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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 12, 2020 8:30am-8:59am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i am margaret brennan in washington and this week on "face the nation", the critical standoff between the u.s. a iran deessa esc takes a tragic turn and new crisis as iran admits to shooting down an aircraft killing 176 accidentally and we will have the latest and here in the u.s. some in congress are demanding answers as to why the administration continues to send mixed messages about the quote imminent threat used to justify the strike in the first place. on saturday, iranian government acknowledged what they have been denying for days,ory ssile tstrn u.s. installation information iraq they unintentionally shot down ukrainian passenger jet miss mistake steaking it for an
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incoming missile, a high ranking iranian official wasuick qo t partially to blame. now iranians are apingly with their own government and the over the role of u.s. forces in iraq we will talk to secretary of defense mark esper. >> we did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy. >> we also will ask him about the intelligence behind the killing of soleimani, the administration's handling of the crisis is causing frustration even among some republicans loyal to the president. >> i find this insulting and demeaning. >> pauley: republican mike lee, democrats tim kaine and adam schiff will all be here. plus former secretary of state john kerry weighs in on iran and why he is supporting joe biden. >> and a special behind the scenes report from our liz palmer, her and her team spent the multis you week in nation".
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>> bre good mning. and bin this morning with the secretary of defense mark esper. good morning to you, mr. secretary, good to have youn witnessed anti-government protests, chants against the regime. what is the u.s. assessment of what is happening on to the ground? >> we are safer today than we were just a few weeks ago. why? because we took out the world's foremost terrorist leader, qasem soleimani, who had the blood of hundreds of dead american service members on his hands. secondly we restored deterrence in iran without any u.s. casualties and we yes, reassurer partners and allies in the >>giwirennane : olln deterrence there was an iran fired off missiles at the united states.
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>> we are confidently restoring deterrence and if you look to your question. >> brennan: you don't expect any further attacks? >> if you look at what is happening on the ground today you had just yesterday in tehran and other cities iranians chanting death to the ayatollah, we don't think america is our enhe ianpley.em yo standing up uand asserting s thr a rights and their aspirations for a better government, a dient pauley: so what is. >> >> brennan: what is the assessment of what level of threat is there is to to the regime's hold on power because the president was tweeting in farsi messages he stands with the protesters and he is following closely swha what is happening. >> we stand with the iranian people and they want the same people most people want in the world, prosperity and the ability to raise their lives and lives their lives and raise their children and we support, support those aspirations wherever they are. and they are standing up to the regime and trying to hold them accountable. >> is there by saying you stand with from testers it seems to be
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a continue dickion to itti legitimate government if you will of iron and, iran, the president certainly said we will meet with them and willing to sit down and discuss a new way forward, a series of steps by which iran becomes a more normal country. >> that offer still stands. >> that offer still stands. >> and if something happens to these protest in other words met with iran? >> the president has drawn no preconditions other than to say wng re willing to meet with thet tn hiiraniarngo ukrainivean commercial airliner, the iranian foreign minister tweeted, admitted it was a mtais on essentially the u.s. contributed because of the escalation. what is your response to that? >> well, first of all it is a terrible tragedy, with un76 people from many nations killed, the as shame that the first reaction of the iranian government to show their corruption to say it was american propaganda when clearly it was a horrible mistake, to somehow allow iran to play the
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victim card with the international community is ridiculous these tensions started many years ago, 20 years ago, 40 years ago and escalated in the past 12 months led by the terrorist leader qasem soleimani, who was escalating attacks against u.s. forces in the region, in baghdad, in particular, which ultimately led to the siege of the united states embassy there. >> i want to ask you about that attempt to breach the perimeter and the embassy but also broadly the threat that the u.s. was with tracking that has been described as imminent, time and again by the administration. the president said last week that there was an attempt to blow up the u.s. embassy in baghdad, here specifically is what hef said on fox news. >> i can reveal that i believe it would have been four embassies, but baghdad certainly would have been the lead, but i think it would have been four embassies, it could have been military bases, it could have been a lot of other things too imminent and then all of a sudden he was gone. >> why couldn't you share that specific threat with senators in a classified briefing?
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>> was al, reference in this exquisite intelligence to an attack on the united states embassy in baghdad. that information was shared with the gang of eight, all that exceptional intelligence shared with the gang of eight, not the broader membership of the congress. >> a specific threat against the u.s. embassy in baghdad to blow ht wshar u tit edwiheth the gang of eight but l you i spoke with one of the briefers what the prover said to me coming out of the meeting his z that most if not all of the members thought that the intelligence was persuasive and that the gang of eight did not think it should be released to the broader members of congress. cayouyther was t specific threat that the president shared with pox news about four u.s. embassies beinga fererer ncune?lsth >> what the president said was he believed that it probably and could have been attacked againss thatational security team shared a vmeieriw, tnhat's paratroopers to the middle east to reinforce our embassy in baghdad and other sites
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throughout the region. >> probably and could have been, that is -- that sounds more like an assessment than a specific >> whrl t the president didn't y it was a tangible -- he didn't cite a specific piece of evidence, he said probably, he believed -- >> then there wasn't one? >> i didn't see one with regard to four embassies what i am saying i share the 43's view that probably, my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies, the embassy is the most prominent display of american presence in a country. >> the description had been that this was an imin enthreat to u.s. personnel and facilities in the region. is that a more accurate description than what the president provided? >> well, what i have said publicly, i have said many times, is that we had information that there was going to be an attack within a matter of days that would be broad in scale, in other words more than one country and it would be bigger than previous attacks, likely going to take us into open hostilities with iran. >> is that threat gone? >> that was orchestrated by
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qasem soleimani, he was the one that led the attacks against america for 20 years now so we had every expectation to believe this would happen. in fact, the very, very senior person from intelligence community said the risk of inaction is greater than the risk of action. that was compelling for me. >> is that threat gone? >> that threat has been disrupted. i think what we have to find out now is continue to work to make sure that threat is completely eliminated. >> do you understand the frustration and ager from members of congress who say why the -- why can the president tell fox news something he can't tell members of congress? or members of his administration can't explicitly explain to members -- >> i understand the frustration. the fact is, that evidence, that information is only available to the gang of eight, that's been practice and policy for decades. >> you said you don't know it was told to the gang of eight. >> well i am talking about the intelligence stream, the exquisite intelligence, that was told -- that information of that source and method was revealed to the gang of eight. i understand the frustration of the broader members of congress. they are not going to have access to that information. i would support it if we didn't general died jeopardize the
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sources and methods and i think the president said the same. >> senator mike lee who will be with us on this program also was frustrated with your briefing and he said, younow, why did you tell members of congress that it would essentially be a negative message to try to call into question the authorization for military force in iraq? >> why did you oppose that the debate? >> for every member that didn't like the briefing others thought it was the greatest ever. >> that doesn't mean there shouldn't be debate or discuss. >> i was asked a specific question, about do i have concerns about a debate? and all i said was this. as that debate continues, as that debate ensue be careful of the messaging especially toward troops because they are looking for messages do they have the support of the american people while in harm's way. why do i sayhahet? past and i he personal experience in the 1991 gulf war, i was on the ground preparing for our final actionsn
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congress in mid january that year to find out, did we have the support of the american people and our lawmakers. >> quickly, are targets because we have reported that there was an irceahe sam lrde dy soleimani was killed. >> i am not going to speak to any plan or alleged operations. we will exercise everything we need to do to protect the american people to protect our forces, to protect our embassies. >> but not denying that report? >> i am not going to speak to any reports. >> okay. i want to quickly ask you as well about the presence in iraq. will the u.s. cut off, uh, is aid if the iraqi government tries expel u.s. troops. >> let's take this one step at a time, we are not there yet, w we need to do is sit down and have discussions withha the irai it also in weh do w are that with our nato partners, i had a good conversation the other day with may at the secretary-general. we will send a team over to discuss how can nato play a bigger role in the iraq mission,
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two important missions there, one is to train, advise and assist the iraqi military and number 2 is the enduring defeat of isis, we are committed to both of thosepe os beratter wayti forwardon. >> does plussing off nato presence mean drawing down the roops.s. aspiration for long time to have a less troops in the mid east -- >> that's a matter for commanders on the ground to assess and look at whether the capabilities of our nato partners can write to the gore and i think that has to be a process, and a in full respect of iraq's of i sophacles rin/wrn at this. >> at the owned the day u.s. government wants what the iraqi people want, that sat strong, prosperous and independent ire. >> on saudi arabia, we are reporting, cbs news is reporting that about a dozen orpeay s, exr the united states after that pensacola shooting and investigation. is that the right number? what can you tell us about that and what did the president mean when he said saudi arabia
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deposited a billion dollars into a bank account in exchange for u.s. troop deployment? >> two separate things, first of all, the, what you are referring to ask an investigation being conducted by the doj and the fbi in the wake of that tragic shooting this pensacola some few weeks ago, in the wake of that the department has taken a number of steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. i have assigned director it was that enhanced screening of all of our foreign students, that address credentially going forward, weapon policy, et cetera we are doing everything we can, the investigation is being conducted by doj and fbi, i am sure they will release something on that in the coming days. >> and the billion dollars? into the u.s. bank account? >> well what the president is referring to is burden sharing, burden sharing comes in many forms, when we talk to nato we talk about contributing more to the gdb, the defense commitment and the president's actions resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars more being contributed by our nato allies. >> but that is not a transaction like what he described. >> it includes host nation supporting, and military sales and includes providing troops on the ground and in cases it
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provides helping to offset some of our operations and maintenance costs, which which e saudis are committed to doing just as they did offset costs during the 1990 and 1991 gulf war burden sharing. >> secretary, appreciate your time. >> thank you, margaret. >> and we will be ment wh the house intelligence chairman adam schiff. stay with us. all we see in you, is a spark. we see your kindness and humanity. the strength of each community. the more we look the more we find the sparks that make america shine. ♪ the one thing you learn pretty quickly, is that there's a lot to learn. grow with google is here to help you with turning ideas into action.
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putting your business on the map, connecting with customers, and getting the skills to use new tools. so, in case you're looking, we've put all the ways we can help in one place. free training, tools, and small business resources are now available at >> brennan: we are joined now by the chairman of the house intelligence committee adam schiff. >> good morning to you, mr. chairman. >> good morning. >> brennan: you are part of the gang of eight so you are part of that group that received the very classified briefing that the defense secretary was referring to. he said the intelligence was exquisite and incredibly detailed don't you quibble with his characterization of what you were told? quile wit it, i .hk it i justonla'tin wrong d th>>er ie was no discussion in e gang of eight briefings that these are the four embassies that are being targeted and we have exquisite intelligence that
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shows these or this, these are the specific targets. about the embassy in baghdad, he said that was the specific -- bg >> a iec d specific discussion about bombing the u.s. embassy in baghdad. ngbriethuc wasfie m morh that secretary pompeo admitted the other day when he said that we don't know precisely where and we don't know precisely when. that was much more the nature of the briefing that we got in t plotting, there was an effort to escalate, a big plan but they didn't have specificity so when you hear the president out there on fox, he is funneling the intelligence. i mean you hear the secretary say, well, that wasn't what the intelligence said but that's my personal belief, he is fudging when secretary pomp crow was on your show last week, and made the claim that the intelligence analysis was that taking soleimani out would improve our security .. and leaving him in
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would leave us less safe, that is also fudging, that is lligence conclusion. that is pompeo's personal opinion. >> intelligence -- >> saying they are lying? >> well, you know, you can certainly put it that way, but frankly i think what they are doing is they are overstating and exaggerating what the intelligence shows, and when you ace talking about justifyin ha warfarwith iran, that's a dangerous thing to do. >> to be fair, because you are the intel committee chairman you know intel committee often a or intelligence community works in assessments. in judgments, including together mosaics and pieces of information to come to a conclusion. when esper is working in beliefs and projections, isn't that just how it works, in possibilities and not necessarily always having one conclusive piece of the exact place and time? >> that's exactly right. but that means you need to be very clear about what you are saying the intelligence shows and what it doesn't.
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if we were to ask the intelligence agencies we are takingor l solwoni se umas say otoutak m us, congressman,a policy judgment that the policymakers need to make. what we can tell you is, if you take him out here are the likely repercussions. those repercussions that we were briefed about were far more dangerous to this country than anything that soleimani was plotting as far as i can tell. and so when you are talking about taking out a top government official of another nation, an act that might bring us into out right warfare, the burden of imminence of showing imminence with very grave specifics i think is very high. >> high. >> brennan: so i want to button up the secretary defense also said in the the gang of eight briefing when he said there was sensitive informs shared though he wasn't in the room it was the gang of eight's decision not to share the information with the rest of congress. he said he would be okay with it, if sensitive bits were taken
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out. is this a political decision? >> he said a couple of things, he said that, what he was told by the briefers morest most 0 or all of the members were completely satisfied, that is not correct, i wasn't and other members of the gang of eight were equally unsatisfied with the proof of imminence. in terms of what he described and others have described as the exquisite nature or sources and methods, we often don't share the most sensitive source and methods with all of the membersf atwithholding from t ihe not mee underlying facts and so if the intelligence showed that there were four embassies being targeted that should have been shared with the he believes. it wasn't because't ilieve that is what theon d inhetelligence showed. >> brennan: have you hea ordtedo what the administration did? >> they are not going to volunteer that. in other words, the intelligence community doesn't want to get cross-wise with the white house. >> brennan: you have spoken to cia director gina haskell.
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>> yes. >> this appears according to esper's description also her assessment. >>ther esper has represented that the cia director supported or didn't support a strike of soleimani. the job of the cia director is to say, this is what our intelligence shows. ncalts telus wl b thegentliel repeercussions if you take soleimani out. that is the principle role. it is the president's call whether that justifies taking a strike, but that should be done in consultation with congress and approved by congress and neither of those things happened here. >> brennan: should other irgc leaders be targeted? >> i think that we have escalated enough. >> brennan: even though iran says it is standing down and the president used that phrase? >> well, i think what we are likely to see at least in the near term is the end of iran's overt attacks like the missile attack on our bases. i don't think that we coconclude at all we have seen an end theu,
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shia and the risk to our military and 57 civilians is greater now because of this administration's actions, iran has been humiliated by this taking out of their top leadership, but also by their disastrous shootdown of this esvilian aircraft.hem, ith thiatnkak, m more dangerous and provocative in the sense that we may very well see covert retaliation against the united states. >> brennan: i want to switch gears, because in your role you were also playing a a a key -- u are a key figure in the impeachment investigation up to . i am wondering if you have a sense abooiutnt whether you wths an impeachment manager when this goes to a senate trial? >> well, that will be the speaker's decision, i don't want to get ahead of her thinking -- >> do you want to? >> i told the speaker i will play whatever role that she and the caucus believe would be useful. >> and the speaker was on another network today and seemed
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to leave open the idea of subpoenaing john bolton, the former national security advisor to the president. is that something you would be looking at? are you looking at? >> it is certainly something we are considering, but, look, america is going to see a fair trial in the senate. they want to see a trial that is fair to the president and they want to see a trial that is fair to the american people, that brings all the facts forward. there is little sense in bringing bolton in to the house and not allowing the senators to see his testimony. if they are going to be the retires of facts and they should be they should manner from the witness directly. he offered to come forward and testify. there is no reason not to have him testify unless you just want to cover up the president's wrongdoing. if mcconnell succeeds in making this trial the trial without witnesses it will be the first impeachment trial in history where the subject of the trial didn't reside mid trial where they didn't have witnesses. that is not a fair trial. that's a sham. that's a coverup. and i think one of the things that holding on to the articles has succeeded in doing is
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flushing out mcconnell and the president's desire to make this a coverup. >> brennan: we will get to what that trial might look like with mike lee, senator from utah, a republican ally of the president who will be with us soon. all money managers might seem the same, but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when something . fishther caleyls regular hly so eyou stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. most people think as a reliable phone company.
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but drive by notification to eight people is not the same as notification to congress. remember there is an important constitutional reason for this. we have some overlap and some natural tension between the article 2 commander in chief power enjoyed by the president and the article 1 section 8 war power that is possessed by i don't think congress. in order to know and understand where one power ends and another begins in any context, we need to have a certain amount of information and an adequate amount of information was not shared with us. >> well, there was information shared with fox news in that interview the president gave where he said it was his belief that there were four embassies that were going to be threatened by attack by iran. you have spoken to the president, was that television interview the first time you heard it? let es, it was. ay greatme t abo sut respect for president trump, for how he handled this situation, and how he has handled other situations
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involving his power as command her chief. i believe more than any other president in any lifetime president trump has shown restraint in the way he has imrd that power. >> brennan: but do you have a problem about learning it on television? >> -- taken us to war several times. yes. but the problem there is not what the, with the president. the problem is with those who are briefing us. those who are briefing us, i believe would have done a different job under the light of day, had television cameras been there, than they did in private, where his boss wouldn't with see what they were saying. they were not helpful and didn't reflect well on the president's great restraint he has shown in deference to the american people. >> i want to continue this conversation specifically about war powers as well on the other side of this commercial break. so stay with us. >> especially by something like your cloud. it's a problem. but the ibm cloud is different. it's open and flexible enough to manage all your apps and data securely, anywhere,
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>> brennan: some of our station, leaving us now but we will be right back with senator nike lee and then democratic senator tim kaine and former secretary of state john kerry. plus a report from elizabeth palmer or cbs news team in iran. stay with us. >> trump: those pre-existing
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conditions are protected. vo: a broken promise. trump repeatedly tried to undermine coverage for 134 million americans with pre-existing conditions. mike: "he just doesn't care if you have a pre-existing condition he wants to deny you access to coverage. if he is re-elected, he'll keep trying to do that and i think we can't let that happen." vo: as president, mike will lower costs, and protect americans with pre-existing conditions. mike: i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message.
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>> the road to the final four winds through big ten country a and one of the great venues in college basketball, better than the 14,000 from michigan state and purdue, the regular season champions in the big ten last year, look at where these two teams fit for my michigan state zero after purdue up-and-down season and seventh overall in the conference. welcome to west lafayette alongside the great ar


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