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tv   Washington Journal Gerald Feierstein  CSPAN  October 19, 2018 1:16pm-2:05pm EDT

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visited with yukon public school as they work on their project for the 2019 student cam documentary competition. this year for student we are asking middle and high school students to produce a 5 to 6 minute documentary. we're awarding$100,000 in cash prizes including a grand prize of $5000 . the deadline is january 20. for more information go to our website, student cam downward. >> congress is on break until after the midterm elections with only brief pro forma sessions scheduled. members will be back for votes on tuesday, november 13 area house was expected to take up legislation funding the federal government december 7 when current
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funding expires and the senate will take up coast guard programs and a nomination for the federal reserve board. when congress returns you can see the house live on c-span. watch the senate live on cspan2. >> general fire sign is the director for affairs in institute of former deputy assistant secretary of state work near eastern affairs and mister firesign, before we get to the future of us saudi relations, your thoughts on the latest on the investigation into the disappearance of jamaal casualty, the news outlets reporting today that the saudi's suspected in the killing have ties to security services in that country your thoughts this morning as the investigation continues . >> what we're seeing is a steady drip of new information about what happened in the room, who the individuals were. as you said, i think press is reporting this morning based on information that gotten from the turks as well as their own investigation that many of the individuals involved had some kind of link directly to mohammed bin
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salman which will make the oissue more challenging to come up with an explanation that doesn't involve the crown prince directly. >> the president tweeting that the crown prince denied any knowledge of what happened at the council it. he was with secretary of state mike pompeo during that call.the president said he told me he's already started and will expand the complete investigation into this matter. i answers will be forthcoming, the president tweeted. >> guest: one hopes in the comments and the president's reaction were greeted with a great deal of skepticism in washington. here in capitol hill and elsewhere around town, i think that the burden is really on the saudi's to come
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up with a logical explanation of what exactly happened and so far i don't think that we are there. >> here's a picture from usa today of pompeo meeting with the crown prince. you think it was a mistake for him to take that meeting? >> guest: i think when the president says he was sending the secretary out, he said explicitly he was going to meet with the king and ithink that was the right move . i think that you have to get to the game. you have to get to the decision-maker in saudi arabia to explain what's the importance of this issue is for the united states and for the us saudi relationship. a meeting with the crown prince, i don't think anyone would be surprised that he would deny his involvement. >> host: senator mark warner at georgetown university was asked about president trumps reaction to jamal khashoggi's disappearance and his
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statements about what the crown prince told him. here's mark warner from yesterday. >> the notion that this is not some back alley in istanbul, this is inside the saudi consulate. with agents of the saudi's, the notion that governments like that, that the high l elected officials had an interrogation that went or i, and my concern is, and then what trump has said and clearly the saudi's and our allies: it's a dangerous neighborhood. the notion that we're going to somehow because there's some economic military sales here. we're in uncharted territory. there's never been in my lifetime and i'm 63 years old, an american president that hasn't stood up for a freepress . that hasn't stood up for every value of humanrights .
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there's never been a democrat or republican whose been willing to turn a blind eye to no matter how well the actions are. and i don't, one of the things i think donald trump does not understand is this is not all theater. and that in many ways, maybe in america we become used to his antics but in so many places around the world, the words of an american president carry weight. >> mark warner saying we are in uncharted territory. can you lay out in your mind what the us options are going i forward and where you think we should go here? >> it's a good question. and of course the administration which is looking not only at the history of the relationship that senator warner referred to but also at their own goals and objectives in the region on violent extremism,
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on iran, on the israeli palestinian account saudi arabia as the key partner in the region is going to help them achieve all of those goals are desperate to get beyond the story and to get back to a more stable relationship with the saudi's. so the president has already said that he doesn't want to consider canceling on sales. and beyond that, there really aren't very many things. the congress has already triggered the global magnets the act, which would apply sanctions against any individuals whoare involved , who are seen to be implicated in this particular attack. but that against individuals. it could go all the way up depending how the investigation goes. go to the most senior levels but it's still against
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individuals. against the kingdom itself, my understanding, we heard senator warner. we also many people heard senator graham yesterday taking very aggressively about the need to apply sanctions on saudi arabia. anger on the hill is the palpable. they could probably vote against arms sales to saudi arabia. whether that would overcome a presidential beetle or not is dubious. so beyond that, in terms of the government as long as the president doesn't want to pursue this, doesn't want to push this, the options are limited. on the other handand perhaps even more significant in terms of saudi arabia is where the business community is and of course , the saudi's were planning their big investment conference in saudi arabianext week . what they called dollars in the desert. we've seen most senior us and international business figures, jamie diamond, bill
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ford, david but trey us, all backing out of participation in that. and so the business community decides that they don't want to don't want their brand associated with saudi arabia, that's going to be a huge blow to the economic ambitions. >>. >> host: gerald feierstein talking about the disappearance of journalist jamal khashoggi. republicans 202748 2001. independence 202748 8002. you mentioned a minute ago that one of the options is to suspend arms tales. why do we sell only arms to the saudi arabia. >> the united states and saudi arabia have had close security relationships going all the way back to the immediate post-world war ii era. the united states has
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basically help saudi arabia build its entire military and security infrastructure. it's heavily dependent on us arms, us security, architecture. and this has been a tradition of going back because we recognize that the us and saudi arabia share important objectives, not only in the region but globally. we share a desire to ensure a stable energy market or the world. we share a commitment to security, regional security, global security. we've worked together on these issues for decades. afghanistan in the 1980s, looking course at the iraqi invasion of kuwait in 1991. the united states and saudi arabia have worked better for all those years on security and a lot of it is based on
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this military relationship and the infrastructure that we don't.>> i recall you tweetingrecently that why we share objectives , no one should think that we often share values with saudi arabia how does that complicated .relationship over the years and your experience? >> created stresses and strains from time to time. we and the saudi's obviously don't have the same view on the basic principle of the relationship between the state and a citizen, between the fundamental values of freedom of press, freedom of religion . these are not ideas or concepts that saudi arabia shares with us. on the other hand the saudi's tsometimes find us positions on some of the critical regional and global policies to be uncomfortable for them we've had these stresses and strains emfrom time to time,
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about the fact that we share so many important interests around the world has always allowed us to paper over those differences.>> we need them more or do they need us more? or>> i don't think it's an us or them kind of question. i think both parties, both governments have benefited from this relationship over the past 20 years. >> carol fireside taking your questions, we'll start with maryland, republican, good morning. ng>> for taking my call. one thing i want to say is that it's so amazing out most of the senators want to jump up and down and i don't mean to make this trivial because a man is dead and lost their life.i it's clear they been doing this for heaven knows how long and no one has said anything. turkey has been locking up dissidents and no one has
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said anything.all of a sudden onejournalist goes missing and in a brutal manner, whatever happened , and now the saudi's are the worst thing since heaven knowswhen. i'm not saying that's what happened is right , whatever it is that might have happened until we know what back as it is not par for the course in general. you deal with these kind of countries all over the world all the time. why is it any different? why is this administration is different? previous administrations have done that. the dreaded red line, this is a red line and he gassed an entire city twice and no one did anything or said anything. none of us nysaid this would be the one that guessed this. i can guarantee the defenses are not going to get canceled. they wouldn't have done under the previous administration and it will not get canceled in future administrations because of the importance of saudi arabia. >> i think that he makes a
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fair point and others have made a similar point. what i would say is that in fact, if it were only an issue of jamal khashoggi, we wouldn't see the reaction we are seeing but very much as the caller said, what i think that the members of congress are responding to, what the igeneral public is responding to is an accumulation of issues . including the conflict in yemen, the white of qatar, the kidnapping of the prime minister of lebanon. the internal human rights issues, the arrest and extortion of many prominent people in the ritz-carlton hotel a year ago. all of these rings have added to our growing sense of frustration on the hill and in the general public that the jamal khashoggi issue has
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simply released, that jamaal in many ways was the straw that broke thecamels back . people gave mohammed bin salman the benefit of the doubt. he was doing things he thought were good things in terms of the economy in saudi arabia, in terms of the social liberalization, bringing women into society so people were willing to overlook an awful lot of these things . jamaal i think as a particular residence in washington and elsewhere, london and new york for so many people knew him personally because he was somebody that was well regarded and well-liked in many corners in this town. >> host: did you meet him? >> guest: i knew jamaal. he came to the middle east institute and did roundtables and he was a very well-known figure around town , participated in many activities, conferences and other things so jamaal was a
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well-known person and i think this personalizes the issue for many people but your color is right, it's been a king relation ofthings. >> host: germantown maryland, john, independent .>> caller: it's not just one thing, but as gerald feierstein point pointed out, this is an american legal resident. i think they may even be citizens, i don't know but i was just talking about the international criminal court, it's the story from the turkish people are true of a 15 member hit squad and both they and the crown prince himself should be indicted. maybe we can do anything that way but there should be a giant petition with a lot of american citizens demanding that congress promote that idea. this man is a butcher. and it's got to stop.
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and i'm so glad to finally some people in congress are talking about let's see if they will stand up to them. this is resident trumps lowest moment and he had so many lowmoments, we got back on it, thank you very much . >> host: >> guest: i think as the th caller said, the us is not a party to the court of justice but we do have the global magnet the act and the congress has triggered that which requires the administration to do its investigation and to try to identify individuals responsible so we will go forward on that. there's a 24 daytime period where the administration after responding to the congressional call. >> you were talking about the benefit of the doubt a minute ago, why do you think president trump is still getting the crown prince the benefit of the doubt at this point, with everything that seems to be coming out in the news, the leaks that have been coming out from turkish authorities? >> i think again for the
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administration, this has to be a terribly challenging moment for them because so much of their policy is dependent on saudi arabia and because they have identified mohammed bin salman personally as the leader of going to help s them achieve their goals in the region. he's got a very close relationship with jared kushner. they talk frequently, particularly about the israeli palestinian account, but even beyond that i think that they saw in mohammed bin salman the kind of new dynamic leadership in saudi arabia that they believe will help achieve a us foreign policy goal in the region. >> can you talk about the history of president trump's relationship with saudi officials and the trump organization's relationship as well, president trump tweeting amidst this
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discussion about us saudi relations, for the record had no financial interest in saudi arabia or russia, any suggestion that i have is just more fake news of which there is plenty, he said. >> ithink if you go back , there have been a number of instances where there have been references to long-standing relationships between president trump and , members of the trump family with saudi arabia. with senior saudi business leaders, inwho of course was a patron of jamal khashoggi's and the close friend as well as with others so there's been discussion about the possibility. >> fox news with it to yesterday going back through
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donald trump's lifetime, in 1991 he sold a yacht to a saudi prince, in 2001 soldthe 45th war of the trump world tower to the saudi's , on june 2015, saying i love the saudi's, many live in trump tower, august 2015 ami apartments from me. they spend $40-$50 million in 2017, audi lobbyists spent $270,000 just president trump's dc hotel. >> this is a relationship that goes back and obviously the president has probably has known and close at the two saudi business figures. then mohammed bin salman came here early in the administration and established that close personal relationship with jared kushner. >> host: baldwinsville massachusetts is next, independent, good morning . >> my point or today will be that i'm sorry, but i don't see anything good about the saudi's, i don't see anything
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good about the iraqis or the pakistanis. all these muslim countries, they're not kinda people, any of them. it will what are you in a heartbeat, they will butcher each other in a heartbeat and if you want to hang out with them, those are the people you're going to be hanging out with. if you want to do business, that the business they do and that's how they eido their business though i don't understand what everybody's so surprisedabout. they just allowed their women to drive for goodness sake . they have no morals when it orcomes to females. no morals when it comes to life so it's amazing everybody thinks these guys areoutstanding citizens and we need to be doing business with them . >> host: gerald feierstein. >> he mentioned a couple of the countries i served in, i spent a couple of a long time in saudi arabia. many other muslim societies over a 40 year career and i have to say that i found
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people in those societies pretty much to be the same as people everywhere in the world. you have good people, not so good people. basically there are people and they have very close friends, people i respect a lot, feierstein was somebody who many of us knew very well and had a lot of regard for r as a very decent and upstanding human being, so you can'tgeneralize about people. >> katrina is next, independent, good morning . >> good morning. i want to make a comment. because in the united states, we have a. [inaudible] for what i see, as soon as they let the mints go, they started with the reporter pointing out
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information. before that they did nothing. have aholiday know that they say now. mark . >> because if something is going on with the trumps, and i hope the president investigates them all out. because that something doesn't go at all. so i don't know. that's my opinion, that's what i see. because that went right back to russia. probably china too. so they have a lot against the southeast. >>. >> host: >> we have had our issues and our challenges turkey. and some of the concerns about turkish policy, particularly also human rights violations and other things. the president was very pleased the other day about rthe release of pastor bronson after a couple years in captivity but yes, there are
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issues between the united states and turkey that also need to be developed. >> host: is this incident bringing the united states and turkey closer together? >> guest: i wouldn't say the incident has changed the nature of the relationship between the united states and turkey. secretary pompeo is on his way to meet with senior turkish officials to discuss this issue and probably other issues as well. though i would say that this is an tuissue where the us and particularly american investigators can work together to try to understand a little bit about what happened so there's areas for corroboration here but in terms of the overall relationship, i wouldn't say it would have an effect. >> host: you worked in the region for a long time. were you surprised about the quick drip of information about the turkish investigation into what happened with jamal es khashoggi?
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>> guest: the turks saw an advantage in terms of getting the story out . and you know, probably holding the saudi's feet to the fire. >> host: michael is up next in eatonville new jersey, a democrat. >> caller: it seems obvious to me that ourgovernment has taken a position that the ends justify the means and i understand a little bit about the complexities of the middle east and how we need to have alliances . the point i'm trying to get is where do we finally draw the line in the sand that we can't cross? maybe an author gets adopted in this country or even worse, some attacks lindsey graham for what he said? where is our country going to draw the line? can anybody tell me? >> guest: you always try to balance these relationships and these are difficult and i
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think that somebody is always going to be a little bit unhappy about where you put gthe balance and again, as we discussed, our relationship with saudi arabia is not based on values. it's not like the relationship with the uk or western europe. it's a relationship that's based on a set of shared interests and principles that have held true over almost 3/4 of a century through democratic andrepublican administrations . i think that this is an important thing. i think the relationship with saudi arabia has contributed to us national security and our goals and objectives over those years so do we sometimes accept things from saudi arabia that we might not accept from a different country, probably that's true. what you have to balance
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these things and you have to look at the totality of your interests and you can't simply single one thing out and say we're going to base our relationship on this one factor and nothing else is going to matter. >> host: with saudi interests in yemen, what is our interest in yemen right now? >> guest: saudi arabia is a neighbor of yemen and sees yemen as a security and stability as directly affecting their own internal security. so for saudi arabia and yemen right now, they see the developments there as nest and x essential threat to their own security. i think that what the saudi objectives are in yemen are issues that we don't necessarily disagree with. i think the saudi see that the security of their border with yemen is important. they see the importance of having a friendly government that they can work with and
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cooperate with. and they also see a threat from iranian expansion into the arabian peninsula that would be directly provocative to their own security. so those are the basic fundamental principles of why the saudi's felt in 2015 a needed to take measures to stabilize the situation, to go in and reverse what seemed to be a coup d'ctat against a legitimate government that we had all cooperated and created in developing? the criticism of the saudi arabia israeli over its implementation of this war. and the criticism is justified. the way the saudi's gone about the military conflict has been a disaster. it's been a debacle for the yemeni people as well as for the international community, so those concerns are legitimate. the unhappiness that people feel about it, but the
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fundamental principles of what was driving saudi arabia to yemen in the first place, i think i was in the obama administration at that time. we agreed with the saudi's. we supported the saudi decision. i think that was the right decision at the time and i think that still, we should be helping the saudi's achieve what are their legitimate objectives while trying also to push for a political resolution to the conflict? >> user in yemen during your time at the state department. >> i was a massacre from 2010 to 2013 and gerald feinstein with us for the next 15 5 minutes, taking your calls on saudi relations on the investigation that continues into the disappearance, the presumed death of jamal khashoggi. thank you for waiting in georgia, a democrat . >> caller: >> didn't say anything to his
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crown, king salamon because he straight up deals with saudi's. so many democracies and big saudi money and don't forget that today is the international day for eradication of poverty. for three years, this country has been wracked by a proxy war, the saudi us war and it's killing 413 children a day. in its human humanitarian crisis in the world. this political consideration calls us to forget what is being done to yemen children. we shouldn't support saudi's and i will be so happy to learn your comments and the other colors comments .
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>> guest: the situation in yemen is a disaster. there's no question. it's a humanitarian disaster for the yemeni people. the united states supports the efforts of the united nations, the envoy martin griffith to try to find a political solution to end the fighting, address the humanitarian crisis, try to get the economy going again so that yemenis will be able to have the means to support themselves and to cover their basics necessities. although things are part of the united states approach to the yemen conflict and of course also work with our partners, with the saudi, with other members of the saudi led coalition to try to get them also to support the political resolution of the conflict, but we also shouldn't lose sight of the fact audi arabia didn't start
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the war. saudi arabia was not war and this is not a war between saudi arabia and yemen. it's a civil war inside yemen started by the efforts of one group, the huthis to overthrow the legitimate government. the saudi's intervened after the war started. the huthis came into sinai in 2014. the conflict with the saudi start until six months later so yes, this is a catastrophe. we all need to try to find a peaceful way out of it and the way to go forward but we can only say this is a saudi is issue, that this is they saudi's doing this, they are not . >>. >> host: betsy, good morning. >> caller: i would like to say the man agreement or any agreement with any arab
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country, it's useless because they have five different words for wine,five different types of wine.they are in red, you can look that up . their child molesters. >> host: that's your comments, i don't know if there's anything you want to add we were the ones who withdrew from the jcp eaway, even though the international atomic energy commission and all the other partners of the jcp oa said that the iranians were fulfilling their obligations so i'm not sure what you make of that. >> a story from busty news, the headline washington think tank still divided on whether to return saudi donations over journalists disappearance. two questions, why does saudi arabia invest so much in washington think tanks and rotwo, does the middle east institute take money from saudi arabia? >> i think the board of
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directors issued a statement the other day a sickly saying that they were no longer going to take saudi funding until there is some clarification of what happened with jamal khashoggi so that the position of an ei. other think tanks are also considering their own relationships . i think what we've seen over the past few years is a decision on the part of not only the saudi's but other states in the region. that they needed to do more, that they needed to be part of the conversation here in washington and the united states about issues that are of great concern to them. in the past, we have had relationships with the saudi's, partially on the arts and culture side. we work with saudi arabia also on the other side and i would say that their relationship with the middle east institute has never been aimed at trying to influence anything that middle east
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institute said or did. we've never had any kind of strings attached to the relationship, but in the meantime because of the concern that exists right now about where saudi arabia is, where the crown prince is, d that the board made a decision we are going to stop . >> host: what does saudi arabia get out of donating to the institute? if there's no strings attached like you say, why do they keep doing it to the tune of millions of dollars? >> they believe and of course other governments have done the same, israelis have participated and then part of the public dialogue in the united states for many years. and i think that these governments see that it is important for them to be able to ensure that their issues are discussed. >> time for a few more calls with gerald fireside with us forthe next five or six minutes.william, new york
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city, independent, thanks for waiting . >> morning sir. good morning to your guest. first, i want to make a statement. a trumpet anministration and these republicans must be thinking we are stupid. why would it take a bone saw boover there and why would they wait for two weeks to keep on changing the story? why did it make them repeat and block us and why would they take a forensic expert and why did c6 million people go there and where is the body? mister trump must be thinking we are stupid but that's because is an ignorant man and he is not interesting. >> i think that the caller identified issues that are on the table and that where i think that we and everybody else are waiting for explanations. >> you're in pennsylvania, republican. >> good morning john.
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john, i'd like to say first of all i've been trying to call at least 500 times. the cabin on hearings so i'd appreciate it if you'd let me finish my comments. you guys have a habit of pushing that button to shut people off. let me finish mycomments, i called many times . >> host: what's your question? >> caller: let's stay on the subject. we have no proof of anything. we have turkey saying this, saying that they have video, audio but we've seen no proof of what happened . this doesn't even matter. what i want to say john and let me finish, is that c-span , washington journal has become part of cnn, msnbc. you guys are right in between.
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i see all this crap of people coming on here ripping up trump . you guys have these guests who are objective to trump and his policies and i want to tell you, i called from my home phone number and you guys never answer the phone. you guys have a way of blocking numbers because i called from a different number and i got an answer. >> host: bill, you clearly were able to go in. we do our best to book guests from all sides of the political spectrum to make this a townhall format for everyone to be able to call in. stick around for a discussion because later in our program we are talking with republicans only, asking about your thoughts on the agenda or the next congress. were going to do that with democrats as well today so i hope you keep watching. i hope you can see we tried
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to create a format s where all sides can be heard. but we will go to pennsylvania, saying, good morning . >> good morning. i'd just like to make a comment about i really feel like it's possible that trump unfortunately and whoever else works with them, they seem to me to be in somebody's back pocket. just speaking about weapons deals and saying you want to move forward with weapons deals even though you've seen what's happening here. you're going to get these kind of people even more power to destroy in the way that they are and the fact of the matter is, it's likely they torturedthat guy before they killed him . they didn't like him. he said a lot of bad things about them and they got angry with him and they did something about it. and to lay in bed with people who are really doing that kind of destructive thing just for money, that says
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something. i'm a christian person and i don't vote for reasons just like this. now all of a sudden it would have been my vote that put insomeone into office that's laying in bed with such an evil person. i recognize it's not resisting evil but to lay in bed with evil, that's a whole lot worse. so that's my comment. i just hope we can figure thesethings out . >> host: mister feierstein. >> guest: indeed we need to know what happened and to draw our conclusions based on that, so there's really not much more to say. >> host: in indiana, republican, good morning. >> caller: i would like to know why nobody in the american media is discussing the fact that this man was associated with a terrorist organization, the muslim
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brotherhood fordecades . >> host: who are you referring to, jamal khashoggi? >> caller: yessir . >> host: >> guest: the allegation has been made about jamaal. it is true as a student he did have some brief relationship with the muslim brotherhood. whether you consider the muslim brotherhood to be a terrorist organization is another story but i can say that i've known jamaal for the last several years and is whatever association he might have had in the past was no longer a factor. he was not part of the muslim brotherhood. >> host: your thoughts on some of the news about how saudi arabia is pulling back some of its ambassadors. this report from the independent, the turkish foreign ministry calling saudi ambassadors back to turkey. reports that the saudi ambassador to the united udstates left the us last week. what do you make of those
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reports?>> guest: it's interesting. there's a big question out there about whether or not the saudi ambassador here who's a full brother of the crown prince has only returned to the kingdom temporarily or has hedeparted permanently . other diplomats have gone home. one doesn't really know, it could just be for consultations or be because they don't want people who might have some implication in all of this to be around, where they might be questioned. >> host: gerald feierstein is director for the center for gulf affairs at the middle eastinstitute, thanks for your time and come back again . >> guest: it's always a pleasure.
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>> journalist and author beth macy with her book don't six, dealers, doctors and the drug company that addicted america. she's interviewed by democratic congressman gerald conley from virginia. >> i started to hear from policemen and other sources that so much of the drug crimes, so much of the crime in the communities was drug fueled, mostly by methamphetamines and heroin and i thought heroine, heroine in rural areas? how is that happening? sure enough, it was and i didn't understand at the time how it had been, how heroin and oxycontin and other opioid pills were connected. i didn't understand they were chemical cousins and that if people were initially addicted to prescribed opioids whether it be oxycontin or percocet or delighted or whatever, once they are addicted and they get caught off, they get dope sick and that fuels them to have to get more and when the pills get expensive and hard to get, around the time oxycontin was reformulated in
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2010 and the early teens, drug cartels started bringing heroine in knowing that the fear of becoming dope sick or tended one hell of a business model . >> watch "after words" at 9 pm eastern on cspan2's book tv. >> congress is on break until after the midterms with only brief pro forma sessions scheduled. members will be back for votes on tuesday, november 13. the house expected to take up legislation funding the government passed december 7 when current funding expires and the senate will take up coast guard programs and a nomination for the federal reserve board. when congress returns you can see the house live on c-span,
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watch the senate live on cspan2. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> .. live coverage on c-span2, we expected to start in just a moment.
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