For the Record with Greta, Transcript 2/10/2017

Guests:
Guest: Ken Dilanian, Mike Allen, Robert Costa, Francesca Chambers, Chris Collins, Michael Isikoff
Transcript:

Show: FOR THE RECORD

Date: February 10, 2017

Guest: Ken Dilanian, Mike Allen, Robert Costa, Francesca Chambers, Chris Collins, Michael Isikoff

 

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST:  Still, this week`s musical protest in London did

not sway the vote which set the British government on track to start Brexit

process as early as next month. Oh, the joy to all of you. That`s all we

have for tonight. We`ll be back Monday with more “MTP Daily,” Sunday for

“Meet the Press.” “For the Record with Greta” starts right now.

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST: Breaking news tonight “For the Record.”

Another new controversy dogging the Trump White House now with President

Trump`s national security adviser, Mike Flynn, and his links to Russia.

What did he tell Vice President Mike Pence and was it truthful? Tonight,

democrats seizing on the story and calling for investigation of the Trump

White House. What happens now?

 

Also, the president on Air Force One en route to Florida saying, “we`ll win

on the travel ban.” Meanwhile, back in Washington, we have reports that a

rewrite of the travel ban is in the work. So is Trump scrapping the old

one, giving up the court fight about it, and about to sign a new one?

 

And sticker shock, if you think $12 billion is a lot and it is, get ready.

New estimate say Trump`s border wall could be twice that. How is Trump

going to get Mexico to pay for that? And if American taxpayers are going to

end up paying for it, where do we find the money?

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Now the breaking news, growing questions on what National

Security Advisor Michael Flynn said in a phone call to the Russian

ambassador. A U.S. intelligence official telling NBC News Flynn discussed

hacking-related sanctions in a phone call with the Russian ambassador

before the Trump administration took office. Now, Trump officials

acknowledged the phone call was in December, but Flynn and the entire Trump

team flatly and adamantly denied that they talked about sanctions.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They did not discuss

anything having to do with the United States decision to expel diplomats or

impose sanctions against Russia. What I can confirm having spoke to him

about it is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time

that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing

whatsoever to do with the sanction.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that leaves open the possibility that there might

have been other conversations about the sanctions?

 

PENCE: I don`t believe there were more conversations.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, okay, okay.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Today something different. Flynn says he cannot recall if

sanctions were discussed. Now, NBC News learned from administrative

official that Vice President Pence`s only source for statement was Mike

Flynn.

 

On Air Force One, President Trump made an unexpected visit to the press

cabin just a short time ago and he was asked about this “Washington Post”

report on General Flynn. He said he was not aware of report, “I haven`t

seen it. I`ll look into that.”

 

Ken Dilanian covers intelligence and national security for NBC News. He

joins us from the White House. Ken.

 

KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Greta,

great to be with you. I think from what you just recounted, it`s pretty

clear to our viewers that Mike Flynn has a political problem. The question

I have been looking into all day is does he have a legal problem. And

that`s much less clear. In fact, a lot of experts you talk to will say it`s

not necessarily inappropriate if Flynn discussed sanctions on Russia with

the Russian ambassador in advance of the Trump administration taking

office.

 

It would not be even problematic necessarily if he explained that, you

know, the Trump administration was going to take another look at it. The

issue though is A, did he tell the truth about it? And B, democrats are

really fired up about the idea that there is some kind of a secret deal as

they see it to go easy on the Russians over sanctions that after all we put

Russia over hacking and interference in the election that was designed to

favor Donald Trump, Greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Ken, thank you. And democrats tonight are calling for Michael

Flynn to be fired. Senator Chris Murphy saying Flynn is very dangerous.

It`s unclear just discussing sanctions is illegal or even inappropriate.

Now, here`s what Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff at the CIA and the

Defense Department said on our air earlier.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

JEREMY BASH, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE CIA AND DEFENSE DEPARTMENT: Did

the national security advisor talk about sanctions with the Russian

ambassador, Ambassador Kislyak? In my view by the way, and I might be a

little bit against the grain here, the conventional, listen, I actually

think it is okay for an incoming national security advisor during a

transition to talk with another country`s representative and even to signal

that hey, the new team is gonna go in a different direction. I don`t think

that`s problematic as some people are saying.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: With me, Mike Allen, executive editor of “Axios”, Robert

Costa, a national political reporter for “The Washington Post,” and

Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for the “Daily Mail.” Mike,

first to you, I should add that Jeremy Bash, you know, he makes a good

point, I think.

 

MIKE ALLEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF AXIOS: He does, absolutely. And one of the

reddish (ph) flags as you know is when a story keeps changing, and it`s not

just from December that we saw the vice president. Bob`s colleagues talk to

National Security Adviser Flynn on Wednesday. He said no conversation about

sanctions.

 

Then yesterday, the conversation with the Post, adviser said well, he

doesn`t recall, you never want to be saying that. And then you have

president saying he doesn`t know about this. The story posted 20 hours ago.

So, someone should get the president a subscription to “The Washington

Post.”

 

VAN SUSTEREN: (inaudible) it`s always in this town as if, you may have done

something that`s perfectly okay, but it`s the way that when it`s aired,

it`s almost like what happens afterwards. I mean, you know, did Mike Flynn

tell something false to the vice president? The vice president then

repeated on air. And the underline thing is Jeremy Bash says it`s something

that is not improper, that here we go again, this is Washington.

 

ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: I agree

with Mike. The most revealing episode was President Trump coming to the

pres cabin just a few minutes ago on Air Force One and saying he has not

reviewed the report.

 

This is a president who every morning has a print out paper about himself

and his administration that he goes through very careful, this is a

president who early in the morning and late at night is watching almost

every cable channel possible to digest and reach the print version. So if

he is saying that, he means he is still thinking through the issue.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: He did have a busy day with the Japanese prime minister.

There is a little bit – I agree with you that he reads everything. He

posts everything on cable news. But it`s not like he is – maybe this is

the one that he dismissed, Francesca.

 

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL: The White

House isn`t unaware of this because just earlier this evening, a White

House official suggested that Flynn`s role would not change in the

administration as a result of this. And also two separate officials in the

Trump administration have said the fact that he does not recall having said

this, but can`t be 100 percent sure.

 

And so the White House very clearly knows what`s going on and it`s talking

to reporters about this (inaudible) Post argument. So that goes back I

think to what you`re saying. How could the White House be fighting this and

then the president be like, I haven`t heard about it at all.

 

ALLEN: Francesca is right that nothing happens to Mike Flynn, but can you

imagine the tough conversations that are going to occur? It didn`t just

what aides are saying on the tape that you just played, the vice president

saying that he had been personally. No how do you forget a conversation

about sanctions? It`s not something that you throw out in a usually fairly

scripted, fairly structured conversation.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there a transcript of this call?

 

ALLEN: Supposedly there`s transcript that do exists of the call, some of

the call.

 

COSTA: Is that mean one of them was being surveilled?

 

ALLEN: Yes.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is another bad thing.

 

COSTA: Well, it shows you that the intelligence communities in most

countries are keeping a close eye on the other countries. Mike is right.

The integrity perhaps of the vice president is on the line. When I was

speaking to administration officials today, they say this is not just about

Flynn, this is about Pence who went out there in public and said something.

 

And if he got that intelligence, that information from the national

security adviser, and it wasn`t the best information, that puts Pence in a

vulnerable position, and somewhere that Mike Pence doesn`t want to be is in

the vulnerable position politically.

 

 

ALLEN: And one more twist, another leak, another effort by intelligence

officials, U.S. officials to make the administration look bad. We have the

cascade of leaks about presidential calls, once again someone out to get

this administration.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Francesca, yesterday, we heard this conversation about

Kellyanne Conway, and it was like everyone thought that her head was on the

chopping block after she went on Fox News and said that she is wearing

Ivanka`s line of clothing. And then now today, someone said Kellyanne who?

Because–

 

CHAMBERS: And then before that was Sean Spicer, right? Like it just seems

like the news keep changing in this administration so quickly that it is

very difficult to keep up with it. But this is a point that I read several

times before. Remembering when we were talking about the wall with Mexico?

That was days ago.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: We are going to be back to that tonight. Hang on to your

seat. We`ll be back back to that one.

 

CHAMBERS: Because so much keeps happening with the Supreme Court and all

these other executive orders that he is signing. And then you got OB (ph)

here. And the next week, there is Netanyahu. So things are moving very

quickly in this administration. And sometimes, that can actually help this

administration because bad news moves on very quickly and that might be

what happened with Michael Flynn.

 

ALLEN: Yeah, Greta was right here on MSNBC, the people were saying that

President Bannon was overexposed. This is all part of the plan.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think – to what extent do you think President Trump

is disturbed by all of this?

 

COSTA: President Trump bases a lot on personal relationships. So you saw

with Kellyanne Conway, she was assured by the president, she says, that she

was 100 percent in good standing with him. Bannon–

 

VAN SUSTEREN: After she was quote counseled, which I cant figure out what

that means. That`s what Spicer said yesterday, he said she was counseled.

What does that mean?

 

COSTA: It means there is likely a meeting that took place, a conversation.

The details of that remain to be reported.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We have new video of President Trump – this is on

Air Force One. Let`s listen.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me what you said at the press conference.

 

TRUMP: Sure.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You talked about you were going to win the court

battle against the declaration of travel ban.

 

TRUMP: It takes time. We`ll win the battle. We also have a lot of other

options including just filing a brand-new order on Monday.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible).

 

TRUMP: There will be. But I like to keep you, you know, I like to surprise

you. We need speed for reasons of security. So it could very well be that

we do that.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are the changes (inaudible).

 

TRUMP: Very little, just in honor of the decision, we will perhaps do that.

We`ll see on Monday or Tuesday.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You talk about new security measures. Is that separate

from potentially writing a new–

 

TRUMP: We have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting. And we

are going to have very strong security in our country. We are going to have

people come in to our country that want to be here for good reasons.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you make of the reports that General Flynn had

conversation with the Russian ambassador before you sworn in?

 

TRUMP: I don`t know about that. I have not seen it. What report is that?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s report that he talked to ambassador of Russia

before you were inaugurated about sanctions.

 

TRUMP: I have to look into that.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your response to the Iranian president who

earlier today told people that any nation that threatens the nation of Iran

is going to regret it.

 

TRUMP: He better be careful. Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: (inaudible) about that is how accessible he is. I mean, the

fact that he comes back on Air Force One, you never saw that with President

Bush or President Omaba, coming back to talk to the press. Last night after

the ninth circle rule, he was walking at the White House, he stops and

talks to NBC Kelly O`Donnell. He is very accessible.

 

ALLEN: This is very Trumpian, right? There in the terrible news 24 hours.

He is going to come out looking relaxed with the first lady who is rarely

seen, and he is going to come out and make his own case.

 

COSTA: This is someone who has lived his entire life in the media. Going

back to the tabloid days in New York City. And he knows that his entire

campaign really waged through the media. He doesn`t want to give it up. He

does have the structure of the presidency around him, but he is still

Donald Trump.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: He did not look rattled to me though. He did not look

rattled. He looked–

 

ALLEN: He looks very tanned, by the way.

 

CHAMBERS: Well, he was in Florida last week as well. This goes back to what

I was saying before though about flooding the zone. When something bad is

happening, you make other news, you move on from me. Another interesting

thing about what he was saying there is what could potentially happen next

week. The White House is saying today that they are not going to take the

temporary restraining order to the Supreme Court. But that likely what will

happen now is that will go back to the district court. The case still has

to be argued on the merits. But it is also true that he may be thinking

about rewriting a new travel ban potentially and that could come sometime

next week.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Likely they take the TRO ruling for ninth circle of the

Supreme Court. He does say he`s going to fight. He is going to see you in

court as he said last night.

 

ALLEN: Somebody needs a lawyer here.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. Here is the other thing he said. One of the reporters

asked how he plans to respond to Iran and President Rouhani who said

earlier today that any nation that threats Iran will “regret it.” And the

president responded, he better be careful.

 

COSTA: Well this is the militaristic rhetoric we saw throughout the

campaign and people close to Trump tell me that he still sees Iran very

warily and hostile may not be the right word, but he is keeping a close eye

on the Middle East.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, Iran (inaudible) wanted to wipe Israel off the

map and Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to be here next week at the White

House. And of course, last night, the president had dinner with Rex

Tillerson, the new secretary of state. And Sheldon Adelson, one of the

biggest contributors to Israel, the billionaire.

 

COSTA: I heard about that story in “The Washington Post.” Adelson and

others who are very strong supporters of Israel remain close to the

administration, working closely with the son-in-law Jared Kushner which is

senior adviser of the president.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well time spent, but you guys are coming back.

Don`t go away. Still ahead, more on Russia and how the Trump White House is

trying to handle Vladimir Putin. We will talk to Garry Kasparov, the chess

master and the leader of the anti-Putin movement in Russia.

 

Also, get ready for this. New estimate shows that Trump border wall should

cost a lot more than Trump told us. Who is going to pay for it? Believe it

or not, even the president of Syria is talking about fake news. What he

says about refugees, American troops, and President Trump. All coming up.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP: The unfortunate part is it takes time. It takes real time. We`ll win

that battle.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Moment ago President Trump aboard Air Force One saying he

will win the court`s fight over his travel ban. There is a new development.

The judge in the full Ninth Circuit has asked for a vote among the judges

on the whether they want the full court to rehear the case. Congressman

Chris Collins, a republican from New York and first sitting congressman to

endorse Donald Trump. Nice to see you, sir.

 

REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: Yes, Greta. Good to be with you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: That`s bizarre if some judges on the Ninth Circuit, like 29

or so judges, want to have the whole court hear it. I don`t know what`s

with that. But anyway, this has been unusual week. Tell me what is your

view on this travel ban.

 

COLLINS: I`m one that certainly supports the travel ban. I know there was a

little bit of a hiccup on the green card issue which was cleared within 24

hours. And I really do think rather that the judge may have seized on some

of the issues around the green card saying there were some ambiguity there

which could have caused the ruling.

 

So, you know, there is couple of ways around this. I`m actually encouraged

to hear the White House working with attorney general sessions maybe

looking at redoing another executive ban that specifically addresses the

concerns of legal status of some individuals including green cards to get

around what was the ruling of the Ninth Circuit. So whatever it is, I would

trust the White House, his advisers because there is no doubt he is focused

on making sure our borders are secure and keeps America safe.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: So to make sense not to get into some sort of scrape with the

court and going back to the trial court and fighting it out and nitpicking

on different things and arguing constitutional issues with the state and

Justice Department, just go back to the drawing board to craft some

executive order that is absolutely constitutional proof from any challenge.

 

COLLINS: Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. Again, I`m not the one

calling the shot. We have an eight-member Supreme Court. There`s sometime

before we`ll see Justice Gorsuch. So, with the ambiguity and the

uncertainty around the Supreme Court which could come down 4-4, you could

say that the quickest way out of this and the most direct way would be to

write a new executive order that takes away all the concerns raised by the

judge in Seattle–

 

VAN SUSTEREN: And–

 

COLLINS: – we move forward and keep America safe.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Here is the thing, congressman, the briefing schedule that

the trial court in Seattle has ordered, I think the last brief due before

he will make a decision on the actual merits on whether the travel ban is

constitutional or not, that of course was not the issue in the court of

appeals, is February 17th. Tonight, the justice department could rewrite it

and it could be – you could write a new one and rescind the old one. You

would not have to wait until sometime after February 17th. So, if

expediency is the purpose, then get out of the fight out the courthouse.

 

COLLINS: Well, that`s a very argument. So, you know, I don`t disagree with

that. Again, others will be making the decision. If you connect the dots

that would be quickest way to move forward. It would be a big win for the

White House and again, keep America safe which is what we all care about.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: How has the president been doing this first three weeks or is

it four, three or four?

 

COLLINS: Fabulous. Everything that he promised, he is doing, everywhere I

go. At Home Depot today and one of the clerks came up to me, shaking my

hand and just saying, boy, is he happy, so proud of our president. On one

executive order and one move after other, getting companies to rethink

moving jobs out of America.

 

Companies saying they are going to make new investments in America. And

certainly standing strong when it comes to our national security. The

executive order on building the wall. He is just – in three week`s time,

Greta, I don`t think anyone has seen a flurry of activity like what we have

seen under President Trump.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have some problems with his tweeting? I mean, there is

a lot of Americans do agree he made a crack to it. There is a so-called

judge which was obviously a slap at the judge.

 

COLLINS: You know, I`ve said before on other shows, I love the fact that

President Trump tweets. He did it as an unconventional–

 

VAN SUSTEREN: How about that one though? How about that one, the so-called

judge?

 

COLLINS: Well, he may use language I would not use, but he is speaking to

America, and I can tell you again, every day Americans, forget about the

liberal elites, the every day Americans love President Trump and he is

speaking in a language that they speak. It`s unfiltered and so I say, you

know, again and again, go for it, President Trump, America loves you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it certainly has been a rock and roll three weeks.

We`ll see whether or not the president decides to continues the battle in

the trial court or whether or not he just with the slide of pen changes and

writes a new executive order that satisfies everyone on constitutional

grounds. Nice to see you, sir.

 

COLLINS: Yes, always good to be with you, Greta. Have a great evening.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. The refugee issue also a big part of the interview

that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave to Yahoo News. Assad making bold

claims about some refugees from his country.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, YAHOO NEWS: Are some of these

refugees in your view–

 

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: Yeah.

 

ISIKOFF: – aligned with terrorists.

 

AL-ASSAD: Definitely.

 

ISIKOFF: Definitely.

 

AL-ASSAD: Definitely. You can find it on the net.

 

ISIKOFF: We believe it`s a significant number.

 

AL-ASSAD: It`s not about significant, you don`t need significant number to

commit atrocities. 11th of September, it happened by only 15 terrorists out

of maybe millions of immigrants in the United States.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael Isikoff is the investigative reporter who interviewed

Assad. He`s with Yahoo News. He joins us from London. Nice to see you,

Michael. Michael, before we get into his comments on what he just said

about the refugees and whether there are terrorists among them. What was

your impression of Assad?

 

ISIKOFF: Very strange experience interviewing him. On one hand when we walk

into his office, walking to the building, he greeted me at the door, shook

his hand, took me aside, wanted to be very amiable, and was trying to

engage in a pleasant conversation. And at the same time, when you are doing

that, you realize you are talking with a guy who is a brutal dictator, who

has got one of the most horrific human rights records in the planet.

 

And has presided over, you know, this horrible civil war which has created

this humanitarian disaster with 4.8 million refugees. So, it is a very

strange experience to be talking to somebody like that who is trying to

impress you with how friendly and amiable he is.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you get the sense that he cared about the people of

Syria, cared that a civil war was going on, and that these refugees were

fleeing or did you get the sense that he was rather detached or it was more

just he wanted to win?

 

ISIKOFF: Look, I pressed him quite a bit on the refugee issue, and his

ideas for how to resolve it. 4.8 million, by the way, just to put that in

comparison, Greta, that is more than 4 times the total number of

Palestinian refugees from 1947 and 1948. That is a problem that has been

with the world for more than 60 years. So think about that.

 

When you look at these conditions of these millions of Syrians who have

fled their countries, living in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey with no place

to go. He did not express any particular sympathy or empathy for their

plight. He said – he thinks they should come back to Syria. Of course,

many of them fled his regime. So, you know, is he offering a solution or a

plan, his only idea is let me prevail in the civil war and then they can

come back.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. One of the other things that I know you asked

President Assad was about reports of atrocity at one of his military

prisons. Here is what he said to you.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

AL-ASSAD: Amnesty International knows more about Syria than me, according

to you. No, that`s not true. No, they haven`t been to Syria. They only base

their reports on allegation. They can bring anyone, doesn`t matter what`s

his title, you can forge anything these days, and we`re living in a fake

news era, as you know.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, the numbers are staggering, these astrocities.

Number of people hanging in prison. Did he deny all of this?

 

ISIKOFF: Yeah, this was the day Amnesty International released this report

about mass executions in one of his prisons, many of them political

protesters, convicted with trials, 1 to 3 minutes in lane from blind,

putting blindfolds on and then hanged 20 to 50 at the time. I asked him,

have you been to the prison, Mr. President? He said, no, I`m at the

presidential palace.

 

So he hasn`t been there. I asked him would you allow international monitors

to come in to investigate these allegations? He said no, they would only be

there to demonize Syria. So, you know, this is a guy who is at at minimum

in denial that he is not directly responsible for what`s going on there.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Two last questions. One is, did he say anything at

all about President Trump? And two, where can we see your complete

interview?

 

ISIKOFF: On Yahoo News and the full interview is available online. Just go

to yahoonews.com. It will all be there. There are several clips. There is a

lot more to this interview in which I confronted him, actually  showed him

pictures of some of the prisoners who have been tortured in his prisons. I

showed to him FBI report authenticating these prisons. Again, he went back

to that fake news line, it`s all propaganda.

 

As for President Trump, look, he is embolden right now. You know, he`s –

thanks to Vladimir Putin and the Russians. He has retaken Aleppo. He has

got the the upper hand. Nobody in Washington is calling for his removal as

they were under President Obama.

 

And he said he found some of what President Trump had to say promising his

priority on fighting terrorism. He indicated there might be circumstances

in which he would welcome U.S. troops into Syria provided they got work

with the Syrian government, work with the Russians to fight ISIS.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, thank you. I`m gonna go to Yahoo News and watch it

this weekend. Thank you very much, Michael. Safe travel home.

 

Coming up, President Trump asked on Air Force One about the Michael Flynn

controversy. What was said in that phone call between the national security

adviser and the Russian ambassador. A talk to a leading critic of Vladimir

Putin next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: We have breaking news. A senior U.S. official telling Cynthia

McFadden and William Arkin of NBC News that Russia is considering handing

over Edward Snowden to the United States as a gift to President Trump in an

effort to create favor with him. Snowden of course fled the United States

after stealing top secret documents while working as a contractor at the

National Security Agency. He ended up in Russia which granted him refugee

status, recently extended to until 2020.

 

Now, Garry Kasparov is the chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, a

Russian pro-democracy leader, and the author of “Winter is Coming: Why

Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.” Nice to

talk to you again.

 

GARRY KASPAROV, CHAIRMAN OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION, RUSSIAN PRO-

DEMOCRACY LEADER, AUTHOR: Thanks for inviting me.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: So, this is incredible breaking news that Cynthia McFadden

and William Arkin got is that U.S. intelligence showing that Russia is

considering turning over Edward Snowden as a gift to President Donald

Trump. What do you think about that?

 

KASPAROV: There is nothing wrong about it. Everything Snowden knew, I`m

sure he already gave to KGB. And now, for Putin, it could be a very nice

gesture. And Trump can now have the victory, though of course, it has no

real intelligence meaning.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Today, the news breaking that there is a controversy here in

Washington about whether or not Mike Flynn at the White House, whether or

not he had a phone call – he did a phone call to the Russian ambassador,

but apparently now, there is – he had some discussion about the Russian

sanctions which Jeremy Bash, who is a former intelligence, worked at the

CIA, is not disturbed with. But, nonetheless, it`s getting a lot of

controversy here. What do you think?

 

KASPAROV: Look, at your program, there was discussion whether Michael Flynn

would have political legal problems. I think it`s a huge national security

problem. Because Michael Flynn placed a call to an ambassador of a country,

as Jeremy Bash indicated. He called and he spoke to the ambassador of a

hostile foreign power that was behind unpresumed attack on U.S. democracy,

hacking U.S. elections.

 

And, you know, this is a country that has very strange connection to almost

every foreign policy conflict of interest in Trump`s administration

starting with Donald Trump himself. We`ll look at someone, you know,

appointments, first in Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, you know very close,

a conflict to Kremlin was running Trump`s campaign at one point.

 

We`ll look at Rex Tillerson, secretary of state, you know, who was awarded

personally by Putin and had very close relation with Putin`s closest

adviser, Igor Sechin. We`ll look at Wilbur Ross, who has huge business, 1

billion euro, in Cyprus which is known as central hub for Russian money

laundering.

 

That could be coincidences. Well, I don`t believe in coincidence. I do

believe in KGB. So, I still hold that congress will will form a bipartisan

committee to investigate all of these news because everything that happens

eventually points at Russia.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: What does Putin want?

 

KASPAROV: Putin definitely wants to restart his relation with United States

from the scratch. He wants America to recognize his illegal acquisition of

Crimea, annexation of Crimea (inaudible) Ukraine, and basically, you know,

for Donald Trump to bring him to the negotiating table as an equal partner

because Putin believes that the world should be run the way it was in the

90s or early 20th century.

 

Putin doesn`t want to deal with NATO, with European Union, with

institutions that guarantee security and stability on peace for decades.

Unfortunately, what we are hearing from Donald Trump himself, you know, was

very much like Kremlin propaganda, you know, pushing along the same lines.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Garry, nice to talk to you again.

 

KASPAROV: Thanks.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Next, a raging fight over immigration as we get new details

on the cost of President Trump`s proposed border wall and protests breaking

out over deported illegal immigrant, a mother of two in this country for

decades. Former Arizona governor Jan Brewer joins me live.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: A new report by the the Department of Homeland Security and

seen by Reuters says President Trump`s border wall would cost, ready for

this, $21.6 billion. Remember during the campaign, candidate Trump said his

wall would only cost $12 billion, which is a lot to many. But, now $21.6

billion. Immigration debate across the country rages at Trump`s

administration deportation, grabbing headlines and provoking protests.

 

An illegal immigrant living in Arizona deported to Mexico. The mother of

two was in this country for more than 20 years. She is convicted seven

years ago of a felony, criminal impersonation, and working under a fake

social security number. Jan Brewere is a former governor of Arizona and

joins me. Nice to see you, governor.

 

JAN BREWER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA: Nice to see you, Greta. Thanks for

having me on.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, looking at your Twitter account that shows how fast

time flies. I`ve got a tweet that you did on January 25th of this year

going back five years when you poking President Obama in the chest at the

tarmac over immigration.

 

BREWER: That`s right. It seems like just yesterday. And then sometimes it

feels like it`s been 20 years that we have been fighting this battle. It`s

just amazing that we don`t ever get it resolved. But now with President

Trump, I think that it will get resolved. He believes in the rule of law

unlike President Obama.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: How in the world is that going to happen, when this new

Reuters saying $21.6 billion. You`ve got – over my shoulder you`ve got a

republican congress that I don`t think gonna give me a nickel. President

Trump says he is going to get it out of Mexico. Mexico said they`re not

gonna pay a nickel or dime. So, where would we get this $21.6 billion?

 

BREWER: Well, there are several different ways. I believe that they can do

it on visa application, they can do it on the border tariff. Also the

opportunity I think that if they confiscated all the illegal money that was

confiscated at all of our ports of entries and use those dollars. Arizona

had one port of entry.

 

They collected in 2006, by the way, $1.1 million. And if you took the whole

border, I think we will have enough to get it done. The bottom line, Greta,

is that what it costs the United States and all these illegal immigration

if we can get our border secure, to offset from what we are spending to

have it open would pay for that costs.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let`s turn now to–

 

BREWER: It would get done.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: There`s been a protest down in Arizona. A woman 35 years old

who has been deported, pick up on Wednesday, I think out by Thursday. She

has a felony criminal conviction. I know a lot of people in Arizona are

upset. Some people not so upset. Your thoughts on this?

 

BREWER: Well, I believe that we believe in the rule of law. She was found

guilty of three felonies or at least she was charged way back in 2008 of

three felony charges, of false documents as what it was, false documents,

and then she went to court, and she pled guilty. And the judge found her

guilty.

 

And then in 2004, the judge ordered deportation. The bottom line is that

after she appealed all of that, in 2013, she would have been deported then,

but of course, we had administration that turned a blind eye. And so now,

she paid her dues. It`s unbelievable that you would think–

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I don`t think turn a blind eye because I got some Obama

deportation numbers. He was called the deporter in chief by a number of

people. In 2014, he deported 414,481. Of those noncriminal, 246,741.

Criminal, I guess this will fall in that category, 167,740. So he was

deporting left, right and center, he was deporting a lot of people.

 

BREWER: Well we know that when he did his illegal executive order which is

the irony, is that everybody loved it when he did his illegal executive

order that he turned a blind eye. Those of us in Arizona, those of us that

live in the border state, we understand that he was gonna deport these

illegal immigrants coming into our country.

 

And now, the same people that oppose President Trump`s immigration

executive order are protesting. So, you know, we are a nation of laws. We

believe in the rule of law. And we in America have to abide by it. Why

should illegal immigrants get away with things that we are not able to get

away with, that we would be punished, that we would be held criminally

accountable for.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: With that, I have to go. Governor, always nice to see you.

 

BREWER: Thanks.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Ahead, new comments in the White House on the travel ban. A

legal fight ahed is just coming in. Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Now to breaking news on President Trump`s travel ban and the

legal battle ahead. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer just telling

NBC News a short time ago that every option is on the table including

taking the current case to the Supreme Court. Now, this comes exactly three

weeks into the Trump presidency. Week three was much like the first two. It

was action packed.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president under fire from all sides from what he

said about Vladimir Putin.

 

TRUMP: Putin is a killer. We have a lot of killers. You think our country

is so innocent. We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. Courts seem to be

so political.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump double down. Just cannot believe a

judge would put our country in such peril, if something happens, blame him.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had some unusually

blunt criticism of the president`s comment.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is disheartened by the demoralizing comments.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president tamping down expectations on Obamacare.

 

TRUMP: Maybe it will take sometime until next year.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the last presidential tweet? Donald Trump

writing, my daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just found out they have ruled against Trump. They

have ruled against reinstating the travel ban.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump blasting the court`s finding as

political. Writing at all caps. See you in court, the security of our

nation is at stake.

 

TRUMP: Ultimately, I have no doubt that we`ll win that particular case.

Believe me, I have learned a lot in the last two weeks.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Back with me are Mike Allen, Robert Costa, and Francesca

Chambers. Francesca, to you, biggest story of the week with President

Trump.

 

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL: I

actually thought it was (inaudible) comments that there were terror

attacks, that the media was under-reporting. I think to me the obvious one

would be the judge. But I think this was the most biggest. Under-reporting

thing and under-reporting terror attacks and then the White House gave a

list that included things like Paris and all kinds of stuff, I think that

was the best one.

 

MIKE ALLEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF AXIOS: But do you guys agree with me? I

feel that story was a great example of us chasing our tails. Because he

said that it was obviously inaccurate. A silly thing to say. But then what

happened? You turn on cable news and what were they doing? It was all the

media showing video of itself covering past terror attacks. What we were

doing? A, we are talking about terror which is good for him. B, we are

talking about Donald Trump.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait, look, the media takes the bait.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, there is no question about it.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

CHAMBERS: But if the president says something like that, that the media is

not covering terror attacks.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: You turn on the TV, we usually get criticized for doing too

much of it. And when going to Orlando for instance.

 

ALLEN: That list that included Orlando, San Bernardino, I think it made the

paper.

 

ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: Two

things I`m looking at this week that seemed almost forgotten in this world

of news we have, Betsy DeVos actually gets confirmed as secretary of

education, 51-50, very tight vote. It shows that President Trump cabinet,

all of his nominees are very much likely to get through now that she got

through. And Gorsuch, Gorsuch breaking from Trump. Enables him perhaps to

get some democratic votes for the Supreme Court pick. And that is going

(inaudible) as he moves towards confirmation.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I think a big one was Congressman Price who is now secretary

of HHS Price because in looking at Obamacare that the republicans really

want to change, is that back when it was passed, the republicans were so

upset because it had 22 to 2,400 references. The secretary of HHS.

 

It gave an enormous amount of power to Secretary Sebelius to do whatever

she wanted with Obamacare or because she was secretary of HHS. Well now

that shoe is on the other foot. And now you got a republican with all this

authority within Obamacare. I don`t even know if they have to repeal and

replace. They can do it from within.

 

ALLEN: Also on Obamacare this week, the message from both the

administration and the hill. This is going to take so much longer than

people expected. I`m told by people on the hill that the repair part of

this will take years to do. And republicans are starting to realize they

don`t understand (ph) Obamacare. They are going to own (ph) the whole

health care system. It`s a lot more complicated than it was on the

campaign.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. What do you think Mexico is thinking tonight when they

see the sticker on that wall? $21.6 billion.

 

CHAMBERS: They are not paying for it.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: (inaudible) question.

 

COSTA: One thing we learned, there are back channel discussion going on

between the Mexican government and the White House led by Jared Kushner to

sign law, trying to improve the Mexican-U.S. relationship and also talk

about funding this wall.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Mexico funding it.

 

COSTA: Well, it`s about what kind of arrangement will there be between

these countries. In NAFTA is adjusted or the U.S. walks away from NAFTA.

Trump starts to work with congress. Will he have a border adjustment tax?

Will it actually be a tariff? These are all things that are on the table.

 

ALLEN: Why not put Hollywood accounting for the Mexican wall?

 

VAN SUSTEREN: $21.6 billion. We can hire people (inaudible) hold hands

across the wall with that kind of money. I mean, that`s an incredible

amount of money to build the wall. You can just hire people to stand there.

 

ALLEN: that`s our infrastructure plan, right, Greta.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Worst thing that happened to President Trump this

week?

 

COSTA: I think the Flynn story potentially could end up being the worst

story because this is a trusted confidante of president. His top national

security advisor. And if there`s a gap now, we`ll have to see how this all

plays out between the vice president, Flynn, Trump. It`s going to be

difficult as they continue forward.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I think there would be no problem for Flynn on this. That`s

my prediction, at least tonight, unless something else develops.

 

ALLEN: From the department of self-inflicted wounds, the president is

continuing, pushing back against the judiciary, the so-called judge

resisting oversight. You tweeted, today @greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you for that, @greta is my Twitter handle.

 

ALLEN: FYI there are three branches of government and (inaudible) was

pointing out last night, there was a lot inside, this 29-page will win. How

bill becomes law explanations. The judiciary saying that the executive–

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Panel, I have to go. Thank you all. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

ALLEN: Happy weekend.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Tim Scott (inaudible) a speech to remember I have to

say “For the Record.” That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I want to say this “For the Record.” This has been a big news

week. Many important things happened. But I want to highlight something

that struck me right to the core. I want to ask, what is wrong with some

people? I`m talking about those who thought it was right or okay to send

hate mail to republican senator, Tim Scott.

 

(START VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I go on to read from folks who want to

share their opinions about my endorsing Jeff Sessions, you are disgrace to

the black race. Anthony Burnam (ph) says, you are an Uncle Tom Scott.

You`re for Sessions. How does a black man turn on his own? Anthony B. from

political art says, Senator Tim Scott is not an Uncle Tom. He doesn`t have

a shred of honor. He is a house negro like the one in Jango (ph).

 

He also writes, I guess Anthony Burnam (ph) has been fairly active recently

on my Twitter feed. I`m a complete horror. A black man who is racist

against black people. A big Uncle Tom piece of fertilizer. Think for

yourselves. You are disgrace to your race. I left out the ones that used

the “N” word. I felt that would not be appropriate.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me repeat. What is wrong with some people? Thanks for

watching. Have a great weekend. I`ll see you back here Monday night 6:00

p.m. eastern. If you cannot watch live, set your DVR and follow me on

Twitter @greta. Check out my Facebook page for behind scenes videos and

more. And if it`s Sunday, it`s “Meet the Press.” I`ll join my colleague

Chuck Todd at the table. “Hardball” with Chris Matthews starts right now.

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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