tv Washington Journal Heather Conley CSPAN April 23, 2019 10:57pm-11:31pm EDT
this summer. >> the supreme court will release the oral argument on friday. we will air it here on c-span. >> attorney general william barr will testify before the house and senate judiciary committees on the mueller report come alive wednesday and thursday, may 1 in on wednesday, live and thursday, may 1 and 2. ention now to the mueller report and russia's interference in the campaign 2016. here is heather conley, former citizen secretary of state for european and eurasian affairs under the george w. bush administration. she is the vice president for the center for strategic and international studies' europe
program. thank you for being here. away?s your take guest: i think it is important to take a big step back. i think this story begins in 2014. let us start there. remembering in 2014 the russian government had annexed crimea, had attacked eastern ukraine and the u.s. had deployed three companies to the three baltic states to defend nature against russian aggression. as they were attacking ukraine, they began to make plans to attack the united states doing the 2016 residential election. so i want people to understand that what russia did, i will keep us focused on russia, this is military doctrine come of this is called new generation warfare. the russian chief of the general staff has created a doctrine designed to basically crash us
or influence us from within. you don't have to invade us, you don't have to cross our borders, ,ou are changing us from inside changing americans view about our democracy and helping americans fight each other. you are sewing those divisions. what this 448-page report did was map out, at least the first part of it, how russia did that. it is so important for americans stop.w that this will not they did it again in 2018 in trying to shape perceptions and they will do it again in 2020. eight may be a guest the republicans the next time rather than the democrats. we have to prepare and protect our country from this influence whether it is russia today, or other adversaries who see this playbook working very successfully and may try to do it again. host: adam schiff wrote an opinion piece in "the washington the special counsel's
investigation began after an investigation of the f.b.i. into .n attack yet the report on the describes this in a paragraph, talking about how the special counsel's office met regularly with the f.b.i., and even embedded counterintelligence agents for of -- these work of those agents and her findings is not detailed in the report. what do these agents under mueller's supervision recover? americans present an acute counterintelligence risk, and what steps if any have been taken to address these threats? guest: this is again where the story began, concerned that a foreign power was attempting to influence our elections and our particular campaign.
this is why we need to protect the country. to make sure that in the future, every candidate, potential presidential candidate, understands that it is unacceptable to accept help from a foreign adversary to help pursue an election. that basic ground truth that we need. the counterintelligence and perhaps speculation of what it is not in the report, it was such a level of concern that we had to have our national security team make sure that a foreign adversary was not trying to unduly influence a campaign and ultimately an election. host: adam schiff right -- a candidate, he writes -- if a foreign power presents come from is an information on a government official, that is a counterintelligence risk. if a foreign power provides influence over the president,
that is a counterintelligence nightmare. guest: absolutely. when any official takes their oath of office, they swear to defend and protect the constitution. this is not act, to protect the constitution and the integrity of the united states. so it is very serious. it does not presume guilt, it presumes that would have potential he and adversary that is trying to do us harm and have to protect ourselves. we would protect u.s. men and women in military service if they are defending our nation. this is a different type but equally important of defending our country and our constitution. host: i want to invite our viewers to call and participate. heather conley here to take your questions about russia, the tech six, the tools, and why they are inivated to interfere camping 2016 and also in 2018. republicans, 202-748-8001,
democrats, 202-748-8000, 202-748-8002. when it comes to tactics, let's talk about the social media campaign -- the mueller report says, the internet research gency carried out the earliest operations identified by the investigations, a social media campaign designed to provoke political and social discord. they also used social media accounts to sow discord in the political system through what is termed information warfare. the campaign involved from a generalized program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the electoral system through a targeted operation that favored president trump and disparaged candidate clinton. thet: absolutely, this is military doctrine, new generation warfare. to use a strategy of influence to basically disarm the enemy from within.
. divisions, they exploit the them.sses presented to i have watched how russia has used its influence across europe. ,hether it is in western europe central and eastern europe, the western balkans. it takes on different patterns. it sees the divisions within the society. sometimes they are religious, ethnic, whatever creates discord in a population. they send messages that amplify them. they are interested in having that society attack one another. because while you are so confused in fighting one another, best consumed in fighting one another, you will be less likely to protect the country from what russia is trying to do. what we are seeing in the information warfare using what divides america -- our political polarization, our partisanship. that is a huge exploitation. the more we are not unified and working on issues in the bipartisan manner some of that
is an area of division. racial tensions --their social media implication was definitely on black lives matter. religious tensions, you could see that is played in economics. anything that divides us. they are not creating that, we are. there are just using incredibly powerful social media tools to amplify that. what became apparent throughout report, and i can come of the footnotes are the richness, you have to dig through them because it gives you a sense of how it evolved. you good sense the more awkwardness ofe their use of vocabulary, but certainly, they were getting a little better and becoming more american voices that were harder to distinguish. it was like an american providing these messages and that it is hard, because then, it is free speech, if it is an american expressing their opinion. so it gets very difficult.
but it is to amplify our divisions. and the only way we fix those divisions is if we fix ourselves. host: do so shall we give companies have a responsibility? guest: they do. i think this has been one of the outcomes of the investigation, the social media companies understanding that they are part of the battlefield. we saw a big leap from pre-2016 in the midterm elections of 2018, the social media companies had their own literal war rooms where they were monitoring traffic, taking down these automated bots, taking down the fake facebook accounts. but this is a catch up game, we are trying to catch and keep up. we don't have an office in , bipartisanunified message coming out of washington and going out throughout our communities. we have to watch out for this.
. we have to eliminate how we think. as president putin's advisor recently said -- this is not about election interference, it is about getting into our brains and rewiring how american people think. . that is how serious it is. it takes us working to help make sure we understand why these adversaries are attacking us, but we have to have confidence in our own democracy, our institutions and our elected leaders. and right now, the majority of the american people don't have that confidence. host: surely from hot springs, arkansas, republican. caller: good morning. so glad i got to call. this is my third time to call about this. this has gone on and on and on, and i just don't understand why, i side documentary two times on c-span and it was an investigative reporter, seymour
hersh, reporter. his team was in a new york library, and he did this .ocumentary about journalism , andres about all of this he said, that and of it, the reason i am so aggravated about it, he said, in the future, it be a fable that is agreed upon. it looks like the fable is none ending. the one that began was the f.b.i. host: thank you, shirley. the c.i.a. and brendan started this one? started.a. and brennan this when? caller: i don't know, i saw the documentary.
host: ok. guest: this is very confusing, that is the bottom line, it is hard to understand the complexity of this. this is actually quite historic. what russia has been doing is what they were doing during the soviet union. we used to call it "active measures." anything to discredit a real confidence and credibility in the united states. it makes us look less attractive as leaders in the world, it makes our allies question us. it is in fact something that has been very established practice. but in today's world, we have, the american people are not completely convinced that they are at war. the ask most people, we are at war in russia, this war is not happening on our country, on our social media feeds, so there is a lack of awareness. but it is extremely serious. i would like to take the partisanship out of this.
we have to treat this seriously and protect ourselves. host: is it an act of war? guest: it is a nectar war, i believe. the comparisons many of us have made after september 11, we understood we were at war, we understood we were under attack and we changed the entire u.s. government. we created the department of homeland security the 9/11 commission,, a bipartisan commission, we changed the way we collected intelligence, changed our approach. nothing similar happened after an attack that you can't see the manifestation of it, but is equally as serious. what has happened is we have become very partisan about this, pointing fingers at one another. i fear that we haven't changed government organization and strategies. this is not going away. other powers are being emboldened. they see something that is actually very cheap and
effective. they can't meet the united states militarily. our strength is great. but they see where our weakness is. and that is our division in our own country. and if we don't know what is happening, this can be a very big thing to exploit. this is where we have to act together to protect ourselves in the future. host: from vermont, jack on the democratic line. caller: when you have a putin,nt who sides with and says how powerful and great he is, there should be more putin, andke pu thise have division in our country and those who will follow him no matter what, it just makes us appear, as you just said, week around the world -- weak around
the world. it is a joke, what is going on right now. i am a an marine from the vietnam era, i know a lot of career marines who stayed for 30 years who think this guy is a joke. and for them to say that, is big. until missiles thing with best until this whole thing with russia, as you are saying and addressing, i really appreciate you, is addressed in a way that we come together as a country, that is politically, as politicians and do something, we are at high risk, a real high risk. thank you so much for your work. host: so what should happen? at just come together in bipartisan spirit, but how should the united states react to russia? guest: what we have seen over the last two years, you're right, certainly the white house has not taken the leadership of
this issue to organize and coordinate the entire u.s. government to approach this very serious issue. that has not happened. but in the absence of that, we are seeing the different departments, the intelligence committee, the state department and others, understand the seriousness and are doing everything they can, the department of homeland security and others, to make sure the nation is protected as possible. we saw that in the run-up to the 2018 elections. it is not where we should have priority, it is not organized by the white house, we don't have strong bipartisanship in that sense. congress has also played a very important role. i know right now this is a very divided congress, now that they have received the redacted mueller report, but i think we are seeing when it comes to russia policy that would have the partisanship on sanctioning backed -- it judge it
sanctioning russia for its morality of activities. i don't want people to think that we are totally disarmed, there is good work happening, but i think what the caller was speaking to, and this is setting aside this report, it is the moral authority of the commander in chief in the white house. reading the news today, i was reading that president trump will be traveling to london for the anniversary of d-day. that is american leadership against great tyranny, fascism. that is what the world looks up to, that is what ronald reagan said, that shining city on the hill. but when we equate ourselves to leaders that don't support democracy or that harass their own people than we lose our moral authority i can't put that into an equation, but that is a message of hope to people we
have always stood for and we have been losing our luster in that department for a while. host: very from petersburg -- larry from petersburg, illinois, independent. caller: good morning. make a like to comment, then ask a question. mayberetty concerned that we are going to see the media try to get our eyes off this focus on this investigation, being into the trump campaign, and try to make it look like it all involved from russia being the central reason they started. i think we really need to know who all was involved, why this happened, and is it true, ms. conley that it wasn't just an attempt to bring discord toward
hillary clinton, but there was also information they were putting out to work both sides of this equation? guest: thank you. wonderful question. i would just step back -- what is so important about the report, the hallmark of a democracy is it transparency and accountability. you don't have that in an authoritarian regime, whether that is russia or china, they themselves. so the fact we can do this, as difficult as it is, and getting to the truth and facts, absolutely essential. what we know of. influence, inn the beginning, quite frankly, it doesn't really make a choice. and wants to sow discord within the democracy, make democracies look unattractive. because, my goodness, the russian people do not enjoy democracy. maybe they would start your for something different other than president putin. just making democracy look less
attractive. and right now, they don't look attractive. we don't look like we can take control and manage localization and immigration. it makes your head in. you sort of want that takes control moment -- it makes your head spin. site is making both sides look bad. in some ways, in typical ways, they may not have a preferred candidate. when i see a candidate, the individual that supports the kremlin's interests or perhaps lifting sanctions against russia, or perhaps for giving what they have done in syria, ukraine, or venezuela, what have you. trying to get back into positive relations. so they tried to discredit democracy first and foremost. it was clear in the u.s. election, when secretary clinton, she was very outspoken about russia's lack of democracy and how it was suppressing its own people, that there was a
very clear preference behind the kremlin against secretary clinton and then again once there was an apparent republican primary winner, then you can start to see where that began to change, and there was a preferred outcome. but not always. sometimes it is just simply to make democracies look so unappealing that you really think mr. putin is the right kind of leader for our age, and you admire him, you certainly would not admire washington, anyway. so it is a challenge. and a changes for the situation they find themselves in. if they see an opening that surprises them, they will go after that opening. they may just find that it is just creating the tensions and divisions that is worth what they are trying to do. host: brad from international falls, minnesota, republican. caller: good morning. the first thing i would like to come but is the termination of
the actual report. and who is supposed do and who has the right to begin it. i quote -- at the completion of the special counsel, where he or she shall by the attorney general with the confidential report explaining the prosecution decisions reached by the special counsel. that means that he was never supposed to go to congress at all from the start. so when mueller actually wrote in the report that he was supposedly had to hand it off to congress, he is out of bounds, he can't do that. is that of having him rewrite the report, they didn't. he shouldn't have been able to say that, for one. number two, the actual dossier that was used was paid for by hillary clinton. when you spend $6 million on opposition research, you know who is getting their money. fusion gps did not get the $6
million, i bet you they didn't get to percent of the $6 million. the money went to russia and they knew it. on top of that. that obama campaign fund he still probably has millions of dollars left in those coffers, they went and spent $972,000 themselves to pay the russians. and the new where this money was going. so when you talk about colluding, that is collusion. the back part of it all, they thought they were getting a bag of gold, and all they really got was a bag of dirt. now, they are really crying, they are going off the rails. host: ok, a lot there. heather. guest: my understanding, the special counsel's office was to look at two specific questions, interference in the election and the second question, of obstruction of justice. in the other issues that would arise during -- and any other
issues that would arise during the investigation. in my view, mr. mueller has completed his task. he wanted to provide that report general.torney i would reemphasize the two words, transparency and accountability. people, andamerican members of congress, to have a full sense of what happened and what did not happen. i think as much as we can do that, that is all good. authoritarian regimes would never have this requirement. we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. certainly, the parts of the , there are 12 more investigations, again, not exclusive to these two questions respond to. had to those investigations go on. we don't know what they will provide, but in my view, it is an asked and answered issue.
he was given to specific issues and he addressed them within the legal confines and now it is up to congress to make the decisions of what they want to do with that information. host: does it matter if the dossier was triggered by a republican, conservative newspaper, or later bought by hillary clinton's campaign, does that matter to this investigation? guest: for me, the dossier just needs to be set aside. when i read the investigation, this began in ever well before mr. trump a he was interested in running for president. -- wellan far back before mr. trump ever announced he was interested in running for president. mr. trump may not have been the republican primary winner, this could have been a very different thing, we don't know. it is so predated. i think that is a piece of
information, some of its parts have been exposed to be truth, many parts are not. i just don't think it is relevant to what we are talking about in the attack against american democracy and our election, and how we as the american people understand ourselves. how russia is using a variety of tools to help us really not think correctly about american democracy and its institutions and leaders. host: frederick from boston, massachusetts, democrat. caller: i was just calling to trump, the guy is a russian. he is not a democrat, he is a russian. he started talking all that trash the moment he started running. all the people in the republican party stood by and let him run them over like dogs and whatnot. he goes to have since -- he goes to helsinki and let's put
in say anything. this guy should have never been president of the united states. host: thoughts? raisesi think the colla -- the caller raises an important issue about the president first bilateral meeting with president putin in year.ki last he had two other meetings on the margins of different summits, the g20, in fact, i would expect the president will probably have a bilateral meeting with president putin on the margins of the g20 meetings in japan at the end of june. i think the helsinki summit, the press conference raised huge concerns about the president. did he believe his own intelligence agencies or did he believe mr. putin. i think for many of us, the conference was deeply
disturbing. one president trump returned back to washington, he understood how the strength of the concern, bipartisan concern. is for republicans, and i have had to testify before congress, i find again great issue.sanship on this particularly the visit to russia, whether it is ukraine, chemicals weapons use in the united kingdom, the skripal poisoning, or in syria, there is unity in that. but the president's comments and behavior continue to raise doubt and questions that he on one hand with a side, but then he reraises many times, so it is hard to's iphone all that out. host: before we let you go, it is hardd -- he to us iphone all that out. host: before we let you go,
where people go to understand russian tactics. guest: the report is very dense, but there is a wealth of work out in the think tank community right now. at the center for strategic and international studies, we have offered to deb reports called the kremlin playbook which oatches -- we have offered twp how russiaat look at operates. we have a span of work looking and trollsbots interrupt on particular issues, excellent work. it is helpful to understand particularly in the report, how many ways the russian government attempted to influence our election, how it had a preferred candidate, how it was so specific in what it wanted. the other part that is concerning is the russian implantation of malware in our election system, and tempering the results.
why would they do that? anything to sow doubt in the democracy.of our it will, of course, continue to sow division within the united states. i would say, the first part of it, the first 50-60 pages gives you an opening example of how russia has done this. i would argue that there are lots of other really excellent work on how this has worked in europe as well. the french presidential elections were tampered with, the german parliament elections were tampered with, even the brexit referendum had some russian funding hide some of that as well. so we are waking up to this brave new world and we have to work very hard to protect ourselves. host: heather conley, thank you for the >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that
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