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tv   Washington Journal Gerald Feierstein  CSPAN  October 17, 2018 3:34pm-4:09pm EDT

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>> gerald feierstein's director for the center for the incident a former deputy assistant secretary of state for near
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eastern affairs. mr. train for, but are wet geto the future, just your thoughts on the latest on the investigation into the disappearance of jamal khashoggi, news outlets reporting today that saudi suspected in the alleged killing have ties toth security services in that country. your thoughts this morning as the investigation continues. are seeing kind of a study trip of new information about what happened, what happened in the room, who the individuals were. s you said, the president reporting this morning is based on information got from the turks as well as their own investigation that many of the individuals involved had some kind of the link directly to mohammed in amman, which of course will make the issue more challenging for the saudi's to, but the next nation that doesn't
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involve the crown prince directly. posted by the president out yesterday that he spoke with thw crown prince who denied any knowledge of what took place. he was that secretary of state mike pompeo during that d call. the president said he told me his arty started and will rapidly expand a complete investigation into this matter. answers will be forthcoming the president treated yesterday. >> well, one hopes. of course the common and the president's reaction were greeted with a great deal of skepticism i think the bird and is really on the saudi's to come up with a logical explanation of what exactly happened. and so far i don't think where they are. >> host: here's a picture of "usa today" meeting with the crown prince.
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do you think it was a mistake to take the meeting? >> with the president first said he was sending the secretary outcome is that explicitly he was going out to meet with the king. i think that was the right move. you have to get to the king. you have to get to the ultimate decision-maker to explain exactly what the importance of this issueue is for the united states and for the u.s. saudi relationship. the meeting with the crown prince frankly i don't and anyone would be surprised he would deny his involvement. >> senator w mark warner at georgetown university was asked about president trump's reaction to jamal khashoggi disappearance and statement with what the crown prince told him. here is mark porter from yesterday. >> this is not some back alley in istanbul. this is inside the saudi
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consulate. the motion in a government like that, that the higher-ups didn't know this is all interrogation that went awry. my concern and what trump has said in clearly, you know, the saudis in many areas have been their allies in the neighborhood. because there's some economic military sales here, you know, we are in uncharted territory. there has never been in my lifetime, 63 are sold, an american president to have been split up for a free press, that says wepr value human ray. there's never been a democratic or republican who's been willing to turn a blind eye to no matter how outrageous the action fire.
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and one of the things that i think donald trump does not understand is this his novel theatre. and in many ways, maybe in america we kind of use to his antics. but in so many places around the world, the words of an american president carried enormous meaning. >> mark warner saying we are in uncharteder territory. can you lay out in your mind with the u.s. options are going forward and where you think we y should go here? >> well, it is a good question. of course the administration, which is looking not only at the history of the relationship the senator but their own objectives on violent extremism, on iran, the israeli-palestinian account, looking at saudi arabia as the key partner in the region will
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help them achieve all of those schools are desperate to get beyond this story and to get back to a more stable relationship b with the saudi's. so the president authority said that he doesn't want to consider on sales. beyond that, there really aren't very many things. the congress hasco already triggered a global magnet fee act, which would apply sanctions against any individuals who are involved or who are seen to be implicated in this particular attack. that's against individuals. it could go all the way up depending how the investigation goes. but it's still againstst individuals. againstt the kingdom itself, my understanding and we heard senator warner. we also heard senator graham
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yesterday speaking very aggressively about the need to sanctions on saudi arabia. my understanding is the anger on the hill is palpable. they could vote against arms sales to saudi arabia. whether that would overcome the presidential veto or not is n dubious. beyond that, in terms of the government as long as the president doesn't want to pursue this, doesn't want to push this, they are limited. even more significant in terms of saudi arabia is where the business community is. of course the saudi's were planning their big investment conference next week. we've seen the most senior u.s. and international business figures. jamie dimon, bill ford, david petronius, all backing out of participation in that. so as the business community
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decide that they don't want to participate in saudi arabia, and that's going to be a huge blowra to saudi arabia economic conditions. >> with us this morning taking your calls, talking abouts. u.s. saudi relations in the disappearance of journalist jamal khashoggi. (202)748-8001. democrats to a 27488002. you mentioned a minute ago that one ofnt the options is to suspd arms sales. why do we sail so many arms to saudi arabia? >> the unitedd states of close security relationship going all the way back to the immediate post-world war ii era. the united states has a sickly help saudi arabia built its entire military and security
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infrastructure. it is heavily dependent on u.s. arms coming u.s. security, architecture. and this has been a tradition that's gone back because we recognize that the u.s. and saudi arabia share important object is not only in the region, but globally. we share a desire to ensure a stable energy market for the world. we share a commitment to security, regional security, global security. we've worked together on these issues for decades. look at afghanistan in the 1980s. look at the iraqi invasion of kuwait in 1991. the united dates and saudi arabiaia have worked closely together for all of those years on security and a lot of it is based on this military relationship and the
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infrastructure we've built. >> i recall you treating recently that while we share object is, no one should pick we often share values to saudi arabia. how has that complicated that relationship over the years ins your experience? >> is created stresses and strains from time to time there's no question. we in thet saudi's obviously nddon't have the same view on basic principles of the relationship between thesh state and the citizen between the fundamental values of freedom of press, freedom of religion. these are not ideas or concepts saudi arabia shares with us. on the other hand the saudi's sometimes find u.s. positions on some of the critical, regional and global policies to be uncomfortable for them. so we've had these stresses and strains from time to time. but the fact that we share so many important interests around the world has always allowed us to paper over those differences.
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>> do we need them more or do they need us more? >> i don't think it's an us or them of a question. i think both parties, both governments have benefited from this relationship over the past 70 years. >> gerald feierstein, we will start with maryland, republican. good morning. >> good morning. thanks for taking my call. it's amazing how most of the senator is kind jump up and down. any loss of life is sort of a bad day. it's clear they have been -- turkey has been mocking of dividends and people have been disappearing andey no one has sd anything. all of a sudden one journalist said in a brutal manner, whatever happened. and now, the saudi's are the
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worst thing. i'm not saying what happened is right, whatever it is that might have happened. the matches this is is not par for the cause in general. we deal with these countries all over the world all the time. why is it that this administration is different? release administrations have done it. an entire city twice and no one did anything or said anything abouty it. the once deserted guest says. i can guarantee you that they are not going to get canceled. in the previous administration and will not in future administrations because the importance of saudi arabia. >> well, i think he makes a fair point and others have made a similarin point. what i would say if there were
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only an issue of the jamal khashoggi, we would not be seeing the reaction we are seeing. very much as the caller said, what i think the members of congress are responding to, what the general public is responding to is actually an accumulation of issues, including the conflict in yemen, the boycott of qatar, the kidnapping of the prime minister, the internal human rights issues, and the arrest or extortion of many prominent people in the ritz-carlton hotel a year ago. all of these things have added to a growing sense of frustration on the hill and the general public that the jamal khashoggi issue has simply released, and that people gave
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mohammed bin salman the benefit of the doubt. he was a reformer, doing things that people thought were good things in terms of the economy and saudi arabia, in terms of the socialhtht liberalization, bringing women into society. people were willing to overlook an awful lot of these things. jamal has a particular thing here in london and new york because so many people knew him personally and because he was somebody that is very well regarded and well liked in many quarters in this town. did you ever meet him? >> i need jamal. he came to the middle east institute and did some roundtables with us. he was a very well known figure around tom, participated in many activities, conferences and other things. jamal is a well-known person and so i think this personalizes the issue for many people.
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your caller is right. it's an accumulation of things. not, just the one thing. >> john, independent. good morning. >> just does he pointed out, this is an american naval resident. i think they may be citizens. i don't know. talking about the international criminal court iff the story and the people are true turkish people, a hit squad in the crown prince and so should be indicted. maybe we can't do anything that way. but there should be a giant petition going with a lot of american citizens demanding congress also promote that idea. this man is a butcher and it's got to stop and i'm so glad people in congress are talking about it. let's see if they'll standnd upo it. this is president trump's lowest moment in his had so many low moments. we've got at done it.
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thank you very much. >> yes, as the caller said, the u.s. is not a party to the national code of just does, but we do have the global that ischia and the congress is very triggered that, which requires the administration to do its investigation and try to identify individuals responsible. we are going to go forward on that. there's 120 day time period where the administration has to respond to the congressional call. >> you were talking about the benefit a minute ago. tewhy do you think president trp is still giving the crown prince the benefit of the doubt at this point withou everything that ses toto be coming out in the news although the leaks coming out from turkish authorities. >> well i think again for the administration, it has to be a terribly challenging moment for them because so much of their
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policy is dependent on saudi arabia because they've identified mohammed bin salman personally as the leader of saudi arabia who achieved their goals and objectives in the region. he's got a close relationship with jared kushner. they talked about the israeli and account. even beyond that, i think they saw the kind of new dynamic leadership in saudi arabia that they believe will help achieve u.s. foreign policy in the region. >> can you talk about the history of president trump's relationship with saudi officials in the trump organization's relationship as well to eating amid this discussion about the u.s. saudi relations for the record with no financial interest or russia for
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that matter. in more fake news. there have been a number of instances where their house then to long-standing relationships between president trump and members of the trump family with saudi arabia, with senior saudi business leaders, which is the patron of jamal khashoggi and a close friend as well as with others. soso there's been a lot of discussion about the possibility. >> fox news research for donald trump's lifetime in 1991 he sold the yacht to a saudi prince in 2001 sold the 45th world power to the saudi's on june of 2015 and many live in trump tower.
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august 2015 they spend $40 million to $50 million in 2017 saudi lobbyists spent $270,000 for the trans d.c. hotel. >> right. so this is a relationship that goes back and obviously the president and his family have been known to have been close to saudi business figures. mohammed came here early on in the administration and established a very close personal relationship especially with jared kushner. >> bob, independent, good morning. >> good morning, gentlemen. are you doing? my point for today will be that i'm sorry but i don't see anything good about the saudi's. i don't see anything good about the iraqis, i don't see anything good about the pakistanis. while these muslim countries are not kind people, any of them. they're butcher each other in
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the heart beat. these are the people you're going to be hanging out with. that's the business that they do and that's how they do the business. they just allow their women to drive for goodness sakes. they have no morals when it comes to females. they have no morals when it comes to life. it's amazing they think these guys are outstanding citizens of it to do business. we really don't. >> bacher point, bob. >> you mentioned a couple of the countryside served in over the year. spent many years in pakistan, a longtime and saudi arabia. many other muslim societies over a 40 year career and i have to say i found people in the society is pretty much to be the same as people ever in the world. you have some good people, some not so good people. basically they are people and
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have very close friends, jamal khashoggi was somebody who many of us knew very well and have a lot of regard for as a very decent upstanding human being. you can't generalize about people. >> katrina is next. staten island, new york. good morning. >> good morning. i want to just make a comment because turkey and the united states -- [inaudible] for what i see, [inaudible] before that they did nothing. something is going on in the talks and i hope the president
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investigate them. i don't know. that's my opinion. that's what i see. >> well, we have had our issues and our challenges with turkey t some of the concerns about turkish policy, particularly human rights violations andhu se other things. the president was very pleased the other day about the release of pastor brunson after a couple years in captivity. but yes, there are issues between the united states and turkey that also need to be developed. >> is this intemperate in the
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united states and turkey closer together? >> i wouldn't say that. the incident did help us change the nature of the relationship between the united states and turkey. i think clearly secretary pompeo is on its way to meet with senior turkish officials to discuss this issue, probably other issues as well. so ii would say that this is an issue where the u.s. and particularly americanan investigators, turkish investigators can work together to try to understand what happened. areas for cooperation here. in terms of the overalla relationship i wouldn't say would have an effect. >> were you surprised about the early andnd very quick trip of information about the turkish investigation into what happened with jamal khashoggi? >> by scott and vantage in terms of getting they story out and probably holding the saudi's feet to the fire.
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>> michael was up next in eatonville, new jersey. democrat, good morning. >> good morning. it seems obvious to me that the ends justify the means. i'd just understand about the middle east and how we need to haveve alliances. where do we finally draw a line in the sand that we can't cross? for instance, either in this country or another country or something even worse like somebody takes an attack -- [inaudible] where is our country going to draw the line? can anybody tell you? >> well come you always try to balance these relationships and these are difficult and i think that somebody is always going to be a little bit unhappy about the balance. again, as with disgust, our
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relationship with saudi arabia is not based on values. it's not like the relationship with the u.k. or with western europe. it's a relationship that is based on a set of shared interests and principles that does held through over, you know, almost three quarters of a century through democratic republicanre administrations. i think that this is coming and no, this is an important thing. the relationship with saudi arabia has contributed to u.s. national security and our foreign-policy goals and object is over those years. so doo we sometimes accept thins from saudi arabia that we might not accept from a different country? probably that's true. do you have to balance these things then you have to look at the t totality of a pure interet and you can't simply single one thing out and say we are going to base a relationship on this
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one fact sure nothing else is going to matter. >> what is saudi arabia's interest in yemenra and what is our interest right now?en >> saudi arabia is a neighbor of yemen in steve's yemen and the security and stability as directly affecting their own internal security. and so, for saudi arabia in yemen right now, they see the developments there is an existential threat to their own security. i think that what the saudi object is our in yemen are issuesre we don't necessarily disagree with. i think that the saudi see the security of their border with yemen is important. they see the importance of having a friendly government that they can work with and cooperate with and they also see a threat from iranian expansion into the arabian peninsula that
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would be directly provocative to their own security. and so, those are the basic fundamental principles of why the saudi's belts in 2015 that they needed to take measures to stabilize the situation, to go when in reverse would seem to be a coup d'état against a legitimate government that we had all cooperated in creating and developing. the criticism of saudi arabia is really over its implementation this war and the criticism is justified. the way the saudi's have gone about the military conflict hass been a disaster for the yemeni see full as well as for the entire international community. so those concerns are legitimate. the unhappiness people feel about it. the fundamental principles of what was driving saudi arabia into yemen and the first place i think i was still in the obama
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administration at that time. we agreed with the saudi's. we supported the saudi decision. i think that was t the right decision at the time and i think still we should be helping the saudi's achieveth legitimate subject as well try and also to push for a political resolution of the conflict. >> usurped in yemen during your time in the state department? >> from 2010 to 2013. ! gerald feierstein with us for the next 15 minutes taking your calls on u.s. saudi relations on this investigation that continues into the disappearance, the presumed to a journalist jamal khashoggi. democrat, good morning. >> turned on your television. >> okay, okay. [inaudible]
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so that democracy and don't forget today is the international day for the a ratification. for three years to adapt the poorest country has been rocked wracked by a bloody war. the saudi unit cooler is killing 113 children a day. the humanitarian crisis is considered the worst in the world. thiswo political consideration shouldn't forget what is being done. we shouldn't support saudi's and i'd be so happy to know your comments another caller's comments. thank you. >> the situation in yemen is a disaster. there's no question about it. it i isn't humanitarian catastrophe for the many people.
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they support the efforts of the united nations ever particularly special envoy to try and find a initical solution to you defining what the humanitarian crisis. try to get the economy going again so yemenis will be able to have the need -- the means to support themselves and to cover their basic necessities. so all of those names are part of the united states approach to the yemen conflict. and also of course to work with our. partners, the saudi's, othr members of the coalition to try to get them also to support the political resolution of the conflict. we also shouldn't lose sight of the fact saudi arabia it didn't start the war. saudi arabia was not at war and this is not a war between saudi
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arabia and yemen. it's a civil war inside of yemen that was started by the effort of one group with support from the former president. after the war started, they came into september of 2014. the conflict didn't start until six months later. so yes, this is a catastrophe. we all need to try to find a peaceful way oute of it in a way to go forward. but we can only say this is the saudi issue, that this is the saudi's doing this. they're not. >> elkhart, kansas, good morning. >> good morning. i would like to say the iran agreement or any agreement in any arab country is useless because they have five different
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types of lying. they are. you can look by the. >> bacher comments. i don't know if there's anything. >> we are the ones from the jcp l.a., not the iranians come even though the atomic energy commission and all the other partners said that the iranians were fulfilling their obligations. i'm not sure what you make of that. >> a story from the state news. washington think tanks still divided on whether to turn. why does saudi arabia and is so much in washington and tanks in the middle east is to take money from saudi arabia. >> i think the mea is issued a statement the other day basically saying they were no longer going to take saudi funding until there is some
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clarification of exactly what happened with jamal khashoggi. that is the position. other think tanks are also considering their own relationships. i think what we've seen over these past few years is a decision on the part of not only the saudi's, but other states in the region that they needed to do more, that they need to be part of the conversation here in 10 in the united states on issues that are of great concern to them. in the past, we have had relationships with the saudi's, partially on the arts and culture side. we work with saudi arabia. also on the other side and i was say that the their relationship with the middle east and the dude has never been aimed at trying to i influence anything e middle east institute saturday. we never had any kind of strings attached to the relationship. but in the meantime because of the concern that exists right
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now about where the crown prince is that the board made a decision that we're going to stop. >> what does saudi arabia get out of donating to these since tattoos? if there's no strings attached, why they keep doing it to the tune of millions ofng dollars? >> well, they believe another government as they have participated and been part of the public dialogue in the united states for many, many years. these governments see it's important for them to be able to ensure that their issues are discussed. >> journaled firesign with us for the next five or six minutes this morning. new york citynd independent, thanks for waiting. >> hi, yes, good morning, sir. good morning to your guests. >> c-span2


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