This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 26, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our discussions around the issue of missile defense. And we are committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (via translator): I have told my counterpart Barack Obama that this issue will be finally solved in the future, like for example in the year 2020. But we at present might lay the foundation for other politicians' activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, the thorny issues of Washington's plan to upgrade the missile defense shield -- 2020 actually is when the State Department says the U.S. is ready to deploy this new missile to intercept any medium-range or intermediate range missiles that might be launched from the Middle East.
So, Russia thinks that's a threat. Now they want -- you heard the Russian president mention 2020. That has raised some alarm bills up on Capitol Hill. In fact, a group of 39 lawmakers led by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk wrote a letter to President Obama back in April demanding an assurance that the U.S. would not share sensitive missile technology with the Russians. Here is what he said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARK KIRK, R-I.L.: Russia is not an ally of the United States. And I'm worried that the Russian objective is twofold. One, to put a Russian officer in NATO headquarters with a red button that would veto any NATO defense to defend our country. I think that is a terrible idea. And secondly, I think Russia wants to achieve by agreement what it could not achieve by espionage, that with this data sharing it would learn the most sensitive aspects of our missile defenses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Back with the panel. Legitimate concern, Jonah?
JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: I think it's absolutely a legitimate concern. I'm very down on Russia these days. It's just a gangster government. And I think this reset thing is essentially code for the Obama administration getting rolled repeatedly on everything from human rights to this visa stuff that we heard today to the missile defense. I think that the Obama administration is constantly declaring victory every time the Russians move the goalpost further away from them.
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: Yeah, I think the reset is on pause. And it was very strained when they told us after their meeting how outstanding their cooperation is 20 times, or whatever is it they said, emphatically. But they are working together on terrorism they're working together on Russia's entry into the WTO, on visa issues and visa liberalizations. They're not working together on the start to treaties really running into a wall.
And there's a lot of resistance from the Congress trying -- members of Congress trying to restrict the bill that passed the defense authorization today, restrict START 2, the administration's threatening to veto over that. And Medvedev is threatening to rearm basically, to withdraw from -- not withdraw from START, but not participate in disarmament. That is called for in the START 2, because he is not happy about missile defense.
And the request that he is making -- the demand he is making is completely ludicrous, that he be an equal partner in stopping missiles from Iran or anywhere else with NATO. And so it's a mess. But they have to say that they are on reset and everything is going great.
BAIER: And Steve, Russia's not exactly helping with Iran either.
STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: No, certainly not helping with Iran. Depending who you are talking to, they're actively helping Iran get around sanctions or wink- winking as Iran does it on their own.
I don't think the Republicans are trying to thwart START 2 at this point so much as they're trying to hold the Obama administration to the promises the Obama administration made at the time. And for some strange reason, the administration doesn't want to do that. They don't want to make good on the things they had said at the time.
That means the Republicans take that, and I think they're right, that they didn't mean them when they made the promises initially at the original ratification of START. And that is a problem. So you have House Republicans who don't trust the Obama administration because the Obama administration trusts Russia too much.
But I think that we're likely to see this continue with Russia, because the way that it works now is Russia gains strategic advantage. The Obama administration generally gets good press from these kinds of exchanges. So it's not likely to change.
BAIER: By the way, an update on the Patriot Act passing the Senate, heading to the House, expected to pass there. The White House is now saying once the House passes, the president will use the auto pen to sign it so it doesn't actually have to fly across the pond.
GOLDBERG: What date will he put on it?
BAIER: And what date will he put on it? Jonah Goldberg, thank you, everybody. He is here until Tuesday.
That's it for the panel. But stay tuned to see something we apparently missed from the now infamous state dinner at Buckingham Palace.
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