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Mitch McConnell
  Senate Republican Leader News Conference  CSPAN  July 18, 2018 5:19am-5:33am EDT

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-- california democratic senator talks about vladimir putin and the republican -- and the mueller probe. and then russian relations. be sure to watch washington journal at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. joined the discussion. c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. youontinue to bring unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and the public policy even's and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says that there were indisputable evidence that russia tried to interfere with
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the 2016 u.s. election. he is joined by other senate it -- senate republican leaders. in about 12 minutes we hear about -- we hear from chuck schumer. >> just waiting for everybody to get queued up. good afternoon. we will confirm to more circuit judges this week -- two more circuit judges this week. apace onontinue circuit judge nomination. is making visits to senators' offices who requested his appearance. that seems to be going smoothly.
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for myself, i will say to our european friends. , it has the nato treaty been the most significant military alliance in world history. unionieve the european countries are our friends. the russians are not. iny have demonstrated that all of the obvious ways over the last few years. the annexation of crimea, the invasion of eastern ukraine. indisputablen the evidence that they tried to impact the 2016 election. it, io mistake about would say our friends in europe, we understand the russian threat and i think that is the
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widespread view here in the united states senate among members of both parties. the 24 circuit court judges that we will confirm is and the old him -- and he -- ham, the third fifth circuit nominee to be confirmed since president trump became president. on judge kavanagh, we have been discussion -- discussing the schedule and we feel strongly that judge kavanagh's hearing needs to occur at such a time that will allow him to assume the bench at the beginning of the october term of the supreme court. the first monday in october. it means that, if you look at what judge gorsuch's hearing schedule, roughly 66 days from nomination to confirmation,
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which would take you into the middle of september. hearve already begin to rumblings from our democratic colleagues that say they want to see every scrap of paper that ever came across brett kavanagh's desk. my suggestion is that they focus on his 12 years on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. in 2006 when he was confirmed to the circuit court of appeals, the second highest in the nation. they made no request for the records that came across his desk when he served as staff secretary at the bush white house. basically managing the paper flow for the administration. expect to see a lot of requests for documents, expect to see requests for delays. we are determined to make sure that supporting the chairman -- that this is a fair and full
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hearing. we are not going to sit idly by and allow our democratic colleagues to draw this out by making unreasonable document demands that will delay this hearing until well past the election. the more that people see of judge kavanagh, the more they like him, which has prompted the media to point out that the democrats are struggling for a message. they have quite -- gotten quite desperate. the new york times and washington post have pointed out that many of the statements made are over the top, hyperbolic and one rated a four pinocchio rating. anddemocrats are struggling the reason that they are struggling is that this is a mainstream take that has the right temperament, is well respected and highly qualified.
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as he makes his stops around, he is visiting a lot of members out here. anybody who wants to have the opportunity to sit down with him. he is impressing. we are looking forward to continuing the process. justice mayorwhat said and justice gorgeous -- gore chess -- democrats will try to delay and obstruct and they are trying to discredit this judge. as the media has pointed out, they are desperately grasping to come up with a message. president trump, when he visited with nato, was very firm with his relationship to the issue of dependence of our allies on russia for energy and
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natural gas. it is time to try to end that dependence. russia is trying to develop a pipeline that would make germany more dependent on russia. when vladimir putin thinks about natural gas he thinks about politics, power and money. allies to for our diversify their energy isortunities because energy called the master resource for a reason. multiplier and an instrument of power. the more you are dependent on someone else, the more the you become. i will be introducing legislation to make it easier for our nato allies to work with us. i want to do two things, one is mandatory sanctions against those involved with the pipeline make itto russia, and
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easier for nato and the united states to work together on a transatlantic energy alliance, specifically to make sure that they can become more connected to the united states and less dependent on russia. on the topic of russian interference. the senate intel committee that i serve on has reached the same the director of national intelligence has reached, that the cia director reached, that the russians tried to interfere in our elections. at the indictments that came out, that is the likely path that they used, which makes it more clear that the russian government was involved in the effort and that the effort was directed and
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financed by the government no matter what mr. putin says. i will also point out that the rules committee is looking at what we can do to share information better with local officials that conduct elections. there is no reason to believe that the election process was impacted, but there is every reason to believe that that is critical infrastructure and we need to be more defensive of that system in the future. worke going to continue to on those topics, and continue to do that based on the believe that russian interference was no interestey have in helping us with anything. we have to be alert, and visible in -- vigilant where anybody else is involved that can cast a doubt about the people's elections and the way a cast their votes and the way the
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votes are counted. nearly 300rs ago people were killed when a russian system shuts down a malaysian airlines flight. russia has not only downed the commercial airliner, it supports murders and in -- supports the murders of our enemies in afghanistan. it supports meddling in elections. they crossed another line when they poisoned two individuals on allied soil in a cram -- and it -- in a chemical attack. toe introduced legislation allow the state department to consider russia as state-sponsored terror. what does it say about the state of our government that we stand here and reassure europe that we are their friends?
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>> i think it is important for friends to hear from our friends. i think it is important for europeans to know how the senate that have worked to maintain world peace and to have some process that we can enter into trade agreements and other things. i just think it was important for our friends and allies to hear from us. are you concerned about that? there were reports that there was a senate trial. how would you handle that? >> i'm not going to address a hypothetical like that. i think it's pretty far-fetched and probably not worthy of comment. >> do you feel like there's trust with you and the
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h howlican congress withouj the president has approached europe and russia? >> i'm not here to critique anyone else. i'm here to speak for myself and you heard others this morning that are standing behind me about our views about our friends and allies, and i want them to understand that in this country, there are a lot of people in both parties who believe that these alliances painstakingly built in the end .f world war ii are important >> is there anything congress can or will do to push back on russia other than just offering support? >> well, there is some possibilities.
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senator rubio has a bill that targets the 2018 election. there are potential town lease if the russians do it again. there is a possibility that we may well take up legislation related to this. in the meantime, i think the russians need to know that there are a lot of us who fully understand what happened in 2016 and it better not happen again in 2018.