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tv   Rep. Scott Perry  CSPAN  December 6, 2019 12:05pm-12:40pm EST

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the ongoing impeachment inquiry against president trump. the chair, jerrold nadler, doug collins will hear from democratic and republican counsel on the findings of the inquiry. our coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. on c-span, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. we're joined by scott perry, congressman of pennsylvania. member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman perry, your committee was part of the leadup to the impeachment inquiry. what is your understanding of the drafting of additional articles of impeachment and will foreign affairs be involved in that? >> well, thank you for the opportunity to be here. i was involved in every one, except for one of the meetings in the scif with the intelligence oversight committeele meeting, the public portion of it. so, my understanding is that
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they will be drafted by the judiciary committee. and that the other committees that had been involved to this point will not be involved. that's my current understanding. now, i suppose that could change because i also understand that investigations may continue. i don't know if if that would be the perview of the judiciary committee or the three -- the three committees that had initially been involved. that will be determined, i suspect, by the speaker and the leadership on the democratic side. >> were you surprised at all by the speaker's announcement? >> no, quite honestly, i'm not surprised. and i suspect nobody in town is and maybe nobody in america. the rhetoric has been president -- maybe before the president was elected not only from citizens and pundits but
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from members of congress to some effect that they wanted to impeach this president. it's just been increasing steadily over time. i'm not surprised at all. >> we were talking about the show that your district has changed, redistricting there in pennsylvania. but in 2016, your district went for the president, but it's fairly even split -- >> yes. it's a different district and much more even, so i hear from both sides. >> i was wondering, what do you hear? what do you here when you're back for thanksgiving? gettysburg is not that far away. >> i'm out often doing shopping, buy gas and so forth. i hear from both sides. it seems to be more in suspeppo of the president than it's want but maybe people that wouldn't support the president won't approach me. >> let me ask you about a piece you had on fox news with your
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colleague from kentucky, andy biggs. the headline, representatives biggs and perry, impeachment inquiry show continues to -- it's the reality of the deep state, or swamp, democrats have been relentlessly attacking trump since the election, joined by much of washington, the media and the executive branch itself. take cadre of career diplomats have come to testify against president trump in the impeachment inquiry the house is conducting. tell us a little more of what you mean by this deep state. >> well, what i really saw firsthand, especially in the scif in the testimony of the inner agency members, and that was a -- that was terminology that heretofore wasn't used that often, the inner agency. these folks, among other things, where they might have disagreed with the president or what have you, and this is my characterization, so this is my
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opinion, but i think many people got it in those proegceedings. they seemed very affronted that the president was meddling in what they believed was their business, their purview. we write the talking points, we set the policy, we get together and make the decisions. all of a sudden the president has interjected himself. who does he think he is? and i was struck. i wrote it down in my notes. one of these individuals said, i suppose the president makes policy. this is the executive branch. and whether you agree with it or like the president or not, i get that, but the president makes policy all the time by virtue of things he says, where he goes, and absolutely the president makes policy. he's the chief policymaker. >> i want to make sure i correct myself. andy biggs is from arizona. but you spent 40 years or so in uniform, part with the pennsylvania national guard. >> yes, sir. >> did you see this as a member of the military, did you see this sort of insider mentality?
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let me ask you about it today, moving to a little different subject in terms of areas of military affairs and foreign affairs with the military. do you see that deep state in the military thwarting some of what president trump wants to do? >> i'm very concerned about it, to tell you the truth, ever since i was a private and moving up through the ranks. you had differences with your command, with your leadership and your duty was to state your differences and make your case. as soon as the command says, we've heard your concerns, you've made your case, this is what you're doing, your job is to salute and move out. and do the best of your ability to complete the mission the command has given you. whether you agree with it or not. if you're so vehement in your disagreement, then you need to depart and then go be critical of it, but you're jeopardizing the entire mission if you're seeking to stay inside, so to speak, in the organization and undermine it from the inside. that's unacceptable, especially for members of the uniformed
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services. >> in your experience, yug see that more broadly across the government in terms of, quote, jeopardizing the mission, not just military but in terms of the policy -- the policies that the trump administration wants to advance? >> well we elect the president. the president is the commander in chief and the president is accountable. that's the most important part of this whole equation. while you might not like the policy or the mission, the president is accountable for that. the voters might not like it either and they have an opportunity every four years to vote on that. and by you taking it in your own hands, there's no accountability there. and you jeopardize potentially the mission and lives and the whole command structure and the chain of command. it's unacceptable. >> democrats could argue on capitol hill in terms of affecting change and legislation that they do argue. say, we passed all these bills, democratic bills in the house and they're held up in the senate. >> right. >> is it a fair comparison? >> it could be but i will just,
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longs we're talking about uniform things, the national defense authorization act, something that's been bipartisan for decades, it doesn't mean we agree on everything but we understand that defense of the nation is supremely important. so, we have found a way to be bipartisan. it came out of committee bipartisan. they loaded it up with things that made it so no republicans voted for it and all democrats did vote for it. it became partisan. it seems as though they want it to be partisan for a reason and that's unfortunate. >> what's your sense of getting done? we'll talk -- >> well, they're working through it right now. we have to be focused on it and i think they're making some headway, but we have to -- the partisanship and the messaging, so to speak, doing things in the legislature just to use it for an ad in the next election, that has to end, tribal politics have to end. >> calls for scott perry, southern pennsylvania.
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independents, 202 -- democrats 202-748-8000. we'll go to the independent line first and hear from chattanooga. this is julia. >> good morning. >> hi, julia. >> i'm calling this morning -- actually, i was calling for the first part of it, the conversation, but we're here now. my question is to us as americans, what are we going to do when we end up losing our republic and end up being a dictatorship and it's already been made clear for me, through what i hear the president say in his speeches that he would prefer a monarchy over the republic. so, when we wake up one day and
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find ourselves in such a state, how are we going to work with that? >> well, i certainly hope that's not the case, and i think that every member, democrat or republican, works diligently to make sure that doesn't happen and co-equal branches of government stay in their lane. i will tell you as a member who has had the honor of serving in the previous administration and this one. it's interesting, i heard the same kind of arguments with president obama. at the same time i said -- i let people know i didn't see it in that regard. i understand the presidential and executive branch were looking to flex its muscles, but that doesn't mean it's a dictatorship and it was set up -- on our system was set up so that each branch would jealously guard its authority. i think that's a good thing. it keeps everything in check. it doesn't mean it's oftentimes pleasant or simple or clean, so to speak, but it does have a
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very important function and i see it working right now. >> your sense that the president would find areas of agreement with house democratic leadership were not for the impeachment effort? >> if it were not for the impeachment effort, without a doubt, especially, for instance, on -- i'm honored to serve on the infrastructure committee. the president is very interested in doing infrastructure upgrades and -- robust. maybe more robust than republicans would be interested in. and he has signaled that over and over again. but we can't seem -- we're not even moving a bill out of the house at this point. that's really frustrating because there's an area of opportunity for republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, the legislative branch and executive branch to get a win for people -- not that we'll agree on everything but once again, historically, it's been bipartisan. we have our disagreements. you look at the current policy and you say is what we're offering better? it's not perfect but is it
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better? and then you move forward. there's an opportunity being lost. >> we'll hear from william, san pedro, california, republican line. >> hi, scott. how are you? >> i'm well, sir. good to talk to you. >> good, good. my question is that -- what do you think trump thinks about going forward when you have the democrats trying to impeach and he's building a great economy for america. how is our president navigate that? >> that's a great question and a great question not only for the president but for all of us. i think that this has really strained relationships. i've seen it personally and i've seen it in other members across the aisle and across -- and i think it exists across the
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branches. once this is over, no matter how it turns out, it's really going to be incumbent upon each of us, the president included, to try to put that aside, put the personal feelings aside and move forward for the country. i'm not saying it's going to be difficult but i think we have to acknowledge that those personal feelings are present and the american people expect us to be able to put them aside and try and get something accomplished. i do think it's going to take an aefrt on everybody's part. >> our democrats line is next. willie, ft. lauderdale, florida. >> hey, willie. >> how are you doing? >> i'm well. >> thank you for your station. i wake up in the morning and watch this every morning because y'all are a neutral station. i got two points. the situation with trump, over there in ukraine, whatever he went over there to do, he did. you understand? but the situation done came out, you know, whatever he was doing. so, now they was like, hey, we
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got caught so we're going to stick together anyway. i don't understand the situation with the intelligent people over there who's working over there. >> to willy's point, i don't think the president has been to ukraine. >> no. not that i understand. i would say this. we have watched this, as you know, over the course of a couple months now and let's keep in mind a couple things that we know for sure. under president obama there were concerns about the bidens' relationship with this company, burisma, even so much so when ambassador yovanovitch was being prepared for her confirmation hearing there were concerns at the time. this president, right or wrongly, has concerns about what happened in 2016 and ukraine's involvement. if you listen to the call and read the call transcript, 2016
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was referenced directly. that is -- of all the things we've heard, that is one of the facts that can't be disputed and so whether that's right or not, whether the president should be looking into the past, 2016, that's certainly open to conjecture. but if it was important for the obama administration to look into ukraine and what happened with burisma, i don't understand why it's so problematic for this president to do this and this is an important point. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like to move that concern with what happened to 2016 to 2020. but there's nothing in the call and zero factual basis to conflate 2016 with 2020. that's all rhetoric. that's all conjecture. that's all circular reporting. there's no fact to support and substantiate that claim. >> as a member of the foreign affairs committee picking up on ukraine aid, a story in "new york times," opponents fear zelensky stranded might ka pit late russia.
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they write domestic political poents worry mr. zelensky having no american diplomatic backing may be too willing to make concessions to moscow, vladimir putin, i guess they're meeting next week early, in talks. any widespread perception he has done so would weaken him politically, hampering his ability to follow through on his anticorruption efforts. >> without a doubt, the president of ukraine is in a tenuous situation because of ukraine's history, not only with russia but, of course, the corruption issues that have plagued that country. i will say this as well. these proceedings in washington, d.c., and the public notoriety of them, the release of the call transcripts and the conversation are very damaging and counterproductive, in my opinion, to what we're trying to effect with ukraine and vis-a-vis their relationship with russia, national security and international security. these proceedings and the focus
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on them, i think, makes it more difficult, but it should also warn us and encourage us to redouble our efforts with a healthy ukraine. >> bill, on the independent line, cameron, missouri. >> yeah, thanks for taking my call. >> hi, bill. >> ever since this started when trump won, it seems like the democratic party just wants to run the whole show. you pick somebody, they win, that's who you go with in that election. president trump is doing what he should do. he has the right to look into other nations before we give them military assistance. that's all that's going on. he didn't say anything about joe biden or anything else. people need to just wait for the next election and thinks for themselves and not listen to all these channels. you watch one channel or the
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other, it's totally opposite. they flip-flop. use your own judgment, listen, be open-minded and be nice. that's all i got to say. >> bill on the independent line. >> that's a great point. and i love he ended with, be nice. while we disagree on a lot of things, we even disagree with our spouses and family members but we're all in this together and so the be nice thing is a great point to make. this is what we have elections for. i get there's a lot of people, the president can be a very polarizing individual. some people like him, some people don't. that's what we have elections for. if we disagree with comporting the policy, should we look at ukraine's long-standing corruption issues before we send them $400 million hard earned tax dollars, i think that's probe. is the president, how he used the terminology in saying, would you like at 2016, you know,
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should he have done it that way? maybe that's a different discussion but these are things we choose to elect a president for or not elect a president for. these are not things we meyer the country in impeachment over because it has long-lasting effects and near-term effectses like heel talked about the relationship with america and ukraine. it's being affected by the proceedings in washington, d.c. >> you're running for re-election in 2020. >> yes, sir. >> pennsylvania is a big state. i don't want to put you on the spot but is president trump an asset or a liability? when it comes to a big rally in york, will scott perry be on the stage? >> if he came to a big rally in new york, he would be well received. york county, actually credits itself in many ways for bringing the president across the top in 2016. and he will be well received. look, we all -- every two years we're close to the people and it's their opportunity to say, hey, you've done a good job or not. that's the way the founders
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designed this and some other parts of pennsylvania, maybe not as much but i would say that wherever this president goes, if you look at the size of the rallies, he's well received. >> margaret on the republican side in bedford, massachusetts. >> hi there. i've been listening to all these television insults to the president. and i don't understand. i was brought up to believe america is the greatest country in the world. i don't understand how they can talk about him -- about his beautiful family. it's all hatred. i know that. but the worst part of hatred against mr. trump is when the senator who died last year told him not to come to his funeral. that should be an example of hatred going on in this country. it breaks my heart to see it. >> margaret, this is the thing
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where every citizen and certainly every leader, every public official has a duty to dial down the temperature and the rhetoric and rhetoric of hatred whether it's in public officials, citizens who are in the press. personally i don't think it helps things picking on the president's family, a juvenile son and even the first lady seemed to be -- they seem to be low blows to me and counterproductive to what we're all trying to accomplish as citizens. i would just say this as well when you talk about seeing things on different channels, it's important all citizens now multisource their information because, unfortunately, media outlets on too many occasions have their own viewpoints on things. it's hard to know what the truth is like one the other callers said, i think maybe it was willie, you have to look around and maybe your own judgment but it should be based on all the different information that you can get because it is very
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different depending on where you get it. >> next caller is kathy in michigan on our democrats line. >> hi, kathy. >> good morning, representative perry, and c-span. my first points, you talked about following orders. there are unethical orders that should never be followed. that is when you walk away and report. >> without a doubt. i feel the country i live in, i'm 62, 63, is moving more towards communism type government and i will always, always oppose that. always. never change. i feel like this president, he is selling out our country. you don't -- if i engaged in any of the jobs i've had in the whatevers of you give me this, i'll give you that, i would be fired. now, i want to wrap up, you
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know, about the impeachment hearing. the situation in new hampton, iowa, with joe biden, the gentleman who was questioning him had every right to question him about his son's involvement in this burisma situation. and you don't shut people down. and then name call them and then taunt them as mr. biden did. and that's why i believe he will not be the right candidate for the democratic party. we have to act stifl to each other and not act as if we don't have our freedom of speech. if you don't like it, you need to shut up and go away, that's not -- >> all right, kathy. >> i do agree with you that we all have our opinions. i saw the news clip of the gentleman with mr. -- with vice president biden. i don't think he was opposed to vice president biden. i think he wanted to ask serious questions that are relevant and i think that that's appropriate.
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if you're going to put yourself out there as a candidate, you have to be willing to do that. i want to comment regarding -- i agree with kathy on her concerns about communism and always being opposed to it. i feel exactly the same way. i do get frustrated when communism is conflated with the right side of the political spectrum. communism is on the left side of the political spectrum. now, that might be seen differently as totalitarianism which takes on different forms of communism has nothing to do with the right side of the political spectrum. >> you followed orders and gave orders as a member of the military for 40 years. retired from pennsylvania national guard, combat missions in iraq in 2009, 2010. let me ask you about a story yesterday about troops in the middle east. "the wall street journal" reported that the administration is considering 14,000 troops for the middle east, this after the president withdrawing many of our troops from syria.
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the president said that's wrong. he tweeted this yesterday. do not believe any article or story you read that uses anonymous sources having to do with trade or any other subject. only accept information that has actual living name on it. the fake news media makes up many sources/stories. what's your sense of this ask, which may come from the administration? >> well, i heard up to 14,000. that hasn't been verified by the pentagon. at the same time, while as americans we want to have this information, especially when it involves our members in uniform that may be put in harm's way, there's also a tactical advantage to making sure we don't telegraph and we don't report the exact numbers, where they're going to be and so on and so forth. iran is becoming more and more unstable. those are the news reports we're seeing right now. this has been going on since late last spring. having troops in the area just in case because we're preparing for eventualties is important.
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it would be irresponsible if we weren't ready for some type of defensive action for american interests in the middle east. i think that's what the president is preparing for. >> your hometown paper says perry breaks with freedom caucus over the vote to condemn that syria withdraw. why did you vote in favor of that resolution? >> well, there was another part in it about turkey and i also wanted to condemn turkey for their actions, which i think were unnecessary and politically motivated by president erdogan. i'm not a fan of president erdogan. and i'd like to make sure that people understand that i am a fan of the people of turkey. they're wonderful people. but i think their leadership is not doing a great job for them and is not in keeping with the values of the west. i pin that directly on erdogan. >> we'll get a few more calls for you. to the bronx we go. eddy is on the independent line. >> hey, eddy. >> hello, representative perry. >> yes, sir.
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>> i have three questions for you, given that you've elected to represent the people both in governance and safeguard us. with regard to the president, do you think the president should follow up on his promise to divest from all of his businesses? the second question is, do you think his business entanglements and interests around the world represent a national security threat? the third question is, is the president in violation of the emoluments clause? and are you willing to support the constitution? thanks. >> all right. those are great questions. i'm going to go to the first one, which is the promise to divest. the president has to, and i don't think that anybody would, regardless of which side of the aisle your on support anything other than following the law completely regarding you business entanglements as they relate to public office.
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we each fill out the financial disclosure which enumerates all those potential conflicts of interest and everyone has to abide by that. if you don't, you'll be afoul of the law and you should be -- that should be dealt with accordingly. his businesses as a national security issue, once again, if they are a national security issue, then that needs to be determined and appropriate actions taken. whether there's a penalty for that or whether the president and his family can be divested of that. if there are particular instances, i'm happy to listen listen to them. i think it's important we don't make a blanket statement and accusations that there's a problem there. i'm not sure there is or isn't. but i think we have to have an open mind. about the emoluments clause, we have regular hearings on that in multiple committees in the house of representatives. some people are concerned about it.
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here again, being concerned about it is one thing. having facts to prove it before we destroy someone's reputation, it's important every person is treated equally in the country, whether you're the president or joe citizen. while the mt certainly has a higher standard, i don't think there's a different law he has to abide by that unduly persecutes him because we don't agree with him or we don't like him. following the law is important for every single person. everybody has to have an open mind about it and we're all bound by the same provisions. >> scott perry, congressman from the fourth district in pennsylvania. we appreciate you coming here and taking calls and answering questions for the viewers. >> thank you. we'll leave this segment of "washington journal." you can watch all of our programs online at we go live now. we'll be hearing from retired
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general jonl nicholson, the retired commander of nato forces in afghanistan. he'll be talking about security and diplomatic efforts in afghanistan. this should be getting under way shortly. it's live coverage on c-span3.
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check, check, one, two. check, check. check, check, one, two. yes.
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this is c-span's mic because you're going to be live. i'm sherri. if i could put the mic on you.
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live coverage with a discussion starting shortly from the meridian center in washington, d.c. on diplomatic efforts in afghanistan. while we wait for the discussion to begin, we'll show you comments from white house national economic director larry kud loy. kudlow. >> sorry i put my coat on. it's getting cold again. i tried to help you out a little bit and then we have to move on. it's been a long morning. >> does the administration want -- >> pardon? >> does the administration want to wait until after 2020? >> we're going to just take that
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a day at a time. talks are around the clock right now. we are close. we're not quite there yet. the president has characterized these talks as constructive and i don't want to make any forecasts about any dates. there's no arbitrary deadlines. never has been. >> what about -- >> what about december 15th, the tariff deadline. what should we expect then? >> look, again, no arbitrary deadlines, but as you know, you know, our -- the president laid out a plan that suggested the temporary suspension of some of those consumer goods tariffs they're referring to would go to december 15th and then would revert back to the higher rate. i don't want to say that's what's going to happen. i'm just saying, keep an eye on it, you're right. i don't want to make any predictions -- >> that is the longest span that


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