For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/3/2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
VAN SUSTEREN: It was a familiar tax line on the campaign trail, then
Governor Mike Pence hitting Secretary Hillary Clinton over her e-mail
(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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: Let me make you a promise, the Obamacare nightmare is about to end.
(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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing entirely from that speech, Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions on to a growing
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have not met with any Russians at
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.
(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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 –
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)
(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.
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