For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/22/2017

Guests:
Michael Burgess, Ted Yoho, Chad Day, Matt Bradley, John McCain, Karen Bass, Ron Haskell
Transcript:

Show: FOR THE RECORD

Date: March 22, 2017

Guests: Michael Burgess, Ted Yoho, Chad Day, Matt Bradley, John McCain, Karen Bass, Ron Haskell

CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS SHOW HOST:  Matt thanks very much.  You’re going

to be working for us all night.  Don’t get any sleep.  That all for us

tonight, we will be back tomorrow, “for the record with Greta” starts right

now, her big guest, John McCain who will have a lot to say I bet about

Devin Nunes. 

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD:  Indeed, he does.  Thank

you, Chuck. 

 

What in the world is going on here in Washington?  Some big news just made

on possible collusion between President Trump’s team and Russia. 

 

Also, why did the house intelligence chairman race top the White House

debrief the president?  How did he get highly secret intelligence

information?  Will this possible bombshell give President Trump some cover

on his wiretap claims against President Obama?  Senator John McCain is here

to respond for the first time to all of this. 

 

But first, the news, the Republican chairman of the house intelligence

committee, Congressman Devin Nunes, dropped a bombshell today.  He said

President Trump’s transition team and the president’s personal

communications may have been caught up in, quote, incidental surveillance,

after the election.  The chairman going to the White House to share what he

knew with the president, and then he talked to the press. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

DEVIN NUNES, REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: 

Today I briefed the president on the concerns that I had about incidental

collection and how it relates to President-Elect Trump and his transition

team and the concerns that I have, as I said earlier, there will be more

information hopefully by Friday.  The NSA is cooperating very, very well,

and lastly, I’ll say that the reports that I was able to see did not have

anything to do with Russia or the Russian investigation tied to the Trump

team.  With that, I’ll take a couple questions. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Quick question, why is it appropriate for you to brief

President Trump given it’s his own administration or campaign associates

that are part of this investigation? 

 

NUNES:  Because what I – because what I saw has nothing to do with Russia

and nothing to do with the Russian investigation.  Has everything to do

with possible surveillance activities and the president needs to know these

intelligence reports are out there and I have a duty to tell him that. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you looking at the answers –

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Jump to conclusions before it was completed? 

 

NUNES:  I’m not drawing any conclusions.  I’m just telling the president

what exists in intelligence reports. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was the subject of the surveillance –

 

NUNES:  It appears so.  I don’t want to get too much into those details but

these were intelligence reports and it brings up a lot of concerns about,

you know, whether things were properly minimized or not.  But I will tell

you, I’ve only seen some.  It’s in the dozens.  I don’t have – we don’t

have the full scope of all the intelligence reports that were produced or

who ordered the unmasking of additional names. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. –

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How masked? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you saying the surveillance – it wasn’t related to

Russia or anything like that.  Are you saying that it was political

surveillance or political opponents as the president suggested in his

tweets? 

 

NUNES:  What I – what I’ve read bothers me and I think it should bother

the president, himself, and his team, because I don’t – I think some of it

seems to be inappropriate, but like I said, until we get all the

information to the committee, it’s hard to – it’s hard to really say until

we see.  What I’ve read seems to me to be some level of surveillance

activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know

that the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read, but let

us get all the reports –

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Chairman, was the president involved? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Correct in what he tweeted? 

 

NUNES:  It is possible. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you seen anything that suggests that President

Obama ordered any kind of surveillance of the president? 

NUNES:  We don’t know – we don’t know who sent the tasking, if they were

changed into what went into these intelligence reports but we’re going to

try to find that out.  This is information that was brought to me that I

thought the president needed to know about incidental collection where the

president, himself, and others in the Trump transition team, were clearly

put into intelligence reports that ended up at this White House and across

a whole bunch of other agencies and I thought it was important for the

president to know this. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What did the president tell you after you briefed him

about this? 

 

NUNES:  I think the president is concerned.  And he should be.  I think

he’d like to see these reports.  And I hopefully – hopefully when we get

them, hopefully they’ll get them to the White House also. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama

administration officials were involved in this? 

 

NUNES:  No, we cannot. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And then after meeting with the chairman, President Trump

responded in the cabinet room. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. President, do you feel vindicated by chairman – do

you feel vindicated by chairman Nunes coming over here, sir? 

 

DONALD TRUMP, THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I somewhat do, I

must tell you, I somewhat do.  I very much appreciated the fact that they

found what they found. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And then there’s more.  Within the last hour, the chairman’s

partner on the intelligence committee, ranking member, the Democrat,

Congressman Adam Schiff, he came out and let’s just say he did not hold

back. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

ADAM SCHIFF, 28TH CA REP:  I think it gravely concerning to the members of

the committee that the chairman would receive information that is pertinent

to the scope of our investigation and instead of sharing that information

with the committee, would share that information with the White House.  The

chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent

investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential

coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to

act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both.  There is

still no evidence that the president was wiretapped by his predecessor. 

President Trump’s claims that he was remain as baseless today as they were

yesterday. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And moments ago, Congressman Adam Schiff, making big news. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

SCHIFF:  I can tell you that the case is more than that, and I can’t go

into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. 

So, again, I think –

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you have seen direct evidence of collusion? 

 

SCHIFF:  I don’t want to go into specifics but I will say there is evidence

that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.  So

that is what we ought to do. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, Arizona Senator John McCain.  Well, senator? 

 

JOHN MCCAIN, ARIZONA SENATOR:  Well. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Yes, indeed.  What an afternoon. 

 

MCCAIN:  It’s just remarkable, frankly.  I don’t know exactly where to

begin except I don’t know what incidental could actually mean unless –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And that would be chairman Nunes. 

 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  And unless they were monitoring the conversations of some

foreign entity, i.e., Russian, and that the other names might have come up. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But chairman Nunes says, I saw nothing to do with Russia and

the Russian investigation, yet he hops in a car and goes down to the White

House without talking to the Democratic chairman and briefs the president. 

 

MCCAIN:  I don’t understand that and honestly I – what this is now really,

Greta, is requirement for a select committee.  I believe that there’s a

better relationship in the intelligence committee, in the senate between

Senator Warner and Senator Burr, but this just shows a tremendous chasm

between the two senior members of the house intelligence committee. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Which –

 

MCCAIN:  What we need is a select committee.  We know that the Russians

interfered with our election and they did not achieve in affecting outcome,

but we know that for sure.  We know that there are cyber attacks going on

all the time.  There are leaks going on all the time.  And so what we need

to address this whole issue of what the Russians did, how they did it, the

impact and what we do about it.  I now believe belongs in the hands of a

select committee.  There’s not – I think –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So not an independent commission but you want it done on the

hill. 

 

MCCAIN:  I would agree to a commission.  I would probably prefer a select

committee, but either one –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Doesn’t that say something –

 

MCCAIN:  – I would be satisfied with. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Isn’t that why we vote people to come to Washington?  We

voted the members of this committee to do this, and now because they can’t

get the job – I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it sort of seems

keystone coppish what happened this afternoon.  You make a face.  I think

you might have a thought on that.  Now we have to hire other people to do

it because they can’t do the job? 

 

MCCAIN:  I’m afraid that is the conclusion that I have reached and I didn’t

do it lightly, but, yes, it is bizarre, the things that are being said. 

There is no substantiation for either what Chairman Nunes said or is there

substantiation for what Congressman Schiff said. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He said – he said the – he was asked if there was direct

evidence.  He is a lawyer, a former prosecutor.  He said its evidence is

not circumstantial.  Well, that means it is direct evidence.  So he is

being coy.  He is playing us. 

 

MCCAIN:  After the heads of our intelligence agencies testified before

congress saying there was no evidence of any wiretapping of Trump towers. 

So here we are mixed up not only in contradictory statements, but also in

what the word is. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We’ve been down that road. 

 

MCCAIN:  We know what that one is.  Yes.  It’s a bizarre situation. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What –

 

MCCAIN:  So what I think, the reason why I’m calling for this select

committee or a special committee is I think that this back and forth and

what the American people have found out so far that no longer does the

congress have credibility to handle this alone.  And I don’t say that

lightly. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  That is a strong statement to make about congress. 

 

MCCAIN:  But I do – so far, the senate intelligence committee, there has

been a good – there’s been a good working relationship between Senator

Burr and Senator Warner and I think they’ve done a good job. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What I thought was unusual is President Trump’s response. 

He said today, after being briefed by congressman – Chairman Nunes who

didn’t tell the Democrats, raced down there to tell him and told the press

before he even told Schiff apparently, he says – when he was asked whether

he was vindicated he said, I somewhat do, I very much appreciate what they

found.  That is out of character.  Usually he’d say, a-ha, I’ve been

telling everybody, I’m right.  He is usually much more bombastic.  Now he

has a laid back I somewhat do.  I thought that was odd. 

 

MCCAIN:  I’ve long ago given up trying to interpret the remarks of the

president of the United States.  I only pay attention to what he does and

frankly on some of our national security issues, he is done some good

things. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So what about Nunes going down there?  Should he have called

Schiff before he went down there? 

 

MCCAIN:  I’m not telling any member of congress or the senate what to do,

but I have found in my years in the United States senate working in a

bipartisan fashion is the way you get the best results.  And when you

don’t, such as the passage of Obamacare on a Party-line basis, and what we

may be embarking on here in repeal and replace, is usually when things are

done on a partisan basis, the result is not very lasting or very good. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  You bring up the vote that is going to happen in

less than 24 hours in the house.  I’m not sure they have the votes or not. 

Should it pass the house, do you think over in the senate, it will pass? 

 

MCCAIN:  I don’t know because I don’t know the changes that are going to be

made, but I believe that in the senate, as is our responsibility, there

will be amendments and there could be changes that would require a

conference committee.  That is the way the congress works. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know, what I don’t understand is if there are changes –

we have a CBO score, whether you like it or don’t like it, whether you

think it’s fair or wrong, we have a CBO score.  Now if you make all these

changes, doesn’t that sort of throw out the CBO score and so it should get

scored at least – if you found this important to begin with, to get one,

we should get another one with changes? 

 

MCCAIN:  But Greta, the CBO scoring of Obamacare at its inception was way

off.  CBO over time has lost some of the credibility that it used to have. 

I think that the biggest issue here is, and there are many, but one of them

is what about those states like mine that adopted Medicaid expansion?  And

the effect that I’m hearing from my governor is very disturbing and in some

ways draconian.  So –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And your state is the worst in premiums rising, I think. 

 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  The interesting thing is, Obamacare was completely imploding

in my state and so now in the fix is also not satisfactory in my state,

because we’re Medicaid expansion state.  So, by the way, there’s one

theory, let the whole thing collapse then Republicans and Democrats will

have to come together.  That sound like a good idea except the people that

are harmed in the process. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well that is my whole point, you know, we sort of expect

everyone to act like a grown-up and solve these things.  You know?  It’s

like whether it’s the Nunes and Schiff and whatever, we sort of expect

something so important as health care, you know, like, fix it sort of I

think most American people – everyone deals with health problems. 

 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  The American people deserve better.  They deserve better

while we look at entitlements which are now eating up the entire budget by

a certain year depending on state of the economy.  That is why our approval

rating is 14 percent.  Everybody looks at President Trump’s approval

rating.  Look at the approval rating of congress. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Don’t look at lawyers and journalists.  I’ll leave that –

 

MCCAIN:  Some are lawyers and congressmen. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Right.  That is right.  All right, North Korea test fired

another missile today.  Everything is creeping in a bad direction.  They

have five nuclear tests.  They keep testing missiles.  They keep having

threatening – we tried everything.  We’ve been nice to them, been mean to

them, had sanctions, no sanctions, humanitarian aid, six-party talks. 

What’s left? 

 

MCCAIN:  Not the first president to be tested.  He’ll be tested by the

Russians.  He is being tested by the Iranians.  He is going to be tested by

the North Koreans.  It is unacceptable to have a missile on a rocket on the

pad that is capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear weapon. 

And we have to do air defense systems, the THAAD we’re placing in South

Korea –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  China doesn’t want the THAAD air defense missiles there. 

 

MCCAIN:  They certainly don’t, but the point is that China is the one that

can – the only one that can control Kim Jong-un, this crazy fat kid that

is running North Korea.  And they’re the ones – they could stop North

Korea’s economy in a week. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  They haven’t.  Why? 

 

MCCAIN:  Because the Chinese have to understand there’s a penalty going to

be paid imposed by us if they don’t rein in an individual that could

literally start a world war.  And more importantly, perhaps in the short

term, strike the United States of America.  He is not rational, Greta. 

We’re not dealing with – even with someone like Joseph Stalin who had

certain rationality to his barbarity.  This is incredibly serious, but the

first place I’d go is China and say, look, you can shut down their economy. 

And so bring them in.  Rein them in.  It’s in your interest to do so.  And

if the Chinese renews to fuse to do that we have to consider all options,

isn’t necessarily a world war.  But the – Mr. Kim Jong-un has got to

understand that there would be a huge penalty to pay if he even tried it. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  One last quick question.  As is the senate house bill, would

you vote yes or no?  Are you going to vote yes or no assuming it comes

over? 

 

MCCAIN:  I’d have to look at what comes over, Greta.  It’s changing all the

time.  I hear different statements and comments.  We will go – doing a

remaining process here in the United States senate.  I want something that

I can vote for.  It’s vital that we fix this system.  We – but we promised

to repeal and replace.  We didn’t promise just to repeal.  And that is why

I’m sometimes a little frustrated –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Aren’t you just amending Obamacare? 

 

MCCAIN:  Well, it – amendments can change the entire bill.  I mean, there

are amendments particularly on Medicaid expansion and others that would

have the effect of rewriting the bill as you know.  But to do nothing, I

think is the worst of all worlds particularly in my state where premiums

are going up 125 percent. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Your state’s getting hit the hardest. 

 

MCCAIN:  Exactly. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Anyway, senator, nice to see you.  Hopefully you’ll come

back often. 

 

MCCAIN:  Thank you, Greta. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Still ahead, more Democratic reaction to the surveillance

bombshell about the Trump transition team.  I’ll talk to a lawmaker who was

in the room at the White House when the president said he felt somewhat

vindicated. 

 

Plus, an explosive new report that Trump’s former campaign chairman once

secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to help Putin.  We’ll hear from

the reporter who broke the story. 

 

Also is the health care bill slipping away from the Republicans?  We’ll

have the latest NBC vote count.  I’ll talk to one GOP lawmaker who’s a

solid no and one GOP lawmaker who is a solid yes, all that plus a live

report from the scene of the London terrorist attacks.  It’s a huge day of

breaking news.  Keep it right here on MSNBC. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was the president also part of that incidental

collection, his communications? 

 

NUNES:  Yes. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let me just clarify, the president of the United

States, his personal communications, were intercepted? 

 

NUNES:  I think we have to – yes, I think what we have – it’s very –

when we talk about intelligence products, we got to be very careful.  What

I know right now, it looks like incidental collection.  We don’t know

exactly how that was picked up.  But we’re trying to get to the bottom of

it. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So the President of the United States, his personal

communications was collected in incidental collection.  Not in specific

targeted collection. 

 

NUNES:  It’s possible.  We won’t know until we get the information on

Friday, and that is why – look, I think the NSA is going to comply.  You

know, I am concerned – we don’t know whether or not the FBI is going to

comply. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes telling NBC’s Kasie

Hunt President Trump’s communication were picked up as part of an

incidental collection.  I’m joined by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Democrat

from the great state of California.  She serves on the house foreign

affairs and judiciary committees and today she was in the room at the White

House when President Trump said he felt somewhat vindicated.  Nice so see

you, congresswoman. 

 

KAREN BASS, CONGRESSWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA:  Thank you.  Thanks for having

me on. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  If this weren’t so serious, I’d say you can’t make this

stuff up. 

 

BASS:  I agree. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tell me what happened.  You’re in the room, tell me what the

president said besides somewhat vindicated. 

 

BASS:  First of all, I was there with the leadership of the congressional

black caucus to meet with the president and when they did the photo spray,

when all of the reporters come in at the top of our meeting, one person

shouted out and asked, did he feel vindicated?  He said, yes.  And that is

the sum total of it.  I do have to say, though, that it really just raises

the question, to me, of the credible credibility of the chair.  I don’t

understand how chairman Nunes can be in the center of an investigation of

this issue and it just raises the question as to why we need an independent

investigation. 

 

At this point, it needs to be bipartisan but I frankly think it needs to be

outside of congress.  We know that chairman Nunes was a surrogate during

the campaign.  He was a part of the transition team.  And I think he needs

to figure out what is his role now.  Is he going to continue to be a

surrogate for the president?  Or is he going to be the chairman of the

intelligence committee? 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I think if you went back to the last congress and talked to

Congressman Mike Rogers who is chairman of the house intel, and the vice –

the ranking member, they would tell you how they prided themselves in how

much they worked together and the one committee, the intelligence committee

that was able to work together.  Now we see it – I mean it appears to be

almost imploding.  If it is as we think, the Chairman Nunes went down to

the White House without even talking to the –

 

BASS:  Exactly. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  .ranking member.  I mean, I don’t know how in the world we

can expect, you know, any of this to work well at this point. 

 

BASS:  You know, I think he broke the bond, and I frankly think it raises

the issue, maybe he should step down as chairman, because I don’t know how

they can work together anymore.  I mean, I don’t know how the ranking

member could trust him for him to go out and take information to the press

and to the White House before he even talks to them.  I don’t know how they

would have a bond any longer. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did the president go back to – when he met with the

congressional black caucus, did he go back to any discussion of this? 

Because what struck me as unusual is the president’s statement was sort of

low key, like he felt somewhat vindicated.  And I usually think of him as

sort of a more bombastic person, like, you know, see, I told you I was

right. 

 

BASS:  Well, I hope – I hope he recognizes that to have gone through that

issue would have been completely inappropriate with our meeting.  That was

not what we were there to talk about.  It was a photo spray at the top of

the meeting.  We were there to talk about and our theme was when he said,

what do you have to lose in the campaign?   When he made that statement to

the African-American community, we were there to show him exactly what we

have to lose.  And frankly, we’re very concerned about budget that he is

presented.  We’re very concerned about the statements he made about the

African-American population.  And so we went there to clarify with him and

to also present him solutions in a number of different categories. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did he listen?  Did it seem like it was a fruitful meeting

that he listened? 

 

BASS:  I do think he listened.  I think a lot of what we told him, he was

very surprised by.  So clearly he doesn’t have the exposure and the

knowledge of the African-American community, but therein lays the reason

why you relate with the – with the congressional black caucus.  You know,

there are 49 members of congress.  We represent over 70 million people.  We

are subject experts in a lot of different areas of policy and we were there

to share that with him.  And so, you know, we will see.  We raised a number

of different issues, but it would have been really inappropriate to have

talked about Nunes in the middle of our meeting. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us.  It

is such a big day for the congressional black caucus and also on this other

issue.  Thank you for joining us. 

 

BASS:  Thanks for having me on. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, former assistant FBI director, Ron Haskell, Ron

nice to see you.  Chairman Nunes said they’re going to get more information

on Friday, but he said something to the effect, I’m paraphrasing now, that

he expected cooperation from the NSA.  You’re former FBI, but he sort of

said he didn’t think he is going to get that from the FBI.  At least that

is what I took from him. 

 

RON HASKELL, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR:  Well, it could be that the FBI

doesn’t have anything to release to them that is in support of what he is

asking about.  It could be this collection that the chairman was referring

to incidental collection is NSA collection under their 702 authority. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I took that – if that is true, he could have said that. 

Instead, he acted like the FBI’s not cooperating.  I mean, that is what I

took away.  Am I wrong? 

 

HASKELL:  I would be very surprised by that because Jim Comey, having

worked with him, having him talk about the value and the importance of

congressional oversight, Jim Comey recognizes the awesome power held by the

FBI and what abuse of that power would mean for the FBI.  So I think he

takes that very seriously.  I do not see him intentionally resisting or

pushing to the side –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What did you take away from how Nunes treated the FBI when

he said that the NSA looks like they’re going to cooperate?  I realize I’m

paraphrasing, but the FBI not so – I mean, I sort of thought that was a

slap at the FBI. 

 

HASKELL:  Right.  And it could have been. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Maybe it wasn’t, but that is what I thought. 

 

HASKELL:  Right.  Of course, most of what the FBI does is going to have to

get passed upon by DOJ.  There’s another layer of review there.  I would be

astounded if Jim Comey were to push back in any material way other than a

totally lawful manner. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do you make of what happened today with Nunes going

down there? 

 

HASKELL:  You know I am troubled by the whole thing.  I will say as I did

to you briefly ago, I agree with Senator McCain.  There – the term,

“bipartisan agreement” is an oxymoron in this city.  I don’t see any way

where we, the taxpayer, we, the public, can get to an understanding of the

facts, unbiased understanding, with this sort of bipartisan bicker going

on. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The irony is that because they don’t do their jobs, we elect

them to solve this problem, to find out what this investigation is.  We now

have to go out and hire separate people who we didn’t elect and we have to,

I assume, compensate them, at least certainly their travel, because they

can’t do their job.  We have to get a second congress. 

 

HASKELL:  It is despicable.  And it’s a microcosm of the tax and the

budgetary situation that we’re in America. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Incredible.  Anyway, thank you, nice to see you. 

 

HASKELL:  My pleasure. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  24 hours until Republican leaders say they will pass their

health care plan.  Does Speaker Ryan have the votes?  We’re going to be

joined by one Republican who’s a solid no and one Republican who’s a solid

yes, straight ahead. 

 

Plus what work did President Trump’s former campaign chair allegedly do for

a Russian billionaire and why did he do it?  We have one of the reporters

who broke that story. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  We’re very

confident we will have the votes.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  This is not going to pass.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST:  Well, check your watch.  We’re

about 24 hours from the expected house vote on the GOP health care bill. 

Later tonight, this bill is expected to get the green light from the house

rules committee, but that does not mean it is a done deal.  It must pass

the entire house and that vote is tomorrow.  And that’s where the mystery

is.  Will it pass or won’t it?  This we know, Republicans can only afford

to lose 22 votes.  On the last count, NBC News had confirmed 28 Republicans

plan to vote no.  Now that’s really bad news for the bill. 

 

With me, Congressman Michael Burgess, Republican of Texas, and a doctor who

serves on the house rules committee and supports the house health care

bill.  Nice to see you, sir.

 

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, R-TEXAS:  Good evening, Greta.  How are you?

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Good.  So what are you going to do to get those other – I

guess you have is to get six more to vote yes.

 

BURGESS:  Right now my job is to – thank you for giving me a break from

the rules committee.  It’s been a long day.  So I appreciate the diversion. 

We’ll be back in rules committee until later on tonight.  We’ve got a

number of amendments yet to be heard, both Republican and Democratic

amendments.  And indeed, we will hear all of those.  My understanding is a

revised CBO score is due almost any minute now in the rules committee,

which we should have before we vote this thing out of the rules committee

this evening.  So it’s a big deal.  And, look, you know one of the things

I’ve said since seven years ago, this week, when President Obama signed

this thing into law is it will never work and it’s going to be a disaster. 

And I think you heard from Senator McCain at the top of the show just how

big of a disaster it is in his state.  It is not quite as bad in Texas, but

still premiums went up 28 percent this year.  We’ve only got two insurers

in my market, and one of them no one has ever seen before, so essentially

down to one insurance company in the area that I represent.  But even more

than that, you know, people have insurance, but it is insurance that they

can’t use because their premiums and deductibles are so high, the out of

pocket expenses are so high.  So the bottom line is, Obamacare is a failed

experiment.  It’s not an open question any longer and it needs to be – it

needs to be replaced.  And that’s what we’re about doing this evening.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So in the rules committee, you can do these

amendments and that’s sort of what this persuading some of those on the

fence, is that the purpose?

 

BURGESS:  Well, the rules committee always hears from any member who files

an amendment and wants to be heard.  That’s part of what we do.  That’s our

job.  There’s no clock in the rules committee.  Time is suspended.  And we

just work as long as anyone wants to – wants to talk about their issue and

we talked all day to the principals, to the chairmen and ranking members of

the three committees that were involved, ways & means, energy and commerce,

and the budget committee.  I serve on the energy and commerce committee. 

We had a 27 hour markup a couple weeks ago.  I mean, this is something that

has been examined and talked about by members on both sides of the

political aisle.  And it is something that has been, in my opinion,

completely heard by all sides.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Well, the big news will be tomorrow night.  Do

you have any idea what time the vote is supposed to start, any idea?

 

BURGESS:  No, no, no.  That’s – those are all leadership decisions.  I

will say this, I mean, part of – this is a big deal.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I understand it is.  We’ll be watching. We’re going to be

watching.  Believe me.

 

BURGESS:  It’s $800 billion revision to Medicaid spending.  We’re a country

that’s $20 trillion in debt.  We really have to do something.  The

Obamacare, itself, is not working.  The individual mandate, my opinion, has

been a failure.  And we’re going to undo that.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And with that, we’ll all be watching.  Thank you,

congressman, for joining us. Thank you, sir.

 

BURGESS:  Thank you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Go back to the rules committee.  Now your break is over.

 

BURGESS:  Thank you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Up ahead, I’ll talk to a house Republican who’s planning to

vote against the health care bill.  And a new report on alleged links

between President Trump’s former campaign chair and a Russian billionaire,

I’ll talk to the reporter who broke the story.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you think Paul Ryan is going to push this vote

tomorrow?  Is that your sense?

 

MARK MEADOWS, U.S. CONGRESSMAN:  I don’t know Paul.  You need to talk to

the speaker about that.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is that what you want him to do?

 

MEADOWS:  We believe that we need to postpone the vote and get it right. 

There are more than enough freedom caucus members to be against this to

keep it from passing tomorrow.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, we have breaking news.  Just moments ago the house

freedom caucus, many of them voting, no, on the GOP health care bill,

making another trip to the White House tomorrow, invited by the president. 

And this could mean Republicans are starting to get nervous that they do

not have the votes to push this repeal bill through. 

 

With me, Congressman Ted Yoho, Republican from the great state of Florida,

member of the house freedom caucus who plans to vote no on the GOP health

care bill.  Nice to see you, sir.

 

REP. TED YOHO, R-FLORIDA:  Great to see you, Greta, appreciate you having

me on.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Appreciate you being here.  So are you going to make the 16-

block trek to the White House tomorrow to talk to the president?

 

YOHO:  If needed, yes.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, he invited all of you.  So I assume that you’ll go. 

Is there anything he could say to you to get you from a no to a yes?

 

YOHO:  Yeah, Greta, I mean, come on, we all ran on repealing and replacing

the Affordable Care Act.  Donald Trump ran on repealing and replacing it. 

And I know deep in his heart, he wants to do this.  I truly feel that this

is not getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.  It’s leaving a skeleton. 

There’s some great reforms in there.  I commend our leadership for moving

down the path they have with the open negotiations, but this is going to

leave a skeleton for the Affordable Care Act that the future congress, you

know, in 2018, there will be a new congress in here, and there’s no telling

what will happen.  And if we don’t repeal this, we didn’t live up to the

promise and the commitment that not only us, but Donald Trump made to the

American people.  And I’m standing pretty firm on that.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So obviously you’re going to be a no as of

tomorrow.  The Republicans need to pick up probably six more votes, yes, in

order to have this pass.  Do any of the people you know tonight who are

going to vote no, are they wobbly on this?

 

YOHO:  I’ve not found anybody wobbly on it.  In fact, I just saw two

members that aren’t part of the freedom caucus and they’re no on this.  And

I know there’s many more out there like that.  This is too important for us

not to have a vote.  I don’t think I agree that we probably ought to

postpone this vote.  And there’s no shame in that because I think what

you’re doing is you’re crafting a better bill that will meet those

requirements that we all ran on that we all want.  And bottom line is

everybody wants this health care bill fixed and repealed.  I talked to a

Democrat today that says I can’t believe you guys are bringing up this

bill.  This is a bad bill.  This is worse than the bill we had.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  You want to out that Democrat?

 

YOHO:  What’s that?

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You want to name that Democrat?

 

YOHO:  No, I don’t want to do that.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Tell me – I won’t ask you again.  All right. 

Tell me – what kind of arm twisting – have you received a phone call from

the speaker, from the house majority leader or the whip?  I mean, are you

getting calls to, you know, a lot of arm twisting?

 

YOHO:  Yeah.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do they say?  What do they stay to you?

 

YOHO:  They just want to know what will get to the yes.  And I think the

biggest thing for me is we introduced a bill called hold harmless the

insurance companies that would maintain pre-existing conditions and

allowing kids to stay on their parents’ health plan until the age of 26. 

But yet it frees up the insurance market so that the insurance companies

can create plans now and start marketing them until 2018.  This is

essential to drive the costs of insurance down.  If we go down this path

that’s presented to us now, insurance premiums will go up and they’re going

to go up right at November – right at the election time in November of

2018.  When people are filling out their ballots, they’re going to have

their insurance premium there, and they’re going to wonder why in the heck

their premiums went up 25 to 40 percent.  And this is a no-win situation. 

So, again, I know the people on the Republican side and most of the

Democrats want health care fixed.  The current bill is a disaster, the

Affordable Care Act.  This is getting closer to doing what we want, but

we’re not there yet.  But I have complete faith in our leadership that

they’re going to work with Donald Trump and we’ll come together and we’ll

fix this.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, thanks for joining us.  We’ll be watching

tomorrow.  Thank you, sir.

 

YOHO:  Greta, I appreciate it.  Have a great night.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Thank you.  New details from a report that President Trump’s

former campaign manager allegedly earned millions from a Russian

billionaire.   And four dead and 20 injured in what looks like a terror

attack right outside the gates of parliament in London.  We’ll go live to

the scene ahead.  

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We’re learning more about possible links between President

Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and Russia.  The associated

press reporting today that between 2006 and at least 2009, Manafort worked

for a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska.  The A.P. further reporting

that the purpose of the work was to advance the interests of Russian

president Vladimir Putin.  Manafort who reportedly earned $10 million a

year denies that he ever worked for Russian interests.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you, or your

campaign, and Putin and his regime?

 

PAUL MANAFORT, DONALD TRUMP’S FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN:  No, there are not. 

That’s absurd.  And, you know, there’s no base to it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And today, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded

to the report.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  He was a consultant.  He had

clients from around the world.  There is no suggestion that he did anything

improper or – but to suggest that the president knew who his clients were

from a decade ago is a bit insane.  There is not – he’s not a government

employee.  He didn’t fill out any paperwork attesting to something. 

There’s nothing that he did that suggested at this point that anything was

nefarious.  He was hired to do a job.  He did it.  That’s it.  Plain and

simple.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Paul Manafort telling NBC News, quote, I worked with Oleg

Deripaska almost a decade ago, representing him on business and personal

matters in countries where he had investments.  My work with Mr. Deripaska

did not involve representing Russian political interests.  Now all this

just days after a Ukrainian lawmakers released new documents allegedly

showing that Manafort received off the book payment from Ukrainian former

pro-Russian president who is now living in Russia.  Today, I asked that

lawmaker, Serhiy Leshchenko, about the documents in question.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

 

SERHIY LESHCHENKO, UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER:  This is a document which I believe

legalized payment for Manafort from Yanukovych, and this is the document

which we can prove the payment from black ledges.  So in black ledges we

can – handwritten transaction.  It’s not a transaction, it’s just one line

saying that $750,000 was paid to Paul Manafort by Yanukovych.  But if you

look at this contract we have – the document proves how money were paid. 

So this is a payment from Belize offshore.  And the account of the offshore

is in Kyrgyzstan.  And transactions was done to the accounts of Paul

Manafort in Virginia.  This is a.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now, he – go ahead, sir.

 

LESHCHENKO:  This is the offshore company, the account in Kyrgyzstan, and

this is Paul Manafort’s company with his signature.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now Paul Manafort had said the ledger is a forgery and

accused Serhiy Leshchenko of trying to blackmail him.  Now Leshchenko

denies the charges of blackmail.  Joining me, Chad Day, reporter with the

Associated Press investigative team who broke that story on Manafort today. 

Nice to see you.

 

CHAD DAY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Nice to see you, thanks

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do we know if there’s two sets of documents, or there’s the

documents supposedly a contract found in the safe, and then there’s the

ledger.  Do we know if these are authentic?

 

DAY:  So the documents that are coming out of Ukraine have actually been

come under some scrutiny.  And I will tell you that we, you know, we have

not independently authenticated those documents, and that’s something that

I think authorities there are trying to do right now.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So, and, of course, Manafort has denied all of

this.  But what do the documents purport to show?

 

DAY:  So the documents that we have, the documents that we reviewed and

that we corroborated with other sources, they show that in 2005, Paul

Manafort in his own words pitched a memo to Oleg Deripaska, who is a

Russian oligarch who is close to Putin, that basically said I’m going to

take this lobbying and political influence campaign that I used in Ukraine,

and I think that this could work very well in other Soviet republics to

benefit the Putin government.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there anything wrong with that?

 

DAY:  You know that’s a good question.  And I think that, you know, at the

time, it depends on some of the legality on what he was doing in Washington

at the time.  There’s obviously foreign agent registration act which is

something that would – he would have had to disclosed this work if he was

actively doing this in Washington.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  If he were lobbying for Russia in the United States,

assuming that this is a foreign government he’s lobbying for, that the

billionaire in Russia are the same?

 

DAY:  Well, so that’s actually part of what needs to be looked at.  I think

that’s kind of an open question at this point.  You know, foreign agent

registration act basically says that if you have – if you’re advancing the

interests of a foreign government or you’re working on their behalf, then

you have to register.  At this point, I think that’s an open question. 

It’s something that we’re still trying to gather answers on.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  One of the things I thought was peculiar, I

mean, proof that he has authentic documents peculiar, but that he said he’s

paid $750,000 and it was like for computer equipment.

 

DAY:  Well, I think that we’re talking about two different sets of

documents.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK.

 

DAY:  So the documents that we’ve looked at and we’ve authenticated from

different sources don’t detail what you’re talking about.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What’s the ledger that this man showed us on the air, a

ledger, I mean, he said – he showed us a contract?

 

DAY:  Uh-huh.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We’ve not authenticated and a ledger.  And according to the

two is that on the same day that the contract was signed, $750,000 went to

Manafort, if you believe this document, and it had something to do with

computer equipment.

 

DAY:  Right.  And I think what they’re trying to say with that, I want to

make sure that we differentiate our reporting with their reporting, or

what’s going on in Ukraine right now that’s been released.  I think that

they’re saying that this is some kind of proof of some type of offshore

account or money transaction of some type that they believe to be corrupt. 

That is not something that we’ve reported.  It’s not something that the

A.P. can actually corroborate.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So we have no idea if that’s true or not.  All right.  What

kind of work did Manafort do?

 

DAY:  So the work that he did was – going back to our reporting, in 2006,

there was a signed contract that he had with Oleg Deripaska, and he had

acknowledged and confirmed that he worked for Deripaska for a number of

years.  Now, Mr. Manafort says that this was for his personal and business

interests at the time.  But when you read through the documents and you’ve

look at what we’ve found, he was pitching a very wide-scale or large-scale

political influence campaign that he specifically said could be used to

tailor for benefiting the Putin government.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  What did the oligarch do for a living?  What was

his business?

 

DAY:  Right.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And was he close – or is he close to Putin?

 

DAY:  Right.  So what he was he’s actually made his money in the aluminum

business.  He’s an aluminum magnate.  And he’s very close to Putin

according to state department cables that have been released by WikiLeaks. 

Actually, state department cable from 2006 actually says that he’s one of

the two or three people that are closest to Putin, and that he routinely

travels with him.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  One thing we know, it’s an early investigation.

We’ve done unbelievable research, investigative, but we don’t know if

anything’s been done wrong.  Let’s make that clear.  We just don’t know. 

But there’s certainly enough information there worth going on.

 

DAY:  Right.  And I think the significance of this is that with these

congressional investigations going on right now, with there being questions

about what are the ties to the Trump campaign has to Russia, that this is

one more piece in the puzzle that we’re trying to put together for people

who have that question or trying to answer that question.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And very helpful for a lot of people would come forward and

talk.  Anyway, blame Mr. Manafort.  Thank you very much.

 

DAY:  Absolutely.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Come back when you have more.

 

DAY:  I will.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Next, we’re going to go live to London for an update on that

suspected terror attack.  The death toll is rising tonight.  That’s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Happening right now, President Trump meeting at the White

House with secretary state Rex Tillerson.  It’s a working dinner and it

comes after today’s deadly terror attack in London.  Late today, the

secretary called those attacks tragic.  And tonight, NBC News is learning

that five people in London are dead, including the attacker and a police

officer, 40 people were injured.  The terror began around 2:30 PM London

time.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We heard gunshots.  What we thought was gunshots. 

Turned around and saw the car plowed into a lady.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I heard the crash first.  That’s a crash.  And then

I thought it was a genuine accident.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  What I have seen in my own eyes between six and seven

people lying down.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There were bodies literally – ten – ten bodies.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  At least 10 or 12 bodies all lying in different

places along the bridge.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  NBC’s Matt Bradley is in London.  Matt?

 

MATT BRADLEY, NBC NEWS:  Greta, that’s right.  We just – we just heard

from the deputy – the acting deputy police commissioner, Mark Rowley, he

had a press conference where he ramped up the casualty numbers.  He said

that instead of four people, it’s actually five people had been killed. 

That number includes the actual – the assailant who was shot dead by

police and a police officer who the assailant either stabbed or beat to

death in front of parliament.  And then there were three other civilians

who were killed either around the parliament area or on the bridge.  Now,

the way this all went down at around 2:30 PM, this assailant drove a four-

by-four vehicle, across Westminster Bridge which is the bridge coming from

South London right to North London adjoining the parliament building.  He

ran into a crowd of people, and then he managed to disembark from his car

and charge into the parliament building.  That’s where he either stabbed or

bludgeoned to death this British police officer.  And then left that man

and started to run into the parliament building and that’s when he was

gunned down by the other members of the police who were guarding the

parliament building.  And as the police just said, there were 40 people who

are now in hospital, and we’re still waiting to hear more about the actual

identity of the attacker and exactly what motivated him.  Greta?

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Matt, thank you.  And thank you for watching.  See you back

here tomorrow night 6:00 PM Eastern.  Up next, Hardball with Chris

Matthews.

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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