‘This Week' Transcript: Sen. Al Franken, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Jon, one of the things we've seen with this struggle over sanctions is that the United States has limited means to deter Putin.

JON KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No question about that, George.

But the White House is prepared to lower the boom of much broader economic sanctions than we've seen so far, targeting entire sectors of the Russian economy. And they believe Russia will go along if Russia invades, that Europe will go along if Russia invades.

But here's the thing, White House officials say that these sanctions could be triggered even without a Russian invasion if those Russian separatist groups do anything to disrupt the Presidential Election that is scheduled for later this month in Ukraine.

But George, look, leverage is limited. The president himself has acknowledged there is no guarantee sanctions will work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, I want to turn to the issue of Benghazi. It was back in the headlines this week, debated in the White House briefing room on Capitol Hill after the release of a new email about those infamous talking points.

The email was from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. We see it right there. And you really got into it in the briefing room.

KARL: Yes, there's no question.

Here's the thing. The White House -- what this seems to suggest is that the White House wanted Susan Rice to talk so much about the protests triggering that attack -- that attack in Benghazi, to deflect criticism from White House policies.

But now what has happened is the bigger issue is why was that e-mail not turned over to Congress earlier?

That failure to turn over has got Republicans on Capitol Hill carrying cover-up and John Boehner, speaker of the House, doing what he has long resisted doing, which is creating a special committee to have yet another investigation into Benghazi.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is just getting set up right now -- and, Martha, eyebrows also raised after this testimony from retired general, Robert Lovell, who was part of the Africa Command.

I want to play you a bit of it.

(AUDIO GAP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm afraid we don't have it right there, Martha.

But the point was, he said -- he conceded that they perhaps should have tried to do something with the military there, even though he also conceded there was not much that he could do.

RADDATZ: And that's exactly right, George. Brigadier General Lovell said despite his wish that more could have been done, given how rapidly things were happening, the military would not have been able to get there to Benghazi in time, which is what official reports have determined, as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Martha, this, of course, raises again the critical issue of security. And you went behind the scenes to find out what more is being done to protect our diplomats.

RADDATZ: I did. You know, diplomatic security never wants another Benghazi. And they gave us special access to see what they are doing in hopes such a tragedy never happens again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, you've got a hallway down here.

RADDATZ (voice-over): In the fictional country of Erehwon (ph), that's nowhere spelled backwards...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All people down.

All vehicles down.

RADDATZ: These diplomatic security agents are in their tenth and final week of hostile environment training...

(VIDEO CLIP)

RADDATZ: Even though this is an exercise, the memory of Benghazi hangs over it all.

The training is challenging, physically and mentally.

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...