Full transcript of "Face the Nation," Jan. 28, 2024

Full transcript of “Face the Nation,” Jan. 28, 2024

During this episode of “Face the Nation,” which is hosted by Margaret Brennan,

  • , is pushing

    Senator James Lankford, a member of the Republican Party from Oklahoma, is advocating for.

  • , was tapped to join Hillary Clinton’s presidential ticket

    Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, was chosen to be a part of Hillary Clinton’s presidential team.

  • (UAW),

    Shawn Fain, the leader of the United Auto Workers (UAW) organization,

  • Amos Hochstein, White House envoy and top energy adviser to President Biden
  • Save the Children’s CEO, Janti Soeripto.

Click here to browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”    

My name is Margaret Brennan.

This week on Face the Nation: Will Congress be able to save a promising deal on border security from being influenced by election-year politics?

Voters are receiving a glimpse of the potential intensity of a general election showdown as President Biden and Donald Trump bring their border-related statements to important campaign states. This is happening as legislators hurry to finalize an agreement for protecting the southern border of America.

(Begin VT)

Joe Biden, the current President of the United States, stated that if the bill were currently in effect, he would immediately close the border and work to resolve any issues promptly.

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump (R) and current U.S. presidential candidate, firmly stated that he will not support the idea of open borders, which he believes would betray America. He made it clear that this will not come to pass.

(End VT)

Is it possible for a group of legislators from both parties to maintain the agreement, despite the ex-president’s attempts to derail it and prevent President Biden from achieving success?

We will inquire with Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, the lead GOP negotiator, about the potential for this agreement to be passed as legislation.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat, will share his thoughts on the potential for increased foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel as part of the agreement.

We will also touch base with Amos Hochstein, an envoy for the Biden administration, who is striving to avoid the escalation of Israel’s conflict in Gaza into Lebanon.

Save the Children CEO Janti Soeripto will provide an update on the current humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Shawn Fain, President of United Auto Workers, will be joining us to discuss the future of American industry and the next steps after his union’s endorsement of President Biden.

Everything is coming up next on Face the Nation.

Hello and welcome to Face the Nation.

President Biden has promised to close the border between the United States and Mexico if it becomes too crowded, pending the approval of a bipartisan proposal currently being discussed in the Senate. Over the weekend, the senators have been finalizing the specifics of the agreement. If it is passed, Homeland Security will be required to turn away migrants once the average daily number of border crossings exceeds 5,000 for seven consecutive days.

The proposal aims to increase the requirements for granting asylum and reduce the length of time it takes to review their cases to six months. It also plans to expedite deportations and limit the authority to grant immigration parole. Additionally, the agreement includes provisions for legal migration, such as providing 50,000 additional immigrant visas, granting status to the offspring of skilled workers, and offering permanent residency to Afghans who were brought to the country after the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan.

In addition to the $14 billion that President Biden has already asked for to support operations and recruit more staff, there is also the following.

CBS reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez is currently at the border in Eagle Pass, Texas for more information.

Camilo, what would be the immediate effect?

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: Good morning, Margaret.

The immigration compromise being negotiated by President Biden and a small group of senators in Congress would dramatically change policy here at the U.S.-Mexico border. The president would gain a sweeping authority to effectively shut down asylum processing when there’s a spike in daily illegal crossings.

Currently, approximately 4,000 individuals migrating are entering the border daily. If this agreement were to be approved today, Margaret, the president, would likely have the ability to immediately exercise this authority, allowing border agents to expeditiously send migrants back to Mexico.

This agreement is significant as it allows for exemptions for humanitarian purposes and maintains the ability to seek asylum at designated entry points. Additionally, individuals would have the opportunity to begin working in the United States upon passing their initial asylum evaluations.

Margaret, this agreement is bound to face opposition from both the liberal and conservative sides. However, if Congress manages to approve this plan, it would be the first update to the U.S. immigration system since the 1990s.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This would be exceedingly significant.

Camilo, I noticed National Guard members behind you. There is a dispute between Texas and the federal government regarding the nearby park where many migrants arrive after crossing the river. Can you provide an update on the situation?

Correct, Margaret.

This public park behind me in Eagle Pass is now at the center of an extraordinary legal showdown between Texas and the Biden administration over the future of U.S. integration policy here at the border. The Texas National Guard commandeered this park back in early January and has since blocked Border Patrol agents from entering this park.

Border Patrol previously utilized this method for handling migrants, but Texas has added razor wire, fencing, and other obstructions to prevent migrant crossings. Texas claims this is necessary to discourage unauthorized entries, but the Department of Homeland Security is requesting that Texas reconsider, citing the action as unconstitutional.

Currently, Texas is refusing to comply with these requests, setting the stage for another legal conflict between Texas and the Biden administration regarding integration.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you, Camilo, for your coverage.

CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ: Thank you, Margaret.

Margaret Brennan: Our guest today is Oklahoma’s Republican representative, James Lankford, joining us from Oklahoma City.

I greet you, sir.

It took you a period of two months to reach this bipartisan agreement. Do you have the backing of your fellow Republicans to successfully pass this vote?

Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma expressed his wish that the process would have taken only two months, but unfortunately it has taken four months to complete.

We began in October and now the main goal is for everyone to have access to the bill. Our focus is on finalizing it so that it can be released for everyone to read. Currently, people are relying on online rumors about the bill, which are often inaccurate.

The desire of individuals is to easily view, comprehend, and navigate through the significant impact this will have on our immigration process and border security. This is a common request from Americans of all political affiliations.

The majority of individuals desire a well-protected border that allows for legal immigration while discouraging illegal immigration. This trend has been observed in recent years.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you still not have a tally of votes?

Senator James Lankford: We do not have a tally yet, as everyone needs to have the opportunity to review it before proceeding.


Senator James Lankford is optimistic about the situation, as the initial response has been positive.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you just heard the details laid out there by our immigration correspondent. How do you balance the shutdown power that would be in these new authorities versus the right to claim asylum?

Senator James Lankford explained that this situation is comparable to when we had to abide by Title 42 during the pandemic, where we reached a critical point and were unable to function properly.

Currently, the United States does not have the power to address the current situation. The number of people crossing the border has reached a critical level where we are unable to handle the processing of these individuals. As a result, the Biden administration has been releasing them into the country. This is causing frustration for mayors in cities such as Denver, Chicago, and New York City, as they feel that when the border becomes overwhelmed, these individuals are being released to their cities, causing chaos.

This is a new policy that states, when we are unable to hold and remove individuals, when we are unable to handle and determine their cases at the border, then we will send them back to Mexico and inform them that we can no longer accommodate them.

This grants power to the United States and law enforcement, rather than the criminal cartels. Currently, the cartels have the ability to easily cross our border and allow as many people as they please to enter. It is imperative that we do not allow criminal organizations to control our southern border, and instead maintain control ourselves.

Margaret Brennan: The issue of parole authority has been a source of contention for Republicans. The administration has utilized it in a unique manner to relocate one million individuals.

Senator James Lankford stated: Correct.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How are you altering that power?

Senator James Lankford expressed concern about the ongoing issue of humanitarian parole.

However, it has been a tradition for every president to possess the power to grant humanitarian parole. Yet, as you pointed out, this current administration has used humanitarian parole in a manner unlike any previous administration. They have stated that if an individual informs us beforehand of their arrival and enters through an official point of entry, they will be given a work permit on their first day and allowed into the country under parole.

This is currently enticing a larger number of individuals. It is natural for individuals from various countries to desire an American work permit. Instead of discouraging immigration, they are actively promoting illegal immigration by providing immediate parole and work permits. This practice must be discontinued.

We cannot have a system where we simply have that. When the ports of entry become crowded, they will be released under a parole authority, and then be released into the country. It is unknown if they are eligible for asylum or their whereabouts.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals are being released into the country with no means of tracking them. This poses a significant national security concern. We must put an end to this.

Can I please bring to your attention that in the last four months, we have stopped 50 individuals from entering our border who were on the terror watch list. Additionally, we have encountered tens of thousands of people who posed a threat to national security.


Senator James Lankford believes that those individuals should not be granted automatic entry into the country.

Margaret Brennan: The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board refers to this as the greatest opportunity in recent years to address issues with asylum law and parole loopholes.

However, Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican party’s nomination in 2024, is advising Republicans against backing this.

This is the statement he made during his time in Las Vegas yesterday:

(Begin VT)

Donald Trump, the previous president, stated that many senators are attempting to place the blame on him for certain issues. He responded by saying that he is willing to take the blame and urged them to do so, as they were about to pass a detrimental bill.

And I will tell you what. A bad bill is – I would rather have no bill than a bad bill.

(End VT)

Can it be approved without the consent of Donald Trump?

Senator James Lankford anticipates President Trump will have the chance to read the document, just like everyone else.

Currently, there is an abundance of false information circulating. I often hear claims that it affects 5,000 individuals and distributes work permits, but these statements are inaccurate. The internet is filled with rumors regarding this matter.

We are eager to share this information. I can confidently say that regardless of one’s political beliefs, the current immigration crisis would not have occurred if President Trump had been in office for the past three years. It is certain that eight million individuals would not have illegally crossed the border because he would have utilized his power and prioritized securing our border.

During his presidency, he requested Congress to modify the asylum criteria in order to have more control and provide additional funding for deportations. These requests are included in the current bill. If he were to become president again, he would have the authority that he had previously requested during his previous term.


I simply desire to clarify that you mentioned he has not familiarized himself with this legislation. Essentially, he lacks sufficient understanding on the matter. Therefore, this agreement…

Senator James Lankford stated that there are many rumors surrounding the bill, but he is not making any claims. He wants to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to read the bill before forming a final opinion.


The agreement, as you mentioned, would grant both current and future presidents additional powers. During his campaign, Trump promised to restrict legal immigration based on personal beliefs, eliminate birthright citizenship, implement widespread deportations, and potentially separate children from their families.

Do you have confidence in giving Donald Trump these new powers?

Senator James Lankford supports the current authorities requested by multiple past presidents including Trump, Obama, and Bush. These are necessary for our national security.

Currently, when discussing asylum, individuals can enter the United States by crossing the border and claiming fear in their home country. They are then released and must await a hearing within 10 years. This process of simply stating “I have fear in my country” is not considered logical by many.

It is uncertain if they meet the requirements for asylum.


Senator James Lankford stated that the lack of knowledge about an individual’s criminal record and other pertinent information must be addressed and has been a longstanding issue. This must be addressed through changes in the law.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The outcome of the vote count will determine our next steps.

I have a question for you. In 2022, Donald Trump supported your reelection. In his endorsement, he stated: “James Lankford is a strong advocate for border security.”

Have your views on endorsing Donald Trump for president changed at all?

Senator James Lankford stated that there has been no change.

He has shown great interest in the matter, as I previously stated. The events occurring at the border in the past three years would not have taken place if Donald Trump was truly the president. He is aware of my strong stance on the border. I have been actively involved in this issue for a considerable amount of time. We collaborated on some of his border policies while he was in the White House.

When he made his significant suggestion, it was a proposal for legislation. This is because President Trump suggested new laws and addressed new concerns, since we are aware of loopholes in the current system. Therefore, if the goal is to effectively secure the border, President Trump’s efforts will be focused on achieving that.

However, if he enters and is chosen by the citizens of America…


Senator James Lankford stated that in November, the president will likely request for additional authorities, as it will benefit all future presidents.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you saying you’re not officially supporting him?

Senator James Lankford stated that he has not endorsed anyone on the matter.


Senator James Lankford believes that the current president is lacking in national security, and that the referenced individual would make a better leader in that regard.


Prior to parting ways, I would like to hear your response to the recent development that he has been instructed to pay $83 million in damages to an individual whom a jury ruled he had defamed. This comes after a different jury found him guilty of sexual assault against the same person. Does this cause any hesitation for you in regards to his potential return to office?

Senator James Lankford states that it is not the case.

Obviously, these are legal cases. I don’t want to jump in the middle of a legal case. It’s been interesting the number of legal cases that have come up against President Trump and then have failed and have been dropped or have been kicked out of the courts on it.

This particular issue has been approved. He has stated his intention to dispute it. Therefore, we should allow the courts to decide and let the citizens of America make their own decisions. There are states, such as Colorado, attempting to prevent individuals from participating…


Senator James Lankford stated that the people of Colorado would have their ability to select their preferred candidate for voting restricted.


Senator James Lankford: Allow the citizens of America to make this decision during the November elections.

The decision on that matter may be left to the Supreme Court.

Today, we will have to conclude our discussion. James Lankford, we will be directing our attention towards the progress you are able to achieve.

We will return in a mere 60 seconds.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Our attention now shifts to Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, who is joining us from Richmond.

Senator, do you agree to support the White House’s deal with the Senate based on what you have heard about it?

Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia (D) expressed gratitude for the efforts of Jim Lankford, Chris Murphy, and Kyrsten Sinema.

This is a difficult issue. We have not addressed immigration reform since 1986. As James mentioned, I should take the time to understand it. However, we are faced with a challenge and the only solution is to work together and find a bipartisan approach. This is the only way we have successfully achieved immigration reform in the past.

Senator Lankford has voiced his disapproval of President Biden. I was let down when President Trump rejected a border protection agreement in 2018 that would have allocated $25 billion for border security. However, we can’t dwell on the past. We must do what is necessary in the present.

I am in favor of this bill because it will aid in stopping the distribution of fentanyl. In 2012, there were 50 fatalities in Virginia due to fentanyl overdose. By 2022, that number had risen to 2,000. We are aware that most of the fentanyl is entering the country through the Mexican border, specifically through ports of entry. This bill will assist in addressing this issue.

This is the reason why people cannot wait when President Trump suggests voting no or waiting for one or two years. They are currently experiencing difficulties and this legislation will address that.

Margaret Brennan: The proposal does not address the status of individuals known as dreamers, which has been a long-standing request from Democrats.

In the past, you have expressed that asylum is an important principle of the United States, even during the Trump administration. With the current Biden administration aiming to limit asylum, do you still stand by this belief?

Senator Tim Kaine states that the compromise reached is difficult and may be uncomfortable. The bill itself is also challenging.

I hope the bill focused on immigration reform rather than just border security, but the fentanyl problem is urgent. I am particularly intrigued by the specifics of what James mentioned and would like to delve deeper into them.

Your contact mentioned the concept that despite potential changes in standards, regular processing will still occur at entry points. I believe this is beneficial as it promotes organization rather than chaos, with many details to explore.

I hope that this bill on immigration reform would cover more than just border security and include a comprehensive plan. However, I believe there will be some beneficial aspects regarding work visas. Additionally, I anticipate there will be some positive changes for children who arrive at the border with no knowledge of the language or laws.

It can be very difficult for them. However, I believe that this will help them better comprehend their rights. We must delve into the specifics and reach a compromise. This compromise is crucial for obtaining the necessary security funding for Ukraine, providing humanitarian aid in Gaza, and supporting Israel’s defense, as was mentioned.

The success of this deal hinges on everything.


Senator Tim Kaine expressed the importance of progressing.


Could you provide any updates from Leader Schumer about when the Democrats in the Senate will take action on this issue? Additionally, is there a contingency plan for Ukraine if this approach is unsuccessful?

Senator Tim Kaine stated that the timeline is dependent on Senator Schumer’s plan to first reach a deal on the border, and then act swiftly.

I anticipate the Senate will act swiftly, possibly this weekend or next, to hold a vote on the complete package. This package encompasses more than just the border situation in Ukraine, but also includes aid for Gaza and Israel, Indo-Pacific assistance, state disaster relief, and a substantial amount of resources.

Several components are widely known, but the two most difficult ones have been the negotiations involving the border of Ukraine and the Israel-Gaza conflict.


Senator Tim Kaine stated that even if the border agreement cannot be reached, he is confident that there are enough votes in both houses to ensure aid for Ukraine.

The border problem is a crucial matter to address, as Senator Lankford pointed out, due to the organization of cartels.


Senator Tim Kaine emphasized the urgency of taking action to prevent individuals from exploiting others for financial gain by expediting their journey to the border.

However, it is imperative that we provide assistance, particularly to Ukraine, in a timely manner. They have made significant progress, but it could all be jeopardized without the support of the United States.

Margaret Brennan: I would like to inquire about the assistance given to Israel and the situation in Gaza.

The U.S. has put a temporary halt on providing assistance to the U.N. organization in Gaza, following reports from Israel that 12 of its workers were potentially involved in the October 7 assault. It has been confirmed that at least two of these individuals have since passed away, according to the U.N.

Is it fair to stop providing aid to an agency that serves two million people because of the actions of just a few individuals? The agency claims it is on the verge of collapse. How will this issue be resolved?

Senator Tim Kaine expressed that the humanitarian needs of Gazans are extensive.

The nation of Israel has a right to protect itself from Hamas, although the majority of people living in Gaza do not support this group. In reality, they have faced difficulties under the rule of Hamas. It is true that 2.2 million individuals in Gaza require humanitarian assistance. If one U.N. organization is not reliable in providing aid, there are fortunately other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are trustworthy. USAID and other organizations collaborate with NGOs in Gaza to distribute aid.

Many of us are disappointed by the limited amount of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza. Therefore, in our negotiations, we are not only providing defense support for Israel, but also significant humanitarian aid for Gaza. However, in order for this aid to be effective, it must be able to reach the people of Gaza without being blocked by Israel.

If we cannot fully depend on the U.N. agency, there are other reputable NGOs with a strong history that we can turn to. This assistance is closely monitored. Our goal is to speed up the process, increase the amount of aid, and provide more support to those in Gaza.

Later in the show, we will be joined by a humanitarian organization, although their staff size is much smaller compared to the United Nations’ 13,000 employees.

President Biden has discussed the ongoing U.S. attacks on the Houthis, but I understand that you have some concerns regarding this matter.

Senator Tim Kaine stated that he believes in protecting our own ships, both Naval and commercial, from the Houthis. He also believes it is important to strategically safeguard the Red Sea from the Houthis.

However, there is no official approval from Congress for a military conflict in Yemen or the Red Sea targeting the Houthis. The president claims that these attacks are necessary for self-defense and to discourage the Houthis, but the administration also acknowledges that they anticipate the attacks will persist and potentially intensify.

As you are aware, I am from Virginia. Currently, there are many individuals in danger in the Red Sea and the Middle East as part of our mission.


Senator Tim Kaine inquires about the strategy and plan for de-escalation in the conflict with the Houthis. He also questions the involvement of other nations in protecting shipping.


Senator Tim Kaine: This is the reason why a group of senators from both parties wrote to the president this week and expressed…


Senator Tim Kaine inquires about the strategy for de-escalation and the legal justification being used for military action that has not been authorized by Congress.


Senator Tim Kaine stated that this week, they will be thoroughly examining those questions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay, we will also bring up some of those points to one of our future guests.

I appreciate the time you have given me today, Senator.

We will return shortly.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The United Auto Workers union represents about 400,000 members, and last week officially endorsed President Biden’s reelection.

We are delighted to have the president of the organization, Shawn Fain, join us to provide further information.

Welcome back to the show.

How can the president secure a victory in Michigan without suffering the same loss as in 2016?

SHAWN FAIN, President of United Auto Workers, believes that the individual in question should continue to follow the same course of action they have been following thus far.

I mean, look, we’ve said this from the outset of my presidency that our endorsements are going to be earned. And we were clear about that. And when you look at these two candidates, it’s very clear the difference between both of them.

One of them, President Biden, has always bet on the American worker and stood with the American worker, and he proved that during this presidency. He stood up with us. For the first time in U.S. history, we had a sitting president join striking workers on a picket line.

“He was the one who rescued the community. He collaborated with us. The Belvidere, Illinois plant had shut down and the community was considered hopeless. President Biden joined us at the negotiating table and together we were able to revive the community.”


SHAWN FAIN: …and not only revive Belvidere, but also establish a second factory.


Mr. Fain, I would like to pause briefly in order to have an uninterrupted conversation with you about the current events in your industry and the Midwest. We will have more questions shortly.

Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We have much more to come, please continue watching.


Hello and welcome back to FACE THE NATION, I am Margaret Brennan.

We resume our discussion with Shawn Fain, the president of the UAW.

In 2016, your previous UAW leader stated that about 28% of the members voted for Donald Trump. Are you anticipating a similar distribution in the upcoming election?

Shawn Fain stated that he expects a decrease in support for Joe Biden in the upcoming election. He is confident that the same approach used during their contract campaign and strike, where endorsements were earned based on facts and truth, will be effective in gaining support for Biden among UAW members and working-class individuals. This is the reason behind the decision to endorse Biden for president.

When comparing the two candidates, it is evident that Joe Biden has a track record of prioritizing and advocating for the working class, while Donald Trump has a history of prioritizing his own interests and catering to the billionaire class. This goes against the values and beliefs of the working class.

During our contract campaign, the issues that were most important to us were retirement security, improved wages, access to healthcare, and regaining control of our time and lives. These are the things that truly matter. It’s evident that 75 percent of the American population supported the UAW in our fight, and I am confident that a vast majority of our members and working-class individuals will also support President Joe Biden in the upcoming election.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, it used to be people thought of unions as very much tied to the Democratic Party. But we saw the Teamster’s Union president, Sean O’Brian, meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month. He’s having a roundtable with him this week. I know President Biden’s also been invited as well.

Do you expect that this other union will make a different decision and select Mr. Trump?

SHAWN FAIN: It’s hard to believe any organization would support Donald Trump as president. Let’s be realistic and examine the facts. As Donald Trump himself has said, let’s look at their careers. In his own words, during his time on the reality TV show “The Apprentice” and during his presidency, Trump’s favorite phrase was “you’re fired.” He frequently cycled through White House staff like disposable toilet paper. In 2008, during the recession, Trump placed blame on the workers for issues with the “big three” companies. In contrast, Joe Biden showed faith in the American worker.

In 2015, Donald Trump discussed the idea of relocating well-paying jobs in the Midwest to lower-paying areas, creating a competition for lower wages and forcing workers to accept reduced pay. He did not support the Lordstown assembly plant when it faced closure during his presidency, despite telling workers not to sell their homes. However, he took no action to prevent the closure.

During the 2019 GM strike, what actions did the company take to show support for the striking employees? Did they make any statements? No, there was no word from them. In contrast, back in 2008, Joe Biden showed his solidarity with the UAW and working class individuals during the recession. This support provided a way for us to move forward.

During his presidency, for the first time ever, a sitting U.S. president showed support by joining us on the picket line.


SHAWN FAIN: He actively contributed to the salvation of a community instead of passively standing by while it was destroyed.

I understand that you have faced many challenges with the shift to electric vehicles. The CEO of Ford has stated that producing cars will require 40% less labor with electric vehicles compared to combustion vehicles. Is it a challenge to persuade your members that President Biden’s goal of transitioning to electric won’t result in job loss?

SHAWN FAIN: Our union has a long history. In 1970, UAW President Leonard Woodcook expressed the need to move away from the internal combustion engine due to its negative impact on the environment. The UAW has always been a leader in addressing environmental and working class issues. Our main concern is ensuring security for our members and fellow working class individuals, regardless of the direction we take. It is crucial that this transition is fair and just, which has always been a key value for us. With the assistance of the White House and Secretary of Labor Julie Su, we were able to negotiate a contract that includes this work under our master agreements and upholds our standards.


SHAWN FAIN: Instead of participating in a competition to be the worst, which is the state we found it in.

We are unafraid of our future direction, regardless of where the industry may lead. It is understood that there is necessary work to be completed regarding infrastructure and related matters.


Shawn Fain states that regardless of the outcome, Joe Biden will support us while Donald Trump will not.


It is important to generate enthusiasm among voters to ensure their participation in the voting process. It should be noted that Ford’s headquarters are located in Dearborn, Michigan. Additionally, there is a large population of Arab American and Muslim American individuals who are deeply disturbed by the events in Gaza. While you have advocated for a ceasefire, Joe Biden has not.

Will this be challenging? Is Washington not fully understanding the impact this has on the people of Michigan?

SHAWN FAIN: Our stance has been made clear. The UAW has a reputation for advocating for peace and we have actively called for a ceasefire. We will persist in pressuring and discussing with the Biden administration regarding this matter. I have faith that they will make the appropriate decision. Let’s not forget the opposing candidate’s stance and actions as president regarding this issue. There are clear differences between the two candidates and we will continue to urge the Biden administration to make the right choice.

Margaret Brennan: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, sir.

We will return shortly.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Let’s shift our focus to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the actions taken by the Biden administration to avoid a potential regional war.

Amos Hochstein, a representative from the White House, has been involved in negotiations to establish a diplomatic agreement between Israel and Lebanon. He also holds a prominent position as an energy advisor to the president.

On a scale of 1-10, how worried are you about the possibility of an additional front being added to this ongoing war?

AMOS HOCHSTEIN, the Presidential Coordinator on Energy Security, believes that there is cause for concern on another front. This conflict has already seen some action from Lebanon towards Israel since the beginning on October 7th and has been ongoing in a relatively minor capacity since then.

President Biden has been clear that we want to do everything we can to prevent an escalation of that lower-level conflict into an all-out conflict that would drag us further into war and risk civilian lives on both sides. And that’s what we’re trying to do, is to avoid that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Hezbollah has launched rockets and Israel has conducted attacks in southern Lebanon. You successfully facilitated a maritime boundary agreement between Israel and Lebanon. How far along are you in negotiations for a land border?

AMOS HOCHSTEIN: Approximately one year ago, we successfully negotiated a maritime boundary between Israel and Lebanon. This was a significant achievement, considering that Lebanon does not recognize Israel diplomatically. It marks the first time these two countries have come to any type of boundary agreement.

Our current objective is twofold: first, to achieve a cessation of hostilities between both sides. This is crucial because currently, nearly 100,000 individuals from Lebanon and Israel are displaced within their own countries due to the inability to reside in southern Lebanon or northern Israel. Therefore, it is imperative that we reach a ceasefire agreement.

After October 7th, it is important to ensure the safety of both Israelis and Lebanese residing in their homes. This goes beyond a simple ceasefire and requires complex negotiations to establish the presence of the Lebanese army in the area and implement additional security measures for civilians.

After completing this task, we must then consider how to establish a clear boundary between the two nations in order to ensure lasting safety and peace in an area that has experienced numerous conflicts in recent years.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you planning to return soon?

AMOS HOCHSTEIN: I will probably return soon, but this is a daily occurrence for us, not just when we are in the region. We also do this while we are here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Israeli government has expressed concern about time running out, with their defense minister stating the end of January as a deadline.

AMOS HOCHSTEIN: I am unsure about strict time limits, but –


According to AMOS HOCHSTEIN, there is still an opportunity for diplomatic action. President Biden has emphasized the need to address this issue through diplomacy. It is acknowledged that the current situation cannot be sustained indefinitely, highlighting the importance of reaching a diplomatic resolution.

On Friday, there was a significant increase in oil prices due to an incident involving a Russian oil tanker in the Red Sea. The tanker was hit by rockets from Houthi militias, causing many ships passing through the area to take longer routes.

How do you measure the potential political risks in relation to future energy prices?

AMOS HOCHSTEIN: It’s worth noting that we currently find ourselves in a unique situation with two major conflicts: Russia’s ongoing aggression towards Ukraine and the ongoing attack on ships in the Middle East by the Houthis.

It is important to note that our response is directed towards the Houthi attacks. This is not a direct assault on the United States or connected to Gaza. Rather, it is an attack on the international commercial system and shipping routes. This is a global issue, not limited to the United States. As a result, the response is not solely from the U.S., but rather led by the U.S. and supported by a growing coalition of both diplomatic and military efforts.

Margaret Brennan also noted that it has not halted the assaults.

AMOS HOCHSTEIN: In my opinion, we have observed a decrease in the number of attacks. However, let’s consider the recent incident you mentioned, where a ship was targeted on Friday. It was not a ship belonging to the United States, nor was it headed for Israel. It was a part of the international commercial system. Fortunately, it received assistance from the U.S. Navy, the French Navy, and the Indian Navy – all of which were present in the surrounding area. As a result, the ship was successfully able to continue its journey without any harm or danger.

The effect on the markets, in my opinion, is primarily a result of sentiment as prices have slightly increased. However, the actual expense for energy commodities and cargo ships is mainly due to higher logistics costs rather than direct costs. While there may be an increase in costs, the inflationary impact is relatively low. We are actively working to reduce the impact of the Houthis’ attacks.


AMOS HOCHSTEIN: Additionally, we must ensure that we monitor the international markets and prevent any impact on them.

According to a report by “The Washington Post,” it is said that you disagreed with the White House’s announcement on Friday to impose restrictions on certain liquified natural gas projects for the purpose of conducting an environmental review. Is this accurate? Additionally, considering that there hasn’t been much movement in LNG prices, can we truly consider this decision to be impactful? It appears to be heavily influenced by politics.

AMOS HOCHSTEIN So, first, no, it is totally – I don’t know who’s saying that I opposed it. I did not oppose it. I think this is the right decision. I – the White House – in the White House, in the Department of Energy, and across the administration, there was full support for this decision. I was one of them.

We must recognize this decision as it is. Currently, we are the top global exporter of LNG. With our ongoing projects, the United States will double our LNG exports in the next three to four years. We have already accomplished a significant amount. However, we must also consider the economic and environmental effects as we continue to expand. It is important to evaluate all aspects before proceeding with construction, which is why we have a permitting process.

Margaret Brennan: Senator Manchin plans to hold hearings to gather information on the events that took place. We will keep an eye out for those and thank you for joining us.

We will return shortly.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We are currently more than 100 days into a conflict that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to persist in.

Charlie D’Agata from CBS joined the Israeli military on their journey into Gaza and submitted this report.


Charlie D’Agata, reporting: In southern Gaza, we entered through the same gap in the fence that Hamas fighters used to start their attack. Soldiers from the 55th Brigade, 98th Paratroopers division, showed us something they had found. One soldier kept his gun aimed down a dark tunnel. This particular tunnel, out of the many that run under Gaza, was used by Hamas fighters to sneak under open fields without being noticed. It was a carefully planned operation.

A team conducted a patrol in this area and discovered a hole. The hole was located here and was quite small, with a ladder inside.

According to Charlie D’Agata, numerous tunnels and shafts have been discovered in various locations, with one being just a short distance from the crossing. It is suspected that these were utilized by Hamas fighters to carry out the attack.

“We ventured further into the region, heading towards the besieged city of Khan Younis. We were met with scenes of complete destruction, a result of weeks of intense bombing that not only destroyed almost every building, but also had a terrible impact on the innocent civilians.”

The main urban center in the southern region of Gaza is believed to be under the control of Hamas, where their leader Yahya Sinwar may have been hiding. Officials from Hamas have reported that the number of casualties has risen to over 26,000, including over 10,000 children.

We arrived at a former elementary school located in an affluent neighborhood. According to our source, it was previously used as a Hamas stronghold but is now occupied by the Israeli military.

There was a loud explosion a short time ago, followed by billowing smoke in the sky. This serves as a reminder of how near we are to Khan Younis and the intense fighting taking place.

Charlie D’Agata reports that the loud explosion we heard was actually a planned demolition to prevent Hamas fighters from finding shelter and launching a counterattack. Lieutenant Colonel Anche (ph) explains that this is not just urban combat, but a strategic move.

An unidentified male stated that these individuals wear regular clothes, making it challenging to recognize them. They do not carry ammunition with them, but instead gather it when they emerge from their underground structures to attack us. Their tactic is to shoot and quickly flee.

According to the Israeli military, Khan Younis is currently under siege and they have not located the Hamas leaders or the 130 hostages who are reportedly being held captive.

As we drive through the aftermath, the task is not only to claim land on the surface, but also to search for what lies beneath.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Charlie D’Agata has recently come back to London after covering the area as a reporter.

Charlie, journalists are not permitted into Gaza to freely report on the war, and that has been the subject of court cases in Israel. So, what restrictions did the IDF put on you?

CHARLIE D’AGATA: Yes, Margaret, we cannot get into Gaza from Israel or from Egypt for that matter because the Israelis are holding all the cards. The only way you can get in is with the Israeli military on an embed.

The limitations dictate the narrative of what you are able to see, as they are the ones guiding and shaping your experience.

During that specific instance, we spent approximately two to two and a half hours in the location. However, we were not permitted to share any information about it or broadcast it until 24 to 48 hours later due to embargo restrictions. While they may request to review the material, it is not censored or altered in any way. This is typically for security purposes. Interestingly, this time they did not request to see it at all.

The challenging aspect is that we lack freedom to move around. We are not allowed to gather our own resources or talk to others in the area. This is my third time being embedded, but I have not encountered any Palestinians. I have not witnessed any signs of life or death, and I have not been able to visit humanitarian centers or hospitals. Therefore, it has been impossible for us to report independently on the situation, except for the brave efforts of our colleagues in Gaza.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Our producer, Marjuan Alghoul, and the individuals residing in the midst of this conflict.

However, you have been in Israel for approximately three weeks. During this period, there has been an increase in global pressure, such as the International Court of Justice’s decision to compel Israel to halt acts of genocide, though they did not demand an immediate ceasefire.

I am curious about the thoughts of the soldiers you have met with regarding this situation. Do they experience fatigue?

Charlie D’Agata states that there is a sense of exhaustion among soldiers. However, they refrain from discussing government policies or politics. When questioned about civilian casualties and instances of genocide, they claim to be doing their best to prevent them. It is known that Hamas takes shelter in civilian areas such as schools, hospitals, and tunnels. Additionally, there have been instances of Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed civilians and even holding Israeli hostages.

Regarding Israel, there is a division within the government. Some support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly rejected accusations of genocide and seeks complete victory. Others believe that it is time to put an end to this and at least achieve a ceasefire and release the hostages, followed by a discussion about a potential resolution.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you, Charlie, for your valuable reporting and context.

Reworded: Expressing appreciation, Charlie D’Agata says “Thank you.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: Joining us now is Janti Soeripto, the CEO of Save the Children.

I would like to inquire with you, Janti, since you have recently returned from the region. You were investigating the current amount of aid that can be delivered to Gaza in order to assist the children who are of great concern to you. What information did you gather?

Reworded: “I appreciate your contribution, Margaret,” said Janti Soeripto, President and CEO of Save the Children.

I have recently returned from spending just over ten days in the region. I was able to reach the border and witness the large number of trucks eagerly waiting to enter through the Rafah crossing.

The current situation regarding aid distribution in Gaza is still severely lacking. On a good day, only around 130 to 150 trucks are able to enter Gaza. During my time there, it was even worse with less than 100 trucks entering. It’s important to note that before October 7th, a much higher number of 500 trucks per day were able to enter, providing both aid and commercial supplies. The current number is not enough, especially considering the increased need for aid. Even if trucks do make it in, the process is slow and complicated with many stops for unloading and loading along the way. Additionally, once in Rafah, it is still difficult to deliver aid directly to those in need, such as vaccinating children, providing food and medical supplies to hospitals, and distributing water to people.

Around 1.5 million individuals are currently stuck in Rafah. The area is overflowing with people, causing congested streets. Due to this, trucks and vans are having trouble navigating through the area. The situation is worsened by the fact that it is extremely challenging to deliver essential resources to the northern part of Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people are still in need of assistance.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, I mean, those pictures are just incredible, showing what that area of Rafah was like, and now just the concentration of humanity stuck there.

I understand that you have partnered with other humanitarian groups to emphasize that this is an unprecedented conflict in all your years of experience. What sets it apart?

JANTI SOERIPTO: The current situation in Gaza is extremely dire. People have no place to escape, unlike other crises we have worked in such as Afghanistan, Sudan, and Ukraine. While the situation in those places is also difficult, there is still a chance for people to flee. However, in Gaza, the constant bombardment and high population density make it nearly impossible to provide humanitarian aid on a large scale. This presents a significant challenge.

We are deeply worried about the significant decline in health conditions. Many hospitals are no longer fully functioning, leaving children, who are more susceptible, to experience preventable and treatable illnesses such as infections, respiratory issues, and diarrhea. These conditions have now become life-threatening due to the lack of available medication to treat them.

Margaret Brennan: The United Nations agency in Gaza has reported that their services are deteriorating due to the suspension of aid caused by Israel’s disclosure that 12 individuals were involved in the October 7th attack. The Israeli government claims that other aid organizations without ties to terrorism can fill the gap. Are you able to take on this responsibility as one of those aid organizations?

JANTI SOERIPTO: Yes, I think – I – personally we think that’s an example of some magical thinking. There is no way that the collective humanitarian sector can completely replace UNRWA, you know, in the short space of time that that will be necessary. Let’s not forget, UNRWA has had 13,000 staff in Gaza.


JANTI SOERIPTO: Currently, Save the Children has a total of 23 employees in Gaza, with an equal number of 23 male and female staff members.


JANTI SOERIPTO: Affirmative. Additionally, there are numerous community members and countless aid organizations in a similar situation.

Unfortunately, I must interrupt you due to breaking news.

We will return shortly.


“Breaking News: According to U.S. Central Command, three American service members were killed and 25 were injured in an attack on a base near the Syrian border in Jordan. Officials believe that Iranian-backed militias are responsible for the attack.”

We’ll be following –


Source: cbsnews.com