issues2000

Topics in the News: Russia


Donald Trump on Principles & Values :
Mueller convicted three Trump aides of lying about Russia

The [Mueller] investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to [Mueller's] Office, & to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. [Mueller's] Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false-statements statute. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about his interactions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period. George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor during the campaign period, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about, [among other things], the nature and timing of his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, the professor who told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements Congress about Trump Moscow project.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 9

Donald Trump on Principles & Values :
Trump challenged Russia to hack Hillary's email; Russia did

On July 27, 2016, [the Russian GRU's] Unit 26165 targeted email accounts connected to candidate Clinton's personal office. Earlier that day, candidate Trump made the following public statement: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." The "30,000 emails" were apparently a reference to emails described in media accounts as stored on a personal server that candidate Clinton had used while serving as Secretary of State.

Within 5 hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office. After candidate Trump's remarks, Unit 26165 created and sent malicious links targeting 15 email accounts. The investigation did not find evidence of earlier GRU attempts to compromise accounts hosted on Clinton's email domain. It is unclear how the GRU was able to identify these email accounts, which were not public.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 49

Mike Bloomberg on Foreign Policy : Dec 24, 2019
Trump coddles Russia; they intruded in 2016 election

Bloomberg accuses Trump of "coddling" President Vladimir Putin and failing to stand up to him over Russia's interference in U.S. elections. He argues for stronger measures to counter Russia.

He says that Trump is in a "state of denial" about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, which Bloomberg calls "a hostile power's intrusions into U.S. sovereignty."

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on impeaching Trump

Mike Bloomberg on Foreign Policy : Dec 24, 2019
Don't recognize Crimea annexation; do extend START treaty

Bloomberg argues for stronger measures to counter Russia while also calling for fresh negotiations with Moscow on arms control.

He says that lifting any sanctions on Russia or recognizing its annexation of Crimea would be "a monumental mistake." He argues that Washington must continue providing Ukraine with lethal aid for it to defend against Russian aggression and maintain faith in U.S. security guarantees.

He has called Putin a "strongman" who seeks territorial expansion and the destabilization of Europe and who has abetted war crimes in Syria by supporting Bashar al-Assad's government.

He opposes the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Europe, arguing that it would give Putin increased leverage over European countries.

He calls for talks with Russia to extend the New START treaty, a nuclear arms reduction agreement set to expire in 2021, as well as to revive the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary

Deval Patrick on Foreign Policy : Dec 24, 2019
Crime for Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate Biden

Patrick has issued no policy proposals regarding U.S. policy toward Russia, though he criticizes Trump for his willingness to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections.

He says that Trump's request that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate fellow presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is "a crime in and of itself" and calls for Trump's impeachment.

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on impeaching Trump

Joe Walsh on Foreign Policy : Dec 24, 2019
Steadfastly support NATO

Walsh says he would steadfastly support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which Trump has repeatedly criticized. Walsh claims that Trump "bear hugs" the leaders of adversarial states such as Russia and North Korea while he "stiff-arms our allies."

Walsh emphasizes the benefits of traditional U.S. alliances and criticizes President Trump for undermining long-standing relationships. Walsh says Trump "embarrasses our allies" and "embraces tyrants abroad."

Click for Joe Walsh on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tom Steyer on Foreign Policy : Dec 24, 2019
Rebuild traditional multilateral alliances like NATO

Steyer focuses on reversing what he calls Trump's isolationist stance. He pledges to "rebuild" military alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Steyer says he would "work with our traditional allies in a multilateral way" and argues that Trump's pullback from global institutions has left a vacuum that China and Russia are eager to fill. He says he will "reinvigorate" the State Department, where Trump has sought budget and staffing cuts.

Click for Tom Steyer on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary

Tom Steyer on Free Trade : Dec 24, 2019
No trade war, but stand up to China on intellectual property

Steyer calls China a competitor, but says that "like it or not" the United States has to maintain a political and economic relationship with Beijing.

Steyer opposes President Donald J. Trump's trade war with China but says the United States must "stand up strongly" to Beijing's theft of U.S. intellectual property.

He believes that Trump's America First policy has created a void in international power politics that China and Russia are eager to fill.

He says the United States should respond to abuses by authorities in Hong Kong by creating a coalition of democracies to push back, rather than seeking a bilateral solution.

He argues that the United States can't isolate itself from China, since working with China on climate and regional security will require maintaining a good relationship with Beijing.

Click for Tom Steyer on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary

Andrew Yang on Technology : Dec 19, 2019
Press misrepresents how Trump got elected

Q: What argument can you make to persuade more Americans that impeachment is the right thing?

Yang: It's clear why Americans can't agree on impeachment. We're getting our news from different sources, and it's making it hard for us even to agree on basic facts. Americans don't trust the media networks to tell them the truth. If you turn on cable network news today, you would think Donald Trump's our president because of some combination of Russia, racism, Facebook, Hillary Clinton, and e-mails all mixed together. What we have to do is we have to stop being obsessed over impeachment, which unfortunately strikes many Americans like a ballgame where you know what the score is going to be, and start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place. We have to take every opportunity to present a new positive vision for the country, a new way forward to help beat him in 2020, because make no mistake, he'll be there at the ballot box for us to defeat.

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: December Democratic primary debate on impeaching Trump

Andrew Yang on Foreign Policy : Nov 20, 2019
International consensus and coalitions on data

Q: How would you deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

YANG: We're going to live up to our international commitments. We're going to recommit to our partnerships and alliances, including NATO. And it was James Mattis that said "the more you invest in diplomats and diplomacy, the less you have to spend on ammunition." That has to be the path forward to help build an international consensus not just against Russia, but also to build a coalition that will help us put pressure on China, in terms of their treatment of their ethnic minorities, and what's going on in Hong Kong.

I want to propose a new world data organization, like a WTO for data, because right now, unfortunately, we're living in a world where data is the new oil and we don't have our arms around it. These are the ways that we'll actually get Russia to the table and make it so they have to join the international community and stop resisting appeals to the world order.

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta

Andrew Yang on Government Reform : Nov 20, 2019
Foreign meddling in our elections is an act of aggression

Q: If you win the 2020 election, what would you say in your first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

YANG: Well, first, I'd say "I'm sorry I beat your guy." Or not sorry. And, second, I would say the days of meddling in American elections are over and we will take any undermining of our democratic processes as an act of hostility and aggression. The American people would back me on this. We know that they've found an underbelly and they've been clawing at it, and it's made it so that we can't even trust our own democracy. The third thing I would say is that we're going to live up to our international commitments. These are the ways that we'll actually get Russia to the table and make it so they have to join the international community and stop resisting appeals to the world order.

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: November Democratic primary debate, on impeaching Trump

Cory Booker on Foreign Policy : Oct 15, 2019
Trump's withdrawal from world stage is sign of weakness

This president is turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire. We cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow and influence by abandoning the world stage. We cannot allow Russia to not only interfere in the democracies of the Ukraine, and Latvia, and Lithuania, but even not calling them out for their efforts to interfere in this democracy are unacceptable. Russia and Putin understand strength, and this President, time and time again, is showing moral weakness.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Oct 15, 2019
Russia wants to break up NATO; work with Turkey to keep it

Q: The American Intelligence community says that Russia is trying to capitalize on the power vacuums around the world [left by America's exit from Syria and from alliances]. What would you do as President to check Vladimir Putin's power on the world stage?

Joe Biden: I think I may be, doesn't make me any better or worse, but may be the only person who spent extensive time alone with Putin, as well as with Erdogan. And Erdogan understands that. You talk about should he stay in or out of NATO? He understands that he's out of NATO, he's in real trouble. But the fact of the matter is we have been one willing in this administration because we have an erratic, crazy President who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy, and operates out of fear for his own reelection. Think what's happened. The fact of the matter is you have Russia influencing and trying to break up NATO. What does the president do? He says, "I believe Vladimir Putin. I don't believe our intelligence community."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Amy Klobuchar on Government Reform : Oct 15, 2019
Russia didn't just meddle in our election; they invaded it

Q: Your response to Putin and Russia?

CEO Andrew Yang: We have to let Russia know, "Look, we get it. We've tampered with other elections. You've tampered with our elections. And now it has to stop."

Senator Klobuchar: I don't see a moral equivalency between our country and Russia. Vladimir Putin is someone who has shot down planes over Ukraine, who has poisoned his opponent, and we have not talked about what we need to do to protect ourselves from Russia invading our election. This wasn't meddling--that's what I do when I call my daughter on a Saturday night and ask her what she's doing. This was much more serious than that. This was actually invading our election. So to protect ourselves in 2020, we need backup paper ballots in every single state. And then we need to stop the social media companies from running paid political ads, without having to say where those ads came from and who paid for them. That's the Honest Ads Act, that's a bipartisan bill that I lead.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Beto O`Rourke on Homeland Security : Oct 15, 2019
Renew alliances like Kurds; they make America stronger

Q: A report by the Senate Democrats says the next president could fight back by publicly revealing what the US knows about Putin's corruption, and work with allies to freeze his bank accounts. Would you take either of those actions?

O'Rourke: Yes, we must be unafraid in ensuring that we hold Russia accountable for invading the world's greatest democracy, and being able to do it, thanks to Donald Trump, functionally, with impunity so far. So if there are not consequences, we will continue to see this problem going forward.

Q: How do we stand up to Russia on the global stage?

O'Rourke: We do that by renewing our alliances and our friendships. That is what makes America stronger. There isn't enough money in this country to do everything that we want to accomplish militarily. And the Kurds are case in point. In fact, because we turned our backs on them, those Kurds who fought for us in Syria, helped to defeat ISIS, not just for themselves, but for the United States of America.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Amy Klobuchar on Principles & Values : Oct 15, 2019
Trump's actions make Russia great again, not America

I'm waiting to find out how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again. I'd like to hear how leaving the Kurds for slaughter, where Russia then steps in to protect them, makes America great again. I would like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again. It doesn't make America great again, it makes Russia great again. That is what this President has done.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: October Democratic Primary debate on impeaching Trump

Andrew Yang on Technology : Oct 15, 2019
Russian hacking of our elections is a hostile act

Q: Your response to Putin and Russia?

Andrew Yang: We have to let Russia know, "Look, we get it. We've tampered with other elections. You've tampered with our elections. And now it has to stop. And if it does not stop, we will take this as an act of hostility against the American people." I believe most Americans would support me on this. But Russian hacking of our democracy is an illustration of the 21st century threats: artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, climate change, loose nuclear material, military drones and non-state actors. These are the threats that are going to require our administration to catch up in terms of technology. We all know we are decades behind the curve on technology. As Commander in Chief, I will help pull us forward, and that's going to be a huge responsibility of the next president.

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Bill Weld on Foreign Policy : Oct 3, 2019
Multi-party talks to resolve Venezuelan situation

Q: What additional steps should the U.S. take to remove Nicolas Maduro from power in Venezuela?

A: We have to go through Cuba, China and Russia to rationalize the situation in Venezuela. Most of the top decision makers there are Cuban, which has hollowed out Venezuela's government, & the spillover into our ally Colombia has been dramatic. I would propose multi-party talks, in which the dynamic new Pres. Duque of Colombia, who greatly impressed me recently in Cartagena, could perhaps play a role.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Bill Weld on War & Peace : Oct 3, 2019
Unlimited military aid to Ukraine against Russian incursion

Q: What steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?

A: Ukraine, while not a NATO member, is an EU partner and a treaty-recognized buffer zone between Russia and NATO. Ukraine has a sizeable population and economic zone whose seizure would be a major first step toward reconstituting the old Soviet Union's borders and corresponding influence--for Putin, it is therefore a major opportunity if it could be seized intact. Conversely, Ukraine has shown itself willing to fight and take losses in blood and treasure. Allowing Ukraine to fall would effectively "Finlandize" Europe, to the extent it has not already been. Accordingly, I would provide military aid to Ukraine--as much as was necessary. I would make it clear that if the Ukrainians wanted to defend their territory, we would help, and further incursions would be costly. I would continue to hold exercises in Eastern Europe and look at ways to defend the Baltics.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Joe Walsh on Foreign Policy : Sep 24, 2019
Put America's interests first: no photo ops with Putin

Q: You've said the turning point in your support for President Trump came after he met with [Russian leader] Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. He was widely criticized for siding with a foreign leader over his own intelligence agencies.

Walsh: Helsinki wasn't the turning point for me--it was the final straw with Trump--when he stood in front of the world and said "I like that guy. I believe Putin," and not my own people. So it doesn't matter about American security. He'll sit down and have a summit with Kim Jong Un, no matter how brutal and bad that guy is. If Donald Trump can get a photo op, does it matter if it's a bad horrible thing to invite the Taliban to Camp David. As long as Donald Trump might get the Nobel Peace Prize, we've got a president who can't put the country's interests ahead of ours. We need a president who will put the country's interests first.

Click for Joe Walsh on other issues.   Source: Business Insider 2019 GOP presidential primary debate

Kamala Harris on Civil Rights : Aug 11, 2019
Russian election interference exploited racial divide

One of the almost intangible strengths of America is that we can hold ourselves out as a democracy, imperfect though we may be. So they decide to attack what is the strongest pillar of a democracy, which is free and open elections. And you know what caught heat? The issue of race. So Russia exposed America's Achilles heel. Now it is also a national security issue. And we need to deal with it.
Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes

Andrew Yang on Foreign Policy : Aug 9, 2019
Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia helps US

Russian aggression in Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, and we have the obligation to work with our allies to act. Helping Ukraine will also help us prepare for Russian aggression. The Russian interference in Ukrainian elections was a precursor to their interference in US elections. By helping neighboring states to Russia defend themselves, we're also learning how to defend ourselves.
Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Kirsten Gillibrand on Environment : Jul 31, 2019
Why not have clean air and clean water for all Americans?

I will not only sign the Paris global climate accords. The greatest threat to humanity is global climate change. We need a robust solution. When John F. Kennedy said I want to put a man on the moon in the next 10 years, not because it's easy, but because it's hard, he knew it was going to be a measure of our ability to galvanize worldwide competition. He wanted to have a space race with Russia. Why not have a green energy race with China? Why not have clean air and clean water for all Americans?
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit)

Cory Booker on Government Reform : Jul 31, 2019
Must lead the fight against voter suppression

We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters. We need to say that. If the African American vote in this state had been like it was four years earlier, we would have won. We need to have a campaign that is ready for what's coming. An all-out assault, especially on the highest performing voter group in our coalition, which is black women. I will be a person that tries to fight against voter suppression.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit)

Joe Sestak on Foreign Policy : Jul 30, 2019
Work with allies to oppose Russian aggression in Ukraine

The territorial aggression of Russia must not be allowed to continue. This is a prime example of why US leadership of a rules-based global order is so important that also recognizes the value and need of allies for their equal contributions in different ways. We need new leadership here at home in order to re-establish that the United States is committed to democracy's values, and that we will not turn our backs on democratic countries under threat from autocrats like Vladimir Putin.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Pete Buttigieg on Foreign Policy : Jul 30, 2019
Sanctions on Russia; support for Ukraine

We must keep tough, targeted, and effective economic and financial sanctions on Russia as long as it continues to assault Ukrainian territory and citizens and continues to illegally occupy Ukrainian territory. Countering Russian aggression also means supporting Ukraine's independence and ability to make and implement sovereign foreign policy decisions by supporting Ukraine's political, economic, and defense capabilities.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Joe Sestak on Foreign Policy : Jul 30, 2019
Absence from leadership has let autocrats act with impunity

I want to restore U.S. leadership within a rules-based liberal world order that holds nations accountable for their behavior. We must regain our leadership of the values-based world order from which we have retreated. Our absence has permitted China, Russia and emerging autocrats to act with impunity, with no concerns about consequences. We need to renew our commitment to multilateral action and the international institutions we built to establish and enforce global human rights standards.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Seth Moulton on War & Peace : Jul 30, 2019
Provide lethal aid to Ukraine; strengthen NATO

The United States needs to hold Russia accountable for its ongoing aggression against Ukraine. We should do so by increasing sanctions to impose costs on the Russian government and by continuing to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. The actions we take must also be part of a broader strategy to counter Moscow's malign behavior. That means strengthening NATO's military capabilities and modernizing it to counter cyberattacks with the same resolve we've used to stop tanks from rolling into Europ
Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Joe Sestak on War & Peace : Jul 30, 2019
Leaving Iran deal saps credibility in future negotiations

[Obama's Iran nuclear] deal was good enough to be supported by all of our European allies, along with Russia and China, and Iran itself. Iran was abiding by its terms. If the deal had been given the chance to hold for the full decade, it would have created a reservoir of goodwill between Iran and the world that would be the basis for the next agreement. Our leaving not only destroyed a carefully crafted international agreement, it sapped our credibility in negotiations with other countries.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary

Donald Trump on Technology : Jul 24, 2019
2016: cheered on WikiLeaks releasing Hillary's stolen emails

Mueller showed a rare flash of indignation regarding WikiLeaks. Mueller called Mr. Trump's encouragement of WikiLeaks "problematic." WikiLeaks published emails stolen by Russian agents during the 2016 campaign, first from the Democratic National Committee, then from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. Mr. Trump cheered the group on repeatedly, praised its actions and urged voters to read the purloined communications.

Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, questioned Mueller on Mr. Trump's response to WikiLeaks. Mr. Mueller did not mince words: "It's problematic -- is an understatement, in terms of what it displays in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity," Mr. Mueller responded.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: NYTimes on 2019 Congressional Testimony on Mueller Report

Eric Swalwell on Foreign Policy : Jun 27, 2019
Break up with Russia and make up with NATO

Q: What will be your first act as president?

A: My first act in foreign policy, we're breaking up with Russia and making up with NATO.

Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Michael Bennet on Foreign Policy : Jun 27, 2019
Russian election interference is biggest geopolitical threat

The biggest threat to our national security right now is Russia, not China. On China, I think the president has been right to push back but has done it in completely the wrong way. We should mobilize the entire rest of the world, who all have a shared interest in pushing back on China's mercantilist trade policies, and I think we can do that.
Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Andrew Yang on Foreign Policy : Jun 27, 2019
Russia has been hacking our democracy for years

Q: What is the greatest geopolitical threat facing the United States?

Sen. Michel BENNET (D-CO): The biggest threat to our national security right now is Russia, not China. When I see these kids [being separated from their families] at the border, I see my mom, because she was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland. For Donald Trump to be doing what he's doing to children and families at the border, the president has turned the border of the United States into a symbol of nativist hostility when we should be represented by the Statue of Liberty. We need to make a change.

Andrew YANG: I just want to agree that I think Russia is our greatest geopolitical threat, because they have been hacking our democracy successfully and they've been laughing their asses off about it for the last couple of years. We should focus on that before we start worrying about other threats.

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Kamala Harris on Foreign Policy : Jun 27, 2019
Trump embracing Korean & Russian dictators is a threat

Q: What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

A: It's Donald Trump. You want to talk about North Korea, a real threat in terms of nuclear arsenal, but what does he do? He embraces Kim Jong-un, a dictator, for the sake of a photo op. Putin--you want to talk about Russia? He takes the word of the Russian president over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to a threat to our democracy and our elections.

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Amy Klobuchar on War & Peace : Jun 26, 2019
Require that Trump consult Congress before war with Iran

Trump has made us less safe than we were when he became president. So what I would do is stand with our allies, and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done.

I would make sure that if there is any possibility of a conflict--and we're having this debate in Congress right now--that he comes to Congress for an authorization of military force. I would do that.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Joe Sestak on Foreign Policy : Jun 23, 2019
Reverse America's retreat from the global community

Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Jun 16, 2019
Would take info on opponents from foreigners, might call FBI

Q: If foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

Trump: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, "We have information on your opponent." Oh, I think I'd want to hear it. It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI. The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it, but you go and talk honestly to congressmen. They all do it; they always have.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Jun 16, 2019
Foreign-provided opposition info? Read it; maybe call FBI

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, "We have information on your opponent." Oh, I think I'd want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI. If I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, that they come up with oppo research. "Oh, let's call the FBI." The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it, but you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it, they always have. And that's the way it is. It's called oppo research.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview on impeaching Trump

Tulsi Gabbard on Foreign Policy : May 19, 2019
We need to engage in diplomacy & deescalate tensions

Nuclear strategists point out that we are at a greater risk of nuclear war now than ever before in history. And this is what I seek to change; to build relationships that are built on cooperation rather than conflict, deescalate these tensions, work out the differences that we have. We've got to be able to work with countries like Russia and China to be able to accomplish that objective to keep the American people safe.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls

Howie Hawkins on War & Peace : May 19, 2019
Endless war follows from capitalist competition

ENDLESS WAR: We will never have a secure peace as long as capitalism's competitive economic structure generates international conflicts and wars. Nuclear-armed capitalist states--including the US, Russia, and China--compete for resources, markets, cheap labor, and geopolitical military positioning. If we don't replace capitalism's nationalistic competition with socialism's international cooperation, sooner or later these conflicts will end in nuclear annihilation.
Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowieHawkins.us

Justin Amash on Principles & Values : May 18, 2019
Trump obstructed justice despite no Russia collusion

[Some defenders of President Trump] say obstruction of justice requires an underlying crime. In fact, obstruction of justice does not require the prosecution of an underlying crime, and there is a logical reason for that. Prosecutors might not charge a crime precisely *because* obstruction of justice denied them timely access to evidence that could lead to a prosecution. If an underlying crime were required, then prosecutors could charge obstruction of justice only if it were unsuccessful in completely obstructing the investigation. This would make no sense.

[Trump's defenders also say that] "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" requires charges of a statutory crime or misdemeanor. In fact, "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is not defined in the Constitution and does not require corresponding statutory charges. The context implies conduct that violates the public trust--and that view is echoed by the Framers of the Constitution and early American scholars.

Click for Justin Amash on other issues.   Source: Twitter posting on Mueller Report

Michael Bennet on Government Reform : May 12, 2019
Congress must investigate Russian election tampering

Congress's business here is not doing a criminal investigation. This is about understanding how profoundly serious the Russian's interference in our elections were in 2016, an interference that the President of the United States refuses to acknowledge. I know the President and his attorney general and allies would like to just wish the report away, I think that Congress has an important oversight role to perform here, including the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interviews of presidential hopefuls

Eric Swalwell on Homeland Security : May 5, 2019
Russian attack on 2016 elections must be taken seriously

The tone we want to set is to highlight that America was attacked by the Russians in 2016. The basic function of a government is to protect its people from a foreign attack. The bigger picture here, if we are not able to protect our people from a foreign attack do we really actually have a government that can defend us.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interviews of presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 29, 2019
OpEd: Russia helped Trump so they'd control eastern Ukraine

What the Mueller Report says:The Aug. 2, 2016 meeting included the start of what would be a series of discussions between Manafort & Kilimnik about a so-called peace plan for Ukraine, which Manafort admitted to prosecutors was "a backdoor means for Russia to control eastern Ukraine."

Supplemental information and analysis:A senior prosecutor in the Special Counsel's Office said that the Aug. 2 meeting goes "very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel's Office is investigating."

Caveats:Although Kilimnik and Manafort shared the view that Trump's support for the Ukraine peace plan would help it succeed, "the investigation did not uncover evidence of Manafort's passing along information about Ukrainian peace plans to the candidate or anyone else." The Report then notes that Manafort lied to the Special Counsel Office about the peace plan & his meetings with Kilimnik. Also, Kilimnik continued "to promote the peace plan into the summer 2018."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Ryan Goodman, JustSecurity.org on Mueller Report

Amy Klobuchar on Civil Rights : Apr 28, 2019
Government must address integrity of elections

We're going to see Attorney General Barr this next week, in front of the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve. And I'm going to be asking him what is he doing about Russia? Because to me, that's the key thing. We have an election coming up in 2020. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. You want to have a fair election.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 24, 2019
If Congress tries to impeach, I'll go to the Supreme Court

President Donald Trump said he would turn to the Supreme Court if the House of Representatives moves to impeach him, though it is unclear what role the nation's highest court could play if the president were to seek its help in such a situation. Trump claimed in a tweet that special counsel Robert Mueller's report was written by a team biased against him with "unlimited money" for an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Still, he said, the report "didn't lay a glove on me."

"I DID NOTHING WRONG," Trump said. "If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1993 that authority for impeachment trials resides in Congress and "nowhere else." The power of impeachment belongs to Congress and proceedings must be launched in the House, according to the U.S. Constitution. If representatives vote to impeach, the case is tried in the Senate.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on "Supreme Court if impeached, says Trump"

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller Report: Russia bought pro-Trump social media ads

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, Russia, received funding from Russian oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, to carry out a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States.

To reach larger U.S. audiences, the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members. According to Facebook, the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000.

IRA-purchased advertisements referencing candidate Trump largely supported his campaign. The first known IRA advertisement explicitly endorsing the Trump Campaign was purchased on April 19, 2016, for its Instagram account "Tea Party News" asking US persons to upload photos with the hashtag "#KIDS4TRUMP." In subsequent months, the IRA purchased dozens of advertisements supporting the Trump Campaign, predominantly through the Facebook groups.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 4 & 24-5

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Russia made up voter fraud story & Trump campaign re-posted

The [Mueller] investigation identified two different forms of connections between the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) and members of the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified no similar connections between the IRA and the Clinton Campaign.) First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted--typically by linking or retweeting--pro-Trump or anti-Clinton social media content published by the IRA. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U.S. persons to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the US.

Posts from the IRA-controlled Twitter account @TEN_GOP were cited or retweeted by multiple Trump Campaign officials, including Donald J. Trump Jr., Eric Trump, & Kellyanne Conway. These posts included allegations of voter fraud, as well as allegations that Secretary Clinton had mishandled classified information.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 33-4

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Campaign supplied Russians, without knowing it was Russia

Starting in June 2016, [the Russia-based Internet Research Agency] IRA contacted different persons affiliated with the Trump Campaign, while claiming to be US political activists working on behalf of a conservative grassroots organization. The IRA requested signs and other materials to use at IRA-organized rallies, as well as requests to promote the rallies. While certain campaign volunteers agreed to provide the requested support (for example, agreeing to set aside a number of signs), the investigation has not identified evidence that any Trump Campaign official understood the requests were coming from foreign nationals.

In sum, the [Mueller] investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the social media campaign carried out by the IRA. IRA employees violated US law through these operations, principally by undermining through deceptive acts the work of federal agencies charged with regulating foreign influence in U.S. elections.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, p. 35

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller: firing Comey is obstruction if Russia probe delayed

The act of firing Comey [on May 9, 2017] removed the individual overseeing the FBI's Russia investigation. The President knew that Comey was personally involved in the investigation based on Comey's briefing of the Gang of Eight, and the President's one-on-one conversations with Comey.

Firing Comey would qualify as an obstructive act if it had the probable effect of impeding the investigation--for example, if the termination would have the effect of delaying the investigation or providing the President with the opportunity to appoint a director who the President perceived as more protective of his personal interests.

On March 20, 2017, Comey had announced that the FBI was investigating Russia's interference in the election, including "an assessment of whether any crimes were committed." It was widely known that the FBI, as part of the Russia investigation, was investigating the hacking of the DNC's computers--a clear criminal offense.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 74-5

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Trump: no Russia probe; Mueller: yes, Comey was running it

Substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the President's decision to fire Comey was Comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the President was not personally under investigation, despite the President's repeated requests that Comey make such an announcement. In the week leading up to Comey's May 3, 2017 Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, the President told McGahn that it would be the last straw if Comey did not set the record straight and publicly announce that the President was not under investigation. But during his May 3 testimony, Comey refused to answer questions about whether the President was being investigated. Comey's refusal angered the President, who criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for leaving him isolated and exposed.

At the time the President fired Comey [on May 9], a grand jury had not begun to hear evidence related to the Russia investigation and no grand jury subpoenas had been issued.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 74-5

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Trump: no connection to Russia; Mueller: yes, hotel business

The President had a motive to put the FBI's Russia investigation behind him. The evidence does not establish that the termination of Comey was designed to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia. But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes.

Although the President publicly stated during and after the election that he had no connection to Russia, the Trump Organization, through Michael Cohen's repeated briefings, was pursuing the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project through June 2016.

In addition, some witnesses said that Trump privately sought information about future WikiLeaks releases [of Russian email hacks]. More broadly, multiple witnesses described the President's preoccupation with press coverage of the Russia investigation and his persistent concern that it raised questions about the legitimacy of his election.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 76-7

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Attempted to fire Special Counsel, but staff refused

On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to conduct the Russia investigation and matters that arose from the investigation. The President stated that the Special Counsel's appointment was the end of his presidency and that Attorney General Sessions had failed to protect him and should resign. Sessions submitted his resignation, which the President ultimately did not accept. The President told senior advisors that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest, but they responded that those claims were "ridiculous" and posed no obstacle

That weekend, the President called McGahn and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed because of asserted conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the instruction for fear of being seen as triggering another Saturday Night Massacre and instead prepared to resign. McGahn ultimately did not quit and the President did not follow up with McGahn on his request to remove the Special Counsel.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. ii, pp. 77-8

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller appointed to investigate Trump after Comey firing

In his first months in office, Trump had seethed over FBI director James Comey's refusal to tell the world that the president was not being scrutinized personally as part of the bureau's investigation of whether the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential race.

On May 9, 2017, Trump snapped; the president unceremoniously fired Comey. He conveyed the news in a terse letter, hand-delivered to FBI headquarters.

Trump's closest aides had warned him that the move could trigger a political uproar and lead to an expansion of the Russia inquiry--and it did. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill cried foul. The FBI, already deep into its investigation of election interference, now feared that the most powerful man in the country was trying to obstruct its work.

Robert Mueller was appointed to lead an independent investigation of interference in the 2016 election and other matters that might stem from the inquiry. It was a broad mandate.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p. 9-10

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller results: 7 guilty pleas and 34 indictments

Mueller's work was at times stymied by the lies witnesses told and the communications that they had deleted or failed to maintain. And they said Trump himself, in resisting a sit-down interview, had provided "inadequate" written answers that stated more than thirty times that he "does not recall" information investigators asked about.

Mueller's team racked up an extraordinary record. His prosecutors charged thirty-four people, including twenty-six Russian nationals. They secured guilty pleas from seven people, including a former national security adviser and the chairman of Trump's campaign. They reconstructed day-to-day interactions of Trump's closest aides and his adult children, exploring dozens of instances of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. They documented the Russian attack on American democracy in breathtaking detail, even tracing individual keystrokes of Russian military officers in Moscow.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p. 13

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Campaign manager convicted: conspiracy with Ukraine & Russia

Paul Manafort was charged in federal court on October 30, 2017, then convicted on eight felony counts.

Mueller's 24-page statement of offenses describes all of Paul Manafort's crimes. He agreed that he conspired against the US by illegally laundering through offshore accounts the $60 million he earned in Ukraine from 2006 to 2016. He evaded $15 million in US taxes. He failed to register as a foreign lobbyist while helping his Ukraine clients press their views in Washington.

The conduct outlined by Mueller painted a devastating portrait of Donald Trump's campaign chairman. Manafort had volunteered to work for Trump for free but was drowning in debt at the time. He appeared eager to use his campaign role to angle for money from his wealthy patrons in Ukraine and Russia, working in concert with an alleged Russian intelligence asset. His service for Trump coincided with the ramp-up of Russians intervention in the US election and a ratcheting-up of Trump's pro-Russia campaign rhetoric.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.617-8

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Trump's lawyer convicted of lying to Congress about Russia

Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, had been willing to deceive the public--and then commit a crime--to keep secret the timing of his dealings with the Kremlin. Cohen admitted that he told Congress work on the Moscow project ended in January 2016--in fact, it lasted until June 2016, after Trump had sealed up the Republican nomination for president. Cohen also conceded he had direct contact with a Kremlin official to request help with the project.

The special counsel's office would reveal that Cohen met with its investigators seven times. The motive for his lying to Congress was to "minimize links" between the Moscow project and Trump. [Cohen was imprisoned in May 2019, after the publication of the Mueller Report].

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.643-4

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller Report: Russia bought anti-Hillary social media ads

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, Russia, carried out a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States.

IRA Facebook groups active during the 2016 campaign covered a range of political issues and included purported conservative groups (with names such as "Being Patriotic," "Stop All Immigrants," "Secured Borders," and "Tea Party News").

Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published an increasing number of materials supporting the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. As early as March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly opposed the Clinton Campaign. For example, on April 6, 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account "Black Matters," calling for a "flashmob" of U.S. persons to take a photo with #HillaryClintonForPrison2016 or #nohillary2016." IRA-purchased advertisements featuring Clinton were, with very few exceptions, negative.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 4 & 24-5

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Focus of Putin & Russia in 2016 was hacking Hillary's email

At the core of the Russia investigation was always the 2016 hacking and publishing of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. In January 2017, US officials attributed the attack to Russia and said the operation was personally directed by President Vladimir Putin. It was left to Robert S. Mueller III to sort out the specifics and determine if any Americans shared blame.

A little more than a year into his investigation, Mueller made this much clear: he knew exactly who carried out the hack, and how they did it. In Mueller's 29-page indictment of a dozen officers of the Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU, Mueller described in granular detail how the group hacked the emails, then laundered the stolen messages through fake online personas so they could be shared to influence voters.

Notably, Mueller did not include any Americans in the indictment, and he similarly spared the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.585

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Trump challenged Russia to hack Hillary's email; Russia did

Mueller's 29-page indictment of a dozen officers of the Russian military intelligence, the GRU, described how the group hacked the emails. Mueller also revealed a detail that--even if it was mere coincidence--seemed remarkable. On July 27, 2016, Trump gave a press conference declaring his hope that missing Hillary Clinton emails would be found and made public, saying, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing." Russia seemed to spring into action. According to Mueller's indictment, "on or about" that same day, those involved in the hacking tried "to spearfish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton's personal office."

The indictment alleged, "At or around the same time they also targeted 76 email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p.586

Barack Obama on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Dec. 2016: Russia influenced election to benefit Trump

On November 8, 2016, Trump was elected. On December 29, President Barrack Obama imposed new sanctions to punish the Kremlin for targeting the race. The next month, the US intelligence community formally concluded that Putin had ordered a covert operation to sow dissent in the American electorate, harm Clinton, and elect Trump.

In February, Trump pulled Comey aside in the Oval Office and, referring to the FBI's investigation [and] asked him to "let this go," according to Comey's account.

Shortly after, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would rescue himself from any investigation of the 2016 campaign. The recusal came after The Washington Post reported that during the presidential campaign, Sessions, had twice met with Russia's ambassador to the United States. Sessions had not disclosed the meetings when he was asked at his confirmation hearing about contacts between Russians and the Trump campaign.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Mueller Report: Wash. Post Related Materials, p. 16

Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values : Apr 23, 2019
Mueller Report: Russia bought pro-Bernie social media ads

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, Russia, carried out a social media campaign designed to provoke and amplify political and social discord in the US.

The IRA's Twitter operations created individual U.S. personas, and also operated a "hot network" of automated Twitter accounts, that enabled the IRA to amplify existing content on Twitter.

The IRA continuously posted original content to the accounts while also communicating with U.S. Twitter users directly (through public tweeting or Twitter's private messaging). The IRA used many of these accounts to attempt to influence U.S. audiences on the election.

The IRA provoked reactions from users and the media. Multiple IRA-posted tweets gained popularity. U.S. media outlets also quoted tweets from IRA-controlled accounts and attributed them to the reactions of real U.S. persons. Individualized accounts included @MissouriNewsUS (an account with 3,800 followers that posted pro-Sanders and anti-Clinton material).

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: The Mueller Report, Vol. i, pp. 4 & 26-7

Marianne Williamson on Government Reform : Apr 14, 2019
Must address election security & Russian interference

Contrary to the way this president behaves, I would actually listen to the U.S. intelligence agencies. The U.S. intelligence agencies have an uncommon uniformity on this issue. They're very clear that there has been Russian interference. I will make it clear to the American people, number one, that I agree with our intelligence agencies that this is happening and, number two, that we're on it. In terms of the voting machines, we must have paper ballots. We absolutely must have paper ballots.
Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary

Pete Buttigieg on Corporations : Apr 7, 2019
Capitalism is good, but it must be subject to rules

America is a capitalist society. But it's got to be democratic capitalism. When you have capitalism capturing democracy, where powerful corporations are able to arrange the rules for their benefit, that's not real capitalism. If you want to see what happens when you have capitalism without democracy, you can see it very clearly in Russia. It turns into crony capitalism. And that turns into oligarchy.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls

Howard Schultz on War & Peace : Apr 4, 2019
Strengthen NATO alliance to fight Russian cyber-attacks

NATO is the strongest and most successful military and political alliance in the history of the world. It helped contain and defeat the Soviet Union. It came to the defense of the United States in the wake of the September 11th, 2001, attacks. And it has led the international effort to secure and stabilize Afghanistan.

But President Trump has questioned this essential alliance. He has criticized it, and he has weakened it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of America's role in the world. We must stand with our allies.

We must support the alliance's efforts to transition resources to the increasing threat from cyber attacks around the globe--most especially from Russia. NATO needs even more fortification to fight this growing menace, which may soon become the gravest threat facing the American people.

As NATO looks ahead to its next 70 years, the United States must continue to be a leader for peace and security. And we must do so in concert with our allies.

Click for Howard Schultz on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowardSchultz.com

Amy Klobuchar on Civil Rights : Mar 31, 2019
Paper ballots allow audits, ensure election integrity

I think the major reason that we need to see the [Mueller] report right now, in addition to getting all of the details, is to know what we should do to protect our elections and to protect our democracy going into 2020.We know that Russia tried to hack into our elections, they tried-- they did hack into campaigns -- that they spread propaganda. I want to pass my bill with Senator Lankford, a bipartisan bill, to get back up paper ballots. I want to make sure we have audits of our elections.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary

Seth Moulton on Homeland Security : Mar 31, 2019
Focus on cybersecurity to deal with real threats to US

National security is not just about preventing Russia from invading us with tanks into Western Europe. Russia is trying to hack our elections. China is attacking us through the Internet every single day and stealing our business ideas and our military -- that's where a lot of American jobs are going. Rather than build this fifth century ridiculous border wall on the southern border, let's talk about a cyber wall that will stop Russia and China from interfering in our business.
Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Mar 27, 2019
No regime change in Iran; no war in Yemen

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls

John Delaney on Foreign Policy : Mar 11, 2019
Don't believe Putin about Russian 2016 election interference

Delaney slammed the Trump administration when he was asked about Russian interference in the 2016 election. "I believe them over Putin, so I will start with that," Delaney said when asked about Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

Former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe said in an interview with 60 Minutes that Trump dismissed the intelligence agencies' finding of the threat posed by North Korea's missiles by saying, "I don't care. I believe Putin."

Trump has said in 2018 that he holds Putin responsible for election meddling, but he has also attacked the intelligence community and undercut their findings.

Click for John Delaney on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile on 2019 SXSW conference in Austin

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Feb 19, 2019
End Syrian conflict; pull out U.S. troops

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Amy Klobuchar on Government Reform : Feb 10, 2019
Honest Ads Act: no more foreign meddling in elections

Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act with former Arizona Sen. John McCain and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The bill requires advertisement buys and publishers to publicly disclose information about the ad in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Howard Schultz on Immigration : Feb 7, 2019
Great-grandparents immigrated from Easter Europe in 1890s

Let me share with you my own personal story. My great grandfather Max arrived in the United States from Eastern Europe in 1892 with $10 in his pocket. He did not speak a word of English and made his living as a tailor. My other great grandfather Morris was of Russian descent and came to America in the early 1890s. I was raised in a poor, working class family in Brooklyn, NY. We lived in public housing, better known in Canarsie as the "projects." My father, a World War II veteran, did not finish high school, and spent his adult life as a laborer who had a series of unfortunate jobs, odd jobs that unfortunately didn't pay very well.

The only thing I ever inherited was my mother's dream and belief in the American Dream. Because of her, I became the first person in my family to go to and to graduate from college. I got my first job selling office equipment door-to-door, and always gave half of my paychecks to my parents.

Click for Howard Schultz on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website HowardSchultz.com

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Feb 5, 2019
Withdraw from INF and develop Missile Defense System

We have begun to fully rebuild the military--with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the US was being treated very unfairly by NATO--but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the US is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't--in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 1, 2019
Russia violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty

President Trump said that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty "with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad."

He said the US has adhered to the pact for more than 30 years, "but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions. We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other."

NATO said that if Moscow failed to destroy all new missile systems that Washington insists violate the treaty, "Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the treaty."

An American withdrawal had been expected for months, after years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the pact. It was the first arms control measure to ban an entire class of weapons: ground-launched cruise missiles with a range between 500 kilometers and 5,500 kilometers. Russia denies that it has been in violation.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Tyler (TX) Morning Telegraph on 2018 Trump Cabinet

Kamala Harris on Technology : Jan 8, 2019
Secure Elections Act: prevent foreign interference

Given Russia's unprecedented effort to undermine confidence in our election system. There's no question that the Kremlin is emboldened--to try again.

James Lankford and I were the only members of the Senate who served on both the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees. As such, we were uniquely suited to come together in a nonpartisan way to develop legislation to combat these attacks. At the end of December 2017, we introduced the Secure Elections Act, to protect the U.S. from future foreign interference in our elections.

The legislation would establish clear expert guidelines for securing election systems--including, for example, the need for paper ballots. Russia might be able to hack a machine from afar, but it can't hack a piece of paper. And it would provide $386 million in grants for cybersecurity improvements. It would also establish what's known as a bug bounty program for election infrastructure--where hackers are paid for identifying software vulnerabilities.

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, p.238-9

Bernie Sanders on Government Reform : Jul 22, 2018
Russian cyber-attacks threaten integrity of US elections

Q: Trump has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House.

SANDERS: It makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done--not only to our elections, but through cyber-attacks against all parts of our infrastructure--or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him. Or maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. We have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives.

Q: How do you protect yourselves in the next race against something like that happening?

SANDERS: We need a president who is going to do everything to work with statewide officials all over this country to make sure that, when people cast a vote, that vote is going to count. Congress has allocated money to strengthen the protection of our electoral system. The president has got to be aggressive in implementing that. The integrity of American democracy is at stake.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jul 15, 2018
European Union is a foe in trade, & in lack of NATO payments

Q: Who is your biggest competitor, your biggest foe globally right now?

TRUMP: Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly. They're a foe. But that doesn't mean they're bad. It means that they're competitors. They want to do well, and we want to do well. And we're starting to do well.

Q: A lot of people might be surprised to hear you list the E.U. as a foe before China and Russia.

TRUMP: No, I look at them all. Look, E.U. is very difficult, I want to tell you. Don't forget, both of my parents were born in E.U. sectors, OK? I mean, my mother was Scotland. My father, Germany. And, you know, I love those countries. I respect the leaders of those countries. But, in a trade sense, they have really taken advantage of us, & many of those countries are in NATO. And they weren't paying their bills.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls

Donald Trump on Government Reform : Jul 15, 2018
Our news media is the enemy of the people

President Trump˙on Sunday˙again launched a blistering Twitter attack on the media, a day before his highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Heading to Helsinki, Finland--looking forward to meeting with President Putin˙ tomorrow," Trump˙tweeted. "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough--that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!"

"Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct!" Trump˙added. "This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country--but at some point, it will heal!"

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: AOL News on Twitter posting by 2018 Trump Administration

John Kasich on Free Trade : Jun 6, 2018
Support TPP to eliminate 18,000 foreign tariffs on US goods

Without greater confidence about their future place in the global economy, Americans will have little reason to support international cooperation and engagement. If the US continues to go it alone, however, that will only open up further opportunities for nations that do not have our best interests at heart, such as China and Russia, to shape our future for us. That's why it was such a mistake for the Trump administration to turn its back on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have eliminated 18,000 foreign tariffs currently imposed on products that Americans make and seek to sell overseas. Those tariffs hold back job creation, and eliminating them could unleash new growth across the US. We shouldn't have threatened to jettison NAFTA either. Instead, we should work with our neighbors and partners to modernize these agreements. On trade, as on many other issues, the goal should be to find win-win solutions, not to make threats and try to divide and conquer.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential hopeful Kasich column in Foreign Affairs

John Kasich on Homeland Security : Jun 6, 2018
Prioritize nuclear agreements like START and INF

As a child of the Cold War, I remember well the schoolroom "duck and cover" exercises, an ever-present reminder of the risk of nuclear war. No threat holds greater consequences for all of humanity than that of the accidental or deliberate use of nuclear weapons. Containing that risk has to remain our top priority.

U.S.-Russian agreements such as the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) were designed to achieve greater stability and security when it comes to nuclear weapons, and that goal should not be abandoned lightly. With New START expiring in 2021 and the INF Treaty on the verge of being fatally undermined by Russia's noncompliance, we need to think long and hard about walking away from them. Unless we are convinced that they are unsalvageable, agreements that by and large have worked for the two states holding more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons should not be allowed to fall apart.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential hopeful Kasich column in Foreign Affairs

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 20, 2018
Sued by Democratic Party for 2016 Russia collusion

The Democratic Party sued President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election.

The named defendants in the lawsuit include Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, former campaign chief Paul Manafort and campaign official Richard Gates, and Trump ally Roger Stone. Also named is the Russian Federation, the general staff of the Russian armed force, a Russian intelligence services hacker known as Guccifer 2.0., Wikileaks and its leader Julian Assange, and 10 unidentified people.

"No one is above the law," the suit says. "In the run-up to the 2016 election, Russia mounted a brazen attack on American Democracy. The opening salvo was an attack on the DNC, carried out on American soil."

The suit alleges claims that include conspiracy, computer fraud and abuse, misappropriation of trade secrets, trespass, and other violations of the law.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: CNBC's coverage of 2018 impeaching Trump

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Apr 17, 2018
2011: Criticized Putin for not counting Russia's votes

During the summer of 2016, we were working like crazy to understand what the Russians were up to. Evidence within the intelligence Community strongly suggested that the Russian government was trying to interfere with the election in three ways.

First, they sought to undermine confidence in the American democratic enterprise--to dirty us up so that our election process would no longer be an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Second, the Russians wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton. Putin hated her, blaming her personally for large street demonstrations against him in Moscow in December 2011. Putin believed Clinton had given "a signal" to demonstrators by publicly criticizing what she called "troubling practices" before and during the Parliamentary vote in Russia that year. She said, "The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted." Putin took that as an unforgivable personal attack.

Third, Putin wanted to help Donald Trump win.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: A Higher Loyalty, p.189, by James Comey

Donald Trump on Principles & Values : Apr 17, 2018
OpEd 2016: Putin hated Hillary and wanted to help Trump win

During the summer of 2016, we were working like crazy to understand what the Russians were up to. Evidence within the intelligence Community strongly suggested that the Russian government was trying to interfere with the election in three ways.

First, they sought to undermine confidence in the American democratic enterprise--to dirty us up so that our election process would no longer be an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Second, the Russians wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton. Putin hated her, blaming her personally for large street demonstrations against him in Moscow in December 2011. Putin took that as an unforgivable personal attack.

Third, Putin wanted to help Donald Trump win. Trump had been saying favorable things about the Russian government and Putin had shown a long-standing appreciation for business Leaders who cut deals rather than stand on principle.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: A Higher Loyalty, p.189, by James Comey

Cory Booker on Government Reform : Apr 16, 2018
10-day process to fire Russia probe special prosecutor

Republican Senator Thom Tillis is a lead sponsor of a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from interference. The effort has not yet caught fire with most in his party. Many Republicans tell Tillis that the president will never sign it, so his is a fruitless endeavor. Democrats, however, believe it amounts to a stern warning to the president even if the bill never becomes law.

Some of his colleagues are concerned. "It's not good politics in the end," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "It says you don't trust the president."

Tillis is working with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on the bill, which would allow a special counsel a 10-day window to fight a potential removal by the Trump administration and could soon see a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on Impeachment Proceedings against Trump

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Jan 30, 2018
Unmatched power is key to defense, including more nukes

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2018 State of the Union address

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Jan 23, 2018
Easier for Russia to deal with disunified West

Q: Is it accurate or useful to describe where we are with Russia as a second or new cold war?

BIDEN: I think that'd be a little bit of an exaggeration. The Cold War was based on a conflict of two profoundly different ideological notions of how the world should function. This is just basically about a kleptocracy protecting itself. That's a vast oversimplification. It's much easier if you're dealing with 28 different nations not in union with one another, not a Western economy that is coordinated.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 candidates

Joe Biden on Government Reform : Jan 23, 2018
Supports laws sanctioning Russia for election interference

Q: What about relations with Russia?

BIDEN: We're talking about Russian interference in the United States, whether there was collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. That's obscured a much larger discussion that should be taking place about whether or not what Russia is doing in the rest of the world right now and what Russia is doing in Europe right now.

Q: There is bipartisan legislation in the Senate that would put in place sanctions that would snap in place on Russia if in the future any determination is made that foreign election interference has happened. Do you think this is an appropriate step?

BIDEN: I think it is an appropriate step. I'm sure there are consequences that could flow that are ones we did not anticipate, but were I in the Senate, I'd be supporting that legislation.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 candidates

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jan 5, 2018
OpEd: Next drama always changed conversation: except Russia

In six months as president, failing to master almost any aspect of the bureaucratic process, [Trump] had, beyond placing his nominee on the Supreme Court, accomplished practically speaking, nothing. And yet, OMG!!! There almost was no other story in America -- and in much of the world. That was the radical and transformational nature of the Trump presidency: it held everybody's attention.

Whatever problems [Trump] might have caused in the past had reliably been supplanted by new events, giving Nothing seemed to move on from those two events [referring to James Comey, the director of the FBI fired for allowing the Russia investigation; and Robert Mueller, Special Counsel investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election].

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fire & Fury, by Michael Wolff, pp.232&251

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Nov 14, 2017
Russia vs. Ukraine: Big country beating up a smaller one

In 2015, Putin-backed separatists made an assault on Ukrainian soldiers. Putin was doing everything he could to destabilize the Ukrainian economy and force a collapse of the newly elected government in Kyiv.

I was the point man for our administration on the crisis, which was exactly where I wanted to be. There were academics in the news saying Ukraine was bound to be a defeat for the West, & it would be an unwelcome albatross on my neck if I ran for president in 2016. "He's tied to Ukraine policy," a presidential scholar from Pennsylvania told a reporter. "So he could be vulnerable." I didn't much care. There was an important principle at stake: big countries ought not to beat up smaller ones, especially after they had given their word not to. Ukraine had given up its nuclear weapons program years earlier--in return for a guarantee from the U.S., the United Kingdom, AND RUSSIA to respect its borders and its sovereignty. Two of the three larger countries had kept that promise.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Promise Me, Dad,by Joe Biden, p. 99-101

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Nov 14, 2017
Inviolate borders for Ukraine; no spheres of influence

[I presented my views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the Senate floor], that it is not the objective to collapse or weaken the Russian economy. But President Putin has to make a simple, stark choice: get out of Ukraine or face continued isolation and growing economic costs at home.

"I did stand here six years ago and in the first major foreign policy address of our administration, I spoke about the 'reset,'" We have moved from resetting this important relationship to reasserting the fundamental bedrock principles on which European freedom and stability rest. And I'll say it again: inviolate borders, no spheres of influence, the sovereign right to choose your own alliances. I cannot repeat that often enough. We need to remain resolute and united in our support of Ukraine. What happens there will resonate well beyond Ukraine. It matters to all--not just in Europe, but around the world--all who may be subject to aggression."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Promise Me, Dad,by Joe Biden, p.105-7

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Nov 14, 2017
Support Ukraine and sanction Russia but no military action

At the beginning of February 2015, Putin-backed separatists were making an assault on Ukrainian soldiers. And Putin was doing everything he could to destabilize the Ukrainian economy and force a collapse of the newly elected government in Kyiv.

President Obama's sympathies were all with Ukraine, but he was not going to allow this regional conflict to escalate into a hot war with Russia. Barack was a student of modern world history, and an incisive one. He was always on guard of the age-old mistake of allowing smaller brush fires to be unwittingly fed until they had become terrifying conflagrations beyond anyone's control. He would caution me sometimes about overpromising to the new Ukrainian government. "We're not going to send in the 82nd Airborne, Joe. The president and I agreed that we could and should convince our European allies to support and extend serious economic sanctions against Russia. But economic sanctions were as far as the U.S. and its allies in Europe would go.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Promise Me, Dad,by Joe Biden, p. 99-101

Bernie Sanders on Energy & Oil : Sep 21, 2017
Climate change is issue for entire international community

At a time when climate change is causing devastating problems here in America and around the world, foreign policy is about whether we work with the international community--with China, Russia, India and countries around the world-- to transform our energy systems away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Sensible foreign policy understands that climate change is a real threat to every country on earth, that it is not a hoax, and that no country alone can effectively combat it. It is an issue for the entire international community, and an issue that the United States should be leading in, not ignoring or denying.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Westminster College speech in Where We Go From Here, p. 94

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2017
Heal our democracy from 2016 Russian information warfare

But that's not the end of the story. We can't understand what happened in 2016 without confronting the audacious information warfare waged from the Kremlin, the unprecedented intervention in our election by the director of the FBI, a political press that told voters that my emails were the most important story, and deep currents of anger and resentment flowing through our culture.

I know some people don't want to hear about these things, especially from me. But we have to get this right. The lessons we draw from 2016 could help determine whether we can heal our democracy and protect it in the future, and whether we as citizens can begin to bridge our divides. I want my grandchildren and all future generations to know what really happened. We have a responsibility to history--and to a concerned world--to set the record straight.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Happened, by Hillary Clinton, p. xii

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2017
What would GOP do if Russia hacked an electoral vote loss?

Over the next few weeks [after the 2016 election], I dropped any pretense of good cheer. I was so upset and worried for the country. I knew the proper and respectable thing to do was to keep quiet and take it all with grace, but inside I was fuming. The commentator Peter Daou, who worked on my 2008 campaign, captured my feelings when he tweeted, "If Trump had won by 3 million votes, lost electoral college by 80K, and Russia had hacked RNC, Republicans would have shut down America." Nonetheless, I didn't go public with my feelings. I let them out in private. When I heard that Donald Trump settled a fraud suit against his Trump University for $25 million, I yelled at the television. When I read the news that he filled his team with Wall Street bankers after relentlessly accusing me of being their stooge, I nearly threw the remote control.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Happened, by Hillary Clinton, p. 23

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2017
Attended Trump inauguration as former First Lady

It's tradition for Bill and me, as a former President and First Lady, to attend the swearing-in of the new President. I had struggled for weeks with whether or not to go. John Lewis wasn't going. The civil rights hero and Congressman said that the President Elect was not legitimate because of the mounting evidence of Russian interference in the election. Other members of Congress were joining him in boycotting a President Elect they saw as divisive. A lot of my supporters and close friends urged me to stay home, too. My friends understood how painful it would be to sit on the platform and watch Donald Trump sworn in.

Bill and I checked with the Bushes and the Carters to see what they were thinking. Were they going to the inauguration? Yes.

That gave me the push I needed. Bill & I would go. That's how I ended up right inside the door of the Capitol on January 20, waiting to be announced. It had been such a long journey to get here. Now I just had to take a few more steps. I took Bill's arm.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Happened, by Hillary Clinton, p. 3-4

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2017
Heal our democracy from 2016 Russian information warfare

We can't understand what happened in 2016 without confronting the audacious information warfare waged from the Kremlin, the unprecedented intervention in our election by the director of the FBI, a political press told voters that my emails were the most important story, and deep currents of anger and resentment flowing through our culture.

I know some people don't want to hear about these things, especially from me. But we have to get this right. The lessons we draw from 2016 could help determine whether we can heal our democracy and protect it in the future, and whether we as citizens can begin to bridge our divides.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Happened, by Hillary Clinton,˙p. xii

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Sep 12, 2017
What would GOP do if Russia hacked an electoral vote loss?

The commentator Peter Daou, who worked on my 2008 campaign, captured my feelings when he tweeted, "If Trump had won by 3 million votes, lost electoral college by 80K, and Russia had hacked RNC, Republicans would have shut down America." When I heard that Donald Trump settled a fraud suit against his Trump University for $25 million, I yelled at the television. When I read the news that he filled his team with Wall Street bankers after relentlessly accusing me of being their stooge, I nearly threw my remote at the wall. And when I heard he installed Steve Bannon, a leading promoter of the "Alt-Right", which many have described as including white nationalists, as his chief strategist in the White House, it felt like a new low in a long line of lows.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: What Happened, by Hillary Clinton,˙p. 23

Mike Pence on Principles & Values : Jul 17, 2017
Founded PAC Great America Committee" separate from Trump

It sounds strange. The Vice President running against his President for president. But this would never be the case. Instead, should Trump be unable to run for president in 2020 (viz Russia investigation), then Pence would be the obvious frontrunner for the party. He has started his own PAC named "Great America Committee" and this is likely the beginning of his gathering of funds for a presidential bid in the future. Although it is highly unlikely that Pence would run in 2020, he is still a possibility due to the investigations surrounding Trump and his administration. Should the GOP want to change course if Trump is not yielding the results they wish or if Trump begins to jeopardize candidates down the ballot (again), Pence could be the person they turn to. The ultimate question for Pence is: can Trump stay out of trouble and provide the GOP a good chance of maintaining their unified government?
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Evonews.com on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Apr 13, 2017
NATO: apply new solutions to face new circumstances

Trump's about-face in supporting NATO was only part of a day of flip flops: the president determined that China is not a currency manipulator after all, and embraced the Ex-Im Bank that he once called unnecessary. Most striking, he pivoted on Russia, lashing it for supporting rogue nations after years of praising Pres. Vladimir Putin.

The Russia reversal and the NATO turnabout were inherently linked, of course. As Russia appears more ominous, NATO seems more necessary. But the shift in attitude also offered one of the starkest examples yet of Trump's evolving views: "We must not be trapped by the tired thinking that so many have, but apply new solutions to face new circumstances throughout the world," Trump said at his news conference with the NATO secretary general.

Trump's campaign criticism of NATO stunned many at home and abroad, especially when he suggested conditioning America's commitment to defend its treaty allies on whether they had met their financial obligations.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: New York Times on Trump Administration promises

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Apr 8, 2017
One-time missile strike in response to Syria chemical attack

As a private citizen and candidate, Trump argued that Syria's civil war was not America's problem. But as president, Trump launched a missile strike on Russia's ally Assad, after the Kremlin intervened in last year's election on his behalf.

The missile strike, in response to a chemical weapons attack, was intended to be a limited, one-time operation, and the president seemed determined to quickly move on. Critics, including Senator Marco Rubio, argued that Syria's President Assad felt free to launch a chemical attack precisely because the Trump administration had given him a green light.

Trump's action in Syria was welcomed by many traditional American allies who had fretted over Obama's reluctance to take a greater leadership role in the Middle East. After the missile strike, Israeli news outlets were filled with headlines like "The Americans Are Back," and European leaders expressed relief both that he had taken action and that he had not gone too far.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: N.Y. Times on Trump Administration promises & actions

John Kasich on Government Reform : Feb 19, 2017
Investigate Russian election hacking from within Congress

Q: What should be done about Russian interference in the U.S. election?

KASICH: If our intelligence community thinks we need to get to the bottom of this, I believe that perhaps a joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee investigation ought to get to the bottom of Russian hacking. Were they trying to influence our election? You know, what is it all about? What's the bottom line? Now, I don't favor at this point moving it outside of the Intelligence Committees. I think that the Intelligence Committees have the capability to conduct a thorough understanding of what happened, so that we can be in a position to prevent it in the future. Many European countries are worried about Russia's hacking their elections, disrupting their elections. So, I believe that the House and Senate can carry this out. And I think that it has to be done in a bipartisan and thorough way. If that investigation becomes partisan, then we have to look at something more independent.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN "State of the Union" 2017 interview by Jim Sciutto

Bob Corker on Foreign Policy : Feb 13, 2017
Russia a bad actor, not moral equivalent to US

Q: Your views on Russia?

Corker: I do not see Russia as a friend of the United States in any form or fashion. Are there some things that we might be able to work together on? Sure. We certainly haven't seen evidence of their desire to fight terrorism with us. I mean, we see them kill civilians, and you know, help [Syrian President Bashar] Assad concentrate more fully his power.

Q: Trump said that he couldn't agree with criticism of Putin and that it was in effect hypocritical because we're killers too, here in America. Is that something that you agree with?

Corker: I see no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia. So look, they've got grievances. But I don't see the moral equivalency at all, and so I would strongly disagree with that.

Click for Bob Corker on other issues.   Source: Susan Glasser on Politico.com on 2018 Tennessee Senate race

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Feb 5, 2017
America represent the highest ideals of humankind

Q: When asked about Russia being "killers," President Trump responded, "What, you think our country is so innocent?"

PENCE: That quote was a commitment to explore the possibility of starting anew and looking for common cause with Russia and with President Putin.

Q: Doesn't that put the US on moral par with Putin's Russia?

PENCE: I simply don't accept that there was any moral equivalency in the president's comments.

Q: President Obama was criticized consistently by conservatives for not praising American exceptionalism.

PENCE: We recognize the extraordinary superiority of the ideals of the American people and the implementation of those ideals.

Q: Do you think America is morally superior to Russia?

PENCE: I believe that the ideals that America has stood for throughout our history represent the highest ideals of humankind.

Q: But America morally superior to Russia, yes or no?

PENCE: I think it is without question.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2017 interview by John Dickerson

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Jan 15, 2017
Re-engage the world but put America first

Q: What does Donald Trump feel about Russia?

PENCE: The president-elect is willing to approach this terrible relationship the United States has with Russia today with fresh eyes and to at least be open to a better relationship with Vladimir Putin and with Russia. Look, we have some common interests that would be well served if we were able to improve our relationship with Russia. The president-elect is determined to re-engage the world, put America first, and see if we can make progress for the security and peace of the world.

Q: Does Donald Trump demand that Russia get out of eastern Ukraine?

PENCE: Whether it be eastern Ukraine or Crimea, that the action by the Russians has demonstrated the absence of American leadership over the last eight years--

Q: What does the new leadership want to do?

PENCE: I think America is going to be more respected in the world the very moment that Donald Trump takes the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2017 interview by John Dickerson

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Dec 22, 2016
Don't pursue nuclear warheads with new military capabilities

Trump tweeted, "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

Currently, the US has just under 5,000 warheads in its active arsenal, and more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, a number that fluctuates. In an October assessment by the State Department, Russia has about 400 more nuclear warheads than the US does. But the US has about 170 more delivery systems than Russia.

Under the New START Treaty, the main strategic arms treaty in place, both the U.S. and Russia must deploy no more than 1,550 strategic weapons by February of 2018. Both countries appear to be on track to meet that limit, which will remain in force until 2021, when they could decide to extend the agreement for another five years.

Since [1990], it has been U.S. policy not to build new nuclear warheads. Under President Obama, the policy has been not to pursue warheads with new military capabilities.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Washington Post on Trump Transition promises & actions

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Dec 22, 2016
Expand US nuclear capability; we're falling behind

President-elect Donald Trump called for the US to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country's nuclear potential needs fortifying, raising the specter of a new arms race that would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries' nuclear weapons.

In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

During the campaign, Trump talked in one debate about the need to modernize the country's infrastructure of nuclear weaponry, saying the US is falling behind.

Trump's tweet came shortly after Putin, during a defense ministry meeting, said, "We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Washington Post on Trump Transition promises & actions

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Oct 19, 2016
Condemn Russian & any country's involvement in our elections

Q: What about allegations of Russian involvement in this election?

TRUMP: I don't know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. He has no respect for our president. He has no respect for [Hillary Clinton].

CLINTON: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. You're the puppet!

CLINTON: It's pretty clear you won't admit that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, [but] we have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these cyberattacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election.

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it's Russia, China, or anybody else.

Q: Do you condemn any interference by Russia in the American election?

TRUMP: By Russia or anybody else. Let me tell you, Putin has outsmarted her and Obama at every single step of the way.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace

Hillary Clinton on Government Reform : Oct 19, 2016
Unprecedented Russian interference in presidential election

Q: What about allegations of Russian involvement in this election?

TRUMP: I don't know Putin, but he has no respect for our president and no respect for [Hillary Clinton].

CLINTON: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States. It's pretty clear that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the US, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race. So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We've never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 intelligence agencies who have all concluded that these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it's Russia, China, or anybody else.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate, moderated by Chris Wallace

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
No US troops as occupying force in Iraq

CLINTON: I will not support putting American soldiers into Iraq as an occupying force. I don't think that is in our interest, and I don't think that would be smart to do. That would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself. I'm going to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria to gain leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end.

TRUMP: Three months ago, I read that they're going to attack Mosul. Whatever happened to the element of surprise? We announce we're going after Mosul. These people have all left.

CLINTON: The goal here is to take back Mosul. It's going to be a hard fight. I've got no illusions about that. And then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqa, which is the ISIS headquarters. I am hopeful that the hard work that American military advisers have done will pay off and that we will see a successful military operation.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
Benefits of no-fly zone against ISIS outweigh risks

CLINTON: We need to go after the leadership [of ISIS]. There are an estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul. They've been prepared to defend. It's going to be tough fighting. But I think we can take back Mosul, and then we can move on into Syria and take back Raqqa.

TRUMP: Assad turned out to be a lot tougher than she thought. Everyone thought he was gone two years ago. He aligned with Russia. We don't know who the rebels are. But if they overthrow Assad, as bad as Assad is, you may very well end up with worse than Assad.

CLINTON: I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I'm aware of the concerns that you have expressed. This would not be done on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation. And it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground. We've had millions of people leave Syria and those millions of people inside Syria who have been dislocated.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
If we overthrow Assad, we could end up with worse than Assad

CLINTON: I think we can take back Mosul, and then we can move on into Syria and take back Raqqa.

TRUMP: Assad turned out to be a lot tougher than she thought. Everyone thought he was gone two years ago. He aligned with Russia. He now also aligned with Iran, who we made very powerful. We don't know who the rebels are. But if they overthrow Assad, as bad as Assad is, and he's a bad guy, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad.

CLINTON: I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I'm aware of the concerns that you have expressed. This would not be done on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation. And it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground.

TRUMP: We are so outplayed on missiles, on cease-fires. But our country is so outplayed by Putin and Assad, and by the way--and by Iran. Nobody can believe how stupid our leadership is.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Bill Weld on Foreign Policy : Oct 10, 2016
Priority is not "no fly zone" but to stop killing in Aleppo

Hillary Clinton: There is an effort by the Russian Air Force to destroy Aleppo to eliminate the Syrian rebels. I advocate a no-fly zones & safe zones.

Bill Weld: Clinton's "no fly zone" for Syria risks war. Our policy would have been more restrained than hers. Half of the population of rebel-held Aleppo have said they will leave if there is a path. I am afraid that Assad is going to take the territory. My priority now would be to prevent further slaughter of innocents in Aleppo.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: N.Y. Times on Second 2016 Presidential Debate

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 9, 2016
Should admit carefully vetted war refugees on moral grounds

Q: Why take the risk of having Syrian refugees come into the country?

A: First of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women & children--think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he'd been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. We need to do our part. We by no means are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our intelligence experts and others. It is important for us not to say, as Trump has said, "we're going to ban people based on a religion." We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated without causing great distress within our own country? What he said was extremely unwise and even dangerous. You can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorists sites, and what Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 9, 2016
Cooperate with Russia when possible & stand up when needed

Q: What would you do about Syria's humanitarian crisis?

A: Russia hasn't paid any attention to ISIS. They're interested in keeping Assad in power. When I was secretary of state, I advocated--and I advocate today--a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution unless there is some leverage over them. I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided that it's all in, in Syria. They've also decided who they want to see become president of the US, too, and it's not me. I've stood up to Russia. I've taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president. Wherever we can cooperate with Russia, that's fine. And I did as secretary of state. That's how we got a treaty reducing nuclear weapons. It's how we got the sanctions on Iran that put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program without firing a single shot.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at Washington University

Mike Pence on War & Peace : Oct 9, 2016
FactCheck: Pence says pressure Assad; Trump focuses on ISIS

Q: What would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the US should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.

TRUMP: He and I haven't spoken, and I disagree.

Q: You disagree with your running mate?

TRUMP: I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS We have people that want to fight both at the same time.

[OnTheIssues note: Russia & the Assad regime are bombing both ISIS & the Syrian rebels; the US is bombing ISIS but supports the Syrian rebels].

TRUMP: But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it's Iran, who [Hillary] made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation. I believe we have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: OnTheissues FactCheck on Second 2016 Presidential Debate

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Oct 4, 2016
Fight Russia with strength and allies

There's an old proverb that says the Russian bear never dies, it just hibernates. The weak foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has awakened an aggression in Russia that first appeared a few years ago with their move in Georgia, now their move into Crimea, now their move into the wider Middle East. All we do is fold our arms and say we're not having talks anymore. We need American strength. We need to marshal the resources of our allies in the region. America is stronger than Russia. Our economy is 16 times larger than the Russian economy. America's political system is superior to the crony, corrupt capitalist system in Russia. When Donald Trump and I observe that the small and bullying leader of Russia has been stronger on the world stage than this administration, that's stating painful facts. That's not an endorsement of Vladimir Putin. That's an indictment of the weak and feckless leadership.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Oct 4, 2016
Rebuild military and project American strength in the world

Hillary Clinton's top priority when she became secretary of state was the Russian reset. After the Russian reset, the Russians invaded Ukraine and took over Crimea. And the small and bullying leader of Russia is now dictating terms to the US [in Syria]. Look, we have got to begin to lean into this with strong, broad-shouldered American leadership.

I just have to tell you that the provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. It begins by rebuilding our military. And the Russians & the Chinese have been making enormous investments in the military. We have the smallest Navy since 1916. We have the lowest number of troops since the end of the Second World War. We've got to work with Congress, and Donald Trump will, to rebuild our military & project American strength in the world. We've just got to have American strength on the world stage. When Donald Trump becomes president, the Russians and other countries in the world will know they're dealing with a strong American president.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Mike Pence on Homeland Security : Oct 4, 2016
Rebuild military and project American strength in the world

Hillary Clinton's top priority when she became secretary of state was the Russian reset. After the Russian reset, the Russians invaded Ukraine and took over Crimea. And the small and bullying leader of Russia is now dictating terms to the US [in Syria]. Look, we have got to begin to lean into this with strong, broad-shouldered American leadership.

I just have to tell you that the provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. It begins by rebuilding our military. And the Russians & the Chinese have been making enormous investments in the military. We have the smallest Navy since 1916. We have the lowest number of troops since the end of the Second World War. We've got to work with Congress, and Donald Trump will, to rebuild our military & project American strength in the world. We've just got to have American strength on the world stage. When Donald Trump becomes president, the Russians and other countries in the world will know they're dealing with a strong American president.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 28, 2016
FactCheck: No, Iran is not a trading partner of North Korea

On North Korea, Donald Trump said in the first debate, "Iran is one of their biggest trading partners; Iran has power over North Korea." Is that true?

The MIT Atlas indicates that Trump is incorrect: "The top export destinations of North Korea are China ($2.67B), India ($71M), Pakistan ($40M), Nigeria ($20M) and Brazil ($19M). The top import origins are China ($3.49B), Thailand ($107M), Russia ($82M), India ($75M) and Singapore ($48M)." Iran is not in the top five trading partners of North Korea, whether counting exports or imports.

Maybe Trump meant that North Korea is on the top list of Iran's trading partners? The MIT Atlas indicates that Trump is also incorrect if that's what he meant "The top export destinations of Iran are China ($25B), India ($10B), Japan ($6B), South Korea ($4B) and Turkey ($1B). The top import origins are China ($24B), India ($4B), South Korea ($4B), Turkey ($4B) & Germany ($3B)."

We note that South Korea is on Iran's list of top trading partners--not North Korea!

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on First 2016 Presidential Debate

Donald Trump on Technology : Sep 26, 2016
We invented Internet but ISIS is beating us at our own game

Q: How do we fight a cyber attack?

A: We should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we're not. I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying "Russia, Russia, Russia," but I don't. Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? We came up with the Internet, and Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the Internet, they're beating us at our own game. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a huge problem. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it's hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that's true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better and certainly cyber is one of them.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

Hillary Clinton on Technology : Sep 26, 2016
Cyberwarfare will be greatest challenge for next president

Q: How do we fight a cyber attack?

A: I think cyber security & cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president, because clearly we're facing at this point two different kinds of adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try to steal information that they can use to make money. But increasingly, we are seeing cyber attacks coming from states. The most recent and troubling of these has been Russia.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

John Kasich on Free Trade : Sep 16, 2016
Supports Trans-Pacific Partnership but not trade ideology

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he feels it's his "responsibility and duty as a leader"--no matter the political cost--to help President Barack Obama shepherd the Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress. "I have never been an ideological supporter of free trade. The ideologues use to come to me and be frustrated with me," he said. "But when you look at these agreements in a real sense--this one is much different than even NAFTA," Kasich added. "This is China. This is Russia. These are fledgling countries in Asia and we want to pivot to Asia? We have to do this."

He said he doesn't mind the political backlash he could face. "I welcome the fact that people will criticize me for putting my country ahead of my party," Kasich said. Kasich and Obama could be facing an uphill battle: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton oppose the 12-nation Pacific Rim deal, which Obama has pitched as a way to counterbalance China's rise in the region.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN's E.Bradner & E.Scott on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 7, 2016
Russia wants to defeat ISIS as badly as we do; work together

Q: What prepares you to make the decisions that a commander-in-chief has to make?

A: I've built a great company. I've been all over the world. I've dealt with foreign countries. I've done tremendously well dealing with China and with many of the countries that are just ripping this country. I think the main thing is I have great judgment.

Q: What steps would you take to bring Putin back to negotiating table?

A: I would have a good relationship with Putin. Take a look at what happened with their fighter jets circling one of our aircraft in a very dangerous manner. Somebody said less than 10 feet away. This is hostility. Russia wants to defeat ISIS as badly as we do. If we had a relationship with Russia, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could knock the hell out of ISIS?

Q: Putin called you a brilliant leader.

A: When he calls me brilliant, I'll take the compliment. The fact is, look, it's not going to get him anywhere. I'm a negotiator. We're going to take back our country.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum with Matt Lauer

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Aug 23, 2016
It's good that Putin says nice things about me

Trump noted that Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, had been quoted saying that Trump was brilliant. Trump smirked at American media accounts suggesting it maybe wasn't a great thing for a presidential candidate to be praised by the autocratic leader of one of the country's most difficult rivals. "Oh, isn't it terrible that Putin said nice things?" Trump mocked. "That's not terrible, that's good...Wouldn't it be nice if we could get along with people?" Reporters were forever twisting his words, making it sound as if Trump supported Putin, he said. "By the way, I hate some of these 'reporters'. But I'd never kill them. I hate them". The cheers reached a new pinnacle, and Trump, his voice rising with the crowd's lusty shouts, added, "Some of them are such lying, disgusting people, it's true, it's true. But I would never kill them."
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 6-7

Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values : Jul 26, 2016
DNC tilted primary in favor of Hillary Clinton

On July 26, 2016, in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, I endorsed Hillary Clinton and urged my supporters and the American people to elect her as president.

The now-famous DNC emails that we later learned were stolen by hackers working for a Russian intelligence agency had been released at the start of the convention. The content of these emails, which were not a shock to me, showed that the leadership of the DNC had tilted the playing field during the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton's campaign. As a result, the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced to resign. Many of my delegate, who were not great fans of Hillary Clinton or the democratic establishment to begin with, were further enraged.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Where We Go From Here, by B.Sanders, p. 19-20, on 2016 DNC

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Jul 20, 2016
Other countries respect strength, not weakness

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's policies have weakened America's place in the world. Terrorist attacks at home and abroad, grim and heartbreaking scenes from France just a few weeks ago, and the attempted coup in Turkey all attest to a world spinning apart. History teaches that weakness arouses evil. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's foreign-policy of leading from behind, moving red lines, feigning resets with Russia, and the rise of ISIS are a testament to the truth of history.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Mar 3, 2016
Snowden was a spy; if Russia respected us, they'd deport him

Q: Senator Cruz, in 2013, you said you were open to the possibility that Edward Snowden had performed a considerable public service in revealing certain aspects of the NSA procedures. Many of your colleagues, including Senator Rubio, called him a traitor It took you until January of this year to call him a traitor.

CRUZ: As someone who spent much of his life in law enforcement, I believe you should start with the facts and evidence first before ending up with the verdict. When the news first broke of the US government engaging in massive surveillance on American citizens, that was a very troubling development, and it's why the US Congress acted to correct it. Since then, the evidence is clear that Snowden committed treason.

TRUMP: I will tell you right from the beginning, I said Snowden was a spy and we should get him back. And if Russia respected our country, they would have sent him back immediately, but he was a spy. It didn't take me a long time to figure that one out. Believe me.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 25, 2016
Cease-fire in Syria only if all parties involved

Q: Do you support the ceasefire in Syria?

CRUZ: We're hopeful that the violence will cease, but there's reason to be highly skeptical. Russia has enhanced its position because of Obama's weakness in the Middle East, weakness in Syria.

TRUMP: I don't because it not working and the countries aren't agreeing to it and the rebels aren't agreeing and Syria is not agreeing. It's a meaningless ceasefire. I would love it, but all parties have to be part of it.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Feb 13, 2016
Figure out who our allies are

Q: What three questions do you ask your national security experts?

TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? We are going to have to hit hard to knock out ISIS. We're going to have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

John Kasich on War & Peace : Feb 13, 2016
How to deal with Russia on Ukraine: Punch 'em in the nose

Q: Russia is being credited with bombing U.S.-backed rebels on behalf of Assad in Syria. They've moved into eastern Ukraine. You've said you want to punch them in the nose. What are you going to do?

KASICH: First of all -- yes. We have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy or threaten, but we need to make clear what we expect. Number one is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. Secondly, an attack on NATO is an attack on us.

TRUMP: We're going to have to learn who our allies are [against ISIS]. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?

BUSH: The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It's a simple basic fact.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 13, 2016
We've spent $5T in the Mideast and gotten nothing

Gov. Jeb BUSH: Donald Trump wants to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out ISIS. They're attacking our team, the team that we've been training and the team that we've been supporting. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. I would restore the military; the sequester needs to be reversed.

Q [to Trump]: You said that you could get along very well with Vladimir Putin. You did say let Russia take care of ISIS.

TRUMP: Jeb is so wrong. You fight ISIS first. You have to knock 'em out. You decide what to do after, you can't fight two wars at one time. If you listen to him, that's why we've been in the Middle East for 15 years, and we haven't won anything. We've spent $5 trillion dollars in the Middle East with thinking like that. We've spent $5 trillion dollars; we have to rebuild our country. We have to rebuild our infrastructure. you listen to that you're going to be there for another 15 years. You'll end up with world war three.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Feb 11, 2016
Beef up NATO against Russian aggression

Russia's aggressive actions in the Crimea and Ukraine have brought about a situation where President Obama and NATO--correctly, I believe--are saying we're going to beef up our troop level in that part of the world to tell Putin that his aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched. We have to work with NATO to protect Eastern Europe against any kind of Russian aggression.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Feb 11, 2016
Do not negotiate with Iran about Syria

SANDERS: The agreement on a cease-fire is something that has to be implemented more quickly than the schedule the Russians agreed to. The Russians wanted time. Are they buying time to continue their bombardment on behalf of the Assad regime to further decimate what's left of the opposition, which would be a grave disservice to any kind of eventual cease-fire?

CLINTON: This is one of the areas I've disagreed with Senator Sanders on, who has called for Iranian troops trying to end civil war in Syria, which I think would be a grave mistake. Putting Iranian troops right on the border of the Golan right next to Israel would be a nonstarter for me. Trying to get Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together, as he has suggested in the past, is equally a nonstarter.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 4, 2016
Obama trusted my judgment; I'll be ready on Day One

Having run a hard race against Senator Obama, he turned to me to be secretary of State. And when it comes to the biggest counterterrorism issues that we faced in this administration, namely whether or not to go after bin Laden, I was at that table, I was exercising my judgment to advise the president on what to do, on Iran, on Russia on China, on a whole raft of issues. You've got to be ready on day one.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 4, 2016
Need more European contribution to defending against Russia

Q: Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said Russia is the most important national security threat. Do you agree?

CLINTON: What Secretary Carter is looking at is the constant pressure that Russia's putting on our European allies. I think what Secretary Carter is seeing is that we got to get NATO back working for the common defense. We've got to do more to support our partners in NATO, and we have to send a clear message to Putin that this kind of belligerence will have to be responded to.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Feb 4, 2016
I worry about Putin in Crimea but worry more about N. Korea

Q: Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said Russia is the most important national security threat. Do you agree?

SANDERS: No I don't. I worry about Putin and his military adventurism in the Crimea, but I worry more about an isolated country. Russia lives in the world. China lives in the world. North Korea is a strange country because it is so isolated, and I do feel that a nation with nuclear weapons, they have got to be dealt with.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire

Barack Obama on Principles & Values : Jan 20, 2016
America is defined by innovative spirit: it's in our DNA

How do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges? Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn't deny Sputnik was up there. We didn't argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget.˙ We built a space program almost overnight. And 12 years later, we were walking on the moon.˙Now, that spirit of discovery is in our DNA. America is every immigrant and entrepreneur racing to shape a better world.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union address to Congress

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Jan 17, 2016
Work with Russia & Iran to get rid of Assad in Syria

Secy. CLINTON: Assad has waged one of the bloodiest, most terrible attacks on his own people--250,000-plus dead, millions fleeing. One criticism I've had of Sen. Sanders is his suggestion that Iranian troops be used to try to end the war in Syria.

SANDERS: I think we do have an honest disagreement: in the incredible quagmire of Syria, where it's hard to know who's fighting who and if you give arms to this guy, it may end up in ISIS' hand the next day. And we all know--the secretary is absolutely right--Assad is a butcher of his own people, a man using chemical weapons against his own people. But I think in terms of our priorities in the region, our first priority must be the destruction of ISIS. Our second priority must be getting rid of Assad, through some political settlement, working with Iran, working with Russia. But the immediate task is to bring all interests together who want to destroy ISIS, including Russia, including Iran, including our Muslim allies to make that the major priority.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Democratic debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 13, 2016
We spend more on military than next 8 nations combined

President Obama said, "We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined." Is that literally true? We found the answer on Wikipedia, for the top 9 countries in military expenditures (in billions per year):
  1. $581B United States
  2. $129B China
  3. $81B Saudi Arabia
  4. $70B Russia
  5. $62B United Kingdom
  6. $53B France
  7. $48B Japan
  8. $45B India
  9. $44B Germany

The "next eight nations combined" add up to $532 billion annual military expenditures. Compare that to the U.S.'s annual total of $581 billion, and Pres. Obama is accurate. (Sen. Rand Paul said in 2015 the same statement about "the next ten countries combined," and we rated his statement "loosely accurate", but Obama could have gone up to "the next nine nations combined" adding in South Korea's $34B). Obama's point was the same as Paul's: the U.S. has by far the strongest military on earth, and we need not increase military spending to maintain our military dominance.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union: OnTheIssues FactCheck

Joe Biden on Health Care : Jan 12, 2016
Increased funding for NIH to highest level in a decade

President Obama: "Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn't deny Sputnik was up there. We didn't argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon.

"You know, last year, Vice President Biden said that, with a new moon-shot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources that they've had in over a decade. .

"So tonight, I'm announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he's gone to the mat for all of us on so many issues over the past 40 years, I'm putting Joe in charge of mission control. For the loved ones we've all lost, for the families that we can still save, let's make America the country that cures cancer once and for all. What do you think? Let's make it happen. And medical research is critical."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union address

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Dec 19, 2015
Think about what happens AFTER we get rid of dictators

CLINTON: [In Syria, we should work with Russia to] turn their military attention away from going after the adversaries of Assad, & put the Assad future on the political & diplomatic track.

SANDERS: I have a difference of opinion with Secretary Clinton on this. I worry that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change without knowing what the unintended consequences might be. Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Gadhafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS. Getting rid of dictators is easy. But before you do that, you've got to think about what happens the day after. We need to put together broad coalitions to [avoid having a] political vacuum filled by terrorists. In Syria the primary focus now must be on destroying ISIS and [it's a] secondary issue to get rid of Assad.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2015
We won't have to shoot down Russians in Syrian no-fly zone

One of the reasons why I have advocated for a no-fly zone is to protect people on the ground from Assad's forces and from ISIS. I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians; I'm also advocating it because I think it gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia. The no-fly zone, I would hope, would be also shared by Russia.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Dec 19, 2015
Tell Qatar and Saudi Arabia that they must fight ISIS

There must be an international coalition, including Russia, a well-coordinated effort. This is a war for the soul of Islam. The troops on the ground should not be American troops. They should be Muslim troops. I believe that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have got to step up to the plate, have got to contribute the money that we need, and the troops that we need, to destroy ISIS with American support.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

John Kasich on War & Peace : Dec 15, 2015
Find moderate rebels in Syria; work with them against Assad

Q: Should the US work with moderate Syrian rebels?

CRUZ: We keep hearing from President Obama and Hillary Clinton and Washington Republicans that they're searching for these mythical moderate rebels. It's like a purple unicorn. They never exist. These moderate rebels end up being jihadists.

KASICH: I don't understand this thing about Assad. He has to go. Assad is aligned with Iran and Russia. The one thing we want to prevent is we want to prevent Iran being able to extend a Shia crescent all across the Middle East. Assad has got to go. And there are moderates there. There are moderates in Syria who we should be supporting. I do not support a civil war. I don't want to be policeman of the world. But we can't back off of this. And let me tell you, at the end, the Saudis have agreed to put together a coalition inside of Syria to stabilize that country. Assad must go. It will be a blow to Iran and Russia.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate

John Kasich on War & Peace : Nov 29, 2015
No-fly zone 1st priority, but ok with more aid for refugees

Q: Ben Carson is saying what we need to do is give more money to Jordan and other places to help Syrian refugees. Is that the answer?

KASICH: I don't mind if we give some humanitarian aid to the Jordanians or the Saudis if need be, but I've been for this no-fly zone so that we can have a sanctuary for people to be safe. And it was the Kurds and perhaps the Jordanians who could defend it. But the Russians have now deployed S-400 air defense system that threatens our ability to move around. The only thing you can do with that air defense system is to take it out. And of course that's very serious.

Q: You would take out a Russian air defense system?

KASICH: No, I think that we should proceed with moving forward on a no-fly zone. And I think we should proceed by putting boots on the ground and a coalition with Europeans and with our friends in the Middle East like we had in the first Gulf War to destroy ISIS once and for all.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview on Syrian Refugee crisis

John Kasich on Technology : Nov 17, 2015
Broadcast Judeo-Christian values abroad, to help defeat ISIS

As part of a broad national security plan to defeat ISIS, Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world. The new agency, which he hasn't yet named, would promote a Jewish- and Christian-based belief system to four regions of the world: China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.

"We need to beam messages around the world" about the freedoms Americans enjoy, Kasich said. "It means freedom, it means opportunity, it means respect for women, it means freedom to gather, it means so many things."

The US already has a government-funded broadcast system in Voice of America, which broadcasts American news and programming abroad. The radio, television and digital audience reaches up to 188 million people per week.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls on Syrian Refugees by NBC News

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Nov 10, 2015
Let Russia bash ISIS; let Germany defend Ukraine

Q: Russia has invaded Ukraine, and has put troops in Syria. You have said you will have a good relationship with Mr. Putin. So, what does President Trump do in response to Russia's aggression?

TRUMP: As far as Syria, if Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can't understand how anybody would be against it.

Q: They're not doing that.

TRUMP: They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He's going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany--why are we always doing the work? I'm all for protecting Ukraine--but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren't doing anything. They say, "Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us." And we have to get smart. We can't continue to be the policeman of the world.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
We worry about Iranian nukes but why not North Korean nukes?

It's not only Russia [that we're having trouble with]. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that's one of the worst deals ever made. One of the worst contracts ever signed, ever, in anything, and it's a disgrace. But, we have somebody over there, a madman, who already has nuclear weapons we don't talk about that.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Nov 8, 2015
Let Russia make moves in Syria; it's a quagmire

Q: Let's turn to ISIS and what should the United States do about it?

TRUMP: But we're going to have to do something very strong over there. We're going to have to take away the energy, the fuel, the money from ISIS, because, in the case of ISIS-- I've been saying this for years. We have to stop the source of money. And the source of money is oil.

Q: So you'd step up the campaign against ISIS even though you believe that Vladimir Putin is getting stuck in a quagmire by going in?

TRUMP: Well, I'm not looking to quagmire, I'm looking to take the oil. The Middle East is one big, fat quagmire. If you look at the Soviet Union, it used to be the Soviet Union. They essentially went bust and it became Russia, a much smaller version, because of Afghanistan. They spent all their money. Now they're going into Syria. I'm all for Russia going in and knocking and dropping bombs on ISIS. As far as I'm concerned, we don't have to have exclusivity on that.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Oct 28, 2015
FactCheck: No evidence Hillary's email server was hacked

Gov. George Pataki claimed that the private server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state was "hacked" and that enemies obtained "state secrets." While the FBI is conducting a security review of Clinton's server, there is no evidence so far of a security breach.

Pataki said, "Clinton put an unsecure server, in her home. We have no doubt that that was hacked, and that state secrets are out there to the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese and others."

It is true that Clinton had a personal email account on a private server. It is also true that some emails contained unmarked classified information. But was Clinton's server "hacked"? And did the Iranians, Russians and Chinese obtain "state secrets"? That's all speculation.

Pataki is referring to reports of hacking attempts that may or may not have been successful. Investigations have found that some hacking attempts originated from Russia, China, South Korea and Germany--but no evidence that any were successful.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post FactCheck on GOP 2015 CNBC's debate

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Oct 13, 2015
Putin regrets invading Crimea & the Ukraine

Q [to Clinton]: What about Putin's actions involving Russia in Syria [bombing ISIS to defend President Assad]?

CLINTON: We have an opportunity here--and inside the administration this is being hotly debated--to get that leverage to try to get the Russians to have to deal with everybody in the region and begin to move toward a political, diplomatic solution in Syria.

Q [to Sanders]: Putin in Syria?

SANDERS: I think Mr. Putin is going to regret what he is doing.

Q: He doesn't seem to be the type of guy to regret a lot.

SANDERS: I think he's already regretting what he did in Crimea and what he is doing in the Ukraine. I think he is really regretting the decline of his economy. And I think what he is trying to do now is save some face. But I think when Russians get killed in Syria and when he gets bogged down, I think the Russian people are going to give him a message that maybe they should come home, maybe they should start working with the United States to rectify the situation now.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
Syria is a quagmire within a quagmire; don't get involved

Q: What to do in Syria?

CLINTON: I applaud the administration because they are engaged in talks right now with the Russians to make it clear that they've got to be part of the solution to try to end that bloody conflict. And, to provide safe zones so that people are not going to have to be flooding out of Syria at the rate they are.

SANDERS: Well, let's understand that when we talk about Syria, you're talking about a quagmire in a quagmire. You're talking about groups of people trying to overthrow Assad, other groups of people fighting ISIS. You're talking about people who are fighting ISIS using their guns to overthrow Assad, and vice versa. I will do everything that I can to make sure that the U.S. does not get involved in another quagmire like we did in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. We should be putting together a coalition of Arab countries who should be leading the effort. We should be supportive, but I do not support American ground troops in Syria.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Lincoln Chafee on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
Iran nuclear deal

WEBB: The third [strategic failing of recent administrations] was the recent deal allowing Iran to move forward and eventually acquire a nuclear weapon.

CHAFEE: I have to answer one thing that Senator Webb said about the Iran deal. He said that because of the Iran deal, Russia came in. That's not true, Senator Webb. I respect your foreign policy chops. But Russia is aligned with Iran and with Assad and the Alawite Shias in Syria. So that Iran deal did not allow Russia to come in.

WEBB: I believe that the signal that we sent to the region when the Iran nuclear deal was concluded was that we are accepting Iran's greater position on this very important balance of power, among our greatest ally Israel, and I think it encouraged the acts that we've seen in the past several weeks.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 13, 2015
We're already involved in Syria; deal with Russia there

We are already flying in Syria just as we are flying in Iraq. What I believe and why I have advocated that the no-fly zone--which of course would be in a coalition-- be put on the table is because I'm trying to figure out what leverage we have to get Russia to the table. You know, diplomacy is not about getting to the perfect solution. It's about how you balance the risks.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Oct 4, 2015
US should not train rebels it does not know or control

Q: The Russians are hitting Assad as well as people we've trained.

TRUMP: Where they're hitting people, we're talking about people that we don't even know. I was talking to a general two days ago. He said, "We have no idea who these people are. We're training people. We don't know who they are. We're giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad." And you know what? I'm not saying Assad's a good guy, because he's probably a bad guy. But I've watched him interviewed many times. And you can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there-- it's a mess-- if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there-- it's a mess-- it's going be same thing.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Oct 4, 2015
Good that Russia is involved in Syria

Q: You came across to me as if you welcomed Putin's involvement in Syria. You said you saw very little downside. Why?

TRUMP: I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically, most importantly. But we are going to get bogged down in Syria. If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt.

Q: So, you think Putin's going to get suckered into--

TRUMP: They're going to get bogged down. Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. Now, Putin wants to go in and I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS. Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into Russia.

Q: Why do you trust him and nobody else does?

TRUMP: I don't trust him. But the truth is, it's not a question of trust. I don't want to see the United States get bogged down. We've spent now $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're destroying our country.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Oct 4, 2015
Good that Russia has entered Syrian conflict

Q: We've seen Russia go heavily into Syria this week. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton; today, John Kasich; both say we should establish a no-fly zone in Syria. Would you do that?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I think what I want to do is I want to sit back and I want to see what happens. You know, Russia got bogged down, when it was the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan. They thought that would be quick and easy and they'll go in and they'll clean it up...

Q: You think Putin's falling into a trap?

TRUMP: I think it's not going to be great for them, there are so many traps. There are so many problems. When I heard they were going in to fight ISIS, I said, "Great."

Q: But they're not bombing ISIS.

TRUMP: Well, not yet. But they don't want ISIS going into Russia, either. So they're not bombing them yet.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Oct 2, 2015
No more dickering & delays: Syria's Assad has got to go

Kasich called out Russia, which this week began airstrikes in Syria. Moscow maintains the strikes are targeting Islamic State fighters but U.S. officials have disputed that claim, saying the areas hit were strongholds of rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Assad. "We're not interested in military cooperation in Syria with Russia," Kasich said. "Their only interest is in propping up their puppet, Assad. They used the pretext of ISIS to go in and bomb rebels who are trying to remove Assad."

Kasich also sharply criticized President Barack Obama for what he said were years of inaction in the region that has allowed Assad to remain in power. "No more dickering, no more delaying, no more negotiations, he has to go," Kasich said of Assad. "The longer we look at the void that America has created in this world, the more chaos we have. The time has come for the United States to act."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: A.P./Yahoo News 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on War & Peace : Oct 2, 2015
No-fly zone in Syria & sanctuaries, enforced by U.S.

John Kasich said the United States should establish no-fly zones and sanctuaries along Syria's border with Jordan and Turkey, and warn aggressors, specifically Russian President Vladimir Putin, that they violate those buffers at their own risk. Kasich said the US must send a message that military retaliation is a guarantee, not an idle threat, if conditions are not met. "You enter that no-fly zone, you enter at your own peril," Kasich said. "No more red lines, no more looking the other way. If any hostile aircraft should enter that, there will be a great consequence to them."

Kasich said the zones would provide refuge for Syrians fleeing the 4-year-old civil war that has killed a quarter million people and displaced an estimated 4 million. He suggested regional assistance from Turkey, Jordan and the Kurds and said the administration should encourage European allies to help enforce any no-fly zones. "A no-fly zone can be very, very effective if it's enforced," he said.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: A.P./Yahoo News 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 20, 2015
Diplomacy & respect crucial to our relationship with Russia

Q: This week we're going to see a lot of world leaders come to Manhattan. Might you have a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin?

TRUMP: Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me. And certainly I am open to it. I don't know that it's going to take place, but I know that people have been talking. We'll see what happens. But certainly, if he wanted to meet, I would love to do that. You know, I've been saying relationship is so important in business, that it's so important in deals, and so important in the country. And if President Obama got along with Putin, that would be a fabulous thing. But they do not get along. Putin does not respect our president. And I'm sure that our president does not like him very much.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 16, 2015
Putin has no respect for America; I will get along with him

Q: What would you do right now if you were president, to get the Russians out of Syria?

TRUMP: Number one, they have to respect you. He has absolutely no respect for President Obama. Zero. I would talk to him. I would get along with him. I believe I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with. I think I will get along with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable world.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Sep 5, 2015
Begrudgingly supports NATO, but no eastward expansion

Although Bernie is generally anti-war, he begrudgingly supported NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999. He voiced concerns, but did not vigorously oppose NATO's 2011 military intervention in Libya.

Bernie is against the expansion of NATO because it provokes unnecessary aggression from Russia. Moreover, he believes European nations should fund more of the costs of an alliance primarily intended to protect their continent.

Q: What is Bernie's opinion on NATO expansion?

A: He's against it, claiming it is a waste of taxpayer dollars and not geo-politically sound. In 1997, Bernie said: "After four decades of the cold war and trillions of taxpayer dollars allocated to compete in the arms race, it is not the time to continue wasting billions helping to defend Europe, let alone assuming any costs associated with expanding NATO eastward." Bernie opposes eastward expansion because he's not interested in revisiting the Cold War era when Russia and the US were constantly pitted against each other.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Aug 17, 2015
Support NATO, but it's not us against Russia

Q: You wrote, "Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually. The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use." Would you want to end the NATO alliance completely?

TRUMP: I'm a little concerned about NATO from this standpoint. Take Ukraine. We're leading Ukraine. Where's Germany? Where are the countries of Europe leading? I don't mind helping them. Why isn't Germany leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we're like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?

Q: So you wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO?

TRUMP: I would not care that much. Whether it goes in or doesn't go in, I wouldn't care. Look, I would support NATO.

Q: It sounds like you're not a fan of NATO

TRUMP: I'm a fan of fairness. I'm a fan of common sense. I'm certainly not a fan of us being against Russia. Why are we always at the forefront of everything?

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview, Chuck Todd and Donald Trump

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jun 16, 2015
More sanctions on Iran; more support of Israel

What does Donald Trump believe? Iran and Israel: Walk away from nuclear talks. Increase sanctions.

Trump has said that the U.S. is mishandling current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. He would increase sanctions on Iran. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Jun 16, 2015
Walk away from Iranian nuclear talks; increase sanctions

Trump has said that the U.S. mishandled current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. The real estate developer told Fox News that he would increase sanctions on the Persian state. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on Homeland Security : Jun 3, 2015
Rebuild alliances abroad to fight ISIS

Chafee says the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake; and that to fight Islamic State, the U.S. must build alliances, including with Russia.

Chafee told MSNBC in April that to fight Islamic State, America must forge stronger alliances and rebuild its relationship with Russia. The former governor opposes open-ended U.S. military action and supports contained strategies, citing the 1990 Gulf War as an example.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 20, 2015
Russia is in tatters because of our steady resolve

We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small--by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine's democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies. Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin's aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2015 State of the Union address

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 17, 2014
2012: Take a harder line with Russia's Putin

Clinton said she urged Obama to take a tougher line with Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly before she left office in 2012: "With all this in mind, I suggested we set a new course. The reset had allowed us to pick off the low-hanging fruit in terms of bilateral cooperation. And there was no need to blow up our collaboration on Iran or Afghanistan. But we should hit the pause button on new efforts. Don't appear too eager to work together. Don't flatter Putin with high-level attention." (Page 244)
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Wall Street Journal on Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 10, 2014
Push Russia on press freedom; they've killed 20 journalists

Among the most egregious developments in the new Russia were the attacks on the press. Newspapers, TV stations, and bloggers faced intense pressure to toe the Kremlin line. Since 2000, Russia has been the 4th most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist--not as bad as Iraq but worse than Somalia or Pakistan. Between 2000 and 2009 nearly 20 journalists were killed in Russia, and in only one case was the killer convicted.

When I visited Moscow in 2009, I thought it important to speak out in support of press freedoms and against the official campaign of intimidation. I met with journalists, lawyers, and other civil society leaders, including one activist who told me that he had been badly beaten by unidentified thugs. These Russians had seen friends and colleagues harassed, intimidated, even killed, yet they went on working, writing, and speaking, refusing to be silenced. I assured them that the US would publicly and privately raise human rights concerns with the Russian government.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.229

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 10, 2014
Putin's annexing Crimea plays outdated zero-sum game

Putin's worldview is shaped by Russia's long-standing interest in controlling the nations on its borders, and his personal determination that his country never again appear weak or at the mercy of the West, as he believes it was after the collapse of the Soviet Union. To achieve these goals, he seeks to reduce the influence of the US in areas that he considers part of Russia's sphere. All of that helps explain why Putin first pressured Ukraine to walk away from closer ties with the European Union in late 2013, and why Putin invaded and annexed Crimea.

Putin sees geopolitics as a zero-sum game in which, if someone is winning, then someone else has to be losing. That's an outdated but still dangerous concept, one that requires the US to show both strength and patience. To manage our relationship with the Russians, we should work with them on specific issues when possible, and rally other nations to work with us to prevent or limit their negative behavior when needed.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.227-8

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 10, 2014
Putin's annexing Crimea plays outdated zero-sum game

Putin seeks to reduce the influence of the US in areas that he considers part of Russia's sphere. That helps explain why Putin first pressured Ukrainian President Yanukovych to walk away from closer ties with the European Union in late 2013, and why, after Yanukovych's government disintegrated, Putin invaded and annexed Crimea. If Putin is restrained and doesn't push beyond Crimea into eastern Ukraine, it will not be because he has lost his appetite for more power, territory, and influence.

Putin sees geopolitics as a zero-sum game in which, if someone is winning, then someone else has to be losing. That's an outdated but still dangerous concept, one that requires the US to show both strength and patience. To manage our relationship with the Russians, we should work with them on specific issues when possible, and rally other nations to work with us to prevent or limit their negative behavior when needed. That's a difficult but essential balance to strike.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.227-8

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 10, 2014
Putin wants to reassert Russia's dominance in its own areas

Putin's worldview is shaped by Russia's long-standing interest in controlling the nations on its borders, and his personal determination that his country never again appear weak or at the mercy of the West, as he believes it was after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He wants to reassert Russia's power by dominating its neighbors. To achieve these goals, he seeks to reduce the influence of the US in Central and Eastern Europe and other areas that he considers part of Russia's sphere.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, p.227

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 7, 2014
Russian reset: Pushed Obama to keep Putin at a distance

Clinton writes about the memo she sent Obama in her final days at State on how to handle Russia going forward. "The reset had allowed us to pick off the low-hanging fruit in terms of bilateral cooperation. And there was no need to blow up our collaboration on Iran or Afghanistan. But we should hit the pause button on new efforts. Don't appear too eager to work together. Don't flatter [Russian president Vladimir] Putin with high-level attention. Decline his invitation for a presidential-level summit in Moscow in September."

This was months before Obama ultimately turned away from meeting with Putin, as Russia harbored NSA leaker Snowden. But by including this memo, she reminds readers that Clinton--who became the face of the Russian reset as the top spokesperson for the Obama administration--was more hawkish on Putin than others in the administration.

It's helpful to her at a time when Republicans have been lambasting her over Russian's aggression against Ukraine.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 6, 2014
Eastern Europe in NATO keeps Putin from moving beyond Crimea

In the wake of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in early 2014, some have argued that NATO expansion either caused or exacerbated Russia's aggression. I disagree with that argument, but the most convincing voices refuting it are those European leaders and people who express their gratitude for NATO membership.

[Those making that argument] should ponder how much more serious the crisis would be--and how much more difficult it would be--to contain further Russian aggression if Eastern and Central European nations were not now NATO allies. The NATO door should remain open, and we should be clear and tough-minded in dealing with Russia.

If Putin is restrained and doesn't push beyond Crimea into eastern Ukraine it will not be because he has lost his appetite for more power, territory and influence.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, CBS pre-release excerpts

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Apr 16, 2014
Russian "reset" is appeasement and invites aggression

I believe it is imperative that we who believe in democracy and freedom, stand against the forces that would reshape Europe by aggression. As some claim territorial gains, they forfeit moral ground. I remember too well the efforts by the US to "reset" our relationship with Russia just a few short years ago. I said then that, "History teaches us that weakness and appeasement invite aggression" and feared that our country was rewarding an increasingly antagonistic Russia. With Russian aggression on the rise again, it is clear that our policy of conciliatory diplomacy has failed. While new sanctions are of some value, in the interest of our alliance, I believe the US and the EU must respond with deeds more than words to strengthen our economic and strategic defenses [including] deploying a robust missile defense in all of Europe. Stronger economic ties and stronger defenses are the right policy for our two countries and the right strategic response to Russian aggression.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Speech to Friends of Indiana Reception in Berlin (Germany)

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Apr 9, 2014
Contain Russia or Putin will expand beyond Crimea

During her remarks in San Francisco, Clinton said Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be satisfied with Russia's annexation of Crimea. Clinton said Putin "will go as far as he can go unless he is contained. I don't believe Putin will be satisfied with Crimea."

Her comments came at a marketing industry conference as pro-Russia protests in the eastern part of Ukraine were ongoing. The United States has condemned the protest as the transparent work of Russia attempting to provoke a response.

Clinton has spoken out a number of times against Putin's action in Crimea. She reiterated a point she has made before that the Russia leader is a "tough guy with thin skin."

In the past, she has said Russia's pretext for invading Crimea in order to protect ethnic Russians was similar to arguments made by Germany in World War II.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Mario Trujillo on The Hill weblog, "Thinking about 2016"

Cory Booker on War & Peace : Aug 5, 2013
Direct military intervention in Syria only as last resort

[All four Democratic candidates] agreed the United States shouldn't take any rash actions against Russia for harboring Edward Snowden, but said it should pressure that country against instituting restrictive laws against gays. All four said the United States should be careful in how it deals with Syria, advocating against direct military intervention except as a last resort.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate

Joe Biden on Free Trade : Feb 2, 2013
Permanent normal trade relations to Russia

[Recent internationally] important step enabled us to do some good things: to negotiate, ratify and implement the New START Treaty; to expand economic and trade relationships--including both Russian accession to the WTO and extension of the permanent normal trade relations to Russia; to build a bilateral presidential commission that networks Russian and American officials and publics on the broadest cooperative agenda the US and Russia have ever tried to share.

But we are not naive--neither Russia or the US. We will not agree with Russia on everything. For example, the US will not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. These differences are real. But we continue to see opportunities for the US & Russia to partner in ways that advance our mutual security interest & the interest of the international community--whether by safeguarding and reducing nuclear arsenals, or boosting our trade & investment to help each other unlock the enormous innovative potential of our societies.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jan 29, 2013
Policy of prevention, not containment, on Iranian nukes

Q: Your predecessor, Henry Kissinger, said that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, that it is a turning point in history.

A: Our policy is prevention, not containment. And we have, through hard work with the international community, imposed the toughest set of sanctions on any country. We know it's having an effect. We have to continue to keep them isolated, and keep Russia and China on board. [But] we've said from the very beginning, we're open to diplomacy. We are doing so in the so-called P5-plus-1 format.

Q: What about military action against them?

A: Well, we've always said all options are on the table. The president has been very clear about that. [With regards to the] terrorism aspect of Iran's behavior, when I came into office, there were too many countries that were turning a blind eye to it. We have worked very hard to get the international community to say these guys need to be stopped on the terrorism front. They cannot be permitted to go forward.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Obama Cabinet:Fox News On the Record with Greta Van Susteren

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jun 14, 2012
Focus on BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa

Early on, the Obama administration seemed to embrace a new concept: Its diplomacy would emphasize 4 emerging economic powers called the BRICs, or Brazil, Russia, India & China. (Later on, South Africa was sometimes added as a 5th country, conveniently taking up the letter S.) The idea originally came from Wall Street: In 2001, a Goldman-Sachs economist invented the concept of the BRICs to describe the 4 emerging economies that he believed would play an increasingly important role in the world markets. By 2009, the term had become an addition to the jargon of foreign policy, and the Obama team began to talk about the importance of the BRICs in their speeches. In her first major speech as secretary of state, Clinton said that the Obama administration, while reinvigorating its traditional alliances, "will also put special emphasis on encouraging major emerging global powers--China, India, Russia & Brazil, as well as Turkey, Indonesia & South Africa--to be full partners in tackling the global agenda."
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p.174

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 14, 2012
Focus on BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa

Early on, the Obama administration seemed to embrace a new concept: Its diplomacy would emphasize 4 emerging economic powers called the BRICs, or Brazil, Russia, India & China. (Later on, South Africa was sometimes added as a 5th country, conveniently taking up the letter S.) The idea originally came from Wall Street: In 2001, a Goldman-Sachs economist invented the concept of the BRICs to describe the 4 emerging economies that he believed would play an increasingly important role in the world markets. By 2009, the term had become an addition to the jargon of foreign policy, and the Obama team began to talk about the importance of the BRICs in their speeches. In her first major speech as secretary of state, Clinton said that the Obama administration, while reinvigorating its traditional alliances, "will also put special emphasis on encouraging major emerging global powers--China, India, Russia & Brazil, as well as Turkey, Indonesia & South Africa--to be full partners in tackling the global agenda."
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Obamians, by James Mann, p.174

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Dec 5, 2011
Deal with Russia: no new missile defense in Eastern Europe

Within weeks of being sworn in as president of the United States, Obama sent a top official to Moscow to hand deliver a secret letter to Russia's then-President Dmitry Medvedev. The secret letter said that Obama "would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would stop Iran from developing long-range weapons."

Not surprisingly, Putin was ecstatic: "The latest decision by President Obama has positive implications," said Putin. "I very much hope that this very right and brave decision will be followed by others."

The Obama administration made the decision to throw our friends Poland and the Czech Republic under the bus and leave them naked to missile attacks "despite having no public guarantees" that Moscow would help crack down on Iran's missile programs.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 94-95

Joe Biden on Principles & Values : Sep 20, 2011
2010: Negotiated trades in bipartisan Senate bills

Biden came to the Oval Office with a full dossier of issues he'd been handling with Congress. He'd been meeting since the 2010 midterm with his old colleagues in the Senate, John McCain and Mitch McConnell. In his dossier was a wide array of swaps: from the DREAM Act, which gave rights to illegal aliens; to the still unratified START II treaty on nuclear weapons reduction with the Russians; to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military in favor of acceptance of gays; to tax giveaways; to the closing of food safety programs that industry opposed.

Obama sat with Biden, going over the package. But now Obama said, "No, I'm not going to make some of these trades." Biden, who'd been waiting for his friend to step up and assert more control, gladly stepped back.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.387 & 462

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 14, 2011
US and Russia can disagree and still work together

When we came into office two years ago, our relationship with Russia had reached a low point. The war between Russia and Georgia played a role in that decline, but even before that conflict erupted in August 2008, a dangerous drift was under way.

While we no longer considered each other enemies, you couldn't always tell that from the rhetoric flying back and forth. Ironically, this came at a time when American and Russian security interests, as well as economic interests, were more closely aligned than ever. That's why Pres. Obama made it a priority to reset our relationship with Russia--and asked me to launch it just three weeks into the new administration at the Munich Security Conference. I said then that "the United States and Russia can disagree and still work together where our interests coincide. And they coincide in many places."

We focused the reset on concrete outcomes that serve both countries' interests--"win-wins," as President Obama calls them.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Joe Biden Op-Ed in International Herald Tribune

John Kasich on Civil Rights : Jun 15, 2010
Admires courage of Aung San Suu Kyi & Rosa Parks

There are examples of grace and faith and courage all around, as we live and breathe. I especially admire the example of contemporary women, who stand with certainty in an uncertain world. Aung San Suu Kyi, the young woman from Burma who took such a forceful stand for democracy against a brutal military regime. Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist wand human-rights activist who was killed for taking up the cause of the Chechen people and blowing the whistle on her own government. Rosa Parks, who proudly claimed her seat in the front of that bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and jump-started the civil-rights movement. The women in Iran who march bravely through the streets and dare to take off their chadors. These women are everywhere, and all around, and they bring about change on the back of their conviction.

Certainly, some of these strong women found their models in the stories of the Old and New Testaments, but it's clear to me that all of them were answering to a higher power.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.132

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jun 1, 2010
Hamas election void until they renounce violence

Obama repeated the familiar reasons for ignoring the elected government led by Hamas: "To be a genuine party to peace," Obama declared, "the Quartet [US, EU, Russia, UN) has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions: recognize Israel's right to exist; renounce violence; and abide by past agreements."

Also near-universal are the standard references to Hamas: a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel (or maybe all Jews). Hamas has called for a 2-state settlement in the terms of international consensus: publicly and repeatedly. Israel and the US object that the Hamas proposals do not go far enough. Perhaps so, but they surely go much farther toward the international consensus than the firm and unwavering US-Israeli rejectionist stance, reiterated obliquely by Obama in his State Department talk.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.254-255

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
OpEd: walked away from missile defense of Eastern Europe

Russia's burgeoning relationship with Venezuela has purpose beyond energy: anything that diminishes America pleases Putin, both because it weakens a competing power and because it gratifies his personal animus for the US. Russia's resistance to severe sanctioning of North Korea and Iran as they have pursued their nuclear programs are a stick in the eye for the US. So, too, is Russia's insistence that the world replace the dollar as the reserve currency. Putin also bitterly opposes any development that would strengthen the US such as missile defense, particularly in Eastern Europe, and admission of the former Soviet satellites into NATO. Pres. Obama's decision to walk way from our missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic was a huge concession to Putin, as is the stalling on admission of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO. Russia welcomes concessions, and these, like their predecessors, were not repaid in kind. Russia takes, Pres. Obama gives, and Russia demands more.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 18

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Apr 8, 2009
Doors of NATO are open (but that threatens Russia)

Obama will meet with the 26 NATO heads of states and governments, plus those of Croatia and Albania who are applying for membership. Obama welcomed Croatia and Albania to the heart of that military organization. The president stressed that 140 Albanian and 296 Croatian soldiers have served in Afghanistan and remarked he thought "both will be steadfast contributors to the alliance":

"Russia reveals itself to be highly critical of NATO expansion toward the east, and in particular toward the former Soviet republics that it considers to be its natural sphere of influence."

"Last year at its April summit in Bucharest, the alliance promised an eventual path to the admission of the Ukraine and Georgia supported by Obama's predecessor George W. Bush," the cable reminds us.

Can there be any doubt that NATO is a warlike and aggressive organization, one that threatens not only Russia but also other countries elsewhere in the world?

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p. 46-7

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Oct 7, 2008
We’ve been reactive for 8 years; be proactive with Russia

Part of the job of the next commander-in-chief, in keeping all of you safe, is making sure that we can see some of the 21st Century challenges and anticipate them before they happen.

We haven’t been doing enough of that. We tend to be reactive. That’s what we’ve been doing over the last eight years. That’s part of what happened in Afghanistan, where we rushed into Iraq and Sen. McCain and President Bush suggested that it wasn’t that important to catch bin Laden right now and that we could muddle through, and that has cost us dearly.

We’ve got to be much more strategic if we’re going to be able to deal with all of the challenges that we face out there.

Regarding Russia: Energy is going to be key in dealing with Russia. If we can reduce our energy consumption, that reduces the amount of petro dollars that they have to make mischief around the world. That will strengthen us and weaken them when it comes to issues like Georgia.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 7, 2008
Prevent Iran from attacking Israel, but keep military option

Q: If Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so it’s unacceptable. And I will do everything that’s required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we don’t provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where we’ve got to make those kinds of choices.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Sep 26, 2008
Recent Russian actions in Georgia are unacceptable

Q: How do you see the US relationship with Russia?

A: Our entire Russian approach has to be evaluated, because an aggressive Russia is a threat to the stability of the region. Their actions in Georgia were unacceptable. It is critical for the next president to follow through on our six-point cease-fire. It is important that we explain to the Russians that you cannot be a 21st-century superpower and act like a 20th-century dictatorship.

We also have to affirm the fledgling democracies in that region--the Estonians, the Lithuanians, the Poles, the Czechs. They are members of NATO. To countries like Georgia & Ukraine, we have to say they are free to join NATO if they meet the requirements.

We also can’t return to a Cold War posture with respect to Russia. It’s important that we recognize there are going to be some areas of common interest. One is nuclear proliferation. This is an area where I’ve led in the Senate, working to deal with the proliferation of loose nuclear weapons.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Aug 27, 2008
The US is less secure and more isolated in recent history

Our country is less secure and more isolated that it has been any time it has in recent history. The Bush foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole, with very few friends to help us climb out. For the last seven years, the administration has failed to face the biggest forces shaping this century. The emergence of Russia, China and India’s great powers, the spread of lethal weapons, the shortage of secure supplies of energy, food and water. The challenge of climate change and the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front in the war on terror. We once again see the consequences of the neglect of Russia challenging the very freedom of a new democratic country of Georgia. Barack and I will end that neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its action and we will help Georgia rebuild. I have been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms, this administration’s policy has been an abysmal failure.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2008 Democratic National Convention

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Aug 1, 2008
A New Beginning: seek world with no nuclear weapons

On Oct. 2, 2007, Obama declared, "A New Beginning," announcing, "America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons." Obama made clear he did not intend to pursue unilateral disarmament. He promised to work with Russia "to take US & Russian ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert."

"We'll start by seeking a global ban on the production of fissile material for weapons." Obama stated we would set a goal to expand the US-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so the agreement is global

Obama argued, "We'll be in a better position to lead the world in enforcing the rules of the road if we firmly abide by those rules." This is truly the crux of Obama's argument: because we do not demonstrate moral leadership, other nations have no choice but to proliferate nuclear weapons. At the base of the argument, Obama is saying a world with nuclear weapons is our fault. "It's time to stop giving countries like Iran and North Korea an excuse," he said. "It's time for America to lead."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.261-262

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 13, 2008
Engage Russia regarding nuclear proliferation

Q: John McCain has talked about a new G-8 which would expel Russia.

A: It would be a mistake. Look, if we’re going to do something about nuclear proliferation--just to take one issue--we’ve got to have Russia involved. The amount of loose nuclear material that’s floating around in the former Soviet Union, the amount of technical know-how that is in countries that used to be behind the Iron Curtain--without Russia’s cooperation, our efforts on that front will be greatly weakened.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series on Zakaria’s GPS

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 13, 2008
Moral obligation to intervene in Darfur to avoid spillover

Q: What about Darfur? You’ve called for a UN no-fly zone, but the Chinese and the Russians will probably not go along with it, so it’d be a US or NATO no-fly zone.

A: In a situation like Darfur, I think that the world has a self-interest in ensuring that genocide is not taking place on our watch. Not only because of the moral and ethical implications, but also because chaos in Sudan ends up spilling over into Chad. It ends up spilling over into other parts of Africa, can end up being repositories of terrorist activity. Those are all things that we’ve got to pay attention to. And if we have enough nations that are willing--particularly African nations, and not just Western nations--that are willing to intercede in an effective, coherent way, then I think that we need to act.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series on Zakaria’s GPS

Barack Obama on Principles & Values : Apr 1, 2008
Mother described as "the original feminist" at 1960 college

In 1960, Obama's mother Ann graduated from high school and the family moved to Hawaii. Ann, 18, enrolled as a freshman at the University of Hawaii. In a Russian language class, she met Barack Obama, Sr., 23, who told her he was divorced. They gathered with friends on weekends to listen to jazz and discuss politics and world affairs. Ann was the only woman. She was, "the original feminist," according to Neil Abercrombie, now a Democratic congressman from Hawaii who participated in the meetings.

On 2 February 1961 the pair slipped away to Maui and were married. The wedding--Obama, "black as pitch," Ann, "white as milk"--would have been illegal in 22 states. Ann dropped out of college. On 4 August Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was born at the Kapi-olani Medical Center in Honolulu.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama for Beginners, by Bob Neer, p. 3-4

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Feb 2, 2008
Pursue goal of a world without nuclear weapons

Obama will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it. Obama will always maintain a strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist. But he will take several steps down the long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons. He will stop th development of new nuclear weapons; work with Russia to take ballistic missiles off hair trigger alert; seek dramatic reductions in stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material; and expand globally the US-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 50-55

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Dec 13, 2007
Doctrine of crisis prevention, not preemption

Q: When future historians write of your administration’s foreign policy, what will be noted as your doctrine?

A: Clarity. Prevention, not preemption. An absolute repudiation of this president’s doctrine, which has only three legs in the stool: 1) don’t talk to anybody; 2) preemption; & 3) regime change. I would reject all three. We need a doctrine of prevention. The role of a great power is to prevent crises. And we don’t have to imagine any of the crises. You have Pakistan, Russia, China, Darfur.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Aug 14, 2007
2005: Passed bill to reduce conventional weapon stockpiles

Obama’s greatest legislative success was teaming with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded US cooperation to reduce stockpiles of conventional weapons and expanded the State Department’s ability to interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction. In the spring of 2005, Obama had traveled to Russia with Lugar to inspect nuclear weapons stockpiles.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: From Promise to Power, by David Mendell, p.313

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Apr 26, 2007
Biggest threat to US is from North Korea, Iran, & Russia

Q: What three nations, other than Iraq, represent, to you, the biggest threat to the United States?

A: The biggest threat to the US is, right now, North Korea. Iran not as big a threat, but a long-term threat. And quite frankly, the tendency of Putin to move in a totalitarian direction, which would unhinge all that’s going on positively in Europe.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

John Kasich on Homeland Security : May 10, 2006
Cheap Hawk: Strong on defense; tight with a dollar

In the 1980s on the Defense Committee, in addition to the Russians, another enemy was the status quo. I may have been strong on defense, but at the same time I was openly critical of the excess spending in every aspect of the federal budget, which cast m as a kind of cheap hawk and served to essentially alienate me from everyone.

I was astonished to discover wasteful spending in the Pentagon budget; I was even more astonished that hardly anyone was speaking out against it. The mantra in Washington at that time was to trim the fat from our social welfare and entitlement programs. But to take the welfare out of the Pentagon? Well, to do so as a cheap hawk Republican, who walked the political tightrope of being strong on defense and tight with a dollar. One of my congressional colleagues even called me a traitor to our country, that's how out there my position seemed to be among the hawks in the Republican Party, but my feeling was that we needed to ferret out this waste no matter where we found it.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 91-92

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jan 6, 2006
Rebuild the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

We would obviously have to retaliate against anybody who struck American soil, whether it was nuclear or not. It would be a much more profound issue if it were nuclear weapons. That’s why it’s so important for us to rebuild the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that has fallen apart under this administration. We have not made a commitment to work with the Russians to reduce our own nuclear stockpiles. That has weakened our capacity to pressure other countries to give up nuclear technology. We have not locked down the loose nuclear weapons that are out there right now. These are all things that we should be taking leadership on. Part of what we need to do in changing our foreign policy is not just end the war in Iraq; we have to change the mindset that ignores long-term threats and engages in the sorts of actions that are not making us safe over the long term.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jul 12, 2004
Increase funding to decommission Russian nukes

More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia still has more nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons and enough nuclear material to produce 50,000 more. At the current rate of spending, it will take 13 years to secure all the potential bomb material from the old Soviet Republic. We should increase funding to do it in four years. We must also strengthen the existing Non-Proliferation Treaty, and lead in the efforts to prevent countries with the proven capability to build WMDs from doing so.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Press Release, “Renewal of American Leadership ”

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Jun 21, 2004
1993: Strongly endorsed $1.6B Russia aid package

In March 1993, I got an assistance program I could support: $1.6 billion in direct aid to help Russia stabilize.

Although a public poll said that 75% of the American people were opposed to giving Russia more money, and we were already in a hard fight for the economic plan, I felt we had no choice but to press ahead. American had spent trillions of dollars in defense to win the Cold War; we couldn't risk reversal over less that $2 billion and a bad poll. To the surprise of my staff, the congressional leaders, including the Republicans, agreed with me. At a meeting I convened to push the plan, Senator Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, strongly endorsed the aid package. Newt Gingrich was passionately in favor of helping Russia, saying it was a "great defining moment" for American and we had to do the right thing.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.506-507

Lincoln Chafee on Foreign Policy : Sep 19, 2000
Supports continuing Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, & others

This year, Senator Chafee has been instrumental in securing funding for debt relief for some of the world’s most impoverished nations -- a key aim of the church-led Jubilee 2000 movement. Senator Chafee also played a critical role in securing funding for the rebuilding of East Timor. Since last November, Senator Chafee has participated in fruitful discussions with foreign dignitaries and heads of state, such as Colombian President Andres Pastrana.
Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Senate web site, “Debt relief”

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jul 2, 2000
Post-Cold War: switch from chess player to dealmaker

In the modern world you can’t very easily draw up a simple, general foreign policy. I was busy making deals during the last decade of the cold war. Now the game has changed. The day of the chess player is over. Foreign policy has to be put in the hands of a dealmaker.

Two dealmakers have served as president-one was Franklin Roosevelt, who got us through WWII, and the other was Richard Nixon, who forced the Russians to the bargaining table to achieve the first meaningful reductions in nuclear arms.

A dealmaker can keep many balls in the air, weigh the competing interests of other nations, and above all, constantly put America’s best interests first. The dealmaker knows when to be tough and when to back off. He knows when to bluff and he knows when to threaten, understanding that you threaten only when prepared to carry out the threat. The dealmaker is cunning, secretive, focused, and never settles for less than he wants. It’s been a long time since America had a president like that.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.111-12

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jul 2, 2000
Support Russia, but with strings attached

I don’t understand why American policymakers are always so timid in dealing with Russia on issues that directly involve our survival. Kosovo was a perfect case in point: Russia was holding out its hand for billions of dollars in IMF loans (to go along with billions in aid the U.S. has given) the same week it was issuing threats and warnings regarding our conduct in the Balkans. We need to tell Russia and other recipients that if they want our dime they had better do our dance, at least in matters regarding our national security. These people need us much more than we need them. We have leverage, and we are crazy not to use it to better advantage.

Few respect weakness. Ultimately we have to deal with hostile nations in the only language they know: unshrinking conviction and the military power to back it up if need be. There and in that order are America’s two greatest assets in foreign affairs.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.134

John Kasich on War & Peace : Apr 21, 1999
Russian mediation with Milosevic instead of a ground war

Mr. Kasich argues against an escalation of the military effort in Kosovo. Instead, he wants to move to mediation with Yugoslavia, in which third parties, particularly Russia, would help work out a peaceful resolution. He wouldn’t worry about getting rid of Mr. Milosevic right now; it doesn’t make much sense to get into mediation with somebody you’re about to eliminate. “Reemphasizing our bad policy with a vigorous ratcheting up, including ground forces, is just a huge mistake,” Mr. Kasich says.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Mediate Kosovo?”, 4/21/99

John Kasich on War & Peace : Apr 18, 1999
Russia should mediate; Congress should vote on escalation

[Kasich foresees] a future where Albanians and Serbs co-existed in Kosovo. If American officials were wise, they would consider giving Russia a role as a third party mediator, he said, a tactic that would reduce the chances for Russian alienation from the West. At the same time, though, Kasich did not go so far to say he’d vote against an escalation of US force in the region. It was most important, he said, that Congress at least be given the chance to vote on an escalation before it happened.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: The Concord (NH) Monitor, “Moderate pitch”, 4/18/99

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Apr 16, 1999
Engage internationally but choose missions carefully

Theodore Roosevelt understood when military action brought no advantage. When regional instability arose, like the war between Russia and Japan, his instinct was to be an “honest broker” and mediate peace. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for these efforts. The US should remain strongly engaged internationally, because regional instability will not solve itself. But we must choose our missions carefully. Power is a finite quantity; if we wantonly expend it, for any cause, we diminish ourselves.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: NY Times, Op Ed by Kasich, April 16, 1999, on 2000 election

John Kasich on War & Peace : Apr 16, 1999
Use neutral mediators; be flexible on post-war force

We need to involve the Russians, and other neutral countries, like Sweden and Ukraine. And we must actively consult with countries in the region, including Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. Should Milosevic balk at such overtures, we could still apply military pressure from the air. Once a settlement is reached, an international force may be necessary to assist the return of refugees and reconstruction. We should be more flexible about the makeup of this force than we have been in the past.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: NY Times, Op Ed by Kasich, April 16, 1999, on 2000 election

John Kasich on War & Peace : Apr 16, 1999
Goals should be: help refugees & regional development

Those who have called for ground troops have not specified the goal. Is it to take Kosovo, fortify it & occupy it for years against the Serbian threat? Is “victory” at all costs worth a bitterly hostile Russia? No one can help but be moved by the plight of the Kosovo refugees. The US has an obligation to get Milosevic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo. Just as surely, we need to help Albania and Macedonia economically. But military escalation is not the best way to achieve those goals.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: NY Times, Op Ed by Kasich, April 16, 1999, on 2000 election

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Nov 1, 1996
Phase out economic aid to Russia & others

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test

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