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tv   Danish Defense Minister Discusses Support for Ukraine  CSPAN  August 31, 2022 10:46pm-11:35pm EDT

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january 20, 2023. visit our website at for competition rules. in this step-by-step guide. >> next, denmark's defense minister talks about the russian invasion of ukraine and the role of international alliances. he spoke to the atlantic council as part of his visit to washington, d.c. to meet with defense secretary lloyd austin. good afternoon. i am the vice chair of the center for strategy and security are a board director on the atlantic council. it is my pleasure to introduce his excellency morton, minister of defense of the kingdom of denmark. the illegal and unprovoked erosion war in ukraine has shattered peace on the european continent and abandoned as a transatlantic security border.
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transatlantictransatlantic insth as nato and the european union are deeply -- dealing with the fallout and preparing for what the future may hold. we have already seen solidarity and unity from the transatlantic community in providing much needed assistance to the brave, courageous ukrainian people fighting against russian aggression and in bolstering the deterrence against the russian threat. denmark has been a leader in this space and responded swiftly and decisively to the crisis. recently, the defense a minister committed to provide one point -- one point billion euros. we have provided equipment and training to boost ukraine's military capabilities. this decision comes on the heels of other danish led efforts to enhance ukraine's fighting
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capacity including by offering assistance in the training of ukraine's soldiers. denmark has stepped up to the task of bolstering its own defenses. it committed to significant new defense investments in the maritime security, other core areas which will reinforce the nordic regions and nato's collective security. denmark decided recently to join the eu's common security and defense policy. highlighting his holistic approach to strengthening european security. as we look towards the crucial months ahead of us, i look forward to hearing the minister of defense's perspective on the inflection point for the war in ukraine. next steps for the pencil and community, as well as the danish response to a changing security order, especially in the nordic, baltic neighborhood. to moderate today's discussion
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we are delighted to welcome back vivian, national security reporter for the wall street journal. to our audience, thank you for joining us from all over the world to support the discussion. we are broadcasting live on zoom as well as the website and across our social media platforms. i encourage all of you watching to join the conversation on social media and share any questions you may have using the #atacfrontpage. he has served as the danish minister since february of this year and is also the minister of taxation and a minister of justice. as a former chairman of the committee on danish intelligence services and a member of the -- since 2001. hey is an experienced leader in
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this crucial time for ukraine and the entire transatlantic community. i would like to welcome him up to the platform. we will hear from him first, he will make a statement and it will be followed by an interview. thank you again for joining us today. the floor is yours. >> thank you. thank you so much for those kind words of introduction and your reflection on security policy. i want to thank the atlantic council for inviting me today under the leadership of fred. this is more important than ever. we are grateful for our cooperation with the atlantic
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council. i look forward to continue working with you. we meet at a critical time. we are gathered here today, at the ukrainian people continue their fight for their country's survival. we do not know when the next round of deadly missiles will hit their houses, they live in daily fear for the safety of their neighbors and friends. putin has miscalculated. he thought the russian military would prevail quickly. it did not. he thought the ukrainian people would give up quickly, they did not. he thought the west would hesitate and would quickly be divided. we did not. it is critical we maintain and sustain our support to ukraine. it is critical we maintain our stamina although it winter will be cold, it is critical that we
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maintain our focus even though tv channels and entertainment continues while the war is taking place on european soil. putin must not be allowed to win. he must not be allowed to show the world that brutality wins. he must not be allowed to show that breaking rules and borders goes unconquered. he he must not be allowed to prevail that he sees might is right. that is why it is so important for us in nato and in europe to stand together now. putin's attack on ukraine is an effort to bring europe back to before the fall of the berlin wall. an effort to break the national rule-based system we have developed since the second world war. putin is longing back to the growing russian empire of colonial times.
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he sees his neighborhood states as a buffer, he can pick and choose and it is not going to happen. it is a direct attack to prosperity. we do not want to go back to the days of empire and military conquest. we have been there, we added the understanding that we cannot go back and we must not go back. that is the reason why it is important for the west to continue to stand together. i salute as a way that ukraine is fighting back so fiercely. russia has underestimated the power of freedom and self-rule. ukraine's fight for freedom is far from over and it is crucial that we continue our active support with weapons, sanctions,
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support. when need to protect our common values, democracy, peace, freedom, rights, and this fight goes on in ukraine. in august as mentioned, 26 countries gathered in copenhagen at the copenhagen ukraine conference to discuss how best to secure and enhance long-term military assistance to ukraine. with the united kingdom and ukraine together and allowance with democratic nations, they show a strong will to support ukraine. we need to push from a spreadsheet to actions and we agreed that partners would consider increased funding to enhance our production as well as training necessary to defend ukraine. in copenhagen we succeeded in raising further 3.5 billion
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dollars in support for ukraine. ukraine will keep working for support because ukraine eight is finding a -- is fighting a just war. we also feel's russia aggression. we are close to russia and the high north and the baltic sea area. the baltic nations and the three baltic nations are exposed and they need our food and military support. that is why having more than 12,000 soldiers placed will focus on latvia and estonia. that is to support the baltic area policing. putin's miscalculation by invading ukraine is also seen in another way. finland and sweden's decision to join nato is historic and highly welcome. it will make our alliance
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stronger and the atlantic area more secure. finland and sweden will have the greatest security than they had before and so will denmark and europe too. we have a long history of close collaboration among the nordic countries. it will be fully integrated with nato. this will enhance our corporation even further. i will meet with my baltic and nordic colleagues in scotland, sweden to discuss the strategic importance of the baltic and see how we can take our operations even further. i have the opportunity to meet with my good colleague, lloyd alston, this meeting is a tribute to a long-lasting friendship between our two countries. during world war two, the united
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states may tremendous sacrifice in fight for the freedom of europe. we have stood shoulder to shoulder against dictatorship and for democracy during the cold war. we stood against the terror in iraq and afghanistan for generations, the united states has been denmark's most important ally. when he to continue to stand close together -- we need to continue to stand close together, as democratic nations, we are facing a long-term and systemic challenge to our way of life. not only from russia, but also from china. that is a challenge we need to meet with firmness and some developments give me optimism. i would encourage -- i was
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encouraged by the historic decisions made regarding finland and sweden, and criticism of china's silent support. i am encouraged by the fact that denmark and the u.s. are negotiating a bilateral defense cooperation agreement it will benefit from our, security and able strengthen the bonds between our two countries. i would like to take this opportunity to thank the u.s. for its leadership. it is evident that to me, strong u.s. leadership is necessary if we are to prevail in the fundamental contracts. our values are taking place in ukraine and it is vital that we continue to sustain our support to the ukrainian people. also in the coming years, their fight is our fight. it is a fight of five
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generations, it is crucial that we maintain focus and that we in the west are ready to offer sacrifices. they cannot be compared to the sacrifices that the ukrainian people are going through. they are vital for the physical and moral survival and denmark is ready to do our share. thank you so much. thank you. >> thank you. my name is vivian of the wall street journal and it is my pleasure to host this chat at the atlantic council with denmark minister of defense -- with denmark's minister of defense. thank you for taking time to chat with us. the stay housekeeping note for attendees, you can ask questions. the encourage you -- we encourage you to ask questions by tweeting. we look forward to hearing from
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you in a few minutes. thank you for joining us. you mentioned you will be meeting with the secretary of defense lloyd alston. can you know me about what the priorities are? are there any asks from the u.s. or denmark in this meaning? >> in general, it has a the united states is -- the communication with the united states is good as ever. we other issues are on the agenda. we are developing coast nation concepts and we will be on the agenda to but ukraine is on the top of the agenda and we, as i
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have mentioned, have donations and training activities and at the conference in copenhagen -- activities. it is a relationship that is going and a long-standing relationship. >> tells about the security collaboration -- tell us about the secured -- security collaboration on ukraine -- when the conflicts of russia began. a lot of lessons of learned/-- were learned. what were the lessons? >> there is no time to be naive when you are dealing with vladimir putin. that is lesson number one. lesson number two will be, if
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you look at the european union and nato, and the positions along member states within the european union, you have the toughest sections ever. -- ever adopted and there is new structure within nato. new budgets but countries have adopted for the 2% goal and a new structure within nato and a new structure, many more host nations report for nato and the united states, more troops to the east, and there is absolutely no discussions about the rights of that. >> there is discussion as we mark the six month anniversary of the war starting. about whether or not the priority now is to consolidate,
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and protect any gains and any territory there is left or recapture all the territory. how are those conversations going with you and your counterparts? do you see yourselves as a 40 ukraine -- as supporting ukraine as a prolonged effort to recapture territory or is it about consolidating and making slower gains? >> ukraine read -- velocity -- ukraine belongs to the ukrainian people and we cannot have a europe where a power with enormous amount was -- military force can look at countries and decide when they want to attack them. we left the cold war and it is an attack that only on ukraine
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but also on the international rule-based order that we have worked for, since the fall -- ukraine belongs to the ukrainians and it is up to them to decide their future and as long as they want our support, we will support them. the measures from the european union are measures from other formations supporting ukraine with donations and weapons and other kinds. >> you mentioned in your remarks the talks that happened in copenhagen. can you characterized how those meetings meant --went? whether or not they aimed to deliver speedy and effective aid to ukraine and to get allies on the same page about the types of weapons and the quantities of weapons that ukrainians needed to really see some major
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subsectors on about a field -- set --successes on the battlefield? >> the first place was a spontaneous nation and everyone was -- had a feeling of another event. but the brutality of it came as a shock. the first part of the donation was spontaneous. we look to stocks and graphs and what we can't get in support of the ukrainian -- the second phase of donations is the -- no doubt that the american administration has taken steps -- without the american administration, we would not be where we are now. it is huge for the administration and what they have done with ukraine and
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support the ukrainian flag. we could not have done what we have done without the americans. the infrastructure is a normans and the political will behind this is anonymous and, again -- enormous and the united states, there is no question around their support. as i said, the fight of my generation and we can not have that fight with the americans. the first phase was continuous -- directed to the east of ukrainians and the first phase could perhaps beat what we organize in copenhagen, looking into the future, giving ukrainians a security of donations in the future. finding a way of common
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financing of weapons of donations, focusing on training activities. the u.k. has a huge training initiative that denmark is involved in. de-mining activities. these will be the key issues on the agenda with the donations. security of weapons donations in the future, training initiatives and de-mining initiatives will be on the first phase of the agenda. the copenhagen conference was organized with that focus and luckily, we got all the countries there. >> we talked about this battle, entering a new phase and the needless ukrainian shoulders of
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offing -- needed ukrainian soldiers evolving with that phase. news came around with this agreement the alignments because more countries were willing to send weapons that the ukrainians were bacon -- begging for while others were reluctant and there were concerns about cracks within the alliance. how have those issues that -- been addressed? would you like to see some countries within the alliance on board, including, mark -- denmark to be on board to supply heavier weapons or whatever they can to answer ukraine's most after it needs -- most desperate needs? >> i don't see any cracks in the united states -- the alliance. i don't see it in copenhagen and the european union.
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we don't see cracks up anytime -- of any kind and there are discussions of donations. this is a huge time and there is war in europe and the support for the ukraine people is -- from a european perspective but i don't see any cracks. i don't -- i see countries wanting to support the ukrainian fight and more companies -- countries breaking packages to the table. -- breaking packages to the table -- brain gained --bringing packages to the table. i don't see any cracks. >> somehow, your counterparts echo that sentiment. there are questions building in
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it so i will give one to alex. what do you see as the final outcome of putin's war and how can allies change putin's calculus? >> we are looking at a longer war and we must look at vladimir putin and russia as what it is. it is a threat to peace and this book -- stability to europe. what he has done in 2014 and now is breaking all the rules we tried to establish is -- and we must stand stronger together within nato and the european union, and other alliances. he must not succeed. that is why denmark is involved in the bark -- all 60 area -- baltic sea area. the countries that have the most soldiers -- in the baltic sea
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nations. i really think there is only one action to the putin, what we are seeing again and that is unity. a shock answer and i think there -- a strong answer and if we want to defend our values, this is the way? >> to be devils advocate, you said that putin was calculated. perhaps he didn't take heed -- as what was attended -- intended initially but russia has capital best captured portions of the country -- russia has captured portions of the country. some people have said that is a success and date -- he is reinforcing the military with additional troops. how do you address that? not the intended goal but at least a fairly successful
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campaign. >> he miscalculated heavily. he captured part of ukraine but he miscalculated. nato enlargement is one example. troops outside his door is another example. he got he could well over ukraine within a matter of weeks and thought that he would be welcomed by the ukrainians as a big favor but none of this happened. i think he underestimated the unity of the west, and our strength and willingness to support you -- the ukrainians and the position he is in and don't forget that heavy -- sanctions hurting the you -- hurting the economy -- russian economy. >> i want to ask you about nato, which released this new
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strategic concept strategy in matured -- my dread and it named the most significant and it addressed concerns about china. denmark has traditionally focused on the nordic, baltic neighborhood. are there common themes you are hearing from allies from the north when it comes to supporting ukraine or deterring russia and how is denmark addressing these concerns? >> the announcement of nato with sweetly -- sweden and finland, will affect the north to -- nordic and it will move nato north and denmark will be at the center of this, with intentions with russia in the baltic sea area. the arctic will be an area of more attention in the future. denmark is at the center of that
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and the nordic cooperation is at the center. we have discussed how we should develop a defense policy. now we have the chance within nato. most other countries what they now in the european union and -- denmark is also participating in the european defense policy. the more countries get more places to play, to develop, and to develop a defense policy. what the nordic countries are looking to is a stronger, alliance within nato and the european union. it will have an effect and on friday, i am traveling to sweden where i will meet with my nordic
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colleagues to discuss things. >> i am so glad you mentioned finland and sweden and their potential membership. how do you see their pending membership as an impact on the alliance and what do they bring to the table and how do you think the alliance will benefit? >> it will be a huge benefit. both for the nordic countries and the nordic region as a whole, but also for the nato alliance. we have had for generations and especially, the last 15 years, a closer relationship when it comes to defense policy. we had different kinds of corporations and corporations with countries outside the nordic region where we have developed training facilities
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and programs. in the baltic sea area, training activities and we have annual trading, -- training and huge exercises together. we are relatively well integrated already and i would say, i nato membership of sweden and norway will come and play because we have had a close relationship. >> this is a question that a distinguished fellow asked. do you see a new division of labor when you have finland and sweden joining as far as assuming responsibilities that other nato allies have -- >> yes, it comes to that. it is developing around the close relationship we have in the nordic countries. it is natural -- how can we
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safely corporations further in the baltic sea area and what about the arctic? can we do more there? we must not forget the most important ally is the united states and because collaboration with the united states -- and because collaboration with the united states, there is no alternative to that but we will strengthen collaboration when it comes to the baltic sea area and the height north? >> nato -- denmark does not meet the 2% -- a referendum earlier in this year showed a clear majority of the abolition of the so-called eu defense -- which stipulates people who don't follow -- to take part in maybe civilian but not eu missions are during development of weapon systems.
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how does the moving the eu defense and administration contribute to denmark's burden sharing when it comes to collective security? >> it is the possibility of taking a bigger world and we are one of the founding nations of nato. as i said, the height north and the -- height north and the baltic sea area. he issues and key areas and when it comes to the european union, the european union has focused on the other -- on other issues like cyber -- cyber defense. we must not forget, if you look at the balkans, there are tensions there it is fair to say -- and it is fair to say that it will be, with the united states focus on the -- china and the
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pacific. europe must take a bigger responsibility for the region's -- many of the baltics and the mediterranean area and denmark can play a role. it is a matter of priority when it comes to troops and how much we can be involved with the baltics -- balkans and other places but we are ready to take part of any other issues and that is why we have the referendum and bear is -- there are fields to plate when it comes to taking responsibility. >> you believe by 2033, it is a long ways away but you will be able to meet those commitments with the reprioritize -- you mentioned troops and sending
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troops to other places and what other reprioritize nations will come with that -- we prioritize -- it is agreement -- >> running up to 2023, -- as many other defenses, the venue's defense is going with a reorganization or refocusing. in afghanistan, we were involved with afghanistan and iraq. we are back from afghanistan and the mate focus -- main focus is the baltic sea area and the high north. the investments that we have to
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make will reflect that. mas investments -- in -- it means investments with capacities and abilities to react in a proper waste from the threats -- in proper ways we received threats from putin. we will see the investments we will do with defense and concentrated on the fundamental structure of the danish defense because we are facing new threats and a new nato structure that we have to react to and we are having a two area -- where we have to focus more energy. >> the referenda for long keys -- what significant news for the security alliance but what does this say about popular opinion in denmark? what has this war in ukraine
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done in regards to shifting commands about -- opinions about denmark's increased participation in military activities? >> it was an issue in the referendum in the debate. -- and the debate. the biggest yes that we have ever gotten when it comes to european issues and referendums. putin's invasion of ukraine set the agenda, but also, with sweden into nato, being the one outside was not good so we had to join and take the opportunity to form the european chair policy. >> a question from robert
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gerber. where do you see opportunities for the u.s. and nordic companies when it comes to collaborating on defense technology? >> we are in washington and we have great networks and great corporation -- call collaborations between danish and american industries. raising budgets for the defense have been discussed and there will be huge possibilities from both american industries and danish industries and european industries and -- in trying to develop the future of defenses. >> can you speak to ukraine's prospects as a potential nato ally as well as what nato can do to prevent russia from invading ukraine in the future? >> it is important that we stay
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together. as i said in my introduction, keep supporting them. they are the ones who decide their future. at they want to get closer to nato and the european union, that is their position. we have to defend their freedom and help them to defend their freedom and that is what we are doing. >> one things that -- one of the things ukrainian officials tell me is that sort of bar into nato that ukraine seems to already have fallen short of, and may empower putin down the line or any russian later down the line to think that there is only so much allies can do to help ukraine and they will inevitably be on their own in any fight, no matter how much aid is given.
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what you say -- what do you say to ukrainian officials who say without mental membership, they are alone -- nato allies ship, they are alone? >> we cannot accept your artwork country see outside its doors -- we must support ukraine and it is up to them to decide their future. as long as they want our support, we will be there and it is up to them to decide where they belong. that is a decision they will make -- make and we will help them. we have an open-door policy in nato. . this signals especially from the european union and nato and the alliance and the groups coordinating the donations.
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again, what you are seeing in europe and with great help from the american administration is a support for nations fighting for freedom. >> david ostwald, a senior fellow at the council asks how his denmark bouncing his responsibilities across the north sea, north atlantic and the baltic sea areas? >> yes, even though we are eight small country, we are heavily involved outside our borders. in iraq and the baltic sea area and we have been through the balkans before. we work in -- we were in the beginning of 2000 and we have experienced and if there is a need for a stronger presence
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there for the european union, it could be a place where we have to discuss should we contribute to that and so far, we are concentrating on iraq and the nato mission in north -- iraq and the baltic sea area and the high north. >> we are focus on ukraine. there are 500 questions but we will save it for next time. thinking practically about how the war might end, you have to offer put in some way to declare victory in order for russians to end the war and what you that will look like without copper rising ukraine security -- compromising ukraine security? >> it is not up to me. it is their country and they are the ones who should decide the future of their country. we have said it clearly from all the organizations supporting the
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donation side, the european union what the state -- with the sanctions have said that the future of ukraine is up for/-- as long as they want our support, we will be there. their fight is also our fight. i saw the fall of the berlin wall. we cannot go back to a period of history where we saw that military power was right. we can't go back to that so i think what is at stake here is a fight for their freedom, our freedom, but also be international rule-based order. they are the ones who decide the future. >> the death of mikael gorbachev remind his -- reminded us of the major shift in the late 80's.
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do you think we are in an era where the world order it is shifting again based on what we saw with the invasion of ukraine? >> i think there are challenges. it is important that the united states and europe stands together in defending that because there is only one way when it comes to building the future of the world and that is a comment recognized international will based order -- rule-based order. that is what we felt during the cold war. we cannot accept a charge like putin and others going against that. we have about three minutes left and we -- looking beyond the ukraine war, what is nato need to do in terms of posture and strategy and policy to manage an enduring russia? >> we will look at the future when it comes to nato where date
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so well organized -- nato will organize through the east. you will see in the last nato with sweden and finland, that is historic and we will see countries filling and --in at the east. like denmark and others are filling in at the optic see and for years to come, i am sorry, i think we will see more activity across the east because what we are facing is president putin and as i have said, there is only one answer to him and that is unity and strong unity and a willingness to support ukraine and a willingness to stand by the baltic sea and -- the baltic sea countries and the baltic
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states and others that feel his oppression. >> thank you so much for this discussion and thanks for the electric counsel for hosting us. i appreciate your time. everyone have a great afternoon or evening wherever you are. thank you so much. ♪ [applause] ♪ >> c. c spans washington journal. everyday we take your calls on the air on the news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, virginia tech engineering professor mark edwards, among the first to identify toxic levels of lead in the water in flint, michigan, on the water crisis in jackson,
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