'This Week' Transcript: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Sen. Marco Rubio

ByABCNEWS (syndicate)
May 10, 2014, 10:31 AM
PHOTO: ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News Contributor and The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R) Illinois and SiriusXM's "The Michael Smerconish Program" Host Michael Smerconish on 'This Week'
ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News Contributor and The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R) Illinois and SiriusXM's "The Michael Smerconish Program" Host Michael Smerconish on 'This Week'
ABC News

May 11, 2014— -- Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on May 11, 2014. It may contain errors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Now on ABC THIS WEEK, desperate search. The clock is ticking in the frantic hunt for hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls. Did the Nigerian government ignore the warnings? This morning, brand new details, including the latest from the Secretary of Defense.

Rocky week, the Benghazi firestorm reignites and Monica Lewinsky reappears. Will it take a toll on Hillary's plans for 2016?

Plus Senator Marco Rubio, can the one-time Tea Party star still win over the GOP? We're on the trail in New Hampshire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Do you think you're ready to be president?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA. (voice-over): I do.




Happy Mother's Day. So much to cover this morning, including Michael Sam's emotional and history-making moment at the NFL draft.

But first dramatic developments in Nigeria, where we've learned U.S. surveillance aircraft are on the way if needed to help in the urgent search for hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls. And there are new questions about whether warnings before the kidnapping were ignore.

ABC's Hamish Macdonald has the very latest.


HAMISH MACDONALD, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning Nigeria's government is facing damning allegations that security forces knew four hours before the attack that Boko Haram was coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This for us is shocking and it's embarrassing and it's kind of shows that there's an abhorrent lack of political will.

MACDONALD (voice-over): The claims are made in an Amnesty International investigation. But the defense ministry says here the report is unfortunate and untrue.

We do know Nigeria's government took time before it sent in international help. There are now two dozen U.S. personnel on the ground including the military in a support role only. But the surveillance and reconnaissance assets heading to Nigeria now could help immensely in the search and may include aircraft, capable not only of visual surveillance, but those which could pick up so fine conversations in real time.

CIA Director John Brennan has indicate to Jorge Ramos (ph) on our sister network, Fusion, there is scope to do more.

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: We have officers on the ground in many parts of the world. And so we're able to bring to bear the capabilities that we need, the people that we need.

MACDONALD (voice-over): Support for the girls is spreading globally from the pope on Twitter to the first lady.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters.

MACDONALD: The question now is whether all of this international support will actually make it easier or harder for the families to get their girls back safely.

MACDONALD (voice-over): There is a perceived risk here that pressure from outside could force Nigeria's president to take a more hardline approach. And that could endanger the girls. For THIS WEEK, Hamish Macdonald, in Abuja, Nigeria.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Hamish.

Now to new developments on the crisis in Ukraine. Voters in Eastern Ukraine deciding right now if they want to split off and become an independent state, a move that could push the country even closer to civil war.

Alex Marquardt and Terry Moran are tracking it for us. We start with Alex.

Good morning

ALEX MARQUARDT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha. People have been streaming all day into polling stations like this one to cast their votes in this hastily arranged referendum. This is the ballot; it asks a rather ambiguous question about more independence for this region. Ever voter we've spoken with, every ballot we've seen says yes, this vote will pass overwhelmingly.

But there are no official monitors. They don't even have the latest voter registration rolls, and no real way to make sure voters don't vote more than once. And it's hard to say in concrete terms what this vote will mean beyond deepening divisions in this country.

Anger is on the rise here, particularly following several violent and deadly incidents in which pro-Russian protesters were killed. Today's referendum is happening despite calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay it. But for more from the Russian side, we go to my colleague, Terry Moran, in Moscow.


We've seen a dramatic shift in tone from President Putin about those separatists in Eastern Ukraine. He's keeping them at arm's length and now calling for dialogue among all Ukrainians. Of course, he also said he was pulling back the 40,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, but U.S. and NATO officials say they still haven't seen that.

Right now Putin is riding sky high politically. There was that dramatic defiant victory lap in Crimea on Friday. Last night he even hit the ice in an exhibition hockey game and he scored six goals. From the start of this crisis, Putin has kept everyone guessing, including the Russian people, applying pressure, backing off as needed; but one thing is for certain, Putin is determined to maintain maximum Russian influence in Ukraine and block it from joining the West. And he will use today's referendum as he sees fit to achieve that goal -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Terry.

Now to a football first: an NFL team drafting an openly gay player. Michael Sam had to wait until the seventh round last night but check out this emotional reaction when he finally got that history-making phone call from the coach of the St. Louis Rams.


RADDATZ (voice-over): A lot of tears and a kiss for his boyfriend, "USA Today's" Christine Brennan joins me now.

Christine, history-making indeed.

What does this mean for the NFL's culture, for the fans?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, "USA TODAY": Well, you just mentioned the culture. The NFL is by far the most popular league in the country, Martha. And if he had not been drafted, can you imagine the questions, what's wrong, why, NFL, why in 2014 --


RADDATZ: And there was a while there we thought he wouldn't be --

BRENNAN: Oh, it went forever, only seven players after him.

But there were questions about his skill based on the combine and the way he worked out. But it was just, I think, the right moment; the NFL needed this. I think the country needed this.

RADDATZ: A lot of social media came in last night and one from the Dolphins' second year defensive back Don Jones, who tweeted out, "OMG" right after the video of the kiss aired and when someone asked if he was referring to the embrace, he responded, "Horrible." They've since taken that tweet down.

BRENNAN: The Dolphins, of course, were the ones with the bullying story that continues.

The NFL has been, in many ways, that last bastion of male supremacy. And yet there were gay players, of course, who were not out, even the '60s and '70s. So this is going to drag the NFL into the 21st century. I think it's about time.

RADDATZ: And going forward, if he doesn't do well -- I mean, all eyes will certainly be on Michael Sam.

BRENNAN: Oh, now the question becomes does he make the team. Jason Collins, of course, is playing the playoffs in the NBA, the first openly gay man in the NBA and now, of course, the question will be can Michael Sam make the Rams.

And I think that will be an issue. And I think he'll be able to do it because he's a very, very good player. The coplayer of the year, the defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

RADDATZ: And a new generation of fans coming up --


BRENNAN: Well, exactly, 40 percent of the fans are female in the NFL and all these young --

RADDATZ: Young, young, young.

BRENNAN: -- right, the 80-year-old fan isn't going to be around 20 years from now. But the 20-year old will. And they have a very different view of this.

RADDATZ: Thanks so much, Christine.

Now to the scandal at the nation's V.A. hospitals. Outrage growing this weekend over the way men and women who serve our country are treated when they return home.

Now both families and Congress are demanding answers from the Obama administration official in charge. ABC's Jim Avila has the latest.


JIM AVILA, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started here, the Phoenix V.A., where 40 veterans died while waiting for a doctor's appointment. An inside whistleblower doctor telling Congress delays of up to 21 months were hidden from Washington bosses so his immediate superiors could earn bonuses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patients were dying because of it. And that's the point where we said, you know, we can't take this anymore.

AVILA (voice-over): Patients like Phoenix vet and Purple Heart winner Ralph Nicastro (ph), who died after waiting months for a specialist visit to diagnose the lump found on his neck after a routine checkup.

He kept this journal, documenting the calls he made for 15 months, trying to schedule a V.A. visit that never came.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're all making calls again to the Phoenix V.A.

Why the hell can't our federal government at the V.A. do this for our fighting soldiers that have given their arms, their sight, their legs and their life for this country?

AVILA (voice-over): The V.A. says it's investigating these serious charges and is conducting a nationwide audit. And there's pressure for the V.A. secretary, Eric Shinseki, to resign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is universal outrage. Our members are so disappointed and are really betrayed. You know, they've been at war for over a decade. Our members did their part. The V.A.'s not doing theirs.

AVILA (voice-over): This week Shinseki is scheduled to testify before Congress. For THIS WEEK, Jim Avila, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Jim. That V.A. scandal, one of the topics we took straight to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in our exclusive interview yesterday.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC (voice-over): It's a scandal that's shaken military families across the country, so should it cost Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki his job? Already the American Legion has called on the retired four-star general and Vietnam vet to step aside.

RADDATZ: Should General Shinseki be accountable?

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, there's no one who understands accountability more than General Shinseki.

RADDATZ: Does he have your support now?

HAGEL: I do support General Shinseki. But there's no margin here. If this, in fact, or any variation of this occurred, all the way along the chain, accountability is going to have to be upheld here because we can never let this kind of outrage, if all of this is true, stand in this country.

RADDATZ: The average wait is five months.

Is that taking care of our veterans?

HAGEL: No, it's not good enough obviously. It has to be better.

RADDATZ: Shouldn't we have predicted that there would be a backlog?

We were in the middle of two wars. We had tens of thousands -- millions deployed during this period?

And no one predicted that, including General Shinseki.

HAGEL: I don't think it just started with General Shinseki's term at the V.A. This -- this is something that should have been looked at years and years ago.

So, yes, we -- we missed it.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Meanwhile, Hagel has that other crisis to deal with, the urgent search to find those kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria. The U.S. already has support the midterms on the ground.

(on camera): Give us a reality check.

How hard is it going to be to find these girls?

HAGEL: It's going to be very difficult. It's -- it's a vast country. So this is not going to -- going to be an easy task. But we're going to bring to bear every asset we can possibly use to help the Nigerian government.

RADDATZ: I know one of the things people keep saying is why wouldn't U.S. Special operators go in and try to find the girls, if -- if they are located?

HAGEL: Yes, well, I think you look at everything. But there's no intention, at this point, to be putting any American boots on the ground there.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Hagel is also keeping a close eye on new developments in Ukraine, where satellite images this week showed Vladimir Putin's troops aren't going anywhere -- still massed along the Ukraine border.

(on camera): What are they doing?

Why aren't they leaving?

HAGEL: Well, they're not leaving, as far as we can tell. You have to ask President Putin as to why he says they're leaving and when, in fact, they're not leaving.

RADDATZ: Should Russia be considered an enemy?

HAGEL: Well, you know, it's easy to categorize an enemy. We're not at war with Russia.

So do you find -- do you define an enemy as being at war or not at war?

Obviously, we...

RADDATZ: Adversary?

HAGEL: -- an adversary in Ukraine, sure. But -- but I -- I think that's a little simplistic to get into -- to either enemy, friend, partner, so on.

Russia continues to isolate itself for a short-term gain, they -- the Russians may feel that somehow they're winning.

But the world is not about just short-term.

RADDATZ (voice-over): One of the long-term issues Hagel has been focusing on, cybersecurity and the growing threat from cyber attacks, especially now that the Pentagon relies more on advanced technology, like drones.

Do you feel confident that our drones, guided weapons, warships, will not be hacked?

HAGEL: I'm not confident of anything in this business. You can't be. But the fact is, Martha, it is -- it is a -- as dangerous a threat that -- that we are dealing with, the world deals with, especially the United States, as any one threat. It's quiet. It's insidious. It's deadly.

RADDATZ: And people aren't paying enough attention to this?

HAGEL: I do fear that's true. We are I'll tell you that -- that we are.

RADDATZ (voice-over): And one year into Hagel's tenure, he's facing a new issue. While the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means gays and lesbians can now serve openly, transgender service members can still be dismissed without question.

(on camera): Is that something that should be looked at again?

HAGEL: The issue of transgender is a bit more complicated, because it has a -- a medical component to it. These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we -- we put our men and women in -- in many cases, don't always provide that kind of opportunity. I do think it -- it continually should be reviewed. I'm open to that, by the way. I'm open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line. Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.

This is an area that we -- we've -- we've not defined enough.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Now, our closer look at Florida senator, Marco Rubio. This week, the GOP star making what could be his biggest move yet toward a run for the White House, including a key stop in New Hampshire.

And Jon Karl was there with him.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Good to have you.

KARL: What's happening?

Welcome to New Hampshire.

(voice-over): We caught up with Marco Rubio in Manchester, New Hampshire, his first foray to the first in the nation primary state since the last presidential election.

It's likely to be the first of many. Rubio is doing everything he needs to do to prepare for a presidential run, campaigning for Republicans across the country, hiring national staff, raising lots of money and even writing a book on his vision for America.

(on camera): It seems obvious you're moving closer to running for president?

RUBIO: I've openly said in the past that it's something I will consider at the end of this year, that I'll look at a number of factors, personal factors, but also, uh, whether I could best promote this message and -- and actually put in place these ideas that I want to see put in place, whether I could best do that from the presidency as opposed to the Senate.

KARL: He told us if he decides to run for president, there is no backup plan. The day he announces he is running, he would announce he is not seeking reelection to the Senate.

RUBIO: If I decide to run for president, I will not have some sort of exit strategy to run -- to run for the Senate. And that...

KARL: That will be a decision not to run for reelection?

RUBIO: I believe that if you want to be president of the United States, you run for president.

KARL: It's all or nothing?

RUBIO: You don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that -- that -- that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn't work out.

KARL: Do you think you're ready to be president?

RUBIO: I do. I mean a -- but I -- but I think that's true for multiple other people that would want to run. I mean I'll be 43 this month, but -- but the other thing that perhaps people don't realize, I've served now in public office for the better part of 14 years.

And most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there.

And -- and I think we're very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.

KARL: But you think you're ready?

You think you're qualified?

You think you have the experience to be president, if you make that decision?

RUBIO: I do, but I think we have other people, as well. I think...

KARL: You're...

RUBIO: -- in essence, I think our party is blessed to have a number of people in that position.

And the question is what -- who's vision is the one that our party wants to follow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Marco Rubio.

KARL (voice-over): Just over a year ago, Rubio was considered an early frontrunner, young, Hispanic and a Tea Partier who could appeal to moderates. "Time" magazine called him "The Republican Saviour."

But his star had faded some. In one New Hampshire poll he lead last year, he's now tenth, behind even Donald Trump.

(on camera): What's happened to Marco Rubio?

RUBIO: It's probably the "Time" cover jinx, just like the "Sports Illustrated."..

KARL: "Sports Illustrated."

RUBIO: -- jinx. Yes. You know, I don't know. Polls are everywhere all the time. I don't really pay a lot of attention to them ever.

If you decide to run for president, there's going to be a campaign and in that campaign, you're going to interact with voters and you're going to explain to them where you stand and -- and those numbers can change one way or the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The miracle of America is still alive.

KARL (voice-over): Rubio took a beating for conservatives over immigration, working with Democrats like Chuck Schumer to pass a bill last year in the Senate that beefed up border security but also provided a path to citizenship for many of the 12 million illegal immigrants now in the US.

The conservative "National Review" called that "Rubio's Folly."

You V.A. A big speech at the Republican spring meeting. You didn't even talk about immigration reform. It didn't come up in your -- in your speech.

Have you given up on this?

RUBIO: No. I also didn't talk about Libya. And I didn't talk about Ukraine. I didn't talk about other elements that are important. I mean, there are a lot of issues going on in the country. And immigration right now is not at the forefront.

I remain convinced we need to do something serious about our immigration problem in this country.

KARL: And the party?

RUBIO: And -- well, both parties, I think, have a responsibility. We're not going to grant blanket amnesty to 12 million people. We're also not going to round up and deport 12 million people. So that issue has to be dealt with in a reasonable but responsible way.

KARL (voice-over): Lately Rubio spends more time talking about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. There have already been 13 congressional hearings on the attack, but this week House Republicans launched a new special committee to investigate further.

(on camera): You've had several investigations in the Congress. The administration has its investigations. Do we really need another committee investigating Benghazi?

RUBIO: Yes. No one has been accountable. I mean, who has been accountable for what happened in Benghazi? This administration has a tendency on foreign policy issues in particular, not to worry nearly as much about what to do, and to worry more about what to say.

And they decided not just to mislead the American public, but to mislead the families of these victims as to exactly what had happened.

KARL: But you have the Republican Party raising money off this investigation. Is that appropriate?

RUBIO: I would prefer that we would focus not on the fundraising elements or the political elements of it.


RUBIO: ... and here's why, because I think it takes away from the reality of how serious a situation this is.

KARL: How big a problem is this going to be for Hillary Clinton? How much of this can be used against her?

RUBIO: Well, I'm sure she's going to go around bragging about her time in the State Department. She's also going to have to be held accountable for its failures, whether it's the failed reset with Russia, or the failure in Benghazi that actually cost lives...

KARL: So what grade do you give her as secretary of state?

RUBIO: I don't think she has a passing grade. In fact, if you look at...

KARL: You think she's an F?

RUBIO: Yes. Because if you look at the diplomacy that was pursued in her time in the State Department, it has failed everywhere in the world. So here's what I would say, if she is going to run on her record as secretary of state, she is also going to have to answer for its massive failures.

KARL (voice-over): This week the White House released a dramatic new report on the dangers of climate change.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Climate change is already affecting Americans all across the country.

KARL (on camera): Miami, Tampa, are two of the cities that are most threatened by climate change. So putting aside your disagreement with what to do about it, do you agree with the science on this? I mean, how big a threat is climate change?

RUBIO: Yes, I don't agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what's happening in our climate.

Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that's directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activity, I do not agree with that.

KARL: You don't buy it. You don't buy it.

RUBIO: I don't know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving, and natural disasters have always existed.

KARL: But let me get this straight, you do not think that human activity, its production of CO2, has caused warming to our planet.

RUBIO: I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. That's what I do not -- and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.

KARL (voice-over): It's talk like that that Rubio hopes will appeal to the conservatives he would need to win the Republican nomination.

For THIS WEEK, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Manchester, New Hampshire.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Jon.

Coming up in less than two minutes, Monica Lewinsky takes center stage again. Will it affect Hillary's 2016 plans?

But first, the powerhouse "Roundtable's" big "Winners of the Week."(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: And now, Martha's pick. NBA all-star Kevin Durant is Martha's big "Winner of the Week."

RADDATZ: Hillary Clinton speaking to GMA's Robin Roberts on Wednesday, but as she preps for a possible 2016 run, two issues she would like to avoid shot right back into the spotlight this week.

The "Roundtable" ready to take that on after ABC's Jeff Zeleny.


JEFF ZELENY, ABC SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton is looking ahead.



ZELENY: She won't yet say whether now is her time, even when our Robin Roberts asked about cracking the glass ceiling.

CLINTON: I think we should crack it also. I am 100 percent in favor of that. But I have nothing further to say about…


ZELENY: But as she gets closer to a decision, it's the past that just won't go away. Monica Lewinsky back in the spotlight: In a Vanity Fair essay she says she stayed quiet during Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, but has no plans to be so reclusive now.

"I wish them no ill will," she says, but also adds: "Should I put my life on hold for another eight to 10 years?" She is 40 now. But images of her as a young intern are seared in our memory, like when she spoke to Barbara Walters in one of the most watched interviews of all time.

BARBARA WALTERS, THEN-ABC CORRESPONDENT: Did you ever think about what Hillary Clinton might be feeling or what (INAUDIBLE)? Did you ever think about Hillary Clinton?

MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I did. I think I thought about her a lot. But I never thought she would find out. I was never going to talk about this publicly.

ZELENY: The timing of Lewinsky's return has spawned new conspiracy theories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would Vanity Fair publish anything about Monica Lewinsky that Hillary Clinton didn't want in Vanity Fair?

ZELENY: Another controversy Secretary Clinton hoped was behind her is Benghazi.

CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make?

ZELENY: House Republicans have launched a special committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya where four Americans died.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER: Our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones, period.

ZELENY: Congressman James Clyburn and other Democrats say it's driven by politics.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER: I hope she would not be frightened by that foolishness. I don't think anything will frighten her out of this race. Nothing.

ZELENY: Until she decides her future, this much is clear, the Clinton past will be there to fill the void.

For THIS WEEK, Jeff Zeleny, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: Thanks to Jeff.

The "Roundtable" now: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger; and talk radio host Michael Smerconish, author of the new novel "Talk."

And, Bill Kristol, I want to start with you. Your magazine said, quote: "We're guessing that Lewinsky's reemergence now, months before Hillary is likely to declare her candidacy, is probably being stage-managed by some division or other of the vast pro-Hillary conspiracy, whether Lewinsky knows she's a pawn or not."


RADDATZ: Do you stand with that statement?


RADDATZ: You stand with that guess?

KRISTOL: It's a little ironic. We're being -- having a little light-heartedness about Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton.

RADDATZ: OK. How would that work that -- this conspiracy? Do you sit down with the Vanity Fair editors?

KRISTOL: Yes, well, you could. I think -- I believe Hillary Clinton knows the editors and the publishers of Vanity Fair. But that's not the issue. And I don't think Monica Lewinsky ultimately will be an issue one way or the other.

Benghazi is a serious issue. Boko Haram is a serious issue. And Monica Lewinsky isn't.

RADDATZ: And, Donna?

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think it's this -- I don't think Monica Lewinsky coming out, telling the American people her story, perhaps still seeking redemption, which we should give her, you know, the relief of having this story out there once again.

Look, if it didn't damage a sitting president 18 years ago, I don't believe it will hurt a presidential contender or candidate 18 years later. Monica Lewinsky deserves every opportunity to go out there, tell her the American people her story, if that's what she wants to do.

But I don't think it will have anything to do with Secretary Clinton's ability to run a good presidential campaign and win a campaign if she decides to do it.

RADDATZ: Michael Smerconish.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, RADIO HOST AND AUTHOR: I think the net is a zero or maybe a slight plus for Secretary Clinton --


RADDATZ: I was going to ask that, is there any plus in this --

SMERCONISH: It, I think, portrays her as a sympathetic figure. I mean, it reminded me of all that she had to endure. I can't imagine, Martha, that there's someone in this country who says, well, I was going to cast a ballot for Secretary Clinton in 2016, but now I'm not going to do so because her husband cheated on her.

I think it's also a sign of her resilience, because I read that portrayal, and it reminded me, my God, like her or dislike her, Hillary's been through a heck of a lot and she's still standing.

RADDATZ: Congressman, it's -- you're the youngest person here, OK?


RADDATZ: Maybe by far. So you're younger than Monica Lewinsky.

Isn't that terrifying to think that?

So your generation, does this just pass; people don't care?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILL.: Yes, well, I don't think the Lewinsky thing is going to -- I mean, it's more of an intriguing story now and -- she's -- I feel bad, a little bit, for her. I mean, she was young when this happened and obviously everybody knows her name and not for something she necessarily wants to be known for.

But the bigger issue on the -- on the Hillary question, I don't think this is going to really affect Hillary. I mean, I -- the thing that's really going to be bad is that I can't throw a dartboard (sic) at a world map now and hit within 100 miles of a place where there's either a war or an ally that no longer trusts us.

And so I think that's going to be a much bigger issue if Hillary decides --

RADDATZ: So you're saying her history as secretary of state and of course Benghazi came up again this weekend, and we'll have the committee investigating that.

KINZINGER: Yes, I think those are going to be bigger issues than Monica Lewinsky.

SMERCONISH: Depends what develops. I mean, I think up until this point, nothing from Benghazi has received traction, apart from the GOP base. It's really the abortion of the 2014 cycle in terms of being used --


RADDATZ: -- an issue --

SMERCONISH: -- get out the vote. But to get out what vote? To get out the vote of the GOP base.

The hearing I'd like to hear, the hearing I'd like to hear is the hearing that says what became of those individuals responsible for the deaths of four Americans and why haven't we brought them to justice, not a hearing about emails and Ben Rhodes and what did he know and when did he know it.

DONNA BRAZILE, VICE CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I agree with Michael. I agree. I mean, there were 29 recommendations from the accountable - accountability relief (sic) board -- review board.

Those are the -- we should be talking about what have we done since Benghazi? What have we done to make Americans safer in our embassies in these dangerous places across the globe?

There were 88 -- there were 13 embassy attacks --


RADDATZ: -- I want to -- I want to stay with Hillary on this for a moment. And she was secretary of state.

BRAZILE: Absolutely. And she took -- and she took responsibility.

RADDATZ: But it -- but as you said, no one has really been held accountable in a larger way.

Is this an issue going forward?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely. I mean (INAUDIBLE) Hillary Clinton at the beginning of this panel, Donna carefully said Secretary Clinton. I think that's absolutely right. Let's have a debate on secretary of state of the United States, Hillary Clinton. What happened in Libya? We intervened; I supported that intervention of (INAUDIBLE) in the early 2011.

What happened in Libya over the next year such that Benghazi got to the situation it was at?

Why did Hillary Clinton say the video caused the terrorist attack when she knew -- she must have known -- that it didn't?


RADDATZ: -- over and over and over that there have been investigations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the White House -- they've done investigations. And only last week did we get the White House email where Ben Rhodes says let's blame it on the video.


BRAZILE: -- nothing in that email that should have prompted the Republicans to call for another investigation.

The reason why you're doing it, congressman, is because the Republicans have no other issue to discuss. Health care is not an issue anymore. And because the chair of the Armed Services Committee basically said that there's no more there there --


BRAZILE: -- give the Republicans something to do --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a military pilot, when I went through survival training, I was told that your country will never leave you behind. And it will move heaven and Earth to come get you. So if you find yourself behind enemy lines, don't worry; there's going to be an F-16 and some guys coming to get you at some point.

That didn’t happen.

And the YouTube video to me is beyond just, you know, the politics of it and I get it and that's an issue. It's the fact that there wasn't attempt by the administration to cheapen the death of four Americans --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and not give them their due right of having died in the war on terror --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is not true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- initially they said it was because of the YouTube video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is not true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not because of a war on terror.

BRAZILE: No, that is not true. The president said that the day after this was an act of terrorism. And the administration has not only expressed regret for the lives of those American loss, but if you look at all of the reports that have come out about Benghazi, there's nothing in those reports that say the administration tried to --

RADDATZ: I think --

BRAZILE: -- the Defense Department from doing his job. They wanted to get to those people. They wanted to help the secretary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- hours between the first and second attack --

BRAZILE: And there was --


RADDATZ: -- shows there's a lot more to be discussed and a lot more to look at in this.

Before we go to break, here's THIS WEEK's Mother's Day inspired "Powerhouse Puzzler" from our own Cokie Roberts, author of the book, "Founding Mothers."


COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Who is the first woman to give birth at the White House?


RADDATZ: That's a tough one. Back in two minutes to see if the roundtable and you can guess the answer.



RADDATZ: Who was the first woman to give birth in the White House? Let's start over here, Bill Kristol.

BILL KRISTOL, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": It was the daughter of some 19th century president.


KRISTOL: But I don't know which one.

BRAZILE: Jackie Kennedy, I have no idea.

RADDATZ: Now you seem depressed about --


RADDATZ: -- not getting the answer --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wagered nothing. I --


RADDATZ: That was very smart.


KINZINGER: (INAUDIBLE) Lincoln, but I also said having birth -- or happy Mother's Day to my mom.



RADDATZ: OK. Let's go to Cokie with the answer.


ROBERTS: The answer is Martha Jefferson Randolph, daughter of Thomas Jefferson, of course our third president. January 17th, 1806, she gave birth to James Madison Randolph. And the woman who attended her said she couldn't find any food; she couldn't find any help. She called it Bachelor Hall.


RADDATZ: OK. Nobody got it.

A big thanks to Cokie. We're right back with the big critique of the White House that has everyone talking.



RADDATZ: Now, more of my exclusive interview with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his reaction to all the heat President Obama has been taking over his foreign policy choices, even this from the usually friendly "New York Times" editorial page. "The perception of weakness, dithering, inaction, there are many names for it, has indisputably had a negative -- a negative effect on Mr. Obama's global standing."

I asked Secretary Hagel about that.

HAGEL: I don't subscribe to "The New York Times'" analysis because it isn't an easy matter of just what -- what your perception is in the world. And I don't think you can run foreign policy or lead a nation or be president of the United States based on what other people think of you.

RADDATZ: When I travel overseas, people say different things about America. They say it's not as forceful.

HAGEL: Well...

RADDATZ: Have you seen that?

HAGEL: I have seen some of it, yes. Yes. And I think that's the kind of reality that's out there. We are still the dominant power. I mean no one is in our universe, whether you apply a metric or measurement of economic power, military power.

But that doesn't mean we can solve every problem alone. No nation can do that.

I do think there is a sense out there, that you have correctly identified, by some, that somehow America's power is eroding or we're -- we're not going to use our power or we're too timid about our power. I -- I don't believe that. I -- I think we have been wise on how we use our power.


RADDATZ: Back now with the roundtable.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So Barbara, you're stepping down after over 50 years as a TV journalist.

I mean do you have any tips on how to achieve that kind of success?

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I do. Here's number one tip -- develop a signature voice that no one will forget.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait, is that not your real voice?


This is my real voice.

Hello, I'm Barbara Wa-Wa.



RADDATZ: Our friend, Barbara Walters, having some fun on "SNL" last night.

Now, more of my exclusive interview with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his reaction to all the heat President Obama has been taking over his foreign policy choices, even this from the usually friendly "New York Times" editorial page. "The perception of weakness, dithering, inaction, there are many names for it, has indisputably had a negative -- a negative effect on Mr. Obama's global standing."

I asked Secretary Hagel about that.

HAGEL: I don't subscribe to "The New York Times'" analysis because it isn't an easy matter of just what -- what your perception is in the world. And I don't think you can run foreign policy or lead a nation or be president of the United States based on what other people think of you.

RADDATZ: When I travel overseas, people say different things about America. They say it's not as forceful.

HAGEL: Well...

RADDATZ: Have you seen that?

HAGEL: I have seen some of it, yes. Yes. And I think that's the kind of reality that's out there. We are still the dominant power. I mean no one is in our universe, whether you apply a metric or measurement of economic power, military power.

But that doesn't mean we can solve every problem alone. No nation can do that.

I do think there is a sense out there, that you have correctly identified, by some, that somehow America's power is eroding or we're -- we're not going to use our power or we're too timid about our power. I -- I don't believe that. I -- I think we have been wise on how we use our power.


RADDATZ: Back now with the roundtable.

So Secretary Hagel actually says he has heard people say that America looks a little weaker, although he doesn't agree with them. Bill Kristol?

KRISTOL: That's pretty stunning for the secretary of Defense of the United States to say, yes, that's right, Martha, there is a perception out there that we're too timid about using our power and that our power is eroding. And that's pretty appalling. That has real consequences in the real world. And I'm afraid it's eroding -- our power -- we are seen to be withdrawing because we are withdrawing.

President Obama, this week, said -- said, you know, it's really time the international community finally does something about Boko Haram, these terrible -- the Islamic terrorist group in Nigeria.

His own State Department, with Secretary Clinton in charge, had refused to put them on the terror list for two years.

So is -- is -- it is because, unfortunately, of the Obama administration that the perception is out there that we are not serious about exercising power.

RADDATZ: Don -- Donna Brazile, we all know that -- that President Obama came out of the war in Iraq. He didn't want another war. He didn't want to go into these places.

Did he learn the wrong lessons?

BRAZILE: No, I don't think so. I think this president is very smart, very strategic about foreign policy and how to conduct it. This is a different country after 9/11. The American people are war-weary. They want us to use our power effectively, strategic. And not every time the wind blows, but when we know exactly how to get it done and get it done right.

So I -- I don't buy this notion that the United States is -- is a weakened country...

RADDATZ: How about that red line in Syria?

BRAZILE: Well, that red line in Syria, I think was a -- was a dumb comment to make at a time when we should have showed more bold action, given the -- the crisis -- humanitarian crisis and the death toll.

But, you know, going to Bill's point about Boko Haram, you know, the State Department received a lot of information, even from the former ambassador, John Campbell, who wrote a book, "Nigeria Dancing" and the -- and something dancing.

Nigeria is a -- the second large -- now the -- the biggest country in Africa in terms of its economy. There were real reasons why they waited or hesitated to put this organization as an -- as a terrorist group.

But the truth is, is that the United States can marshal the resources and the power to -- to do -- get things done in the world.


RADDATZ: Congressman Kinzinger, I -- I want to move to the V.A....


RADDATZ: -- which is such an important topic. And -- and you heard that piece Republican in the -- in the broadcast.

Veterans are outraged.


RADDATZ: I have talked to so many veterans and families who are outraged by this. It's different. There's been a backlog, but this is different. People are dying...


RADDATZ: -- because they're waiting.

Should -- should Shinseki resign?

KINZINGER: Well, I'm not going to go as far yet to say he should resign. As a veteran myself, I mean this is especially offensive. I think let's see what he does right now.

Does he get on this and make changes?

This is part of the problem...

RADDATZ: Well -- well, one of the things he's saying is we've made vast improvements...

KINZINGER: You've got to make more...

RADDATZ: -- 40 percent, 50 percent...

KINZINGER: -- improvements.

RADDATZ: -- but how do we know they have if -- if in these other Veterans Administration...


KINZINGER: -- see that they're faking numbers.

RADDATZ: -- they're trying to cover it up?

KINZINGER: They're faking, you know -- you know, drawing fake waiting lists and trying to -- and this is the problem with bureaucracy and huge government is sometimes all this stuff just falls by the wayside and the people that really deserve this, those that put their life on the line for our country, are the ones that get on the short end of this.

So this is something that in Congress, we've got to be right on top of. And I hope the president can be right on top of it, as well.

RADDATZ: Michael, does -- does this have legs, as we say in the business?

Will -- will this really finally make changes?

SMERCONISH: It does, absolutely. And I think that they've taken a page, the V.A., out of the GM playbook for crisis management. And that's not a good thing. They should be telling it early. They should be telling it all. They should be telling it themselves.

I guess I should credit Lanny Davis with Crisis Management 101 for that. They have...

RADDATZ: There's been no press conference.

SMERCONISH: Just -- just nothing forthcoming. And I'm concerned that this is really the tip of the iceberg. There are other lurking issues. One that has my focus is that one of six Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have substance abuse issues. I think largely it's because of the over prescription of pain meds, which, in many cases, leads to a heroin addiction and a life of crime.

So I think much is yet to come.

RADDATZ: And we're going to have a whole lot more veterans coming home by the end of the year.


RADDATZ: Thanks, all of you.

Coming up, is Edward Snowden a spy?

One year after the NSA leaker dropped those bombshells about secret surveillance, the former chief of the NSA is speaking out.

Back in 60 seconds.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.


RADDATZ: That was President Obama during Edward Snowden's global odyssey after he revealed those surveillance secrets. And a year later, Snowden still sparks a raging debate.

Here's ABC's Pierre Thomas.


PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Edward Snowden is a traitor and could be a spy recruited by Russia to target the US.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congressman Ruppersberger...

THOMAS: That's the suspicion of the man who was running the NSA when the breach happened last year.

KEITH ALEXANDER, FORMER NSA CHIEF: Why would you take tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or a million plus documents?

THOMAS: And Snowden acknowledged the extraordinary scale of what he could have taken.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: I had access to, you know, the -- the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world.


ALEXANDER: I don't know the answer to that. I am concerned that where he is now, he is at least influenced by Russia.

The real question -- and we don't know an answer to -- is how far back did that go?

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: We have learned that the Obama administration quietly accessed the phone records of millions and millions of Americans.

THOMAS: Roughly a year ago, Snowden, who had been working at the NSA as a contractor, stole some of the nation's most sensitive secrets and gave them to the media.

The first stunning revelation, Verizon was providing the National Security Agency with phone records of millions of customers.

Now, according to Alexander, nations have our surveillance playbook and terrorists have changed how they operate.

ALEXANDER: We're losing capabilities to track terrorists. This is a huge impact.

THOMAS: But Snowden, now an exile in Russia, last summer defended his actions.

SNOWDEN: I don't want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of -- of -- of creativity or -- or love or friendship is recorded.

THOMAS: For his supporters, Snowden's revelations changed the world as we know it, they say for the better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the courts engaging the legality and the wisdom of these programs. We have the Congress conducting oversight, you know, that they would never have happened but for the actions of Edward Snowden.

THOMAS: And we pressed Alexander on why Congress, which was supposed to be overseeing his agency, did not know everybody the NSA was doing.

(on camera): Was that a case of the NSA withholding information from them or Congress not doing their job?

It can't be both.

ALEXANDER: Here's my straightforward answer. We deal through the intel committees. We put all those documents on the table and said here's what we're going to do with this. But I can tell you this, that we provide those materials.

Now, truth in lending -- some of this is technical.

THOMAS (voice-over): The debate is over the details.

Was the NSA revealing too few or Snowden too many?

For THIS WEEK, Pierre Thomas, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: Thanks, Pierre.

Let's bring in ABC News contributor Richard Clarke, former senior White House counterterrorism adviser and author of the new book, "Sting of the Drone."

Thanks for being with us, Dick.

And I -- I want to ask you, you heard what General Alexander said.

Do you think that Edward Snowden damaged national security?

RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER SENIOR WHITE HOUSE COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER: I know he did. President Obama appointed me to the five person review group to look into what happened. And we had complete access to NSA.

I know that he hurt our counterterrorism effort and various other efforts and...

RADDATZ: I mean give us an example how that -- how he did -- how he did that or -- or the effect, rather.

CLARKE: Well, he may or many have intended it. We don't know. But he revealed ways that NSA collects information. And the terrorists, and others, criminals and others around the world, have stopped using those methods of communication since he revealed them.

And so we no longer have the heads-up that an attack is coming on our embassy in fill in the blank because of what he did.

Sure, he revealed a program, the telephony program, the 215 program, that was a stupid program that he might not have known about otherwise. And I'm glad that we know about it.

RADDATZ: So if -- if there's a silver lining, that's it.

CLARKE: But it's a pretty small silver lining. I'm glad we know about the program. We're killing the program because it was unnecessary and overly intrusive and it didn't have enough oversight by the courts.

And so the president is killing the program. That's what we recommended.

RADDATZ: I -- I want to turn to your book, which sounds pretty phenomenal. It's called "The Sting of the Drone." And one reviewer had high praise, writing, "What Tom Clancy did for submarines, Richard A. Clarke does for drones."

What's the picture you're trying to paint here with the drones?

CLARKE: Well, the...

RADDATZ: And I'm sure you didn't reveal any secrets.

CLARKE: I couldn't because the...


CLARKE: -- they all reviewed it and took out the secrets. But they left a lot in that's very informative.

The goal here, Martha, was to write a thriller that you would enjoy laying on the beach and at the same time, bring people behind the curtain so they could actually see how our drone program works now and how, potentially, it's going to work in the future.

RADDATZ: And you go to where the drones are flying. You go overseas. You do all of them.

CLARKE: And I asked the question, what happens if the people who we are attacking with the drones start attacking us with drones?

Because it's easy to have drones in the United States. In fact, they're beginning to be everywhere. And pretty soon, everybody will have one. They're commercially available. They're flying for all sorts of purposes. Sheriffs have them. Farmers have them.

But what if terrorists...

RADDATZ: Some are running into planes...

CLARKE: Some are running in...

RADDATZ: -- or getting awfully close.

And what if terrorists had them?

Well, it sounds like a great book.

Dick Clarke, I will look forward to someday maybe being on the beach with it.

Next, one of the world's most famous landmarks like you've never seen it before.


RADDATZ: Now, our Sunday Spotlight shining on one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Check out this incredible time lapse video capturing the Washington Monument during 13 months of repairs. And starting tomorrow, it's finally back open.

ABC's John Donvan shows us what we have been missing.


JOHN DONVAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ever notice how nobody ever call is a tower?

But it towers and has for 130 years. Washington's midpoint and its highest point, 555 feet, which actually has just come out of its bandages, because it looked like this for much of the past three years.

Remember this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The earthquake centered in Virginia has been felt all up and down the Eastern Corridor.

DONVAN: It was magnitude 5.8 and it wounded the Washington Monument -- 150 cracks found. It had to be closed. Its usual 700,000 visitors a year told sorry.

Now, flashback. The monument has faced difficulty before, most famously, getting stuck at the halfway point in construction for 20 years, when the money, entirely private donations, ran out. It finally got finished 130 years ago, with slightly different colored stones where the work started again, when Congress chipped in some money.

And despite its demise many times in movie imagination, "Mars Attacks," "Independence Day," "Olympus Has Fallen," it has stood rock solid, or, actually, not so rock solid.

Take a ride upstairs. Yes, there's an elevator in there. And meet on the ascent john Jarvis of the National Park Service and find out that...

JOHN JARVIS, THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: You know the -- it is a dry stacked stone structure. I mean the -- there's no real mortar between the stones, right?

DONVAN: That's right, the stones just rest on top of each other. No glue holding them together, which might have been a good thing when the quake hit, because it...

JARVIS: Actually allowed it to absorb the energy of the earthquake.

DONVAN: Still, 150 cracks at this height, historic structure, that turned out to be a $15 million repair bill, half of which came from philanthropist David Rubenstein.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN, PHILANTHROPIST: I just think I got very lucky in my life and I want to give back.

DONVAN: And thanks to that impulse, the public gets to go back inside starting tomorrow.

JARVIS: When we announced that it was going to open in a week, we got -- we opened up for tickets and we did 16,000 tickets in the first 15 minutes.

DONVAN (on camera): Wow! The monument sold out.

(on camera): All for a pile of stones not even stuck together, but they do stack up beautifully and they do tower.

For THIS WEEK, John Donvan, ABC News, Washington.


RADDATZ: I can't wait to get back in there.

Thanks, john.

And now, we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.

RADDATZ: This week, the Pentagon announced the death of one soldier supporting operations in Afghanistan.

That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out "World News with David Muir" tonight.

And to all the moms out there, Happy, Happy Mother's Day.

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