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Senator Chris Murphy draft (transcript)

Senator Chris Murphy draft (transcript)
Photo by Quick PS on Unsplash

Host: Good morning senator Murphy welcome to Bold TV

Murphy: Thanks for having me

Host: we’re so glad to have you here especially with your body clock adjusting from your trip over the pond. how was the UK?

Murphy: A mess so you know it makes me feel a lot better about the state of American politics

Host: (laughs) it’s all relative that’s how I felt when I  working in israel for the jerusalem post


Host: So senator what’s your assessment of the UK and brexit? is there a chance that the UK might not leave the European Union?

Murphy: I mean it’s amazing to me that it’s taken this long for Britain to come to terms with the fundamental contradiction inside the brexit debate they want to leave the European Union as cleanly as possible but they’ve also made this commitment to protect the Irish peace process and make sure there’s no border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  You can’t do both and that’s why in part this is taking so long to figure out. I have no clue what’s going to happen I just think the United States needs to, you know be consistent that whatever path they choose it can’t disrupt the Irish peace process and that you know the United States is not likely to ride to the rescue here with a free trade agreement if they choose a hard brexit which could result in a pretty massive contraction of the economy there. Those are the messages that I was sending while I was there but I will be.. I will admit that when I left I wasn’t any clear as to how this thing was going to turn out than when I got there.

Host: in your article in the hill you talked about how this is disrupting seven decades of peace so can you just contextualize what it means for everyday Americans and also what does it mean for the disruption of this deal?

Murphy: well we read about European Wars in history books. You know, most of us that grew up after World War two don’t know what the reality was in Europe for you know literally a millennia and I don’t think anybody should take for granted this relatively short era of peace that we have had on that continent. if the European Union starts to fall apart, if NATO were to start to fall apart, as I think the president of the United States would like it to do you know I I don’t think you can take for granted that the short  period of peace remains. so the EU has been one of the great success stories of the modern world that has caused these countries which used to do battle with each other on a regular basis become economically dependent on each other such that the risks of conflict are far too high, but Britain leaving may be just the first step towards the sort of rapid weakening of the EU and my worry is if the United States cheer leads Britain out of the European Union, rewards them with a free trade agreement afterward then it might prompt other nations to think about leaving as well. that’s bad news for global security, though it’s great news for Russia. Russia would love for Europe to crumble and Putin obviously has big equities and trying to get other countries to start rethinking the European project and that’s why I think the United States has to weigh in at least to make clear that we are not going to take steps to incentivize brexit.

Host: senator I want to follow up on what you said about NATO. you said that you think that the president is trying to destroy NATO or wants to see it dissolve. He has said that he wants European countries to honor their commitments and that he’s actually trying to help them live up to the whole premise of NATO which is the 2% of your GDP would be spent on defense funding and we just saw Germany passed a five-year budget in which they froze and locked in a 1.25 percent budget spending which is far below the 2% spend and we also see Germany now agreeing to, you mention Russia, to further deepen ties with Russia with the Nord 2 pipeline for gas and energy so how can you say that when the president clearly is in the opinion of many onlookers actually trying to strengthen NATO?

Murphy: so the president doesn’t understand how NATO works the president seems to believe that there is some pot of money that countries pay into he continually tells the Germans and Andrea Merkel to her face  that they owe the United States money. so the president person for most doesn’t understand that that NATO ultimately is a collaborative defence treaty in which we expect countries to stand up and defend the United States when we are attacked. Which is exactly what they did. the article 5 of NATO has only been called into effect once, it was when we asked Europe to defend us. but this president and his Secretary of State have been very clear in their attacks on multilateral institutions. Mike Pompeo went to Brussels and gave an absolutely remarkable speech in which he called for the world to move towards sovereignty; to move away from multilateral institutions. I get it they say officially for the record that they don’t want NATO dismantled but their regular attacks on NATO, on the European Union, on the United Nations,  on diplomatic multilateral treaties like the Iran nuclear agreement or the Paris Accords. you know at some point you have to listen to all that and it adds up to an unprecedented attack on decisions by countries to join together in multilateral institutions and so I really worry that this president’s attacks on NATO and his attacks on the European Union will you know ultimately lead to them becoming so weak that ultimately they cannot stand.

Host: And what about Germany’s overtures with Russia?

Murphy: well you know I think the United States needs to understand that defense is more than just aircraft carriers and airplanes. Senator Ron Johnson and I have both proposed a billion dollar investment fund to help European nations become energy independent of Russia. when you live next to Russia you have to have some kind of relationship with them. it’s easy for the United States  to completely break with them when none of our trade is with Russia. Germany has trade with Russia, countries in Europehave trade with Russia and thus I don’t think we can expect them to go cold turkey but we should help them find a different path forward when it comes to the energy resources that run their country. so I’d love to see this administration figure out that defense is not just in the Department of Defense, the Department of State, which can help countries wean themselves off of Russian oil and gas, frankly can make our country and Europe a lot more secure in the long run than some of these defense programs can. so we need to you know help Europe answer its energy security problems and we also just can’t be naive we can’t expect that European countries are going to have zero relationship with a country that is you know right next to it.

Host: Thank You senator and of course.. to speak of Russia it’s been a big week with the report finally coming back , what are your first thoughts and most importantly how much do the American people deserve to see of this report?

Murphy: all of it, all of it I just you know don’t think that American democracy can sustain a report of this magnitude remaining private. at the very least Muller has to give the report to Congress today and then let us take a look at it and see if there are some sections that are so sensitive that they you know have to be redacted before it gets sent out to the public. what is deeply offensive to me is that seven days after the report was delivered, the administration won’t show the report to Congress and you know increasingly that leads me to believe that there are some really damning revelations in that report that the Attorney General may not be being straight about because it’s just completely outrageous that they are hiding this report from Congress and from the public. so get it to Congress yesterday, today, tomorrow and then together we can figure out whether all of it can be made public or only portions of it. 300 pages there’s no way that you can summarize 300 pages in four pages as the Attorney General has tried to do. I worry that he’s hiding something.

Host: senator by saying that you worry he’s hiding something do you think that erodes public trust in our institutions like the Department of Justice?

Murphy: Oh I think that horse has left the barn. This is the most corrupt administration in my political lifetime and the fact that the Attorney General won’t share this report with Congress has already eroded public trust. just imagine if Janet Reno had taken ken starr’s report and refused to give it to the Republican Congress, had sent them a four-page memo saying “President Clinton didn’t do anything wrong don’t worry about it, you don’t need to read the report” Could you imagine the tempest that would have existed? and so you know I think we’re far beyond the public’s trust in the Attorney General or the Department of Justice being eroded I just hope that they recognize that if they continue to hide this report it’s just going to get worse and worse.

Host: senator when you look at the questioner on obstruction of justice, which Mueller gave you know basically essentially said there it was inconclusive in his opinion but then Attorney General Barr said that because there was no underlying crime, there was no underlying collusion the notion of obstruction of justice therefore was moot. so doesn’t that that conclusion basically showed that this whole process as a lot of Trump supporters argue was something that people like Adam Schiff was misleading by saying that there was definite proof of collusion and to that extent do Democrats owe the American people an apology?

Murphy: I haven’t.. have you seen the report?

Host: I trust our Department of Justice but I’m a Republican and my co-anchor is a Democrat so I think it’s an inkblot test

Murphy: I mean I haven’t seen the report so you know I can’t answer questions about what’s in the report if it’s being if it’s being withheld from me and you know ultimately this administration has lied to the American public over and over and over again about their connections with Russia. I mean they have and Republicans and Democrats both can admit to that. that they have been they have consistently lied to the American public about the extent of their connections to Russia and some of some members of the administration have been held accountable for those lies in court. so no I I don’t trust this administration to tell us what actually happened and I’m not saying that I know with certainty whether the president has committed crimes that are worthy of impeachment I just think that it’s silly for us to discuss a report that none of us have read.

Host: we thank you for coming on Bold TV today and one of the reasons this show matters is bringing together voices in different viewpoints and we know historically the divide between our parties is so great so as a senator who just got back from brexit and seems so much in the world what will work to bring us together? And seeing all the responses with this report.. but what are you saying that will work to bridge the divide?

Murphy: well you know the good news is is that you know in Congress especially on these matters related to Europe know we are working together. Listen, in this administration is the most divisive and you know of America’s history I mean it’s pretty amazing that the president you know regularly insults the personal appearance of members of Congress I mean we shouldn’t sort of forget how absolutely exceptional that is just yesterday going to the press to talk about you know how he doesn’t like what Adam Schiff looks like. you know that’s pretty over the top and pretty hard to take. but in Congress you know we actually have you know much more agreement especially on matters of national security, than people might think. while the president has been pushing Britain out of the European Union, Republicans and Democrats in Congress you know were working together to try to strengthen our ties to the European Union. we do worry that the president might pull us out of NATO and so we introduced legislation on a bipartisan basis to make sure that Congress has to be consulted before the United States gets pulled out. so you know in Congress especially in the Senate, especially on matters of national security and foreign policy we you know we go to lengths to try to work together, the president unfortunately doesn’t participate in those efforts but you know in the long run I think if Congress can continue to find ways to work together that you know sets a framework which allows us to survive the the Trump administration

Host: Alright Senator Murphy we appreciate your time as a former Norwalk resident, it’s good to talk to.. who would have been my senator when I was living there but thank you senator we appreciate it

Murphy: thanks guys appreciate it

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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