Face the Nation Transcripts May 31, 2015: Jeb Bush, John Brennan
(CBS News) -- A transcript from the May 31, 2015 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Jeb Bush, CIA Director John Brennan, Peggy Noonan, John Dickerson, David Ignatius and Dan Balz.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS HOST: Today marks my official debut, as it were, as moderator of FACE THE NATION.
Our aim is going to be very simple here, to find interesting people from all segments of American life who have something to say and give them a chance to say it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: That was me, 24 years ago.
And today is my last broadcast on FACE THE NATION.
But we're going to keep with that tradition set nearly a quarter-of- century-ago. We will stay focused on the news.
And there is news this morning. Secretary of State John Kerry has been injured in a bicycle accident in France. And Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, has died of brain cancer.
Plus, we will hear from potential Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Now, you're not telling me that there's possibility you may not run?
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Look, I hope I -- I hope I run, to be honest with you. I would like to run. But I haven't made the decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: And the director of the CIA, John Brennan.
I will also have some personal thoughts on 58 years as a reporter, because this is FACE THE NATION.
The news from overnight, Vice President Biden's son and former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has died after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 46. He leaves a wife and two children.
And this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry has broken his right leg in a bicycle accident in the French Alps while in Europe for discussions on the Iran nuclear deal. He was airlifted to a hospital in Geneva and will return home later today. He's expected to make a full recovery.
The major story this weekend, Congress must decide today whether to extend the National Security Agency's authority to secretly collect and keep a record of telephone calls. Intelligence agencies say that is vital to the fight against terrorists.
As we continue our survey of likely 2016 presidential candidates, we caught up yesterday with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville.
We asked him if he believes the nation's security will be in danger if the program is allowed to expire.
BUSH: I do. I do. And it's not violation of civil liberties.
There's no evidence, not a shred of evidence that the metadata program has violated anybody's civil liberties. The first duty of our national government is to protect the homeland. And this has been an effective tool, along with many others. And the Patriot Act ought to be reauthorized as is.
SCHIEFFER: What do you think is the greatest threat to our national security right now?
BUSH: Wow. We have a lot more than we did just a few years ago, as we have pulled back. We have these new asymmetric threats of terror, ISIS and other terrorist groups that want to destroy Western civilization. So, I think that's front and center, maybe the most important one.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let's talk a little bit about ISIS and these recent successes that they have had. And it always seems to come as a surprise when they make another gain. At the very least, do you think we need to put some ground troops back in there?
BUSH: I think we need to coordinate with the Iraqi government and with the Iraqi military. We need to embed American troops, as we have done successfully in the past, to help train them, to identify targets, to do what we do really well.
We need to encourage the Iraqi government to provide support to the Sunni tribes, as we did during the surge. I think we need to arm the Kurds as well, in coordination with the Iraqi government. We need a strategy. We don't have a strategy right now. We have series of tactics reacting to whatever is going on, on the ground.
That doesn't mean we have to have combat troops in harm's way. But I think, in concert with other countries, and certainly in an effort to try to restrict Iranian influence in Iraq, that we can play a constructive role.
SCHIEFFER: Some of the administration's critics, even some people in the Pentagon, are saying privately that the administration is sort of just buying time and is trying to leave this for the next president to deal with.
BUSH: It looks that way, because you don't have a clear strategy.
And I think the strategy is both military, as well as political. We need to make sure that Iraq is stable for the region and to create -- narrowing the influence of ISIS not just in Iraq, but in Syria. So, it doesn't appear that they have a strategy.
Then they put -- every time that they talk about a strategy, they put conditions on that strategy to make it harder to actually implement it. So, I think the first thing you need to do is take advice of military leaders that know a lot about this than folks in the White House. Take their input. Create a strategy. Express what the strategy is.
And the strategy ought to be take out ISIS in coordinated way and do it over the long haul. This is not something that is going to happen overnight.
SCHIEFFER: And you think that can be done without putting ground combat troops in...
BUSH: I do. I do.
But it does require training of the Iraqi military. It requires garnering the support of the region. It requires the airpower that we have right now. It requires better intelligence. It requires special forces, for sure. The president is using that, and that's a good thing.
SCHIEFFER: The secretary of defense said the other day, the Iraqis basically turned and ran during this latest encounter.
BUSH: I don't know if that's true or not. He certainly has more information than I do.
But the simple fact is, if we can reengage with the government and with the military and train them and embed troops with them, and narrow the influence of the Shia militia and restore what existed when the president came into power, which was a fragile, but a secure Iraq, then we will be far better off than what we have today.
SCHIEFFER: But I guess what I'm asking is, if they won't do it, we can't do it for them, can we?
BUSH: No, exactly right.
But we should be engaged to make it possible for them to do it. That's the point. When we pulled back, the Iraqi military was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a -- it was battle-tested and it was -- Iraq was a far more secure place. As we pulled back, all of the sectarian influences began.
They started firing the professionals and putting in political hacks, and that's the problem. We did not engage politically. And when we left militarily, we left a huge void.
SCHIEFFER: Governor, let's talk a little bit about politics. It's pretty obvious that you're running for president. You're going around the country. You're raising huge amounts of money for your super PAC, in addition to making all the traditional campaign stops everywhere.
Watchdog groups and some of your opponents are saying you're really maybe violating campaign laws, and that the attorney general ought to be investigating, because they point out that you can't raise money and coordinate strategy with these super PACs. And once you declare as a candidate, you can't do that anymore.
Do you think, in some way, you may be just at least violating the spirit of the law? Do you feel that you have violated the law here?
BUSH: No, of course not. I would never do that.
And I'm nearing the end of this journey of traveling and listening to people, garnering, trying to get a sense of whether my candidacy would be viable or not. We're going to complete -- completely adhere to the law, for her.
Look, politics is politics. There's always people that are going to be carping on the sidelines. And should I be a candidate -- and that will be in the relatively near future, where that decision will be made -- there will be no coordination at all with any super PAC.
SCHIEFFER: Now, you're not telling me that there's a possibility you may not run?
BUSH: Look, I hope I -- I hope I run, to be honest with you. I would like to run. But I haven't made the decision.
SCHIEFFER: Well, what would have to happen between now and then to convince you not to run?
BUSH: Who knows. Who knows. I have learned not to answer a lot of hypothetical questions.
SCHIEFFER: You're probably going to run.
BUSH: I hope so. I hope I'm a candidate in the near future.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just...
BUSH: And if I am a candidate, by the way, I'm going to have a chance to talk about my record, share my heart, and offer ideas that will give people a sense that their future might be brighter than what we have today.
SCHIEFFER: Last year, you said -- and I'm going to quote you -- anyone running for president should be prepared to -- quote -- "lose the primary to win the general election without violating your principles."
What hot-button issues would you be willing to separate yourself from, say, the right wing of your party to carry out that philosophy?
BUSH: Yes, that -- when I said that, I don't mean I'm going to go out of my way to lose the primary, because then you have no chance of winning the general.
But the simple point is, I think people are so disaffected and believe -- and so cynical about politicians and politics, they don't want to hear someone say, well, I'm for this now, and then immediately shift back to another position for the general election.
Those days, if they ever existed, are over. So, I have views that are different than some in our party. And they -- that's what we will sort out. If I'm a candidate, I will go...
BUSH: I'm not going to back down on views on immigration, for example. I think we have an immigration problem.
It's a system that's broken. The legal system is broken. We need to narrow family petitioning and expand economic immigrants. We need to enforce the law. And we can't use this -- keep having this be political issue, when we're missing the opportunity to create high growth that everybody could benefit from.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you about that. You have said in the past that you do support a path for legal citizenship and residency for the 11 million people here in this country that are here illegally. A lot of your opponents say that's amnesty.
SCHIEFFER: Are you -- do you still favor path to citizenship for these people?
BUSH: I'm for a path to legalized status, where people get a provisional work permit, where they pay taxes, pay a fine, learn English, don't commit crimes, don't receive federal government assistance, and where they earn legal status. They don't earn citizenship. They don't cut in line with people that have been patiently waiting on the outside.
That seems to be a fair system. But those that are opposed to that or call that amnesty don't have plan really to deal with the 11 million people that are here illegally.
SCHIEFFER: Well, President Obama, as you well know, has taken several executive actions on immigration. Would you overturn those actions that he took if you're elected?
BUSH: I think the Supreme Court is going to overturn them. I think it's unconstitutional. I have read the law. I have written a written a book about this. And I'm kind of all in on the immigration subject. And the simple fact is, he doesn't have the authority to do what he did. He knows that, and he's doing this for political purposes to create a wedge for Democrats to win elections, I think. And I think that's their view. So, now, going forward...
SCHIEFFER: What if the Supreme Court doesn't overturn it? Would you void those actions?
BUSH: The solution ought to be to change the law.
And that's what I would do as president of the United States. Change the law to create a different status for those so-called DREAM Act kids than other people. And if you have come here when you were a kid...
SCHIEFFER: But you could just overturn those. As the new president, you could issue another executive order.
BUSH: Sure. But I think we need to fix the whole immigration system. That's the path.
SCHIEFFER: So, you wouldn't just do that?
BUSH: No, I think it ought to be the first -- one of the first priorities for substantive policy changes, is fixing a broken immigration system. And this would be part of that.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about Social Security.
You recently said you favor raising the retirement age for Social Security. To what age?
BUSH: I think it needs to be phased in over an extended period of time. I have seen ideas that are 68, for example.
So people that already have the supplemental retirement system, which is a contract, I don't think we violate that. For people that are about ready to be beneficiaries of their supplemental retirement, I don't think we change that.
But we need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in over an extended period of time going from 65 to 68 or 70. And that by itself will help sustain the retirement system for anybody under the age of 40.
SCHIEFFER: What about means-testing?
BUSH: I think it ought to be considered, for sure.
SCHIEFFER: You do think so? BUSH: I do so, yes.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about someone that, if you do get the nomination, may be your opponent, Hillary Clinton. Do you think it is all right for foreign governments to contribute millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state and now that she's running for president?
BUSH: No, I don't, or at least, at a minimum, they should be fully disclosed, which was the agreement I thought she had between the government and the Clinton Foundation.
It turns out that the rules don't always apply consistently for the Clintons. And so just -- just clear transparency, because it looks to me, what I have read about this, is that in fact the reason why transparency was suggested by the Obama administration was to avoid the exact problem we now face, which is the implication of favoritism.
SCHIEFFER: Well, her camp would come back and say, look, there's no suggestion even of any quid pro quo. Do you take them at their word?
BUSH: Well, there's the implication of it, for sure, if you read these articles. But they signed a deal with the administration. I will come in to the Department of State and I will make sure that my spouse will report any dealings he has with other countries and so will the foundation.
And the net result was, they did some, but they didn't do them all. And now you have this doubt. It's inappropriate.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you. I have talked to your brother a couple of times over the last year, and he's very candid. He says one of the problems that you're going to have is him. And he says you cannot let the campaign become about him.
SCHIEFFER: Do you think he's your main challenge?
BUSH: No, I don't.
This is hard for me, to be honest with you, to -- I have to do the Heisman on my brother that I love. This is not something I'm comfortable doing. But I'm my own person. I have my own life experience. And I will be successful, if I'm a candidate, when I share my heart and talk about what I have done as governor of the state, where I cut taxes, reduced the state government work force by 11 percent, moved the state to AAA bond rating.
They called me Veto Corleone because I believe that government incomes should grow far less than personal income, which grew at 4.5 percent during my time. As I tell that story, people will begin to say, yes, look, he's a Bush. That's fine. But I'm for him because he has ideas that will help me rise up. And so I don't -- my brother is not going to be a problem at all. I seek out his advice. I love him dearly. I have learned from his successes and his mistakes.
SCHIEFFER: Let me -- that's an interesting question. What do you think you learned from him, successes and mistakes?
BUSH: Well, the successes clearly are protecting the homeland. We were under attack, and he brought -- he unified the country and he showed dogged determination. And he kept us safe.
And you can talk about a lot of stuff, but when you're president of the United States and you're confronted with that kind of event, to respond the way he did is admirable. And I have learned from that.
And I think I learned also from not having -- keeping the reins on spending. Because of the war and because of the focus on protecting the homeland, I think he let the Republican Congress get a little out of control in terms of the spending.
SCHIEFFER: Making a decision to run for president is an enormous personal decision for anyone to make. Your brother talked about it. I know you have talked about it. Your father talked about putting your family through this exercise.
SCHIEFFER: Have you talked to your family about this?
SCHIEFFER: And are you comfortable with what you're doing here as far as your family is concerned?
BUSH: I am. I am.
I have prayed about it and I have talked at length my wife of 41 years, who is the love of my life, and my kids. And they're totally all in. They know how ugly it can be. And it's hard for a family. It's easier as a candidate. You can kind of slough it off when the attacks start.
But we're in an ugly time politically. And one of the, I think, next challenges for the next president is to restore some civility in our political process. But, in the interim, it's ugly for sure. But that was the big decision for me to even pursue the consideration of running, to be honest with you, was to make sure that Columba and my family were all in on this. And they are.
SCHIEFFER: One more question.
SCHIEFFER: When are you going to announce? BUSH: Bob, first of all, let me say how much I just respect your service to our country. FACE THE NATION is the go-to place. And I just appreciate everything you have done.
Unfortunately, you won't be around for me to announce a possible candidacy.
SCHIEFFER: And when do you think that will be? Next month?
BUSH: It will be -- it will be soon, for sure. I have trip to Germany, Poland, and Estonia a week from Monday. And after that, I will have to make up my mind.
SCHIEFFER: All right.
Well, I would like to tell you that we will certainly like to have you. I won't be here, but John Dickerson will.
SCHIEFFER: And I know he will be glad to see you, if you want to come tell us about it.
BUSH: Thank you, sir.
SCHIEFFER: Thank you.
SCHIEFFER: We're now back with the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the director, John Brennan.
Director, thank you so much for coming.
Let me just start off with this. Congress is coming back, the Senate is, today to try to find some way to come to some resolution about the exploration of this authority that the National Security Agency has to collect so-called metadata, in other words, collect these phone records and keep track of them.
Some people say they have no business during that whatsoever and they want it to end. Others say it is absolutely vital to fighting the war on terrorism.
I take it you come down on the -- on that side of it.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Right, Bob.
First of all, let me say it's an honor to be here. You're an icon in the broadcast news industry. And it really is an honor to be on your last show.
SCHIEFFER: Well, thank you very much. BRENNAN: The tools that the government has used over the last dozen years to keep this country safe are integral to making sure that we're able to stop terrorists in their tracks.
The tools that we had under the Patriot Act, those ways that we are able to monitor their activities, really have helped stop attacks. These tools are all part of a package of safeguards that have been put in place. And so the president, the attorney general, the director of FBI, director of national intelligence, the heads of NSA and CIA all are very supportive of an extension of those capabilities and those authorities. And, unfortunately, I think that there has been a little too much political grandstanding and crusading for ideological causes that have skewed the debate on this issue. But these tools are important to American lives.
SCHIEFFER: Well, what happens if this does run out at midnight tonight? Because Senator Rand Paul, among others, says he's going to do everything he can to delay this. Let's just say they don't do anything, these authorities expire. What happens?
BRENNAN: Well, the bureau does not have the ability then to track these various elements that we are looking at who are trying to carry out attacks here in the homeland, whether it's the roving wiretap, individuals who use multiple phones in order to conduct communications and to plan attacks, whether or not it's the ability to be able to go into business records and get court orders.
These are very important authorities that have not been abused by the government. These are authorities that have been used by the government to make sure that we're able to safeguard Americans. And the sad irony is that most Americans expect the government to protect them. And so although there's a lot of debate that goes on, on the Congress and the Hill on this issue, I think, when you go out to Boise or Tampa or Louisville, Americans are expecting their law enforcement and homeland security and intelligence professionals to do their work. And these authorities are important.
SCHIEFFER: Do you think that terrorist elements will take advantage of this?
BRENNAN: I think terrorist elements have watched very carefully what has happened here in the United States, whether or not it's disclosures of classified information or whether it's changes in the law and policies. They are looking for the seams to operate within.
And this is something that we can't afford to do right now, because if you look at the horrific terrorist attacks and violence that is being perpetrated around the globe, we need to keep our country safe. And our oceans are not keeping us safe the way they did a century ago.
SCHIEFFER: Is there any kind of backup plan or anything that -- or is there anything that will go into effect to try to make up for this, while Congress is trying to decide what to do about it? BRENNAN: Well, law enforcement and intelligence professionals will always use whatever authorities and capabilities and tools they have.
And if these lapse, I think we're going to have fewer tools. But we will be working as hard as we can to protect the American people. We have a very good track record of doing that. We need to continue to do that when we look at what's happening, but particularly in the Middle East and how ISIL and other groups are trying to export their violence, to include on our shores.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, after 9/11, people said, when you looked back at the summer before 9/11, there were all kind of red lights blinking and we kind of missed that. Are you worried that we may be seeing another kind of situation like that here?
BRENNAN: Yes, because these tools give us better ability to see the tactical moves that various terrorists groups or individuals are making. And what we need to do is to have a strategic intelligence perspective, but, at the same time, we need to have those technical tools and capabilities here in the homeland to stop that attack.
SCHIEFFER: All right, we're going to come back talk more about this in our next half-hour coming after the break.
But now we will have some personal thoughts about 58 years of being a reporter.
SCHIEFFER: As I prepared for this last broadcast as moderator of FACE THE NATION, I thought back to when I was in the ninth grade and saw my byline in the school newspaper and decided right then I wanted to be a reporter.
I got a chance to do that. When I was a young reporter, I wanted to work for CBS, because Walter Cronkite was my hero. And I got a chance to do that.
And after I was here awhile, I wanted to be the moderator of FACE THE NATION. And I got to do that, and did it for 24 years.
Maybe it's because I just love the news, but, at the time, I thought every job I ever had was the best job in the world, going behind police lines, talking to cops and soldiers and then senators and even presidents.
I tried to remember that the news is not about the newscaster. It's about the people who make it and those who are affected by it.
I will be honest, I'm going to miss being in the middle of things, but the one thing I will never forget is the trust you placed in me and how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years. That meant the world to me. And it always will.
Thank you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now, but for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including more from CIA Director John Brennan, and our panel, and a final goodbye.
So, I hope you will stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SCHIEFFER: And welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We continue our discussion with CIA director John Brennan.
Mr. Director, what do you consider -- I asked Jeb Bush this same question -- what do you see now as the main threat to our security?
BRENNAN: Well, terrorism continues to be, I think, at the forefront of our concerns. When we look at what is happening throughout the Middle East with ISIS, the destruction that is occurring in that part of the world.
And the destabilization that is occurring is affecting our national interests abroad but also they have great potential to bring that threat here to the homeland.
But also in the cyber digital environment this is an area that continues to evolve. And there's a lot of room for troublemaking in that environment as far as hacking, as well as trying to destroy different types of infrastructure.
So I think this is something that as we look out over the next five or 10 years we're going to have to make sure that we're aware of the threats that exist within that digital cyber environment that puts our national security at risk.
SCHIEFFER: Is ISIS actively planning an attack on the U.S. homeland?
BRENNAN: ISIS has been very sophisticated and adept at using the Internet to propagate its message and reach out to individuals. We see what is happening as far as thousands upon thousands of individuals, including many thousands from the West, that have traveled into Syria and Iraq. And a number of these individuals are traveling back.
And what we see, they're also using the Internet as a way to incite and encourage individuals to carry out acts of violence.
So as the director of FBI says, you know, this use of these websites and their Internet capabilities is something of great concern. So yes, I think ISIS is a threat not just in the Middle East and South Asia and African regions but also to Europe as well as to the United States.
SCHIEFFER: Director, does the political breach we have with Israel, has that degraded or in any way made -- hurt our intelligence gathering capabilities?
BRENNAN: Absolutely not. There is very, very strong relationship between United States and Israel on the intelligence, security and military fronts. It's one of the great things, I think, about our system; there can be policy differences between our governments but the intelligence and security professionals know that we have an obligation to keep our countries safe and secure.
And so although there's been great debate about the Iranian nuclear negotiations that are ongoing, the CIA, NSA and other intelligence community entities are working very close with their Israeli as well as other counterparts.
SCHIEFFER: Another question I asked Jeb Bush, some of the critics of this administration and some of them are within the government. The ones in the government are not saying these things publicly but saying that the president seems to be just trying to buy time here, that he's not ready to make a full commitment here in this war on terrorism and basically is just trying to keep things together well enough that he can leave it to the next president to resolve it.
Do you see that?
BRENNAN: I don't see anything like that. I've been involved in this administration in different capacities for the last six and a half years and there has been a full court effort to try to keep this country safe.
Dealing with some of these problems in the Middle East, whether you're talking about Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, others, these are some of the most complex and complicated issues that I've seen in my 35 years, working on national security issues. So there are no easy solutions.
I think the president has tried to make sure that we're able to push the envelope when we can to protect this country. But we have to recognize that sometimes our engagement and direct involvement will stimulate and spur additional threats to our national security interests.
SCHIEFFER: But whatever else you want to say about Iraq, every single gain that ISIS has made seems to have come as a surprise to the United States government.
Is that a fair statement?
BRENNAN: No, I think that we -- I went back over the intelligence of last week, taking a look at what we knew and when we knew it about ISIS and its movements inside of Iraq and Syria. We saw a growing strength. There are a lot of factors that come to play in terms of what gains they're able to make on the ground and as has been discussed, sometimes there are different Iraqi units that either don't have the leadership, the logistic support that they need in order to counter ISIS.
And therefore it's looked at as a lack of a will to fight. But I must say that there has been a fair amount of intelligence about the growing capabilities of ISIS as well as the challenges that beset the Iraqi government, the sectarian tensions that continue to fuel a lot of these problems.
So I think the intelligence mission is to try make sure our policymakers and others understand developments as they evolve but a lot of times these developments are fast-breaking and very dynamic. And the situation there is quite precarious in many areas.
SCHIEFFER: Well, nobody plays down how difficult this is. It's an enormously difficult task, but what do you need to be doing or what needs to be done that hasn't been done? Because I see -- it seems to me that ISIS is getting stronger, not getting weaker.
BRENNAN: Well, I think we can look at both Iraq and Syria; we need to make sure that we're able to maintain military pressure on the battlefield against ISIS, against Nusra, the other terrorist extremist elements there.
But at the same time I believe firmly that we're not going to resolve this problem on the battlefield. We have to keep the pressure on them but at the same time there has to be a viable political process that's able to bring together the actors inside Iraq and Syria and for them to be able to decide how they're going to have a peaceful future.
So it's a combination of military and political pressures that need to be brought to bear.
This is going to be a long fight. I don't see this being resolved anytime soon. We need to turn back ISIS, we will turn back ISIS, I have no doubt about it. But I think there is going to be unfortunately a lot of bloodshed between now and then.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you a little bit about the negotiations to try to limit Iran's nuclear power.
If we can come to some agreement with Iran, do you feel confident that we will have the intelligence capability to know if they're cheating?
BRENNAN: Well, one of the, I think, very strong parts of the framework that is being discussed and hopefully will be negotiated with a settlement is that there is a very rigorous inspection campaign that's part of this framework, that the IAEA and others will have access to the various nuclear facilities.
But I believe that the U.S. intelligence and other intelligence agencies will need to be able to continue to watch, monitor and see whether or not Iran is adhering and abiding by the various requirements of the deal.
We're working very closely with our partners to do that. We've learned a lot about the Iranian program over the last decade. So I'm confident that we're going to be able to bring to bear some of those capabilities that we -- and expertise -- that we have developed.
SCHIEFFER: The travel ban on the so-called Taliban Five -- these are the five prisoners who were at Guantanamo, who were released in exchange for the release Bowe Bergdahl. There was a ban on them. They couldn't travel for a year from their host country; that ban is ending.
What should be done about that, are you concerned that these people might go back to the fight now?
BRENNAN: Well, they are Afghan citizens and we have been engaged with the Qatari government. I've talked personally to senior Qatari officials about their monitoring of these individuals that have been in Qatar for the last year. And looking what are the arrangements that could be put in place and what is going to be the disposition of these individuals, whether they will be sent back to Afghanistan or able to stay in Doha, so this is continuing. It's part of the ongoing process of discussing with our Qatari partners what is in the best interest of national security.
SCHIEFFER: Well, what do you want?
Do you want them to stay there or you want to put them in jail?
What do you want to do with them?
BRENNAN: I want to make sure that they're not going to be allowed to return to the fight. And I think this is part of the rehabilitation process as well as a monitoring and observing process. So arrangements that could be worked out with the Qataris, with the Afghans, I think, we're trying to still look at what are the possibilities here.
SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Mr. Director, thank you so much for joining us on this broadcast. It was a pleasure to have you.
BRENNAN: Thank you very much.
SCHIEFFER: All the best.
BRENNAN: Best wishes to you. Thank you.
SCHIEFFER: Thank you so much.
We'll be right back with our panel in just a minute.
SCHIEFFER: And we're back now with our panel: Peggy Noonan, a "Wall Street Journal" columnist, CBS News contributor; David Ignatius, a columnist with "The Washington Post"; Dan Balz, the chief correspondent at "The Washington Post" and the unofficial dean of the Washington press corps, I would say; and CBS News political director -- and 20 minutes from now will officially start a new job -- John Dickerson.
And, John, if you can answer this question, you can just have the job. And that is, what is the Senate going to do when they come into session later today?
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Here is what they think they're going to do. They are going to try to deal with Patriot Act which is going to expire at the end of today. Rand Paul says he's going to end the Patriot Act. Well, the Republicans running the Senate say that's not going to happen. It may happen for a few days, it may go away. But what Mitch McConnell is hoping to do is take this House bill that passed, the USA Freedom Act, maybe add a few changes to it. But that they will pass that through the Senate, and then basically what might happen is the Patriot Act would in fact go away. But then this modification of what passed through the House would pass, and the Patriot Act would basically come back in a new form around Wednesday or Thursday.
SCHIEFFER: So, does that make sense to you, Dan?
DAN BALZ, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, it seems to be the only way they can get this done. Rand Paul is -- clearly has a strong position on this, but also is using it for his political purposes in his presidential campaign. He's trying to raise money off his opposition to it. So he's firmly committed to stopping this for the time being, but I assume that over the next couple of days, they will get it resolved.
PEGGY NOONAN, COLUMNIST, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think some this of comes under the heading, timing is everything. When the whole issue of privacy and the Patriot Act came up in a very big way about 18 months, two years ago, there was a certain relative sense of calm in which a debate could be launched and become serious. I kind of think right now, there is a heightened sense of danger, the government is reporting more threats. There is ISIS, there is a hotter sense of danger. I think at the end of the day, that will work against those who certainly -- it will work against Rand Paul wanting to get rid of the Patriot Act -- but it may work against certain fixes that frankly I think are needed, but timing is everything.
DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: First I want to say, thank you. You taught everyone in journalism how to do it right. Treating people with respect and also asking them tough questions always, as in your interview with Jeb Bush.
Talking about this question of the Patriot Act. What is striking to me is the way in which the consensus that used to exist about surveillance has fragmented. You have president Obama allied with John Boehner, the speaker of the House. More or less in tension with the Senate Republican leadership, which is itself split. The question for me is how are you going to put back together a consensus about whatever emerges from the process this week. Is there really going to be public support for that? Because without it, these tools that John Boehner talked about are not going to be effective.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, how dangerous a position is this, Peggy? I mean, this sounds pretty serious to me if they don't get this thing done in some way.
NOONAN: If it disappears for a few days? Well, I think John Brennan made it very clear. We're going to do whatever we have to do. We're not just going to say, OK, we'll see you in a few days. We're not going to do any work.
It does sound serious, and I think that at the end of the day will force some kind of outcome that may go quicker than we hoped in the Congress. But I think the reason that consensus has fallen apart comes down to the word meta data. And an increasing sense on the part of many people, that oh my gosh, this government that we have can really kind of make us feel violated or actually violate our privacy. That's not a small thing. It's a serious Fourth Amendment thing. It was the Fourth Amendment because it was the fourth biggest thing to take care of. Searches and seizures. So I think this is an inevitable argument. An argument worth having. But timing will affect it.
SCHIEFFER: Well, the cavalcade of presidential candidates continues to roll on, what do we have, three people this week. Martin O'Malley makes it official, he's going to run, he is the former governor of Maryland. He's also the former mayor of Baltimore. He's in. Bernie Sanders is the other Democrat that said he's going to run. Hillary Clinton of course is out there. Does anybody -- and then we had two Republicans also announce, George Pataki and who, somebody else--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick Santorum.
SCHIEFFER: Rick Santorum, and then I think Lindsey Graham is going to announce later this week.
I mean, where does this end?
IGNATIUS: Fox News puts limits on the number of candidates who can appear on a televised debate, I mean, that is going to be a choke point.
NOONAN: Think about this. Two dozen men and a woman. That's a lot of people on a debate stage. That's an impossible number of guys in ties. Nobody is going to get to say anything. They actually do have to do something just to make the debate itself coherent as they begin.
SCHIEFFER: Well, who -- what happens next? I mean how -- obviously all of these people are not going -- these campaigns are not going to last until we get to election day. I'm worried about two things. No. 1, we'll all be asleep by then. I mean, is it just so much talk going on that by the time we get to the real election season, nobody is going to be very interested any more?
DICKERSON: I think you're going to have -- on the Republican side, you have to at some point have a fight over something that distinguishes person A from person B. Or in this case person B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J and K. They have to do something. And one thing that is interesting about this national debate over surveillance is we've seen a flashpoint about real differences over policy. The flashpoint though has been between Rand Paul and everyone else. All other Republicans this week were fighting to issue press releases in which they could condemn Rand Paul. But then Rand Paul went from beyond surveillance and said the hawks within the conservative movement were responsible for the growth of ISIS.
What you're seeing there is an ideological but also a policy debate. If you want to be a candidate who distinguishes yourself from all the others, you have to take positions that are going to distinguish you. I think that is what we'll start to see a little bit.
SCHIEFFER: One thing we saw, we saw Jeb Bush this morning say flatly he does favor some kind of legal status for the 11 million immigrants who are here without papers. That is going to set him apart from a lot of people in that Republican field.
BALZ: It definitely does. And he has stuck to that position through this long period of quote/unquote, noncandidacy that I thought you grilled him very effectively on.
But one of the problems right now is that there are so many candidates, and so little real shape to this race, that it's hard for people to know who they really need to go after. Who they think they need to draw a distinction with. So until we get to the next phase, when everybody is formally in, when the debates begin, even as clumsy and difficult as they're going to be, we're going to be in a period in which it's not quite clear how sharply those differences are going to get engaged. But as John says, they will get engaged.
NOONAN: I think one of the things that is very good is to remember, these guys and a woman are running for president. That means you ought to be forthcoming about the way you look philosophically at the Mideast. What you think America is doing there. What immigration means. These are big issues you want to be talking about. I'm glad they have really started engaging. Maybe it started with the Marco Rubio speech in a way at the Council on Foreign Relations.
I'm disheartened that Mrs. Clinton seems to get away with not talking about these things. She wants to be president, too. She's wanted it for a long time. She knows where she stands. So instead we have listening tours. It would be lovely to see a talking and explaining tour.
SCHIEFFER: How long can she maintain that status, David? So far she has -- has she had any news conferences?
IGNATIUS: She maintains it as long as she is the presumptive candidate and tries to ration what she says. I actually think it's in her interests for the Democratic field to broaden a little bit. For O'Malley, for Sanders, for others to come in, and so she's running against them and testing her ideas against their ideas, not running against the press. Because that's the situation she's in now. It has not been a very favorable one for her.
BALZ: She's about to make a turn. On June 13 she will have an announcement. It will be the announcement, the formal launch of the candidacy. At that point, according to the people around her, she will lay out in more detail than she has done so far, what she wants to do as a presidential candidate and president, and after that, they have, they say, a schedule in which she will go into more detail about this. So she will chose the moments at which she decides to talk more about these issues. I think the question is, how much she will then take questions about the things she stands for or doesn't stand for, how much she is willing to engage with her rivals and with the press.
SCHIEFFER: I mean, she can run against the Democrats, I mean, if she didn't want to run against the other -- the other -- run against the Republicans is what I meant to say, if she didn't want to run against the other Democrats. But I don't see much. Peggy, what is your sense?
NOONAN: I was interested in Martin O'Malley's announcement this week, in which he seemed to me to do two things. One to say predictably, I'm the new generation, and I'm going to get rid of these old folks. He had a very sharp point to make about how the presidency is not a crown that two families get to pass back and forth.
But more interestingly, he did talk about issues. He talked about his stance. It seemed top me he was not only to the left of Mrs. Clinton trying to get that be where he was coming from, he seemed implicitly critical of President Obama, you know, he painted a certain America of unhappiness and racial division and economic inequality and why is nobody on Wall Street been arrested in the past eight years. It seemed from a certain point of view that was kind of a rebuke of his sitting president.
So, he may make it a little bit interesting in terms of the arguments.
BALZ: He's not just implicitly critical of President Obama, when I spoke to him on Friday, he was explicitly critical on the trade issue and said he felt that the president has been captured by the corporate interests who stand to gain from the trade deals. So, he's taking on both of them at this point.
DICKERSON: And just to pick up on that trade point, he is attacking on trade in part also to expose a vulnerability of Hillary Clinton who has been gingerly on the question of trade -- obviously there's a long history with NAFTA and President Clinton but Hillary Clinton is trying to play it safe on those answers. And what Martin O'Malley is doing by taking a strong stand on trade, is point out and show the areas in which she's not being forthright.
SCHIEFFER: All right, well we're going to end it there. Thank you all. Presiding over my last panel here it's been a lot of fun. John, you're going to love this job.
We'll be right back after this short break.
SCHIEFFER: You want some more pizzazz in the standup?
Here we go, this is the last take. A good take. Five, four, three, two, one. The administration sees Hussein's participation...
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: We were in Nigeria. And you couldn't get the name of the leader of Nigeria correct to save his life. Over and over and over again, Obasanjo.
SCHIEFFER: The Nigerian chief of state General Obasanjo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obasanjo
SCHIEFFER: Obasanjo and the president will talk about...
Kelly Kolay (ph), Coyaba (ph), Kelly Kobaya (ph) has our story.
NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Brendon, I'm going to let you say your name for us, because I've said it about six ways today. And I apologize for that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, coming up, Dr. Robert Arnot (ph).
SCHIEFFER: I'm sorry, I dropped the coffee. This is -- this has been a very unusual morning.
SCHIEFFER: Well, Hillary Clinton is at the tail end of a six nation tour of Africa. You'd think she'd be exhausted, but there was the Secretary of State last night cutting loose at a reception at a reception in South Africa. She didn't even flinch when this diplomatic dance took an unexpected turn.
SCHIEFFER: We'll be back next week with another show about what else, politics. See you on FACE THE NATION next Sunday.
Well, that's it for us. We'll see you right here next week rain or shine on FACE THE NATION.
That's it for us. Remember our troops who are away from home and their families back home and we'll see you next week right here on FACE THE NATION.
Well, that's about it for us today. We'll be back here same place, same time, same station. So thanks for watching. And we hope to see you then on FACE THE NATION.
SCHIEFFER: And that's it for us today as I say goodbye for this last time as moderator of FACE THE NATION. I want to you meet all of the people who have worked so hard to make this broadcast what it is over the years. FACE THE NATION was here long before I came to CBS. I know I'm leaving it in good hands. I want to thank our team and I want to thank all of you for watching. It takes a lot of folks to get this show on the air and I'm really proud of all of them. So, here they are. And I want all of you to take a bow.
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