Buybacks 'the biggest tool in your toolbox' on gun control: Gillibrand

Martha Raddatz interviews 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on "This Week."
6:46 | 08/18/19

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Transcript for Buybacks 'the biggest tool in your toolbox' on gun control: Gillibrand
And joining me now is 2020 candidate and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Welcome back to "This week." Thank you, Martha. It's good to have you here. You heard the president's trade adviser painting a rather rosy picture of the economy. Saying the president's trade policy is working not leading to a recession. How worried do you think Americans should be about a possible recession? Well, they don't share his view. When I was in Youngstown, Ohio, I met with men and women who just lost their jobs. Some were texted they lost their jobs. Some were given opportunities to move to another state and were given only 24 hours to make that so, I don't think his world view is reflected in the everyday kitchen table issues that families are facing. They're worried about their jobs, they're worried access to healthcare. Are you worried about a recession? I'm concerned, because I think nafta 2.0 is a disaster. I think it was a give away to drug companies in Mexico. It's going to harm our jobs, president trump said no bad trade deals. Not only has he entered into them, but he started a trade war with China. And it's really harming producers. And some accused the president of failing to support the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong because of the trade negotiations. If you were elected president, how strongly would you back those protesters in Hong Kong? I would back them. They expect a country where they have a free speech, they don't expect to be extradited to mainland China, they don't expect to be denied the ability to protest or speak for themselves. What does backing them mean? You use the weight of the presidency and the world community to pressure China to allow basic human rights in Hong Kong. They're under a different agreement than the rest of mainland China. Possibly sanctions? Sanctions you could use. You can use the bully pulpit. Ask other world leaders to join you in sanctions. And pressure the denial of human rights to stop. You just have to use your power and especially your economic power to force different behavior. And I want to turn to Israel, congresswoman tlaib said she will no longer travel there. Even though Israel said they'll allow her to do that on a humanitarian basis to visit her grandmother. She won't do because of the demands put on her. Is that a mistake? Should she have gone because she wanted to originally go see her grandmother? So, the tradition is for members of congress, I have been to Israel several times as a member of congress and I brought a coda of Republicans and Democrats on my trip. Lindsey graham was on my trip. Amy klobuchar, we met with Netanyahu, the point is congress has a duty to make decisions on whether we give aid and how we protect allies such as Israel with qualitative military edge. I don't know why Netanyahu would want to deny members of congress to come to Israel if they expect us to be that never-ending partner and friend. They talk about the bds movement, you don't support that. In this country, we believe in free speech. In this country, we don't deny people the right to participate in conversations about their views and their values. Unfortunately, Netanyahu has allowed a very conservative government to have a law that says if you support the bds movement they can prevent you. Should there be repercussions for Israel? I think our obligation as an ally and a friend is to hold them accountable when they're wrong. Any time you're undermining human rights you're going in the wrong direction. How do you hold them accountable? That's what you do as president, president trump is unwilling to hold anyone accountable. He's unwilling to stand up to other world leaders. You've seen it with this instance with Israel, seen it with China and Russia. He's really shrunk in the face of his responsibilities, unwilling to actually lead and to ask other world leaders to support and protect human rights. I wanted to move on the guns. Earlier this week, you signaled support for a mandatory federal buyback program for assault weapons. More moderate democratic candidates have stopped short of such a program. If you got this through, what does that mean, do you want to prosecute them or fine them? I don't think we should be living in a world where a family can't go to Walmart to do their back-to-school shopping. I don't think we want to live in a place where young children are learning shelter in place drills than math drills. As a president I would seek to make a ban on assault rivals and I would have a ban on large magazines. What about the buyback? You want to make it illegal to buy or sell these assault weapons. As part of your effort you'd offer money, a buyback. If they don't? So, what you want to use is the current law that has placed different types of weapons, required registration like machine guns, we have done this in the past, we made machine guns illegal, and if you owned them they had to be registered and they had to have certain kind of fingerprinting. You can use the same framework. But one of the biggest tools in your tool box is buybacks. You want to give people the opportunity to be reimburse the money they spent to own those weapons. And just moving on to 2020, Jo Biden said there's a need to work with Republicans on capitol hill saying he respects the team. There are a lot of good Republicans out there. They're intimidated right now. Do you agree with that assessment? Of course, every member of congress should seek to work on a bipartisan basis. That's how you pass laws. That's something that I've done successfully in my decade of service. Not only repealing don't ask don't tell, passing the 9/11 health bill in just a few weeks making that permanent. In fact, in the last congress I passed 18 bills and president trump signed them all into the law. He doesn't know he signed them into law, but he did. But the truth is, we also need vision and what the democratic party is looking for right now is bold vision about how you're going to pass a new green deal. And very quickly, on the last point, are you going to make the next debate? So far you haven't qualified for the ABC debate. I will qualify. If your viewers go to my website and send a dollar, I will definitely qualify. Thank you for joining us this morning, senator.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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