For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/7/2017

Guests:
Amy Klobuchar, Steve King, Ron Hosko, Linda Sanchez, Anne Gearan, Tim Carney, Ana Palmer, Robert Scales, Gordon Chang
Transcript:

Show: FOR THE RECORD

Date: March 7, 2017

Guest: Amy Klobuchar, Steve King, Ron Hosko, Linda Sanchez, Anne Gearan, Tim Carney, Ana Palmer, Robert Scales, Gordon Chang

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST:  Two major stories breaking right

now.  First, wiretapping, the heat turning up on President Trump, calls for

President Trump to release evidence that President Obama wiretap him.  And

also breaking right now, Republican revolt, some conservatives lashing out

the GOP healthcare plan, Democrats don`t like it any better, some calling

it heartless.  Meanwhile, at the street of the White House, President Trump

is saying he is proud to support it.  We have both of these breaking news

stories covered tonight.

 

The question is obvious, where is the evidence?  But the answer is a

mystery.  It has now been three days since President Trump made his

explosive twitter claim that President Obama wiretap the Trump Tower during

the presidential campaign.  And today, White House reporters grilling White

House press secretary Sean Spicer demanding to know the answer and what did

Spicer say?

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s been a full three days since the president said

that President Obama had his wires taps, phone taps at Trump Tower, in

those days the White House come up with any evidence whatsoever to prove

that allegation.

 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Yeah, I addressed this multiples

times yesterday.  I think the president – we put out our statement on

Sunday, saying that we have no further comment and we`re asking the house

and the senate intelligence committee to look into this concern and report

back.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can the president just ask the FBI director?  Has he

asked him?

 

SPICER:  No, the president has not.  And I think that, you know, we`ve gone

back and forth to you guys.  And I think there`s clearly a role that

congress can play in this oversight capabilities, they made it very clear

that they have the staff, the resources and the process.  I think that`s

the appropriate place for this to handle.  I think if we were to start to

get involved, you then write stories about how we`re getting involved.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  You believe that President Obama (INAUDIBLE)

 

SPICER:  I get that`s a cute question to ask.  My job is to represent the

president and to talk about what he`s doing and what he wants.  And he`s

made very clear what his goal is, what he would like to have happen, and so

I just leave it at that.  I think we tried to play this game before.  I`m

not here to speak for myself.  I`m here to speak for the president of the

United States and our government.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

SPICER:  Nothing has change.  No, it`s not a question of new proof or less

proof or whatever.  The answer is the same.  And I think – which is that,

I think there is a concern about what happened in the 2016 election, the

house and senate intelligence committee have the staff and the capabilities

and the process in place to look at this in a way that`s objective.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is the White House`s position that the president can

make declarative statement about a former president basically committing a

crime, and then the congressional committee should into that and basically

prove it?  I mean.

 

SPICE:  It`s not a question of prove it.  I think as I said now, five times

to the follow up to the follow up.  It`s not a question of prove it.  Is

that they have the resources and the clearances and the staff to fully and

thoroughly and comprehensively investigate this.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you seen any evidence yourself?  Has the evidence

been shared with you or other members or senior members of the president`s

staff as to why he made this particular accusation?

 

SPICER:  As far as me, no.  I`m not in a position that would be regularly

part of my daily duties for the president to sit down and go through that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  NBC`s Chris Jansing joins us from the White House.  Chris,

any chance when the president is going to speak on this and provide the

proof that everyone keeps asking about?

 

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS:  Yeah, that`s what we`ve been asking for, right? 

And we have seen him today, but we didn`t hear from him yet again today for

the second straight day since it happened since he came back to the White

House.  And as you heard, the White House isn`t backing down, they are

doubling down.  Let`s deconstruct a little bit of what Sean Spicer had to

say.  He said we put out a statement on Sunday, we say we`re not going to

answer any more questions about this.  But then, at least two other members

of the administration came out.  Sean Spicer just yesterday answered

questions as we`ve first reported here on this show, Greta, late yesterday

when asked whether or not the president believed President Obama committed

a felony, he wouldn`t say no.  They are continuing to look for congress to

investigate this.  So there`s a press conference today, the head of the

house intelligence committee, Devin Nunes.  He is task with looking into

all things that have to do with Russia, right, and this whole hacking

story.  But most of the questions by the press today were about are you

going to investigate this, and he said yes.  This will indeed be part of

our investigation, even though he acknowledged as so many other Republicans

have, that he has no personal knowledge, no indication that this actually

happened.  That first hearing by the way is going to be on March 20th. 

Bottomline, you heard a little bit of that question, why would the

president want congress to investigate this, and Sean Spicer says why go to

DOJ.  It would seem that if you go to congress as a separate body looking

into something that gives it a little more creditability.  The one

unequivocal answer that we really got from Sean Spicer today, the president

has absolutely no regrets about his tweets.  That`s very consistent with

what we`ve seen with him in the past, right?  That he doesn`t back down on

anything he said.  Even today in that press conference he was asked about a

tweet about Gitmo saying 122 dangerous prisoners were released by the Obama

administration, or back on the battlefield.  That`s not true.  Sean Spicer

said what he really meant was, overall, including the Bush administration. 

But no apology and certainly nothing been tweeted that would suggest that

he is going to, anyway, correct that.  Bottomline, a lot of Republicans are

very nervous about this, Greta, because it continues to be a distraction,

and be a distraction through and past that March 20th hearing.  When, as

one of them texted me today, we`ve got a few other important things here we

rather be focusing on, Greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Chris, what I don`t get is this.  Is that, first of all,

he`s got the problem with the – reports are at least that Director Comey

says that there is no wiretapping.  That he wanted the Justice Department

gives permission to – and he`s got DNI Clapper who on Meet the Press said

that there is no such thing.  But overarching all this is that DNI Clapper

also said that there was no evidence or information to suggest or show

collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, so I would be seizing on

that.  And we`re running that up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.  But they`re

not even talking about that, are they?

 

JANSING:  No, they`re not talking about the fact, frankly, as a number of

even Republicans have pointed out that if this goes where they`re saying it

goes, it actually does lead to that, exactly what you`re saying.  So there

is a lot of concern on Capitol Hill about exactly what`s behind this and

where it could potentially lead.  We`re here at the White House, you have a

whole senior staff all of whom have been going on camera to basically have

to say as spokes people for the president.  I have no direct knowledge of

what he`s talking about, at least two of them, including Sean Spicer today

said that was above my pay grade.  That`s not a situation that people who

speak for president want to be in.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Chris, thank you.  On Capitol Hill today, growing calls from

both parties for the president to release evidence of that wiretapping

claim.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

 

JOHN MCCAIN, U.S. SENATOR:  I think that the president of the United States

stated categorically that Trump Tower was wiretapped.  That he should come

forward with the information that led him to that conclusion.  It`s a very

serious charge against the previous president of the United States.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Here is house Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC LEADER:  Once again, the president doesn`t know

what he`s talking about because, first of all, a president can`t do that. 

Maybe he is projecting that`s something he`d like to do.  But that isn`t

what President Obama did or could do.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You think he`s just making this up?

 

PELOSI:  Yes, I think he is.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And late today, the top Republican on the senate

intelligence committee, Senator Richard Burr spoke to reporters about the

investigation.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you tell us if the committee will in fact be

investigating the allegation from President Trump that he was wiretapped by

President Obama?

 

RICHARD BURR, U.S. SENATOR:  We`re going to go anywhere there`s

intelligence or facts that send us.  So I`m not going to limit in one way

or the other.  But we don`t have anything today that would send us in that

direction, but that`s not to say we might not find something.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Had you ever heard of this before the allegation from

the president?

 

BURR:  No.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And today, senators questioned the man who would oversee any

Justice Department probes in to President Trump and Russia.  U.S. attorney

Rod Rosenstein nominated to be deputy attorney general facing tough

questions, asked about Russia, special prosecutors, and wiretaps.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you aware, again, of any time FBI agent for the

department of justice wiretapped a U.S. citizen without a proper warrant

since you`ve been a U.S. attorney?

 

ROD ROSENTEIN, U.S. ATTORNEY:  Not on my watch, senator.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  And are you aware of an instance in which FBI

agent or the Department of Justice personnel sought a warrant without a

good faith belief that probable cause existed.

 

ROSENTEIN:  Not on my watch, no.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Senator Amy Klobucher, Democrat from the great state

of Minnesota, who serves on the judiciary committee.  And today question

the Justice Department nominee for the number two job.  Nice to see you,

senator.

 

AMY KLOBUCHER, U.S. SENATOR:  Well, thank you, Greta.  It`s great to be on.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Are you`re going to vote for Mr. Rosenstein for

number two justice?

 

KLOBUCHER:  Well, I`m certainly headed that way.  I have a few more

questions to ask him on the record.  He`s clearly as someone that has a lot

of trust.  He came in with President Bush, but then was reappointed by

President Obama.  And has a lot of respect from prosecutors and lawyers

throughout the country.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you have a sense that all the Republicans and all the

Democrats thought that he was forthright today?

 

KLOBUCHER:  I think that he – clearly was smart and could answer most of

the question.  I think the frustration on our side more stems from the

whole problem when senator – then Senator Sessions, now attorney general

Sessions appeared before the committee, wasn`t exactly straight when asked

about his dealings with Russia.  And then, we would like him to come before

the committee.  I don`t think it was as much of frustration with Mr.

Rosenstein as it was – we need Sessions to come back because we have some

very clear questions to ask him.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  There is a question post on whether or not he would seek a

special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration on possible

contacts with people in Russia.  He didn`t answer that.  As a lawyer, you

didn`t expect – you would have been angry if he had answered it, wouldn`t

you?

 

KLOBUCHER:  What I thought it was important is that he clearly said that

that`s something that he would consider.  He didn`t close it off.  He

talked about the standards that were used to appoint a special prosecutor

and had it looked at.  And so, my frustration with him, which I`ve told

him, was that he had not read the non-classified report yet on Russia.  And

so, here`s how I look at it.  He`s qualified, that`s important.  But he`s

literally going to be stepping in the shoes of the attorney general of the

United States.  When it comes into this major investigation of what was

going on when you`ve got the national security advisor having resign.  You

have the attorney general having recused himself from this investigation. 

You have the campaign chair Manafort having stepped down because of his

ties with Russia.  Something is going on here and the American people

deserves an answer when it gone to an assault on our very democracy.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, President Trump believes, at least, he tweeted that he

was wiretap by President Obama, do you think he was?

 

KLOBUCHER:  I believe President Obama, and I believe in the law.  And you

have the former director of national security, Clapper, coming forward this

weekend and basically saying, no, that did not happen.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He also said that they didn`t find any connection of

collusion, I think was the word he used between Russia and the Trump

campaign.  So he exonerated the Trump administration on that end.

 

KLOBUCHER:  Wow.  He said at this point he didn`t have the evidence.  And

there`s been no real investigation that we know of in terms of the

intelligence committee.  There just getting started.  We don`t know what`s

going on from the FBI standpoint because that is not in the public eye. 

And that`s under the purview of the FBI.  And we don`t even have the

independent commission started.  So I don`t think it`s fair to say we know

all the evidence as yet.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Why do you think President Trump tweeted that Saturday

morning?

 

KLOBUCHER:  I have no idea.  Because when you hog someone like the director

of intelligence coming out, former director, and saying, hey, there was no

FISA court order.  When you have this story running of the Jim Comey

actually called the Justice Department said, please make it clear that this

wasn`t going on, we weren`t doing this, we weren`t  involved in this, and

we don`t know exactly what happened, but it was something about that this

wasn`t order.  I have no idea.  Because I think most likely he was trying

to distract from what was going on in the news.  He was angry about

something and he put it out there.  But this is the president of the United

States, he could have just called the FBI and found out that this wasn`t

going on.  Instead he made an allegation against his predecessor.  Compare

this to George Bush, and how he – President Obama worked with George Bush

positively.  What George Bush said out of office about President Obama. 

This is just not the history of America.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Some people believe, you know, he`s very passionate

followers believe that something was array, that there was some snooping on

him.

 

KLOBUCHER:  I say as a former prosecutor, bring me the facts, bring me the

evidence, and we have not seen that.  And all we`ve heard from intelligence

people was that, couldn`t happen.  And even today, the man who is up for

the number two job at justice said under his watch he`s never heard of

anyone in the U.S. just wiretapping a civilian in the United States of

America, that`s against the law.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I should add that Senator John McCain wants the proof. 

We`ve got the vice chair on the intel committee Senator Burr who says he

has not seen anything yet.

 

KLOBUCHER:  Right.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So, anyway.

 

KLOBUCHER:  You have many people saying this.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  On the other side of the aisle.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: . very clear that you need a warrant, and there was no report

of a warrant.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Senator, thank you.  Nice to see you.

 

KLOBUCHER:  Well, thank you.  It`s great to be on.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So where are all these national security leaks coming from? 

Iowa congressman Steve King tweeting, Donald Trump needs to purge leftist

from executive branch before a disloyal, illegal and treasonous acts sinks

us.  Joining me is Congressman Steve King, Republican from the great state

of Iowa, who serves on the house judiciary committee.  Nice to see you,

sir.

 

STEVE KING, U.S. CONGRESSMAN:  Good to see you again, Greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So explain this tweet to me about the need to

purge, that President Trump needs to purge the leftist from the

administration – our government.

 

KING:  Well, I`m addressing this in a broader scale than in the previous

discussion is concern.  We`ve known that within the CIA they`ve been trying

to influence some foreign policy by – they might be targeting leaks out of

there, out of the intelligence community itself, out of the state

department perhaps, even worst.  And department after department in

government have now people embedded in there, after eight years of

President Obama they`re not serving President Trump well.  And I thought

that he would have – in his first days in office gone in and removed all

of the political appointees that he could by law, and replaced them with

his own people, and then begin to marginalize those that you can`t trust. 

We can see the results of this, and its government pushing back against him

and hurting him with leaks that are coming out, one of those would be on

General Flynn.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you believe that the president is being treated unfairly

in this whole leaks investigations more specifically.  I mean, obvious

what`s captured all of our attention, is this tweet he says of President

Obama essentially was wiretapping him.  What are your thoughts about that?

 

KING:  Well, it seems like we`re fixated on just that tweet.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  It`s a big one.  I mean, it would be pretty incredible –  I

mean, terrible thing if one president is doing that to a candidate.  I

mean, it is right up there.

 

KING:  If we instruct the word president out of that, right before Obama,

and then would the implication be that he`s implying or at least asserting

that the Obama administration had tapped into communication that went

through Trump Tower, or communication went through the Trump campaign.  If

we look at the story it goes all the way back to midsummer.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He did direct it at the president.  I think he also said

hashtag sad or something like that.  I mean, he directed.

 

KING:  He did?

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I mean, where is all of this coming from?

 

KING:  At a minimum, he said, he assigned the responsibility to President

Obama.  Whether he means that President Obama issued the order or not, I

don`t think we know that.  We haven`t heard from President Trump on that. 

I think we need to do this.  We need to follow-up on Chairman Nunes and

asked him, and he`s already agreed to go down and drill into this deeply. 

We need to go back and look at the last year of FISA warrant request, and

let`s find out.  Was there a warrant request that turned down in June or

July to do surveillance on the Trump campaign or anything to do with Trump

Towers.  What was the sequential of this thing, apparently they got one

that was approved sometime in October, and Hillary Clinton tweeted that out

on October 31st.  So the whole strings of facts here that we need to put

together and understand the scenario.  Do you believe all of the news media

stories, some of them, part of them, which part of them?  The only thing we

really have for real fact is Trump`s tweets.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you think that the intelligence community has a vendetta

against the president or at least some in the intelligence community and

that they`re trying to destroy his presidency.

 

KING:  Greta, I believe that some of them do.  And if they didn`t, somebody

would come forward and confess to the leaking of the conversation of

General Flynn had with the ambassador from Russia.  And that is a federal

crime and a felony.  And we at this point, all the investigation that`s

been done we don`t have that individual identified.  There has to be –

patriots within there that had a pretty good clue as to who did that.  But

that`s the first thing to find is who`s committing the felony here.  And I

think we need a full investigation.  A lot of it going to be classified

when we get it all pulled together.  That`s going to be hard to deliver

that to the public.  But President Trump has the authority to release – to

declassify anything that he chooses, and that may get to that point where

he decides to release the information.  First we have to gather.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, thank you, sir.

 

KING:  Thank you, Greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Still ahead, more on the president`s wiretap claim.  What

happens if no evidence is released.  Plus, a growing tension between the

president and the FBI director, will James Comey, the FBI director, break

his silence.  Former top FBI official who worked with Director Comey joins

us live.  And that revolt from the right, the conservative GOP caucus

mocking the GOP healthcare bill calling it Obamacare light.  Speaker of the

house Paul Ryan fighting right back at his fellow Republicans.  There are

some tough fights ahead.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  I`m proud to

support the replacement plan release by the House of Representatives and

encouraged by members of both parties.  I think really that we`re going to

have something that`s going to be much more understood and much more

popular than people can even imagine.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Today, FBI director James Comey was at a ribbon cutting in

Boston.  Making his first appearance since media reports that he denies

President Trump explosive wiretapping claims.  He`s key to note that we`ve

still have not heard directly from Director Comey, but he`s not the only

silent one.  President Trump has been silent about his wiretapping claims

since his draw dropping tweet on Saturday.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Is the White House come up with any evidence

whatsoever to prove that allegation.

 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Yeah, I addressed this multiples

times yesterday.  I think the president – we put out our statement on

Sunday, saying that we have no further comment and we`re asking the house

and the senate intelligence committee to look into this concern and report

back.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can the president just ask the FBI director?  Has he

asked him?

 

SPICER:  No, the president has not.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko, he worked

with Director James Comey until 2014.  Nice to see you, sir.

 

RON HOSKO, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:  Good to be here.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  How would you describe the president relationship in general

with the FBI?

 

HOSKO:  You know, it seems like it is in a fits and starts, at times

contentious, at times supporting.  Some of the things that had happened

over the last year have seemingly put the White House and the FBI at odds,

and on occasions pulled them together.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  There are leaks coming from some place.  Any sort of – can

we reflect on that at all.  What do you think about those leaks?

 

HOSKO:  Well, I think that there are people within segment of government,

certainly in the intelligence committee that have worked for prior

administrations that may be motivated to undercut something that is being

delivered to the president, or undercut some of his messages.  I`m

suspicious of the sources of the leaks.  And having, you know, spent 30

years in the FBI, I`d like to see proof of sources, rather than just talk

of them.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I thought it was unusual that Director Comey went to justice

– that`s what`s reported.  I mean, these are sort of leaks or anonymous. 

That he went to justice asking for an opportunity to sort of speak out

about this.  Do you think that`s unusual?

 

HOSKO:  I think it is unusual, but.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t blame him.  I`m just saying it`s unusual.

 

HOSKO:  I don`t blame him either.  I think, once again, here`s Jim Comey

seemingly in the middle of a political firestorm.  I don`t think that`s a

place where he wants to be.  I don`t think it`s a place where he is

perfectly comfortable.  And I think like the last time he would like to

find a nice path out of it.  Here it may be through DOJ.  He was criticized

for some of the things that happened last year.  It seems like he may be

looking for a way out of this.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know, I also understood why would Reince Priebus when

the number two – FBI said to him, pulled him aside after a meeting and

said that some New York Times article, I think, was B.S. was the term that

was used.  Is that Reince Priebus wanted to correct the record.  I know –

sort of the critiques said that he was trying to knock down the story.  But

he had been told by the FBI that it was false, and he wanted it out there. 

And then made calls to Capitol Hill, they got criticize.  But they were

trying to get the story out at that point.

 

HOSKO:  Certainly.  Everybody has an angle of this, and it could be that

the FBI at the center of it is conducting an investigation of one, of all,

a few, or none of them because they don`t have the predication, they don`t

have the cause.  And so, it`s understandable that these warring political

forces want something to credit their version of events.  And unfortunately

for Jim Comey and his FBI, it`s their job to stay neutral, to stay a

political, to have the American public`s trust and confidence that they are

independent.  And that is a struggle when you have these warring forces

pushing you mightily to adopt their version of events or to credit or

discredit something that they`re claiming.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And it`s so tough in this city when people are trying to do

their job so well.  The honorable men and women in this city to get wrap up

in this other stuff.  Anyway, thank you for joining us.

 

HOSKO:  My pleasure.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ahead, what happens if no evidence of a wiretap is released? 

We look at the political fallout.  And there is news tonight about North

Korea and it`s not what you think.  Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER:  This bill, the American healthcare act, it keeps

our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The political fight breaking out of the new GOP plan, which

in the words of the GOP repeals and replaces Obamacare.  Just a short time

ago, speaker of the house Paul Ryan voiced his support, but he`s not the

only one, so is President Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  It`s a great

bill.  We`re going to have – I really believe we`re going to have

tremendous support.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The house bill would end the individual mandate, but keep

popular provisions including coverage for people with preexisting

conditions, and coverage for young adults up to the age of 26 under their

parent`s plan. 

 

There are some possible sticking points, it would freeze the Medicaid

expansion in 2020.  Defund Planned Parenthood for one year. And established

tax credits to help pay for insurance, criticism though coming from both

Democrats And some Republicans. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH:  What`s been introduce in the house for the last 24

hours is not the Obamacare replacement plan, not the Obamacare repeal plan

we have been hoping for.  This is a step in the wrong direction. 

 

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE MINORITY LEADER:  Trump care is a mess for

the American people.  We Democrats will fight to finale. 

 

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO:  There`s a plan brought forward which I believe is

Obamacare in a different form. 

 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, D-CONNECTICUT:  This is a dumpster fire of a bill. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, Congressman Linda Sanchez, Democrat from the great

state of California and Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

 

Nice to see you Congressman. 

 

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ, D-CA, VICE CHAIR, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS:  Nice to be

with you, Greta. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ok. Tell me two things.  Number one, what do you hate about

this or dislike about this GOP bill and what do you like or love about it? 

 

SANCHEZ:  What I absolutely hate about this bill is that it gives the

wealthiest 400 families in this country a huge tax break, it comes at the

expense of middle class Americans working families and working families

that are struggling.  It`s a huge, huge give away to insurance companies,

pharmaceuticals companies, the tanning industry, all on the backs of

Americans who need coverage that is affordable. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do you like or love about it? 

 

SANCHEZ:  There`s not really much that I love about it.  To be honest with

you, the more I dig into the bill, the more – and more nasty little – I

don`t want to call them goodies, but nasty little provision there are. 

They continue to hurt the very people who have problem affording their

healthcare. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I take it you like preexisting illness are covered, I think

you like that, right? 

 

SANCHEZ:  No.  The Republicans say that they don`t repeal the preexisting

condition provision, and technically they don`t, but what they do is they

allow insurance companies to charge whatever they want to people with

preexisting conditions.  It doesn`t ban them from prohibiting selling plans

to them, but it makes it virtually unaffordable for Americans who do have

preexisting conditions.  So it`s pretty much not – not accomplishing what

it did under the ACA.  They may say it doesn`t do it, but in effect that is

what happens people with preexisting conditions won`t be able to afford

coverage. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  I think for the most part, at least for tonight,

most are flying blind.  We are flying blind.  We have no idea about that. 

I did read today that Congressman Clyburn, I think, someone is meeting with

the president to talk about reducing the costs of drugs, the prescription. 

At least there are some conversation between Capitol Hill and the White

House on it.  I take it you think that is pretty good idea to talk it. 

 

SANCHEZ:  The talking is a good first step.  I would like to see it

included in the bill.  Right now, that is not in the bill.  Right now what

I see in the bill just it`s going to make health insurance coverage cost

more.  It`s going to cover at least ten million people fewer than the ACA

covers.  It goes up every year and puts a tax on how old you are.  And each

year the costs go up based on how old you are.  It`s really not a good

replacement and I think we would be doing better going back to ac and

fixing the parts of A.C. that need fine-tuning. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well I would like, at least to have a hearing outside, I

want to see the score and the costs.  We`ll see what happens.  Congressman,

thank you for joining us. 

 

SANCHEZ:  Pleasure to be with you Greta. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So as President Trump trying to create distractions with the

wiretapping claims.  That is what Democratic Senator saying tonight. 

 

MSNBC cameras caught up to the vice president today.  What he is saying

about the GOP backlash to the new healthcare plan. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINNESOTA:  Most likely he was trying to distract

from what was going on in the news.  He was angry about some things and put

it out there.  He could have just called the FBI and find out this wasn`t

going on.  Instead he made an allegation against his predecessor. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  that was Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, just a few

moments ago on President Trump wiretapping claims.  Anne Gearan National

political reporter from the Washington Post, Tim Carney Commentary Editor

from the Washington Examiner, Ana Palmer Senior Washington Correspondent

for Politico, Anne first to you, this turned everything upside down. 

 

ANNE GEARAN, WASHINGTON POST:  Completely off what we thought the news was

going to be happens.  This – no one could have imagined at 6:30 a.m. on a

Saturday the current president would accuse the former president of illegal

wiretapping and that is takes over the week. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tim, he is working so hard in the media, which is good for

us, we are working 24-7.  He has enemies.  He has got that on his side.  He

has DNI Clapper saying that there`s no evidence of collusion that he knew

of anything between Trump campaign and Russia.  He got some things in his -

-

 

TIM CARNY, WASHINGTON EXAMINER:  Well I think sometimes we get to wreck,

because my colleague at the Examiner use a phrase, we shouldn`t take him

literally, although we should take him seriously and we treat him like a

regular politician, when if he said something, we said is that true.  We

kind of know what is going on here, don`t we?  He read and listened to some

account misreporting the facts of the investigation into the Russians may

have been picking up something from Trump Tower, so we don`t know what he

is talking about.  But the idea that had he is saying are - where are they

tapping in the Trump layouts, that is taking over literally I think, so

sometimes we run into circles, because we are treating him like a regular

politician, he is not. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN: But he is also – He is turning the Democratic Party upside

down.  We have leader Nancy Pelosi making many statements.  The other day

she said the fact that the Attorney General recuse himself was evidence of

wrongdoing.  That had everybody on fire.  Judges recuse themselves all the

time that have not done anything at all.  This turned her upside down. 

 

ANNA PALMER, POLITICO:  Donald Trump everyday is giving them red meat. 

Just let him go.  In they want to have a senate hearing on this, have the

Intel community look at it.  Every single Republican on the committee has

said that there`s no evidence that it happened. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Next more on the backlash from some of the conservative

Republicans to the new GOP Healthcare plan, Senator Rand Paul mocking into

this Obamacare white, but down the street at White House, President Trump

endorsing it, calling it wonderful.  MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt spoke to Vice

President Pence. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This healthcare plan, is it conservative? 

 

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This is the right plan

for America. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why are conservatives so opposed? 

 

PENCE:  I think we are very early on the legislative process.  President

made it very clear we are open to working with members of the house and

senate about ways to improve the bill. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What`s going on with this?  We don`t know the cost of the

bill, is this going to pass or not? 

 

GEARAN:  It doesn`t look too great in the current form for passage. 

Although the white house predicting that.  There are a couple of revolts. 

They don`t like the detector it doesn`t do enough to get – when you have

five major conservatives groups coming out today and criticizing it, that

puts conservatives on the spot. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I hate this because they campaign, the Republicans campaign

they are going to repeal and replace.  But there are a lot of things in the

bill that are similar to the Obamacare bill. 

 

CARNY:  In general coverage for preexisting conditions is in there.  A lot

of regulations on insurer, you have to cover this, you have to cover this,

this are essential benefits, those are included as well, they don`t have an

individual mandate but there`s a 30 percent surcharge if you are uncovered

– when Paul Ryan said we have fulfilled our campaign promises.  It`s not

like they are checking a box.  We are repealing it, we are replacing and we

have done what we said we were going to do. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  how come we don`t know how much it cost?  We have no idea

whether this is cheap or expensive. 

 

PALMER:  I would give them some credit.  I think this was better roll out

compared to the Muslim ban.  That was a big disaster. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Sometimes I think there is only one direction. 

 

PALMER:  Right, but I do think it has been a little bit better than that, I

think the issue is going to be the cost of it.  You have freedom caucus, a

lot of senators who are going to come out against this.  And how much

McConnell is going to keep all but two, it`s going to be a big question

mark. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t know how much you can say it`s a good or bad idea

because you don`t know how much it`s going to cost. 

 

Remember back in 2015, when Donald Trump has campaign himself in South

Carolina, he read-out loud Senator Lindsey Graham`s cell phone number. 

Well that leads the senator posting a video of different ways to destroy a

cell phone.  Afterward he tweeted how good was the meeting at Potus?  I

gave him my new cell phone number.  They are best friends. 

 

GEARAN:  Lindsey graham is funny. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He is very funny. 

 

GEARAN:  He responds to Trump by smashing his own cell phone.  Then he said

on television last week that his relationship with the president had not

improved enough for him to give him his cell phone number.  He is having

fun with this.  I don`t expect him to be on board with the Trump foreign

policy agenda. 

 

CARNY:  This is an amazing thing about Trump.  We think of him as holding

this grudges but he reached out and embraced Ted Cruz and he had animosity

you have seen in politics.  What did Cruz say, he was a compulsive liar and

all that - Trump is willing to work with him, because he is a businessman. 

Deal makers often have to make deals with people they dislike.  So Lindsey

Graham who he loves to mock, says come on in, and we`ll work together. 

 

PALMER:  I think there`s is one of those moments where they have that

kumbaya, it`s public shaking of the hands, does it change the dynamics on

foreign policy, I think it stays the same. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Panel, thank you. 

 

News about North Korea and it`s not good.  I`ll tell you about it after the

break. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Just in, new U.S. responses to North Korea provocative

missile test.  The State Department saying North Korea weapon system is a

great concern and the State Department also announcing that next week

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first trip since taking

office to Asia.  NBC News Janis Mackey Frayer has more. 

 

JANIS MACKEY FRAYER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  In the dark of night, the

first part of controversy defense system arrived in South Korea.  The

terminal high altitude aerial defense system, better known as THAAD, they

put in place to counter growing threat from North Korea.  This video

released overnight claiming to show the regime`s latest missile test. 

Watching it and smiling is Kim Jong-un, who has warned missiles capable of

reaching United States.  North Korea is now biggest security challenge

facing President Trump.  North Korea said this latest barrage was practice

to strike U.S. military bases in Japan.  In a phone call Japan`s Prime

Minister Shinzo Abe said President Trump told him the U.S. was with Japan

100 percent.  But the THAAD system is fiercely opposed by China.  They will

take what they call powerful measures against any boost to U.S. influence

in Asia. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Major General Robert Scales and Gordon Chang in Asia

author of nuclear Showdown, North Korea takes on the world.  Gordon, first

to you, how do you describe or put in words our foreign policy advice see

North Korea? 

 

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR OF NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN:  Right now it is unsettled.  You

know North Korea is complicated.  I don`t think the administration has had

the time to do the interagency review, get all the information from

everybody and come up with a comprehensive plan.  I think the

administration is searching for answers and it hasn`t gotten them yet. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  General Scales, I see all of this as going in a very bad

direction.  They have had five successful nuclear tests.  Missiles,

everybody is keeping in a different direction.  You see used of chemical

weapons in Malaysia against the brother law.  Everything is going in the

wrong directions and now the THAAD missile system, tell me what it is? 

 

ROBERT SCALES, U.S. ARMY:  The THAAD missile system is high altitude

interceptor.  It is good against intermediate range missiles like what you

saw launch yesterday, because it knocks the missiles out while descending

the trajectory.  That is the big concern.  We can defend our own soldiers

in Korea but we cannot knock down an ICBM. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The first launch of the first things done towards the

soldiers, can we protect them from the impact on that? 

 

SCALES:  There would be hundreds of missiles launched, not just four, they

will open up in artillery and rockets and this so called heart position,

15,000 of them that can range air base south of Seoul.  This would be a

barrage that would be just horrific and Americans will be killed. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there any indication whatsoever, that North Korea is not

moving in that direction.  They are so convinced that you and I and general

are practicing to kill them. 

 

CHANG:  The thing that is a problem right now is I think that Kim Jong-un

has a low threshold of risk.  Last month we saw many instances of

instability.  The execution of five of his subordinates as well on the

February 12th launch of the intermediate range missile, he was not there,

that is an indication at problems at the top.  Now you have issues where

Malaysia.  I don`t know what Kim Jong-un is thinking right now, but he

doesn`t view the world the same which we do. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You have no good signs.  Can you point to one good sign

General Scales that –

 

SCALES:  Yes, I can.  One of the things I`m most impressed with is that the

U.S. Military has given up on trying to intercept ICBM, because our

ballistic missiles systems are not that reliable, but they are replacing it

with a holistic and impressive program to engage missiles as they say left

to launch, before they actually go using electronic warfare, cyber warfare,

perhaps futuristic weapons. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We have to beat the launch? 

 

SCALES:  Here is the thing, maybe after years and years, United States is

final getting serious about knocking out North Korea`s ICBM`s threat. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  General Scales and Gordon Chang thank you both very much and

coming up I am sure I am going to get hammered on twitter for this next I

am going to say, but there`s something I just don`t get.  I`m going to tell

you what that is, that is next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I have something to say for the record, there`s so much

going on in the early days of the Trump administration that something could

have been lost in the twitter mania.  Before you all on the far right or

left get fired up, just hear me out.  First, I have to tell you, this has

nothing to do with whether you are a pro-second amendment or not.  This is

about plain old common sense.  Something some of you may have forgot.  Here

it is.  Congress recently voted and President Trump quietly signed a bill

to eliminate a rule that made it harder, not impossible for certain people

with mental illness to buy a gun.  The rule required by social security to

report people who received social security disability benefits, because of

mental health issue to the national gun background check system.  Now, of

course I want to protect the privacy of everyone including those who would

be impacted by this measure.  There`s a line and this is one for me.  This

rule was just finalize December 2016 is opposed by both the ACLU on grounds

of stereotype and the NRA on the second amendment grounds.  And aren`t just

Republican who voted it down, six house Democrats, and four Senate

Democrats jump into it and voted to get rid of this extra scrutiny.  They

are all wrong.  People with mental health issues identified by social

security disability benefits need to undergo stricter scrutiny before they

can buy guns.  And one last thing, I am sure many of you are ready to tell

me how wrong or right I am on this, so let it rip.  My twitter handle is

@Greta.  So let out the insults.  Thanks for watching, I will see you back

here tomorrow night 6:00 p.m. Eastern, if you can`t watch live, set your

DVR and follow me on twitter @Greta.  Check out my Facebook page you can

put them there too, behind the scenes video and much more.  Hardball with

Chris Matthew starts right now.

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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