tv State Department Spokesperson Holds Briefing CSPAN February 1, 2022 4:07pm-5:00pm EST
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good afternoon. happy tuesday. one item at the top, then look forward to your questions. yesterday on the visit of qatar's prime minister to the united states, president biden announced qatar as a non-nato partner. qatar served as a destination for many refugees. it continues to act as a power in the region. it's a member of the terrorist targeting center and has actively participated in
sanctions against major u.s. terrorist organizations. yesterday's siefng a more than $20 billion deal between boeing and qatar air group also highlights the strong economic partnership the u.s. and qatar share we look forward to building on our strong foundation with an eye to the next 50 years partnership between the united states and qatar. with that, happy to take your questions on this or anything else. >> i think it won't surprise you that i would like to move to ukraine, although if someone does have a question about qatar and major non-nato ally status i'm maip to defer. if not, ukraine. recognizing that a lot has been said today about ukraine by president putin, by prime
minister -- by labruv, by senior u.s. officials is there anything new that you can report to us in terms of the diplomacy and what that will look like going forward? you will have seen putin said that he was open to continued talks but there doesn't seem to be any kind of, at least not yet, doesn't seem to be any kind of definite timetable for that. ned: as you know, we issued a written readout of the secretary's call with foreign minister lab ruff -- labruv, won't go through that but i'll go over a few broad points. the secretary made clear to minister labruv, as he has before, that we are prepared to engage in serious diplomacy with the russian federation on a
serious basis he also made clear that what we sent over, our response to treaties that the russian federation published the other week, contain a wide range of serious substantive proposals. we believe when you think about the ven diagram -- the venn diagram between our collective concern, the collective security concerns of the united states and europe, we believe there's an intersection there where we can address those mutual concerns on a reciprocal basis. those, of course, include our concern, the concerns of our allies and partner, but also the stated security dhoarches russians. that will require intensive, substantive, serious, sustained diplomacy if we are to get there
we are prepared for that. the secretary also made the point that this diplomacy, if it is to bear fruit, will need to take place in a context of de-escalation. that is something, of course, that we have yet to see. we heard from foreign minister labruv this morning and i will primarily leave it to the russians to characterize their response but that we heard again that they are working on a formal response to the u.s. nonpaper that was sent over the other day. that draft will go to president putin as he was known and expected all along. and when president putin has a chance to review it and approve it, it will be coming to the united states. we understand that once that takes place, the russians, too, are willing to engage in continued dialogue. as to what form, as to the timing that are will depend on
the receipt of the russian response to our response. reporter: you keep talking about the venn diagram with the overlapping areas. but the thing is, is that president putin said today that you guys have ignored their main requests. that's not exactly true, you guys haven't ignored them, you just flat out rejected them and told them nonstarters and you're not going to -- you're well aware of what they are, you're not ignoring them, you're just saying no, we're not going to go there. so i'm wondering, given that, if you think that there's still an opportunity to resolve this without getting into what the russians main concerns are? ned: we heard from president putin a variety of things. i will leave it to the
kremlinologists out there, budding professional, amateur, otherwise, to read the tea leaves and try to interpret the significance of those remarks. for our part, we don't necessarily need to do that because we know that a formal response from the russian federation is forthcoming. we heard that again today from foreign minister labruv. so we have been clear and consistent since we started this process that there are areas where we believe there is maneuverability, that there's room to engage in substantive discussions together with our allies and partners with the russian federation on arias where frankly we have security concerns, the russians will put their concerns on the table and again in full coordination with our alryes and partners we'll see if there is room to address those concerns.
we believe there is. to your question, the response we provided to the russian federation the other day, it did address this points that had been raised by the russian federation. that doesn't necessarily mean that the russians will agree with the way in which they were addressed. i think as you have heard us say all along, that it will come as no surprise to you that there are places we can make progress with the trance clantic community while other areas are nonstarters. those areas we said all along are nonstarters, the idea that a country, any other country, can impinge on the security arrangements, the partnerships of another country, the inviolability of international borders, sovereignty, you're
right there is no trade space, none, when it comes to those issues. that should not, and i assume did not, comes as a surprise to the russian federation or anyone else. francisco. reporter: [inaudible] is this going into rounds of negotiations in geneva over one, two years with russia? is that what you -- you're envisioning? ned: i don't think that time frame is what any of us had in mind as an initial matter, at least. what i can say is we have been ebb gauged with our parts for the and the russian federation. we have done this bilaterally through the strategic dialogue,
secretary sherman along with her russian counterpart in geneva the other week. we have done this in the context of the russian council, we have done it in the context of the osce with the participating member states of the osce of which russia is a member and secretary blinken had an opportunity, again bilaterally, but outside the formal s.s.d. context the context of the strategic dialogue, to engage with foreign minister labruv the other week. we are prepared to continue through all of those venues, through all of those fora. what matters most to us is that our diplomacy, our collective engagement with the russian federation continues to be conducted in full consultation and coordination with our partners and allies. often times that will take place, we expect, with our allies and partners sitting next to us as the table as would happen at the russian council,
at the osce. if it were to involve another bilateral engagement, which we are hoping to, we will continue to that in full consultation and coordination with our alryes and partners. nothing about without. that is not a mantra we're ever going to abandon or discount in any way. i think you saw that today after secretary blinken had an opportunity to speak with foreign minister labruv, he immediately picked up the phone and spoke with nato secretary general societienberg, e.u. representative joseph parell. the secretary thought it important to engage them immediately on his discussion with foreign minister labruv. they had an opportunity to discuss that engagement they also had an opportunity to discuss our approach to the russian federation going forward, both in terms of diplomacy and dialogue which remain ours preferred course, but the alternative course, that
we are continuing to pursue, the course of defense and deterrence. reporter: are you in any way more confident today after hearing from prime minister labruv, after hearing president 350u tin at hiss preconference, that an aggression ukraine can be avoided by diplomacy ned: i make a couple of points. this is not about optimism or pessimism, this is about a clear-eyed approach to what to us, and to our ally parts in -- partners, is a threat to our peace and security. to us it is about the stakes of this and the stakes for us are very clear. number two, again, we are just not going to be in the business of parsing, certainly not publicly, statements we hear from senior russian officials, because we understand again today that we'll be in receipt of a formal response that has been approved by president
putin. that presumably will detail precisely and in specific language where the russian federation stands. andrea. reporter: speaking of time frames, is there a time frame beyond which if you don't see any signs of de-escalation, there could be a number of steps, there's pressure from the senate, in fact for sanctions before any kind of kinetic action, could the u.s., is there some limit to how long you can have 130,000-plus troops and other military equipment in belarus? and if i may just say something also, point of personal privilege, i don't know what else is said in this room but i want to remark on the passing of a real pioneer, one of your pred sesdzors, phyllis oak lee, who
was just such, i don't know, such an inspiration to women in this building and to the reporters who cover this building because of the written and most importantly the unwritten rules of gender discrimination in the foreign service. and she really persevered and broke through. so she was a great standard bearer. ned: among other titles testifies an assistant secretary of state, a deputy spokesperson, who spent time speaking to your predecessors. she is someone who left her mark on this institution. you saw that the department issued condolences to her, to her family and loved ones and noted the legacy she she leaves behind, a legacy that was integral to doing what was long overdue, ensuring that women were fully engaged, able to be fully engaged in this work and that married women had the same
rights as their male counterparts. dewe do mourn her passing and appreciate you raising that. in terms of the time frame, our goal here is to first of all prevent, deter further russian invasion of ukraine. so only the russian federation can determine how long this goes on for. we are ready, eet way. we are ready if the russians are willing to continue down the path of diplomacy and dialogue in good faith. again, knowing that this is a process that if it is to be effective has to take place in the con of de-escalation. we are equally ready, however, if the russians determine that they are set on the path of further and renewed aggression. that is a path that we've been
walking simultaneously as we have an outstretched hand for diplomacy and tie log. theas path we've been walking simultaneously with our parts for the andall lies. we have spent time in recent days speaking to the long track record we have when it comes to this deepening sense of concern that has developed over almost three months now. it was in november, early november, if i recall, where we first started talking about this publicly. we have started to engage allies and partners late last year as the intelligence and information emerged of the russian military buildup along the ukrainian border as our own concerns grew based on information that was then private and has since been made public so this is something we have been asked for some time but again, our goal is to fore
stall, to deter, to do everything we can to see to it that there is not renewed russian aggression against ukraine but again our charge is to be prepared with whatever course, whatever putin decides. reporter: [inaudible] ned: it was an opportunity, first, this was a moment that was agreed to by the two individuals in geneva, coming out of the secretary's meeting with foreign minister labruv in geneva last month now. it was agreed the two would have a follow-on conversation in the coming days. it was shortly after that engagement in geneva where we submitted what we call our nonpaper, the written response to the so-called russian treaties. and that was done. we -- the russian federation has now had that document for some time. we understand that they're
studying it. we understand that vladimir putin has had an opportunity to, at least an opportunity to see it. and we know now that he'll have an opportunity to approve the response that comes back from the russian federation. so the point was at least two-fold. one, it was to confer on the road ahead and we did come away with a clearer sense of what we can expect in the coming days or weeks as however long it takes for the russians to provide us with their response. we know from there that the russians appear amenable to continue to engage in dialogue as we said. we far prefer that course even
amidst de-escalation. it was an opportunity for the secretary to reiterate the messages the russians have heard for some time now that even as we far prefer the course of diplomacy and dialogue we are continuing to prepare down the course of defense and deterrence. reporter: secretary blinken and foreign minister labruv have spoken twice, exchanged papers. now you said the response will go through putin and then afterwards blinken and labruv will speak again. is it then time, because there doesn't seem to be anything changing in terms of both sides' issues, is it firearm the two presidents to speak again after that response has come? do you feel the need to escalate
to that level? ned: it depends on where we are. you heard repeatedly from president biden, i believe most recently in his press conference last month now, that he, and we, remain open and amenable to another leader-level engagement between president biden and president putin. they had an opportunity to speak on the phone. they have seen each other on screen. within recent weeks if we believe we're at a moment where another leader-level engagement has the potential to move the ball forward when it comes to diplomacy that's certainly something we're open to and amenable to. but it will depend on where we are after this next step then. reporter: we've been here for month, you say the same thing, russia says the same thing. can you point to any one thing that suggests that russia is open to real dialogue? anything, anything practical that suggests they want to change their action?
ned: that's not incumbent on us, it's incumbent on moscow. reporter: so you see nothing? ned: it is true we have not seen concrete, tangible signs of de-escalation. that's what we continue to convey we need to see if this dialogue if this diplomacy is going to bear fruit to your question, we are not waiting on signs of de-escalation. we are not sitting on up -- on our hands calling for de-escalation. we are moving forward. as quickly and resolutely as we can. to proceed down this path of defense and deterrence. again, this is about defensive steps we are taking as an alliance, as a nato alliance. defensive steps that we are taking to shore up the defenses of our partner ukraine. steps that we are taking to deter a russian invasion or renewed russian aggression
against ukraine. some of that is consistent with the defensive steps that we've taken. some of that lies in the fact that we have been very clear, not only the united states, but our european allies and others, about the massive costs, economic, financial and otherwise, that would befall the russian federation if an invasion, renewed aggression, were to go forward. you've already seen manifestations of those costs even in advance of the imposition of any new soorntion authorities on the russian federation. we've talked about this before. but the russian stock market has declined significantly. the value of the ruble has declined significantly. markets are growing increasingly pessimistic about the implications of the sanctions and economic measures we have talked about were they to go forward. so that, i think is a review of what would -- what would
transpire were these measures to be fully put into place. so to recap that is a question that's best addressed to moscow. it's incumbent on moscow to de-escalate. we are not waiting for de-escalation. we are open and prepared to engage, continue to engage in diplomacy. we are also moving ahead swiftly down the path of defense and deterrence. reporter: there was some confusion about the message received yesterday, some said that was the letter from russia they were expecting. does that suggest you don't know what's coming in that let her ned: there was never an intention to suggest that that was the formal response from the russian federation. what one of your colleagues reported and what you heard from senior state department officials yesterday is that we received a followup from the russian federation. i will leave it to foreign minister labruv and the russians to characterize what exactly they intended by that but foreign minister labruv spoke to
this missive publicly over the weekend and we understand again today that we'll be receiving a formal response from the russian federation once it's approved by president putin. reporter: since tomorrow literally is groundhog day, you should expect the same question again. ned: may have similar answer. reporter: in which case it woul- ned: it would prove the process true. reporter: andrea mentioned sanctions and you know, as diplomacy seems to be going nowhere now, isn't it high time to start strengthening the eastern flank of nato and you mentioned polish foreign minister a moment ago, he's coming here tomorrow. he will be talking about that. he's also meeting with secretary
blinken late they are week. could you preview those talks with the secretary between the minister and the secretary? ned: to your first question, isn't it time to strengthen the eastern flank of nato, the answer is unambiguously yes. we have been talking about that for weeks now. we have taken concrete steps, some of which have been announced by the department of defense, place thousands of troops, u.s. service members, at a heightened state of readiness, should they be called into service by the north atlantic council. we have worked concertedly with our nato allies including our althriens eastern flank to work with them to prepare for the eventuality, possibility, of further russian aggression. we will continue to take steps to reassure, to reinforce defensive steps. nato's eastern flank. because we agree it is important. when it come to the polish
foreign minister as you noted, as i noted earlier, the secretary had an opportunity to speak both with him, with the e.u. representative and nato secretary general today. we will continue to engage with our polish allies beth in the context of the osce and the engagement today was in the foreign minister's role as the chairman in office of the osce but also as a valued and important nato ally. i don't want to get ahead of those discussions but to get back to your question, we will continue to show our support in many different forms for our nato allies. those on the eastern frank, our nato allies throughout the continent. reporter: what you said was putting those troops on heightened alert. what about sending troops now to the eastern frack?
their engagement with russia. reporter: another followup to and dree's question about the deadline for de-escalation. you referred to further and renewed aggression, does that mean the status quo can endure indefinitely as you hope for a diplomatic break through? ned: i don't think anyone wants to see the status quo continue indefinitely. i say that because of the buildup at the border of ukraine, the dispatch of troop into what should be sovereign independent territory of belarus. aural of this heightened tensions, all of this increases the possibility of whether by accident, whether by miscalculation, whether by the fabrication of pretext, that this buildup gives way to
conflict. that is certainly not something we want to see happen. so no one is -- no one is happy about the current situation no one wants to see this buildup remain as it is for any longer than is necessary. that's why we've continued to call for de-escalation. and why we have continued to call for tangible signs of de-escalation. let me move back. peter: reporter: i want to ask you to follow up on the same point. it puts the u.s. in a very reactive position where last risk of states priorities being set by putin is there a point at which the diplomatic process taking up so much of the second are etear's time and so much of other official's time and ultimately detracting from efforts to pivot to asia and focus on competition with china is there a point at
which this needs to end? ned: we're a large country, we're a large department and not to use once more an overused metaphor but we can walk and chew gum at the same time. in recent days you've seen the president and the secretary engage with the amir of qatar, you're seeing him with his counterpart, you're seeing us engage on any number of challenges and opportunities in the region. it is not the case that even as we are intently focused on a challenge, even something we might call a crisis like this, that it crowds out our ability to focus on the other challenges the other opportunities that face the united states. reporter: so there's no time limit? ned: we don't want to see the es escalation of tensions last any longer than necessary. we are calling for immediate de-es ka laig, that's what we want to see happen. reporter: [inaudible]
ned: this is something when we talk about the contingency planning we do, it's not necessarily in the veen of defense and deterrence -- in the vein of defense and deterrence but something we're discussing with countries around the world. we know the strength, severity and suddenness of the measures we're prefiredt put in place on the russian federation could have impacts well beyond russia including in terms of energy supplies. that's why we have had regular, frequent, substantive conversations with countries around the world on how we might mitigate some of those impacts and we believe we certain -- we certainly believe we'll be in a position to do so. reporter: amnesty came out with a report include -- accusing israel of imposing apartheid on
palestinians that amount to crimes against humanity. what's the u.s. government's response to that? do you agree with the conclusions of the report? do you share those concerns about the situation in israel? ned: you know that as a general matter we don't offer public comprehensive evaluations of reports by outside groups. we have our own rigorous standards and processes for making demtions on potential human rights abuses, for documents what we see take place around the world, including on an annual basis in the human rights report. what i will say, however is that we reject the view that israel's actions constitute apartheid. the department's own reports have never used such terminology. we are committed to promoting respect for human rights in israel and the left bank and gaza strip. we have an enduring partnership with israel and we discuss a
wide range of issues with our israeli counterparts including those related to human rights. we support the efforts of the israeli government, of the palestinian authority, alongside human rights activists to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses. and we continue to empathize with israel and the palestinian authority the need to refrain, as you've heard us say from unilateral actions that exacerbate tensions. this includes the annexation of territory, kem in addition, incite lt of violence and the spriegd of compensations for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism. we take all allegations of human rights abuses seriously. that is true around the world. including allegation -- allegations of arbitrary detention and we continue around the world to urge respect for human rights. >> do you think it comes from a place of anti-semitism to make those accusations? that's what israel's response has been. ned: we have spoken with this --
about this with our eal counterparts. we don't offer our own comprehensive evaluation of reports but we reject the label that's been attached to this. when speaking about israel, one other point here, we think that it is important, as the world's only jewish state, that the jewish people must not be denied their right to self-determination and we must ensure there isn't a double standard being applied. reporter: it may be true you don't offer public, comprehensive evaluations of outside reports, but you cite them quite a bit. an early human rights report irk wept back and looked in terms of just the last human rights report cited amnesty international, ethiopia, on cuba, on china and iran, on burma, on syria, on cuba. and those references are
endorsements of what the -- this group, amnesty, and other groups as well that are cited, have found. why sit that without taking a stand or making a judgment about the findings of this particular report, why is it that criticism of israel from these groups is almost always rejected by the u.s. and yet accepted, welcomed and endorsed when it comes to -- when it comes out, when the criticism is of other countries, notably countries with which you have significant policy differences? ned: i would make a couple of points. number one, when we include a footnote -- reporter: these aren't footnotes. these are full-on -- ned: when we cite, it's a game of semantics, whether you call it a citation or footnote. reporter: it says in the report, amnesty international found x in
xinjiang with the uighurs, and you guys cite that and say -- ned is: that's not a -- that's a far cry from saying we have a comprehensive agreement with a third party report. reporter: it's just when it's about israel you feel flee to disagree? when have you disagreed with rae port on acrine like iran. ned: this is nobt about any outside group. this is about our vehement disagreement with a certain finding in a report by an outside group. there are plenty of times where we cite, as you said, outside groups in our own reports. we cite the facts that they have uncovered, that they have put forward. but i don't think you're going to find any citation, in any state department document, and i don't think i'll regret saying this, that says the department agrees on a comprehensive basis with absolutely everything in this report.
reporter: is it the view that human rights abuses resulting from occupation are diskreet events rather than resulting if discriminatory policies or systems backed up by law? ned: we documented comprehensively in our own human rights reports and we document allegations of and what we have found in terms of israel and the west bank and the gaza strip comprehensively on an annual basis. soy will leave it to that document to speak to our framework for this. i think you have heard us on a number of occasions when we have heard reports of or been in fotion corroborate human rights abuses in this region that we have not hesitated to speak out. reporter: you may have seen that the israeli military today said
it was kren suring or reprimanding a couple, several soldiers for their role in the death of -- leading to the death of a palestinian american. been asking for a couple of days now about whether you're satisfied with your request for clarification. does this do it? have you gotten this information from the israelis and are you satisfied with the response? ned: i expect to have more to say on this later today. but we continue to, as i said yesterday and last week, to be concerned about the death of omar assad, a u.s. citizen found dead on january 12 after israeli soldiers detained him in the west bank we do note the public statement on the report of the i.d.f., israeli defense forces, into the case and its findings including the determination that, quote, the incident showed a clear lapse of moral judgment and a failure to, quote, protect the sanctity of any human life. the i.d.f. public summary of the
investigation further states that the disciplinary action is being taken against the commander of the battalion and other officers responsible for the unit involved in the incident. and that the military police, criminal investigation division, investigation of the case is ongoing. we expect a thorough criminal investigation and full accountability in this case and we welcome receiving additional informing on these efforts as soon as possible. we continue to discuss this troubling incident with the israeli government. reporter: so this -- what the i.d.f. announced today is not satisfactory in and of itself? you want a criminal investigation? ned: we are continuing to discuss this. these are public statements that have come from the i.d.f. again we know that the investigation itself is ongoing, it's something i expect to continue discussing. reporter: there was one other one, it's really brief and kind of minor. yesterday after his conversation with prime minister lapi
dervetion, yesterday or the day before, he tweeted something and iden fid foreign minister lapide as alternate prime minister in the tweet. he's never called him that before. so i'm just -- is there a reason for that? ned: that's his formal title. reporter: his title also foreign minister. you just decided to use his formal title yesterday? ned: there's been no change in how we view mr. lapide. he's the alternate prime minister and foreign minister. reporter: can you comment on the recent trial that participated in the protest for political reform -- reform? almost 800 people have been charged, more than 170 already convicted. some of them facing years of prison. is there a place for sanctions? can we expect a response from the u.s. government?
ned: it is true that ever since the protests that began on july 11 of last year we have seen the cuban government respond with their trademark brand of repression of their own citizens. we believe, and you've heard from us, that the cuban people just like people around the world have every right to continue to voice their desire for fundamental freedoms and we condemn the failures of the cuban government to protect those universal rights and the failure of the cuban government to meet the most basic needs of the people. again, rather than focusing on its own provision of services, its own governance, the protection of rights within cuban society, the cuban regime has responded with refretion. and it was just last month that the so-called -- were in prison
for doing nothing more than exercising ta what should be a universal right we support the rights of cubans and people everywhere to exercise their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly we call on the cue coup ban government to respect these rights and release those ungistly detained for peacefully protesting. no one should face prosecution, no one should face imprisonment, for exercising a right that is as universal in cuba as it would be anywhere else. >> is there a place for -- reporter: is there a place for new sangs given what's in place? ned: since july of last year we enacted a series of measures to promote accountability against those within the cuban government who are responsibility for -- responsible nor repression, who are responsible for the violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters last summer and in the ensuing weeks. so we will continue to look for
ways to promote accountability and to uphold and protect and promote what should be the universal rights of the cuban people. reporter: [inaudible] in relation to romanian embassy emails, 2015 and 2019, that mention a number of international business people including the president's son, hunter biden. do you have any comment on that? why has it taken so long to release these emails? ned: i don't have a comment on pending litigation. when it comes to foia requests, we possess as quickly as we can and follow the law when it comes to that. reporter: the family members of administration shouldn't be able to reach out to the state department for their own business. ned: i don't know what you're referring to specifically. you have heard from secretary blinken that this department is committed to exercising and
wielding the highest standards of conduct in office, the only thing that undergirds our decisions and decision making is the national interest. yes. reporter: two questions. the u.s. security council, to continue the discussion, russian officials are trying for this, were you disappointed? ned: i think what we saw in the security council yesterday were countries from around the world voicing concern with this russian military buildup that has needlessly provoked a crisis, an international crisis, an international threat to peace and security, the very reason the u.n. security council took this matter up in the first place and you heard from a variety of countries that the international community is behind a diplomatic path of diplomacy and dialogue. that's what we heard coming out loud and clear at the u.n. session yesterday.
reporter: have you guys decided whether wapped in burkina faso was a coup? the reason i asked is because again today the millenial challenge corporation said it suspended, it's more than 400 million, might be 450 million, anyway, they suspended a big chunk of their program to burkina faso. has the state department made a determination on this? ned: we are evaluating of the impact of what we've seen transpire in burkina faso on our engagement with the country. it's too soon for us to get into specifics in great detail but we have called for restraint by all actors as we carefully review the events on the ground for potential impact on our systems. what i san kay now is we have -- we can't to monitor the
situation. reporter: can you be more specific about that? ned: i can't. reporter: when you say most what does that mean? ned: it means most, the majority. i can come up with other synonyms. reporter: i'm looking for a number what exactly is it? less than half? ned: i'm not in a position to say that today. reporter: do you have less high standards or stringent standards than the millenial corporation does? ned: we have our own standards. reporter: your standard is set by law, it's not really your standard, it is congress' standards. ned: you are not incorrect, it is a standard we hue too. reporter: that standard has not been met. ned: it is a standard we are evaluating what has tran spriered. if we are in a position to offer
and evaluation against the standard we'll let you know. reporter: do you know, you've seen probably reports about what's happening in guy nee, do you have anything to say? ned: we're monitoring those reports closely, they just began to emerge several hours ago, we are continuing to watch closely. reporter: what about the huge differences appearing every day between the government, mali, and france and europe, and do you fear this could be a ale blow to the counterterrorism operations in the region? ned: as you know, our french allies are indispensable partners in the counterterrorism effort, whether it is in the region or beyond. but certainly in the region. when it comes to what we have seen transpire between the government of mali and our french allies i refer to them for any comments. thank you all very much.
>> the house of representatives today debated legislation to name post offices around the country. the house returns at 6:30 p.m. eastern to vote on those bills and we'll have live coverage right here on c-span. later in the week, a bill seeking to expand u.s. production of semiconductors, most are made abroad and there's currently a shortage of semiconductors resulting in higher prices for autos and electronics. live coverage of the house when they return here on c-span. >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. hear many of those conversations on c-span's new podcast, "presidential recordings." >> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson.
you'll hear about the 1964 civil rights act, the 1964 presidential gain, the gulf of tonkin incident, the march on selma and the war on vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson's secretaries knew. because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact they were the ones who made sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and theirs. >> you'll also hear some blunt talk. >> jim. >> yes, sir. >> i want a report of the number of people assigned to kennedy when he -- the day he died, the number assigned to me now. if mine are not less, i want them less right quick. >> yes, sir. >> if i can't ever go to the bathroom, i won't go. i promise you i won't go anywhere. i'll just stay right behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings, find it on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your
podcasts. >> washington unfiltered. c-span in your pocket. download c-span now today. >> pentagon press secretary john kirby said there's been no decision on u.s. troop deployment to eastern europe amid heightened tensions between russia and ukraine. he also answered questions about afghanistan, isis and hypersoonic jets. >> let me have it. >> i'm not upset, i'm disappointed.