tv Washington Journal Philip Crowley Discusses Trump Administration Foreign... CSPAN February 22, 2017 12:01pm-12:35pm EST
after he was sworn in, with charges of regulated public health. you can read the entirety of this story at the new york times.com. oner today, live coverage the future of the north american free trade relationship and the north american trade agreement with foreign policy and trade specialists. president trump wants to renegotiate with canada and mexico and that starts at 12:30 eastern. we will show you a portion of today's washington journal on president trump's foreign policy. p.j. crowley is the former assistant secretary of state in the obama administration and joins us to talk about president trump's foreign-policy agenda. you pointed out that president trump ran against the government that he is now leading, so how has that impacted his efforts when it comes to foreign policy? >> his foreign-policy is still under construction. it is a slow process.
it is normally slow under any administration. it takes time to get a team up and running. it takes time to put together the prophecies and the execution of foreign-policy centered around the situation room. slower but as an antiestablishment candidate, he has run against the foreign-policy establishment. i am part of that. in particular, at the present time, he has denied himself one of the country's best expertise to help them develop and formulate his foreign-policy. and he has elected a first-time government official with no private -- no dogmatic experience. >> rex tillerson had his first foreign trip last week, headed to mexico today. how is he doing early on in the job?
>> if you are the ceo of exxon mobil, a major multinational corporation, you have a skill set that applies to being secretary of state. you have an internationalist point of view, you have a contact list that is very deep, you have done deals around the world. i think he has to now figure out how to bring that skill set into the governing process. to connectgling himself to the building he now leads. >> you work in that building. how big of a problem is this headline from the washington times, tillerson looking lonely at the top. positions at the state department yet to be filled, starting with the deputy secretary of state. >> he wanted elliott abrams, a skilled diplomat as his deputy, and elliott would be the ceo -- the coo, if you will -- of the
state department. appointment was turned down by the trust white house. the white house has yet to bury the hatchet for people who were highly critical of the president. host: we are talking with p.j. crowley, author of the book "redline: american foreign policy in a time of fractured politics and failing states." we're talking about his time in the state department and foreign-policy and the trumpet ministration. publicans can call in at (202) 748-8001, democrats at (202) at-8000 and independents (202) 748-8002. you referenced republican senator vandenberg in 1947, foreign of the relations committee. he supported harry truman and told his colleagues at the time that we must stop partisan politics at the water's edge.
he says politics doesn't stop at the water's edge. >> in 30 years of government i heard that expression many times. and yet to understand american foreign-policy today you have to understand the impact of american domestic politics. think back, for example, to the 2000 election. george w. bush ran on a very conventional conservative foreign-policy. there were borders constructed in 2000 and those borders and haded on 9/11 significant political flux ability and had a narrative around the war on terror. that you are with us or against us. we crafted a strategy around that narrative. it led us to the overreach in in a way,arack obama, was the counter narrative and barack obama's foreign-policy, like it or not, was what he advertised in the campaign in 2008, he largely delivered as a
foreign-policy during his eight years in office and as we are seeing now, donald trump in his first 30 days has very much tried to act on his major elements of his campaign rhetoric. he is moderating in some areas , talk talked about a ban about a wall, and he was a skeptic on multinational trade and he eliminated those -- the transpacific partnership. as george w. bush said, elections matter. host: phone lines are open. kathleen is up in dayton ohio, line for democrats. >> good morning. mr. crowley, i have read many things you have written but anyway, i worked hundreds of hours for obama and then when he appointed hillary clinton as secretary of state by almost croaked because of her vote for iraq and that she does have a war hawk history and with clinton, she pushed for the intervention in libya as well as
arming unknown rebels in syria. there were things -- i wouldn't vote for him in a million years and i did not, of i was attracted to some of the things he said. he said "we will not impose u.s. values on other nations." i am attracted to what he said about "we are not innocent." even though chuck todd try to compare -- i understand that we don't kill journalists, our leaders don't kill journalists, however when we have done in iraq and syria and libya have left a lot of destruction in their wake. and these media outlets don't cover what the conditions are now in those countries. think aboutou trump? do you think he will stand by that and that we will not impose our allegedly moral values -- look, how many people are dead in iraq and in syria.
so the you think trump will stand by what he says? >> well, so far, he seems to have reinforced what he said on the campaign trail. that has positive and potentially negative implications. i certainly think throughout his eight years in office barack obama periodically would say "nationbuilding begins at home." there is not a great week from that narrative to "make america great again." electeddonald trump was to pay attention to challenges inside the united states and that is what the majority of american people want him to do, so i think that while, by his nature of being president, still being leader of the free world, we have to take an internationalist view in terms of our foreign-policy but i think donald trump will be as
skeptical as barack obama was in terms of the potential implications of interventionism. barack obama was very cautious about his approach to syria and i think donald trump will be as well. host: terry in new york, victor is an independent. good morning. are you with us? we will see if we can come back to you. kenny in pensacola, florida, republican, good morning. guest: good morning, mr. crowley. i was curious, i haven't read your book but by the title it says fractured state. are youous, who referring to as a fractured state? far as i'm concerned, obama has been running the government for the last eight years. do you think he shares responsibly for what is going on in the world?
caller: the subtitle is "american foreign-policy at a time of fractured politics." the failing states refers to the challenges that we do continue .o confront in the middle east if you look at yemen today, it may be one country or two. iraq may be one country or two. syria might be one country or r.u libya is trying to find its way in the post gaddafi era. we do have, right now, a profound skepticism among the american public. it is share by democrats and republicans, as john quincy adams said, because about going off in search of foreign monsters to destroy. launch thedid limited intervention in libya but pulled back very quickly and he was very cautious about getting involved and to try to
impose a military solution on .yria his most significant mandate coming into office in 2009 was to get the united states out of iraq. he did that for limited period of time. we are back in iraq and using limited use of ground forces, but once again what donald trump is going to do is continue that policy but we are going to rely on forces in the region to defeat the islamic state with american help. we are not going to do that for them. host: he is the assistant secretary for public affairs from 2009 to 2011. one of your jobs for that was working at the national security council. reflection onyour the appointment of h.r. mcmaster for the advisor role? guest: michael flynn was a military tactician in the intelligence community. but to be the national security
adviser i think it does rely more significantly on having a strategic view. h.r. mcmaster is a profound military strategist. i think that perspective will serve him well as national security adviser. it remains to be seen how well this team will gel. if you look at rex tillerson and jim mathis as secretary, mike pompeo as director of h.r. mcmaster,nd this is a highly skilled team but they will have to come together, gel to get the internal processes up and running so that we can add greater texture to the from foreign-policy. the sooner they do that, the better. host: that job requires a senate confirmation, but an interesting note, a story from a call yesterday, other papers reporting this. mcmaster would need a senate
confirmation if he wants to keep his three stars as lieutenant general. detail the motion unless the senate signs off. unless a process is already underway in the senate, they will be looking for that. ron is in west chesterfield new hampshire, a democrat. good morning. guest: good morning, c-span. caller: you always have the greatest guest. thank you so very much. for your guest, i have a question and a comment. i will start with my question. russia, we have been having these russian jets diving at our ships off the mediterranean and and being very aggressive basically stupid. --ald trump just doesn't donald trump is going to end up shooting down one of these jets and we are going to end up in a war with russia.
or donald trump is going to basically go to bed with vladimir putin and bashar al-assad to fight isis. we don't need to go there. my question is, can trump fight isis without basically getting into bed with bashar al-assad ?nd present putin my comment is donald trump will never be legitimate to me. he is as much my president as barack obama was his president or the republicans president. host: all right. we will let p.j. crowley jump in. guest: as an american, i also served 26 years on active duty in the united states air force. whether i voted for him or not, i want the trump presidency to be successful. i have concerns about some of his early actions as president. russia, i think he is
going to find over time his aspiration for having a constructive relationship with vladimir putin is perfectly reasonable. lastu think back to the dose copresidents, george w. bush had high hopes when he met vladimir putin for the first time in june of 2001 and eight years later, was very disillusioned as russia intervened in georgia. the obama administration attempt at a reset and it had some success when dmitry medvedev was president for one turn but when google returns to power, it was a challenge in ukraine. tohink what trump is going find out is while you need to figure out if there are areas where you can cooperate north korea would be one example where you might be able to do that. the area of common interest between the united states and russia is narrowing. the areas of conflict are expanding. with respect to syria, i think
we will defeat the islamic state caliphate with minimal help from russia. the coalition of 60 plus nations , i think has already turned the tide. it is only a matter of when that happens. it may well be months and potentially years before we are successful. host: have do you keep isis from becoming something else after that? guest: isis is going to become something else after that even when it yields the territory in iraq and syria. it is going to fall back and be an insurgent force. there is an ideology behind the islamic state and al qaeda and other like groups. that is going to manifest itself. one of my chapters is entitled, or co-r within islam we have a state with the outcome of the struggle but it is going to have to be the islamic world in the arab world that solves
the broader challenge represented by the islamic state and the ideology behind islam. crowley's with us for another 10 minutes taking your calls and comments. robert is waiting in portland, oregon. a republican. good morning. trump anddid vote for i regret that i did in many ways , but i think that front is a lot like a used car salesman. he will go around and overpromise something and then deal with it accordingly as the chips fall. i think we are seeing that already. the other thing i have noticed about him is that throughout his campaign he had no problem essentially destroying ad hominem attack against those around him with no problem. no care, no concern what he did. now we are seeing that with this immigration ruling, the recent ruling where there is no concern for those with green cards, no
concern for those with visas. now they are adjusting it and he probably knew that would happen so then he goes back to overpromising and then dealing with the things as they come around. that is what i noticed about the wall. compromisewill be a between the united states and mexico. he has always known that. he knew that he would not prosecute hillary clinton. himve a problem trusting and i probably never will. i will take your comments off the air. guest: if i have a criticism of the president, i don't think he used the transition to the best possible effect, to start to take his campaign rhetoric and make it more realistic. for example, i think we are going to strengthen our border security, that is certainly a mandate that he received from
the american people. there is no way he is going to get mexico to pay for that wall. i think he was in error by bringing that talking point into his presidency. obviously, he has created a breach between the united states and mexico that rex tillerson and john kelly will try to narrow today. that is the challenge we face. i respect the fact that he is pursuing what he sees, that is what the president should do. note, there needs to be a steep learning curve as we go forward. in the transition he had a call with the president of taiwan and he put the one china policy on the table as being a question mark. conversation had a with the president of china and said "we are going to rely on the one china policy." jim mattis said we are not going
to steal anybody's oil and we had a host of people who reassured that we actually do believe in nato, notwithstanding the president's rhetoric about nato being obsolete. i think he has to a doubt some of these things. that is going to be h.r. mcmaster's challenge if you see something that the american people can want to do, how does he adapt this going forward, being more realistic to the world. host: let's go to illinois, melinda is a democrat. good morning. are you with us? veronica in mississippi, an independent, go ahead. caller: let's meet you this morning. the question you were talking about today but i do want to say i heard something yesterday about what he was talking about, how god made everybody free on earth. i just want to see, why does
everybody including the force, why do they have to suffer if god that everybody here on earth? why does he have to take everybody off the earth and separate everybody. i think that everybody is allowed to be on earth as god has made it and if people are messing up those are the people that need to be deported but there are people that i know, because my husband is an illegal immigrant. we are fighting for him to come back home and it is killing me a lot. i think there are people out there that are bad but you have also got illegal immigrants that are here to work and do the right thing. how is heto know going to be able to fix this? host: veronica in mississippi, speaking to the headline that is the editorial board of usa
today's opinion, the new deportation policy spreads unnecessary fear. kind this,capitalist i think the sooner we come together as a nation and fix the immigration system and deal with the 11 million immigrants who are here, it will be better. there is a great fissure in the middle of our politics about a path to citizenship. i think that is something we have to address, the sooner the better. i was encouraged by president trump in his conversation with prime minister justin trudeau of canada. , i think, was suggesting strongly to the president that you can be an open society and be a secure society. i have to believe that. president trump did say that we
do have to address this as a hemisphere. we had a hemispheric economy. includes the united states, canada and mexico. if you want to solve the problem of immigration, helping to strengthen the mexican economy is actually a way to do that. there is a contradiction in terms of what the president has said so far, pulling jobs back from mexico into the united states in an interconnected society, that can be helpful but overall, the negatives outweigh the positives. he's got to approach this as a hemisphere, to find a path forward. we will see what happens in new mexico. it could be beneficial for the united states in the long run and i think it will help our economy as well as our partners in canada and mexico. host: in maryland, alec is a democrat, good morning.
caller: thank you for taking my call. donald trump went on the record issay that the united states not so innocent in our actions abroad. i am very curious -- the first question i have is i have a number of conservative colleagues who would agree with that statement. but i am curious to hear your thoughts on why it is easy for individuals to accept that we are not so innocent abroad, however a are unable to accept the blatant racism the people of the united states still suffer from today. the second question i have is in regards to russia. i am very interested to understand why or how it seems that the establishment of russia seems to -- people seem to be convinced that they actually
have american interests at hand or that they are -- is that they have our priorities and share our priorities when that hasn't always been the case. the third question -- host: we are not going to be able to get to all three but let's go with crowley. if you go back to president obama's speech at the nobel ceremony, when he was awarded the nobel prize in 2009, he said there is evil in the world and there is. i think the united states remains a principal hope for much of the world. they look at us to help them solve problems. we have done that in the past. we have done that in perfectly. we have made mistakes overseas and paid for them. logic tore was a focusing on iraq after the aftermath of 9/11.
we could have sold the challenge without invading the country and in invading the country, we are still dealing with the ripple effects of that. so yes. there is great international hope that is still invested in the united states. that is an asset to us. by the same token we have to acknowledge that we have made mistakes overseas. i also believe that when president obama said that we , and we are an exceptional nation, but we are still in search of that more perfect union. this is a never-ending process. host: let's go to mike in new york, good morning. caller: i just wanted to make the point that trump is not an interventionist. in 2004, we overthrew the ukrainian government. then, they overthrew them again. up acrosse boosted
and in 2011 again, we went into egypt and we overthrew him. then we went to libya, they had demilitarize and then they overthrew him. then they went to a sod, to syria. we have a problem. mccain is the problem with the armed services committee. i agree with trump wholeheartedly, that putin is the peacemaker. putin has had a naval base in but our press does not say that. they make it sound like russia suddenly came in and in they did syria on a sod part which is not assad's part.
>> vladimir putin is not a peacemaker. he will pursue how russia receives its national interest but we have very little in common both in terms of interests and most importantly in terms of values. it is an autocratic leader. in terms of the turmoil that we have seen in recent years, i disagree with you regarding the reason. the united states is part of the nato alliance and did intervene in libya and helped a libyan rebel force overthrow muammar gaddafi. better off without gaddafi. the world is better off without saddam hussein. the libyans are better off? not yet. is iraq better off without saddam hussein? not yet. in terms of the other elements, these were indigenous forces. the united states did not overthrow yemen. they did not back the rebel movement.
iran has, to some extent. president obama did in courage mubarak to step aside. demonstration was not something that was generated here from washington. we are having to react to those ukraine wast and not something that was cooked up in washington. host: i do want to ask, you resigned from the state department after criticizing the pentagon. how the pentagon was treating, then bradley manning. i want to get your thoughts on president obama's decision to pardon chelsea manning. >> i was surprised he did it. in the book, i thought that the army should offer chelsea manning parole at the first opportunity but i do think that while it was important for chelsea manning to serve a
significant amount of time in prison, i do think that president obama showed the balance of justice and compassion. the trump administration is dealing with the challenge of leaks, but ultimately solving the problem with leaks is that you cannot prosecute your way to a solution. i thought the president made a reasonable solution. again.ome back do not make it so long than the last time you came back. guest: thank you so much. >> we are live this afternoon for a form on the future of the north american free trade agreement. president trump has said he wants to renegotiate it with canada and mexico. a number of foreign trade experts will take part in this discussion. we expected to start in just a moment.
live coverage here on c-span. bloomberg news has this related story -- canada was heartened by u.s. president trump's remarks about adjusting the north american free trade agreement rather than outright withdrawal. president trump threatened to withdraw from nafta if his partners did not agree to a deal as he saw them destroying american manufacturing. justin trudeau has been pressing to maintain the two countries trade relationship. [inaudible] [audience chatter]