tv Reel America The President - June 1968 CSPAN July 9, 2018 2:00am-2:31am EDT
we want to say we killed north stream too and we got a fairer and more reciprocal playing field in international trade and transatlantic trade. we got a framework in place for dealing with iran. i think we would be able to look back and say the west is collectively better off for this strategic competition. none of these things that we are working on in our diplomacy are things we are approaching from a narrow u.s. self- interest. in most cases, these are things we have raised repeatedly with european allies in the past and that we want to make headway on.
>> we are making headway, particularly on the burden sharing. when i first joined this committee, i met repeatedly with european partners. back then, if you remember, the discussion was all about edward snowden, that type of thing. then, charlie have don't happened and i have not heard that since. maybe it is the serious nature of the threat of terrorists and the need to maintain strong partnerships. do you believe that our intelligence gathering and sharing and cooperation is as strong as it was before charlie hebdo? >> our cooperation is exceptionally strong.
>> so again, that is a positive outlook in terms of what a relationship is. talk a little bit about -- this goes back to a conversation we had in our office. the different approach that both russia and china use versus the u.s. when it comes to investing in foreign countries. >> i think the russians and chinese have done a better job than the west collectively in the last few years, integrating matters of commerce into a geopolitical vision. the chinese in particular tend to view commercial investments abroad as a matter of state. my perception is that the chinese have tended to approach these questions with a much more long-term filter or framework in mind. i think in the countries of central and eastern europe, you see the results of that. a quiet, skillful building up
of relationships over the last few years. i think we have to acknowledge that these are serious, well thought-out, well resourced, long-term efforts. the west, by comparison, has tended to segment strategic issues and trade. i think we have also tended to imagine that the institutional enlargements of the immediately post-cold war period were a straight-line trajectory. it was an end of history that implied a certain amount of lassitude on our part. i think the events of the last several years have been a wake- up call that europe is not a post geopolitical environment. i think we are catching up quickly in understanding the need to compete in that
environment. the message of the national security strategy first and foremost is that it is a serious and prolonged strategic competition with big power rivals. counterterrorism will always be important but it will not retain the salience nus foreign policy that it did from 9/11 until a couple of years ago. that requires some tough choices for our society. >> america spends 1% of the federal budget on foreign aid. in the past, we have had very few strings attached. china goes about it a little differently. i have heard anecdotal evidence where they can build a port. is that kind of the standard operating procedure? >> that is a good generalization.
the chinese tend to apply less in the way of obvious near-term strings. sometimes countries find they can no longer service the debt and chunks of their infrastructure are claimed. there are strings attached. they are less immediate. the chinese also intended to have more of a relationship based approach. many of these countries are corruptible and corruption remains the single biggest problem. the chinese are very brazen in using those pathways of corruption. >> we can't do that. >> two quick comments on the conversation we are having about russia and then i want to change the subject.
you and i have a different analysis of what happened in 2013 in ukraine. i don't want to litigate it but i do think it is a convenient conceit to suggest that the russian invasion of ukraine was a consequence of a set of american policies from 2008 to 2013. i can frankly make a very different argument to you that it was in fact the success of the trans atlantic relationship that had brought ukraine to the point at which they were considering joining the european union that panicked russia into a mistake which they will pay for for a long time unless trump gets his wish and they are brought back to institutions like the g-7. i also don't think there was a lot of evidence that russia's bad behavior is getting better. i would argue that it is getting worse. you have seen a significant democratic backsliding in hungary and turkey that has been
led by the russians. you have seen the united states effectively outsourced diplomacy to the russians and the turks. we have seen continued partnership between the russian government and the trump administration with respect to pushing trump's agenda. because of russian government propaganda's, they were pushing the storyline in the u.s. media. i don't think that there is evidence of bad behavior lessening. i think it is getting worse and worse. >> let me turn to the iran nuclear agreement. i want to have you talk about the strategy. the announcement that we are going to pull out of the
agreement was not unexpected. the message has been sent from what i understand that we are going to reimpose u.s. sanctions but also secondary sanctions. as you know, the european union is attempting to try to keep the iranians to their end of the agreement which in their mind involves keeping iran's access to banking systems such as the swift system. i guess my question is a bigger one but it has two parts. what are our plans to continue to roll out previous sanctions such as secondary sanctions? how on earth does the administration plan to do what they said they were going to do which is put together a series
of sanctions? right now, we seem to be in a world in which the europeans want no part of that. they want to continue this relationship to try to get iran to refrain from restarting the nuclear program. we seem to be a little unclear. there is no hope of ever being able to put back together a set of sanctions that were stronger than the ones we had back in place. >> i completely agree with you and i want to be crystal clear on this in a public setting. there is one person responsible for the ukraine war and that is vladimir putin. i think it is important to a knowledge that recent policy has helped to create an environment that aided indirectly many of putin's
aggressive aims. the decisions we make in u.s. policy to help to create a context that our rivals can either exploit or not exploit. i think the reset was a big part of that. my point is we should not have a double standard. the administration can go for six years with a very lopsided courtship of an authoritarian russia. somehow, it is off-balance for this administration to even talk about planning a meeting with the russians to explore whether there are points of cooperation. i take your overall point. vladimir putin is the one that is responsible for the ukraine war. on the issue of iran, the secretary recently outlined our approach. i would argue it is a much more comprehensive strategy in that in addition to imposing financial penalties, it focuses also on engaging the iranian people, creating a deterrent to structure for our regional allies, and dealing with listed
missiles. it is interesting that our middle eastern allies were very much not pleased with it. they saw in monetary and military terms how there was an opening for iran to become more aggressive. i think our focus at this point is working with all of our allies to build a comprehensive international framework. what i have seen in our interactions with the europeans both pre-and post, there is a fair and wide consensus between ourselves and european allies on analysis of the iranian threat. much more so than there was before we started this process. our european interlocutors acknowledged the need to deal effectively with ballistic missile perforation and bringing revolutionary guard into syria.
president mccrone had a four- point formula that is similar to the u.s. approach. >> you are talking about nonnuclear activity. i submit that we can continue to work with europeans on the nuclear activity. let's get the playing field straight today. the europeans are not interested in re-imposing new nuclear sanctions on iran. they are interested in trying to hold together this set of economic benefits that will entice iran to stay in the nuclear agreement. that is europe's position today. >> i think we will know more about that in the coming days. there is some difference of opinion among different members of the e3. we will know more about the collective perspective on this when we have more dialogue in the near future. i would say that there is that
they are self policing. european companies doing business with iran has changed. european union leaders are seeing it is removing themselves. >> it still does not sound to me like a strategy about how you get europeans into a fundamentally different place than they are today. it is true the europeans are trying to hold this deal together and there does not seem to me to be any strategy to reverse their position or any hope to rebuild a set of sanctions that were tougher than the ones that we had. i know that you can hope for that to be true but heart of the reason that most of the foreign policy establishments begged the president not to do this is they knew it would be a likely impossibility. >> i would like to go back to
the balkan. as you know, recent electoral issues in bosnia have contributed to concerns about stability there. i wonder if you could talk more specifically about what we are doing to work with the international community to try to encourage a fix to allow elections to move forward? >> thank you for the question. i have been very engaged on this issue. when i was in the balkans last week, this was a point of discussion. there are two broad strands to this approach. we are working closely with the european union and other regional allies to use the small window that we have in the lead up to the elections to push for electoral reform. i think cobe which will be the key. we will formulate a way that allows for stability and equal
representation. we have supported the british approach in nato with the lead up to the summit. we have lowered some of the conditions with regard to the defense properties so that we can have a clearer path to a discussion about nato prospects. i would like to get back to the place we were when bosnia was the main and biggest problem of the balkans. we want to get more attention to bosnia. i do think the conditions create very attractive openings for the russians to medal -- to meddle. >> there is no doubt about that. as you point out, in kosovo and serbia, and throughout the
balkans. i think the more we can do to help stabilize the situation, the better. i want to turn finally to turkey. there are a number of issues with turkey that i know the state department is very concerned about. one of those is there continued pursuance of the s 400 air defense system from russia. obviously, it would be in violation of half the law. can you talk about what the administration is doing on that front and if turkey does except delivery of that system, when would we invoke sanctions? >> thank you for that question. i have been very engaged with the turks on this. it is a very serious matter. we have been clear in all of our communications with the turkish government that acquisition of the s 400, which we would assess to have occurred when there is an actual delivery of the technology, we have been clear
on multiple occasions with the highest level of the turkish government that there will be consequences. we will abide by the rules and when we determine a transaction has been made, we will impose sanctions. we have also been very clear that across-the- board, an acquisition of as/400 will inevitably affect the prospect for turkish military and industrial corporation within the united states. >> i think we have to put this in the context of that this is a crucial ally and partner. what they are doing for us with isis is essential. we worked with them very closely in intelligence and other areas but this has the potential to spike the punch. i think we can't be any clearer about saying that both privately and publicly. a decision on as/400 will qualitatively change the u.s.- turkey relationship in a way that would be difficult to
repair. >> thank you. i think that is an important message for turkey to hear. i have been involved in efforts with senators to try and delay the delivery of s 35 to turkey because of their holding without any reason of american citizens. i appreciate that at last week's ceremony with lockheed martin on celebrating the partnership with turkey on the f 35 that the state department did
not send a representative to this ceremony. i think it is part of trying to send a clear message to turkey about what our views are and i do know that there is some confusion about whether planes have been delivered. it is my understanding that dod officials have said that we have already begun delivery of planes. it is my understanding
that that is not the case. can you confirm for us whether any planes have been delivered to turkey? >> as you probably know senator, the u.s. maintains custody of aircraft until they are transferred which normally occurs after a lengthy training process. in my view, that is helpful to us in these circumstances because it gives us time to continue the messaging. we are in the training phase. we have watched developments on the hill. we know some of what is being
considered on f 35. we believe we have existing legal authorities that would allow us to withhold transfer under certain circumstances. given that, we believe that we continue to have the time and ability to ensure turkey does not move forward on as/400 before having to take a decision on f 35. we are being very clear in our messaging to the turks that they will be consequences. beyond that, i would request
that ability to discuss it with you in a classified setting. >> i would be happy to do that. there will be additional ability to cite the acts of congress in dealing with turkey. can you tell me to the extent that we can make this information public, how many american citizens we believe turkey may be holding in prison? >> we can confirm dozens of u.s. citizen's, mostly u.s.- turkish dual nationals that have been detained or deported. you are aware of some of the legal and privacy restrictions on our ability to discuss it in this setting. my understanding is there roughly 2 dozen detainees. most are detained on criminal charges or foreign terrorist charges. of the number, i believe for have signed privacy waivers. we also have three locally employed staff that are being detained.
>> can you talk about what we are doing to address those improper detentions and who we are talking to in the turkish government and the extent to which we are bringing this up with the president? >> the subject of these detained citizens, particularly american citizens, is at the forefront of our agenda with turkey. as important as these other areas are, all the way up to the level of the secretary and the president, it tops our list when we talk to the turks. the point we have tried to make repeatedly is two things. turkey does have legitimate security concerns that need to be addressed. we have tried to help address those including in syria. in parallel, we have tried to help the turks understand that if they continued to unjustly detain american citizens, it will significantly alter the tenor of our relationship. we appreciate that capitol hill has created leverage for us in some of these areas. we use that leverage to the maximum ability. we explore every inch we have.
i will use this setting to lay a very strong marker on the case of pastor andrew bunsen. i have been in close touch with his wife and his family. we have looked at the arraignment and terms of the case that was brought against him in english and turkish but there was nothing there. this is a manifested case. there are limits to how far we can go in trends actualizing things with any ally or any country but we have examined every option. most immediately, we are hoping and expecting to see the president act on the pledge that he made during the campaign to lift the state of emergency. we are monitoring that very closely. >> i know i am out of time but if i could come i want to follow up with another question. i know that in the past, we
have often assumed that after elections, it would be easier to deal with the president and turkey. that has not necessarily proved to be the case. is there any reason to believe that he may be more responsive after these elections? >> that is a good question. we have consistently said that we respect the democratic desires of the turkish people. we were concerned about some irregularities in the selection. we are concerned about the state of human rights. our approach will be to continue to find those areas where we can cooperate and strengthen the relationship. turkey is a strong ally and partner at -- partner that has legit security concerns. i think that president erdogan knows what our expectations are about our people and all aspects of the relationship.
we are going to use every opening that we have to message that but also try to get this relationship on a better track. keeping turkey on a track toward the political west but the geostrategic west has to be a prime objective for the u.s. strategy in the region. >> thank you. >> turkey's treatment of pastor brunson is simply outrageous. i think that they need to understand that every member of congress is highly concerned about it. i appreciate your lead on it. i appreciate your strong statement on it as well. that would be a really big step in terms of helping to improve relationships with a very important country. my final question has to do with the baltic states. i have always been concerned, particularly after russia's invasion of georgia. our response now hopefully sends
a strong message. can you give me your assessment in terms of the dangers of russian meddling? >> i think the dangers are very real. i think the baltics -- the baltic states have never been stronger. these are model democracies. the really set the standard across the region for strong atlantis bulwarks. we have to be diligent both militarily and with regard to hybrid and cyber threats. we have strong pathways of coordination with all of these countries. >> we really do appreciate your service. these are incredibly important relationships we are dealing with in a very unstable environment and world. thank you for your service and your testimony. with that, the hearing record will remain open until the close of business on thursday,
coming up tonight, a senate hearing of the proposed t- mobile and sprint merger. white house trade director peter navarro discusses the u.s. economic relationship with china. the state department releases its annual human trafficking report. veterans affairs secretary nominee robert wilkie testifying at his senate confirmation hearing. executives from t-mobile and sprint testify that a senate hearing looking into the proposed merger. it would form the country's second largest wireless carrier. they talked about how the deal would affect that of element of 5g technology. the merger is awaiting approval from the justice department and federal communications commission. this a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing is two hours and 20 minutes.
welcome to this hearing on this subcommittee on antitrust competition policy and consumer rights. before we start, i want to thank our ranking member and for her staff and their outstanding assistance in preparation for this hearing. i want to thank the chairman of the full judiciary committee for his support for this hearing. after senator clover shire and i each have an opportunity to give opening remarks, we will hear from our panel of witnesses. we will be hearing from each one of you.