Transcript: National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Karzai also said while he was here that he believes Osama bin Laden is alive. Yet President Zardari of Pakistan says he thinks bin Laden is dead.

What is the best U.S. intelligence right now?

JONES: I think the best intelligence is that we gauge our reaction based on what intelligence we have. And it is inconclusive. Secondly, we wait and see how long it has been before we've seen him actually make a statement, release a video, and make our judgments on that.

The truth is, I don't think anybody knows for sure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let me ask you about that, because we saw some audio tapes from Osama bin Laden in both January and March of this year, and it's my understanding that U.S. intelligence thought that those were authentic.

JONES: Mm-hmm.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what has changed since then to make the intelligence inconclusive?

JONES: Well, as of March, they thought it was authentic, but we don't have any firm information that says that that has changed one way or the other. So I think we'll just continue to press on and we'll see what happens there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What does your gut tell you?

JONES: I -- my gut -- I would like to know conclusively if that's not the case. And I think we have that evidence.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does it matter any more if he's dead or alive?

JONES: I think it matters symbolically to the movement, for sure. But it's clear that that movement has been resilient in replacing their leaders as quickly as we are able to capture or eliminate them.

But I think symbolically it would be a very big thing if he weren't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about Vice President Cheney, he has been something of a media tour lately. And the big point he is making is that the Obama administration actions, repealing some of the Bush administration counterterrorism policies, announcing you're going to close Guantanamo, ending enhanced interrogation techniques are all putting America at risk of another attack.

Now that is a serious charge coming from a former vice president. What's your response?

JONES: Well, I would take issue with some of those allegations. And I think, frankly, in the Bush administration there wasn't complete agreement with the vice president on that score.

The truth of the matter is that the Obama administration inherited a situation at Guantanamo that was intolerable. There are only two people had been - who had entered a plea, they both had been released with time served. Hundreds of people went through Guantanamo and were released. Many of those are back on the battlefield right now waging war against us again.

The Obama administration has put a stop to that temporarily as you know. We do have some decision points coming up. The president is absolutely committed to making sure that we recognize the rule of law principle, we don't make America less safe and that we continue to try to find the right balance in what could be a multi-layer approach.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get to more on Guantanamo in a second but let me just press this one more time. The vice president, former vice president says the Obama administration is putting America at risk of another attack.

JONES: Oh, I don't believe that.

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PHOTO: Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison attend the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Inaugural Gala presented by Salvatore Ferragamo at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 17, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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