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Full transcript of "Face the Nation," June 9, 2024

6/9: Face the Nation
6/9: Face the Nation 45:17

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan: 

  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan 
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina
  • Sen. Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware
  • Cindy McCain, World Food Programme executive director

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."   

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm Margaret Brennan.

And this week on Face the Nation: celebrations in Israel, as four hostages are rescued in a daring mission.

Plus, our new poll has some surprising findings from the presidential race here at home.

Tearful reunions after four hostages held by Hamas for eight months were finally returned to their families.

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WOMAN: Thank you for bringing my son to me, to us.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: But the bold operation aided by U.S. intelligence came at a high cost of more than 200 Palestinian lives. And the prospect of a cease-fire in Gaza to allow the return of the more than 115 remaining hostages is still very unclear.

(Begin VT)


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MARGARET BRENNAN: Here at home, the pressure builds on President Biden to do more to end the bloody conflict that's also taking a political toll on his reelection.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will join us, as will the World Food Program's Cindy McCain with an update on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Plus, a new CBS poll on what voters think of some of the more controversial policy plans of both candidates.

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DONALD TRUMP (Former President of the United States (R) and Current U.S. Presidential Candidate): I will stop the invasion, and we will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in the history of our country.


(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham and President Biden confident Senator Chris Coons will both be here.

Finally, the message from D-Day and how it holds true today.

(Begin VT)

JOE BIDEN (President of the United States): Democracy is never guaranteed. Every generation must preserve it, defend it, and fight for it.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's all just ahead on Face the Nation.

Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.

President Biden will be returning from his visit to France today, and it'll be a quick turnaround, as he will return to Italy for a Group of Seven meetings with America's top allies later this week.

At the top of the agenda for both trips, the two ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine, as well as how to handle aggression from the countries not represented at that meeting, Russia and China.

We spoke with President Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, earlier today and began by asking him about the Israeli hostage rescue and whether military operations are the way to free the remaining that are still held captive.

(Begin VT)

JAKE SULLIVAN (U.S. National Security Adviser): By far, the most effective, certain and right way to get all of the hostages out is to get a comprehensive cease-fire and hostage deal that President Biden described in public a few days ago, that Israel has accepted, and now that we are awaiting Hamas to respond to.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jake, I know the U.S. provided intelligence support to this military operation. Are you at all concerned that it will imperil the chances at that diplomatic agreement?

And – and is there an expiration date by which Yahya Sinwar has to respond to this offer?

JAKE SULLIVAN: It's a fair question, Margaret. What will Hamas do in terms of its calculus on this deal following this operation? And I, of course, cannot put myself in the head of a Hamas terrorist.

But the fact is that the whole world is looking to Hamas to say yes, because, for all those people for all these months who have been calling for a cease-fire, now is the moment. There could be a cease-fire tomorrow, today, even, if Hamas would say yes to the deal.

So, from our perspective, the world needs to continue to reinforce that message quite clearly and strongly. We have not gotten an official respond yet – response yet from Hamas. We're waiting for one. We're waiting to hear from the Qataris and the Egyptians, who are the mediators in communication with them.

And we will continue to reinforce the message, take the deal, until we get that answer.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jake, I was looking back at remarks you made on this program just a week after that horrific attack on Israel on October 7, and, even in the early days, you were pressing the Israeli government for a clear plan on what they will do in Gaza the day after the war ends.

Has Netanyahu accepted any of the U.S. proposals or suggestions? Has he presented any of it to his own war cabinet?

JAKE SULLIVAN: We do have a detailed discussion with our Israeli counterparts about the day after.

But we also have been clear, as you said, from the very beginning, that a military strategy to defeat a terrorist group has got to be connected to a political and humanitarian strategy and a logical strategic endgame.

And too often over the course of this conflict, we have not seen that clear connection, and we have continued to reinforce the need for Israel to bear down, to ensure that it has a holistic strategy to ensure the enduring defeat of Hamas and to ensure a better day of peace and stability for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So it sounds like no – no agreement on that as yet.

President Biden gave an interview to "TIME" magazine that was published this past week, and he was asked whether he's seen evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

He said: "The answer is, it's uncertain and has been investigated by the Israelis themselves."

He dismissed the idea Israel was starving people as part of its war strategy. But he also said: "I think they've engaged in activity that is inappropriate."

What would you say is inappropriate?

JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, actually, Margaret, a couple of weeks ago, the State Department put out a comprehensive report that didn't just speak in generalities. It went into specific incidents that raised real concerns. And it made the statement in that report…

MARGARET BRENNAN: And it was inconclusive, which is what the secretary of state said on this program at that time.

JAKE SULLIVAN: Right. And it's exactly what the president said as well when he was asked the question.

We do not have enough information to reach definitive conclusions about particular incidents or to make legal determinations, but we do have enough information to have concern – more than concern. Our hearts break about the loss of innocent Palestinian life.

The president himself has said publicly that Palestinians, innocent Palestinians, are going through sheer hell in this conflict. And a lot of that is because Hamas has put them in an impossible situation. Hamas hides among the civilian population, holds hostages among the civilian population…


JAKE SULLIVAN: … fires at the IDF from behind the civilian population.

And so, yes, we have asked Israel to take steps to be more precise and targeted in its military operations. But there is only one answer to all of this. And it's the answer I keep coming back to, which is a cease-fire and hostage deal that would end the suffering, end the conflict, end the war, and bring all of the hostages home.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The president recently approved allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to fire across the Russian border, a restricted area, but still a new policy choice here.

Has that made a difference on the battlefield?

JAKE SULLIVAN: From the president's perspective, this was common sense.

What was happening up around Kharkiv, which was new just in the last couple of months, was a Russian offensive where they were moving from one side of the border directly to the other side of the border.

And it simply didn't make sense not to allow the Ukrainians to fire across that border to hit Russian guns and emplacements that were firing at the Ukrainians. So, the president authorized that.

The Ukrainians have carried out that authorization on the battlefield. And one thing I will point out is that the momentum of that operation in Kharkiv has stalled out. Now, Kharkiv is still under threat, but the Russians have not been able to make material progress on the ground in recent days in that area.

And the United States will continue to support Ukraine in holding the line and pushing back against the aggressing Russian forces.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, as you know, Vladimir Putin said in response to that he – that Russia has the option to arm Western adversaries in response.

One of your top aides here in Washington on Friday gave a pretty notable speech, Jake, in which he said, the U.S. may – may need to soon increase its stockpile of strategic nuclear weapons, given the expanding arsenals of America's adversaries.

Have you seen evidence that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are sharing nuclear technology at this point? And what would trigger President Biden to make that decision?

JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, Margaret, I can't speak to intelligence matters, especially highly sensitive intelligence matters relative to nuclear capability.

But what I can say is that we are concerned. We are concerned about cooperation among the countries you just mentioned, and we are concerned about the advancing nuclear arsenals of countries like China and Russia, as well as North Korea.

This is something that we are focused on. We are looking hard at. And we will consult with our allies and partners on the best way forward to ensure a safe, reliable and credible nuclear deterrent by the United States. We've taken no decisions. We will monitor the situation closely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is this because China has brushed off your attempts at arms control?

JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, actually, Margaret, in the last few months, China has showed a greater willingness, not a lower willingness, to engage with us on questions related to proliferation and arms control.

Those are nascent conversations. They're nothing like the kinds of intense arms control negotiations that we had with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War or Russia in the post-Cold War era. But it's the beginning of a dialogue.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Jake Sullivan, thank you very much for joining us from Paris.

JAKE SULLIVAN: Thanks for having me.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to our latest CBS News poll of the 2024 presidential race, and it shows the likely nominees effectively tied.

Among voters across all 50 states, Former President Trump leads President Biden by one point, 50 to 49. But if we're looking at voters across the seven states identified by CBS as the battlegrounds, likely to decide the election, those numbers are flipped, and President Biden is ahead of his predecessor by one point, 50 to 49.

Joining us now for some analysis is our executive director of elections and surveys, Anthony Salvanto.

Anthony, you have been telling us this is going to be a close race. Data supports that at this point. We're now 10 days past that Trump conviction in a New York courtroom. What have we learned?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: That that conviction matters some. The impact is limited, but it's there.

And here's why. First of all, context. Voters do not rate the trial as anywhere near as important as things like the economy and inflation, things where Donald Trump has advantages.

But we do see a little bit of activation there, especially among the Democratic base, of voters for Joe Biden, who are now more motivated by opposition to Donald Trump. Specifically, the number of Joe Biden voters who say that their primary reason for Joe – voting for Joe Biden is to oppose Donald Trump is up. And it's now a majority of his vote.

We have also seen folks among the Democratic base a little bit more motivated to turn out, kind of erasing some of that expressed turnout advantage that the Republicans had had in the battleground states and among a couple of key demographic groups, independent, et cetera, where Biden gets a little bit of traction there.

But, again, one of the reasons that this is limited is that then the Trump folks tell you they think the charges aren't serious. They think everything is political.

What it does do, though, is put a spotlight on the campaign to define what this campaign is about. And when you ask people, is this a judgment on Donald Trump for you, when that happens, Joe Biden wins those voters by 2- 1.

But when people say that this contest is about a comparison between the two or a referendum on Joe Biden, Donald Trump does much better. And part of the reason he does much better is that Trump does better than Biden on a lot of these qualities, like being tough, being effective.

Biden does better on being personally liked, on being compassionate. What does all that tell you, is that each of these campaigns is going to try, at least in part, to make this campaign about the other guy, as much as or at least – or more as what they're going to do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony, let's talk about some of the issues you say are important to voters. The border is one of them.

President Biden did issue an executive order this past week. It authorizes U.S. officials to deport large numbers of migrants without processing asylum claims until the border crossings number dips below 1,500. So it's essentially suspending some of the asylum processing.

Trump's been perceived as stronger on the border. Does this change anything?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: No, Trump still is. More people think that Donald Trump's policies would stop or slow border crossings more than Biden.

Having said that, there is widespread support when we test in general terms for what President Biden just did. He gets seven in 10 support on that. It's overwhelming among Republicans. It's also strong among Democrats.

Look, context there, people have said they think that the border is in crisis for a long time. Having said that, we have a lot of the campaign rhetoric, speaking of what people say they would do. You have seen the Trump campaign talking about mass deportations.

We tested that in a general way in principle. Would you support a new government program that would deport all people living in the U.S. illegally? And that finds majority favor. That finds six in 10. It's strongest among folks who are MAGA. It's strongest among Trump supporters, but also from some Democrats as well.

And I think that that speaks to the general idea, not just that people see the border as a crisis, but also where we are in the campaign, where a lot of very dramatic or, you know, new proposals out there are finding favor here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, unpack that a bit, because this 62 percent of Americans favor deporting all undocumented immigrants.

So, Homeland Security says that President Biden has already deported or repatriated more people in the past year than any year since 2010. And then, depending on the details of what's talked about on the campaign trail, some of what Mr. Trump talks about could be illegal. It doesn't seem practical, in some sense, to round up children.

And then we know that the courts have questioned whether local authorities would have the ability to do it, and federal authorities don't have the resources. So what exactly do people think they're supporting?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, when you measure public sentiment on this or really just about any policy, you're getting a sense of direction. You're getting broad brushstrokes.

But those kinds of details, well, that's often up to the legislatures and the courts later on. We tested even the idea of, should local law enforcement be involved in this? And a lot of folks do say yes. Again, the details of that, the specifics, you're not going to pick that up in an aggregate public opinion.

MARGARET BRENNAN: They weren't tracking the Supreme Court decisions.

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Undoubtedly not.

But, look, it does tell you, though, for the viewer watching this campaign, that what we're seeing here connects to whether it's the courts, the – what some people say is the politicization of the courts, these ideas of mass deportations, et cetera, we are in a different era, in which a lot of folks say the system as a whole is not working.

And all of these, if you connect the dots through them, are part of that reaction against it, which explains some of that general sentiment for some of these policies.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's really just kind of a: "Do something."


MARGARET BRENNAN: Anthony Salvanto, thank you very much for your analysis.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Face the Nation will be back in one minute, so stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He joins us from London.

Good morning to you, Senator.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-South Carolina): Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know you were at those D-Day remembrances earlier in the week.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And you met with President Zelenskyy as well.

He has asked for more training for his forces…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … and for that to happen faster and inside of Ukraine. Do you support the U.S. doing that?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yes, I do support us training inside the country.

You know, the delay in weapons because of House inaction, we did lose momentum. But from the very beginning, the Biden administration, they did not impose pre-invasion sanctions to deter Putin. They didn't give weapons to Ukraine early on to deter Putin.

And now we've got a chance to reset this war, that they have the weapons. Here's what he wanted most of all, for us to go after the Russian assets all over the world, take the money from the sovereign wealth funds of Russia and give it to Ukraine.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: There's $300 billion sitting in Europe from Russian sovereign wealth assets that we should seize and give to Ukraine. We have Russian money in America we should seize. We should make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law.

When I suggested that to President Zelenskyy, he lit up like a Christmas tree.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Making Russia a state sponsor of U.S. – a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law would be a very big blow to Russia.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. I don't know that the Biden administration would sign off on that, though.

But in terms of what you just mentioned with…



MARGARET BRENNAN: … with the assets…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … President Biden did say this morning he had reached an agreement with President Macron of France on the use of profits from those frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

I know the Europeans haven't wanted to go ahead and seize assets, because it would hurt their banks.


Well, they – they want to use the interest to help people or – either we're going to help Ukraine, or we're not. It's now time to give them the F-16s, let them fly the planes, long-range artillery to hit targets inside of Russia. Go after Putin's assets wherever they're at all over the world. Go on the offensive.

I think, this summer, Ukraine will regain military momentum. Everything we've done with Ukraine has been slow. It's been indecisive.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: But if we went after the assets that Putin has all over the world, take his money that's stolen from the Russian people, and help the victims in Ukraine, I think it would do a lot to end this war.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Your Republican colleague Senator Tommy Tuberville just this past week said on Steve Bannon's show that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a dictator and unconstitutional.

And he said this about Vladimir Putin:

(Begin VT)

SENATOR TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-Alabama): He doesn't want Ukraine. He doesn't want Europe. Hell, he – he's got enough land of his own. He just wants to make sure that he does not have United States' weapons in Ukraine pointing at Moscow.

(End VT)


MARGARET BRENNAN: Those echo some Russian talking points.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator, I – I wonder if those remarks from your fellow senator represent the GOP?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: No, it represents him, and him alone.

If you spent 15 minutes studying Putin and what he wants, he wants to re – recreate the Russian empire. He's not going to stop in Ukraine.

We celebrated the 80th anniversary of D-Day. It was a failure. It was the unnecessary war, described by Winston Churchill. We had a dozen chances to stop Hitler.

It's not about NATO. It's not about American weapons in Ukraine. It's about a megalomaniac wanting to create the Russian empire by force of arms. If you don't stop him, there goes Taiwan.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: So we've been slow as hell of helping Ukraine, but Senator Tuberville's analysis really misses what Putin's all about. He's an outlier, I think, in the Republican Party.

I like him personally. But what did Trump do to get the weapons flowing? He created a loan system. They're sitting on $10 trillion to $12 trillion of critical minerals in – in Ukraine. They could be the richest country in all of Europe.

I don't want to give that money and those assets to Putin to share with China. If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of. That $10 trillion to $12 trillion of critical mineral assets…


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: … could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China.

This is a very big deal, how Ukraine ends.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Let's help them win a war we can't afford to lose. Let's find a solution to this war.

But they're sitting on a gold mine. To give Putin $10 trillion or $12 trillion for critical minerals…


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: … that he will share with China is ridiculous.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I – I want to get to the Middle East with you as well.

Later today, Benny Gantz, one of the ministers in Prime Minister Netanyahu's war cabinet, is expected to announce his resignation, which he has previously said would happen if he wasn't handed a day-after plan.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The defense minister has also said there is no planning for the day after happening. Where is this headed?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think Mr. Gantz will withdraw from the war cabinet, but Bibi will still have a majority.

I like Benny Gantz. Here's what I found on my last trip to Israel just a few days ago. There's universal opposition to creating a Palestinian state by all levels of Israeli society if it is seen as a reward for terrorism of October the 7th.

The day-after plan, when Hamas is destroyed militarily, and they no longer can threaten Israel, needs to be a negotiation between Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE to come up with a plan for Gaza and the West Bank, to give some – to give the Palestinians hope and a better life and secure Israel.

That is the only plan I see working. You cannot occupy – Israel can't, in my view – permanently Gaza. That will be a disaster for Israel.

So, the hope for the day after…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu hasn't said that clearly yet, that he would not seek to occupy…


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I just – he's coming – he's coming July the 24th.

I have spent a lot of time with Bibi. He is right to want to make sure there will be no stop to this war until Hamas is destroyed militarily and cannot threaten another October 7. I have had very detailed discussions with the – with the prime minister and with the crown prince and this administration. I believe…

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to talk to you…

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: … there will be forming in the next – wait. OK.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to talk to you more about this.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: But there will be a plan coming about.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, we have to talk more about this on the other side of the commercial break, though.

So just give me a minute or two, and we'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we will have more findings from our latest CBS News poll on the 2024 presidential race tomorrow on American Decides, a daily show on our streaming network that airs at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

Face the Nation will be back in a minute.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back with Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Chris Coons, and head of the World Food Program Cindy McCain.

Stay with us.



We return to our conversation now with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator, thank you for staying through the break for us.

Before we went to it you said, by July 24th, when the prime minister of Israel is here in Washington to address a joint session of Congress, you do expect a plan for the day after. Do you expect, given the limited amount of time left, that there will be normalization with Saudi Arabia and Congress will be able to vote before the election?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think it's still possible. But the administration's taken months to negotiate the defense agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United States, holding it over the - Israel's head regarding Rafah. I think we're almost there.

One thing I got from this trip was that they still don't have the weapons they need in Israel to finish off Hamas. So, they're going to be sending me a list of weapons that are being slow walked. So, I'm going to bring that up.

But, yes, I think we can still do this. July the 24th will be here before you know it. Hopefully major military operations will be over against Hamas if we give Israel the weapons they need. And we can sit down and talk about a vision for Gaza and the West Bank that will give security to Israel, hope and prosperity for the Palestinian people with Saudi Arabia and the UAE involved.

So, that is my hope. That is my belief. And I want to help where I can.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll see if that vote can be taken.

But, sir, you just mentioned U.S. military aid. Our poll out today shows a majority of Americans, 61 percent, say the U.S. should not send Israel weapons. Six in 10 says Israel should stop or decrease its military actions in Gaza.

Isn't it time for this war to end now given that the tide of public opinion is turning against Israel?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think it would be the - the biggest mistake we could - I've criticized Senator Tuberville for his view of Ukraine. Let me be straight with you, Hamas would kill everybody here if they could get here. Israel is not our enemy. They're our ally.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, they can't because they're pinned down over there. I want them destroyed so they can never come back to hurt Israel or us. Hezbollah is alive and well. So, to those Americans who believe pulling the plug on Israel now makes us safer, you've missed a lot.

Radical Islam wants to slit the throat of every Jewish person. And your throat too. So, no, I want to give weapons they need. The administration's withholding weapons. The - Trump was a great ally of Israel. If he wins this - this election, he'll have a - another great ally.

I appreciate what President Biden's doing, but it's all been so slow. So, if you don't - Iran, here's the big take away from my trip. The IDF chief told me he's never been more worried about a nuclear breakout regarding the Iranians than he is right now. He thinks we've lost deterrence. He's asking for joint military operations with the United States to convince Iran not to dash towards a nuclear weapon. These are the most dangerous times since the '30s. Don't make the mistakes of the '30s. Senator Tuberville said, give Putin what he wants.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, that's what we did in the '30s. That didn't work out. Pull the plug on Israel. That didn't work in World War II. It's not going to work now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Very quickly, before I let you go, in this past year the Biden administration deported, expelled or repatriated more than 740,000 people, which they say is more than any year since 2010. You, this week, said there need to be mass deportations.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yes, there will be.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Aren't those numbers mass deportations?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: They've had 10 million people come into this country illegally. It's the highest level of illegal immigration in the last three years, in the history of the country. We went from the lowest under Trump to the highest in recorded history. They're never going to stop coming until they see people leaving.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: On day one - on day one, President Trump will deport people here illegally by the tens of thousands. Then, and only then, will this stop. And Biden will never do that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you also know that Congress would have to provide the resources to do that to immigrations and customers enforcement, and they say they don't have the manpower or the money to do any of that, at that scale.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, if - if Trump is president - if Trump is president -


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: His top priority will be to sealed that border, deport here people illegally. We're living on borrowed time when it comes to another 9/11.

If you're looking for somebody to fix a broken border and keep us safe, Donald Trump, I believe, is your best case.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: And if you don't believe that after the last three years, you've made - you're making a big mistake.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Graham, joining us from London today. Thank you for your time, sir.

We turn now to Delaware. Democratic Senator Chris Coons. He is the national co-chairman of President Biden's re-election campaign. And he joins us this morning from his home state.

Senator, let's - let's pick up on the border since we just left that there.

This new order the president just implemented this past week authorizes immigration officials to deport large numbers of migrants without processing their asylum claims.

You were critical when Donald Trump used this 212(f) authority under his administration. Why do you support President Biden's use of it?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Because there's a stark difference in the values that President Biden and former President Trump bring to trying to address the issue of border security and immigration.

I'll remind you, Margaret, that former President Trump tried to implement a Muslim ban. A ban on entry to this country explicitly based on one religion. He also used cruelty. The forceful separation of parents from their children and the caging of children at our border to try and deter folks from coming to seek asylum or to seek refuge in our country.

President Biden has time and time again asked Congress to enact a broad solution to our border security and immigration challenges.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: And after months of negotiation between Senators Langford, Sinema and Murphy, we were one day away from putting on the floor of the Senate that bipartisan solution. Former President Trump intervened to stop it because former President Trump actually wants a problem to solve through his election -


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Rather than a solution that a bipartisan group of senators stood behind.

President Biden is moving ahead with forceful leadership at securing our border. President Trump is simply making a political issue of this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we should say you are co-chair of the Biden campaign, Senator, but we did cover that border debate and the bill in depth on this program. But - but on the premise itself of the authority being used, there is a lot of approval in our polling of what the president just did, but it looks, frankly, like they're just trying to get caught trying since the administration admits the courts likely will halt this. The ACLU says they're going to sue over it. Asylum is a human right under international law.

What do you think this is signaling to - to Biden supporters, particularly in the progressive left of your party?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I think it's signaling that President Biden is determined to address issues that are of very broad concern to the vast majority of Americans. He would prefer that it be done by legislation.

As you just pointed out, legislation that could provide the resources, the judges, the processing, the immigration funding that would make for a more balanced, humane and sustainable solution to our border crisis.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I'll remind you, former President Trump tried to use gimmicks like building a border wall and is now threatening to nationalize the - the - to federalize the National Guard and use it to deport tens of millions of people already here in the United States.

The difference between Trump's approach and Biden's approach is one of cruelty versus effectiveness.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So only - in our polling, only about 20 percent believe President Biden's policies would decrease the number of migrants. Are you worried that it's just simply too late? I mean we've been talking about process in Congress. We've been talking about this executive order for months now and the trigger was just pulled this week. Is it too late?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS: No, I don't think it is because, frankly, I think the American people understand the difference between substance and showmanship. President Biden, every year in his State of the Union, has asked for bipartisan initiatives to address the border and to address immigration. And there's one party, the Republican Party, that time and time again has rejected bipartisan solutions to immigration and the border.

And, frankly, what I also hear, as I've campaigned across our country for our president -


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Is grave concern about the commitment to reproductive rights, to fundamental freedoms by the current MAGA Republican majority and by former President Trump.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: He is bragging that he nominated to the Supreme Court three justices who reversed Roe versus Wade and who have now put contraception at risk. That's why we took a vote in the Senate last week, Margaret -


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: To make it clear that Democrats will protect fundamental rights, where Republicans, under the leadership of former President Trump, are putting them at real risk.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about the Middle East.

You described Prime Minister Netanyahu's last address to a joint session of Congress in 2015 as a political rally against then President Obama.

We're in this election year. There has been tension between our two leaders. Do you expect the prime minister to have an election rally against President Biden?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Boy, I sure hope not. But Prime Minister Netanyahu has a long record of being very partisan and very divisive. For decades, Margaret, the strong bipartisan support for Israel, for its security, has been a hallmark of our close alliance.

But I'll remind you, Prime Minister Netanyahu isn't just divisive here, he's divisive at home.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: For months and months before the October 7th attacks, the largest protests in Israeli history were occurring week after week in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against steps that Prime Minister Netanyahu was taking, putting at risk of rule of law. And Benny Gantz, a centrist, decorated IDF war hero, will likely today announce that he is leaving Netanyahu's war cabinet because there's no clear plan for the path forward.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Our president, Joe Biden, has been leading a strong effort to try and secure a hostage release and a cease-fire. It's been embraced by all of our close allies in the G-7. And it's my hope that that can still be accomplished.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: But, frankly, if Netanyahu isn't coming to speak to Congress about his plan for securing peace, his plan for the path forward, I don't know why we would go.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes. So - so why would the Democratic leader in the Senate agree to something that could potentially be so damaging to the president?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Well, Senator Schumer has publicly said that it was with some reluctance, some concern about how Prime Minister Netanyahu has this past practice of using an address to Congress to be divisive. He has a chance to help rebuild and secure bipartisan support for Israel. He has a chance to present a positive path forward towards peace.

Look, I respect how hard Lindsey Graham, Senator Graham, has worked to try and bring together Saudi normalization with Israel in exchange for Palestinian self-governance.


SENATOR CHRIS COONS: That's an important effort many of us have been involved in.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has a chance to show that he will be a real leader, not just a partisan leader, but someone who will try and secure peace and stability for Israel. It's my hope that that's what will happen and that that's why Senator Schumer agreed to invite him to speak to a joint session of Congress.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Coons, thank you for joining us today.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're joined now by the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme Cindy McCain.

Good to have you here in person.

CINDY MCCAIN (Executive Director, U.N. World Food Programme: Thank you. Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, overnight we learned that that U.S. pier off of Gaza that set - was set up by the military has reopened. It had stopped functioning for a bit.

How is it going? Because I know you are helping to oversee distribution.

CINDY MCCAIN: Well, right now we're paused because I'm concerned about the safety of our people after the incidents yesterday. We also - two of our warehouses - warehouse complexes were rocketed yesterday. So we've stepped back just for the moment to - to make sure that we're in - in - on safe terms and on safe ground before I'll - before we'll - we'll restart. But the rest of the country is operational. We're doing - we're doing everything we can in the north and the south.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How did your locations get rocketed? I imagine you do deconflict and share your locations with the Israeli military.

CINDY MCCAIN: We are deconflicted. I don't know. That's a good - it's a good question.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Did you lose any of your workers?

CINDY MCCAIN: We had one man injured. But everything else is fine. Everybody - no - there's nobody else hurt.

But, indeed, it's - it's a kind of thing, that's why a cease-fire is necessary. That's why we need to stop this so that we can get in at scale with our aid and other - and other aid from other organizations as well.

We can't continue this in a - in a way because what almost happened in the north with famine could happen in the south. And so that's what we're trying to - to - to avoid right now. And it's been very difficult just because of the - of what's going on. You know, the - we've had looting inside the country. We've had, you know, various problems around with the - you know, there's always something going on. It's very difficult to operate there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You mentioned just now the full blown famine in the north. When you said that it got a lot of attention.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was asked about your comments by NBC and said, quote, "Cindy McCain, unfortunately, is misinformed." The Israeli government's been putting out pictures of food being brought into Gaza. They dispute there is famine.

How does that square with what you are seeing on the ground?

CINDY MCCAIN: When - when I made that comment, my people had seen it on the ground, not only evidence of it, but the actual impact of it. Since then they've allowed us to get more trucks into the north. And so we're getting much more food in - in up there and that will stave it off.

But - but, listen, the bottom line here is, is I make choices every day to take food from the hungry to give to the starving. We need a ceasefire, and we need it now so that we can feed - and this doesn't happen in the south. We're right on the edge in the south of the same thing occurring.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're on the edge of famine in the south of Gaza?

CINDY MCCAIN: Yes, there's - there's people that are very hungry and can't - don't have access because of the danger, or because of - because they've been pushed, you know, into the center again. So, we want to make sure that we can - can not just get in and feed, but do it at scale.

They need more than food, too. It's water. It's sanitation. It's medicine. So, it's all of the above, because famine is not just about starving, it's about all the other things, too.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And I know how difficult I've heard it is to help a child with stunted growth.


MARGARET BRENNAN: You just said you're - you're taking from the hungry to feed the starving. You are dealing with a lot in Sudan as well.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The United States said paramilitary forces murdered 100 people this past week, including children. And I know the Biden administration says the world's not paying enough attention to Sudan.

What's happening? And are they already at famine?

CINDY MCCAIN: Well, Sudan has the real possibility of becoming the world's largest humanitarian crisis. We cannot get food in. We can barely get food in. We certainly aren't getting it in at scale. And you see the results of what can happen if people aren't fed.

We're also coming into the lean season, which makes it very difficult many times for our trucks to even operate, if they can get in. We need - we need more - in Sangeral (ph) we need more crossings, we need safe and unfettered access. And that's the same for Gaza, by the way, safe and unfettered access, and making sure that keep - that we can get in and make sure we can feed at scale.

Once again it's about the agreements from various people and various factions and all of this. Bottom line is, people are going to starve to death unless we can get in there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We've been talking all week long about America's role in the world. And the U.S. is still the largest donor to the World Food Programme.


MARGARET BRENNAN: When you were here last June and we spoke, you said you were trying to encourage China to get involved with funding, but also get their expertise with technology and agriculture.

Are they stepping up at all? Are other countries stepping up?

CINDY MCCAIN: Other countries are stepping up. You know, it's not to the scale that it was two years ago, but it - but countries have stepped up. And - and in the case of Sudan, a few more have stepped up to it.

Sudan is a forgotten crisis and its implication's being a destabilizing factor in that region can have catastrophic effects as it comes down the - comes down the line. So it's really imperative that we get the - the crossings open and we have safe access, that the - the factions - the various factions understand that we are - you know, we're humanitarian and we need to have the access.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And to your point, U.S. intelligence has said that if this isn't acted upon, that it can contribute to the growth of terrorism.

CINDY MCCAIN: Absolutely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Just like in Gaza.

CINDY MCCAIN: People - people will do anything to feed their families. And if it comes down to it, terrorism may be the choice they have to make.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Cindy McCain, thank you for sharing with us your (INAUDIBLE).

CINDY MCCAIN: Thank you. Thanks for covering it. Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be back in a moment.


MARGARET BRENNAN: President Biden this morning ended his trip to France by laying a wreath at a cemetery just outside of Paris where American soldiers and marines were buried in World War I. Shortly after, he explained why the trip was necessary.


JOE BIDEN (President Of The United States): The idea that I come to Normandy and not make the short trip here to pay tribute, and it's the same story. Think about it. America showed up. America showed up to stop the Germans. And America shows up when we're needed. Just like our allies show up for us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Earlier this week the president marked 80 years since the D-day invasion that helped begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi control and touted American leadership and democracy on the world stage.

It inspired us to look at some of the lessons of our past.


MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): Twenty years after the victory at Normandy, Walter Cronkite returned there with Dwight Eisenhower.

DWIGHT EISENHOWER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You see that high ground right above there?

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): The former president reflected on his decision as supreme allied commander to storm the beaches and liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.

DWIGHT EISENHOWER: I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. But these people gave us a chance, and they bought time for us so that we could do better than we had before.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): This week President Biden, a small child in 1944, praised the few surviving veterans whose bravery he said we need to summon again.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN (President Of The United States): We're living in a time when democracy is more at risk across the world than at any point since the end of World War II, since these beaches were stormed in 1944.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): The tyrant bent on domination now, he said, is Vladimir Putin, whose soldiers have taken Ukrainians from their homes away to filtration camps, abducted Ukrainian children and sent invading forces to ravage Ukraine. Putin's access of allies includes rising power China, North Korea, and Iran.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: If the autocrats of the world are watching closely to see what happens in Ukraine, to see if we let this illegal aggression go unchecked.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): Biden wasn't the only one hearing echoes of the past.

MELVIN HURWITZ (World War II Veteran): Oh, you're the savior of the people. (INAUDIBLE) my eyes.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (Ukrainian President): Oh, no, no, you - you saved Europe.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): Ninety-nine-year-old D-day vet Melvin Hurwitz called President Zelenskyy a hero.

Former President Donald Trump has a very different opinion of Zelenskyy, and Trump argues the largest invasion of history is underway now at the U.S. southern border. This past week he said our worst enemy is within America.

DONALD TRUMP (Former U.S. President): I say we have the enemy in from within and we have the enemy from the outside. And I'm telling you, we are in more danger from the enemy from within with these lunatics, these fascists, these communists. And we're going to stop that also.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): Past presidents have also gone to Normandy and called on weary Americans to remember that deterring conflict today costs less than fighting it tomorrow.

RONALD REAGAN (Former U.S. President) (1984): We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with expansionist intent.

MARGARET BRENNAN (voice over): The ascendant far right forces in Europe riding the wave of a backlash against migration there and a surge in anti- Semitism reflect another strain on the international system. Similar divides here at home raise questions about whether we've forgotten that ignoring hate or appeasing authoritarians can come with an unimaginably high cost. One paid 80 years ago by these troops who, as Eisenhower said, bought time for us so that we can do better than we have before.


MARGARET BRENNAN (on camera): We'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.


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