PowerPlay - 9/12/12
Shannon Bream gets reaction on the killings of American diplomats in Libya.
- Duration 26:12
- Date Sep 12, 2012
Shannon Bream gets reaction on the killings of American diplomats in Libya.
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There is no justification.
Violence like this.
Is no way to honor religion or faith.
And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of god.
The world will never know it's true and lasting peace.
And welcome to power play and -- and bring in today for Chris -- while the courses they are watching the aftermath of attacks in the US embassies in both Libya and Egypt.
-- you just heard secretary of state Hillary Clinton there talking about the fact that there is no justification for what happened especially in Libya.
Which cost the -- -- the -- of the ambassador there and three other employees were learning more minute by minute.
Let's bring in senator Lindsey Graham when they foremost voices on Capitol Hill on issues of foreign policy.
Senator thank you so much for joining us on power play today and I'll just start by getting your reaction to what we know so far about what's happened -- lives lost.
Well number one Cris Stevens and his colleagues represent the best of our country -- Through Chris we lost one of our best diplomats someone who -- Libya and did a great job during the Libyan war and the Libyan people lost one of their best friends.
So this this attack Hillary is right it doesn't represented Libyan people of the spear the revolution.
When their vaccines created for lack of security.
And that's true all over the region extremists can fill in these vacuums and now.
She's also right we can't let this.
Disengage us from the region and lose focus on what's best for us in the world at large -- sport freedom and democracy and not let these to dictate -- -- -- first -- -- -- -- -- freedom and democracy is still -- this was playing out -- minute by minute we're getting new information there were a number of reactions they came out from the embassy from the White House from the State Department.
From all different places and there have been several mentions of the fact.
That we do not -- and -- to disrespect or denigrate any other religion of course.
And what we're hearing is that this simple in Libya was somehow tied to lead -- -- video.
Of a movie or trailer of a movie.
That may have been insulting to Islam to the Prophet Mohammed.
Is it unusual to you that there were so many difference in points of emphasis on the fact that.
We may have done something wrong or that would be need to go above and beyond protecting.
And at preventing any attacks or any -- on anyone else's religion and did that seem like.
T -- the proper response in light of what's happened.
I think the initial initial response was really off base focusing on the on the film then and now apologizing for the content of this thing out.
The film doesn't represent the American government.
It doesn't represent the spirit of the American people.
And all people who really believe in god and tolerance and freedom of religion -- condemned the film but as -- said this is no justification.
So you start every statement you make about things like this condemning the killers.
Keep condemning the people who innocent life and here's what I hope live view world would do in the short and long term.
Help us find the people who did this.
-- with us the right intelligence law enforcement community and track these -- down rain in the justice.
Aunt and celebrate chris' life let America know that we appreciate someone like Chris Stevens.
And reject those people who did this horrible thing I think -- -- go a long way to help.
Relationships in the.
Do you expect to hear more from Libyan officials say I've seen -- -- this morning from an interim president would you expect to see -- hope to see something more forceful in -- of public statement.
I hope so I hope they -- people of Olivia who knew Chris well.
On some of these did you see about you know.
Handling chris' body may not be what they saying there some people actually -- -- tried to help.
So at the end of the day yes I think this is a chance for the Libyan government people.
This side with the freedom and tolerance and say that Chris Stevens is a good man he he's the kind of friend we want and need.
And go after the thugs that that ended his life and killed his colleagues I think that would do a lot to help our relationship and quite frankly.
Would be the right thing for the living people that it.
Of course -- is one of the nations around the world where we send millions tens of millions hundreds of millions over the years.
Eight US money that a lot of people say at this point.
And we need to get our own house in order before we continue.
Being so lavish their spending and helpful.
But I wanna talk about Egypt as well because it is second only to Israel and the amount of USA that it receives there was.
A similar incidents at the embassy in Cairo yesterday thankfully no loss like that we know about nothing -- to that level.
That but begins about one point six billion in aid each year of the last three years to Egypt.
When it comes to what we get to these countries and the backlash now that we've seen.
Do you think there should be a correlation do you think there should be some implied or overt communication that hey if you're not standing with us.
And that they -- made -- change to this state.
Yes absolutely she condition the eight and make sure that our money's being spent to improve life and me.
Enhance our national security that you just can't disengaged.
And is as comfortable as -- sounds and is easy is it sounds just you know stop.
Helping people come home and that's that is a very that's what led -- 9/11 -- frankly the entire federal budget.
That we -- -- foreign assistance this 1% of the federal budget.
So this did he stop foreign aid we balanced the budget does not remotely and -- But we should spend money wisely we shape condition -- based on performance.
And when it comes to Pakistan there's an effort by my good friend Rand Paul that.
Terminate all aid to Pakistan well let me tell you about Pakistan it has nuclear weapons.
There are some extremists in Pakistan trying to take down that government.
And god knows what would happen if they got a hold of nuclear weapons so we got to stay engaged in Pakistan you -- Verify where your money's gone you can't trust them but you just can't walk away from the region Egypt.
There was a meeting across the street from the embassy with fifty American business leaders hosted by the -- -- secretary of state.
Talking about how we can invest in the private sector in Egypt.
The meeting went very well and you can't let what happen at the embassy.
Taint the entire process and the entire movement in Egypt.
The business leaders told me that they were -- -- By this new government's approach the private sector investment but what apprehending embassies unacceptable but I think this and out liar I don't think it represents.
The Egyptian people anymore than what happened in Libya represents the Libyan people in any more than this film.
Represents the American people.
Hear from Egypt's new leader Mohamed -- -- Going into reject violence against our embassy.
-- -- here to say I want to say that we want a relationship with America.
More conservative religious movement.
In Egypt -- live and -- conservative religious state health South Carolina but we're tolerant we believe in free markets -- democracy we reject the violence.
But I wanna see your relationship between two.
Libyan business community and the American business community where we all can benefit from the relationship.
Trade with the Egypt could be good for us jobs created.
In America -- in the Egyptian people advanced.
But for that to happen you -- reject extremism and I want to hear from the president of the jet.
That what happened against our embassy was absolutely out of bounds and will not be tolerated.
Senator Lindsey Graham we thank you so much for giving us that kind of very busy day for you to join us on -- -- thank you sir.
Thank you just remember those who -- and far away for -- places it.
And and and the sacrifices they make to help our country.
Absolutely that's because -- -- senator thank you.
Coming up on power play we're gonna hear from Ed Henry live from the white house on all of the developments today we're also gonna talk with KT McFarland who has got decades of foreign policy experience and service to a number of administrations.
-- to talk to her about the latest developments as well -- -- Since our -- The United States has been a nation -- respects all faiths.
All efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.
-- The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.
Already many Libyans have joined us in doing so in this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.
That's up president Obama's -- short time ago reacting to the news the death of the US ambassador to Libya Cris Stevens.
And three others as well and attacks and -- US embassy.
In Ben Ghazi and also an attack in Egypt and Cairo embassy there as well.
Let's go now to Ed Henry at the White House who covers all things related to the White House to the president.
Get a little bit of information from him on how the administration has he handled.
It's reaction -- did -- this and and Andy get the sense that the president now publicly addressing this is standing with the secretary of state this morning.
That they feel that they've you know been able to sort of coalesce with you know -- a strong message.
In reaction what happened.
Bush and that's great question because it's a test for President Obama as well as a test for governor -- you've been noting.
A governor Romney of ripping the administration largely because of what started in Cairo and the initial US embassy reaction there.
Where they appeared to be blaming this on the anti Muslim film and not denouncing the violence the explanation for that from the administration.
Has been that what the embassy was doing was trying to.
Quell the violence and was trying to calm everyone down after the initial protest although there's some discrepancy there because it appears that.
Just after -- Yesterday in Cairo.
The protesters had reached the wall US embassy in in the statement came out after that.
So would suggest that in fact some of the violence had already started then they reacted by it by sort of blaming the anti Muslim film and not denouncing the violence.
There were tweets later put out by the US embassy in Cairo obviously all those embassies.
Report back here to the White House into the Obama.
State Department that is why governor Romney initially jumped on the administration.
Late last night in a written statement but the Obama campaign fought back.
The -- personally and they said that what was going on was governor Romney was politicizing this.
And blowing -- all out of proportion as you noted governor Romney not backing down from his initial comments what I was struck me about the president in the Rose Garden.
He was certainly trying to be presidential trying to be above that political fray.
By not engaging governor Romney it would have been odd for him to do that in the Rose Garden.
He's the commander in chief he's trying to show that he's staying on top of the situation.
Both in Egypt and Libya although I was also struck by the fact it really talk about the situation in Cairo.
He focused his comments instead on the tragic deaths in Libya very important obviously but the Cairo situation important as well because.
As you were just talking with Republican senator Lindsey Graham was quite critical.
Of the president this is all of the same piece in terms of this regional strife let's also throw in the fact that there was this dust up yesterday.
Over whether or not the president the prime minister of Israel will meet when they're in New York.
Later this month for UN meetings it's so there is a lot of instability in the mideast right now in a presidential campaign that is focused largely on the economy and domestic issues is suddenly.
They're talking on awful lot about national security and on that final point you know president a couple of hours -- schedules obviously been.
Completely changed in ripped up this morning here at the White House to deal with the situation.
But in a few hours he's scheduled to leave the White House here and go to Las Vegas and in Denver for -- campaign -- the senior official told me they're evaluating all that they're monitoring the situation.
Which is sort of code for they might cancel it but so far they have not canceled it obviously the president goes ahead with some campaign events after all this.
You can bet -- the Romney campaign will be weighing in on that as well.
Sorry Ed Henry we appreciate your time -- you so much for BCS and -- a lot to keep an eye on today -- said.
Who wouldn't turn now to KT McFarland who is at an expert of the highest caliber when it comes to these issues of foreign policy having served -- a number of administrations of the Defense Department.
KT think you so much for making time for us today.
I wanna start out by asking use your impression because my -- when we started to the new started about a lot of both -- they got yesterday.
I started to have this this feeling a question about what does this say about our position in the world the respect or lack of respect the United States and what's your take.
You have to remember what happened this for September 11.
We were attacked in two Americans you know the two embassies in an embassy by the way is sacred American territory when you step on the grounds -- that embassy.
That's like step in the grounds of the economy on United States United States of America so the fact that both embassies were attacked on September 11.
Within a few hours of each other.
-- the first anniversary after the death of bin Laden.
And that they're chanting bin Laden been a lot of these are not an accident these are two attacks on the United States and so I think that it what it does say is at the United States no reason for -- you know we visited two countries we've liberated.
We pull the rug out from under Mubarak we helped put Morrissey and the Muslim Brotherhood -- allow them to come to power in Egypt.
We did the same thing and Libya we fought for their independence and this is how the responses you know I really think that the president after he talked.
About -- tragic loss of life.
Of the diplomats in Libya -- then immediately.
Turned the heads of those governments and said we're holding you responsible.
We're holding you responsible for the safety of Americans in your country and if you're not able to do that -- we have to really reassess the relationship.
Particularly the financial relationship that we have with you.
-- we it talked about that briefly with senator Lindsey Graham on just a little bit early right -- play about.
The fact that you you can't completely disengage because obviously we have interest in good relationships in some of these areas where we do provide a lot of aid and if we aren't there the -- be filled by someone else -- maybe.
Much less palatable than United States eight.
-- but how do you find that balance between sending the message we do hold you as the leaders of these countries responsible.
And we expect you to live up to certain standards and certain protections for the money is gonna go away I mean how in the world he's trying to balance.
I think -- revolution as a three act play and I don't care of the revolution is in Iran or in Egypt or in Syria or -- Libya or even Russia.
The first actors and everybody gets rid of the dictator the second act -- -- all the groups who were united against the dictator now start fighting amongst themselves.
And the third act is when it gets resolved either -- new dictator mergers or democracy breaks out now my lifetime.
There being two examples of this thing before the Arab Spring and one was -- 1978.
When the Shah of Iran Jimmy Carter was presently -- states we pull the rug out from under the Shah of Iran what ultimately happened.
-- -- -- -- came to power they kidnapped American diplomats.
In Tehran and held them hostage for a year how to Jimmy Carter response he why his pants he apologized he tried to negotiate.
And what happened they didn't respect -- and they kept those American diplomats hostage and tell my boss Ronald Reagan was elected.
So then flash forward ten years in the future in the 1980s.
Reagan stood up.
And did something very different -- encouraging the fall of the iron curtain and a Communist nations.
Of Eastern Europe he encouraged them he worked with them he happens so what happened an act three -- that play.
Well that democratic forces prevailed we're now at the end of act one and the beginning of act two throughout the Middle East it's now the time.
When they that they rebel groups are now trying to come together to form a government and we are not standing strong I think.
President Obama just had is Jimmy Carter moment I think he -- -- -- -- ask you -- another tough moment he had yesterday with news that Israel's prime minister who will be here has been that -- for UN meetings.
The air is now a lot of conflicting information about what happened or who couldn't request was the request made was the request -- is -- about scheduling.
You know -- sending the governor Romney was -- down at Brookline one of his events this morning were basically somebody said.
Asked him about this situation with Israel and now the White House -- indicated that it doesn't look like he could change but it doesn't look like president Obama's going to meet with Netanyahu and Ronnie said.
I would basically I drop everything I -- in Israel wanted to meet with me I would never say no.
On how do you think it plays out -- you know that's the relationship that happens behind closed doors and also the optics.
To voters especially with what happened with the DNT platform and language about Jerusalem.
-- you know the most important relationship the president of the United States has right now foreign relationship as with the prime minister of Israel.
The biggest threat we face isn't nuclear run and we face it -- -- at a the United States and Israel are talking are consulting at the very highest levels.
Then there's a big problem why because -- the president say snubs Netanyahu which is what he's just -- I mean it's like a girl in high school.
Saying -- a guy cake a lot against -- that I got to stay home and wash my hair care for President Obama to say he's too busy to meet with Netanyahu when Netanyahu was right there.
What that does is isolates Netanyahu Obama's call this bluff.
Netanyahu wants America to come out and say.
We will use force if all else fails to stop Iran and Obama won't do it so what -- that conclusion that what -- -- walk away about.
I think it's -- -- in the Middle -- much more likely because the Israelis now feel.
They're on their own to stop a nuclear Iran a bio mom might help of but he sure isn't committing to help them.
It's an -- always great to see would have these discussions thank you so much for your -- -- -- coming up on power play we're gonna talk about the politics of what's happened how it plays out on the campaign trail and a lot of other issues from the campaign -- new ads out today as well.
With a top Republicans -- top Democrat of course we're always fair and balanced on power play even when Chris is away.
We try to maintain a standard of excellence -- stick around we'll be right back.
-- -- we have a campaign for presidency than that states and are speaking about.
The different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges that the world faces the president and I -- have different differences of opinion.
With regards to Israel and our policies there with regards to Iran.
With regards to Afghanistan.
With regards to Syria we have many places of distinction and differences.
We joined together in the condemnation of the attacks on American embassies and the loss of American life and joined in the symptoms that sympathy for these people.
But it's also what -- important for me just as it was for the White House last night by the way.
To say that the statements.
And did in my in my view a a disgraceful.
A statement on the part of our administration.
To apologize for American values.
That was governor Mitt Romney today talking about the reaction from the White House and what happened at Libya saying it's disgraceful to apologize for American values.
-- -- the initial statements they came out talked about the fact that we do respect other religions.
And to some suggesting -- that there may be limits on a First Amendment when it comes to speaking about out about those topics.
-- assistants out -- fighting the president giving a very strong statement and secretary of state Clinton as well this morning.
Well the next -- claims she -- re instate for V Christmas -- -- We now have the very fact fair and balanced discussion with us today -- nineteenth and -- -- both sides of the Al well represented here today so welcome to.
It has been -- all right I want tax about the fact that you let.
Governor -- has been criticized for not having a lot of foreign policy experience and -- the governor of Massachusetts -- frankly he hasn't been a senator on the armed services committee are dealt.
With thing is it that you traditionally expect somebody wants to -- to foreign policy experience he has his leader with the Olympic events and different things.
So that he has interacted a lot of internationally has -- now diving straight into this this morning on the run a Smart move to start by going after the president in the White House for not reacting properly at least in his estimation.
Absolutely you know it shows how weak Obama's foreign policy actually is sort of -- -- How how we Obama's foreign policy -- released actually is -- look last week flowers look at the volatility.
You have what happened in Libya you have the American Embassy apology in Egypt after.
After writers breached the walls of the embassy to apologize for actions that neither the American government.
You have a situation with the Israeli government.
Where it was unknown -- and where where's the president had initially said no I'm not going to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu and then quickly made it into a phone call because you realize the politics we're getting out of hand.
And then last week you had -- at that at the Democratic National Convention you had.
Whether you had a whole deal about whether or not Jerusalem was going to be the capital of Israel -- that ruling in the -- took three times for that to happen.
-- you help build this volatility going I think it was.
Right for Mitt Romney to -- to see something inappropriate for him to say something about it.
And to show and -- show the despaired that disparity of Obama's foreign policy we.
That's because in a tough place for the president to be because -- -- in the middle reelection campaign but he also still has to do with real life as a president we've lost an ambassador in three other people four people killed.
You know he have to tackle that and address it as a commuter cheap as the president while also trying to -- -- -- for the campaign -- how tough a task is that.
Well I think Mitt Romney made it quite easy for him -- let's look at the context here.
Mitt Romney was coming under a lot of criticism during -- Republican Convention for not mentioning the troops and -- in generals are downplaying -- policy in general.
Which made it's -- the -- for the Democrats in the following week to bring out their heavy hitters like John -- to talk about.
-- to talk about foreign policy.
To talk about Iraq and Afghanistan and went to.
Emphasize the fact it's going to be the first time in something like forty years -- there is not a Republican advantage on national security.
So what you saw from Mitt Romney last night was a serious attempt I believed to over compensate here.
And you know this morning and play but they had to tick -- the statement going out that you know -- a few minutes after 10 o'clock.
Saying and here's a statement -- -- -- until midnight because of course it was September 11.
Then at another statement went out at 1030 saying it go ahead and use it.
Which I think ended up making him look crackling political over compensating and I think as a series under for the campaign.
A lot of talk about the optics of this eighteen because see you all we -- you behind had a chance to CDs of course the president's coming from the Rose Garden which is the decision you'd expect him from any situation like this.
I thought it was interesting that Mitt Romney had a set was just a blue background and a lot of flags and he stood there at the podium.
And you have to wonder if they were trying to give the optics as him being the president he took questions after his statement today I was very struck by optics of Iraq.
Dark I was really Smart and he was a very serious Soledad he gave at the beginning of his comments he talked about the -- -- you know there the -- Condemnation in the loss of life and a tragedy of the situation but also putting contest that you know press this is this shows.
The weakness of the Obama administration when it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East this is a huge problem -- president -- -- has to meet on September 11 the anniversary we're terrorists killed 3000 people.
An American member ambassador -- -- with three other staffers killed as well and you have the American Embassy.
-- the timeline is different yes but you have the American Embassy in Egypt.
Issued a statement rioters breached the walls apologizing.
For actions that the US government was -- response.
And we and we have to wonder though in that situation if that was -- because people are trying to protect themselves protect their lives in -- -- just.
It's tough for us to know what they Wear what completely motivated that's even and maybe it was a protective.
-- this would happen.
That's that's what's scary about his who was connecting with who who is communicating with who that is American soil that is in America that it represents the entire American government.
Are we sure that we bring in our Twitter verse is also watching today -- -- -- and I Christiane -- this question because you're talking about the optics of Mitt Romney having this the American flag the podiums and questions afterwards the president did not take questions today.
And Gary wants to know why wouldn't the president -- questions does it question his leadership that.
And now I am pleased and actually again if you looked at that press conference and -- -- gave he took.
A few questions that cut it off fairly quickly for me honestly that the fact -- the president.
Had the optics that he did at the White House Rose Garden -- that are kind of reminded me -- -- -- an American president where at the end you know.
Michael Douglas says I am Andrew -- and I am the president.
I don't think -- senator real.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Different kind of backs lash out against the present you actually has -- White House behind him it's sort of underscored the entire message.
The -- of -- problem right now.
We just teasing us we will last you know what I thought was Smart if I was Smart for -- take questions.
But it didn't look like -- you can't just make it look like it's a political shot against the president you've got to take questions and be challenged on what you said.
And he reiterated its statement that it was Smart move.
I'm running Christy Krejci both thank you so much for coming in today on the power play and -- think you have -- -- -- as well.
Coming next Jonathan Hunt and hunt you do not want to miss it I believe Chris is back tomorrow that's it for power play but now on to to --