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Ash Carter on "Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid For Politics"

| Nov. 17, 2017

Ash Carter discusses public service, opening the military to transgender troops, and North Korea's latest missile launch with actor Jim Parsons on his SiriusXM radio show.

To listen to the interview, go to (subscription required).


Q:  Welcome back. As promised before the break, we are joined today by Secretary Ash Carter. He is the 25th United States Secretary of Defense. He served under Barack Obama, President Obama, from February 2015 to January 2017. And Secretary Carter, there are so many things on here I could list that you’ve done and-- it goes on for days. And it’s kind of the first thing I want to touch on. First of all, hello and thank you for being here.

A:  Thank you, Jim. Good to be with you.

Q:  I want to start first and foremost with you on a very-- well not very-- but pretty personal thing, which is I'm really, really intrigued by the road you’ve taken that led you in and out of government. And I know that you even have opinions on that, and that's the way-- it’s just fascinating. First off, you studied, what, you studied both physics and medieval history at university, right?

A:  Yes. And ended up with a doctorate in theoretical physics. But it was a right brain/left brain kind of thing. I loved both, but you could only-- I could only go on and do a doctorate in one, and I chose physics.

Q:  And here's what's really intriguing. There's many things intriguing about this. But the first thing is that the more I read, and the more I thought about it, to me, to my eye at least, you have really kind of followed your gut, intuition and passion and interests and kind of let things—or so it seems from an outside observer—kind of organically fall into place, as it were. Not that you're not making decisions along the way, but I don't know, I don’t--

A:  Well, yeah, there's something to that, but I think there's something to that for most people.

Q:  Agreed.

A:  I always felt younger people, when I'm talking to them, and they try-- they're trying to figure out, they're trying to decide on their next job, or something like that, and they're trying to look ahead and say, “Well, if I do this, it leads to that, it leads to that.” You can't live your life that way.

Q:  No.

A:  I always took the view, and I told young people who worked for me, that if you do something you're passionate about, you'll do it well. And if you do it well, then people will see that and that will lead to the next thing. Now, the other thing that's important to me was I had a scientific background, and I found early on that that gave me something in the room when decisions were being made that other people didn’t have. I knew how things work.

Q:  I would imagine, yeah.

A:  And I brought that to the table, and I thought better decisions were made as a consequence. And so think of that. You're in your 20s, and you are doing something of great consequence. I was working on some of the Cold War nuclear problems, or at least giving a try to, and what I knew made a difference. So for a person doing something that matters and making a difference to it is a pretty powerful combination. It doesn't get any better than that in life. I mean, that's what our purpose is about.

And I got to feel a little taste of that early on, and that made public service, in my case in national defense, part of my life throughout my life. Because I always felt that I could help and, of course, it is enormously important because it’s about protecting our people and making sure that when people get up in the morning and hug their kids and take them to school and go to work, or whatever their lives look like, that they're doing it safe from evil and darkness and barbarity. And that's incredibly important.

Q:  You have gone kind of-- not kind of-- it seems that you’ve gone very much sort of in and out. Like you've come in and served a few years in a government capacity. You have moved back and worked in the university setting, then you've gone back and you’ve gone back. Do you find that the times of going back to the university setting is like a rejuvenation period, as it were, and that that allows you to come back with refreshened (sic) and a more up-to-date, fresh approach to the job when you go back to the government?

A:  Yes. You're right, in universities and also in business in between times in government. And the Pentagon, where I have served on and off since way back in 1981 when I had my first job there, is a wonderful, broadening place, and you see a lot of the world from there. But, at the same time, we sometimes, as I used to say, had difficulty seeing outside of the five-sided box. And so if you're going to refresh your intellectual capital and also just your sheer energy, it’s important to get out.

Now, I ended up ten months ago leaving the department, and I had been Secretary of Defense for two years, and before that the number two, and before that the number three. But I'd had a little break between being number two and being Secretary of Defense. And it is important to recharge your-- these jobs are exhausting, particularly the secretary. You're on all the time, and you wake up every morning and I don't know, Jim, whether you've ever had a parent die, but I have.

Q:  Yes, me too.

A:  And after that, for the early days after that, I would wake up every morning and for about five seconds everything’s okay, and then it dawns on you again. Well, likewise, when you have that responsibility, you wake up in the morning, and you're still kind of a little bit dreamy and then you remember, and the weight hits you again. I don't think people can do that year after year with the intensity that the job deserves without a break.

Q:  Right. Well, let's dive into the Secretary of Defense job. And, as you said, you've served your way kind of up through that department, but let’s just dive into the top position, as it were. What, in its most simple form, if you can, is the job of the Secretary of Defense?

A:  The primary thing is to protect the American people and make a better world for our children. It is also the case that you are the-- you need to make sure that you're not only doing that today, but you're laying the foundation for those in the future to continue to do it as well, which means that you're recruiting good people, you're spending the $600 billion we're given every year wisely for the future. And then you're also the president’s principal advisor on defense and national security affairs.

So there are kind of three jobs there, but it all boils down to one thing, which is protecting our people and making a better world for our children.

Q:  How much authority does the Secretary of Defense have, in a general sense?

A:  Well, according to the law, and in reality, total over the activities of the Department of Defense. That is, everyone who is in the Department of Defense reports to and serves at the pleasure of, essentially, the Secretary of Defense. And he is the only-- is the principal military advisor to-- and advisor on security affairs generally-- to the President of the United States. And that is it, and I never had any difficulty with my authority.

Now, of course, in the real world, in addition to the president, who’s your boss, you have millions of people who work for you, and you need to be attentive to them to get the best out of them. You have all these people around the world, friends and potential foes, to deal with. You have the U.S. Congress, which isn't my boss, but does control my budget. And, of course, also can write laws that affect the department.

So in the real world, you have to be able to deal with lots of different kinds of people and persuade them that the path-- you listen to then, first of all, but secondly to persuade them that the path that you want to take is the right one so that you get the support you need to get it done.

Q:  You have a wonderful quote I read that says, “Public service, at senior levels in Washington, is a little bit like being a Christian in the Colosseum. You never know when they're going to release the lions and have you torn apart for the amusement of onlookers.” Is that just a constant low-level feeling the whole time you're serving?

A:  Of course, of course. And you have to get used to it. Now, of course, the most serious thing is the real world; that is, you are responsible for making sure that our people are safe, and also I signed the deployment orders and the employment orders for our troops. So if people get wounded or killed, that is done on my instructions. And I feel very directly responsible for that. So that's the biggest sense of responsibility.

But then also, in public life, somebody in the newspaper can take a shot at you, whether it’s valid or not.

Q:  Absolutely.

A:  When you go before the Congress, it really is like a coliseum. The hearing rooms are built with tiered chairs, and they sit up high and you sit below and that is to emphasize to you that under the constitution, they're an independent branch. And so you don’t go through a day without a little bit of humility and recognition that you have a public trust and so big things are expected of you, and there are big consequences if you don’t meet those expectations.

Q:  Without sidetracking us too much on the human interest level, I do wonder—and I know it varies per person—but like how nerve-racking is it to testify before Congress? Or is it? Do you feel like, “I know my job and I'm just here?”

A:  I got pretty good at it after a while, but I practiced. I did that with practice.

Q:  Did you?

A:  Yes, I would sit down and I would carefully, in the days, before think through the answers, the likely questions, the answers I would give. And I would walk around them a little bit and talk to my staff. Because, you know, Jim, it’s human nature. Sometimes, something makes sense to you, and you don’t realize until somebody asks you a question that there's another way of looking at it. And you don’t want that moment to be in front of the TV cameras and in front of-- so I'd rather have thought through all of the objections to what I'm about to say, and if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But if I'm right, I need to be able to explain why I'm right in the face of that objection.

Q:  Absolutely.

A:  So I was very disciplined. And before a hearing or a press conference, I'm not going to pretend to you that I magically could do it right off the top of my head, and it was easy. I practiced and the best people I know in public life are deliberate like that. They practice and think hard before they do something.

Q:  Does party affiliation make any difference as far as a Secretary of Defense? And here's why I ask it, and I'll say this before you even answer. Like, you were first tapped by Carter, the Carter Administration, maybe not Jimmy himself, President Carter himself, but--

A:  Actually, the Reagan Administration, the Reagan Administration.

Q:  Oh, it was Reagan?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Oh, okay. Well, that-- so does it, does it make any difference at all?

A:  Well, defense much less so, and I'm very grateful that partisanship is-- in defense matters, there's still something to the old adage that partisanship needs to end at the water’s edge. Politics needs to end at the water’s edge. Throughout my career, you're right. I worked for Republican and Democratic presidents. The first job I got and was offered that required you to essentially affiliate in a party, not technically but it sort of brands you with that party, was by President Clinton in 1993. And I'm happy to be a Democrat. I'm not a very partisan person, but I'm okay with that. I'm from Philadelphia, that's absolutely fine with me.

But it just so happens that it was a Democratic president that first sent a nomination by me up to the Senate. But I was very protect-- so that said, I was very protective of the Pentagon and especially of the uniformed military, that they be protected from-- kept out of politics. And Jim, that was the 2016 presidential campaign, which went on forever and had lots and lots of candidates, if you recall, I mean there were-- and so a day didn't go by when a candidate would say something and a reporter or a member of Congress would say to me, “Mr. Secretary, so and so said such and such yesterday. What do you say?” And I would always preface my answer by saying, “Listen, I'm happy to address the issue, but I'm not going to address what somebody said. I'm not going to get involved in this.”

And then I would say to them, “And I'm not going to allow the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who’s sitting next to me at the witness table to do it either, because that's not what he’s about. That's not what we're about here in defense.” And after a while, people stopped asking me. The press stopped asking me and members of Congress stopped asking because they knew I wasn't going to give them an answer. And I thought it was really important.

And the next morning after the election, I wrote to everyone in the department and I said, “We have a new president. We're going to do our utmost to help him get up and started. That's who we are.” And I believe really strongly in that, and that's why I have served secretaries of defense in various capacities, 11 of them before myself, of Democrats and Republicans. I hope it stays that way for a long time.

Q:  Well, and kind of related to that, I think this is a decent segue point for the whole transgender people in the military-- this was something that I believe at your direction, was they were allowed to serve openly and join. Was that a difficult time for you? Did you get a lot of pushback from that?

A:  Well, first of all, it's worth explaining why do that in the first place.

Q:  Okay, yes.

A:  I know many listeners probably think, well, that's a natural thing. But it hadn’t been done before. And so it was a decision. And I thought it was necessary, and Jim I can give you a little reasoning behind it. First of all, I knew, we all knew, that we had transgender members serving--

Q:  Already serving, right.

A:  So they're there. We're not making this issue up. These are people who are there, who are serving honorably. And when I talked to their commanders, particularly younger commanders, they didn't want them to leave or to be forced out, which is what the existing regulations would say, because they were doing a good job and they needed them to continue doing their job.

So you had a service member who was in an uncertain position, but who was-- in terms of this policy-- but was serving honorably and capably. And you had a commander who was in a very awkward position because the guidance that he or she had was very uncertain. I thought they both deserved better than that. So that was an issue right in front of my face, and I believed that, therefore, service members who were serving should not be thrown out.

Then there's another issue, about whether do you admit people-- new people, or access them as they say, who are transgender? And that is a little more complicated simply because it depends on where they are in the process. This gets down to medical issues and so forth. But I believed we could work through those issues and that it was not a defensible position to say it’s okay for the people who were there to stay but it’s not okay for new people to come in. So it logically kind of followed that we ought to try to solve those problems of accession.

We did, I believed we could. So that is the decision I made and I think it was fine and was the right thing to do. By the way, the numbers are quite small.

Q:  Exactly.

A:  It was not, in those terms, as big a deal from the force management point of view or the talent management point of view, as admitting women to all operational specialties, which is another decision I made.

Q:  That's also what you guess.

A:  There, the biggest factor, Jim, was they're half the population. So it was a huge pool of talent. And in the case of transgender, much smaller. Fairness important in both of those cases, but the issues were different. I woke up the morning after President Trump made a tweet suggesting he was going to throw people out and issued a statement in which I said I continue to believe that what matters—that what makes our military the finest fighting force the world has ever known is first and foremost our people, and having access to the best people. And I believed that what matters for service members’ fitness for duty is their capability to meet qualifications. And that that is what matters. And therefore, I continue to believe in my decision.

Q:  When the president did tweet about that, what does that-- and you may not know exactly-- but in general, if you kind of-- what position does that put Secretary Mattis in? What is he to do with that tweet?

A:  Well, it’s an awkward thing, and I don’t want to speak for Jim Mattis.

Q:  Certainly, certainly.

A:  Whom, by the way, I've known for 20 years, and he and I go back a long ways, and we have a sort of brotherhood of former Secretaries of Defense. My predecessors always helped me out; I would always try to help Jim out. But the reality, obviously you're in an awkward position if the president says something by surprise without consulting you, seemingly without an analytical foundation for it. And then not in a form where it is actually a directive, but a thought or a tweet.

And so it has, in fact, not been implemented and Jim Mattis put in motion a sort of process to, let’s say, “Okay, let’s think about this a little bit and turn this into something more deliberate and thoughtful.” And I respect him for doing that. I mean, at the end of the day, he’s going to need to serve the president and the president’s wishes. I hope that this will be reconsidered for the reasons I describe, which is-- I think it's the right thing for the force. But we’ll have to see.

Q:  Yeah. We need to take a break, so if everyone will stick around, we will be right back.


Q:  We are back with our 25th Secretary of Defense for this nation, Secretary Ash Carter. Secretary Carter, what do you think is our-- currently the biggest national security issue we're facing as a country? Ranking them may not be fun.

A:  I want to warn you-- but it’s hard to narrow it down.

Q:  I was afraid you'd say that.

A:  So I'll give you-- so I'll sort of name the parts. But the good news is they don’t all happen at the same time.

Q:  Thank God.

A:  Some are kind of things we need to watch in the future, but they're pretty important on things that are right upon us. So with respect to terrorism, we have-- I think you can take a breath here-- defeated ISIS in Iraq and Syria. That's not the end of things there, but it is a great victory for America and its forces, and we're much safer. Not entirely safe from ISIS, never entirely safe from terrorism as a whole, but a lot safer as a consequence of that. People ought to be proud of their military and that campaign’s been going on for about two years now. And so that's good news.

But then you walk around the world. So I used to talk about the big ones being North Korea, Iran, Russia and China. North Korea most immediately upon us because they're-- how to say this nicely-- the oddest, and they have been hurtling forward with the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. And we need to protect ourselves, and we need to try to head that off.

Iran, we reached an agreement that removed in a verifiable way, and therefore I thought was a good thing, their path to a nuclear weapon. But it was not a grand bargain with Iran. Iran is still trouble even without nuclear weapons. And on top of that, the current government in the United States is indicating their desire to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, which I think would be disadvantageous to us and would increase the danger.

Then there's Russia and China, which-- we're not trying to have a cold war with either of them, but they each behave in various ways in ways that are adverse for us. So Russia, for example, invaded Ukraine, essentially; annexed Crimea; threatens Europe; blunders in Syria; hacks our election; brandishes nuclear weapons and on and on. And I've dealt with Vladimir Putin for a long time, and so forth. But let’s face it, the area where we can have common ground has been narrowing.

China, also generally a better relationship with, but not perfect. They have, from time to time also, behaved aggressively, especially in the seas. And I worry about China's mindset in the long run getting, so to speak, overweening. 

And so they're things that are a little bit further in the distance. I'm confident that we can address all of those. They're all different, and they all have risks associated with them, but I'm confident in our country and in the Defense Department.  But it’s not one thing, unfortunately, Jim, it’s a handful.

Q:  Going to North Korea for a second, would you talk for a minute-- what was going on in-- you were Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs in 1994. This is under President Clinton. And I was reading in one of our biographies, talking about how you spent much of the year believing that the odds of a horribly destructive war with us and North Korea were not less than 50/50. What was that about, and what happened in that?

A:  That was the very beginning of their nuclear program. They had a reactor at a place called Yongbyon. And they had within that reactor, as is the case with reactors after they’ve operated a little while, some fuel rods that had plutonium in them. And they were going to take the fuel rods out, get the plutonium out and make a bomb. And obviously we didn't want that to happen and were threatening an attack. And I was responsible for designing that attack, which we did successfully.  And fortunately, we didn't have to mount that attack because at the very 11th hour, a diplomatic agreement was reached whereby they allowed international inspectors to remove those fuel rods and so forth. And that put the lid back on North Korea for a few more years.

In the late ‘90s, there was another flare-up when they started firing missiles. I was involved in that as well. Went to Pyongyang, actually, to talk to the North Koreans. And then, I was not in the government at the time, but in 2006, they finally did get a bomb and lit off their first underground test. And again, the administration at that time, which was the Bush Administration, tried to head it off, but unsuccessfully. And then it has continued to hurtle on, including during the administration that I served to the unsatisfactory point we are at now.

And, of course, I can't say, Jim, what the current-- I can't speak for the current administration. I know what I'd do if I were they, but I can't be sure they're doing it. But I certainly know what I'd do.

Q:  Which is what?

A:  Well, two things. The most thing (sic) I'd do would be try what I call coercive diplomacy and give that a try. We haven’t really tried that yet. By coercive diplomacy, Jim, I just mean to say that if you turn on the television, and you looked at the morning news, and they're talking about North Korea, they’ll have one expert who says we should have a diplomatic option, and another who says we should have a military option. And then they both conclude there are no good options and then they cut to a commercial very quickly. [laughter] Kind of leaves you fairly lost and understandably so.

In the real world, things are combined and so you would say-- so the right approach is to say something along the following lines. I hope this will be done to North Korea. “No more missile tests. If you do, here's what will happen to you. But if you don’t, here is something we can do to relax pressure, tension. Or that the Chinese can do for you.” Mostly economic leverage over North Korea.

Likewise, “Don’t light off another nuclear test underground. If you do, here's what will happen. If you don’t, here's what will happen.” And you get out in front of their decision making rather than wait for something to do something and then punish them, which may be emotionally satisfying, but isn't instrumental in steering their behavior. That is coercive diplomacy. It has worked from time to time in the past with the North Koreans. I can't be confident, Jim, that it would now. But it is what we need to try first.

As Secretary of Defense, I also was mindful of the fact that since it might not work, we needed to protect ourselves. And that means deterrence and defense. Deterrence is that we have 28,500 people in South Korea including along the DMZ. Their slogan is “fight tonight.” They're ready to do that. Nobody wants that to happen, but they're ready to do that. And making sure that they are strong and that the North Koreans know that if they attack South Korea or the United States, we will destroy the North Korean armed forces, and we will destroy the North Korean regime. And that's that terrible war, but I know the winner. It will be us.

And as far as the ballistic missiles and so forth, we began some years ago to deploy missile defenses precisely because we were worried that there could come a day when North Korea could, as it may be close to doing, be able to put a nuclear warhead atop a missile, and we didn't want to be undefended at that time. So about six, seven years or so ago-- and I was the principal so-called weapons czar at the time of the Defense Department-- I began to do that, and we began to do that. And, of course, it was controversial at the time. Some people thought it was unnecessary. “Why are you doing this?” But I felt that we needed to be a few steps ahead of the North Koreans because they are unusual enough as a regime that I couldn’t trust diplomacy, and I couldn't trust deterrence.  And so I wanted to make sure that--

Q:  Right. You have to be prepared before--

A:  --that at least we could-- to defend, absolutely.

Q:  --the launch. Does that include--

A:  So those are the things that I would do. I hope they are what the current administration does, that's our best approach.

Q:  When we're talking about missile defense systems, so you have cyber warfare, which if I understand it, is using computery-type things to go in and cause trouble while they're trying to make things happen.

A:  Yes, hacking is a tool of war, uh-huh.

Q:  Hacking in, right. Then there's immediate knocking the launches out of the air, I guess from either warships or airplanes that are closer to the area.

A:  Right.

Q:  And then there's launching from closer to land once the missile head reenters the atmosphere. Is that true?

A:  Yup, that's absolutely--

Q:  Is there anything-- is there another component in there that I'm missing?

A:  Well, getting them before they can launch, which gets back to the old story of at some point if war broke out we would be striking their missiles hopefully before they were launched in the first place. But no, you're right. You just basically follow the flight in your mind of a ballistic missile and say, “Well, I could try to get it there, I could try to get it there, I could try to get it there, I could try to get it there.” You know, nobody likes to--

Q:  How comfortable does all that make you?

A:  Well, we have spent a lot of money and a lot of good technology to be as prepared as you can be. At the same time, it’s not a great situation to have only those defenses. I would like to avoid that situation in the first place.

Q:  Certainly, certainly.

A:  First, by not-- hopefully diplomatically getting them not to have missiles in the first place. And secondly, deterrence by having them fearful enough of what will happen to them if they would ever launch in the first place. It's only if those two things don’t work that you're in the situation where something is launched, and then you want to have a backup of a backup, so to speak. And we do have that. We do have that. We've spent money on that, and I'm confident in it, but I don’t love the situation in which we would have to use it.

Q:  There was a report I read in The Times today that they just did an emergency request for, I think, it was four billion more to deal with this. I guess just to keep ratcheting it up. Or is it to add more? Yeah, yeah.

A:  Remember, the way Congress works is they only pass a budget every year. And, of course, Congress hasn’t passed any budgets in the last eight years on time. So if you need-- if something comes up in the middle of the year because you're at war or--

Q:  You're going to have to put in a request, yeah.

A:  --or you have to put in a special request, which is annoying, but you have to because under the constitution, remember, they have the power of the purse, so you have to ask them. And so I think that's good. If they have concluded that they need to do something, and they can do something fast, that is additional protection, then it’s reasonable to ask Congress to give them money and not wait until the next budget.

Q:  Did military-- it's such a, you know, all my life I've heard about military spending, you know, without even paying attention to it. I'm hearing it in the ether. Was that a concern for you? Did you do a lot of thinking-- I mean, I guess to a certain degree you had to.

A:  Oh, absolutely.

Q:  But really, do you worry about wasteful spending? Do you feel like--

A:  Sure.

Q:  Yeah?

A:  Yeah.

Q:  And I'm not even here complaining about it, I'm just curious.

A:  No, no, it’s a fair question. It's your money, and it’s supposed to be spent on doing something really important to you, which is protecting you.

Q:  Absolutely.

A:  And so people ought to have very high standards that it’s not being wasted. And I mentioned to you I was the principal weapons buyer. Then I was the number two, who was the COO, so I had responsibility for that. And was I always satisfied with how we were spending the money? No, I was not, Jim. Now, that said, I think it’s a vast sprawling place. I'm proud of what we were able to do. Where we felt short, I was strict, and I think we have to be strict because it’s not our money. It's the taxpayers’ money, and so I'm a kind of hawk when it comes to waste.

And $600 billion is not chump change, and I recognize that. And I'm a believer in defense spending because I think we have to protect ourselves. On the other hand, I'm also a believer-- and it’s important to say this-- as Secretary of Defense, I thought that it was important that the nation be strong in the long-run as well as strong right now. And that means I did think that government spending for education so that we had an educated and skilled and competitive workforce, that scientific R&D so that we were at the cutting edge of things in the future, that spending on roads and sewers and so forth-- I thought that was part of national strength.

So I never would agree that we should spend money on defense at the expense of something else. People were always trying to get me in the zero-sum position, and I would say, “I can't tell you that. I'm your Secretary of Defense. I'm not going to tell you that a budget that's all defense is good for the country’s defense. I don't believe that.”

And I guess another thing that's worth saying is, don’t forget that even if you put all the-- what I've just been talking about, education, R&D, space travel, and defense-- in a pot, that's not most of the budget. Most of the budget of the federal government is spent on a couple other things: Medicare, Medicaid, social safety net. And paying for the national debt. And I believe in those things as well. I mean, again, is all that money spent exactly the right way? Of course not.

Q:  No, of course not.

A:  But I care that people get medical care who can't afford it, and I care that people who are out of a job get taken care of, and the kids aren’t left in a bad way. So I may be a rare citizen; I don’t mind paying my taxes, Jim.

Q:  I'm with you, I'm with you. I agree. It's a weird place to wrap, making us talk about the budget. I'm sorry I hit on that last as they're making me wrap here. But I really can't thank you enough for coming on the program. But more importantly, and kind of going back to what I said in the beginning, I really thank you for being somebody who’s so thoughtful and such a well-rounded life using your time and efforts to work for our country in the way that you have.

A:  I appreciate that.

Q:  It's a real lesson for people, or at least something to learn about, and I encourage anyone to learn more about you if they have the time and the inclination.

A:  Thanks. When you're with the troops, you do remember it’s really all them. But I appreciate what you said.

Q:  Absolutely. Well, thank you, Secretary Carter.

A:  Thank you, Jim.

Q:  And thank you all. We will be right back.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Ash Carter on "Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid For Politics".” SiriusXM, November 17, 2017.