President Trump, United States, Iran discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
Party and this is on point. Iran and impeachment are dominating the news news headlines again. Iranian protesters took to the streets against their government after the Iranian military admitted each shot down Ukrainian passenger plane last week. Meek different members of the trump administration are offering differing explanations for the killing of General Sulamani and after holding back the articles of impeachment for several several weeks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will transmit them to the Senate of this week. Plus Tomorrow Democrats will take to the stage for the final presidential debate ahead of the first in the nation Shen Iowa caucus so yes all in on another big week in the news and we will try to sort through it this hour important opening up our notebooks to the week ahead in Washington and beyond beyond and you can join us. What do you make of the trump administration's reasoning for its actions on Iran and on impeachment as Speaker Pelosi held onto the articles of impeachment? For too long or. Do you want her to take more time. Join US online twitter and facebook at some point radio. We've got a terrific panel with us today to help us understand the week ahead and joining us from Arlington Virginia is Amnon Avaz senior national correspondent for PBS. Newshour I'm no welcome back to on point I magnin. Thanks for having me great to have you and with us from Washington Jennifer Williams senior foreign editor for Vox and Co host of the weekly international podcast worldly Jennifer. It's good to have you back as well. Oh Hey magna great to be here and with us from Washington is Burgess Everett Congressional reporter for Politico Burgess. Great to have you thanks for having me okay. So first of all let's start with the The days of protests that we've been seeing in Iran against the government after the military admitted to shooting down that Ukrainian passenger plane Iranian military is saying it mistook it for a hostile aircraft. Jennifer what do you think the impact might be from from these protests. Well I think it gets a little bit too early to tell. I think you know one of the things that that we've seen before in Iran. Is that when the team has. Its back against the wall it will at times allow a certain amount of protests to kind of As sort of like a steam valve CONV- let out the the unrest and to kind of let the people have their say but hope with the hope that it that it won't turn into something larger but we're seeing a lot of anger about this and it's it's interesting it's different because it's not about the economic protests that we've seen before four it's very specifically about the downing of this jet We've seen protesters saying you know I will kill those. Who killed my brothers Calling for the downfall of the regime so it was definitely a huge misstep. Obviously in terms of the tragic loss of life but in terms of the political calculations you know this was a huge accident and I think even further the way that the regime handled it by lying and saying that was just you know human error. There was an accident. You know and just stalling for so long. They even put out an alert to Iranian media saying. Do not go along with this western propaganda saying that we did this and then having to come out and say Oh yeah actually we did. Yeah this definitely not a good look and it just kind of reiterates. What a lot of Iranians have known for a long time which is that their government is not honest with them and their government is not necessarily there with their best interests at heart Well I'm always curious about whether or not we can see in protest like this this again. Let's take it from the from the Washington perspective for example that is evidence of some kind of possibility or opening in in terms of future diplomatic relations between the US and Iran if there is enough discontent with amongst Iranians with their own government in that leverage somehow that can be used in terms of diplomacy between the two nations. I think you can see where the US interests lie pretty media clearly by some of the way that the president and others have been weighing in in a very limited way but the president president trump. You know messaging very openly to the the Iranian regime. That people are watching. The world is watching. You know. Don't hurt your protesters. Don't kill your own people. He's responding of course to the uptick in the crackdown that we saw from the regime on these protesters even in this last round of protests that Jennifer was referencing which were largely economic means. Right it was about. A lack of responsiveness is from government and providing jobs meetings economic demands of their population. All of that now has channeled into as she said this Decrying hang of the mistrust. Right we couldn't trust you to handle our economy. We couldn't trust you to be honest with us about what's really going on here and here you are lying to us again. There's always been a huge divide between the people of Iran and the regime of Iran and for US interest who want to wedge further into that. Divide this this is probably a good thing right without being in the active in Connecticut. Business of regime change if the Iranian people are protesting and showing discontent with their own government. That's a good thing for the. US government. I think the throughly the thing to keep an eye on certainly today and in the days ahead is how the regime decides to respond bond because Jennifer is absolutely right they will let a little bit of pressure off. Let a little steam kind of blow off the top but they have been cracking down more aggressively and more harshly in previous protests. Yes they won't let this. Go on. Forever Burgess Yeah of a thought on that well. I think the interesting parallel to watch. His Congress is debating war with Iran on the war powers resolution authorizations and military force the Senate might take up Tuesday or Wednesday led by Virginia senator. Tim Kaine the House voted wooded terrain in The president's powers as far as it goes to Iran last week So there's this sort of parallel unrest in Congress over the executive gives power and declaring war on the strike on Sola Mani. So you know I it. We're seeing the president. SORTA take out some of his angst On on some of his reliable allies who are complaining that they've been sort of sidelined in the constitutional debate about war and peace So there's definitely some interesting stuff happening at the Capitol on this as well. Yeah and Jennifer so so Reflect on what Burgess said because I was actually going to ask all of you about your thoughts on The war powers resolution as he said we made it through the house. What's the next because next steps there will? Yeah I mean if you know if it had said the Senate if the Senate decides to take it up definitely give it a lot more of you know at this point. It's mostly just kind of a symbolic statement that they're making an congress for a long time has made a lot of noise about wanting to rain in the executive branch. This is not the first time it didn't even just start in the trump administration that's happened in previous administrations with Congress really wanting to pull back some of its constitutional authority over war and peace declarations. The problem is that the the executive branch does have the right and the ability to carry out certain. MM strikes as long as they're within law otherwise because of the need to have the executive to have the commander in chief be able to act quickly kinetically to be able to respond to immediate threats which is why they then have to go. And you know An informed Congress of the actions and make sure that was followed through. But one of the things you're seeing in Congress is some some people not wanting to actually tie the hands of the president especially as things with Iran. Heat up There's some hasn't even among some Democrats who really not wanting to have that look up. You know we're really trying America's hands in defending itself should it need to Did you WanNa just give your thoughts on the war powers resolution. Because if I'M NOT GONNA move ahead to what the the president's had been saying about intelligence and US embassies. But I'M GONNA leave it up to you. Yeah I'll just briefly say I think it's important to remember that this is a eighteenth year old Resolution that every single president since then has used for various purposes to strike in various ways across a number are of different countries. And it's not necessarily just Congress wants to check the president's power it's also. The congress is sort of actively abdicated their responsibility to involve themselves in those decisions. They really we don't want to have to weigh in on every single strike in that way. So I think it's very unlikely. This resolution is going to have any kind of impact. Okay so let's talk a little bit more than about sort of the the shifting reasoning the unclear reasoning if. I can put it that way that we've been hearing Over the over the weekend regarding President Trump's decision to authorize authorize that strike that killed Iranian general solely money because on Fox News on Friday. The president claimed that his motivation for the decision was at Sola money. Johnny had planned attacks on four. US embassies. I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies but Baghdad certainly would have been deleted but I think it could have been four embassy could have been military. Bases could have been a lot of other things too but it was eminent and then all of a sudden he was gone all right so then a couple of days later in fact just yesterday on. CBS Face the nation. Anchor Margaret Brennan Pressed Defense Secretary Mark Asper on the claim. The president made that there was is an imminent threat to four. US embassies the president didn't say there was a tangible He didn't say the specific piece of evidence. What he says he probably he believes I? I didn't see one with regard to four embassies. What I'm saying is I share the president's view that probably my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies? The embassy is the most prominent display of American presence in a country. That's the Defense Secretary Mark Esper- on CBS. Yesterday I'm not. I'm not quite sure how to understand this moment because the president often does this he says he begins. He'll begin an idea with a with a specific claim but then Degenerates into what could have been. This could have been that people say so. Oh I mean is it plausible. What Marcus bursts saying that? The president wasn't actually as specific as as people I Interpreted his statement to be. I think the way to understand stand. It is that there really wasn't any specific intelligence that the president who has long had a history of either making things up or exaggerating points especially when he's he's talking to people at a rally or specifically messaging to his base tends to be either broadly Wa vague about certain points or or specific specific without any evidence to back it up in this case I think it is the The ladder no one else in his administration from his Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of State Certainly not the director based on the reporting we had from when the three of them went to brief members of Congress days after that strike has provided that same level level of specificity. So I think that's where we are. Now you can still argue that there's a basis for a strike justification for a streak lake saying that there was an ongoing threat. There's some argument to be made that costumes with the Monte had a target on his back four years based on his activities in the region against us US troops themselves and also US allies in the region. That is not what the president said and so I think the messaging has provided sort of a further fog On the top of the existing fog on the ground in terms of what was the actual justification. And what does it mean for any future justifications. More importantly right if this is just something something that the president can decide as we've seen him decide by changing foreign policy via tweet. What does that mean for future? US engagement in the world. Well Jennifer Virgin. I'll get your your take on this when we come back from a quick break. We're looking ahead at another big week in the news and we want to hear from you. Were talking about The differing reasoning things or justifications that are being offered by the.