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This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Putin is trying to silence reporting in Russia. He's also trying to have bargaining chips against the United States. There's two other Americans. Paul Whelan has been held for more than four years on false espionage charges.
Mark Fogle is an American school teacher. He had a small amount of medical marijuana. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He's been held for over a year. So, you know, Evan is now a bargaining chip.
I think he feels he's worried. He faces a very, very long sentence, but in my time, I always felt terrible for my family. And his family now is in this excruciating position where they're trying to pressure President Biden to help get Evan out.
They really don't have that power, though. So it's just a sad situation. And it's sad for Russians. It's so sad what Vladimir Putin has done to Russia and that he's acting in such an autocratic way to silence any free reporting in Russia. It's beyond sad.
It's evil. David Rohde, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal reporter, talking about when he was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2008. Now he knows what it's going to be like for this Wall Street Journal reporter, Jennifer Griffin, our guest.
We've never had a time. Remember when President Obama said during the debate to Mitt Romney, his 1970s called, 1980s called? They want their foreign policy back.
And he was laughed at. Russia's not an enemy. They clearly are an enemy. And they've always been an enemy.
And, you know, I saw it when I lived there in the 90s. And thinking about this Wall Street Journal reporter, I mean, I think it's important to keep in context that he is – when we as reporters repeat the Russian lies, which is that he was arrested on espionage charges, that almost elevates the fact that we might – that there might be a possibility that he was a spy. He was not. He is a bartering chip for Putin. That is what Putin does.
It's why he grabbed Brittany Griner right before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He is now gobbling up as many pawns as he – because he is going to want people in return back. When we traded, you know, the merchant – The Victor Boot.
Yeah, Victor Boot, the merchant of death. That just encourages him, knowing that there will be trades. It reminds me of Tehran, 1979, you know, hostages. There are going to be more American hostages, but let's call Evan, the Wall Street Journal reporter, what he is. He's a hostage of the Putin government. So you believe that we should change the way we report it?
Oh, I do, because I think when you report it straight – Because I agree with you. If you say that the Russian government says that they – he's charged with espionage, that almost makes people think, well, wait, was he a spy? Is he a spy? No, he's not a spy. He was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, an accredited reporter.
We know who he is. He was not a spy. He is a hostage of the Putin government, and words matter. And I think it's no different than – well, look at what – it came a day after there were reports that the U.S. might extradite a Russian citizen who had been a student at Johns Hopkins who was picked up in Europe. He was a spy. Remember the show The Americans where they planted an American – a Russian into the American university, made him look like he was American?
He's one of those. And the U.S. was about to extradite him from Europe, and Putin grabbed this Wall Street Journal reporter, and I'm sure that will be part of the trade at some point. Jennifer Griffin with us. So, Jennifer, there's so much going on right now because this week we believe that the Taiwanese president is going to meet with the Speaker of the House out in California, and the Chinese warned us not to do it. You better not meet. Now, we've done this seven times, comes over. We're going out – John Kirby's going out of the way to say, this is a transit. This shouldn't be provocative. How do you feel about the message we're relaying and the meeting that will happen?
Well, remember what happened. Originally, Speaker McCarthy wanted to go over to Taiwan. He wanted to do what Nancy Pelosi had done and to show up, and he agreed to compromise after consulting with national security experts to not – Yeah, Taiwan didn't want him to come. They don't want to provoke China right now. And so the compromise was that he would meet with the Taiwanese president here in the United States. The Taiwanese president came through New York a day ago, will go down to Latin America and come back and meet Kevin McCarthy in California.
So it's a compromise. It still shows that the U.S. is not afraid to meet with the president of Taiwan. But I think what we should be watching is that there are some countries that are succumbing to Chinese pressure, and they are changing their – Like Argentina. Yes, Argentina has backtracked and now won't recognize Taiwan and is – and so China, as we are focusing on Ukraine and other issues, our domestic politics, right now China is moving into Latin America, into Africa, and even into Europe, gobbling up their infrastructure, filling vacuums by loaning money to these governments that post-COVID need money. Belt and road. The Belt and Road Initiative. If the U.S. does not go toe-to-toe with them on that and bring those countries back into the Western fold, this – we are in a period of time, Brian, this is a new chapter.
It will be written about by historians as to how we handle these next – this next decade. So we watched the Argentinian president come and visit here. Was pressure put on that president?
I don't know. To back off and, you know – There need to be consequences. Their inflation is at a thousand percent right now. Look, why are there no consequences for South Africa and India not joining the U.S. and NATO allies and other European allies and the members of the free world in pressuring – in ostracizing Russia with regards to their invasion of Ukraine? If you can't bring in India and South Africa and the full weight of the U.S. government is not enough to scare those countries into basically joining – you have a choice to make.
You're on the right side of history or you're not. But we don't use the full weight of our power. India especially. India is taking over, as you know, better than anybody, some of the businesses that we abandon, the McDonald's, the restaurants, and they're going into Russia. They are the largest importer of Russian oil. Why Putin is allowed – it can stay afloat despite all these sanctions is because China and India are buying their oil. It's that simple. Is this true?
Cut 35. What do you make of this? Do you take Xi Jinping seriously when he says he's preparing his country for war? We take – certainly we take Mr. Xi seriously. But I will say that I don't think that an attack on Taiwan is imminent nor inevitable.
Do you agree? Well, I don't think that – I think – here's what I'm concerned about right now in listening to that exchange and in listening to both – we do have – the one bipartisan issue is that both parties agree that China is a threat and that Taiwan is worth protecting and defending because of the chips issue, because of all sorts of issues. My concern right now is that there is a great deal of group think that sort of is presenting war as inevitable. If you do look at the war games of the U.S. versus China over Taiwan, nobody wins. You're talking tens of thousands of deaths in the first days. You're talking about destruction that we haven't seen since World War II. That – what needs to happen right now is there needs to be deterrence and there needs to be a credible military buildup both of Taiwan.
Taiwan needs to be a porcupine. It needs to be a hardened target. The U.S. military needs to say to them, you're buying the wrong weapons.
Here's what you need to buy. The U.S. government needs to move faster and make sure that they have the right – They don't. It's been three years, right? But it's very – well, it's a supply chain issue. It goes back to all of our supply chains.
Things are slowed down. It takes forever to build weapons. It takes forever to supply them.
It's no different than the rest of ours. So you don't believe it's a lack of will to get them the weapons they need? It's not a lack of will.
It's not a lack of will. It's a supply chain issue as much as anything. And also Taiwanese, just like the Ukrainians on the eve of the invasion of Ukraine, they don't want to believe that it's happening. So they haven't been buying the right equipment.
So it's a little bit on them as well. They haven't been preparing to deter China either. So it's complicated, but I don't want us to talk ourselves into a war because nobody wins if there's a war. But it needs to be deterred and it needs to be deterred fast.
And I don't think you can understate the fact that China's not been in a war. They build up. They spend.
I get it. They're doing this, this and this. But until you actually do it after talking to all the veterans and nobody talks more than you, and then the commanders, the lieutenants, the captains, what they learn in the middle of a war, that's why we got the best special forces. They got better and better and better before our eyes. And we're learning a lot from Ukraine. Don't forget what the U.S. military is learning from how the Ukrainians are using weapons that we're giving them.
They're MacGyvering them. They're using them in ways that even the U.S. military, and it is a learning process. So anyone who says that it's a zero-sum game and you can't do Ukraine and also do Taiwan, they are missing the point. You learn a lot in what's happening in Ukraine and how those weapons are being used. I want you to hear this cut from 60 Minutes. This is Admiral Samuel Paparro trying to alert this country that this is a real threat. What happens if China invades Taiwan?
Cut 38. Taiwan. And if China invades Taiwan, what will the U.S. Navy do?
It's a decision of the President of the United States and a decision of the Congress. It's our duty to be ready for that. But the bulk of the United States Navy will be deployed rapidly to the Western Pacific to come to the aid of Taiwan if the order comes to aid Taiwan in thwarting that invasion. Is the U.S. Navy ready? We're ready, yes. I'll never admit to being ready enough. Do you believe we're ready?
I don't know that anybody's ready for what this would mean, and I say that in all seriousness. The one good thing that I've seen happen in the last two years is that the U.S. has been very rapidly, and this administration deserves credit, in getting more allies in the Pacific. So we have probably nine more bases than we did two years ago between the Philippines, Guam.
Australia seems to understand the thrill. South Korea and Japan are now speaking. Japan is the biggest game changer because they didn't remember post World War II.
They didn't spend money on defense. They didn't have a standing military. There's a whole sea change of mentality there because they see what's happened in Ukraine with Russia, and they recognize that China is a huge threat, and they are preparing to help Taiwan.
South Korea, there's a change in mentality there. But there are more U.S. bases there. They're moving as fast as they can. But again, I go back to supply chains. We can't build ships fast enough.
We're not replacing the legacy platforms. The planes, everything is backlogged. So weapons, they need to be built faster, and you can't cut in budgets. We talked about the $842 billion. That sounds like a huge amount of money. But they're also decommissioning a lot of ships that they are going to need.
Listen, I will say this. I would love, and this might be the oldest implication, but I hear the defense contractors need 10-year deals. So you need to have a commitment for 10 years. This is where they could plan, they could forecast, they could hire, they could spend, they could give budgets. But if you're going to keep rotating them out every two years and say, that's dead, this is alive.
This is dead, this is alive. So they need 10-year plans, and the Pentagon is the first to tell you that. But guess what gets in the way of that? Continuing resolutions.
Talk about debt limits and debt ceilings and defunding, putting holds on the government spending. That messes up the U.S. military more than anything else. I think you understand how important I view, and I think most sober people view, the war in Ukraine. To me, we have to be successful there.
The way they fight, all they want is the weapons to do it. But the one thing, the building Republican resentment is, what about the money? Do we know where the money's going? So I heard Deloitte was hired to follow the money, and then I hear this from General Milley, and I'm thinking about all the critics and people running for office.
Cut 27. We do not have any uniformed troops, or civilians for that matter, accompanying Ukrainian forces in the front line. We do have folks working out of the embassy, so they're working at the administrative defense level, and that's as far as our hands-on accountability goes. We do have some other means through reporting that the Ukrainians report to us, and I'll be happy to talk about that in a classified session, but there are some means and mechanisms of doing some accountability. It is not as rigorous as you might think. That's just cut, right?
Are you kidding? So I heard that, Brian, and when I was out in Ukraine a year ago, I was with people who explained to me how we do actually track weapons, and it doesn't necessarily mean that we send a bean counter with those weapons up to the front lines. There are many technical ways that we can track weapons with. I don't want to even say how we do it, and that's why you heard General Milley talk about more could be said in a classified setting.
U.S. troops are not on the front lines, but there are many other people and technological means to track weapons, and I would point out, because I think the answer was not as precise, or it was not the full picture based on my reporting and what I know to be true. That being said, the amount of money being spent in Ukraine is a pittance compared to what it costs to fight a war. You know what it costs to fight a war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We're talking trillion-dollar wars. This so far, you're talking $120 billion. It may sound like a lot in terms of my bank account, but that is small in terms of Pentagon budgets and in terms of investment. Those weapons, we don't need a tracker to tell you that those weapons are being used on the front lines. Go to Twitter and you will see videos of those weapons being used. Why do you think the Ukrainians are still standing? It's because of the weapons.
I would just love for Jennifer Griffin. I don't know why they can't say that. If you just say that and you use that example, I just want to make sure that there's not somebody from another Zelensky opposition party that might be selling it to somebody else that's the fear. Look, any war, there's a little spillage, okay? Understood. There's a little bit of corruption in every war. Going back to World War II, there are people on the black market selling things.
But I can tell you that for the most part, you can see with your own eyes that those weapons are being used on the front lines because you see the Russians being slaughtered and killed at a rate that we haven't seen ever in the history of war. All right. Jen, thanks so much for coming in. Actually, we have a couple more minutes on the back end, right? Yeah, a couple more minutes, then we'll put you on the Acela, we promise. Back in a moment, Frank. He'll meet you.
Hey, welcome back. Jennifer Griffin's with us. But, Jennifer, do you know the number one story in the world?
Probably in the world right now is the indictment of President Trump. This is what we now know. He's expected to be arraigned Tuesday at 2.15 p.m. Eastern time. The same judge as the same judge that was on the Bannon case, was on the grand jury, will be there for him again.
His name is Juan Merchant. No handcuffs besides Takapino says they'll now have a second source that says no handcuffs. This will be handled by the DA's office. Today there will be a meeting at 1 o'clock between law enforcement, Secret Service, the NYPD, the FBI, and New York State court officers. The street closures are expected in Center Street and Baxter Street in Manhattan. Everybody was told in the NYPD to be in uniform today, even the plainclothes guys and women. So it's a crazy time, right? It is.
But I will, just to lower the temperature a little bit. I drove past Trump Tower on the way here to the studio and there was nobody out front. There were no cameras.
And guess what? When there are no cameras, there are no protesters. There were no protesters. And so I actually think that if, you know, this is going to have to play out, everyone needs to lower the temperature. Everybody needs to be careful what they say, including the former president, because inciting violence, nobody wins.
Right. January 6 was real. And there was no, it wasn't a peaceful protest. Just like what happened in Nashville. They won in there and that was a mess, too.
But no one's talking about that. Jen, unbelievable what you did with Benjamin Hall. I know it's not enough time, but that was in the documentary.
Amazing, right? I encourage everyone to go to Fox Nation and watch the uncut, long version of the documentary. It's our producers here, Miriam, Safari and her team put together an extraordinary documentary, not only paying tribute to Pierre, Sasha, Benjamin, Benjamin's family, but also this extraordinary group from Save Our Allies, these former special operators who went in when the U.S. military couldn't step across the line. And then the U.S. military defense secretary, Austin, sent the 82nd Airborne and got him to Landstuhl. And that's why Benjamin Hall's walking today. And you were right in the middle of that. You were working, landing the plane. Jennifer Griffin, thanks so much. Thanks.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 00:15:23 / 2023-04-02 00:23:43 / 8