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tv   Newsmakers Sen. Ben Cardin  CSPAN  July 29, 2018 10:00am-10:32am EDT

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>> next, "newsmakers" with senator bn carden of maryland. then secretary of state mike pompeyo. then house minority whip outlines the democrats' plan to create jobs. >> joining us from baltimore for today's "newsmakers" is a member of the foreign relations committee. senator ben carden of maryland. guest: it's good to be with you. host: we have in studey, the ite house reporter and the sociated press chief congressional correspondent. >> i wanted to ask you a little bit about what seemed to have been a pretty consequential week in foreign policy news in
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general but particularly on the question of congressional correspondent. ru relationship with russia going forward. we heard an awful lot about that and about president trump's interaction with president putin during the hearing the other day with secretary of state, and now there's some back and forth invitation to washington might precede an invitation to moscow. you g first, no you go first i wonder whether you think it's a good idea for president trump to meet again with president putin. guest: first, the summit in he will sinkie was really a disaster. in moscow they were cheering about it, in the white house they were scrambling to try to salvage a lot of comments. if you listened to the hearing
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in the senate foreign relations committee with the secretary of state, he tried to point out that american policies have not changed but yet the president's language was a lot different than that. so the first thing we need to know is what happened in that room? were derstandings reached between president trump invitation to tin? washington might precede an so when we're talking about a followup meeting, we first need to understand what understandings were reached? because the followup meeting is to take those agreements and to make progress on it. we don't know what those so when we're agreements are all about. >> the second point, it's a lot different meeting with the neutral russia in a
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site such as he will neutral site such as he will sinkie than here in the united states. at this particular moment it's hard to understand why that nvitation was extnded. are you satisfied that mike pompeyo himself knows what happened? and really how far did you get in understanding whether there were any commitments made in that room? >> i don't have a great deal of confidence that he knows exactly what happened in that meeting. we did not get a comfort level as to what happened in the room itself. we do know that in the public settings after the meeting in front of mr. putin, president trump raised questions about our own intelligence agencies, sort of accepted president
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putin's statement that he was not involved in the -- interfering in our elections in 2016, allowed mr. putin to make a comment about american former diplomats being made available to the russians. that was not dismissed out of hand. and the list goes on and on. so there is not a comfort level at mr. pompeo has a deep understanding as to what happened in that room. >> you mentioned that understanding as to what happened you would like to know what happened. we saw a number of moves by lawmakers in congress this week who tried to raise some issues. we saw resolutions being introduced on various issues regarding nato, regarding the intelligence committee's findings to reinstate those. we saw some very strong statements from the republican leadership. speaker ryan, leader mcconnell, saying that president putin uld not be welcomed on the
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hill. but my broader question is, what is the role of congress here and what is the ability hill. of my the congress to find some answers? guest: it was interesting. when you look at the action of congress since the summit in he will synchsie, you find democrats and republicans of the congress to both standing up saying no to what the president implied in helsinki. we did pass a resolution in regard to nato, in regard to protecting our former diplomats. we are now looking at lags that would increase sanctions against russia. looking at legislation that would make it clear our commitment to nato. so and that's bipartisan. so i think the level in congress is that we have to assert ourselves. we did in 2017 in passing the
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russia sanction law requiring the president to impose sanctions. and i expect that there's a role of congress should be to make it cloor to our nato allies that we stand strongly behind the nato alliance, make to mr. putin that if he continues this type of activity we're going to strengthen the sanctions against russia. >> just to follow up. you did mention the legislation that leader mcconnell has said he might be interested in. i know it's been assigned out o the committees the deter act from senator rubio and senator van hollen. but what do you think is the likelihood that there would be votes on that bill that there would actually be some movement on that or other legislation, particularly that bill foreshadows the 2018 elections and warns russians off meddling or they would face these
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consequences of greater sanctions. what is the likelihood that congress can get something oving ahead of the election? guest: of course that's up to the republican leadership as to whether they will bring these up for votes. we had a bill like the deter senate, e floor of the it should receive near unanimous support. it states if russia medles there will be a heavy price to pay. i think that legislation is what members of congress on both sides of the aisle want to see passed. i understand that we're getting closer to mid term elections and there is a concern as to how mr. trump feels about such legislation. but i do think it's in the interest of our democratic system of government that we system. ur >> do you get a sense from some of your republican colleagues that there is a greater
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willingness now to challenge the president on foreign system policy and perhaps on election meddling as well, election security as well? i'm sort of struck by the fact that the pompeo hearing happened at all. guest: i was struck that it took so long for us to have that hearing. it was really in response to singapore and the meeting between the north koreans and the americans, between our president and kim jung un. we were waiting to have an opportunity to question what happened in singapore. it took us a month before we were able to get the secretary of state before our committee. one of the policy and perhaps on election respons congress is to hold oversight hearings in regard to foreign policy. these are huge foreign policy issues. we have a constitutional responsibility to hold these hearings. senator corker has indicated we are going to have additional
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hearings on russia and sanctions. that's the right thing for us to do. so this is our constitutional responsibility to hold these oversight hearings. look, we want a unified position on foreign policy. we want to see congress and the white house together on foreign policy. when the president deeve yates from what we believe is the right policy for our nation, when he question it is nato alliance, when he gives states to authoritarian leaders who attacks our country, congress needs to speak out. >> can you talk about that more broadly. what have we learned from secretary pompeo's testimony at the hearing? we have seen president trump now as you say the singapore summit, we understood last night that the remains from servicemen in north korea were being returned. we saw the helsinki summit. now we also heard reports this morning of the president's negotiations with erd juan over
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the imprisoned pastor. what have we learned about the president'sing in shating style, his ability to conduct these affairs on the world stage? and were there any take aways particularly from that hearing with secretary pompeo that you were surprised by? guest: well, first, the president's unpredictable but there is a pattern here. we've seen now the fact that he has no problem in offending our closest allies before going into major summit meetings. we saw that in regard to north korea, we saw that in regard to russia. so traditional alliance means nothing to him as far as the getting unity before meeting th leaders that are strong men type totalitarian leaders such as kim jung un, and vladmir putin. we see that he is willing to give those type of leaders
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additional credibility and space. we saw that in regards not only to north korea and russia but we saw that in regards to the philippineses and other countries. so i think what we learned from mr. pompeo is that the secretary of state is goig to fully support the president. theables in the president and he will fully support him. so i think we have learned that 2 secretary of state will defend the president. >> have you seen any ben figgets or any positive changes from this president in regards to nato or our relations with other countries?
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nato the nailto -- alliance is important. the strength of the e.u. is important. has jeopardized u.k. and prime all of that unity. what he did in interfering with he dealing with the brexit issue, what he did with the leader of germany in undermining her credibility, what he did as far as saying the g-7 should become the g-8 really making it impossible for successful -- one of our closest allies in canada. all of that has questioned the president's sincerity in regards to the relationship with our closest allies that are standing next to us in
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battle and always there for us. so i think yes the u.s. is indispensible leader in the world there's no question about it, but the united states' credibility has been damaged. trade and trade in the national security context. certainly the canadians were offended and many other people were surprised to hear the president put the steel and aluminum tariffs among other things. classify that as a national security issue when talking about a military ally as close to the united states as canada is. do you see any benefit of as to the president's wider point about trade? the global trading system is
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broken. it was time for somebody to say so and to start prioritizing american interests even if it means offending people? >> we have regional and bilateral trade agreements that deal with our closest allies. the question the president was questioning even those arrangements. there's no question that the world trade organization which controls the trade the global community as it relates to what china's doing has not been effective. we need to take action against china. china has been the major problem for u.s. manufacturers, producers, and farmers. if the president would have started with china, worked with our close trading allies to bring up china's unacceptable trade practices including their stealing of intellectual property, including the fact of what they do with currency manipulation -- if he would
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have started with that rather than starting with tariffs against europe and canada and braugged d have support and credibility. but he didn't do it that way. so yes there are legitimate concerns we have in fair trade where the united states is not being treated fairly and the number one example is china. make of this strategy? a number of republicans were up to the white house on the trade issue during the week. make of they also were very concerned. but then the president was able to talk this agreement with the e.u. and sort of explain that it's a step by step approach that he is trying to take. my understanding from the meeting. to sort of leverage in some areas to then create these better dools. eventually a new nafta deal coming. other small arrangements.
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do you see any validity to that strategy of trying to do more of this step by step, hitting hard on some of these tariffs as a way to capture the attention and then using that s leverage to negotiate better deals? guest: i think this will not work to america's best interests. do we need to modernize the nafta agreement? absolutely. but the way he went about it i think caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety and is not producing the type of result that the president said he would deliver for america. but the truth is he cannot deliver that because there are concerns in all three countries that have to be addressed. so there's a right way to negotiate and then there's the way president trump believes you've got to blow things up in order to put them back together in s a lot of uncertainty
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the global marketplace. that's not good for investors or america. >> is there any role for congress at this point to push back on those policies or those approaches that you're in disagreement or a lot of republicans on the other side of the aisle that have raised concerns as well? or no? guest: i think there is. the most recent part of the trade janda is the president is trying to use the $12 billion that remains in the stabilization fund to pay farmers as a result of the retaliatory tariffs that have been imposed against u.s. farmers. we have heard from the farmers they don't want a handout, they want trade and market. they want to be able to sell their products globally. they don't really want welfare. but the question is what happens in the manufacturing sector? are we going to give them compensation for the retaliatory tariffs? the president has inged kated no to that. so i think congress will want to see exactly why they're using a fund that we established for the department
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of agriculture to deal when their markets are not stable because of supply and demand, using that to offset tariffs. that's not what congress intnded. and the problems with the tariff policy go far beynd just farming. so i hope congress will intervene in that regard. >> could i take you back to north korea for a moment. you indicated that you and many of your colleagues were eager needed to hear more about it and annoyed that you hadn't heard more about the ummit in june, in singapore, and what had been agreed to there and how the administration planned to proceed. we do actually seem to know a good bit more about that than we do about the putin summit, and now north korea appears to have delivered on the first of
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the agreements and kind of check list that the president announced at the time in singapore. how confident are you that north korea will continue to fulfill any agreement's it's made? and do you think that real and total denuclearization as secretary pompeo and others ave described it is possible or likely? >> first, i want the president to succeed. i think all americans do. the only sensible way to deal >> first, i want the president o with the nuclear crisis on the korean peninsula is through negotiations. negotiations mean you need to talk. so a meeting between kim jung unand the president, between america and north korea is something that is positive. so we want the results to be a iplomatic end to the nuclear confrontation on the korean
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peninsula. what happened in singapore you say yeah we have a better understanding. i agree. we do have a better understanding. it was primarily a photo op. yes, you are talking about the remains of those missing in action, that's very important and we're very pleased that we are seeing progress on that front. but the very first progress to ending the nuclear program in north korea is for north korea to make a declaration on their program, let us know exactly what they have, where they have it, and we get independent eyes on the ground to with the verify that, and then a game plan to eliminate that program. none of that has been achieved. now, my source is basically south korean it's been report that had mr. pompeo asked for that and has gotten no reply. that's from a south korean source. we did not hear that from mr. pompeo. >> so i guess that means you have not raised confidence or don't think it's highly likely
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that they'll be able to achieve denuclearization? guest: i don't want to go that far. i don't believe we've achieved very much in accomplishing that goal to date. so i understand from the president that he got a ommitment from kim jung un, to deknew clearize north korea. that's a positive first step. but the very first step really is to understand their programs. we know they now have a nuclear weapon so they have deknew clearize north that. we haven't seen any evidence that they're willing to give that up. >> let's switch geerings to some domestic affairs. the senate is going to be staying in session for quite a bit of august we're told. largely to work on some bills but also this nomination of cavanaugh to be the supreme court. how are you approaching the
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nomination at this point? do you think that -- at some point it's inevitable for democrats. you are in the minority, republicans have the majority. they appear to have the votes to confirm him. do you think that president trump will get his supreme court justice? guest: well, this is one of the most important responsibilities we have in the united states senate, advice and consent. this is a lifetime appointment. we're talking about affecting the supreme court for decades to come. first we like to see all of judge cavanaugh's records that have been a strug toll try to get the white house to produce those documents so that we can have a better understanding of his philosophy. so me, this is an issue about the independence of the supreme court. will judge cavanaugh be an ibbednt voice on behalf of the american people to protect their constitutional rights against the powerful, whether the president of the united states, the
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congress or corporate america. we are talking about protecting your rights, your health care rights, protecting your consumer the president of the united states, the congress or corporate rights, y environmental rights. what we've seen so far is reason of concern about judge cavanaugh, achis court opinions as well as some of his published statements when he was working for the white house. but there's also the issue about the independence from the executive branch. will he be a true independent voice to allow the mueller investigation to reach its logical conclusion, or is he -- that he's written, said that the president should not be annoyed by investigations while he's a sitting president? these are questions that we want to get answers and we want the american people to know about this. we do think every senator must make up his or her own mind as to whether this is the right decision or not. we're an independent branch of government. it should not be by party alfillation but whether judge cavanaugh is the right person at this time. i have some serious concerns. >> some say they would like to
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hold off meeting with the judge until they see the paper trail which we're told could go into the millions of pieces of paper. are you prepared to meet with him? guest: i think what senator schumer has said, he wants to make sure we have an understanding on the production of the documents. that wouldn't necessarily mean that we would wait until we receive all the documents before we have meetings. but wement to know that we're going to be able to receive those documents. >> let's say on the supreme court, do you ookspect then that there will be hearings with maybe at the end of august or when do you think is most likely to have hearings? guest: of course this is up to senator mcconnell. he controls the senate agenda. he said with president obama that 11 months is not long enough. he's certainly hypocritical in saying that we have adequate time now. but i do expect that certainly by september it's likely we'll have hearings.
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>> thank you for being this week's "newsmakers." appreciate it. >> let me turn to the two of you. we can begin with the foreign policy discussion that we have with the senator. what do you think happens next after we heard from secretary of state mike pompeo this week before the senate foreign relations committee? guest: i think as the senator indicated there is greater interest that certainly public interest in the senate, maybe some in the house as well, about not holding the white house accountable. at least asking more questions publicly about arrangements, deelings, conversations the president is having. and i think the fact that it took a while for pompeo to come to the senate at all and he declined a similar invitation to the house suggests that the
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white house is now more willing to do that. i think one thing that happens next is that we will continue to see a push and pull including from republicans who want more answers. host: the poll from republicans include getting the translater who was in the room with the president either behind closed doors or in a committee hearing to hear what she heard in that private meeting? guest: that was definitely something the democrats were seeking more so i think from the republicans. so that is on the table. i do think there is desire as the senator mentioned from both parties to go on record on this issue, whether that's more votes or trying to get this bill passed, this legislation passed to try to warn russia off any further interference. so that's a more narrow slice trying broader issue of
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to get to an understanding of what happened. but there just was an enormous amount of pushback on the tryin to get to an entire performance at the summit from both parties. that was rare to see republicans really counter the president. so i do think we're not done with this and we'll see if they actually move some legislation. but there's a lot of interest. >> what about more hearings? >> i don't know. secretary pompeo was invited over to the house side and was able to make that work. apparently it was a scheduling problem. but house lawmakers were not ab pleased. so i think there is a push to have some hearings. but i don't know if that will be -- the calendar is narrowing right now. the house is on recess. the senate is expected to be here for much of august. but they're not a lot of those hearings scheduled although i believe there is a classified briefing coming in the days ahead. so we'll see. host: what's next?
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guest: on foreign policy, generally, i think the main thing that the white house is looking at now is the north korea file. they would like to be able to continue to demonstrate what they see as significant progress on a guest: significant foreign policy with the president considers to be a victory. licy he used the north korea summit as a success mostly because it happened. and he has something to stand on there. no one else had been willing to turn that entire relationship inside-out, basically, and say that perhaps a leader to leader meeting at the beginning could accomplish something. we don't know yet whether he actually will be able to accomplish something. but at the very least he definitely was able to pull both sides back from what appeared to be a pretty dangerous brink.
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i think we will see the white house continue to focus on that, and of course on trade. host: we heard from the president on friday talk about the remains of these u.s. soldiers that died and killed during the korean war making their way back to the united states. how was that part of the deal? and what are some other thing that is we're going to be hearing about? guest: well, the remains issue it's important to note what north korea is doing here is esuming a practice that it had suspended. so essentially it's giving something back. it isn't giving something new. these are the ah presumed americans whose remains were recovered primarily from sites of aircraft crashes in the north. come. re more to to if they continue to do that that will be significant progress. the main thing they could do beyond that is to begin to give the accounting that senator
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carden referenced and to begin to allow inspectors. they could also show up to meetings, which they don't always do. host: what meetings? so, there are scheduledst: ongoing meetings and they have been a no-show? guest: that's right. host: what has been the response from the white house on that? host: very little. this is going to be a long process and the white house is going to get its nose bloodied a little bit. that is the history of these negotiations, for every president who has attempted to deal with north korea. there is nothing to suggest that president trump's experience will be greatly different. but he did manage to change the paradigm from the beginning. host: we will continue to follow your reporting. up there on capitol hill for the associated press, thank you both for being a part of
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"newsmakers." [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] "q&a,"ght on constitutional lawyer david stewart on his book, impeached, the trial of andrew johnson and the fight for lincoln's legacy. >> it's a scandal. the chapter on johnson, i won't speak the on that. on johnson should be expunged from every library in the county. it focuses on a fellow named edmund ross, who focused on the single vote that saved the taylor johnson. vote, thesed rosses most heroic moment in american history? i think that it was bought, his vote was purchased. saving johnson i think was not a heroic moment. >> david stewart, tonight at 8 p.m.


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