Tim Russert - Wikipedia
to fight ISIS, what in his résumé prepares him to be president and if voters should consider. Hillary Clinton appears on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sept. 20, .. this issue has led to a -- a -- Ben Carson said on "Meet the Press" that it. NBC News. “Meet the Press Transcript for September 20, Lobbying Jobs.” The Guardian, March 7. catchsomeair.us mar/07/.
Well, all I can tell you, I never felt any political pressure or did I feel any political reason to do anything other than what we tried to do, which was to immediately deal with the problems that were coming at us. So, questions about Benghazi have led to discovery of your personal server. If we use this episode as a way to think about the way would you run your presidency, let's say there's a meeting at Clinton headquarters, and you're with your staff.
And you're saying, looking at the e-mail situation from the day you decided, yes, to have the server, all the way to where we all now Well, look, I have said that I didn't make the best choice. I should have used two separate e-mail accounts, one personal, one work-related. What I did was allowed.
It was fully above board. People in the government certainly knew that I was using a personal e- mail. But I have tried to be transparent.
And that includes releasing 55, pages, which is unprecedented -- nobody else that I'm aware of has ever done that -- plus turning over the server, plus testifying at the end of October. So, I think that people have questions.
I want to try to answer them. Was it a failure in judgment on your part? Well, look, it was permitted. And I think that people can make their own judgments about that. But I have tried to be as transparent as I can.
You talked a lot about transparency, that -- when we think about trust -- and there's been a lot of talk about that in your campaign and voters having questions.
They have questions maybe related to this. Trust and transparency are related. You have been transparent in the release of these e-mails, but what about before? Because there was a period where you held on to the whole kit and caboodle before any investigators were asking for it, long after you were out of the State Department. Well, it wasn't that long.
What I did was to send e- mails to people at their government accounts, which I had every reason to believe would be captured on the government systems.
And when we were asked to help the State Department make sure they had everything from other secretaries of state, not just me, I'm the one who said, OK, great, I will go through them again. And we provided all of them. And more than 90 percent were already in the system. And, in fact, I gave so many that were not work-related, just to be as comprehensive as possible, they are already sending back about 1, of them.
So, look, I did what was, as I said, allowed. I said it wasn't the best choice. And it turned out to be a mistake, in retrospect. But, at the time, and given the fact that most of them were in the government systems, people are going to get a chance to see all kinds of behind-the-scenes conversations, most of which, I'm embarrassed to say, are kind of boring. Just to button this up here, you have said you were sorry.
What exactly are you sorry for and to whom? Well, you know, I'm sorry that I made a choice that has raised all of these questions, because I don't like reading that people have questions about what I did and how I did it. I'm proud of the work we did at the State Department.
And I'm really proud of all the career professionals I worked with. I'm proud of the people who came in with me. And we got sanctions on Iran, put together that international coalition. We got a new arms treaty with Russia. We did a lot of really important work. And I want that to be the focus of what people know about my tenure at the State Department. Some people who know you and have worked with you say what this e-mail situation suggests is that there's nobody around you who can say, Secretary Clinton, this is a bad idea, don't do this.
Do you have such a person? I have too many, actually. Look, this -- this was No, before the fact, not after. After, everybody is giving you advice. No, but, John this was done by prior government officials, including But not at this level, not solely a server just for you.
You know, look, let's -- it was done by others. And let me just say that, yes, when I did it, it was allowed, it was above board. And now I'm being as transparent as possible, more than anybody else ever has been.
Secretary Clinton, we are going to pause right there. We will be back in one more minute with more from Secretary Clinton. We're back now with Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton, Donald Trump had a supporter at one of his rallies suggest the president was Muslim and not an American. Donald Trump stayed mute and continues to say nothing about that. Are politicians on the hook for every crazy thing one of their supporters stands up and says?
Well, of course not, because we all have supporters who may say things that we don't agree with. But when you are at an event and someone stands up and says something like that in front of you, then I do think you have a responsibility to respond. John McCain did back in the '08 campaign when somebody in one of his events said something similarly untrue and insulting about the president. And McCain stopped that person.
That's what Donald Trump should have done. And I said the other day he is fueling a level of paranoia and prejudice against all kinds of people. And when you light those fires, you better recognize that they can get out of control. And he should start dampening them down and putting them out.
He wants to talk about what he would do as president. That's obviously fair game. But to play into some of the worst impulses that people have these days that are really being lit up by the Internet and other conspiracy-minded theories is just irresponsible. Which Republican would you like to run against the most?
Oh, John, I have no -- I have no vote in that. I'm going to run against whoever they put up against me. Are you doing anything to prepare for Joe Biden potentially entering the race?
Is your campaign doing anything? No, we're not, because this is such a personal decision. And the vice president has to sort this out. He's been so open in talking about how difficult this time is for him and his family. And he's obviously considering what he wants to do, including whether he wants to run.
And I just have the greatest respect and affection for him. And I think everybody just ought to give him the space to decide what is best for him and his family.
Bernie Sanders has made quite a point of not attacking you. He said he's not going to run any negative ads. Would you pledge to do the same thing with respect to him, not attack him, and also tell your supporters, hey, lay off?
Look, I want this to be about ideas and about policies. I respect his enthusiastic and intense advocacy of his ideas.
That's what I want this campaign to be about. And I hope people who support me respect that, because this is a serious election. I obviously am running because I think it's better for the country if a Democrat who has the kind of approaches and values that my husband had and Barack Obama has follows this presidency. So, can I mark that down as a yes? You will pledge not to? Well, I have no -- no interest in doing that. And you're going to talk about Obamacare this week, support it.
What is the big new proposal you're going to offer? Well, first, let me say that it's time that we say that the debate over the Affordable Care Act is over. The Supreme Court has twice upheld it, yet the Congress has voted more than 50 times to repeal it. Let's get beyond that. And we need to strengthen it, not scrap it. It is the core of how we're going to provide health care to Americans going forward, the 16 million. But there are other benefits to it that people who are not on the exchanges are being able to take advantage of.
You know, million American women are no longer charged more for health care because of our gender. Young people can stay on their parents' policies until they're If you have a preexisting condition, insurance companies can't shut you out. We have a lot of positives. But there are issues that need to be addressed. I'm going to address them this week, starting with how we're going to try to control the cost of skyrocketing prescription drugs.
It's something that I hear about wherever I go. It's part of the plan I will be rolling out in the next few days. Let me ask you about those Planned Parenthood videos. Have you watched them? I have seen excerpts from them. And I have certainly read about them. And what I am troubled by are the misleading, inaccurate allegations about them that we heard from Republicans at their debate.
This is really an attack on Planned Parenthood, which provides a lot of health services, from cancer screeningsto contraceptive services, to so many other of the needs women have.
And to shut down the government, which some Republicans are advocating, over funding for Planned Parenthood, which takes care of millions of women's health needs, is just the height of irresponsibility. That's the policy debate this has turned into. But what was your reaction just when you watched them? Well, look, as Planned Parenthood has said, these were misleadingly edited. They were intentionally taken out of context. The fact is that, if we want to have a debate in this country about whether we should continue using -- or doing fetal research, then it's not only Planned Parenthood that should be involved in that debate.
All of the experts, all of the scientists, all of the research institutions, everybody who is looking for cures to Parkinson's, for example, should be asked, should we continue this? But so far as I am aware, what they did, despite the way it was portrayed, is within the laws that were set up for this. This week, the Senate is going to vote to impose a federal ban on late-term abortions.
Do you support a federal limit on abortion at any stage of pregnancy? This is one of those really painful questions that people raise. And, obviously, it's really emotional. I think that the kind of late-term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity. And, therefore, I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision.
I think that, again, this gets back to whether you respect a woman's right to choose or not. And I think that is what this whole argument once again is about. In the politics this year, it looks like everybody wants an outsider. Now, that puts you in a fix. Does it put you in a fix?
Tell us why it doesn't put you in a fix. I cannot imagine anyone being more of an outsider than the first woman president. I mean, really, let's think about that. Now, I agree, but your name -- we have not I mean, if you line up -- if you -- all these mothers and fathers bring me the place mats with all the presidents, and they bring their daughters, and they say, my daughter has a question for you. And the daughter says, how come there are no girls on this place mat? I agree that that is a difference.
I think that's a pretty big unconventional choice. But you know what I'm asking. Well, I know you're asking, do we want people who have never been elected to anything, who have no political experience, who have never made any hard choices in the public arena? Well, voters are going to have to decide that. But they worry that people who are inside are too inside, that that's why the economic situation is tilted against the middle class.
It's why they always feel like everybody can wiggle around the rules. And that's something you have to deal with, right? Of course it is. And that's why I have an economic policy that is centered on raising incomes, because I think what we inherited from the Bush administration, what President Obama had to deal with had the potential of becoming a great depression, not just a great recession.
We have now recovered 13 million jobs, after losinga month when he came into office. So, why would we go back to the same policies?
Call them tilted toward the rich. Call them giving corporations a free pass to do whatever they want. I have always been against that. I want to go back to economic policies where we create millions of new jobs and where people's incomes rise not just at the top, but in the middle and at the bottom, like they did under my husband. So, you know, I'm not running for Bill's third term. I'm not running for President Obama's third term.
But it would be really foolish of me not to say, you know, that worked better than what the Republicans offer. What role should Wall Street play in the economy? Look, we need financial markets. But they need to be put on notice that any of their behaviors that impact Main Street, that disrupt the kind of orderly processing of financial transactions because high-frequency trading is now going to be making decisions in nanoseconds, or fooling around, as they did in the '80s, in packaging mortgage securities in a way that really bombed us into the great resection, I don't think any financial institution, not just banks, because I think it's important to recognize there are a lot of financial institutions.
AIG was a problem. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. They were not banks in the traditional sense. We need to rein in the risks posed by these financial institutions. Let me -- a final question. Your friend the late Diane Blair wrote in her diary -- quote -- "On her deathbed, Clinton wants to be able to say she was true to herself and is not going to do phony makeovers to please others.
I can't possibly do that. I mean, look, I am a real person, with all the pluses and minuses that go along with being that. And I have been in the public eye for so long that I think -- you know, it's like the feature that you see in some magazines sometimes. Real people actually go shopping, you know? Well, I'm going to have to really interrupt you. Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Democratic presidential -- Hillary Clinton, we hope to talk to you again soon. And we will be back in a moment.
There's a lot more ahead, including an interview with Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Some are our CBS stations are leaving us now. So you heard Secretary Clinton. What did you think? You know, I thought one of the most interesting parts of the discussion was about the refugee crisis. And I think, frankly, that Hillary Clinton bears some of the responsibility for the crisis.
Thomas Freedman wrote an op-ed about a week ago, a couple weeks ago, saying that basically Iran and Saudi Arabia had been arsonists, throwing gasoline on the -- on the flames there. But in a way, so is Hillary Clinton's policy of putting arms into that situation. They say, oh, we're going to give them to the good people, but it really wasn't possible I think to find the good people and so many of the people were al Qaeda, al Nusra and some of these people became ISIS.
So it was really a bad idea and continues to be a bad idea to arm the allies of ISIS, to arm the allies al Qaeda. So what do you -- what would you do in this situation? Well, you know, you had bad people on both sides. I mean Assad is a person who gassed his own people, but on the other side you have really the remnants of the people who attacked us or people with a similar ideology to al Qaeda who attacked us.
So really arming either of the sides was a mistake. But there are people caught in the middle. There are two million Christians in Syria and they're caught in the middle. But we shouldn't do anything to push back Assad or to bomb Assad or to defeat Assad because really what that does is it opens a space for ISIS.
What did you think about the secretary's idea of 65, Syrian refugees coming into the United States? You know, my first thought is that, you know, some of the arsonists should accept some of the refugees. Saudi Arabia doesn't appear to be willing to take any. Iran should be taking some.
So if they're Shiite Muslims and Saudi Arabia won't take them, why would not Iran want to accept them? And these are the people who have been stoking the flames over there. Bahrain, Qatar, all the people pouring arms into there, all these rich sheikdoms, why aren't they taking refugees? What about the argument that the United States, when it does this kind of thing, takes in refugees and plays a leading role in the world, as it did after the Vietnam War with the Vietnam boat people, that that's a way in which, with soft power, the United States gets out of situations it finds it in than are more war-like, which is -- PAUL: Well, I have a great deal of sympathy, obviously, for the people who are displaced and you can't see the pictures of that, you know, young boy that drowned over there and not have a great deal of sympathy.
There are private groups trying to bring people over here. There's Project Nazarene, trying to bring Christians out of the Middle East and bring them to our country. But I think we do have to be a little bit weary. I mean we brought 65, from Iraq after the Iraq War and part of me says, well, we won the war, why wouldn't the people who were pro-west, why wouldn't we have wanted them to stay in Iraq and help rebuild the country?
Why would we take out 65, of the best people. In this situation, there's not really a choice. Those 65, people or the hundreds of thousands of people are stranded. But at the same time, I think we have to go to first causes as to what caused it in the first place and try not to -- I mean at least learn from the experience and not throw gasoline on these wars and try to -- but what to do in the immediate aftermath, I mean some of the 65, that came from Iraq actually were trying to buy stinger missiles in my hometown in Kentucky.
So we do have to be weary of some of the threat that comes from mass migration. And that's what this gentleman who spoke at Trump's rally and talked about the president being Muslim and that's -- he -- you know, that's what he was talking about is the danger from that. Should Donald Trump have said anything? Well, I don't think -- not -- you know, we shouldn't question the president's faith and I think that's kind of crazy.
And if someone does, we should, I think, rebuke that. But getting back to sort of this mass migration, there was an article about some of the people coming in and they listed a year-old boy from Afghanistan. And his only paperwork was a Hungarian political asylum. He had no other paperwork, no passport. So I think we'd be foolish to say there's no danger, I mean, from mass migration. And so we need to be very weary of that and I think people who visit our country on student visas, I'm not for ending it, but I am for really understanding who's coming to visit our country before they come.
You know this -- this issue has led to a -- a -- Ben Carson said on "Meet the Press" that it -- that he would not feel comfortable if a Muslim was president. What do you make that have? Well, I think, it's not so much what religion you are, it's what you stand for. But I don't think that we're really anywhere near that -- probably that happening because they're a small minority in our -- in our population.
But I think we -- the hard part is, is while we are a very pluralistic society and we're open to all religions, more free than any other country, the problem we have is that people have been attacking us have been all of one religion and it's hard to separate that.
And so I understand people saying, oh my goodness, you know, how could that happen? Would you have a problem -- would you have -- would you have a problem with a Muslim president though if -- PAUL: I -- I try to see that as a separate thing, someone's religion. But I just think that it's hard for us, we were attacked by people who were all Muslim.
I think it's really incumbent. And this is what I've been saying all along, civilized Islam needs to step up in a bigger way and say this doesn't represent us.
I know they do. But I don't hear enough of it. I need to hear more of it. And I frankly think that Saudi Arabia's often stoked the flames of radical Islam instead of trying to be helpful.
So you wouldn't have a problem with that. Let me ask you about this debate over Planned Parenthood and Carol Tobias, who's the president of the Nationality Right to Life, has said that while nobody wants to defund Planned Parenthood more than her organization, that threatening a government shutdown actually hurts the cause.
What do you think of that argument? I think we're missing sort of the bigger picture on everything. Not just Planned Parenthood. We borrow a million dollars a minute. So if you do a continuing resolution, you're acknowledging that the government's broken but you're going to vote to continue spending money at a rate that is unsustainable. So it's not just Planned Parenthood.
So I think we need to flip the tables. Everybody saying, oh, we have to have 60 votes to defund Planned Parenthood. We should be saying the opposite.
We need 60 votes to fund Planned Parenthood. We need 60 votes to fund everything in government. And we need to start from scratch, which means, yes, we need to hold the line and I'm for saying, let's put hundreds if not thousands of restrictions on all the spending. See, that's how Congress should assert themselves.
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We have a passive Congress that has basically advocated their role vis-a-vis the president, and that's a real problem. So I would hold the line. If I were in charge of Congress, I would put forward spending and I would say, this is what it is. And if Democrats don't vote for it, then Democrats would be shutting down government. Whose fault is it that Congress doesn't act in the -- particularly Republicans, act in the way you'd like?
Congress has been abdicating its role for probably a hundred years. So it goes back probably to the time of Woodrow Wilson. It's gotten worse and it's twofold.
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One, President Obama is frustrated because he can't get anything passed because it's a Republican Congress so he grabs more and more power. But if Congress let's him do it, and it's because we don't pass any of the appropriation bills. Now, it's been 40 years since we've passed all of the appropriation bills.
And the one reason I won't vote for any continuing resolution, period, I won't vote for any of them, it's not the way we should do business and nothing gets fixed. If you vote for a continuing resolution, you're voting for the status quo.
What's your guess, do you think the government shuts down? I hope that it doesn't continue on without reform. And that's a -- a different way of putting it. But I would put forward spending bills and I would say to the Democrats, you either vote for them or you shut down government or you come and negotiate with us. Right now there's no negotiation because we just acknowledge, oh, we don't have 60 votes to stop any funding, but it's our job and the American people, particularly Republicans, you wonder why outsiders are doing well in the polls, it's because the Republicans in Washington are doing nothing to rein in spending on anything.
As I talked about with Secretary Clinton, there's a big appetite for outsiders. That -- that used to be what they said about you when you came in, that you would -- that you're from the outside. Oh, they still do.
You just have to listen, they still do. But the -- but the polls, at least at the moment for this snapshot in time, seem to like other kinds of outsiders. Russert assumed the job of host of the Sunday morning program Meet the Press inand would become the longest-serving host of the program. Its name was changed to Meet the Press with Tim Russert, and, at his suggestion, went to an hour-long format in The show also shifted to a greater focus on in-depth interviews with high-profile guests, where Russert was known especially for his extensive preparatory research and cross-examining style.
One approach he developed was to find old quotes or video clips that were inconsistent with guests' more recent statements, present them on-air to his guests and then ask them to clarify their positions. With Russert as host the show became increasingly popular, receiving more than four million viewers per week, and it was recognized as one of the most important sources of political news. Time magazine named Russert one of the most influential people in the world inand Russert often moderated political campaign debates.
John ChancellorRussert's NBC colleague, is credited with using red and blue to represent the states on a US map for the presidential electionbut at that time Republican states were blue, and Democratic states were red. How the colors got reversed is not entirely clear. Russert testified previously, and again in United States v.
Lewis Libbythat he would neither testify whether he spoke with Libby nor would he describe the conversation. Russert testified again in the trial on February 7, If I want to use anything from that conversation, then I will ask permission. Times wrote that, "Like former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Russert was one of the high-level Washington journalists who came out of the Libby trial looking worse than shabby.
All the litigation was for the sake of image and because the journalistic conventions required it. It's our best format. I don't think the public was, at that time, particularly receptive to hearing it," Russert says. Those in favor were so dominant. We don't make up the facts. We cover the facts as they were. Folkenflik went on to write: Russert's remarks would suggest a form of journalism that does not raise the insolent question from outside polite political discourse—so, if an administration's political foes aren't making an opposing case, it's unlikely to get made.
In the words of one of my former editors, journalists can read the polls just like anybody else. My concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials.