tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 22, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
sincerely. they did not need to know about the manhattan project and that was a weapon of war and they don't even know about some of the other stuff. the american public deserves to know how their money is being spent and that is a job of the committees in congress. it starts there. host: that is dwight in kentucky. that will wrap up today's "washington journal." i went to remind you is memorial day weekend, i don't need to remind you of that, but on big three-day weekends like this, on c-span2 every weekend is "but to the." this is a day when you get three days of "book tv." authors for three full days, go to book tv.org to see the schedule on the right-hand side. you can click on that and look at some of the folks who will be on. it is also a three day weekend on c-span3 which is "american history" tv every weekend.
their website, www.c-span.org/a emeicanhistory. you can get the schedule. to mark for being with us and enjoy your weekend. ♪ -- thank you for being with us and enjoy your weekend. ♪ >> vice president joe biden is speaking this week at the u.s. naval academy commencement exercises. he will also be handing out diplomas to the newly commissioned men and women at the academy in annapolis maryland. we had hoped to bring you like coverage of the remarks by the vice president in the commissioning but we are having problems with our live signal from annapolis. we are recording the event and
we will show it to you later in our program schedule. this tweet from "new york times" julie davis this morning, a line around the corner here at the dos israel that rivals any high holidays crowd to hear obama speak this a.m. referring to remarks by the president at the adas israel conversation at washington, d.c. we will have that live at 11:00 a.m. eastern time today on c-span. >> here are some of our featured tokens for this holiday weekend on the c-span networks. on seas then saturday and sunday starting at noon, commencement speeches by politicians, white house officials, and business leaders. they offer advice and encouragement to the class of 2015. speakers include south carolina senator tim scott at south carolina state. u.s. ambassador duke saudi arabia adjusted in westfall at oklahoma state university. an hulu founding ceo jason kyler at the university of north carolina chapel hill.
and monday morning at 11:00 live coverage of the memorial day ceremony from arlington national cemetery. at 9:00 p.m. eastern, interviews with four freshmen members of congress. new york lee zeldin, hawaii's mark takano, illinois my boss. and you jerseys bonnie watson coleman. on c-span2 but to become a saturday night at 10:00 eastern rosabeth moss kanter on america's transportation infrastructure and her ideas for potential improvements in america's rail air, and road transport. sunday evening at 7:00, cokie roberts recounts washington, d.c. during the civil war through the lives of some of the women who lived and worked there. monday at 8:00 on prime time, books on first ladies, including michelle obama and eleanor roosevelt. on american history tv on c-span3, saturday night at 8:00 eastern, on lectures in history, university of minnesota professor erika lee on asian immigration to angel island,
california from 18:30 219:30. how their arrival compared to that of the europeans to ellis island in new york. sunday afternoon at 4:00 on "real america," the production of the true glory which chronicles the events from d-day to the surrender of not to germany. monday evening at 6:30 on "american artifacts," the grant review parade of 1860 five including reenactors for trained u.s. colored troops who were not allowed to participate in the original possession hundred 50 years ago. find a complete schedule at www.c-span.org. >> next, how homeland security chair michael maccomb once at allowing the patriot act to expire could make the u.s. vulnerable to terrorist threats. he said that without congressional action, it expires and we go dark. the senate has been unable to pass the u.s. freedom act which was approved in the house last week. the presented of maccomb spoke
to reporters yesterday at a breakfast hosted by the christian science monitor. [indiscernible] >> ok, folks. we will have people joining us and we will get going on schedule. dated: i am dave from the christian science monitor. our guest today is chairman of the house of home security committee. this is his first visit with one of our little meetings here and we appreciate his coming very much. our guest is a dallas native who aren't's degree from san antonio, a bachelors degree at trinity university and a law degree at st. mary's university to work as a federal prosecutor from 1990 to 1999 and moved to austin to become a deputy to then texas attorney general john cornyn. later, our guest joins the was attorney's office and was chief of the terrorism and national security division for west texas. in 2004, he was elected to the
house and became chairman of the house, and security committee in 2013. he and his wife linda are the parents of five children. thus ends the biographical portion of the program and onto the riveting mechanical details. first, thanks to our underwriter . as always, we are on the record, please, no live blogging or tweeting. or short note filing of any kind while breakfast is underway to give us time to listen to what our guest says. there is no embargo when the session ends. to help you curve that lms selfie urge, we will e-mail several pictures of the session to all reporters here as soon as the breakfast and's. as regular attendees know, if you would like to ask a question please do the traditional thing and send me a subtle nonthreatening signal and i will happily call on as many reporters as he can in the time we have this morning. the chairman will start off by offering our guest the opportunity to make opening comments and we will move to questions around the table. with that, thank you for doing this. we appreciate it.
>> thank you. thank you to you for hosting this. i just got back from the middle east and europe and we all came back with a strange and mysterious cough. i hope it's not a disease or contagious. i think we will be ok. david mentioned i have five teenagers at home. at first all the guys in new york know i am from texas and they asked about my kids and they said, teenagers, we have had a couple of those. the difference between a teenager and a terrorist? you can negotiate with the terrorists. [laughter]
i come to washington for peace and quiet at times. it is a good training experience at home and in washington. i will not talk long with a dialogue but i think the threat environment has never been -- since 9/11, the fighters we investigated going over to the middle east and into europe for these fighters but also over the internet you write about the imminent threat to military installations and much of that is internet driven. by individuals in syria and elsewhere through twitter accounts and activate followers in the united states. that threat along with refugees is a serious concern of ours, protecting the homeland.
of course, finally, the complete disaster in iraq with the prime minister of iraq. the last week before ramadi felt and ideas of bringing shia militia and to fight the war against isis really goes against the grain over there and inflames sunni tribes. it inflames and i don't see how you can critically unify the country with that kind of military strategy. i think we are failing here, losing ground. i think ramadi is a good example of that and i often tell people back home and say, why is it so important? it's because it is a safe haven and a base of operation from which they can breed terrorism and get extra operations against the united states, so that is so
important. not to mention the fact that so many of my constituents have lost their sons and daughters and they are in conflict, gold star mothers want it to count for something. it's a precipitous along with alec's critical malfeasance created isis but to the resurgence which is now modern-day isis. with that, i throw that out as an opening sort of szabo for a good discussion. dave: sounds good. i will do one or two and we'll go to martin, brian sarah, todd gillman, called, and aaron kelly to start. i want to ask you how consequential you think it will be to homeland security if the nsa bulk data collection expires for brief time during the congressional recess? you said yesterday with ap,
saying it is a dangerous thing to do, why is it dangerous? are there workarounds in the short term? >> that is our hope that with that congressional action it expires and that creates a danger to the american people. i am a little disappointed that i cannot work this out. we passed the bill and now the house is threatened between security and privacy. when i was in -- when i was applying for the fbi, it cannot be done. the metadata is more accessible, yes. i think it can be done the way we used to do it and could still be affected. there is political reality and we could pass that collection metadata.
i think the federal approach would've been what we passed down to the house. dave: one other for me on ramadi. obviously, you talked earlier about the disaster or complete disaster in iraq. from homeland security purposes, why does it matter if ramadi falls? r white is it matter why it ramadi -- that ramadi fell? michael: [indiscernible] not only governance that the way they communicate is very sophisticated over the internet. it is more of a stronghold in has, the more failsafe which is
what iraq is becoming. we left iraq and i think we w on. not a secure nation but the president's decision not to negotiate an agreement by couple of maliki's this impression -- disenfranchisement that created isis and that added threat to the homeland because people say it was at that prior to 9/11 and then we got hit with the world trade centers. it is not just syria and iraq but northern africa, libya, it is all throughout northern africa. it's going into asia as well. everywhere we see power vacuums and this is why counterterrorism officials will tell you the threat has been seen for quite some time because of the fact that they have more say payments to operate out of. when they have that, they also have opportunities to conduct external operations not unlike
the course on group in syria that we know is intent on developing nonmetallic iud explosives to get on airplanes to blow up airplanes in the united states. don't think for a minute they are not still trying to do that. we take out some with an airstrike, that is good. abu's demise was positive development. we need more of that. the problem is that iraqi national army is not the army we had four years ago. not the one we trained, they are a brand-new army and they have demonstrated that they are completely incapable of defending iraq. the drop the weapons in ramadi and now, sadly for us to appreciate art, they have taken over another city with the greatest antiquities in iraq that they will destroy and sell on the open market for many. i hate -- for money.
i hate to see it because -- the day that we got threatened, i thought it would be helpful to expose their networks but from a terrorism standpoint, there are networks inside syria and outside that we can exploit. dave: you feel better, we had adam schiff earlier in the week and he was saying kudos to our special forces for concerns about whether it was worth the risk, especially the risk -- that is not a view you share, i take it? michael: i respect him a lot and he is a good friend, but i think just like the takedown of bin laden, that was worthwhile. i think we can take down the isis leader it is critically
important. you are taking down a lot of expertise. the hostages, wheeler may have been a part of this, the hostage situation. i argued that we can take on even more and those at the top of the chain and take down their expertise and that is worthwhile. i think we need more of that to defeat isis otherwise we may as well just wash our hands and walk away from the situation. we do so at our own peril to the united states. dave: bill go to martin from "the hill." martin: earlier this year at a hearing, you express concern about the state department effort saying it was possibly creating a federally funded jihadi pipeline into the u.s.
i was wondering if you could give an update of sorts, have you talk more to the administration? have you concerns about the effort the satisfied or are you no longer worried or more concerned? michael: i came back from the trip from the middle east and our european counterparts are absorbing thousands of syrian refugees on a monthly basis going into whether it is bitterly, up north to germany to amsterdam. europe is absorbing these refugees on a daily basis. assimilation, i don't know how you can assimilate that number. they usually go to the diaspora communities. the muslim community is very isolated in europe from others and integrated -- and not integrated into european society. it is a threat to europe and they know that. i will get into the foreign travel in europe and how they don't screen their own citizens
which is a huge probability with europeans -- which is a huge vulnerability with europeans. it is not inbound. they did not screen one year ago because they did not want assad going through turkey. they changed the course of action, the question that you are posing is did syrian refugees enter the united states? if it is just mothers and children, i have seen these camps, so i have seen what it looks like. there are a lot of mothers and kids, but there are a lot of males that conduct terrorist operations and that concerns me. the problem i have is that assistant director of the fbi says that we have no way -- we don't have databases on these
so we can't properly get them past databases to know who they are, to know where they came from, to know what that they pose because we don't have the data to cross-reference them. the fbi as homeland security and i think what you are seeing with the administration is the split between the state department which is john kerry and homeland security and fbi on the other hand saying, this is a really bad idea from a security standpoint. we even had to iraqis we brought , with all the intelligence we have in iraq, we had two guys who were making bombs in iraq to kill our guys who were at that to the united states in the cayman. since we don't have any intelligent footprint capability in syria we have no way to know who these people are. i think bringing them in is a serious mistake. we brought in 700 of them
already and 1000 more by the end of the year. many communities in the united states -- i'm not trying to be an alarmist about this but i don't want to bring in potential terrorist in a federal program. dave: you want to do a follow-up and they go to brian? michael: unless i have assurance about these people, when i questioned carry on foreign affairs, he said there is a process but they want to ask fbi what the super buddy process is and they say there isn't any. there is none. because we don't have the databases. and so we have the biometrics -- until we have the by midgets and databases to assure as we can
bring them in, i don't think that is what the american people want. i think europe as a real problem on their hands right now. dave: ryan from "the l.a. times." brian: i would go back to the expired provisions of the patriot act. two are going to expire on june 1 and have not gotten much attention. the bulk data provisions in the lone wolf provision and also the roaming wiretaps provision. also, records that the fbi and other intelligence agents collect, those are all set to expire. can you talk about the impact of those are allowed to expire? michael: those are significant provisions. i think i may be one of the few members that actually prosecuted in process and the patriot act. what good is a possibility. the wiretap is essential because
as racine with these twitter accounts where they will -- because as we are seeing with these twitter accounts where they would just drop them and get anyone. the roaming tire -- the roaming wiretaps helps target the individual. i asked a question if we can apply that to the imminent that we are seeing coming out of syria over twitter accounts in terms of if they drop the twitter account, can we still keep our counter intelligence on the individual? part of the problem is when they open up the new twitter account is identifying them. i would argue that the roaming wiretaps did of -- would apply to that but there is a gap in time where you have to identify if it is the same person. if i can expand, i think one of the greatest concerns is what is called going dark. this is the phenomenon. what they do, they are very smart. what they will do is they will
communicate followers and followings. the followers of the people that they are in constant communication with and try to radicalize, trying to convert etc. they will say, let's go to dl let's go to the message box. when they go to the message box, unless we have coverage, weight lose that communication. even if we do have coverage then they can go on other platforms that are platforms that what we called going dark. if they go outside the box into other platforms, even if they are under our coverage, we cannot get the constant of that communication anymore and it is one of the most serious concerns within the ct community. they had the ability now to communicate what we call secure
in dark space and monitor those communications. that may take legislation to fix and there is some controversy to it all, but a lot would argue that just the other day, the threat is one of the biggest concerns. we can't track communications of these individuals who are radicalizing individuals in the united states. if you travel across the ocean through airports and all that, but if you're someone who is entering the united states through the internet, that is because terrorism going viral. it is way hard to stop it. dave: kate from buzz feed. k: -- kate: you mentioned republican leaders in the house come up with a deal before this recess. the house is leaving today.
dave: a little lot of for the hearing impaired. kate: sorry, is there any possibility of short-term extension could be approved as you see or has leadership said no to that and what the consequences of a short-term? michael: we did our business and i thought we did it right. we warrant that this could happen and it has happened now. the filibuster on this. the worst that congress could do is play politics with it -- with it to expire. it is the most dangerous thing we can do. it would be highly irresponsible. what are the alternatives? we've got that window between the time we come back and -- june 1 so it very well may be
to at least extend it. i didn't know what affect the filibusters will have either. usually we pass what we pass. that's the thing, i don't know what mcconnell is doing. the white house will detail that. -- won't detail that. for me, the best thing you do is pass what the house did and what they said to the white house. yeah, it's not perfect. but it will protect americans. i hate it when we say we are going to be vulnerable. dave: we will go to todd gillman. todd: i have a couple questions about the attack in garland which was a few crises ago now the muslim cartoon event attack. we have had conflicting reports
on whether there was a breakdown of the committee cushion between the fbi and muslim parties, can you say whether there was a break in or whether the threat -- i am also wondering, these guys were isis inspired, how big a threat do you consider that they were with -- where they trained #where the activated? with a local types? mike: -- michael: they were isis inspired over the internet. there is twitter, facebook page. they had the hashtag attack taxes. he was, for a variety of reasons, he got back on the radar of the fbi. just residence in phoenix -- he
left his residence in phoenix. this is what law enforcement is for. they told them about the art cartoon contest about one week in advance and said to stay on the lookout. clearly, there has -- this kind of activity can provoke a response. it was noticed that these individuals were missing and then that information was sent to the task force in dallas about him specifically. that information -- i have been critical of the fbi and the sharing of information. i will say in this case that that information, the fbi did its job and they properly share that information with the government police. i understand what you're referencing to.
if there was any breakdown in further communication, it would be on the part of the local. todd: the police said they were never informed. michael: but the member or the police officer on the joint task force was advised of mr. simpson. todd: are there any lessons to be learned from that event or is it one of those things that just got away? a lot rep. mccaul: there always are. when they came in they were automatically taken down by the swat team. they were waiting for them. if there is any breakdown i can analyze from that, it is that typically the argument is that the fbi did not share information with state and locals. in this case, the fbi did. it would be an issue of the locals sharing it with their counterparts.
the model, when it works well, it works very well. sometimes you have breakdowns. i wouldn't say it broke down in this case. but it was on the part of the locals not sharing it. the garland police officer should have taken it to his chief. >> is there any reason to think that these guys were activated to do this? or was it just self-inspired? rep. mccaul: it is a matter of semantics. what they are trying to do is activate through a call to arms over the internet. they identified an art contest of mohammed, and they had followers on twitter, and they were actively communicating. this is a new age of terrorism now, where they will send out a directive and hope that out of those thousand people on their twitter account that they will get a couple.
who will say, you know what? i will sign up for that. rep. mccaul: we are halfway through. we will go to damien, then paul, aaron, shawn, and daniel. damien: thanks so much. can you tell us about your visit to iraq? you met with the prime minister. was he acknowledging how bad the situation there was? obviously they are very defensive about us potentially giving assistance to the kurds and to the sunni tribes. was he asking for more time? what was his response? rep. mccaul: he is a shia. he asked the administration for more military assistance, was not given that. he had an issue with that. and our state department, for that matter, they were very much against the idea of bypassing baghdad and funding arming the
peshmerga and sunni tribes, because they felt that goes around baghdad and therefore undermines the central government and the unity of government and partitions the three different states. that is what the state department wanted. that was the prime minister's line. the speaker of the parliament, who is as sunni, had a different version of the story. they would like to see more direct funding. they were there with the kurds and the peshmerga, the mayor of mosul, the kurdistan president they want guns. the weapons we're sending go through baghdad, do not get to the peshmerga or the kurds or the sunni tribes.
rather, they are devoted to the shia militias. from their perspective, they see the prime minister as a proxy of the shia militias and the shia militias as a proxy of iran. when you have the shia militias going to sunni communities, that completely disenfranchises the sunni tribes, which is completely contrary to what we did, bringing these tribes over to fight al qaeda in iraq. right now, the strategy is not working this way. bringing in the shia militias is in direct contradiction of that, pushing them away. two days ago, the president of the sons of awakening said that they will either fight
or join their sunni brethren in isis. i see that as a disaster. that is a failure of the administration, of iraq's leadership. when i asked jeh johnson the question, he said that they do not have a choice. >> is the prime minister in denial about that? rep. mccaul: his army now is incapable of defeating isis, so he feels out of necessity he has to bring in the shia militias, but they are not helping train and fortify the peshmerga as much as they should. there is a greater issue here. what is the ground source eventually? our guys have to be embedded with the iraqi national army,
but the arab nations have a responsibility to their backyard. the arab nations whenever go into syria and iraq to fight isis as long as they know they are helping assad in the process. as long as assad is sitting there. look at yemen. saudi has acat operating freely in yemen. that's ok. they are al qaeda, but they are sunni. houthis come in, saudi wakes up. we have a problem. same dynamic. we need to find a safe exile for mr. assad that can bring a more stable form of government into syria. i don't think we will get the arab league of nations to put in a ground force -- which they could. turkey, egypt, saudi could put in a ground force but they will never commit to that as long as they think that in any way they are helping assad by taking isis out. rep. mccaul: -- mr. cook:
paul? >> the recent growing concern about terrorist threats legislation in the house you are talking about backing up the system an expensive process. do you think the grade is threatened in any way -- grid is threatened in any way? rep. mccaul: it is always vulnerable. anything tied to the internet is vulnerable. the only way to be completely safe is to disconnect yourself from the internet. cyber is a threat we have to stay in front of to protect our critical infrastructure. i think our legislation that ipassed -- i passed out of my committee, again this is another issue with the senate. the overwhelming bipartisan support. the president would sign it into law.
what it does, we make homeland the lead civilian portal to the private secottor to share malicious code information. also across private to private sector alliance. only through that can you patch your networks and have the keys to lock the door so they cannot get in. that's not happening right now. particularly in the private sector that's not happening. companies i talked to want this, that the only way they can make it happen is to provide liability protection. they are not incentivized to share in the safe harbor we came up with if they do not know they will be protected from lawsuits for sharing that information. so we provide that in the bill. it had broad support from the
tech industry, the private sector the chamber of commerce and from privacy groups. we think it is the right place for this information-sharing. dhs cannot prosecute you and cannot spy on you. it is the outreach to state and local and private sector critical infrastructure. so we think we are going a long way to protect the power grid. financial institutions, russia and china are hitting us everyday. the sony attach. -- attack. it happens on a monthly basis. cyber warfare is a serious concern of mine, that they could shut things down with the power grid if we cannot stay off the grid. note even cyber jihadists are
trying this. they don't have the capability but they sure have the intent to do it. mr. cook: aaron kelly from usa today. erin: what is happening with your border security bill? is that something you want to see come to the four soon? -- floor soon? rep. mccaul: i still want to go to the floor. the criticisms that it did not have interior enforcement, my committee was comprised of a political compromise 10 years ago, right after 9/11. the judiciary committee has jurisdiction over that. so they were criticisms, it does not do interior enforcement this and that. judiciary has marked up and passed out their judiciary enforcement bills, so we think now that without peace done and
the bill out of the way, because that was creating problems as well you know, the bogeyman so to speak is not in the room anymore. i think it is time. i know the number one issue when i go home, when are you going to get that border secure? they look at me to get it done. i think we owe it to the american people to get it done. i have talked to the speaker about it. i'm pushing leadership trying to galvanize members, a movement to at least start the process where we have interior enforcement, let's put the border security bill and interior enforcement bills and get those past out of the house. >> some of you may know, my home
paper is the "fort worth star-telegram." i have texas questions. i wanted to follow up a little on border security, to see what senator sessions, who was one of your problems last time, if he is in agreement. i know he is in the other chamber. since this is why my one shot, i want to ask about the five texans running for president and if you are supporting any of them. rep. mccaul: there are five of them now? [laughter] >> native texans. carly fiorina native texan. rep. mccaul: i will take the first question first. >> we don't count sant-- santorum works near dfw. he runs the christian movie
studio or something. >> culberson -- orep. mccaul: i am feeling left out. [laughter] well ok. first, border security? yeah i said in good faith, i did not have jurisdiction, it was not what was in my bill, it was what was not in my bill. what was not in was in judiciary's jurisdiction. i hope he understands that now that with goodlatte's bill out there, i would think that would resolve the issues we had with
the bill. there is a growing mood. people want this done. members on the floor tell me, when are you going to get that bill on the floor? it's not easy. you think it would be a very easy thing to do but people r aise all sorts of issues. the first step, this and that. my concern my bill is not an immigration bill. it is a security bill first and foremost, to protect americans from the threats is see. when i was a counterterrorism prosecutor, i had the texas-mexico border in my jurisdiction and i saw potential threats. terrorism is always on the radar. you have a lot of bad elements coming in. drug cartels ms-13, a lot of
bad actors. people do not just come to work any more. they are a little more on the violent side, from what the ranchers tell me. a presidential run it is way too early. we don't know who is going to be in the race. i will tell you what i would like to see. someone who can unite our party, not divided. a lot of us are tired of the division going on. i like more of a reagan type person to bring the party together, not be a polarizing, divisive figure. i would also like someone who has some experience, you know? i'm not going to go through the litany of names, but somebody who has some experience. on the main issue today, our national security and foreign policy. that is going to be the issue
front and center with hillary clinton, who will ytout her credentials as a foreign-policy expert. if we have a guy nominated with little or no experience in foreign policy and national security, how can he take her on with any credibility? anna: talking about the more aggressive strategy and iraq, perhaps more troops, even forward operating bases new the syrian border so we can send troops into syria -- you have become a student of this war given your expertise on the committee. i would love for you to paint a picture of that. we have been at this for 10 years. should it be another 10 years? should it be as long as it takes to get this done, because it is such a priority? how much blood and treasure is worth expending? i would also like to ask you about the jade helm exercise --
it was last month -- rep. mccaul: taking over texas right? anna: the governor was worried about those troops. i wondered if you worried. [laughter] rep. mccaul: it's a great question. i think pweople are war fatigued. there is an isolationist movement in my party, prior to isis cutting heads off. the american journalists american people, i am not sure the american people would be paying attention. i think that is our demise. it is hard to sit back and watch an evil force like that grow, that aer ire intent on killing jews christians, the west, americans, cutting heads off.
the potential for external plots cannot be left to fester on its own without us being involved. i'm not an isolationist. every time we have done that as a nation, we get in trouble. in world war ii, churchill was right. we had a policy of the pisa. -- appeasal. weakness invites aggression, whether it is putin as well in ukraine. i think it is a mess, and i wish the problem would go away. would you have done anything differently had you known then what you know today -- i think the right question is, would you have pulled out precipitously and not negotiated a standing forces agreement if you knew then what you know today? remember we had standing forces agreements in germany, japan,
korea after conflicts there and the idea that we didn't have that in iraq was i think irresponsible. we should not have done that. had we had a residual force in iraq i don't think we would be talking about this. we sowould not be doing with the threat of isis today. we beat al qaeda in iraq. and in the constituent's mind whose sons died over there, we left a stable country, and it became destabilized due to the lack of engagement. by withdrawing completely, not engaging maliki. ms. clinton went to baghdad one time as secretary of state for three hours. that, i think created isis.
>> do you think we should stay there another 10 years? is isis such a threat that we should stay there as long as it takes? rep. mccaul: they are not some monolithic giant that we can't beat. sometimes, -- although they took over ramadi, pretty scary, and mosul, because the iraqi national army is so incapable. if we came up with a strategy that was aggressive and serious about destroying and feeding them, not containing them -- defeating them not containing them, we could do it in short order. we did it with al qaeda in iraq. isis is very similar with what we saw with al qaeda in iraq. the problem is, destabilization of that region, not only the middle east that northern africa as well, ppeople like saudi
there is a lot of uncertainty. why are you negotiating with iran? they think that is my decision. it is not. there is no certainty in foreign-policy. with that, there is a lot of confusion. a lot of destabilization going on. when you have failed states that destabilize, they become power vacuums like pre-9/11 afghanistan. you have got a problem. i agree. that will be the great national debate in the 2016 election. how engaged do we want to be? most americans see isis for what it is. one of those evil forms of barbarism we see in our lifetime. >> are you worried about that at all?
did you talk to the pentagon? rep. mccaul: i'm a big supporter of our united states military. [laughter] mr. cook: what does that mean? rep. mccaul: our united states military is not a threat. isis is our threat. >> senator cornyn, your former colleague, proposed a deal where the u.s.a. freedom would be the base of it, but it would transition more slowly so that phone companies, the data would go back to the phone companies more slowly. not over six months, but maybe two years. there would be safeguards built into ensure that is working that law enforcement can still get that data quickly. perhaps some requirement that the phone companies hold on to the data for a certain periuood of
time. it sounded like a reasonable offer, given privacy concerns. is that, can a deal he reached around that fairly quickly so if there is any expiration it is short-lived? rep. mccaul: that worked for -- i worked for john for four years as his deputy attorney general. he is always rational. that proposal is very sound. a concern is that you are not giving enough time to make the transition. i think that is the kind of creative proposal they can hopefully ring the house and senate together. i don't know what will happen with this filibuster, but that is an idea i would support in the house. >> i want to ask you, since we
have done jade helm, jeb bush and all the attention about whether we should have gone into iraq or not again. you talk about supporting a candidate who would show foreign-policy leadership. was the former governor's responses a sign of political acumen on foreign-policy? would you what would your answer have been to your question -- if we know now what we did not know at the time, would you have authorized another invasion of iraq? rep. mccaul: you think he would be repaired for the question. i would have answered it differently. my goal is to make sure we stabilize and then responsively get out and leave
a residual force. mistakes have been made throughout the conflict. condi rice admitted the post-invasion was not handled well. bremmer mad ee a lot of mistakes. all these bathists joined zarkawi. that created another wave of terrorist,s, some of which we're still doing today. >> how would you have answered the question? rep. mccaul: the question is, you cannot change the past. you can try to learn from the past but you cannot change what happened. the question is, how do you deal with iraq in the present? i would have had a forces agreement. that was a miuststake. we had that intelligence.
dealing with it today, how are you going to stabilize that region again? can we allow isis to flourish and govern and conduct external operations against the united states? people will say what were you doing in the congress to stop that? i allowed a safe haven to flourish over there. there is a seris of things we could be doing tactically. we are not being aggressive. whether it is air strikes with zero collateral damage, special operations with the iraq army training and arming the peshmerga, trying to get the arab league involved, trying to get assad exiled. we know it is in the backyard.
he saudis do not like isis, but they are sunni. we know that qatar and kuwait are funding their operations. a lot of money comes out of there. that is another issue. mr. cook: we have about three minutes left. >> there was a letter from major companies, including apple google cisco protesting against recent demands about finding backdoors or other w ays to access encrypted data. the fbi director said it makes him depressed. where do you stand on this issue, and where do you think congress will ultimately go? rep. mccaul: it is called "dark space." >> we leave the last few minutes of this recorded program to take you live to the adas israel conversation.
live coverage. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [applause] president obama: thank you. thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. well, good morning everybody. a slightly early shabbat shalom. [laughter] i want to thank the rabbi for
the very kind introduction, and to all the members of the congregation thank you so much for such an extraordinary and warm welcome. i want to thank a couple outstanding members of congress who are here. senators michael bennet -- where did michael bennet go? there is. -- there he is. [applause] and representative sandy levin who is here. [applause] i want to thank our special envoy to combat anti-semitism ira foreman, for his important work. there he is. [applause] most of all, i want to thank the entire congregation of adas is rael for having me here today. earlier this week, i was interviewed by one of your members, jeff goldberg.
[applause] jeff reminded me that he once called me the first jewish president. [laughter] now, since some people still seem to be wondering about my faith -- [laughter] i should make clear that this was an honorary title, but i was flattered. as an honorary member of the tribe, not to mention somebody who has hosted seven white house seders -- [applause] and been advised by two jewish chiefs of staff, i can also say i am getting a little bit of a hang of the lingo.b but i will not use any of the yiddishisms that rahm emanuel
taught me, because i want to be invited back. [laughter] let's just say that he had some creative new synonyms for "shalom." [laughter] now, i wanted to come here to celebrate jewish-american heritage month. becasuse this congregation, like so many around the country helps us to tell the american story. in 871876, when president grant helps dedicate adas israel, he became the first sitting president in american history to attend a synagogue service. at the time, it was an extraordinarily symbolic gesture. not just for america but for the world. i think about the landscape of jewish history. tomorrow night the holiday marks the moment that moses
received the torah at mount sinai. the first link in a chain of tradition that stretches back thousands of years and a foundation stone for our civilization. yet for most of those years jews were persecuted, not embraced, by those in power. many of your ancestors came here fleeing that persecution. the united states could have been merely another destination in that ongoing diaspora. but those who came here found that america was more than just a country. america was an idea. america stood for something. as george washington wrote to the jews of newport, rhode island "the united states gives to bigotry no sanction, to
persecution no assistance." it's important for us to of knowledge that too often in our history we fell short of those lofty ideals. the legal subjugation of african-americans through slavery and jim crow. the treatment of native americans. far too often american jews faced the scourge of anti-semitism here at home. but our founding documents gave us a north star. our bill of rights, system of government, gave us the capacity for change. and where other nations actively and legally might persecute and discriminate against those of different faiths this nation was called upon to see all of us as equals
before the yes of-- eyes of the lord. when other countries treated their own citizens as wretched refuse we lifted up our lamp, s aw the golden door, and welcomed them in. our country is immeasurably stronger because we did. [applause] from einstein to brandeis, jonas salk to betty freiden american jews have made concretions to this country that have -- contributions to this country that have shaped it in every aspect. as a community american jews
have helped make our union more perfect. the story of exodus inspired oppressed people around the world in their own struggles for civil rights. from the founding members of the naacp to a freedom summer in mississippi, from women's rights to gay rights to workers rights. jews took the heart of the biblical edict that we must not oppress a stranger, having been strangers once ourselves. earlier this eayear, when we marked the 50th anniversary of the march of selma we remembered the iconic images of rabbi abraham joshua marching with dr. king, praying with his feet. the summit must have seemed -- to some, it must have seemed
strange that a rabbi from warsaw would take such great pains to stand with a minister from mississippi. no religion is an island. he wrote "we must choose between interface and inner nihilism," between a shared hope that says together we can share a brighter future, or share cynicism that says our world is simply beyond repair. the heritage we celebrate this month is a testament otto the power of hope. me standing here before you, all of you in this incredible congregation is a testament to the power of hope. [applause]
it's a rebuke to cynicism. it's a rebuke to nihilism. it inspires us to have faith that our future, like our past, will be shaped by values that we share. at home, those values compel us to work to keep alive the american dream of opportunity for all. it means we carea about issues that affect all children, not just our own. we are prepared to invest in early childhood education. that we are concerned about making college affordable. that we want to create communities where if you are willing to work hard, you can get ahead. the way so many who fled and arrived on these shores were
able to get ahead. around the world, those values compel us to redouble our efforts to protect our planet and to protect the human rights of all who share this planet. it is particularly important to remember now, given the turmoil taking place in so many corners of the globe in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods, those values cause us to affirm that are enduring friendship with the people of israel and our unbreakable bonds with the state of israel, that those bonds of friendship cannot be broken. [applause]
those values compel us to say that our commitment to israel's security and my commitment to israel's security is and always will be unshakable. [applause] andi i said this before. -- and i said this before. it would be a moral failing on the part of the american people, a moral failing on my part, if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly. not just the half -- on behalf of israel's right to exist, but israel's right to thrive and prosper. because it would ignore the history that brought the state of israel about. it would ignore the struggle
that has taken place through millenia to try to affirm the kind of values that say everybody has a place, everybody has rights. everybody is a child of god. [applause] as many of you know, i visited the houses hit by rocket fire. i have been to yad vashem and made that solemn vow, never forget, never again. when someone threatens israel's citizens or it's very right to exist, israelis necessarily take that seriously. and so do i. today, the military and intelligence cooperation between our countries is stronger than
ever. our support of the ironed rocket system -- iron dome rockeyt system has saved israeli lives. and i can say that no u.s. president, no administration has done more to assure that israel can protect itself than this one. [applause] as part of that commitment, there's something else that the united states and israel agree on. iran must not under any circumstances be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. [applause] there is a debate about how to achieve that. a healthy debate. i am not going to use my remaining time to go too deep into policy.
although, for those of you who are interested -- [laughter] we have a lot of material out there. but i do want everybody to remember a few key things. the deal that we already reached with iran has already halted or will roll back parts of iran's nuclear program. now we are seeking a competence of solution. i will not accept a bad deal. as i pointed out in my most recent article with jeff goldberg, this deal will have my name on it, so nobody hjas a bigger personal stake in making sure it delivers on its promise. [applause] i want a good deal. i am interested in a deal that blocks every single one of iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon.
every single path. a deal that imposes unprecedented inspections on all aspects of the nuclear program so they cannot cheat. if they try to cheat, we will immediately nullify it and sanctions snapped back on. a deal that endures beyond a decade that addresses the challenge for the long-term. in other words, a deal that makes the world and the region, including israel, more secure. that's how i define a good deal. i cannot stand here and agree that -- guarantee that a deal will be reached. we are working hard, but nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. when it comes to preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon, all options are and will remain on the table. moreover, even if we do get a good deal, there remains the broader issue of iran's support for terrorism regional
destabilization, and ugly threats against israel. that's why our strategic partnership with israel will remain, no matter what happens in the days and years ahead. that's why the people of israel must always know, america has its back and america will always have its back. [applause] [laughter] [applause] now, that does not mean that they will not be, or should not be periodic disagreements between our two governments. there will be disagreements on tactics, when it comes to how to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. that is entirely appropriate. the stakes are sufficiently high that anything that is proposed has to be subjected to scrutiny. and i welcome that scrutiny.b
but there will also be disagreements rooted in share d history, which go beyond tactics, rooted in how we might remain true to our shared values. i came to know israel as a young man through these incredible images of kibbutzes, golda meier, israel overcoming incredible odds in the '67 war. the notion of pioneers that set out to not only safeguard a nation, but to remake the world. not only to make the desert bloom, but to allow their values to flourish. to ensure that the best of
judaism would thrive. those values in mnay way -- many ways came to be my own values. they believed the story of the people gave them a unique perspective among the nations of the world. a unique moreal authority and responsibility that comes from h aving once been a stranger yourself. to a young man like me, grappling with his own identity, recognizing the scars of race here in this nation and inspired by the civil rights struggle, the idea that you could be grounded in your history, as israel was, but not be trapped by it, to be able to repair the
world, that idea was liberating. the example of israel and its values was inspiring. so when i hear some people say that disagreements over policy belie a general lack of support of israel, i must object. i object seriously. [applause] for us to paper over difficult questions, particularly about israeli-palestinian conflict or settlement policies, that's not a true measure of friendship. before i came out here, the
rabbi showed me the room that has been built to promote scholarship and dialogue. to be able to find how we make our shared values live. and the reason you have that room is because applying those values to our lives is often hard, and involves difficult choices. that's why we study. that's why it's not just a formula. that's what we have to do as nations, as well as individuals. we have to grapple and struggle with how we apply the values we care about to this very challenging and dangerous w orld. it is precisely because i care so deeply about the state of israel, precisely because yes i have high a vacations for
israel, the same way i -- high expectations for israel, the same way i have hayek petitions for america, that i feel the need to speak out honestly about waht ihat it takes for the preservation of the jewish homeland. i believe that is two states for two people, israel and palestine living side-by-side in peace and security. [applause] just as israelis built a state in their homeland, palestinians have a right to be a free people on their land as well. [applause] i want to emphasize that's not easy. the palestinians are not the easiest of partners.
the neighborhood is dangeroud. -- dangerous. and we cannot expect israel to take existential risks with their security, so any deal that takes place has to take into a cap the genuine -- account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility. but it is worthwhile for us to kepep up the prospect, the possibility of bridging divides and being just. and looking squarely at what is possible, but also necessary in order for israel to be the type of nation it was intended to be.
[applause] and that smaeame sense of shared values also compel me to speak out, compel all of us to speak out against the scourge of and the sizes -- anti-semit wherever it exists. [applause] i want to be clear. to me, all thessee things are connected. the rights i insist upon and now fight for for all people here in the united states, compels me then to stand up for israel and look our t for the rights of the jewish people. the rights of the jewish people than compel me t think about a pistol ino palestinian child i ramallah
who feels trapped, without opportunity. that's what jewish values teach me. [applause] that's what the judeo-christian tradition teaches me. these things are connected. in recent years, we have seen a deeply disturbing rise in anti-semitism, in parts of the world where it would have seemed unthinkable just a few years or decades ago. this is not some passing fad. these are not just isolated phenomena. we know from our history, they cannot be ignored. anti-semitism is, and always will be, a threat to broader human values to which we all must aspire. when we allow anti-semitism to take root our souls are
destroyed. and it will spread. that's why tonight, for the first time ever, congregations around the world are celebrating a solidarity shabbat, a chance for leaders to publicly stand against anti-semitism and bigotry in all of its forms. i am proud to be a part of this movement. i am proud that six ambassadors from europe aerre joining us today, and their presence here our presence together, is a reminder that we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past. [applause]
our traditions, our history can help us chart a better course as long as we are mindful of that history and those traditions, and we are vigilant in speaking out and standing up against what is wrong. it is not always easy to speak out against what is wrong, even for good people. so i want to close with a story of one of the many rabbis who came to soma 50 years ago. -- selma 50 years ago. a few days after he arrived to join the protests, he and a colleague were thrown in jail. they spent a friday in custody, singing to the tune of "we shall overcome." that in and of itself is a
profound statement of faith and hope. was wonderful is that out of respect -- what is wonderful is that out of respect many of their fellow protesters again wearing what they called freedom caps yarmulkes as they marched. the day after they were released from prison, they watched dr. king lead a prayer meeting before crossing the edmund pettus bridge. dr. king said, we are like the children of israel, marching from slavery to freedom. that's what happens when we are true to our values. it's not just good for us. it brings the community together. [applause] it brinhsgs the community
together and helps to repair the world. it bridges differences that once looked unbridgeable. it creates a future for our children that once seemed unattainable. this congregation, jewish-american life is a testimony to the capacity to make our values live. but it requires courage. it requires strength. it requires that we speak the truth,. not just when it is easy, but when it is hard. so may we always remember that our shared heritage makes us stronger, that our roots are intertwined. may we always choose faith overnight was in and courage over despair and -- over
nihilism, and courage over despair, as we walk our own leg of a timeless, sacred march. may we always stand together here at home and around the world. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] thank you, everybody. [applause] >> president obama wrapping up remarks at adas israel, the largest conservative jewish congregation in washington. supreme court justices ruth bader ginsburg and elena kagan are among those who worship there. president ulysses s. grant laid the cornerstone for the original building in 1876, making him the
first president to visit a jewish synagogue. [no audio] >> you can watch the president's remarks at adas israel congregation in washington anytime on our website www.c-span.org. senators are still struggling to reach an agreement to allow for more amendments to fast-track trade legislation. senator orrin hatch of utah said friday morning on the floor, so
far no deal has been reached. hatch and senator ron wyden have been in talks this week to try to get unanimous consent that would allow for votes on roughly a dozen amendments. they have made two offers so far on the senate floor, but have been blocked by democrats. that from "the hill." now, a portion of today's washington journal as we talk to the gyrocopter pilot who landed recently on the u.s. capitol grounds. host: you might for member the scene when doug hughes flew onto the capitol ground. there he is, on april 15. there he is, landing on the capitol grounds, flying over the capital by the washington monument. here he comes. then he gets arrested by the capitol police. yesterday, the florida man was back in washington. in fact, he is still here in
washington. but he was back in washington, getting arraigned. there he is outside the courthouse. mr. hughes, what was yesterday like for you? guest: it has been nonstop for the last month. the charges were pretty serious and graham to read. but i am confident overall that i will come out ok in court. host: so you were charged with six counts, correct? two felonies and four misdemeanors? guest: yes. that's correct. host: what happens next for you? guest: this morning, i will be leaving to go back down to florida. and they will work out my next court date and appearance. if we can't hammer out a plea bargain, then at that point, or sometime soon after that, they will set a trial date. host: we
will put the numbers up. if you want to talk to doug hughes -- divided you can see the number of a. i think that is some video that mr. hughes shot of himself flying his gyro copter. mr. hughes, are you worried about going to jail? guest: i am worried mostly for my country. i knew that there were going to be consequences when i flew. i'm not eager to go to jail, but this is part of a process that i knowingly set in motion. and i don't have any great fear about going through it. what i had fear for is the trajectory that this country is on. where big money has got a lock
on congress and congress loves it because they are getting paid off. we have to erect a wall of separation between big money and government. it has to be that their source of funds is funds from the regular people. when that is their only source of money, that is the only people they are going to serve. host: are you paying for your own law advice and for your lawyers? guest: right now, i'm using a public defender and that is all. and i am quite confident in my lawyer. host: what kind of support have you heard from the american people or what kind of opposition? guest: i have heard a few -- read a few e-mails from people who were angry, who misunderstand where i am coming from.
some of them have of just did -- objected to the opening quote by john kerry and they misinterpret this as being a democratic proposal. what we are looking at as a movement that crosses all political bounds. i have gotten huge support from republicans. i did hannity just a few days ago and i got really strong reception from that. people understand that the whole idea of a representative republic or democracy, whichever phrase you happen to like, is that it is government of the people that is supposed to serve the people. it is an overused quote, but it is completely correct. right now, there is virtually no doubt that our congress is first and foremost answering to the special interest demands. we don't get anything unless it is something they are not interested in. they being wall street or the big banks or the lobbyists.
we don't get any attention unless it is a small issue that is not going to cost them any money. host: let's hear from our viewers who want to talk to you. doug hughes is our guest. he is about 10 blocks from where we are in our studio because he is not allowed to travel over here because he is wearing an ankle bracelet and being tracked. there is the ankle bracelet that he is wearing. we took a picture of that this morning. roger in wake forest, north carolina. democrats line. roger, go ahead. caller: yes, sir. i wondered if you are familiar with patty hearst in the fla. host: why do you ask that? caller: back in the 1970's, this little band of clowns bought they would do some change too, and blowup some banks and shoot cops. what you have done is terrorized a community.
this unfortunately do not turn out to be a widow maker. i hope that you appreciate the door of opportunity you have opened up. and there are countless ways to express objection to big-time financing and campaigns, but with having children in d.c., i am glad none of them died while law enforcement tried to protect what they might have thought was a terrorist attack. thank you, sir, so much. host: doug hughes? guest: yeah. in the first place, what i did was i sent word ahead. the secret service had checked me out the year before, so they had a file on me and they knew i was nonviolent. ok? it was part of my plan that the government would know who i was in advance. everybody is entitled to make up their own mind on whether i am a
kook or a patriot. i happen to not like labels. going to other ways of doing this, there are some really great groups that have been working on this for years. one of them headed by a harvard scholar, another one headed by a media celebrity. and these groups haven't been growing at the rate that we need for them to grow if we are going to actually resolve this problem. everything that i am doing is intended to advance the entire cause of democracy for the people. and to continue to support those groups. but what i did in a spectacular way has really kicked the conversation into high gear. i respect the people who don't like the way i did what i did. i got a letter from one conservative who felt the same way about my kooky stunt and he
was opposed to it. and he sent me $100 for my legal defense fund. and he said, ps, i would have shot you down. it is fine if someone disagrees with how i brought my message, but let's get behind the message. host: bill beatty tweets into you, sir have publishers approached you yet about writing a book about this adventure? guest: no. so far, no publishers have shown any interest in it. it is a possibility because the story is an awful lot bigger than my flight and the issues are enormous. the stakes for america is an enormous. -- enormous. i am going to take whatever soapbox i can stand on to shout about this issue. if it turns out to be a book, i might do that. host: steve wants to know the twitter, why are you wearing an ankle bracelet if you have not
been convicted of a crime? is your alternative no bail? guest: no. the day after i flew, i was released on my own recognizance with no bail and no bond. that is extremely reasonable to washington authorities. but they want to know where i am. again, this was a month ago. they didn't know who i was or whether or not i was dangerous. so this is a part of a release on my own recognizance with no bail and no bond. since i am in washington d.c., they want to know where i am. i'm complying fully and i understand their point of view. host: lou is a republican in topeka, kansas. you are on with doug hughes. caller: good morning. i don't have a big issue with the reason you did this, but i do have a complement to you. you poked a hole in the security of our nation -- national capital area. big enough to fly an aircraft
through. i had a letter to the editor three or four days after you did that saying you are to have a reward, a reward rather than a penalty. i still believe that. i am glad that you are on this morning to talk about the other things. host: mr. hughes? guest: well, thank you. yes, it occurred to me that if they had hired a specialist company to examine the possible defects, they might not have found what they happened to find because of my flight. but i watched the hearings on it. and the faa actually tracked me from the point of takeoff. the bug in the system was procedural. maybe it was computer problems. i am pretty confident that the whole has been plugged and i don't think anybody needs to be scared about the security of the country because of what i did. host: david, massachusetts. good morning, david.
caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i definitely agree with this idea that there is too much money in politics. it is absolutely insane. i applaud your guest for what he did and the way he delivered his message. it brings attention to it, which i think we need as much of as we can get. special interest groups have gnawing away -- been gnawing away and gnawing away at our laws, and they have gained all kinds of control. a simple example would be the fact that the new york security industry in 2014 earned roughly twice as much as the total income of all minimum wage employees in america. and that was just their bonuses. this didn't count their regular salaries. so, another group of people buying their way into having total control while the people
get nothing. host: let's get a response david. doug hughes? guest: well, i -- obviously, we are on the same side. and the whole objective here although there is a lot of ways that special interests are gaming the system, so the problems are complex, but the solutions are simple. if we limit the source of money that can go into the government , whether it is campaign funds or we limit the opportunity that retired members of congress have and half of them are going to work just a few blocks up at k street earning a couple million dollars per year after they retire from congress, how can that be legal? how can that not look like bribery? i am not going to look into somebody's soul and say i know what you're thinking when you did this, but it needs to be
illegal. we can erect a wall of separation between big money and government and then these people will work for us. it is that simple. host: how long have you been active on this issue? guest: i was active on the perimeter, as a person who reads about politics, for a lot of years. i kept coming up against the same wall. things weren't happening in congress because money in congress controls. and regardless of what your pets passion is what your cause is , whether it is climate change seniors, veterans, ok? you are not going to get fair representation on these subjects until the money is out of politics and then you have to recognize what we will get is going to be loud it is going to , be noisy, it is going to be
contentious and you will not agree half the time on what congress comes up with, but it will be for us. host: mr. hughes, just to give people a sense of your own politics, can you tell people who you voted for president in the past? guest: i am a registered democrat. that is public knowledge. but as far as i know, the secret ballot is still in place and i'm not going to say who i have voted for or what my opinions are on the presidential race. host: a call from chesapeake virginia. on a democrats line. you are on the air. caller: yes. i am calling to say -- we are not talking about what should be talked about. the gyrocopter is an invention and that is something that is fantastic. i would not have known about that unless he came onto the white house lawn. and i want to thank him for that. i do agree with you about the
campaign finance reform. host: why did the discovery for you of the gyrocopter -- why is that good news to you? caller: because when i am sitting in traffic, and i see that and i wish, i wish i could have something that can go right above the wires and fly over everything. when i saw that i was, like, oh, , my god. that is amended to -- that is an invention that is fantastic. that is what we need to be talking about. and i want one! host: doug hughes, have you heard about other people who wanted a gyrocopter. ? guest: i have been careful to
point people to the website pra.org, which is the association for people who are curious about the planes and how to fly one. it is a fun flying machine. i am an advocate of recreational flying and ultralights. one of my concerns was that what i did might damage that. but by all means, it is a great thing to check into. host: up until your flight could anyone find a gyrocopter and not have to worry about being licensed? --one of your felonies was not have having an air man's certificate. guest: yeah, the -- i am not going to argue with what wind up -- what may wind up being an issue in court, but you can find an ultralight aircraft without it being registered and without having to have a pilot's license. it is one of the opportunities that we've got for people to get into. weekend, when the weather is good flying. and it is fantastic. host: cecil. spring, texas. guest: the average person --
host: i'm sorry, mr. hughes. go ahead. guest: i was just going to say the average person can get into recreational flying. a lot of them don't know that. host: cecil in spring, texas on our republican line. you are on the air, cecil. caller: hello. i was just calling to say that i i am praying for mr. doug. and i am telling all of my facebook friends to pray for him. although i don't agree with his message, i do agree with his action. i don't think he ought to face nine years in jail. i think he ought to get like a traffic citation. and that's all i have to say about this sort of thing. host: doug hughes? guest: how do i get him on my jury? host: is the jury going to be seated here in washington? guest: yes, as far as i know.
obviously, this is one of the areas i disagree with the prosecutor -- is i think the penalty needs to fit the crime and i don't think the charges meet that criteria. but i am going to see things differently than the prosecutor, obviously. host: tim is in littleton, colorado. caller: thank you. mr. hughes, a quick comment and then another question for you. i, obviously, agree with you. hillary is going to be the nominee because there is $2.5 billion that is stacked up at at citizens united to make that so. so, and we are indeed attached to the money. so i am behind your cause. my question to you is -- before you embarked on this, did you, or even now, have you a line -- aligned public relations agencies or has anybody step forward -- the aclu or any groups -- to try and put some muscle behind your message?
you are the one that took all the risk. is there anybody that is stepping up to try and support your cause and take this further so you are not just a martyr? guest: yeah, that has been one of the most heartwarming things. shortly after i got back down to florida after the flight, i was contacted by someone who is considered to be the grandfather of the movement, and that is lawrence lessig of harvard. he asked me if there was anything he could do to help. through his contacts, i have been able to get into the network of professional media firms and the network of leaders, groups that are working in various ways, either through the idea of doing a constitutional amendment or other groups who are pressing for legislation, like the
anticorruption act. so i have gotten into a network of supporters and it is something that is working both ways because i agreed to support those groups without the declaring for any one of them, i will support all the groups that are trying to move the movement forward. host: wayne is in chicago. a democrat. caller: i am sort of losing confidence in my fellow americans. i have been listening all morning and you have had the crazy side on today. and then you've got this guy on. this brain surgeon. buddy, you broke the law. most patriots that believe in something -- believe in anything -- are willing to give their life or their freedom for their cause. so take your medicine and stop whimpering like a little coward, ok? host: doug hughes?
guest: well, even before i flew, i declared on my website civil disobedience carries with it cost. and i don't think i have been doing a lot of whimpering. i could have gotten shot down and i acknowledged that when i took off. i knew there would be legal consequences and i haven't whined about that. i am not asking for a free ride, as far as the legal system is concerned. my comment has only been that the punishment should fit the crime. there was no property damage and there was no injury. if you go look at what people are serving for crimes, nine and a half years, in my opinion, is excessive. that has been my soul from point -- my sole complaint. host: what is your status with
the post office? guest: at this point, they are investigating the incident and they are trying to see whether or not it affects the post office in some way. i am currently on a paid status and not working. host: have you heard from people on your regular route? guest: no, i haven't. except indirectly. some of the carrier friends that i've got have stopped by to talk to me. one of them stopped by with a clipping that a person wanted me to autograph for the carrier to deliver back to me. host: what does your wife think about all of this? guest: she alternates between being thrilled over what i did and being anxious about the future. so, she is pretty much where any wife would be. host: vicki is calling in from west sacramento, california on our republican line. vicki, you are on.
caller: ok, thank you for taking my call. yes, doug. are you a veteran of any military like the air force, marines, or anything like that? guest: navy. i am a veteran. i was offshore for the evacuation of saigon. caller: [cheering] first of all, i want to thank you for having the courage to do what you did because the way i feel about the way things are going on in washington -- i don't feel like anybody is paying attention to what we are trying to tell them. and they don't seem to hear us. sometimes you've got to hit the mule upside the head with a two by four. and that is a good idea, but if it is really sad because i don't
feel like our government representatives anymore, they are not listening. and i think you have a lot of guts to do what you did. if only they would listen to us. and it is just really sad the way things are going in the country. host: that was vicki in west sacramento. any comment for her? guest: yeah. she makes a couple of really good points. number one, it is not just that they are not listening, it is that now that the subject is up there, they are trying as hard as they can to talk about everything except what they are doing, ok? it is going to be our job to push them. it is going to be our job to push the media to ask the questions. one of the things that bugged me the most is that nobody is coming out of any of these congressional hearings is being asked where they stand on corruption. and i'm talking about the inside the beltway media. ok?
this is going to be something i am doing over the next few years. i'm going to be pushing the people and the local media, in particular, to hold feet to the fire and make the candidates declare where they stand. i would like to see that the voters have a clear choice in the next election, regardless of party, that they can identify the reformist candidate and they can tell that from the non-reformist candidate who is shoveling smoke. but that is going to happen if the media does their job. host: bill in myrtle beach south carolina. go ahead, bill. independent. caller: good morning, peter. and good morning, doug. they say that america is just a sleeping giant waiting to get woke up. i think he is passed out on all the pharmaceuticals. but what you did was splash water on his face and that is a great thing. you didn't go out there and do something like timothy mcveigh
or anything like that. you got a point across and you did it without hurting anybody. and you represent the aviation thing quite well. i called up to find out what it would cost to get one of those things. it is truly an honor to talk to you. you have a good day. peter, i mean, handsome, you have a good weekend, too. host: last call for doug hughes comes from don in sumter, south carolina. caller: good morning, peter. good morning, mr. hughes. like the other caller, i am going to take my hat off to you, sir. he displayed great courage -- you displayed great courage in what you did. if there is justice to be just it at times has to be subjective. i only wish i was on your jury. i don't care what poppycock the prosecutors throughout you i , would find you not guilty.
i think the supreme court made a horrendous decision with citizens united, and you have my full support. if there is anything i can do for you, please contact me. and have a good day. host: doug hughes? guest: well, i think -- if i haven't, i need to recognize the courage of the people who have been in the trenches working on this issue for the last few years. the problem is the solutions have not been properly recognized. they have not been covered in the media. i didn't fly to bring attention to the problem, i flew to bring attention to the solutions. what this viewer who said i will do anything i can -- my website, which is democracyclub.org points at a few of the groups who are doing stuff. i intend to continue to promote the movement. go out, find one of the groups find a solution you are happy with. give them your e-mail and get
engaged. it only takes a little bit from a lot of people and we can get this done. host: you referenced the defense fund earlier. if people are wishing to donate to it, can they go to the democracy club.org? guest: yeah. there is a place in the democracy club where people can contribute. right now, i am using a public defender and i'm satisfied with my representation. so there isn't a legal defense fund and i don't anticipate going that route. there is a place were people can contribute. right now, my future does hang on a thread, but that is not the point. i will find a way to survive. you may have noticed i am pretty stubborn and fairly resourceful. host: doug hughes, where did you grow up? guest: i grew up in santa cruz california back in the 1960's and before the university was built there. beautiful place.
host: what are the rules for you to drive back to florida today? guest: well, i have got and i will continue to have the gps. and i am allowed to drive down and they haven't set a strict limits on how many miles up the highway i can go, but i'm staying within two or three miles of 95 south. once i get there, i will be able to travel around hillsboro academy in florida. -- hillsboro county in florida. so i will be able to get out and mow my lawn. host: when will you be back up in washington? is there a date yet? guest: there is a date set if you look at the docket, but my attorney has indicated that probably by mutual consent, they will extend that beyond where it is to give everybody a little bit more time to regroup.
and if at that meeting we haven't reached a negotiated settlement, again, let the punishment fit the crime, then it will go to trial. and i am comfortable with what a jury would decide. host: doug hughes, gyrocopter pilot, campaign finance reform advocate has been our guest here on the "washington journal." just fyi, if you remember a couple years ago, the gentleman who was referred to as tractor man, dwight watson, who drove his tractor into the pond and sat it in there for quite a while, a tobacco farmer, he was sentenced to six years in prison for making threats and destroying property and paralyzing parts of downtown washington. that was back in 2003. just fyi. and mr. hughes has been our
guest from the code pink house. he is not allowed to come from the 10 blocks over there to hear here because of the ankle bracelets put on his movements. >> coming up, a discussion on law enforcement and minorities good the discussion is communing -- on law enforcement and minorities. the discussion is community policing and bought more protests from the cato institute. it should be getting underway shortly. we will have it like for you on c-span. meanwhile, the senate is in session today working on a number of bills before the memorial day recess. more on that now from a reporter covering the senate. >> mr. rogers, can you explain what is going on in the senate today and perhaps the weekend as well? guest: the senate is in a race against time.
they are try to figure out a few different manners. the first is a trade legislation that is not time sensitive but senate republican leadership wants to pass before they leave for memorial day recess. after that, there is going to be a time sensitive deadlines it the deadline. the end of the month, the and is able collection of phone metadata will and midnight on the 31st. there could be some lapses if the senate does not pass a house passed bill by the end of today. then, of course, there's also the third item -- a highway trust fund authorization that the house has passed a temporary two-month bill there as well. they have a lot on their plates. you can argue start smelling them as they try to get home for all the parades and everything else this weekend. host: