'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Eliot Engel

Military to military, they're trying to influence them. Back off, don't go in to those camps, they go in and they do it. The president has not taken away, made any indication that he will take away that $1.3 billion in military aid. And I don't think you'll see the president ever try to take that away.

They're trying to get a plan together before congress comes back, what do we do. But right now there is no plan, there is no leverage except for military equipment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you are seeing more calls, Senators McCain and Graham, both saying it's time to suspend aid right now. And if the military continues with this crackdown, won't the U.S. be forced into that position?

RADDATZ: Well, that's the big question. Where is the red line for the U.S? Where is it? There was never really a red line in Syria, and you see tens of thousands of people killed. What they -- they've lost 900 people now in Egypt. There still seems to be no red line.

So we don't know what the U.S. will do next.

I have talked to several officials, and they say perhaps repair parts for some of the military equipment, perhaps Apache helicopters, will that make a difference? They have got all kinds of money coming in from elsewhere.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Martha, stand by. We're going to have more from you in just a minute.

But right now, let's bring those questions to two of the men responsible for making U.S. policy.. The senior Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee Bob Corker, and the senior Democrat on the House foreign affairs committee Eliot Engel.

And Senator Corker, let me begin with you. You've resisted calls to suspend U.S. aid to the military, saying the U.S. has to be a voice of calm. But can you justify continuing U.S. aid in the face of not only a coup, but this crackdown?

CORKER: Well, look, I think the actions of the last week, no doubt, are going to cause us to suspend aid. And I think it's at the same time a time for us to recalibrate and look at what is our national interest. There's no question that we overestimated what our leverage was, and we've underestimated the leverage that Saudi Arabia and UAE has had on this government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, let me just stop you right there. You now -- you've switched your position, you now believe it's necessary to suspend the aid?

CORKER: Yeah.

But let me talk about that. I think we need to look at the tiers of our aid. Let's face it, most of the aid has gone out the door this year. So what we're really talking about, George, is a debate that will take place this fall as we look forward to next year. And again, I think this whole discussion has been a little bit naive and to me very shallow.

The fact is that we need to be looking at what is in our national interest. And is it in our national interest to have jihadis in northeastern Sinai that maybe threaten the security of Tennesseans and Americans? Is it in our national interest when we have 4.5 percent of the population and 22 percent of the world's economic output to ensure that we have priority passage in the Suez Canal and that we continue to have good jobs for Tennesseans and Americans.

So I hope this debate will shift, it'll shift to a place where we're pushing, obviously, for the government to act responsibly.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...