tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN December 15, 2016 11:00pm-11:41pm EST
capital, being around didn't being involved in committee work, and hopefully passing key pieces of legislation through amendment and improving existing bills as well as burning home projects to the district. >> anything you're looking for it to doing? >> i tend to be creative, i had almost perfect attendance in committees, and as a lawyer i am a cerebral type. i plan on being very active in filing amendments. i believe it is all about committee work and oversight, the day today business of the businessthe day to day of the house. >> we will see on the house floor. thank you. >> thank you, i appreciate it. interviewshave more with new members of the 115th congress each day leading up to january 3.
weekend, ohio state university will host a public celebration of astronauts and former ohio senator am a john glenn, who died last week. ,he decorated u.s. marine aviator, and astronaut was the first american to orbit the earth, and later in life became the oldest person to travel into space. he represented ohio in the senate from 1974-1999. we will take you to the memorial, live, saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> we have a special webpage at c-span.org to help you follow the supreme court. select-span.org and supreme court near the right-hand top of the page. once on a page, you will see for the most recent arguments heard by the court this term. click on the view all link to see all of the arguments covered by c-span. recenttion you can find appearances by many of the supreme court justices, or watch "justices in their own words."
that includes interviews with several justices. there is also a calendar, a list of current justices with links to quickly see all of their as well as on c-span many other videos available on demand. follow the supreme court at c-span.org. >> next on c-span -- senate foreign relations committee ranking member ben cardin joins us on "washington journal." president-elect donald trump hold a rally in hershey, pennsylvania. we hear from loretta lynch and a look at economic opportunities for low and middle income americans with speaker paul ryan. now part of "washington journal." greta: joining us from baltimore is senator ben cardin, democrat of maryland here to talk about many issues related to being the
top democrat on the foreign relations committee. we will begin, sir, with you calling for an independent investigation into russia's interference in the election. how confident are you, what is the incident -- evidence that they did interfere? here. it is good to be we have made the determination, the intelligence community release that in october that russia was engaged in a cyber attack against the u.s.. they have confirmed that it was involving at the highest levels of the russian government. they use that information to try to compromise the integrity of the election. that has been findings released several months ago. that is a given. the question is, what was their motivation? were they attempting to take a side on behalf of one candidate?
was this part of a broader strategy to undermine our democratic system? we know they are extremely active in these types of activities in europe. the elections will be taking place shortly in germany and france. are they actively engaged in similar conduct there? these are questions that involve america's national security and the protection of our homeland. when we were attacked on 9/11 we sent up an independent commission to find out what happened so we can protect ourselves, and take appropriate action against those who would try to compromise the system. i think we need to do the same thing in regards to what russia has done. us fromthey attack anyway the public needs to know , and that is why are called for an independent commission similar to what we did after the attack on 9/11. greta: have you heard from your pull up -- republican colleagues about concurring with that, and
would they go forward with that? could that be a bipartisan movement? ben cardin it has to be : bipartisan. it actually should be nonpartisan. this should not have any partisan flavor at all. this is not the question of the legitimacy of an election in the united states. it is to protect us from what was done to our election system by a foreign government, and to protect ourselves moving forward. republicans have called for investigations. senator mccain and senator graham have called for investigations. senator mcconnell, the majority leader, has acknowledged we need to do an investigation. i think it is clear we are going to do an investigation. congress needs to do its work. i serve on the senate foreign relations committee. we are going to have hearings in january. we will do our responsibility as the senate foreign relations committee. that will be done in a bipartisan manner. it is important to have this independent commission so that
the american people get a report on what happened. host why couldn't the american : people just -- do you think there would be reluctance to accept any investigation coming from congress? why the importance of an independent mission? if congress is going to do the investigation themselves anyway. ben cardin the independent : commission will have a broader representation. a congressional representation will be limited to members of congress. an independent commission can raw experts from the nation who could help us but all of the pieces together so that there is ,ore confidence in the findings more confidence in how we can move forward. i think it worked very well after the attack on our country on 9/11. this is a very serious intrusion into america and the american , people deserve to have that type of serious national investigation as to what
happened. greta: i do not know if you are familiar with the guardian's story. "the washington times" a disgusted democrat, not russia gets the blame. according to this, a wikileaks figure is claiming he leaked -- he received leaked clinton campaign emails from a disgusted democrat. the british ambassador sent a report by the daily mail that he flew to washington right clandestine nine handoff of one of the email sources in september. ben cardin: i am not the person who collect intelligence information for the nation. we have the premier professionals who do intelligence information for our nation. we have the best in the world. this is not the white house determination, this is the intelligence community's conclusions. russia attacked us and made that information , available in an effort to
discredit the election. that is not a partisan telling you that. that is the professionals at the intelligence community and they made that finding public for the american people. greta as the top democrat on the : foreign relations committee, what is your position or thoughts on rex tillerson serving as secretary of state? ben cardin: mr. tillerson has a record as ceo of exxon corporation. he has been engaged in a lot of international transactions on behalf of his company. tie to mr. putin and russia. what i need to know is how he perceives his responsibility as secretary of state. can he divorce himself from his commercial interests? can he divorce himself from personal relationships? what is his view as it relates to russia itself? russia is not our friend or partner. they have attacked us, tried to interfere with our election,
they invaded the ukraine. they are incurring -- they are currently in malta over in georgia. they are responsible for the atrocities taking place in syria. we need to make sure the secretary of state will put the american security interest as the only concern, and not the commercial interest. i also have concern about his positions in regards to climate change in the environment. these are issues that need to be dealt with during the confirmation process. i'm looking forward to the hearings and discussions we will have in january about him. i think that will give the american people a better understanding as to how he sees russia and his responsibilities as secretary of state. greta: the president-elect, mr. trump, would also like the deputy of the state department to be mr. bolton. that nomination would be subject to a vote in the senate, it is clear whether he would
survive his confirmation hearing. do you agree? ben cardin mr. bolton has a : well-known record, not like mr. tillerson who does not have a record of government service and foreign policy. mr. bolton has made many statements that are very dangerous. that is not a democrat speaking. democrats and republicans both have serious reservations about him serving as the number two in the state department. i made a commitment that i would not prejudge any of mr. trump's nominations until the confirmation process. mr. bolton raises alarm bells. greta he remains under : consideration for the job by the president-elect. "the new york times" reports he enjoys a powerful ally, a casino owner. any reaction? ben cardin it is one thing if : you do not hold a public position, what you want to say is fine. when you are in that position as the number two person in the
state department, the number two diplomat in the united states worldwide and you have already , said you are not in favor of diplomacy. we should be dropping bombs, rather than talking -- that is not what a diplomat does. to have that person in the number two spot, it is hard to understand how he could change his positions and become a diplomat overnight. greta: let's go to the calls. roy in charlotte, north carolina, a democrat. caller: it seems to me like the essence of the argument and all of the investigations, centers on emails that were leaked that were very embarrassing to the democratic party and the clinton campaign. there were allegations of rigging with bernie sanders. donna brazil giving questions to hillary clinton, all of these things came out. juxtapose that with
hillary clinton being called by the fbi director extremely careless in how she handled her emails, there was a high probability that they were hacked because she was using a private in all server, it just seems like -- when you just said a minute ago that security of the united states should be of utmost importance to the president. i do not understand why, i feel like that should be investigated much more than the email hack. i would like to know if the russians did it -- but it was not a national security issue. it was emails leaked to wikileaks. ben cardin the issue here is motivation?ssia's what are they trying to do? is not isolated just to the united states. they interfered with the parliamentary elections in montenegro. in an effort to prevent the consideration into nato.
we know they have been actively engaged with other european countries to try to influence elections and finance them. the question is, are they really trying to undermine democratic governments throughout western europe and in the united states. that is the issue. it is not what information they leaked, or how they did it. we do not have all of the information that we need to know . that is one reason we have to have an investigation. there are a lot of issues here about how russia behaved, and we need to know that. we need to know their motivation. this is a foreign government that is not our friend. we have to protect ourselves. i am not trying to rehash the election. we are trying to find out what russia is trying to do to democratic countries around the world. greta teresa, republican, good : morning. caller: good morning. i have three quick points. first of was --i read that it
russia did not hack to help trump, he helped as a vendetta against hillary. it was not to help trump. it was to get back at hillary. second of all, will you be also investigating the foreign money from saudi arabia and china that was given to hillary clinton? that is trying to influence the election, my third point is -- administration's hack angela merkel's phone calls? and didn't obama interfere with israel's elections? i will take your answer off-line. ben cardin: you asked a lot of questions.
let me try to go through them. we are not naive. our intelligence agencies are trying to get as much information as they can globally in order to protect america. we know that russia is active. we know china is active. we know north korea is very active. iran is active. there are a lot of countries that are active in collecting information, we understand that. what is different with russia is that they used that information to try and affect our democratic system of government, the elections. that is what is disturbing. that is what we need to get to the bottom of. no, no foreign government can election inr an america. that is against our laws. if there is evidence of that, it will be criminally investigated because that is not allowed under the legal system. if there is credible evidence, believe me, it is investigated. there has been no such investigations or -- what you
are saying justice not add up -- saying does not add up. as far as united states activities in israel, no, the government did not interfere with the elections. there is news that takes place all the time to election cycles. those are the facts, that is the news. if you have fake news, which we saw in this election, that is a deliberate effort to mislead in order to influence an election. we have not done that. we think that was done by russia. another issue that needs to be investigated. greta moving on to john and : montana, an independ ant. caller: senator ben cardin. great respect to you and your colleagues. i know you have a difficult job. isn't this aler -- failure of the obama administration to come out with this after the election that the russians were hacking? my goodness, and the leaks going
the cia -- that is a huge failure on the obama administration. number two, the investigation -- have any democrats called in the investigation of the clinton foundation with all of the evidence reported by the media, flooding intoney the clinton foundation -- the timbers and they spend on foreign countries and the rest goes into their lavish lifestyle . i would like to see a democrat stand up and say, no, that is wrong, even if it is skirted by the law, it is wrong. please address those two points. ben cardin: again, these are different issues. talking about here is a foreign government that is trying to interfere with our democratic system. the clinton foundation is a private foundation. that is a separate issue. it is not the same as having the type of concerns about what activities are being done to try
to influence an election in a country. i think they are different issues. should we be concerned? absolutely. was that brought out? absolutely. you have to draw distinction about a foreign government trying to interfere with our election system. i don't want to draw conclusions as to the motivation. that is why i asked for an independent investigation to find out why it was done. greta carol is watching in : georgia, a democrat. you are on the air, carol. carol: good morning, greta. give me an minutes i can express myself to the democrat. i am a democrat. for them and for the media to act like president obama did not bring this up in october, that part.uty on your during this election russia had their thumbprint on this. respect, dol due not elect mitch mcconnell to lead the investigation.
when you add it up it will be back to the republican party. they knew this was going on. please, write this down, do not let mitch mcconnell cover no investigation. you need an independent investigation because the media is not helping you. this has been out there and -- a long time. this did not just come up. how else could they get this and weekeaks leak this every because they gave it to them. we have dropped the ball, sir. greta: ok, carol, we will have the senator respond. cardin: to the point that was just made -- the intelligence community did release information prior to the elections that russia was engaged in cyber activities against the united states and responsible for leaking that causing an impact on the election system. that was released.
do not blame president obama. what he was trying to do, he did not want to become part of partisan elections that close to the election. he respected that. he asked for a full investigation. that investigation will be made prior to him leaving office on january 20. we will have the benefit of a internal's investigation by his administration and all of his players. the president has the ability to respond prior to january 20 in regards to what that investigation shows. i think president obama has responded as i would want the president of united states to respond, not in a partisan way that could be interpreted as a partisan, political move, but in a way that looks of the of the situation gathering all of the information we have, making as much of that available to the american people and global community as of the situation
gathering all of the information wepossible, and taking approprie steps. greta: ron, indiana, republican. ron: i wanted to say that this is a smokescreen. all of this about the russian intervention. russia would not have ever wanted donald trump in there to start with. all of this about the russian intervention. all of the ask, with turmoil and everything going on every time we put in a body up , in these positions, i have seen -- never seen a democrat once trying to back someone. in my opinion, everyone on the democratic side, you want to be successful, you better follow. that man is able to reach across the aisle. this "drain the swamp" mentality has to be taken on. on, therything going simplest way to fix it -- i wish donald would remember, term limits. if your county sheriff has to
have two terms, and the president does, why doesn't everyone else have to have that? that would stop more because option because if you are not there more than eight years you don't have time to be corrupted. it is hard for people to understand. it is the simplest thing we can do. two terms and you're gone. you and have to have this with nancy pelosi and harry reid and all of these fools. greta ok, ron. senator, what you : think? ben cardin i am proud in a : manner in which not only the senator, but how we conducted ourselves on the relations committee. the senator and i are proud that our community operates in a bipartisan manner. we think we are stronger when we work together. i am proud of the relationship i have with republicans getting things done in the senate. i take exception to the tone of we do works because together to try to get things done. one of your previous colors on the other segment pointed out to
the brilliance of our constitution -- the constitution sets up three independent branches of government. the senate has a responsibility to advise and consent on the nominations made by our president. it is an independent responsibility that we had. the american people expect us to use the confirmation process in order to make sure the people who are nominated to these critically important positions have gone through the appropriate screening. yes, i believe the president has a right to have his team in place. to thedeference recommendations of the president of the united states. i will cast my vote recognizing the president needs to have a team in place. but when you have a person who he appoints to the environmental protection agency who disagrees with science that gives me a , heartburn to tell you the truth -- me heartburn to tell you the truth. we have a responsibility as an independent branch of government
to bring that to the attention of the american people. we will continue to do that. yes, we will consider all of the facts. think exception because i republicans feel -- many republicans feel the same way. they have expressed those concerns. we are an independent branch and we will act as one. greta: are you meaning no against scott pruitt as epa administrator, as rick perry heading up the energy department? cardin: i was listening to joe biden, who i respect, in an interview he gave recently as two how we should consider nominations by any president coming in. that youhe differences will support those nominations unless there is a reason not to. he said one of the reasons you should consider not voting for a person, if he does not believe in the mission of the agency he is being asked to appoint to.
in one case you have the epa nominee who has sued the epa on just about everything. in the other case you have a person who recommended the abolition of the department of energy. these are troublesome issues from others of the senate. greta: and defendant from florida -- independent from florida. >> the more you speak, the more i have to say. i think it is interesting you take exception to anyone. it is not your role to take exception to science. i love how democrats use names -- deniers, fake news. i would you -- remind you that science is ongoing. not every scientist agrees with everything the democrats say regarding climate change. as robust -- as far as the nomination process or fake news, i love the new buzzwords. standnot hear any of you up when the majority of the media in the country try to sway an election because their personal preferences and
personal politics. doing as barack obama anything in a bipartisan way, i had to sit down for that. i did not want to fall on the floor. barack obama had a super pac in yahoo!to try to stop men -- benjamin that now who. hillary clinton, 20% of the urinate -- uranium went to russia. now we have fake news. i remember barack obama laughing with disdain that anyone imagined the election could be influenced. donaldam no fan of trump, but now the democrats brains are bleeding because the american people voted in somebody that did not agree with them, and does not do what they want them to do. it is interesting to me that now we have a major investigation. fromkirted quickly away what the fbi said about the presidential candidate being negligent and not handling her emails well, that were supposed
to be -- we are supposed to be impressed fact that she did not get to be president proves the rest -- the rest of america has a thing wrong with them. she was a hot to begin with -- hawk to begin with. i take exception with you, sir, i used to be a democrat. i left the party of my parents for the very reason that when i listen to what comes out of your mouth, don't take exception to what other people disagree with you. that is what makes america great. i have news for you, there are a lot of scientists -- are you going to call the deniers? greta: let's give the senator a chance to respond. ben cardin: i am not a santos -- scientists. all i know is what we passed the clean air and water act, democrats and republicans working together said, we want to go where science access. we want to make sure we use the best science to keep people
healthy in america. people were dying from dirty water and dirty air. i am proud of the fact that we came together as a nation and dealt with environment will issues. -- environmental issues. scientists are telling us we have a problem we can do something about in climate change. there are certain steps we can take that will help protect the globe in the future. that is not what a politician is telling you. that is what science tells us. these are things we can do that not only will help us on the environment, it will help us with jobs and help with national security on energy. there are ways that we can come together as a nation using what science is telling us we can do to help the economy and security. that is what i am suggesting. i think that is the right path. i think democrats and republicans both agree this is something we should be able to do together. in my state, maryland, we work
together -- democrats and republicans on the chesapeake bay. it is not a partisan issue. we are proud of the progress we have made for future generations on protecting the bay. we are judged by best science. i do not make the decisions as to how we will deal with land development, or wastewater, or farming activities. we scientists tell us what can do to minimize pollution going into the bay. we follow that path. i think that is the best way. if you deny that it should be driven by science, then you have the politicians making those decisions. quite frankly, special interest usually wins out. public health will be sacrificed to help commercial interest. to me, that is not what we should do. greta: let's talk about syria. the washington post -- the meltdown in aleppo. they write that, on tuesday, the
u.n. ambassador delivered impassioned annunciation of the carnage. blamed russia and iran, but offered no acknowledgment that it extends to her and the president. with the strategy fail? guest: did the president's syria strategy fail? >> when the civil war started, most of the people who analyzed it believed that the opposition would be able to get rid of assad in a short period of time. that there needed to be a different leader. that was on path until russia intervened. russia has allowed the assad regime to continue to power --in
power. it will never be able to control the entire geography. no possible way that will be able to happen, but they are able to maintain their control of the strategic part of syria with russians support -- with russia's support, and aleppo is the latest strategy. civilians were used as articles of war. they were slaughtered. crimes against humanity have been committed and russia has been complicit this and this -- has been complicit in this. the human tragedies that have occurred in syria are devastating. the civil war continues. as a result, we are not concentrating on isis development in syria. the famous are able to operate because we are fighting a civil war. there is no easy answer here.
iran is also engaged in the saudi regime. there are multiple wars taking place, and the strategy that has developed has not worked, and we do need to engage the international community, look at strategies that can end the human disasters taking place. a subtle never have the credibility to be able to lead syria -- assad will never have the credibility to be able to lead syria. host: what is the first step? guest: the first step --you have to work with russia to get a meaningful, cease-fire so the civil war bombings stop and shootings stop antimilitary assistance can get in there assistance top and
can get in there to save lives. then, allow the forces to concentrate collectively against isis. assistance can get in there to save lives. you're on the air with the senator paren caller: hello, senator. pollsters have come out since the election and they clearly see a change in the numbers. clinton, that smug, old woman called half the country to -- that had nothing to do with wikileaks. her smug face. i think you all really need to realize that you have angered 100 million people and more in this country. and your days are numbered. messageup and take that back to your lavish little places in washington. host: all right, senator. guest: you're bringing out a lot of partisan comments, and that
is perfectly ok. i am more than happy to debate the partisan issues here. the reason i made my original comment is that i think you are going to find democrats and republicans coming together on this issue. and that is, we don't want any foreign government interfering with our elections. i have not done any conclusions about how effective they were in influencing the election. i have not done any conclusions about that. i do know that they were involved in trying to undermine the credibility of our free election system in our democratic form of government. that troubles me greatly and troubles republicans greatly and troubles americans. what happens in this election, a lot of your callers have talked about it. that is a matter for a show we should talk about, but i am here as a right key democratic on the senate foreign relations committee to tell you behalf a serious issue with a foreign government trying to interfere with an american election. it is not unique.
they have done it in europe. it is something we need to be prepared for because they can do it in a -- because they can do it in the future. it is aimed at undermining our system. host: jonas in maryland, independent. caller: good morning, c-span. thank you, senator. allow the united states government the start propagandizing american -- you about a bill to pass use of again against american citizens. let me get to the fake news as well. who is the culprit here? guest: i am not sure what you are referring to. passed in was a bill the united states on july 2 that allowed united states government to use propaganda, american
propaganda, against against state citizens. host: what language was in the bill, jonas? caller: um. i don't have time to google it. i am pretty sure the senator knows exactly what we are talking about. host: senator, you say you are not sure? guest: i don't recall what he is referring to as far as the government using propaganda for americans. i am not aware of any program we providing, or trying to influence american public opinion through propaganda on a political issue. i am just not aware of it. this is one of my constituents calling in. make it available enable take a look. host: one action congress to take before leaving for the holiday break is on enron and the white house put out this
statement saying the administration may clear an extension of the koran sanction is entirely consistent in the joint comprehensive plan of action. the extension of the sanctions act is becoming law without the president's signature. can you explain what this is to our viewers? guest: yes, and i understand the presidents position -- president's position. the iran sanctions act was passed by congress that let -- that gave the president additional authority to impose sanctions against iran because --their nuclear with elation nuclear proliferation> the president use those sanctions. committeenternational supported our sanctions, that
was responsible for iran coming to the negotiating table with an agreement that was reached over a year ago. i i think most people know, did not support that agreement, but an agreement was reached, and i now believe we have to strictly enforce that agreement. as part of that agreement, in ran -- if iran back -- it, we can snap that is what the president is going to allow to become law. we could send back to those sanctions if iran violates the
agreement. the president says he does not need it. has presidential authority, but it is stronger to have the .acking of the sanction regime that is why we extended it and that is why the president in allowing it to become law. int: we will go to ian maryland. caller: thank you for c-span. i got so much to say. i will try to blow it down. there is so much hate coming from the right. you just elected somebody -- i remember back in 2000 when president george w. bush was elected, and i said, oh boy, this is going to be a mess. now i see this person is elected and i see the same rooster walking alone with the democrats from the right. someone called a pier 1 sense of the republicans are bad losers and worse winners, and they are proving it.
all this hate coming from the right, all this anger. host: ok, let me end with as few about is and i like donald trump and concerns -- with president-elect donald trump. guest: the united states is pretty clear in a closet says ,ny person who holds an office including the president, cannot accept any favors are gifts from foreign policies --foreign powers. without divesting his interest in his holdings, he would not be violating the constitution because foreign governments would want to do favors for his economic