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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on September 15, 2019

9/15: Face the Nation
9/15: Face the Nation 47:18

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

  • Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (read more)
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (read more)
  • Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli (read more)
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (read more)
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power
  • CBS News Climate & Weather Contributor Jeff Berardelli (watch) (read more)

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

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's Sunday, September 15th. I'm Margaret Brennan from the nation's capital and this is FACE THE NATION.

A terror attack at a Saudi oil processing facility disrupts the world's oil production, likely to cause a spike in gas prices.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran for the attack. Will that make tense relations even worse?

WILLIAM LACY CLAY: The House will be in order.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congress returns from its summer recess with dozens more Democrats in the House now backing an impeachment inquiry. Will cautious House leaders change course?

NANCY PELOSI: If we have to go there, we'll have to go there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Trump administration scores a victory in the courts with its deportation policy. What will the impact be?

We'll talk with two key Democrats in the House, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, her criticism of Israel has caused dissension in her own party and drawn attacks from President Trump. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting head of the agency that administers the Trump administration's immigration system will also be here. Plus, we sat down with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to get her thoughts on Mister Trump's world view and divisiveness in the country today.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: It's time to stop labeling each other's and using explosive terms like she's a racist, he's a racist. When you say that, that's meant to stop the conversation and we need to have a conversation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll also talk with U.N. ambassador during the Obama administration, Samantha Power.

And as CBS News kicks off the special network series, Eye on Earth, we'll take a look at our changing climate. A new survey out this morning shows that most Americans think climate change is serious and needs to be addressed now.

It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION from our studio on the roof of the Jones Day law firm here on Capitol Hill where we'll be broadcasting for the next few weeks while our Washington studio gets some adjustments.

We begin this morning with the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, California's Adam Schiff. Good morning. Good to have you here, Chairman.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-California/@RepAdamSchiff/Intelligence Committee Chairman): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We saw this attack that Secretary of State Pompeo says was a terror attack carried out by Iran in Saudi Arabia. What does U.S. intelligence show?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, I have not had the briefing yet on whether this is directly attributable to Iran but I think it's safe to say that the Houthis don't have the capability to do a strike like this without Iranian assistance. So Iranian know-how running technology, I think was certainly involved whether the Iranians directly engaged in this or through the Houthi proxies has yet to be seen. But I think it underscores just what we really, frankly, came to expect from this unending war in Yemen, that it would escalate tensions in the region but also our withdrawal from the JCPOA has led Iran to engage--

MARGARET BRENNAN: The nuclear deal with Iran.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Exactly. Has let Iran to engage in these escalatory tactics to drive us apart from our allies but also to increase Iranian leverage to try to bring about an end to sanctions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think the President should withdraw his offer to sit down and begin talks with Iran?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: I think the President should engage in diplomacy with Iran. I think it's the only way out of this situation. I don't think, frankly, the President should have withdrawn from a nuclear deal that Iran was complying with. But we need to work with our allies to secure the Strait of Hormuz, to secure critical infrastructure in the region. But we do need to get back to diplomacy. And there are openings to do so. There are voices within Iran, unusual voices, including some arch conservatives suggesting it's time to start talking with the United States again. The administration should seize that opportunity.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We also heard from the White House yes-- yesterday that they confirmed Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, was killed in Afghanistan-Pakistan area. This was originally reported back in July. You've been briefed. What can you tell us?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, he-- he has been killed. Good riddance. I think this is someone of great symbolic value to al Qaeda. Someone--

MARGARET BRENNAN: How was he killed?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: I can't go into the specifics more than what the White House has disclosed but it shows they have acknowledged that this was in the Af-Pak region. It shows the continuing importance of that region to al Qaeda. It-- it also shows the importance of the region to us in terms of our security, that we need to maintain some footprint or some guarantee that al Qaeda won't resurge in the area. But he was not, I think, a leader-- a current leader of al Qaeda in an operational sense.


REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: So I think if his name wasn't Bin Laden, it wouldn't have had the same impact but, nonetheless, an important step in terms of taking more of the leadership of al Qaeda off the battlefield.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Should the President continue negotiating with the Taliban?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: The President should. I don't think the negotiations should have been called off because of a ill-planned, ill-prepared summit and it falling apart. At the end of the day, there's only going to be one way to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan that's through the negotiation. But we should secure more than Taliban promises in that negotiation, in exchange for a drawdown of American troops. We have to insist on at least the partial cease-fire so that we can see that the Taliban are both willing but also able to control their own elements.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some work you're doing here at home, which was you issued a subpoena on Friday for the acting director of Intelligence alleging he is withholding a whistleblower disclosure possibly to protect President Trump. That's a pretty significant allegation here. We're putting up a quote on the screen from you. Have you gotten a response to this letter?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: We've gotten a response and the director has said, essentially, that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint. This is deeply troubling. No director--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Just ignoring the subpoena?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, at this point, yes. Ignoring the subpoena, ignoring our request. No DNI-- no director of National Intelligence has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint. And here, Margaret, the significance is the inspector general found this complaint to be urgent, found it to be credible, that is they did some preliminary investigation, found the whistleblower to be credible, that suggests corroboration. And that it involved serious or flagrant wrongdoing. And according to the director of National Intelligence, the reason he is not acting to provide it even though the statute mandates that he do so is because he is being instructed not to. That this involved a higher authority, someone above the DNI. Well, there are only a few people--


REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --above the DNI. So we are concerned this area-- this involves wrongdoing that's under investigation by our committee and we are going to do everything necessary to make sure that whistleblowers-- not allowed to provide the complaint to us but can come directly to Congress, which the director is also prohibiting at this point.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you don't know, but you suspect the President has some role or the executive branch here? Can you-- can you tell us what the subject was of the whistleblower complaint?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: I can't go into the contents but I can tell you that at least according to the director of National Intelligence, this involves an issue of privileged communications. Now, that means it's a pretty narrow group of people that it could apply to that are both above the DNI in authority and also involve privileged communications. So, I think it's fair to assume this involves either the President or people around him or both. But at the end of the day, if the--


REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: --director of National Intelligence is going to undermine the whistleblower protections, it means that people are going to end up taking the law into their own hands and going directly to the press instead of the mechanism that Congress set to protect classified information.


REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: And that gravely threatens both our national security as well as a system that encourages people to expose wrongdoing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're in leadership. There seems to be confusion within the Democratic Party about whether or not there is actually an impeachment inquiry underway. Can you clarify?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Yes. We're doing an investigation that will ultimately determine whether the President should be impeached. Now there are people--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So there is an inquiry underway?

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: There's certainly an investigation under-- underway. Now the-- this is about more than just message. There are some of our members who are ready to vote to impeach and remove the President tomorrow. And there are some who believe that we should not impeach him because it will be a failed exercise in the Senate. But the vast majority of our caucus, including our leadership, is of the view that we should do the investigation before we determine whether the President should be impeached. That's the category that I fit in and that's the work that we're doing.


REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: And that's all that's required in court to get access to the grand jury mat-- material we need to do our jobs.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have to leave it there. Congressman, thank you very much.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, one Democrat who has called for the President to be impeached and did so early on was Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She came to the United States as a refugee and she is the first Somali-American to be elected to Congress. As part of the so-called Squad, she has drawn a considerable amount of attention for her progressive and sometimes controversial views. And we welcome her here to the broadcast. Congresswoman, it's good to have you here.

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR (D-Minnesota/@Ilhan): Thank you so much for having me, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You heard what Chairman Schiff said. We know more than half of the Democratic Caucus supports impeachment now. You're among them. Do you think Speaker Pelosi is being too hesitant?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: Well, what I've always said was that it wasn't if we were going to impeach, it's when we were going to impeach, and I think it is okay for some people to have hesitations, for other people to catch up to where some of us have been for a really long time. And I think with Chairman Nadler, he understands that, you know, we have a constitutional duty and we must exercise that constitutional duty.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think, though, because of the sheer numbers, now-- I think we are one hundred and thirty-six Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry at least--are we at a tipping point where those decisions need to be made?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: Yes and the decisions are being made. This is why they took the vote to begin the investigation--


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: --and I really feel confident that they are in the process of getting everybody else who is still lagging to come along.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, we said in the introduction you're controversial. The Republican National Committee has released a video of you and it-- I want to read you just some of it. You're comparing migrant shelters to dungeons used about four hundred years ago in Ghana that you recently visited. And you toured those caves in Ghana recently. It's getting a lot of attention. Did you mean, when you were talking there, to compare U.S. border agents to slave traders?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: So, I'm only controversial because people seem to want to controversy. What I talked about at our panel that was the plight of black immigrants was about the experience I was having as I went through the dungeons. There were stories that were being told, and I talked about how at that moment I had an image of what's happening in Libya--


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: --as-- as people as-- are being sold. We've-- we've all seen that video, that auction of somebody being sold for four hundred dollars. And then I talked about the separation stories that he told about how families were being torn apart, how children were being separated from their parents, how husband and wife would be forcefully separated. And I said that kind of reminded me of what was happening at our border here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you didn't mean it as an attack on U.S. border agents?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: Absolutely not. I think this is-- this is always the point, right? There is always a-- an implied intent to every conversation I have and if you listen to the video, one comparison of what the dungeons looked like and people being sold was to what's happening in North Africa and the other one was of family separations. And, of course, we obviously have a-- a crisis here with our family separation policies.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You feel very passionately about immigration. You came to this country as a refugee.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The Trump administration had a victory in the courts this week because--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --at least temporarily, they're upholding the ability of the administration to put into place new restrictions on the ability to claim asylum here.

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: I-- I believe that decision is morally and legally wrong. Seeking asylum is a legal right that people have and we know that the Supreme Court has been wrong before. They've been wrong in the equal but separation doctrine decision, they've been wrong in the Dred Scott decision, and so what we now have an opportunity to do as legislators is make sure that we are creating immigration policy that is humane and just.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the Trump administration say they have to go and implement these regulations, that their hands are being tied because Congress just isn't doing its job.

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: All right. We certainly in the House have been doing our job since the first day we got there. And--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So do asylum rights, as you argue, need to be more specifically laid out? Are you working on something like that?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: Yeah, we are trying to make sure that we fix our broken immigration system. I mean, people have to understand that the immigration crisis that we have is one that we could avoid. And many of the policies that we've been advocating for, many that are currently sitting at the doorsteps of Mitch McConnell, will create a positive impact on how our immigration system is carried out.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This was the anniversary this week, the eighteenth, of the 9/11 attacks on our country. And at a Ground Zero-- well, remembrance ceremony--I'll call it--the son of one of the victims stood up and, specifically, called out language you had used in the past that he characterized as not respectful when referring to the three thousand people who were killed by al-Qaeda. You said, some people did something, and he put it right there on his T-shirt.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Do-- do you understand why people found that offensive?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: I mean so, 9/11 was an attack on all Americans. It was an attack on all of us. And I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the-- the families of 9/11 must feel. But I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting, right, the aftermath of what happened after 9/11. Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them. And so what I was speaking to was the fact that as a Muslim--


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: --not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day, but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me a suspect.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you-- do you feel like it's been tough for you, here in Washington, to change your rhetoric, to-- to be less of an activist and try to be a legislator? That-- that sometimes the language you use has gotten in your own way?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: I certainly don't think that. You know, when we were celebrating few nights ago, I talked about how some people would say, Ilhan, you should speak a certain way. Ilhan, you should do something a certain way, and I think that's contradictory, really, to the purpose of-- of my existence in this space. I believe that my constituents sent me to make sure that I was bringing in a conversation that others weren't having, that I was speaking for people who felt voiceless for a long time. And I think it's really important for us to recognize that it's a new Congress. It's a diverse Congress and we're not only diverse in our race or ethnicity or religion--


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: --but we are also diverse in our perspective, in our pain, in our struggles, and in the hopes and dreams that we have, and the kind of America that we want to shape for all of us.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You were, specifically, banned by the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu from visiting that country.


MARGARET BRENNAN: He faces very tough election in the next few days. If he doesn't win, are you going to try to go back and-- and do you stand by your call for a boycott of Israel?

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: I certainly hope that the people of Israel make a different decision. And my hope is that they recognize that his existence, his policies, his rhetoric really is contradictory to the peace that we are all hoping that that region receives and receives soon. Just right now if you look at the annexation that's taking place, for many of us in Congress there has been a longstanding support for its two-state solution--


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: --and this annexation now is going to make sure that that peace process does not happen. And we will not get to a two-state solution.


REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: I think what is really important is for people to understand that you have to give people the opportunity to seek the kind of justice they want in a peaceful way. And I think the opportunity to boycott divest sanction is the kind of pressure that leads to that peaceful process.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congresswoman, thank you for coming here to FACE THE NATION.

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR: Thank you so much for having me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be back in one minute with the administration's point person on legal immigration. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back now with the Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS, Ken Cuccinelli. His agency is part of Homeland Security and it manages the processing of visas, asylum claims, and applications for citizenship. Good morning.

KEN CUCCINELLI (Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services/@USCISCuccinelli): Good to be with you, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You-- you were obviously directly impacted at your agency by the Supreme Court decision--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --to up-- uphold the ability to enforce these new restrictions on being able to claim asylum. What is the practical impact on the ground and when will it be felt?

KEN CUCCINELLI: So, it's already being felt. It isn't-- it wasn't from zero to a hundred as soon as the Supreme Court ruled. We didn't know their timing. But I can tell you that I spoke with Mark Morgan and Matt Albence, the head of the other two immigration agencies, on Friday and we will be working closely with the Department of Justice where the immigration judges sit. And we're ramping this up as quickly as we can logistically. We'll-- we'll do it in the places where we have the logistics in place fastest first and then move it all the way across the border. But this will be measured in days not weeks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, to explain, this restricts the ability of people to claim asylum if they haven't first tried to claim asylum and been denied in a country they were passing through--

KEN CUCCINELLI: They passed through. That's right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --en route to the United States. But claiming asylum is the legal channel of asylum. So, of-- of trying to immigrate. So, if you're cutting off that legal channel, aren't you just going to push people towards illegal immigration?

KEN CUCCINELLI: Well, most of the people coming in that are claiming asylum on the southern border are coming in illegally already.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But if they're crossing illegally, but still declaring asylum, they're going through the legal channel if they're declaring themselves to a border patrol officer?

KEN CUCCINELLI: Right. And so we have different rules in different places. I don't think a lot of people realize this, but the northern border we have an agreement with Canada where you can claim asylum in either Canada or the United States, but not both under any circumstances. It's actually a more restrictive arrangement than we have now on the southern border. So, the-- the circumstances that we face on our southern border are still crisis circumstances. And we have a three hundred and thirty-five thousand asylum case backlog, which I take very seriously, and it has creeped up while I have been here despite us throwing more and more resources at trying to drive it down. There are legitimate asylum claims in there.


KEN CUCCINELLI: Some of them have been waiting over two years and we take very seriously the need to get to those people. Unfortunately, this system is clogged up with a lot of fraudulent claims.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But, as you just said sometimes there are very legitimate claims of asylum--

KEN CUCCINELLI: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --fear for your life. And that is where the controversy is, not just around the legality, but the morality of it. I mean, Ronald Reagan talked about this country as a shining city on the hill and you were building a big moat around it.

KEN CUCCINELLI: Well, that's not how we view it, obviously. But I mean we-- at the same time, my agency is, you know, creating more citizens than you've seen in years. We have-- we have a five-year high last year and we'll break that again this year. So--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But this is tens of thousands--

KEN CUCCINELLI: Yes. But you just described--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --of people who will not be able to claim asylum.

KEN CUCCINELLI: Okay, but you just described us as trying to build a moat around it, and I'm pointing out that in the legal process we're moving along at a good clip. We have a crisis at the southern border, and this is just one of the many responses we've had. The President has been very clear about the need to be aggressive on the border, and that's exactly what we're doing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, are you, essentially, arguing that this is going to be a deterrent, where people just won't even try to come--

KEN CUCCINELLI: There will-- there will be--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --because asylum claim-- claiming asylum is a legal--

KEN CUCCINELLI: Yes. Margaret, I understand--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --means of immigration.

KEN CUCCINELLI: --and your point is an excellent one. It will be a deterrent for some people, particularly those who were going to be coming and claiming what are clearly false asylum claims. People-- and remember, asylum is about safety. We do want people--


KEN CUCCINELLI: --to be safe. The-- and the reality is America's the most generous country in the world on this front. But we have to deal with the crisis we're facing down there. This will be a deterrent to some coming who are making particularly false claims.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Very quickly on that note. The Bahamas was just slammed with a horrific hurricane.

KEN CUCCINELLI: Dorian, yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why change it and make it harder for people to flee to this country, this past Monday, by now requiring visas? Just a lot of good reasons people wouldn't have their paperwork.

KEN CUCCINELLI: Well, CBP has actually extended itself out into the Bahamas which they-- I don't ever remember them doing before. We're actually making this a lot more accommodationist. So realize that the northern two islands were hit. Grand Bahama has electricity and the basics back. The Bahamas is a perfectly legitimate country capable of taking care of their own. We rushed resources in--


KEN CUCCINELLI: --whether it was from USCID or the Coast Guard who were downright heroic in there--


KEN CUCCINELLI: --and Border Patrol assets were moved in there as well to make hundreds of saves.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm-- I'm-- I appreciate everything you're saying. I'm running out of time, I'm being told, so I got to leave it--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --there, unfortunately. We're going to be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Today is the fifty-sixth anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four young girls, including a friend of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was an eight-year-old at the time.

Up next, we will speak with her about race as well as the changing role of the United States.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Earlier we sat down with President George W. Bush's Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. She now teaches at Stanford University and is the co-author of a new book, To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth.

(Begin VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: President Trump represents a very different kind of foreign policy for the Republican Party. It's more isolationist than Republicans like yourself have been in the past. Do you think that's more reflective of where the party is now?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE (Former Secretary of State/@CondoleezzaRice): I don't know where the party is, but I certainly believe that President Trump is speaking to something that's in the country. If you think back to the interview that President Barack Obama did with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic just before he left office there are really a lot of echoes of what you hear with President Trump. He talked about allies being kind of free riders. There was this sort of anger and frustration sounding through about allies and what they do. And so this has been coming for some time. Probably a little bit of exhaustion with the-- the wars and terrorism and vigilance. But the fact is the American people have kind of two impulses simultaneously. One is we're tired of those burdens of leadership can't somebody else do it. You hear that in echoed by President Trump and earlier by President Obama. But they also don't want to see Syrian babies choking on nerve gas. They don't want to see people beheaded on TV as ISIS was doing. They don't want to see Vladimir Putin laying waste to his neighbors or Venezuelans starving because they have a bad government. And so what the President has to do is to activate the part of America that wants to continue to lead. And sometimes I think you get that from this administration.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there an identity that defines Republican foreign policy now?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I don't know if there's an identity that defines foreign policy in either party. The United States is going through a transformative period in which we are leaving one era, the era in which the United States emerged really the sole superpower after the end of the Cold War. Then there was a period of having to deal with terrorism--


CONDOLEEZZA RICE: --and the attacks that we had the anniversary of-- on September 11th. Now we're facing all of these new challenges. What do you do about cybersecurity? What do you do about ungoverned spaces where terrorists train, but where you can't go in directly? What do you do about the rise of great powers like China? What do you do about the efforts of a declining power like Russia to disrupt the international system? The problems are different and I think we're going to have to come to a new consensus about what really principles are going to guide American foreign policy. I hope that there will be some echoes of the old principles that America is going to be involved, that without the United States the world is a more chaotic place. I hope that those principles will involve patience.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In the book, To Build a Better World, you say you wrote it because you think the world is drifting towards another systemic crisis. Is this a warning?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I hope it's a bit of a wake-up call. When we see the rise of what we've called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, populism that says don't believe in those institutions. Those institutions-- you go around them directly to the people. Well, there are some dangers in that. When you see the rise of what I'll call nativism. I--I think saying it's nationalism-- for Americans nationalism is not a bad thing. It's not bad to be proud of-- patriotic toward your country. Nativism though pits you against them. When you see isolationism, when you see protectionism growing, the whole idea that the international economy is better if people trade-- countries trade freely, when you see that under attack, I do think we're drifting toward a systemic crisis.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But those four things you just outlined sound a lot like what defines Trumpism?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: But it's not just what defines some of the President's policies. America First, for instance. It defines a lot of what you're hearing across the world. It defines what you're hearing in Great Britain with Brexit. It defines what you hear from the Five Star Movement in Italy. It defines what you hear in Brazil with-- with Bolsonaro. So the question is why are we getting this response? And elites can't sit back and say, oh, you're just wrong.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE: There has to be some self-evaluation of how late-stage capitalism is dealing with some of the new challenges.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think Republicans are doing enough to push back against those four horsemen?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, I do think that you see people pushing back on very specific circumstances. Now, let's be fair. When it comes to some foreign policy issues that I was dealing with a decade ago, you have to give the administration credit for having taken them on. North Korea.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Nobody has been able to solve the North Korean problem. I don't have a problem with how they are going about that. I would say that on Iran, they are pushing back correctly on an Iranian regime that is the most dangerous and disruptive regime in the Middle East.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Should President Trump meet with President Rouhani?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I have no problem negotiating with the Iranians. But you have to do it when the conditions are right. When you have a negotiation that looks like the Taliban is not going to even recognize the legitimate democratically-elected government of Afghanistan, not going to recognize the Constitution, now you have to step back and say, is this time really to negotiate? When you're negotiating from a position of strength--


CONDOLEEZZA RICE: --as I think we would be with the Iranians or with the North Koreans because the sanctions have weakened those economies, that's-- that's fine. When your partner or your adversary thinks that they have the upper hand, which I think the Taliban thinks because they think we want to get out so badly we'll-- we'll take anything, then I think you have to stop and say this may not be the time to negotiate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that the President needs to be taking more care on those issues when he discusses race and when he discusses immigrants?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I do. And I've said I think that particularly from the White House, you need language that recognizes how raw race is as a factor in America. I grew up in a segregated Birmingham, Alabama, all right. I understand race and racism and the like. But I'm-- I'm going to tell you, Margaret, I think that we could all be better in the way that we deal with this very raw nerve which is race. I think it's time to stop labeling each other and using explosive terms like she is a racist, he is a racist. That-- that stops the conversation, right? When you say that, that's meant to stop the conversation and we need to have a conversation. We also need to, and I say this very often to my students, you know, identity is a wonderful and marvelous thing. I am tremendously proud of my ancestors who survived the horrors of slavery, came out of it, and by the time of my grandfather were being college educated. I'm tremendously proud of that legacy, but I also know that identity has to be something that you don't use against others.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE: And so to the degree that we are breaking ourselves into ever smaller groups with ever larger senses of grievance and ever different narratives, I don't think anybody is doing very well at helping us to navigate this extraordinarily difficult minefield of race.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Our full conversation with Secretary Rice is on our website,

We'll be right back with another former diplomat, President Obama's United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back now with former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She has a new memoir out. It's called "The Education of an Idealist." Thank you for being here.

SAMANTHA POWER (Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N./"The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir"/@SamanthaJPower): Great to be here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does being an idealist survive working in the White House?

SAMANTHA POWER: Definitely, but you do have to learn how to prosecute your ideals. So the story I tell is not one of going in naive about how easy it will be to promote human rights from Washington. But I went in knowing it'd be hard and then learned how to build coalitions, learned how to work with other countries to fight things like the Ebola epidemic or get political prisoners out of jail. But you do have to keep learning and be self-critical as you go, and that's a story I tell.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary Rice, you heard her just there, lay out a number of things she said were very similar between President Trump and President Obama in terms of responding to this strong reaction against military intervention. This idea that, you know, the system needs to be completely changed and that allies aren't shouldering more of the burden. Do you see those same similarities?

SAMANTHA POWER: We could not be more different, in fact. It's true that in the wake of the disastrous invasion of Iraq and the overstretch and the militarization of our foreign policy after 9/11 generally, that there is a fatigue in the country. That part I agree with. But there is a major difference between the current approach of attacking our Democratic institutions at home, undermining our ability to lead internationally, attacking our allies, cozying up to abusive regimes, alienating everybody so if you need them in the face of a crisis, it's going to be very hard to pick up the phone and actually get people to come into your coalitions. A big difference between that which is the Present and what we did which was strengthen our alliances--yes, call on allies to do more. The United States can't share the-- can't shoulder the burden alone. Absolutely, that is the case. But you can do so in a manner that still preserves the relationships, deepens the relationships and ensures that when you go and try to end Iran's nuclear program, you get not only the European allies at the table with you but also Russia and China for all of the difficulties there. When you go and try to broker an agreement to curb climate change, you go first to China and are actually able to forge that agreement--


SAMANTHA POWER: --and then you take it global and bring other countries on board and you're able to build a seventy-eight-nation coalition to defeat ISIS, which is something that President Trump has carried through. But he couldn't build that coalition today. There's no way after the reckless foreign policy that's been pursued.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You built your career. You won a Pulitzer Prize, around talking about human rights law, in particular, genocide. And you're clear in your book that you morally had some problems with President--

SAMANTHA POWER: And strategically.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --and strategically, but with President Obama's decision not to strike Syria in the wake of those devastating chemical weapons attacks. General Mattis called that the shot not heard around the world.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Why didn't you resign?

SAMANTHA POWER: Well, first of all, in the book what I tried to do is bring readers into the Situation Room so they see just the complexity of decisions like that one. And when you are in the Situation Room and you're looking at the deaths of fourteen hundred people, and you're seeing refugee flows out of Syria that have the capacity, as they would go on to do, to destabilize countries, not just Syria itself. You see five hundred thousand lives ultimately taken in Syria. There are a whole set of imperatives that grow out of that. At the same time, the U.S. Congress would not support President Obama--


SAMANTHA POWER: --when he went to them and say, hey, let's do this together, let's make sure that Assad can't wait us out--


SAMANTHA POWER: --and just start gassing again, and then we're in a position where we're have-- where we're divided domestically. So, our foreign policy is going to be stronger if we can heal some of these divisions at home. And without that kind of base for acting internationally, especially when it comes to the use of military force, I think President Obama-- again, I happen to take a different position but-- but, ultimately it is very hard to be a leader when the rug is being pulled out from you, particularly by the opposition party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But Assad has now essentially won that war.

SAMANTHA POWER: He has absolutely consolidated control over territory. But it's not the case necessarily, when you ask why I didn't resign, and I go into that at length in the book because a lot of people asked me that at the time.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean, people ask that question now about the Trump administration, on matters of principle, why continue to serve and not resign if you object?

SAMANTHA POWER: Well, again, I would-- I would draw distinctions between locking children up in cages and so forth and making, I think, a reasonable decision that U.S. military force alone would not have brought the war to an end. I thought, perhaps, in the wake of the gas attack, we could catalyze diplomacy. It was a limited strike of the kind that I-- I thought would not lead to entanglement. President Obama agreed; he was pursuing military force. And, again, Congress did not support him in that regard reflecting, I think, the larger skepticism among the American people. But what I show in the book is how much good you can do from these jobs. And I was really fortunate to be a member of the President's cabinet, to be able to launch a campaign to get female political prisoners out of jail and to actually succeed in getting them out of jail, to be able to build a coalition on Pres-- with President Obama--


SAMANTHA POWER: --and Secretary Kerry to end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa when people had predicted that more than one billion people would die. So one, you know, we are divided as Secretary Rice indicated. The reason I chose to tell a very personal story was to open up just how meaningful this work can be and to show, again, the complexity of decisions and to show that not everything is as binary and gets at the sort of "gotcha" politics that we have today.


SAMANTHA POWER: That there are good flesh and blood people inside government, inside of public institutions, generally, who are trying to make the world better and who do, in fact, succeed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You helped shepherd through the Paris Climate Change accord which now every Democrat running for President says they are going to rejoin. But you-- you also say that's not sufficient to meet the level of threat right now. So what else needs to happen?

SAMANTHA POWER: Well, first and foremost, we have to meet the commitments that we made in the Paris Agreement. I mean one of the things President Obama did was had us bring the Paris Agreement into law, international law quicker than any international climate or environmental agreement ever, worried that in case the November 2016 election--


SAMANTHA POWER: --went a different way then the agreement itself would collapse. So the agreement still exists globally but the commitments we made were a floor and everybody was very clear on that. So we've got to get into it, meet our commitments and then be much more ambitious in terms of what we do domestically and critically and this is--


SAMANTHA POWER: --why U.S. leadership is so catalytically important. We leverage the commitments we make, the sacrifices we make, to get other countries to do far more. That's how the global system works when it does.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, it's a personal memoir. You talk a lot about being a-- a working woman and the challenges of-- of being pregnant and juggling all that at the same time, it's a good read--

SAMANTHA POWER: To which you can relate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It-- it was a good read.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for joining us.

We'll be back in a moment with a look at how Americans view climate change.


MAN #1: From CBS Washington, in color, FACE THE NATION, a spontaneous and unrehearsed news interview.

MAN #2 (April 19, 1970): Senator Nelson, Congressman McCloskey, next Wednesday is Earth Day.

DAVID CULHANE (April 19, 1970): What are people going to do about when they find out that this cleaning up of the environment might involve less use of automobiles by them?

SENATOR GAYLORD NELSON (April 19, 1970): Within twenty-five years, most major metropolitan areas in-- in America, if we don't stop it, you will not be able to stay outdoors more than two or three hours without a serious health hazard. You'll have to go out. Your kids will go outdoors and play in gas masks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That was the very first time we had an extended conversation about the environment on FACE THE NATION. And that dire prediction of children having to wear gas masks while playing outside did not come true. But almost fifty years later more than six in ten Americans see climate change as a crisis or serious problem and more than half say we need to act now. Our CBS News poll out today also shows that just one in ten Americans say human activity does not contribute at all to climate change. This week CBS News along with more than two hundred and fifty news outlets worldwide is participating in covering the Climate Now project. We'll be looking at the challenges and the political discord on what causes climate change and how we can fix it. Our poll also shows that two in three Americans trust their meteorologists for information about climate change, so who better to kick off this special series than CBS' own climate and weather contributor, Jeff Berardelli. Jeff, good to have you here.

JEFF BERARDELLI (Meteorologist/@WeatherProf/CBS News Climate and Weather Contributor): Good to be here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So part of the political argument around climate change is whether or not man plays a role in it. What does the science tell us?

JEFF BERARDELLI: Yeah, so unequivocally the science believes that it's caused by human beings, by our burning of fossil fuels and our release of these heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Ninety-seven-plus percent of scientists, there is a consensus, agree that it's caused by humans. These are the scientists that study it day in and day out. It's actually probably closer to around ninety-nine percent or so. The last five years have been the hottest on Earth. It is the warmest it's been in modern human history, maybe even going back tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years. I mean we are a force of nature. There are 7.6 billion people on this Earth right now and, obviously, things are changing pretty quickly because of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the argument you-- you have heard even members of the Trump administration say the climate is not definitive. What you're laying out is a very different description. And in our polling we're seeing that Americans are willing to do things that they think will help the environment--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --recycle, use energy-efficient light bulbs, plastic bags at stores, do those things make a dent in the problem you're describing?

JEFF BERARDELLI: So each individual thing we do doesn't, but if we have conversations and society starts to become more sustainable, kind of a grassroots thing where, you know, the low-hanging fruit, you only have to do the little things and those lead to better habits and kind of rub off on the people around you. Your-- your family, your friends. Have the conversations. And that starts a grassroots movement from the bottom. At the same time we need it to come from the top as well. So, yes, it does make a difference, not the individual, let's say, plastic bottle that we're not using, but not using a plastic bottle, hopefully, leads to better habits in your life and in the lives of people around you. We need to become more sustainable with this Earth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have seen some really powerful storms and hurricanes. Are those driven by what you're describing with the climate changes?

JEFF BERARDELLI: Yes. So, absolutely, that's part of it. So, first of all, ocean heat content has been rising and set-- sets records every single year, about ninety-three percent of the excess heat that's trapped by greenhouse gases gets stored in our ocean. Thankfully, otherwise we'd be burning up right now. The problem is is all that builds up in the ocean and comes back as extreme weather. So, first of all, we have hurricane cycles that are natural and right now we think we're in a natural uptick. These cycles last around twenty to thirty years in the Atlantic basin. However, on top of that we've warmed the Earth by around one degree Celsius, about two degrees Fahrenheit. And there is research out there that shows that for every one degree of global warming we see a-- a disproportionate number of Cat 4s and Cat 5s.


JEFF BERARDELLI: It increases by twenty-five to thirty percent the number of Cat 4s and Cat 5s. We see it with storms like Irma and Dorian, which just demolished the Bahamas. And-- and here's the craziest part of this. Compare a storm with winds of a hundred and eighty-five miles an hour to a storm with winds of seventy-five miles an hour. You might think to yourself, okay, twice as much damage, three times as much damage, four times as much damage. No. It's thirteen hundred times the damage potential--


JEFF BERARDELLI: --for a storm with winds of a hundred and eighty-five like Dorian or a low-end hurricane. That's why just an increase in twenty or thirty miles an hour because of climate change--


JEFF BERARDELLI: --makes a world of difference in terms of damage.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So when we talk about solutions to this, the Paris Climate Change Accord that the Obama administration joined, the Trump administration says it's pulling out of, it locked in or tried to lock in temperature rises at just, what, two degrees Celsius.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That-- you heard from Ambassador Power say that's not enough yet--

JEFF BERARDELLI: It-- it's-- it's true.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --but it's something.

JEFF BERARDELLI: Right. Exactly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So why does two degrees make that much of a difference?

JEFF BERARDELLI: Okay. So two degrees Celsius is close to four degrees Fahrenheit, it's actually about three and a half degrees Fahrenheit. So think about this, you know, it doesn't sound like a lot, a couple of degrees doesn't sound like a lot, but, let's say, that your body temperature goes up by three or four degrees. The Earth's system is just as sensitive as your body. If your body goes up from ninety-nine to a hundred and three degrees, your bodily functions begin to break down. Same thing in the Earth--

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's like a fever.

JEFF BERARDELLI: --same thing in the Earth. Everything is very sensitive, everything is very interconnected and things begin to break down. That's what we're concerned about.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What's the impact on the economy?

JEFF BERARDELLI: It's a huge impact, especially as we head decades forward. Right now we're already seeing a lot more billion-dollar disasters, so it's already impacting us. But think about this, if the seas rise, two, three, four feet, look at all the real-- trillions of dollars of real estate is in the way of that. Also, it's going to desertify, climate change will desertify large areas of productive agriculture, so people won't be able to make a living anymore. They will migrate. It forces international migration. Picture the time when instead of ten thousand people kind of knocking at your door, we have a hundred thousand people--


JEFF BERARDELLI: --knocking at our door. It causes international instability. What I would say--


JEFF BERARDELLI: -- is there are things we can do, renewable energy is something everybody agrees on, Republicans and Democrats, and so we should move forward fast.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for connecting all those dots for us.

JEFF BERARDELLI: You're welcome. My pleasure.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Next week we will talk with former Secretary of State John Kerry. He negotiated that Paris Climate Change Accord in the Obama administration. That's next Sunday on FACE THE NATION.

We'll be back in a moment.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. But before we go, we want to thank the Jones Day law firm and everyone behind the scenes at FACE THE NATION. They have been working nonstop getting us moved in up here. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.

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