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Navigating the Nation's Discourse: Complete Transcript of 'Face the Nation' - November 19, 2023 2024-04-20 11:50:40

"Critical Global Issues Unfold on 'Face the Nation'

In this edition of 'Face the Nation,' our moderator Margaret Brennan addresses pressing concerns from the Middle East to the Pacific rim, spotlighting the challenges testing America's influence worldwide. The seven-week-long conflict between Israel and Hamas takes center stage, with Israeli forces escalating efforts to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, leaving Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire and society on the brink of collapse. The broadcast delves into the ongoing efforts to rescue more than 200 hostages, including Americans, held by Hamas.

Shifting the focus to international relations, the aftermath of President Biden's face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping comes into scrutiny. Insights from the bipartisan leaders of Congress' China Committee shed light on the future of America's relationship with its biggest rival.

Amidst these global concerns, the broadcast captures heated moments in Washington, emphasizing the need to restore civility in public discourse. As tempers flare, the importance of fostering a more civil environment is explored.

Stay tuned for a comprehensive analysis and discussions with key players from the Biden administration, Capitol Hill, and international perspectives on the challenges shaping the world's geopolitical landscape. 'Face the Nation' provides a nuanced exploration of the critical issues defining our times. Tune in for an informative and insightful discussion."

"In a report from Gaza, Imtiaz Tyab sheds light on the ongoing negotiations for the release of captives amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. Talks, involving multiple parties, including the U.S., revolve around a potential five-day pause in fighting and a significant increase in humanitarian aid. However, the situation remains complex as Israel expands its offensive against Hamas, prompting mass evacuations in the south. The report details the devastating impact of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, particularly at the Al Shifa Hospital, described as a Hamas command center by Israeli forces. The hospital, despite having protected status under international law, has been a focal point of the conflict, with Israel justifying its assault within the boundaries of international law. The evidence presented by the Israeli military, including an apparent underground command center, is under scrutiny, with more details expected to be shared soon."

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"Addressing National Security Challenges: A Conversation with Representative Mike Turner

In this segment, Representative Mike Turner, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, engages in a discussion with Margaret Brennan on pressing national security issues. Turner acknowledges a gap in Israel's intelligence capabilities, emphasizing the unexpected nature of the failures during the October 7 Hamas attack. He expresses concerns about the ongoing conflict and doubts about the success of Israel's military goals against Hamas.

Brennan raises the issue of potential amphetamine use by Hamas attackers, referencing Republican colleagues' actions to address this. Turner admits he has not seen specific intelligence on this matter but acknowledges the troubling nature of the reported brutality.

Shifting focus to domestic threats, Turner discusses FBI Director's public statements about foreign terrorist groups issuing specific calls to attack the U.S. He attributes the increased threat level to the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and border security issues. Turner emphasizes the importance of policy changes alongside funding for border security.

The conversation turns to Section 702 reauthorization, with Turner dispelling misinformation and affirming its necessity for national security. He clarifies the role of 702 in collecting data on foreign nationals and addresses concerns about individuals on the terror watch list crossing the border. Turner concludes with a discussion on the potential end of special counsel Robert Hur's investigation into President Biden's handling of classified information and its implications for the national security community.

This insightful conversation provides a glimpse into the challenges and considerations faced by the House Intelligence Committee in navigating complex national security issues."

"Representative Mike Turner Criticizes Alleged Mishandling of Classified Documents

Representative Mike Turner discusses the potential conclusion of special counsel Robert Hur's investigation into President Biden's handling of classified information. Turner expresses concern over what he perceives as a two-tier system of justice within the Department of Justice, emphasizing Biden's alleged hoarding of classified documents over a 10-year period without consequences. Turner draws parallels to the case of Hillary Clinton, highlighting a pattern of Democrats avoiding accountability for mishandling classified information.

Margaret Brennan raises the distinction between President Trump's case, where he refused to fully hand over documents, and Biden's cooperation during his presidency. Turner rejects this differentiation, asserting that Biden's decade-long hoarding of documents cannot be overshadowed by brief cooperation during his presidency.

The conversation underscores the complexity of addressing allegations of mishandling classified information and the potential implications for the Department of Justice's approach to Democrats. The interview provides insights into Turner's perspective on accountability and justice within the realm of national security."

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CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: We have a critical need to pass the supplemental request by the end of the year, addressing urgent requirements such as military assistance for Ukraine, support for Israel, humanitarian aid, and assistance for our partners in the Indo-Pacific region. While there are bipartisan discussions ongoing during the recess, it remains uncertain if progress on border security and immigration reform can be achieved by the year's end. I believe it's irresponsible to link vital assistance for Ukraine to unrelated negotiations on immigration reform, particularly given the urgent situation in Ukraine.

Regarding my letter endorsing more funding for Israel, I am still awaiting a public response from the Biden administration. While there has been outreach at the highest levels and an offer to meet with the president's top national security and foreign policy team, important questions from the letter remain unanswered. The administration's response is crucial for addressing concerns and ensuring accountability.

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Senator Van Hollen has consistently raised concerns about the use of U.S. taxpayer money to fund security assistance to Israel, particularly when there are incidents of violence by settlers against Palestinians. He has expressed these concerns to the White House, emphasizing that taxpayer funds should not shield individuals who engage in violence against innocent Palestinians. The recent announcement by President Biden to restrict visas for individuals with a record of violence against innocent people, specifically targeting extreme settlers, is viewed positively by Senator Van Hollen. He sees it as an important first step in addressing the longstanding issue of settler violence against Palestinians, which has seen a significant increase during the recent conflict.

The senator highlights the severity of extremist settler violence, including killings, house burnings, and displacement of Palestinians from villages. He notes that some members of the Netanyahu coalition have extreme views, with affiliations to parties that were on the U.S. terrorist watch list. Senator Van Hollen stresses the importance of the United States taking a strong stance on this issue and commends President Biden for his actions.

In response to the controversy surrounding the statement that being pro-Israeli doesn't require being anti-Palestinian, Senator Van Hollen emphasizes that such a stance should not be considered controversial. He underscores the importance of recognizing that supporting one side does not necessitate animosity toward the other, advocating for a balanced and constructive approach to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, Israel, the European Union, Canada, and others.

The attack against the field hospital in Gaza was reportedly carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Yes, the current situation is deeply concerning for the stability of the region. The ongoing conflict, especially the high civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis, is putting immense pressure on the peace treaties and relations between countries. The next generation may find it challenging to maintain the same level of peace and stability that has existed for decades, as the consequences of the conflict reverberate across the region. It is crucial to address the root causes of the conflict, work towards a ceasefire, and engage in diplomatic efforts to find a lasting solution that ensures security and prosperity for all parties involved.

Certainly, it is encouraging to see bipartisan cooperation on such critical issues. It is essential for both parties to work together to address the challenges in the region. The $4 billion request from President Biden for Taiwan and Asian allies is a significant step towards bolstering security and stability in the area. Congressman Gallagher, as a Republican, has a pivotal role in navigating this process, and it will be important for both sides to find common ground and swiftly pass legislation that supports the strategic objectives outlined by the President. Cooperation on such matters is vital for the overall security and prosperity of the region.

I apologize for any confusion. Congressman Gallagher, it appears there might be a misunderstanding regarding the mention of a subpoena. If you could clarify your stance on the matter and provide insights into your objectives concerning the sponsors of the dinner attended by Xi Jinping and prominent U.S. CEOs, it would be appreciated. Transparency and understanding the dynamics of such high-profile interactions are crucial for ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing the challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: There has been some discussion about the dinner with Xi Jinping that was reported by "Bloomberg." Congressman Gallagher, could you clarify your position on potentially subpoenaing the sponsors of that dinner, and what do you aim to achieve with such an action?

MIKE GALLAGHER: I think there might be some confusion, as I did not mention a subpoena. However, I can share my general thoughts on the dinner, which I found quite disturbing. The event reportedly involved a $40,000 fee for attendees to enjoy coffee-rubbed flank steak and sip wine with Xi Jinping. What's even more concerning is that there was a standing ovation for a communist dictator responsible for atrocities in Xinjiang, cultural genocide in Tibet, and the erosion of civil society in Hong Kong. Notably, this included American defense contractors, highlighting the need for Congress to address the flow of U.S. capital to Chinese military companies. We must establish a healthier economic relationship and prevent corporate interests from compromising American values for financial gain in China.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The intertwining of the two economies is undeniable. Given that CEOs reportedly had their intellectual property stolen while giving Xi Jinping a standing ovation, do you believe China's greatest leverage is financial, and is it realistic to unwind this complex economic relationship?

MIKE GALLAGHER: It's a complex issue, and I don't advocate for total decoupling. However, we must take steps to unwind certain aspects. Even without government intervention, some private sector companies are already de-risking and reducing their exposure in China. The reported dinner, where individuals likely paid for access rather than just food, underscores the need for a careful reassessment of our economic ties with China.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman Gallagher, Congressman Krishnamoorthi, during the summit, were you able to address concerns related to the economic aggression routinely practiced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against American entities?

MIKE GALLAGHER: Absolutely, we made efforts on the Select Committee to address economic concerns related to the CCP's aggression against American entities. I'm pleased to be collaborating with Mike on finding ways to work with the Biden administration to reduce our investments in Chinese entities that contribute to the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) military modernization and human rights abuses. A positive development is that the Federal Thrift Savings Plan recently heeded our recommendations and decided to remove investments in those specific entities. I believe our work on the committee is making a difference.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Speaking of the summit between the U.S. and China, there were low expectations, mainly focused on establishing a crisis communication channel and addressing the flow of fentanyl precursor chemicals. Do you consider the summit a success merely for bringing the two leaders together?

MIKE GALLAGHER: While I appreciate the establishment of a crisis communication channel for reducing the risk of miscommunication leading to war, I remain skeptical about the fentanyl agreement. We've seen similar commitments in the past, and my concern is that the CCP tends to promise more than it delivers. In the broader context, my worry is that these summits often result in the U.S. paying upfront, but the CCP's commitments are delayed or fall short. The key to effective communication lies in the investments we make in our own military strength in the Indo-Pacific, and I believe we haven't been proactive enough in implementing a deterrence by denial posture in the region.

RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: I view the summit as promising, especially with the agreement on fentanyl cooperation and the establishment of military-to-military communication channels. The CCP's commitment to send pandas to the United States and increase commercial flights is a positive step.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman Krishnamoorthi, regarding the U.S.-China summit, do you believe the discussion adequately addressed human rights abuses, particularly those against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and dissidents in China?

RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: While the summit did touch on some issues, I would have liked to see more emphasis on addressing human rights abuses, particularly the crackdown on Uyghurs, Tibetans, and dissidents in China. I remain hopeful that future discussions will prioritize action on these critical human rights concerns. The expectations for the summit were quite low, and meeting or exceeding them will likely depend on how effectively these issues are addressed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The comments from Xi Jinping about sending pandas were not a firm commitment, and expectations were intentionally kept low for the summit. Congressman Gallagher, your committee reportedly subpoenaed information about an illegal bio lab in California. Can you share what you discovered, and what message do you have for the administration?

MIKE GALLAGHER: Local officials in Reedley uncovered an illegal bio lab involving transgenic mice, dangerous pathogens, and the lab owner, Jesse Shu, was a fugitive receiving unexplained wire transfers from China. When they sought assistance from the CDC and FBI, they were met with refusal and even hang-ups. This incident highlights the need for more robust defenses and better coordination to prevent illegal activities in biolabs. We must avoid similar occurrences in the future and support local officials rather than dismiss their concerns when they reach out to the federal government.

In a recent incident, Senator Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma, challenged a testifying witness, a Teamster's boss, to a physical altercation during a congressional hearing. The heated exchange led to calls for more civility in Congress, with Senator Bernie Sanders urging everyone to avoid worsening the existing contempt for the legislative body.

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy faced accusations of intentionally hitting a member who voted against him, denying any intentional elbowing. The breakdown in discourse drew historical parallels to the 1850s when a pro-slavery House member physically assaulted an anti-slavery senator, contributing to the tense atmosphere before the Civil War.

The current divisive political climate, marked by inflammatory rhetoric from figures like former President Donald Trump, has raised concerns about a heightened threat environment in the U.S. The FBI's warning coincided with a protest outside Democratic committee headquarters, resulting in injuries to Capitol Hill police officers. The newly appointed Republican Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, condemned the violence but released explicit security footage of the January 6th Capitol assault, raising concerns about the impact on officers' safety.

As the nation approaches a contentious presidential race, calls for civility echo louder, emphasizing the need to address serious issues facing the country through a more respectful and constructive political discourse.

Thank you for joining us on this edition of "Face the Nation." We appreciate your viewership. Until next week, I'm Margaret Brennan, and this concludes our broadcast.

In conclusion, the "Face the Nation" broadcast provided a comprehensive discussion on critical issues ranging from international relations to domestic politics. Senators and experts shared insights on the challenges and priorities facing the United States, including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the U.S.-China relationship, and the need for bipartisanship in addressing key policy issues. The conversation delved into concerns about border security, immigration reform, and the importance of clear communication on foreign policy matters. Additionally, the program touched on the complexities of the Israel-Palestine conflict, emphasizing the necessity of a balanced approach that considers both Israeli and Palestinian rights. The guests highlighted the urgency of addressing humanitarian crises, particularly in Gaza, and the call for a ceasefire to pave the way for diplomatic solutions. The conversation also extended to domestic matters, such as economic initiatives and the state of bipartisanship in Congress. The broadcast's diverse topics underscored the multifaceted challenges facing the nation, emphasizing the need for thoughtful dialogue and cooperation to navigate these complex issues. Thank you for tuning in, and we look forward to bringing you more insightful discussions in the future on "Face the Nation."

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