On this “Face the Nation” broadcast, moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken
- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
- Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland
- Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, and John Sullivan, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia
- Dr. Joshua Gordon, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health
Clickto browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan in Washington.
And this week on Face the Nation: The Biden administration mounts an aggressive diplomatic offense at an international security conference.
And former President Jimmy Carter enters end-of-life hospice care.
Just ahead of its one-year anniversary, the war in Ukraine was the top item on the agenda at the annual Munich Security Conference, with U.S. diplomats publicly blasting the Russians and Vladimir Putin.
KAMALA HARRIS (Vice President of the United States): We have examined the evidence. We know the legal standards. And there is no doubt these are crimes against humanity.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Privately, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a — quote — “candid and direct,” code for confrontational, meeting with his Chinese counterpart about the spy balloons.
We spoke with him right after that.
ANTONY BLINKEN (U.S. Secretary of State): It’s safe to say there was no apology.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will bring you that interview, plus a conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders.
And we will take a closer look at the nation’s mental health crisis and the hospitalization of Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman for depression.
It’s all just ahead on Face the Nation.
Good morning, and welcome to Face the Nation.
We have got a lot of news to get to today, but, last night, we learned former President Jimmy Carter has decided to spend his remaining time with his family in Plains, Georgia, in home hospice care. The 98-year-old Carter is the oldest surviving president.
And our Bob Schieffer will be along later in the broadcast with some insights.
But we want to turn now to that hour-long meeting between Secretary of State Blinken and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, the first face-to-face meeting since the U.S. shot down the Chinese spy balloon two weeks ago.
We spoke with the secretary last night from Munich just after that meeting.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. Secretary, I know you just met with your Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, who has publicly said the U.S. response to the spy balloon was “absurd, hysterical, and an effort to divert attention away from domestic problems.”
Was he that dismissive to you in private?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Margaret, I don’t want to characterize what he said.
I can tell you what I said. I made very clear to him that China sending a surveillance balloon over the United States, in violation of our sovereignty, in violation of international law, was unacceptable, and must never happen again.
We also had an opportunity to talk about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and concerns that we have that China is considering providing lethal support to Russia in its efforts in Ukraine. And I was able to share with him, as President Biden has shared with President Xi, the serious consequences that would have for our relationship.
Finally, it was important for me to underscore that we believe having lines of communication, engaging in direct diplomacy is very important.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean their defense minister will pick up the next phone call from Secretary Austin, instead of refusing it?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Well, it’s one of the things that we talked about, the importance of having lines of communication, including military- to-military lines of communication.
It’s vital to making sure that there aren’t miscommunications, misunderstandings, especially if you’ve got a crisis or some other situation on your hands.
MARGARET BRENNAN: A senior Pentagon official said last week that President Xi Jinping was caught by surprise by the surveillance balloon and that he doesn’t trust his own military.
Did the left and right hand of the Chinese government not know what was going on?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: It doesn’t matter, in the sense that China is responsible for this action.
And, ultimately, as the leader of the country, President Xi is responsible.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There is open-source reporting that Chinese companies are providing surveillance equipment to that mercenary group the Wagner Group fighting in Ukraine.
Does the U.S. consider this to be providing military support to Russia?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: We’ve been concerned from day one about — about that possibility.
And, to date, we have seen Chinese companies — and, of course, in China, there’s really no distinction between private companies and the state — we have seen them provide nonlethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine.
The concern that we have now is, based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support. And we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Lethal support, what would that entail? What do you think…
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Weapons. Weapons.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s ammunition. That’s…
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Primarily, weapons.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Primarily…
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: There’s a whole gamut of things that — that fit in that category, but everything from ammunition to the weapons themselves.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Iran is also accused of providing more weaponry to Russia here. So, they are…
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: That’s right. We’ve seen Iran provide…
MARGARET BRENNAN: They are building an alliance.
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: There’s an increasingly noxious relationship between Russia and Iran.
And it’s actually a two-way street. Not only is Iran providing this — this equipment to Russia, but Russia is also providing military equipment to Iran, including, it looks like, sophisticated fighter planes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So from your conversation with your Chinese counterpart, do I understand that, usually, when you say it’s a direct conversation, that’s diplospeak for it didn’t go very well, it was pretty heated, or did you make plans to visit Beijing in the near future?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: It’s diplospeak for saying it was very important to speak very clearly, very directly about the deep concerns we have, the concerns that we have about this surveillance balloon and the entire program, the concerns we have about the possibility that China will provide lethal material support to Russia in its war effort against Ukraine…
MARGARET BRENNAN: But there was no apology?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: And it’s important that — again, don’t want to characterize what they said, although it’s safe to say there was no apology.
We have to make sure that the competition that we’re clearly engaged in does not veer into conflict, into a — into a new Cold War. It’s not in our interest. I won’t speak to theirs, but it’s not in ours.
MARGARET BRENNAN: In terms of Russia’s war, 97 percent of its military is already engaged in this fight in Ukraine, according to the U.K.
But they have substantial airpower they haven’t tapped into yet. Do you see evidence that Russia is preparing an aerial attack on Ukraine?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Russia’s losses have been horrific.
You’re right that 90 — 97 percent or so of their ground forces have been engaged in this war, which is extraordinary. And the losses to date have been horrific. Public figures suggest 200,000 casualties. That is a combination of those killed and those wounded. The destruction of their war machine itself, the tanks, the armored vehicles, the missile launchers, et cetera, has also been extensive.
In terms of airpower, they tried some of this early on. Ukraine’s air defenses were actually successful in shooting down a lot of Russian aircraft. So they backed off of using aircraft. That doesn’t mean that they won’t try to do that going forward. But, at least to date, Ukraine has had air defenses that have allowed it to pose such a threat to Russian aircraft that they haven’t really been flying.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you lastly about this designation of crimes against humanity that the vice president announced.
She cited horrific things, like a 4-year-old girl being raped by Russian soldiers, thousands of Ukrainian children being taken from their families, to say that this constitutes legally crimes against humanity. President Biden has already used the term genocide. Is the State Department working on a genocide determination?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: We will, as always, look at every legal possibility when it comes to going after the atrocities that Russia is committing in Ukraine.
The determination that — that we made of crimes against humanity that the vice president announced today is, unfortunately, starkly clear. And we’ve seen that almost from day one.
This practice that, as a parent, is almost impossible to fathom of literally seizing Ukrainian children, sending them to Russia, sending them to centers — there are about 43 of them that we found — there was a project undertaken by Yale University, with our support, that has documented this — to 43 centers in Russia and some in Ukrainian territory that Russia now holds.
Some of these places are closer to Alaska than they are to Ukraine. Separating them from their families and then having them adopted by Russians, this is, in and of itself, horrific. It also speaks to the fact that President Putin has been trying from day one to erase Ukraine’s identity, to erase its future. That’s what’s going on, and that too is a crime against humanity.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Some of what you described is consistent with the statutory basis for the Genocide Convention.
So I’m hearing what you’re saying as you are potentially looking at that?
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: We will look at every possible determination, but we’re going to follow the facts, and we’re going to follow the law. These are very serious determinations, and we will engage in them very seriously.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary Blinken, thank you for your time today.
SECRETARY ANTONY BLINKEN: Good to be with you. Thanks, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Late last week, Senator Bernie Sanders stopped by the Face the Nation studio to talk about his new book, “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: You talk about the alliance you formed with Joe Biden during the campaign to really shape the Democratic platform and incorporate many of your ideas.
You said he wasn’t as bold as you would have hoped, but he would have been the most progressive president since FDR if he had acted on that agenda. How do you categorize Joe Biden on that progressive scale now?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vermont): Well, I think the American Rescue Plan was, in fact, one of the most significant pieces of legislation for the working class in this country in the modern history of America.
Build Back Bitter — Better would have been transformational. It would have finally addressed the crises that the working class of this country has faced for decades, revolutionized childcare, revolutionized health care, dealt boldly with climate change, raised wages. I mean, it would have done a whole lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But the votes weren’t there.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: We got zero Republican support, and two Democrats decided not to support it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, in terms of how you view the president, do you think he is progressive?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I think he is a much more progressive president than he was a United States senator.
MARGARET BRENNAN: In some of the things you were able to get done and signed into law, President Biden points to them as achievements, but you diminish them a little bit in this book. You point out Medicare won’t be permitted to negotiate lower drug prices until 2026.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors doesn’t kick in until 2025; $35 dollar cap on insulin prices doesn’t help those who aren’t on Medicare.
Are you saying he hasn’t delivered?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No.
I mean, look, this is the real world that we live in is that you need 60 votes often in the Senate. And the truth is that, today, over 60 percent of our people are living paycheck to paycheck.
So the question that I am asking is why, in the richest country in the history of the world, why aren’t — why don’t we have a health care system that works for all? Why do we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? So, we have seen some achievements, but given the scope of the problems and where we should be going, nowhere near enough.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We also have one of the most innovative health care systems when it comes to creation of pharmaceutical drugs.
You are doing this.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, when someone hears you lay out the problems with our pharmaceutical industry, as you do in this book, and say, but the lifesaving vaccines, for example, for COVID, they were created by the United States of America, they were created by the pharmaceutical system, with taxpayer help.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: They were created by — sure.
Of course, the drug companies produce great drugs. But one out of four people in America cannot afford the price — the drugs that their doctors prescribe. So, of course, we want the drug companies to do the research and development. And, by the way, taxpayers of this country spent $45 billion a year through the NIH to help with that research and development…
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re talking about…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: including Moderna and the vaccine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re talking about Moderna. Pfizer didn’t take that — that money.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Correct
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, Moderna, you’re — you’re sharply critical.
In fact, you’re calling in Moderna’s CEO to testify.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re critical of his plan to quadruple the cost of the COVID vaccine.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, here’s the…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Can you stop him from doing that?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, here’s the story.
Taxpayers — the NIH co-authored, worked together to create the vaccine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Taxpayers put billions of dollars into the development of the vaccine, guaranteed sales for the vaccine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: As they did with many other companies.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Yes, all right.
And then what happens? After the government stockpile of the vaccine expires, these guys say, well, we’re going to quadruple the price of the vaccine. And, by the way, in the last two years, the CEO made $5 billion, and its other guys made billions of dollars. Is that really what should be happening?
Truth is, pharmaceutical industry is enormously greedy, charging us outrageously, uncontrollably high prices. We’ve got to deal with that. And as chairman of the relevant committee, I intend to do what I can.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Moderna says it’s instituting a patient assistance plan to give the COVID shot to the uninsured and underinsured Americans free of cost. Is that sufficient for you?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: And you know, Margaret, amazing coincidence. That happened the same exact day we announced that we were inviting them to testify.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You think your political heat made that difference?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, maybe it was just a wild and crazy coincidence. I don’t know.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: But we also want to take a look at what that patient program is about. We’re talking to them about that.
But, obviously, it’s a step in the right direction.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Step in the right direction.
How do you lower the cost of prescription drugs in a way that doesn’t hurt American innovation? And how do you do it politically, when Republicans control the House?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I think we have the basis for bipartisan work to tell the pharmaceutical industry that they really have got to stop ripping off the American people.
A number of ways you could do it. The Inflation Reduction Act started by having Medicare negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. It doesn’t kick in for a few years.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I think we should expedite that.
Number two, of all people, my good friend Donald Trump, all right, who I disagree with on everything, had the idea that maybe Medicare should not pay prices higher than the average of what countries around the rest of the world are paying. That’s a good idea. And we want to pursue that as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Democrats have this narrow 51-seat majority in the Senate.
Both the Pennsylvania senators are out of office right now dealing with serious health issues. And so their absence complicates any votes. Do you have any idea when, for example, Senator Fetterman will be out of the hospital and well enough to return?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: We wish Senator — Senator — Senator Fetterman has gone through a hell of a year, with his stroke in the middle of a campaign and dealing with other issues. So I can’t answer that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, President Biden talks about finishing the job and the potential for running for reelection in 2024. You said you won’t run, if he runs.
Do you believe that President Biden will face any primary challenge from the left, from the progressive wing?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I can’t speak for other people.
I think there’s a general consensus right now that President Biden has done, not everything we would like. He has done a good job. If he runs, announces that he is going to run, I will support him.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You write: “The essence of the Democratic message in recent years has been we’re pretty bad, but Republicans are worse, so vote for us.”
Is there anyone inspirational in Democratic politics?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Sure.
There are some great people who are working night and day to protect working-class people.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So who’s the next Bernie Sanders? Who is that voice?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I will let you discover that.
What I am extremely proud of is that there are more really strong young progressives, often people of color, in the House now than probably in any time certainly in my lifetime, great people.
If you ask me what my — I’m most proud of, is that so many young people — we won the young vote overwhelmingly, and I think young people are saying, we don’t want to tinker around the edges anymore, not on climate change, not on racial issues, not on economic issues. We want transformational change.
And if my campaigns played a role in changing that consciousness, I’m very proud of that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Former Ambassador Nikki Haley is running for President, as you know, and she said there should be a mandatory mental competency test for politicians older than 75.
You’re 81. Do you take offense at that? Do you agree?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: What does she mean? I don’t understand what she…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Yes. No. No, I think that’s absurd. You know, there’s a level…
MARGARET BRENNAN: Absurd?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Yes.
We are fighting racism. We’re fighting sexism. We’re fighting homophobia. I think we should also be fighting ageism. Trust people, look at people, and say, this person is competent, this person is not competent. There are a lot of 40-year-olds out there who ain’t particularly competent.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Older people — you look at the individual. I don’t think you make a blanket statement.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. So when it comes to the current president or the former president and their age range, it doesn’t concern you?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Look at what they do, what they believe in. What are they fighting for?
What does Donald Trump stand for? Do you believe in that? Well, I certainly don’t. What does Joe Biden stand for? What is he doing? Has he accomplished — look at — look at him in that way, not on age.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re going to take a quick break, and we will have more with Senator Sanders in one minute.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re back with more of our conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some issues on foreign policy.
CIA Director Bill Burns recently said that the uptick in violence in Israel and Palestinian territories reminds him of the last intifada, that there could be an explosion of violence. Israel now has the most right-wing government it’s had in years.
Do you think that democracy is in peril in Israel right now?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I do.
I am very worried about what Netanyahu is doing and some of his allies in government and what may happen to the Palestinian people. The United States gives billions of dollars in aid to Israel.
And I think we’ve got to put some strings attached to that and say you cannot run a racist government. You cannot turn your back on a two-state solution. You cannot demean the Palestinian people there. You just can’t do it and then come to America and ask for money.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you talked to the administration about it?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No.
MARGARET BRENNAN: They’ve been very careful in criticism of the Netanyahu government.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I am not careful about it. I’m embarrassed that — that, in Israel, you have a government of that nature right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And you — are you going to introduce something?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: We may well, yes.
If a government is acting in a racist way, and they want billions of dollars from the taxpayers of the United States, I think you say, sorry, but it’s not acceptable. You want our money? Fine. This is what you got to do to get it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC used to be bipartisan, but, these days, it’s got a super PAC that has spent very heavily in Democratic primaries.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Against progressives.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said they’re doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country.
Do you think the politics around this issue are constraining the White House going into 2024?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: The way I look at AIPAC now, in terms of their political activities, this is not even just a pro-Israel group. This is a corporate PAC, sometimes getting money from Republicans, sometimes supporting extreme right-wing Republicans.
So, what really upset me very much is that, in many of these primaries, we had great candidates, young people, often people of color, and yet AIPAC and other super PACs spending millions of dollars trying to defeat them.
And, as you may know, I try to get the Democratic Party to pass a resolution that, in Democratic primaries, super PAC money should not be allowed to be used.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You are proposing a new Cabinet-level agency to focus on the future of work and workers.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You talk about taxing robots who might replace humans.
Isn’t the Labor Department supposed to be doing these things?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Well, theoretically, but I don’t think we’re doing enough.
Look, this is a huge issue. There is a revolution taking place now with artificial intelligence and robotics, OK? Millions of workers are going to lose their jobs. Who’s making those decisions, Margaret? You hear it debated in Congress? I don’t.
If there is a technology that can do — increase worker productivity, who benefits from that? Just the guy who owns the company, or does the worker benefit? So, if we can reduce the workweek, is that a bad thing? It’s a good thing. But I don’t want to see the people on top simply be the only beneficiaries of this revolution in technology.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you agree with Bill Gates in taxing robots?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: That’s one way to do it. Yes, absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: He’s a billionaire you do like?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: He’s…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I have talked to Bill on a number of occasions, yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.
But — well, I’m interested in that concept and some of the other things you lay out here, including…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: But it’s not just taxing the robots.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: It’s this whole question of an economic transformation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Are working-class people going to benefit from that or just the billionaire class?
MARGARET BRENNAN: So I’m told we’re running out of time. But I have…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I’m just getting warmed up, Margaret, having fun.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I…
MARGARET BRENNAN: But I have to ask you, you’re going on tour to promote this book “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.”
And you’re here talking about it. I understand we’re not the bad guys you’re describing in the book when it comes to media. But tickets for your tour apparently are selling for $95 on Ticketmaster, which is accused of anti-competitive behavior. You know that. Some of your Democrats are criticizing them.
Aren’t you benefiting yourself from this system that you’re trying to dismantle?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No, I’m not. I — first of all — first of all, those decisions are made totally by the publisher and the bookseller.
I think there’s one case where, in one place here in Washington, Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore, charging some tickets. Most of them, I think, are $40, $50. And you get a book as well. So, if you want to come, you’re going to have to pay 40 bucks. I will throw in the book for free.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: And we’re doing a number of free events, but I don’t make a nickel out of these things at all.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you’re OK doing business with Ticketmaster?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: No, not particularly. But that’s — again, I have nothing to do with that.
That is — if you wrote a book, it would probably be the same process.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-hmm. So you have to operate within the system…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I do.
MARGARET BRENNAN: … is what you’re…
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I write a book, a major publisher, et cetera, et cetera.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Sanders, thank you very much for coming in and answering our questions today.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I hope I wasn’t too hard on you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: No. And I asked all the questions I wanted.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Not necessarily what you wanted, but what I wanted.
So, thank you very much, Senator Sanders.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You heard him, Senator Bernie Sanders just getting warmed up.
Our full conversation is available on our Web site, as well as our YouTube channel.
We will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Next week on Face the Nation, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins us to talk about China, the war in Ukraine and more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be right back with a lot more Face the Nation.
Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
President Biden heads to Poland this week. His second visit since Russia began its war in Ukraine.
For more we go to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Good morning to you.
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI (Prime Minister of Poland): Good morning. Good morning, ma’am.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, President Biden will be visiting Warsaw. We know you’ve said President Zelenskyy will also be in Poland. What do you expect from these visits?
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: Well, I expect that there will be very strong confirmation of our resilience and our joint efforts to defeat Russia in Ukraine, because instead of saying some western European politicians say that Russia cannot be – cannot win this war and Ukraine cannot be defeated, we have to change the paradigm and we have to say, Ukraine must win and Russia must be defeated. And I believe that the words of President Biden will reassure all Europe that the United States is with us in this fight for freedom and peace.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It sounds like you’re referring to the French president’s recent comments. Does NATO actually want Ukraine to win this war and regain its lost territory?
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: I believe so. I’m absolutely sure that this is the only way how we can restore peace and stability. I cannot imagine that Putin, and the Kremlin winning this war and then peace and stability is around us, because the nature – the very nature of Russia is to conquer other countries.
Russia has actually summoned the worst of the 20th century, colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, and this is – this is the nature of the – of “russkiy mir” (ph), as they call. And this is why it’s such a critical moment in our history.
MARGARET BRENNAN: President Biden said he believes the war has to end in a negotiated settlement that’s favorable to Ukraine. You said last year Poland doesn’t negotiate with criminals.. Nobody negotiated with Hitler. Would you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot? Are you saying peace is not possible if Putin stays in power?
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: I just came to – to here to this interview from Munich conference. Munich Security Conference very important platform to exchange opinions today. But in 1938 there was another Munich conference where all the leaders of the western world succumbed to Hitler and they believed they are bringing peace to their countries. And one year later, the second world war broke out.
We can, of course, negotiate, but it has to be under conditions and under the definition presented by Ukrainians themselves. It’s up to them to define what terms and conditions can be acceptable to negotiate with the Kremlin.
MARGARET BRENNAN: One of Ukraine’s neighbors, Moldova, has warned that there is a plot to overthrow their government and open a new front in the war. An ally of Putin recently said that Russia should denazify (ph) and demilitarize Poland next.
Do you see evidence that Russia is going to try to move into other countries, including yours?
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: Yes. I do see lots of fingerprints of Russian forces, Russian services in Moldova. This is a very weak – we’re a very weak country and we all need to help them.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But in terms of Poland, you’re in NATO, so the United States would have to come to your defense if you went to NATO and asked for it. There are 11,000 U.S. service members on rotation in Poland currently. I know your government’s asking for more. Do you have any indications from the Biden administration that they will send more troops or make them permanent on your soil?
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: We are in the process of discussion with President Biden’s administration about making their presence more permanent and increasing them. But I’m very grateful also for sending new patriot systems and other very modern weapons and munitions because this is also, to some extent, a proxy for presence of soldiers, but, of course, the two go in tandem.
I also recall the words of President Biden from last – from his last visit in Poland when he said that every inch or square inch of NATO’s country’s territory is — will be defended. And Russia is not going to put any inroads into those countries. And I do believe that NATO countries, we are all very much secure. But it’s not only about us. It’s also about creating stability around us in our direct neighborhood.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: And if we fail to integrate Ukraine in NATO and European Union, Ukraine will always be a zone – a buffer zone, which is – which is not right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Mr. Prime Minister, we’ll be watching that visit. Thank you for your time.
MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’ll be right back with some analysis.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re now joined by Dr. Fiona Hill, a Trump administration national security council advisor on Russia, and former U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, who is now a CBS News contributor.
Good morning. Good to have you both here.
FIONA HILL (Former NSC Russia Expert): Thanks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Fiona Hill, I’d love to talk to you first.
Secretary Blinken admitted Russia is not isolated. It’s getting support from China. It’s getting support from Iran. So, does that mean the west’s main tool here, sanctions, are failing?
FIONA HILL: Well, I think sanctions was never the only tool that we had. I mean diplomacy, as well as the military support for Ukraine. And I think, you know, what we heard from Secretary Blinken and, you know, the fact that he’s just been at the Munich Security Conference underscores that we’re going to have to really up our diplomatic game because, you know, as you’re suggesting here, a lot of other countries just don’t buy that there’s as big an issue as we see with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I mean they’re always making comparison with, you know, the great power competition among the United States and Russia and China and seeing as part of that.
And I think what Secretary Blinken and other members of the administration have been really striving to get across is that it’s not part of us, saying the United States isn’t fighting over Ukraine for any kind of competition with China and with Russia. They’re trying to help Ukraine liberate itself. That’s the message that we have to get across.
And, frankly, if Russia gets away with a land grab in Ukraine, it makes the world unsafe for every country imaginable that has a territorial dispute, including, of course, all of the neighbors of China in the South China Sea, in east Asia, and many other countries as well. India and China have a (INAUDIBLE) dispute in the Himalayas, for example. And what we really have to do is to work with those middle powers, the countries in the U.N. General Assembly, to make that point that we’re trying to help Ukraine liberate its territory from an unprovoked aggression.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, you heard from the Polish prime minister this concern that, not just the blast radius from this conflict, but that there will be some pushing of it beyond borders, maybe not over invasion, but destabilization.
JOHN SULLIVAN: Sure.
MARGARET BRENNAN: When you were in the administration, you left in September, there was talk about the surrounding countries also being targeted by Russia. Do you think that’s underway now?
JOHN SULLIVAN: Absolutely. I mean we’ve seen the story earlier this week about a potential effort by the Russians to undermine the government in Moldova. We’ve seen over flights by Russian missiles that were attacking Ukraine that have gone over the territory of other countries that aren’t parties to the conflict. But this is a long-standing concern by Poles, by eastern Europeans that always felt threatened by that colossus on their eastern border by Russia. They’ve always described it to me as — when I was deputy secretary, they felt that they were on the front lines against this Russian — imperialist Russian state.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. But this feels different. I mean when you were here with us last time, you said, when you talked to Secretary Blinken February 19th of last year, he asked you, how are you feeling? You said, it feels like August 1939.
JOHN SULLIVAN: Yes. Right. So –
MARGARET BRENNAN: You just had the Polish prime minister invoked Hitler.
JOHN SULLIVAN: Yes. So, what happened on February 24th last year, Putin pushed all of his chips to the center of the table. He went all-in. You’ll recall before February 24th there were — there was speculation about, yes, there will be maybe a limited incursion into Ukraine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
JOHN SULLIVAN: Putin went all-in. He went full World War II, World War I scale. This is war and we’re going all in. We’re going to take down the Ukrainian government. We’re going to subjugate the Ukrainian people. And by God we’re going to do with Ukraine what we wish because Ukraine isn’t a country. Ukraine is part of our “russkiy mir.” (ph). We’re going to do with it what we want to and you, the United States, you NATO, anybody else, you can’t stop us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And he’s betting on a short attention span here in the west, here in the United States.
Vladimir Putin is set to give an address Tuesday. It’s going to be his first state of the nation since the war began. Very same day President Biden is going to give a speech in Poland. What’s the message you expect and should be delivered?
FIONA HILL: Well, I think what Putin is going to deliver is a message that picks up on what Ambassador Sullivan has just said. He’s going to depict this as a great patriot war of, you know, they use interchangeably fatherland (ph) war, protection of the motherland. In this case, Putin has been actually trying to say that this is the third invasion of Russia after Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars back in the 1800s and then Nazi Germany. So, he’s actually portraying this as an existential threat for Russia. So, what we would imagine is that he’s really trying to mobilize the Russian population in support of what he’s depicting as the fight for their lives.
Now, President Biden is going to have to counter that. We have to counter that narrative, not just in Europe and – you know, as we’ve heard from the Polish prime minister, we’ve heard from many other European leaders, they do see things in the same term as a rerun of World War I and World War II in the sense of an unprovoked aggression by a great power in Europe. But they’ve got to basically – and President Biden’s got to convince the world, the whole world at this point –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
FIONA HILL: Not just Europeans, that we’re in a fight to help Ukraine liberate itself and that everything that Putin is saying is a distortion of history and of fact.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, when you talk about the war in Ukraine politically here in the United States, President Biden gets attacked by Republicans, in particular, for being too slow moving to approve certain types of weapons. Fighter jets, for example, for a year have been debated about whether to give them or not. Is this too slow moving if we are actually in this incredibly important moment?
JOHN SULLIVAN: Well, it is an incredibly important moment and I think some of the criticism has been fair. It has been, I think, the administration, of which I was a part until recently, has been a little slow, has been cautious. President Biden, the marching orders we got at the start of this conflict was, he wanted to do everything we could to support Ukraine, but he didn’t want a war with Russia. And that’s the careful balancing act that we’ve — the administration has been going through. Not easy judgement —
MARGARET BRENNAN: But Vladimir Putin doesn’t want a war with the United States eater?
JOHN SULLIVAN: Well, Vladimir Putin says he’s already at war with the United States. He says the reason that he invaded Ukraine is that Ukraine, put up to it by the United States, was going to invade Russia. Ukraine was going to develop nuclear weapons. The United States and Ukraine were developing bioweapons. The times that he will use the word “war” to discuss what’s happening in Ukraine is when he says the west, the United States and all of its vessels, the word they use, is actually at war with Russia.
When he talks about the special military operation, that’s the response by Russia to the war that the United States is already waging through its Ukrainian proxies. As they say, the United States wants to fight against Russia to the last Ukrainian. And it’s all made up.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And those are the words you’re going to be listening for on Tuesday when he gives his address?
JOHN SULLIVAN: He’s going to — absolutely. Fiona’s absolutely right, it’s – it’s going to be rallying the Russian people to support the fatherland in this, what he considers existential war that he’s engaged in, in Ukrainian.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Dr. Hill, I mean, Ukrainian’s foreign minister said at Munich, the true end to the war will be when Russia’s president comes to Kyiv, falls to his knees and begs for forgiveness. That does not sound like Vladimir Putin.
FIONA HILL: No, but (INAUDIBLE), you know, 90 years from now some Russian president might do that. And I’m saying 90 years because actually Ambassador Sullivan and I have some Irish heritage and it took 90 years for the queen, Elizabeth II, to actually come and ask for forgiveness in Ireland in a very highly symbolic way for, you know, many of the conflicts. It’s not inconceivable that at some point some Russian leader, not in the immediate future, would, in fact, ask for forgiveness for what’s been done in Ukraine. We saw German leaders after World War II, you know, eventually ask for similar forgiveness at war memorials, including in the Soviet Union and in Russia itself. But it is true that when Russia drops as a country, these imperial (INAUDIBLE) that been (ph), this will finally be over. But it won’t be anytime soon.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you. It’s hard to believe we’re a year into this conflict.
We will be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There is a mental health crisis in our country. And we are reminded of that frequently. For a closer look at what may feel to many like an epidemic, we want to bring in Dr. Joshua Gordon of the National Institute of Mental Health, which is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.
Good morning to you, Doctor.
DR. JOSHUA GORDON (Director, National Institute of Mental Health): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to start on one of these triggers, you know, Senator Fetterman, a stroke survivor, checked himself into the hospital with clinical depression. And it has inspired a lot of people to talk about their experiences with depression.
In his case, what are the symptoms of stroke-induced depression?
JOSHUA GORDON: The symptoms of stroke-induced depression are pretty much the same as typical depression or depression that’s not associated with stroke. Low motivation, sadness, challenges with sleep, appetite, energy, loss of motivation and the like.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, what is a reasonable expectation and timeline for someone’s treatment? Do they get back to them — their old selves?
JOSHUA GORDON: Fortunately, there are effective treatments for depression. And those treatments do generally work for most people who have stroke- induced depression. The timeline, though, varies tremendously from individual to individual. And it’s hard to make a prediction in the senator’s case.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is the typical treatment for someone these days? Is talk therapy still strongly believed in? Is medication more prescribed these days?
JOSHUA GORDON: Well, given the typical severity of post-stroke depression, most mental health professionals would recommend a combination of medication and what we call psycho social or psychotherapeutic interventions. So, yes, talk therapy is still used. It is a very effective tool for depression, as are medications. And if patients don’t respond to talk therapy or medications, there are additional options to try.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, there was this recent CDC study about teenage girls, which was really sobering. It said nearly three in five U.S. teens – – teen girls feel persistently sad or hopeless, double that of boys, representing a 60 percent increase, the highest level reported over the past decade.
What is going on with young girls?
JOSHUA GORDON: Well, it is – it is truly a tragedy. It is truly a crisis. And we desperately need to do something about it on a societal level and on community levels.
The what is going on question is one that we can’t fully answer at this point. A lot of people think, oh, it must be the pandemic and its effects. But if you look at the surveys that the CDC has been conducting for the last decade or more, you can see the slow rise in levels of symptomatology, particularly amongst teenage girls. It goes back long before the pandemic started. So, there are a number of contributing factors. But on the whole, it’s a complex picture that we don’t fully understand.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, what are parents supposed to do?
JOSHUA GORDON: That’s a great question. First and foremost, parents need to talk to their kids. They need to listen. They need to ask questions about how they’re feeling. And if they’re worried, they do need to ask the question, are you thinking about hurting yourself or killing yourself. So that’s the first thing is, ask questions.
And the second thing, listen to the responses, and try to be there for your kids. If the answers suggest that your child is having more trouble than you think or is thinking about harming themselves or is otherwise having challenges going to school and getting good grades, et cetera, then parents should seek professional help.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor, thank you for your professional insight. We’ll continue monitoring it.
And we’ll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We learned the sad news Saturday that former President Jimmy Carter has entered the final stage of his life and will forgo any further medical treatment. Our Bob Schieffer covered former President Jimmy Carter almost 50 years ago and brings us his insights into Carter’s career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB SCHIEFFER (voice over): When the former governor of Georgia decided to run for president in 1975, it was not as if America had been waiting for him with bated breath.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy who?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy Carter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy who?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don’t know who he is.
BOB SCHIEFFER: He was so unknown that his surprise win in the Iowa caucuses brought headlines blaring the same question. But that race changed politics so much that Iowa became an obligatory first stop for presidential candidates.
Carter tried to make a virtue of his lack of Washington experience, a self- made peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, introduced us to an improbable cast of small-town characters. But his best asset was always wife Rosalynn.
Carter’s campaign came down to one simple promise.
JIMMY CARTER, (Former U.S. President): I’ll never tell a lie. I’ll never make a misleading statement.
BOB SCHIEFFER: After the lies of Watergate, it worked, despite a campaign of dubious firsts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The audio has been lost.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The sound went out during his debate with President Gerald Ford, leaving the two candidates just standing there for 28 minutes.
Carter went on to defeat incumbent Gerald Ford, maybe not so much because of what he said, but because Ford had pardoned Richard Nixon.
JIMMY CARTER: I, Jimmy Carter, do solemnly swear.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Like his campaign, Carter’s presidency began in some chaos. He bombarded Congress with so many proposals, plans and legislation, Washington couldn’t sort out his priority.
The low point for Carter came when Iran’s revolutionary leaders took U.S. diplomats hostage. The conflict set off a fuel shortage back home and Americans faced long lines at gas stations from coast to coast.
A military mission to rescue the hostages collapsed in an Iranian desert, and with it Carter’s campaign for re-election. The captives remained behind bars until the new president was sworn in.
For all that, Carter was responsible for two extremely significant achievements, negotiating the Panama Canal Treaty ensured the canal stayed open to American ships and American troops would not be needed to put down an almost certain rebellion.
Even more important, Carter engineered the Camp David Accords, which remains the single most important diplomatic achievement in the Middle East. It took Egypt, Israel’s most dangerous adversary, out of the conflict.
JIMMY CARTER: And I would like to say, as a Christian, to these two friends of mine, the words of Jesus, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be the children of God.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Although he served only one term, Carter went on to become America’s most active and productive former president. He visited countries around the world, serving as a mediator and settling disputes. His scientific work in Africa helped eradicate the screw worm, where it was said his was the presidential name most often remembered.
His work in Habitat for Humanity revived voluntaryism in this country.
When President Biden visited him in May of 2021, the pair discussed cancer research, a topic close to both their hearts. Carter survived brain cancer in his early ’90s. Jimmy and Roselynn Carter have been married more than 75 years, the longest presidential marriage in history.
This is Bob Schieffer.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s it for us today. Thank you for watching.
Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m Margaret Brennan.