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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 8, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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to recruit and radicalize and mobilize. and i have held similar sessions in boston and new york. we brought these worlds together, madison avenue, silicon valley, and even hollywood, along with ngos and civil society. the goal is to develop private sector approaches for countering violent extremism online. we call this the madison valleywood project. these companies are exploding ways to amplify credible voices to counter isil's destructive narrative. and they are just getting started, but we think the collaboration that could come from this project could be quite promising. but this cannot be a top-down effort. it has got to come down from empowered voices, like those i heard last september at a global youth summit in new york that was hosted by the white house and the counter extremism project.
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hundreds of young people gathered from 45 countries. they all came together to build digital platforms, all designed to help keep young people off the dark road to radicalization. they came up with a host of ideas from supporting aspiring entrepreneurs to creating anti-extremist rap music. but even with all these creative and determined efforts, even with the constant vigilance we apply, there will always be those who try to exploit our openness to cause chaos and to cause destruction. has got to beity about more than taking off our shoes when we fly. whether we are confronting terrorism or a tornado, we have got to refuse to be terrorized, and we have got to rebuild when we get knocked down. have got to embrace one very simple truth, that a hateful and barbarous group like isil will not ever overcome our strengths as americans.
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a few months ago i gathered at arlington cemetery with the families of those who were lost in the bombing of pan am 103 over lockerbie, scotland. for more than 25 years, the families of the fallen have mourned their friends and their family, but they also celebrated countless weddings and births. they have lost loved ones, but .hey had never lost hope that is what makes this country stronger than any terrorist bomb or bullet. we see it in san bernardino in the employee he returned to work in january shaken but determined. the woman wearing a hijab about her headed to remember the victims. and in the disabled man who was a client of the center who held up a sign reading " i love you irc." .e see it in boston after the marathon bombings, there was an attack on my hometown where next month,
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30,000 wicked determined runners will lace up their shoes and run the 120th running of the marathon. they will cast heartbreak hill and show the true meaning of boston strong. so we face a cruel and very cunning adversary in isil. the tactics of terror have indeed transformed, and we have entered a new era. as the president has made clear, this will be a generational struggle. but with the dedication of our brave men and women in uniform, our diplomats, intelligence, and law enforcement officers, the support of our partners, the innovation of the private sector, and the strength and resilience of the american people, we will meet and defeat this threat, as we have others before it. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> ok. thanks,et me just say lisa, for that tremendous overview of your counterterrorism efforts. i thought it was a good overview and tremendously inspirational. the one thing that intrigued me was that you are hanging out with hollywood. i don't remember hobnobbing with hollywood when i have a job. ms, monaco: i'm not doing it very well. >> you are doing this job with a little more style than i did. this is the part of the event where i get to ask you a few questions and in the prosecutor vein, cross examine you. the one question i have is that you mentioned a big part of your strategy is your foreign cooperation, working with our partners. that was a big part of the effort post-9/11 against al qaeda and he was one of the strong points post-9/11.
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as with any relationship, it had been flowed. i remembered in 2006 talking to partners in europe who were pushing back against the notion that this was a war against al qaeda. in their minds it was more of a law-enforcement action. do you see a different flavor in the relationship with foreign partners as it relates to isil then it did over the years as it related to al qaeda? ms. monaco: i see a common view when it comes to isil, and this is across the board. i've takensting, many trips to the middle east in this job, but one thing that struck me several trips cargo is how unified our golf partners were against ice -- our gulf partners were against isil. to a country, they expressed complete horror at the fact that his group would claim to be islamic. and so it has unified gulf
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partners. it has galvanized our european partners, certainly before, but certainly after the paris attacks, to do better on things thatinformation sharing you worked on when you work in my role and preceding rules. i think there is a recognition that isil poses a distinct countries inopean a way that is -- i do detect a difference. mr. wainstein: one other question i would like to raise, you mentioned there has been a good bit of press coverage of the relationship between the administration and silicon valley and the tech industry. the burning issue is encryption. the tension between the value of but the need for law
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enforcement and intelligence community to access signals intelligence, which has been so critical to foiling the plots that we have seen since 9/11. just watching the reporting over the last few weeks, it seems as though there have been different out of the administration. you want to address that for us? ms. monaco: i have seen some of that as well. ms. monaco:what is interesting to me is that when i think has not been captured is there is a recognition across the administration that the virtues of strong encryption are without a doubt. whether it is, counterterrorism operations, cybersecurity, you name it, there is a tremendous value in having strong encryption. there is no doubt about it. the president has said there is not a world where we don't want strong encryption.
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and the same is true from the defense department, the intelligence community, to the fbi and the department of justice, who have to worry about investigating and prosecuting cyber intrusions. so there is uniformity about the value of strong encryption. there is also uniformity in the recognition that strong encryption poses real challenges . it poses a real challenges to criminal and national security matters, to identify plots in their nascent stages to the imminent stages. and sometimes it poses an impossibility in identifying those and ultimately prosecuting them. the notion that there isn't a recognition of the appreciation for strong encryption just is not true. mr. wainstein: ok, so now we get to open this up to invite
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members to join a conversation with questions. just a reminder that this session is on the record, and if you would, please raise your hand. i will wait until you see the microphone from one of the gentlemen on the site here. stan, state your name and affiliation, and asked a single question, if you would. we haveeep concise so an opportunity for as many people to ask questions as possible. >> john kaneb from georgetown university. i think you made a clear being on aof isis as path to defeat. what happens, though, afterward? we have to depend on the collaboration from neighboring states. --t rollo iran play in it what role will iran playing it, and to what extent do you think iran can be brought in in a constructive way to establish a peaceful result? ms. monaco: it's a good question. i think not one that we know the
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answer to yet. as i mentioned, we are working see hard to put forward and take hold the cessation of hostilities, which is currently generally holding, although it is quite fragile. and there is every recognition that it is fragile and it is something we have to take every step to try and make sure takes hold, and we're doing that with the task force sitting in geneva , evaluating and looking at the violations. -- any violations. it is no secret that we feel the russian activities, for instance , has really quite complicated the environment that we are operating in in syria. so we are hopeful that the cessation continues to maintain, and want very much for those
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actors, like the russians and toers, who have taken steps date to frankly, complicated and impede, frankly, things like humanitarian access -- we want them to be putting their energies towards ultimately a political solution, because at the end of the day that is the only way this thing is going to -- that the violence is going to be able to be diminished. mr. wainstein: woman in the second row right here, please. >> thank you. kim dozier with the council and writing for the daily beast. on the assessment, will it include an assessment of casualties in places like pakistan, yemen, somalia, and lydia, in addition to places operating,entagon is syria and iraq, and did you consult with human rights groups like the folks sitting next to
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me in your assessment? how did you come up with the damage numbers? ms. monaco: so, first from the assessment that we will release, as i noted, we will do so in the ising weeks, and it something we have been working on and issues we have been talking about with folks from a range of human rights groups, civil society and others, it will account for all the counterterrorism actions outside the area of active hostilities across the board. and i will not be more specific than that at this stage. and we come to this as, first of foremost -- first and foremost from this is a reflection of the presidents commitment on transparency, going back to a speech he made at the national defense university in 2015, in which he laid out the principles and policy standards we have applied in conducting counterterrorism direct actions,
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whether capture or lethal. and it is fair to say that both the outlines of that policy as well as getting to this point, where we have committed to disclose the assessment that i mentioned, comes as a result of that commitment as well as many discussions with representatives from a range of human rights organizations. and i would say that we think it is pretty important to be considering a full range of information when we conduct those assessments. and frankly, also to make sure that they can be updated. i mentioned that these assessments will be provided annually. that is both to continue to have the transparencies, which is essential for the legitimacy, as i mentioned, for our counterterrorism actions, but also to reflect the latest in intelligence across all sources, as well as information from
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outside groups, those outside the government who may have different differing in kind -- and in different in kind types of access. we want to incorporate all that. mr. wainstein: ok, the gentleman in the far back there in the -- back there, please. islame of us who study the emphasis to work with moderate islam against violent islam, and keep looking for secular liberal forces in syria, iraq, and lydia pitt -- and lybia. libya. if you have a whole discussion of the situation without ever mentioning the word "islam," how will we deal with the situation when you realize we have to have one islam against another? ms. monaco: i think trying to be responsive to what he said to my
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will say two things. one, to address what really is a n wversion of islam hat isil and other terrorist organizations are putting forward, we have to recognize that the u.s. government is not going to be the best messenger. it is simply the case. we are not going to be the most legitimate messenger, and that recognition is reflected in the efforts we are taking, as i mentioned, with things like the global engagement center, which is not going to be focused on u.s. messages with the government stamp on them, but ,ather, amplifying moderate credible voices in the region throughout civil society. recognizing who is going to have the most legitimate voice and doing every thing we can to lift that up and not have it be a u.s. message. with respect to working with
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partners, we have been very clear about the difficulty .nvolved particularly in syria we have a willing and increasingly capable partner in the iraqi security forces in iraq. increasingly, the sectarian divisions there, evidenced most recently over the weekend in the isil suicide bombing in a shia area south of baghdad, is something that is going to continue to fuel the tensions here. we are looking for partners we can work with who can take the but importantly also be around to hold the territory and bp sources of governance. -- be the sources of governance. otherwise this is going to be a never-ending cycle. mr. wainstein: gentle man in the fourth row? henderson, the
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washington institute for near east policy. you made a reference to core al qaeda and the remaining leadership of it being in afghanistan and pakistan. there is a very symbol question here. why is it still in pakistan? on this platform we had the pakistani advisor on foreign affairs to the prime minister of pakistan, and he had been -- was in washington for a strategic dialogue. give any sortanis of committed to getting rid of al qaeda leadership in pakistan, and if so, did they give a timeframe on when they were accomplish this? ms. monaco: i will not speak specifically to conversations with him, but i will talk generally about our cooperation .ith partners in the region
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we want to have a strategic relationship with the pakistanis across a range of issues, and they have taken steps over the last year or so to conduct thetary actions in areas of fat that are quite difficult -- that are quiteta difficult and denied for a long time to their forces. we look forward to working with them against al qaeda where we can and we will continue to do that and continue to try and develop the relationship with the pakistanis even as he will continue to also come i expect, have differences over time as well. mr. wainstein: ok, the woman in the fifth row there. committee to protect journalists. you cited the 90,000 twitter
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followers -- there was a brookings study that included many journalists in that figure. my question, in this countering violent extremism agenda, which , withes content removal extremism being ill-defined and even harder to define than terrorism, and the second pillar of partnerships, and many of those parties being some of the worst human rights abusers in the world, who are systematically imprisoning journalists, which are, of course, an important source of information and accountability, some of the only information qa is from theraq citizen journalist collective -- when the second worst jailer of journalists is a key ally, how is the u.s. going to make sure that countering violent extremism messages and initiatives are not leading to the use of terrorism and extremism charges to jail opponents, jail opposition, activists, and journalists? ms. monaco: you have hit upon
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one of the biggest challenges we face, which is, as you pointed out, content removal is really difficult issue. i talked about working with technology companies here to help them address content that violates their terms of service. this is something they are doing on a voluntary basis. i firmly believe this -- they don't want their platforms used by terrorists. these are patriotic companies that don't want to see their great engines of innovation used to perpetrate heinous, heinous acts. but it is also a system that is actually difficult -- is extremely difficult to manage, not the least of which is identifying the content in a way that does violate the terms of service. you talked about countries in the region and elsewhere that discriminate against or take
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repressive actions against journalists. in every instance, the united states government condemns those types of actions and has very, very pointed conversations with governments where, although we maintain important strategic relationships and counterterrorism relationships, we also don't give any quarter when it comes to the repression of dissidents, of journalists, and those working in the human rights community. mr. wainstein: if i could use my prerogative to follow up, we talk about cooperation from companies in silicon valley in dealing with terrorists and extremists content, i'm not sure the story is out there. i was surprised when i started hearing about the extent to which these companies are going to take down that content. that is a lot of resources and effort that is reflected in the bottom line. do you have any more comments about the breath of that cooperation? ms. monaco: we have talked about
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this and had a range of conversations, some of which i mentioned in my remarks. we went on a number of the most senior members of the president's national security team went to silicon valley in january and sat down with a whole range of representatives and senior leaders from the tech , frankly, broaden the conversation to a whole range of issues that we can work together on to go after exactly these types of things. what is the content that is being perpetrated on their sites that they end up using the services and platform that they have no interest in allowing to be used on their platform? there are things that they do and have done for years, whether it is to address child pornography, to address fraud, to address scams on their platforms, that might also be applicable in this space. this is not to oversell and
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oversimplify, because for the reasons that a young woman indicated, this is a very difficult, challenging problem. but if we don't get the best minds, the best, most innovative thinkers, who know their systems it, weo help us work on are not going to be able to confront this challenge, because as i said in my remarks, it is a that evenferent task the ones we dealt with just a few years ago, and when you sat in the same window of the west wing that i occupy. mr. wainstein: but the new story that might get lost in the discussion of the apple controversy -- ms. monaco: good news stories getting lost? [laughter] mr. wainstein: gentleman in the fifth row with the tie. [laughter] mr. wainstein: a reporter with the tie, what you know?
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>> eric schmidt with "the new york times," and a council member. you mentioned olivia, and yet your colleagues have talked about the need to encourage the development of a unity government there seems somewhat far-off. how long do you think the administration and its partners can wait for this to form and a time when the isis ranks on the ground have more than doubled in the last few months? how long can you wait before that poses a threat to americans and american interests in the region? ms. monaco: simple answer, we are not waiting. we are not waiting. shown, wheres have isil presents a threat, and as i noted, we conducted an action to take out isil's leader, their emir in libya --
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>> that guy has already been replaced and you and not doing anything against the stronghold. you have no allies on the ground fighting them on the ground as you do in parts of syria. ms. monaco: you're quite right. we are not waiting to address threats posed to united states. however, we are, as you also noted, working assiduously to support the u.n. efforts to form a government of national record. and you have rightly pointed out that that is an ongoing process that has experienced fits and starts. the point is we have got to do both. we're not waiting for one to happen in order to address threats posed to the united ultimately, to have a lasting impact and to have a partner on the ground with whom lasting presence,
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a lasting impact on isil's efforts to form a stronghold in libya. we will need and want to have a partner on the ground, and that is why, amongst other reasons, we are working with european partners, with regional partners, to get this government of national accord formed. mr. wainstein: gentleman right here in the second row. also at johns hopkins. i want to begin by congratulating you for your performance today and for the work you do. this follows on mr. schmidt's question. it has to do with allies. you say that isil is the number one threat to the united states in terms of terrorism. we have 66 allies. i don't minimize for a minute the difficulties of coordinating 66 allies to do anything, let alone to fight a war on the ground. but it has been more than a year since isil has held mosul.
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they are in charge of raqqa. it is difficult for me to believe that it is not military possible to dislodge them. i know we have made progress in the western part of iraq. i wonder if you talk about the constraints that are preventing us and our allies from basically doing it. i know the president does not want american boots on the ground. i understand that. american public opinion probably wouldn't, either. there are forces in iraq they don't want us there. but taught all soldered said the other day he would kill america al-saddr said the other day he would kill americans. what are the constraints? one, i might challenge the premise little bit, which is to say -- and i noted the progress we have made in your question. this is not only about military power. you are quite right.
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and i mentioned we have the mightiest military honors. onmightiest military earth. but the lasting defeat of isil in its core, the court in iraq and syria, will have to happen by having forces on the ground and governance on the ground to keep those places that often cleared to allow them to get repopulated, like tikrit, for example. 99% of the population has returned to tikrit after working with iraqi security forces. they pushed some months ago isil out. but to have that lasting ramadi, an tikrit, whole host of places, that means doing the painstaking work of removing the ieds, having a governance structure, having a situation where people can feel safe, coming back. tikrit, wet in
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are doing it in ramadi. we have made huge strides with our partners closing up sides of .he syria-turkish border all of these are complicated, time intensive, laborious, painstaking efforts to allow not only for the military efforts to push isil back, to constrict them in the park they have been operating, and that is what they're doing, squeezing them right in the heart, but to enable the return of the populace and have them feel safe . that is a longer effort which requires those partners on the ground and requires the ability for them to feel safe and to be able to come back. mr. wainstein: gentleman right here, bowtie. >> that's why i wore the bowtie. mr. wainstein: perfect. [laughter] >> former nsc staffer. an outstanding
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job defining the threat, and he spent a great deal of time, and most of the questioners talked about the threat. but you didn't say so much about coordination within the american bureaucracy. i was speaking with a friend of mine who is in davies, and she when gain issues like visas -- mundane issues like visas, it should be easy for the white house subordinate the department of homeland security and other agencies of government. but when it comes to more difficult issues, you would expect even more difficulty in coordination. could you address this issue of withinare your allies the admin assertion --within the administration? [laughter] mr. wainstein: well oiled machine when i left. ms. monaco: i can blame it all
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on ken. look, as has been noted, the role that i play, the role that ken formerly play, is to coordinate the policy developed, policy of limitation, and to make sure -- policy implementation, and to make sure that what is laid out is getting implemented. i have a host of allies around this situation room table. this that mean we agree on everything and every thing is smooth sailing? actually not. but when i'm sitting in the chair chairing a meeting of the devotees committee for homeland security, the principal committee meeting, i frankly don't want everyone singing in unison, because that is when i is fallingveryone prey to groupthink, and that is a real problem, in my view, and i bet that ken would agree with me. i've sat in different chairs
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around the table throughout my career. i used to represent the justice department at the table, and i was very conscious, as i'm conscious now, as the chair of those meetings, in making sure that every component of the government that since at that incrediblyweighs difficult, conflict issues, is playing their role. am i being parochial? sometimes, but i want them to weigh the equities important to them, because what is important to the state department is different than what is important to the treasury department. if i don't -- if we don't get all that on the table, i haven't done my job in weighing and chewing on the most difficult issues and presenting the president with the most well thought through, varied options on the toughest issues we face as a nation. mr. wainstein: ok, very strong point. i think we have run out of time. thank you for your questions. these were all great questions. thank you, but let me take a
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moment to reflect on what she said early on about the different jobs she has had. she has had a series of very tough jobs in very tough times, and is tremendously served this country and sticking with it for as long as you have, so thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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remarksout an hour, from government officials on the state of u.s. relations with canada. the event is held by politico and it comes a few days before canadian prime minister justin trudeau's visit to the u.s. you can watch that at 5:30
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eastern on c-span. thursday foris live coverage of the white house state dinner for canadian prime minister justin trudeau. beginning at 6:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. as campaign 2016 continues, three primaries and one caucus are taking place in several states today, with a special focus on michigan and mississippi. joining us beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span for coverage of the results, speeches, and viewer reaction. taking you to the road to the white house on c-span, c-span radio, and >> i'm a teacher, so the most important thing to meet right now as an issue in this election is education, and so i'm looking at the candidates very closely for their programs in education. i'm not happy in the last 15 years or so with all the core
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standards and the common core that has been happening, so i would like to see that changed around. i will vote for either bernie sanders or hillary clinton. i'm happy with both of those choices and i'm interested to see whether education plans would be if they get elected. >> i decided i'm voting for ted cruz for the candidacy, because he is a constitutional scholar, he is eloquent, and he is principled, consistently out of all the candidates so far. >> next, today's white house briefing with press secretary josh earnest. he spoke to reporters for about an hour. i do not have any announcements at the top so we can go straight to questions. orter: let's start with the netanyahu cancellation. mr. earnest: ok.
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[laughter] actually, it is not that complicated. for a number of weeks the white house and president netanyahu's office have been in touch about arranging an opportunity for netanyahu to visit while he is in the united states to attend pac conference. they initially sought a meeting on or around the 17th or 18th of march. we confirmed for them that march 18 would work for president awaited their confirmation that they would be in a position to accept the meeting. and we learned through media reports yesterday that the date did not work for them. that basically is what happened. , you know, this is not had any impact over the trip of the vice president, who is in israel right now and tomorrow will be meeting with prime minister netanyahu in jerusalem.
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interactions, when we have encountered questions about the relationship between our 2 countries in the past, we have gone to great lengths not just to say but to demonstrate that the commitment between the united states, the commitment on the part of the united states to israel's security is unshakable, and that continues to be the case. there are a variety of ways to demonstrate that, from our israel's support for defense capabilities, including support for things like their iron dome program, to ongoing efforts to negotiate a memorandum of understanding about the military assistance we will provide to israel, and extending that for another decade. are ongoing,tions and all of that, i think, demonstrate the ongoing commitment that this administration and this country have to the security of our closest ally in the middle east. reporter: the israelis have said
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that contrary to what happened yesterday, the ambassador did notify the white house that it was possible or likely that the president would cancel his visit, and the reason for doing so was that they didn't want to get embroiled in the tumultuous campaign we have got going on here. did the white house interpret this as an affront to obama the way we heard yesterday rather than meeting with obama, he canceled his visit, or did you interpret it at face value the way the israelis describe it? mr. earnest: no come i don't think -- there is no reason to consider this a snub. it is singly a matter of scheduling, and the israelis indicated they had made plans for the schedule. we would have preferred to have heard about that in person before reading about it in media reports, but he does not have any impact on -- it does not have any impact on our ability coming either as an assertion or a country, that either as an
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administration or a country, to continue to strengthen the national security cooperation that we enjoy with the israelis. it is critical to their national security, and we benefit from it as well, and there is a variety of ways to document this, including the fact that vice president biden is in israel right now and will be meeting with prime minister netanyahu tomorrow. reporter: on the record meeting, wraps? -- perhaps? mr. earnest: we will see. if anybody can handle it, it is the vice president. reporter: certainly true. [laughter] in the past from reading about the personal relationship between the two leaders as a relates to the broader u.s.-israel relationship, but for close allies, this is really playing out in a public way -- basically bickering with netanyahu's office through the media. mr. earnest: i don't think that
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is true. there is no bickering here. i am not demanding, for example, that they should reschedule the meeting as soon as possible. i'm merely suggesting that if they weren't able to make the meeting, they should just told us before the told a reporter. again, there's no offense taken. it is not going to have any impact on our ability to negotiate this extension of the memorandum of understanding. it has had no impact on vice president biden's trip or his plans to meet with prime minister netanyahu tomorrow. it certainly is not going to have an impact on our approach moving forward on a variety of issues that are critical to the national security of the united states and critical to the national soul security of the nation of israel. reporter: you mentioned that the show told you before reporter -- mr. earnest: i think it is just good manners. reporter: is it a continuing of a breach of protocol following the prime minister's speech to congress? mr. earnest: this is on a four different scale. you would have to ask them why
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they chose to pursue this in the way that they did. and look, our purpose would have been to just handle this privately -- preference would have been to just handle this privately, and i'm confident that one way or another it will, but the reason we are talking about it publicly is because they announced their plans publicly first, and we have gotten questioned about it. reporter: i want to just do about the i -- ask you about the irgc and licit missile tests in iran. does the u.s. see that as a violation of u.s. sanctions? to sanctionontinue the licit missile program even after the nuclear accord but what does this say about th dissuading iran from these actions? mr. earnest: we were clear in negotiating the international agreement to the event iran from getting a nuclear weapon that that would relate stiffly to iran's death strictly to iran's
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nuclear program. we acknowledge that the time that there were a variety of other concerns with the iranians, from their support for terrorism to menacing israel at the time they were unjustly detaining american citizens. the fact that they had listed missile program that was routinely tested outside of the requirements of a variety of u.n. security council resolutions. so we have acknowledged that the nuclear agreement was focused on preventing them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and in some ways we said the fact that they continue to develop this licit missile program makes it all the more important that we succeed in preventing them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. this is not a violation of the nuclear agreement. are -- there is at least one specific united nations security council resolution that could apply here, the truth is,
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we are still reviewing the to assess whether it is necessary for this matter to be raised before the united nations. counsel. and we will do that work. our long-standing concerns with the blessings of program have been well chronicled -- the ballistic missile program have been will chronicle, and even this year the united states put in place sanctions against iran because of their ballistic missile activity. but we will review this particular incident, review its regular lunch, -- review this particular launch, to review what the appropriate responses. roberta? reporter: if there is no offense taken, white issue a statement -- why is your statement instead of -- by with the white house say publicly that they were surprised to learn that?
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why handle that privately? mr. earnest: i guess because we were asked a question. the statement put out by my colleague at the national security council was in response to a number of direct questions received after the news of prime minister netanyahu's change travel was announced. reporter: ambassador derme give advanced warning, according to officials in israel. are you saying the white house didn't receive that, that it might not happen? mr. earnest: i will get into the details of every conversation ,hat happened, that took place that i don't think those officials are suggesting the israeli ambassador informed the white house that prime minister netanyahu would not be coming to the white house on march 18. our expectation was that he would do that, that the prime minister would do that. we learned he was not going to do that based on media reports.
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those are just the facts. reporter: lastly, as the president interviewed anyone yet for the supreme court vacancy? mr. earnest: i'm not going to be in a position to give you a heads up when the president has begun interviewing potential supreme court nominee. in the past when filling vacancies the president has interviewed potential candidates. i would assume he would do so in this case but i won't be able to provide much information about the timing or who would be included in the process. mary? netanyahu, ik on know you said it would be a good manners if they communicated directly with you, but what does this say about the lines of communication? if thisthey are frayed is playing out publicly. mr. earnest: there are a variety of ways to if i were that could there was not a difficulty to biden's vice president
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trip to jerusalem where he will meet with prime minister netanyahu tomorrow. be a number ofo discussions with respect to the memorandum of understanding that would govern our continued military assistance to israel. the new memorandum of understanding would extend our commitment to israel by 10 years, and that would be a pretty substantial down payment, investment, in israel's long-term national security. to complete the memorandum of understanding is still ongoing. but those negotiations have been taking place for the last several months, without significant dissent. , can you on libya confirm their have been presented specific options for attacking isil and why or why not the president is concerned -- mr. earnest: i will not get into the kind of advice the commander-in-chief gets from his
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military leaders, but just the fact that over the last several month we have seen 2 high-profile military strikes against leading isil figures in libya should be an indication that the department of defense does have important capabilities in libya. the commander-in-chief has not hesitated to order those operations take place, be undertaken. and we have seen that those operations have yielded important benefits for our national security. and if there are additional targets that are presented that are important to our national security and the president determines that that is the case, then as he has in 2 previous occasions, he will not hesitate to carry them out. pam? reporter: josh, again on the netanyahu thing, is there a chance that a tit-for-tat kind of thing, because a year ago the president said he wouldn't visit with the prime minister while
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israel was about to hold its elections, and netanyahu's office said we don't want to get involved in the american elections? if earnest: i don't know that is how it is being perceived by the israelis. i can assure you that is not how it was intended on our part. -- the white house has been in touch with the israeli government about scheduling a meeting with prime minister, and the prime minister made it known he would not be able to make it on march 18. i think that is as civil as that. you would have to ask him for the reason why could i don't know if it relates to his travel schedule or is concerned about american politics. you should talk to him about that, but it will not have any in at or interfere negative way with our continued commitment to the safety and security of our closest ally in the middle east. reporter: what is the vice
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president's chief goal in going to israel? busy it to talk about u.s. military support? there are not supposed to be any breakthroughs but is he going to make any effort in that area? well, obviously, the vice president has had a long career of strengthening relations between the united states and israel. yesterday voted a significant -- he is devoted a significant portion of his political career to that relationship. he understand how unique that relationship is. and he understand the consequences of that strong relationship for the national security of this country. clear about one thing, which is that vice president biden does not intend and is not carrying with him the next offer in the negotiation over this memorandum of understanding about the united states providing military support to israel. so there is a separate channel
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through which those negotiations continue to take place. it is an opportunity for vice president biden to go and continue to engage in the kinds of relationships that are important in that region of the world an important to our national security. reporter: and no announcement on the supreme court nominee today? mr. earnest: you can relax for today. i do not anticipate an announcement today. andrew? reporter: on the netanyahu thing 2014, netanyahu gives a pretty public lecture to the president in the oval office about middle east history, and in 2010, vice president was in netanyahu had a major settlement plans and they waited for his trip to do that. understand high
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you don't consider this a lack of respect for the white house. primarily, itell, is not as if -- look, the president has spent as much time talking and meeting with prime minister netanyahu as any other world leader. and that speaks to the importance over the relationship between our two countries. it speaks to the president's commitment to continuing to have a very effective working relationship with our closest ally in the middle east. it speaks to the president's ongoing commitment to sure that any personal differences of opinion don't interfere with our ability to continue to provide necessary support to israel. about theis nothing scheduling challenges that were encountered with this meeting that is going to have an impact on any of that.
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i think that is why i would make the case to you that it is certainly understand -- you guys are interested in this situation -- understandable that you guys are just in the situation but it doesn't have a tangible impact on the relationship between the countries. reporter: of course, it means you can't get the mou done before the president leaves office. mr. earnest: the first is that the current mou does not expire until 2019. the president had made an offer in 2013 when he traveled to extend the memorandum of understanding and provide the israeli government some certainty about the kind of support they could count on from the united states. and that was a jester intended to -- gesture intended to demonstrate not just been a administration's commitment to the country's commitment to the long-term security interests of our allies and israel. tois up to the israelis determine whether or not they
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will benefit from that kind of certainty. but what is also true that there is a separate channel where these discussions about the memorandum of understanding are taking place. there are staff level discussions that have taken place both here in the united states and israel on this topic. it probably would have come up had prime minister netanyahu been at the white house on march 18. but it shouldn't have any tangible impact on those ongoing discussions. after all, if there is a need for a presidential level conversation around the memorandum of understanding, the president will just pick up the phone. if i were to invite someone to their house for dinner and they behave like this, you would be reluctant to
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invite them back. do you think -- [indiscernible] mr. earnest: certainly wouldn't rule it out. certainly wouldn't rule it out. ron? reporter: is this the last high-level meeting between the israelis and the united states and administration with the vice president being there? you won't rule out another meeting? mr. earnest: there is still 11 months ago in the obama administration. of the meetings and conversations that both the president and the vice president has had with leaders of the israeli government, i wouldn't rule out that the vice president's meeting is somehow the last one. reporter: question about the process -- is that on the vice talks?nt's agenda in his where would you characterize where the issue. -- where the issue falls now? mr. earnest: as we have
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discussed before, it is the long-standing policy of the united states that the tensions between the israelis and palestinians would be significantly reduced by pursuing a peace process that results in a democratic and secure israel living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, contiguous, prosperous palestinian state. the united states, again, pursuing a policy that has been in place since before president obama took office, has sought to play a role in facilitating a resolution to that dispute, and what we have aimed and we have not made a lot of progress because the united states is not in a position where we can make the decision for the two parties. it will be up to the israeli leaders and the palestinian leaders to make difficult decisions. reporter: did the president said
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this will not happen on his watch? mr. earnest: the white house has an elastic given the current state of things and given the approach that leaders on both sides have taken to this issue recently, it seems rather thately reporter: live the reagans funeral -- mrs. obama is going. mr. earnest: i don't have more information about the delegation. mrs. obama will attend. the president will not attend; he's traveling in texas on friday. reporter: the supreme court -- you can't say if there have been any other interviews and meetings. i think a lot of people are trying to find some reassurance that this process is going to be somewhat transparent. mr. earnest: i'm not sure i can provide -- i think -- what we will be able to do is be transparent about how the president made the decision once he has made it. that means we will be able to
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talk in some detail about why the person that the president has chosen is the right person for the job. we can certainly have a discussion about what kind of elements of that person's background, of their professional experience, of their education, of their view of the law, informs the president's thinking. but as the process is going on, this is where i cannot promise transparency. reporter: given the unusual nature of the conflict that has arisen, does the administration feel like there is need to be some further escalation of the american public about the role the president is playing in this? you often talk about the number of policies made, but not what has been discussed or which name s. i get the feeling people like to know more about this, given the high-stakes in play here.
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the administration -- is that a fair demand? mr. earnest: i think it is a fair demand, and i think in a lot of ways we have met it. op-edesident wrote an laying out the criteria he would use to consider nominees. we talked at some length about the significant number of conversations that the president has had with members of the united states senate to the fill his commitment to consult with the united states senate in choosing a nominee. i'm confident that once the president has made a decision, he will be able to talk in more detail about why he chose the person that he did. i think they are understandably of interest in how the horse i don't playing out, but think that is something that we'll get into. but i will anticipate that we will have ample time in the spring, and maybe this summer,
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talking about why the person at the president has chosen is the right person for the job. they say that decision will come of the canadian prime minister is here -- mr. earnest: i can't rule out any day beyond today at this point. angela. reporter: turkey said this morning that prime minister erdogan will be coming to the securitythe summit -- can you confirm? mr. earnest: i'm not aware of his plans but i will take a look. and finland is another country with which the u.s. is how challenging relationship -- mr. earnest: i'm not aware of mr. erdogan's travel schedule. i'll get back to you. --porter: is the president mr. earnest: that's a good question. i won't answer it, but let me look into it.
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reporter: this would be malia's the first year being eligible to vote. do you know who she may choose to vote for? mr. earnest: i don't. i don't think he will be made public. tworter: the number republican in the senate says anybody the president nominates to the supreme court "will bear some resemblance to opinion." -- to a pinata." in light of this, has the president take into account any extra preparation? is there anything you guys are doing differently in light of the fact that it will be seen as so combative? has the white house spin through the difficult process -- is there anything different this time around since it is so contentious? theearnest: well, given
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sender's language -- senator's, language he might spend too much time watching donald trump rallies. that this is not consistent with how most people believe that the supreme court process, the process of confirming a supreme court nominee, should be handled. moved beyondn has the established republican position of suggesting that they won't even consider somebody who the president puts forward. that in and of itself is rather unprecedented and unreasonable, but senator cornyn has taken the next step and suggested, without knowing who the nominee is, without considering what their record is,, with their experience is how qualified they are for the job, he is suggesting that they will be subjected to bashing by republicans.
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it is unclear for what reason, other than the president of the united states has chosen to fulfill his constitutional responsibility to nominate someone to fill the vacancy. i do think that it is an indication that republicans are digging in even further in an unreasonable position of not giving that person any sort of fair hearing, and in fact, that it will try to turn this person down. he's doing that even though he doesn't know who the person is. i just don't think that is how most people believe this process should work. reporter: doesn't give you pause in terms of who he selects to come up against that kind of opposition, how he might handle it or be trained? mr. earnest: no, it doesn't. the president has previously put forward two nominees, in 2009 in 2010. justice sotomayor and justice kagan. both of those women were eminently qualified.
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they have exactly the right kind of experience that would allow them to serve with honor and distinction to a lifetime appointment on the supreme court. they went through a rigorous process, and we do believe it should be rigorous. we believe that individuals should be engaged in conversations, publicly and privately, and have a constitutional responsibility to consider their nomination. hearingexpect that the for the nominee the president will put forward should get the same kind of sharing that both justice sotomayor and justice kagan did. they were scheduled in a relatively timely fashion, but they were also serious discussions about important precepts of the law. those sessions were long, they some casesed, and in they were a little contentious. but in each case, the nominees were afforded the respect of the
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hearing and given the opportunity to answer those questions on live television, under oath, and they performed well. perform so well that both of them got bipartisan support for their nomination. that's what the process is supposed to look like. the president will certainly facility as part of the bargain by choosing someone like justice of the mayor and justice kagan, someone who is eminently qualified, and someone who deserves bipartisan support. the question now will be for whether or not republicans kansas l baron of the bargain. -- can fulfill their end of the bargain. it's a constitutional duty expressly laid out. reporter: back to iran, if you could clarify their ballistic missile test -- you say they are not in violation of the nuclear agreement. is thaere any move to punish iran, whether it is the targeted economic sanctions or some other
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move? mr. earnest: to be clear, the missile test is not a violation of the joint cover has a plan of action. this is the international agreement to prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. that agreement specifically focused on preventing them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. it required iran to curtail significant aspects of their nuclear program. what is under review is whether a violation of un security council resolution 2231. that's why we need to learn more about the launch. once we know more about the launch, we can determine whether or not it will be necessary to bring the matter before the un security council. reporter: would you characterize a punishment? mr. earnest: well, it certainly
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is possible that iran could face some consequences for carrying out this action. we have demonstrated no reluctance to impose sanctions conductingn for ballistic missile tests that are outside of their international obligations. that at this point, it is too early to determine if that is what is taking place here. we will take a look at the situation and we will determine if our response is warranted, and pursue it. ok. fred. reporter: [indiscernible]
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mr. earnest: let me get back to you to answer that question based on a review of the policy we put forward. that we take a look at it. reporter: and another question -- [indiscernible]
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mr. earnest: because there is an ongoing process to take a close statet this, and because department attorneys understand how important this issue is, i do want to say anything that presupposes an outcome one way or the other. i can tell you that this is something the state department is continuing to look at, but it is not in any way delayed. i think the ministration is taking aggressive action to protect religious minorities that have been targeted by isil, including christians. a determination is important, and the process for reaching that determination is ongoing, but it certainly will not have any impact on the willingness of the commander in chief to use armed forces, to order military actions against isil to protect
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religious minorities in that region. reporter: [indiscernible] mr. earnest: well, these kinds of issues are quite serious. but from a moral perspective, and also from a policy perspective. that's why the state department has been so diligent in doing the necessary work to reach this determination. but when it comes to the kinds of steps that are necessary to try and protect religious minorities and ultimately to degrade and destroy a terrorist organization that targets religious minorities, i think the president is willing to use military force against those terrorists and that has been unerring. richard. eporter: the prime minister -- that thisg told relationship is important
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[indiscernible] mr. earnest: mr. harper, mr. predecessor, was someone who visited the white house and who met frequently with president obama when they attended summits around the world. it was different than. -- then. i wouldn't read anything into it. when i was asked about the ongoing campaign in canada, right after the results were announced that he had won, i noticed the value president obama had placed on his ability to work effectively with prime minister harper to further strengthen the relationships between the two countries. in fact, we hoped, and continue
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to help, that the president will be able to make additional progress in that relationship, working closely with prime minister trudeau. i think it is a good illustration of what we were talking about before as it relates to prime minister netanyahu. when it comes to the strongest allies of the united states, the relationships between our two countries transcend any sort of individual interactions. that's the responsibility you have when you assume the leadership of the country. i certainly know that mr. trudeau -- did you see in a moment when it clicks between mr. obama and mr. trudeau? they started talking about environment and climate change -- do you think there was at that moment something -- mr. earnest: well, i think it was in that meeting that
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president obama invited mr. trudeau to come to the white house officially. look, i think this is a situation where the president our relationship with canada is one of the most important relationships between any two countries in the world, border, andong given the size of our economies and how we work together in such a wide variety of areas. so given that there is a new prime minister that was elected to leave the country, it only ensure that he was warmly welcomed here in washington on his first visit as prime minister of canada. president is looking forward to the visit. reporter: on the refugee issue. an exchange of information between the americans and canadians? when the canadians came up with this 25,000 refugee idea, and
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the fact that finally they welcomed -- my question, let me rephrase. to make sure that there is a screening process, the americans wanted it to be -- mr. earnest: given the fact that the canadians were able to bring into their country so many people so quickly, i would be surprised if they were able to apply the same kind of strict streaming standards -- the strict screening standards the united states has in place. i'm not suggesting that somehow there is a flaw in the canadian process; i'm just suggesting the difference. confident their extensive consultation between u.s. and canadian officials about a wide range of national security issues. there are on a regular basis,
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and obviously our ability to share that information with canada ensures national security in both our countries. margaret. reporter: the president made some phone calls -- can you share with us about why he made so many calls, or characterize the words? mr. earnest: at this point, i can't get into who the president called, but it is an indication of how committed he is to control members of the senate before making a decision about a nominee. i wouldn't rule out additional conversations prior to making a decision. but this is something that continues to progress. thatve acknowledged before while the president and his team are moving with a sense of urgency to make this decision, there still is and will be ample time for the united states senate to consider the president's nominee. over the last 30 or 40 years, the average time from nomination
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to confirmation has been 67 days. the president will make a decision and he will be so leaving the congress ample time to give his nominee the time and consideration that every nominee in recent history has received. reporter: you said in the past that he got four to five weeks, 30 days, former nominee. -- for a nominee. are you sticking that timeframe? mr. earnest: that was the timeframe in plany over the two previous vacancies but i don't have any promises for the timeframe for this nominee. reporter: it is an unusual process, working within the guidelines that you can meet that same timeframe. mr. earnest: at this point -- look, even if we went beyond the four to five weeks to fill the
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the last two times there was a vacancy, even if we went beyond that, there still would be ample time for congress to consider our nominee. the average period of time that it taken nominees through the modern area was three to four the last two times in the last three to four years with 67 days. we have ample time to act and i'm confident that they will, even though i can't tell you precisely when the president will make his decision. reporter: [indiscernible] mr. earnest: i've heard some of the news reports about this, but i'm not aware of the details. i will only repeat something i have on a number of occasions, which is that these kinds of
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attacks are outrageous and are worthy of worldwide condemnation. targeting innocent civilians is not at all appropriate, of course. inconsistent with the recognition of the way human beings relate to one another, even if they have significant differences of opinion. we condemn this kind of attack in the strongest possible terms. obviously we will wait for more information before commenting. reporter: it's not changing anything in regards vice president? mr. earnest: no, identity will have an impact on his trip. reporter: on iran, the last time they fired ballistic missiles, -- is that something
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that is on the table at this time, if you can confirm that the ap -- mr. earnest: we'll take a look at the details of the launch to determine more about what i certainlyt wouldn't take a unilateral response the treasury department off the table. d you made the point that this is not a violation. wasthe nuclear deal itself backed up with the un security council resolution. if iran is comfortable violating one, line of the rest? -- why not the rest? mr. earnest: they haven't. the international community has inspectors in place to verify iran's ongoing complaints of the nuclear agreement. there are obviously no we certainlyut will know if they don't, and
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that is because we do have the most intrusive inspections that have ever been imposed that are now in place with respect to iran's program, that require them to cooperate with those mechanisms, to review not just their nuclear facilities but also their enrichment d as it relates to their nuclear stockpile and things like uranium mines and milles. changes to their plutonium reactor, to render it harmless. there are a number of steps we have already taken that essentially have stretched their breakout period to a year. we have ongoing, continuous monitoring of the iranian nuclear program to verify compliance with the agreement. you're right; there is a chance they may violate, but if they
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do, we will know. we'll have a number of options at our disposal, including potentially snapping back in place sanctions of the united nations security council put in place against iran that brought them to the negotiating table the first time around. that's the structure we have put in place here. obviously we take these reports quite seriously. i won't take any options off the table in terms of a potential response. the other element that is important here is that the united states will continue to deepen our coordination with our other allies and partners in the region to try to counter iran's ballistic missile program. the truth is there already are other sanctions and prohibitions in place that are intended to mitigate or even limit their ballistic missile program. we've acknowledged that there is more than we can do, working
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closely with our partners, to more effectively enforce those kinds of sanctions. that will continue as well. reporter: the fact that they can feel comfortable firing the mechanism for a warhead -- you don't see that as a loophole to the nuclear deal itself? well, as you pointed out, the previous violation did yield a response from the united states that was pretty significant. we will determine what sort of response is appropriate in this scenario. but i think it undersco res how important it is to continue the international response. as you point out, if iran does not have a nuclear weapon to put in the nose cone of their ballistic missile, that
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certainly enhances the security of our allies and partners in the region and the national security of the united states. rich. anyrter: josh, are there expectations that the vice president and israeli government would discuss at all while he is there? or has it just reached the point that the administration is so pessimistic that there are no expectations? mr. earnest: i wouldn't rule it out. prior to the vice president's visit, any u.s. leader who goes there and meets with the israelis and palestinians, it is hard to avoid any conversation of the relationship. i wouldn't be surprised if that came up. however, that,
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the vice president is bringing a specific plan or proposal for consideration. but there's certainly a chance would come up. reporter: is he considering a it was reported last evening that perhaps you are considering supporting a un security council resolution mandating that both sides compromise on key issues. thatarnest: what's true is being thee solution best outcome for our allies is a policy that has not been pursued just by the obama administration, but was pursued by the bush administration, too. there is bipartisan president for the policy.wedent believe it would enhance national security of our allies. what we envision is a democratic and secure israel with a viable
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and contiguous palestinian state. that has been a policy goal that we have long promoted. at various times, particularly secretary kerry has engaged in defensive diplomacy to try to bring the two sides together around the solution it looks like that. conditionsly, the have not been right for the leaders of both sides to make the kinds of commitments that would be necessary to yield that result. and for all of our passion, fo reaching tha for reaching that f an agreement, these are not decisions the u.s. can make for either side. ultimately it is the leader of israel and the palestinian people will have to make the tough decisions that would lead to an agreement. thus far, those sites have not been willing to make those kinds of commitments and reach that
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agreement. security so what if a council resolution -- mr. earnest: well, what we have policy,dged is that our when it relates to human resolutions, has not changed -- to u.n. resolutions, has not changed. would considered future engagements if and when we reached that. as it relates to determining how to most effectively advance the objective we all share in achieving a negotiated two-stat e solution. what you have also heard me say is that we will continue to oppose one-sided resolution that seek to marginalize or even delegitimize israel. our preference has always been for diplomatic negotiations that include the two sides of sitting down face-to-face, that it's more likely to lead to the
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kind of solution we have long wanted. reporter: secretary of state hillary clinton said we need more competition in the health care marketplace. she said we need more nonprofits to fill that space. she was referring to the health care cooperatives. she said they failed they -- because they did not have the right support. remaining 11 health care cooperatives, does the administration feel it made any mistakes related to those co-ops ? >> one of the core principles of obamacare, because it was modeled after a plan foot forward -- put forward by the
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was that byndation, fostering competition on a level playing field, we could encourage more companies to get in and compete for business. and obamacare has succeeded in doing that. we have seen that in three years. we have seen steady growth in the average number of plans available in each market. the first year, the average was seven, the next year eight, and this past year, there were an average of nine plans competing in each market across the country. that is an indication that we are seeing increased competition. good news isat is because there are more companies competing for the business of consumers. that's going to put upward pressure on benefits and downward pressure on prices. have seen.t we that is a good thing. that has certainly contributed
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to the slowest growth in health care costs in recorded history, since the affordable care act went into effect. all of that is a good thing. i think what secretary clinton toobserving is that we need build on that progress and we need to look for additional ways that we can in courage organizations -- and encourage organizations, whether co-ops -- >> we will break away from the last couple of minutes. a reminder, you can see this on we take you now to the news he eum in washington, d.c., for a discussion on u.s.-canada relations. it has just begun. speaker: we at politico are particularly excited to be
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hosting this by national event. this year, we launched politico europe and already it has been voted the most influential news source in brussels. we look forward to more international political -- politico events. tonight, we are having three conversations to set the table for this historic visit. first, we will explore the opportunities and obstacles for these leaders to work together, the newly elected government of prime minister justin trudeau and the outgoing administration of president barack obama. susan glasser will kick us off with a conversation about politics, the global economy, and trade, and then our energy reporter will examine the prospects for a clean energy agenda for north america. i will conclude with a
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conversation about the syrian refugee crisis, what both countries are doing about it, and what the implications are for border security. before we get started, i would like to thank the canadian-american business council for making tonight's event possible, and i would like to introduce and thanks gotti greenwood, the executive director of the ca bc. -- thank scotty greenwood, the executive director of the cabc. she has worked tirelessly to advance mutual understanding between these two countries. thank you, scotty, for your sponsorship tonight. scotty: thank you, bonjour. hello, everyone. thank you so much for coming.
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we are delighted to be partnering with you. let me just say to you, there are plenty of seats in the front. i see a lot of obama administration officials sitting in the back. you can come up front. it's going to be a good week. the pregame. we are thrilled to be partnering with politico. we are thrilled for all of the events and activities happening this week. style.t just about the state dinner is great, but it is also about substance. so we will be watching, as you will, about what happens in the visit and what happens afterward. i think this might be my first state to visit with a hashtag.
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agenda. we are really delighted to be here. we are looking forward to a terrific week. back to lisa. lisa: thanks. mentioned, you can follow the conversation on at #anewag now, without further delay, i would like to welcome susan glasser, politico editor, who will lead the first conversation. [applause] susan: good afternoon, everyone, and thank you very much, louise. i have to say that i am very delighted that you are here this afternoon. we have a terrific panel and we were getting started already in the back room. for those people who have labored in the vineyards of the u.s.-canada policy issues, this
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is a shocking moment when people are actually paying attention. from inon you will hear a second has been working on this issue for 10 years, as she just pointed out to me. herre delighted to have with us today as well as don iversen, the columnist for the national post. he went all across the country in canada's last political election. himre delighted to have with us. and we have the director of global affairs from the university of toronto. i can't think of a better group of people. please join me in welcoming them. [applause] said, i really wasn't being facetious, we had already jumped into our conversation backstage, and i will tell you, there are a lot of panel discussions here in
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washington. it's our contribution to the gross national product. and most of them don't start asked age. running an, we are article called "justin fever hits washington." of all issues, which one would suddenly skyrocket to the top of our attention, if you could predict, here comes justin judo , and all of trudeau a sudden, washington has justin fever. the new prime minister of your .ountry is streaming -- dreamy perhaps that's it. perhaps it is a good contrast to our own presidential election. you have been working on this issue for a long time, when it wasn't front page news in
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washington. wasn't glamorous. >> you just said there was a canada cool factor now. time, canadians have been assessed with president obama. so now it is justin's time. my daughter is 20. were discussing what she should do with her future. in a moment reminiscent of the scene in "the graduate," when dustin hoffman is told "plastics," i said, "canada." there is one thing that is different, besides the fact that the president's hair is grayer now. one thing that is different is came insident obama during a time of crisis. the worst economic freefall since the depression. is coming in at a time
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where at least the economy is stable, giving him a moment where he can do some of the things obama has wished he had done from the beginning because he was dealing fo with everythig from the stimulus package on down. the prime minister is talking about investing in clean energy and infrastructure. obamar piece of it is reached out to other countries and used a different approach when he got into office. i know and am very heartened by the fact that the prime minister is talking about extending canada's reach and upping their game internationally, whether it is peacekeeping or doing more with international aid and involvement. it as being from minnesota where we can see canada from our porch, right? i see it as a major trading
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partner that so often gets overlooked. trading partner. there is a lot of interest in the possibilities here, coordinating, whether it is our passage of goods across the border, whether it is our airports or the bridge from , but also, atroit lot of our manufacturing standards and other things, that we can work to form a north american trading bloc in a really difficult global economy that i think will help all three of our countries. moderator: i am glad you mentioned trade. there are some substantive issues on the table in this conversation, and clearly, the trade deal now pending is one of those. on one hand, you have president obama, who has expended a lot of his personal credibility in negotiating the tpp, and you
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, whoprime minister trudeau has yet to officially endorse it. what are the politics of that and why would canada be ?eluctant to endorse it steve: i think there are a couple of things going on. the tpp was negotiated by the previous government and there had not been a lot of public discussion of it. there were promises made by the liberals during the campaign that they would go out and consult. they have been doing that. canada joined the signing ceremony in new zealand, but i think there are some issues that people are concerned about and there will be pressure to see if there can be some side letters related to intellectual property and indigenous peoples. moderator: you covered the prime
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minister's campaign. we are in the middle of a heated presidential campaign. the concept of free trade is under attack from both parties right now, from donald trump on the right and bernie sanders on the left. there's a sense of a new kind of nationalism or a moment of economic nationalism here in the states. what does the new progressivism look like on canada's side? do you think there is also more of a political tide running against free trade as a principal, or is it just pragmatic? more i think we will hear about that this week. there was white house call this morning, and the suggestion was very much that this is obama's top priority. i think he will say -- he will push for trudeau to say something quite positive on it. the problem in canada is that on the left, they are opposed to free trade.
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have traditionally been the party of the middle and supported free trade agreements like nafta. i suspect they will support this again. there is a growing feeling that on pharmaceutical costs and even some of the automakers -- i think ford is against it -- that this would kind of open up to japanese cars. againste is a movement it, and the liberals have kind of become experts of playing all sides of every issue. wanted to pull out of the war against isil but still be part of the war. that maneuver is repeated on a number of occasions, and for the most part they get away with it. but sooner or later, they have to come down on one side or the other with tpp, and i think this week they will come down pro. to get certain things,
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and i think there are things like software and lumber where we may get a little bit of quick pro-quote. pro quo. moderator: that is oh word that word that senators don't like to use, but i will how much you think support for tpp will go away based on the 2016 election results? a lot of people think it will be considered during the lame duck. think time will tell. many of us are still looking at the tpp, and it is not the number one thing on people's agenda right now. we are focused on this crazy election where, one of the longer -- who are no
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talkedonger in the race about building a wall between the u.s. and canada. the: we want to keep americans out who want to leave if trump gets elected. >> people in my state were pretty focused on that. they thought it was a very bad idea. they started to think about how you would build it through a lake and other practical concerns. but it goes to the fact that after 9/11, when we think of some of these border issues and some of the work that the prime minister wants to do, there was, of course, a need for some changes.
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what i remember is the northern senators being very cognizant of security concerns, but also cognizant of making congress work. we have opportunities now to make infrastructure better between the borders, where we have some very busy intersections. possibly investing some private money and border control areas. that is a possibility. and the exciting news with our airports is that finally canada has eight with preclearance, which will allow people to fly to american airports. roy blunt and i noted that it bill that passed in a month. moderator: does donald trump know about this? senator: i don't even know why i'm bringing it up.
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are worriedians about this. moderator: but seriously. steve: the whole issue will be a major topic. to this was,nswer number one, when walker brought that up, i don't think it helped him much. the second thing that i think is thater to that fact is there have been moves to build up security at the airports so that people feel comfortable enough to fly. the crazy situation with the windsor, detroit bridge. andlly people in michigan canada moved to build a bridge. i have been to that bridge. i know what a mess it is.
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moderator: we have been talking about trade. we have the question of border security. the other conversation we are going to have later on is about askgy, and i too want to each of you, this is seen as a major plank in the trudeau campaign. it is a shift from harper. time, the the same macro shift has happened dramatically. how do you see that having repercussions on the u.s.-canada relationship? the changing politics, the plunge in the price of oil, the economic change right now.
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john: the economy is stalling on that front. the economy is on a dual track because manufacturing and relatively doing well, particularly since the u.s. economy is picking up, but the oil prices are plunging. that is causing a lot of problems. you think the prime minister has we will noter, but take federal regulation on a carbon tax. a meeting oft had all the premiers and the prime minister and they could not agree on a clear policy around a .ottom to carbon pricing
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that's going to be a major political issue for canada going forward. troubleda has had great building any pipeline, not just because of keystone, but within get energy to the government is fundamentally committed, i am sure, to moving toward cleaner energy, to reducing our carbon imprint, but at the same time, that is a decades long transition and in the meantime, we have to figure out how to actually deliver a product to market. moderator: do you see a risk to if the u.s. economy were to elect a republican president in the diversions of strategies? steve: it is amazing that we have such coalescence right now of interest and values. who knows what will happen going forward? frankly, even the leading democratic candidate, mrs.
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clinton, is not as pro-trade as the canadian government would like her to be. i think we will see accommodations having to happen, whether it is a democrat or a republican. sen. klobuchar: i think both countries have a lot to do with climate change. this election is kind of a referendum on that. there are a lot of canadians who want to do something about climate change. there are a lot of americans who do. , for thisdifficult comparison, when obama came in, we wanted to get that renewable electricity standard done, and we were one vote short. then we went for cap and trade. because of all the pressures on the economy, it was a difficult
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time to do it. now trudeau is coming in at a different time. the economy is more stable. but you have the oil price issue. are real fiscal constraints on us government. he came in saying we would have modest deficits. problem has been already that we have seen this deficits go from $10 million -- $10 billionto probably $30 in the next cycle. ,nder the debt to gdp ratio none of those things looks like it's going to happen. he started out campaigning. that's much easier than governing. sen. klobuchar: he will still have a longer honeymoon then president obama did -- then president obama did. say,ator: i was going to
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president obama could give him some advice on that. it's a difficult issue to navigate. pullout of the war against isis but still be given credit for being part of the coalition. more generally, do you see canada as looking more inward? stephen: no, i think the opposite. i think the government intends to look more outward, and i think there is a lot behind that. i think that was part of the election campaign. having said that, there is a long-term, secular trend here. our development assistance internationally, our commitment around defense has been going down as a portion of gdp for 20-25 years. it's not just a harper government.
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there is a big change that has to take place. it can't just be back to what it was in the 1960's, liberal internationalism and peacekeeping. there need to be some hard choices about defense and procurement. makeer we are going to increases to our overseas development assistance and at what level. it's going to be quite dramatic. sen. klobuchar: when you look at , when you look at some of these major issues, afghanistan, their role,roud of being by our side, still giving some funding, having trainers on the front line, certainly strong on ukraine and helping there with the major ukrainian
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population in canada, and then the fourth thing i would mention , is just the gesture, the trudeaue gesture that showed when he went to the airport and greeted the refugees. that was broadcast the world over. and they are now forecast to get 25,000 syrian refugees. we are forecast to do 10,000. there is a pledge to get up to 35,500 by the end of this year. at the airport just signified a different approach to the rest of the world. ofn: there is a lot symbolism with this government, and that was first among them, the refugees. much seen ay pretty
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platform that's going to be continental defense, humanitarian aid, all the four horsemen of the apocalypse. there's not enough money in the pot to buy all the stuff we went to buy and keep the forces doing what they have been doing. done a: and we've horrible job on procurement for a long time, so there's a lot of catch-up at play. moderator: but isn't symbolism when it's -- it's not just: symbolism when it's 25,000 real people. i would say the actions are happening right now. moderator: can the u.s. government match that? think the u.s. i government should be stepping up their game in bringing the refugees. the fact that canada has taken and more refugees i think shows we should have the ability to do
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this and should find a way. another gesture the trudeau government made right away was to announce that 50% of his cabinet would be women. we have never had anything like that in the u.s. senate. or the cabinet. the next president make a pledge to have a 50% female -- sen. klobuchar: i think we can show by what we do and by example. if it is a woman president, that is one big decision that is taken by a woman. moderator: so that counts as extra seats? sen. klobuchar: it's like a big superdelegate. stephen: we are not doing so well with female members of parliament. it's like 25%. moderator: that's higher than the u.s. congress, for sure. almost out ofare
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time. i would love to know each of your predictions for what big take away we will have from this week. is it just going to be about justin fever? anything substantive? itphen: i think if anything, will be around trade and infrastructure related to trade. john: we will be singing come by. -- kumbaya. building the wall? donald trump says the door to mexico will have a wall in it -- a door in it -- donald trump says the wall to mexico will have a door in it. will the wall to canada have a door in it? stephen: a garage door, so goods can get through. to thank you.ave if you labor 10 years on this issue, you get to have a big
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victory. sen. klobuchar: i am the only senator that had my swearing-in party at the canadian embassy. i just wanted to send the message that i think is being sent to our whole country and this isd this week that our number one trading partner and as those proud banners were displayed on the canadian embassy for years, friend, partner, ally. we put that in the capital to send a message because that does not always happen in the rest of the world. even when we help other countries, they do not always want to admit we worked together. canada has always been that way, and i think this is a great celebration of a relationship that has been a long time coming. so thank you. moderator: thank all of you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its


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