WWL>Topics>>Think Tank 1110am US Senate Judiciary Committee

Think Tank 1110am US Senate Judiciary Committee

Jan 10, 2017|

The US Senate Judiciary Committee begins a two-day confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.  This hours guest: Steve Dorsey - CBS Correspondent Dr. Robert Hogan - LSU Professor of Political Science

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

And good morning Dave Cohen in for Garland Robinette. As the US Senate Judiciary Committee begins a two day confirmation hearing for senator Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general of the United States. Properly enforce them. Federal gun laws can reduce crime and violence in our cities and communities. Session is testifying before the committee now as he seeks to be Donald Trump secretary of state we need to understand the requirement. That police work with the community and be respectful of their community but we as a nation need to respect now law officers today. Here's some of the testimony so far as two days of hearings on fold the big question and I have at this point. Is will Donald Trump's nominees states easy confirmation. Or an uphill battle on the hill. Is the GOP unified behind the president elect are we starting to see more and Morse once during. Before trump even takes office what do you think is going to happen do you expect Donald Trump to have widespread. And overwhelming support. Buying the Republicans who now control both the house and the senate or do you think they're going to fight him along the way. Those are really. Going to do that's gonna determine how successful. Presidency he has I think by and large. If he is able to yet so many of these changes he wants to effect through. Is getting along with congress can heat and will he get along with the house and the senate. Coming up we're going to go live to Capitol Hill and check in with CBS news correspondent Steve Dorsey to find out how they hearings are going. And not know for a year from do. Do you think president Barack Obama. As he leaves office and gives way to president elect Donald Trump. Are we going to see. Unity amongst the White House and the congress or will continue to see gridlock in Washington. And will this hearing that's unfolding now give us an indication of what the future holds. Twelve minutes after 11 AM thanks for joining us here and the think tank Dave Conan for Garland Robinette we welcome to the discussion now Steve Dorsey CBS news correspondent on Capitol Hill. Get more receive good morning great. Glad you could be here how are things going on the hill now as we see the confirmation hearings begin for senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. He got up to a rocky start beat him before he got away so members. Are protesters at least addresses members of the kkk. You sort yelling inside the hearing room and it kept sections they were escorted out and since then there has been. Several interruptions by protesters all of whom have been removed by police. Why do you think we're seeing such turmoil in this first confirmation hearing for president elect. Donald Trump's nominees brought. And it could be setting the tone for the rest of these confirmation hearings go especially those that are more attention is more controversial. And Democrats really and civil rights groups had been trying to purely internal tensions scrutinize the civil rights record. Jeff Sessions who was attorney general in Alabama. A deep south state CE. Right and again in his opening remarks blasted those allegations calling them false charges. These are allegations. Calling him a racist and alleging discrimination. Thirty years ago as he was being considered for a federal position. You know they really do open up your entire life when you are nominees for cabinet that for the president in the United States and everything is on the table. And based on what we know on the research we've seen and what we're hearing in these hearings I was sessions holding up so far and do we expect any bombshells. We had a few bits of news coming out of is testimony to senators one one thing we have noticed is that it. He has been trying to cast himself. As. As someone who will lead the Justice Department independent of the corrupt administration keep the as a political arm. For the drop White House in fact there have been a number of departures from. Donald Trump including. In polling waterboarding. Illegal and improper stinky he bow to a hole and Pol Pot laws that congress has passed. He also said he'd respect the Supreme Court ruling. On in same sex marriage. And that he thinks. It's wrong. To deny Muslims as a religious group. Entry to the US something that Donald Trump has pledged to do especially for Muslims comments from our Middle East country. Do you think that any of this comes as a surprise to the trump administration. As it begins to put together the cabinet that here we have a man. Testifying. For his nomination for his approval. At odds with some of the key policies that the president elect has RDX vows. I don't think so I think there was a lot of standing behind the scenes between the trauma conditioned team and Jeff Sessions and didn't it was clear that they supported. Jeff Sessions taking a more independent approach. In the easier. And I think when you're talking about attorney general it's maybe a slightly different dynamic. Then when you're talking about other key cabinet appointments who will be the advisors and at that table with the president. The attorney general seems to you almost want them to did. Work a little more independently of just about everybody. When it comes to determining the proper enforcement of laws in the nation so maybe. We'll see if it's a sign of things to come more more and more of his nominees will seem to be independent. Of the president elect or not. I mean it's important I at least for critics of Jeff Sessions here what he's been talking about. But still he's one of the staunchest conservatives in. The senate so whether or not he follows through on them some reason talking about I think usually in the but it test. And what are we expect down the rest of today and into tomorrow in these hearings. Well tomorrow is going to be days off which gets bashed because that's what will happen witness testimony. For and against. And for what could be the first time name a senator will testify against one of the colleagues. That are Cory Booker and Jersey one of three black senators social testify against sanctions on his civil rights record. Do you expect when it's all said and done based on what you parred in which you're hearing behind the scenes. The Jeff Sessions will win the nomination to become an attorney general. The deal because I think Republicans have more than enough votes needed a project sessions. And I think oh will cease and action on a vote. Took. Is the GOP unified behind the president elect or we certainly see more and more splintering of support as before cup even takes off. I think we'll talk about issues like obamacare there's some. There are some Chinese all the parts of some Republicans especially more moderate Republicans. To just completely do away with it and two wholesale changes which is. Something that Donald Trump has supported and and leaders of of the senate and house of supported so I think there's some some some friction and some. Some division. Sorry developer. And before he even takes office Steve and I get a jump back into the hearing thank you for taking a few more minutes out. To tell us what's going on there on Capitol Hill we look party reports on the CBS radio network thank Steve Steve Dorsey drive. From Capitol Hill in Washington DC DC here on WWL. What do you make of the fact. That. The man who is supposed to be the attorney general. For president elect Donald Trump. Is at odds on key policies he is against. Trump's idea of not letting Muslims into the country. But that's one of the big ones. Can you have an attorney general a president who disagree on key policy measures we'll continue the conversation after this. Eleventh warning to good morning Dave Allen in a think tank for Garland Robinette are big 870 pretty jaguar opinion poll is the GOP unified behind the president elect are starting to splinter report from even takes office. Those of you voting online at WWL dot com. Always interesting not necessarily scientific survey but it's 5050 right now half of you believe that the Republican Party is unified behind the president elect. 50%. Believe that he is splintering. Interest thing as the hearings unfold. First senator Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general of the United States. That he is facing some opposition from some Republicans asking questions about his past. And about his policies. Even though he has been a staunch conservative Republican senator in the US and it. Also interesting to me. That he is at odds with the president elect on several key issues and says that he will enforce the laws of the land. As the congress has passed them. And even believes that some of the policies. That president elect Donald Trump has already discussed. May be illegal or unconstitutional. Here's a man handpicked. By Donald. To be attorney. Can that work if the president of the tourney in general have. Fundamental. Philosophical. Differences. About how the law should be enforced and what the loss as. And what the policies of this nation should be. You know I think it's a good thing on one hand that sessions is making it clear he's not going to be an extension. Of the trump. Administration. Purse say he's not going to be a right hand. Of Donald throw he's not going to be there to try and justify. The policies. That the president elect has and push them through even if he believes there. Incorrect. Or illegal or unconstitutional. I think most interesting amongst those will be the president elect's proposed ban. I'm Muslim immigration. To the United States. Donald Trump has repeatedly says that it makes sense from a national security standpoint. To stop letting Muslims particularly from those countries with the most. Radical views and the most propensity for producing. Members of crisis or al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations to not let any Muslims from those nations come into the United States. At least not with the vetting processes that currently exist. But. Senator sessions. Who is in two days of hearings to be the next attorney general. Does not believe but that policy is proper. Or appropriate. We'll see as his testimony unfolds and as we learn more about his position on that. How those two things can coexist. If the president elect wants one thing when he's the president. And the attorney general wants something else. Text me at 87870. We have a phone line open for you now at 5042601878. In Collins joined the program and talk about how we're seeing this political. Situation unfold on Capitol Hill with a man who admittedly is a businessman and has not for the bulk of his life better politician in Donald Trump. Now navigating what is a very. Specifically designed. Political. System. On the hill. And you have someone who's never dealt with that system directly before now trying to navigated and get his appointees his nominees. Into positions in his cabinet and key leadership roles in our federal government. And while you heard CBS news correspondent Steve Dorsey say he thinks that. We will see Jeff Sessions win approval because. The Republicans control both houses now. He's not so sure how much that support and that control. Is going to continue as we move forward into a trump presidency and were already seeing. In situations. Where there has been splintering of that support particularly when we're talking. About obamacare. CBS news senior legal analyst Andrew Cohen has been watching me hearings. And he says president elect Donald Trump's attorney general nominee has faced a growing on Capitol Hill. That included questions about secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her handling of emails. And the Clinton foundation let's hear what Andrew Cohen has to say about that. The biggest news so far is sessions pledged to recuse himself from any federal investigation into the Clinton foundation. Or Hillary Clinton's email saying that he disqualified himself from those probes because of the criticism you leveled against Clinton during the campaign. So that seems to be. More in line with what we've heard from Donald Trump despite his calls for lock her op. And saying he would. Demanded an investigation. Of Hillary Clinton's emails of Ben Ghazi of her foundation. Since his election he has said he will not. You will not appoint a special prosecutor and he does not think Hillary Clinton needs to go to jail while it sounds like at least. Jeff Sessions if approved as attorney general also would not to be involved in trying to block up Hillary Clinton. He didn't say that it shouldn't happen he just said he would recuse himself because he's already made previous statements on the record about the investigation. I'm Andrew Cohen also tells us that sessions has faced some other interesting questioning on the hill. Nothing has happened so far to change the dynamic of the hearing got sent Republicans praise sessions over and over again as uniquely qualified for the job. And senate Democrats expressed concern that he won't enforce that many laws that he voted against as a senator. What else have we heard in the hearings sessions emphasized his support for the police and their support for him any meat crime and punishment he central part of his opening remarks. Even though he overstated the fact that we're in the middle of a rising crime rate the rate is still near generational lows. So crime. I'm is down but. Strife is at a high no doubt. In terms of race relations between police and the public and between public perception of the police particularly in the black community. Sessions will be in a position where he's got to try and heal. Many of these divisions yet he comes in under a president who has been perceived. As stoking the coals on those. Fires and not perceived as someone who would be a peacemaker between the police in the black community but someone who may make those divisions even deeper. Whether that perception is deserved or accurate. Is another question entirely whether Donald Trump truly is a racist as so many of his detractors have claimed. Yet they don't have necessarily any evidence to prove to supported other than many of his kind of off the cuff remarks. And his perception is being supported by the far right wing more from Andrew Collins. The initial exchange between sessions in chairman Grassley with striking Grassley asked whether sessions Conan would say no to president trump. If asked to do something sessions did not believe he had the authority to do. Sessions said he'd resign. Before doing something unconstitutional. So that continues that theme that we were talking about earlier with Jeff with Steve Dorsey on Capitol Hill from CBS. That. There may be times. When we will see this attorney general if approved. Not agreeing with the president of the United States. Donald Trump has proposed some policies. That some perceived as being illegal or unconstitutional. The hearings continue today tomorrow. Will be very interesting day. When we start hearing testimony. For and against Jeff Sessions text me right now at 878 and a calming it to six 1870. Do you think. That the Republicans are going to be united under a administration of Donald Trump or will they be splintered will we see that kind of ability for control of both the house and the senate with the Republicans. In the White House translate. In the vast changes in US laws and policies or will we continue to see gridlock on Capitol Hill I'll put those questions Delis you professor of political science doctor Robert Hogan coming up after the news here on WW well right now we're gonna take you to Washington DC to get the very latest on the confirmation hearings are senator Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general. Hearings are on going on Capitol Hill for the US senate judiciary committee for two days of confirmation hearings. Donald Trump's attorney general will he face easy confirmation or an uphill battle on the hill some interest in testimony already. In that sessions. Said he would not support the use of water boarding. Even in terror investigations. Despite Donald Trump's campaign promises. That waterboarding should be and could be used going forward. He also said he would not support and does not believe it's legal to ban Muslims. From entry into the United States that is in direct odds with president elect Donald Trump's plan war announcement war. Campaign promise. To band that Muslim immigration at least for the time being. Particularly from nations known to harbor war generate terrorism. Let's go to. LSU professor of political science doctor Robert Hogan now to help us understand what's happened bank capital on what the political landscape is Good Morning America an avenue yeah. More are you glad to talk Kia I don't know how much of the guy hearing you've been able to see so far but we have seen clearly. That sessions is at odds with several Donald Trump's. A parent policies how does that work out if the attorney general the United States and the president of the United States don't agree on some basic. Issues that they'll be confronted. Yeah I think this is really the ones that control things that people were going to be looking. This morning and mark well. Where. Traction. Confirmation hearings it's. Is it is getting him to address the key question you mentioned. Tactic he appears on. Trump or boring well. Com and the other issues such as on the paint ball. Into the country. And I think a lot a lot of people working in this brilliant away trying to get a handle on what can't really met during the campaign. And we been told of course by a lot of it is. Spoke people that a lot of what he says he goes kind of pain he goes through a lot of the campaign bluster. And there's a difference between campaigning and governing. And I think this should be these. Confirmation hearings shortly and then embodiment of that transition Checchi. What is it that you really believe. And I think what you see session saying is is articulating what the composition really years we will be. He thanked the president elect would have nominated sessions knowing how he grows about waterboarding and Muslim immigration. If he were actually at odds with what the president elect plans to do. Exactly exactly I think he he he would not and so you know sessions as someone who prescribe on these issues as in terms of comparing him to other centers and somewhat outspoken on things such as British. And so you know he he agrees where. Trawl I think on these issues I think. What he's articulating today is is going to be the administration's position these issues. Already on people who were disappointed they may feel that. You know trop. Over sole. His position on these sort of thanks backing away from those described. Positions that he took in the campaign. I think that that's which are seeing. It is true that it's interesting that you don't think he's at odds with the president elect that you he's actually on board with the president elect what we're finding out. What do trump presidency may really look like now when he campaigned for eight from presidency paint it dance. Exactly and I think that there. You have views you subtle which rhetoric down the campaign is over. And this is sort of what really happened I think it is a lot of these. Cabinet secretaries are coming out haven't tuned to go to the confirmation. What is that the this is what kind it's going to be put phrase about what is so you re the same way in questions one and two key matters and basically saying you know you know waterboarding is not legal probe has and outright ban on bubble does not either you can ban people from certain. Our countries and you can certainly interrogate them out there. They're religious beliefs among various other questions about them but it's not compete as supple. Couple of sort of how like Bayern. The way to score campaign. You know I thought oh that's interesting because we're seeing one after another of the major campaign theme tumble. Locker rocker was one of the things we heard chanted and it Donald Trump seemed to support was an investigation that would lead to jailing Hillary Clinton. Four alleged violations of the email of the handling of Ben Ghazi her foundation. But we just heard. From senator sessions that you'll have nothing to do with that that if there were an investigation he would recuse himself. And if the attorney general is RE talking about recusing himself and Donald Trump is Carty said he doesn't want to appoint a special prosecutor. It looks like that is one of the major teams of the campaign that is gone in the Muslim immigration. Was another major theme of the game. Andy your analysis is correct that. Sessions doesn't support that because. Donald Trump doesn't truly support that in the long run. That's another major theme on waterboarding was that thing the Donald Trump talked about often during the campaign as an effective means for getting information. From terrorists and preventing future terror attack. Take that off the board you just start to wonder what will top administration look like will there be a wall built. Right will there be a wall built will they give Obama. Should within hours of winning the court the presidential election. He backed the need to call the cable. Two of the key component so obamacare saying that he was in touch so. Yeah I mean that the is that offer. Is that something that is in this sort atypical. Act of a presidency we can be receding establish. It as something that is typical that we should be and that is that. There is the difference between campaign rhetoric and what power ups are we want to implement. There were many liberals who were there. Disturbed about Obama. On his administration between the tees were back down on our immediate they're going to keep emphasizing his campaign and you. You see the EUC this just practicality. That this were inner fears here that there are laws that you know there or loss of place that contract. President from doing certain things such as waterboarding. And that doesn't sort of subtle issues and they're underground now to to govern. In no way you start to wonder what of the campaign rhetoric. Will become apart of Obama president an apartment at trump brands out. Each humanity and he took off the board very early on. The parts of obamacare that. Allow people with preexisting conditions to purchase insurance and current. The older children being able to stay on the parents' policies too late twenties six and that makes it very hard now to dismantle obamacare because if you keep those two parts without them the other parts. It almost become runs. Impossible. To funded and you run it without those key component being removed from it. I he also very early and I think many people perceived. Donald Trump. As being anti gay marriage yet right after his election he made it very clear that issues with settled and he is not going to do anything to trying change. The gay marriage ruling from the United States Supreme Court even if he could so what is left from the rhetoric other than go at all. That he prior to build that could become a hallmark of his administration. Yeah I don't know but I'm sure it's going to be great that they were spot on a I'll either. I don't know I mean. I mean clearly he's going to be. I think they've been great emphasis in his administration is first and be on. Budgetary economic issues and not think it signal that that he cares most about. On and on site you're gonna see. Potentially true to our regulations in a lot of areas pointed he's appointing people. Two places he had to key cabinet position to EPA interior people. Don't feel very strongly heavy handed. Couple government. Approach regulations that accuracy. A movement in that area and all things such as actor. I'm come up with the paws are great. When we come back director Robert programming as you will the middle class C a tax break do you think. Under trump administration. That was another hallmark. Of his campaign will we see tax breaks for middle class Americans will get doctor Hogan's thoughts on that. And on our big it's a pretty got our pit bull is the GOP unified behind the president elect. Or starting to splinter before trump even takes office. We're talking with doctor Robert Hogan Alice you political science professor. About the hearings on Capitol Hill now for the next. Presumptive next attorney general of the United States senator Jeff Sessions. IE as we kind of talked about over the last segment. You thanked him much of what sessions as saying now is kind of foreshadowing for us about what a top administration will truly look like and that many of the policies that word discussed during the campaign may have been more rhetoric and actual planning and now we're seeing what it's truly going to unfold. Odd. What about the idea and the priority of cutting taxes do you think Donald Trump will. Follow through on those. Campaign themes and will we see tax cuts now for middle class Americans and nor Brothers. Yeah electric I think the debt. That area is to place where. Donald Trump is he's a priority I am. Guessing here but they look continued team that is. We're real party and it is and economic and and budgetary changes and he has made a common. Cut taxes or they're in and I think you're going to see. It is very likely be playing all year more than previous Republican administration. It sort of our. We economic approached their view. At the tax rate from upper income Americans in particular and that money will there be inducted into the government programs and and private industry and of course the economy grow. And quote oh what Corey. And skeptical about her. So I think that is as planned out and got into the ideological positions on all of these pictures war is certainly. Where he's coming on the are going to be the priority or regular all American tax cut probably the way things are done. In the past. Everyone gets a little bit of a tax cut out. Even those in the middle and in the war. But our income categories but probably the Balkan it will go up or in America. Doctor we appreciate your time and joining us tells you political science professor doctor Robert Hogan. I know will be talking to you frequently now as we watch the peaceful transition of power and get an idea what the future looks like part United States government. Nice stock in you more thoughts after this you're text messages and it 787. Is the GOP unified behind the president elect are starting to splinter report drop even takes office. 63%. Of you voting online at WWL dot com. Outrage at our opinions all say it's splintered already only 38%. Think that is the unified Republican Party it's going to be interesting to see how that pans out because presidents of the past. Have had gridlock on Capitol Hill and had one party controlling the hill while the others in the White House and that's made it very difficult to get anything through. If Donald Trump is a Republican and has the Republican controlled house and senate. It's going to be hard for him to explain why he can't get key policies pushed through with one party in power. Text messages are coming in at 8787 he wants this drop is already ask congress to figure out how to pay for his great wall and he's going to get Mexico to pay it back later. That will happen. Someone else says though just like Donald Trump did to get elected sessions will say anything to win approval. Some.