July 9, 2017

Sunday School 7/9/2017

Given the options for this visiting classrooms this morning, I decided to stop in and see what was going on at Face the Nation on CBS, since one of the guests was UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

In a discussion with Haley yesterday, host John Dickerson asked her whether Donald Trump accepted Vladimir Putin's "assurances that he didn't meddle" in our election. Here's Haley's response:
I think we need to be realistic about what happened. You had two men walk into the room. You had two men who knew the exact same thing, which is Russia did meddle in the elections. I think President Trump wanted to make sure that President Putin was aware that he was acknowledging it, that he knew it. I think President Putin did what we all expected him to do, which was deny it. And I think that is what it is. President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled, but he is never going to admit to it. And that's all that happened. 
When asked whether there would be consequences, since we know that they know that we know that they meddled, Haley said
I think you're going to have to ask the president. I think that's one of the things is-- first is confronting them, letting them know that we know this happened. Letting them know it can't happen again...  And so I think we'll see what happens there. You know, keep in mind -- yesterday's meeting was all about talk, but at the end of the day, this is all going to be about actions. We now have to see where we go from there. 
Dickerson continued to press on that point. 
That's right. And on that question of action, the president is criticizing-- criticized his predecessor, President Obama, saying he "choked" when he found out the Russians were interfering in the elections. So is it your expectation that President Trump will take stronger action against the Russians for interfering than President Obama took?
Haley didn't have a definitive answer on what will happen next, instead advising to look ahead to what the various investigations may uncover, or what Congress might do.
I think that they're going to wait and see how all of the investigation plays out. There's not anybody that thinks that Russia didn't meddle in the elections. And I think we all are very clear on that. And I think we're going to see what Congress does and I think the president will continue to work on this going forward, but yes, I don't think this is over. I think what this was, was one leader telling another leader, "Look we know you did it. Don't do it again."
... I think that President Trump was letting him know, "Look, we know you did it. This is being talked about." I think that President Putin had to deny it, even though he knows that we know and I think we see where it goes from here.  You know-- when you put President Trump in the room with any leader we can kind of cut through all the diplomatic tape and I think that's exactly what happened.
After a bit more conversation on Russia, they moved on to North Korea, and what Haley meant by her comment that the nation was  "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution." 
You know, I mean, how many tests does it take and how many more-- times do we have to tell them no-- no escalation? The fact that they launched a ICBM test is hugely dangerous not just for us, but for so many of our friends in the world and we've got to put a stop to it. And so what we wanted to tell North Korea is, look, we have told you we are not looking for regime change, we are not looking for war. But don't give us a reason to get involved in any of this, and so we're going to go ahead and push for a strong resolution against North Korea.
She was not afraid to put pressure on China. 
We're going to push hard not just on North Korea, we're going to push hard on other countries who are not abiding by the resolutions and not abiding by the sanctions against North Korea.  And we're going to push hard against China because 90 percent of the trade that happens with North Korea is from China and so while they have been helpful, they need to do more.
Dickerson raised comments that Haley had made earlier which seemed to point at China (shown below), and then asked if China would suffer from a trade perspective if they didn't push harder.
"There are countries that are allowing - even encouraging - trade with North Korea. Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That's not going to happen."
Haley responded strongly about ammunition - different types of ammunition, and made it clear pretty much all of them were on the table.  
I'm saying that ammunition comes with multiple options and it's not always military. Ammunition also comes with sanctions. Ammunition also comes with trade. We do a lot of trade with a lot of countries. If there is a country that we don't think is looking out for our security and looking out for our confidence in that, then yes. That is one of the ammunition options we have on the table.
Dickerson's final question, or statement really, posed that our efforts were really a threat to China.
You - you mentioned countries in general though. But, China is obviously as you mentioned 90 percent of the trade with North Korea. So this is really a direct threat to China about their trade with the United States.
Haley referenced the UN resolution that is being worked on, after the initial draft was shot down by the Russians, who apparently objected to calling North Korea's most recent missile test an ICBM, preferring to call it a 'medium range' missile. Work continues on a resolution that can unanimously pass the UN Security Council. 
This is encouraging and motivating China to say, look, we appreciate what you've done. This is a whole new level. This is an ICBM test. We need you to not only do more but we need the pressure on North Korea and China has the ability to do it. They know that. We know that and we need to see some more action going accordingly. And I think the resolution is going to be a really big test on that.
In the end, I think she handled herself fairly well -- and never once talked about fake news, alternative facts, or any of the other nonsense that we hear from the rest of the folks in the administration. That, I believe, is to her credit. 

See you around campus.