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tv   Axios Interview with Vice President Mike Pence  CSPAN  February 15, 2018 2:59am-3:33am EST

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to help you follow all 12 cases, we have a companion guide. costs $8.95 plus shipping and handling. >> vice president mike pence and about hisew talked recent visit to south korea for the winter olympics and domestic abuse allegations against white house staffer bob porter. this is half an hour.
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>> i think all of you for being here. guest on states has been a congressman, a house republican leader, the governor of indiana, and is now the vice president of the united states and always is a huge or -- h oosier. to welcome to the states vice president mike pence. [applause] >> welcome back. you said you have a specific metric on skiing.
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vice. pres. pence: yes, if i get off the slopes without any broken bones that is a win.
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mike: in addition to the offices i mentioned at the top, you were a statewide radio host in indiana. you ever think to yourself, this would be so awesome. vice pres. pence: i do. how did you know that where i started out? that was a little radio station. i started out doing a washington update on wednesday nights, one day week. it did grow into a daily radio program that i thought might actually be my career in broadcasting radio and television. the opportunity came along to run for congress one of more time. now i am sitting with u.s. vice president of the united states. it is all very humbling to me. mike: you are just back from the olympics. on air force two on the way home you told washington post columnist that you had conversations with south korea about for the engagement with north korea. what is the u.s. stance for talking with north korea? vice pres. pence: let us be clear who we are dealing with. north korea is the most repressive regime and the
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planet. as united nations has documented repeatedly, north korea is a nation that oppresses its people, seven out of 10 north koreans require food assistance just to survive. over a million north koreans were left to starve and die in the 1990's under this regime. torture, brutality, imprisonment, more than 100,000 north koreans are in modern-day gulags. as president trump said memorably, north korea is today nothing short of a prison state. that is the reality. the fact that north korea is developing and pursuing nuclear weapons that could be delivered on ballistic missiles to the continental united states is completely unacceptable. the fixed policy of the united states of america is that we are going to continue, with all options on the table, to bring intensified, economic and diplomatic pressure to bear until north korea, once and for all, completely and verifiably abandons its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. that is the fixed policy of united states of america. as president trump has said many times, i always believe in talking. we have made it very clear that
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we are open to communicating our policy to the regime in north korea. what north korea needs to understand, as i made clear in an announcement in japan, when we announced a new round of sanctions that will be imposed, the largest ever. we are confident our allies will join us in it. nothing will change until the day comes that north korea permanently abandons its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and seizes to threaten -- ceases to threaten the united states of america. mike: it does not sound like those two things are preconditions for any conversation. it sounds like you are looking at the tools in your belt and do more talking. vice pres. pence: it is accurate to say that we want to make sure
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north korea understands us. if there is an opportunity for talks that can communicate the fixed policy of united states of america to them, the president has made it clear. he always believes in talking. talking is not a negotiation. talking is understanding one another. when you think of the mendacity of this regime, the appalling record of human rights -- i sat in seoul last week with defectors from north korea, a woman who had been jailed for 28 years for no reason whatsoever. she managed to escape that regime. another young woman who had been incarcerated and then sold into sex slavery and then, once she was recaptured, she was forced to have an abortion and lost a child. she still grieves with tears in her eyes to this day.
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we all heard of the extraordinary and inspiring story during the president's state of the union address. we cannot allow the regime like north korea to possess nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to threaten the united states of america. the record that they have demonstrated, their lack of respect for human rights, their lack of respect for the wrong people, their willingness to use violence and torture against their own people, it makes it an unacceptable outcome. we will continue to maintain. north korea must completely verifiably and permanently abandon its nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missile programs. when that commences, then and only then can we consider any change in posture by the united states or the international community. mike: is it a little sloppy to say you will talk but not negotiate? it sounds a little washington.
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vice pres. pence: the president has made it very clear. all options are on the table. as it may clear. -- as we made clear, the united states has a viable military options to deal with the threat of nuclear and ballistic missiles from north korea. our hope is that we can achieve by peaceful means what they the world community has concluded long ago, the denuclearization of north korea and the removal of nuclear weapons from that regime. we want to exhaust every opportunity to make sure the north koreans understand our intentions and the seriousness of the united states of america and our allies. this is a very important point. as i met with president moon, there is no daylight between the united states of america and south korea and japan on our
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commitment to continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign. until they abandoned their nuclear weapons program. south korea has commenced its inter-korean talks over the lip -- olympics and there is some suggestion that that may continue. we have made it very clear that we will all remain united in our shared commitment that the kim regime in north korea must permanently abandon their nuclear weapons program. to see it dismantled, too deep -- to accept denuclearization before there is any progress whatsoever on the pressure on the sanctions that are being placed on that nation. mike: this may have escaped your notice, but the north korean leader's sister got some coverage on tv. did you give any consideration
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to greeting her? vice pres. pence: i did not. i did not avoid the dictator's sister. i did ignore her. i did not believe it was proper for the united states of america to give any attention in that forum to someone who is not merely the sister of the dictator but is the leader of the propaganda effort. you have to remember that this is a family that very recently ordered that their brother be murdered using chemical weapons. the world saw that in horror on airport videos reproduced. this is a regime and a family that also ordered that their uncle be executed with artillery fire in front of a crowd of 10,000 people. she is the leader of the
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propaganda effort of that government. this is evil the likes of which we have witnessed rarely in our time around the world. i wanted to send, by my silence, a very clear message that the people of the united states of america know who we're dealing with and that we are going to continue to stand firmly and strong with resolve and with our allies until the regime in north him and korea ceases to threaten our country and our allies with nuclear and ballistic missiles. a we will continue to hold them to account on their appalling record of abuse of human rights of their own people. mike: the director, dan coots, expects russia to interfere in the 2018 elections. you agree?
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vice pres. pence: the first thing we all agree on is that, irrespective of efforts that were made in 2016 by foreign powers, it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any effect on the outcome of the 2016 election. that is the accepted view. it does not mean that there were not efforts. and we do know that there were by russia and likely by other countries, to involve or influence american elections. we take that very seriously. as we speak, that inquiry investigation continues to be ongoing. it is also forward-looking. in my briefings, a variety of our intelligence agencies, we have discussed plans going forward to ensure that meddling in our elections by russians or other powers around the world
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will be rebutted and we will continue to develop the kind of technologies that ensure and maintain the integrity of our electoral system. mike: what is an example of how you can stop or make it harder for them to interfere? vice pres. pence: we all remember north korea hacking sony. the reality is, today, whether it be corporate espionage or other types of espionage, other countries are constantly trying to penetrate the information technology infrastructure of the united states of america. hardening that infrastructure will be an ongoing effort of this administration and congress going forward.
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let me say again, encouraging -- the encouraging him word is that it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that there was no impact on the outcome of the 2016 election. from any foreign meddling. i believe that bears repeating. the american people can be confident about the results of the election in 2016. going forward, we are going to lean into this effort to we are going to continue to lean into this effort and to continue to ensure that our state-based election systems and all of the infrastructure of this country are protected from foreign interference. mike: you were asked to the olympics when the news came of the staff secretary. you are the father of two daughters. you got a lot of credit for your
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comments. you said there is no tolerance in the white house and no place in america for domestic abuse. you said you're going to look into the matter. what have you found? vice pres. pence: this administration has no tolerance for domestic violence. nor should any american. as the white house has said, i think the white house could've handled this better. i still feel that way. that being said, any more counsel i have on this i will share with the president of the united states. mike: are you 100% confident that general kelly has been fully honest and transparent in his explanation of rob porter's to partner? departure? vice pres. pence: there are very few americans that have served this nation more honorably or sacrifice more for this country than the family of general john kelly. john kelly's service in uniform, his distinguished service at our department of homeland security, where we saw dramatic reduction of illegal dressings at our
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-- crossings at our southern border, and his distinguished service as chief of staff, gives me and the president great confidence. family members in uniform, here and gone, have served this nation with the love and patriotism and depression. it should inspire us all. mike: you are saying that he think you should stay? -- you think he should stay? vice pres. pence: john kelly has done a remarkable job. a look forward to continuing to work with him for many months to come. mike: you did a lot of overseas travel on behalf of the president. this year, you planned and aggressive midterm campaign. you are off to the great state of texas? vice pres. pence: we are. i'm not surprised that you
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noticed that summer elections are coming up. midterm elections for the party in office in the white house are historically challenging. i really like our chances this year. i have already been out on the campaign trail. we look forward to talking about a record of accomplishment that was made possible by republican majorities. in the house and senate. it really is amazing to think about how far this country has come just in the first year of this administration. rolling back federal red tape, transforming the federal judiciary, more court of appeal judges confirmed in a one year than in american history, seeing us past historic tax relief for forass historic tax relief
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the american people. tax relief that is already earned. we have seen the dynamic growth over the last year of the stock market, adding to retirement and savings of a million americans. last week, an agreement reached on capitol hill to lift the budget caps and finally, after years of military cutbacks, to be making the kind of investment in the american military that will ensure the strongest military in the history of the world. will be stronger still. i cannot not be more proud of -- i cannot be more proud of all of those compliments. we are putting america first. american prosperity. it will be a great privilege for me. mike: what is the biggest mistake the trump administration made in year one? vice pres. pence: expecting a
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bit more cooperation -- mike: that does not count. vice pres. pence: you know history better than most. the level of obstruction by the democrat minority in the senate, just to routine appointments, is astonishing. i was with the secretary of education. we were talking about progress in our schools earlier this week. she is still waiting for her deputy secretary of education. there are five other major appointments in the department of education that are still being held up by democratic obstruction in the senate. when the american people elected -- you left a president, they elect and administration. elect a president, they elect
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-- anministration administration. there has always been that great tradition but after the proper role of advising and consent that the president is allowed to surround himself with men and women they think will be able to advance the agenda that they were elected to advance. the level of obstruction has been unprecedented by this democrat minority in the senate. we are hopeful that we see changes on the talk to immigration issue more cooperation. mike: i think you were a little too hard on yourself. [laughter] mike: as people understand the president, what do people get most right and wrong about the menu no behind-the-scenes? -- man you know behind the scenes get-go --? vice pres. pence: what they get most right about my friend the president of the united states is that he says what he means and he means what he says. it is one of the reasons why the world has seen a real restoration of american credibility. when the president made that decision, in just a few short days, that syria had crossed a
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redline using chemical weapons against innocent civilians, this president said, i mean what i said. he launched more than 50 cruise missiles, precision impact, as a response to that. the reason why you have seen the world community rally around president trump's call to isolate north korea economically and diplomatically on an increasing basis because they know this president means what he says. mike: what is misunderstood? what do we get wrong about president trump? vice pres. pence: i am biased. i did not know him very well before he called and asked if i would be willing to be considered for this job. i met him twice. really just in passing. i think the world gets his mind and strength. president donald trump is a man with a big heart. he loves his family. when you travel across the country, people across this
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country get it. i think an awful lot of people in the media don't. that is because they sense his heart. they sense his passion for this country. when he talks about putting america first, the sense of patriotism that radiates out of him. it is like a set at the -- i said at the convention. you look at the family of his. the devotion to his family and his devotion of his family to him. i like what a farmer told me one time when i was being considered for this job. he said, one thing i can tell you about your candidate is, you cannot fake good kids. you look at these remarkable young people in a trump family. -- the trump family. you sense that devotion. that is probably what i think people do not get as much as they should.
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i think there are an awful lot of people across this country who know that this is a president with broad shoulders and a big heart. mike: how worried are you that special counsel mueller's findings will touch the white house? vice pres. pence: we have been fully cooperating. i can ensure you that we will continue to. it is not something that i spend a lot of time thinking about. we have attorneys that i have directed to make sure that everything that should be provided is provided and appropriate and in a timely way. the president is focused on, and what i am focused on, every hour of every day, is advancing the agenda that we were elected to advance. i think this ordinary progress we have made in this country, which does not generally leave
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the cable news. the stock market was at 18,000 when election day happened. it took off like a jackrabbit. i did not check it when i walked in this morning. despite the ups and downs of recent days, we have seen tremendous optimism around this country. unemployment at a 17 year low. african-american employment is at the lowest level ever recorded in american history. we see companies reinvesting in this country again. we see tremendous confidence by businesses large and small. i do not think it got nearly enough attention. the bipartisan deal that the president helped drive last week delegates was destined a few weeks to increase military funding by $80 billion, to finally and lastly lift the caps that stifling our ability to
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-- or stifling our ability to -- were stifling our ability to meet all of our needs within our national defense is an extraordinary accomplishment. telling their story and sharing that with the american people, we are going to continue to see more growth and more opportunity. mike: we will do a quick rapid round. what did you do on msnbc? [laughter] vice pres. pence: i heard about it. i did not see it. let me just say, criticism comes with this job. it is part of this job. i actually heard that abc has a program that compared my christianity to mental illness.
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i am a believer. tens of millions of americans today will have ash on there heads to mark the beginning of lent. and -- an overwhelming majority of americans cherish their faith. with all different kinds of faith in this country. i have to tell you, to have abc maintain a broadcast forum that compared christianity to mental illness is just wrong. it is an insult not to me but to the vast majority of the american people who cherish their faith. my christianity is the most important thing in my life. i try and start every day by opening the good book. my wife and i try to have a prayer together before i leave every morning. i can honestly tell you my faith sustains me.
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in all that i do. in all that i do. it is a regular part of our lives. i am not unusual. i think i am a very typical american. whatever your faith tradition, people understand that. i just think it demonstrates how out of touch some of the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the american people. you can have a major network like abc permit a forum for invectives against religion like that. i call them out on it. not because of what was said about me. it is simply wrong. for abc to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance. we are better than that. our country is better than that. you are better than that.
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i would like to be liked about it, but i can't. , but for theke tens of millions of americans who cherish their faith. i cannot be silent. mike: penultimate question. we saw the budget this week. more privatization of the space race. are you worried that this gives more power to other countries? vice pres. pence: i serve a president who is all about going bigger, higher, further, faster. when he asked me to lead the national space council i knew what our mission was. to get nasa out of this preoccupation with lower orbit. we are looking back at the stars. the president signed an executive directive to say, we're going back to the moon. we're going back there soon. the national space council meets next week. the opportunity we have is, when
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you look at the extraordinary private investment that space exploration is having in the u.s. today. if you look at the commitment that we make through nasa and all of our official governmental investments. we think the way forward is to combine those two forces. we are looking at deregulation of space so we can have more private sector investment to do the kinds of things that will develop space more effectively. allow nasa to begin focusing on human space expiration. the truth of the matter is, the space rubble inspired my youth. -- program inspired my youth. i will never forget the moment. i thought my whole life would be characterized by the next great exploration in space. the next great human expansion led by the united states of
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america. we all know, we lost our momentum. president trump once to get that back. -- wants to get that back. he is charged us to bring together, not only public resources, focusing on human space expiration, and going out and bringing together all of these extraordinary american oximeters that are developing the new spacecrafts of the future. we are going to make sure that america leads in space wanted -- once again. mike: you know that my morning newsletter always ends with one fun thing. you have a dog. it must be a ferocious beast. vice pres. pence: he is a puppy. i got him on father's day. we lost our old dog, maverick. he had been with us for 15 years. my wife said, our lives were going to be too busy to have a dog. we have to make do with a cat, hazel. and we have a rabbit.
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it was father's day when karen came in and showed me the kit. he is a black and white aussie. he is a whole lot of fun. for father's day, i had asked for a motorcycle. and i got a puppy, so i named -- pants --o does mrs. pence. >> thank you for the conversation. [applause] mr. vice president, thank you for a great conversation.
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i would like to thank all of you for coming out. for makingo c-span this available to so many people. thank you to bank of america for making these conversations possible. to all my colleagues who are here, thank you very much. and see you on [applause] ♪ >> today, the senate debates immigration with votes on substitute amendments. one is a compromise agreed to yesterday by a bipartisan group of senators. to 1.8ides citizenship million daca recipients brought into the country illegally as children. it provides funding for a portal wall. watch on c-span two.
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our live coverage of the savannah book festival starts saturday morning at 9:00 eastern. it includes the author of "future war." scott shapiro with "the internationalists." and the author of the book "we need to talk, how to have conversations that matter." beginning at 9:00 eastern on c-span twos book tv. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures and history, former virginia governor, douglas wilder. word definition for politics. can anyone guess what that is? one word defines politics. money.


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