tv James Clapper and Michael Hayden on Threats to Democratic Institutions CSPAN November 4, 2018 3:17am-4:31am EST
for camping 2018. >> former national intelligence director james clapper and director, about changes in political discourse under president trump and concerns over the president's critiques over security agencies like the fbi. the national security institute at torch mission -- george mason this.sity hosted >> my name is henry butler.
>> good morning. it is my pleasure to welcome you here. want to take a few moments and give you background about our university and law school. at george mason university is a relatively young university part of the university of virginia until 1972 when it became a separate freestanding university. it's named after george mason. it's a living memorial impact of george mason who was a statesman and founder and author of the declaration of rights jun june 121976 the virginia declaration of rights and declaration of independence and bill of rights and the father of the bill of rights with a great statue out in front of our law school called the bill of rights
dedicated in 2017. gnu is a research institution that is a big deal for a relatively young institution when we were added to that list. it started as the international rule of law. it was rice threw th right throl and had escalators. they acquired th at the law schl in 1879 and the new building for the law school which is on the other side was dedicated in 1999 just as antonin scully gave the address and in 2006 when we named the law school after him not because he gave the address
but some generous donors gave $30 million. the law school has been highly ranked for 18th street years we've been in the u.s. news world report that's pretty good for a young school. they ranked the faculty 19th in the country in terms of scholarly impact based on citations. it reflects the commitment to economics as a background and there is another ranking out there i hadn't heard until a couple of years ago and i'm not very proud of these. we are ranked number eight team law school in the world, 16 in the u.s.. that fits in very nicely with the ranking scholarship.
it sounds like an objective high quality study. october was a very busy month in part because we have a lot of research centers. the general counsel made the keynote address and raised $1.4 million in one night that's pretty amazing for the law school and the ball went to the scholarship fund. we unveiled the statute and i encourage you to walk over there during the break eight and a half feet tall, guess.
we have the justices here and got a great picture of them. the research centers that provide intellectua the intellel backbone of our school the flagship was founded in 1974 and has been here since 1986 running programs and economics for federal and state judges since 1976 and hundreds of churches come to the programs and we have a single program in the state attorneys general just last week we had a program on the economics of criminal justice reform and another center on the administrative state and they had a program two weeks ago the theme was to understand why government buildings are so ugly. we have another group around the
world and the economics of antitrust and they recently held a conference last week on the conference for officials so they are operating around the world. the center for intellectual property is one of the leaders. two weeks ago they had a national institute cod institutg this event today was directed by jamail has been an adjunct for almost ten years now and served all three branches of government but most important to me is the fact he's been a clerk twice once on the tenth circuit and again on the supreme court and as a result of that connection r
faculty. it is a an honor to welcome all of you and now we are going to turn over. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you dean butler for your hospitality and all of you for coming. one of the champions for this event and my partners for putting this together the last two months or so. the founder and ceo i think my
team for allowing me to be able to do this. despite requests, no milkshakes here for you today but we are open until one in the morning. what's this all about, why are we here lax the inspiration came to me when threatened with losing the national security clearance. we talked after mass about that what we've seen in the political discourse and stretches to the institutions. we joined forces with the national security institute. our objective today is to bring us together to examine the challenges to our democratic
institutions in the face of today's turbulent world. but we want to go beyond that. our hope is that you will come away not merely more educated, but more inspired and what you can do to help the democracy function. we have the constitutional center in philadelphia with all kinds of arrangements to be here organized around that kind of constitutional theme. there are two audiences here to pull this together the young presidents organization and the
audience into guests. without them, this whole event wouldn't occur. i would like to thank general hayden and the team who are responsible for putting together the resources and hosting this institute. we did this in a time where it happens but we are thrilled with how it came together. with that, i'm going to introduce the founder of nsi and my tireless collaborator and content leader developing today's outstanding event and when i see tireless collaborator anybody that knows me knows that means middle of the mike tech, early morning and text all the time the last two and a half.
i recognize if i stand between you and general mike hayden and the director of jim clapper i'm going to keep this short. the new institution here at the law school of the year and a half old a think tank or goal is to bring together academics, policymakers, students, leaders like yourself into the community and stop with the hard questions of the polic policy and to findl concrete solutions to those problems. today is a great example of that as they were talking about the challenges that face the country today and we were excited to partner. we began last year working on an event about the block chain and we developed another one in january on the innovation economy so we both love to have you back to that event. you've heard from dean and bob
and the relationship we have with each and every one of you we want you here and engaged inductively involved. if you look to your left or right with you will see is go to the site and use a code if you go on your smartphone you can put the code and whatever comes to your mind as you hear the conversations going it will create a cloud if we will have some things to talk about. with that we want to thank general hayden, clapper, the atlantic, thank you for coming to this event. we are pumped to have you here. all yours. [applause]
>> thank you everyone for being here. we are going to talk for a little while. depending on your worldview either the american intelligence establishment or the deep state of what he can talk about the term deep state and a little while and what it means and why people use it. but together you have to hand it to run almost every aspect of the community and distinguished military careers we will talk a little bit about their background. i'm the editor in chief of the atlantic and i have the pleasure of covering both of these
gentlemen. sometimes it's not a pleasure but that's okay. what i would like to do is we will then open up to your questions and let me start i have to start at the most obvious spot the ball which is jim clapper. you've got a special surprise in the mail and actually it didn't come to your home address it was sent to cnn. to be the recipient of a mail bomb and with the procedur whats when that happens and maybe spend a minute or two talking about what you think it means.
>> this is the most disconcerting thing for me on the drive down to north caroli carolina. one i paid close attention to the kind of figured it's decent enough of them he could probably get stopped but it's having to call the next-door neighbor and say it's been done for 20 years. all of us had picke have pickedr iphone on the table and he said any comment or what so we turn on the tube and there is one
addressed to me. i kind of expected it and i will say at least they spelled my name correctly i will give them that. for having not been in complete alignment in this administration of course the pipe bomb thing was quickly overcome by this heinous crime in pittsburgh, and then to african-americans in a store in kentucky i transcend the pipe bomb and i had the opportunity on cnn to commend
it's almost a very similar psychology at work and as long as they create an environment that can seemingly condone the behavior they will have more of it. tell us what this particular incident means in the larger context and i would point out of course that political violence predates donald trump. going back to the attorney general we've had moments of political violence.
the process of radicalization i don't want to oversimplify this and create an equivalency. one of the questions, one of the arguments that we have a used this unhappy young males answer this is a push me pull you. societies create more often than not young men who are unattached and disappointed and feel just as though they have great content they look for something
larger than themselves that they can attach themselves and in some cases it is a very positive step. the way i used to pray is that this has to do more than the holy koran when it comes to radicalization. the same dynamic that makes someone attach the grievance. but then you get individuals that are unhappy and now have
legitimization and justification to their grievance while attaching to something larger than themselves. islamist terrorists that could be a particularly violent of one of them. this is the new part they now have a set of grievances to which they can attach themselv themselves. if you look at the bomber, if you look at the incident in pittsburgh, there's a latent anti-semitism ended as a proximate cause in the belief international jewelry with sponsoring the beginning a nation of america still a thousand miles from the rio
grande. to answer the question in the current atmosphere i don't think we have any reason to believe that this is going to stop. it's just hard to predict when that combination may happen again. >> the broad framework of the conversation is the freedom of order and we will move into that in a minute, but i want to stay on the specific topic of what you referred to as a stable genius who referred to himself as a stable genius. is this presidency knew. i want to stay on this theme that you talked about. in your own life have you seen anything like this and what is
fundamentally different? >> we have 45 presidents, 45 have refused to use the term language and vocabulary and the current president and they've refused for a reason. the presidency is the only office in the united states we look to the presidency to unify us and simply as a political tool of the campaign tool to sustain in the administration. >> no president has used the language before and i will add another thought no other administration has normalized by eating as much as this
country that this is happening to. it's a whole populist trend. it would probably grow. >> is donald trump a symptom orr a cause or both quite it is symptom, not creator, and it is exploited brilliantly where it is captured in the society i will add my confession to his feet did not appreciate and i try to write about this i went back to pittsburgh and as i say he overachieved. he had about 45 supporters of
the president. and these are good people. they have a powerful grievance and the way i try to splenic they've been at my back for 50 years and made everything about my life more rewarding than it would otherwise be in the winds of globalization it had been in their face for the same 50 years so they have a sense of grievance that isn't quite the same thing as saying justified.
the president recognizes that and speaks for it. >> we know what happened in pittsburgh. do you think the people you were talking to in a sports bar in pittsburgh now think of themselves wait a second, there is a link between the way the president i support talks into this terrible thing that happened in my own city. >> a scientific survey based on e-mails going back and forth. >> how much do you link the rhetoric to what happened in pittsburgh? >> you cant i don't think make any of these.
it has more to do with the overall tone of the discourse. he creates an environment in the vendor is a flock of discord and contradicts himself both when he says the right things the initial statement the white house when you read something somebody else was written for azteca to these rallies i think they have some impact and he
there's other exploits in this system of polarization etc. and the involvement of russia particularly in the meddling in 2016 in mind that i make the point i believe it is so monstrous given the closeness it's turned the election for president of trump. they understand that same divisiveness so that's why i sent the response and this situation is worse than
watergate. >> i want t to conduct the analysis of where we are and where we are going on the investigation and are we going to be facing calls of impeachment. if you were sitting on top of the u.s. intelligence committee would you be reveling affairs as defense is an offense would you be advocating for what they do to us? >> i think i would be in the mode of encouraging costs. it's just a totally different system but they have different leverage points.
it might be the fact that people are doing very, very well and revealing what degree they live well and others don't is a very useful tool. there is a fascinating dialogue you have the outgoing commander of cyber command and separate planes for the armed services committee and the intelligence committee being asked by senators who said the president hasn't given any specific directions but if asked what would i do, both of the answers were separately outgoing and incoming the cost we need to impose which is not at all defending against the russians.
that isn't what they are proposing here. as the cyber column commander asking for political and legal guidance above the normal threshold of cyber espionage. in other words a very aggressive cost imposing strategy not preventing them from doing what they do but making them come to the conclusion that it was probably a good idea. >> the other aspect we ran into in the obama administration reacting to the russian meddling
was what will be the retaliation and that is what tempers the standpoint for the use because unless you are confident to withstand the retaliation if you are resilient to recover and want to think twice so if it were me sitting there i would say it would be appropriate for the actions of the policymakers including policymaker number one to decide on but also employing any of those tools. it may recall the occasion or the height of the strong
personal animus was because of her alleged promoting so do you want to exploit that, which we certainly could you need to think about what are they going to do as it encounters that into the obama administration to give criticism at the time and that's part of the calculus because it isn't as though we needed to consider. >> i want to highlight what we just talked about here. the fundamental issue is not russia if the united states.
it's a serious degree of the problem even without the weaknesses. it's not very interesting we are not going to talk about it, donald trump is a legitimate president said now the question is how is president of trump governing. >> if you were in office right now would you be comfortable sharing very sensitive information about russia with the president of the united states.
fragile this idea is and i wonder if that for you is among the bigger surprises of the last couple of years and how you think about the durability of the democratic experiment. >> talking about the great institutions in this country which have been durable but at the same time fragile and the supporters of those institutions choose for whatever reason so i think they are a lot more fragile than people think and
figure taken for granted because it's where we've been for so long. i do think it is one of the reasons where mike and i have chosen to speak out to make that point to educate the public about the fragility. imagine ten or 15 years ago something remarkable has happened where you were in the nsa for goodness sake.
>> my dad was an intelligence officer for 28 years to speak out on a different mode. we are part of the maritime indians dictation and he did a great public service to this nation and the intelligence committee to explain things to people before i could say anything about it and i remembered that model and
it's actually very thin and it is not a naturally occurring phenomenon and therefore it needs energy and nurturing and care and we shouldn't take it for granted. >> we have been doing this for 200 years and we came out of the 1860s as one country. on the other hand it seems passable to think that a tv star can undo what took 240 years to build, so we talked about this democracy and civilization so to respond i don't think that we can undo it.
>> the sounds you hear are institutions digging and to the rule of law and how long can they withstand. read the federalist papers there are reasons we want him to act with dispatch and so another historical moment and i will be efficient about this i don't think it is 1860, i think it is the 1890s. very quickly there is a lot of turmoil in the country fundamentally because we were trying to adjust the institutions that have governed us as an agricultural society to convert those that would serve in the industrial society and we
actually had a populist twice winning the financial class for the betterment that would have prevented industrialization. we have a get on with it incurred in the first principles in order to govern an industrial society. we are now trying to do the same thing to govern the information age and they ran again and the response to this is we don't
want to become that new society. we don't want to be protectionists. all of the things that new society is is pushing back against. so it isn't just the general institution. my fear is we are not getting on with it and we are not making the adjustments. so it isn't a static at well over 25 250 years, why won't itr the next 25? we have to make changes and if we refuse to. >> we are going to g good questions but before we do, based on what he said for the future, you talked about the institutions across the river from actually on this side i
want to ask a very specific question. [inaudible] [laughter] on both sides of the river for a minute and i want to ask you a narrow question that leads to a big question. how do you buttress the wall and institution to withstand the change and the norms of the president for the pentagon and cia the justice department, whatever you want. the fbi obviously. how do you buttress those for the next two or six years so that they maintain their coherence and cohesion and commitment to constitutional democracy, and then a larger question is when you think about the future, how do you defend the parts of america that you believe are worth defending, the
parts that are worth defending, taken barrow and go big, both of you take that question. >> what i have observed whether it is conscious or not, but a lot more local activists you travel around the country and see what the governors are doing and the mayors of cities. they will try to get on with what's right for their communities and states. i do think the activist groups need to try to keep the administration honest, pull them out when there are distortions
and lies. there is a lot at the individual level. one thing you can do is vote. a cherished teacher of the system and all of us need protected by exercises. >> how do institutions push back without violating their own norms? in front of you now are two career intelligence officers violating their norms by being here and the fact they are both under contract with cnn as you
suggested earlier, john brennan, they are all out there because they deeply fear what is going on in the country. but the unified though thoughtsi think we share is this is a moment we shouldn't pretend it's normal. we should keep emphasizing that it's not normal but how do we do that without violating our own norms? donald trump is the commander in chief in a real example now how does the north, commander talk about these fears in operational
order with some 5,000 troops to the southern border? look at the moral and professional dilemma that officer is in it is clearly done for political rather than a tactical effect. and it's something you won't s see. what does he tell his troops? >> very good question. why don't we take one here and then go back there. >> from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of you do. [applause]
what you are talking about is so fundamental to the survival of our democracy and the world. it's so fundamental. thank you for what you're doing is the former senior government intelligence official and some other former officials, but there are very few prevented officials or republicans in congress are willing to say the line has been crossed and accepting your point that in order to do that you have to violate your norms. at some point that's why it's so dangerous an example that you used, the military order, the commander in chief can give orders, but when will we start
to see, what will it take for members of the military, members of the administration or republican members of congress to start to stand up and say it's gone too far? spinnaker adventure to the institutions and then go to congress. >> they have to try to observe their norms and realized fixing it by posting your own norms does damage to the institutions and process and you've got to be careful. this is probably not going to help with tv cameras rolling here i think that it's quite masterful the last six to eight months. doesn't pick a fight and answers questions about strategic issues in a very straightforward and honest way and seems to be fairly indifferent whether he's on the same page or not.
the joint chiefs and secretary, i think there response to the transgender band message for the president is about as close to the edge as you can get and their the issue was -- >> the president tweeted from the residence one morning when he was scheduled to give a briefing on his options with regards to transgender troops, he tweeted it's over, we are done, they are not going to be in the military and the process that changed was they may or may not have had a different view three or five years ago about the troops and now they had a commitment because they were on the team and their ethic wouldn'wouldallow them to aband. but the issue is still studied
in the department of defense. what is august the constitutional limit should be the congress. not only is congress not limiting to date, the president is enlisting his party in congress to the agencies of the executive branch but he cannot seem simply by executive fiat. i've never seen anything like that in my life. >> i would completely agree about dan coats and they haven't been taking sides but when called for, they very quietly made the point that needed to be made. after that statement he came out and i'm sure he thought about this could be it but he stood on
principle and that's why there is a double burden on the leaders of these institutions. as i characterize it between standing up for what's right and violating the norms. >> i want to second the motion and say thank you very much for being here. you guys are the best. [applause] what do you do about saudi arabia in light of current events? [laughter] >> this obviously isn't company
policy. i think we should have been much more in response to that. cutting off diplomatic relations and really convey the message that the behavior is completely unacceptable. it is a term in the diplomatic world. >> we didn't do that. it's a very elastic at the dingy gerry standard that conveniently
applies. >> 1300 words on this and the first thin point i want to makea we talked earlier about afterwards matter and you set the context and okay he's not responsible for the synagogue killings, but actions matter and that's why we've been complaining for two years. what we have done in our relationship is personalize it between the young minister just about everything in the white house and a 37-year-ol 37 year a 33-year-old. we haven't even nominated an ambassador and the structures of
president that i teach graduates and many are interested in those careers. what do i tell them? what advice you have for those in college who are interested in intelligence? . >> i know that with those colleges and universities personally i have found it encouraging that there are a lot of great people that are
interested specifically with the national security arena and intelligence. and what attracted me and we were motivated to stay that is a noble profession the satisfaction that you get to be something larger than yourself. i have been uniform no college or university i have been to and always run into a cadre of young people despite the current atmosphere. >> what i generally say to the young people is go and work hard to make this president better than he otherwise would be.
take notes. keep them in the drawer. [laughter] protect yourself. but the more senior you get you may say you don't want to do this because if you are a senior person in the administration you have to decide whether you have an effect then you have to think twice but at the ethical level will you be the guard rail you think you will be or will you give the administration more legitimacy than it otherwise would have? . >> at the president says 10000 troops to go to the crisis you say no? i quit?
you do it? . >> if everybody is commenting on those disc is on - - on those decisions but this is just the kind of question that secretary matus would have to think long and hard about. >> but with the current turmoil you would all be complaining all the stuff that needs to do in government targeted killings and all that stuff. and those are edgy and what we need to debate that they only take there legitimacy to be attached to a higher moral
purpose the government embraces that higher moral purpose it loses the legitimacy and exclusivity. >> i will say in the end with a highly personal decision going to that myself a couple times if i resign with that be more disruptive than if i stay? but you do weigh those factors i am sure the secretary thinks about those as well. >> thank you for coming i have
a question about this administrations diplomacy he has cozied up to autocrats and disrupted the relationships with our traditional allies. normally presidents count on there first trip abroad he went to saudi instead. and to talk about his lovefest with kim jong-il and. so what is the long-term impact of disruption with the strongest allies and what kind of damage is this doing in terms of willingness of allies to cooperate and share intelligence and work with us on these global issues? . >> by the way director clapper
i read your book this summer it is fantastic i look forward to reading yours as well. >> let me give you one example so with australia national university there is great concern among australians and canadians about the path of america if we challenge the traditional role that we play? ever since world war ii? we set the framework for the international order. this is very disconcerting to
our friends and allies overseas. what i told the australians this year is you just cannot wave your hands continuously with the behavior of this administration. to be so presumptuous you need to fill those voids and fill that alliance. if you pursue a leadership board and then you see japan and then use soft power with the leadership and the ttp one - - tpp was a terrible mistake. the other thing i tell australians, we have deep and
durable pillars economic or in the case of the history and culture and language and to what we can attest to so i believe at this point to have withstood the assaults caused by confusion of the leadership role. so yes that is a juxtaposition to embrace the autocrats and at the same time with those friends and allies that is very disconcerting to me. >> that's a good point to end on that american strategy the
last 75 years is in a document nfc 68. actually downloaded it and reread it. one of the most used words in the document it is a strategic document and they have pages to this concept as being something necessary to ensure that these values could survive it is throughout the document and america's values and america's democracy cannot survive in a world hostile to those values you must create a world where they are survivable and there are other
things that our less clear but back to your question of how much longevity will not have? immigration is a natural advantage and free trade is good for america and good for the world and those are not assumptions and that's one reason we have so much nervousness because i was in norway in late august walking around the trade show and there is a few mild complaints where we were as a country and said i grew up in a world in which a great and powerful nation wished my country well. my grandchildren do not live in that world.
and i thank you to you both. that is fascinating. [applause] . >> the next panel starts at 1:15 p.m.. we back in your seats in the next 12 minutes. >> ahead of tuesday's elections, president trump holds a rally in georgia. live coverage begins today at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span and on c-span.org. or listen on our free radio app. c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. , the it newsmakers
executive director of the democratic congressional campaign committee and john rogers, executive director of the republican campaign committee, talk about the strategies for the midterms. nebraska republican senator ben sasse talks about his latest book. he spoke at the national press club last week. you, there is so much i want to talk about that is not officially on our agenda but it feels like she gave us 15 jumping off points, one of which is i wrote a 520 page dissertation. there is an old joke among humanities ph.d student you write a 500 disper says because you didn't have time to write a 200 page dissertation, that's what i did in any undereditted project. we have been talking