tv Face the Nation CBS February 18, 2018 8:30am-9:01am PST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> cordes: today on "face the nation." teenagers at a florida school map out a new national movement to curb gun violence. >> not because another statistic but because we are not going to be the -- >> cordes: can they change the political dynamic we'll talk to five students from marjorie stoneman douglas high school about their plans to march on washington and hold a national day of protest. and after the fbi failed to follow through on warnings about the suspected shooter, president trump slams the agency for wasting time trying to prove his campaign clueded with russia this has special prosecutor robert mueller hand down a blockbuster indictment against 13 russian nationals saying they
communicated with unwitting individual associated with the trump campaign to coordinate political activity. russian officials call the indictment, a fantasy, is the u.s. doing enough to safeguard the next election. we'll talk to the head of house oversight committee republican trey gowdy and delaware democrat chris coons and south carolina republican tim scott. hillary clinton's campaign chairman, john podesta will be here, too. plus, congressional republicans are retiring in record numbers. we sat down with four of them, florida's ileana ross lehtinen, charlie dent and arizona senator jeff flake to find out why they're leaving. when you talk about immigration, mass violence, opioid, has congress lost the ability to solve these problems? >> you know, it would be hard to argue that we haven't. >> cordes: it's all ahead on
"face the nation." good morning and welcome to "face the nation" i'm nancy cordes. we've got a lot of news to get to but we're going to begin those students at stoneman douglas high school in park land, florida. they are channeling their anguish into what they hope will be a new national movement. they rallied yesterday just a few miles from the scene of the massacre that took 17 lives. we spoke with five of them just moments ago. >> we're going to do a march in march on washington. students all over the country are going to be joining ups because the adults have let us down. the people that we put into power who should be working for us they have us working for them. and that's pitiful. that's pathetic and we have to do the dirty work here, we're going to do the dirty work, we're going to shoulder this heavy burden and we're going to do it well. >> from here on we are creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting
money from the nra, special interest groups that has most certainly not our best interests in mind. and this cannot be the normal. this can be changed and it will be changed, anybody who tells that you it can't is buy can into the thought by the people who have all the blood on their hands. >> cordes: we'll have lot more that have interview coming up later in the broadcast, right now we turn to congressman trey gowdy the head of the house oversight committee who is in greenville, south carolina, this morning. mr. chairman, good morning. what do you say to these kids who argue that politicians like you who take money from the nra have blood on their hands? >> well, first thing i would say to those children and my own is, i'm sorry that you have grown up in a generation that is only known violence and there's no sanctuary, there's no place of refuge, the schools aren't safe, churches aren't safe, concerts. i applaud their activism i would encourage them to look at three
components. the shooter himself, the instrument mentality and then any form of mitigation whether it is magazine capacity, whether it is the speed with which the projectile is ex spelled but you have to look at all three. you have to look at the shooter and you have to look at the instrumentmentality by which the shooter is shoot can people. i applaud their activism and if i were them i'd be as angry as they are. >> cordes: are you suggesting that weapons that can kill or injury many people in a short period of time should be more restrict than they are now? >> well, you can certainly look at that but of course, nancy, some of the more heinous mass killings we've had involved semi automatic pistols and i have had people when i was a prosecutor, kill with all manner of instrumentmentality from shovels to brick. they're equally dead. >> cordes: you can't kill --
wait a minute, congressman, in las vegas the shooter was able to injury 500 people in minutes. you can't do that with a shovel or a brick. >> , no you cannot. and that's why i say you should look at the instrumentmentality and magazine capacity and speed with which the projective including bump stocks, but you also have to look at the shooter. nancy, in almost half the instances of mass shootings there was notice provided to someone that the person was going to do what he ultimately did. school shootings almost 80% of the time there was notice provided. so you have to look at all of it. if you only look at the instrumentmentality and you don't look at the person who is pulling the trigger you're doing a disservice to everyone who wants to see an end to killings including mass killings. >> cordes: i think what these kid are saying, we have looked at all of these things, just haven't done anything y., for example, hasn't congress taken action on bump stocks, this is something that both sides agree
should be curtailed. if you're saying that we need to make it easier for law enforce tomorrow step in when someone exhibits symptoms of violencey don't we make it easier for them to do that? >> well, you could impose a duty to disclose. we have it in other categories of law. could you impose a lawful duty to disclose if you hear that someone is planning to do something. and shooting in florida, you didn't need a duty to disclose, people did come forward and put the fbi on notice, bump stocks turn semi automatic into fully automatic weapons, fully automatic weapons are already illegal. i am fine with doing away with any instrumentmentality that converts semi automatic a fully automatic. >> cordes: -- going to vote on that. >> i'm not a member of leadership but i'm happy to ask them when and if we're going to see a vote. i don't know that it requires a
vote of congress. i think atf can regulate bump stocks tomorrow. >> cordes: you're the chair of the house oversight, i want to get your take on 13 russians who were indicted on friday. you're a former prosecutor, what do these tell us how sophisticated this operation was and whether they're going to try it again? >> well, they're definitely going to try it again. what this indictment tells us what some of us have known all along. russia is not our friend. russia has tried to subvert the fundamentals of our democracy for those of us who supported bob mueller from day one did he said give him the time and resource and independence to do his job, this is his job. that is exactly what we wanted him to do. i have known all along that russia tried to subvert our 2016 election they're going to do the same thing in 2020 and every election thereafter. unless and until we do what the indictment said which is we view this as america being the victim.
and this particular instance they used the clinton campaign. they tried to disparage her campaign. next cycle it could be republican. but americans are the victims of what russia did. not republicans, not democrats. all of us are victims. >> cordes: why hasn't congress passed any legislation to safeguard our election, we have known abut this russian meddling now for 1 months. >> you're right. congress doesn't regulate state election. jeh johnson, whom i've been critical of in the past tried to put the states on notice in the fall of 2016. it didn't get a lot of media coverage because there was "access hollywood" tape that came out that same day. you're better able to speak from your line of work as to why, what jeh johnson warned us of in the fall of 2017, didn't get much media coverage but i don't think you want congress regulating the states in their election. >> you do have control, for example, over legislation that could require more disclosure from people on social media about who they are, who is backing them when they air ad
online, for example. >> yeah, i had that conversation with the three media giants, you and i just got through discussing the second amend. that is the first amendment. i ask facebook, i asked twitter, i ask all of them how does a functioning democracy benefit from false information? i can't imagine how we benefit from someone perpetuating lies. but i got silenced. that's a first amendment issue when you begin to regulate information and i happen to believe in something called the truth. i actually believe that certain things are true and not true. but i couldn't even get the media giants to agree to that. that's a first amendment issue, i would tell all my fellow citizens be really skeptical of anything you read on social media and dough your own independent research. >> cordes: sounds like americans are all going to have to get a lot more skeptical of what they see on social media. congressman trey gowdy of south carolina, thanks very much.
>> yes, ma'am, thank you. >> cordes: joining us now is delaware democrat chris coons, he sits on the senate judiciary and foreign relations committee. senator coons, thanks for being with us. what is your biggest take away from these new indictments by robert mueller, shows point blank, noz if the president says that a lot of other folks, law enforcement leaders and others say it neither proves nor disproves collusion. it shows the strength and organization of the russian campaign to interfere in 2016. it does show three different couple campaign officials were contact by russia but didn't realize they were russians. i'll remind you there was that famous june 9th meeting in trump tower where campaign officials welcomed with open arms russians who claimed they had dirt on hillary clinton. that hasn't yet been proven that there might have been collusion but i think it's getting closer. >> cordes: what do you think the chances are that it did affect the house come of the
race. >> a race this close moving 140, 150,000 votes in three states one way or the other could have changed the outcome. it's hard to say that this didn't affect the outcome. it was an exceptionally close election, rile remind you one candidate won the popular vote, the other won alone material vote. it's not yet clear whether the russians succeeded in actual plea changing votes. what's clear they spend millions of dollars and had hundreds of people working in a toll farm in st. petersburg to potentially undermine one candidate, hillary clinton, and support another, donald trump. >> cordes: why aren't democrats out there banging the drum on this issue, pushing legislation to protect our electoral system? >> we are. as you know i've introduced bipartisan to try to protect robert mueller. i'm concerned about the possibility that his investigation will be interfered with by the president. we just heard last week in some of the house intelligence committees from donald trump's intelligence leader, his head of
cia, fbi, direction for of national intelligence we can expect the russians do do this again. we should be taking action against russian interference. >> cordes: are we taking enough? >> we aren't. the most important thing the president should have done by now is to use the new sanctions authority that the senate gave him by vote of 9-2 last year, to push back on russia and impose some pain, some cost for having interfered with our election. so far, no overt sanctions have been imposed. no real action has been taken. >> cordes: you think that is em boldens the russians? >> absolutely. with someone like putin he's only going to stop when we stop him. >> this is purely fantasy in their words. should the u.s. be retaliating beyond sanctions in ways that we aren't right now? >> there are actions we should be taking town crease the pressure on russia to back off. we should be engaging our european allies who match commonality of interest in this. we should be using the sanctions authority that the senate also given to president trump to me
the most maddening questions why is president trump failing to act to protect our democracy when there is indisputable proof now that russia interfered in our 2016 election. >> cordes: let's talk about this florida shooting. given what we know right now, is it possible that legislation, any legislation could have prevented the tragedy that we saw there? >> possible. yes. likely that that action will be taken in this congress, no. and i have to say, nancy, having heard the voices of other teenagers from parkland whose high school classmates were gunned down, it is heartbreaking, i am heart sick over the fact that we in congress have failed to act to protect our teenage turnovers protect schools and churches to, protect america's safe space from the scourge of gun violence. there are things we should do to make it harder for people with mental health problems, people who are convicted felons, people who have domestic violence conviction, from easily getting
guns. there are bipartisan bills in this congress and last one that have not been taken up and acted on. >> cordes: has your party lost some of its drive on this issue? you talk about bipartisan legislation, you had a big break through it seemed a couple of months ago after the shooting in las vegas, democrats and republicans cosponsoring legislation to limit bump stocks, these devices that makes semi automatic weapons more lethal. we haven't heard anything about that in months. why hasn't your party kept the heat on? >> there have been efforts. but let's be blunt. one party controls the floor in the senate and the house, the republicans determined what is going to get a vote. >> cordes: there's no word of optimism that you can offer to those students in florida who are -- >> i am usually a very optimistic person. i work tirelessly across the aisle. he i have not optimistic that until there s real action by the american public to demand change in congress that we're going to see real action to confront gun violence out of this congress. >> cordes: senator chris
coons of delaware, thanks so much for being with us today. >> thank you, ma'am. >> we'll be back in a moment. ronoh really?g's going on at schwab. thank you clients? well jd power did just rank them highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms... again. and online equity trades are only $4.95... i mean you can't have low cost and be full service. it's impossible. it's like having your cake and eating it too. ask your broker if they offer award-winning full service and low costs. how am i going to explain this? if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab.
schwab, a modern approach to wealth management. >> cordes: we're back with republican senator tim scott in mount pleasant, south carolina, sector, good morning. >> good morning, nancy, good to be with you. >> cordes: you heard from those students at the top of this broadcast and you i'm sure understand the pain that they are going through because your constituents lived through their own terrible shooting at a church in charleston a few years ago. but you have always pushed for fewer gun restriction, do you stand by that? >> i stand by the position i've always been in i'm not sure that i've been pushing for fewer gun restriction. what i have pushed for us to use common sense how to solve the problem. remember that just couple of years ago charleston, south carolina, nine murdered in a church. i want to make sure that we can solve that problem. when you look at core components
that are missing it seems to be the system has not top the right job. in charleston the background check could have prevented that perp from getting a weapon. the domestic violence incident that have been report could have prevent perhaps that situation from occurring. we all say if you see something, say something. and parkland community, we saw people reporting, there were 20 calls to the sheriff's department, they responded. the fbi received legitimate, credible tip and it was not followed up upon. what we have seen in three major atrocities is that the system that was in place simply was not followed. my focus is not on having or not having a gun debate. we're going to have that, the students are very clear, march is coming we're going to have that debate i look forward to participating in that conversation. the reality of it is that three
incidents could have been avoided, prevented if the system itself had worked. i would not have gone to the -- good friend if the system had worked. so we need to fix that and unlike my good friend who i do appreciate, senator coons, i believe that we will get something done this year. >> cordes: why haven't you gotten something done already, senator? you've cosponsored legislation to fix these background checks, why hasn't it gone anywhere? >> absolutely. we are putting more pressure on our system and to include in the senate to make sure that that legislation gets to the floor. senator grassley has been very clear the chairman of the judiciary committee, plans to bring that legislation up it is bipartisan legislation support fred folks like chris murphy in connecticut and myself in south carolina. the reality of it is that we have a sense of urgency about getting that done i'm very hopeful that this is the time that we see this nation's
leadership united to solve a problem that could have prevented atrocities. >> cordes: i think a lot of people are hopeful about. that i want to get your take on something president trump. very sad that the fbi missed all of the many signals sent out. this is not acceptable they are spending too much time, the fbi, trying to prove russian collusion with the trump campaign. there is no collusion. i know he doesn't like the investigation is it fair to link it to the deaths of these children? >> we have to separate the issue without any question. the first issue is in fact the fbi missed an opportunity to weigh in heavily perhaps prevent something from happening that is a tragedy that should be investigated. i believe that oversight in the house and senate will do so. a separate issue is how they spend their time and whether or not the time is well spent on this russian situation. i will tell that you from my perspective that so many folks
in the fbi are doing all they can to keep us safe the reality is that they are two separate issues. >> cordes: and so where do we go from here on the issue of russian meddling, you know, you've got 13 russians who were indicted, but congress has failed to act and a lot of people would say that the administration has not taken this seriously because the president himself still does not seem to believe that russia meddled in our election system. >> there's no question. the russians have done all that they can to meddle in our election without any question in my mind or my heart. the question is, was it effective. and the answer is, it was not effective. >> cordes: we don't know that, senator. we don't know, how do we know that? >> well, so far intelligence agencies and mueller investigation have all come to the same conclusion so far that the impact that the russians had, to change the outcomes so
far there is no evidence that suggests that it has been effective. so we're going to continue the investigation i support mr. mueller moving forward in his investigation because i think it is very important for the american people to have a crystal clear perspective on whether or not the russians' efforts were in fact impactful. >> cordes: with all due respect, the special counsel has said that they can't make a conclusion about whether it was effective or not. but moving forward, south carolinians go to the polls again in june, what has congress done and what have you signed on to that can assure them that these are going to be free and fair election and that they won't be influenced by russians or other bad actors. >> that's a great question. as you heard from my friend, trey gowdy earlier, the election process is by and large a state function. i believe that we have been sending very clear signs and the
in together grey tee our system has proven to be very eye necktive at this point and very good. there has been very, very few incidents of challenges at the ballot box based on the russians' influence. reality is when you look at what they were attempting to do it was social discord and to use advertising as a mechanism to change voters' minds and to bring hostility and challenges between our races in this country. the polarization is part of the russian objective but there's been no evidence, none at all that they -- >> cordes: thank you so much for joining us, we'll really appreciate it. we'll be back in a moment. we're facing 20 billion security events every day. ddos campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks... actually, we just handled all the priority threats. you did that? we did that. really. we analyzed millions of articles and reports. we can identify threats 50% faster.
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domestic abuse against former staff secretary rob porter. here are arizona senator jeff flake, pennsylvania congress than charlie dent, florida's ileana ross late ten and california's ed royce. when other countries see that this white house can't even get it's story straight on something as simple as security clearance, the rest of the world thinks what? >> security clearances for people who have not passed those check marks, just not the normal way that we should be hamming classified information. i think it's sort of shocking when you see the list of all of the folks who have had access to sensitive documents who have not been cleared in order to view them. i find it shocking. >> cordes: should john kelly step down? >> no, i don't think john kelly should step down. i think we are in a process now where the committee of jurisdiction here is doing an
investigation of just this issue. and i think you wait until you get the facts and then you can move forward from that. >> cordes: do you agree? >> i think he ought to step before a microphone and explain how this latest situation came to be. i think we do need a better explanation. but i think it can if he'll done it. >> it's bigger than one man, anyway, get another chief of staff, the problem continues. >> the white house completely mishandled this porter situation. that said, prior to john kelly coming in to the she of staff's job, the white house had been pretty much chaos and anarchy was very dysfunctional. did he bring great degree of stability and order and discipline to the management of the house until this recent episode. i'd like to find out. >> cordes: the rest of our conversation with those four members about why they're leaving congress will air in our next half hour.
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