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MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript - Foreign Policy

Interview

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MATTHEWS: Senator Feinstein, thank you for joining us from Capitol Hill.
Was that a reasonable demand by your colleague, Senator Paul, or is this
sort of a built-up story, built up by him, hyped up?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIR: Well, I think
it`s built up. I think it`s hyped up. I think it`s cleared up. It was
cleared up yesterday when Senator Cruz asked the question in the Judiciary
Committee.

And you know, it can be a complicated question. When it`s reduced down to
the basic simple fact of what (ph) it was said, the answer is clearly no.
And no drone is going to be used in the United States against an American
citizen walking down a street or sitting in a cafe.

And you know, and then there was a stupid example of a drone being used
against Jane Fonda. I mean, I don`t think this is befitting the Senate
floor. Having said that, clearly, Senator Paul got the answer in writing
signed by the attorney general, which is very definitive.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Well, here`s your colleague, John McCain. He took to the
Senate floor today and attacked Senator Paul, saying he`s giving credence
to people who fear the government, that fear that the government is out to
get them, sort of the black helicopter crowd. Let`s watch your other
colleague, John McCain, in action here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: To somehow allege or infer that the
president of the United States is going to kill somebody like Jane Fonda,
or someone who disagrees with the policies, is a stretch of imagination
which is, frankly, ridiculous.

We`ve done a -- I think, a disservice to a lot of Americans by making them
believe that somehow, they`re in danger from their government. They`re
not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Do you think, Senator, that technology -- and you and I have
grown up with the dynamic, I mean, almost unbelievable exponential growth
in what mankind can do with technology...

FEINSTEIN: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Is that playing to the paranoia in people, they think if we have
the capability, we`re going to use it against average citizens who are of a
different political persuasion, for example? Is that why the far right is
so nervous?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I think the drone is a new technology. In some respects,
it`s the perfect assassination weapon. It can see from 17,000, 20,000 feet
up in the air. It is very precise. It can knock out a room in a building,
if it`s armed. It`s a very dangerous weapon.

Right now, we have a problem. There are all these nations that want to buy
these armed drones. I am strongly opposed to that. We have no regulation
of drones in the United States in their commercial use. You can see drones
some day hovering over the homes of Hollywood luminaries, violating
privacy.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FEINSTEIN: This question has to be addressed. And we need rules of
operation on the border, by police, by commercial use, and also by military
and intelligence use.

So this is now a work in progress. We are taking a look at it on the
Intelligence Committee, trying to draft some legislation. The
administration is looking at a rules playbook as to how these won`t be used
and how they will be used.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

FEINSTEIN: So it`s a very complicated subject of new technology, and I
think we have to take a pause and get it right.

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s great to have you on, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who
chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. Thank you so much for joining
us.


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