'This Week' Transcript: Secretaries Gates and Clinton

KYL: I don't think I said that, Jake, but what I did say is that the conditions for immigration reform no longer exist. The consensus that existed before does not exist. And among other reasons, because the administration -- this current administration has not done what's necessary to secure the border and enforce the law. We just saw the tragic death of a rancher down on the border, presumably from drug smugglers or illegal immigrants, that simply illustrates once again the fact that we have not controlled the border. And until that's done, I think it's going to be very difficult for Congress to support legislation that would be as comprehensive as that I supported three years ago.

TAPPER: OK, Senator Kyl and Schumer, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Even before news from the Supreme Court, this has been a momentous week for the president. He signed a new nuclear arms treaty with the Russians and released a new nuclear policy. Two of the main architects of the president's nuclear policy are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. I spoke with them Friday at the Pentagon.

TAPPER: Secretary Clinton, I'd like to start with you. This has been a big week for talking about deterrents. Especially deterrents against Iran. And yet we learned that Iran is announcing the third generation of centrifuges. Six times faster than the previous generation. Is Iran not saying to the United States, "We are not deterred"?

CLINTON: Well, Jake, it has been a very positive week for American foreign policy, and particularly with respect to our nuclear posture. When it comes to Iran, we take everything they say with more than a grain of salt, because we know that they have a -- a tendency to say things that may or may not be carried out. May or may not be accurate. But in fact their belligerence is helping to make our case every single day.

Countries that might have had doubts about Iranian intentions, who might have even questioned whether Iran was seeking nuclear weapons, are having those doubts dispelled as much by the evidence we present as by what comes out of the leadership of Iran.

TAPPER: Secretary Gates, just a year and a half ago you had a different boss but you had the same job. And you were expressing support for the idea that nuclear weapons can be an effective deterrent against chemical and biological weapons.

GATES (from October 28, 2008): "In the first Gulf War, we made it very clear that if Saddam used chemical or biological weapons, then the United States would keep all options on the table. We later learned that this veiled threat had the intended deterrent effect as Iraq considered its options."

TAPPER: It's a refrain that a lot of Republicans have talked about that the United States is taking things off the table that would deter other countries.

Did you change your mind?

GATES: Well I think what's happened is the situation has changed. We have more robust deterrents today, because we've added to the nuclear deterrent missile defense. And -- and with the phased adaptive approach that the president has approved, we will have significantly greater capability to deter the Iranians, because we will have a significantly greater missile defense.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...