For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/22/2017
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
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD: Indeed, he does. Thank
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
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
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
(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
(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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, senator, nice to see you. Hopefully you’ll come
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the president also part of that incidental
collection, his communications?
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
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the President of the United States, his personal
communications was collected in incidental collection. Not in specific
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
(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
KAREN BASS, CONGRESSWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Thanks for having
VAN SUSTEREN: If this weren’t so serious, I’d say you can’t make this
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
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
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 –
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
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
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
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.
(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.
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
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?
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
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.
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
(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
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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
(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
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