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Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says He Doesn’t Think “anyone in the Israeli government should be surprised that the president is going to stick to his guns”

On campus protests, Sen. Warner says "the right to protest is enshrined in our Constitution...But at the same time...When you start to make living and protest encampments, then there will be consequences."

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See below for video and a few highlights from Sen. Mark Warner’s press availability earlier today.

  • “Obviously, the first issue, which is playing out real time is the FAA reauthorization. Senator Kaine and I, along with our colleagues in Maryland, have been fighting on this issue for some time. We we all agree we need a new FAA bill that will improve safety and grapple with some of the issues about making sure consumers are able to get refunds if they’re inappropriately stopped by certain airlines. But the issue that Tim and I and Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen have focused on is Congress’s repeated attempt to kind of meddle in to the issue of how many airplanes fly into Reagan National versus flights that currently would go to BWI or to Dulles…we think the congestion issues, the safety issues, it would not be in the traveling public’s best interest, you know, to increase capacity at an already extraordinarily crowded National Airport. All we’re saying on the Senate side is give us that same up or down vote…the House voted on this. The House position was zero additional flights. So the fact is the Senate actually ended up agree thing with the House. It is a completely phony argument to somehow say that this would not be greeted well by the House because that was the House’s position.”
  • “…you put that toxic brew together and when you have political candidates making outrageous statements all the time, that oftentimes can be amplified by foreign sources and that we have to be on guard against…So we’ve got to look at the both the the misinformation side and disinformation side and the integrity of our system. This will be the we’ll have this hearing and then a subsequent hearing also to try to bring in the platforms. This is an area that Americans need to be on guard. We all know that we have plenty of disagreements amongst ourselves, a lot of strongly held political views. That’s part of our system. What we don’t need, though, is foreign governments and trying to interfere or trying to, frankly, further pit Americans against one another.”
  • The president has been on record for weeks on end that before Israel…were to move into Rafah, where there’s now a million and a half Palestinians who frankly been pushed into this corner of Gaza because of Israeli actions in other part of Gaza, that there had to be a plan. And I think that’s appropriate. I mean, I strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself. I strongly support the ability to try to get rid of Hamas, which is a terrorist organization that, you know, created heinous crimes on October 7th. But you know, what we’ve not seen from the Israeli government is that plan to protect innocent civilians. So I don’t think, you know, anyone in the Israeli government should be surprised that the president is going to stick to his guns. You know what? My hope greater hope is and this is happening real time. The director of the CIA, Bill Burns, is is he may have left fence in the last couple hours, but he was still in region the last couple of days. You know, the solution here needs to be a hostage deal, needs to be a cease fire, needs to be an allowance of of, you know, having some of these tensions recede. And I think that is in Israel’s best interest because longer term, Israel needs to kind of further align itself with other Arab nations in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia. I remind folks that Saudi Arabia actually came to the aid of Israel a couple of weeks back when the Iranians launched this, their missile attack on Israel. Saudis, Jordanians stood alongside British, French, American and Israelis to take those missiles down. That kind of alliance is only going to take place or only be strengthened is if there’s no conflict in Gaza. So let’s go ahead and get that hostage deal done. Let’s get the cease fire. And again, I would just hope that the Israeli government, you know, would have listened. I mean, President Biden didn’t say no military action in Rafah. He simply said no military action unless you’ve got a plan to protect them… And many, not all, but many innocent civilians in that part of that part of Gaza.
  • “Here’s what I believe. One, the right to protest is enshrined in our Constitution. It is a First Amendment right. It’s part of our system. And I think that right to protest has to be respected and honored. But at the same time, there are rules and procedures that says, you know, protest, but that protest should not involve stopping other students from being able to go about their classes or their exams. And if you break the law in which my understanding at least, is that you know that right to protest, at least on many university, I don’t know what you’ve been on. Many universities does not extend to the ability to build encampments where people are literally living on a university grounds, which by its very nature would interfere with other students right to pursue their academics. So I think you had a right to protest, but I also think you’ve got an obligation to follow the law. And when you break the law, and I believe on most of these campuses, you break the law. When you start to make living and protest encampments, then there will be consequences.”

 

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