For the Record with Greta, Transcript 2/16/2017
Show: For the
Date: February 16, 2017
Guest: Seth Moulton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Susan Ferrechio, Annie Linskey, Kevin Cirilli, Kelly O`Donnell, Kasie Hunt, Ken Dilanion, Howard Fineman, Tom Udall, Susan Ferrechio, John Barrasso
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST: Breaking news, For the Record
tonight, did Michael Flynn not tell the whole truth to the FBI, bombshell
new reports tonight that could put the former national security adviser in
serious legal jeopardy. The Flynn controversy just one of many headlines
from President Trump first solo press conference since taking office, Trump
taking the opportunity to defend his agenda, blast the media, and make news
on leaks and Russia. Amid all that, tonight`s there`s more major news on
the fight over the president travel ban, the Trump administration
announcing it will drop the executive order currently tied up in the ninth
circuit and issue a brand new executive order next week. Plus, my one-on-
one interview with Israeli prime minister, from peace in the Mideast to his
thoughts on President Trump and much more.
Well, we begin tonight with breaking news, in an explosive report from The
Washington Post. The Washington Post now reporting that former national
security adviser General Michael Flynn, when he spoke with the FBI in
January he denied discussing sanctions in that December phone call with the
Russian ambassador. Now, a senior law enforcement official tells NBC`s
Pete William that agents are not contemplating charging Flynn with lies,
and his answers were ambiguous. President Trump talked about Flynn`s
resignation at a press conference today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you fire Mike Flynn?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Mike Flynn is a
wonderful person. And I asked for his resignation. He respectfully gave
it. He is a man who – there was a certain amount of information given to
Vice President Pence who is with us today, and I was not happy with the way
that information was given. He didn`t have to do that because what he did
wasn`t wrong, what he did in terms of the information he saw – what was
wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves, in this room
were given that information. Because that was classified information. It
was given illegally. That`s the real problem.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with
the Russian ambassador.
TRUMP: No, I didn`t.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: . prior to your inauguration.
TRUMP: No, I didn`t.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why did you fire him if the information hasn`t
TRUMP: Excuse me. No, I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence,
very simple. Mike was doing his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: We have all angles covered tonight from the White House.
NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell, she`s there on Capitol Hill. NBC`s Kasie Hunt,
NBC`s intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian, Howard
Fineman from the Huffington Post, Susan Ferrechio from the Washington
Examiner, and Senator Tom Udall Democrat of New Mexico, who serves on the
foreign relation committee. Let me go first to you Ken, and this report
that The Washington Post says is that – about General Flynn.
KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS: Well Greta, NBC News Pete William is reporting
that the FBI agent who conducted that interview did not feel that Flynn
lied to them. And I was trying to understand the discrepancy here, and I
went back to an interview that Mike Flynn gave to the Daily Caller,
conservative publication a few days ago, and he explained was he said he
said to the Russian ambassador, and he said, quote, it wasn`t about
sanction, it was about the 35 guys who was thrown it. So that`s what it
turned out to be. It was basically, look, I know this happened, I`m
quoting Flynn, we`ll review everything. I never said anything such as
we`re going to review sanction or anything like that. So all of this may
turn on an interpretation of what constitutes sanction. Remember, this is
about the Obama administration expelling 35 diplomats, who they said were
Russian intelligence agents. And living other sanctions in response to
that Russian hacking and leaking operation directed against the American
election. And so, bottomline, our information is that the FBI doesn`t feel
Flynn lied in that interview, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ken, thank you. Let me go to Senator Udall for just one
second, you`re a former in the United States attorney. I`ve always hated
this as a defense lawyer when my clients spoke to the FBI and they thought
that he was not totally candid. As a United States attorney and former –
you`re thoughts about this.
TOM UDALL, U.S. SENTOR: Well, I think it`s a very serious situation, and
the context of what happened here. Here you have the President of the
United States acting as president – this President Obama, to put sanctions
on Russia. And here you have a private citizen contacting the Russian
ambassador to have some kind of discussion. We don`t know exactly what.
If he lied to them, that`s a federal crime. Private Citizen interfering
with foreign policy is also a crime under the Logan Act.
VAN SUSTEREN: I will tell you though that two people told me, Stephen
Hadley who was NSA – under – NSE, under George Bush 43, said he saw no
problem were the conversation even about sanctions, and Jeremy Bash who was
on the Obama adminstration with Panetta at the CIA, he saw no problem.
But, anyway, the plot thickens. I`ve never liked it when the FBI thought
my client was not completely candid, but he may have dodged a bullet on
this one. Let me go to you Kelly at the White House, tell me the latest
KELLY O`DONEEL, NBC NEWS: Well, I can tell you, Greta, that this was an
opportunity for President Trump to try to answer questions that have been
nagging his administration about Michael Flynn where he did parse this
saying that he believes – the president believes that what Flynn did in
his conversation with the Russian ambassador was within his job as a part
of the transition, so giving him some cover there. But saying that Flynn
not being fully forthcoming to the vice president was ultimately the issue
that led to his resignation requested by the president. Also important
today, when the president was pressed on other matters related to his
relationship with Russia, and he said that he has had no contacts, and that
to the best of his knowledge, which gives him a tiny bit of wiggle room,
but he was trying to be unequivocal that he or those who are close to him
had not been in conversation with no Russian intelligence figure during the
campaign. He also pointed out what was known at the time that Paul
Manafort who served for a period of months as his campaign chairman had
done business representing overseas clients, including in Ukraine, as a
part of his portfolio politically. So, the president was using today to
answer questions about Flynn, to in some ways sort of buildup Flynn saying
that he was a good man, who served honorably, but because of this breached
with the vice president had to go. And at the same time, the president
defending himself on this Russia issue, ultimately saying in true kind of
Trumpian way, Russia is fake news. So whether it was distraction, whether
it was trying to explain it, whether it was the president just not wanting
to acknowledge the gravity of the situation with Flynn, and the potential
that it still could harm his administration, a sense of is the Flynn issue
over or will it continue to be a nagging problem. And I think the news
from the FBI if they have any questions about his veracity that could be a
part of ongoing conversations on Capitol Hill, where they may be oversight
on this. So this news conference today did many, many things, but on the
Russia issue, it certainly got the president on the record on some key
points that we`ve been wanting to get his direct answers on. Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. And don`t go away, Kelly. Kasie let me go to
you on Capitol Hill. Is the thought on Capitol Hill, generally, and I
guess the Republicans and the Democrats may have a very different view on
this, is the press conference and all the questions and answers that were
post to the president today, is it now over the Flynn controversy, or is it
just getting refed up.
KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS: I don`t think that it`s over, Greta. I don`t
necessarily think that the press conference today made a material change to
where the issue with Flynn stands here on Capitol Hill. I do think that it
impacted how Republicans feel about the president, generally, as they try
to advance their agenda. But, look, what it did do was put the president
on the record in response to a number of there queries about exactly what
Flynn did, what he knew, what his campaign knew, and I think that is going
to be information and evidence that is going to be included in this
inquiries that are going on in the senate intelligence committee and the
house intelligence committee. And that may go, Senator Chuck Grassley and
the judiciary committee have asked for briefing, documents, information
about this as well. And this is the kind of drip, drip, drip that does
potentially have a major impact over the long-term. So, we know that the
senate intelligence community wants to talk to Mike Flynn. They want him
to come and testify. The house intelligence committee has not said the
same. I asked Paul Ryan about that today, he said he hasn`t thought about
whether Mike Flynn should testify. But if the senate intelligence
committee brings him up here and they find that in fact there were
conversations between the campaign and Russia`s intelligence officials that
were inappropriate, I think all bets are off as far – as how congress will
react to that, vis-a-vis the White House. Even though Republicans – you
know at the end of the day, they want to work with the president. They
want him to sign these bills that they`ve been waiting for years to write
and pass, and that they couldn`t get through under President Obama. But,
there is going to be a tipping point if this goes too far, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Kasie. All right. Let me ask you as a senator,
your thoughts about the press conference in general today. What`s your
thought about it?
UDALL: First of all, Greta, I think we need to look at it in the larger
context that isn`t Democrat or Republican. It`s really the hacking of our
elections and what is flowing from that, and part of that is what we seen
with Flynn. And we really need a 9/11-type commission to take a look at
the whole situation, what happened, how it happened, how do we prevent it
into the future. And that`s where I think we really need to go. And
that`s why I think your reporters we`ve been taking to saying it is not
over. Because, I think, in my sense is the Republicans that want to see
this kind of investigation and this kind of result, and they`re also
Democrats who also want to see that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Howard, a lot of questions and answers today were quite
heated. The president blasted the media on occasion, but I have to give
the president a mark of A for availability. At least he came out and
talked to them. Regardless of what their answers were, do you agree with
me or not?
HOWARD FINEMAN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, up to point I agree with you.
I mean, yes. He answered a lot of questions. And in this case, not just
from conservative outlets like town hall or Christian broadcasting. He
took on all comers. But he also was planning for this press conference to
be a confrontation with the press. He had a – he and his people had a
fundraising letter ready to press the button as soon as the press
conference is over, denouncing the press. He denounced the press
repeatedly. Because, first of all, the press is very unpopular right down
there, even below congress. And if he`s going to – and it`s great for his
base. The politics – the political dynamic of this event, I think in
terms of raw politics, are to try to use his base to shore up his support,
firm his support with Republicans. He doesn`t want a 9/11 commission. And
he doesn`t want the older generation of Republicans especially, although
not just older ones, Marco Rubio is one of them as well, who are still
afraid of Russia, who view Russia in the old Soviet Union as the archenemy
of the United States. Those Republicans can`t compute this new –
Republican president wanting to be so, you know, open-minded, and
available, and eager about Russia. Trump has to put them in a box and make
sure they don`t stray. And the way you do that for Trump is to gin up your
base. And the way you gin up your base is to go after the press. And if
you`re going to say you people, that I think Donald Trump said at the
presser today, nobody believes you people. Well, if he`s going to be
convincing in the theatrics of saying nobody is going to believe you
people, it`s convenient for him to have those people there, and that`s what
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, this new Washington Post report on General
Flynn is another chapter on what`s been an ongoing bruising war between the
president and the intelligence agencies. And now, the president vowing to
review the intelligence agencies. Today, the president called the leaks
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, the leaks
are real. You are the one who wrote about them and reported them. I mean,
the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it. And the leaks
are absolutely real. The news is fake, because so much of the news is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: The president also spoke at length on Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You can talk all you want about Russia, which is all – you know,
fake news, fabricated deal to try to make up for the loss of the Democrats.
Speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia. I
don`t have any deals in Russia. President Putin called me up very nicely
to congratulate me on the win of the election. He then called me up
extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration which was terrific.
But so did many other leaders.
TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you. I have no deals
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not aware of any contacts during the course
of the election.
TRUMP: Look, look. How many times do I have to answer this question?
Russia is a Ruse. I know you have to get up and ask the question that`s so
important. Russia is a Ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Susan Ferrechio, either the president`s not playing it
straight or the media has it really wrong, at least from the tone of the
questions. Your thoughts on this.
SUSAN FERRECHIO, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: There is no evidence that had he
has had any nefarious relationship with Russia. There`s a lot of
speculation. There`s a lot of leaks from former and current officials.
That`s the standard line in every Washington Post media. Former and
current officials are all unanimous. So we don`t know, are these Obama
officials who are just there to undermine Trump. And they have a real
motive here. And also, what your reporter was saying earlier, that the FBI
does not believe Flynn lied. They just called him to question, what is the
story about. Is it really Flynn having lied or having some kind of weird
leadership with the Russia, or is it about him misinterpreting what
sanctions were. One high level official told me that it may amount to that
the Russia ambassador called Flynn, as often the case with this incoming
administration officials, and asked him about the sanctions and Flynn said
we`ll review it, and he didn`t consider that a discussion, other people
did. You know, it`s not an unusual call, but it`s being played up as
something more nefarious. I don`t know what the answer is? Perhaps we
won`t know until the content of that transcript are revealed. If they are
ever revealed. First of all, that`s classified information. And so, we
may never know what`s in there. But, you know, so far there`s really no
evidence of any wrongdoing at this point.
FINEMAN: If I can just ask, if it was all just fine, why did Mike Flynn
not disclosed this to Mike Pence? Why didn`t he not – he didn`t even know
that the president already knew about it. Apparently, he didn`t tell the
president what he knew. I mean, it`s – he behaved in a way that made it
seem as though he thought there was something wrong with it.
DILANION: And the larger story of Russia, Greta, goes beyond this Mike
Flynn phone call. Let`s not forget, the intelligence community has said
there was a Russia covert action designed to interfere in the election to
benefit Donald Trump and discredit Hillary Clinton. And now there`s
reporting that NBC news has confirmed in part that members of Trump`s
campaign had – were in touch with Russians. Our information is not Russia
intelligence officials, but certainly Russians during the election
campaign. And so, the question across Washington is what was going on
there? And what the FBI we believe is investigating, among the things
they`re investigating, was there any collusion between the Trump campaign
and this Russian covert operation. That`s a really important question that
I think the intelligence committee in congress are trying get to the bottom
VAN SUSTEREN: Kelly, at the White House, what sort of the temperament, or
the thoughts, or the mood of the White House press corps after this press
O`DONNELL: Well, I think that for a journalist who wants to ask questions
of the president this was a rich opportunity. It went on for a long time.
He took questions from a wide ranging group of journalist. And it put all
of us on our toes to try to ask questions that would really elicit new
information, and that did occur on a number of points. And, of course,
there was some of the sparring and the back and forth. But for journalist
who covers the White House, who makes this their daily professional
experience, this was a day where access was important. At the same time,
it is difficult for anyone who covers the White House in a professional way
to hear the president undermining the work that`s done by journalist. Now,
in the vast landscape of media which could include people who are
influencers, and opinion leaders, and so forth, different than typically
the reporters who cover the White House. That is often difficult when the
president undercut sort of the veracity of what we`re doing or our
intentions, perhaps more than anything else. But access is important on
both sides. It`s certainly our estimation that the president feel that
this was a value to him, and he spoke about it at his next event where he
was doing a bill signing. My sense is we will see more of this. This is
where Donald Trump has the greatest control to try to handle the message
and deliver the message, and journalist certainly want to ask the
UDALL: He loves the theatrics of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, so that the viewers aren`t left with the thought
that nothing is ever done in this town. At least today there`s an effort
that congress is about to use the congressional review act to roll
something back, just briefly tell me what that is, so they know there`s
something going on.
UDALL: Well, this is a methane regulation that was put in place to deal
with waste and oil and gas fields. It said it would bring a $100 million
to my taxpayers in New Mexico. It`s across the west. And I think this
very blunt instrument, the CRA, the congressional review act, being used
once in its whole history put in the 1990`s, it`s not the way to go. We
can work through this. We can be bipartisan. One of you guests here,
Senator Barrasso, we can work together on this to resolve it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not quite as sexy as the president beating up the press.
But nonetheless, important for the American people. Work is being done in
at least something. Anyway, thank you, sir.
UDALL: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ahead, my interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu on President Trump request to hold back settlements and how to
deal with Iran. And on the difference between President Obama and Trump.
And we have much more on today`s very combative press conference.
President Trump unloading on the media. We`re going to take a closer look
at his comments on inheriting a mess. And breaking tonight, the Trump
administration looking to drop that legal fight over the travel ban, but it
is not over. The president announcing today, he will issue a new executive
order. It`s all ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To be honest, I
inherited a mess. It`s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. I just want
to let you know, I inherited a mess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump today saying that he, quote, inherited, a
quote, mess, from President Obama and the Obama administration. Trump went
on to push back against media reports of chaos and upheaval with his own
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Beginning on day
one, our administration went to work to tackle these challenges. This
administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: John Barrasso is a Republican senator from the great state
of Wyoming, and he is a member of the senate foreign relation committee.
Nice to see you, sir.
JOHN BARRASSO, U.S. SENATOR: Thank for having me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any thoughts today about the president and member of party,
his press conference today.
BARRASSO: Well, I think he right in terms of the fact he inherited a mess.
The world is much more dangerous when Barrack Obama left office, whether
it`s Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, the economy of so many people
still struggling, sacrificing, suffering under the economy with the
regulations. And I`ll tell you the health care law that Obama pass is
collapsing, and we have to do something to rescue and provide relief for
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just say, one of the things that I thought notable is
that when President Trump took office the economy in January added 227,000
jobs, and the unemployment rate hovering around 4.8. When President Obama
took office in 2008, the economy had lost 598,000, 600,000 jobs, and
unemployment level was hovering around 7.6, and the economy was in great
BARRASSO: And the president – President Obama over that time put out
many, many regulation that made it harder for.
VAN SUSTEREN: Would you not give him credit for like pulling us out of
that down swing, President Obama.
BARRASSO: Well, he did a massive government so-called stimulus package,
spent a lot of money, I think we could have done a lot better. Those
projects turned out to not be shovel ready which is why we have such an
infrastructure problem today as well. So I agree President Trump inherited
VAN SUSTEREN: Will you concede that maybe they both inherited a mess?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We`ve got that point on me. All right, now you
want Scott Pruitt to be the EPA administrator, why?
BARRASSO: Well, I`ll tell you. He was attorney general of Oklahoma, and
he did a wonderful job in Oklahoma protecting the environment as well as
working to strengthen the economy, and did it, as well, protecting States
rights. He`s had 1,200 questions, lengthy hearings, he is the right person
to come – we need to fundamentally change the direction of the EPA in this
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think so many environmentalists are against him?
BARRASSO: Well, because they have a different view of maybe of what the
EPA is supposed to do as its job. In terms of protecting the environment,
but not at the expense of the proper balance between the environment and
the economy. It`s possible to have both. We all want clean air, clean
water, clean land, and we want a strong and healthy economy. I believe you
can have both, and so does Scott Pruitt.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that there should be a 9/11-type commission to
investigate this Russian hacking and any sort of connection between the
Trump campaign and Russia.
BARRASSO: Well, there`s couple of things going on with Russia. One is in
terms of a commission. The studies are going on now. The FBI is
investigating, the Department of Justice, the intelligence committee.
VAN SUSTEREN: . employment in this city.
BARRASSO: . so that`s going to continue. But it`s not just hacking by
Russia with regards to that. They`re hacking in Germany with the upcoming
election. I believe they`re doing it in France as well. And what we`re
seeing is not just Russia hacking us, China is doing it, North Korea is
doing it. I think we need to actually develop.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do we even get to that? I mean, where have all our
leaders been to protect us from all of this to begin with?
BARRASSO: Well, this is the ongoing discussion and debate between privacy
and protecting our own security. And what do you give up, one to the
other, and how do you find that right balance. We do not have an
aggressive response to an action against us from a cyber standpoint. We
don`t have the policies on that. I think that an effort to go against us
requires definitive action. It has to be timely. And not just a reply but
a punishing response so they don`t do it again. And we didn`t have that
against Russia, and we should have.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.
BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Still ahead, breaking news on the travel ban fight, the
Trump administration is now planning to resin the controversial measure,
but President Trump will sign a new order as soon as next week. But first,
a striking interaction at the news conferences over President Trump
statements on the size of his Electoral College win. I`ll talk to
Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD: President Trump today
saying he had the largest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. NBC
Peter Alexander asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You said today you had biggest
electoral margins since Ronald Reagan, 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact,
President Obama had 365.
DONALD TRUMP, THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well I am talking
ALEXANDER: President Obama 365, George W. Bush 426 when he won as
president. So why should Americans trust you?
TRUMP: I was given that information. We had a very, very big margin.
ALEXANDER: I guess my question is, why should, Americans trust you when
you accuse the information they receive as being fake when you are
providing the information.
TRUMP: I don`t know. I was given that information. Actually I have seen
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump also had this to say about Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debate.
Can you imagine, seriously. Can you imagine if I received the questions it
would be the electric chair, ok? He should be put in the electric - you
wouldn`t even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty. Ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Seth Moulton is a Democratic Congressman from the great city
of Massachusetts and an Iraq war veteran. Who is also an aide to General
Petraeus, nice to see you, sir?
REP. SETH MOULTON, D-MASSACHUSETTS: Good to see you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ok I must admit. I don`t think many voters, are not be a
Trump supporter care if he was wrong about the Electoral College, all he
got is 270 votes, and do you agree or disagree?
MOULTON: Well I think the people should fundamentally care whether the
President tells us the truth.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is he mistaking or he got the –
MOULTON: He is a serial liar. In his biography, he dislike to lie, he
called the truth hyperbole, he thinks if you just say what you want people
to believe that that will be enough and that gave worth for the election,
it helped get him over the line, but it`s not going to work for being the
president of the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: How is the media doing in questioning?
MOULTON: The media is getting better. Trump is clearly trying win by
intimidation. I see that in the House of Representatives. I see
Republicans who know that he is wrong, who know that he -that many of his
policy are a threat to our National Security, but they are afraid to stand
up to him because of retribution. The press has to be not afraid and call
him out just like that reporter did today.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think that the president`s troubles are going to when he
goes to Capitol Hill with some of his projects and they have to be funded.
The freedom caucus wants to spend money and a lot of the things that even
to build the wall, even if eventually let the Mexico pay for which I don`t
think it is going to happen, but let`s say hypothetically if someone has to
pony up the 8 to 12 billion money up front.
MOULTON: Look, the Republicans have the house, the senate and the White
House so they should be running everything and they have no excuse in
government doesn`t work under their watch. The reality is they are so
discombobulated. They don`t have a plan. They say they are going to
repeal Obamacare, but they have no idea what the replacement should be.
they don`t have any plan for national security, great disagreement over
this travel ban and all of these other things that Trump is doing is
putting lives of our troops in danger by his action. And so the reality is
that if Trump wants to get a lot of these things done, he is going to even
have unified the Republican Party. That means he is going to start coming
to Democrats if he want to do things like infrastructure and so far it
seems like –
VAN SUSTEREN: Any moderate Democrats.
MOULTON: Well if he had some reasonable plans, sure. I`m a huge supporter
of infrastructure. I want to more infrastructure investment in the
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you do about the immigration issue?
MOULTON: Well I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform but his
Muslim travel ban is absolutely hurting our national security.
VAN SUSTEREN: Muslim travel ban has sort for the popular description. I
actually read it. It bans people from certain number of countries, seven
countries where the majority are Muslims, but there are other countries
that are not included that is also have a majority Muslim, but that is what
MOULTON: The bottom-line is that Secretary Mattis, his own Secretary of
Defense who is not briefed on the ban came out with changes to it, because
he knows that he had to work with translator overseas. It`s going to put
our troops life in danger is we can`t count on our sources and they can`t
count on us. If we can`t use intelligence sources, it`s a great example of
how he comes out with policy that is properly vetted. They are just
playing to his political base, for political purposes and they hurt our
VAN SUSTEREN: Is Mattis good at the job?
VAN SUSTEREN: It seems like Democrats and Republicans both like Mattis.
MOULTON: He is one of the only saying people in the administration. He is
going to resign because his boss is so crazy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, hope you come back.
MOULTON: Good to see you.
VAN SUSTEREN: And we had just mentioned that travel ban, why is President
Trump dropping it and my interview with the Prime Minister, his thoughts in
the Middle East peace for President Obama and President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now to my interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu. Our conversation covering a range of issue to the controversy
where President Trump comments and how would he achieve peace in the Middle
East to the Prime Minister`s relationship with the new American president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Prime Minister, nice to see you sir.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Good to see you again Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome back to the United States.
NETANYAHU: Thank you it is always a pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday when you spoke to President Trump he said he would
like Israel to hold back a bit. And I know that President Obama before
that had a similar position on the settlements. Can you explain to the
American people this whole settlement issue?
NETANYAHU: Sure we have 12 hours to go through it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Give me short version.
NETANYAHU: Short version. I think it`s an issue but I don`t think it`s
not the issue, because the real core of this conflict between us and the
Palestinian is not this settlement or this or that community, it`s refusal
to recognize a Jewish state in any boundary. We left Gaza where half of
the Palestinian people left. We went right back to the 67 border, we
uprooted all the settlement, we even took people out of their graves. And
what happened? They didn`t use a territory to build the state for peace.
They built a mini state in Gaza from which they fired 25,000 rockets on our
heads and they are digging tunnels from there. So the issue is not this or
that settlement. The issue is do you accept a Jewish state for god`s sake.
I think that is the main issue. I said that to President Obama and
President Trump as well.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do they both think the settlement is the issue why is
that an issue they keep bringing up.
NETANYAHU: I think it`s been ingrained in the public`s mind. This is
issue we agreed to discuss so we can setup a mechanism to discuss a way to
reach an understanding, but I think the larger issue here today is, how do
we create the broader conditions for broad peace in the Middle East between
Israel and the Arab countries as well as pursuing peace in the Palestinian
neighbors? That is something that is that may have a new opportunity,
because of the fact that many of the Arab countries now see Israel not as
their enemy but as their ally in confronting the large threat of Iran and
dash ISIS that is the twin Islam forces that threaten all of us. That is
bringing us closer together.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which countries are now sort of softening in that regard?
NETANYAHU: Who is not?
VAN SUSTEREN: Iran is not.
NETANYAHU: No – Iran is not an Arab country.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in 20 months since we had a nuclear deal, they gave not
soften their rhetoric.
NETANYAHU: They have just fired - test fired a ballistic missile against
U.N. resolutions. They inscribed on the missile in Hebrew, Israel must be
destroyed. That is a very peaceful intent and the foreign minister had the
edacity to say we don`t have any of the – any intention to threaten any
country. Well, except to eliminate Israel, that is all. But it is not
just Israel. I mean it`s an opposition basic opposition to the United
States. Everything all of values that are free liberal societies
represent, they want to eradicate a lot of this.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday President Obama said that he withholds the dispute
about the two states versus one state.
NETANYAHU: President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean President Trump, I am sorry. Did he say anything in
meeting to you, did he explain at any further what he meant?
NETANYAHU: Well we talk about this, but I have always said the labels are
not important. It`s the substance that is important. Peace requires aided
the Palestinian finally accept the Jewish state and give up their idea and
their fantasies of destroying it. And secondly that Israel retains the
right to the security control of the area west of the Jordan River
otherwise we could just get in the Palestinian area and other Islamist
dictatorship that will explode peace and explode the Middle East.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you see the difference for the people of Israel
having a President Trump in the White House and President Obama in the
White House. How does Israel feel the difference?
NETANYHU: Look, we had a great alliance, successfully thrown American
president, Democrats, Republican, it`s not – it doesn`t mean that we
didn`t have our difference. I had a big difference with President Obama
obviously on Iran and some others as well. We signed historic memorandum
of understanding for support for security support for Israel for the next
decade. There`s a very strong alliance. I`m not going to start rating
presidents. I will tell you that I had a very warm meeting with President
Trump. There was a great sense of kinship and friendship and I think that
is something that people – America feel towards the people of Israel and
I`m sure they feel deeply about America. They understand that in many ways
we mirror each other, we share the same value uses of freedom of democracy.
Israel is only the true democracy in a very troubled region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: We`ll have much more of my interview with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow night. Including on what he said about
Israel`s Arab neighbors.
Ahead breaking news on President Trump`s travel ban, why is he dropping the
legal fight in the U.S. appeals from the ninth circuit.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump is dropping his legal fight over his travel
ban, the executive order, but he is going to sign a new one. The justice
department saying the president will clear the way for immediately
protecting the country rather than pursuing further potentially time
consuming litigation. Today the president talked about the executive
action that coming next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: That circuit is in chaos and that circuit is in turmoil but we are
appealing that and we are going further. We are issuing a new executive
action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Kevin Cirilli is political reporter for Bloomberg News and
Annie Linskey, National political reporter for the Boston Globe and Susan
Ferrechio Chief Congressional Correspondent for Washington Examiner.
Susan, I mean, the president describe the ninth circuit as chaos and
turmoil, I would describe it like the court of appeals is very slow and he
says this is an emergency, so, no surprises that he would do this.
SUSAN FERRECHIO, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: No surprise he wouldn`t be
highly complementary than I thought, which is often considered –
VAN SUSTEREN: He didn`t say they were so-called appellate judges.
FERRECHIO: That is right. If he is going to withdraw the executive order
and recast it in a way that will make it through the court, so they say.
He has to get used to the fact as Obama did, that it`s not unusual, when
you make an executive order for the court to weigh in a lot of Obama stuff
got stuck in the court are still being held up by the court. Trump has to
learn to deal with it and do it on a diplomatic way with the courts.
VAN SUSTEREN: Annie, I take you`re not surprised by it this. I would be
more surprise if he really pursued it.
ANNIE LINSKEY, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE: Yes. I
think what is interesting and a little surprising is the amount of time
that it`s taking to come out with the new order. He said the new version
of the order would be coming out early this week. Now it`s been delayed
until next week, now it is being delayed up to next week. You can glean
from that they are taking their time and are vetting this in a way they
didn`t before. You know he doesn`t want this to happen twice.
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually think this is dragging their feet. They knew
this was coming. I think they could have done it faster. The reason they
recall didn`t notify some of the cabinet in Capitol Hill, because this was
KEVIN CIRILLI, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Yes. I would make just two quick points.
First and foremost since this roll out. He met with business leaders in
both Silicon Valley, as well as CEO of some large corporations, who I think
also have raising their concerns privately on the White House about their
own concerns. Secondly, to the point of Susan, and Annie, is that, you
know look, congress, Republicans within the president`s own party have also
privately begun to say wait a minute, there are some moderate Republicans
who are up for reelection in 2018. Let`s make sure we get it right the
VAN SUSTEREN: Annie, I saw the pool reports. You have been hanging around
the White House recently. President today is attacking the media. Is the
media taking the bait thin-skinned: I think there`s no love lost with the
LICHTMAN: yes that is right. I have to say, it`s really to two sides. It
may not be a great relationship with the media, but he has a relationship
with the media. I was with the president yesterday, I was in the oval
office and another reporter, he looked up and started engaging with other
reporters and say in a complimenting her story and to her credit, she turn
her on and ask her a question about the news of the day. He was willing to
engage. Obama was floating above it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here is what he said today, let`s listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The press has become so dishonest.
Russia is fake news put out about the media. I know when you`re not
telling the truth and when you are not. I think you would do much better
by being different. The tone is such hatred. If a guest comes out and
says something positive about me, it`s brutal.
I certainly didn`t win by people, listening to you people. The public
doesn`t believe you people any more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Susan, I think we are getting to know our
president because he does provide access. I`m appreciative of the access
today. I didn`t use the word transparency. I use the word use access.
Air Force One, he came back to talk to the reporters the other night.
Kelly O`Donnell, when the big decision came down last week, she ran in to
me and came out and talks to me, so there`s more access, may be not in love
with the media.
FERRECHIO: If you listen to the points, I know him getting chilled on
Twitter. I don`t fully disagree with him. I think that there`s a grain of
truth to everything he says. I think that there is a grain of truth to
everything he says, I think the media is really out to get him. He shoved
a big stick in the wasp nets during the campaign. He called dishonest
media. He moves to discredit them. I think in many ways the mainstream
media doesn`t like him until they are willing to believe what everything
that is fed to them from inside the White House. We don`t have all the
evidence on the whole Russian connection yet, but it`s been being thrown
out there like they are in bed with the Russian.
VAN SUSTEREN: He lump everybody together, I mean that is the problem today
that is the problem. I still think one of the, you know the worst you do
is when get your opponents some ammunition and I think probably I keep
harping on this that when the Time Magazine reporters said that the Martin
Luther King, Jr. was taken out of the oval office which was code that he
took the black icon out of the oval office. That was false, that was
wrong, he corrected it and reported – it gave ammunition to the white
house and I don`t blame them of being furious about that.
CIRILLI: The media is-like the polls, the media is incredibly unpopular
right now, whether we are all in or not. We are unpopular. That being –
VAN SUSTEREN: I have it double.
CIRILLI: There are Republicans within his own party who are raising
concerns. It is not just Democrats.
VAN SUSTEREN: Panel, thank you for joining us.
And coming up a secret act of kindness, whose? Stick around to find out.
VAN SUSTEREN: I want to say something for the record. I love courage.
Don`t you? And how about kindness, don`t you love that. How could you
not. Today I read a book, first Courage, Rosa Parks. Who could forget
what she did, she is a definition of courage. And about 15 years ago, I
happen to see her, it was thrilling. Can you believe it? I actually got
to meet Rosa Parks even for only five seconds.
Well now to kindness and I never got a chance, never knew about it till
this morning when I read about it in a report from WXYZ in Detroit. It was
about Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Ceasar`s pizza franchise, owner of
Detroit Tigers and the Red Wings. Now, last week at the age of 87 he died
and this morning I learned that for years he quietly paid Rosa Park`s rent
for a Downtown Detroit apartment. It began in 1994 when park`s was 81 and
was grueling beaten and rob and then home in Detroit. Civil rights
activist and federal judge (inaudible) found Park`s a safer apartment and
Ilitch happen to read about Park`s ordeal on the newspaper and the rest is
history. Fort the next 11 years until her death in 2005, Ilitch paid her
rent. Today was courage Rosa Park and then great kindness, Mike Ilitch, a
(inaudible) and a great way to start my day.
And before we go, just moments ago, Vice President Mike Pence is swearing
Congressman Mick Mulvaney as head of the White House office of management
and budget. He was confirmed by the senate today by a vote of 51-49, one
Republican voting against Mulvaney, that was Senator John McCain.
Thank you for watching us, see back here tomorrow night. You will see our
entire interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu, tomorrow 6:00 p.m. Eastern
and if you can`t watch live, set your DVR. “Hardball” with Chris Matthew
starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY