While in Europe on the summit of “Big twenty”, the President of trump spoke with some concerned US allies and for the first time since taking office, met face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sunday in the transmission of Face the Nation attended the Republican Senator from Arizona, Chairman of the armed services Committee John McCain. He discussed with leading trouble spots and tensions, attracting the attention of the United States, starting with Russia and ending the Middle East.
We offer you the text of the interview published in the broadcast of Face the Nation July 9, 2017.
John Dickerson: we Now turn to the Senator from Arizona, Chairman, Senate Committee on armed services John McCain. Senator, I would like here to discuss all the problems of the world. So let’s start.
John McCain: We could have a lot to discuss.
— Yes, indeed. We don’t have a globe, but let’s start with Russia. So, the U.S. permanent representative to the UN, speaking about the consequences of Russia’s intervention in the elections, he said: “do Not think that it was all over.” And she hinted that there may be consequences. But the President this morning has published a comment on Twitter. And he wrote the following: “Now it is time to move forward through constructive work with the Russians.” It seems that these words do not imply any consequences.
Yet an interesting feature of the whole problem is that we know that Russia tried to influence the outcome of our elections in November last year. And Russian did not happen. But he made a very sophisticated attempt to do so. And for that they have not yet suffered any punishment. We carried through the Senate a very good bill on sanctions, and we also have other proposals. But if we talk about specific punishment for their actions, no punishment was not. So if you were Vladimir Putin, who I’ve known for many years, then you would be sitting there and you would get away with the fact that you literally tried to change the outcome of not only our elections. Elections in France. Attempt to overthrow the government of Montenegro, a beautiful small country. I recommend, I advocate punishment. But so far, no punishment followed. It’s time to move forward. Yes, it’s time to move forward. But there is a price to be paid, all you have to pay.
— Why? Why should we pay?
— Otherwise, it considers that can do this and more. Of course. No, unless someone doubts that he is going to question us supremacy and to undermine democracy, destroy the principles of freedom and everything that symbolizes Europe and the world after the Second world war? For 70 years we have a new world order. And he is now facing serious challenges, not only in Europe but throughout the world.
— The President said, and the White house claims that this is a significant achievement, the successful result of their meeting. The President again wrote this morning on Twitter: “We with Putin discussed the creation of the “impenetrable” units on cyber security to combat cyber-attacks and many other negative things.” What you…
I’m sure Vladimir Putin would be of great help in this work, as it deals with hacker attacks. In fact, look, I support this President. I did not support him, right? But he is the President. I’m trying to work with him on all questions where possible. On the armed forces, we in the Committee in the prescribed manner passed a bill authorizing defense spending, which we might do later. He was supported by all 27 members of both parties was held a comprehensive exchange of views. We considered more than 200 amendments. But all in vain. And instead of this we this issue is resolved to impose the Republican proposal, many points which require 60 votes. I don’t understand this. What we need to do now? Back to top. To introduce a bill.
— You mean the bill on health care?
— To introduce a bill, hold it, put it to a vote, the vote thereon. This is the established procedure. And if you ignore the opinion of the opponent or the opposite side, you will eventually succeed the same thing that happened with the reform of Obamacare, when they pushed it 60 votes. But you know what? We don’t have 60 votes, John.
— So what happens now with health care? Next week all back to work.
— I think my point is that he probably will fail, but I was — and now I could be wrong. I thought I’d be President of the United States. But I’m afraid he is doomed to failure. And then we need to convene a conference of Republicans, and put the question: “What to do next?”. To introduce a bill. Tell the Democrats: “Here’s the bill”. This does not mean that they are not… they are in control. This means that their amendments could be considered. And even when they lose, they will still be involved in the process. This is a democracy.
— Let me get back to foreign Affairs.
— Of course.
— I want to ask you about Syria. Let’s listen to what Secretary of state Tillerson said about the Russians who have their own interests in Syria, and the United States. Let’s listen to the Secretary of state.
Rex Tillerson: In General, our goals are exactly the same. As we achieve these goals — each of us has his own point of view. It is quite possible that they have the right approach, and we have the wrong approach.
John Dickerson: the Russian right approach?
John McCain: Here it is impossible to solve. It is impossible to solve. These are the same people who use precision weapons to inflict strikes on hospitals in Aleppo, where the sick and wounded people. It’s just… you know, I was preparing myself mentally for the performance in this program. I said to myself: “John, you’re not going to get upset. You’re not going to give vent to emotions”. But I know who these characters are creating is good. And I know what a mass murder. I know Russian it was known that Assad intends to use chemical weapons. And to say that we may have the wrong approach?
Look, I’ve been torturing myself trying to decide on whether to support the candidacy Tillerson to the post of Secretary of state or not. Not that I don’t admire his success and all the good things that he did. The fact that he has said in the past. He moved away from the basic principles of American democracy. The reason we are, as usual, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “shining city on the hill” consists in the fact that we are equals, we are respected for our principles and our beliefs. And that we protect freedom and promote freedom. That’s what America is. And it’s not that they are right and we’re wrong. We know who…
— You regret…
— Who is right and who is wrong.
Are you sorry you voted for Tillerson?
— Sometimes I regret. But I still cannot bear the thought that the American people chose this President. And it’s time for you to create your team. When Barack Obama won in 2008 and in 2009, I voted for his team, because, in my opinion, the American people wanted him to have this team. But don’t think that it doesn’t bother me. Very worried.
— Well and last question. Most recently was in Afghanistan. What is your feeling about what is happening in this country?
— We have no strategy. And we are losing. When you don’t win, you lose. And ANA, the Afghan national army, bears unacceptable losses. But we’re going to develop a new strategy. You know, they come to us and ask us to provide additional funding to send more troops, more missions.
We will not do that until we do not offer a strategy. I asked General Mattis, who I admire, and General McMaster, to whom I also admire: “Where is the strategy? Where is the strategy?” Then we can make some policies. Then we authorize the funding and sending troops. The provision of tanks and guns.
And by the way, we all know what the problem is. The problem is in the White house. They need to focus to choose the strategy. And this, by the way, the President has to make. And tell the American people: “We have to win. Don’t forget about the September 11 attacks. And here’s what we need to do.” Unfortunately, the White house is now in disarray, there is a continuous chaos. But I’m sure the United States of America, the best and most powerful country on earth can do it.
Okay. Senator McCain, thank you very much for participating in our program.
— Thank You, John.