tv Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and FBI Director Wray at Justice Department... CSPAN July 29, 2019 8:31am-8:55am EDT
>> the justice department recently held a daylong summit on combating anti-semitism. in this portion of the settlement treasury secretary steven mnuchin and fbi director christopher wray delivered remarks. this is about 25 minutes. >> it is now my privilege to introduce the assistant attorney general for the office of legal policy, beth williams. assistant attorney general williams was sworn into the
department on august 21, 2017, after unanimous confirmation in the united states senate. as that of the office of legal policy, assistant attorney general williams oversees the departments policymaking functions and serves as a co-vice chair of the attorney general task force on religious liberty. she bravely serve as special counsel for the united states senate committee on the judiciary can work in private practice and serve as a law clerk to judge richard wesley of the united states court of appeals for the second circuit. please join me in welcoming to the stage assistant attorney general beth williams. [applause] >> thank you, john, for your kind introduction.
i'm honored to beer to facilitate a a discussion about the administration's efforts to combat anti-semitism. i'm also honor to serve in the departments stand for the rights of all americans including those of jewish faith to worship and safety into practice their religion freely. as we were going the last panel one important way that the department protects those rights is by investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. but, of course, the department supports americans facing a new us. it's placed worship initiative has increased enforcement of a federal law that protects places of worship, including synagogues in the zoning and land marking process. this april attorney general barr welcome and administration wide rule that protects the rights of federal employees to take time away from work for the religious observances. and in 2017 and attorney general sessions issued a memorandum outlining the protections under federal law for religious liberty.
as that of the office of legal policy, and is co-vice chair of the task force, i help ensure that the department continues to protect the constitutional and statutory rights discussed in the memorandum. that work has been a distinct privilege. as the memorandum explains religious liberty is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place. except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law. i'm honored to be joined on stage by two leaders who are at the forefront of the administration's efforts to protect the freedom of worship and to combat foreign and domestic threats to that freedom. treasury secretary steven mnuchin and fbi director christopher wray. secretary mnuchin and director wray will each give an address and we will conclude as both have other engagements but we are incredibly thankful to both for taking time out of their busy schedules to be with us here today. i will now introduce the
secretary. secretary mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th secretary of the traitor february 13, 2017. as secretary he is responsible for the u.s. treasury whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable prosperity at home and abroad. he's also responsible for strengthening national security by combating economic threat and protecting our financial system as well as managing the u.s. government finances. last year help lead the delegation that opened u.s. embassy in jerusalem. his department sanctions program has been an essential element of our country's fight against terrorism. thank you so much for joining us, secretary mnuchin. [applause] >> thank you for that introduction, and director wray, for welcoming me to the department of justice.
i was getting a press conference earlier today at the white house on crypto currently and the debt ceiling, and i get asked about anti-semitism so i gave a little bit of an advertisement for my speech are today. i said i will be speaking at doj on anti-semitism later today. a few months after i became treasury secretary, i traveled to the middle east for the first time. on that trip i went to israel and visited the holy sites. it was a profoundly moving experience to light a candle and tour that the shim, the world holocaust remembered center. it is a place that commemorates the life and death of 6 million jews were victims of the holocaust. that experience was a solemn reminder of the atrocity that we must never forget and we must fight to prevent every single day. last year i returned to the middle east and i do great honor of being part of the presence
delegation in town with ivanka trump and jared kushner to openness dates in the sea. the event was 23 years in the making. in 1995, the one the one unfortunate states congress passed with enormous bipartisan support, the historic jerusalem embassy act. yet more than 20 years and the promise of reckoning is the eternal capital went unfulfilled by administrations of both parties. many critics said it could not be done or it should not be done. president trump did it and it was my great honor to be there for the ceremony to help fulfill the promise to the jewish americans and the people of israel that was passed by congress. that month i returned to the east for the piece to prosperity summit in bahrain. it was a successful event that outline the incentives for strategic economic investments that will lead to peace and stability in the region, that has for too long in known for
conflict. as we work to stem violence and promote peace overseas, unfortunately we are seeing the rise of anti-semitism both home and abroad. at times it anti-semitism takes the form of violence. in october i traveled with president trump, the first lady, ivanka and jared to pittsburgh following the tree of life synagogue shooting where 11 innocent people lost their lives. i amidst the tragedy and profoud sadness, we found inspiration in the community, the support people short for one another, and the bravery of the first responders who saved so many lives. recognizing the need to continue the feeding hateful ideology, i'd like to discuss briefly some of the work we do at treasury. as secretary i encourage my german counterpart the finance minister to increase fines for the conference on jewish material claims known as claims
conference which is based in new york. i am pleased with additional funding his ministry provided. the program currently serves over 75,000 holocaust survivors, receiving pensions and healthcare in a late stage of the lies, and is funding goes toward meeting vital needs including food and medicine. at a time when at the semitism is rising, holocaust education is also critically important. the claims conference devotes millions of dollars per year for worldwide education which supplements its decades of expense as a voice for survivors and other jewish people around the world. finally, i want to mention treasury's were in the area of terrorism and financial intelligence i'm proud that we use our economic authorities including sanctions to district funding and isolate human rights abusers. in february we also sanctioned new horizon for holding international conferences
supporting islamic revolutionary guard corps quds force is. is that they were recruiting, gathering intelligence and propagating at the semitism and holocaust denial. i am pleased to join you here today to discuss this important work of combating anti-semitism. all of us have the tools to defeat it. it is up to us in this room and the wider audiences we collectively reached to fight for safety, equality and justice for the jewish people. i am honored to be here with you today. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much for your remarks, secretary mnuchin. i will now introduce director wray. christopher wray became the eighth director of the fbi on august 2, 2017. his decade of doj service has
included positions as an assistant u.s. attorney, runcible associate deputy attorney general, an assistant attorney general of the criminal division where he supervised the sections that later became the national security division. as head of the fbi his duties include overseeing federal hate crime and terrorism investigation. under his leadership the fbi has spearheaded efforts to protect religious communities and places of worship violence, including trainings on how to make the more secure. thank you very much for being with us here today, director wray. [applause] >> thanks, beth. on april 5 of 1968, a day after the assassination of dr. martin luther king, jr., robert kennedy limited what he called the mindless menace of violence in america. he said that when ever we tear at the fabric of life that people have woven for themselves and their families, the whole nation is degraded, and he
called on americans to remember that those who live with us are our brothers and sisters who seek, and i quote, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness and in many ways we still confront that same mindless menace of violence. we still confront people who trade in hatred, people seek to harm others because of where they come from, how they worship, what they look like or who they love it and that's why shining a spotlight on anti-semitism is so important. at the fbi our mission is simple but profound, to protect the american people and appalled the constitution. and battling hate crime -- uphold -- hate crime strikes at the very heart of who we are as a society. it strikes at the heart of every individual targeted because of who they are.
it's no secret that our society has become more divisive. everybody's got an opinion, and we cherish that freedom of speech even when we don't agree. but words can quickly turn to violence, and hate can quickly become a hate crime. and we're determined to bring those who would act on such hatred to justice. people like james fields who received a life sentence for killing has a higher in charlottesville in 2017. people like his new coach since to 30 months in prison for beating a man he believed to be jewish in cincinnati in 2017. most hate crime investigations are by their very nature reactive, nor do we get after the fact but we are also working hard to identify and prevent hate crime. first, we are coordinated with our state and local law
enforcement partners, even when were not pursuing federal charges because we learn more when we work these cases together. second, we are working with civil rights and minority groups and with faith communities to build trust and relationships as they say, the best time to patch the roof is when the sun is shining, not when the bad weather comes. and we shouldn't be meeting for the first time in the wake of a crisis. third, we are training our partners both in law enforcement and the communities we serve so that everyone has a better understanding of what hate crime is and how we can help. we also confront growing domestic terrorism threat, and though we talk sometimes about a crime and domestic terrorism as separate challenges, the reality is they are not mutually exclusive. and we're taking a whole of fbi approach to those threats. so we investigate individuals
who take or plan to take violence or criminal action in furtherance of an ideology like racial or religious bias, or antigovernment sentiment. we are concerned about loan offenders like man who attacked the synagogue, individuals who act without a clear group affiliation and without guidance, , making them that muh more difficult to identify, investigate, and disrupt. we also worried about racially motivated violent extremists, just to pick one example. just last november and individual we arrested on a firearms charge talked about attacking synagogue to incite a so-called race revolution. in june we establish the domestic terrorism hate crimes fusion cell. our fusion cell brings together experts from both are criminal investigative and counterterrorism divisions. they are not just focus on current attacks on what we
seeing right now. their focus on what we haven't yet seen, in some cases what we haven't yet imagined and what we need to do to stop that. but we know we can't do it alone, and through our joint terrorism task forces, we get the local perspective on what's actually happening out in our communities. but we've also got to a closely with argument he partners. we have committee outreach specialists who work with members of the jewish community to talk about what we're saying and to explore how we can help even better. a number of our fbi field offices have hosted active shooter exercises and what we call protecting houses of worship presentations with local synagogues to build awareness. we just finished just last month hosting a a faith-based some at fbi headquarters where represents of jewish, christian, muslim and other religious groups. that kind of communication,
those kinds of relationships are so important to the work we do. i'll pick one example. in march of 2017 we investigated just in that one month more than 287 threatening phone calls and e-mails, including bomb threats, the jewish community centers and the anti-defamation league. multiple fbi offices investigate those threats, bringing together experts from our cyber, criminal, and counterterrorism divisions, as well as technical and behavioral analysis specialists. we helped dozens of calls and met in person with jewish group leaders to explain what we were doing to find the person responsible. and with the help of our counterparts in israel, we indicted a hacker who it made similar threads in the uk, in canada, a new zealand and australia. and in june of last year, a tel aviv court sentenced the guy to
ten years in prison. cases like that instill fear. they make you feel vulnerable. a make you feel targeted, and that can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically taxing. we want to help you understand those threats from our perspective and to give you the tools you need to protect yourself. also want to highlight one of the ways we working with the jewish community to be better at what we do. we require, as some of you know, all new fbi agents and analysts to visit the holocaust museum to the law-enforcement and society program. and we do that because we believe that all our folks need to know and understand our constraint under the constitution, and the rule of law. we have to live it in brief it. we recognize that the fbi's own history hasn't come without
missteps, but we take those mistakes and we learn from them and that's why programs like that are so important to our institutional well-being. they give us a closer look at who we can become as law enforcement officers and as people, if we're not constantly safeguarding and advocating for civil rights and civil liberties. every day we remind ourselves that there is nothing more important than the work we do, the people we do the work with and the people we do the work for. and its that last element that want to turn to for just a moment. the people do the work for. we are working every day to stop hate crime, but when we can't prevent a hate crime, our agents and analysts will move heaven and earth to find those responsible. fbi victims specialists across the country will do everything they can to help heal the victims, their families and their communities. after the attack on the tree of
life synagogue in pittsburgh, the fbs victims services response team which is made up of agents, analysts and victims specialists said that the family assistance center. they provide what the community needed most from things on the one hand, like food and clothing, two on the other hand, grief counseling, financial assistance and one-stop shopping for federal resources. victims specialists understand the emotional impact on victims and their families, and they took special care to gather and clean personal effects from the kipp was in college victims were wearing, things like car keys, a few weeks after the attack are victims specialists hosted a preparedness briefing for jewish community members from around the country in the hope that no other jewish community would have to live through that kind of horror. we're going to keep doing everything we can to help for
the people who need the most. because their way to look at it we are not just law enforcement, we are part of the community and we're in this together. when we face stark contrast in the way we view the world, and when we face something so shocking we can't quite wrap our brains around what just happened and why, we need to remind ourselves that there is, in fact, still good in the world and that most people are, in fact, rational, abiding citizens. it can be disheartening to realize the down that there's always going to be somebody out there who will seek to harm others out of hatred or racially motivated violent extremism. doesn't make sense but hatred isn't crowded in logic. so that just means that we need to stay vigilant and work even harder to counter counteract td and the violence and the discontent.
we can't eradicate hate. we can't in prejudice but we can stand together and everybody in this hall stand on the side of the good and the adjuster we stand on the side of fairness and equality and the freedoms on which this country was founded. so thank you for working with us to keep our communities safe. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank the secretary and the director for having joined us and for the leadership on these issues. we are grateful to both of them. i went out to over to principal deputy assistant attorney general john gore to conclude the summit. thank you. >> we thank all of the moderators, analysts and speakers who joined us today, including special envoy car,
director wray, deputy attorney general rosen secretary devos, secretary mnuchin and attorney general barr. we thank you for your presence and your partnership here today, to exit the building please make your way to the staircase in the back of the great hall, headdown stores, staff numbers are standing by to assist you. thank you again for everything and good afternoon. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> secretary of state mike pompeo participate in a conversation on foreign policy at the economic club of washington, d.c. watch live at 90 eastern on c-span2, online at c-span.org,
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