For the Record with Greta, Transcript 1/20/2017
Show: FOR THE RECORD
Date: January 20, 2017
Guest: Asa Hutchinson, Susan Page, Chris Jansing, E.J. Dionne, Nallie
Jackson, John Barrasso, David Frum
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST: I`m Greta Van Susteren. Continuing
coverage of this historic day, Donald Trump inaugurated as the nation`s
45th president. Asa Hutchinson is Republican governor of Arkansas. Chris
Jansing is NBC`s senior White House correspondent. Susan Page is with USA
Today. And let me go first to Chris Jansing who is here with me. Chris,
we have breaking news coming out of the Capital right behind us.
CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, (INAUDIBLE) in the last hour,
that James Mattis had been confirmed as the defense secretary. A lot of
people are hoping on this day when they felt for half of the speech was a
little dark with perhaps a little apocalyptic. That he would be a
moderating voice in this administration. And it came just hours after one
of his first acts as president, Donald Trump signed a waiver for Mattis.
Typically you have to be out of government, or out of the military for
seven years before you can serve as defense secretary. The idea is to
preserve the idea of civilian oversight of those 1.9 million active duty
military. That waiver was sign. He will be the next defense secretary.
VAN SUSTEREN: So we have a new secretary of defense. Governor Hutchinson,
first of all, welcome back to Washington, and you get to see the parade
going on. We`re going to be watching that throughout this hour. There`s
our new president. What do you think about the new president-elect – not
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R),ARKANSAS: He is president. And it`s a joy to be
here. I`ve been on that stage as a member of congress, today I was there
as a governor. And it`s really neat. Not just to have the unity of our
federal government, but also the federalism that America represents for the
state government there. So many governors, there was bipartisan group the
was on the stage. It was great to hear President Trump sworn in. His
message was something that was true to his convictions. True to his
message. I, obviously, I would have like to have seen a little bit more of
a global views in terms of assurance of our allies, but that will come.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, we don`t agree with him on everything.
You don`t agree with him for instance on that so-called border tax or
tariff. You don`t agree on him on that.
HUTCHINSON: Well, that`s why the global marketplace is very important to
us in Arkansas, from agriculture to our retail industry. We have China
investing in Arkansas, a billion dollar in products. So the global
marketplace is important to us, and I`ll be message for that. But, you
know, Donald Trump is just simply saying with have to make sure we grow
manufacturing here, but we can do it in the global marketplace by competing
and not by protectionism.
VAN SUSTEREN: And, of course, we just saw the – there`s the president,
but we`ve just saw that stage that they build outside the White House, so
that the first family is protected, and the vice-president and all the
dignitaries watching these parade that is going on right now. All right,
it`s not just the border tariff that you don`t agree with them, Medicaid
expansion what about that? You`re one of the Republican governors who are
in favor or at least you don`t want your Medicaid expansion pulled from
HUTCHINSON: Well, that`s right. But I think that both the congress as
well the president has agreed that we`re not going to jerk the coverage
from people that have relied upon it and need it. And so we`re looking for
a solution in which we could repeal the Affordable Care Act. And that`s
not just when to address it, we want to repeal it because of the individual
mandate, the employer mandate, these are freedoms that America really
believe, took us the wrong direction. So there`s ways to get it done with
flexibility of the state, in giving us more control over the healthcare
systems, and that partnership I think is what America wants, and put in
more responsibility, more worker requirements, those are things that you`ll
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that it would be a little-bit easier for
someone like you, governor of Arkansas, having a vice-president who is
former governor now himself and also served in congress, will that help at
HUTCHINSON: Certainly, it will. And he`s a great avenue for us to
communicate with. But I also expect, you know, President Trump to – we`re
looking forward to meeting with him with governors in February. But both
the congress and his administration wants the views of the governors in
terms of healthcare. And we`re going to give it to him, and we`re going to
have some disagreements. We have a lot of things to work through. But the
American people need to have confidence that we`re going to change things,
but we`re going to move us in to a direction of more decisions and more
choices, and not a diminishing of responsibility and care that people are
really relied upon.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you have watched a lot of these inaugurations that I
have. We thought today as the new president gave his speech.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Greta, I think that the governor is exactly right
that this was true to his message. This was completely consistent with the
message that won Donald Trump the Republican nomination and then the White
House. But one thing that it did not do that inaugural addresses often do,
is that is do more to reach out to the people who did not vote for him. I
have no doubt that Trump supporters are really cheered by what he said.
But you didn`t hear much that was aim at other people. I was surprise he
didn`t – for example, acknowledge anything that Barack Obama has done as
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually was surprise of that too. I thought – you know
what, this was the time we are supposed to be gracious, Republicans,
Democrats – even the media was supposed to be nice a little-bit today.
You know, I thought like, you know, he could have said – even agree with
him, but thank you for your service for eight years, I was looking for a
little more of that.
PAGE: I thought he would say you took over at a time of financial
calamity, and you help to guide us through it, even if you`re disagreeing
of where we are right now. You think, he oath to do more, and handle
things a little differently. He didn`t do it. You know, he didn`t deliver
a conservative message though. He delivered a populous message. This was
not a message that every Republican in congress or every Republican
governor is completely comfortable – you know, particularly talking about
trade for instance, he talked about the value of protectionism. I`m sure
that was not what Paul Ryan wanted to here.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think, Chris?
JANSING: I just have to say that if somebody who spent a year and a half
on the road and went to dozens and dozens of states, and spent a lot of
VAN SUSTEREN: How many times hotel.
JANSING: Enough that I can actually take a vacation. Having said that,
there was one line that for me may not be the one that`s quoted, but to
summarize what connected with many of the voters that I`ve talked to,
politicians prosper but the jobs left and the factories closed. And I
think so much of this message sounded like a message that he took on the
road and that was successful. And he has been a man who was wanted to
stick with what has gotten to him to the dance, you know, you do that. But
having said that, I do think it was a missed opportunity to reach out to
President Obama, who he has acknowledge that they had great phone calls,
they`ve been almost, weekly, of not more contact with missed opportunity
not to say something to Hillary Clinton in that speech. To wait for one in
which fewer people are watching
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J. Dionne, joins us. E.J. I was at least happy, this is
something that sticks with me as – he mentioned the inner city, and it`s a
little-bit of rub of mine that I thought that Democrats drive by every four
years and wave and ask for the votes, and Republicans don`t even go there.
And he at least – he made at least some – he tipped his hat to the issue
of the inner city and helping them.
E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: He did. But what was really striking to
me, and this goes to what other people have been talking about, the
incredibly bleak tone of this speech. He went back to something he did
during the campaign which was to describe all these communities as being in
sort of horrific shape. He said the American carnage will stop now.
Carnage is extraordinary word to use and precisely because he didn`t reach
out to President Obama or to others. I`m not sure that people in the inner
city really felt that, you know, small moment in the speech in the same
VAN SUSTEREN: But one thing he change that he didn`t do he`s made awful
lot of promises, including the inner cities, I mean, we can go to the whole
list, I`m sure we will hear in the panel. I mean, he said a huge bar from
stuff with promises things he`s going to deliver.
DIONNE: No, I absolutely agree with that. And I think that he is
promising in a way – particularly to that constituency that as Chris
Jansing said he was talking to today. And he`s going to have difficult
time of it because ironically he`s inheriting a good economy, not all of
the growth had spread as widely as I would want or anybody would want, but
he`s taken over at a good time. So he`s going to have to both maintain the
growth that we`ve had, and direct more of it to these communities, and it`s
just not clear that he will. I think the other, sort of, striking
disconnects, and Susan mentioned this, it wasn`t conservative speech, it
was a populist speech. But he has also named this cabinet of billionaires
and multi-millionaires, and seems to be in favor of the Republican
congress`s policy, which are not necessarily the policy of this speech. So
I think that`s another circle he is going to have to square.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, he promised to free us – rid us of radical Islam.
HUTCHINSON: That`s exactly what he should have said…
VAN SUSTEREN: How is he going to do that?
HUTCHINSON: Well, first of all, a speech is aspirational. A speech is
telling America that we can address these problems together. For
VAN SUSTEREN: I thought he sort of promise us though a little bit. And
maybe even a little bit further I thought in that speech.
HUTCHINSON: You know, he did a good job addressing things that have been
neglected in time past. The crime problem in America giving kudos for
raising the issue of crime in our inner cities, kudos for addressing in his
campaign and to this speech the issue of losing jobs in terms of production
and factories, and looking at the blue collar workers. So that I think
(INAUDIBLE) on target.
VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe it`s just me, maybe it`s just the populist in me.
But, Susan, I sort of thought, you know, I heard so many promises from so
many politics over the year that we all want to do these things, but I sort
to what to know how you`re going to do it. And I realized this is just an
aspirational speech, but prove it.
PAGE: You know, usually, I think, in a speech like this – politicians say
we`re going to work together to try to address these problems. He was
pretty flat. We`re going to invest in infrastructure, we`re going to
rebuild the military. We`re going to bring back well-paying manufacturing
VAN SUSTEREN: What`s surprise, he didn`t say anything about the Affordable
PAGE: He said nothing about healthcare I don`t believe. And even though
that has been one of the main things he talked about, and one of the things
we think they`re going to tackle first, I thought that was a bit of
surprise. But another thing, ending Islamic terrorism, he made a big point
of using that phrase because that`s the phrase that Barack Obama declined
to use. I think he promised to eradicate. I think eradicate was the word
he used. That is a big promise. And setting up a standard for himself.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that`s why – where I`m thinking – Ok, you promise
that and want to get rid of this terrorism, but how are you going to do it?
You know, that still sort of the missing element, I realize that this is
just inaugural speech, but, you know, it`s such an important issue that I
want a little more. NBC`s, Hallie Jackson is covering the inaugural ball
tonight. Hallie, there are several balls, so tell us where you are.
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS: Yes, three official ones, Greta. We are at the
military inaugural ball. This is the one that is – I think of all the
most formal. There are two others, the liberty and freedom ball that you
will see. But the president and first lady are at tonight. And don`t
forget, there`s a handful of those unofficial balls as well, including the
– a little bit of play of words, the deploraball, right, remember? There
were Trump supporters, Donald Trump`s supporters during the campaign who
sort of seized on the mantle of deplorables. They have come in to
Washington, and they have their own unofficial ball for them tonight.
Normally, you might see more official balls for the president on a night
like tonight. I think back to 2009, 2013, when Barack Obama had a number
of balls. In this instance, you heard again and again from Donald Trump`s
team that they want to keep the number of ball small because this weekend
was all about trying to get to work, trying to make Monday an official
workday, get through the weekend, and kind of hit the ground running from
the West Wing. So, sort of the big moments tonight, of course, that first
dance between the president and the first lady, a lot of folks wondering
what Melania Trump wear tonight, as they wondered about Michelle Obama in
2009 and 2013, and other first ladies in years past. So the first dance is
going to happen here on the stage behind me. And already this place is
starting to fill up. It`s an exciting scene, people are excited to be
here. You kind of feel the energy in the ballroom, even though it`s only -
- I don`t know, a quarter full is that, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Hallie, thank you. Chris, you know, we want to get rid of
the terrorism and President Trump is now promised that. And today, I
thought what I really appreciated is that the former first lady, Hillary
Clinton, and his opponent was there in our peaceful transfer. It was
amazing having her there, wasn`t it?
JANSING: I think this is the sixth inauguration I`ve been to. And what
always gets me is seeing that moment when you see the Supreme Court
justices and you see the members of congress. But there was something – I
was on the East Lawn when Hillary Clinton came in and got out of the car,
and she waived to us the few of us that were there, as members of the
press. And, by the way, Ralph Lauren had a very good day today, because
not only did he dressed Melania Trump, he dressed Hillary Clinton. Having
said that, I think it was important, it was incredibly important the way
that President Obama and his wife have conducted themselves in spite of the
fact there are a lot of lingering feelings not just about the attacks that
were made about the birther, and I think that the way Hillary Clinton
decided to come. If you`re a former president you`ve got to come, right?
But she didn`t have to come. A former opponent doesn`t have to come. She
sat on the stage, she went to the line, and she was gracious.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I hate government waste. It just makes me crazy,
government waste. And I know it was expensive. And I know we have lots of
planes in our fleet. But for some reason, I was happy that our most
expensive plane, the 747 flew the Obama`s out of there. I wanted the
American people to do that – sort of tipping of the hat. But we can pull
off a cheaper plane, but they went off on the big 747.
JANSING: And you know why presidents do that? Because when they retire
they want to get on plane when they fly off.
VAN SUSTEREN: It`s very expensive, but it made me proud of the American
JANSING: But you know he has to pay his way back.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, no, I understand that. We could have sent him on 757,
another air force plane.
JANSING: But you know what else is great?
VAN SUSTEREN: What?
JANSING: Biden getting on…
VAN SUSTEREN: We didn`t love Biden on Amtrak, right?
HUTCHINSON: I remember when I was in congress he was always taking the
Amtrak back to Delaware. Great Americans. And I want to salute also
Hillary Clinton, Bill, former governor of Arkansas, and the way they have
been there and participated in this transfer of power. President Obama, it
was tough today to see during the speech, you look at his face and that`s
very tough on him I`m sure, but he handled it with dignity. And there was
nothing more exhilarating than to be there and to participate in this
occasion. I`m with you, Greta, that this is some of the ceremony and
circumstance that is so important to America and that`s why, you know,
we`ll have disagreement down the road, it`s not going to be smooth sailing,
but this is a day, let`s give Donald Trump a chance, and I think America
wants to see him succeed. He needs to.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he laid out what he promises to do. So he`s given us
his whole blueprint. He was very blunt about it today. I mean, it may
have been tough on the former president because in some ways sort of chips
away at his own legacy.
HUTCHINSON: There`s always a reflection back, but he understands,
President Obama understands that he won because he ran against the Obama
legacy, so he`s got to articulate that today. That`s politics. We`re
grown-ups up here. We salute the flag. We come together, and we cheer all
America. And I`m excited about the challenge that we face, it is going to
be difficult. When I look yesterday at congress, and they talk about
healthcare, they won. The senators there taking notes from the governors
saying we need to get this right. And secondly, I think there`s
recognition that there`s a lot of work to do that we don`t even have total
agreement on. As governor we`re going to be presenting idea to them.
We`re ready to go, but we`ve got to get it right.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you`re in charge. I mean, Republicans pretty much own
Washington. You`ve got Republican governors, so, you know, you`ve got big
test ahead of yourself. But thank you, governor, for joining us.
HUTCHINSON: Great to be with you, thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Susan, you know, I also think it`s worth noting is that –
good for former first lady, Michelle Obama, I mean, you know, it`s one
thing if you`re candidate of the person that`s getting hit, but to be the
spouse, and she sat – she was there with nothing but great dignity today,
as our other politician.
PAGE: you know, that`s certainly true, and she was very gracious to
Melania Trump, and Donald Trump had said how much they appreciate what she
– that said, when Donald Trump inaugural address was over, and she was
coming off that – I thought she looked –
VAN SUSTEREN: But it was harsh on the record of her husband.
PAGE: And former President Obama had a game face on. And I thought she
was having more trouble not betraying how she`s actually feeling what the
new president said.
JANSING: Didn`t we see that in the speech that she gave in the aftermath
of Donald Trump`s comment with the – intimate video. I mean, her speech
was so powerful. She talked about that those comments shook her to her
core. She feels this stuff in a more visceral physical way than the
president does, and she`s it more.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think that we`re really tough on the first families. I
think for the spouse, and she`s been a wife up to this point. As the wife
has to sit and listens while the rest of us finds fault with their husband,
you know, it`s not easy.
JANSING: No, agree. But one of the things first ladies has done
traditionally, and I`ve heard it from people like Laura Bush, they have
helped each other with the children. And when you look at the children who
have come out of the White House, I mean, it`s pretty remarkable what great
kids they really are. And when the president in his final press conference
bragged by about Sasha and Malia, they`re really great young women, just as
the Bush girls are great young women. And Chelsea Clinton, you know, is a
very accomplished young – they`re all are, and they helped each other.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I try to tip our hat at least to the media because we do
leave them alone as we should, as pretty much as we should. Senator John
Barrasso from the great state of Wyoming joins us. Nice to see you, sir.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: Great to be with you, thanks for having
VAN SUSTEREN: So what do you think today? Your new president – our new
president has laid out a map of what`s he`s going to do.
BARRASSO: Very optimistic. I`m looking forward to it. The people of
Wyoming are delighted. They`re focus on jobs and the economy. And, you
know, working class men and women and their paychecks, their take home pay,
people that feel that they have been left behind for the last eight years
or forgotten feel empowered today. And it`s not Washington that has the
powers, the people back home which is where it belongs.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Donald Trump, the new president claim he`ll put
America first, or his terms make America great again, whatever his branding
is. But what do you think that they`re thinking tonight in France,
Germany, the U.K., what do they think as they`re listening to that?
BARRASSO: Well, there`s a strong president in the Oval Office. And they
would have to deal with him and treat the American people and the
government with the respect that this country deserved. We will clearly be
the most powerful and respected nation on the face of the earth again. Our
friends as well as the enemy will see it. And I`m very excited, very
optimistic, and now we are still on the floor of the senate, we`ve just
confirmed General Mattis to be secretary of defense, are currently voting
on General Kelly. And we will be talking about the CIA director later this
VAN SUSTEREN: We`re not going to have it tonight, are we?
BARRASSO: No. There would be an affirmation. The vote will be – the
final vote will be Monday. But it would be clear, the message will be
clear that Mike Pompeo will be CIA director.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think Kim Jong-un of North Korea is thinking
BARRASSO: He`s thinking, you know, there`s a new sheriff in town, somebody
that will actually not be push around. Somebody that – he`s drawn a red
line, the red line will stick it, it won`t be a green light.
VAN SUSTEREN: And Vladimir Putin – there`s been question whether he and
Donald Trump have a bromance or not.
BARRASSO: I think Vladimir Putin knows that Donald Trump believes energy
is called the master resource for a reason. It is an instrument of power.
It is a force. And Donald Trump is committed to using American energy just
in a way that Vladimir Putin has used Russia energy. And Putin has been
using that to hold others hostage. Donald Trump knows the value of energy.
America is an energy superpower and we`re going to start acting that way.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you. And the new president certainly
laid out an aggressive agenda. For the Republicans you own the house, the
senate, and the White House, so it`s all up to you.
BARRASSO: And now people want results.
VAN SUSTEREN: And are you going to get them?
BARRASSO: I am committed to results, to lasting results, not quick fixes,
and you`re going to get it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Quick question, are you in favor – I know you`re in favor
of repealing Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, are you willing to have
replacement right on the spot.
BARRASSO: Look, again, you don`t want quick fix instead of a lasting
solution. I want to make sure we get it right. And that`s going to take a
little bit of…
VAN SUSTEREN: So why not wait until you have the replacement to do the
repealing, rather having that gap because if you repeal and you make the
American people wait for the promise. It would make them nervous.
BARRASSO: Well, the healthcare system under Barack Obama is absolutely
collapsing, very few people have choices, prices are up, choices are down.
We want to make sure people have affordable insurance and care. The
president focus on…
VAN SUSTEREN: I got that.
BARRASSO: … coverage but not care.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why not wait until you have a replacement before you repeal
it, sort of shake everybody up. They`ve already been shaken up.
BARRASSO: We want to make sure that we have a long term solution in place
where all Americans – and it is going to work much better than what they
suffered under Obamacare.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, senator – I should say doctor. You also treat
BARRASSO: And you too.
VAN SUSTEREN: It is in fact that I have a problem with my thumb.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now they all know. Anyway, you`re not coming back. Nice to
see you, sir.
BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.
VAN SUSTEREN: A lot more ahead of this historic day. Stay with us.
VAN SUSTEREN: We are back with the panel. Also joining us, David Frum,
senior editor at The Atlantic, and former speech writer for George W. Bush,
nice to see you, and – all right, your turn, what do you think of today?
DAVID FRUM, THE ATLANTIC: Well, it`s not the emotional cathartic of 2009
was. The city feels empty. Traffic is light. The disturbances that
people saw in TV were confined to a small part of the city. It is
astonishing that Donald Trump is president of the United States. I don`t
think I`ll ever stop to be astonished by that. It does feel like we step
off the mainline of history and into the alternate history. The speech was
– you talk earlier about how the speech could have been more gracious.
One of the things that is true about Donald Trump is while he tells a lot
of lies about external reality, he`s never dishonest about who he is. He`s
not a gracious person, so why should he pretend to be gracious today.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Obviously, the city is empty today. Can you
subtract that in the districts of Columbia, probably, where most of the
people who would likely attend inaugural speech, 94 percent voted for the
FRUM: In 2009 they`re coming by bus…
VAN SUSTEREN: Everybody in D.C. turned out last time. So do you think in
FRUM: In 2009, I think there was something like 2 million people at the
inauguration. The districts of Columbia has a population of 500,000…
VAN SUSTEREN: We got the counties.
FRUM: It was a more spectacular kind of event.
VAN SUSTEREN: Without any doubt it was more spectacular. I`ll give that
to you. I`m just saying that the people are talking about the crowd and
that didn`t surprise me so much.
FRUM: I think the magnitude of it. But on the statement today of the new
president, I think as Governor Hutchinson said a few minutes ago, this was
a speech that was not designed to reassure, didn`t designed to reassure
opponents at home, and more troubling it did not assure allies abroad.
Donald Trump campaigned on some of those violent changes, the American
system of global leadership, since the end of the cold war, really since
the end of World War II. He`s got very close relationships with some
traditional American adversaries, like Vladimir Putin`s Russia. He made
nervous many of our friends. There was not a word of comfort for any of
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J., Donald Trump, the new president was – I supposed
intellectually honest, he said what he believes he`s going to do. It`s not
much different than what we have heard before. But, in some ways, and
maybe it`s just me, I think inaugural speech should be a time to reach out
to the people who didn`t vote for you, and sort to be persuasive why he`ll
be a good president, am I wrong?
DIONNE: No. I agree with you completely. I look back at President George
W. Bush`s first inaugural speech. And the country was very divided there.
A lot of people, and I was one of them, very upset about what happen in
Florida. And that was a speech of real outreach. Everybody felt it. I
went back and looked, and I surprised myself by how positively I responded
to the speech. In print, there was none of that today. And I want to
underscore something David Frum said, which is he did nothing, this is
really substantive about America standing in the world. Not only did he do
nothing to reassure our allies around the world. I think he – they are a
lot more nerving now than they were before he gave that speech. Not only
the slogan of America first, but his message about foreign policy being
only basically about national interest. And the United States is depended
on a whole series of international systems and agreements and alliances
that have kept us strong for a long time. And he came away from the speech
asking is this guy going to blow all of that up. And I think he could have
used some grace notes at least on those questions even if it was on honest
statement of what he said Steve Bannon thinks.
FRUM: That`s very important point. You know, maybe not everyone is aware
of this, but right now, I mean, this week, an American armor brigade is
taking up position in Poland. At the same time as British and French
troops are being deployed in Estonia. We are in the middle of the biggest
arms build-up on the European continent by western powers since the end of
the Cold War.
And they are at the end of the supply lines that run through Germany with
whom Donald Trump has smashed up relations and know that they have not been
smashed up since 1945.
And one of the things that is really dangerous is what are the signals that
he sending to the people behind those troops in Germany, the people that
support them in Poland and other ally places, across the line in Russia who
are looking at that army brigade and saying is this a real commitment or is
this a phony commitment by someone who`s got who we have some power over.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chris, with the exception of his statement that he is going
to eradicate radical Islamism, there really wasn`t a whole lot of foreign
policy except for as he talks on issues of trade which has of course an
impact on foreign policy, and not this oblige to talk about foreign policy
but he didn`t have a lot.
JANSING: And yet, we know how this discomfort in so much Europe, so much of
the rest of the world is, he has talk about the NATO, you have the meeting
at Davos, you have the secretary of general of NATO expressing his concerns
about a lot of people, talking about the simple fact in World War I and
World War II in NATO.
We haven`t seen that kind of destructive war again. So, I do think the
other aspect of this is that for people who already were against Donald
Trump, who were uncomfortable with Donald Trump many of them decided not to
watch today, right?
And yet, at least based on my anecdotal experience since they were
following social media, one sentence one line that could have been repeated
to either comfort the allies or comfort people who had voted for Hillary
Clinton may have had a much broader impact than I think he would have even
imagined so somebody who has master frankly, using social media to his own
That`s another reason for me I was surprised he didn`t make that outreach
either to our allies or to the people who voted for him.
PAGE: You know what`s reassuring to our allies that happened today it was
not his speech, it was the move toward confirmation of General Mattis for
JANSING: Yes. It has the Defense Department.
PAGE: Because during his confirmation hearings he said the – he took more
traditional republican in American positions when it comes to the value of
the NATO alliance and the protection of U.S. force, so I think that allies
who are looking for something–
PAGE: .. to cling to give them hope, that`s one–
VAN SUSTEREN: I would like the democrats have voted for Mattis.
FRUM: The way the Americans listen does not work. If he is not true that if
the president and the secretary of defense have disagreement the president
must resign. That is not how to works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David is absolutely right about that. But I also think
Susan is right. I think democrats were very eager to confirm Mattis both to
send the message that she talked about but also to get somebody in that
Trump inner circle who might push back against some of the very policies he
seem to be describing in this speech.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chris Jansing and David Frum, thank you both very much. E.J.
and Susan Page, stay with me. A lot more ahead.
VAN SUSTEREN: Back with Susan and E.J. And joining the conversation,
Congresswoman Jackie Speier she`s democrat from California, and Nancy
Northup, is the present CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. They`ll
be at the women`s march at Washington tomorrow.
And you are looking at the President of the United States and first lady,
they are leaving the parade. They have a big night ahead of them, they`ve
got to hit the balls that are sort of scattered around town. So, they`ve to
leave and their day is not over.
So, let`s go first to you, Congresswoman Speier. Tomorrow that`s day number
two of this but we have a women`s march. What is women`s march?
JACKIE SPEIER, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Well, you know, it created
organically from a woman in Hawaii who a grandmother who just said we
should march and it just kind of took off. And I came back yesterday in a
pane –in a plane that was packed with marchers, men and women that are
coming back here for this.
So, we are going to see something very organic and very exciting tomorrow.
Because women and men are going to speak up about women`s rights.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, Nancy, this isn`t necessary an anti-Trump protest, this
is pro-women march. Is that fair to say and how big do we expect it to be
and is it just here in Washington?
NANCY NORTHUP, PRESIDENT, THE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Well, let me
start by saying it is a protests about the policies that President Trump
has put out.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that extent it would be anti-Trump in your mind?
NORTHUP: That`s right.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK.
NORTHUP: The women and men coming out tomorrow and there are going to be
hundreds of thousands of them not just here in Washington but in every
state in the United States. So, for your viewers who they – it`s not too
late. They can go to the women`s march web site, they can sign up and they
can go tomorrow in their own state.
And it`s to say we`re not going backwards. You know, President Trump today
talked about some mythical American past. But women do not want to go back
to a time when they couldn`t make choices about their health and their
future. Do not want to see Roe versus Wade reverse.
Seven in in 10 American are really clear access to abortion should be safe
and legal. We don`t want to go back on the equality in the workplace and
otherwise. And so, tomorrow it`s for men and women coming together to say
we`re standing strong for women, we`re standing strong for progress
VAN SUSTEREN: How many cities do you estimate they are going to be this
marches in. I saw one number that was quite high that`s why I`m asking you
what are your estimate?
NORTHUP: Well, I think they are in every state, so I think we`re talking
about over a hundred cities. It`s going to be really, really major. And
everybody can be a part of it. You know, I actually, it was daughter who is
24 who reached out to me and said, “Mom, are we going to the march in
Washington?” before I even had time to think about it. So, I think you`re
going to see all ages, all generations of men and women saying we`re not
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, do you think you can work with Donald Trump,
SPEIER: I honestly don`t.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not at all. You will give him a chance?
SPEIER: I will give him a chance.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So, what does he have to do so sort of mean like, give me
SPEIER: Well, he can`t row back Roe versus Wade, the office of Civil Right,
the family planning opportunities for women in this country, the repeal of
the Planned Parenthood funding for non-abortion services.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, that sort of integrated into the Obamacare, those issues.
SPEIER: Well, no. Actually, the funding for the Planned Parenthood is
actually Medicaid funding.
VAN SUSTEREN: Separate.
SPEIER: Much to that is for poor women and it`s all about its screening.
Its cancer screening, its STD`s, it`s all of the other services that are
provided to low income women who can`t access health care anywhere else.
VAN SUSTEREN: With the exception of that I`m not – I`m not denying that
those are important issues. Are there other areas where you can work with
SPEIER: Well, I`m looking for opportunities to work with him. But I am not
going to a road the benefits that women have received in this country and
that we fought so hard for literally a centuries. It`s not – it`s not time
to go back. It is time to make sure we hold the line and move forward.
VAN SUSTEREN: For the life of employee I cannot understand this dispute, is
that, you know, equal pay for equal work. I am for the life. How about you,
PAGE: I`m entirely in favor for equal pay for equal work.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, it`s like that`s what they`re saying. That to me, I
don`t even know why we`re talking about that.
PAGE: You know, there`s one other area where it seems to me democrats may
be able to come together with President Trump and that`s on an
infrastructure bill. That`s one of the things he talked in his speech
today, desire to invest in bridges and road. That`s something democrats
have been in favor.
In fact, that might that might be an issue where President Trump is closure
to democrats in Congress than he is to republican in Congress who might
more concerned about what it would costs.
SPEIR: As long as we`re not talking about privatizing all of that, so that
we`re not building toll roads. That`s not going to be good for America
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J., I can see of the other disputes of people who have deep
faith. And when it comes to certain issues especially like Roe versus Wade,
but for the like of me I can`t get figure out how anyone could object to
equal pay for equal work. I just don`t get that one.
E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Well, I don`t get that one either.
By the way, I salute the congresswoman normally when either of you are
asked can I work with him they find some way around, and she just gave a
straight up no.
So, score one for honesty. And I think there is a lot of that.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think – I think it would behoove us to try to for whatever
reason at least to get the democrats and republicans to work together. I
applaud her for honesty but you know, if we can start trying to get
everything moving and be helpful.
DIONNE: Right. I totally agree on equal pay for equal work. I think the
infrastructure issue depends a lot as the congresswoman said, whether it`s
a real infrastructure bill. In which case I think the politics become very
complicated or something that he propose in the campaign, which doesn`t
look like a real infrastructure bill.
But on this march, I think it`s a very important day because what is and
started out as a women`s march has become almost an omnibus march for all
the people who didn`t support Trump, who oppose Trump, and they are just
trying to say I think there is whole other view in the country than the one
you heard yesterday.
And we want to remind the country, the people at the march are saying that
we`re here. And it will be inevitable that that crowd would be compared to
And you are right, Greta, we were in an area that is not pro-republican and
pro-Trump. And that clearly cut his crowd. But I think it would be a
measure of the fact that passion may have moved in politics today from the
republican side to the democratic side. Because the republicans could
always throw stop at Barack Obama. He`s gone. Trump now has the authority
and I think it will be a measure of a new kind of passion on the other side
VAN SUSTEREN: Here`s – I mean, I want our infrastructure fixed. I fact,
I`ve got two flat tires in one drive at home one night in our nation`s
capital about two years ago. But you know, but the problem we had the
infusion of money right when President Barack Obama took office. And it was
supposed to be all this shovel-ready projects. So, you know, so how do we
know this – that was supposed an infrastructure fix. We didn`t get of
PAGE: You know, you can argue about, actually most democrats think they
didn`t put enough money into that vote. And you can argue how that was
executed. But I think you can`t argue that there`s a need for some
VAN SUSTEREN: I agree totally. I got the flat tires to prove it.
PAGE: And you know, you asked about where the demonstrations were being
held, at USA Today.com we did a map that shows not only demonstrations in
all 50 states but across the world, in London, and in Asia, and in South
America and elsewhere. Because this has gotten to be–
PAGE: – and this has gotten to be a pretty big thing and not because of
some big institutional non-profit decided to generate it. It really has
been one of the interesting things that is generated from the grassroots.
VAN SUSTEREN: We had peaceful protestors today and we had some not so
peaceful protestors. Any thoughts tomorrow.
NORTHUP: Tomorrow is going to be a peaceful march.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, good.
NORTHUP: For folks that I just to say we do not want to like the
divisiveness going on and we do not like the policies that he has
suggested. And we want to make sure that we can have progress for all
Americans and that includes women and people of color who want to be part
of the future of this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of women there will be some women whose name we know
tomorrow. Gloria Steinem is coming.
NORTHUP: That`s right. That`s right. But lots and lots and lots to your
point of just men and women across the country who are showing up and are
going to keep on showing up. And I think that`s going to be important.
Because while as a lawyer, the Center for Productive Rights will hold the
president accountable. It`s really the people who need to be holding him
accountable every day.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank–
NORTHUP: To our constitutional values.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Nancy, and Congresswoman Speier, thank you very
much. And I hope – I hope you come back.
SPEIER: I will.
VAN SUSTEREN: Historic day. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will fight for you with
every breathe in my body and I will never ever let you down.
America will start winning again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was very honored, very, very honored when I heard that President
Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today, and I think
it`s appropriate to say and I`d like to you stand up, I would like you to
And honestly, there`s nothing more I can say because I have a lot of
respect for those two people. So, thank you all for being here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Doug Wead is a presidential historian. He served as special
assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House. Nice to see
DOUG WEAD, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Good to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, calling out to Secretary Clinton, you know, what a
good sport she was to show up.
WEAD: That`s right. That`s true.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, with some people you have wanted in the speech but
we can prove that somebody ceases it any way.
WEAD: Yes, great moment. Great moment.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I like most about the speech today is when he
said, I thought this – I actually think this sort of a represented one of
the reasons why he won. He said “American wants great schools for their
children, safe neighborhood for their families and good jobs for
themselves. These are the just and reasonable demand of a righteous
WEAD: I thought that was great. And you know, there`s a real hypocrisy here
because all through history the presidents have gone to private schools and
sends their kids to private schools.
And we finally had a president in Jimmy Carter who said no, we`re going to
send my daughter to a public school. But he change real quick. And the
Obamas were unashamed about it. We are going to send our kids to the best
school we can send them to. And isn`t that ashamed that a lot of kids won`t
get a good education.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, but what are parents, you mean, presidents what do they
to do to send their – I mean, send them which is where the Obama children
went. I mean, that`s a good school, what parent wouldn`t want his or her
child have the best chance?
WEAD: Yes. But if you believe in public education and you believe that its
working, and that you can just feed it more money and it will work better
then you ought to support it some would say. I like the fact that Obama
send his kids to the best school he could. I think they were great parents.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did you think of today`s speech?
WEAD: I thought today`s speech was him and that`s part of the charm. People
don`t like it. But it wasn`t written by somebody else. It was written by
him. And that`s why they elected him. They are so tired of the phony, and
you know, I`ve been watching on television as people say, he`s so divisive
and even hateful. And someone who loves history and reads history I always
– I`m always amused how they say this has never happened before.
But you know, when John Kennedy was elected President there were many who
hated Kennedy. And Truman gave a press conference on television and said
“I`m not coming to the Democratic national Convention in Los Angeles.” They
were upset about Joe Kennedy, they were upset over the Mafia. They didn`t
like him because he was Catholic.
There were sermons on the Sunday, he was inaugurated on Friday. There were
sermons on Sunday in Southern Baptist Churches saying Kennedy is the
antichrist. Nixon his daughters Julie was spit, she was liked across campus
at Smith College and they spit on her.
And LBJ “hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”
VAN SUSTEREN: Right.
WEAD: There`s always been – you could call it hatred. But Jack Ford, the
son of Gerald Ford once said to me, half of the country hates my dad, half
of the country loves my dad. He says it will always be like that with the
VAN SUSTEREN: In listening to President Trump today, he gave essentially
the specific list of things he is going to accomplish. And these are the
things that he has been saying on the campaign trail. And this is why
people voted for him.
And I think it`s a little backlash against the elitist. Some of them. He
said he is going to make America great again. And people serving like they
wanted a chance. But the things that he proposing is very difficult. And so
what happens – what happens if he doesn`t do these things. I mean, these
things that he has promised, I mean, they are going to be deeply
disappointed. And it`s a tough – this is a tough city.
WEAD: That`s true. That`s true. And I thought the same exact things going
through my mind. But he is a businessman. He is a – you know, his favorite
preacher was Norman Vincent Peale. And he went to that church on Fifth
He is positive. And that`s how businessmen have to think. Different from
politicians. They don`t think ahead how is it going to work. They think we
got to think positive. We got to make this work and I guess that`s him.
But the same cross my mind, hey, lower the expectations, that`s what W
would tell him. You can win if you get them low enough.
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J., one thing that I sort of like, which I think is sort of
consistent with the populist approach that Donald Trump spoke about today
and has in the campaign trail, is that we`re not going to have as many huge
inaugural balls here in Washington tonight.
It does seem like he has trimmed his whole – this whole day. And it seem
like a little more in conservative – I don`t mean politcally but at least
i terms of his approach maybe a little bit of a signal that it`s not going
to be all flashy and a big deal here in Washington.
DIONNE: Yes, I kind of like that, too. I think we don`t need a million
balls and a lot of glitter. It`s ironic because Trump he is a guy of
glitter and he`s got his hotel down the street to prove it.
But I`m sympathetic with that point. On Doug`s point about history and we
were talking about trump`s speech versus his other speech – speeches. As
Doug was talking I was thinking of JFK in 1960, and the first line in his
inaugural address was, we observe today not victory of party but a
celebration of freedom.
And Senator Blunt quoted Jefferson`s famous first inaugural after a very
bitter time when we didn`t even know that we were going to have party
succession in the country. And Jefferson got up and said, “We have all
republicans, we are all federalists.”
You saw some of that spirit in the toast in the way that Trump gave to
Hillary Clinton. Well, I would like to see a little bit of that in the
speech. Others presidents have done it in, as Doug said very difficult
PAGE: You know, it`s true that elections by definition are divisive, right.
And governing is divisive. But what is unprecedented in modern times this
year, is that Americans did not really come behind this president during
the transition period. You go recollect even to the election in 2008–
VAN SUSTEREN: But are we at the point of sort of like prove it. We`ve heard
so many promises over the past decades. And if he does follow through on
these promise, and if he does, I mean, if he improves all of these things,
you know, I just think the American people are more or like they don`t want
any promises any more. They want prove it.
PAGE: I don`t know. I think – I think that it reflects now of more
pluralize time, but also his failure to reach out in the last couple of
months since he won the election actually. I think you could do things as
he did on election night.
On election night, Donald Trump gave a pre-conciliatory address but he
hasn`t repeated that. And as consequence, even though George W. Bush ended
up with pretty good approval ratings at the time of his inauguration, not
that it lasted through his presidency.
This president is not going to have the advantage of that. There are only a
few moments I think where president are able to really reach voters who
didn`t vote for them. This is one of them. And I feel like there`s been a
bit of missed opportunity here on the part of President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: NBC – NBC`s Peter Alexander is outside of the White House,
with the Trumps inside. Peter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, we don`t have him. All right. Susan, let me ask you about
this. We don`t have – we have a vacancy to the Supreme Court. When we get
– when are we getting the nomination?
PAGE: In two weeks.
VAN SUSTEREN: Two weeks.
PAGE: He said last week or two weeks ago that he was going to make that
announcement in the first two weeks of his agenda. He put out a list of
prospects during the campaign. He said he is going to choose from that list
of 21 names, so I think we`re going to get that pretty quick.
VAN SUSTEREN: How important is first 100 days. We make a big deal about it,
but how important?
WEAD: I think he is going to – I think his first 100 hours are going to be
VAN SUSTEREN: It`s 100 hours not 100 days are too?
WEAD: And Ivanka Trump that`s what I`m going to be watching. Because FDR
brought Anna Roosevelt his last year in office and she ran the White House
that last year. Eleanor had to beg her to get on the manifest to go to
Yalta and she didn`t make it. I think Ivanka is going to be that kind of
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J., the first 100 days or in Doug`s case the first 100
DIONNE: Soon we maybe reduce to the first 100 seconds and decide it all
then. I think it`s a going to be a heck of a ride with a lot of tension in
it. I think there will be an enormous opposition to whoever he names to the
court on the part of democrats not because of the identity of the person
but because of the reason that seat is open.
The refusal to take up Merrick Garland I think you are going to see the
republican Congress start passing a lot of stuff fast. And they are
counting on Trump to sign it. That`s going to be very controversial. The
budget stuff, in particular, the tax cuts, I think we`re going to see a lot
of stuff happen and a lot of fighting.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, E.J. you bring up that Merrick Garland, you know,
that bothered me. You know, President Obama and one of the Constitution had
a right to appoint someone. And look, when you don`t give a person a
hearing. You know, give them a hearing vote no. But they didn`t give him a
hearing. And it`s almost like I don`t like politics when it does that. I
don`t like that gaming in the system.
DIONNE: Well, I the republicans have always talks about borking people and
you`re going to hear people turn Merrick into a verb.
VAN SUSTEREN: E.J., but that`s the problem. That`s the problem because the
republicans say that democrats did it to us once before so we`re doing it
now. That`s the ugly cycle in Washington.
DIONNE: But Merrick didn`t even get a hearing. Merrick Garland didn`t get a
VAN SUSTEREN: That`s the ugly cycle. No, no, no, but I`m just saying is
that you know, what happened in Washington is that when one group gets in
power, they say the other group did it, instead of stopping some of the
DIOONE: Right. No, and in fact, it`s gets worst. Because Bork remember, as
you remember got a hearing. People didn`t like the way the hearing went,
but he got a hearing. And Merrick Garland didn`t even get a hearing. And so
there`s still a lot of pins up anger about that.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the POTUS Twitter account immediately turned over Donald
Trump. Almost at the strike of a clock.
PAGE: And Barack Obama sent a note saying, hey, I have gotten back to this
my old Twitter account. Barack Obama has anything happened lately.
VAN SUSTEREN: It`s a Twitter – I mean, it`s amazing he is the – that the
media is now get a little bypassed with this Twitter.
PAGE: It`s definitely the way we communicate with each other these days.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. But it`s got a little bit (Inaudible) So, we want more
than 140 character for information but we`re not getting that. Like we`re
going to get 140 characters.
Anyway, thank you all for joining us. And to the viewers at home, thank you
very much for watching.
But I got an assignment for you. Something special for you. Tomorrow,
Saturday, 6 p.m. a special edition For the Record. Tomorrow at 6 p.m.
Eastern. If you can`t watch it live set your DVR. I know you know how to do
that. And follow me on Twitter @greta. Check out my Facebook page for
behind the scenes videos and more.
Hardball with Chris Matthews starts in about 10 seconds. Here we go.
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