tv Hearing Examines State of U.S.- Qatar Relations CSPAN July 31, 2017 1:34am-4:00am EDT
the good that you're going to steal somebody's logins, why not the business lounge and international airport? if you monitor your wi-fi signal when you are traveling, you will see all these faith-based stations, amtrak stations, a fake cell tower outside it. it is just -- this is the way that is. and if you're a criminal and can build a backpack to intercept information and just leave the backpack plug-in somewhere, that is so much more low-risk than trying to rob a bank. announcer: watch "the communicators" monday night on c-span two. now, more on the blockade against qatar and its implications for u.s. foreign-policy. this has for an apparent subcommittee is just under two and half hours. -- this for an apparent subcommittee is just under two and a half hours. >> [crowd chatter]
>> [gavel] >> the subcommittee will come to order. myself andnizing ranking member deutsche for five minutes each opening statements, i will been recognized other members seeking recognition for one minute. we will then hear from our witnesses, and without objection, witnesses, you're prepared statements will be made a part of the record, and members may have five days to research statements and questions for the record. subject to the length limitation in the rules. we have many members of our subcommittee who are also on the judiciary committee, including ranking member deutsch, and it is an important markup happening as we speak, so you might see a lot of members moving back and forth, and we appreciate the time they can spare to come over here. thank you, mr. deutsch. the chair now recognizes herself for five minutes. month, this subcommittee
convened a hearing on the challenges for the united states -saudi arabia bilateral relationship. today, we focus on the u.s.-qatar relationship, and qatar's relationship with its neighbors. it is important to note that this rift in the gulf is not new. bauer, a former senior-level official at the treasury department, stated earlier this month at a think quote saudi arabia and the uae have fought for years to galvanize qatar's actions against terrorist financiers that were operating a month and continue to operate, in qatar. qatar has been known to be a permissive environment for , reportedlycing funding u.s.-designated foreign terrorist organizations such as hamas, as well as several extremist groups. in 2014, the former deputy director of the cia, david telling, called out to talk
publicly, along with the kuwaitis, because according to him,, "the private engagement with these countries has not achieved what we were trying to achieve." in fact, qatar has openly housed hamas leaders, taliban leaders, and that several individuals who been sanctioned by our u.s. state treasury department, and it has failed to prosecute them. at least one high-ranking qatari official provided support to the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks against our country, khalid sheikh mohammed. then, of course, there is colleague mohammed, the u.s.-eu, and u.n.-designated international terrorist, or his work in financing al qaeda and the 9/11 masterminds. the 2008, he was tried and convicted in absentia eyebrow reign for his terrorist activities. he was arrested later that year by qatar, only to be released by
the qataris six months later, and then openly financed by doha. can anyone guess what khalifa mohamed has been up to? he has been alleged to be financing and supporting terror in both iraq and syria, with no response from the qatari government. michelleder khaled 's headquarters for years while the qatari government support, and even the muslim brotherhood has received significant support in qatar. of course, not all this is doharted the government in . many individuals and charities in qatar have been known to raise large sums of money for al qaeda, the nusra front, hamas, and even isis. qatar, there are three
buckets. terror financing by the government, care financing done to their own citizens that the government may not know about, and terror financing in qatar the government knows about, that does nothing to stop. according to the 2015 country reports on terrorism, the state department stated, quote, " entities and individuals within qatar continue to serve as a source of financial support for terrorists and violent extremist groups, particularly regional al qaeda affiliates such as the nusra front." there is no excuse for openly harboring terrorists and supporting groups that seek to harm our allies. the excuse by qatar that it is harboring these nefarious actors is because the u.s. asked them to no longer stands up. qatar should not be continuing this reckless policy, you to past mistakes in previous republican and democratic administration. we must not allow for our
airbase to be used as a means to justify this sort of behavior, and our lack of a more appropriate response. behavior must change the status quo, and if he does not, it risks losing our cooperation on the airbase. the truth of the matter is, none of the gulf countries are without their issues. all the nations have been involved in funding different groups at some point that we would not approve of. but it seems like saudi arabia and the uae are making progress at a faster rate, while qatar is making some progress, but still is lacking slowly behind. -- lacking slowly behind. in october 2016, danielle glaeser, then assistant secretary for terrorist financing in the office for terrorism and financial intelligence, told a washington dc research institute that, over the past decade, guitar has a less progress in countering terrorism financing then had
saudi arabia. we must analyze the totality of our relationship with these gulf countries, while qatar only helps to facilitate our theations and our airbase, uae, for example, has spent 12 years fighting alongside in afghanistan, and is been involved in counterterrorism operations with the u.s. in libya. so moving forward, one outcome i hope comes out of this dispute is for the gulf countries to work closely with our treasury department's financial action task force to root out and disrupt terror financing streets. this may be an opportunity for us to take a long, hard look at how, and for some it's, we can effectively address and stop terror financing in the region, and ultimately defeat extremism that threatens the security of us all. with that, i turned to my friend, the ranking member, mr. deutsch. you, madam chairman.
thank you to the witnesses. i think the chairman for convening today's timely hearing to explore our relationship with qatar, at a moment of great instability in the region. the ongoing diplomatic rift between qatar and its gulf neighbors is not good for the parties of the conflict. it is not good for the region. and it is not good for american interests. it is a distraction today's most iran'sg challenges and destabilizing activities, the conflict in syria, and the spread of terrorism. for most americans who expect conflict in the middle east to fall along sectarian lines between competing regional hegemon's, it is confusing to see sunni arab neighbors in conflict. overis a dispute long-standing grievances, over qatar's support him a financially and through its state-owned al jazeera news station, were actors and groups that qatar's neighbors, and in many cases the united states, he is deeply problematic.
this feud, like others in the region, is a nuanced, deeply complex matter. our relationship with qatar is no less complex. the tiny but immensely wealthy nation pursues an ambitious foreign policy of close relations with all actors in the region. includestely, this terror groups like hamas and the afghan taliban. qatar has served as a financial and political lifeline or hamas is devastating will in gaza since the terror group took over one in a decade ago. qatar has sent hundreds of millions of dollars into the gaza strip to provide safe haven doha for hamas leaders, and helped legitimize hamas rule became the first international leader to visit hamas-let's territory. qatar has also sent advanced weaponry and financing to extremist elements in syria and libya, and al jazeera has given voice to clerics calling for suicide attacks against americans and israelis.
these realities are troubling. but qatar is also a close partner in our fight against terrorism in the region. hosts and helps to fund the largest u.s. military facility in the middle east, essentially are forward operating base for u.s. central command. and we supported the wars in iraq and afghanistan, and are today flying airstrikes against isis. qatar has also served as regional mediator, often times the benefit of the united states. the taras helped broker cease-fires between hamas and israel. the intense fighting. the qatari also helped secure the release of an american hostage held for nearly two years i the al qaeda linked nusra front in syria. qatar has also provided the u.s. with valuable and actionable intelligence in the financing streets for isis, and has begun taking steps to hold qataris accountable for terror financing.
but they have got a lot more to do. while they have begun prosecuting qataris sending money to terror groups, have done so in secret, hardly an effective deterrent. it isn't clear whether the outcomes of these prosecutions have led to any significant jail time or penalties. i was pleased to see the signing of a new memorandum of understanding the secretary tillerson on terror financing, but we do not yet know the details of how this agreement will be in lamented, and we wait to see the results. madame chairman, it is important arabia,also that saudi uae, egypt, and other nations now isolating qatar, faced challenges as well. two weeks ago, our subcommittee held a similar hearing on a relationship with saudi arabia in which we explored both our strategic partnership as well as our deep concern over saudi arabia slow progress on human rights and continued exploring a fundamentalist ideology. today's hearing should not be about determining who is right. today's hearing should make it clear that this fighting among partners is not advanced
america's interests. -- does not advanced america's interests. we should fight common threats and push all of our partners in the region to cut off funding to terror groups. we should be urging every leader to curtail hate speech and improve the records on human rights, including treating women as equal members of society. i hope today we can assess our relationship with qatar thoughtfully read i hope our witnesses to help us unpack how pat diplomatic rifts between qatar in its neighbors can reinforce our path forward. and i hope we can review the major demands made on qatar to reduce relations with iran, shutdown the turkish military base, severed ties to terror down altions, and shut jazeera, to understand the motivations behind these demands, and in an effort to see how a resolution might actually come. i trust our witnesses today will lead us in an interesting and worthwhile conversation, and i
appreciate, again, then being here. i yield back my time. >> now we will turn to our members for any opening remarks they might have starting with mr. cook of california. >> thank you, madam chairman. this is going to be a very interesting hearing. it is almost a miller the one we had with turkey. obviously, as and has already been discussed, some of the issues are going to come up, the relationship with hamas, the taliban, financing, and everything else, now there is a new wrinkle, and that is the world cup. the north korean workers that are going to be paid for by that government there, with the money , thatback to north korea is probably going to be used to research,re missile
and i do not think i have to tell the panel or anybody here that, this is an even more troubling scenario that some of the -- we are talking about a large number of north koreans, including the north korean military, that are going to be working on that. i hope our panel will also discuss that, as well as the other issues that were just raise. >> thank you, sir. mr. swazi of new york. now chair and ranking member, i want to thank you for holding this hearing. it is very difficult for many of us to untangle the complicated relationships that exist in this region. we simply do not have the background the witnesses do. that is why we are so appreciative of them being here today. between the religious disputes and tribal and family relationships and historic disputes, and people's economic interests, it is sometimes
difficult to untangle who the different parties are. no one in the region really has clean hands, and we need to figure out how to promote our agenda in america and throughout we have, which is that to stand strong and hard against people who use propaganda and speech and -- hate economic warfare to promote extremism and violence. so i'm excited to listen to what the witnesses have to say. thank you. the chair now recognizes mr. zelden for one minute. i am taking over the chair. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. im very much looking forward to today's hearing, listening to our witnesses, and asking questions and getting feedback. a lot of great thoughts are a shared. i especially like the ranking member's opening testimony. he really touched on so much of
what i to care deeply about. , and iy, i was in qatar found them to be very welcoming. they were going as far out of their way as possible to make progress in our relationship. we visited the military base that was there, and our service ofbers were well taken care in a good, strategic location. at the same exact time, i am greatly concerned by the welcoming atmosphere that exists , and i just want to better understand the future of this relationship, and the the reality exists as it does right now in 2017. thank you again for doing this hearing. i look forward to the testimony. >> the chair now recognizes mr. liu for one minute. thisank you for holding hearing. there are the mysteries of allegations between qatar and
the countries opposing the blockade. it is hard for me to figure out what is true and what is false. let me tell you what i do see. i do see a blockade that has resulted in some cruel consequences, from what i've read, your families now being separated based on national origin. that to me is highly troubling. i also see a trump administration that sending very mixed signals. at the same time the secretary of state is saying do not blockade, you have the president doing the opposite, essentially claiming credit for this blockade. then you have also, the united states public $12 billion with the fighter jets to qatar. i would love to see the panel clarify that, and tell us not only what our policy towards qatar should be, what it actually is right now. i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. issa. yesterdays like only
that a president said, you are either with us or against us. and the world said, is too simple. but i think as we evaluate qatar and the other gulf states, we have to ask that basic question. is qatar with us? are they moving towards being more with us? are they cooperating? are they moving toward iran? are they moving away from the u.s.? these are questions i believe we are going to be asking today, that i am hoping to hear throughout the day, because i believe that although you are either with us or against us, there are shades of gray in all our allies in the region. it is clear that turkey has been moving away from us since 2003. it is clear that qatar has not been the best actors when it comes to taking away funding from those who support terrorism, and it is clear that
if they are moving with us, we need to have that demonstrated, saudi arabia,e united arab emirates, and others to demonstrate on a regular basis. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks. i want to join with the statement of mr. liu. >> we have to talk about the issue of fairness, and that when you talk about guitar and the other countries in the region, we as the united states, i don't think, should be peaking in choosing. we need them all. we need to figure out how we work collectively together. atari has been, they have done some -- qatar has been, they have done some things that have been very good for the united states, our military base. they are working with us in regards to the war on terror. what i think needs to happen here, especially when we talk about qatar, we need to bring in as a committee, individuals from
both the bush administration and the obama administration, because there is deep dialogue and conversation we can have with them to talk about the region and the people they have asked to do some things on behalf of the united states. the case, those individuals should not be held responsible, if they are working cooperatively with us. so i look forward to hearing the testimony from the witnesses, and we just need to make sure we have a level playing field here. meek we will mr. now turn to our witnesses. s. i would first like to welcome the dr. jonathan shanzer, senior vice president for research for the foundation for the defense of democracies. he served as a counterterrorism analyst at the department of the treasury, and prior to that, worked as a research fellow at the washington institute were near east policy. .elcome back dr. i would also like to welcome back dr. matthew levitz, who directs the stein program on
counterterrorism and intelligence at the washington institute for near east policy. previously, the doctor served as a deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the u.s. department of the treasury. before that, as an fbi counterterrorism analyst. we're glad to have you back with us today, dr. levitt. finally, i would like to welcome elon goldenberg, a senior fellow and director of the middle east security program at the center for a new american security. prior to see nas, mr. goldenberg served at the chief of staff to for israeli,nvoy palestinian negotiations at the u.s. department of state. 2012 to 2013, he surveys the senior professional staff member on the senate foreign relations committee, covering middle east issues. he acted as one of the lead directors of the syrian
transition support act, which provided additional authorities to arm the syrian opposition. bill passed the senate foreign relations committee in may of 2013. i thank you for being here with us today. shan we will begin with you for your opening statement. chairman, members of the subcommittee, on behalf of the foundation for the defense of democracy, thank you for the opportunity to testify. as many of you know, we have been producing research on qatar's is the eruption the arab spring. our critique is inconsistent. we have to qatari support for hamas, the taliban, jihadist in syria, and the muslim brotherhood. we have been critical of qatar for the invective broadcast on state-of al jazeera. we attract the sports suggesting that qatar has paid ransom to terrorist groups. and we have noted to the work of my colleagues that qatar has
failed to take action against u.s. and u.n.-designated terrorist financiers. in my written testimony, i document these problems. but for a moment, i would like to address how qatar has responded to the allegations against it. after ignoring criticism from think tanks the better part of a decade, the tar now claims is being unfairly singled out. to be sure, the other gulf countries have their problems. a recent state department report noted that u.n.-designated terrorist financiers to you to operate in kuwait. saudi arabia continues to sponsor the spread of wahadism. but to understand why qatar is identified first, just imagine for a moment that you're a policeman and you're just watch five cars speed past you 80 miles an hour. zooming past them is a red ferrari going 90 miles an hour. which car would you pull over? that for our he is qatar. in qatar, the support is over,
it is brazen. at the gulf crisis is dragged on, qatar has also been defined, saying instead addition of terrorism differs from that of its critics. this is a poor defense of a country claiming to be an american ally. as for the current crisis to qatar and its neighbors, saudi and the emirates have been engaged in fierce competition with qatar for years. they attempt to outdo one another in foreign investment, the method businesses, media, lobbying in western capitals, and other soft power. since the arab spring, that rivalry is boiled over. both sides of throw their support behind various proxies represent their interests. the tories back the muslim brotherhood and other islamist actors, and the saudis and the everybody's a working to preserve the arab world order, pushing for stability at the expense of the possibility for reform. these two visions of the middle east are fundamentally at odds. the wife u.s. policy is not connect one gulf state or another.
insuringursue policies the terrorism financing in the gulf comes to an end. i offer you the following suggestions. first, congress should assess whether qatar to continue to host our most significant air in the middle east. fighting our world terrorism from qatar said the convoluted message to our allies. congress should work with the justice department to ensure that qatar not only adopt laws to combat terrorism financing, but also fully and laments them. congress should consider passing a bipartisan stop terrorist operational resources and money, or storm act. the bill, which was introduced in the senate, could label qatar and other countries and jurisdictions of terrorism financing concern. the statehould press department, pursuant to the state department authorization act, to issue its report on which states the ransom to terrorists over the last year. congress should press for full imitation of the export administration act, subjecting
countries like qatar to certain licensing requirements for dual use goods. even if qatar's problems were solved tomorrow the area would remain a concern for terrorism finance. i think we should have a discussion about gulf money in washington, those who feed from this trough are often unable to engage honestly even when they fly in the face of u.s. interest. indeed, i would be curious to hear how many of you have been approached by lobbyist since the gulf crisis began let alone the lead-up to tonight's hearing. if i missed anything you wish to discuss i'm happy to answer your questions. and on behalf of the foundation for defense of democracies, i thank you again to have me testify. schanzer.ou dr.
you're recognize. >> for to appear before you. to talk about qatar counterterrorism. qatar hosts the largest milliontary base. but the u.s. has long criticized the counter terrorism policies in particular shortcomings to fight counter terrorism. the best way to do that would be to find base savings but substantive and verifyable ways for qatar to address the most rious shortcomings in it's counterterrorism. many of the claims are substantive and focus on issues the doha should have dressed. it has maintained an open door policy for islamist extremist groups. most disturbance is a tolerance and support for alaska almise
rks ah. the advocacy of these efforts is questionable. in 2014 the u.s. department shut off the fundraising platform for syria. the u.s. treasure december al-qaeda abi for an syrian affiliate. he came up again in the 2017 of financier. ed they continued funding supposed after they shut down the finance putting a question mark turnover integrity of qatar's measure to stop terror financing. those sketchy on the issue of the prosecution of terrorism financier. according to the state department, doha had made efforts to prosecute significant
terrorist financiers. hey had cut five financiers. it is now clear that if these two was acquitted one was acquit on appeal. one one convicted in absentia. the one that's still resident are reportedly under surveillance. some new arrests may have been made since the current crisis began likely involved some of those previously tried in qatari courts. it led to much speculation about the country's commitment to these speculations. just recent think director of the government communications office said and i quote "all individuals with lynx to terrorism qatar have been prosecute." which would mean the total number of suspects is five. which is not the case.
let me give you just a couple of examples of this odd history. this would have been the second was hat abrahim albaca args and was subsequently released from prison. facilitating the travel of others abroad to receive terrorist fraining and more -- training and he was supposedly under surveillance. but in 2015, the u.n. committee on akack -- alaska sanctions up dated his listing because it required a new u.n. vote and ed that a l.s.u. bay had connected with al-qaeda financier an resumed support of
al-qaeda. it's important to note while they're difficult cases and acquittals are a part of the justice system, these are not the only tools available to deal with terror financiers serving as bund >> hes from donors throughout region to al-qaeda and syria. the first big test would be to populate the domestic list created by qatar's amir and to put people on that list. the u.s. just signed an m.o.u. on counter terrorism with qatar. it created a whole bunch of new authorities. they need be implemented in full. they have counterterrorism related laws in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014. there were either not implemented or not implemented in full and so therefore this time we have to make sure that these are done and done effectively. moving forward, the most important thing that qatar populate this list in a tarns parent manner starting with the
u.s. treasury and united nations that remain at large and continuing to fund material support to other terrorist groups. i thank you again for the opportunity to testify before you today and look forward to answer any questions you have. >> thank you dr. leavitt for your testimony. and now turn to dr. goldenburg for your opening statement. >> distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the u.s.-qatar relationship and the implications of the current divisions of the gulf council. my onlyive is not to recount the counter moves each side has made over the last few weeks. --tead, i will vide some con provide the possible way ahead. qatar is a complex american partner to say the least. on the one hand it has included a policy that has businesses
with taliban, hamas and the muslim brotherhood. this has been a part of an independent and qatari foreign policy that has chased on some of the gulf neighbors and in some instances they have viewed this relationship which has been infuriating them and has been a reason for their major actions. the policy in syria and its slow response were probably most problematic. when the syrian civil war erupted qatar was on the forefront to pro spride sources with little control or oversight. they are far from aloud committing this mistake as a number of other state actors as well as turkey pursued in anybody but assad policy without fully vetting any of these anybodies. certainly the united states made its own mistakes. but qatar in particular was the most aggressive in funding al-qaeda. and we are still living with these mistakes in syria and will be for years to come.
but on some issues, qatar has been a u.s.ful partner. they host a u.s. air base from which the united states conducts ir operations in iraq, syria and afghanistan. they have hosted u.s. military for 15 years an during that time has been a reliable partner allowing access for a broad away of military operations. reover, qatar has at times made a connector. take for example qatar's relationship with hamas and the aid it provides in gaza. they designated hamas a errorist organization. in order to try to improve the situation on the ground and avoid another con flib.
hat is clear is that the interg.c.c. split has not been good for u.s. interest. only two weeks after president pushing ited ryiad and bag on iron, american's gulf allies has been in an internal feud that has distracted them and us. going forward, the trump administration should take a number of steps. first, celt on one consistent message and approach instead of open breaks between the president and the secretary of state which only caused confusion and undermined our ability to media in this crisis. second, move away from viewing the middle east. the trump administration focused so heavily on unifying and backing the sunni arab states that it failed to see the differences among them. third, settle in for the long haul as this crisis is not going
to be solved any time soon. we should clearly signal to our partners that we should focus on the isis and iran. and we expect them to do the same. fourth encourage the escalation by at least getting all to tone down their public rhetoric while the u.s. is willing to provide a constructive mediating role. they will need be out in front and solving. and finally, fifth, i think we should use this crisis as an opportunity to engage all the countries of the g.c.c. to shine more of the light on the problem of terror financing and qatar certainly is a major problematic actor in this space but is far from the only one and this could actually be an opportunity to in terms of this crisis to actually push all of them to be bet eon this issue. so thank you very much. and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. goldenberg and
i thank you for all the witnesses for thing statements. i would like to open my line of questions by recognizing the fact that this hearing is very timely. both qatar and the gulf countries have been important partners and we would like to see a construct ev honest resolution to the crisis. qatar is a military ally of the united states buzz but has simultaneously supported hamas and al-qaeda. we have a role in easing tensions in the region but not at the expense of our national ecurity interest and our values. qatar must cut ties with terrorists. or allies cannot provide support to our enemies. dr. schanzar i have no sympathy for supporters of hamas, nor do you. you have called the u.s. base in qatar an insane arrangement, i
think is the quote. do you believe the base location is dangerous? and how would you propose safely moving the base in such a way that it doesn't compromise operations in the region? >> congresswoman, thank you for the question. i would probably put hit the way. first of all,s the an insane arrangement. the idea that you have this air base conducting the most crucial operations on the world in terrorism and that it is miles away from the taliban presence, hamas presence where there are designated financiers, this sends the wrong message. it sends the wrong message to the united states and to our allies to fight isis and al-qaeda. it sends the wrong message to our middle east allies. when we tell them we're going to hold them to account for their counterterrorism finance issues,
the optics are really rather terrible. as for the safety of our troops, so far i would say so good. we've not had incidents where it appears that our troops are being threatened. would actually say that's not the case with other countrys that support some of these terror groups. but at the end of the day has been that we begin to assess what it would take to move the base. maybe not all of it. maybe not all of it at once. we need to take a look regionally where we may be able to lock at some of these assets and to sig that to them that we may want to move. the pentagon may decide that they can't afford to do it. it's too difficult. but in the meantime, it's important to message to the appropriate people in qatar that we are willing to look that problem and to re-allocate asset
as member. >> dr. leavitt can you discuss what actions the saudis have take on the combat financing that the qataris have not? >> thank you for the question. you know, terror financing is a problem throughout the gulf. it took the saudis some time get on top of this problem. the u.s. treasure spoke at saudi arabia. but the saudis turned the corner. there's more that they can do. but the saudis now run intelligence operations. they prosecute people. they work with us in designating people. there have been joint u.s.-saudi designations including of charities and individuals in saudi arabia. that's domestically difficult, politically for them but they've done it. there's more that they can do. but we now tend to point to others within the g.c.c. towards saudi arabia. and we're trying to show them
the types of things we'd like for them to do more. about kuwait.ny and they're described just as bad as qatar in their defense. but the fact is that there are things that qatar should have done a long time ago. and that they have not done and that we have frankly tolerated them not doing and the overt financing of effectively the most important al-qaeda entity in the world. al-qaeda and saudi arabia is completely beyond the pail. >> mr. goldenberg, in my limited time here. one of my demands in the states is that qatar must close down the turkish military base. >> they're concerned about the muslim brother influence. how important do you think this man is in terms of regional stability and security. and is this one that should be dropped?
>> thank you, congresswoman for the question. think that on the list of the demands, the tirkish air base is lower on the list of demands that the emirates and sawies are leveling. what you hear them focusing on is more what the countries might be doing in the press and sort of personal attacks to the different sides are launching at each other. that's more than the financing issue that we've been talking about. it's been much more essential than this turkish base. there's been some moves for the turks to deploy a couple of years ago. when they move it very quickly sort of a symbolic step. it's an opportunity where the crisis has moved on the. what they trying to do is isolate qatar. what they want to do is
strengthen the turkey-qatar relationship. i would put this wasn't probably not as sensual some of the questions that have been put out there before. but sometimes that we'll see if they walk away from it. >> my time is last. i now recognize the ranking member mr. defensive for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. >> you referred to the flexible approach to problematic actors. and so the question i have for ou and for the panel is, how can -- how can -- what is that? here's how it's characterized. it's characterized, yes, we know that hamas is a terrorist organization. if our ally has a relationship then perhaps that can help us somehow. dr. schanzar would argue that hamas is hamas and we shouldn't have anything to do with.
my question is, where does that flexible approach get us? schanzar, if qatar acted to move all of these -- these terrorist groups out of doha all together wrfment do they go? and to -- is there some benefit to having them there instead of in the arms of isis or in teheran. mr. goldenberg, can you help us with that? >> sure. ranking member deutch. this is the point. it's complicated. but what i would say is -- or maybe i'll start wan example of hamas. 'll quote the former head of military intel jents from israel. he's been talk about insightment saying just a year ago nobody has been ready to help out for
qatar when it comes to qatar. here's perfect example of. we've had three wars between israel and hamas. we have large casualties for palestinians, large casualty first the i.d.f. and the israelis would start to realize, well, maybe we should not be sort of this approach or trying to squeeze hamas and gaza doesn't seem to be working. maybe we need to think of a different problem and alleviate the humanitarian organizations and establish channels so as to keep the situation. whose the only channel they can do that. they've been using the channel facility that. that's an example. if hamas was sitting in teheran which is a likely out yom if they were kicked out of doha. then what you would see is your ability to con neakt way.
and the ability to squeeze them. this isn't to justify the qatari relationship with hamas. i don't agree with that necessarily. i think it's a problem. it's not something the u.s. should shot have in -- any kind of relationship. they are bent on the destruction of israel. but we found this approach by he qataris at least has some benefit. and because we'd like them to behave differently but at the same time they end up -- >> they're able to push certain levels we are not able to push. >> doctor? congressmandeutch. i'm not even sure where to begin. in terms of the potential benefits from qatar working with hamas or allowing hamas to operate out of there -- we have yet to see what the benefits are other than the fact that the
answers to vide gaza. the israelis would agree that it is a positive. we would help perhaps forestall example. mantarnian it's not like hamas has no other place to operation. it has its own base in the gaza strip. it operates out of sudan. lebanon. i mean, it has a major presence acrass the middle east. why does it have to operate inside doha where they get a certain amount of legitimacy for this. people talk about how qatar may have helped perhaps bring the conflict to an end in 2014. if you speak to the other actors in the region, they will tell you whether it's the egyptians and others. they will tell you that it's the cutter that forestalled and then
do to the conflict. but they continue to negotiate on bhoof of hamas. that probably led to the loss of many, many more loves. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> and the chair recognizes mr. cook for five minutes. >> thank you, my opening remarks, i talked about the news story about the north koreans and working on the red cup. we're about 3,000. and in the article it talked about the possibility of whether they could be militaryized. this is a scenario that's kind of scary. we talked about the fact that we have our largest military base right there which is as you said insane. can you just comment on that possibility where this is another dimension and another threat to this because every
week it seems we have to re-evaluate. so, dr. leavitt, could you start? >> paul, i haven't seen this report. so i don't want to comment on a report i haven't seen other than to say the north korean issue is a very important issue. but in general, i think we need to learn ways to be able to leverage conversation. and pressure on qatar. and a wide array of issues. and this would be one more. you have to do that in a way that is flexible because we have many positive relationships. it's perfectly ok to have x number of europeans or to host anybody you want from hamas. i would make a difference between hosting certain leaders of hamas who are sitting in a hotel room. and they believe who is believed
to be in lebanon but was sitting comfortably. attacksiterally devises on israel. how do you have multiple conversations with a country at the same time on some issues. you have agreement. you have her issues done poorly. >> you want to comment on this? >> i'll come in for a moment, sir. it's important to talk about when you talk about foreign workers in qatar. the 3,000 that you mentioned are actually -- it's a very small number relatively speaking in relation to the 800,000 plus, foreign workers that are active right now in qatar. i've seen seen the reports. the concern is that they wouldn't be organization nal but ther than that would -- give
it to the qataris. and that whatever they were being paid was being remitted back to north korea. and that this was an inadvertent way of financing north korea. so these are the concerns that we have. believe that the qataris have addressed this. i've not seen a lot of updates on this. >> the reason i ask that -- ion because we haven't we are having the debate against the sanctions. north korea and this might be another variable that would be included in this. any comments on what happened last year? i was over in that area. and the state department was quite frankly at this time, this was a year ago, maybe a year and a half. >> they were argumenting on behalf of the cutter. they thought it would not be in the best interest.
ry it would t would -- be that. themost viewed it as almost middle east stockholm syndrome because they were very, very supportive of qatar with all its problems and kind of shocked me at least from a military standpoint. >> doctor, either one. >> i served in the bent -- pentagon. from my perspective -- with tall golf states. their arm sales are very use to feel the industry. >> i understand that. but i'm talk about the f-15 upgrade. this is a significant. i understand your expertise. >> i spent a few years in the military myself. although, i certainly cannot demry an airport. but this regards to that particular weapon system which sophisticated
than some of the others. >> i can't tell you about that specific weapon system and that specific upgrade. i can tell you that generally i think we have an issue where we sell these countries too many weaponry because they have the money. and what they need is lower end technology which are much, much important for their interest. >> thank you very much. i'll yield back. >> time now expired. the chair recognizes the florida. from >> rex tillerson said we call on to ease the blockade qatar. >> later that same day, donald trump refered to the decision to block it as hard-button ness. so, my s later --
question to the panel. of is your understanding this blockade? do you sport it? do you oppose it? what is your answer to that? i'll start, i guess and think others have comments. i think we have disagreement. and for the most part have seen these disagreements. >> i do think that what it does do it causes some confusion and se you can't really -- he's going throughout and trying trip a couple of weeks back. so the qatar is slow. you can go to the secretary of state and defense. and the emiratis an others will go to the white house. >> and that's really not an effectively way to sort of try to comment this.
i think it's causing some problems. it's am big you was. >> let me ask you another questions. very there have been reports that trump organization has lots of businesses and -- in saudi arabia and some of these other questions. but not qatar. do you think that plays in role or could it? >> honestly, congressman, i don't know. i don't know what their motivation is. >> jared kushner got stiffed by some folks in qatar. are they still playing a role in that? >> certainly a possibility. but it's not something they would have any knowledge of. >> thank you. >> let me move on to wednesday. i remember my question. are there families being separated because of this blockade based on their national origin or any paddle member.
>> my understanding is that yes, there are issue where is the qataris in various g.c.c. states. where it will all g.c.c. -- they're all -- qatari nationals had to get out of it. and so you would have be separating husband-wife. if. correct. >> i don't know that, you know, and i've heard concerns about that. but i told him. i can't really speak to their policy, obviously. >> i have met with various representatives from these golf -- gulf. and one of this things they said with respect total ban. it's true there is a taliban office in qatar but that the u.s.a. asking them to reopen it. >> is that true?
>> anyone on the panel? >> maybe take a first stab that one. as i understand it there was a tell waupun presence that was already there. in doha that they were representatives of the taliban who had come there before the opening of this office. then kim the initiative by the obama administration to correct with fish. and to find pragmatic efforts of the bush. >> they authorized the -- what became the tall banl embassy. >> this was something that was very frustrating to those wln the afghan r the own recognition of legitimatey. ry on both sides of the aisle. what happened after that was the -- trade for burgdal the american serviceman who had gone missing.
he was traded by the qataris. and high ranking taliban officials. and operatives. ultimately came to qatar as well. they augustmented the presence that had already been there. and since that time the concern has not been -- there has been an first. but rather that also taliban officials. have come in and they have reconnected with the taliban and some of torse. >> there's concerned. but that there have been some operational concerns as well. >> thank you, and i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. we recognize mr. zell don for five minutes. >> thank you, madam woman. >>. doesy tar view hamas as a terrorist organization rm?
or i could maybe a multiple choice. where does qatar view hamas as a legitimate resistance? or would you give it some other characterization. how would you describe hamas. >> the government of qatar duh not see them as a terrorist organization. it seems the violence that hamas carries out will be legit man. and it continues overall that the critique has that been level. . they continue to say that they do not agree with the definition of terrorism. that their credits are using. -- intend. you have very poor defense. >> the problem and they are allies of the united states. they are hosting our air base. they know the twinchese.
and they refuse to recognize it. one of the problems that we had. you know, i think that maybe just -- postscript that if this is the case with hamas. who else might view you differently? >>. >> how do they and so what wee see growing list of actor where is we would disagree on whether they were legitimate not terrorisms. does anyone disagree with that? if at tions do we have all to havey tar change its view of ma ah mass. and the legitimate resistance? >> like in first instance there are reports that qatar has asked at least six hamas members to leave the country. >> that's good. that means some pressure works.
so long as there's no consequence, qatar is a small but rich country. if it wants to box out of its weight class. you can spend other movie and make it more of a player. >> and reaching out to islamist groups that are beyond the pail for most. and being a key interimmediate area. we collectively especially the ropean quarter of justices ruling just now. we need to make it clear to qatar. hosting and providing services to a group that is committed to the destruction until and i put that in a different basket from qatar's support to citizens in gaza, which, the israelis fully
support. >> that's a different issue. if qatar wants to be a responsible player in that regard, fine. t hosting safe haven through leaders of the terrorism group been a problem. >> with regards to the u.s. moving its embassy from tel aviv to israel. are you aware of the nay -- nature of qatar hoping to defeat isis? >> well, i think that yes, and that qatar hosts, you know, -- our forces at the air base which s where the -- we have the k ayock that allows -- basically responsible for all of our operations in iraq, al-qaeda and syria. they were primarily based.
there's a central element of our strategy. i just would -- i really should have clarified other than the obvious that we have a base there. but the nature of these relationships with other terrorist organizations and -- they're very welcoming to just about everyone it seems in the region. outside of the obvious, what other -- what can you add as far as qatar's efforts, not support -- not allowing us to operate here but what rells they do? -- doing? > its commitment is somewhat limbed. it's not as much as others. i think the biggest issue is
that crossadministrations we have been more interested in getting another number to add to the number of coalition members adding qatar without insisting to be a part of it you always have to meet other. while still supporting other equally dangerous. >> i would love to get into that further, but i notice that i am out of time. so i have to yield back. >> for gentleman yields back. we recognize ms. gabbert. >> thank you, jep. i wander if you can address the double standard. udh all of this attention to on cut tar. they cut off support for terrorism. yes on the same -- flm the same breath embracing saudi arabia and lawding their counter
counter rism effortings. when some of you have mentioned. they have long history. and we will study this that creates them all over the world. including grounds like alaska and isis. >> what to speak of saudi arabia, turkey and turkey's support of different terrorist groups and places. saudi support for al-qaeda and yemen and they're fighting gentlemen. all of this asheay tension is to used on. you have saudi arabia's role in all of this? >> i want to make sure my colleague and i will give you moment to speak. number one, you mentioned turkey. probably a whole other hearing should be done on turkey where the same sorts of behaviors that we're seeing exhibited by the
qataris. we've seen them in very similar ways. he was still hear ye but the president of terk where they are in dough hawaii we need to address this. the air base we have very similar issues. . i really see them as mere >> images among one another. open y have been known to up. possibly isis fighter as well. so there are a lot of problems that i think probably deserves some attention. >> and the other thing that we have mentioned today is the problem with kuwait. the fact that kuwait has become a mediator in this. . and they have a former colleagues that kuwait was a huge problem. probably rivaling that of qatar. and so that should be addressed.
>> it is not -- it's not out of the woods. but it has gotten a lot better. it's my best from bread. he goes to the emirates right now. but they still have the problems too. >> what prepared remarks. and the entire gulf is is a property matic sbuss. >> and i think it's been eclipsed. and as they're trying -- it looks as though they're looking to get better than this. >> we still have problems with teaching radicalism and spreading radicalism. we are seeing them double down. and qatar has been the most prominent among them. >> you have a minute and a half. but the issue with saudi arabia we've heard that yes, they're making progress and change occurring. but i and overs have asked thised a minutes frustration
where they discuss. and to date we have not gotten any kind of russia or in person. d there's a lot of lip service. the question is how long have you been going on scast as huge amount of dirt. we're saying we think they're improving in this. qatar in t add that the here and now are doing things that has to stop. there's no question that we've helped them far very long time and a whole lot of things that not only cause problems then but are still causing problems now. i'm not going to make excuses for them. >> which is not to say that there's a lot more than we can. do several member of the committee have said, by different members of g.c.c. states recently.
and i've mentioned to some of our saudis in particular of pushing too hard of ex-terrorism. it's not like you haven't been problems of. and the issue of the taliban would cut. because we're a period of time. taliban officials >> trolling into dubai. it's the longest that they was invested into cost kths. > have turned corners. reshouldn't expect them. the same way. perfect. but we cannot tolerate some of the moster and some of the charges that have been berate against him are simply untrue. but some of them are very true. >> thank you. time. jentlelaidly's mr. mass tiff for fiver minutes.
the jendle lady's time -- gentlelady's time. and mr. masstiv for five minutes. >> terrorism i've heard it say before isn't an enemy. >> terrorism is tactic that is used by an enemy. so to that end, i'd like to hear from each one of you. what is it that you think is trying to be achieved. by the tactic of supporting that tactic? what is the end that each one of you to play out? >> i think qatar is trying to make itself a bigger player on the world stage thanl would otherwise be by being a small peninsula of a very small population. the ages range to be foreign
workers. >> and it is also found another way to kind of punch beyond its weight and that is through making relationships with other islamic groups. and sometimes being able to reach out to others. that proved to be very, very dangerous. and so qatar has never had a situation where there was a cost to having the kind of relationship that wants an tpwheeds us. which we would like to have them too. >> they have very close relationships with some of bors of the world. >> mr. goldenburg. -- overall aidses the rates and it doesn't have the means to push back on its very tough neighbors. it is tough and shares natural
gas wealth with the iranians. they have to figure out a way. o have these proctees. it's where they can bear their teeth. at the end of day what they're trying to do is -- they've become very wealthy. and they have tried to use whatever means they have to purchase power. and so you see them buying um large chunks of london, washington. you see them hang for proxies across the middle east trying to push the muslim brotherhood into positions of power so that they blasted. be i think they've taken it way too far. it's sort of produced like third way.
u know, a lot of the smaller golf base. qatar ran over and the mer >> took over the farnt of the current ameyer. >> it involved not just going alou long with the saudis. >> if you have a much bicker one i'm sitting next to you. if we're going to go with that country policy you try to find every division that you can and every opportunity. it builds relationships by other actors. this is is part tor reason that they have a fairly different approach by iran. although, i think that also to share the gats field. i think it's -- it's partially, it's about increasing their influence and being independent of saudi arabia within the context of the g.c.c.? >> ok. you've each menged what you
thought the end was. we're talking about a very connected action. we're not talking about something very often. so in that being that qatar's been purchasing foreign milliontary or our military had a total of $15 billion. at is the jump that you make connecting the dots to that en. do you feel terror to a conventional tactic? is that the assessment that you make? >> no. they are a small country. think from their behind they're just supporting groups. between other things they might be doing. they're supporting the plate cal office of hamas in their mind. it's not quy so simple.
>> i don't think this is at all a threat of regular military, military conflict. >> i would just add, when you look at qatar, and we've been having this conversation for the last, hour. i think it's important to note 300,000.r is roughly it's tiny. >> you have mrn foreign workers than actual nationals. they are incredibly vulnerable. they are not picking a fight. and why they've chosen the soft power approach. they cause problems for other people that only they can solve. his is the qatari way. >> thank you, so much, mr. mass. god has given me another opportunity on the pronunciation name. swazee's
thank you, i'm going to pick a fight about something you just said, about 300,000 people that live in qatar. orthey're one and a half building muslims in the world. and the challenge that we face is participate in this activity of terrorism and trying to support terrorism and extremism. and the challenge is, you know, who is winning in this battle to try to promote extremism and violence? 750,000 now, there are muslims that live in indonesia, akistan and bang la -- bang la -- bang le dish. so the question is things are dynamic. congressman gabbert was talking
about saudi arabia's activities over decades. building ma drasses and pro-mode moating extremisms. >> some people are moving closer to our way of thinking. not to promote violence. and some people are moving further away. so where would you place qatar on where they are right no now? >> it's a great question. and i would say they've got one foot in -- one foot in the other camp. this is what's really maddening about qatar. on the one hand they are hosting their air base. and they are a vital partner on the war in terrorism. . they're investing here and across the west here investment in legit bhat investments and they hard capital especially when things got rough about a decade ago. they were there apt they were helping. the problem is they've used that
as leverage. so that when we come to them and talk to them. the jihadists in libya, the dal ban and hamas and we go and we talk to them about this. >> they just don't listen. -- so what if -- the people from qatar wanted to demonstrate uts. and they're moving closer to our way of thinking to the west way of thinking. what would be the two or three things that they would have to indicate that in a clear way. >> you know, we should be providing a list of a list of people who they should expel. and it should be part of hamas and part of these syrian jihadi groups. >> i've heard from diplomats in it would be at very unpopular. we're talking about 300,000 people who live in an absolute
monarchy. >> if hi wants them gone, they will be gone. it is that simple. and we could ask. >> dr. leavitt, i only have 1:55. we're not talk about -- talking about that it's a much, much smaller number. we're talking about probably two to three dozen people maxed that were concerned about her. >> it's a small number of people in government. is is one of the reasons why they have it. is because they're doable. they targeted them within the kingdom. so long as is tarkting others, they're ok. give them some type of leverage. >> there's more to life. rather to have a toll -- and
there are consequences in terms of that relationship. if they don't, this is fixable. >> if i can add one point. >> this will give us the opportunity to build some everage and go to the qatarees and sigh -- we need to see your action on this. and to go against the saudis -- >> i agree. >> and so there's the this real opportunity now sort of the silver lining of this sunt. and focusing on what we'd want to see them on. >> you're wrong. i would rather see him focus on. not pending your time in washington. but here's an opportunity. let's turn it on them. we want tall countries. and here ear a list that we expect from you. along these lines there's a mechanism. >> we reated something that's called the tracking center.
there's no meet on those bones yet. >> secretary of the treasure who testified about it. no one really know what is at.'s going to be we should be acting and from ing from participate starts. >> so thank you. there's a real bat until the rld between estimate and instabilities. there is criminals that are rying to propose extremism ideology. >> we need tearkt. thank you. >> thank you madam chair. very just for the record briefly, mr. chancellor last time you were in the administration -- >> 10 years ago. >> 10 years ago bush.
>> bush. >> mr. goldenburg. 2014 -- so very question re-cently all folks considered. all of you have been in a position that this committee overseas. >> we don't know if we see it. and we want to see the places you were before. so i'm going to tell you a .tory, it's a bushera the incredibly unnlable experience of because they had the warm-up mid 21st. to a hostile nation. zpwr the other side of the story was -- the other side of the story was they had come to the state department. in the bush administration. they said, look,. we want to turn these weapons into plow shares. we want to sell them off.
we simply want to raise some cash. and they said who can we tell them to? >>. clearly lock he'd wasn't neither was boeing. >> so -- other others. so my question to you is -- each of you. because i've been through these hearings on country after country. and we are going to see whether it's the palestinian authorities. . . we're going to keep having them. these so we're going to find one thing. >> money is leaking to bad people from within these done trues. either by individual or there might be a saysful -- >> what i want to know is drsh each of you prepared to do and should this administration do under our hospices?
you alluded this. to make a list of who you want others. how did we get the administration to say solid, predictle messages. we know it's not a thick access, please. >> i think we can provide these people. or they should be in gel. and you need take action. and that's very straightforward approach. there are other things that i mentioned. and i will date? if you provide that list, i will forward and i hope my chairperson would do it. have they? nd will they make that quet. . there other ways on putting pressure but they make it more painful. so i mentioned the storm act which is introduced in the clousmeds >> but this would potentially be
named. a jurisdiction of terrorism, fy fence concern. interested in doing commerce. but my question was more nar row. is how do we get those lists specific to the administration? we passed these vary acts and then there gets to be all kinds of debate about it. but what i think i've heard throughout the day both hear and when i was in the back. is that there are specific questions that we should be asking questioning dance. they gave money for the hop. we can only feel that it was not helpful to say the least. my questions to each of you, is can you tell us additional step. >> a little, that we should elieve should work against the
sir. blunt, >> i love blunt. do. know you they know because told them. we are happy to provide you information that we have arm treasury attache and he works real hard all the time. this new mou will send a you department of justice prosecutor tohelp prosecutions. there's no question about the names not only because we've designated many people have a very open conversation with them many times. my recent conversation to the senior qatar official said that you're former fbi. we need the fbi to tell us. i said no, sir, you have a good security service because i worked with them in the past and our people are working within a regular basis and it's frustrating when a senior qatar a a a a frustrating when a senior qatar official says just a straight all the financiers are subject to prosecution that's not true, nor is prosecution the only tool in the tool chest. i'd argue that the problem here so the list but that they refused to do it and wehaven't is you refused to do it and wehaven't had any consequence
for that you need them for other things have to be able to balance. >> i believe that's why our list forwarded to have more of a waynot and i want you to answer my question was broader, not just qatar. it's very clear that we have similar requests from other allies or semi allies throughoutthe gulf. thank you, congressman. at one point. i know we're overtime. one thing the committee could do, for example, could ask for a report on what it could meanto drag for supply away from the qatar airways not because i recommend doing that this might be expensive and difficult and if we can wish to keep that base as a valuable asset but i don't think it's a point of leverage that we mindlessly say well, and we'll keep doing this becauseht were doing it right now and i think that ifthe push the pentagon is determined to creatively think about alternatives the answer you always get from any administration is we have zero leverage here and we need the space which is an excellent case. that would be another area. >> the gentleman from rhode island. in a >> thank you for your testimony. dr., i want to start with you. testimony,ring your it reminds me how disturbing it is and how much more complicated it is that this administration
has not only call for a 30% cut in funding to the state department, but has left important positions vacant and without nominees at a moment we are trying to manage this crisis and this very serious conflict in the middle east. we are still waiting on nominees for the secretary of middle eastern affairs. and at a time when terror groups continue to talk about efforts to pursue weapons of mass destruction. it's baffling to me that we positions ofacant secretary of national security. i take it you all are equally mystified by that. >> it would be much better if we had these positions filled. >> great. i want to first talk about turkey. one of the demands that qatar the turkishse military base located in qatar
and turkey has responded by bolstering its military presence as a strong show of support. is this a real demand? willthe purpose of it and -- what will be the implications if the base is closed? you have to understand, we talk about the politics of this region and overall these countries are upset with qatar for financing muslim brotherhood groups across the arab world. challenge tos a their view of the region which they would like to maintain something of the status quo. the turks have been strategic partners with the qataris. there is no question about it. they see this as a doubling down of the muslim motherhood axis and they see it as a threat of it -- a threat. i do not think they want to open
up another front on this. when he speaks representatives of these countries, it would tell you they see the turks as perhaps second and mining in terms of the challenge to the regional order that they seek. >> is your assessment that it is pushed closer to turkey in this blockade? >> they did need to be closer. they were already strategic partners but now i think, as i see it right now, qatar has few friends so they reach out to the turks and drawn closer to the turks and alarmingly the up to -- alarmingly they have drawn closer to the iranians and that's what qatar is adversaries read about in the first place. >> there was an initial list of 13 demands by the countries of the blockade and that list has been narrowed down to six and the turkish base is no longer on that list of demands.
the turkey issue is an issue for them for the reasons that jonathan talked about, but it is a lesser priority for them than some of their issues on financing and whether qatar is meddling in their own internal affairs, which they consistently talk about al jazeera. they care more about that than the turkey issue. on iran, i would add, it's true qatar has better approach, but there is a mix across the gulf that is important to recognize. we have learned from this crisis the gcc is not much any us and the saudi's take the hearty -- the hard line. view.is i diverse the currys have been trying y atounter iran's strateg
the same time maintaining dialogue with iranian counterparts. what you think is the rationale for that decision and long-term implications? >> i think their country of 300,000 people and the majority of the wealth comes from this huge gas bill that they shareir -- that they share with the iranians. geopolitics. you don't hear love for the iranians. you hear angst, but they will not take a hard-line approach like the saudi's. i do not think they can afford to give the position they are in. >> i would agree with that. a lot of this is driven by qatari need for survival. i've heard from several of our friends in the region in recent months a concern that the muslim are notood in iran
exactly at odds with one another. we have this preconceived notion that because the muslim brotherhood is a sunni organization and network, it is at odds with iran. that has not been the case historically looking at hamas. qatarie a confluence of and iranian support and there is more than meets the eye. this is worthy of additional research. >> mr. rohrabacher of california. >> they give very much and i appreciate your insight that you provided us today. i have a long history in dealing with qatar and with those other countries. i have been here 30 years and i work with the white house before i got here. lament that but things seem to be going in the opposite direction than what we
have as a positive potential 20-30 years ago. it really did look like qatar and some other countries in that region were going in a more positive direction. basically, see is schizophrenia on their part, trying to play both sides against all sides, or these people think they can juggle. they think they are the world's greatest jugglers in that they can handle both groups of enemies and friends. so, let me ask this. ofn you talk to the people qatar, and i have come a bit with a every time that they -- there was one question earlier on this -- that they were asked to bring in the taliban. they were asked to bring in al qaeda and hezbollah and these various groups by the united
states government or it -- government. during the last administration, and we indeed ask them to bring in the taliban and have a greater opportunity for the use their area there in qatar as a base of dealing with the world? i did not work in the last administration, and i did not work with issues of the taliban. >> can anybody ask -- answer that question? did we ask them to do it? >> i do think we asked them to do it but i think take us back to this point. part of the reason we asked them to do it is because the taliban was artie operating there in one capacity or another. verifications some that perhaps the united states
did ask them to get involved with what we consider to be terrorist elements. we know that one of the leaders of the taliban five was traded itor for our government, which was a raw deal for the government. that was something our administration did and it would happen the at qatar. qatar.en via let me ask this. the clinton foundation has received millions of dollars of contributions. we know from russian oligarchs. has the clinton foundation received from qatar? do we know of any? maybe qatar has not given any money to the foundation, is that right? have thoseus
figures, but i would like to correct one thing. there is some debate as to what the united states might have asked qatar to do regarding the taliban. i'm sorry, i have one minute left on this. madam chairman, i think it will. >> you have more time. don't worry about it. >> i think it would be fitting, metal chairman, if we make a request if qatar has been the source of major donations to the clinton foundation and if indeed our government during the time when hillary clinton was our secretary of state, did indeed ask qatar to permit some of these what we considered terrorist organizations into the country.
this needs to be looked at very closely because we note the clinton foundation was certainly in russia receiving tens of millions of dollars from russian oligarchs. whether it isat al qaeda or the muslim brotherhood, the jihadist in hezbollah, qatar has to make its choice. one point that was made here earlier. i do not consider the rebuilding of gaza to be a positive act. indeed the palestinians are shooting rockets into israel and retaliates, for qatar to step forward and rebuild everything that's been destroyed by israeli retaliation, what we are doing is encouraging the permit theaza to shooting of rockets from their territory into israel. is that if indeed
israel is retaliating against an attack, we should not be cleaning up the mess. those people who permitted the attack in the first place should be paying a price for it. we don't want attacks. we went there to be peace. this is the two state solution that was supposed to come out on this. instead, the palestinians have instead and shooting rockets and creating terrorist attacks against israel. let's discouraged that by not rebuilding their buildings if they have been destroyed as a retaliation against this type of terrorist attack on israel. let me just say again, and i agree with this, this is has not been a hearing about all the rest of these states. frankly, i don't find qatar any worse than our saudi friends and again, there is schizophrenia going on there.
but we look at the muslim brotherhood and the impact it is having throughout that region, booked in qatar and saudi arabia, they embrace the muslim brotherhood philosophy, which is the intellectual foundation for these terrorists, whenever you want to call them. al qaeda or hezbollah or jihadist or taliban or whatever you want to call them. we need to make sure this is a time of choosing right now, the juggling has got to stop. hope that the royal family in qatar and the people of qatar decide to be our friends because they have that choice. if they continue down this path, they will be deciding not to be our friends and decide instead with the muslim rutherford and the terrorists. so i hope this hearing today sense of that message. >> thank you, mr. rohrbacher. mr. schneider is recognized for
the same amount of time. >> thank you madam chairman. i apologize in advance because i have a concurrent markup in judiciary. if i jump up and leave it's because i have to go vote. thank you for your time here. please don't take it personally. thank you for sharing your perspective. there's so much here and to try to understand and my colleagues touched on intuitive aspects of our relationship with qatar and the difficulties in fully defining the parameters. i will ask a leading question -- would it be better for us in the region if hamas, the taliban, al qaeda, not raising finances? >> yes, it would be better. >> yes, it would and it would also be better if they didn't have the presence there that was
legitimized. >> the reason i asked the question is you can make lemonade out of lemons. you can find in a difficult or bad situation, something to pull out of it or it but i am looking in the broad sense of why they are financing terror and be a full partner in fighting terrorism in the region. is that a fair summary? >> it is but it's just as important that we finish off today by noting that we need the other gcc countries, this coalition of four, to be flexible and allow qatar some space-saving ways to do this. so far, they've been pretty hard line and nothing is good enough
and we absolutely must demand substance makes real and verifiable changes, but in order for that to happen we have to to have honest conversations with our allies in the region and its is that they be possible enough to find a way and this will have to save space saving gestures. >> thank you. that is what i'm trying to get to. the work we are doing in the region is a longitudinal. it is not going to be solved overnight and we need to have a long-term strategy. mr. goldberg, you referenced it as well, the issue that we have, options to look at other places -- besides qatar to place our panel. as you look at the region, what would be the benefits to us in having a more diversified
platform than just a basic than just a base in qatar? >> there is a benefit, there's always a benefit to having more diverse options. we have other options in the region in central asia, have a base in the uae and bahrain and the more options you have the less leverage a have over us. , you have to do a real evaluation. we lost the base and they have invested $1 billion in the base during the 90's -- the 1990's, and that is a lot of money. on top of that, if you end up in a situation where we lose access to the base, we are not able to anduct as many operations we can bring in a carrier or something like that to offset of those costs. in the asia-pacific or europe.
question,ry competent but it is certainly worth exploring and set of making this a sacred cow. when you make something a sacred cow, it becomes invaluable and you have less leverage over everything else. one other point i would like to add on to what matt was saying, i really do think we need to focus on getting all of our friends in the region to de-escalate this crisis. just go back and look at it. andpresident went in may the whole conference was about extremism in iran. what is secretary tillerson do only go to the gcc? what are we talking about today? they are spending 90% of their time on this issue. they are not spending time thinking about the other things you want them to think about and what we want to think about. it's a really important piece of trying to deescalate this and
find a solution. important point. my last light is, as we are bouncing issues, consistency of message. what is the impact of the diversion message or inconsistent messages coming out of the administration having on us moving forward? >> is clear we have a couple different messages coming out. we are hearing on the one hand, that this crisis is not an urgent issue for the demonstration to handle, and at the same time, it is something we want to have handle. there is some in the region that feel they have a free hand to act. when they hear parts of the imitation. consistency -- parts of the administration. consistency will be important here.
that ought to be the first thing we say and then to follow up with that by saying, as we demand this change, the other four actors involved in this crisis can stand down while we take over. that i think would be the way to get this to a soft landing and be one of the six said -- space-saving mechanisms that matt discussed today. i would like to see more american leadership on this if possible. algae, theour ferrari of the other cars speeding is a fairway to say we need to have expectations of all our allies. >> 100%. >> i would just say in my conversations with the officials this past week was clear that the conflicting messages coming out of the initiation are affecting them. i have spoken to people on both sides of the conflict and they both feel they can listen to the part that is saying what they want to hear. i've also been in europe
recently in conversations with counterterrorism and they've been asking me and no longer a government official. but what is washington really thinking? our allies are confused as to what our position is. ro e play more of a e, there is a better chance of moving forward. let's bring others in. qatar will make the following changes and they have to be willing to agree to make those changes and do it and verifiable ways and we can go to the emirates and the saudi's and say this is how it will be done and this is what the verification will look like. but the qataris have to make those question -- make the changes and do it in a way that is verifiable. >> i appreciate the extended time and i agree. thank you very much, i yield
back. >> thank you, mr. schneider. dr. schanzer, how would you describe qatar's relationship with iran? >> uneasy. although also a bit more ambiguous than what has been previously described. that they arense a small country, a weak country and are looking across the persian gulf at a powerful country on the precipice of a nuclear weapon and the need to figure out a way to get along with his neighbor, especially one with eight share this natural gas field. i think that explains in general the dynamic, but we have been hearing that there could be more cooperation and was previously seen. this is essentially what the gulf protect has been alleging against qatar that it has been working the iranians or perhaps with the proxies, i've heard
allegations not just of hamas, where we know there has been a , butration on all fronts also potentially has the law. we have heard these things and there's not a lot of evidence yet to prove these things, but it is something worth watching. thatere are also reports qatari money has ended up in iraq and the iranian backed blessed groups there. >> correct. >> what about the muslim brotherhood and the relationship that qatar has with the brotherhood? i read your testimony and you wrote about some of the people that qatar was supportive of the government in egypt and thenwhen the general took over qatar was a haven for some of these people.
i have heard reports that some of these really radical clerics which is one of the biggest muslim clerics is in qatar. is that true that a lot of those now have refuge in qatar? >> 100%. in the previous gulf crisis, one of the demands of qatar was that they exiled some of them. taking billionly dollars, for real significant investment. if you look at their support for various factors in syria, they were throwing their weight behind the brotherhood there in the early years of the uprising. the party in tunisia, qatari was our big supporter there. the muslim brotherhood in libya.
at this point, it is undeniable that qataris are the number one supporter politically and financially of the muslim motherhood in the world. turkey is probably never to come more as much financially, politically, but perhaps a bit of both. this is the cornerstone of the debate as i see it between qatar and its neighbors. the neighbors are furious because you do not want to see it come to power and they believe qataris continue to finance and support the brotherhood in many theaters. >> what is there reason for doing that? it's a very wealthy country. the royal, huge wealth. is it just ideologically that is what they want to do? seems like it has caused them lots of problems in the region. >> i agree it has caused a lot of problems. it looks like a gamble that has not paid off. many of the other gambles throughout the air spring, it
looks like money that has effectively gone to waste. but they see this as their leverage, a counter leverage to their gulf neighbors with whom they have a pretty significant rivalry. punching aboveof their weight as matt had mentioned. so they continue to pursue this. there is certainly an ideological approach here as well. >> i'm sorry, i will get you guys in. i have run out of time. you have any insight into the brotherhood relationship or did he cover everything? >> think jonathan described it. there is a relationship, a long, historical licensure. and i'm more skeptical about how much of it is ideological and how much of it is your political -- geopolitical playing. the qatari's are third wave. if it was deeply ideological
then why don't they build a strong relationship with us at the same time? to me, it's more that they don't want to play the same rule and they want to be an independent actor and they will pursue an open door policy told him all kinds of different players, some of which can work with and some of which are a huge problem. that is the motivation and it doesn't necessarily explain the behavior or excuse the behavior, but again, sometimes it can be useful to us of some of these things but a lot of times we need to press them harder to stop. >> i'm out of time. i yield back. >> thank you so much. sheila, now we are so pleased that two members who were not on our subcommittee but i know they are very interested in this issue and i'm very pleased to yield to them and we will start with ms. jackson-lee of texas. >> let me think the chairwoman for her leadership in the ranking member for their
leadership of this committee and the important testimony given by the witnesses. i'm in the same predicament. i've been able to listen to the testimony but i may be called to a vote as i speak. i will rush quickly to thank the witnesses. i want to speak to mr. goldberg, if i might, i noticed that the title of the hearing is the assessing the us qatar relationship which is extremely important, i think. if you might bear with me i will ask questions or laughs in an orderly factor. would you indicate or confirm that -- and i will just go back as far as the clinton administration, the bush administration, and obama. in those administrations, would you venture to say that qatar engaged positively with united states in bill clinton -- yes or no? >> yes. mr. george w. bush? >> yes.
>> and president obama. if you just want a blanket assessment, that was a positive relationship with carter and the issues they were addressing. >> i would say yes. look, i think we have a good relationship with them on a number of issues and the most important being the arab base when we look at them. >> forgive me for a call to the vote. during the bush administration do you have a recollection or by news or research, that then secretary of state asked them to withe with the loss -- hamas? >> i don't know but one of my colleagues might know better than me. >> ok. so you mentioned or in the discussion we mentioned that the region is an important region and i, from the lawyer's
perspective, say that none of equity the court are with clean hands. i would offer to say that stability is important, security is important and in your testimony i'd like you to repeat what you said about engaging so that we can encourage the stability and i understand the list has now been in essence pared down to about six of the divans. but how would it be best for us to effectuate that engagement where all the parties recognize that there are elements of their policy dealing with terrorists and that should be eliminated? sure, i think the most important thing met brought up is mo you being a good starting
point. saying the united states will hold him off to one standard and applying that standard across all the becomes fishery to us in terms of dealing with the overall challenge. and also it helps to alleviate this crisis amongst them. having also in terms of dealing with stability and dealing with the region, it is hammering home the point that we do not want to spend all our time dealing with this conflict they have amongst themselves. it's time to get back to the issues that affect our stability, the things that draw us into the region, whether it is isis, extremism, some of the things iran does that is problematic. that is what i would like to see the relationship. interjection from congress, would you view that as a positive act? >> i would not recommend doing that. i would recommend having a standard that congress applies
to everyone across the board. qatar might have the fastest, might be that 90 mile per hour for ari. they might have a while -- 90 mile per hour for ari. errari and they might have a ways to go. . >> let me follow up with my concluding question. would you make the argument that focusing our attention on the larger picture trying to ensure the stability of the region by way of saying a certain standard, would that be helpful in terms of making sure the region remains stable for other big fights and also the security of israel? >> i think it would any you mentioned the issue of emboldening. we made a mistake of signaling a
green light and a blank check with the saudi's visit to the region and let them to believe there was nothing they could do wrong and so they did this. the structure message would have been, we will take a tougher stand on the issues you care about, whether it is iran, or i would not advocate of walking away from the nuclear deal, i would stick with that, but you want us to do more on counterterrorism. we will do that but we expect you to clean up some of your act and we have expectations of you. this is not a blank check, this is a quick program grow or a relationship between the two partners. >> thank you all for your testimony, forgive me for my focused questioning, but anything cheerleading for her kindness and i like the blank we shouldysis that not give and we should work together for harmony. i like that word in the region. thank you and i yield back.
you were ablelled to join us. mr. connolly is back with us so we will yield time to him now. mr. connolly of virginia. >> i think the chair. schanzer, in your opening statement, you made a reference to maybe pay lobbyists for governments in the region to sending in their offices and pay them a visit. i'm not sure i understood the point of what you are getting at, but i wanted to give you an opportunity to explain. there are lots of lobbyists in lots of countries including send to our offices and we don't necessarily have anything negative, or you suggesting --
>> know, the point i'm tried to make is that there is a lot of noise right now. there are a lot of different actors -- qatar?you mean about >> about this conflict, but in general, when you look at this nature of -- permissive nature of what we have a lot to take place across the region, in my view, it has been the direct result of yielding to these actors. overtime, this has become the boiling frog. although i heard the other day that is not scientifically. they can be wild and they will not shut out. -- jump out. , regardless, what i would say is that we have just accepted the fact that there are terrorist financiers running around in qatar and that there are terrorist financiers in
kuwait and we have been asked to look the other way. they have engaged with us on deals to buy a weapons and investments in the united states and because they have a face here in washington. what i would like to do is look beyond the messaging and get back to the facts here that we have problematic relations. >> could not be also because we had bases? we have troops stationed there. >> we do. >> maybe we have conflicting interests here. paidnot a simple matter of lobbyists who are influencing us. there is a lot of money floating around. we are looking at u.s. interests in the region and we see conflict. >> i would argue in response that one of the reasons we would be able to keep that base is that we continue to hear they are doing these wonderful things and they are helping us out. we will deal with this terror finance problem quietly over
here and let's not deal with it. 10 years later, we still have this problem, there is now a full blown crisis. withve not dealt honestly terror finance in qatar for a long time and we have not dealt honestly with the terror finance problems with those other countries as well. going to go that route, i would add the saudi's to your list. financing that all over the has fomented nervous amounts of terrorism and extremism, one could argue. >> mr. governor, you talked about conflicting messages from led to thisich has topic and i have to agree with you. i'm wondering, added to that, what is the policy and it should ?e be doing it
how about the state department? the ambassador indo hot becauseg and arguing increasingly it is difficult to wake up overseas and explain what is going on in west indies and what it means. 32% cut to state aid, just spit boeing, could that have something to do with to effect some kind of understanding and agreement in reconciliation among the gcc? >> there is a huge problem that we have a huge amount of vacancies and it's a good example that secretary tillerson had to go over there on his own for four days i'm not sure i would recommend that. you are not going to have an agreement, so i do think in a
situation like that, let's do you sent? you have nobody -- who else do you send? you have nobody. and every department and every agency you have that key level in the middle. the individual who is senior in of to reach the secretary of state and get in front of them immediately and still close enough to the worker bees and the experts and the agencies that can reach down and public. those are the assistant secretaries, the key. the fact they don't exist means there is no connectivity between the entire department and the secretary. it harms us on this issue and permit all issues. >> metal chairman, lois frankel had a question, -- >> we would be honored to have you ask it. >> her question, i would do to you first met mr. goldberg. with the removal of the military base give license to our make
worse the behavior in question? >> interesting question, i had not thought of it precisely that way. may, i think the bigger challenge was a sickly would be that if we were to remove the military base it would be incredibly costly. the country spent $1 billion on the base and we have to look at alternatives. would strengthen our ability to conduct operations at the same tempo in iraq, afghanistan. i think the question implies that if the military base was removed, would it be worse without it, assuming there is bad behavior at all? >> i would say yes, that it works both ways. this would dramatically shrink ever relationship with qatar and reduce our leverage over them. it would also reduce their
leverage over us. there are two sides to it, so it's hard for a hypothetical to make. now that the military base is there, we should not walk away from it for all those reasons. but to also clarified we have other options so this is not a gun they can hold to our head. >> my time is up. thank you, madam chairman. >> we often look at the base as to be to fail and we don't use it as much leverage. we need to use it as some leverage. if we woke up tomorrow and there was no base, we would lose leverage, but there are other areas where we have a relationship with qatar. in the best of circumstances, i hope we do not move the base, but we should start looking at what other options might be to move some or all of it to signal that it is not us over a barrel. they are not necessarily over a barrel either, but it is a
relationship and we do not use it for leverage right now. >> i would agree that we need the leverage and what i recommend it is that we need to do an assessment. tois not to say we need leave, but the arrangement is not sustainable. it is not the right message to send to the rest of the region. this does not have to be binary. we can move some assets out of that base is we decide we need to redistribute and i can't relate to much on the qataris, or might say we can't move anything and by the way, this hearing is doing a lot of good. the qataris know right now we are talking about whether we should move the base, whether we should assess moving the base. this is incredibly important. it takes leverage away from them and puts it back in our court. >> thank you very much. we love to hear lois' voice even in absentia.
now we are pleased to turn to mr. maloney. thank you for your patience in sitting to the subcommittee and being able to ask your question. thank you, carol. >> thank you, madam chair and thank you allowing the privileges to attend your meeting and giving me the opportunity to ask the question. and thank you for having a hearing on a very important issue which is a top concern to secretary tillerson. that is why he personally went to the region and he has expressed his deep concern about peace and concern -- peace and security in the region, not only for americans and our base, but also for all of our allies. he's publicly expressed his concern that our allies, these are all allies of america, and he's concerned that if he continues it will break up the gulf cooperation council that has been an important area of
cooperation with the united states and our ability to collectively combat isis. he also has called for the embargo or the easing of the embargo, as it's harmful to the stability of the region, stability of the gulf cooperation council, and is difficult for our base. the embargo affects also the american base. so his vision i believe is a good one, would you say, that we should figure out how to work together. we are all allies and the enemy is not each other but ending isis and other terrorist activities in the region. would you agree with secretary tillerson? >> i would. i think this crisis has been a distraction from other things we should be giving with. would have put as
much into it as he has because i think that part of this is these beties have to also themselves. we can also play a positive role and get them to de-escalate and guarantee any agreement and push them onto terror financing questions. i agree. for our interest, u.s. interests, the fact that the the last two months have been focused on this, that is not good. it would be better if we could get over this. sadly right now, there are no indicators in the near term that will happen. we need to manage the situation to tonethese actors down their public rhetoric and mask their list of demands so a few months of now, privately they can come to some deals. onhe has begun to focus terror financing which i believe
is a way forward. i believe that has created certain criteria already for the gulf nations to cooperate with them and i hope that they will. a huge stepe forward on allowing access to their financial tracking of where money is going if you crackdown on the terrorism financing. then you crackdown on terrorism. are you aware of any agreements that the state department has made with these countries to combat terrorism financing? i was told qatar has entered into an agreement to share their database, together information to combat terrorism financing. are you aware of that? but matt is the real expert on this. >> first of all, thank you for your questions. there is a need across the table
to disk like this crisis. we need to be focusing on on other issues. some of the charges against qatar are baseless, but some of them are grounded in truth and they affected the other issues. agreement,aware of concrete agreement, between qatar and the united states or saudi arabia and united states? or bahrain or a you or any countries specifically to work together to combat terrorism financing? >> that's what i was getting at. there are many agreements, there have several that have been going on for years bilateral or otherwise. there are two new ones. one came out of the riyadh , there is no meat on those bones yet. if you look at the treasury statements, they have great ideas. i have spoken to some of the
people who wrote the statements. they are aspirational but there is a great foundation upon which we can fill. it's something we can use as a space-saving jester to move forward out of this crisis. >> that is a great idea. we should appeal to all of these countries to join us. talk specifics about how to combat terrorism financing. i personally want to thank secretary tillerson for entering in with his entire effort to personally try to solve this. we are talking about allies. we need to get together. and i am not aware of any other country that wants to host the u.s. military. i just recall being invited to leave when country great acclaim. we were told to leave saudi arabia and i am not aware that any other country in the region wants to host a u.s. military. are you aware of any other
country that once us to come in and be there, dr. levitt? >> we do have bases in the uae so it is not like this is the only place we had. it's not the ultimate issue. .here is one other agreement there is no meat on these phones, but they are very good bones and there is more that can be built on it. i don't want people to walk away now there's an m.o.u.'s and how we can cooperate. >> i think that's a very important issue, dr. levitt. what you could do to help us is give us exactly what kind of meat should be added to that phone, and then we should present a detailed agreement on combating terror financing to all of the countries in the region and see who will cooperate with us in a specific way. i must tell you, it is deeply important to me, i represent the
great city of new york and lost 500 friends, 3000 on that day, literally dozens and dozens more that were exposed to the deadly fumes from the terrorist attacks. so we note that there are efforts to protect new york and other cities, including this city. we have intelligence on that and other cities and anything we can do with our allies to combat save future lies in america and other places. and i for one support secretary tillerson's effort to end the crisis. let's join hands, let's combat terrorism, let's combat terrorism financing. because if they cannot finance their activities, they cannot attack us. i represent the district that just six month ago, two bombs went off. where did they get the money for the bombs? how do they learn to put them together?
who helps them? so terrorism financing is very important to the world and to the united states and especially to new york city, which remains the number one terrorist target in the country. i want to thank all of you for your work in combating terrorist financing and i would welcome any ideas of how we could put more strength kind efforts to combat it. we i think if we combat it, would also strike against the financing of terrorism activities in other countries which allegedly, i was listening to my colleagues in the questioning, were very concerned about about whether they are teaching terrorism and we need to stop that. but my time is a way, way over. i want to thank you for being here and thank you for your work, thank you for everything you've done to make the world safer.
i don't know if i'll have the chance to public is senior committee meeting out very, very sad i am that you decided to retire and leave us. you have been an incredible leader. >> i'm going to miss all of our callings. >> your wonderful leadership on this committee at this chairman of this committee has been extraordinary. first woman to have had this chair. we are very proud of you. >> thank you, miss maloney. i do some us. field free to come back to our subcommittee. i know you have been testifying for hours now, but dr. shatzer, this tension has been going on for such a long time. why do you think it's neighbors decided to take action only now? is there something else you believe reciprocated this? >> madame chairman, thank you for the question. it is one of the questions we should have been asking all along.
when we talk to most analysts in the town, they will to you they hit each other and it's the brotherhood and the arab spring. what made this thing he wrapped in the spring, there were reports it was because qataris had paid ransom and the money went to shiite militias and that actress in syria. but there have also been recent reports that surfaced recently and there is confusion over this, but it is worth unpacking. there is a report from the uae ambassador to russia. he went on bbc and claim qatari provided intelligence in yemen and it led directly to the death of dozens of gulf soldiers in the yemeni operation. i've also heard from three different sources since then it may not have been al qaeda they shared this information with, but rather that who fees and other forces in yemen. devastating for
qatar if this were true because it would mean ever sharing information with iranian proxies, which is an absolute redline for the gulf states. this allegedly happened in the spring. i have not been able to confirm it but all i can tell you is that this is what i have been hearing from people who generally know in this town. thank you very much and i think the audience and the witnesses for their patients. excellent testimony. you will forgive me that i was gone from the podium a little bit. floor our bill up on the calling upon iran to release the hostages, the american hostages who are citizens and residents, and we were overwhelmingly approved, so that's why i was absent and with that, our subcommittee is a jerk. thank you to all. -- is adjourned. thank you to all.
[indiscernible] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the washington institute for near east policy takes a look at the risk of terrorism and how to combat the threat. that is light at 12:30 eastern here on c-span. later, the american conservative and our street institute hosted a discussion on ways to encourage urban development in u.s. cities and towns. that is live on c-span starting at 5:30 eastern. >> we have been on the road meeting winners of this
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$250 for the documentary on the opioid epidemic. thank you for all students who took part in the documentary competition. to watch any of the videos, go to studentcam.org and studentcam 2018 starts in september. we are asking students to choose any provision of the u.s. constitution and create a video of why the provision is important. on thursday, when hagerty became the new u.s. ambassador to japan after being sworn in light vice president pence. mr. hagerty is the cofounder of a private investment firm. he was confirmed that senate earlier this month i a vote of 86-12. the swearing in ceremony is 15 minutes. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests.