tv Sen. Tester Reps. Slotkin Spanberger at Center for American Progress... CSPAN May 25, 2019 1:25am-2:28am EDT
white guys. guys. signing for their discharge petition in a way that does not represent the truth of what they are. we do not agonize, we organize. and we cannot let this happen to the families of america. [applause] neera: that is a great ending. thank you so much. madam speaker. [cheers and applause] >> more now from the center for american progress ideas conference with senator jon tester. he talks about farming and rural voters. this part of the conference is one hour. [applause]
sen. tester: well, thank you, for the introduction. it is a pleasure to be with you all. it is a pleasure to be withu all. as john pointed out, i am indeed a farmer. i couldn't get a trouble for this, but it is the truth. the only working farmer in the united states senate. my wife and i, and i literally mean my wife and i, run in 1800-acre farm in montana. population 600. that mye same land grandparents homesteaded a little over a century ago. it is the same land that my folks farm for 35 years. hey were fdr democrats, becaus they knew without the policies of fdr, the grandson &, myself, would never have had the opportunity to take
that farm over. my wife and i will be married for 42 years this year, actually. we have been on the farm for 41 years of those. we have raised some pretty good commodities, some food, where the commodity is a little better, things like peas, w heat, and even children. [laughter] sen. tester: with our kids and grandkids quickly becoming scattered across the united states, it is just the two of us. no hired men. my wife -- she can do everything i can do, and she is doing that right now while i am in d.c. it is planting season. we're just wrapping that up. we have been racing to get the seeds in the ground. between the wet weather and the service to the united states
senate. during planting season, we think a lot of of the phrase "you reap what you sow." that democrats looking to connect with rural america would be smart to heed, and we hear a lot of pundits talk about rural america and what folks in towns like big sandy, montana expects from elected leaders. i am no pundit, but i am a product of rural america. haircut and flattop my number of fingers -- i guess it is an even number -- on my left hand, the fact of the matter is that live by the values of rural america. but make no mistake about it, in bothlues sell rural america and urban america. believe that is why montana reelected me in 2018 after trump won in presidential election in 2016. so what should democrats be sowing in leroux america? -- r
ural america? but there is always that you have two ears and one mouth. and according with your loving politicians are great at telling people what they should believe in come up truth is in rural america, i thank you to start out by leaving. i think folks in liberal america believe the democratic party. have stopped listening to them. maybe some in this room have already pulled rural america off the electoral map. i think that is a huge mistake. and because of those things -- [applause] sen. tester: because of those things, i think rural voters believe that all politicians, all politicians are fighting for their families and their way of life, and they are not listening to them. but the truth is, rural america values things like exceptional health care, good paying jobs,
and affordable education. those are our values, and, quite frankly, they are progressive values, and they are exactly the values that we all need to fight for, and they are exactly the values that this administration has attacked time and time again. care, the number one issue in the 2018 campaign, as far as concerns in leroux voters' min -- rural voters' minds across montana. dismantling the aca, dismantling back hospitals, rolling medicaid expansion, which has impacted 90,000 montanans, which may not sound like much, but that is nearly 10% of the folks that live in montana. and i will just say this, i talked about my grandfather and the land in recent income of 50 years after that in 19 65, we were able to build a hospital in my hometown of big sandy,
montana. now for the first time in 50 years, 50 years since it was built, that hospital may be looking at potential closure because of the policies that have gone on in washington, d.c. and this administration. there's opportunities out there, bolts, for democrats, for progressives, if you want to talk about health care in rural america. education, i will just say this, i do not need to tell you guys, nothing has done more to make this country the leader of the world than public education. it is -- [applause] sen. tester: it is the great equalizer. it is the thing that gives everybody a shot at the american dream, yet this administration has done everything within their power to try to privatize public education. it, send it off but insteadze it,
of trying to build public education, make education what it needs to be, this administration is tearing it apart. there is opportunity in education in rural america, if you have the right message. mylege affordability, grandfather and grandmother -- and i will put it on my grandmother -- they have four kids. girls, one was a boy, all got a college degree in the 1930's. [applause] sen. tester: they did it partially because they thought it was important, and they could do it. they can afford to get them off to school. the know-how important college education was. i went to school, and they pretty much pay for my education. they had the ability to do that. in the 1960's and 1970's, they have the ability to send my two older brothers and myself to school. when my kids went to school in the late 1990's and early 2000's, we can afford about half of it. my grandkids, my granddaughter in another four years will be in college, and i daresay my kids are going to have a hard time
paying much of the. we need to make college education more affordable. if we will have our next generation of well-trained workers, entrepreneurs that will drive this economy forward, we need to have education that is affordable. it is critically important. the other thing, and you do not hear a lot of democrats talk about this, but i think it is important in rural america, is the debt. it is pushing $22 trillion of debt. iscal responsibility important, and we will be the first generation to inherit from our parents and borrow from our kids. that is not something that is good. and we can deal with the debt. you do not need to be a nuclear physicist to do it. let me give you a couple of examples, and is has no impact on working families or small businesses. a couple of months ago, i was in mcallen, texas. i had a chance to look at the border wall on the southern border, a border wall that is going to spend $32 million a
mile. a border wall that, quite frankly, in my opinion, and i will debate anybody on this, is like to create more problems than it is going to solve. a border wall that is going to one.de security to know whano and something we can do with technology for literally pennies on the dollar, so let's start there if you want to address some debt issues. let's start talking about the tax issue that would pass they will back that added $1.5 trillion to the national debt and has caused us to have a structural imbalance in our budget today of $1 trillion a year. that is the kind of thing we should be doing. that is smart politics. and by the way, it is smart politics for rural america. another lesson that my parents tol talk me is that you handshakes mean something in
your word is your bond. i will say this as an absolute fact -- trump's handshake is worth nothing. he is quick to make a promise, and he is even quicker to break it. 20 years ago, bankers stopped doing business with them. we have seen our trading partners and our allies say "no more. we want no more to do with this dude." and pretty sure, i think the american people will see that, too. they are starting to see the impact of this reckless trade war that we are in. they are starting to see the impact of ripping away health care from rural communities and his attempt to get tough on china is tightening this cruise on folks like me and family farm agriculture. there is no secret that our folks are hurting. my do prices are down. folks are filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate and those who are making a living are making -- saying market access disappear and the republicans promise is ringing hollow.
id. remember what i did last week but i will tell you in 1978 and went to my neighbors house, i said i have some weight to sell, at 350 a bushel, should i sell it and he said if you need the money, sell it. i sold it for 350 a bushel. hard redto see what winter wheat was worth, 414 a bushel. it is a fact. we are going to lose one of the two most important things, andic, -- democracy education if the policies continue. i can talk about climate change, i can talk about which has had amazing impacts on my farm but the truth is, this administration is completely written it off.
and if we don't start doing something about that, you want to talk about the coney and actions that our kids generations will have to take very they will not be pretty. republicans have gone after schools, health care, it is a killer. you lose your school, you lose your hospital. your community is gone. we understand that. as democrats, progressives, our leaders and candidates have bold initiatives offered to drive and prescription drugs incentivize hiring. my folks don't -- said don't make a promise you can't keep. rural americans appreciate hard work and they appreciate talking truth. unrealistic promises about things like free college or jobs for everybody and a living wage doesn't make sense and role america because it doesn't make sense. you have to figure out how to
get that done and i don't see how you do it with just words. in my family it is more important to show up and be yourself than not be a rubber stamp. ran,l tell you that when i trump came to our state four times, hence came three times -- the fact is that i didn't waver, i stayed with what i had done for the last two terms before that. we talked about what was important to rural america and talked health care, about education try we talked about infrastructure, we've and talked about climate change. in the end when the distorted view was put forth and people went to the ballot box they said, you know what? we know who jon tester is in that is who they voted for.
in conclusion, democrats don't need to call rural america home to get our support but they can ignore the folks who live there. if they want to connect with rural america men and listen to concerns, communicate and a sion., no bullshit vi neither party has all the answers but as democrats we have good ones that work. one last thing, if you don't show up, you don't get to vote. if you are running for the legislature, you knock on every door. if you run statewide you go to every town. something that concerns me and that is why we lose elections. when we get a legislative candidate you get a clipboard and say knock on those doors. not those over there, just knock on these. this holds true for urban america and rural america.
you knock on every door if you are going to win. you knock on every door. the folks at their that tell you you're wasting your time when you're knocking at that door or as max daca's told me, go figure out where you can get more time. andpeople are important those people, if you can get them to vote, you will win the election. gumby phony, listen. guess what happens, we win in 2020. god bless you all. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome to the stage investor gordon gray. -- ambassador gordon gray. mr. gray: how about another ?ound of applause
we are grateful he could join us to discuss his ideas for expanding opportunity on behalf of rural communities. -- beforening as its joining, i served for 3-d three years as a foreign service officer. during my diplomatic career, i saw firsthand the essential need for thoughtful and reasonable ourcies to safeguard national security and promote american values. now, under the erratic or action of donald trump, we are seeing the democratic norms and institutions, under now, unk both here at home and throughout the world. fortunately, there are many strong, smart, and experience leaders who remain committed to advancing a progressive vision for american foreign-policy syria and we glad that three of those leaders can join us for the next panel. i have the great pleasure of introducing john podesta, the founder of the center for american progress who ahmad or
the discussion. thank you very much. [applause] john: good afternoon. 2.5uld note it is under years of his presidency and president trump has shown little regard for the u.s. traditional treaty allies. he has had a brief love affair with the little rocket men but seems to be nowhere in terms of denuclearize and north korea. triggeringe brink of military confrontation with her in. he has engaged in an s collating trade were with china. he stated his intention to pull out of the paris climate agreement, triggering and he isg $6 billion of defense spending to build a wall on the southern border the american people don't want and security experts say
will not work. donald trump promised to disrupt national security policy and we can all agree that is one of the few things he did not lie about. with me to discuss the actionsions of these and how progressives should respond is a group of experts who have been on the front lines of national security policymaking to my two of whom served in congress, server -- susan rice served as advisor to president obama, is now a senior fellow at the american university and harvard university. her memoir will be published in october. i might have something to ask about that in little bit. as acting assistant secretary of defense and national security affairs. she was elected to represent the
eighth district. in theer a career private sector was elected in november 2018 to represent the seventh district of virginia ending a 48 year republican hold on that district. they join in the new majority in congress, they both serve on sullivan committees. i want to start by talking a little bit about today's hotspots and maybe i will begin with therein. you were at the center of president obama's iran policy from the beginning of engagement the conclusion of the iran nuclear deal. the trump administration pulled out of that agreement. yesterday, secretary of state pompeo and acting secretary of defense shanahan were up to brief the hill and i want to get
our representatives to talk about that. begin with you, susan. they were describing the rainy and threat, increased iranian threat. as apeople saw that prelude to potential military action, conflict with therein. how concerned are you with where we stand with respect to the rainy and threat and what do you see the actions that the u.s. needs to take at this moment? >> good afternoon. thank you for hosting us and it is good to be back, great to be with these two wonderful women members of congress who are doing such an exceptional job of providing leadership throughout the democratic caucus particularly in the freshman class area
-- freshman class. the decision to withdraw from the iran nuclear deal and to put on crippling sanctions unilaterally alienating our allies and driving ran to a place where -- iran to a come to it is likely to the conclusion the benefits of staying in the nuclear deal are outweighed by the downsides and effectivelythat had constrained iran's nuclear ambitions cut off every pathway to a nuclear weapons verifiably so as validated by our intelligence community, dod, the international is likely to fall apart and the constraints on iran's nuclear program will be without the attendant benefits the administration sought by pulling out of the reduction in iran's
support for terrorism, dealing with its mission on -- missile program, nefarious behavior, all of which are real but more so in the context of an iran that may be able to break out and develop a nuclear weapon. the second reason i am concerned with does seem, i say this concern and regret. there are some within the administration and senior positions who seem intent on trying to provoke a conflict with therein. cause iran to take steps to give them some justification for military action whether initiated by the u.s. or by one of our partners in the region and backed up to the u.s. this is a dangerous situation or a faste president reluctance and concern about potential conflict. he has greenlighted by hope he
has greenlighted, i hope it is not happening without his dispatch ofe ridiculous quantities of military assets into the region. while i don't doubt the reality there may be an increased threat emanating from iranian backed militia, we have seen that before. whatever the level of threat now , i think we risk miscalculation and inadvertent conflict by virtue of everybody being on heightened alert and our own redline being blurry. a dangerous moment. i am concerned that we may end that theonflict american people don't want and that does not serve our national interest. in the briefing session, are we headed toward a military confrontation in a rand? -- and i ran?
and i can'tf you understand what the strategy is, there is no way the iranians do. we hear from the president that he doesn't want war, that he cares only about the nuclear piles but threatens to wipe iran off the map. whether they say they believe it with what heyou go has written an secretary pompeo has his 12 point plan that he has been talking about that explains what he expects from iran. whether weto tell are talking about an attempted regime change, an attempt to restore deterrence, and attempt to look strong, whatever. the iranians won't be able to understand it. andgiven all the resources theater combined with the risks, i think we are at risk of a real inadvertent crisis. it is one that would potentially
start small like we had in 2016 when sailors lost power and drifted, the iranians pick them up, can see how the incidents can be resolved quickly when you have diplomatic channels to the iranians. this administration has cut off those channels. all of a sudden, what could be a relatively manageable incident could become a serious incident that escalates and both sides back themselves into a corner and enter higher levels of conflict. the risk israel. what we're hearing from the iranians would be disturbing but we have lost the ability to tell what his offenses and defenses, what is action and reaction and it is a powder keg for an inadvertent incident. >> do you want to give us your take? >> i was nodding in agreement. i think that the point is exactly made. if on a day-to-day basis we don't understand where it is the
administration is taking us, from an iranian perspective, how are they to know? the point was well made is whether it is intentional, we are creating such a frenetic space where there seems to be zero apparent strategy and that is a recipe for disaster. to not, we will continue see that type of disaster but as was an accident that was resolved quickly and diplomatically and if we don't have the channels to do that in the of -- event something occurs it is a challenging time. let me ask a question that maybe require speculation. of --rose the question
there are reports he thinks john bolton has gotten ahead of him. why do you think is going on inside the white house with respect to who is on first with respect to calling the shots on iran? it is inconceivable even in this administration the president wouldn't be the one to make the decision to send those assets. i can't rule out that possibility, but that would be an even more frightening breakdown of process. that i am aware of to date. what concerns me is that there seems to be no national security decision-making process. there are not regular, thoughtful, well prepared and the president with his national security cabinet to weigh the costs and benefits and the various options of these complicated decisions. the national security advisor is
hoarding a lot of the decision-making and information, keeping the process to a minimum which i think is, whether it is designed to or has the benefit of enhancing his authority over what happens, there does not seem to be the normal transparent decision-making process and that is concerning not only in the case of iran but a range of issues. andou served republican democratic national security staff. does this seem aberrant, what is your sense of what is going on? you probably have some friends behind.e left what do you think is happening in the white house? >> it is clear it is a friend from the past 50 years. -- different from the past 50 years. , things the white house
change, leadership style changes. the things change. the behemoth of the u.s. government, there is lots of people who work for the administration, the behemoth is really hard to get your arms around and figure out how we are all on the same page on a certain policy issue. if that is a good day, a bad day is a lot of yosemite sam popping off ideas that are a list collection of activities, not an actual strategy. when it comes to the issues of war and peace, these are grave issues. it is a bad time to be popping off different ideas. yes, process matters. world scenes and go on to china. i want to ask you a couple questions about that.
you serve on house foreign affairs, they have been holding hearings on china threats. thatve had the trade war has been going on for a while. the focus now seems to be in ratcheting up pressure on chinese technology companies. and sanctions in particular. now we read this morning they are thinking aboutnow we read ty are thinking about sanctioning [indiscernible] technology. now we read this morning they are thinking about sanctioning [indiscernible] technology. is the administration pursuing the right policies, how do you assess the threat emanating on an economic perspective but also from a security perspective? like like the yosemite sam example might be appropriate. there is a couple of pieces here we have been trying to get to the bottom of and trying to discuss. one of it is looking long-term
strategically at the threat of a powerful china. china's engagement in africa, throughout latin america, eastern europe and europe. the u.s.e -- does position itself recognizing that challenge? the value -- valuable part is what is the strategy as we are continuing to antagonize our nato allies and our european allies and the allies writ large across the globe. how are we strategizing a long-term relationship when we can use that center of toendship and partnership counter the challenge that china presents and i would argue we are not using that strategic alliances or partnerships. china'slook at long-term assessment and infrastructure and long-term
investment and things like education, the reason we are talking about five g technology is domestically, we are not level theo the same chinese are or to a level that keeps us monumentally aggressively competitive in our domestic education. that is from the time a child enters preschool through college. looking at the fact that when you look at the strategy behind china's development and efforts to grow its influence in the 100d, they are looking in year chunks of time and we are far too often reactive. the conversations where trying to have an trying to push our how can we look at our long-term strategy and relative to some of the five g technologies. the concerns that those technologies may allow chinese military and intelligence agencies to gain access to consumers oro u.s.
throughout allied nations. we have been talking a lot about it and we need to take action. i introduced of bill yesterday called five g and beyond that would require the president to come up with a plan for how we can ensure that the technology that is being developed doesn't have the weaknesses that will make american consumers vulnerable and make it so american companies can't compete. a more we have to have long-term strategic viewpoint and we have to start taking action on the more immediate threats and concerns we have. a report was introduced on strategy for china and made some of the points which is investment here in our greatest strengths and technology portfolio. and education and infrastructure were key to compete in the 21st
century. do you agree with that and do you want to tell more about the bill you introduced? especiallywhat we do with foreign policy. we do have a caucus. there is nine of us in the freshman class that are service or veteran members of congress and we hang out a lot. and there is a subset of the are in my district ad-ass women. we do ping-pong back and forth on bills that we like. we have to now is as we were coming out here, we heard the president canceled the meeting on infrastructure at the exact moment though chinese are in their ownlions infrastructure, right? our education is going the wrong
direction. in michigan we have gone from theg top 10 to bottom 10 in country while the chinese are investing heavily in education. sometimes they just frame the question and frame the strategy differently. constantly onght our heels. i have not read the report. i will put it on the list. >> it is good reading, let me tell you. together onwe work climate change, we have some success with china on that question, getting them to do more. president obama has been criticized for not being tough enough on some of these economic questions. the role you assess played inconomy trying to develop a relationship would you dot xi, anything different if you had a to do over again? >> is president obama said i'm a relationship is
the most complex and most consequential in the world. in ways that we are intertwined economically, in terms of the span of global issues that we have to deal with makes it a very complex relationship to manage. think we managed it rather well, given that we were able to find significant areas of cooperation and in those areas where we have to compete which are serious on the economic and security front, we competed effectively and with confidence with the backing of our friends and allies in europe and asia. amounterve an enormous of credit for the progress we made with china on climate change, without which we would not have the paris agreement. it goes beyond that. we were able to work with china on nuclear security and thereby help locked down materials
around the world that would otherwise be vulnerable to terrorists. we worked not only on the a bola outbreak it on the wide span of global health security issues. which if you're are worried about potential pandemic flu or seca or what have you, is a proximate concern. we were able to work on the air a deal and other aspect of multilateral agenda. we were engaged in fierce competition over things like their cyber theft. rather than get into a trade war or in economic conflict over something like that, we were through the effective threat of the use of sanctions, not the application of sanctions, able to get china to subscribe to some commitments on steps that meaningfulant and which they adhered to until the got into the conflict with president trump. the thing with china is this is a serious competitor and we have
to have a one term strategy. we need to do it in conjunction with our partners and allies. we need to do better on the domestic side, absolutely. that means when you are china -- that putswith china every aspect of its hugely powerful government and society behind any economic and ever, and we can get google to cooperate with the u.s. government on a small low-level project, we've got a problem. we can't reconstitute very the cooperation between government, the private sector, that wereiversities so instrumental in enabling us to be effective during the cold war, so we have to get our own house in order. the fact that we don't have a 5g competitor in the mix is on us. forward, we have to take the china threat seriously and
it has been the case in the past and what we are seeing now is china's rise has been, is going on an exponential curve. it started like this and now it is going up faster. we have to deal with that but we need to deal with it without making conflict inevitable. i know from discussions with members of the administration that there is at least a subset at the senior level that takes the view that conflict with china is inevitable and we might as well have it sooner rather relativet or when our strength is greater. that is one mindset within the administration. whether that is economic or that is aonflict scary perspective and it is not the way we need to or ought to go. >> i wanted to say something about time you change. i feel like we are in a room full of some of the great minds
on foreign policy and as someone who represents michigan, there is this misperception that the middle of the country doesn't care about climate change, that we don't care about the environment, that is -- it is a coastal thing. you the single most bipartisan thing in my district, in my state, or production of the -- are protection of the great lakes and our local environment. thinking on this is changing. you tell a cherry farmer that in the future there may not be a certain number of hard freeze days, cherries on his trees, right? he is thinking about that. when i come to the armed services committee, the republicans are supporting an amendment for climate change. that has changed, so let's acknowledge it. another thing happening, and we people, is the young
we need to reframe the conversation and start thinking about environmental security the way we think about homeland security. is literally about the safety of our kids and our preservation of our way of life. fors not a niche issue environmentalists. literally in michigan, i live 15 minutes from flint, michigan. our water is at risk. you are more likely in michigan to hand your child a couple of water that can cause early childhood cancer or a lifelong disability than you are to ever be a victim of a terrorist attack. so let's talk about it in those terms and not be squeamish because it is the environment. mr. podesta: thank you. [indistinct conversations] [cheers & applause] mr. podesta: i want to shift and talk a little bit about russia. i am a poster child for interference in the 2016 election. [laughter] mr. podesta: the intel community tells us the russians have not stopped. they will be back in 2020. deniestrump sort of
that, for reasons that we can speculate about. are we doing enough to protect our democracy when it comes to the 2020 election? may be congresswoman spanberger, we will start with you. rep. spanberger: i think it has never stopped, and in terms of the influences that they have endeavored to undertake on social media, they have never stopped. divisioninue t sow and to seek to divide us, and that continues and has continued. and i think making sure people understand that is so vitally important. when we talk about the mueller report and russian interference, people think about in by binary ts. did it in high the election? yes, no. attacked. a foreign adversary nations to
influence our population and continues to do so. a foreign adversary nations still from us and use that information against us. they hacked a presidential campaign, they hacked a party. what is next? rid?t the electrical g is it a major bank? this is vital to the conversation. do i think we're doing enough? no is the honest answer there. and i have engaged in an effort because we do not think we're doing it after we got a bipartisan group of lawmakers together to seek to find the problem and solutions. stay tuned for that. but no. i think part of it is defining the problem better in a way where people can talk about it and i just what is happening and make sure that we are engaging with the tools that they are using. exploiting social
media, they are exploring what seems like a safe place that you share with your kids, and recognizing i think it is hard for people to understand or accept that they might be an influence, but recognizing that the tactics they are taking on the influence side of it i think it is vitally important, and how do we strengthen ourselves against that? how we build that resiliency where we are looking for a fact, not saying this validates my pre-existing opinion, therefore i am going to consume this. there is an easy solution. i do not think we are doing enough from a legislative perspective. we need to make sure foreign agents cannot buy ads the same way we can. i did mine and it says "paid for by spanberger congress," so that people knew that i paid for it. but the fact that those can be purchased by foreign entities can note he knows where it is coming from, that is deeply problematic.
we are working on a campaign finance sign, but it is a long process. mr. podesta: susan, i want you to answer that question, too, but i also want to put it in context, which is there not just playing around here, they are playing around globally really but particularly in europe. european parliamentary elections are tomorrow. we have seen the rise of pro-russian, right-wing populist parties, some of which with the help of russia. how concerned are you about russian activities here, and how concerned are you about russian activities more globally in terms of interfering with democratic processes? ms. rice: will, i am concerned about both. what we have seen in your, at least in some places, is a greater willingness of leadership to call it out, which today, macron did highlighting the connections between the an end, russia -- nnon, russia, and
efforts to sow divisions within europe. we do not have that here. as he was a, they are trying to sweep this issue under the rug, and the parties in congress, which knows better, it ought to understand that what goes around comes around, this is not russia on behalf of the republican party, this is russia's screen with our democracy and an election at any time. we're not handling is effectively. everything abigail said is right. we need to do multiple things simultaneously. one is the physical infrastructure of our election systems, ensuring that they are as impenetrable as possible, that we have paper backups, that the mechanics of the election or impervious to external intrusion. that is job one, and we still
have progress to make on that. social media companies and our traditional media companies need to do a better job of ensuring that they are not the vehicles for this abuse. and i think tech companies have come some distance. i think there is more to go, absolutely. thirdly, it has on us, the american people, to understand that this is the new normal, that russia and other adversaries are going to continue to continue to try to undermine our democratic institutions and sow internal division and dissent. when he to be prepared for that practically and psychologically. but we are, in some ways, our own worst enemy. we are increasingly divided, polarized country. we view things within us versus them terms. we do things in terms of our
opponent. we're setting up an environment which is rife for abuse by any external adversary. it is one thing for russia to buy facebook as i both sides of the charlottesville debate and hitting black lives matter people against white nationalists. it is another for us to allow that to be feasible because of our own domestic polarization and discourse being so poisoned and so broken. that is on us to fix. it is not on anybody else. so the one thing i will say in this picture is at least this is something that we have the ability to address, if we were so motivated. mr. podesta: i am going to open things up to a couple of questions. we have a few minutes to ask questions, and i think people have mics. before we do that, i want to ask one last question, which is all of you have succeeded in what is really a male-dominated
profession, and i want to ask you what advice you have two other young women who are coming up at want a career in national security? withaybe, i will end susan, because she wrote a whole book about this. [laughter] rep. slotkin: it starts with being fearless. it starts with believing that your voice and your thoughts and useful toies can be the vision that you are serving, and then to be fearless, certainly serving in the cia is very different from serving a political campaign, but you have to believe in the day-to-day of what you're doing, this larger strategy and plan and what you are fighting or that it drives you to be fearless, and it should. mr. podesta: congresswoman? rep. slotkin: i would echo that, but i would also say in my experience at the cia, the pentagon, and now in congress --
people always forget because we have so many women in congress now, it is a whopping 22% of people. there is still a little bit of work to do. for me, i always found that site was the master of my portfolio, then attempts by some male colleagues to dismiss or to disengage would be much harder, because i just really knew myself. and what i need young women who are like, how i become confident? how do i play in these tough fields? pick something you love and master it. bring that to the table. refused to sit in the back, and speak forxpertise itself. your brain and your own self-consciousness are something to be managed and dealt with that is inside. deal with it and get yourself at the table. mr. podesta: susan? tough love? [laughs] ms. rice: so, the book that will be coming out is a memoir, and
it is very much a story of my parents and grandparents, my upbringing, and ultimately my experience in government, but it has enabled me to reflect a lot on my plate parents, who were themselves quite accomplished professionals. it is interesting, because both of what abigail and elissa have already said are things that they have already taught me. you have got to bring your be your best. you've got to bring your game. you cannot slack. quality is number one. fearlessness, of course, yes. told me a little bit differently, which is my father used to say "don't take crap off of anyone, and by that dismisson't let anybody your discount you. you have to walk into the room confidence, and if somebody has
tried to put you down, you do they also taught me that i should never let bigotry, racism, or sexism the my problem. let it be the problem of the biggot. meant if iey met i allowed other people's prejudices about me, for whatever reason, to get into my head, to influence how i think about myself, to limit my own sense of potential or ability, won, and igot has have defeated myself. so if somebody else is coming to the table with their own insecurities and biases, that is their problem, not mine. and as hard as that might seem or even as counterintuitive as it might seem, that has done me very well.
i do not spend time worrying about if somebody is going to give me a hard time because i am african american, or because i am a woman, because i'm short, or because at 1.i was a 28-year-old in the room with 50-year-olds. you do your best and do not let it get in your heads. mr. podesta: fantastic. thank you. we'll look forward to buying and reading the book. it is important not just to read it but to buy it. a question from the audience. seeing.ing a hard time do you have a mic? public with free citizen. thank you all for being here. there is a desperate need in the state to buy the novellus systems and you are editing. what do you think they made it a priority and to get funding to
the state for 2020? well, i can speak to it, because we passed it in a jar 1. -- in hr1. in a kind of everything we could want to protect our democracy and our system. it is not come with resources, so it is hard to put in our state. 1 will not be taken up by the senate. we are putting them through in a series through the homeland security committee with the addition of an authorization for funds for the state, acknowledging that they just cannot do this without money for it. i think that will pass, through, again, a bipartisan way through a committee. i think it will once again passed the house. we have to do what we have not been doing for those who are democrats in the room, which is putting a spotlight on mitch mcconnell for the many, many
months that he has not taken of these really important bills. [applause] rep. slotkin: we are not asking one to pass, we ask that they get taken up and a system of our democracy actually move. unfortunately, i do not have a ton of faith that these new bills will be taken up, but you all coming in and putting on pressure will help. rep. spanberger: i was second what elissa said. what is important to me is that knowledge is power. i read on a bill and cosponsored but this particular idea that knowledge is power and they may not have the ability for resources or even the understanding of, so this would require a threat assessment to states within 180 days of an election. helpingust them to understand what threats may exist, and in the commonwealth of virginia, we had a challenge. our governor recognized that
there might be weaknesses to our election system. he hired hackers to have our system. they were able to have the system within 10 minutes. there is no evidence that anything had ever actually happened to the system, but he was worried about that weakness, and by executive order in the commonwealth, he changed all of our machines to have a paper ballot. when you have resources, states can take those steps, but really the federal government does need thelay a role to know threat and can contend with it was the threat has been identified. mr. podesta: one more? right there. ken: hi. i am ken miller. been discussion that the president might be a rush callingut no one is that appeared twice as you think he has been recruited as a russianasset, is a
asset, and how does that relate in the intelligence communit? ms. rice: i think i will take that. [laughter] ms. rice: i am the only one who is not an elected official of here.== up here. mr. podesta: that works for me. [laughter] ms. rice: look. i think there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered that i find concerning here i'm not willing to speculate that the president is a russian asset. i think that is financial ties, to prior history prior coming into office of all of these things are worthy of further exploration. we cannot rule anything out. we cannot do that to that degree without having the evidence to back it up. mr. podesta: the president likes
to say that he never invested in russia, but the russians sure invested in him. we maybe have time for one last question. got it. right there. frank: frank from silicon valley and washington, d.c. i wanted to know your perspective on the epidemic of fake news and how it is affecting national security. i like how you say you are here from silicon valley, just representing the whole valley. [laughter] yeah,lotkin: the, uh, so, this is a huge concern, and obviously michigan was particularly targeted with a lot the lastssian ads in election, so i spent a lot of time looking at those ads and how they were targeted. thatate from that, i think people are losing faith in the way that they get their news.
seepingee this, like, into places like academia. i represent michigan state university, and i have done open forums there where a master student will ask, how do you get smart on issues? well, i go to trusted sources, breed of online, and ask smart people. but he says "how you know those sources are true?" and this young person feels like he has to question every source, many of them legitimate, before he can actually take it as fact, and that is scary, right? that is scary. similarly, we have now still vepiped so deeply where people get a specific news from a stovepipe, so anything from another pipe is disregarded out of hand. we used to have the nightly news that we all watched to get it. we watch at dinner tom brokaw.
no one was allowed to talk while talk was talking to we no longer have the comics or ads -- talking. we no longer have that common experience. people are absolutely resisting anything that breaks through their sense of the world, and that was very discouraging. ms. rice: in addition to the problem elissa described, there is another aspect. yes, we have a problem with how we consume information. i think it is a very serious challenge. but our national security is threatened, quite frankly, even more by having a liar in the white house. the president stands up every day and says something that the entire world knows is blatantly untrue. utterly counterfactual and has no compunction about doing it, while he denigrates and calls the enemy of the people our free press, which is a critical
institution of our democracy. and i think that, on top of what corrodingcribed, is public trust in our leadership, in our institutions, is corroding international confidence in the united states as a global leader, and i think one of the things that we need to be conscious of as we think about how to dig out of this trust deficit internationally and leadership deficit is the again, somebody in the white house and at the podium whose words can be taken seriously. unfortunately, we are out of time, but please join me in thanking these great security leaders. i think we all sleep better at night knowing that they are on the bridge. >> tomorrow senator sanders holds a campaign rally at the
statehouse in vermont. you can watch that live at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org or listen live on the c-span radio app. >> sunday at noon eastern, in depth is live with author and hoover institution thomas soul from the hoover institution from the campus of stanford university. >> from time to time people complain that president jefferson condoned slavery. slavery had been there for centuryries before washington and jefferson were ever born. lincoln was able to do something about it because he did so not simply as president burr as the commander in chief in a war and what he did applied only to people in rebellion against the united states. there was no basis otherwise.
>> mr. sowell has written many books. join the conversation with your calls and facebook questions. watch in depth sunday from noon until 2:00 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span 2. >> starting memorial day, may 27, all week in primetime c-span has coverage of commencement ceremonies taking place at colleges and universities across the country. featured speakers, elijah cummings, patrick shanahan, trump brams, president and supreme court justice sotomayor. it starts memorial day at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. watch any time on