tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 3, 2016 8:01pm-9:01pm EST
administration. discussion. michelle obama welcomes several families to the white house this week for the unveiling of this holiday decoration. that is next on c-span. the discussion with israel's defense minister about u.s. israel relations and ongoing events in the middle east. and al gore talks about environmental policy including efforts to combat climate change. the holiday theme at the white house is the gift of the holidays. the decorations include tens of , ausands of christmas lights 300 pound gingerbread replica of the white house, and 56 miniature gingerbread houses thatfrom 200,000 legos
>> michelle obama welcomes military families to the white house earlier this week. in remarks, she thanked them for their sacrifices and service to the country. she joined some children for holiday crafts. [applause] >> hi everybody. look how good you look. are you ready for some action? are you sure? you sound like you don't want cookies or anything like that. you think you want some cookies? ok? we will get to it. i want to welcome everyone to the white house.
thank you for the wonderful introduction and for all of her service in hard work helping to make this home so beautiful. i want to give a thank you to all of the volunteers who traveled here from 33 states to d.c. and puerto rico, to come here and put up these beautiful decorations and transform this white house. i am so grateful to you all. last celebrate my family's holiday in the white house, i'm thinking back to when we first came here to washington. we promised open this house to as many people from as many backgrounds as possible. we truly wanted to make the white house the people's house. particularly during the holiday season.
over the past eight years, through the seasons, we worked hard to achieve that goal by welcoming almost a half million guests to this house during the season. and thanks to our amazing volunteers, we are adorned the white house with about half million ornaments for our guests to enjoy. and way brought smiles to the faces of all those who enjoyed the 200,000 holiday cookies prepared by our outstanding pastry chefs. you all will get to have some are those today. that will make 200,020 or so. looking back, i'm proud to say we did our very best during the holidays to make americans of all backgrounds and walks of life feel comfortable and welcomed here in our nation's house. and we do all of this with the help of our extraordinary staff. yes, we have wonderful volunteers.
though we have folks who, each year, take a very limited budget and very little resources and they make miracles happen in this house. so for our final holiday preview, i want to take a moment to highlight just a few of the amazing folks who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. i don't know they know if they are -- if they know i am calling them out. felicia dyer, the office -- our social secretary. there you are. [applause] thank you. and you are going to see chris, referred and susie morrison, our executive chef and our executive pastry chef. i want to thank them both, as well as the chef and the staff in the kitchen who worked so hard to do everything possible to make these holidays terrific. i want to thank all of our ushers, who never get credit. i know they are around here working away, but they are the people who greet you and make sure that things are moving like they should in this house. our florists, who are tremendous.
and i rarely get to thank our electricians, and our carpenters, because they make sure the chandeliers are moved and structures are built so that we can put things on them. and they do this in a matter of days. they turn this house upside down. and to our calligraphers. you will see all of their handiwork throughout the hour limits -- throughout the ornaments. and i always want to thank our incredible marine band, who you hear from throughout the season. i has been's free rate musical -- favorite musical grew is -- my husband's favorite musical crew is our own marine band. on behalf of the entire obama family, me, barack, moliere, sasha -- malia, sasha, sunny, bo. we are grateful for everything
you have done for us over the years. so let's give them a round of applause. [applause] so before i get choked up, let me officially kick off our final white house holiday season. and as always, today, we are celebrating with our extraordinary military community, and our military families. we have our service members. we have veterans here. we have wounded warriors. we have our military spouses. [applause] you go, spouses. and of course, we have our outstanding, handsome, beautiful, smart, talented, engaging military kids. are there any here/[laughter] oh, here they are. let's give them a round of applause.
[applause] for the past eight years, celebrating the holidays and having you all be the first that see the decorations, this has been one of our favorite white house traditions. it reminds us that, between all the shopping lists and the travel plans and all those big meals, that we cannot forget what the holidays are really about annual help us. our military families, like all of you remind us what matters. you serve this country in uniform or you hold everything together here at home as a military spouse or you prepare to attend another new school as a military kid. and there's that one back there talking about i don't know what . [laughter] but there is a little one back there who has a lot to say. but you all find time to contribute to your communities into this country. you do it all. you volunteer at local food banks.
you coach sports teams on weekends. many of you have even cut your thanksgiving holiday short to come here and decorate the white house. just another example. we have hazel up here. but one of our volunteers, jaclyn james from redlands, california -- is jaclyn here so we can really embarrass her? she is probably still working. we will do a reception for our volunteers later. but let me tell you about jaclyn. during her husband's 22 years in the military, her family spent the holidays in five different states and even on a base overseas. during that time, they managed to raise seven kids. two weeks ago, they celebrated the birth of their 15th grandchild. but their family service to this country did not end when jaclyn's husband retired. they watched two of their sons
do tours in both iraq and afghanistan. and even though jaclyn does not consider herself the most artistic decorator, she volunteered at the white house this year because -- and this is what she said -- she said, if patriotism is an art, she said than i am a master. [laughter] it's that kind of commitment to serving others. that is what the holidays are truly about. and that is what we honor with our holiday decorations every year at the white house. and this year's holiday theme is the gift of the holidays. and as usual, we will be celebrating our country's greatest gifts with special decorations celebrating our military families. down in the booksellers, when you walk in, the visitors that come will see a tree and a flag display composed of pictures of military families who my husband and i have met on bases and in communities around the world over the course of our time here. the tree is hung with a gold ornaments honoring america's greatest heroes. the men and women who have given their lives for our country.
and right next to those displays is an ipad station that allows guests to send holiday wishes to our service members. and we are hoping that each of the 68,000 guests that are going to visit during the holiday season will take a moment to pause and send a message to express their gratitude. after that, they will move on to see a number of other decorations that celebrate the gifts we share as a nation. for example, in the library, we are honoring the gift of a great education, which is important, right? school, college, all of that. and we have trees in the library made out of kranz and pencils. you have to check that out if you have not -- made out of crayons and pencils. you have to check that out if you have not already. we've got to trees that are decorated with special ornaments, each of which has the word "girl" in one of a dozen different languages.
so when guests head upstairs to this floor, they will see that, in the green room, it is filled with decorations representing the gifts provided by our white house kitchen garden, with trees hung with organ immense -- with ornaments in the shape of bees and frutits. -- fruit. we have air 19 foot tall christmas tree. it's really big. they have to take out the chandeliers and rearrange everything just to get the tree in the house. that is in the blue room. in the state dining room, you will spot the official white house gingerbread house. so when you see it, everything on it is something you can eat. and our pastry chefs have worked very hard to make this house possible. it is beautiful. it has a replica of the new
white house garden and bo and sonny and lots of cool stuff. the trees in that room, there are 56 lego gingerbread houses, representing every single state and territory in america. and somewhere in the house we have supersized replicas of bo and sonny guarding their presents because we don't let them have their presents. [laughter] i'm just kidding. they get to have them. people who come through these halls over the next few weeks will see about -- how many ornaments do you think are in this house? six? [laughter] 10? [laughter] a hundred? getting closer. 9000? let me tell you. it is 70,000 ornaments. i was pretty shocked at that. so we can't wait. that's a lot of ornaments. but we can't wait to start welcoming people into their
white house this holiday season. and to everyone who created these stunning displays, all our volunteers, all the folks who helped make this happen, i want to -- i want to once again say thank you. you did a phenomenal job once again in turning this house into a magical place. those of you who are here today and those around the world, i want to once again honor you for your service and your sacrifice and your love of this nation. it is a love that my family and i share along with you. it has been such a complete pleasure to support you in this time. so i want to wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season. all right? and with that, we get to have some fun, ok? are you guys ready? i'm just talking to the kids here.
[laughter] you guys don't get to have fun, but here's what you get. we will take your children from you for a moment. they are still here. they can hear you. and you can enjoy some cider and some cookies. and you guys want to come with me. when get some surprises in the back. and your parents will be here. we will try to bring them back in one piece. i cannot guarantee that they will be neat. there is dye and food color. sorry. [laughter] all of it is washable. are you ready to come and join me? thank you all so much. come to the white house. it's really cool. take care. [applause]
♪ >> hello. good evening. are you guys staying warm? parkme to the presidents in washington for the 94th national christmas tree lighting. what a wonderful night we have here. the holidays are about family we traditions, and tonight familiesul of our own and the families of our men and women serving in uniform. are service and sacrifice an inspiration to all americans. millions will be celebrating this season with their own holiday traditions. tonight we are glad you have joined us here for a traffic night of music and more. let's hear it for the united
♪ >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television services and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. thebigail fillmore was first first lady to work outside the home, teaching at a private school. many eisenhower's hairstyle created fashion sensations. tores sold clip on bangs emulate her style. and nancy reagan as a young actress saw her name on a list of blacklist -- on the blacklist
of communist sympathizers. thestories and more are in c-span book "first ladies." it makes a great gift for the holidays can -- holidays, giving a look at stories from the first women. should the stories of america's first ladies for the holidays. "first ladies," and paper back. next, israel's defense minister talks about u.s.-israel relations and ongoing events in the middle east with cnn anchor jake tapper. this was part of an annual forum hosted by the brookings institution. it is just under one hour. [applause]
>> it is so nice to be here. i know some many people here i cannot acknowledge everybody. i would be remiss if i did not point out that congressman ted deutch was my junior counselor at camp. [applause] [laughter] knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak. it is an honor to be here. martin, thank you for the invitation. lieberman, inister assume you saw your brother out there, as well. i will start with the questions and we will see what he answers. do you haveberman: too many questions. let's start out with
the fact that president-elect trump has named james mattis to fill your role. what you think of them? minister lieberman: i haven't met him and i don't have any but irevious experience, and who the general is, about his stance and what he is said to the press. for my point of view, it is very positive. obviously, there are many things the president-elect has said that have to do with the state of israel. one of the things he is said, i believe he said on day one, he would want to move the capital to jerusalem. obviously, i think it is fair to say, that is easier said than
done. do you think you should do that on day one -- do you think he should do that on day one? allster lieberman: first of , we've seen before and every toction, the same promise move the embassy to jerusalem. seei think we will wait and . a year ago, i was here and it was much easier, i was in a position. now as a minister i try to be lyrically correct. -- politically correct. [laughter] think welieberman: i will wait. mr. tapper: i won't do too many
follow-ups, but as a matter of whether or not the move would be perceived as incendiary and provocative, is it something that you think should happen, if it happens, immediately, or something that you think should maybe be done with more deliberations? minister lieberman: what is really crucial for us with the , notet -- administration point, it is important, but we have other issues. we have enough challenges all around israel. i think that it will be a the in the cse
focal point. i think that -- to take the embassy as the focal point. i think we have many items on our agenda. i think that maybe the embassy will be one of the points. mr. tapper: let's talk about the other items that you listed, started with the iran deal. we are getting mix messages thet whether or not president-elect will literally rip up the iran deal or if there will be recalibrations. one senator suggested to me was that all the new administration would need to do is enforce the iran deal, which would set new sanctions into place since international monitors have said they are in violation. what would israel like to see
happen when it comes to the iran deal? minister lieberman: first of all, i will speak only about my personal position. it is not a secret. my position was very clear against the deal with iran. but it really does not matter. what is the real question, it is to understand what has to happen now that there has been a deal with iranians. there have been ballistic missiles in the center of tehran with instructions and hebrew. we saw competition in tehran for the best cartoon to deny the holocaust. a state department report
regarding terror in the world, and according to this report, iran is the biggest author of terror around the world. we see penetration into human, to lebanon, to syria and iraq. we are trying -- they are trying to undermine the stability in the middle east. i think it is important to understand what happens with iran after the deal. also --nclusion, it is it is my conclusion, that we should talk with the united states about our common position with iran. see after the meeting
with the prime minister and the president elect. it was a clear violation of the agreement, especially in the area of missiles, ballistic missiles. the next up would be nuclear missiles, but at least up until now it has just been ballistic missiles. that is a violation -- and then the violation of human rights and activity in syria. there is the massacre of half a million people. think it is necessary to continue with sanctions and to be very tough. mr. tapper: just to clarify, if
i'm understanding you correctly, you believe and you are not the only one, that iran has violated the deal. you think united states needs to go to the un security council and be the trigger to enforce more sanctions on iran because they have already violated the deal, not that the deal should be torn up. is that a fair characterization? minister lieberman: look, what happens in the world today, it is very problematic. not only iranians, all radical , they understand that there ofno payment for violation commitments of violations of norms. forget for a moment the middle
east. look at north korea. one crazy guy took his own population as hostages, a clear ,iolation of all resolutions security council commitments, negotiations between north korea and the united states, north korea nuclear bombs, etc.. i don't see any ability or political will to stop this crazy guy. it is the same with iranians. they must pay for every violation. what happens at least with ballistic missiles, it is a clear violation of their commitment according to the agreement a signed.
-- they signed. mr. tapper: let's turn to syria and assad and the massacre against his own people. aleppo, were killed in we have learned. i'm wondering what you think the role of the united states in the trump administration should be when it comes to syria, is my impression is that president-elect trump would like to basically wash his hands of syria and let vladimir putin and assad do whatever they think is necessary and have the united states focus on isis. is that a position you think would be the right one? is that a position you think would be good for the state of israel? minister lieberman: it is not only israel. mr. tapper: the region.
minister lieberman: we should know that today, we are living in a small global village. everything is connected. better to see all of the picture. and the picture in the middle day is that we have every ,t least 500 people slaughtered killed, hundreds of people we don't have any readiness to stop this bloodshed. the middle all of east from south sudan to iraq, yemen, syria, iraq, you have every day at least 500 people killed and slaughtered.
what is the response from the international community? isis, all of about them the same. i think that our challenge to stop radical people, it does not matter what is their name, but this violence and bloodshed, it is clear that it is completely unacceptable for all of our people. i don't see any differences orween hamas, hezbollah islamic state. it is not right. the images but one hezbollah and hamas and islamic state, it is
the same. what is crucial for any deal in , i'm notm my point sure it is possible, but iranians out of syria. it is impossible to accept the fact that the guy who is responsible for killing of half a million people, 8 million people displaced and the first time maybe since world war i, the head of state has used chemical weapons against his own people and he will continue to be an acceptable player and the international arena. the same is with iran. their efforts are to undermine
the stability of every country of the region. put something in his place. [applause] who leads that effort? minister lieberman: from our point of view, the united states is the biggest power in the world. responsibility. impossible to speak about isolation. clear, andis especially the president-elect, he speak about the military of thend a strong army
united states, and i think the biggest challenge even here in the united states is isis, also. day toe trying every recruit more people in the united states. radical islamic people are coming from the middle east. if you want to confront this phenomenon, you must start in the middle east. mr. tapper: i know you are a minister now on you have to be more diplomatic, but you do recognize that the president-elect has talk about withdrawing more from the middle east than even whatever status you think the united states has their right now -- there right
now. minister lieberman: i don't know if he spoke about withdrawing from the gulf, but with regards to syria, he will be active with regarding the solutions and to speak frankly, it is impossible to achieve any solution without active american participation in the process. we need strong america, we need america active in at least in our region. will agreethat we about a common vision regarding the future of the middle east. mr. tapper: let's talk about the israeli-palestinian peace process. minister lieberman: no peace and no process. [laughter] mr. tapper: the future
israeli-palestinian peace process. [laughter] mr. tapper: president-elect trump has said that perhaps his son-in-law can be put in charge of that peace process. have you met jared kushner? minister lieberman: no. mr. tapper: what you think of the idea of him being put in charge of the peace process? minister lieberman: what we know , he is a really smart, tough guy, and i hope he will bring a new energy to our region. but maybe, day before yesterday, and therea convention was a public speech. will never give up
the idea of refugees, and he will never recognize the right of israel to exist as a jewish state. , we those two preconditions really don't have nothing to discuss with palestinians. the right of return for the hendtinian refugees insisted he would never recognize israel as a jewish nationstate. what exactly is the issue to discuss? is the same. clear he does not have any authority
to represent the palestinian people. the presidential elections in palestinian authority were 2010.ed to be held in he doesn't have any control on the gaza strip. postponed thehe elections for many years. realnk in order to achieve strategic breaks, to achieve comprehensive, reasonable solutions between us and the palestinians, we need someone , who hasry strong support from his own people, very popular, and somebody who is a real leader and ready to sacrifice something for peace.
that the palestinian official is a good partner for that. we are waiting for a real opportunity. israel has proved we want to achieve real peace. many times we have shined peace agreement -- signed peace agreements with egypt. we have signed a peace agreement with jordan. strip.drew from the gaza somalia tohalf of palestinians.
we have 21 flourishing settlements from the gaza strip. i think we have proved our desire to achieve a real peaceful and reasonable solution. but for this kind of solution, you need a real strong partner, and i don't see that on the palestinian side this kind of leaders. mr. tapper: one of the things that is interesting in a potential peace process, other arab states would likely have to be involved, and many of those states do not acknowledge let alone your right to exist, they don't a knowledge that they have had conversations with people like you. have you ever talked with any members of the saudi royal family about the peace process? minister lieberman: i don't remember.
[laughter] we have manyerman: contacts with our neighbors in the region. [laughter] [applause] mr. tapper: this is normally when i would be very aggressive, but this is a different setting. on the subject of the peace get into ast to little more, i think there will be a vote on monday as to whether some settlements will be made legal. you have proposed, and correct me if i'm wrong, a sort of freeze that would give any sort of these process -- peace process an opportunity to move forward. how would you describe that? minister lieberman: my proposal
is to wait for the new administration and to create together with the new administration and policy. , and notany surprise fix, but to wait and discuss with the next administration our policy. i think it makes sense because, freezew, the reasons we and the defective, the construction in jordan in jerusalem, i am personally not satisfied. the main reason is not because we really don't want to build or somalian jordan
or jerusalem, it is because we have disagreements with the american administration. i think it is clear for us, for me at least, that the key to the future of that settlement is understanding who is the united states. it is not only our design. i think the last 80 years, it was a huge problem. it was one of the main points of disagreement between us and the current administration. mr. tapper: the current administration would often feel as though -- there would be settlements announced at inopportune times. vice president biden would arrive in israel, that it was almost done in their face.
prison -- unfair care characterization? minister lieberman: i would like to underlined that the settlements, they are not an obstacle to peace. peacee signed two agreements despite the settlements. even when israel evacuated after our withdrawing from the gaza strip, 21 settlements withdrawn from the palestinian side. it is really a very biased approach to say that the settlements are problem, is the wrong approach. ,gain, all settlements together they are less than 1.5% of total territory.
at the last moment, he refused to sign an agreement. we were ready to open the issue of returns and swaps and everything. maybe another administration will have a different solution. mr. tapper: do you think the vote on monday to legalize some of the settlements should be postponed until after the united togetherd israel get on the same page? i clarifiedberman: my position in cabinet publicly, in the press, and i think it is much better to postpone all of
this legislation and steps until then. mr. tapper: anti-semitism reared its head quite a bit during the a wayential election, in that i think probably a lot of americans under a certain age had not seen perhaps ever in their lifetime. how much notice did that get in israel? the rise of the so-called alt-right, a lot of them are white supremacists, and who all almost unanimously supported the president elect. did that get attention in israel? did you have any concerns? minister lieberman: we have concerns regarding all kinds of
anti-semites. it doesn't matter if it comes from the left or the right or from the radical islamic groups also inwhat we saw is europe. it is not only slogans or accusations, we saw a tax on the jewish school in to >> victims with bloodshed. they feel very strong. of every day for our existence. hypocrisy and the international community. resolution,the last it