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tv   National Security Adviser Discusses U.S. and Global Security  CSPAN  April 14, 2022 10:04am-10:53am EDT

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a person by who opens the door. you judge them by what they did when they went through the door. >> supreme court justice amy coney barrett spoke recently about life in washington, d.c., and public scrutiny during her confirmation hearings. then, supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. watch both conversations tonight on c-span starting at 9:00 eastern. >> white house national security advisor jake sullivan sat down for a conversation about the war in ukraine. north korea's weapons programs. and u.s. relations with china. he was interviewed by david rubenstein of the economic club of washington, d.c. david: as i said earlier, i introduced jake sullivan, the president's national security advisor. thank you very much, jake, for
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coming. why don't we start with the news from this morning? there is a report that a russian ship was shot, abandoned perhaps. what can you tell us about that? jake: so we've been in touch with the ukrainians overnight which they said they struck the ship with anti-ship missiles. we don't have -- we can't verify it. certainly, the way this unfolded, it's a big blow to russia. this is their flagship, the moscow. and they have now been forced to admit it has been badly damaged and they had to choose between two stories. one story is that it was just incompetence and the other was they were under attack and neither is a particularly good outcome for them. david: would you expect based on their cruise missiles or the other armaments we provided to the ukrainians more incidents
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would be like this, more ships would be damaged severely? jake: well, without getting into sensitive operational issues, the president did go to nato and indicated to our allies we're looking to facilitate the coastal defense and anti-ship missiles. that's been actively worked. and i'll leave it at that. david: ok. recently the president, the administration provided an additional amount of military assistance to the ukrainians. i think $800 million, $900 million. when you come up with those kind of numbers, do you sit down with the ukrainians and say, do you actually need? do you know the military suppliers, the contractors have this stuff ready to go? jake: yeah, exactly. we don't pick numbers out of a hat. in this particular case, the chairman of the joint chiefs, mark milley, and myself spent time on the phone with the chief
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of defense for ukraine and the chief of staff to president zelenskyy and we went item by item with their list, numbers, capabilities. some of them are in our stocks. on their priority list. some of them are post-soviet equipment we don't have. and essentially what we do, we go through everything that we can acquire from our own holdings, everything we can get our allies and partners to give. we put all that together and we organize the logistics of delivering it. and the $800 million that we had announced yesterday with everything we could muster in a reasonable time frame to get to the ukrainians so they will have those systems ready to use for the coming battle in the east. and so if you go down that list, you'll see that it's all things that the ukrainians have requested. and the president -- president biden had a chance to talk to president zelenskyy yesterday to review the list with him.
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it was an extremely positive conversation. david: when they have those discussions, is it in english or is there an interpreter? jake: there is an interpreter and quite remarkably good interpreter who works for the u.s. government. but president zelenskyy will occasionally switch into english. most of it is done through interpretation. but when president zelenskyy wants to emphasize a particular point or when they're connecting personally, president zelenskyy will speak in english. david: so when we provide weapons to them, do the contractors who might have the weapons in their supplies, they ship it directly or have to give it to the u.s. military and we ship it over? jake: so ultimately the logistics are managed at the government level, not at the private contractor level. i'll leave it at that. we tried to protect the method by which we're actually moving the material.
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david: is there a danger that maybe you won't be able to get the supplies in because the russians might try to shoot down planes that are bringing them in or ships or however they're getting there? jake: so we have to be consistently concerned about the instructions getting the weapons. what i will say is this, the united states is not operating inside the territory of ukraine. so if the russians were to obviously strike nato territory where the materiel is being assembled, that would invoke article 5 and be a complete game changer. trying to interdict this materiel inside ukraine had been limited. of course, that's something we're constantly watching. part of the effort is to ensure there is a resilient and diverse method of getting it in. david: the president visited poland recently. was there any thought of his going into ukraine?
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jake: we did talk about it. i think the president would love the opportunity to go to ukraine to show solidarity with the ukrainians. the question of what kind of footprint that would require, what kind of assets that would take from the ukrainians as well as from us is a very serious one for him. so it was not under any serious planning he would actually go to ukraine on that trip. david: our reports today a u.s. senior official will go to ukraine. it's reported the secretary of defense or somebody like that. i assume you can't tell in advance. would you suggest it was the idea of a senior official or can you comment on that? jake: i can't. i am not going to speak to any question about senior official visiting kyiv or visiting ukraine at this point because we want to make sure if and when that happens, and obviously, you know, kyiv stands. we want to get americans back there. if and when that happens, we want to make sure it's done in a very secure way.
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david: the president recently said what the russians was doing was genocide. and was that a carefully constructed use of the word? or did it just happen and now you're saying, well, we agree with the use of the word genocide or is there any doubt genocide is going on and what can you do about genocide? jake: well, the president said after he said initially, we got a brutal dictator committing a genocide in eastern ukraine, he was asked to elaborate that by the press on a trip to iowa a couple days ago, and what he said is what he's assessed over the past weeks seeing everything that's come in. which is the russians and putin seem to be hell-bent on erasing the very idea of ukrainian identity as an independent identity. when you combine that with the mass acts of killing from the president's perspective, that's genocide. now, he also said -- that's from his perspective. there is a legal process our
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state department goes through. the lawyers look at the terms of the genocide convention and make a determination as to whether in fact it meets the legal standard. that's something that will take quite a bit of time. but the president was quite deliberate in his own personal use of that term. david: how much longer do you think the fighting will continue in ukraine? a couple weeks, a couple months, a year, more, do you have any idea? jake: it's very lard to assess. i have said before from the white house podium we believe there is a good chance that the fighting will be protracted, that this will go on for months or even longer because what you're looking at is a substantial amount of territory in the east that the russians are now -- and in the south that the russians will seek to contest and they're going to throw a lot at it. the ukrainians are going to resist. but obviously we should all offer some degree of humility in making projections about the course of this war because it's
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uncertain as to how exactly it will unfold. david: the economic sanctions the administration imposed along with our allies in europe and other places, are they having any bite on putin's ability to fight which you can see? jake: one of the ways they're hampering his ability to fight is a lesser focused on part which is the export controls. the united states and all of our western allies as well as our key allies in asia, korea and japan, have all signed up to export controls on high-end inputs to defense technology. so russia's ability to retool and replenish, because many of the systems rely on western microchips and components have been severely limited and they are exhausting the stock of some of the high-end weapons. that's a very direct way in which you will see that. and then more broadly, reducing the amount of money coming into russia, reducing the russian state coffers and freezing
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hundreds of billions of dollars in their central bank has the impact on funding and fueling the war machine. david: as long as the europeans need to buy russian gas and oil, they will have money they can fight this war with, is that right? jake: it's fair to say they're continuing to collect resources. i'm not sitting here suggesting we have so starved them of those resources they literally can't field an army and continue to try to make progress on the battlefield. on the issue of european purchases of oil and gas, first, they just banned the purchases of coal. second, there's more active discussion in europe now and more active discussion between us and europe about what the future of that energy relationship is. and one thing the united states is doing very aggressively is taking practical steps to help europe be able to wean itself off of russian gas by increasing and intensifying the delivery of the supplies of u.s. liquefied natural gas.
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david: is there any evidence that the chinese is providing military equipment or financial aid in any way to the russians that you know of? jake: military equipment, we have not seen yet, but something we constantly monitor. of course, we don't have complete visibility at all times. so we have to keep intensively looking to see whether it's something that will happen. at the moment we have not seen that. on financial aid, it's a complicated question. of course, russia and china have an economic relationship and there's intercourse between russia and china. have we seen the effort to undermine the sanctions, at this point we have not. day by day, week by week it's something we watch closely. david: are there more economic sanctions left you can impose? it seems you have imposed all the sanctions possible. is there anything else in your tool kit? jake: what we've done is unprecedented in terms of the economy to take this set of steps across financial
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sanctions. investment bans. the export controls i spoke about before. and what's also quite remarkable is more than 600 major companies leaving russia of their own accord, american companies, european countries. we're grateful in the ways in which the private sector has stepped up on behalf of principle and value. there are now more companies that are making that decision as to whether they're going to leave. of course, the united states kind of -- there's always -- as long as there is a functioning economy somewhere, more tools you could potentially bring to bear, we feel like we've taken the major measures. but where our focus will be over the course of the coming days is on evasion. it's on -- as russia tries to adjust to the fact it is under this massive economic pressure, what steps do they take to try to evade their sanctions and how do we crack down on that? i think we'll have some announcements in the next week or two that identify targets
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that are trying to facilitate there that evasion -- facilitate that evasion both inside russia and beyond. david: every war ends or has an armistice. at some point this will presumably end, nobody knows, do you think the sanctions will automatically be lifted as a result of the negotiations or there is no forgone conclusion that it will be lifted? jake: it's not a foregone conclusion. it's the shape of the diplomatic agreement and it depends what the ukrainians in consultation with us and the europeans come to agree to. we are not going to do a deal over the head of the ukrainians where we give a bunch of sanction relief to russia. if some measure of sanction relief was built into some credible diplomatic solution led by the ukrainians it's something
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we'll discuss. david: what about the oligarchs and the yachts and possessions, will you give them back as well or is it off the table? and won't they be available for reparations or some type? in other words, you can sell those yachts. jake: i will say one thing i was not deep on before taking this job was laws on asset seizure and forfeiture. i have come to learn a bit about it. there are authorities we have and there are further authorities that maybe we could develop. that's something we are actively looking at. and i don't want to get ahead of any announcements. the president is actively looking at how we can deal with the fact that as we seize these assets, our goal is not to give them back. our goal is to put them to a better use than that. but i'll be careful in what i say today because there's an ongoing kind of policy process
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around how we end up dealing with that question. but rest assured, the goal is not just to sit on them for a while and then pass them all back. david: ok. when we are sending weapons over to the ukrainians, are they trained in the use of these weapons? or do we have to spend a lot of time training them? jake: so this is one of the factors in terms of what we consider to supply. they can much more easily integrate soviet systems into their current operational formations. just brink bringing a new -- just bringing a new weapon could be more disrupted than additive. so some of our things are easily handed over and used. javelins are a good example of that. we trained the ukrainians over years on the use of javelins and so they now have the capacity to pass that training on to others and that's a pretty seamless
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process. for other types of systems, they do require some degree of training. in fact, lloyd austin was just heard publicly how we're doing a limited amount of training on some of these other systems. but we're trying to do it on systems where you can do it rapidly, not over the course of months or years. for some of the higher end stuff that the united states has, it is a months or years process. and there's a separate question, it's not just about can someone point and shoot with a given weapon. it's, how is it maintained and repaired? what is the logically -- logistical tale to it? there are some systems that don't make sense because it would end up being a drag. but that's a constant conversation that we have with the ukrainians about that piece of the puzzle. the question of is this actually really usable in any kind of reasonable time frame? david: ok. is there any red line that the russians that would course that would force us into u cranes?
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-- ukraine? let's say the weapons of mass destruction would be used. is that a red line that would force us to send troops? is there no red line? jake: well, we have consistently said with respect to the use of chemical or biological weapons, there would be severe consequences on russia. we said nothing more than that in terms of detailing them in public. we have communicated directly to the russians our views on this subject. we've consulted closely with our allies. i'll leave it there. david: ok. downtown want to give -- you don't want to give a tip what they're telling them? jake: not today. david: are there ongoing conversations by anybody that's trying to negotiate a peace here, is there anything going on behind the scenes that you can hint that or there's nothing really going on? jake: there is a negotiation that's going on. you know, putin just spoke to it a day or two ago where he
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described it as being at a dead end, that they should keep working. the ukrainians have expressed a view it has been a difficult thing but remaining invested in trying to see if there is a negotiated solution is a good thing. we have not been direct participants in any negotiation because we believe this is something where the ukrainians should be in the lead and we should be in support. but we have regular consultations and i will have a further consultation today with my counterpart in kyiv on a secure phone what they're thinking. we're not actively involved in any negotiation. david: we have intelligence that picks up what they're saying or we don't know what they're saying? jake: i mean, we get reports from the ukrainians. so i don't think this is one where they're trying to hide the ball on it. they're sharing with us the progress or lack of progress at the negotiating table. david: so in this administration, what you have done in the war is to release previously classified information that was declassified relatively quickly. so where the russian troops were
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and what theoretically putin has been saying. is that a novel technique? are you happy with it? is it having a benefit declassifying things quickly and saying to the russians we know what you're thinking and saying and what you're doing? jake: so we do think it's had a positive benefit. we do think novel might not be the exact right word because this -- the declassification and public presentation of intelligence has been done before. but the tempo and the manner in which we did it particularly in the leadup to the war i am not familiar with another example of that. and the reason we did it is really two-fold. the first is to rob the russians of the element of surprise which they had in crimea and we did not want them to have here. the second was more important which was the russians are masters of making things murky. how to distort. where the russians forced into
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it because of provocation or pretext of the ukrainians? we wanted them to rob that and show this was premeditated, long planned. that we knew what the plan was and we knew roughly what the time frame was and when it happened the world would know this was a brutal war of choice imposed by putin and the russians on the ukrainians and not some conflict that began because things spun out of control. we believe we were very successful in that and were actually able to rally the world to respond, not just aggressively over time, as they scrambled to figure it out, but very, very rapidly. within days, within days of the invasion we had imposed the most sweeping sanctions in a coordinated fashion with the europeans, the japanese, others that have ever been applied against a major economy, as i said before. and that could not have happened if we had not been painstakingly, systematic@ly --
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system@iccally -- systematically doing it. david: does it have to be declassify it by the president? jake: he has the ultimate power and authority to declassify and he gave broad strategic direction we do that. in terms of the individual pieces, there is a process that involves the intelligence community to ensure that sources and methods are protected. they ultimately -- we deferred to the intelligence community to say we're ok with that, we're not ok with that. david: so when you declassify something that says putin said this to somebody, doesn't it kind of make putin wonder whether you have human intelligence right around him or you're picking up his communications by technical means? does that make you nervous when you say, this is what he's saying almost in real time, isn't that dangerous a bit? jake: this is what protections of sources and methods is about.
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seemingly technocratic phrase. if you put a piece of intelligence into the world, can your adversary readily determine what the source of that information was and shut off that source? and so we will only put pieces of information in the world where we have confidence that they cannot do that. that's what the analysis with the intelligence community is. and that's why they will green light certain things we can say and red light other things. i found myself in an awkward situation of late where it's a common thing for a national security advisor to say i don't comment on intelligence matters but we've been commenting very broadly on intelligence matters over the last few months. so maybe the better way to say is i don't comment on intelligence matters -- i do comment on them when they can help our national security. that's been a careful, very thoughtful, very systematic, very prudent process that's been
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managed at senior levels across the director of national intelligence, the c.i.a., the n.s.a., you know, all the different agencies of our government. david: so with would the president prefer and the administration prefer when this fighting is over at some point, it presumably will be over, that putin stay in power or not stay in power? jake: well, the president has spoken to his views on this subject quite emphatically. you know, what he said when he was asked about that, look, i am not going to hold back and express the absolute and utter moral outrage of what this person is doing. out of nowhere for no reason initiating and then leading the industrial scale destruction, devastation, human toll of this conflict, it's barbaric, it's outrageous. but he also made the point that the future of russia will be decided in russia by russians. the united states is not
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enounsiating some re -- enunciating some regime change policy. the absolute brutality that putin has brought and what harm he has brought from sitting where he sits. david: now, when we are in the opposition to what russia is doing, how do we deal with russia on other issues? on space issues or on other issues where russia and we might have some common interest or do we not have a relationship at this point as long as war is going on? jake: well, one example where we had obviously to deal with russia is in the context of the iran nuclear negotiations where they're a member of the permanent five plus one, plus germany and the european union. it's not like american diplomats never come into contact with russian diplomat but in no arena is it business as usual.
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we do cooperate with the russians on the international space station. and you know, we did that at the height of the cold war when we had, you know, nuclear weapons on hair trigger. so we have kind of a muscle memory of being able to deal with moscow even in a context of extraordinarily heightened tension. david: do you see any likelihood that the president will talk to putin in the near future by video conference or anything like that? jake: we don't have anything on the horizon. david: ok. let's talk about china for a moment. it's an easier subject. [laughter] do you see any concern by the chinese about what the western allies have done in terms of putting sanctions on russia and they're maybe worried about something they might do in taiwan or there's no similarity worth talking about? jake: well, certainly we have
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expressed our concerns about china taking efforts to unilaterally change the status quo. and we think they are carefully looking at what's happening in ukraine to learn lessons writ large. now to the u.s. ourselves, the situation with ukraine and the situation with taiwan is not the same. our relationship with taiwan is governed by the taiwan relations act. our security partnership is governed by the taiwan relations act. and you know, we have -- one of the things we have focused on in the past several weeks is deep consultations with allies and partners, including in europe to say this kind of thing could happen in europe. this kind of thing could happen in the indo-pacific. and it's incumbent upon responsible countries in the world to send a clear message that any type of aggression is unacceptable wherever it happens. david: so if china were to invade taiwan, is it our policy to defend taiwan? jake: we'll take every step we
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possibly can to ensure that never happens. david: ok. let's talk about the iranian negotiations. where do they stand? any chance of it getting resolved? jake: over the past few months we made a fair deal of progress and getting to the point where both iran and the u.s. could come back to the nuclear deal on a compliance by compliance basis. there are a few issues that have not been involved. we continue to go back and forth on those issues and we'll see where things land. if we get to the point where the president believes there is a deal on the table that will put iran's nuclear program back in the box it got out of when the previous president pulled out of the deal in 2018 and it protects america's national security interest, he'll do the deal. if not, he won't. and we'll -- the coming days and weeks will be telling. david: i said earlier in introducing you, you are the youngest person to have this person. jake: i am not. david: who was younger?
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jake: george bundy was younger. david: you are the second youngest. he wasn't a rhodes scholar. jake: i don't know. david: ok. you are the second youngest. i would -- curious how you have changed the process, if at all, in the national security process, do you meet with the president every morning? do you meet with him in the afternoon? how do you communicate with him about what you think you should -- he should know? is it about written communication do you mostly deal with him or oral communications? jake: i do meet with the president every morning that he's in washington. we have something called the president's daily briefing where myself and the intelligence community and a couple other senior national security staffers will sit with him, not just to go through the daily intelligence briefing but then to talk about issues that are on his mind. some of them may be immediate. it might be the news of the day out of ukraine. some of them may be longer term
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strategic, systemic issues. we do that on a daily basis. ordinarily in the course of the day, there will be at least one if not two or through other engagements, whether it's a phone call to a foreign leader, a meeting in the situation room. me happen to just go down and talk him through something that's developed. i would say there's both formal meetings on national security issues where we've served the key national security principles and just informal meeting on what is a turbulent -- david: when you got this position i'm sure you heard from former national security advisors. what's the best advice did you get? jake: to actually put time on the calendar to think which sounds crazy. in this job, you essentially -- you're subject to the tyranny of the inbox. there's so much happening. you could spend from early in the morning until early in the morning the next morning just
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responding. and so a number of them said, look, the thing i wish i had done more was literally put time to say let's focus on affirmative. how do we play offense? and i try to do that every day. i will say, as many of you know from other context, it's an extraordinarily difficult thing. when i feel like i am actually being successful in my job are the weeks in which i am following through on that advice. less successful is the weeks of the tyranny. david: it's a seven day a week job. you don't relax. jake: no. david: i mentioned in your introduction, is there any job you had that's intense as this job, as far as being on call all the time?
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jake: i can think of other professions that are more intense in other ways. david: private equity. [laughter] jake: don't know about that. but in terms of the job in the government, you know, i guess maybe the deputy national security advisor is a more intense job, to be fair. it is -- it is really intense. one of the things i think makes the job of the american national security advisor particularly intense, everything that happens everywhere on every dimension and every geography, some piece of the u.s. government has something to say or do about that. and that's true from the energy markets to humanitarian disaster to nuclear proliferation to a terrorist incident to a diplomatic agreement between two countries in a different part of
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the world and what its knock on implications are. and the amount of information that you have to process rapidly every day and then the knowledge of the system to be able to say who actually really knows what's going on here and who needs to be empowered to do something about it. the sheer diversity of that is probably the most challenging part of the job. david: so how do you relate to the secretary of state? historically, the secretary of state and national security advisor often didn't get along. sometimes they did. how do you relate? how many times a day do you talk to the secretary of state? jake: tony blinken is such a not nice person that it's difficult to deal with him. no. we actually have a tremendous relationship. we've known each other for years. we worked in government together before. i think we have a similar operating style.
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we don't always agree on every issue. in fact, we debate a lot of issues but we do so i think in a constructive way that is not just the two of us working through an issue personally. it's our -- it's the national security council and the state department effectively working through things and works very well. i talk to tony every day sometimes repeatedly. he's in my office a lot. he's over at the white house a considerable amount. his relationship with the president is extremely close and long standing. and actually that has been in my view a big asset in caring for what the president has focused on which is elevate diplomacy in our national security and to give the state department the kind of position in the u.s. government that it has long deserved and has not always had in previous administrations. david: if you and tony agree on something -- and let's suppose the secretary of defense agrees as well, you go to the president.
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does he ever overturn a united recommendation? jake: yes, he does. david: does he give a reason? jake: of course. it's every third time he does it. no. [laughter] he actually -- you know, i have found this to be one of the kind of humbling things about this job is we can run a whole process that involves multiple layers of review and decision and a lot of people who are pretty smart and very knowledgeable on the subject all coming together collectively around a consensus recommendation. we can take it to the president who will have spent that day focused on domestic policy or something totally different and he will look at it and then he will ask a question that makes you think, oh, wow. we didn't even really get to that. he will get to the heart of the matter and say, you know, i question this underlying premise
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of the decision you just came out with. that happens more often than you might think. and unless you believe that's some display of a messed up process or we didn't quite get it right, there is something about having a chief executive who has perspective, experience, the ability to kind of see things from multiple different angles, who just brings a different level of capacity to decision-making. and it does mean that we will prepare consensus recommendations. he'll say i don't buy that. you need to improve that. or i am on the other side of that. he's the boss. i think it makes for a more effective decision-making process that he engages. david: so how has he changed since you were his national security advisor when he was vice president?
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is he smarter than before? how has he changed? jake: being president is so different than being anything else in the world, let alone vice president. it's really the gravity of feeling about the decisions, the kind of weight of that. i think it gives you an intensity of focus on the stakes and the scope of every outcome that it has -- that manifests itself. it's like you can almost feel it in the room how a president is engaging a decision from basically how anyone else as secretary, a senator, or even a vice president. david: so you worked for hillary clinton. you worked for barack obama. you worked for joe biden. who's smarter? [laughter] you're not going to answer that? jake: nope. david: so you work in the white house under president obama. how is the national security process different or not much
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different? jake: similar. in county if a, i learned a -- in fact, i learned a lot from jones who was the national security advisor in the obama administration. i would say the process is the same. there are a couple things different. one is the issues set has expanded over the past decade. technology. climate. national security is relevant. the intersection between foreign and domestic policy. covid i think has introduced or elevated the kind of question of biosecurity, pandemic preparedness in a different way than how it existed before. so i added directorates to the national security council. we have a different consolation of actors around the table, a broader consolation of actors around the table than what was
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previously. i would say that's the biggest way in which things have evolved from the time president obama was involved. david: what time do you have for relaxation or getting in shape? do you exercise any more? do you have time for that? do you have any time for staying just healthy? jake: not really. and in fact, yes, i'm not -- i'm not in fighting shape physically. hopefully i'm still in emotional good shape. i do try to exercise. i would say the thing i have probably fallen down on the job most since beginning has been keeping up a really good exercise regimen and sleep regimen and good diet. i mean, honestly, i reverted to a certain extent to eating like i did in college. david: really? jake: late nights at work. david: ok. let me ask you about the mistakes. everybody has made mistakes in life, i think.
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so would you look back in your time as national security advisor, would you say you made any mistakes that you can talk about publicly, we can do anything differently with the way you handled russia or afghanistan in hindsight? jake: i think anyone who tells you after a year and some months in any job, let alone a job of the complexity of national security advisor say, no, i don't think i made mistakes, they should be fired. because they're not, you know, properly assessing either their own performance or how they could improve. yes, of course, i made mistakes. i mean, i do think i will be guarded in kind of baring my soul here about what i think they were because i think that has implications. and then, you know, with the question of afghanistan, i get this question a fair amount. obviously, the way things turned out i wish they had turned out differently. if i could go back and make them turn out differently i would.
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but there will be a time when i leave this job to actually reflect on was there a moment or decision or a particular move we made or didn't make that would have dramatically or materially altered the outcome. i try to learn in real time. for myself. but in terms of kind of meditating on that publicly, i'll wait for the future. david: ok. so let's talk about for a moment other troublesome spots in the world. anything new on north korea? jake: well, it has been a period of intense activity by north korea in terms of the tests that they have conducted. they have conducted a series of shorter and intermediate tests. and tests longer range systems that they didn't really 'tis publicly. in fact -- advertise publicly. in fact, we went out to say, hey, they're up to something.
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and then the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that they had no done since 2017. yes, they are in a pattern of provocation, a pattern of testing. we expect that will continue. i suspect you will hear more out of north korea in terms of its efforts to advance its nuclear program and its missile program in the weeks and months ahead. and we are coordinating closely with both our -- the outgoing and incoming r.o.k. government with japan. and i was just in rome a few weeks ago with my chinese counterpart and so we were talking to beijing about this as well. david: does north korea today have an intercontinental ballistic missile that's nuclear tipped that can get to the united states? jake: north korea has tested an icbm. they did so back in 2017. they did so again just a few weeks ago. they obviously have nuclear
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weapons. and the last test they had of a nuke was back in 2017. and we know they have an arsenal of them. the question of whether they can make a nuclear warhead to an intercontinental ballistic missile, fire it and actually have it hit a target anywhere they want to in the intercontinental united states is not yet proved. david: so far israel and india have not been supportive of our efforts on russian sanctions. is that disappointing for you or do you think there's justification? jake: our view, we cannot hit it of quote-unquote support for our ukraine policy and for sanctions or other things. as a switch of an off switch. for us it's a work in progress. president biden spoke with prime minister modi earlier this week. we're not trying to beat
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countries over the head to get on board. we are trying to get consensus both of what russia has done here and what the right ways to respond to it are. india has a long standing relationship with russia. they are not situated with them the way we are or europe is or japan is. the same thing is true of israel. i think you've seen particularly out of israel an increasingly robust stand stand on particularly the atrocitied we've seen in bucha and elsewhere. david: every morning you wake up, you have to deal with all the problems in the world. if you eliminate russia and china, what are the biggest things you're worried about right now? climate change, is that one of the things you're worried about or is that not in your purview? jake: climate change is in all of our purviews. it's something we worry profoundly about.
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you know, the question of how to mobilize collective action and collective resources to stable 1.5 degrees while at the same time dealing with an energy transition that's putting real pressure on the pocketbooks of working people in the united states and elsewhere, that has all kind of policy dimensions to it, including geopolitical dimensions. and so that's something we are taking a hard look at. there's also the question of the global refugee crisis and the ways in which displaced people in the world over, that that is being exacerbated by climate change and exacerbated by covid. last thing is food security. you know, one of the factors that we need to weigh because of the war in ukraine is ukraine is a major supplier offed too. some of that food has been disrupted from getting to shth
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ma because the russians are sinking civilian ships in the black sea or disabling ships in the black sea. and figuring out how we make sure people don't go hungry, that hunger doesn't lead to instability and so on down the line. that's a major focus of us as well. david: so your career has seemed to be built toward getting this position because you had many jobs that prepared you for it. now you got the position you're prepared for, are you happy with the job? huh had you wish you hadn't prepared for this job? jake: it depends on the day you ask me. it's an exceptional privilege to be able to have this job, but it is -- it's not easy. and it's -- the weight of this job, it's nothing compared to what i was describing before
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with the weight of being the president. it's a weight to carry. what i try to just do every day is try to justify the president's confidence and me having it and what i do every night is not sleep thinking about all the things i should have done the day before and what's coming the next day. it's doing a number of on my ability to be restful, i would say. but i'm happy to be -- david: for the foreseeable future, do you intend to stay in this job as long as you can? jake: i have no announcements today on returning to spend time with my family. david: i want to thank you for a very interesting conversation. i will give you a gift that is authorized by the lawyers at the white house to give you. ok. [applause] david: all right. jake: thank you. thanks so much. david: thank you.
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thanks a lot. ok. thank you, all. thanks, jake. >> today, u.s. ambassador to the u.n., linda thomas-greenfield discusses the importance of global coordination in a conversation hosted by the brookings institution. watch this live starting at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. available online at or watch full coverage on our free video app c-span now. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more, including wow. >> the world has changed. today, the fast, reliable internet connection is something no one can live without. so wow is there for our customers with speed, reliability, value, and choice. now more than ever, it all start with great internet. >> wow. >> wow supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to
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democracy. >> listen to c-span radio with c-span now. get complete access what's happening in washington wherever you are with live streams of floor proceedings and hearings from the u.s. congress, white house events, the court, campaigns and more. plus, analysis of the world of politics with our informative podcast. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. download it for free today. c-span now, your front row seat to washington anytime anywhere. >> former defense secretary robert gates took part in a discussion about the russian invasion of ukraine. he talked about president putin's goals for the war and the u.s. role in the conflict. he also spoke about the challenges of political polarization and the need for long-term planning when it


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