Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
It's been a busy week here in Washington with new developments and several scandals.
And -- president announcing a major shift in the war on terror.
-- joining us to talk about all of that is the number two Democrat in the senate Dick Durbin who's in Springfield Illinois.
And Republican senator Lindsey Graham from Columbia, South Carolina.
Senators I wanna start with the Justice Department targeting reporter is a national security -- Here is what attorney general holder told a congressional committee a few days ago.
The focus should be on those people who great miracles and put the American people.
Not reporters who gathering this information that should not focus of these net of the of these investigations.
But it turns out that holder signed off on an affidavit for a search warrant and one leak case and I want to bring that up what you -- is what.
That affidavit sat there is probable cause to believe the reporter in this case fox -- James Rosen.
Has committed a violation of the Espionage Act either -- -- a better and the war co conspirator.
And you -- senator Graham despite fact clear contradiction between what -- -- -- money actually dead.
President Obama is asking the attorney general to investigate his own actions.
Well that's a big attack and have a special counsel come forward -- -- Independent group to look at it change Rosen -- a lot of things -- criminal tokens that are conspirator he has not we're beginning to criminalize.
Journalism and I think that should worry assault but having said that when classified information is leaked out in the public that they can put our operations are American.
Operatives in harm's way we've got to find a way to pursue that too but this is clearly an -- It is senator Durbin how can we expect.
Holder -- honestly review my benefactor -- own actions isn't that by definition a conflict of interest.
Well its interest -- that the attorney general recused himself from the other case involving Associated Press because he believed there was some conflict inherent.
And it may raise the same question in this case but let's not forget Chris on Memorial Day weekend what this is really all about it is a question of classified information.
Someone working for our government on our side.
Violated their oath and disclose that information to the press and it happens with some frequency -- my dad.
But having done that what is the government to do.
If in fact that disclosure could endanger our military forces are those who were cooperating with us to fight terrorism.
It is a constant tension between the government.
And our freedoms under these civil right under the bill of rights that we see playing out both the Associated Press case and this fox case.
But you talk about Memorial Day weekend is also about the First Amendment and the role the very supportive all the the media like.
Honestly argue comfortable with the idea that the president has asked the attorney general to review.
The attorney general's own actions.
Well you you've raised an important point I heard senator Graham call for special counsel I'm not ready to do this at this moment.
I'd like to know if holder has any conflict in here beyond what we've heard.
When it comes the fox case.
But but here's the bottom line the media shield law.
Which I'm prepared to support I know senator Graham supports still leaves an unanswered question whichever is many times.
What is -- journalists today in 2013.
We know what someone who works for fox -- -- but doesn't include a blogger does include someone who's -- Are these people journalists -- entitled to constitutional protection.
We need -- 21 century questions about a provision and our constitution that was written over 200 years ago.
Gentlemen let's turn to the IRS scandals -- and we got a lot of ground to cover here senator Graham -- say that President Obama may not have directly ordered.
The IR rested target conservative growth with that there was a culture of political.
Manipulation that -- down from the white.
House explain what you meant.
Well I think that the president has basically told some of his supporters you know.
With the best way to get back at somebody is is the -- -- sort of talking about.
-- this you know take no prisoners attitude there's clearly an organized effort within our asked to target political.
Opponents of the president that's undeniable.
-- -- such a culture come about how fast was it who is involved.
This really does call for a special counsel.
The DOJ guidelines about dealing with journalist leaks are leaks of classified information goes back to the seventies we need to review that but.
And probably about RS scandal is it.
This culture of going after Tea Party groups that were you know on the president's case about a -- -- care.
Did did you stock accidentally happen I think it comes from the top in terms of tone.
Senator Durbin -- wanna pick up on this culture.
That starting in 2010 a number of democratic senators democratic senators sent letters to the IRS.
Asking them to investigate.
Various groups that they said were seeking tax exempt status but were improperly involved in politics.
Now in October of 2010 -- sent a letter to the -- -- In which you talked about going after -- But you only mentioned one specifically by name and I want to put up this from the October.
2010 letter that you wrote to the IRS one organization whose activities appear to be inconsistent.
With its tax status -- crossroads GPS that of course the group co founded by Karl Rove questions senator why single out.
When you didn't mention a single liberal group and there were bombs that were applying for tax exempt status not at exactly that point.
With the -- name progress.
In their -- I can do.
I -- just a flat out why did it because that crossroads organization was boasting about how much money they were raising.
As a 501 C four let's get back to the basics Citizens United.
Really unleashed hundreds if not thousands of organizations.
Seeking tax exempt status to play in political campaigns the law we wrote this congress said.
That they had to exclusively.
Be engaged in social welfare and not politics and campaigning.
-- so here's the RS trying to decide whether or not these organizations.
Really comply with the law crossroads was -- today they were boastful about how much of what is.
Other room and -- Democrat senator Durbin just briefly.
Because we we're now in the mess that we're in because a political targeting why not send a lot of that says go after any group of any political persuasion why not.
And refrain from singling out a conservative group and never mention any -- -- Well I explained that once Chris but you know Karl Rove was making these posts and saying he was going to raise so much money millions of dollars.
And I knew that if they went in to investigate this group every other group will be put on notice.
I've also said from the beginning Chris there is no basis for targeting within the IRS.
What we basically need to say it is all groups need to have the law applied to them equally.
It in this situation Karl Rove was -- listener and proud of it and that's why -- mentioned his organization.
All right let's talk about the president's big speech this week.
In which he said that we are entering a new phase in the war on terror take a look at the president's come.
-- beyond Afghanistan.
We must define our effort not as a boundless global war on terror.
But rather as a series of persistent targeted efforts.
To dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.
As senator Durbin the president said war -- must -- but the fact is the Cold War lasted for forty years.
Isn't there a danger of declaring an end to this war too soon.
You know James Madison was -- by the president he basically said if you want to preserve freedom it's difficult to do.
If you have a continuous war with the president is saying to us -- -- -- that -- -- orange order.
Well I can tell you have that we -- to stop and think many times during the Cold War can I go back to McCarthy era.
And talk about the witch hunts for those who were thought to be Communist.
You just spotted in a war like atmosphere that -- end up compromising some basic values and basic freedoms and liberties that's what the president reminded us.
Now I'm I'm not gonna take lightly the terrorism threat against the United States but if we are constantly thinking this thinking of this in the context of war.
We stand the very real risk of doing things which compromise your values and freedoms.
Senator Graham what is your biggest practical worry about the president's saying that we are in a new phase and in some sense.
Laying out an exit strategy for the global war on terror.
At a time we need resolve the most we're sounding retreat.
Our enemies are -- bowl and all over the planet al-Qaeda in Iraq is kind of that would vengeance.
And -- saw al-Qaeda groups and Yemen and Libya working together.
Our friends -- certain serious falling apart we're talking about helping the rebels but be doing nothing about it Iran is marching toward a nuclear weapon.
The challenge of our time as he weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of radical Islamist.
And we're failing in not being serious about fall apart the chemical weapons there -- -- to kill thousands not millions of Americans can be compromised.
Israel is very -- about what's happening and Syria.
Iran is marching toward a nuclear weapon and we showed this lack of resolve talking about the war being over what do you think the Iranians are thinking.
At the end of the day this is the most tone -- president I've ever could imagine making sexist speech at a time on our homeland.
Is tried to be attacked literally every day changing the standards of when you can.
Go after somebody would -- it has it continuing imminent threat.
-- the American people with no chance of civilian casualties virtually no chances of being casualties.
I think we're diminishing our national security infrastructure sequestration is dismantling the military -- -- we need it the most.
I've never seen I've never been more worried about our national security event I am right now -- this speech did not help.
Gentlemen we got about a minute left I'm gonna ask you do well play well with others is that same kindergarten and -- -- time equally.
The president and Defense Secretary hagel both this week went to service academies and apple as -- West Point.
And spoke about that that really serious problem of sexual assault inside the military and a pentagon study that is just out.
Members of the armed forces.
Face sexual assault lasted 26000 members specific like each of your 32 start with -- -- -- -- What can and should congress do to try to got a I have a -- and stop this.
Well there are several things we need to do but I want to salute the women of the senate both Democrats and Republicans.
Who were stepping up on this issue and in a determined effort to stop what is truly a scourge on the military.
We need to make certain that those who were victims step forward knowing they'll be protected and have a chance to have their day in court a court they can trust.
We need to make a new culture when it comes to the command structure within the military.
So that this is unacceptable intolerable.
And those who are engaged -- it will pay a price that I think we understand the future of the military is a military with both men and women in leadership.
Are asleep the women who serve -- -- putting up with a way too much crap this needs to end.
When a victim comes -- they should have an advocate to walk them through the military justice system and commanders who allow this to continue to.
The flourish part frankly should be fired.
And -- the president spoke well of this problem it is a disgrace to the united states military.
And the women and our military are needed now more than ever and -- putting up with a way too much.
And it needs to him senator Graham senator Durbin we want to thank you both for coming in and joining us on this Memorial Day -- and thank you gentlemen.
Thank you and you.
Filter by section