tv GOP Senators Call for Firings Over White House Leaks CSPAN August 3, 2017 4:44pm-5:09pm EDT
eastern on c-span2's both tv and sunday at 2 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. workingan cities tour with a cable affiliate and visiting cities across the country. >> the senate foreign relations committee approved legislation today that would restrict funding to the palestinian authority. until it stops offering rewards to those who commit acts of violence against israelis and others. the taylor force act is named after a former u.s. army officer who was killed in a terror attack in tel aviv last year. the palestinian who carried out the attack also died. under the palestinian authority martyr's fund policy, his family being given a stipend for carrying out the attack in israel. the senate committee voted 16-5 to pass the measure. it's sponsored by republican lindsey graham of south carolina and the committee chair, bob
corker of tennessee. sen. graham: thank you very much. this is a red letter day in the united states senate. bipartisan support. let me tell you a little bit about the legislation that senator corker and cardin just and cardin just passed through the committee. it is one thing to introduce a bill, it is another thing to make it law. i have never seen a better combination than bob corker and ben cardin when it comes to foreign policy. the foreign relations committee is a model for the rest of us. if you are looking for something that is working in washington, the armed services committee was 27-0. the legislation regarding iran, north korea and russia was 97-2. it went through the foreign relations committee. this committee can get the yes.
bob is a natural reconciler of different opinions and this is a big day for me, a big day for the taylor force family. a step forward towards rationality in the mideast and i want to congratulate senator corker and his committee. to tell you a little bit about taylor force -- we just passed through the committee 16-5 or 17-4, i don't know the numbers, he can tell you. the taylor force act -- taylor force was 29 years old, a west point graduate, class of 2009. he served in iraq and afghanistan until 2014. he was on a vanderbilt university graduate school program in israel when he was stabbed and killed on march 9, 2016. he left behind his father, mother and sister. his mother and father lived in south carolina. he was a graduate student at vanderbilt studying in israel. it is kind of odd how paths
crossed. anyway, he went to study global entrepreneurship. he was in a city by the mediterranean sea. he was enjoying himself with his colleagues and he was stabbed by an islamic terrorist who murdered taylor force. masala was shot dead by the israeli police. he was living under the palestinian authority. his body was sent back to his home area. he was praised as a heroic martyr. he was given the status the pride of all young palestinians and others were urged to follow in his footsteps. this is the man who just killed taylor force. body sent back to the west bank,
given the title "the pride of all young palestinians." the palestinian authority pays families like this a lump sum of money and lifetime payments. if you are a young palestinian, the best thing you could do in terms of income is to become a terrorist, that is sick. that is inconsistent with peace. they paid $144 million in martyr payments. if you are serving a sentence in an israeli prison for being a terrorist, your family gets a payment when you are in jail. when you get out of jail, you get an honorary rank in the palestinian security forces the longer you are in jail. the longer you are in jail, the more vicious the crime, the more money you and your family get. that is inconsistent with peace, that is inconsistent with decent society. he was called a heroic martyr at the funeral. it goes on and on and on.
we have video of the funeral and it will make you sick the way the palestinian authority praised this vicious murderer. here's what the president of the palestinian authority said. "i will not compromise on this issue. i would rather lose my job, even if i have to leave my position in response to u.s. and israel pressure, i will not compromise on the salary of a martyr or a prisoner." i will turn it over to bob, but here is what i will say. a two-state solution, i support. i would like the palestinian people to live in dignity, have their own destiny in their hand. elect their leaders side-by-side with a secure state of israel. i do believe that peace can never be achieved as long as governments reward their young people for being terrorists. at the end of the day, the payment to people who kill taylor force or people like taylor force is inconsistent
with peace. it's such a crime against young palestinians for their own government to incentivize murder and terrorism. we give over $300 million a year of aid to the palestinian authority. this bill crafted by senator corker and myself and others is going to cut off all u.s. funding to the palestinian authority until they change their laws which rewards terrorism, which reward people for killing a young man like taylor force. why did he die? what did he do wrong? nothing. i don't want his death to be in vain. sandra gerber brought me this issue, explaining to me that palestinian law is so corrupt, they have a schedule in their law as to how much you will receive based on how long you are in jail and the payments you
receive if you are killed and become a martyr. it is a sick system. it needs to change. this legislation suspends all payments to the palestinian authority until they change this sick and perverted practice. it allows usaid payments to go to the palestinian people, but there has to be a certification from the secretary of state that the palestinian authority is making progress on this problem. we carve out a hospital in east jerusalem, the only hospital for the palestinian women and children. our goal is not to punish women and children. our goal is to change a practice that i think corrupts the palestinian youth, inconsistent with peace. this was a product of compromise and negotiation. i introduced the legislation a year and a half ago. senator corker started using the committee process. i could have done this through the appropriations process. i did not want to do it. i wanted to see if the senate could work and it did. the original bill came out better.
we cut off all funding to the palestinian authority. we allow money to flow to the people, the palestinian people with the condition their government get better. we exempt the hospital from this conflict because what good is there in punishing women and children for something they did not do? it would not have happened without senator corker and senator cardin. this committee above all others in the united states senate seems to work. it starts at the top. i want to thank you on behalf of the force family. this is a big day. we are not there yet. this bill came out with a lot of bipartisan support. that support will grow on the floor and one day, it will become law and my goal is to leverage better outcomes. this is not inconsistent with peace. this is a step towards peace. the palestinian leadership needs to understand that the american people are very generous. we want to help you, but you have to help us in the process. i cannot look the taylor force
family in the eye and say giving money to the palestinian authority at this point in time, given the laws they have in place that led to the death of your son, is a good investment for peace or the american taxpayer. thank you, senator corker, on behalf of the taylor force family. thank you and all the members of your committee. sen. corker: thank you so much. i will be brief. i know you have some questions. i first want to thank lindsay, senator graham for bringing this issue forth. i agree with everything he just said relative to the legislation and i want to also thank sandra gerber who came into my office and laid out the evolution of this law. i think many people don't understand that these laws have been in place, been put in place by presidential decree. we know the government is not functioning in a corporate way. five years bo he's
in. these laws were put in place by the president himself. it has continued to evolve, to put more context here. if you commit a fairly low-level terrorist act, you get paid $400 a month. if you commit a very egregious terrorist act, murder an israeli or someone else and you get a 30 year sentence, you get $3500 a month. in interviews with prisoners in israeli jails who have committed these acts, they clearly stated their goal was to ensure that they did something egregious enough to at least get a five-year sentence where the payment is stepped up. this is sick. this is sick. and what lindsay laid out
relative to how this person was killed in his own country is a gaingain sick. i met stewart force, taylor's dad. we've talked extensively. i'm glad that the united states had a 17-4 vote, honored his life that would affect so many other people. was not only a native of south carolina but he went to vanderbilt university in tennessee so it is interesting how lives become interwoven. our actions today speak to the fact that what has happened here passed,efully, whheen will prevent other people from having the same fate. an innocent person going about their activity in an innocent way being murdered by someone who's being incentivized to do
that by their own government. i'm proud of what we have done today. i want to thank lindsay for his leadership innate this issue and that rush of leadership which ended up passing the senate 98-2, passed the house with only three no votes. i'm happy we are able to work together to make things happen for our nation relative to foreign policy. pretty incredible. a very open process where people express opinions. we came to a result, as senator graham mentioned, that i think has made this bill a better bill. it is a bill now that is very crisp. it's surgical. it's meant to change the behavior of the palestinian authority, as he mentioned so eloquently, but not intended to
hurt the palestinian people that have nothing to do with this law. with that, let me stop. let me thank lindsay one more time for his passionate leadership on this issue and let me thank my colleagues, senator cardin, who has worked with us. committee and i do look forward to it becoming law. yes, ma'am? reporter: it wasn't clear to me -- sen. corker: can i do that when other people who don't care much about the details -- you are the best at that. it does have a one-year escrow. fact, it gives them time to change their behavior fact, ande palestinian people understand this is not designed to cut off aid to them, it is designed to cut behavior. i think that is the most important amendment. reporter: the president signed
the russian-iran second yesterday and he said our relationship with russia is an all-time low. you can thank congress, the same ones who cannot give us health care. is congress to blame when it comes to russia? sen. corker: i try not to respond to teets. weets. the relationship we have with russia is solely because of putin. the activities, the things that he has taken against western democracy, the way he has tried to reshape a map in u.s. policy for 70 years that europe will be whole democratic and free. he has offered that map. what he has done as an a front to the american people to try to have an effect on the election outcomes here. had to be spoken to. i think we did it in an
appropriate manner. i've very proud of the fact that congress continues to assume its rightful foreign policy. i think the congressional review component, which was a piece of your original legislation. fact is this is a place where congress needs to stand side-by-side with the administration to ensure that congress'prerogatives have legislation. another is frustration, i get it. i know lindsay and i are both frustrated about the health care issue. we would have liked to have an outcome but i don't think there is no reason to tie the two together. we acted in the country's national interest to do this. putin's actions is the one that has taken this relationship back to levels we have not seen since 1991. it's up to him to change his behavior to move it in a
different direction. reporter: two-part question. can i get your reaction to the leaking of the conversation reporter: can i get your reaction to the leaking of the conversations the between the president and other heads of state? what the ramifications of that a foreign promise policy standpoint and there's a report they're considering putting general mcmaster to head the strategy in afghanistan, whether think that would be a good decision? sen. corker: i'll let lindsey the first part. sen. graham: as to the leaking i a disservice to the president that this happened. being aimagine president of the united states having a conversation with a foreign leader and that conversation being divulged to the media? it's not fair to president trump. the person who did this may have a noble outcome
in mind, but that is just chaos. can't have people in the government, working for the picking and choosing what to leak. that's just wrong and i hope we the person is and they get punished. as to afghanistan, it's up to the president, it's trump's war, it's not obama's war. we do not listen to general mcmaster and people like him who have been fighting this war for 15 years and adapt our policies, we're going to fail in afghanistan. need more troops. general nicholson has done a my point of view, but president trump is going to make a decision and he will own it. do not add capability to the fight, it's going to get not better. what you saw in iraq is going to happen in afghanistan tenfold. it's a place now where international terrorism is on the rise. foothold.
so three or 4,000 american troops with some air capability will turnave today the tide of battle. every soldier over there is an insurance policy against our being attacked. my big theory is if you don't listen to the generals and you this up as you go as obama and biden did, you're going to wind up losing like we did iraq and the consequences to america are worse. place where 9/11 was planned. more't think of a beneficial outcome to international terrorism than to drive us out of afghanistan because we don't have the will to get it right. i'm sorry it's taken so long. generational struggle. the president gave an eloquent speech in poland. do we have the will to protect our values and stand up to people who would destroy our way of life? is inst of that will afghanistan. they're going to try to break our will. the afghan security forces need help, they're not where they need to be, they don't have an air force so the outcome in
directly related to homeland security. it's not about democracy in aboutistan, it's international terrorism using afghanistan to strike us at home allies.ad and our and if you don't understand you're think misunderstanding what the generals are trying to tell you. i know that general biden, obama, general graham are not really good generals. bannon won't be any better. little -- i'm going to be a little briefer. [laughter] to this. afghanistan, what's happening is everyone's hedging bets, everyone. so because the region has no idea what our policy is going to be, they're beginning, many of them are backing the taliban, we know that, you know, pakistan, we know for a fact, is doing so. to play weginning
think. iran's definitely playing. have awe've got to policy that is sustainable. i really appreciate and the president's frustration. i have a lot of respect for nicholson also and spent a lot talking through afghanistan with him. thishatever comes out of has got to be something that we know to be sustainable and something that we believe is to change their trajectory the regionlong as believes we're six months away from stepping out or we're six giving up, from they're going to continue to do all they can to play both sides is that playing both sides what puts u.s. soldiers most in harm's way. on the first issue i had a long conversation with president trump last friday morning. the initialof change that was getting ready to take place. president,uraged the and now encourage that to general kelly to fire every
person that's had anything whatsoever to do with back biting, undermining other benefit ortheir own leaking. and not to be cautious about it. thatere's even a thought somebody was involved, get rid of them! happeningemly what is at the white house right now or what has been happening. again, it appears that general i sayis taking charge and this not to say anything against staff, i chief of don't know if he was ever given that authority in the first place, but to have people there are leaking information, each of youking to to try to have their public policy implemented because you to argue on their behalf and we know it's happened, these people should be fired. they should be out of government, they're disloyal to our government and i hope that what's going to happen. thing.aham: one last general nicholson is not going to be able to win in afghanistan construct.urrent
the rules of engagement have to change. it doesn't matter what general is in charge if you don't have to win so i just hear thatupset to this is general nicholson's problem when it really is a structure problem and attitude problem and as bob said, no white house can function this way. we need order out of chaos and some people would be the right signals. [inaudible question] sen. corker: i haven't seen the transcripts. so you guys are sharing with me constantly things i don't know. [laughter] will respond to that question once i actually read the transcripts. say this caveat. last time i was in afghanistan, know if you realize this this, but president obama had a caveat that said we could not fire on al-qaeda. understand that? i mean, the policies that we in afghanistance
are ludicrous. we could not take actions against al-qaeda, only the taliban and only under certain circumstances. sen. graham: i think that's reversed. sen. corker: so i do hope the policies will change as has mentioned. to y'all again maybe in the hallway. i apologize that we've got to vote. [inaudible question] sen. corker: i don't think there are no cuts to the state because there is. reporter: that's what the president said. sen. corker: the president's budget typically is a nice piece of paper that people read and move on to the budgeting process. see y'all later. thanks a lot. [laughter] >> sunday night on q and a -- >> i had never heard of him. how this mannow
who shouldn't told from the time he was a young child that he was anything could have had the courage and determination to find a way out of slavery and i just was couldn't stopi reading about him. >> journalist and author looks a the life of robert smalls, slave who escaped bondage during the civil war and went on to become a member of the u.s. congress in her book be free or die. thee served five terms in house of representatives. there was a bribery charge against him at one point in his fully, and he never recovered from that. and that's my opinion is one of the reasons why he's not better known today. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a. >> the special counsel in the russia investigation, bob muller, has impaneled a grand jury. the wall street journal reporting it's a sign the inquiry is growing in intensity. in grand jury began its work recent weeks and could mean the inquiry is likely to continue