'This Week' Transcript: George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Mohamed Tawfik

KARL: We'll continue tracking developments from San Francisco throughout the day. But now to the other big breaking story, the crisis in Egypt. Both sides are calling for demonstrations later today after deadly clashes this weekend, and there is still confusion over who will be named prime minister in the new, military-backed government. Egypt's ambassador to the U.S., Mohamed Tawfik, is standing by to join us next, but first, our dramatic interview with the spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, Gehad El-Haddad. He is a wanted man in Cairo with a warrant out for his arrest, but he told ABC's Byron Pitts even after the violent crackdown against the group by the military, he and his colleagues won't back down until President Mohammed Morsi is put back in charge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON PITTS, ABC NEWS: The military, they have insisted this was not a coup.

GEHAD EL-HADDAD, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: Well, I don't understand what naivete can behold any person to see all the ingredients, political signs wise of a coup, and not see the coup. It's military junta on TV, tanks on the streets, troops on protests (ph). Military people shooting civilians. I mean, it's every ingredient of a full police state. I mean, what else are people waiting for?

PITTS: The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood has been calling for the return of President Morsi. It seems, as we sit here now, that's not going to happen. So what is plan B?

EL-HADDAD: There is no plan B. Again, we will stick by our principles. It's we either return the president back to his rightful place, or we're going (ph) to have (ph) shootings in the streets.

PITTS: Why say something like that?

EL-HADDAD: Because I lived most of my life under the oppressive state of Mubarak. My father did the same under different regimes. My grandfather did the same. It's been too long and this country has been robbed of its freedoms. I'm not willing to let my son and my daughter inherit a state in that mess. I will stand in front of that tank even if it rolls on our dead bodies.

PITTS: A dead man can't enjoy democracy.

EL-HADDAD: Yes. The ones he leaves behind can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Joining us now, Egypt's ambassador to the U.S., who was appointed by President Morsi, Mohamed Tawfik. Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining us. You heard there from the spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, they are willing to die for this, they say it's ridiculous to say that what has happened is not a coup. What is your response?

TAWFIK: What has happened is -- what has happened is that the people of Egypt have decided that President Morsi did not act during his year in office as president for all Egyptians. 22 million Egyptians wrote petitions demanding early elections. My advice to the Muslim Brotherhood is they need to acknowledge the mistakes that they made and they need to join the process. Let us look ahead to the future. There is room for everyone in Egypt, but there is no room for violence, there is no room for incitement to hatred and incitement to commit acts of violence.

KARL: But you just heard what they are saying. They are not ready to compromise on this. They say that Morsi was elected, democratically elected, and he was forcibly removed by the military, and they are willing to die to undo that.

TAWFIK: Morsi was elected democratically, I agree. I supported him. I did my best to help him to succeed. Like millions of other Egyptians, I really wished he had acted like a president to all Egyptians. But then, in the last two months, you have had a massive, a massive reaction from the Egyptian people. Over 15 million people in the streets saying this cannot go on. President Morsi did not act in the interests of the vast majority of Egyptians. He only looked at his own clique. You can't be a democratically elected president and act that way. So now, we want new elections. We're going to get new elections. We're going to get a new parliament.

KARL: How soon, how soon will we see new elections?

TAWFIK: As soon as we possibly can. But what we need to do is we need to get--

KARL: Are we talking months, weeks, months, years? How quickly does this happen?

TAWFIK: As quickly as we possibly can put it together. What we need is we need national dialogue. We need everybody to be in the process. We will not repeat President Morsi's mistakes. We want an inclusive process. This is what the Muslim Brotherhood need to understand. They need to look to the future with the rest of Egyptians. There is room for everyone. We want a truly democratic, pluralistic society.

KARL: What are you hearing from the Obama administration? Are they recognizing this new military-backed government?

TAWFIK: Everybody in the United States that I meet, everybody, without exception, they really want a democratic Egypt. They feel it's good for Egypt and it's good for the United States and it's good for the world. And we agree. And this is what we're working towards achieving. We will succeed in the end, because the people of Egypt have made a decision. They want full democracy.

KARL: But I'm asking, what is the Obama administration telling you? Because we heard from the administration that they were deeply concerned by what happened with this military ouster of Morsi.

TAWFIK: I think the main focus of all our discussions has been the future. The future means we want a democratic process, and we do not want violence. The message has to get across to the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. We do not need more violence in Egypt. Yesterday, four teenagers were thrown off the roof of their own house by Dr. Morsi's supporters. This cannot go on.

KARL: But under U.S. law, we cannot, our government cannot give aid to a country that has been run by the military after a military coup. Do you expect the $1.5 billion in aid from the U.S. to be cut off?

TAWFIK: Egypt has not undergone a military coup and it is certainly not run by the military. Today there is an interim president in place.

KARL: This is not a coup?

TAWFIK: Absolutely not. The military -- listen, what happened was you had over 15 million people in the street. And President Morsi, he could have said, listen, my people, I listen, I hear you. But instead of that, he whipped up religious fervor among his supporters, and there was violence in the air. After more than 20 people have been killed, leaders from Egyptian parties, from Egyptian religious establishments, from the military, they came together, they said we have to stop this. Otherwise, violence will spiral out of control.

KARL: But now your government and you must be in the oddest situation. You were appointed by President Morsi, and now you are representing the government that has -- that has overthrown him. They have closed down Muslim Brotherhood television stations. They have arrested leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is going to happen? Will the Muslim Brotherhood have a role in the new Egypt? What is going to happen to President Morsi? He is under house arrest right now.

TAWFIK: Well, people have the right to demonstrate peacefully. This is guaranteed by the constitution. People have the right to express themselves -- express themselves in any way that they want, without inciting to violence. If you start inciting your followers to violence, if you start whipping up religious fervor, if you start talking about jihad, about martyrdom, then many, many people are going to lose their lives. And that is against the law.

KARL: Mr. Ambassador, thank you for taking the time to talk to us this morning.

TAWFIK: Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be with you.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO:Oscar de la Renta
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo