tv Russian Influence Panel at Politicon CSPAN November 5, 2018 8:00am-9:05am EST
all weekend every weekend. join us again next saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. eastern. i discussion on a russian influence in the united states. then the former new jersey governor talks about the future of the republican party. a live discussion on artificial intelligence. now i discussion on russian influence in the united states. this is part of a conference hosted in los angeles. .. ..
take a quick minute to do a little more detailed introduction of our panelists. malcolm nance is a counterterrorism intelligence consultant, u.s. government special operation so much good and intelligence agencies, also characters and analyst for nbc news and msnbc. he assisted investigation of the world trade center attacks, trained government agency personnel on terrorist attacks in counting extremist ideology including u.s. department of defense, homeland security. it would get in any trouble on the stage, malcolm, you are in charge. next is vince houghton, curator of the international spy museum. he has a phd in diplomatic and military history from the finest edition university of maryland where my oldest daughter is a
student. [applause] his research centered on your scientific and technological intelligence, nuclear intelligence in the second world war an early cold war. then we have an award-winning filmmaker. jack completed his first documentary feature life after dark with anthony borden and chronicles life and death of new york's most notorious -- his latest film explores the interconnected rise of donald trump and vladimir putin and features interviews with subjects including hillary clinton, senator mccain and michael mccaul. >> virginia heffernan is a columnist, radios, critic and author most recently of magic in moscow the internet as arctic she writes a weekly opinion column for the "l.a. times" and the monthly culture column for
wired. she also serves as host of slate trump cast. in 2002 she received a phd in phd in english and american literature from harvard. and finally bill kristol is found an editor at large of the weekly standard. he appears frequently as the leading political commentator shows, before starting the weekly standard in 1995, he led the project for the republican future where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 republican congressional victory. before that he served in senior positions in the reagan and bush administration's, and taught at the university of pennsylvania and harvard. thank you, panelists, for being here. [applause] >> before we get to our first question, i wanted to just sort of discuss what happened yesterday. the justice department yesterday revealed charges against a
russian national, a a woman accused of being the financial manager of a kremlin backed operation that in its own words sought to wage information warfare against the united states. director of national intelligence in washington yesterday released a new statement saying we are concerned about ongoing campaigns by russia, china and other foreign actors to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment in government policies. these activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in 2018 and 2020. a new indictment, statement of warning, great morning from the director of national intelligence, the interference in 2016 did not end. it still happening. we are facing it now. these are government officials who are worried about it. in california there is a a reference to california in this indictment yesterday. talked about the sort of talking points that the kremlin troll
factory was given in turn the tide to sow division in california races. one of the lines was for these trolls in st. petersburg to try to raise questions about the number of registered voters in various precincts and counties, and with the messaging all legal voters must be kept with them about boxes at distances quote, beyond artillery firing range. this is a message russia wanted to spread across our social media platforms for this race right now in this state. here we are on a panel when we're talking about the collusion delusion. i want to start by asking our panelists, start with you virginia, why is delusion in the title for this panel? who isn't diluted? >> i question both. we just had enough of following
this collision. there's 2 billion pieces of investigative reporting, enterprising by journalist named robert mueller. one is the february indictment of the ira gang, and the other is more recent indictment, billy military, gru, the charge of conspiracy to defraud the united states, talking about a fraud charge. this isn't, was there a handshake? did they or did they actually sit with the russians, put never trumper whoever sit said real e one thing or another to each other. for specific charge. i would also question collusion. delusion, i don't give anytime to. sowing doubt about actual indictment for more department of justice, it's like your question of birth certificate. i mean, these are empirical documents.
indictments, but to anyone who's ever worked in justice department knows these are brilliantly detailed, meticulous indictments and yet nothing else to read on the subject but the output, the court documents that come from that office. malcolm is maybe an exception for the rest of us are guessing what that exactly is going to be. there have been wonderful exposés by journalists and metal journals have done a brilliant job. we are people in trump cast to work with mueller, james comey, to speculate about it all. that's very useful but you get the real story until you reach indictment. to call a delusion is part of disinformation, frankly, and suggests the president is a favorite phrase collusion. and honestly, i was so glad greg mentioned the recent indictments because this is ongoing.
just give an from the recent indictments, one of the phrases that was released into twitter was something islamophobic come to us retweeted by none other than and called who is the best this weekend. and then -- ann coulter -- another one that had some sort of radical charge of rape and so forth was retweeted by rose mcgowan. we are all susceptible to this, and some signs of the infection that is disinformation and the kind of -- in shakespeare, always telling you your wife is sleeping with someone else, or like the liberals are a mob. to get you insane. some of the panels even here seem to reflect a commitment, the idea that there's like some
cogent position by neo-nazis can sum of four here and we need to take it seriously as a bipartisan of that type of disinformation. the word dilution partakes partakes of that. [applause] >> i get specific wishing for each of you but his or anybody else who wants to start to take a stab at this one? vince, looks like you have a thought or two. >> is this on? this is candidate kind of a bie question, the idea of who are going to believe? there's a great panel tomorrow that i think is really going into these issues and ideas of the things we always, i don't care if you're republican or democrat, you trusted certain elements within our government. some cases it was the fbi. hoover or whoever the top, the fbi was the fbi. the cia, latin american dictatorship here or there.
but intelligence, especially given the policymakers, was supposed to be beyond politics. now we're at a point where we are questioning kind of basic truth and that seems like we can't even take that next to have a conversation about important stuff. we can even agree, like bill clinton argued with the definition of the word is is. we can have basic conversations. collusion or delusion or any of the saints, because we don't have the foundation for having basic conversation. that's why i'm, the same idea, how do have this collusion argument when we can agree on core issues? >> let me turn to you, bill. hopefully this isn't too naked apart from a book, but we talk in your background about your role in helping to shape the
republican party, helping working for two different administrations. i would ask the question that gets at where the party is now and how you explain or so to diagnose it. one of the themes in the book that is really jumped out and got more attention than i expected it would is a confrontation in the middle of the 2016 race between cia director john brennan and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. brennan is going to feel, ringing classified files to show them what russia is doing. oh, my god can weave noticing anything like this before, we've got to do something about it. and mcconnell stuns him appear rather than saying you're right, what the hell is going on? mcconnell says you're trying to screw our nominee. not only am i going to refused to condemn vladimir putin or accuse the criminal of
interference in the election, i will accuse the obama administration of interference in the election if you guys do what you are going to do what you guys are thank you going to do. how did we cater? maybe should ask mitch mcconnell. then it was a pretty political agency director and it breaks up involved in politics to the degree to which agency directors had not been the suspicion of them on the hill among republicans but that doesn't excuse what mcconnell said. at the end of the mitch mcconnell had zero power over this and he could've criticized them. the "new york times," didn't think publish the famous article, intelligence agency -- i don't know. seems like people did have trouble processing i think the degree and purposefulness of the russian interference in the russian conspiracy to meddle in our election, whether how much different americans colluded
come if i can use that word, or involved in conspiracy. we hope the special counsel let the rest of us know and congress will or will not have indictments. in terms of the republican party, i think the party was pretty anti-putin. certain pressure within congress, a hawkish stance against putin, then trump was the nominee and you saw the beginning -- i do want to put everything in trump. he's a symptom who also becomes a cause and a pretty big cause. once trump is the nominee and he supports pro-putin let's say, we seen that adjustment in a way that's very distressing and to think somewhat surprising to me the degree to which the president is powerful. still the degree of accommodation is very shocking. i think it's very, mcconnell,
to the degree mcconnell made a difference i guess we don't know that in terms of the administration. >> it's fair to say obama was looking for a bipartisan statement from, he needed cooperation from republicans. he could've said more on his own anything hillary clinton deeply resents the fact that he didn't. i think that's fair criticism. i just wonder if we are, wasn't always this way or did we have some misapprehension about the extent to which partisan impulses would surface and overwhelm in moments of a real security threat? >> the parties have become more partisan and the coach has become mortified on partisan grounds over the last two years. to be fair, the republican party
supported president obama on foreign policy issues, some of the much more than the democrats, on afghanistan come on intelligence issues. which is the party that voted for the nsa kind of policies that the obama administration one that it could not get a majority of democrats on? republicans. they were hawkish so whether you have an administration, let's call it in a more hawkish direction, republican twitter. on trade, the partisanship, the republicans gave president obama we sculpt fast-track authority, the authority to negotiate the trade deal that he couldn't get the majority of democrats who were suspicious of that. i've got to say the with a lot of partisanship that didn't stop at the water's edge. benghazi, a lot going on the cost -- maybe republicans, i'll accept that. i do think trump is the key change.
i believe if marco rubio or jeb bush skywalk, whoever you want for the republican nominee, would've been a joint statement by the nominee and hillary clinton denouncing interference. they would've called mitch mcconnell and paul runco we should all operate together. it would've been different. trump was a big problem as nominee and he is a bigger problem as president. >> can i turn to you for a second? i want to tap, this is a panel on russian want to tap your expertise on middle east for a second if i can. with saudi arabia last fired top five officials and arrested 18 other saying one of my codes at the "washington post" jamal khashoggi was killed in a fistfight at the consulate in turkey -- one of my colleagues -- this happened after the secretary of state mike pompeo went to riyadh and after trump said that he wondered about rogue killers. and then later this past week
celebrated the beating of an american journalist in montana. what do these developments in saudi arabia tell us about how the rest of the world is reacting to this particular era in american leadership? >> i just came back from the rest of the world. i just spent two weeks in london and paris, and giving speeches in helping get out the vote over there. one image of us is universal, and this would come all the way back around to russia. because the president of the united states right now, donald trump, has decided that america will no longer be what america has been for 243 years, and definitely everything since the end of world war ii, he wants to dismantle it. that's the atlantic alliance, our principal agreements, trade agreements. so riyadh had been watching this with the rise of their new young
crown prince, mohammad bin salman on. so the first time in american history, and i just, i lived there for seven years, not in saudi arabia but in the united arab emirates just prior to coming back to the states a few years ago. they saw a present a united states who could be bought and prior to that no president of the united states could truly individually be purchased by them. barack obama couldn't be purchased. george w. bush, they had interest but the interest american interests. donald trump change that dynamic. they saw that he was a luxury businessman. a master luxury of it. everything is luxurious, right? so they saw that this guy would work for his own interest, his families interests in the united states dignity and his honor and
human rights could be purchased, that is exactly what he told them when he went to riyadh last year. he said the united states will no longer be considered human rights and other factors in your own nation as a reason to do business with you. which is another way of saying we're going to throw out all of the american experiment and are foreign policy as it has existed since the barbary wars, and we are no longer going to live my american values. and the saudis love that. that emboldened them in trump's attacks and jared kushner secret communications and help prince mohammed bin salman purchase government using u.s. intelligence, right? jared kushner went there with use intelligence. 48 hours later every rich prince above mohammed bin salman had been arrested. including one of the richest men in the world, right?
so this use of that information is a power politics dynamic that could not be bought before. and once that was done, combined with his tax on the press, they saw america going in a completely different direction, which is true. the way that they have always wanted to see america go. a nation that could be like their subcontractors, at the work over there as a subcontractor, could be bought, paid for and told what to do. and now they have done and it felt emboldened to get a u.s. resident from virginia who is a saudi citizen to send in an assassination team to abduct him and murder him, and they are surprised that we are getting upset. but they are just waiting for donald trump to get the deal. and it is a deal that is being cut because trump has already essentially said we have their excuse, good enough for me. i call this now before
kavanaugh, right? where you can just lie and then that lie is now acceptable and i'll call it a sufficient investigation. [applause] now, , malcolm, what does that have to do with russia? i wrote two books on this. as a matter fact i would be so bold to say i am the first person in the united states in media on july 25, 2016, i went on television, msnbc had no idea what oskaloosa and i said the united states is under attack in a wide-ranging deep suborder and information worker operation aimed at splitting the democratic party in half and electing donald trump president. president. then i wrote another book, my first book, the came of five weeks before the election. we are under attack. there is no delusion. the only delusion are those people who no longer care about
america's values. ended when his has this is just the way it was, you know, and here's the donald trump's belief. these people literally are throwing out everything they believed before and there's a reason for that. in my second, the plot to destroy democracy, i have three chapters on how russia uses information worker. this is all kgb stuff. but it couldn't move fast enough in a time of printing presses and newspapers. only computers and social media weaponized your freedom of speech. and your freedom of speech allows them to carry out a technique that is not in the nato cyber wherefore -- were for manual known as perception management. they craft your reality. donald trump's decision-making algorithm was created within the
russian sphere of influence. that's why when he came out and started talking about foreign policy, the first thing that he talks about is they know it's obsolete. everybody looked around and said where did that come from? russia. the european union should be dismantled. russia. these are objectives of our adversaries, not of our nation. we have not had one-third of the american publics perception of reality is engineered by a foreign intelligence agency, weaponized through our own information system, propagated through your friends and family, and now we don't believe what we ever believed. we are so screwed. >> you can't be in a pocket of the russians and the saudi at the same time. you cannot be in the pockets of the russians and the souders at
the same time. >> let me tell you really quickly how you can be. because when you don't care how you win, you would take assistance from anybody. and if that means treason, so be it. [applause] if that means the saudi scum did you and promise you riches, so be it. if that means the israelis come to you and say that we can engineer your social media, i have said this on television about 500 time since 2016. there are multiple, dirty trick teams being investigated by the special counsel. not one. multiple once. so yeah, you can do that. i've seen people who have committed treason for multiple reasons, not just one. >> my point being though is that you can have these countries the thing they're going to run this foreign policy paying him off, specially something as is diametrically exposed as a saudi royal family and russia. russia is cleansed it is iran and iran who is the moral in any
of the souders. the dumb person in the room, we've had that conversation about who that is, but the saudis are not idiots. putin is not an idiot. the israelis are not idiots. they might be speedy common denominator here. donald trump. and they know he's an idiot. therefore, they can play him. every human intelligence officer can tell you you recruit stupid people who are willing to look out for the own interests to portray the nation. so yes, they can work with all -- the old school realpolitik people would believe that your three ideological factors from these nations cannot compete with each other. but when it's money, it works. >> i have a question for you about, both of you. how does the relatively small group of people spread across
three states, how did he sees trump as a strong leader and he is a cortisone beholden to these bookies? and my mixing of the gender stuff? but anyway, and a puppet and whatever else? he is such a constant source of humiliation for the country and they have made us a laughingstock. i just don't know as a come up to the midterms how he still represents like a republican patriarch in any way. i mean, he seems to be, he is allowed. >> he doesn't. i used to be a republican. he doesn't represent conservatism. he represents trumpism. >> i want to get jack in the conversation. if you haven't seen his documented, it's really terrific. terrific. i hope you will. he does terrific interview with senator john mccain.
must be amazing free to go back and look at that footage now. i would just like to ask you, since you put the film to bed, what do you think we have learned since then, the baby of your film and what you think we still need to learn about russian immigrants in 2016 and 2018 and relationship with trump? >> since it's come up doing thing that is, since the film came out that a wish was in it was one of the things we did in film if you haven't seen is would go back to of the times rushers anything with elections in you. they basically figured out that playbook and applied it here. much of the film is lack of chance, they came from ukraine. paul manafort ran that campaign. in georgia, for example, the russian oligarchs the countrymen against pro-western candidate which he would be nice if we had a good relationship with russia. things like that. and so in the mobile indictment there was sort of a comparable
thing in ukraine that i would've liked to have had that, basically they accused of murder, having some purple, a a small time person in the campaign murdered. i think what has yet to come out, i think this sort of, there are two camps of that. a lot of this will be done by journalism is confirming things we already, suspected or already of the. i think a lot of stores will be coming out in the next few weeks that really nailed down stuff that we've heard about. i think there's another tranche of things we have not heard yet. my understanding, and wish i had more on this is there's a lot of stuff can name set of not been in the press, events we have not heard about that are going to be included in what comes next also
i would watch the other investigations, the district of virginia, district in your and your ag, a lot of interesting stuff that isn't necessarily completely connected but which is certainly not disconnected from the russian collusion. >> thanks. thence, i would ask you, if you can help us put what we put 32016 and a broader context. because what we've seen since then is holy remarkable from russia. we've seen it dented assassination of a former russian military officer in salisbury, england, and his daughter. the end of being discovered on a park bench unconscious exposed to soviet tocsin. and we seem recently these indictments of these efforts to target anti-doping agencies we have seen efforts to target other institutions and soda
putin regards almost as personal adversaries. in some ways these are personal enemies he is turning russia's cyber cubicles against. at the same time almost comical have had the tradecraft has been. yet rental cars full of equipment, authorities just lift the trunk and expose this plot in europe. crazy stories that these would-be assassin tried to tell about the trip to salisbury to see a stupid church fire they read about on wikipedia. what's going on. >> with the russians and redefine the concept of, limited the first part of -- the idea was to present some kind of plausible deniability, like let's overthrow the iranian leader in 1953. everyone knows we did it but you can't prove anything. a lot of forma kg people we are
associate with, they disown putin. they say he's former kgb, like not our kgb. the kgb in the '60s and 70s was a professional intelligence organization. when they did covert action you're your no idea they were doing covert action until much later if at all. goes back to an old install the phrase. putin is more like stolen. stalin was always asked how do you reconcile the fact that you equipment, your tanks, soldiers are not as good as anybody else. stalin said look, quantity has a quality all its own. he just threw been at the situation. that's what the putin intelligence agencies are doing. they are just the numbers at the rest of the world. it is not like our counterintelligence has gotten so much better that we are catching everybody. it's that their bumbling and stumbling. the operation ghost stories, you might remember in 2010 the russian redheaded femme fatale
that was arrested along with nine other. they are idiots. they were. they track them for a decade before they finally rolled them up. they were getting too close to the hillary clinton campaign which is interesting. but the just did not take the time to spend five years of the kgb academy to get really, really good at doing espionage. no, they got about nine months and then ssml. that's why we are catching on the bots because the bots forget to turn off their locations on twitter and have like kaepernick is a hero sent, -- [laughing] i like calling, too. they got to the point where it doesn't matter anymore. there's so much volume that you can get something to adventure. >> it's more intimidating if it's a brazen. dissonance talk about this.
it's more intimidating if you know what, we don't care if you know. we are doing it and we will not get punished for. putin has not paid much of a price for. the saudis, we'll see if they pay a price within them that if they get away with it, it's more effective than true covert operations which you get what you did covertly. you don't get the ripple effect of intimidation. i think putin in a certain way, as with stalin, they were ludicrous. nobody believed his confessions but despite that were not believable it showed just how powerful stalin was. >> there were not stupid and clumsy enough not to work. [talking over each other] >> he was traded so we captured -- we traded them back to the
russian leon panetta got on the phone, made this trade for three of our assets. he was one of them. in the history of intelligence going back to the renaissance, if you made us by trade, they were off-limits. you were agreeing that the early the rest of natural life and we won't touch them. in five minutes of some really bad tradecraft gru poisoning, he changed the rules that have been around for 400 jews. diplomats were supposed be off-limits. there's an exceptional video american to put in moscow getting the shit kicked out of him as he tried to drag himself inside the american embassy there. there's just speedy which happens almost to the day up to our meeting. >> just rewriting the way things are done. >> all of this is correct because russia has adopted under putin what i wrote him a book i called the degassed attitude. don't give an f we don't care.
so when i saw that, we analyze that, you have to ask yourself as an intelligent professional why. what's the intervening factor? what's the strategic play? when i wrote about russia's overarching strategy became very clear in the run-up to the 2016 election. that starting in 2012 had co-opted a very large part of the conservative movement, evangelicals were funny conferences in russia. the alt-right was rising under steve bannon, which was position themselves like a russian, their political storm trooper youth, and all of these things. and we literally have a fifth column in the united states that facilitated trump's rise, and russian knows that all our loyal to donald trump and by extension
to russia. >> the people you may to always fringe. >> but now they are the mainstream. they are speaking and on a -- on other panels here. >> this is not the mainstream. >> my point being this. you could not run an operational mission like that if you knew you were going to get rolled up 100% of the time. but if you're transitioning that nation by re-crafting their belief russia is an ally and you're going to own the mindset of 30% of that population, you are eventually going to be running that population. >> you are giving him way too much credit. >> i'm only going by what they did. >> they are throwing shit at the wall and something sticks and what it does take, basically they are probing. actually jack's movie does a good job of this, showing the probe. there you go. >> i have movie, too. not just mel comes book.
>> and, of course, there's a great book over there. >> i have two coming out next month. >> what russia is doing is probing and that's what they've been doing for the last supper years is just throwing shit after seeing what sticks. you probe for the weak spot and when you find it you send everything you got through it. that's what's happening even going back to the 2000s as you see this probing, where can we get traction? what can we find people that are willing to kind of politicize what the big leap for money or for influence or power? it wasn't trump at first. it was some of the far left side. [talking over each other] maybe she so far left and she's back right again but she is
certainly left. that's where have the problem that this broad russia plan. i think russian, as bad as they are in a lot of these things, is trying to see what works for the last five or six years. turned out that trump campaign worked and so they went all in on that. >> you've read my books and my point that i made is -- >> i have to. he's on a board. >> there is a strategic, there is a strategy on their part that is a decade old, and if carried out operations in full since 2012, and we are now seeing what we come what you michael reconnaissance. i'm saying the activities are just being exposed with a mission is complete. we know it because the operation is supported the engineering and
hijacking a mindset of one-third of this nation. and now we are in trouble. >> will get to questions from audience in a minute or two but a a want to ask virginia one last question. the question i hated the most i think i'll buy the book two of the past couple of weeks which is, what's going to happen next, right? what would you say we have learned from mueller, exclusively through his indictment so far, that can tell us anything about what happens the next, including whether the democrats when the house? >> well, if the democrats when the house, i'm hoping like a lot of people that adam schiff or whoever will let 1000 committees bloom and we will see probes into emoluments and everything you think jared kushner security clearances up to the jamal
khashoggi cover-up. and everything you think that you they can remember that we haven't looked into, i imagine this world were it sort of heavenly paradise where you will get some answers on some of those things. so that's maybe, i mean, that's, i think we have reason to expect that we will have some of those committees. so that's the first thing. the other thing i get optimistic about is thinking about robert mueller and the other women and men in his office. they do not take conspiracy against the united states lightly, and crimes against the united states. and it is, i don't think there's an unreasonable chance that mueller and his team will petition the department of justice to lift the convention of the sort of statutes let's say. i may be alone in that but i
just cannot imagine -- [applause] -- unit, these guys who prosecuted the mafia, the prosecutor in iran, the prosecutor al-qaeda, really went out after some of the worst fraud, the worst criminal outfits you can imagine, seeing the extent of this administrations corruption and saying we hope congress to something with this report, but if they don't we can't do anymore. >> can i make one quick point? i know some of -- >> is it about your book? [laughing] >> it's in my next book. [laughing] i i know something is robert mueller for ten years, and i make this data quite often because it's amusing. he says robert mueller has a hobby, by the way. he do something other than what you are seeing. his hobby is putting people in prison. and i don't think he's going to pull, like you said, virginia,
there will be no punches pulled on this one. when you go for the king, you best not missed and i don't think he's planning to miss. >> let's get to the audience. [applause] >> how is this going to work? why do we start there if the microphone is working. >> this ties in with what you were just speaking about. malcom come here giving us hope for those of us who've been waiting and waiting in terms of the mueller investigation. couple questions. one, i've been hearing at some prior panels as well as on msnbc just a lot of chatter that we think that his investigation is going to present something shortly after the comma after the election. i'm kind of wondering where that's coming from and are confident we are in the timeframe? and again piggybacking on what you just said, the hope that there really will be some action, something for all the millions of us who have been
waiting and frustrate all the time that there really company, i think we just had some anxiety that it will come out so what, we'll just keep moving on. so hopefully you can give us some hope. >> there's some a political dimension to that question, bill, if don't mind tackling that. >> i think robert mueller is a very able man and yet the entire resource of the fbi, department of justice, other intelligence agencies in your service, you can find out an awful lot and an awful lot more even than all these competent and very enterprising journalists, or senate committees. i am sort of dubious. i which is that history is the disproportionate of resources and knowledge and ability between mueller and his team, and as much as i like hill staffers working for battleship, whatever is great so mueller, what, i think, i don't know
what's going to happen. i don't know if you'll indict or not. if you had to bet objectively though i don't know. i think trump will probably have to be defeated at the ballot box. box. if i did that now 50-50, i would not think he would be removed from impeachment or conviction or conviction of crime. in the next two years. i still think ultimately it will depend on the public to resolve this issue, much as mueller may have indictment of the people, many more individuals. i imagine he will. but on the other hand, he could have much more, he could have much more than we realize. the degree to which, everyone who is vaguely associated, lawyers that what forebearers peoples office, tangential
fincas in this investigation. the also say, you found this, that mueller can do so much more than we thought. to the degree that was a conspiracy and agree all come to people involved up to rats and including the president, i think he will find out what happened. i think we will find out the truth, that's the good news. i'm not sure the truth will set us free from donald trump in the next 24 months, that's the the bad news. >> my question is for vince. do you believe or think that perhaps in the u salute the bush years and throughout the obama years that we were potentially too soft on russia and the firm in a instead of to them that that allowed putin to feel emboldened enough to do what he is doing? for incense with george we didn't do anything with georgia. we can do anything with crimea
for the annexation eastern ukraine. do you think that an action gave him that boldness to do what he does? >> the answer, he will not be very excited by the answer, we did a lot and we squeezed with sanctions to the point where he basically, the reason vladimir putin got involved in this election as he -- the panama papers -- >> looking, putin that squeezed here this start at the end of the bush administration and certainly the obama administration. the sanctions that were put on putin's cronies, on the oligarchs, were incredibly problematic for putin. where his guys basically went to him and said, you are in part because were letting you stay in power. putin's hold on present is much more attentive than we think.
if his buddies are like him anymore, then the power to half-and-half and action are going or do something, or a coup. so once he was squeezed, and the reason, like the magnitsky sanctions and others, that we can make putin hurt. that's what was happening. especially at the end of the obama administration english hillary was secretary of state. he blames her for a lot of things. the orange revolution in ukraine he blames her for because she gave speeches in response to what happened in ukraine. and a lot of the stuff that was, a lot of the anti-putin movement like pusey writes and other things inside russia were focus more on the net estates as being the bogeyman that all this. >> he took the traditional strength of the president which hurt them. it took their money, oligarch buddy andy decided we're going to be adapted and the asymmetric and we will put a president in that cannot be a traditional
present and we will remove all of those norms. they did anything they one. >> i agree with you. we did some things we didn't do nearly as much as the could have done either bush or obama. and he was happy to have defeated hillary clinton. i think he felt genuinely emboldened by fairly non-robust policies. >> i just want to say a word on behalf of sanctions and asset freezing which was not a tool of u.s. government before magnitsky. magnitsky. it's just very hard to do. i was on a panel of bill bratton, and expo of the magnitsky act. we're doing a q&a and someone who worked in russia for long time with a very rich people, that's what he is so effective because it's almost one of them.
he's a whistleblower. he looked at the skripal several to quickly insert all you need to do is freeze this apartment. i can think of what it is right near the kremlin, like everybody out of the come some glamorous apartment and that drives them crazy. these guys are like him i don't know what they are, they want to be in a gilded bentley at the prompt whatever. lofton out the south of france whatever, they go crazy. these are not people with much gravitas. they are not the ideologues of the soviet union who have ideals. they just want to take their mistresses to the south of france and if you don't do that, they cry in the corner. >> i was asked by a senator just before the election if you could do one thing with u.s. intelligence community to punish them, what would it be? and i said authorized nsa to seize the money worldwide. don't give a damn about the laws. just freaking seize it.
>> give it to yemen. >> the most unsung intelligence agency is a tiny little group between the department of treasury that does this targeted grab them by the conus and squeeze sanction more weather do that offer terrorists. the minute the president obama said tell me you did sanction, treasury is like here you go, this a lot makes it hurt. those guys are amazingly good. >> penn center has not entirely done its job by now everyone is being held to account for their weird money laundering ways. >> my question is about cybersecurity and the future of politics elections, news media. is there an adult in the room anywhere in our country that has any checks and balances, is an effective strategy in place does and they know a way to keep
cyberspace on attacked the way it's been? >> this election wasn't what a lost on cyber. podesta had a guy telling a missed medication come he clicked on the wrong thing and it's not like they're better than we are. the nsa is the greatest organization in the world by far doing cyber offense and defense. >> and speaking about creating bots and -- >> yes, that's -- >> taking over voting machines. affecting the tabulations or is there an adult in the room? >> there are some. now we have paper ballots in 40, 50 states, backup ballots at least but i just talked to people work on this stuff. it's hard to the offense is head of the defense at this point. if you want to disrupt sony or are election debate or disrupt
or steal stuff from financial companies, offense is head of the defense. we can threaten them but do you really want to get in to that tit-for-tat? we have more at stake than they do. i think cyber is a huge problem going forward as an actual policy matter even if we had people with the good will making the policy. >> you need facebook, twitter, those others to do something about it. until they're going to you can bob people to death. you can facebook. pizzagate started as a facebook thing. that was less to do with the russians. more to do with the fact that people are not on facebook are not looking to take that step and i think that's really problematic. >> not to mention we are susceptible to it as a society.
i would just put my tiny two cents in and say i think dhs under the agencies are working hard even on election security issues. it's hard to get a total sort of government ever when the president himself preaches it as a hoax and dismisses it. it does rob the ability of these institutions that can do more when their efforts are discredited from the top. >> there have been some interesting discussions today around the objectives of russian court in court battling, hybrid warfare, whatever you want to call it, probing, getting the sanctions dropped, et cetera, but army asymmetric warfare group defines hybrid warfare as having the objective of regime change to non-kinetic means as opposed to the old think of rolling through the gap of million tanks. what i'm wondering is if that
really is the goal, kind of like a source making america essentially not a kid anymore, conspiracy to defraud the united states really the right legal of the framework we should be following? it sounds bloodthirsty but -- >> right. as you said this is asymmetric information operation designed to craft a new reality around the opponents population. by the way, i'm quoting the nato information warfare manual right now. and the purpose of -- >> which ones? >> the purpose of it though is to craft that reality in order to create a favorable operational environment for another nation to essentially
run that nation by remote control. that has happened, mission a college. >> i don't agree with that. >> no, no, no. >> you think the russians are running -- >> 37% of this nation now does not believe a damn what we are saying. that didn't come from nowhere. >> they are not running the nation. i think there are two kinds of regime change. one is replacing when wishing with another that you prefer but the others just causing chaos and weakening a a regime that u think is hostile to your own interest and ethics much more the latter in the case of the russians. i don't think they have some notion will have some putin's like regime and the united states. they can cause a huge weakening and divide americans, and they have been some of that. that i agree with. >> we have like three minutes left. do a rapid fire. >> they thought we would have a
very weak hillary clinton. it's not like they thought they were going to win this thing. >> over here. >> given the revelations about maria butina attempt to infiltrate the nra, is the issue of the russian collision more donald trump's unique vulnerability, or a larger russian attempt to infiltrate? >> yes, and yes. >> donald trump is regrettable and he is a dream for human intelligence officers. his vulnerabilities are literally written in the kgb operational recruitment manual of the type of person you want, i self-centered narcissistic person who can be manipulated. and that being done, maria butina was just one of these other faces with her going after nra, evangelicals, the alt-right. they went after all these other factors to create people who would be susceptible to this reengineering of the way their world is.
>> there's some on the left, too. >> was the problem with the plane crash that the wording like didn't go on or there was a fire in the room? its accommodation. the plane crash is resolved. i think the world, we wouldn't find yourself in a situation where as a country unless unless we had that all coming together to do that. i think both problems that appeal to each other. >> jacket, great documentary. everyone should see it. quick question for everybody. there are times it looks like trump is clearly in the pocket of the kremlin. he has performed in helsinki and is twitter feed, got helpless, and of the times today he said he is withdrawing from the inf treaty which will pass off the russians, launch cruise missile seceded in the documentary you leaders to an obvious conclusion that is compromising some sense.
malcolm, i followed your stuff, same thing. to each of you, to what extent do you actually this man is compromise by the kremlin come and do you actually he is taking or has taken some sort of instruction from them? to what extent? >> a large extent. when we talk about things in the abstract, we don't really get into what that means, i mean, when napoleon bonaparte brother was running spank him he did a lot of stuff he didn't like. constant back-and-forth. he was a puppet. yanukovych did things putin didn't like. when i think of things in compromise or something like that, i think there's two things. one is how with a compared to the other potential candidate? in this case it's obvious. and the other is not counted completely control this person. does donald trump wake up and wait for orders from putin?
no. are the things has to avoid are areas he has to negotiate about things in a way he's not considering what's best for america, he's considering what's best for him. i think that is clearly with me, clearly an issue and a problem i do think, you make a good point, it's counterproductive to think of it as being like a robot operated public. it's a very human, all about personality. so it's complicated but i think there is compromise. >> do we have time for one more? this has to be the last one. >> so for me, cybersecurity perspective, we have probably the best intelligence agencies in the world. we have data collection methods. to me it's a systematic failure all of these agencies to all of these things to happen, and then
how do we grant our independence back from a subversion tactic that is basically worked? >> i worked at the national security agency and i can tell you right now they are the commensurate organization. they are the best organization in this world but the work with in-laws, and those laws are generally done or general issued through leadership and orders by person who is running the intelligence community according to our national interests. russia uses cyber warfare like we drink coffee in the morning. they really have attitude because they have an objective that they want to meet that requires introducing ksm introducing mayhem, weaponizing all these old kgb information warfare techniques at the speed of the electron and they know democracy cannot keep up.
.. they know that we will have a discussion and debate about it and whatever their objective is, they'll get away with it. >> they can't do that and that's fine. >> they can't. this is not an intelligence agency question, it's a political question, malcolm is dead on about that. this is the willingness of congress or the white house to act in many cases, we're very good at being reactive, closing the barn door, after 9/11 reacting to certain things coming later on. we're reacting to these things, also. being proactive is -- the government is not designed, the congress is not designed to be
proactive. nsa has capabilities far beyond what they're allowed to do. and they talk about the government of the united states, the constitution, congress, limits what the intel defense agencies can do and it's up to them to play up to the edge line. if you want to spread out the field and take the gloves off, the conversation has been lately about doing this and sometimes the best defense is a good offense, whatever you want to say we've done things-- we're the only country that had cyber damage that had physical damage to it. >> and it's more come plated. nsa doesn't run google, facebook, et cetera and it's not like the past security challenges. in the 50's many people thought it was dangerous and thought first strike, adventurism and
stuff. so the government controls, the government said you have to look at cyber security and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera and fix a problem. it's not that easy to do that in cyber. you've got to have your tech companies in and financial companies in and so cyber is a weird situation in the sense-- this isn't a bad thing, i don't think we want the government to control all of these things. the private sector-- vulnerabilities in the private sector are vulnerabilities for the country as a whole, we saw that on facebook. the government should do something about, that's not obvious how the government orders facebook to do a, b or c. >> thank you, panel. great job. >> thanks, greg. [applause] [inaudible conversations] today the center for strategic and international studies host a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of
artificial intelligence in terms of its national security applications. live coverage begins at 10 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> which party had control the house and senate? watch c-span's live election night coverage starting tuesday at 8 p.m. eastern, as the results come in from house, senate and governor races around the country. hear victory and concession speeches from the candidates and then wednesday morning at 7 a.m. eastern, we'll get your reaction to the election, taking your phone calls live during washington journal. c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018 ch. >> now former republican national committee chair michael steele, former new jersey governor chris christie and trump campaign advisor david urban discuss the future of the republican party. this is an hour.
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