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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Location: Unknown

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SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight with Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut,
who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
Moving forward, security obviously is an issue. So getting funding
and help from Republicans shouldn`t be hard after this hearing. That`s
what I see today.
Your thoughts on it.

MURPHY: Well, listen, the Republicans have had chance after chance to
do the right thing here. The irony is just as thick as the walls of the
United States Congress, when you think that they stripped $300 million out
of the secretary`s security requests before Benghazi.

But it gets even worse, Ed. After Benghazi, the president and the
secretary of state said, listen, we`ve got to do better. So they put
before Congress a request to just move $1.3 billion of unallocated funds
for Iraq into security accounts to try to protect our embassies.
The Senate put it in the supplemental bill for Sandy. And guess what?
The House Republicans stripped it out and didn`t put it in their version of
the Sandy bill.
So even today, after we know what happened, the Republicans are still
not willing to give her the resources to protect our diplomats abroad.

SCHULTZ: Senator, what was this hearing about today? Was it about
getting and finding solutions or something else?

MURPHY: Listen, to me, this was simply about politics, right, about
two-thirds of the Republicans that asked questions asked questions about a
handful of TV appearances by Susan Rice.
The fact is if Republicans asked just a small percentage of the
questions that they`ve been asking about these television appearances about
the war in Iraq, we wouldn`t be talking about saving four lives, we would
be talking; about saving 4,000 lives.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

MURPHY: And so, listen, I`m glad she`s being as transparent as she
has been. But it`s about time to focus on something bigger than this.

SCHULTZ: Senator, you have access to these intelligence materials.
Did you learn anything today? Was there any new information that came out
today?

MURPHY: No, I don`t think there was anything new here. And I think
what is refreshing is that the secretary is spending five and a half hours
testifying before Congress, has been open about their failings, and they
want to fix things.
And again, that`s a big difference between this administration and the
last. Every administration makes mistakes. The question is: do you learn
from them and change?
And that`s what today was about. If we learned anything, we learned
that the secretary`s commitment is stronger than ever to try to make sure
this never happens again.

SCHULTZ: What was your reaction when they focused in on Susan Rice`s
television appearance when that has been all cleared up -- at least the
American public thinks it has -- because the CIA supplied those talking
points. But yet, John McCain, Rand Paul, Johnson and some others are still
fixated on those TV appearances.
What was your reaction when they went down that road?

MURPHY: You know, that the Republicans have the same old tired
political talking points that they have had for the last year.

SCHULTZ: So this was nothing but a political show and theater of
hackery today, would you agree with that?

MURPHY: Well, listen, the secretary swatted away every single one of
those questions. And I think a lot of them ended up looking pretty small
compared to a secretary of state who said, listen, all the questions have
been answered, and we need to focus on much bigger things.
So I expect that, frankly, her performance may put an end to these
Susan Rice questions.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

MURPHY: I thought she was masterful.

SCHULTZ: And the State Department`s plan of action moving forward,
are you confident it`s sufficient?

MURPHY: It`s sufficient as long as we fund it. But, again, the fact
that the Republicans had a chance to do it in the House of Representatives
and still wouldn`t suggests, you know, I don`t know what their motivations
are. But clearly they`re not serious about giving her the resources she
needs.
But let`s say this last one thing is that we also have to understand
the limitations of the security that we can provide. We`re not going to go
into bunkers. Our diplomats are going to be on the front lines.
And though we`re going to do everything we can to try to protect them,
we shouldn`t expect that if 150 armed marauders show up at a security
facility, there might be no level of protection that we can afford them.
We`re going to do our best, but these are dangerous times for diplomats.
And thank God that we have those brave men and women out there serving this
country.

SCHULTZ: After all the things that Senator Clinton -- or Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton said today, it would seem to me that the Republicans
would be very concerned about some of her comments about North Africa and
what kind of a commitment we need to make there. But they`re more
interested in television appearances, I guess.
Senator Chris Murphy, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
much.

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