For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/3/2017

Guests:
David Cicilline, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, Matthew Rojansky, Ronnie Ramos
Transcript:

Show: FOR THE RECORD

Date: March 3, 2017

Guest: David Cicilline, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, Matthew Rojansky, Ronnie Ramos

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST:  Twitter attack, President Trump using his

favorite weapon to lash out the top two Democrat on Capitol Hill.  Schumer

and Pelosi even demanding investigation for their supposed ties to Russia. 

Do this photo`s prove anything? 

 

Tonight Vice President Mike Pence playing defense speaking out on e-mail

story, he used his own personal email for Indianan governor business of

last summer he was hacked, Vice President Pence now claiming there is no

comparison so Secretary Clinton e-mail controversy. 

 

And that is not all.  A mystery tonight, the case of the missing Republican

health care bill a vote on repeal is just days away.  Where is the plan? 

We`ll talk to GOP lawmaker who wants to see the GOP bill right now. 

 

We start with breaking news moment ago senate Democrats led by Senator

Dianne Feinstein firing off two letters one to Judiciary chairman Chuck

Grassley calling on him to summon Attorney General Jeff Sessions back to

testify again about the statements he made about having contact with

Russian officials.  Senator Grassley shutdown that request so fast even

before it was made.  The other letter was to Inspector general of the

Justice Department asking him to conduct an investigation into attorney

general decision to recuse himself from any investigation to the Trump

campaign.  It`s clear the Democrats are trying to keep up the pressure. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER:  The very idea that they are

making excuses and splitting hair, that we have not seen the end of this. 

The recusal is admission that something was wrong.  A normal course of a

senator meeting with a Russian ambassador everybody knew was hacking our

system is beyond naive, it`s almost pathetic. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But President Trump and his signature way taking no

prisoners, firing back into Democrats tweeting this picture of a smiling

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer having a coffee and donuts with

Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2003.  Trump tweeting, we should

start an immediate investigation to Senator Schumer and his ties to Russia

and Putin, a total hypocrite.  Ouch.  But then Senator Schumer not saying,

firing back at the president, he likewise took the twitter tweeting quote,

happily talk about my contacts with Mr. Putin and his associates. 

 

President Trump firing back, I hereby demand a second investigation after

Schumer, A Pelosi for her close ties with Russia and lying about it.  Now,

that tweets referring to a photo of political and showing Nancy Pelosi with

Russian ambassador back in 2010.  Politico posted that picture after leader

Pelosi said that she had never met the Russian ambassador. 

 

With me Congressman David Cicilline Democrat from the state of Rhode Island

who serves in the judiciary committee and foreign affairs committee.  Alan

Dershowitz professor at Harvard Law School, Robert Ray former prosecutor

and independent counsel for the white water investigation, and Matthew

Rojansky director of the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center an

expert on Russian affairs, first to you congressman, what a strange turn of

events tonight, because now the Democrats and senate asked that the

attorney general come back to the judiciary committee and he says no.  What

do you say? 

 

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND:  This is a serious issue.  I think

it`s important to look at the testimony of Attorney General Sessions before

the committee and the American people but the context in which it was

given.  You have 17 intelligence agencies that confirmed that the Russians

actively engaged in our elections.  It was a sophisticated campaign

directed by Vladimir Putin that involved propaganda, RT, fake news, and

hacking into DNC and facilitating e-mails this was lead by former KGB head. 

It`s in that conduct, questions about the relationship between the Trump

campaign and the Russian government takes on such significant.  We have

four individuals from the Trump campaign Paul Manafort, Roger Stone,

Michael Flynn and now Jeff Sessions that had contact with the Russian

during the campaign.  Michael Flynn had to resign because he lied about

those contexts and try to keep it a secret and when it became public that

he acknowledges it.  This should not be a Republican or Democrats issue. 

It`s about our willingness to fight to protect the integrity of our

democracy. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Two questions Professor Dershowitz first, is whether if you

were Attorney General Jeff Sessions`s lawyer what would you tell him to do? 

The second, what do you make of the chairman of the judiciary committee

saying no to calling Sessions. 

 

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL:  This is become

much too bipartisan and much too political.  Nancy Pelosi made a dangerous

statement.  That would make it harder for attorney general or anyone have

to recuse them self.  Recusal has nothing to do with the admission of guilt

and we have to get the bipartisan politics out of this.  If I were the

Attorney General lawyer I would urge him to go to take the opportunity to

go in front of the committee to apologize for not giving the information

about the two meetings and try to defuse it.  I think that we have to

depoliticize this investigation.  At the moment the Democrats are only

interesting in pointing fingers at the Republicans.  We have a right to

know whether or not Russia interfered with American elections.  That is why

I called for attorney general of states to start an investigation of their

own.  Every election is a 50-state election.  All states have full

authority to conduct an investigation.  That would make it much more

bipartisan and the results much more credible. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Bob, you have done these investigations an independent

counsel, which of course we don`t have an independent statute, what do you

represent to get to the bottom of this? 

 

ROBERT RAY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR AND INDEPENDENT COUNSEL:  I done

think there would be a special counsel because that would present a

extraordinary circumstance to lift it out of the Department of Justice and

have someone separately appointed and my understanding is next week the

deputy Attorney General designate will have his confirmation hearing that

is Rod Rosenstein serving as the United States attorney in the district of

Maryland.  There`s no reason to think that the deputy attorney general

can`t conduct an appropriate investigation with career personnel at the

department.  He is a career prosecutor and seems to be a person on a

bipartisan that everyone agrees could be fair and open-minded and conduct

thorough investigation if that is appropriate.  All of this discussion

about whether there were meetings so on and so forth lead aside the central

question which I agree with the professor, what we`re looking at here is

was there efforts during the campaign in the transition where promises were

made or there were complicity between the Trump administration and the

Russian officials.  That is the central question.  And the problem is Nancy

Pelosi and Senator Schumer frankly has over played their hands.  They talk

about recusal admission of guilt.  That is ridiculous notion.  They called

for the Attorney General to resign.  He has been in office for three weeks

that seems to be at this point over drawn in the regular course.  I`m sure

the oversight committees will have an opportunity to question the attorney

general and this matter will come up, during the confirmation hearing of

Rod Rosenstein. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What I would do, according to the attorney general there

were a third person in the room, if I were committee I would want to hear

from those to find out what the conversation was when the attorney general

met with the ambassador.  Let me go now to you Matthew. 

 

Matthew, you know this Russian ambassador, is he a man about town.  He

meets about everybody or do you find this unusual? 

 

MATTHEW ROJANSKY, KENNAN INSTITUTE WOODROW WILSON CENTER:  I am not

surprise that he would have met with representatives of the campaigns for a

number of reasons.  Number one, it`s his job.  It`s his job when Democrats

are in power to meet with Democrats, and vice versa. 

 

Number two during the campaign the number one thing that Moscow wanted

their top diplomat in Washington to be representing and reporting on his,

what going on the campaign. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Would you expect them to meet as well with the Democratic

campaign. 

 

ROJANSKY:  I absolutely would expect that. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you have any information whether he did or, I know there

was a sour relationship after Clinton campaign and Moscow. 

 

ROJANSKY:  It would have expected that there were plenty of people in the

Clinton, Russia, Europe advisory circles, nuclear issues which of course

his specialty, and he has a long portfolio on that.  Plenty to talk about

and Moscow always made the point and Kislyak was on message with this they

were prepared to deal with any administration no matter who won the

election. 

 

CICILLINE:  No one is suggesting that meeting with ambassador is unusual,

but what is very important to remember is it`s no question the ambassador

wanted to meet with Trump, Jeff Sessions was the only person of 26 members

of the committee that the ambassador met with it was done at a time when

Russians were activity engaged in undermining our democracy.  After Michael

Flynn was forced to leave office –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Let me ask Alan a question.  Look at the facts, one thing

that strike me, recusal didn`t come until – there`s a lot of noise from

it.  Should he have thought of recusal long before this on his own? 

 

DERSHOWITZ:  Absolutely.  He knew facts that required his sue respon ta

recusal.  He knew he had not given complete answers, he knew whether trying

to push Trump into office, he should have recused himself the first day. 

He should have indicated that he would not sit attorney general but not sit

on these matters. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Let`s say this conversation never occurred at the Republican

convention, he never met in his office but he was a surrogate for the

campaign and involved in the campaign and finds himself as attorney general

should he have not recuse himself from any meetings from this? 

 

DERSHOWITZ:  I think he is going to be damaged attorney general.  His own

testimony I think he will be damaged.  I think we will see this deputy

attorney general who everyone says is terrific guy he will be acting

attorney general as long as we see this effort by the Democrats and the

Republicans each to attack each other and each to prevent bad truth in

their side from coming out. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there any information how this is being played in Moscow. 

 

ROJANSKY:  The Sessions revelations are new.  But the campaign election

scandal, it is this is new American McCarthyism, they have confused and

concerned they don`t know what the policy going to be.  They don`t know

which officials going to be running the policy in the new administration. 

Their concern Trump, now he is boxed in, he can`t do anything.  He took a

big retreat when he let Flynn go and gave into the Russia hawk.  Their

perception is there`s no one to talk to Moscow and I am concerned because

you don`t want your adversary and that is what they are now.  This is a

nuclear arm country. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I think you were going to say something. 

 

RAY:  You cannot have it both ways.  If you`re too quick to recuse, what

can happen is what professor said.  That is you recuse yourself out of the

argument and political process every time there`s something controversial

you`re asked to recuse and that should not happen. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  This is pretty deep into moral fabric of the campaign.  If I

had been on the campaign, and I were named attorney general I would not be

– I would have recuse myself at the beginning. 

 

RAY:  I think that is right now.  That is because the standard is when a

reasonable person questions the impartiality of the investigation.  I don`t

think that is true at the outset.  I think he did the appropriate thing in

the best interest of the country.  This is not going to stop.  It`s going

to continue. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Alan. 

 

DERSHOWITZ:  The most important person to emerge from this is Secretary of

State, because he is clean and he has the ability to negotiate with our

adversaries in Russia.  We have to get attorney general out of this

business.  We have to get the White House out of this business as much as

possible and we have to strengthen the state department.  We are seeing the

state department marginalize.  Which is I think a lot of people predicted. 

This would have to be a State Department run diplomatic enterprise with the

Russians. 

 

CICILLINE:  We can`t get the justice department out of it until they

complete their work to get to the bottom of this of Russians undermining

our democracy. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Don`t forget the budget is being cut on top of that. 

 

We got to take a break.  Hack Vice President Pence speaking out as news

break, about him using a personal e-mail account for official state

business as Indiana governor and that account was hacked. 

 

And tonight with the Vice President is now saying about any comparison to

Secretary Clinton, the editor who broke this story joins us for his first

national interview on the story and the Obamacare replacement bill house

leaders put the finishing touches on it, but where exactly is it? 

 

And more on the photo that has been sent to millions and millions on

twitter by the president.  Senator Schumer and Vladimir Putin, donuts as

President Trump have a fair argument.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  It was a familiar tax line on the campaign trail, then

Governor Mike Pence hitting Secretary Hillary Clinton over her e-mail

scandal. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I`m starting to

experience Clinton controversy fatigue.  The rest of you get that.  I have

to open up every morning and here are more e-mails she didn`t turn over. 

She actually had classified information on that private server, literally

vulnerable to foreign powers.  She could have known that she was placing

classified information in a way that was exposed it to being hacked. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Today the Indianapolis star breaking this story.  The story

Vice President Pence using his personal AOL e-mail for state business and

he was hacked, in those emails at times discussing sensitive matters and

Homeland Security issues.  This e-mail obtain by the star showing the vice

president communicating with the executive director of Indiana`s department

of homeland security, the Vice President defending his use of personal e-

mail account saying this today. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PENCE:  I`m very confident that our e-mail practices that we`re in full

compliance with all of Indiana laws and my services as vice president will

continue that practice.  There`s no comparison whatsoever between Hillary

Clinton practice and having a private server mishandling classified

information destroying e-mail when they were asked by congress and

officials, we have fully complied with all of Indiana laws. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Indianapolis star executive editor Ronnie Ramos joins me,

nice to see you. 

 

RONNIE RAMOS, EXECUTIVE EDITOR INDIANAPOLIS STAR:  Thank you, great to be

here. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So I think the first question would be sort of take off from

what the Vice President just said in your investigative reporting,  have

you found with what he did was in full compliance with all Indiana laws. 

 

RAMOS:  I don`t think at this point we`re ready to say he has been in

compliance with Indiana law at all times, because we simply don`t know on

how and to what extent he used his personal email for state business. 

There are documents and emails that have not been release to us, because

the governor`s office says that information is too sensitive to be released

and we have no idea of the volume either. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Are there instances where you`re allowed to use your

personal e-mail for state business is that ever ok? 

 

RAMOS:  Yes, in Indiana it is not against the law to use personal e-mail

for state business.  The law does requires you to retain those records and

make it available for public scrutiny and that has not happened until

recently and that is what we are trying to get to the bottom of today

literally as we speak. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So in terms of retaining it, you know have – you have most

e-mails but not all if I understand you correctly. 

 

RAMOS:  We don`t know what we have.  We spent months putting in public

request with then Governor Pence`s office, they never responded to that

request.  We got some documents in response from the last public record

several months ago but they did not tell us what personal of e-mails those

are.  We don`t know if we have all or a fraction or to what extent he used

his e-mail for state business. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I take it the current governor has possession of Vice

President Pence make a phone call of the current governor and say give it

to this news paper? 

 

RAMOS:  He could, I do not know to what extent the current governor has all

of Vice President`s Pence`s personal e-mails because we have been told they

are in the process of making those – sending those over to the state, so

we don`t know at to this point how many of those e-mails they have. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Who is doing the sorting in Vice President Pence`s account? 

 

RAMOS:  He has hired a law firm to do that for him.  And the law firm is

being paid out of Pence`s campaign account. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Here is good suggestion to tell the law firm to put on ant

of the personal ones they think are not subject to be turnover to put them

on a thumb drive and put it in a safe but not to destroy them. 

 

RAMOS:  They assure they are going to turn them all over to the governor`s

office.  We`re trying to see if we can get those. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The key is – since they are making the selection, don`t let

them destroy them.  That is my advice on a Friday night.  Anyway thank you

for joining us. 

 

RAMOS:  My pleasure. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is President Obama about to jump back into politics to help

his fellow Democrat, one of closest political allies says the former

president is ready to roll. 

 

And take a look at this, the second highest ranking House Democrat asking

the bust of President Abraham Lincoln for advice on how to find the GOP

bill.  I know what you`re thinking, what`s going on in Washington. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

PENCE:  Let me make you a promise, the Obamacare nightmare is about to end. 

 

(APPLAUSE) 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Today Vice President Pence with HHS secretary and House

Speaker Paul Ryan in speaker`s hometown in Jamesville, Wisconsin to discuss

a GOP plan to replace Obama care.  This meeting comes days before two House

Committees are expected to hold votes on repeal and replace bill, the

secrecy around that bill, created lots of political (inaudible) back in

Washington.  Several lawmakers complaining about not being allowed to see

the bill, Senator Rand Paul was physically blocked from seeing the bill. 

Here is what Senator Paul told me yesterday. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY:  We showed up and we asked to have a copy of

the bill and we were told we could not have a copy and then later on,

mysteriously, everyone inside of the room disappeared and there was no

bill. We`re told we`re getting next week but we`re not allowed to really

look at it. I think that`s a mistake. For some of us conservatives, we

think we`re getting back a lot of things that were in Obamacare.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman Warren Davidson is a Republican from the great

state of Ohio and is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Good evening

sir.

 

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R), OHIO:  Good evening Greta. Thanks for having me

on your show.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK, where is this bill because I assume it`s going to be at

least more than a thousand pages. The last one was about 2,200. Where

physically is this bill tonight?

 

DAVIDSON:  I would assume that it`s in Jamesville, Wisconsin right now. I`m

encouraged that everyone is getting together and working on it this

weekend.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right, so you think that Secretary Pence – Vice

President Pence, Secretary Price and Speaker Paul Ryan tonight are sitting

there toiling with the midnight oil changing things in the bill, the GOP

bill?

 

DAVIDSON:  I am confident that they are working on it frankly, you know.

It`s been a pretty collaborative process in the house. There`s been an

opportunity to – you know, I`m a pretty new guy. I just got there back in

June and like most Republicans I`ve talked for a while about repeal and

replace.

 

I really talked about it in a context of a pretty slogan and it`s time for

deeds not word, you know. We need to fix the problems not just banter

around and that`s been one of the interesting things as I`ve watched the

news is all these different repeal, repair, rebrand, all of these logos,

but I`m optimistic we`re going to come up with a solution.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK, if your optimism (INAUDIBLE) solution that votes are

this week, would you not like to read it and know what it`s about? Isn`t

that sort of why your people voted – most of your – your constituents

couldn`t come to Washington to read themselves so they sort of expect you

to and wouldn`t you look to at least have it to do that?

 

DAVIDSON:  I am positive that I will read the bill before we pass the bill.

I know I am not going to vote on a bill like this that`s going to change 20

percent of the America`s GDP without reading the bill and I`m confident

that we`re going to be afforded that opportunity. But like a lot of people,

frankly, I`m concerned about some of the leaked documents that are out

there. I hope some of that is fake news really in terms of some of the

things that I saw in it.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Like?

 

DAVIDSON:  And I was able to participate in some dialogue about the content

of that weak document and it was from an earlier draft and I think they

moved forward from there. I think they`ve heard some of the concerns but,

yes, a lot of us are concerned that we`re on the verge of only partially –

frankly Speaker Ryan may very well be right or Speaker Boehner, the former

Speaker Boehner may very well be right in terms of what we go from here

because there are a lot of concerns about that leaked document. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He described the thought of repeal is being I think happy

thought was the phrase that we played of him saying. Are you going to vote

for any bill that is more a, more expensive, b, has less access for people

and less opportunity?

 

DAVIDSON:  I`m looking forward to seeing the final product. It`s just hard

for me to imagine that Republicans with control of, you know, our

government and finally having the opportunity to move forward that we`re

going to launch a new entitlement program or create a new tax. It`s hard

for me to imagine that`s where going to do something that really targets

employers sponsored plans which that`s where the vast majority of Americans

get their health insurance and some of the things in a –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But what about those who have gotten their insurance through

exchange? You know, they`re really worried that they`re going to lose

access or it`s going to be more expensive.

 

DAVIDSON:  Well here`s what I`m confident about. I am very confident that

the there is a plan – I`ve not seen any plan or talked to any Republican

that isn`t aware that there does need to be a transition. So for those

people on the left that are fearmongering, there will be transition.

 

Now, is it going to be what Governor Kasich wants in a long-term

continuation of Medicaid expansion? I don`t think that`s the plan. You

know, the energy and commerce committee has a concept and frankly ways and

means has a concept, and these are two committees. I`m a manufacturing guy

– it looks a little bit like engineering and manufacturing have to

collaborate here.

 

VAN SUSUTEREN:  All right. I got to go but I hope you come back when this

bill does get released next week. Thank you for joining us.

 

And President Trump in Florida not speaking about Russia or the attorney

general but he was certainly tweeting. Is it a fair argument? And is former

President Obama getting back into the political fight? News on that, ahead.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSUTEREN:  We`re back with a picture worth a thousand words. President

Trump tweeting this 2003 photo of Senator Schumer and Russian president

Vladimir Putin eating doughnuts at the New York City opening of a Russian

companies gas station. But that`s not all, check out this 2010 picture also

tweeted by the president.

 

That is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the time as Speaker of the

House meeting with Russian officials including the Russian ambassador.

President Trump then tweeting, “I hereby demand a second investigation

after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia and lying about it.”

 

So is it really fair for him to say these two have close ties to Russia?

With me Heidi Przybyla, senior politics reporter for “USA Today,” Francesca

Chambers, White House correspondent for “Daily Mail”  and Alex Isenstadt,

political reporter for “Politico.”  All right, Heidi, when you saw these

pictures – why don`t we ask you this, do you know anybody who saw these

pictures who didn`t laugh?

 

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, USA TODAY:  No, and that`s

exactly what I was going to say. It`s like I`m just laughing because

there`s so many lawmakers are saying I never met with Russia and then the

pictures come out.

 

But that said, this is a diversion, right, because there`s no one who`s

alleging or even thinks that Schumer or Pelosi may have colluded with the

Russians. There`s no sense that there may be a serious FBI investigation

underway. And so I don`t think that while it`s amusing in this news cycle,

there`s just – its false equivalence.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Francesca, do you know anyone who didn`t laugh upon seeing

those pictures?

 

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, DAILY MAIL:  I mean, no. I

mean I also don`t know anyone who didn`t. But I think that the president

was really destroying – he was destroying Democrats because they`ve been

accusing him so much of constant contact between his campaign and them and

I think he was making the point that look, Democrats have also talked to

the Russian. Just talking to them doesn`t mean that there`s anything to

first going on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well we had yesterday, Alex, we had the outrage of Senator

McCaskill, also a Democrat. She tweeted outrage that suggesting, you know,

he could he possibly forget meeting with the Russian ambassador and then

some industrious (inaudible) pulled up two prior tweets where she`s saying

she`s going off to meet the Russian ambassador.

 

ALEX ISENSTADT, POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO:  Right. Look, I mean, he is

pointing out a little bit of a contradiction here that of an issue with

Democrats who are trying really hard to make this an issue, but on the

other hand, look. The fact that Donald Trump is spending Friday, the end of

the week talking about this issue – this is not the issue that he wanted

to be talking about this week. He had this really good speech, they got

great reviews on Tuesday night by all accounts and now he`s spending the

final moments of the week talking about the Russian investigation. It`s

kind of an indication of just how this week he lost control of a little

bit.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I think he`s being foxy on this. I think because I mean the

fact that he`s like, you know, we`re all paying a lot of attention so we`re

telling everybody in America, the 25 million he tweeted out to, whatever

his account is, and we`re all talking about it and everybody is laughing

about it. What he does (INAUDIBLE) is sort of, you know, I guess it`s

clever you`d say, it`s like he`s minimizing this investigation. He is

making the Democrats look like, you know, like they`re hypocrites and I

think it`s very clever what he`s doing.

 

PRZYBYLA:  I think it might dominate this news cycle but then –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  It helps him.

 

PRZYBYLA:  Unless the administration –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He says drain the swamp. Drain the swamp and I`m here among

a bunch of hypocrites, that`s what he`s saying.

 

PRZYBYLA:  I might dominate this particular news cycle, Greta, but until

this administration decides to learn from the failures of past

administrations that when you have a controversy like that, put all the

information out there so that you can move on. There`s going to be more of

this coming out because as we know it`s been reported, there were other

communication intercepted between –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well that changes the dynamic if that`s true.

 

CHAMBERS:  It`s not even just the failure of past administration, it`s the

failure within his own administration if we look back –

 

PRZYBYLA:  About to learn something.

 

CHAMBERS:  – and what happened with Michael Flynn and what I`m saying just

even from their own mistake if we look back at what happened with Michael

Flynn and how they didn`t take care of that fast enough. And now here we

are with Jeff Sessions. At one point are they going to start coming forward

 

PRZYBYLA:  I thought when they had the (INAUDIBLE) thing they would say

everybody –

 

CHAMBERS:  Exactly.

 

PRZYBYLA:  Anybody who had any contact, raise your hand now.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Alex, if more comes out then they are in deeper trouble.

 

ISENSTADT:  It seems that way but the way this is playing out is that

everything is coming out in drips and drab and taking a while and we`re not

really getting a full picture of exactly what things look like. And so

Republicans at this point they can hold off on calling for any kind of

formal investigation and they`re going to be able to do that until there`s

really more and more revelation which will be – they may be under some

pressure.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But think how much better or much smarter it would have been

for the Democrats to be so trigger happy because now he`s let them flip the

center and make them look like hypocrites. Suppose they have just – we`re

going straight for a straight investigation and taken it very seriously and

not insulting, they would be in much more powerful possession tonight in

there, but any way. I`m taking the last word on that. We`re going to take a

quick break

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Former President Bush saying he was not criticizing

President Trump of recent comments. We`re going to talk about the

challenges facing the former presidents as both Bush and Obama both making

an entry back into the public eye.

 

Also, the ups and downs of this roller coaster week in the Trump presidency

and to think we`re not even halfway through the first 100 days.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And now three stories you may not know. Number three,

Netflix has a new personal trainer app but won`t let you binge watch unless

you exercise. It synchs with fitness trackers and stops you from watching

Netflix unless you meet your exercise goal.

 

And number two, a new site in Norway requiring readers to take a quiz

before they`re allowed to comment on the article they`ve read. Now you have

to be able to answer basic questions about the article before you could

comment. This site says that the comments have become more civil since the

quiz took effect. Interesting.

 

And number one, there`s a new kind of beer that is designed to taste better

when you are flying. Researchers discovered that dry air on airplanes dulls

your taste buds so, a Hongkong brewery came up with a  new beer that

contains honey, now the sweet ingredient to compensate for the taste. So

there it is. Now you know.

 

And now to a week that saw President Trump`s first major speech to conquer

as many Republicans and pundits saying the new president hit it out of the

park. And this is not all because a fair number of Democrats giving the

president credit on his tone. But we all saw controversy over the attorney

general on Obamacare. Let`s take a look.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We`re going to repeal and

replace Obamacare.

 

Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Nobody knew health care was complicated?

 

TRUMP:  We have to start winning wars again.

 

Win or don`t fight it at all.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All eyes on Capitol Hill as Americans wait for

President Donald Trump`s first address to Congress.

 

TRUMP:  A new chapter of American greatness is now beginning. A new

national pride is sweeping across our nation.

 

We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy

Special Operator, William Ryan Owens. Ryan`s legacy is etched into

eternity. Thank you.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We got huge marks from the press corps for recognizing

the widow of this Navy Seal who was killed as he should have.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A new tone, new style from Trump last night. Will it

last?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Missing entirely from that speech, Russia.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions on to a growing

firestorm.

 

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  I have not met with any Russians at

any time.

 

I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future

investigations relating in any way to the campaign.

 

TRUMP:  The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the

election. A record.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Back with me, Heidi Przybyla, Francesca Chambers and Alex

Isenstadt Alex, how has the week been overall for the president?

 

ISENSTADT:  Mixed bag, probably not as good as the Trump administration

wanted it to be. The speech really they felt was a grand slam homerun, but

look, it ended the week – they ended the week spending more time talking

about Russia, and that`s not what they want to be talking about. So, we`ll

see how the weekend goes. He`s got a big speech before the Republican Party

donors tonight. That will get some attention. Let`s see what happens over

the weekend.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Francesca.

 

CHAMBERS:  I was telling Alex before, he has said that the week didn`t end

the way that they wanted it to by talking about Russia. They feel like

(INAUDIBLE) show on Friday. I feel like this is how every weekend`s with

them. With them starting out having a good weekend, some momentum with the

Supreme Court nomination or with the big speech like he gave to Congress

and then we end the week talking about Russia all over again. So, they need

to just find a way to end the week on high note with us not having that

same discussion.

 

PRZYBYLA:  I think it was a good week. It was a good speech. I actually

obtained a document from Democrats showing that they were actually

concerned about the speech and the fact that it may have on his approval

rating. And they saw that white working class woman and minorities in

particular responded positively to it.

 

But I think it also magnified the fact that he`s got a real challenge with

trying to decide whether he`s going to, you know, put some skin in the game

and try to broker a deal on Obamacare, on tax reform, on the things that he

wants to get done because it`s almost like I felt like Paul Ryan thinks

he`s like Santa Claus. He`s like he wants to give everybody everything,

infrastructure, military budget, tax reform, and Paul Ryan, you figure it

out how to pay for it.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  See I think that`s the biggest problem. I`ve seen this from

day one, is that since the administration started, where is he going to get

the money for all of this stuff because all this stuff, I mean, whether you

put 15,000 people on the border, whether you`re building a wall, whether

it`s Obamacare, I mean all these things, you know, you can`t keep cutting

the State Department and EPA in all this places. So how are you going to

pay for this, right?

 

ISENSTADT:  Yes. No, and you mentioned infrastructure, which is going to be

a big thing that they wanted to tackle coming out of the August recess and

going into next year, which is election year. So that`s going to be a

really big question as well.

 

CHAMBERS:  The $54 billion that they`re going to have to find for the

defense department, as you said, they`re saying that they`re going to cut

from the State Department budget. We also know that they`re going to cut

from EPA but realistically where are they going to get the rest of that

money and they haven`t told us anything.

 

PRZYBYLA:  The Freedom Caucus hasn`t gone anywhere, right. These are the

same folks who wanted dollar for dollar spending cost for even modest

increases and you know, we`re going to have a big debt ceiling smack down

within a month or two.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I don`t think Rex Tillerson or the State Department is

when he surrogates and then sees the value of soft power and one of the

things we do around the world especially some of the, you know, the great

humanitarian stuff that the United States has. I don`t think he`s going to

give up any money. It`s not going to be good.

 

Anyway, what role should past presidents` play in current politics? This

week, former attorney general Eric Holder saying former President Obama`s

quote, ready to roll. First up, helping the Democrats new redistricting

efforts.

 

And former president George W. Bush also out and about making comments

about the importance of a free media that some thought was critical of

President Trump. The former president later saying that was not his

intention.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I`m asked the

question do I believe in free press. And the answer is absolutely. So I

answered that question. Of the course the headlines were Bush criticizes

Trump.

 

I made the decision after my presidency not criticize President Obama and I

feel the same way about President Trump.

 

I believe it undermines the office of the presidency. I understand

sometimes my remarks can be construed as criticism but they`re certainly

not meant to be.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know Heidi, I sort of feel bad for this presidents but

anyway, they were hard time (ph). We`ll take a quick break. We`ll be right

back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Back with me, Heidi Przybyla, Francesca Chambers and Alex

Isenstadt. Let me go first to you Heidi, we make these people, these former

presidents into preferably recluses because anything they say we see as

upon (ph).

 

PRYZYBYLA:  Well, typically they are quiet even if publically they can be

critical. But in this case, the thing that strikes me is, I mean, first of

all Bush has a book to promote. We need to mention that in terms of the

timing of this, but we have five – I counted them up, right. Five past

presidents who are still living and I feel like the one thing, you know,

oftentimes past presidents bond even if they didn`t bond while they were in

office.

 

They`ve bond after they`re out of office and the one thing that all of

these past presidents have in common is kind of contempt for Trump. So I

also don`t think it`s coincidental that for instance, you know, his

daughter is now doing fundraising for Planned Parenthood.

 

CHAMBERS:  But also this week he directly asked about Donald Trump`s travel

ban and he refused to get involved in that. He didn`t want to pass judgment

on that. Though he admitted that it might even affect his own Bush Center`s

work and said he`d have to figure out some way to get to the Muslim people

that he works within to the country so, he had an opportunity there and he

didn`t necessarily take it.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All he said was he`s in favor of free press. And so everyone

then made the assumption that he hates, you know, that he was talking about

Trump.

 

ISENSTADT:  Well we do parse these former president`s words. But to some

it`s kind of interesting because for years, you know, no one ever saw or

heard from George W. Bush and now he does seem to be on a little bit of it,

not quite a media –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But he`s on a media blitz about art (INAUDIBLE) and everyone

hit him for that, you know.

 

ISENSTADT:  He`s still talking about politics though.

 

CHAMBERS:  But I think with Barack Obama living in Washington, D.C., it

would make sense that we would hear a little bit more from him. When you`re

staying in the city that you worked in, you lived in and is all about

politics, I think it`s going to be a little bit more difficult for him to

avoid the topic.

 

PRZYBYLA:  Giving his redistricting project, I think that is the real break

with president that we might see as just how outspoken is he going to be

compared to past presidents who by and large in recent history had been

pretty quiet.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I feel bad, but we don`t make them all prisoners if they

can`t get on through the things that they want to do that, you know, their

passion.

 

CHAMBERS: If you like president – former president Obama has been getting

out doing the things that he wants to do since he`s been the president –

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But if he wants to do, you know, redistricting with sort of

community, you know, which is what he used to do, you know, why can`t he do

that? Why he shouldn`t be able to do that? But anyway, I don`t know.

Anyway, thank you all.

 

And viewers at home, I have something to “For the Record.” I don`t know

about you but by the time Friday rolls around, I`m thinking I can hardly

wait until I get home and sit on that couch. That is of course (INAUDIBLE)

make room for me. I want to open a book at night, log on to my iPad or

watch a movie with mu husband. The thought of jogging is not high on my

radar screen even though I know running is good for you, but I figure since

I`m not 25 anymore,  not by a long stretch of the imagination, running is

out. Plus running would be too hard on my knees. Running is for younger

people. That`s my excuse. But then I saw this, a  pair of World War II

veterans both in their 90s.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

(VIDEO PLAYING)

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK, I love those guys, that`s 99-years-old Orville Rogers

and 92-year-old Vixen Hempville racing a 60-meter dash at the U.S.A Track

And Field Masters Indoor Championshops. Now, Rodgers edged Hempville by a

mere 0.5 seconds. So watching that have shamed me. I`m going to get some

exercise this weekend and this full rotten pets can maybe just have the

couch. I don`t care. They`d take it anyway.

 

Anyway, thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. I`ll see you back here

Monday night 6:00 p.m. eastern. If you can`t watch live, set your DVR and

follow me on twitter @Greta but check out my facebook page. We just had a

big contest on my facebook page. You ought to go check it out. So anyway,

“Hardball” with Chris Matthews starts right now.

 

 

 

 

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

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