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tv   Senator Chuck Schumer Addresses American Jewish Committee  CSPAN  June 10, 2017 4:37pm-6:21pm EDT

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>> on newsmakers this weekend, our guest is a ohio congressman steve stiles. 2018 midtermt the elections and the special elections happening this spring and summer. including one in georgia later this month. watch the interview tomorrow on c-span. senate minority leader charles schumer addressed the american jewish community earlier this week in washington dc.
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that simple event also included to officials from the obama and george w. bush administrations debating the merits of president trump's america first policy. this is just over an hour and a half. >> together they made a powerful statement. they are antithetical to their values and the values of their respective states. second, they reaffirmed their support of israel as an ally.
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it is important economic partner. i hope you all have had a chance to look at the wall street journal today which carries a full-page ad naming all of the governors that participated as well as the mayor of district of columbia. reminder that pbs has been rejected coast to coast. ajc continues to work with local, state and federal legislators and tomorrow, one of our key advocacy items on the hill will be support for combating aids after 2017. states thatotect passed anti-bds legislation. this is a staunch supporter of u.s. israel relationship, a
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committed jewish leader and a longtime personal friend of mine, i'm talking about u.s. state minority leader senator chuck schumer. [applause] chuck has been at the forefront of every effort to strengthen and deepen the relationship between washington and jerusalem. he has also been a strong voice in expressing concern about iran as a threat to israel, and like ajc, chose to uphold the -- in 2015. in doing so, chuck acted out of principle against the wishes of his president and many of his party. we admired his courage then and admire his courage now. now most of you see chuck on the tv shows or the front page of newspapers and he likes being there. [laughter] >> but i want to point out there
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is another part to how he is committed to his constituencies. this is a man who has not forgotten his roots. he returns to new york every weekend and over the course of the year will visit all 62 counties because he remembers that these are the constituents that put him into office. i will give you a personal story. a number of years ago i am walking across central park west which is a wide street and a car comes zooming across and stops right next to me and the back window goes down, and it's chuck, and he says, john, this is the best liverwurst sandwich i have ever had, and he hands me half the sandwich. then the car drives off and i am
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in the middle of the intersection with his liverwurst sandwich. i continue that he is not only someone who goes to battle for his constituents, he will also give them the food from his mouth. [laughter] >> notwithstanding all these positive comments, i am supposed to remind you that ajc is fiercely nonpartisan. we do not support candidates, but rather policies and priorities. now since i am told that the most dangerous place in washington, d.c. is between chuck and a microphone, in an act of self-preservation, it is now my pleasure to welcome to the stage the u.s. senate minority leader, senator chuck schumer. [applause] sen. schumer: thank you everybody. thank you very much. let me thank john for that great introduction. we have been friends for
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decades. i have looked to him for advice in international affairs, issues related to israel, and i know he is doing a great job over the last year as president of ajc. you are lucky to have john at the helm. [laughter] sen. schumer: another good friend of mine was your previous, john's predecessor. harriet is now the board chair, the chair of the board of governors. amazing and has done this great job for decades. thank them all and a relative, milton cooper, is active through marriage, would have been nice if i was a direct descendent, but no such luck. and i want to praise him as well. now as you know i always like to start off by telling a story, and some of the new yorkers have
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heard it, but most of you have not, so i will tell the story. it is about, it goes under the category, i never met you in person. in 1992, i was a congressman and i was redistricted from brooklyn to a district partially in brooklyn, partially in queens. she has heard the story. so i was campaigning in queens to meet my constituents and a woman comes over to me and says, you are congressman schumer? i said, yes. she said, i read in the queens tribune that you are my congressman. she said, i would like to -- i watch c-span religiously, and you have more courage than any other member of congress. i said, that is a tall statement. there are 435 members of congress, some of them are nogoodnicks, what makes you say i have more courage than the others? >> she said i watch c-span religiously and every time you rise to your feet to speak, you have the courage to wear a
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yamaka i said, thank you very much ma'am. you have not met me in person. [laughter] sen. schumer: i love these stories. i have time for one more, john? ok. there is a another story. you can not tell most of these. this was when i was first sworn in as a member of congress, and my whole family came down and were waiting in the anteroom to be sworn in by then speaker tip o'neill, and my grandmother grabs tip o'neill and as was her want -- oh, i forgot the
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beginning of it. my grandmother, my given name is charles, but we had an uncle charlie on my father's side who my mom did not like so she said if you want to name him charles, he can't be charlie. he is chuck. my mother is, who tomorrow will turn 89. my dad will turn 94 on flag day. in any case, so she always called me chucky, even now. chucky, why aren't you doing more of this? but my grandmother would always call me -- which i think in yiddish means, little chucky. i don't know what it means. i hope that is what it means. she grabbed tip o'neill and begin to tell him her life story and said, we were born in the little town, but the egg business went bad, so we moved to america. after each little vignette, she said take good care of -- she said they had no money and went walk three miles to save a nickel car fare.
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take good care of -- she had three beautiful sons, she said. they all thought in the war, and none of them ran away, she said that this is -- what she said -- because they were breast-fed. [laughter] sen. schumer: take good care of -- and now her grandson is being sworn in, said her son abe did not go to college and her grandson is being sworn in as the senator of the united states. take good care of --
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i'm out on the floor, sworn in. we go out to dinner, celebrate, the family goes home, and i'm sitting at my desk and i don't know what to do and the phone rings, and someone calls up and says my name is leo deal, speaker o'neill wants to see you immediately. i said, oh, boy. it was sort of like the first day of school and you are already called into the principal's office. what did i do wrong? so i rushed over. i'm in the anteroom and my knees are knocking and tip comes over to me and says, charles, i very much enjoyed meeting your entire family, especially your grandmother, but answer for me one question, what is a -- and how do we take care of it? [laughter] sen. schumer: he thought she was lobbying on some issue or other. [laughter] sen. schumer: ok. first on a far more serious note, the horrible, horrible attacks in london over the weekend, another reminder that
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the global community faces global threats to the values and the principles we have long cherished. we will only be able to confront and ultimately defeat these threats by working together, standing shoulder to shoulder. the one other point i would make, the whole world has explains the horror of terrorism, but 30-40 years ago, it was only israel and the world did not pay too much attention, and it grew and grew and grew. we can never make that mistake again, wherever terrorism rears its ugly head. [applause] sen. schumer: so first let me talk about something we are all troubled and worried about, and that is the rising tide of anti-semitism around the world. it seems that every time we think for a moment that we have entered a more enlightened era of tolerance, that age-old demon anti-semitism raises its head
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again, comes back with a new virulence. over the past five years, we have watched the specter of anti-semitism rise again in europe, where it seems to live in the soil as their original sin. i once expressed -- i was talking about our disagreement on the iran deal, and one of my objections was that the europeans had too much say, and i sort of explained to him that deep in the bones into much of europe to be anti-semitic, and it leads to a lack of sympathy for israel. now we have seen neo-nazi gangs in the streets of european capitals, far right politicians running on platforms that openly, openly promote hostility
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towards a jews and other religious minorities and jews don't feel safe sending the children to schools, buying groceries, going to synagogue. the rise of anti-semitism in europe is an outrage. it ought to be condemned by the leaders of the world of every faith in every nationality. anti-semitism always simmers just a bit beneath the surface in europe. it has been far more troubling to see that scorch that scourge emerge in america. earlier this year, it felt like almost every day we saw a new report of synagogues with graffiti, swastikas, jewish cemetery vandalized, desecrated, and waves of bomb threats to our jewish communities and a schools. it seems the darkest fringes of our society from the far right to the far left have become newly emboldened. we simply cannot stand for this.
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we have to continue to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to swift justice, and i want to complement ajc. they have been tireless on this front. your initiatives like mayors united against anti-semitism, the muslim-jewish advisory council launched by ajc in the islamic society of north america, i had a meeting with the council of leaders early this year. it shows what we must do. together, joined together, and fight back against all forms of hate. i have worked hard to close the federal government to do everything in its power to combat these threats wherever they may arise. in march, at my urging, the fcc announced the jewish community
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centers and other at risk organizations have been granted special emergency waivers that make it much easier for law enforcement to access caller id information to track down these individuals are gone enforcement has the tools to get behind it. the sec had to give them permission. just recently congress allocated $25 million for the nonprofit security grant program, which provides nonprofits and religious organizations with the resources for emergency preparedness. the money saves lives i am proud to say. it is bipartisan. we increase the funding this year to new highs. [applause] sen. schumer: and international efforts like ajc and groups like you, continued leadership from the united states is the only thing we have, but it works. through things this hate, we just have to keep working diligently could we can't give
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up we can shrug our shoulders. we have to keep working. john mentioned the great ad i read this morning on the shuttle coming down that was a culmination of a great deal of hard work of what you have done. now the vile attacks i mentioned before are so despicable and motivated by hate that the anti-semitic aspects can't be ignored, but sometimes anti-semitism is cloaked, hidden by certain movements that profess no bias, but suspiciously hold israel and by extension the jewish people to a different standard than others. there is no greater example than this insidious effort to harm the jewish state than through the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions.
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the global movement is deeply biased campaign aimed at delegitimizing the jewish state and its supporters, sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly, but all of them practice a modern form of anti-semitism. we have to call them out for that. i want to tell you -- [applause] sen. schumer: -- a little story. when i was a college student the sds, the left-wing radical movement but it switched. it has moved from free love and smoke pot and hair down to your shoulders and all that stuff, wear bellbottoms -- anybody remember what bellbottoms were? anyway, they switched and were taken over by a hard-core group, and one of their campaigns was against the state of israel. there shouldn't be a jewish state, it is zionist imperialism. so i was active in a harvard young democrats and on the hill and we invited someone to come speak, and 2000 people gathered
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in the big auditorium called sanders theater, and the sds, plp was in the balcony and had their banners, stop zionist imperialism, free palestine, whatever. in his tones, which i will not try to imitate at the request of my staff -- [laughter] sen. schumer: i would love to do it. john was right when he said. but he pointed to them and he said, i want to tell you something, you up there in the balcony. i said for centuries, for centuries there has been a double standard that affects the jews. the jew was not a left to be a
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farmer, everyone else was. the jew could not live in moscow, everybody else could. the jew could not do this, that come or the other thing. and he said, you in the balcony, when every other people gains their nationhood, you applaud, and he named a few countries. when sri lanka, or zambia or paraguay becomes an independent country, there is only one group of people that you criticize, that you attack when they become a nation, and that is the state of israel. you, he said, are anti-semites. they slinked away. they picked up their banners and never in the last few years that i was in college did they attack israel again. that kind of calling out for
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what it is is very, very important. because the double standard -- [applause] sen. schumer: the double standard exists today with them. bds condemns israel, imposes boycotts, seeks to impose boycotts on the jewish state, but willfully turns a blind eye to nations that actually violate human rights. when iran sponsors terror and executes dissenters, they are quiet. when arab nations jailed journalists, punish homosexuality with prison sentences and physical abuse, bds is nowhere to be found, and that is because the state of israel is all too frequently measured by a different double standard that the rest of the world. it is up to us to fight these efforts to the nail. they are not only unjust and immoral, they are counterproductive and achieving
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a truly lasting peace between israel and the palestinians, so again, you deserve a huge round of applause for which you did with the governor's. -- governors. [applause] sen. schumer: our state of new york has passed a law that says if your business or university boycotts israel, new york will boycott you. [applause] sen. schumer: just last week nevada did the same. we should call on every governor of every state to pass the same exact law. [applause] sen. schumer: on the 50th anniversary of the reunification, let's be clear that many bds supporters have the same goal as the armies that a mast on israel's border to annihilate the jewish state, but make no mistake, as we defeated them, the bds supporters will be defeated as well. [applause] sen. schumer: another place
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where cloaked anti-semitism lurks is in the halls of the united nations. the u.n. singles out israel more than any other nation, especially on the humans rights council, which remains bent on admonishing the only deck raman xe and representative government in equal rights in the middle east. i was heartened to hear the new secretary general recently say he would he on the frontlines against the fight against anti-semitism and proclaimed that israel must be treated as any other state, and just last week, they elected a vice president for the 72nd session of the united nations general assembly. [applause] sen. schumer: that is progress. ajc played a role in that as well. and your continued efforts are very important. at the united nations, we can
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never let our guard down. since the days of zionism and racism, the united nations has been an incubator for israel bashing, a forum where israel is almost always villain and not the victim. you should be wary of it. i hope one day it will happen, israel will become to be treated fairly in the united nations, but until that day comes, the u.s. was always come to the aid of our friend israel in the united nations. it must continue to serve as a bulwark against mere campaigns and efforts to isolate israel. we can't be silent when the united nations singles israel out for condemnation. the united stationers should have vetoed resolution 2334 in december, and it should never
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use the united nations as a form to put pressure on israel of any kind. [applause] sen. schumer: iran, finally an engaged america is particular important when it comes to iran, which continues to sow instability throughout the region. the regime continues to provide support to its proxies in the region, conduct ballistic missile tests, flagrantly abuse the human rights of its own people, and unjustly imprisoned foreigners. we must work with our partners in the region to counter iran's maligned activities, just as especially and hold their feet to the fire on compliance with jcpoa. i did not support it but it passed. i don't think violate this agreement. it is incumbent upon us to remain vigilant and watch like a hawk outside of the jcp away. their sponsorship of terrorism,
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the human rights abuses are outrageous, it is imperative in the congress, we act in a bipartisan way to counter this behavior and keep that regime in check. my friends, the challenges before us, the great anti-semitism at home and abroad, various campaigns level against israel. it calls for a new brand of isolationism that believe the united states less able to confront and combat each of those threats and many more besides. the only way we can protect the -- protect the progress we made, defend our friends and allies including israel and work toward a more peaceful and prosperous america leads.
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trusthe world cannot america to the book to its commitments that unsettles our allies and emboldens our adversaries. that weakens our the to those values within our borders, the world has been a better place my friends. for america is a beacon freedom and tolerance, when people around the world continue to look up to the lady who holds the torch in the harbor and city in which i live, when economic and social advancement is a goal for all peoples, america has always been a better country when we embrace that world. what would it mean for israel and the jewish people or the u.s. to retreat, look inward, disengage from a world that is
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--. the more connected to they will still be there when she opened them. they will have grown immensely. last thing i say to you with the bestconviction, thing for israel and for jewish people world over is a strong engaged america on the world stage, we must work to keep it that way. the late shimon peres once called ajc the foreign ministry of the jewish people. the founders believed jewish people needed to be masters of their own destiny, no matter where they lived. they worked hard to engage the world, forge new relationships, told all the nations and
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communities worldwide and they did this while promoting birches of surrealism, democracy -- for jews, democracy and non-jews alike. ajc knows this type of global engagement is the only way to ensure true progress. and youris approach mission are more important than ever. let's continue to make sure that america engages the world and fight intolerance wherever it arises. let's make sure america continues to lead for the sake of values and principles we all hold so dear. thank you and keep up the good work.
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>> we grew up in a very politically engaged family that was part of the jewish community as well as civic life of the city of detroit. every friday night, there was this gathering -- we would have -- it would go on for hours afterward. conversation we would go around the table and
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everybody was excepted to speak. in the end, it was all about everybody going and preparing to work. how do we protect individual rights and how do we, as family, be part of that effort. >> ajc is a natural progression -- what ajc does well is about relationships, the people who you meet at a juicy -- at ajc for the people you would have invited to dinner. works it was like coming home for dinner. >> it is like what we do as an organization is what we did growing up. you are a member of your community, your job in the world is to make the whole world better. that is what ajc does.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please --come body weight than bobby lapin . bobby: good afternoon everyone. everyone to my favorite part of the ajc form. the annual debate. polarized have been and oftentimes painful different -- painful this agreement. agency is not new to this reality. we feature passionate
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debates about global affairs. over time, this segment, the great debate has become an enduring fixture in our programming. democratic congressman steve israel is up against benson or over which party best represents jewish interests. the year before, you may recall that we witnessed a fiery exchange between two israeli journalists. in years past, we have had vigorous and memorable contests. last night just billy crystal on the 2012 presidential election. drought, our goal here at ajc
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has been to foster respectful and spirited conversations between two prominent thinkers who hold very opposite opinions. that holds true today. in just a minute, we will welcome to our stage, two debaters. two of which are two of ajc. we welcome sherman. she is a lead negotiator on the iran deal. side, we will all come michael durand. a former senior director of the national security council and the george w. bush administration and one of the architects of the bush administration's mideast policy. with his own jason isaacson serving as our most able moderate. the america first approach, is in advancing or compromising abroad?
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that's your seatbelt and before we begin, i would like to turn your attention to the presentation on the screen for a brief video introduction, thank you. >> by foreign policy will always put the interests of the american people and american security above all else. froms to be first, promised a policy that would put america first. president trump has america asking if america versus more about style or substance. one state and at two-state and outgoing that both parties like. tothere is a new approach arab-israeli peace. what will this mean for u.s. policy on the
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israeli-palestinian conflict? >> this is the worst i've ever seen. despite blasting the iran nuclear deal, president trump shows no sign of avoiding the obama administration's agreement with iran. will this stance change? >> we have been very clear to the outside regime that a redline for us is chemical weapons. >> president obama drew a redline on chemical warfare. it was president trump, not president obama launched missile --ikes against the roof assad regime. i committed to reset in the relationship between our two nations. >> obama tried to reset relations with russia. it expanded moscow's influence.
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>> it would be wonderful if net health and our country could get along with russia. topresident trump's attempts set a new course, will they fare any better? >> as the debate continues over what president trump's america first policies mean for the u.s. and the world, one thing is certain, the world is not waiting. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our debaters and moderator, michael durand, ambassador wendy sherman and jason isaacson.
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good afternoon. >> in the 4.5 months since his inauguration in which he promised that from this day forward it would be america first, president trump has put forth policies that seek to reposition the united states on the world stage. america has been taken advantage of. he has taken a series of steps intended to defend u.s. sovereignty. he believes our country has suffered. pledged tont has re-examine 14 other deals. he is proposed shortcuts for the state budget. he has lashed out publicly and mexico, canada, australia and germany. scolded our closest allies for allowing the public money. last week, the president announced that they would pull
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out of the 196 nation paris accord. was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. in this destructive record, there been multiple signs that american foreign-policy was not so different after all. the president has asserted that nato is no longer obsolete. the iranuck with he has deal affiliate made common cause against terrorism with 50 nations. debate bybegin our of thefor implications america first foreign policy and to step back from the daily title wave of russia gate news
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and other distractions and tell us whether the administration is pursuing correction in interdigital u.s. foreign policy or pursuing what might be described as this engagement from world affairs -- disengagement from world affairs. ambassador sherman and mr. toand will have five minutes speak. i will then follow up with a couple of questions of my own. i will ask you to write in your own questions on the cards that are on your chairs and pass them to the ajc staff. if you're watching this debate online, tweak your questions to ajc global. ambassador sherman. >> thank you, i am very honored to be here today.
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i would be happy to be part of your annual great debate. trump'se that president leading america in retreat from the world. it undermines our economic and physical security and undermines american values. important to set america first in a historic context, especially important for all of us who are jews. as most of you know, america first was the organizational name of movement in america in the 1930's led by charles lindbergh to keep america out of world war ii. lindbergh was profoundly anti-somatic and a nationalist. this was also someone who wanted to keep out of america, those who did not look like him, people who were not real americans. president trump adopted this
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moniker and it should concern us all as jews and as americans. , ifechoes of isolationism you are a fear of people not like us and i were issue of human rights is to live for comfort. the president, as he campaigned understood there were people hurt in an america. we lost jobs through technology and trade. his answer was america first. evene at full employment if some are underemployed and try to take care of their kids. the answer for these families is better jobs trading. a higher minimum wage, a college loan system that works and an embrace of the new and future economies. ,t is not america first historically we as a people know that it than anyone that closing
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one's eyes is a recipe for disaster. hastrump administration tried to disconnect from critical alliances. recently, the present withdraw from the paris climate agreement a nonbinding commitment by 200 countries who voluntarily reduced harmful admissions to save the planet. it will make it harder for us to compete with new technologies. hopefully, leadership by governors, mayors and major employers will save us from ourselves and inshore our grandchildren have a future. at the very start of his presidency, president trump withdrew from the transpacific partnership. although the president back -- ce
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he hectored our european partners and left them to fend off russian aggression, following a stop in saudi arabia that contained no messages. he visited israel but left unclear his way forward and horse, he withdrew from the paris agreement. the president has offered a budget that reduces the state department and usaid budget by 31% while substantially increasing the defense department. i want a strong military, the credible threat of successful as secretary matus said, if the diplomacy is gutted, he will have to buy more bullets. tillerson has not been many of the state department positions. perhaps most concerning is the reason wall street journal op-ed -- they said the world is not a global community. , actors where nations
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and businesses compete for advantage. as the new york times said, this isnot hardheaded realism, it a vision of a world of cutthroat competition and zero-sum outcomes deeply at odds with the most cooperative motivations. the trump administration vision of competition will not allow nations to work together to defeat terrorism, to be climate change, advanced cyber security, reduce poverty, grinning middle classes worldwide that create markets for american goods and embrace our value. the american jewish committee was founded in 1906 to prevent the infringement of civil and religious rights and to alleviate consequences of persecution.
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equality for all americans, the boycott of israel in the 70's and today they began international engagement in a diplomatic marathon that supported data. they advocated for energy independence and green policy. >> i could go on about all ajc has done to engage in the world. -- rly ajc been an america first organization, nor should our country be. [applause]
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mike durand, you have an extra 30 seconds. >> thank you to all of you for coming. thank you to the agency for inviting me. it is a great honor to be here. i do have a slightly different position. i think the starting point for understanding america first is not charles bloomberg. as a former educator, i can guarantee you that nobody under the age of 65 in a country of immigrants -- i think a better place to start would be march of 2016. i know the phrase predated that but to understand what it is all about, that was when bernie sanders defeated hillary clinton in the democratic primary. for those of you who have read the book shattered, and inside
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account of the to campaign, you know that bernie sanders's victory totally blindsided hillary clinton. she walked around after the event talking to our staff and saying that she was utterly mystified by the behavior of the voters. the book also tells you in the first chapter that the campaign had a great difficulty, up with a next nation for hillary and 10's -- for her desire to be president. do explain why it is she wanted to presidency. that is after a decade of running for president. the book is enlightening about hillary clinton. i think it is a much deeper message to us. it is a story about the complete disconnect between the washington elite and the voting
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public. i think the last election was a wake-up call for all of us. our foreign-policy elite is not fashioning a message of policies that resonate with the priorities of the american people. that is what america first means. a foreign-policy that demonstrates to the voters that our elite is trying to advance their interests on the global stage. that is the first point. the second point is it is a resounding rejection of the philosophy of the obama administration. i would say it is the failed philosophy of the obama is a pointion which thatew after the cold war calls for the end of history with the viewpoint.
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according to this view, the democratic elite decided that things like alliance, credible use of force, military deterrence and so on were outmoded, often counterproductive and damaging to the united states. if you doubt me on that, go back and read the un's general assembly speeches that president obama gave year after year where he explicitly developed this concept saying things like we are no longer in an age when one country can dominate another. this is a philosophy that led the administration to reach out to enemies and to distance themselves from friends. we saw this most dramatically in the iran deal. attitude obama's toward the middle east was that it was an arena populated by friends and potential friends. to a great extent to win
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over the potential friends like iran at the expense of our friends, israel. it would to do this, he had to receive the israelis on a number of areas. but the consequences we all see now, if i had come to you in 2013 and told you the consequence of obama up a policies was going to be a -- theiranian allied displacement of 10 million people in syria, the injection into europe of millions of refugees or at least over a million refugees, if i told you that iran was going to emerge from the deal with the right to enrich and reprocessed uranium and within 10 years it would be the unfettered program to as the international community would
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look upon my program of any other country that it would be effectively and international law on par with belgium, you would have laughed at me and roll your eyes and you would have said this is a completely dysfunctional fantasy. it is not. it is a reality. it is a direct result of a philosophy of president obama which president trump has rejected. if you noticed, in his trip to the middle east, -- [applause] >> you have to do it longer, it wasn't as strong. to thenotice, his took middle east, he was embraced by our allies, why israel, by saudi arabia with something like euphoria. the israelis are doing cartwheels. >> i'm looking at the timer here. >> wendy, you have a rebuttal.
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>> a couple of points. perhaps you have to be over 65, which i certainly am, to remember lindbergh, but i think that we all teach every generation never again. [applause] to ensure never again, it means not closing one's eyes to the world, but rather understanding the world as it is. rather undeg the world as it is. the world got more complicated after the end of the cold war. everyone had lined up with one side or the other. it is true, there are many powers and rising powers. though the united states represents the only superpower in the world at the moment. that is not the senate russia
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and china are not trying to become superpowers, t. putin is trying to reconstruct the soviet union. all of this is true. iran does engage in maligned activities in the region, but imagine how much worse it would be if iran had a nuclear weapon and could project power into the region and deter our and our allies' actions. as a factual matter, reprocessing is not allowed in the iran deal. iran is only allowed extremely limited enrichment, under very strict monitoring. to get this issue out of the way, which we cannot do entirely, i want to be clear that what president obama understood, painfully, was that iran knew how to do what it knew how to do. it had mastered the entire
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nuclear fuel cycle. we could ball away the facilities, and the president, in fact, commissioned a weapon to do just that, to be able to penetrate the underground facility. theold the iranians, military threat was quite a critical threat of any negotiation. we also understood that if we bombed those facilities, iran would re-create them in two or three years and do so underground. we could continue to try essentially run but those were beginning to fray. our partner stuck with us -- partners stuck with us. they cut back their oil from iran because we were involved in syria's diplomacy. those sanctions would not have held up. without those negotiations, under strict limits, was the way to go. to ensure that iran never
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obtained a nuclear weapon. israel was part of what we did every step of the way. i consulted with them on a constant basis. their technical experts will tell you that at least for the safer asde, israel is a result of the deal than not having the deal. -- he end of the day, i never doubt for one moment that the leaders of the country do what they believe is in their best interest even when i might agree. moderator: thank you ambassador. michael: the united states is a very powerful country.
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influential. and iran sanctions on iraqi -- were not going to change. 2005 fromrown from the time i went in the white house. in under the bush administration, it grew under the obama administration. we could have collapsed there he economy had we chosen to do that. the president chose an extremely deep and irreversible concessions. permanent and irreversible concessions on the part of the united states for temporary and reversible concessions on the iranians.e it did not stop them from getting a bomb. it put their program on a glide path to a bomb and it started a
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nuclear race in the region because the other actors in the region, including the israelis, are not going to wait 10 years to find out about this. at the heart of this deal with this philosophy that the mccartin articular came out of it. particular elite in came out of it. if you swept it to the side, it would go away. that we could turn the iranians into, if not allies, partners in the region. but make domestic part of this deal was the deal of the region. weident obama believed if got the nuclear deal out of the way temporarily, he could come up with an accommodation with a rent bang over the region. over a rack, syria and elsewhere and i really would moderate. elsewhere syria, and
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in iran would moderate. a much weaker position than a would of been a had we never removed the sanctions to begin with. is a very states powerful country and that means that everybody has to go along with what we do. we're like the ceo would need region standing next to a secretary saying, how might doing in my job. the secretary is always going to say, you are doing great surf. the secretary will never say, you are doing horribly. but that is how everyone in the middle east felt and that is why president trump got the euphoric acceptance that he got. make no mistake, there was there deception of of american people and our allies at every step of the negotiation. we were told we're going to get one thing, and the end we got something else.
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to this day, we do not know the exact details of that deal. that is a failed philosophy and it is the rejection of it that donald trump represents and it is a great corrective to our foreign policy in the middle east. moderator: to my. i am confident we could spend the next hour ping palming about a rent bang. ping-honking about -- ping-ponging about iran. now ajc believing in and standing by israel. i'd like to ask both of you, how do these believes of the core of power stand with you. are they consistent with the idea of america first.
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wendy: i would say first of all he does not believe his .hilosophy of america first clearly he did not bring everyone together because now the united arab emirates have cast a shadow and cut off relations. we have a long way to go to keep the gulf countries together. i have not heard the president talk about democracy at all and diplomacy andour our ability to bring those values around the world. as i said in my opening aatement, when you have national security adviser and head of the council say we only have competing interests out there -- this is not about pluralism. this is not about solving the problems across our borders that require a community of countries
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coming together. and where the rule of law is concerned, i feel like i am buffeted on a moment-by-moment basis about what in fact the president believes about law. when it comes to his non-travel , since everyone in the white house says it is not a travel ban and the president continues to tweet endlessly and says travel ban that in fact the courts have to done andand get this why is it not done and castigates his own justice department -- which i assume he approved for cutting down the ban to less of a ban that is still probably going to be seen as a band. i think in part he is trying to get out in front of the supreme court, which although the supreme court often supports the president of the united states and the first to that authority
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given the checks and balances in our system, clearly the president has concern is this time that he not happen. [applause] wendy: agreed. we have seen the president d right judges and say they are derided right -- judges and say because they are from one background or another they cannot be fair. we have seen him say the decisions that may have been made to put walls on frameworks in place and make sure that civil society is civil is no longer good and will be reviewed. i come from baltimore. baltimore has serious problems. they have a plan to move forward and now the justice department is on them they cannot. the rule of law, pluralism, democracy -- it is not part of donald trump's "america first."
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global leadership and standing beside israel? wendy: i probably did not speak to that because it is so apparent to me that the president believe that the united states should only lead inside its own country. ist just happened in london terrifying, appalling for as the former acting head of cia and deputy of the cia has said -- load wolf attacks is something we will probably all live with for a long time. at the president of the united states's response that was not to embrace what is going on in the leadership of great britain and work together, it was rather to attack the mayor of london. not once, but three times now. to the point where the prime minister of great britain has derided that kind of attack.
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this is a moment when the kind of work that ajc has done and has been a groundbreaker in that so to try to say muslims, jews, christians, buddhists, we all have to find a way to live together. to ensure that each of our rights are preserved. it is completely the night by ,he president and quite frankly his anti-muslim rhetoric really is likely to increase the anti-semitism that senator schumer spoke about earlier in this country. because there is always a reaction and when there is a reaction it usually comes on those issues. moderator: thank you. mike, thank you. and ie with the president
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do not want terrorists here in the united states. london here in the united states. -- rhetoric similar to investors shermans and we heard after every attack in the united states and abroad, we heard from president obama that everyone should live together and become more resilient. in his interview with jeffrey goldberg and on the obama doctrine, he discussed how impressed he was with the israelis that they had learned to live with terrorism. we have to live with terrorism like it is the weather. meanwhile, president obama is in paris signing the completely meaningless climate accord which is unenforceable, -- [booing] unenforceable and
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nonbinding except the calls for the united states and some of the other leading economies of the world to transfer $100 thirdn a year to the world. so, we are paying the chinese on a dubious claim that this is actually going to change the weather. we have to live with like weather but we are actually going to change the weather. what is the practical outcome of this philosophy? the practical outcome of this philosophy is that france is becoming a country without jews. we hear "never again" rhetoric from the obama administration frenchsee that daily the jews are living. some are going to london, some are come to the united states. i was just in israel which is growing faster than many parts of the country takes to the
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jews. of french we can stand here and we can say that we want everyone to live together and those are the values we will uphold that on the ground, in the middle east and in europe, there are people who are tearing out a lethal -- carrying out a lethal campaign to undo us and undo our values. now, you may not agree with the approach of donald trump and that is fine. that is fine. you, you have to come up with a practical answer to this standing problem and on podiums like this and extolling values and complementing ourselves for is not"never again" going to work. we can see that. we have eight years of this. you can see that very clearly. it is time to move past rhetoric and develop practical policies to defeat the enemy. to kill the enemy. there is an enemy out there and he wants to kill us.
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we should kill him first. [applause] moderator: my, speak to the issue of u.s. global leadership and how the "america first" concepts square with us and global leadership. of "americaitique saying that it is withdrawal from global leadership is patently false. this is a fiction created in the aftermath of the shocking defeat .f the democrats the media and the democrats have now combined together to depict donald trump's "america first" as chaotic -- [booing] moderator: please, people. mike: the strike on syria for its use of chemical weapons did
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more for american deterrence and american leadership in one short eriod than anything obama did it eight years. and in doing so, it showed up a number of the lies that the obama administration told us about syria. they told us we could not strike syria because of the anti-aircraft defense of they had. they told us for months and months and months after assad had used sarin gas that they could not determine whether he had used sarin gas. note the trump administration make that determination within 64 hours, right? so these were excuses. president obama also told us, and repeated it and susan rice told us that the gas deal that he came up with, the poison gas deal he came up with with the russians actually rid syria of
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sarin gas. it did not and we knew it. we knew it but the administration continue to say that it did. that is not global leadership. that is global deception in order to protect this failed philosophy that i described before. [applause] moderator: before i go on, i want to remind people of you want to provide a question we can pose to the debaters rated down any card and it will be passed along. if you're watching us online, tweet your question to @ajcglobal. and i will ask you to be respectful of our debaters. well i have allowed cheering and but we will not allow bullying. maybe we should just refrain from any. and you can clap for me.
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wrote an op-ed for the new york times last month as president trump was on his way to saudi arabia and israel that had one particularly memorable middlehe choices in the east are between very bad and much worse your coat i like that very much, grim as it is. clearly you work relying to obama's allies in the region when you wrote "it is false that our support for our longtime friends is a cause of instability and that by distancing themselves while reaching out to our enemies we can make the world a safer place." i would like to ask ambassador sherman to respond to the administration that the business as you serve, wendy, might be and to you mike i would like to ask if some of those you serve might the. wendy: i think it is important
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for any leader of our country to be open to reaching out to anyone that can serve our interests. not through back channels before they become an elected or appointed official. [applause] wendy: because that is dangerous for our country. ,ut i do believe that dialogue being very clear about what we are trying to achieve, it is important. many in the that gulf and israel felt that president obama did not engage with them in a way that moved the ball forward. i understand that. and, on some policy issues i did not agree with the president. i wish he had taken a strike against syria early on. people in the administration did. but i understood why he did not. he was concerned about a slippery slope because we had
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already spent so many years in iraq and afghanistan. but he did try to engage. secretary kerry, secretary worked, both of whom i very closely with, spent hours and hours and hours and hours trying to see whether the united states could play the traditional role of facilitating a piece between the palestinians and israel. again, at the end of the obama administration, it probably would not have done the un security council resolution but i was no longer the administration and, again, i think it was out of a sense of frustration and wanting, in my view, probably not appropriately -- to set the table for the next administration. what concerns me now about president trump is not that he went to saudi arabia and met with leaders. i think that was a very good thing to do. i think even an arms deal with
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saudi arabia is something worth considering if quite frankly, it has fallen through on plans -- it is falling -- it is following through with plans obama made. but what is the strategy? a strike in syria is a good thing and i have thought the president for that strike. but what comes next? what is the strategy? it is not clear to me there is a strategy in israel. quite frankly, if president obama had said what president trump did settlements, you all would've been protesting outside of the white house. i see no protests by the community against president trump's comments about settlements. nothing. zero. zip. so i believe there is a double standard. i believe it is an unfortunate double standard. i believe that president trump believes in action. we see that every morning.
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he believes in action. but action, a strike, a mother of all bombs in afghanistan -- although they may be worthwhile signals are not a policy. favorite of all time as mr. gorka saying to an interviewer, to ignore the president tweets because that is not policy. this is the president of the united states speaking. the methodology may be different. it may not be an executive order. it may not be an interview with an anchor. but it is the president of the united states. we should not listen to his word scratch mark we should not consider this policy? when he says "travel ban" we should ignore it? when he says he thinks he may have london is pathetic, we should not take that to heart? this is not a way to lead the greatest country in the world. , yes, we can make
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america even greater. but we do not have to make america great again. it already is. moderator: thank you ambassador. my, the same question. you said a few moments ago that the previous president reached out to our enemies and distance ourselves from our friends. are we distancing ourselves from our friends now in europe? michael had no. we are engaged in a recalibration in europe that is of a negotiation that has been going on for a very long time. the bush administration andatedly raised consistent that they had failed the 2% of their gdp for defense. the obama administration also repeated it consistently and
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energetically with the europeans. i would urge you to go back and read the interview in the atlantic monthly where president obama talks about an anti-free rider campaign discussing our european allies. that interview contains derogatory quotes from obama about david cameron, sarkozy, but every european basic -- every european leader basically except for angela merkel. what i was in the defense department in 2007-2008 and whennally witnessed secretary of defense gates spoke to a high level delegation of europeans and lectured them very quietly but aggressively and said, the american public is starting to notice you're not paying for your defense and this politically an indefensible position for an american president. we are being nice and talking to
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like this but the reckoning is coming. the reckoning is here now. the failure of the europeans to meet their 2% obligation is simply indefensible. what i prefer that president trump raise this issue in a slightly more diplomatic way? of course i would. absolutely. it you cannot defend the position that the europeans are taking on this. and that's what it is, it is a negotiation in terms of this "america first" commitment as a president. the present when to pennsylvania, went to michigan, "it to florida, and he said hear what you're are telling me, that you do not have jobs and that you do not want to see america jobs going abroad and that you do not want to see the united states investing in a disproportionate amount of broad nd others have to step up." the saudi's pledge to us. the obama administration gave many tens of billions to a rand,
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right? there is a different kind of loss of the here and it is going to achieve different kinds of results. the europeans need us. we need the europeans. we need them badly, they are democratic allies. our frontier with the middle east. the frontier against islamic radicalism and so on. we need them and we need to support them. but, they need us more than we need them and that is the essence of international politics. international politics is indeed what national security adviser mcmaster and jerry kohn said in their op-ed. it is a competition. and it is an arena in which we have enemies and we have allies. the trump administration has got that one absolutely correct and to the great direction obama administration. moderator: thank you, mike. wendy: the question is, do you have objectives?
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policies? a way forward? a strategy? you know, to go to nato to unveil a memorial to have had it and to in your speech as we are told by reporters, a recommitment to article five and then pull it at the last minute when in fact the only time article five, which is an attack on one is an attack on all -- the only time article five has ever been an, ever, by nato was for america after 9/11. so that nato troops went to and still are in afghanistan for us. so, yes i want everyone to get to 2%. everybody pays their dues to nato. the 2% is a deepening of defense capabilities. yes, i want everyone to go to to present. you are quite right, michael.
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everyone has to press to make that happen. the question is, do you begin your relationship by heckling your friends? is that the best way to move forward? the strongest economic thetionship we have is transatlantic relationship. so how this, in fact, helps the president's agenda to ensure jobs, that is our market. market.s our mexico is our market, for that matter. it is the on me. [applause] mike: i am going to make a prediction. and, remember that in 2013i did veryct that there would be dire consequences from not taking action against syria. i did not perceive the dystopian results that we got, but i was correct in my prediction and am going to make another one here. i'm going to predict that nato is going to pony up their 2% and
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they are going to pony up because president trump took this aggressive division. again, as i said, it is not the way would've liked to have seen it this discussion did not start in 2017. the discussion started well over a decade ago. and, the europeans have been trying us. quite simply. we don't like to say to our allies but they have been coming up with increases that will the 2% inarrival at 2024 when nobody who is currently serving in the government will be around to hold them to it. just like we keep trying the same donkey from the north koreans with their nuclear program and as we're going to keep wind the donkey from the iranians, we keep buying the same donkey from our allies. our allies from whom we support, door, and work closely with. but there is a limit to how much we should take from them on this. as for strategy, donald trump is a strategy. cannot -- i hear you -- i
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hear you. moderator: please. ] rowd murmuring mike: but listen, if i had told you in april of last year he would win the election i would've gotten a bigger laugh. he said in the election, here's how it went. in the menu, michigan, florida. in andbring new voters capitalize on the people who are voting for bernie sanders and pulled them into the republican party. that's what he said he would do and everybody laughed and he did it. after he did it, the media and -- don'tratic party laugh, you left already before. the media and the democratic party, in order to explain why they got it so wrong, and set of saying -- you know what, may be is a strategist and i missed that, instead they came up with a cockamamie conspiracy theory about how the russians handed him the election. wendy: are you saying the russians did not interfere with
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our election? michael and handed him the election. handed him the election. let me finish my point and then i will answer yours. he has a strategy in the middle east, it is very clear. the strategy in the middle east thens with the point that administration is a threat. all the officials in the trump administration believe the rise of a random anime the least a threat to the united states. the- believe the rise of iranians in the middle east is a threat to the united states. -- president obama -- and he says this clearly and his interviews with david rudnick and with goldberg, was operating under the notion he could bring about an equilibrium in the middle east between our
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allies and the iranians which needs a moderation of the iranians, which has not happened. in all of those meetings. the president of the united states, president obama, believed that what he was doing was ensuring that iran never had a nuclear weapon. that it could never project that power into the region. you may not agree with the deal. i get that. but he always understood that her support for hezbollah and hamas, we had to do everything we could do to stop that. michael and what steps did he take to deter the russians and iranians in syria? michael: what steps did he take to deter the russians and iranians in syria? break. break, please. [laughter] we want at that.
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shouldn't complain. [applause] towards closing remarks. since i've heard russia mentioned once or twice, let me ask both of you -- to describe how a warmer attitude towards 4 -- towards his russia advances american national interest. >> it is clear that one of the ideas that president trump has is finding an accommodation with putin particularly in the middle east, in syria. and tot one that i have agree with, but it is one that's very common among our policy elite, the democratic and republican side. differs considerably and significantly in terms of his strategy from the obama
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administration is that he believes he needs to push back against the iranians across the board that was the meaning of the trip to saudi arabia. because the russians and ,ranians are in an alliance pushing back against the iranians is back against the russians. it is to did that create tensions and to the russians off -- from the iranian -- iranians and syrians. it also involves reinvigorating our terry deterrence, completely neglected by president obama. president obama had the pathological allergy to military detergents, -- determines, and never engaged in it. ready with the streak against syria rep and, that's the reinvigoration. there's an outreach to russia and coming up or sure, but it's happening in -- happening in a completely different context.
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>> thank you. ambassador three >> i usually have a different point of view. [laughter] privilege, i, don't know what, opportunity, to be with secretary kerry and meet with vladimir putin for about four hours. charming, as ily think he was to megyn kelly for the last three days. but, he is kgb through and through. he's very smart. .e's very strategic he knows exactly what he is doing. he plays his hand very well. expect thatd inflatable putin will do anything other than what will keep him as king for the foreseeable future. he has a prince -- presidential election in 2018. maybe he will get 96 and that of 98% of the vote. i don't think we would call it a
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free and fair election. where one are times can work with russia, now is not the time. pushing against our european allies partners command friends. , and europebaltics trying to gind things up in syria. yes, his alliance with iran in syria is a bad thing, yes we should do everything we can to push around back from that malicious and unbelievably horrific action. russia is not a good actor on the world stage today. they are disturbing, quite frankly, that there were 4000 people at the st. petersburg for -- form of the last few days treat him as if he's a normal
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player on the world stage. finally, the very fact, michael, that you would leak -- leave any space to believe that russia to affect ashton try to affect or election -- >> i didn't say that. >> will do you believe that russia tried to interfere with our election? >> i believe that they -- they hacked podesta's emails in a fishing expedition. >> indy think they did nothing else? here thek that they -- hissing, i don't know -- i don't believe as hillary clinton said last week, that american iniders helped the russians an information campaign. >> going to go -- >> against, against her. the implication is that the trump campaign gave putin advice about how to shape his message
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-- >> michael, i'm going to go with 17 intelligence agencies who are neither democrats nor republicans. >> i will go to britain in, a democrat, whose recent testimony so there's no evidence of collusion. [applause] >> i didn't speak to collusion. but i'm speaking to ms. -- i didn't say -- who they were china to affect though i have my own views about that, but the 17 intelligence agency said without a doubt, russia interfered with our election, and it appeared from their analysis, that they did so, at least towards the end, to advantage donald trump. i have no idea -- wait a minute, i have no idea whether there was collusion, that is why robert mueller is doing the work he has doing, that's why i hope the senate intelligence and house intelligence committee does their job. [applause]
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we need to know what happened. we need to know what happened, not because it's going to give us a different president of the united states, we have who we have. it is important that we find out what, that's why robert mueller's investigation is not enough. we need the senate and house. we can never have a foreign power interfere in our election again. [applause] >> great, great. >> mike, a few seconds, then closing remarks. then we will take it outside. [laughter] >> i have to make two points. in two points. a was doing and i will share with you now so we don't need all these investigations. ability to predict
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the outcome of our elections, that was better than any of our best observers. putin didn't have a crystal ball to help them understand -- and it's over told us that hillary clinton was going to win. so to the extent that he engaged in an information -- operation against us in a believe he did but the impact of that has been greatly exaggerated and again -- shattered to find out how hillary clinton was running her campaign, what he was trying to do was, tarnish president hillary clinton and turn assurance to tuitions, spread ascension among us, so that she would be a weakened president. that was the goal of the information operation. secondly, i hope we'll find out everything. one of the things i hope we find out about this the obama surveillance of the trump campaign.
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i won't go into great detail, just direct your attention to january 12, 2017, david ignatius arctic -- opinion piece in the washington post, in which he says that a senior obama official told him about the contents of the conversations between michael flynn and kiss lieff, and he also suggests that the official -- that it, that it's, that it demonstrated collusion, he suggests that it demonstrates collusion between the trump administration and the russians, there's the evidence for you right there. that's the dna at the crime scene, that's top-secret -- secret surveillance information, taken out of foreign policy channels, moved into political channels, spread into our press come in support of the collusion
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lie, that's a misuse of surveillance -- it's a misuse of surveillance -- information, and is a crime. it's the only crime that we know of so far has been committed within this framework of russia and trump. i surely hope all these investigations will also look into that week -- look intently push is a say was a time and abuse of power. lex thank you, mike. now recalling the title of this which is america first -- advancing or compromising u.s. interest abroad. -- it's hard to imagine that we are leaving. [laughter] >> is a to maria --is it tomorrow yet? [laughter] thank you all for your attention and enthusiastic engagement in this debate. i guess what i want to say, it's
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important to have these debates. ajc tomportant for continue the work that does, not just here in the amended dates, but around the world. ajc is above all else an international organization, ajc is understood -- to stop anti-semitism, to support israel, to make sure that we never have another holocaust ever again, that we need to engage in the world and not isolate ourselves. that,st time america did you will know the results. i'm blessed to have two little grandsons, and if i could, i would spend every single day with them. and sure some of you feel the similar but your grandkids. but give them back to their parents. [laughter] .ut, i worry for them in the world in which we are
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are creating a moat around us. we're pulling up the drawbridge to the rest of the world. --daughter is an immigration immigration asylum attorney, house from the clinic at austin -- helps run the boston university clinic. people who feel they will be deported stop talking to the , toce, to law enforcement any official for fear of their families, and their lives. , that kind ofear isolation is a mint -- isolationism in the world, never in history has it read anything a good. never. [applause] we teach our children, i hope,
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and i know ajc does, to understand the world would jennifer interest, of course we do. , even when kids are in a playground, even when they are competing at soccer, at the end of the game, we ask them to walk down the line and chickens is a community that is playing that game, not just to opposing sides competing. now, i understand that president trump was very successful. right after the election, as is i picked up the of the deal negotiating to build the building is not the same as being president. if you don't work for peace in
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the world, you have war, dipped command distraction. i'm all for disruption, but i'm a. thank you -- >> thank you wendy. >> a british political analyst -- david goodhart has developed some concepts from extending the world. he talks about anywhere people and somewhere. people are that she developed idea to talk about the brexit vote in britain but it applies all across the west. anywhere people -- highly educated, mobile. they are flexible. they are not rooted in any particular place. their software engineers, media
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in newionals, working york, los angeles, london, paris. they lose the java new york they can move to los angeles, they lose in los angeles vice a versa. the globalist ideology and policy --our foreign they are a from policy elites -- the anywhere people and people have been running the country -- britain, and america. that's been for the last two decades. are rooted in a particular place, pittsburgh, anywhere in one of those red states from new york to california. there was educated come most mobile, and concerned about their communities. vote inwhere people one the last election, they will continue to win the folks.
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the things missing in the for policy -- mis-direction -- i firmly believe i couldn't administration, that even more -- what we have the last election was a tectonic shift. we as people who are committed to america and engagement in the world need to be doing the hard, intellectual work, and culture many gauge -- in the needs of the somewhere people. thank you. [applause] greatan close this debate. think you very much. [applause] will see you next year in jerusalem. >> thank you. c-span's washington journal,
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live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. sunday morning, the heritage foundation will discuss former fbiimony of director james comey and his conversations with president trump. are joined about it author who will talk about his new republic article. can elliott liberals learn to embrace middle america? talking about raising temporary -- tensions between the gulf states following last week's terror attacks in iran. join the discussion. in his weekly address, president trump discusses his administration's infrastructure initiatives. wyden of organ delivers the democratic response, talking about health care legislation. >> mfe


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