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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  June 14, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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06/14/17 06/14/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we are talking about the attack on our democratic institutions and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable. >> senator wyden, i am not stonewalling. amy: attorney general jeff sessions comes under fire for repeatedly refusing to answer questions during senate testimony but russian meddling in the 2016 election. we will air highlight and speak to the brennan center. at this pivotal moment in u.s.-russia relations, we speak to filmmaker oliver stone about his new showtime tv special "the
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putin interviews." >> is our government is telling it is a major threat to the united states, we better know who they are. above all, we should know who their president is. a makeup three-time oscar-winning film maker oliver stone interviewed russian president vladimir putin f 20 hours over the past two years. nowadays, nato is a mere instrument of the foreign policy of u.s. it has no allies, only vassals. once a country becomes a nato member, it is hard to resist the pressure of the u.s. amy: oliver stone on vladimir putin. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. attorney general jeff sessions has denied colluding with russia ahead of the 2016 election,
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during a highly anticipated testimony before the senate intelligence committee on tuesday. sessions spent much of tuesday's hearing refusing to answer questions about president trump's firing of fbi director of james comey and whether trump had expressed concern to sessions about the attorney general's decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. this is independent senator angus king of maine grilling sessions about his refusal to answer questions. >> what is the legal basis for your refusal to answer these questions? >> of protecting the right of the president to assert it if you chooses, and are maybe ever privileges -- other privileges that could apply the circumstance. >> the president can't not assert it and you have testified that only the president can assert it and yet i just don't understand the legal basis for your refusal to answer. >> it would be premature for me to deny the president a full and
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intelligent choice about exec a privilege. amy: attorney general jeff sessions testifying to the senate intelligence committee tuesday. kamala harris was interrupted by john mccain of arizona as she interviewed sessions also interrupted last week when she was interviewing rod rosenstein, leading many to charge them with sexism. the senate is slated to vote today on whether to impose a series of new sanctions against russia over the alleged interference in the 2016 election. we'll have more on jeff sessions' testimony after headlines. nearly 200 democratic congress members are suing president trump, accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the constitution by accepting millions of dollars in payments from foreign governments to his companies while serving as u.s. president. the attorneys general of maryland and d.c. have filed a similar lawsuit against the president. on capitol hill, the senate has voted 53 to 47 to approve the
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sale of $500 million in precision-guided munitions to saudi arabia. a surprising number of senators voted against the deal, amid increasing concerns about the u.s.-backed saudi-led war in yemen, which has killed more than 10,000 people and included devastating attacks on civilians that human rights groups say may constitute war crimes. this comes as the death toll from an escalating cholera outbreak in yemen has now topped 900. more than a quarter of the victims are children. the u.s.-backed, saudi-led bombing campaign and naval blockade has devastated yemen's sanitation, water, and health infrastructure, with less than half of yemen's hospitals currently operational. united nations war crimes investigators say u.s.-led coalition airstrikes on the syrian city of raqqa are causing a staggering loss of civilian life. the u.s.-backed syrian democratic forces launched the offensive to retake the city of raqqa from isis a week ago.
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since then, the u.s.-led coalition has been launching an average of more than a dozen airstrikes a day against the city. among the recent reported victims of the airstrikes and attacks by u.s. troops are a young girl named tal al jasser, a father named mahmoud farouk al-khalafand and his four-month-old child, and a boy named khaled al khalaf al sayel who reportedly died alongside his sister and his father. meanwhile, in more news on syria, unnamed u.s. defense officials have told cnn that the pentagon has moved its high mobility artillery rocket system from jordan into syria for the first time, positing it near the u.s. military base at al tanf. in iraq, more than 800 civilians at a refugee camp have been sickened by contaminated food provided by the british charity help the needy charitable trust. this is mohammed abd al-rahman, >> people were kicking the ground with their feet and
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screaming out of pain. a very strong pain in the stomach. we were told we had been poisoned by food. we were taken to the clinic at night and we were treated. v. drip and on an i. we got better. some people remain in critical condition until the morning. amy: president trump has given the pentagon new power to decide the number of u.s. troops in afghanistan, meaning thousands more u.s. soldiers could be deployed. the authorization came the same day defense secretary jim mattis testified to the senate armed services committee. >> we are not winning in afghanistan right now. and we will correct this as soon as possible. i believe the three things we are asking for stand on their own merit, however, as we look more broadly at the protection of the country. amy: there are currently about 8400 u.s. troops in afghanistan. the war in afghanistan is the longest in u.s. history. in bangladesh and northeast india, nearly 150 people have died amid a series of landslides triggered by heavy rains and flooding. officials say the death toll is
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expected to rise as first responders continue to search for missing people. in egypt, the government has blocked acce to at least 48 news sites amid an increasing crackdown against journalists and human rights activists. among the sites are al-jazeera, huffington post's arabic website, the self-publishing platform medium, and the local independent news site mada masr. american college student otto warmbier has returned to the united states in a coma after being detained in north korea for more than 17 months. he was initially sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after trying to steal a propaganda banner from the hotel. slipped intoays he a coma after taking a sleeping pill. although his family says he was brutalized and terrorized and are skeptical of the explanation. meanwhile, former nba player dennis rodman has arrived in north korea. u.s. officials say rodman is not acting as a representative for
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the u.s. government. a new investigation by the guardian has revealed workplace abuse, grueling production targets, and deplorably low pay at an indonesian factory that makes clothing for ivanka trump's label. many of the female workers at the factory in west java say the pay is so low, they live in constant debt and can't afford to live with their own children. this comes as three chinese activist with the group china labor watch continue toe in ison after they were arrested while investigating labor conditions at a chinese factory manufacturing the foxtrot print shoes. in london, least three people have died and 20 were in crital condition missed a raging fire among the 24 story part in building a west london this point. the fire is not known -- the cause of the fire is not known. the commissioner says the blaze is the worst eocene and 29 years on the job in london. in pakistan, journalists staged nationwide protests denouncing the assassination of journalist
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bakhshish elahi, who was shot to death on sundaon his way to the office. elahi was the bureau chief of the daily newspaper k-2 times. back in the united states, president trump and top republican lawmakers continue their efforts to repeal and replace the affordable care act. multiple past republican efforts to craft and pass their own health care law have failed. on tuesday, trump held a lunch with 13 republican senators to discuss the latest effort. care act while speaking in wisconsin tuesday. pres. trump: these are sad but familiar stories in wisconsin. where obama care premiums have
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doubled. obama care is one of the greatest catastrophes that our country has signed into law in the victims are innocent, hard-working americans. amy: in michig try to stop the deportation of a group of iraqis. in recent days, more than 100 iraqis have been arrested by immigration and customs enforcement agents in one of the biggest such roundup in years. advocates say the iraqis, many of whom are christian, could face torture and persecution in iraq. meanwhile, in westchester county, new york, classmates and residents are demanding the release of high school student diego puma macancela, who was arrested by ice agents on the same day as his senior prom. he and his mom are facing deportation to ecuador. uber ceo travis kalanick is taking an indefinite leave of absence amid a scandal over sexual harassment at the wall street-backed ride-hailing company. on tuesday, billionaire david bonderman also resigned from uber's board, after making disparaging comments about women at a board meeting intended to address sexual harassment. saying if there were more women on the board "it is much more likely to be more talking. gillespie won a narrow victory over his trump-supporting challenger in the republican primary for the virginia governor's race.
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his challenger, corey stewart, ran his campaign on his loyalty to president trump. while gillespie was expected to win by a wide margin, he ended up winning by only a few thousand votes. he'll now face democratic lieutenant governor ralph northam in november. and a new analysis of 2016 data shows that five men now possess as much wealth as half of the world's population combined. , a five men, bill gates spanish businessman, jeff bezos, warren buffett, and a mexican medications. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
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attorney general jeff sessions appeared before the senate intelligence committee on tuesday for a highly anticipated hearing. during his opening statement, sessions denied colluding with russia ahead of the 2016 election. participated in any collusion, that i was aware of any collusion with the russian government to hurt this country, which i have served with honor or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process is an appalling and the testable why. -- lie. amy: sessions had previously acknowledged meeting with russian ambassador sergey kislyak twice last year. at tuesday's hearing, sessions sessions gave conflicting testimony that he may have had a third encounter with kislyak at the mayflower hotel in washington, d.c., during a trump campaign event in april 2016. juan: but much of tuesday's hearing saw sessions refusing to answer questions about president trump's firing of fbi director
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of james comey and whether trump had expressed concern to sessions about the attorney general's decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. oregon senator ron wyden of -- accused him of stonewalling. >> i believe the american people have had it with stonewalling. americans don't want to hear the answers to relevant questions are privileged and off-limits or that they can't be provided in public or that it would be "inappropriate" for witnesses to tell us what they know. we talking about an attack on her democratic institutions and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable. >> senator wyden, i am not stonewalling. i am following the this dork policies of the department of justice. you don't walk into any hearing or committee meeting and reveal
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confidential communications with the president of the united states who is entitled to receive confidential communications and your best judgment about a host of issues. and after being accused of stonewalling for not answering them. i would push act on that. amy: independent senator angus king of maine also grilled sessions about his refusal to answer questions. >> what is the legal basis for your refusal to answer these questions? >> and protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses and the ready other privileges that could apply in this circumstance. >> i don't understand harry can have it both ways. the president can't not assert it and your testify that only the president can assert it, and yet i just don't understand the legal basis for your refusal to answer. >> you would be premature for me to deny the president for and intelligent choice about
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executive privilege. amy: for more we're joined by elizabeth goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security program at the brennan center for justice. welcome to democracy now! your reaction to the hearing yesterday. >> are some of the who insisted on the opportunity to testify publicly so he could tell his side of the story, sessions at little information to the public his medications with russian officials before the election or the firing of james comey or any conversations trump and comey might have had that were not appropriate. he certainly expressed outrage at the notion that he might have been part of collusion with the russian government and interference with the election, but every time the members of the committee asked for details, really pressed him for details that would enable them to probe his various claims, he either said it remember or he would be inappropriate for him
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to answer because it involved communications with white house officials, which was obviously and rightfully quite frustrating to some of the senators. juan: what about looking at his testimony relationship to james comey last week? were there any contradictions or corroboration's from sessions of some of the stuff that comey said? >> there was one contradiction, which was comey said after his private meeting with trump, which trump arranged by ordering everyone else did leave the room, comey went to sessions and said, this was inappropriate, i should not be allowed or i should not be forced to have a private meeting with the president. he implored sessions to make sure that did not happen again. can's testimony, he said sessions simply do not respond. sessions said that was not accurate. that the department of justice had rules about communications between the department and the white house about ongoing investigations and he hoped comey would follow those rules. it is a little bizarre what
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sessions said that -- the response he said he gave. for one thing, apparently, he had no curiosity about with the meeting was about. here currently did not even ask what the meeting was about, which seems odd. the other thing that seems on, if trump arranged that is private meeting and ordered everyone else out and comey said, this was inappropriate, why is sessions responding by lecturing, about the rules instead of going to president trump and saying this is an appropriate? the other thing i will say, to the extent we're seeing a conflict in testimony or conflict and recollection, i'm going to go with the man who took contemporaneous notes of everything over the guy who said "i don't remember" or "i don't recall" 26 times in one hearing. juan: one of the most tense exchanges during tuesday's hearing was between attorney general sessions and democratic senator kamala harris of california. >> did you have any
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communications with russian officials for any reason to the campaign that have not been disclosed in public or to this committee? >> i don't recall it. but i have to tell you, i cannot as wey to what was said were standing at the republican convention before the podium where some of the -- >> sir -- >> i need to be correct as best i can -- >> i do want -- >> i'm not able to be rushed this fast. it makes me nervous. juan: harris then went on to question sessions about his reasons for not answering many of the questions he was asked, but was interrupted by senator john mccain. >> you refer to a long-standing doj policy. can you tell us what policy it is you are talking about? >> i think most people, as the witnesses you had before you earlier, those individuals declined to comment. because we're all about conversations with it -- >> sir, i'm asking about the doj policy -- >> the ghost just beyond --
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>> is that policy in writing somewhere? >> i think so. >> did you not consulted before coming to this committee knowing we would ask questions? >> we -- >> did you ask it be shown to you? >> the policy is based on the principle -- >> sir, i'm asking -- >> i am unable -- >> did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for your refusing to answer -- >> the witness should be allowed to answer the question. >> senators will allow the chair to control the hearing. setor harris, let him answer. >> thank you. juan: this is not the first time senator mccain has interrupted kamala harris in a hearing. elizabeth goitein, your response to this exchange? >> well, there is the interruption of senator harris,
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which really needs to be addressed. this is the second time it has happened. these senators have only five minutes to ask the questions. they do have an interest in not allowing the witness to essentially filibuster. every senator who asks questions of attorney sessions has in some point interrupted him. senator harris was far from the only one, yet she was the only one who was chastised for doing so. this was definitely problematic. sheerms of the questions was asking, it is an extremely valid question. there is an effort to try to get --the bottom of the editions of sessions' legal basis to refuse to answer questions. because he considered impeding could betigation -- it considered impeding the investigation. he needed to provide a legal basis. he was trying to hide behind the shield of executive privilege without the president having actually asserted executive
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privilege. it was certainly a valid line of questioning and one that his answers were not satisfactory. amy: now senator blumenthal of connecticut is saying he should have to become before the senate judiciary committee which oversees the department of justice and be forced to answer under oath these questions. can you talk about the significance of that? finally, this new lawsuit brought by nearly 200 democratic congress members suing president trump, accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the constitution by accepting millions of dollars in payments from foreign governments to his companies as he serves as u.s. president? >> i think the request to have or the potential request or demand to have attorney general sessions come testify before the judiciary committee is one that makes a lot of sense. the judiciary committee has jurisdiction over the department of justice in the way it is handled internally, and there
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are very series questions that have been raised about this even before sessions' testimony. it makes sense to me. ultimately, this issue of executive privilege or pseudo-executive privilege is going to be resolved, it may come to the point where the committees have to subpoena information in order to force the president actually a search the privilege. right now the white house is trying to have it both ways. they do not want to have the optics of asserting the privilege. it looks bad in a case where there is a scandal hanging over the administration. they also want to not be able to answer questions. that cannot continue. in terms of the lawsuit on the emoluments clause, all i can say is that we have seen over and over again that this president believes he is above the law in some anyways. there is a direct connection between his actions in the russia investigation trying to nnt comey to shut down the fly
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investigation, which is totally improper and probably illegal. and then the issue of taking money from foreign governments. both of these things are, at a minimum, at attention with the law. the president -- i don't want to say he does not know this, i think you simply has very little regard for the rule of law. at some level, believe the president has the right to act however he wants. that is the difference between this country and russia and other photography's or dictatorships. in a democracy, no one is above the law. amy: elizabeth goitein, thank you for being with us, co-director of the liberty and national security program at the brennan center for justice. and this just in, this is breaking news, house majority whip steve scalise was shot this morning, shot apparently in the hip will he and other congress member's were practicing for the
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upcoming congressional baseball game. congressional aides were also reportedly shot. the gunman fired about 50 shots according to "the new york times." when we come back, three-time oscar-winning filmmaker oliver stone on his new showtime series called "the putin interviews." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: at this pivotal moment in u.s.-russia relations, we are joined now by the academy award winning filmmaker oliver stone, one of hollywood's best known directors. his films have included "platoon," "jfk," "wall street," and "born on the fourth of july." over the past two years, stone conducted more than 20 hours of interviews with russian president vladimir putin covering issues from nato, the
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nuclear arms race, nsa whistleblower edward snowden, and the 2016 u.s. election. showtime is airing a four-part special this week called "the putin interviews." this is an excerpt. >> you do realize how powerful your answer could be if you said that you prefer x candidate, he would go like that tomorrow. if you say you did not like trump or something, what would happen? he would win. you have that amount of power in the u.s. >> unlike many partners of ours, we never interfere with the domestic affairs of other countries. this is one of the principles we stick to in our work. >> thank you, sir. we will see you tomorrow and talk about some heavier stuff. amy: that is an excerpt from oliver stone's new showtime special "the putin interviews." oliver stone is also releasing a
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companion book compiling the transcripts of his interviews with vladimir putin. oliver stone joins us here in our studio. welcome back to democracy now! you, amy. amy: there is a lot to talk about in a number of clips we want to play. iscan i just say that clip before the election? it was shot in 2015. that was his attitude -- he said things before the election also. very polite and never anything bad melding in mv candidates. he has always been -- he made it clear back then, i just want to -- as we come back to see him after the election in the fourth chapter. amy: and that is very interesting. the series, the first two ran and they will continue to run and tonight that third and tomorrow the fourth. it is in the fourth hour where you really get into it because you return february 2017, just a few months ago after the election, after donald trump becomes president.
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you really move in on asking him about whether the russian hackedent fact the -- the 2016 election. talk about his response. >> you want to cut right to that part. believe me, we did not see this coming. we never expected we would have to go back for a fourth trip because we all thought this is clinton was going to win. i'm sure he was just as surprised as anyone of us. as he says in the fourth version he says, we will work with anybody. we will work with anybody. it is not our policy to intervene, certainly not a country as big as america. influenceable innocence.
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money influences elections. you could say the koch brothers perhaps, sheldon adelson, people like this do add up. you could say all of these lobbies at up. aipac adds up. i was wrong. when i look at that clip, i was thinking, i don't think yes i kind of influence. i think it was putting him on, encouraging him to take a position. that is what it interviewer does sometimes. i don't think you could make a difference if he said he hated trump. amy: but you get into the issue of the election, the hacking of the election. all of the different forces that you just described affect elections, but you drill down on this issue of did putin, the russian government, hack. >> as i said, he denies it completely. without -- he thinks it is a silly thing, an internal american struggle. he has a point. extensively,nto after that and went into cyber warfare because cyber warfare is a new form of it. we talked about this when i was here for snowden. snowden reveals cyber war for us
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-- warfare for us. one thing expressed strongly, the russians have proposed a cyber treated to the u.s. it is been on the desk for about a year now. the u.s. response from i think we need one and we can talk about that, too, if you want. it is very dangerous, cyber warfare because of the rovers , misse easy to mislead information, fingerprints, the thin evidence presented. it is very possible now with the cia and julian assange, i believe you covered him, it was clear a company like the cia could in fact forge the footprints of any country on to any hack and make it look like they planted the malware. you if yout to ask have been surprised by the level of animosity toward this project
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of yours by some of the media? i saw the colbert segment that was really an attempt to go after you. because there is a long history in the united states of journalists trying to get interviews, i think of barbara walters with fidel castro and going back even edgar snow going behind the lines in providing positive assessments of what was going on in china, percent who did many stories behind the lines in the liberated areas of south vietnam . these journalists felt it was necessary for the american people to see the other side. i'm wondering why this one, this
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time around they have been really blasting you? >> listen, you go back in american history, we talked about this bias against russia since 1917. we did not even recognize red russia until 1933 with roosevelt. he was the first one. he believed in an alliance, a grand alliance with the russia, u.s., england, and china. if he had lived a few more months, i think it would have been a completely different framework for the world. we talked about this, too. russia, the bias against russia, he goes to james bond, the feeling that schmerber should is behind it are mr. putin has been recognized in a cartoonish way as a doctor no figure. you don't go there. i'm surprised because americans should really, if they think of him as this threat to america. our generals say they're the number one existential threat to the u.s. if you believe that, we should know more about them and who their leader is and what they are actually saying because they don't print that. i don't see him speaking to american people in our language. he is always interrupted with a bad dub, speaking with a harsh
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voice or a football coaches voice. this is a chance to hear him in his own language. his interpreter is very good. amy: you do not put a translator over him. you have subtitles. >> i am a filmmaker. i'm not a news man. i see this as a four hour project. in those four hours, you will cover from 2000 all caps to 2016, 2017. amy: how did you end up doing this? >> by accident, kind of. we were in germany and communicating a lot with ed. he lived in moscow at the time. still is. sorry. one of those nine times i went over there, i met mr. putin for the first time. i knew mr. gorbachev. i knew the old russia, but i did not know mr. putin. i asked him about snowden. in the film, he clarified the russian position. juan: let's turn to another clip from "the putin interviews" were
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you ask about edward snowden who was given asylum nearly two years ago in russia. ani am sure you must come as ex-kgb agent, you must have hated what snowden did with every fiber of your being. >> the only thing snowden does, he does publicly. did you agree with what he did? >> no. the nationalink security agency had gone too far in its eavesdropping? >> yes, certainly. and that matter, snowden was right. but you ask and i gave you a direct answer will stop i think you should not have done it.
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if you did not like anything in his work, he should have simply resigned. but he went further. that is his right. but since you are asking whether it is right or wrong, i think it is wrong. >> so he is saying he should not have whistleblown and should have resigned on the principle, like mr. putin did when he resigned from the kgb. >> yes, i think so. i had not given it a thought, but i think, yes. i resigned because i did not agree with the actions undertaken by the government. agree the nsado went too far? >> yes. >> how do you feel about russian intelligence activities and their surveillance? >> i think they're working quite well.
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intelligence services always conform to the law. that is the first thing. yourdly, trying to spy on allies. if you really consider them allies and not vassals, is just indecent because it undermines trust. and it means that in the end, he deals damage to your own national security. juan: that was president putin talking with you, all of about the nsa whistleblower edward snowden who has been in russian effort four years, not two years as i said earlier. a makeup i point out, he is driving. juan: for those who are only listing on the radio, the video is with him driving a car and you the passenger. i have to assume the security and the outside of the car, which the camera did not show, must have been fantastic, to be a old have the president of russia driving a car down the street. >> people is that somehow come he does not crash, concentrate like this, but he likes driving,
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likes to be in charge this way. what president do you see driving around the streets? he is an athlete. he likes to get behind things and drive things. he took up skating at the age of 62. he took up hockey. it is a rough sport. he likes competition. he likes the challenge. he was a master, carla, and judo. he'll does it every morning -- judo. a master at he still does it every morning. he talks about allies. you don't go after allies. he makes it again and another chapter that they don't listen in on allies. he says it is quite normal to have the u.s. and russia going at it and china, but never -- i think that was a shock. if you remember when snowden's news came out, we were planting malware in japan.
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we were listening in on angela merkel or dilma rousseff in brazil. pretty shocking stuff. juan: what about the issue of his repression of russian society, protesters, journalists? what was your sense of his response to those questions? >> we go there. probably not your satisfaction. he feels differently. one of the arguments he points out is democracy has really only been working in russia since 1992 when the federation started -- it was a very bumpy start, if you remember. the united states business crowd moved in and a lot of privatization with the wrong way. a lot of theft and corruption. second had a very rocky election in 1996. it was the u.s. who supported yeltsin with an imf loan and a lot of behind-the-scenes activity to get him in. a lot of russians feel he did not win the 1996 election.
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they had a rough start on democracy. it was putin who actually stabilized the system, the society, and gave it this form it has now -- which we don't like and we have been criticizing. he argues very strongly there is laws in russia and there is evidence of it. there is a douma. there are other parties. but you can be heard, unless you are calling for the overthrown of the state. amy: unless you're crippled journalist, and you might be -- a critical journalist and you might be killed. >> from what i have been told by people who know a lot more about the family and her it was thet believe administration that had anything to do with it. it was much more likely was chechen terrorist leaders. she was writing some tough stuff about chechnya. amy: on edward snowden, he says
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he does not agree with them. they have granted political asylum. important to say edward snowden did not choose to live in russia. he had his passport yanked by the u.s. when he was flying from dust only transiting through russia and putin graded him political asylum. president putin does not agree with what snowden did as a former kgb guy. >> he says he should have gone through channels. they should have resigned. i don't know he understands fully our system and how difficult it is for a person to work inside the system and say anything. in other words, i know mr. snowden did it for his own conscious. i think that is one of the great stories. that is why i'm in the movie. amy: you're talking about the feature film you did on's known as opposed to these four our interviews -- >> i'm not making judgment.
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i'm not arguing back. i'm not going to change his mind. what i'm going to do is hopefully show his mind to inple who are interested talking about what we're talking about. he has received so much criticism. you have to balance it. you have to listen. juan: i thought one of the most fascinating parts in the interviews was the understanding of his perspective of how when russia came out -- when the soviet union collapses in the gorbachev and yeltsin period, he felt the predatory nature of capitalism that first came into russia was something that had to be opposed. in essence, he felt that he basically told the capitalists, look, you guys are out of control. the pension systems, the conditions of the people have gotten -- they cannot be sustained this way. so he attempted, essentially, to curve the most locations form of capitalism. >> absolutely true.
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that is why he is popular because he did it. he put the russian economy back on its feet. sense that a populist dictator at that point. i would not even say dictator, but use authoritarian. he got the economy going. they are thankful. things change. it is been 16 years. off and on, he has been resident three times and prime minister one time. they really like his resilience. even mr. gorbachev, who is very critical of him early on, says he is a man for now. everyone in russia understands the pressure the united states is bringing, and nato, is bringing on the borders of russia. amy: you had a conversation after world war ii where he talks about -- he refers to the u.s. as our partners and he says he thinks the soviet made a mistake in forming two, what does he say, polar camps. >> i disagree with them. i was surprised to set up. amy: he seems to be critical of
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communism will stop >> he was more critical than i was. amy: you say, are you the richest man in the world as some people say? >> i think he thinks that is a pretty easily question. put it this way, he may have some money i don't know about. he may have been corrupt early on in some ways. i did not see evidence of it in the sense that his lifestyle or thought process. he is a man who works 12 hours a day. we had a long discussion about materialism. he made it very clear he lives another standard. i think it is a devotion derusha, national interest of russia. a strong dose of spirituality in him. the church is very important to him. it was the people who took it up again because there was a void. juan: in the clip from "the putin interviews," putin talks about nato. >> i am in the church and i say,
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where do you pray? prayys, you do not kneeling down in russia. amy: let's go to that clip. >> it has only vassals. once the country becomes a nato member, it is hard to resist the pressure of the u.s. all of the sun, any weapon system can be placed in this country, new military bases, and if need be, new offensive systems. and what are we supposed to do? in this case, we have to take countermeasures. we have to aim our missile systems and facilities that are threatening us. the situation becomes more tense. why are we so acutely responding to the expansion of nato? well, as a matter of fact, we understand the value or lack
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thereof and the threat of this organization. juan: your summation of that? >> 13 countries have joined nato since clinton made this rash decision to expand it to the east. it was not a promise made by baker and bush to gorbachev. gorbachevwears does
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swears it was not put on paper. this is one of the reasons putin is upset with gorbachev will stop it should have been on paper. they see gorbachev as acting out of weakness and as a result, the whole soviet union collapsed quickly. 25 million people roughly were left outside the borders without -- without the protection of the soviet union. their contents and so forth not met. -- their pensions and so forth not met. an internally, it collapsed. war broke out. nato
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a lot of the people who are in nato now are very anti-russia, eastern countries, anything can happen, an accident like in dr. strangelove can happen. amy: we are going to get to that response in a moment. he even says he would like to join nato. >> he was kind of joking. the clintons quick response, why not? that is the way clinton used act . when the delegation heard that, their faces dropped. they would have a veto. he makes the point that none of these countries in nato have ever said no to the united states. never. which he says are vassals, not allies. juan: one thing they came across to me, the command of detail and the thought processes that he goes through when you're asking questions. it is clear, as you mention at one point, he reads the actual reports, not summaries. you can hear him to president obama, who did the same thing, that he never got his intelligence summaries. he read the reports to make up his own mind. there is a hands-on approach to his governance of the country. >> the ceo who kicks the tires. he works too hard. i was worried about his health. 16 years of this. i said, why do you have some fun like reagan and jellybeans, small more? deep would appreciate it.
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he understands the value of that, but it is not his style. we're going to get a break and come back "the putin interviews to more of "the putin interviews -- we're going to go to break and come back to more of "the putin interviews." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. let's turn to another clip from "the putin interviews" where the russia president talks about how the soviet union entered the nuclear arms race. >> so stop referring to them as
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partners.
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we have said that too much? he comes back and does not take no. he always talks and tries to keep it open. he is worried. i sahim more weary than ever. this is dangerous because we put romania.poland and it is a stated fact. they are dangerous. they can be shifted into offense of weapons overnight. they won't know, the russians will know what is in the air, if it is offensive or defensive. and they are very close. strangeloveke dr. re-had more time. now you're down to 15 minutes, not an hour or two hours. there's much more of a chance of an accident. with parity in the american midi under obama to another chewing other program to remodel nice all of our nuclear programs, it is a hopeless race because the
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russian economy is not going to be able to keep up. they spend 1/10 of our budget on military. what is going to happen if we keep spending and blowing them out? we want first strike superiority. i believe we may have it. when we have it, what are we going to do with it? amy: i want to turn to your most recent interview with vladimir putin in february, when donald trump as president, when you asked him about senator john mccain, a fierce critic of putin. senator mccain, for example, today or yesterday, was proposing a senate veto of any lifting of sanctions from trump in advance. >> putin is a killer. no more
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equivalents. i repeat, there is no moral equivalent between that butcher and thug and the united states of america. the country that ronald reagan used to call a shining city on a hill. well, honestly, i like senator mccain to a certain extent. and i am not joking. i like him because of his patriotism. i can relate to is consistency of fighting for the interests of his own country. in ancient >> carthage must be destroyed. >> people with such convictions, like a senator you mentioned, they still live in the old world.
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amy: if you can respond to his response to john mccain? also, you offer more critical of putin when you are questioning him then here? you drill down a lot, whether you work talking about the russian hacking of the elections, which, by the way, just recently putin said talking about russian hackers may having to play a role is adjusted that they may well have been the case. that is not just about hacking
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or getting into it the case is. a lot of countries do it, the u.s. as well, it is about weaponize in that and releasing that information. but you are quite critical when you were actually speaking to him. >> i was trying. i am digging. there are things that people say. when you put a camera on someone for four hours, there's a certain behavior, the eyes, a feeling about the person. you can't get that from reading a text. i think there is great value in the camera, the body language. his body language is fascinating because it is not very overt. you do not see the castro mannerisms or the chavez ones. amy: both of whom you have interviewed. >> his eyes are russian eyes. i know the men much better after spending time watching them. i have to say he likes patriotism. is a nationalist in that way. not bellicose, but a wounded
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nationalism. he feels patriotism is important. in russia, the idea of russia, not a return to the old russia, but the continuation with the market economy that would work in europe. amy: let's get to putin discussing fidel castro, assassination attempts, and his own personal security. >> in 2012, you ran for president and you win a 63%? three times president, five assassination attempts i'm told, not as much as castro, who i have interviewed, i think he must have had 50. but there is a legitimate five i have heard about.
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>> in other words, you trust your security and am done a great job. >> i trust them. >> the first mode of assassination, you try to get inside the security of the president. >> i know that. do you know what they say among the russian people? they say those who are destined to be hanged not going to be drowned. >> what is your fate, sir? do you know? >> only god knows our destiny -- yours and mine. one day this is going to happen to each and every one of us. the question is what we will have accomplished by then in this transient world and whether we will have enjoyed our life. aboutputin philosophizing life and death as a leader. your sense of how he approaches the possible assassination? >> i think is a very russian philosophical view. i was getting him, but -- i was
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kidding him, but when you have been a leader and vilified like you have any of chechen you andts trended kill syrians now, it is not easy to run this whole thing. the united states may do something again. amy: the like in the u.s. also killing. both been, to say the least, complicit. bombinging, the russian really destroyed the foundation of the isis empire, which was money and oil, shipping through turkey. he got to the basis for some obama bombed for three or four years and did not achieve anything. he talks about running 100 sorties a day. it stopped the flow, the momentum. as to terrorism, he comes from a background where there is been a lot of it in russia. amy: we have to leave it there. they're going to do a post show and put it online at democracynow.org. oliver stone.
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