Home Mark Warner Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says Trump DoJ “worse than Nixonian”; “I wish...

Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says Trump DoJ “worse than Nixonian”; “I wish I was more optimistic about the future of the Afghan government”

On infrastructure packages, Sen. Warner says "this is a once in a generation opportunity to take on the challenge around climate change"


This morning, Sen. Mark Warner talked to Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post and covered a number of topics. See below for video, in which Sen. Warner had the following to say (transcripts from the Washington Post):

  • On “reports of the Trump-era DOJ secretly subpoenaing the records of former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn, as well as journalists and political opponents“: “What I think we are seeing is that it was worse than all of us even imagined. We knew the Department of Justice had become, in a sense, the personal arm of the Donald Trump protection racket. Bill Barr was more interested in being Donald Trump’s personal enforcer than the nation’s top law enforcement official. These stories sound Nixonian but they are actually worse than Nixonian. I do hope Merrick Garland, whether it’s through an IG or other process, gets to the bottom of this and makes clear that a Biden Justice Department would not be going after journalists, not be going after political opponents. I hope this is a dark chapter that we can close. And I do hope, as others have called, that those who are responsible be held accountable.”
  • On infrastructure package negotiations: “A lot of my Democratic colleagues made very clear to me, and I get it, that you can’t count on their vote for this more traditional infrastructure package if there’s not a second effort, which we call reconciliation. […] Which could include, I think, the kind of tax reform that’s needed, both on the basis of international tax reform and a fair tax package. Again, I’m not suggesting something as aggressive as President Biden laid out but we got some very specific ideas there. And, this is a once in a generation opportunity to take on the challenge around climate change. And we would be irresponsible if we didn’t take those actions. […] I am not sure there will be a first step, if there is not at least visibility into how we get the second step, the reconciliation, done.
  • On President Biden meeting with Vladimir Putin: “With Russia, we want a stable relationship but I think we need to have a president that comes back in and says ‘you cannot mess in our elections. We are aware of what you are trying to do, both in terms of disinformation, misinformation, how even in the 2020 elections, when you used Russian and Ukrainian agents, oftentimes manipulating major American political figures. That was inappropriate, we want you to cut it out.’”
  • On cybersecurity: “We need to have a strong message on cybersecurity. […] One, we need to pass domestic legislation to require that when these cyber incidents take place that you report them to the government. […] I think we need an international set of standards, the same way we have around chemical weapons or nuclear weapons or other activities. If something is coming from your country, emanating from your country, and it is going about shutting down the health care system or shutting down critical infrastructure, the levels of attribution, you taking the blame for that, you are going to have to pay some consequences. […] We need to do this, I believe in concert with our allies.”
  • On Afghanistan: “I wish I was more optimistic about the future of the Afghan government; this is a government that for years the United States of America was paying more to prop up the Afghan government and military than the whole GDP of the nation. At some point, the Afghanis have to be willing to fight for themselves. I’d like to be more optimistic, I worry that the Taliban have been playing the long-game. […] I’m hoping for the best but I don’t want to be naive about the long-term prospects of what that Afghan residual forces may look like. I do think the Afghanis will be able to maintain their presence around Kabul and some of the major cities. And again, I hope to be potentially pleasantly surprised with a stronger negotiation than what I’ve seen to date.”


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