span. host: do you think george stephanopoulos has recused himself from any potential moderating of debates in 2016? do you think that is something he should have done? caller: now. i think he is open to all of that. i think moderating a debate, posting a television show is different than working in the white house for the president of the united states under the constitution. i mean, we are talking about two different things. i think a conflict of interest would not play a part in him working a debate. host: on facebook if you want to take part of the conversation. our conversation on the conflict of interest.
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"no, he made a contribution to a charity that does a lot of good around the world." "why do non-stories get so much press and the real news gets buried?" "what a tangled web we weave." "he's a democrat, only republicans and conservative reporters can be accused of having a conflict of interest." "all of them have a conflict of interest with the american people." ian, frederick, maryland. what's your view? caller: i do not think there is a conflict of interest. if there is, like the second caller said, let's have all the reporters show who they have ever donated to. especially the ones bringing up this topic. i think it is just another way the media is trying to jump all over hillary clinton. if just trying to get into
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their business and make her look bad right away for anything. there is something that i think is funny -- people say clinton signed nafta that is true. the thing that is not the whole story there is, who created nafta? reagan. he could not get it through a democratic congress. bush senior tried to get it through a democratic congress and could not. clinton gave them nafta when they had a republican conference so he could get what he wanted to pass. it was not like he wanted it. it was like he was giving it to the republicans. it is hypocrisy to say clinton signed nafta and ruined the country. look who was a really voting for it in congress. you have your answer. host: johnny in arkansas. you say yes, it is a conflict of interest. why? caller: i think you got the
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wrong state but it is a conflict of interest. we do not need, he's a washington insider. that is one of the reasons our country is so messed up. right now. it's a shame that they can do this to our country. we do not need any more politicians in washington. my goodness, we need a businessperson to get this country out of debt. we need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. host: carol tweets, "there's a difference between being and anger and a political commentator." helen in south dakota. hi. caller: hi, good morning. i don't think he has done anything wrong. he worked for the clintons.
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this is all about hillary, this was an anti-hillary campaign against her. the gop does not want her to be president and they will do and say everything they can. george has established himself as a credible anger and newsperson. he has made the transition from the political world into the media world. i do not see the conflict at all. host: back to jack shafer's article in "politico." will stephanopoulos survived in his role as abc news' chief anchor? he has agreed to give up his role as the moderator of the gop debate.
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richard is in san diego. what is your view? caller: my view is that he has committed absolutely no breach of ethics in interviewing peter schweitzer. you had peter schweitzer on for 45 minutes last friday. he was followed up saturday and sunday. i have not seen any follow-up on his defense, which has done great work. to argue the speculative nation of the investigation, i do not think it presents any conflict. this is a mean of getting hillary, as in earlier caller said. i do not see any conflict. host: casey in westminster,
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massachusetts. caller: good morning. i do think there is a conflict of interest. he wears his london to the clintons -- he wears his loyalty to the clintons on his sleeve. i am glad he "recused" himself from the future gop debate. i just want to send a word of caution to all republicans -- don't take the bait with the far left liberal media types. we saw what happened with candy crowley. if you turn on the news, you know you can just see the slant in the mainstream media. it slants totally left. host: a tweet, "why is this even a new story?" rick "the foundation is different from the campaign." daniel, here in washington, d.c.
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you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. i do not think it is a conflict. i think it is rather consistent within the framework of the elite media the agenda-setting media. it is probably true that most of the anchors are democratic supporters or even voters. people should remember, people that are republican and claim liberal bias, through the golden era of the republicans -- reagan, bush the first -- that was with the democratic-leaning reporters' donaldson, brokaw and rather. the country had a 12-year republican revolution. i do not think it impacts the
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national election. the question is is the media free to cover issues freely and independently? the corporate media is often not capable of doing that. i think this is a very small matter in terms of his governorship which, the quintin foundation, i believe -- the clinton foundation i believe is with bush the elder. the foundation is a bipartisan thing within that. host: more from "politico." "the story appears to have originated at the "washington for a beacon," which asked abc news for comment wednesday night. accused stephanopoulos' office and abc of shipping the scope to "politico." jack shafer writes that he sent
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an e-mail to abc news seeking clarification and he did not hear back. he asked beyers about the origin of his scoop, who responded "i'm not going to talk about matters related to sourcing." that really in california. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i believe there is a conflict of interest. it is two-faced of stephanopoulos. most of the voters and the regular folk cannot tell the difference between the republicans and the democrats. and i believe that stephanopoulos years ago he has made statements regarding the clinton administration that were shocking. and put him on a conflict. i think he is out for himself. he just wants to keep his name
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in the public area and make as much money as he can. he really does not care about right or wrong or what is good for this country. we need somebody that has a good sort of ethics or vision for the nation. that is about all i have to say. host: nathaniel in columbia south carolina. what is your view on george stephanopoulos' contributions to the clinton foundation? caller: first, good morning. in conflict of interest, it's wjhere a person has a duty to oppose and a duty to defend some activities. that is not an issue in terms of whether or not george stephanopoulos has a conflict of
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interest because he made a contribution to a foundation. he does not have any duty to oppose the foundation. it is a nonissue. host: front page, "new york times." stephanopoulos' gifts reinforced gop doubts. it was the elephant in the room in 2011 when after an interview that mitt romney's advisor saw as argumentative mr. stephanopoulos visited the campaign's headquarters to try to reassure them that he was impartial. that is the front page and a little bit from their article. mike in kingston, not killing -- kinston north carolina. what's your view? caller: hello.
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i've tried to get my point across on this forever. if you're -- just look at the broader spectrum. he's always been in the bag for clinton. almost 99% of the news media are former staff members. russert was typical meal. take a look. he set up the question. he was carrying water for the democrats when he asked about the abortion debate. i am so glad he has been found out. they should check on the others. kerry crowley -- candy crowley carried water for obama. they have no business -- i never could understand why reince priebus would let the liberals always dominate the debates. i was listening last night on hannity. they better monitor them and weed the liberals out.
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i don't say right or left, more moderate. somebody not totally in the bag for the democrats. all the moderators are always totally in the bag for democrats, no doubt. i hope he goes the way of williams. and they weed them all out. thank you. host: rob, kansas, what do you think? caller: good morning. i wish you would have put up a chart of what the clinton foundation does to inform the viewers of what a foundation is about. especially the people on the right, they do not see the clinton foundation as something that does good, it is political. as far as george stephanopoulos is concerned, they have always thought of him as someone who belongs to the left or whatever. this does not change the
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game, they just write him off. when you see conflict of interest, turn to fox news. all the people talking constantly against everything that obama does. hannity. went out and campaign for the tea party. there's the real conflict of interest. i wish you would put that information out so the viewers can see what the foundation does. thank you very much. host: got to "the new york times." criticism from both parties leaders and news media experts was especially pointed. mr. stephanopoulos had just last month conducted an aggressive interview with peter schweizer the author of a book about the clinton foundation. during the interview, mr. stephanopoulos seemed to dismiss mr. schweizer's reporting.
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in 2012, there were advisors in the romney campaign who lobby to exclude mr. stephanopoulos from the primary debates. conservatives say their fears were born out that year. mr. stephanopoulos was not asked to participate in one of the more formal debates after the
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convention. martha raddatz was the only journalist from abc news that was selected by the debates. michelle is in minneapolis. is there a conflict of interest? caller: of course it is. music away -- you took away my thunder. my two points, stephanopoulos was the one who asked mitt romney about the birth control and he planted that question. number two there were two callers that mentioned the benghazi situation during the debate. she's a cnn anchor. during the presidential debate, she brought up the fact that when mitt romney said obama never used the word terrorist, i believe crowley said yes he did. frankly, i will watch stephanopoulos once in a while.
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you can see how he has actually gotten flustered when a republican is talking to him with some common tens. he will try to drive a point about clinton or something. it is unfortunate but i do not understand how the democrats can just white watch everything that comes up. they are going to have to -- voting matters and the country is going to be in trouble if this continues with the media being in the tank for the democrats. host: the front page of the style section of "the washington post." stephanopoulos donated to clinton charity. goes on to say that pbs news hour coanchor judy woodruff said she made a one-time donation to the charity of $1000 in 2010. senator rand paul said thursday
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that stephanopoulos' donations shouldpreclude him from moderating debates during the 2016 presidential campaign. ritha, iowa. caller: good morning. i'm doing fine. i want to say it is not about stephanopoulos, it is about hillary. and the republicans and whoever is trying to put her down. i say run hillary. i'm going to be there helping you all the way. whenever you come to iowa, i will be there. that's all i have to say. i hope you have a nice day. host: you too. richard, you are on the "washington journal," we are talking about george stephanopoulos and his contributions to the clinton foundation. caller: good morning. i don't think you have to look
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very hard or listen to much to figure out where george stephanopoulos is coming from. he is definitely biased. what i wanted to say peter, a few, washington journal had -- he did studies on political leanings and entities and parts of our society. which way they were going. what i remember, if you would bring that back academia was somewhere around 80% left. hollywood was around 70% left. the media was 80% leaning towards the democratic party or the liberal side. it was obvious which way they were going. thank you. host: carroll, henderson,
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nevada. what is your view? caller: what was the question? host: we are talking about george stephanopoulos and his contribution -- caller: no, there is no conflict of interest there. republicans want to control things. they want to control the debate. they do not want the journalists to give them hard questions. they do not want nobody to ask them -- to make them tell the truth. the clinton foundation, what is wrong with the clinton foundation? it does a lot of good for people around the world. there is no conflict there. i feel like he should be able to be one of the moderators of the debate.
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-- in the so-called liberal commentator. host: thank you. we leave it there. here has -- here is how "usa today" plays it. -- wayne in richmond, virginia. caller: i have been watching you all my life, practically. i am 55 years old. i learned a lot from c-span. i want to tell you something. conflict of interest is when the police investigate themselves. that is a conflict of interest. stephanopoulos, fox news, they all contribute -- i think this is a ridiculous subject. we know how politicized our voting is. we also know that the supreme court said companies are human beings.
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everything is out of balance. i do not think it is a conflict of interest. reporters give money. foxnews, you know what they do and "the grudge report," and rush limbaugh. i always know what my enemies are doing. in virginia, i have the fight of my life. police investigating themselves. they are trying to do more harm here than i have ever seen. no one talks about that. i am a person with an eighth grade education. i am 55. i know what i am talking about. conflict of interest, what did he gain? helping democrats? don't publicans help each other? i listen to fox every day. fox news, something is wrong over there. if you can call the president of the united states the names they call him, and every president was my president. i was an eighth grader, black, i
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am supposed to know nothing. i have a daughter who is a corporate lawyer in maryland. another daughter will be an fbi agent. i haven't eighth-grade education, i am a black man, i am supposed to do nothing -- host: what kind of work do you do? caller: i was a construction but i am on disability. i lost my foot. we have a conflict of interest when the police investigate themselves. that is a conflict of interest -- host: weighing in richmond, virginia. in "the hill," trump gave at least 100 thousand dollars to the clinton foundation. next is dean in louisville, kentucky. what is your view on these donations? caller: the hillary foundation, that is how they get around laws. they have to have something to --
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the thing is, what i am worried about is, the parties, i'm a vietnam veteran, they are putting their party first and their country second. that is what the nazis and communists did. they put the party first. host: rush limbaugh, his report of the transcript when he was talking about this issue yesterday. "fake news man caught giving 50 large to the clinton crime family foundation" is the headline on this transcript. rush limbaugh said he is not sorry for anything. the real question is how many other reporters have donated to the clinton crime family foundation. that is what i want to know. i do not think that will stop stephanopoulos. every damn one of these. the clintons have let it be known if you want to interview
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them, you have to pay for it. except for nbc because they hired chelsea. that is rush limbaugh on george stephanopoulos. kimberly is in wisconsin. caller: thank you for taking my call. there is no conflict of interest. he is a human being. he has worked hard for democrats. he is open on being a democrat. this is a foundation. you will criticize every human being to help people? are you going to go after him if he donated to special olympics or to children's miracle network? really? people have a right to spend their money on a foundation they choose to. there is no conflict of interest. he is asking hard questions because he wants to and wants the people to know the truth
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unlike some people -- like rush limbaugh. host: bryan is in a, new york. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am glad you had this topic because i wanted to reach u.n. lanny davis was on the phone and this was the same type of question. it is a conflict of interest by definition. the woman who just called summed it up. yes, he is a human being and can make donations, but he cannot do it to political things. it is a difference between a conflict in fact and conflict in appearance. it gives the appearance of being a conflict definition, even if the clinton foundation did not take a penny for administrative expenses and 100% went to good and it cured the world and there was peace and everything, he cannot make that donation, just like any correspondent can. when you are writing, you had a
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loop and that looked like a bic someone could argue that you're promoting them. you have to maintain an appearance. that is why what these people do not understand is whether good or bad, you cannot do it. host: thank you. dennis miller tweeted this. stephanopoulos did not work this hard for the clintons when he worked for the clintons. i am not sure i understand what that means, but wanted to show that to you. "washington post," jeb bush, i would have gone into iraq. the story about jeb bush talking about iraq and some of the issues surrounding that. the new york times has a profile about the student who asked him about isis. a student standing up to debate isis with bush from reno, nevada -- nevada. she sat down to watch tv and eat a corn dog. ivy's phone rang.
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her sister said she was so proud of her for arguing with a politician. it was the first inkling that ms. ziedrich, a 19-year-old college student with a passion for debate and the finer parts of middle eastern policy had gone viral. her confrontation with jeb bush saying that your brother caused isis, highlighted and on flattering link between -- she described a suzy -- a dizzying 24 hours of social media frenzy. her up bringing in a conservative or public and family and the circumstances that prompted her to approach jeb bush, who was in reno for a town hall style meeting on wednesday. that is in the "new york times." jess is in brooklyn. what is your view on the
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contributions from george stephanopoulos? caller: where is the conflict? there it -- there is no conflict. there isn't -- and this is an organization that helps people around the world. these people in political and all these stuff the educated people, they are not building things. all they do is talk. the clintons are decent people. you know what they did in their honeymoon? in haiti, these people are not greedy. they are good. these people need to get a job these people in politico. there's too much talking by the educated people in america. you have to start building. -- every day is black and white. you guys are looking at the wrong things in america.
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america is a good country. i am a rand paul guy, but i may vote for hillary clinton. you keep beating up on these people. they are not greedy like some of these other people -- host: "washington times," benghazi chair, clinton holding out. the state department failed to comply about the highly anticipated testimony from secretary of state hillary clinton. the chair of the house select committee on benghazi said. repetitive tre -- representative trey gowdy says the committee needs to have complete records in order to be able to form substantive questions for mrs. clinton. he says i have no time -- no interest in prolonging the time before she appears before the committee, but i do have an interest in assuring the committee has access to all the facts.
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he wrote a letter that said he will schedule mrs. clinton's appearance no later than 30 days after's -- after receiving a record sufficient to construct would ask questions of secretary clinton. mr. gowdy had wanted mrs. clinton to testify twice. she said once. it looks like may 18 will push because of what is going on here. john is in mississippi. what is your view on george stephanopoulos's contribution? caller: i think it is not a conflict of interest. host: why not? why do you not think it is a conflict? caller: i think it is not a conflict. as the caller said, donald trump donated $1000. you think there is a conflict of interest with him?
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that -- everybody donates money to everybody. that means everybody has a conflict of interest. everyone has a political party they want. they are right. there is nobody -- one more thing. about what george stephanopoulos two. what about bill o'reilly? he did the same thing. no one is talking about it. host: john in all of ranch mississippi. this is "the hill." mcconnell file short-term nsa build. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell open the door to a short-term authorization of intelligence powers, increasing the state in the congressional battle over the patriot act. read -- the legislation would renew expressing portions of the patriot act for two months to
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give lawmakers extra time whether to rain and the controversial surveillance practices of the national security agency. we will have to members of congress coming on this program to take your calls. we will ask them about that issue. kenny in georgia. what do you think? caller: i have listened to this a lot of what is being discussed . currently, i think it is a major conflict of interest to have stephanopoulos moderate. the reason i think it is conflict is it is about the -- the come on in a presidential debate should be unbiased. they should not have contributed to any of the presidential foundations or candidate foundations or any other part of their presidential nomination. if you look back on it, one step
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further. i think of the media, both sides, liberal and conservatives , i think they have turned a deaf ear to the american people. i think they started looking too much at special interest groups. when i say that -- you look at things going on around america. the politicians get so caught up overseas and doing things overseas, but they are not paying attention to the american people. you look at so many of the american people -- all of these jobs have been shipped to china to south america, india, indonesia, around the world. i am like, if america wants to continue to be strong and be a
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world power, we need to get jobs back and this country. we need to get the people back -- host: all right, kenny in georgia. this is east orange, new jersey. caller: hello. a few callers ago, a gentleman from virginia mentioned citizens united. i wanted to bring it up again. when anybody can donate to anything -- is anybody saying anything about the koch brothers throwing money to anybody and anything who will do their bidding? so no, it is not a conflict of interest. if you will moderate a debate, george has been moderating and interviewing for years. -- host: michelle, let's turn this a little. what if george stephanopoulos had made a donation to the koch brothers foundation? caller: then i would not like
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george stephanopoulos anymore. host: would that be a conflict of interest? caller: as far as moderating the debate i cannot see him doing that, but if you did -- i would still want him to moderate. host: thank you. we want to point out the article in the new york magazine. george stephanopoulos gave to the clinton foundation. so what? if you want to continue this conversation, go to coming up, to members of congress. chief deafened the -- chief deputy whip of the democrats peter welch. a democrat from vermont. after that, freshman members steve russell, a republican of oklahoma.
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-- we have a two hour show because i 9:00 congress will meet for the defense authorization. every weekend, c-span 2 and c-span three we like to visit cities around the country. what we like to do is look at their history and their literary sites. this weekend we will feature fort lauderdale, florida. you will be able to watch pieces we have put together, these segments, on the history of fort lauderdale and the literary sites of or lauderdale on booktv and american history tv is a preview. this is the mayor of fort lauderdale. >> fort lauderdale is located on the southeast coast of florida. north of miami and south of west palm beach. it is perfectly situated in the
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gulf coast area. we are known for our miles of waterway. we have hundreds of miles of navigator both waterway. this town has grown around three industries. we are 100 something years old and are still dependent on those industries. number one is tourism. then the marine industry. the water comes into play. the beaches waterfronts, and rivers play into terrorism and an hour marine industry. real estate and development is our third. it is cyclical, but over the last two years, we have wrote that wave. the traffic issues that come from being such a successful community -- as we enjoy here, others and enjoy it here. one of the things we have come to realize is we have to look at transportation alternatives. we need to look at other operas
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-- other options to move people in and out of fort lauderdale. we are the most convenient city in florida. no city has an airport and seaport minutes from downtown in florida. a world-class reach across the causeway. a great river through downtown a few miles west of the beach. when people say how do you describe fort lauderdale, i say it is the most convenient city everywhere. everything is right here. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen, representative peter welch chief deputy whip for the house and a democrat from vermont. since the last time we saw you congressman welch, the house passed the budget, there is trade on the table, iran on the table. let's start with the budget. guest: you are talking about the defense budget -- host: i am talking about the
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overall budget the house passed. guest: nothing to brag about. that is a good deal. it has no numbers behind it. the actual appropriation bills are what is going to be required for the governmental agencies whether it is the agricultural or defense departments. those specific a provision bills need to be passed and we are not passing them. we are in gridlock. the budget is an ideological document. it sets out what the framework is. it is really a fictional budget, because in fact, it does not add up at all. it has a lot of magic asterix -- asterisks on it. it assumes if you cut taxes, it will generate money to pay for whatever is on the mind of the republican legislators. there is nothing to brag about on the budget. when we say we pass the budget that is a blueprint.
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the responsibility we have is to pass the appropriation bills and we have not come close. it is hard to take that document seriously. host: what you think of the budget process? guest: it cannot be eliminated -- it is broken. here is the heart of the problem. there is an ongoing, ideological battle about the role of government. you always have to be focused on trying to keep spending to as little as it can be to get the job done. what you have is a situation in congress where there are a lot of folks who are unwilling to make some judgments about should we spend more as a national -- at the national institutes of health? should we put more into basic scientific research? should we have a transportation bill that has long-term funding associated with it? or should we use every opportunity to argue that the
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best and only way to go is to cut? you cannot be a great and growing country if you do not make prudent investments. there is always room to debate what is the right priority and how much to spend and it has to fit into what we can afford. but to have a across-the-board cut in, which is what the approach has been, especially into the sequester, that gets us in lockdown. where you are seeing that you're seeing that with transportation. we have not passed a long-term transportation bill in six years. the last one past was four 10 months and was paid for by this gimmick called "tensions smoothing." we are to take up and other two-month extension of the transportation bill. how would you, as a transportation secretary in vermont, plan a bridge project with two month funding?
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you cannot do it. this is an indication of how broken the budget process is. another indication is we are locked in sequester. this goes back a few years when there was an effort to get a grand bargain which is the way we should be doing it. we cut some spending, raise some revenues, get in balance. instead, we have this camera of across-the-board cuts which will affect the domestic edges and the pentagon budget. that is so threatening to congress that we will enter into this grand bargain and we failed to do it. so you have mindless cuts that are continuing to hollow out. even the military. host: let's put up the numbers. if you would like to talk to peter welch about some of the congressional issues going on now. you can dial in. we will begin taking the calls in a minute. you talked about the ideological differences between the parties, but the "examiner" writes that
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their media spotlight rift in the democratic party is being exposed after years of gop infighting. you have the president and the elizabeth warren tete-a-tete. things like that. is there an ideological rift in the democratic party? guest: there is a big division on trade. the president is a supporter of the fast-track authority and the trans-pacific partnership. in the democrats, by significant majority, are skeptical if not outright opposed. there is definitely a debate in trade. that is not uncommon. presidents tend to favor the geopolitical advantages they see to the united states of trade. representatives look at trade from the perspective of how will this help folks in my district get a pay raise? that is where the divide is.
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there has been a lot of of billion -- upbeat feeling about president obama. he is really in on immigration which is important to us. he is for a much more sense of balance in our budget coyotes. he got us home from iraq and almost altogether in afghanistan. there is enthusiasm about the resident even as there is a division between most of the democrats and the president on trade. host: as a vermonter and member of a progressive caucus, have you endorsed your senior senator? guest: i have not but i am excited about his campaign. i have not made an endorsement. there is a lot of excitement in vermont. we know bernie and like him. he is one of the most popular politicians in vermont. he has been speaking consistently through his
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political career about something all americans know is an issue and that is inequality. the inability of every day hard-working people to make ends meet are you he will add a real voice to the campaign. but hillary also has a lot of support. she has an extraordinary record of accomplishment and enormous support and is obviously a forceful contender for the nomination. they will both have the challenges. hillary has to bear the burden of 15 or 16 or maybe 20 republicans whose whole mission in life is to tear her down. at some point they will have to talk about their own agenda. and it is a big country ernie will have to introduce himself to. host: i want to ask about the optics of john boehner's statement to reporters yesterday about the amtrak issue and the fact that the republican -- or a committee voted to cut amtrak
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funding right after the amtrak -- is this an optics issue or is there something underneath it? guest: there is a lot underneath it. here is where it gets on the optics. you had this horrible, tragic crash. the day after we cut amtrak funding. that there actually was equipment made available but could not be deployed that would automatically slow down speeding trains. there are things that could have been done for this tragedy to have been avoided. but we should not be getting into a suggestion that some action that some of vote would have on done this tragedy. but here is what is very true. we have not passed the transportation bill. our infrastructure is crumbling. that is true across the country. there are potholes on highways in red and lewd districts.
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it is astonishing congress will not do its job to pass a long-term transportation bill. it used to be something republicans and democrats did together. there is always some sectional fighting. amtrak is a service very important in the urban core. you have a lot of people that can be moved by train. louisiana, sake it may be dredging ports, where that is vital to their economy. we all have to come together and have a comprehensive transportation bill. that is on boehner. we have not passed the transportation bill because he has not put on the table a funding source we can vote on. that goes back to some of this ideology. where the republicans are adamant against putting money into anything. host: isn't there a deadline? guest: the end of this week. it is coming up. it is looming. they are talking about a short term authorization for two
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months without money behind it and using the fumes of money in the trust fund. host: when it comes to infrastructure this is "the wall street journal" leading editorial. "the political class refuses to use the word -- guest: well, that is pretty
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ridiculous. let me first acknowledge you do have to make priorities. in any area where we spend money, we should be vigilant to make sure it is not wasted. it is true in transportation the pentagon, the food stamp program. what the wall street journal is failing to acknowledge is we have not had a funding program. we have the gags -- gas tax at the same level it was in 1974. we are trying to do 21st century infrastructure on 20th century levels. the idea that if you get rid of all the bike paths, which apparently "wall street journal" writers do not like, how would that build the tunnel that they want? it is such an incidental component of the overall budget
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it would not make a difference. we would still have crumbling infrastructure. host: mike. monroe, georgia. you are first up, calling on the independent line. you are on with peter welch. caller: hi, peter. how are you all? good morning, congressman. guest: good morning. caller: i have an offbeat question that has been bothering me for a long time and i know it has to be bothering a lot of people in this country. i want to know why the management of the democrats, the democratic party, and the management of the republicans and the republican party -- when you have a vote of there, every one of you votes one way, and the other side votes the same on the other way. it is like you do not have an independent brain or something. i mean can't you all think for yourself? it seems like somebody would have to disagree with the party
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from time to time, and i know you all do from time to time. host: let's get a response mike. guest: you have a point here. one of the problems is there have been an escalation in partisanship in part of the rules -- in part because of the rules we have in congress, and because of the way the districts have been gerrymandered. most of the districts have been designed to be strongly democrat or republican and they become conservative or liberal. i think we should have nonpartisan commissions establishing the district lines. you would get more competitive elections and people who want to solve problems more than be partisan advocates. there are a lot of us here in congress on both sides of the aisle that are trying to find ways to work together. one of the things that is working -- i serve on the energy and commerce committee. fred upton is the republican
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chairman. he has done a great job of reaching out and trying to get both sides involved in the early stages of writing legislation. it is a model that i would like to see us use more in congress. host: linda. texas. good morning. caller: good morning, congressman. i am concerned about the short fund the shortfall in the social said -- disability -- i am concerned about the shortfall in the social disability fund. i am on social disability. the republicans passed similar will not let you transfer money. i would like to know what is happening with this? what are you all going to do with this? guest: you describe the situation exactly a situation
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where the majority, as you point out in the house, the republicans, have this new rule that does not allow in her fun -- interfund transfers. i support maintaining the disability of provisions for folks like you. you have to qualify legally to get the disability. as far as how that is going to change, you really have to address your question to mr. boehner. host: gary is in cleveland. republican. caller: hi, mr. welsh. you hear so much about the sequester bill. wasn't this bill signed by president obama? wasn't this more his idea? how did this bill really come to be? what i heard about it was the fact that it was obama or the democrats in favor of this bill and president obama signed it. guest: well, you're right.
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host: ok, gary, we got the point, i think. guest: the president did sign it. i think that was a big mistake on his part. it reflected a compromise. i voted against it. i thought it was a bad idea. the history of this -- there was a standoff on the budget negotiations and this was around the time that there was a theme taking up to have the united states shut the government down or even default on paying debt, and those are undesirable outcomes. the sequester idea was a way out of solving momentary problems, probably tied ourselves to a long-term disaster, in my view. so, the sequester was a compromise. senator mcconnell agreed to it. other senate leadership agreed to it and the president did sign it. i thought it was a bad idea. everyone acknowledges that.
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people who agree -- there was a committee that was supposed to, point and balance of cuts and revenues to achieve budgetary goals and that committee failed and now we have to live with the consequences and that is across the board sequester. host: bill. sebastian, florida. independent line. caller: how are you doing peter? it has been a long time. i think you underestimate bernie sanders. i think he is an honest man does not take any money from big business, opposes tpp and i would like to see some kind of alliance between grayson elizabeth warren, and bernie sanders, and get these banks out of here, and is right-wing republicans who seem to me need
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to be certified or have their mental health reviewed. guest: i will take that as a comment. i like what you say about bernie. host: what about alan grayson? guest: he has to consider whether he wants to run in the house or the u.s. senate. i do not know what he is going to do. host: that was bill. next is mark in atlanta georgia. democrat. caller: hello, congressman. actually, i believe the republican from texas asked my question, sort of, but i have known that -- well, it was my memory that the sequester was du e the fact that the government was going to shut down in 24 hours or less, something like that, so we had to do the sequester. you answered that question. another question, a follow-up question, i guess -- i watch the
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congressional hearings all the time. i see maybe, 10, 20 representatives there. you know, where is everybody? if they do not show up and listen to the debates, how is anyone ever supposed to hear a different point of view than their own? are --guest: good point. we often have to be in two or three places at the same time and we should take a look at the way scheduling works. if you are a member of a committee, you did not decide when the hearing is scheduled. for instance yesterday, there were a couple of times when i was on a couple of committees that were having hearings at the same time in different locations. so, that is a major reason why members, republicans and democrats, oftentimes are not -- if they are in one committee they are in another. that is the basic explanation.
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host: peter welch, you have been in congress going on 9, 10 years now. what is the importance of the floor debate? guest: the importance of floor debate is diminished because in fact, as this caller was saying, on the floor, during the debate, there are the immediate members involved in the actual bill and it is relatively rare that the whole body is on the floor and it is for big bills and big moments. generally you have leaders on both sides making speeches and you have more time for the debate. the actual debate is not one where i think it really is persuasive. it is not the old days of webster and calhoun. the more important days is -- work is really yet the committee and before the committee when you try to reach out to the minority side.
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i will not continue where if i do not care republican support. when we were in the majority there was a lot of effort to try to create content is going into committee. the floor debate is not the factor that it might have been in days gone by. host: ok, you are chief deputy whip. playing politics with defense -- the lead editorial in "the washington post," it says the democratic caucus is urging nancy pelosi to vote no on the upcoming authorization bill. your role, whether or not you agree with nancy pelosi, do you have to whip your colleagues and get them to vote no? guest: i will whip, and it is just trying to persuade, laying out what the issues are.
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on the defense appropriations bill, to say "playing politics" is just to disregard what the fundamentally important issues are that are at stake. the defense bill is subject to the sequester, but now there is a magic asterix being put in, the overseas account, and magically $38 billion is being added to the pentagon. it is essentially a slush fund the music to get around the sequester and break the agreement made in the sequester that we have a dollar for dollar equality between domestic and pentagon spending. on a lot of us want to get out of the sequester. we think it is important. we think it is important for domestic coyotes and for the hundred -- priorities and for the pentagon, but we cannot make this unilaterally. host: there will be several armaments today and then a final
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vote -- amendments today and then accountable. guest: that is right. host: tom, fairfax, virginia, you are on with peter welch democrat of vermont. caller: peter, i wrote a statement here -- america has a choice, funding the old, or putting america where it needs to be, shut down government -- federal, state, and local pensions -- and social security and medicare. only 18% of the people over 65 work. what you think about that? guest: i am not sure i understand the question. caller: we have a choice in america -- if you look at the u.s. budget, which you certainly know, how much of it goes to the people 65 and older and the pensions and everything else when the millennial's are unemployed, not even making enough money to get married and
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reproduce. we continue to use the old model of getting -- taking care of the old. the old are draining every dime from the millennial in the u.s. budget. guest: we are in it together. obviously, if families have worked all their lives and get to social security retirement age i want to make sure they have a solid social security. that is important. you're making a good point. we have to invest in young people. young people graduating from college have a mountain of debt. the average that is about $30,000 and it is going up. it is tough for them to get started with a job. a lot of them start with unpaid internships, even though they have debt. if they have to have this debt, it will be tough for them to borrow the money to buy the car they need, or make a down payment on a condominium. wages have been flat for the past 20 years. it is an issue that a lot of the sea as related to this -- that a
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lot of us is related to this trade agreement. there has to be a lot more focus on opportunity for young people to make their way into the workforce. host: a year or two back, the governor of vermont made a state of the state address and dedicated the entire thing to the issue of drug abuse in vermont. what is the current situation? guest: that is right. governor peter shumlin talked about the heroine epidemic -- the heroin epidemic and the prescription drug epidemic, and what he said other people need to be true in their own district. there has been an explosion and dependency on prescription drugs. a lot of people who depend -- develop that habit by it honestly. they get a prescription and develop a dependency, and it really says to compromise their lives. what has happened with the governor's focus on that is it
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has mobilized the medical community -- providers, law enforcement folks -- and create a dialogue for parents that are struggling with their kids, or even themselves. a lot of support for local treatment centers. away to try -- a way to try to deal with this is much as possible as a medical issue as opposed to a criminal issue. i think we've made progress in vermont and what the governor did in focusing attention all out other states to talk about this in a better, medical-oriented way. host: last call for peter welch comes from richard in chico, caleb, on our independent that california, on our independent line -- richard in chico, california, on our independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. host: we are listening. you have to turn down your
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television. caller: thank you. throughout your conversation i do not hear one iota in regards to the debt problem. you talk about spending money on bike paths, this project and that project, the we are dead broke. not a little broke. not slightly broke. $8 trillion in debt and growing and not one word comes out of your mouth on how we handle the debt so what is your take on that? guest: a couple of things -- debt is a real issue. let me acknowledge that is a real, important concern. number two, you have to go about the debt in a balanced way. i have been an advocate of having the so-called grand bargain or agreement where we do look at our spending and try to save wherever we can, but you also have to look at the revenue side. the tax system is a wreck. it is not fair. working families are paying a lot trying to get ahead. you have this inequality now
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that is so rapid. one piece of art, a painting was sold in new york city to one person for $171 million. that tells you that things are not working in the way were the economy works for everybody. in my view, to deal with the debt, you do everything you can to control spending. number two, you do everything you can to have a fair and sustainable revenue situation. number three, you make investments because investments pay for themselves. we should be spending more on basic scientific research. we should be spending more on rebuilding our infrastructure. the process of building infrastructure means people are going to work and we will have that benefit of that investment for generations to come. host: how are you going to vote on final passage of the defense authorization bill today? caller: no.
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host: you're going to vote no. caller: i am going to vote no. this is a dishonest deal in the sense that there is a sequester agreement putting $38 billion in the account, and it is not going to be controlled. the caller that talked about spending, there has to be balancing the budget to have control. he is a good point. what the majority can do because it not like the restrictions of one part of the agreement they made is just create a separate/fund to achieve their goals -- separate/fund to achieve their goals? that will lead to bad things happening. host: peter welch, democrat from vermont. we appreciate you coming over and taking calls from viewers. next, we will introduce you to a freshman republican, steve russell, a republican from oklahoma. when the things we will talk to him about his the fact that he was in iraq, a member of the
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military and present when saddam hussein was captured. we will chat with him here in just a minute on "the washington journal." ♪ >> here are a few of the book festivals we will be covering this spring. this weekend we will visit maryland for the gaithersburg festival with martin frost and tom davis as well as david excellent. we will close l may at book expo america in new york city. the first week in june, where live in chicago for the printers
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row lit fest gooding lawrence wright and your phone calls -- including lawrence wright and your phone calls. ♪ >> ♪ and there's nothing left to do ♪ >> sunday night on " q&a," kane asked not -- canadian action not -- chris: the only time i felt a shiver of fear go up my back was
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on the dark side of the from of looking at the eastern side of australia in the darkness and watching a shooting star come in between me and the earth, and at first i had the standard reaction of wishing upon a star but then i had the sobering realization that that was in fact a huge, dumb rock from the universe going nose, 20 miles a second, that missed -- who knows, 20 miles a second, that missed us. if it had hit us we would have been dead in an instant. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. >> "washington journal" continues. host: steve russell is a freshman member of congress, a republican from oklahoma. congressman russell, why did you run for congress? guest: i did not want to look back at my life and see that i could still serve the country
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and did not take a chance. i did not see myself getting here to congress passed some goal in my future, -- to congress as some gold in my future, but i saw a path. james lankford, who i replaced in the oklahoma fifth district decided to run for a seat and i could see a path to get there so i did it. i thought when or lose i will give it a shot. host: what were you doing prior to running for congress? guest: i own a small rifle manufacturing business. i have been on the professional speaking circuit for eight years with premier speakers bureau out of tennessee. i talk a lot about the saddam capture, leadership under pressure, decision making, my book, and other things. i had gotten around an awful lot. i did serve in the state --
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state senate for four years from 2008 to 2012, but left after a term. i did not feel it was something i would do for a long time. host: did you leave voluntarily? guest: i did. i left voluntarily to pursue business interests and i was getting demand to speak around the country and i thought it was time to pursue that rather than run for reelection. host: how long have you run two rivers arms and how long were you in the military? guest: i started the company in 2010. it is called two rivers because of the land of two rivers, tigris euphrates, and i was disappointed that will -- that i could not bring home a souvenir from the war and i decided we would make souvenirs for aficionados and we caught on. we're been in business for five years. host: how long were you in the military? guest: i served 21 years and i
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am a veteran of cozumel, kuwait, have you understand, and -- kosovo kuwait, afghanistan, and iraq. host: you put out a book called "we got him!" where were you? guest: i was inchoate, -- i was inchoate. i will -- i was in kuwait. i was not near the hole, but i did commit infantry during the hunt and the capture of saddam. it was a six-month manhunt. that is what a lot of people are not aware of. i was able to get really indications on intelligence and other things and we were heavily involved because it was saddam's hometown, and ultimately pursuing these hometown connections that saddam had, we
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were able to get on this trail and over a six-month time period , he was captured. host: did you ever meet him? guest: i did not meet him personally. when he was captured, we did not want to make a zoo out of him, so he was secured in a little bird helicopter and phone to -- flown to to print, then to baghdad under great sick -- secrecy. i did great -- i did get to meet nefarious characters around him and we were able to pursue a lot of folks on the deck of cards. you may recall a lot of those. it was an interesting time. i never imagined i would be part of anything historic. host: i am sure you have been following the back-and-forth with jeff bush this week -- jeb bush this week with regard to the war and whether or not it was worthwhile. he finally came out and said if
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we knew then what we know now, i would not have been in support of it. guest: i think that is a little unfair. here is why -- saddam defied the world for decades. he violated multiple united nations agreements. he violated the peace agreements that we shed after the first gulf war with all of the allied nations. his nuclear program was certainly on track. we destroyed much of that infrastructure in 1991. a lot of people do not realize that. the other thing is he defied many of the agreements and policies, so much so that the united states made it our policy to have the iraqi liberation act. it was signed by president clinton in 1998. it was good policy when president clinton signed it, and it was, i think, the right path to take to remove him from the region.
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now, we can look at all of the associated problems in the middle east as if none of them ever existed before saddam arrived or departed. that is a volatile region. to somehow think the trains ran on time and maybe life would be better if saddam had been left in place is a slight on history and a slight to the servicemen and women who gave so much to remove a tyrant. he attacked every neighboring country except for syria. he murdered 20,000 of his own political opponents. he even murdered his own son-in-law. he guest entire vision -- villages. he murdered 60,000 current and shia arabs -- kurd and shia arabs. this was not a nice man. we cannot look at this to a lens of a political viewpoint and erase a lot of history. i just do not buy. host: two final questions, and then will go to calls and we
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will put the numbers up. you are on the armed services committee. 60-2 was the vote to move the defense authorization bill out of the committee and now it is on the floor of the house. did you support it, would he support it, is it enough is it too much -- where would you rejigger the funds? guest: i think we have to have a strong defense. it is important that we do. the cost if we do not -- i have been on the receiving end when people make bad foreign policy war when we see tyrants that try to read aloud cage. we have to be -- or when we see tyrants that try to rattle our cage. we have to be prepared. imagine, 60 votes, two dissents, one from each party, that is great consensus. the reason is we worked a lot through those amounts.
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it will be interesting dynamic when we go to the floor because now it becomes political. you had this trade fight with the democratic party, with the president, and now there are feelings hurt, feathers ruffled and now they will try to show support and a strong coalition. i think it will be a political game if they lock up against it because in committee they were all for it. is it enough money? the president's budget asks for $580 billion to $600 billion but that is impossible due to sequester. we try to meet the president's and demand with overseas contingency dollars. we agreed with the president that a new to be around that figure but the only way to do that was with contingency funds, and now the president is saying why are you heading contingency funds and playing some game? it is not. it is about defense. host: i want to show you some video, get your response. speaker weiner on -- speaker
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weiner on amtrak at -- speaker john boehner on amtrak yesterday. [video clip] >> some democrats said amtrak was not funded enough. speaker weiner: -- speaker john boehner: are you really going to asked that? it is a stupid question. people say it is all about money. the house passed a bill to reauthorize and track and a lot of these programs. it is hard for me to imagine that people take the bait on some of the nonsense that gets spewed around here. host: congressman russell? guest: well, i think you have to look at the facts. there has not been money cut that would have cost -- caused this incident. the tracks were examined the day prior, i believe, or shortly before. there was no fault found with the track.
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the engineer, for whatever reason -- we do not know the investigation is ongoing -- he was going 107 miles an hour. that is too fast for a 55 mile an hour curve. that is what caused the wreck. i think it is unfair to the families of those that were lost, unfair to all of us, to make this some political gain that it was somehow some dispute over some amendment that did or did not get past. the american people are smarter than that. let's reach out to the families and let's try to make sure this does not happen again for our own safety. host: what do you think about the optics of the speaker telling a reporter that her question was stupid, and the fact that the house voted on amtrak funding the day after this happened? host: i think --guest: i think a lot of the tone of the response often comes from the framing of the question, and this question
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appeared to be framed only in one direction. so, it should not have been a surprise to her that if it was framed in one direction it might come slinging back in another direction, and i think that was part of the dynamic. host: you have been here a few months. are you a supporter of speaker john boehner? guest: i voted for him. i caught some flack on both sides of that vote but look, the speaker of the house, i have tremendous respect for. he bears enormous responsibility. it is an interesting dynamic that he will be blamed for the matter what it is by the democrats, the republicans whatever. i am on the steering committee. the speaker chairs that committee. he has all of the leaders in the house on the republican conference and i get to see a side of the speaker that people do not see. i have to tell you -- i know something a little bit about leadership, having pushed soldiers my entire adult life.
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the speaker is an incredible leader. he may not always make popular decisions, but it is a very tough job. host: what has surprised you most about being in congress these first few months? guest: the most surprising thing is a lot of our division is not created by us. it is created by these outside groups both left and right that thrive on the lucrative business of creating division. that has been the most eye-opening and surprising. people that claim to love liberty, love the environment or whatever -- you can go left or right of the spectrum -- all of the things that we're supposed to care about yet they will create division to change or make improvements on these measures simply to raise money. that has been the most surprising thing to me. host: have you made any friends of the democratic side or the republican side? guest: sure, a great many.
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seth from boston massachusetts we have become great friends. he served in the marine corps. a veteran of the army. we both served in iraq. there is overlapping ground. tammy duckworth ted lieu, joyce beatty, matt cartwright, ted deutch -- look, my dad is a democrat. mom is a republican. i love them both. we're not going to agree on every thing. i do not agree with my wife on everything, nor does she me, but we have to find the common ground and work on that, and where there are sharp differences, let's make the case. state it clearly. at the american people decide. host: steve russell is our guest. randall's in texas. independent line. caller: hi, how are you guys?
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guest: good morning. caller: what i want to address, mr. russell, is we have an issue in america that is never discussed and it needs to be discussed. let's get it out there. guest: ok. caller: the issue is all politicians. the issue is not social security. bernie sanders from vermont, who is happening to run for president, says let's raise the cap. there is a reason for that. we hear about china all the time because that concerns wall street. you actually owe since 1969 since richard nixon put it in the general fund. that is how much you always. -- you always. let's get you guys meals on wheels five days a week at your desk. host: randall, you got a lot on
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the table. i think we have your theme. congressman russell? guest: i think if there is any notion that on either side of file that we're going to let social security fail, i think that is a false notion. this is something that is part of our american fabric. it is something that we do care about on both sides of the aisle. it is also something the american workers have worked for all of their lives. we do have to make sure that it is not rated. i certainly do not supported being plundered and siphoned off to other programs. i will fight to not do that. to think that we're going let social security crash i do not know anyone of my colleagues i feel that is the direction we should go. host: brian in massachusetts on a republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i would like to ask the representative, he made a statement when he first came on that he was not allowed to take
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souvenirs back from iraq his service in iraq. -- service in iraq. guest: firearms. caller: i have relatives that were able to take firearms back from world war ii. it seemed unfair to me, and maybe he could talk more about that, and how he runs his company while he is a representative. guest: sure. i appreciate the question. when i was a kid growing up, most of the adults in the neighborhood were world war ii veterans and they had things like you described that they brought back from the pacific, germany, or whatever. there are provisions under the war trophies provisions of u.s. law, but field commanders, oftentimes, i think it not want to touch it politically, so you have some cases where firearms are allowed to come back. we have seen muzzle loaders or bolt action rifles -- into that nature.
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it -- things of that nature. it is possible that a lot of people do not want to authorize it. in terms of ethics, things that we do, i can still own my company but no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations. there are some provisions that do limit you. as far as my book i can still collect royalties on it, but being elected to congress, you do make sacrifices, even with your own business. host: do you think -- have you found that the ethics rules regarding members of congress are weak loopholed strong, etc.? guest: it appears to me much of it was probably in over reaction to one or two nefarious actors. i think in some cases you do want your attention here in washington, and it is certainly a full-time job.
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at the same time, i think in the way we look at how people learn or make money, it is assumed that we are all somehow, lying cheats that are going to steal from america, and that is simply not the case. host: peter. rockford illinois. you are on with congressman steve russell. caller: how are you doing? guest: good morning. caller: i lost my train of thought. since 1946, i think the united states has bombed 30 countries and tried to overthrow 50 governments. in the 1950's and the 1960's i am just -- host: peter, what is your question? before we go through 30 years of
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history, what is your question? caller: i just have to pass on this. host: all right. thank you for trying. let's go from peter to paul in columbia, south carolina, independent line. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i called about veterans, but the congressman mentioned the leadership of the republican party. i usually vote republican, although i consider myself an independent. boehner and mitchell -- guest: mitch mcconnell. caller: how the republican people can vote those people as their leaders, i cannot -- host: why do you feel that way, paul? caller: mitchell is for this
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trade deal that is not going to help the american people. host: let's talk specifically with the congressman about the trade issue. guest: i find myself very concerned about the tpa, the promotional authority that would be given to the president to allow him to fast-track negotiations. my concerns are related to defense, and to not just a security posture, particularly in the pacific you hear a lot of discussions, but they are also related to having a system of alliances that we need to secure our commerce. i am not against trade. i am not against a great economy. i am very weary, and as a student of history, if you look at the marshall plan, we formed a system of alliances, we formed security, and then we formed economy. it seems to me right now with this fast-track we are going in a reverse direction.
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when you alter the balance of an economy in any region, nations will have friction points, and without good security relationships and alliance relationships, it can get out of whack and people start wars over it. i want to look longer than just six months or the next election. i am looking two three decades out and the impacts that would be there, and that causes great concern, and that is why i am standing outside even my colleagues on that issue. host: steve russell, you began debate on the defense authorization bill yesterday. a couple of amendments were voted on. here is 1 -- how did you vote on this issue and why? guest: first we have to recognize there are many noncitizens that have served. i served with a great number of hispanics that were not u.s. citizens, the people from great written, italy germany, many
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other countries. -- great britain, italy, germany, many other countries. it is not uncommon to have people from other countries and most will earn their citizenship. i know a veteran there was on a work visa, was drafted and serve in vietnam. he is still a british citizen to this day that he was in our regiment and served in vietnam. there is a difference between being legally here and having those that are not legal. i think are some national security concerns. there are some vetting concerns. these are issues that i do not support. i do support legal -- people that are here on work permits or permanent residents. i think there is a place for that. to accept those that are illegally here, i think we have to abide by the rule of law because of the old that we take if they are not citizens that are pledged allegiance to the country.
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-- that have pledged allegiance to the country. host: you voted to strip the provision -- guest: it is not the place for the fight. we should move that to the judiciary, i think we can have those accommodations and debates, but the national defense authorization is the place for that. host: the next call is robert. flat rock, north carolina. you are on what congressman steve russell. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: hi. i was listening to the democratic representative earlier, and i listened to you and it seems like in congress there are adults, and there are children. the adults plan for the future and the children want everything right now. guest: sure. caller: i think that is the philosophy. the democrats seem to be the children and most of the republicans seem to be the adults. i just wanted to comment on that. thank you. guest: i appreciate the spirit
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of that. i think it is an interesting frame up. i think it is accurate to say we often times can get very shortsighted in the things that we are striving after. i think that -- although i understand the way the optics are portrayed in the way the media plays it out it would appear one party might have some leverage or advantage over another, but i would tell you that both parties care about seniors. both parties care about education. both parties care about defense. both parties care about our internal issues. it is just that many times it will have different philosophies about what is best and how it congress that with the limited resources that we possess, and therein lies the debate and therein lies the friction. i appreciate the comment. host: from "the washington examiner" "obama avoids drawing another redline over chemical
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weapons" in syria. guest: if we were to see a spillover effort from the assad regime attacking neighboring countries, that would alter the course of a lot of things. also concern about the poorest hardest -- you do not hear -- port of tarnished -- tardis -- it is a russian, one water port in the mediterranean. it is very important. it is not isolated from other events going on in crimea, ukraine, or even therein. -- iran. russia has to protect the port. if radicals were to attack the port i russia would defend it. that would change dynamics. there are a number of situation -- scenarios that could alter the state of affairs.
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right now i do believe the leadership of king abdullah in jordan along with many other nations has been a godsend because he has really impacted and curtailed a lot of the isis effort. in iraq itself, we see success on the ground. militias are posturing. iraq you slowly rejecting that. that is positive. we see u.s. airstrikes and special operation forces on the ground working with tribal leaders and others and the legitimate forces of iraq making turnarounds. tikkrit, where i was was a mess. we are seeing gains. we have to watch it very carefully. host: mike, washington, oklahoma. republican line.
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is washington, oklahoma, in your district? guest: i do not believe it is. it is nice to hear from a fellow . caller: you appear to be a straightforward and honest than, and my hope is you can continue that way because i know it is not easy in washington. god bless you for sure. the question i have is what is your personal a fan about president obama has handled foreign relations -- opinion about how president obama has handled foreign relations particularly his inability to recognize that religion is driving radical islam? guest: we must admit that we are fighting a radical ideology, and that is not to say that islam as a whole is the issue, or other things are the issues, for we are fighting an ideology -- but we are fighting and ideology. to the same troublemakers that unite under any black flag and
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now they are uniting under the black flag of isis. we have seen them before with al qaeda. we have seen with others. what is important to note is we can win a fight against ideology. we did against communism. in 1917 we did not take communism very serious. by 1930 we thought it might be a problem. in 1938, president truman laid the groundwork that said we are going to contain it. this is a threat to national security and the world. 40 years later, a different party president helped to defeat that ideology. so, it is a long-haul flight. we must develop a cost bring -- comprehensive, long-range strategy. i do not see the president doing that and i would like to see us go that route. host: do you stay in touch at all was senator coburn? guest: i do. in fact, we were inspired by dr. coburn -- he was always the waste watchdog and what his we
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look, we have continued -- waste book, we have continued in that spirit with the waste watch the we are releasing quarterly so that we can have impact on there is no shortage of creepy crawlies. there is a lot of waste there. host: when is your first waste watch coming out? guest: we released the first installment in april and it had a lot of attention. we uncovered some pretty egregious things. we've already been able to impact some of that with the defense authorization. we also have sent letters and have asked for audits. we are getting assurances back. we're continuing to take. host: in waste watch, wasn't there some money being spent on elephants and national security? guest: i think some of the most interesting that we have seen -- we brought over a bunch of people from the middle east to
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do films, learned how to be filmmakers, and they went back in may -- made anti-u.s. films with our training. there was a range in afghanistan. it melted the facilities because they were mud walls. you can go on our website and get the full waste watch report. you just shake your head. there was a $100 million missing the no one can account for through the state department and afghanistan. we are asking where it is. i am on the oversight and government reform committee as well. we do have the ability to reach down and get to the bottom of these issues. host: james is in daytona beach florida, on our democrat line. caller: good morning. gentlemen, i wanted to say first off, i heard 40 years ago that we have a military to protect
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the american people, and i am all for it. 20 years later, i heard we have a military to enforce our political views around the world . i said i am not so sure about that. two or three years ago i heard a republican senator and a republican congressman say we had a military so congress -- commerce can take place. now i am wondering this iraq war, it was fought over oil. treasury secretary o'neill was in the oval office with george bush rumsfeld, and cheney, and during the second week of george bush's first term they were running around wondering how we can get of war started with iraq . this is the second george bush. i'm wondering when you are going to stop lying about why we fought the war with iraq. it was over oil.
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that is my question, john. guest: ok, your perception of whether or not i present you facts and you believe them, you can characterize me as a liar. i cannot change her characterization. i can assure you as a soldier that has defended my country these are not academic issues with me. they are experiential issues sir. they are not things that i opine about. they come from broad experience. i have served around the world as a member of the military. i think i understand what our military is about and what it is used for. the political pieces become a little more difficult. i agree with you on that because they become very polarizing. the constitution is clear. let's go back to that is the baseline. it says we must provide the common defense. what does that mean? well, we take an oath to protect the constitution against all in his, foreign and domestic.
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so within -- all enemies, foreign and domestic. so within the framework it really embodies it. we provide for the common defense -- protect our livelihood pursuit of happiness, commerce -- it is embodied in all of those things. we are also required to protect against enemies, foreign and domestic. so, it is very broad why we have the armed services. how they are employed is really up to the political process and administrations in charge, and ultimately the american people as we vote whether or not to employ them. host: jay florida, independent line. caller: first, welcome back from iraq. it is an art to be state with you. -- to be speaking -- it is an honor to be speaking with you. my question is simple -- when will all elected officials be term limited to 10, 12 years
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all to terms of the considering senators serve six-year terms because i believe our lobbyists our corporate lobbyists, be it the koch brothers, tend to influence votes with large continent -- campaign contributions. second of all, my other question would be when will there be some bipartisan budget control put into place so that our country's debt will not hit $25 billion of debt or more, then get to the point where the millennial's will have to pay? i am one of the baby boomers. i would like to retire, and for every dollar i have ever paid into social security, i would like to see back with a little bit of interest. host: all right, a lot of the table. guest: i appreciate the
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question. it is one of the debates. in my state of oklahoma we have a constitutional amendment to does the budget and i think a lot of people would agree with what you are saying. on the term limits, we have had them in full cycle in oklahoma and they did a study to determine the average length of time members serve a fourth term lengths and after. it was something like seven years, six months, compared to seven years, two months. it was very little difference to the amount -- the amount of time that was averaged or service. what did change -- it is thing you mentioned lobbyists. lobbyists then became the institutional knowledge. they became the ones that understood how the process worked. you have the u.s. term limits organizations out there. some advocate a six-year term limit for the u.s. house. i find that problematic because that would mean the speaker of
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the house, the third most powerful man in the free world would only have four years experience at best under such a construct. before we look at that you would have to look at the power the bureaucracies would hold and the power even the lobbyists would hold with that. in regard to a constitutional amendment to balance our budget, i cannot agree with you more. i favor that. i favor it under any construct whether it is initiated by congress or people under other provisions. i do believe we should pay our bills. host: finally congressman bill king who wears a t-shirt that says liberal socialist tweets in -- you come to d.c., i knew, and to fix all problems, and then you find a only care about abortion and same-sex marriage. guest: well, that is a viewpoint that i am sure you believe in
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and you characterize that. i think social issues are always on the table. why question mark because the american people care about them. the american people put in office those that reflect their viewpoints. you could castigate one party or the other for holding viewpoints but understand this they represent millions of americans who hold those social issue viewpoints. in terms of the ability of republicans or democrats to get along, i think we do see eye to eye on many issues. host: steve russell, republican of oklahoma, a freshman congressman, member of the armed services committee, among other committees, and the author of this book, "we got him!" make you for being on "washington journal. guest: i enjoyed it. host: come back. the house will be back working on the defense authorization bill. just a quick reminder, booktv is
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on c-span2, every weekend. 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors, and this week and we are live at the gate book festival -- gaithersburg festival. you will hear from david axelrod, tom davis, mark frost. that is all live this week and on booktv and every weekend on c-span3, american history tv, 48 hours of history, and here comes the house. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. we give you thanks, o god, for giving us another day. we ask your blessing upon this assembly and upon all to whom the authority of government is given. the issues of these days and in coming months


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