tv Inside Washington PBS May 12, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT
questioning the purpose. the speaker of the house promises action. >> the house will work its will on immigration reform. >> the deficit goes down, the dow goes up, the president pitches optimism. >> there are lots of reasons for us to feel optimistic about where we are headed as a country. >> the comeback kid, south carolina's ma sanford. [applause] acknowledge a to god of not just second chances members, i am questioning the purpose. the speaker of the house promises action. >> the house will work its will but sixth, seventh chances. >> and the decision by chris christie to undergo weight-loss surgery. >> your opinions on this do not really matter a whole helluva lot. hill,s week on capitol three foreign servic employees stifd about the atck in benghazi last year that killed four americans including christopher stevens. here is his deputy, gregory hicks.
>> i had the ambassador on the other end and he said, gregg, we are under attack. >> in tripoli at the time of attack, he said he wanted to send a special forces team to benghazi, but was turned down. >> how did the personnel react to being told they were standing down? curious. >> asked about susan rice's mments that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest, hicks says he's that -- says that he was stunned. he was later demoted to a desk job. on fox news, charles, i heard you ask about the commander in chief's role in all this. >> it would be nice to have a time line for what he did from the be from -- briefing he had to the many hours and the
deaths. where was he, who did he speak to, what orders were given? what we are learning from the testimony of hicks and others is the cover-up of the story -- you have to ask yourself, what was even the crime? but the attempt to deflect any blame of what happened began within hours of the attack. when you heard hicks say that the testimony of the video and the demonstration was given, and he heard it and found it stunning, john dropping, and embarrassing. it turned out, the it ministration was determined to redact the truth from the talking points, and they succeeded in doing that. >> marc, what about the role of former secretary of state hillary clinton? >> first, leon panetta and general dempsey both said they were with the president when news of the attack came in and
they maintain regular and constant communication throughout. in thenswer that question of where the president was. >> i am asking about the seven hours afterwards. >> they both testified that the president was involved and they were in constant communication. >> the secretary of state? >> i think the secretary of state made a mistake in leaving the state department. i say that because right now there is nobody there to give her side of the story. in the final analysis, politically, in a cruel world, the white house is concerned about its reputation. john kerry has a short time as secretary of state, he has a big agenda. i think he will call for an independent investigation, but i do think there is nobody there to give her side of the story. she laughed too early. you do not leave when something like this is hanging over your reputation and record.
your one time in illustrious career, you were part of the state department security apparatus. what do you make of this testimony? >> the regional security officer there at the time testified that he had proposed months before the incident several changes in the security situation, beefing up the security situation in libya. i said on this show several weeks ago that if he went into the state department, you would find reams and reams of documents from security experts in the field that have made recommendations to increase security at installations only to be ignored. his question was what happened to the secretary of state, why were these recommendations not made? the other than that is interesting, the report from abc news on the talking points, this has been kicked back and forth.
the suggestion was susan rice was working from talking points that were provided from the intelligence agency. that is not quite the case, according to the report. briefingad an initial point, the acknowledgments that the security situation was dire in benghazi and cited incidents. >> let me come back to those points. >> i would just make the point that the state department did not explain how that happened. republican senator lindsey graham says the benghazi is just as damaging as watergate. do you agree with this? >> i really think the congress would be well unbiased not to treat this as a political football. it is a very legitimate, critical line of inquiry. it is never good to tell people not to talk during an investigation. however, we cannot ignore the fact that they are desperately
trying to tarnish hillary clinton's legacy. she is standing in their way in 2016 and this is also an attempt at her. >> abc news acquired 12 different drafts of talking ciats and it discloses the scrubbing references to an al and petraeus requested that things be delayed to not tipoff and the group's. >> what bothers me is coming in the e-mail to the white house, the state department took issue with information, including the terrorist threats, saying this could be abused by members of congress to be that the state department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that? >> that is political. that has nothing to do with the sensitivity of documents.
>> exactly the point. the cover story is that it was an intelligence request, a way to to protect power source. -- protect our source. the then-security adviser said that the talking points had to reflect the equities of all the agencies, not reflect the interests of state, cia, and the white house. they were drafted and redacted, where the truth was removed, the truth that it was a terror attack and there had been warnings. there was a way to protect the state department and the white house and it produced a falsehood. this is a cover up. there was not a crime underneath it. it shows the degree to which they wanted to mislead america over an issue on which they could easily have said there were mistakes, oversights, sloppiness, but there was no criminal act underlying this. rhetoricale right --
hyperbole of redacted -- ." >> it was removed. >> this is not part of official terret -- testimony that was later rejected. let me associate with my colleague lois. this was the first time on wednesday on capitol hill that we had heard people who were there. we have heard the left and we have heard the right give all of their conspiracy theories and everything else. this was emotional, this was a real, human. this was the real story of somebody who was there and paid a price professionally for doing it. i would emphasize one lois said. the republicans make a mistake by 36 times in those hearings mentioning hillary clinton. this is a serious investigation but it should not be a flow -- a
political football. >> i think they will call hillary clinton back. the door is also open for her former chief of staff. >> a special committee, watergate-type of investigation? if we will goow there, we have so many other issues. i think their intent is to create a >> it is a mistake. you know who's idea is to subpoena hillary clinton? dick cheney, the man who refused any executive response. i think hillary clinton would come back on her own. had, all the witnesses talked to the panel that hillary clinton had established. >> with all due respect to the parties involved, wouldn't it have been at least better if somebody had picked up the phone and said, i do not care if this is too far, you have to try.
let's send somebody over, let's at least try. why wouldn't you do that? question, a natural natural inclination. you do not know that it will go on for hoursnd h seige of days. the logistics argued against it. general at this point. siegeare americans under in a terrorist attack. >> that is a good point, but if you know you cannot get there in time, it will be a futile flyover, but you do -- what do you do? if it is already over, what have you achieved?
from the standpoint of the plan, the people who have to make the call, logistically, it didn't seem possible. in retrospect, it does look like it was impossible. my question is, would it have been possible for someone to take a shot at it? >> it a tough decision, time is running, and they decided one way or the other. hicks thinks it should of gone the other way. the apologists say that they wouldn't have got there on time. but there was no way to know at the time how long it would go. if that is a retrospective judgment. you did not know if it would be seven or 12 or 20 hours. that is not a factor. >> and you did not know at the time of the first attack but there would be a second. there was a good assumption that tripoli would be next. that is why they concentrated on destroying the classified
materials, access to the hard drives, got prepared to evacuate. >> and they would not release the team to go to benghazi, i understand that. >> one of the reasons the critics are really upset here is because they think it was totally political decisions on obama's part to cover up everything because he was running on a national security platform, but i stand by my brother's statement which is, this should not be treated as a political football. this should be a fact-finding mission. are we equipped to deal with this kind of thing, moving forward? >> i would like to know what the reaction is to the critics of report?kering they spoke to the same witnesses. they did talk to them. >> they did not speak to the
secretary of state until the hearing. we did not know that there was a state department memo from the acting assistant secretary of east affairs. the day after the attack said that there was a terror attack from an al qaeda affiliate. the state department acknowledges that in a memo. secretary he told the of state that night. the cia also spoke about it being a terror attacks but those paragraphs are removed. the issue is hillary clinton's answer, the difference between truth and falsehood, between integrity and intimidation. that is an important issue. i do not think there was an underlying crime but there was a political attempt to cover up the facts, intimidate, and remote hicks, who ought to be
recommended for some kind of praise. he was a courageous, honest guy. have an ax to grind and has supported everything the critics have said since the initial attack. >> immigration reform. >> we are open to changes but do not make an effort to kill a bill that is the best hope for immigration reform, i believe, that we have had in this the bestand frankly, hope to break the partisan gridlock that has strangled the senate, congress, and the country. senator chuck schumer. the were marking up immigration bill last week. is this one doable? >> yesterday was a window on how difficult it will be, a window of what will happen in the house. we are now in a body where the democrats and the pro- immigration people have the votes, but we have not even seen the house version, and it is
supposed to be a lot tougher. >> 844 pages, charles. will the republicans let it happen? >> it depends on what happens. it depends on what is in the details. if they write a bill that has real border control with real triggers, i think you will get a large number -- i would support it -- a large number of republicans in the senate and i think it would pass the congress. it will hinge on whether republicans can be convinced lip democrats are giving service to immigration, border control, or not. if the answer is yes, it will pass. if not, even marco rubio would pull out. whatd if the answer is no, are the political consequences? republicans would swallow up ted cruz's lead.
it has been crafted through collusion and cooperation between the chamber of commerce, organized labor, and all the other parts. and then sabotage it, blow it up, then the republicans will get their due. they are the party of old, white males. that is not a prescription to win national elections in this country. >> you already see that the republicans are less unified on this issue. you have some tea party supporters getting behind marco rubio and his position on this. we have the heritage foundation which speaks for some segments of these conservative wing, very critical, and they got a lot of bull bar from other republicans who said that this study they produced was ill-founded. you are likely to see this survive over the course
next few weeks in committee. if they continue to give ground , the gang of 6, 2 republicans. >> president obama was in texas this week talking about the middle-class. the"the wall street journal" deficit is shrinking, unemployment is at a five-year low. the dow jones cracks the 15,000 mark. the housing market is coming back. all of this despite sequestration. >> i was just want to say to my good friends on the right. cheer up, eventually things will get worse. $231 billion less in deficit than expected last year. that aretax collection up. you have fannie mae, the much beleaguered, chastised, reprimanded institution paying back its loans. >> $59.4 billion.
>> freddie mac paying back what it goes. >> $7 billion from freddie mac. >> i read "the wall street journal" too. >> sometimes you surprise me, like three times a show. cheer up to the republicans? it is the democrats who said that a sequester would mean the end of the world. unemployment, we would reduce gdp. it andnt ahead and did it is working. i am very cheery. else can you do on this panel but laugh? the president can take credit for some of the improvement because the economy is improving. the answer is growth. this is how you get rid of the
deficit, through grow. >> not through government handouts, in other words. >> we do not need to go there. sequestration is hurting some parts of the country. ourselves, on the vulnerable are the ones that are feeling the effect. they cannot pull together a lobby -- >> the answer is growth. the economy is improving, the economy is growing. people get jobs and there is more money in the treasury that will help. >> it is about consumer confidence, too. consumers want to feel good. the president is going out and getting on top of that. republicans are making a mistake when they start criticizing him for going out there and capitalizing on this because people do not want bad news. they do not want to see mitch mcconnell complaining about the president being happy.
>> when the economy is bad, it is the president's fault, when it is good, it is the house republicans. >> speaking of, mark sanford's comeback win. said, he looks a lot like lazarus. former south carolina gov. mark sanford resigning from the job after getting lost on the appalachian trail and ending up in argentina with his mistress. this week's special congressional election in south carolina beating the sister of steven colbert. refusedford's ex-wife to help him in the letson. -- in the election. statement, heory showed sensitivity and spirit of candor. forgives eight
times. can we expect more? south carolina -- let's give him credit. this is a state brimming with compassion and concern and consideration. in the last presidential primary, who did they pick as their winner? ? serial adulterer newt gingrich. this time? mark sanford. he showed the sensitivity that any parent envies by bringing his 14-year-old son on stage on election night when he won the primary to meet his new stepmother, his mistress. i have to tell you, he is a jerk. welcome to the club. >> it sounded more like a soap opera the way that he was describing it. >> i am told they are revising the geography textbooks in state schools to show the most dict route from the appalachianrail
to washington this through argentina. never been done before. have to love this guy. he calls his ex-wife and says, do you want to run the campaign for me? he was going to pay her. it is a republican state and he ran a challenger's campaign. he was there with the cutouts of nancy pelosi, and colbert-bush was in a little bubble. >> you have to hand it to him, he won the election. >> i had said on this program when we first talked about this that i thought sanford was a great position. he has held the district. that district has not gone democratic in decades. it is a very conservative district. his politics that the district,
notwithstanding his personal behavior. >> weighing-in on governor chris christie. >> is no one else's business but mine. that is the reason i made the decision i did. jersey governor chris christie admitted he had weight- loss surgery earlier in the year. he said it was not a political decision. it was about turning 50 and wanting to be around when his grandchildren grow up. >> i think he did for his health but i also think he is delusional if he thinks it is not anyone's business. he is thinking about running for president, the cameras are on every time we know, ted kennedy would run he would drop 50 pounds. >> this is a man that appeals to a lot of independents and democrats. >> he does. it was not just his position, it was a family decision. >> give him credit. >> i give him credit for doing that. it is not myinto weight.
i need to lose weight. his politics fit with this country. >> a point of personal privilege on this. as somebody who has been accused of having more chins than the beijing phone book, i want to address this. chris christie is doing the right thing for his family, his health, and for 2016. he is the only elected office holder in the country who has favorable rating from republicans, democrats, and independence. that is the gold standard. >> a winning combination, charles. >> an extremely attractive candidate. it is no of our business, he is right. it is unrealistic in the state to imagine that it will not be our business. woodrow wilson had a stroke in the country did not know about it.
eisenhower was in terrible help. kennedy had injections all the time. if the guy wants to have surgery to reduce his weight, leave him alone. >> as a doctor, how effective is this type of treatment? atherry, and it works well. he h the leastnvasive. it was done leftist topically. you are just shrinking the size. you're not cutting out part of the stomach as you would in the other more drastic procedure. it is irreversible, but it is none of our business. >> congratulations to the governor. that is the last word. we will see you next week.
>> hello from brussels and a very warm welcome to "european journal." good to have you with us. here's a look at what is coming up in today's show -- back to basics. alternatives for unemployed spaniards. europe applauding -- a prestigisrize for lithuania's president. bulgarian's looking -- the backlash against anti- immigration blitz. immigration blitz. when it comes to health