For the Record with Greta, Transcript 3/31/2017

Guests:
David Cicilline, Ron Hosko, Matt Mille, Alan Dershowitz, Francesca Chambers, Ken Dilanian
Transcript:

Show: FOR THE RECORD

Date: March 31, 2017

Guest: David Cicilline, Ron Hosko, Matt Mille, Alan Dershowitz, Francesca Chambers, Ken Dilanian

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST:  Chuck, I`m not going to miss Meet the

Press this Sunday, that`s for sure.

 

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC:  You better not.  Don`t be late, will you?

 

VAN SUSTEREN: I won`t be late.

 

TODD:  OK.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I won`t.  I`ll be there.  Thank you, Chuck.  And Chairman

Nunes speaks and it`s for the first time since the Washington Post and New

York Times both reported the stunning news that a combined three Trump

White House officials showed him classified files.  And moments ago, Nunes`

counterpart, the house intelligence committee ranking member Democrat Adam

Schiff was spotted entering the White House, so why he is now at the White

House?  To review classified documents, but here is the catch, we do not

know if these are the very same documents that Chairman Nunes was shown

when he made that surprise late White House evening visit.

 

And also breaking right now, the top Democrat in the house oversight

committee, Elijah Cummings, is demanding answer from the White House

counsel and the national security adviser on their staff coordination with

Chairman Nunes.  He wants to know who knew about it, who else was involved,

and will any disciplinary actions be taken.  Here`s Chairman Nunes for the

first time speaking about that explosive report, and he is speaking a long

way from D.C., he`s in Fresno, California, tonight.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. DEVIN NUNES, (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:  Those

reports are mostly wrong.  There are – I mean, this is something that I`ve

known about for a very long time from people who were not affiliated at all

with the White House or anybody there.  The challenge was finding a place

to be able to view this information, to be able to get my hands on this

information.  So I think what`s in the stories is there`s a lot of

innuendo, there are people that probably knew about this, knew about me

being there, but the fact of the matter is, that doesn`t make them the

source of my information.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  The big criticism, I think the overarching criticism

that has been thrown at you is that you`re just too close to the White

House.  And when they saw the New York Times article even if it was not

your original source, there saying, oh, it`s still people there at the

White House who are helping you gain access to this information and then

going back and telling the president.  And they`re saying he`s just too

close to give a fair investigation when that investigation might involve

the White House.  Do you understand those criticisms?

 

NUNES:  Yeah, I mean, I do.  But it always goes back to.  Then who else is

going to do it?  Because there`s only so many – at the end of the day,

someone has to do it.  I`m sure that all the Republicans in congress voted

for President Trump.  All the Democrats voted for Hillary Clinton.  I mean,

that`s just how it is.  At the end of the day, we`re accountable to our

voters.  And like I said, this whole issue that we briefed the president

on, that I briefed the president on, had nothing to do with Russia.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Rhode Island congressman and member of the house

foreign affairs committee, David Cicilline, and Ron Hosko, former assistant

FBI director under James Comey, and Matt Miller, former spokesperson for

the Justice Department.  Congressman, first to you, we just heard from

Congressman Nunes, Chairman Nunes, and he said that – he says, I can tell

you that those reports are mostly wrong.  This is something I`ve known

about for a very long time from people who are not affiliated at all with

the White House or anybody there.  That`s partially of what he said.  What

is he talking about?

 

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND:  Unclear.  I mean, Mr. Nunes has

already said that he received this information while he was in a vehicle

and from a source that he`s not disclosed, but then he went to the White

House, was shown documents and then returned the following day to present

them to the White House – to the president, then held a press conference. 

It`s very, very inappropriate for our person who is leading an

investigation to brief the target of that investigation.  This is highly

irregular.  The story seems to be changing a little bit.  But I think the

main point is that it`s very difficult for anyone to have confidence that

Chairman Nunes could lead this investigation and an independent,

nonpartisan way that really get the facts and get to the bottom of this. 

And when he said, you know, he answers to his constituents, actually, as

chairman of the intelligence committee, his responsibility is greater than

that.  It`s really to answer to the American people to give them confidence

that he`s taking this responsibility seriously and independently.  And I

think his behavior has completely undermined his ability to do that.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ron, it`s also – I mean, it`s hard to understand really –

you know, this has been such a story that`s changed so often.

 

RON HOSKO, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR:  So often.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We don`t know a lot of facts.  What is the question you

would like to ask the chairman?

 

HOSKO:  Well, the questions asked the chairman including specifically what

is it that he has seen?  How is it that he`s processing this information? 

What is it that he`s willing to share with Mr. Schiff and/or others on the

committee?  I find the whole thing deeply troubling.  And the most

troubling part is if Congressman Schiff were to go there today, having been

there today, and review the identical documents that Congressman Nunes did,

I would bet my paycheck that he would come out with a different assessment

and assertion than Nunes did.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t even know that.  But, man, I don`t even know if

anyone knows it`s going to be the same documents.  I mean, you know, I

don`t know, Matt, if congressman Schiff knows if it`s the same documents.

 

MATT MILLER, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FORMER SPOKESPERSON:  No, I don`t think he

will.  And I think there`s not a lot of trust right now.  There`s not a lot

of trust between Congressman Schiff and Chairman Nunes.  There`s not a lot

of trust between Congressman Schiff at the White House.  I mean, this

entire thing really has been a disaster from the beginning.  If the

president – the president obviously, he got mad, he sent these tweets out. 

If they had come out after that weekend and said, you know what, the

president read this in the newspaper, we`ve looked at it.  We`re not

worried about it, and withdraw then.  It would all be over by now. 

Instead, we`ve launched this long series of investigations that really have

undermined the confidence of what ought to be the focus of the

investigation, which is Russia.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ron, there some easy sort of simple fixes or attempts to fix

it.  If I were Chairman Nunes tonight, I would be at the White House with

Congressman Schiff and I`d say these are the documents I looked at.  I`d

sit in the room with him.  I sit and talk to him, and I get him on my team

and then come out and make an announcement to the American people, that to

which they can tell us.

 

HOSKO:  It seems obvious, if there`s any possible hope that these two can

come out and have a singular message, I think that would be helpful.  But,

personally, I believe trust in the institution, the body that has this

investigation now, has been destroyed and it cannot be rebuilt.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, leader Pelosi has said that Chairman Nunes was

duped, but that`s sort of consistent with – she`s a passionate advocate

for her view.  She`d say that.  But do you think he`s been duped by the

White House?

 

CICILLINE:  Well, I don`t know whether he`s duped by the White House or

not, but he clearly was responding to an effort by the White House to

distract from the investigation.  I think to draw attention away from what

was under way.  And it seems as if the whole thing was orchestrated to do

that.  You know the sharing of this information and the notion of coming

back and briefing the president and never speaking to Adam Schiff or the

other members of his committee.  So he was either duped or he is incapable

of understanding the importance of being independent and in not briefing

the person that`s being investigated.  It began with Adam Schiff and Devin

Nunes having a press conference together where they set out this sort of

bipartisan way to do this independent investigation and it took a very bad

turn.  And actually, Devin Nunes said he did this in part because the

president was having a bad day with the media.  He`s not an advocate for

the president.  You know he`s a close ally, a member of his transition

team.  He serves a different function here as chairman of the intelligence

committee.  You can either lead an independent investigation or you can be

an ally of the president, an advocate for him, but you can`t do both.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Matt, so where do we go from here?

 

MILLER:  I think we have to start over.  I don`t know how you fix this

house intelligence committee investigation.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Why not just defer to the FBI and to the senate and forget

the house investigation?

 

MILLER:  That may be what eventually happen.  Certainly, there need to be

two tracks of investigations.  There need to be a criminal investigation

that the FBI is conducting.  But remember, that`s only to find out criminal

wrongdoing.  There may be things that the American public deserves to know

about what happened that don`t rise to the whole criminal wrongdoing and

that has to happen in the house, the senate, a select commission.  It has

to happen somewhere.  And right now it`s not happening in the house.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know, Ron, it may be that there`s nothing wrong with

Chairman Nunes looking at this information, and maybe that he`s very

helpful and that he has discovered something that is a security issue for

the country, maybe all that.  But the way that he has handled this has

promoted the most incredible, you know, confusion and suspicion.  I think

it actually hurts the FBI.

 

HOSKO:  It is destructive, I think, to trust and to a sense that it would

be an unbiased and cohesive understanding of the threat of the impact of

the connections.  I think the American public are thirsting for that

information if it`s done fairly in the right way.  And it may well be

impacting what the view is of the FBI.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, I know that you probably talked to a whole lot

more Democrats than you do Republican because of the way this Washington

is.  But are any Republicans pulling aside the halls of congress, are they

saying anything, are they shrugging their shoulders, or are they digging in

their heels defending the chairman?

 

CICILLINE:  No, I think people are very concerned about this.  We`ve

obviously heard, you know, some public statements from Republican senators

about this.  I think people recognize it.  This is a very serious

investigation.  We shouldn`t lose sight about what`s at stake here.  This

is a question about the role of the Russians to influence an American

presidential election and whether there was any cooperation or collusion

between the Trump campaign and the Russians and this very sophisticated

campaign.  And it`s serious and people expect that we`re going to find the

facts where they lead us, get to the bottom, I think the American people

wants us to leave no stone unturned, and they recognize it has to be done

in an independent way.  I think Chairman Nunes has made that impossible. 

And I think people are questioning whether the house can do that under his

leadership.  He really should step down in the best interests of our

country from leading this investigation.  Have another Republican do it,

who can discharge this responsibility and do it with great independence,

and really someone who`s not so affiliated with this president.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Who do you nominate?  All right, which Republican would you

nominate?  Let`s get a Democrat to nominate a Republican?  Who would you

pick?

 

CICILLINE:  If I nominated a Republican he probably wouldn`t get the job.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK, tell me, I mean, who do you listen to on this?

 

CICILLINE:  There are – look, I mean, I think there lots of Republicans

who have not…

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Give me a name…

 

CICILLINE:  Charlie Dent is a terrific person I think who would be

independent.  There are a number of Republicans who have expressed concern

publicly who would I think exercise the kind of independence.  Maybe

someone who hasn`t been such a promoter of the president, maybe I`ll start

with someone who is not on the Trump transition team.  That`s a good

beginning.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And, of course, we know Chairman Nunes was.  But I sure

think it would have been a lot smarter for Chairman Nunes to go over there

tonight with the ranking member.  I think that…

 

CICILLINE:  I agree.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I mean that`s his way out, I think if the ranking member can

help him sort it out.  But it`s not happening tonight.

 

CICILLINE:  I agree.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Anyway, thank you, gentlemen.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Still ahead, why is President Trump defending a guy he fired

for lying to the vice president?  And what is behind Michael Flynn`s

attempt to get immunity?  Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz joins us. 

Also, the White House again accusing the Obama administration of doing

something wrong, what are the facts, what is the truth, and why is the

Trump administration citing NBC News?  We`ll dig into it.  Plus, the

Kremlin is watching us all like a hawk and we`re now hearing  for Putin`s

mouth piece about what Putin wants you to believe what Russia is doing,

including threats about a new cold war.  And also tonight, how the Russia

controversy has consumed the Trump White House for the entire month, it is

March madness, all right.  Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, says he has

a story to tell.  And, boy, would we love to hear it, but will we?  Today,

the senate intelligence committee rejecting this offer on the table to

testify in exchange for immunity over the house intelligence committee, and

aid for Chairman Nunes says immunity has not come up with General Flynn`s

lawyer, and the top Democrat saying that it`s too soon to even think about

it.  General Flynn was fired by the President Trump back in February after

misleading vice president about a call he had with the Russian ambassador. 

And today, the president defending him, writing on twitter, Mike Flynn

should ask for immunity, and that this is a witch hunt excuse for big

election loss by media and Dems of historic proportion, but not talking

about it to reporters.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Any comment on Michael Flynn, Mr. President?

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  White House press secretary Sean Spicer was pressed on that

tweet today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  We heard from the president this morning saying that

Mike Flynn should ask for immunity.  We also know the president has long-

standing views on what immunity means.  I mean back in September, he said

if you`re guilty of crime, what do you need immunity for?  So does the

president think that Mike Flynn is guilty of a crime?

 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  He believes that Mike Flynn

should go testify.  He thinks that he should go up there and do what he has

to do to the story out.

 

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  With or without immunity?

 

SPICER:  Well, that`s up to him and his attorney to decide.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Alan Dershowitz, constitutional law scholar

professor emeritus at Harvard Law School.  Nice to see you, Alan.

 

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL:  Thank you, nice to see you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, when he said – he made the crack last fall about

immunity, that people who are asking for immunity are guilty, as sort of –

Leader Pelosi was critical of judges for recusing themselves in reference

to Sessions.  To suggest that every time you recuse yourself as guilty.  So

let me say loud and clear, innocent oftentimes need and should ask for

immunity, your thought?

 

DERSHOWITZ:  They never should ask for it publicly, though.  What is

shocking about this case – and he has a very good lawyer, but I cannot for

the life of me figure out the strategy.  You don`t publicly ask for

immunity, especially if you`ve previously said that only guilty people seek

immunity.  You negotiate behind the scenes.  You then, if you get immunity,

it`s imposed on you.  You haven`t asked for it.  You have no choice.  If

congress gives you immunity, the Justice Department gives you immunity, you

have no choice.  It`s much better to get immunity, not having asked for it,

but then to ask for it and not get it.  And so something is going on here.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Here`s my theory about why they did that.  Because I agree

that you do it privately, you don`t do it publicly.  That`s a bad strategy. 

But here`s what I think.  I think that they weren`t getting an offer of

immunity out of the house and the senate.  And they want that offer

immunity on Capitol Hill, so that Flynn can accept it.  Go up on Capitol

Hill, testify, tell whatever he wants to testify and then he`ll be

protected from any possible criminal – he`ll be able to use that immunity

down if he`s ever indicted in a criminal court, for, let`s say a false

statement in connection with an investigation with the FBI, which is an

easy – the FBI loves to make those charges against people.

 

DERSHOWITZ:  Sure.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So I think they were trolling for that.

 

DERSHOWITZ:  Well, it`s possible.  It`s possible that they were trying to

provoke a public confrontation so that the public will demand that he be

given immunity so that he can tell the story.  Let`s remember that under

the constitution, you don`t get transaction immunity.  In other words, you

don`t get immunity from prosecution.  You only get what`s called use

immunity.  And what the prosecutors can do is they can create a lock box in

which they put all the evidence that they already have prior to this

testimony given under immunity and they can use all of that testimony to

prosecute him.  They tried that with Oliver North, as you`ll recall, many,

many years ago, but they didn`t do a good enough job.  But prosecutors can

sometimes have their cake and eat it.  That is if they can give the

immunity, get the information and still prosecute the immunized witness

based on evidence that they have already gathered before he testified.  So

we`re seeing a three-dimensional chess game being played now.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do you make of President Trump tweeting that Mike Flynn

should ask for immunity and that this is a witch hunt excuse for big

election loss by media and the Dems of historic proportion.  When he fired

him after – I use the nice term misleading, some people might say he lied

to Mike Pence.  I don`t know.  That`s part of the investigation.  But then

for the vice president went out and said something publicly that was false

because of what Flynn told him, yet now the president is defending Flynn.

 

DERSHOWITZ:  Well, you know, the president has apparently told people that

he regrets having fired Flynn.  You know, the president generally doesn`t

like to do anything that acknowledges any wrongdoing at all.  So this may

just be a reaction to that.  It`s also conceivable that this is a

coordinated plan between the White House and Flynn`s attorney.  I doubt

that.  But to have the president come out and say take immunity is very

unusual.  It increases the pressure on congress and the Justice Department

perhaps to grant immunity.  So everybody`s playing some very risky games

here and we don`t how in the end it will come out.  But this is not the

usual situation.  The usual situation is the lawyer quietly says, you know,

my client might be willing to testify.  You have to tell us what you`re

willing to do.  Queen for a day, transaction on immunity, derivative use

immunity, here`s the proffer.  Here`s what we can say.  That`s usually what

happens.  I have never seen a case before where a person seeking immunity

goes out into the public and says I want the public to know that I am

seeking immunity.  I have a story and the other side says, no, we`re not

going to give you the immunity.  That`s very unusual.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, we`ll see what happens, new facts on this one every

day.  Thank you, Alan.

 

DERSHOWITZ:  Thank you.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So why is the Trump White House pointing the finger again at

the Obama administration?  What does NBC News have to do with it?  That`s

next.  Also, we`re going to dig deeper into General Michael Flynn`s history

with the Russians, innocent or sinister?  And does it have any relationship

to his attempt to get immunity?  Some of Flynn`s past comments now coming

back to haunt him.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER SECURITY ADVISOR:  Lock her up.  That`s right. Yep. 

That`s right.  Lock her up.  You know why?  And you know why?  You know why

we`re saying that?  We`re saying that because if I – a guy who knows this

business, if I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail

today.  

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now the White House is trying to shift focus in the Russian

probe to the Obama administration again, saying there`s evidence it spread

sensitive information for political purposes.  In particular, the White

House has pointed to a former Obama official, Evelyn Farkas.  Here`s what

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The revelations of Evelyn

Farkas, who played a senior role in the Obama administration going on the

record to talk about how they politically used classified information is

troubling, on the record consistent on what Dr. Farkas says.  That there

was clearly an attempt to do something politically motivated with the

intelligence out there.  And Dr. Farkas` admissions alone are devastating.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now Evelyn Farkas is a former Pentagon official who focuses

on Russia, she left in 2015.  She`s now an MSNBC contributor and she

entered this story the day after the New York Times ran this headline,

Obama administration rushed to preserve intelligence of Russian election

hacking.  That was on March 1st.  The next day, Farkas appeared on Morning

Joe.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER PENTAGON OFFICIALS:  I was urging my former colleague

and get us much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the

administration because I had a fear that somehow that information would

disappear with the senior people who left.  That the Trump folks, if they

found out how we knew what we knew about their – the staff – the Trump

staff`s dealings with Russian, that they would try to compromise those

sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that

intelligence.

 

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  A lot going on today.

 

FARKAS:  Yeah.  That`s why you have the leaking.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Two days later, March 4th, President Trump sent out those

infamous tweets claiming he had been wiretap by President Obama.  And

today, press secretary Spicer also mentioned new NBC reporting that he says

raises questions about whether the Obama administration leaked sensitive

intelligence for political purposes.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SPICER:  You know, NBC News has just reported something very similar about

information that was used by the Obama White House to spread this

information and this politically sensitive information.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The NBC report recounts efforts by Obama administration

officials to preserve key classified documents related to the Russia probe

and providing senior members of the senate intelligence committee a way to

access those documents.  With me, Francesca Chambers, White House

correspondent for the Daily Mail, and Ken Dilanian, NBC`s national security

correspondent.  Ken, I`m having a little trouble with this timeline. 

Evelyn Farkas left the government in October of 2015, which is way before -

- just as the campaign was getting started.  How did she know or how would

she get information that the Obama administration would be collecting

information on the Trump campaign if she was out as of October 2015?

 

KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS:  Greta, I think just like you and just like me,

she`s working her contacts inside the government and she was sort of

reflecting what she was hearing from her former colleagues about what they

were doing.  And, you know, obviously the Trump administration sees it as

sinister and she saw it as perfectly appropriate because they were

concerned about what might happen with some of this intelligence.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, did she have a continuing security clearance after she

left so that she could be – once she left the government, she could be

having these conversations about what the people back in the government

were collecting?

 

DILANIAN:  Well, she may have had a security clearance, but I believe she

has said that she didn`t traffic classified information.  She was purely

talking about in an unclassified way – as I do every day about classified

information.  I`m trying to get information right about what the government

knows and what`s being shared.  But, you know, people aren`t reading out

the classified details to reporters or hopefully former colleagues, Greta.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Francesca, I would assume if there was some wiretapping or

any type of effort to find out what was being said secretly among anyone or

campaign, that that would be classified.

 

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL:  Any information that Congressman Nunes

has said that he viewed is classified and that`s why he can`t tell us any

more information about it.  And what I found interesting about Secretary

Spicer comments today is that he said that what we`re hearing from her,

what we`ve seen from NBC, all this reporting points even more in the

direction that President Donald Trump was wiretap by former President

Barack Obama as he`s claimed.  But as you can see, from what she`s citing

and what we`ve been hearing, that there`s nothing to substantiate those

claims.  We still have heard nothing about that.  And Congressman Nunes has

also said that he`s seen nothing in these documents that he reviewed that

would lead him to believe that happen.

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  While we`re on the air, right now, let me tell

you what`s just happened, that Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking member

of the house select committee intelligence, the counterpart to Chairman

Nunes, has just come out of the White House and he released the following

statement.  Today my staff director and I reviewed materials at the White

House. It was represented to me that these are precisely the same materials

that were provided to the chairman over a week ago.  While I cannot discuss

the content of the documents, if the White House had any concern over these

materials, they should have been shared with the full committee in the

first place as part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities.  Nothing I

could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures and

these materials should now be provided to the full membership of both

committees.  The White House has yet to explain why senior White House

staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either

committee only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House. 

Ken, the story goes on.  What do you think?

 

DILANIAN:  You know, what`s significant about this, Greta is what I`ve

started to suspect.  If there was really something improper and explosive

in these documents Nunes was talking about, the White House would have just

released them to both parties, to the full committee, because on its face

it would have been a scandal or something worthy of investigation.  If Adam

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, went in there and looked at them, we

can accuse him of being a partisan but he is also concerned about people`s

privacy and if he went in there and looked and said – he is not really

saying but he hasn`t said that there was any particular improper sharing of

names, as Nunes has implied or improper unmasking of U.S. person names,

perhaps there wasn`t and perhaps that is the whole reason they went through

this charade of laundering this information through Nunes who had two news

conferences and then went to the White House.  Greta? 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Francesca does it mean that has been a drama, I mean what

has been the point of all of this?  Why did Nunes do that?  I still don`t

get why Nunes put us through this drama.  It`s been suggested by

Congressman Schiff, although he doesn`t say exclusively, because it was a

classified information, but this is not such a big deal, whatever it is. 

 

CHAMBERS:  We still don`t know if the information he saw today is the same

information that Congressman Nunes saw. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Other than he says that he was told it was. 

 

CHAMBERS:  And we still don`t know if the same information that he saw was

the information that Congressman Nunes saw.  Only Congressman Nunes knows

what he saw unless the White House staffers compiled this information for

Congressman Schiff are the same ones that gave the information to

Congressman Nunes in which came by again begs the question, why didn`t they

just give it to the entire community?  Why was it given to him and him

alone and why is the White House not saying that?  Are they just being

transparent about it? 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  If it weren`t so serious the thought of Russia meddling in

our election, I would be more inclined to keep saying that who is on first,

as that whole comedy.  This continues to be so bizarre.  Ken and Francesca

thank you both. 

 

Ahead, it`s not just the Russia controversy from failed health care bill to

the stalled travel ban, what Americans are saying about President Trump`s

challenges. 

 

First, General Flynn sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He

talked to the Russian ambassador.  What story might General Flynn be able

to tell? 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Took the Fifth Amendment and

her ringleaders were given immunity. 

 

(CHEERS) 

 

And if you`re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for, right? 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  General Flynn`s attorney said that his client has a

story to tell.  Is the White House concerned that General Flynn has

damaging information about the president, his aides and associates about

what occurred during the campaign with respect to Russia? 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Nope. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is General Michael Flynn talking?  Nope.  But his lawyer is

and it comes with a tease.  His lawyer says Flynn has, quote, a story to

tell.  And that may be a tantalizing claim for investigators eager for a

chance to learn more about Flynn`s phone conversations with the Russian

ambassador.  As well as that 2015 gala in Moscow where General Flynn sat

with Russian president Vladimir Putin and, of course, there is the

question, does General Flynn know anything about the Russian meddling that

we are now learning continued after the election?  Here`s what Senator

Marco Rubio said this week. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Within the

last 24 hours, at 10:45 a.m. yesterday, a second attempt was made against

former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our

internal information again targeted from an I.P. address from an unknown

location in Russia and that effort was also unsuccessful. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And could General Flynn shed new light on the thinking

inside the very secretive Kremlin now pushing the line that the hacking

never happened? 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

GEN. MIKE FLYNN (RET), FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR:  All those fake

news having nothing beneath and having no evidence were nothing else but

slander and that is why we`ll continue to suggest to everyone insisting

that Russia was interfering in the domestic affairs of the United States,

we will suggest them to read Mr. Putin`s lips. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me now, Malcolm Nance, also the author “The plot to

hack America.” How Putin cyber spies WikiLeaks try to steal the 2016

election and Michael Crowley, senior foreign affairs correspondent for

“Politico” who has covered extensively on the Russian hacking.  Malcolm,

now we have a spokesperson for the Kremlin, for Putin, referring to fake

news and that they did nothing wrong and I don`t know, I guess he thinks

we`re making it up. 

 

MICHAEL CROWLEY, POLITICO:  Well, it`s very Russian.  Deny it and then

accuse the other side of doing the thing that they said you`re doing so

they say we`re fake news.  Of course, it was Russia helping to pump fake

news into our political system.  And I don`t think you can take the Russian

denial seriously.  It`s funny they keep using this “read my lips” line,

which is the George Bush line, no new taxes, he broke that promise, I mean

it was an empty pledge so, it is just a kind of a funny historical

footnote.  I think the more we learn about the connections between Trump

and his associates and the Kremlin, the more disturbing it gets and it

doesn`t – you just can`t put much faith in what Putin`s people are saying. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Malcolm, is Putin winning? 

 

MALCOLM NANCE, AUTHOR:  Oh, Putin is doing a great job at winning this

game.  I`ve gone on record many times and said that we may be witnessing

the single greatest intelligence operation in the history of Russia and I`m

talking back to the czar era.  He is definitely winning.  When he made his

comments the other day, he is just executing a very long-standing Russian,

you know, old-school KGB, which is was he was, a KGB officer, which is

deny, deceive and make counteraccusations.  I`m on the board of spy museum

in D.C.  We have that on a coffee cup that comes from Russian operations. 

Putin is playing to his base as well, which is Russia, trying to make

Russia appear benign and also to the Americans that he actually called out

for to support him.  So Vladimir Putin is doing very well in this, even

though we have caught him in the operation, he is still creating chaos in

the west and discrediting liberal democracy. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Michael is the White House distraught or disturbed by this

or is this distraction?  I mean, how are they reacting to it?  They think

that they`ve gotten our attention off some of the other issues having to do

with this meddling with this whole Nunes?  Where are they on this? 

 

CROWLEY:  I think it`s a mixed bag.  It`s almost impossible for the White

House to talk about anything else right now.  No White House would want to

be talking about this nonstop.  On the other hand, if they start with the

assumption, look, this investigation in and of itself was going to be such

a big deal, everyone was going to be talking about it anyway, it`s better

that the focus is on Devin Nunes and the antics of this house guy who came

to the White House and what happened which is sort of confusing.  I think

people have trouble following it.  I think it may look like it`s descending

on partisan squabbling and it`s not on the substance of the charges, which

is whether there`s some collaboration between the Trump campaign and the

Kremlin, which would be the biggest story since Watergate, bigger, just as

astounding scandal. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Malcolm, I think it is plausible, I certainly don`t know,

those three at the White House who summoned Nunes, whatever we have three

names now, that they did it, because they were trying to come up with some

evidence to support the previous tweet by the president that he was

wiretapped so it almost looked like they were combing documents looking for

support to back up the president. 

 

NANCE:  You can see that is very clear.  Cohen-Watnick, the former Defense

Intelligence Agency, very junior analyst who somehow is running all of U.S.

Intelligence on the national security council staff, you can just see that

this guy went straight to our classified intel link or super net and did

this search and went out to find evidence to exonerate his boss.  I also

have a great concern, Greta, that it`s quite possible that he was also

looking for information to exonerate his boss who was fired, General Flynn

himself.  This is abuse of classified systems.  Anybody with the security

clearance would have had their security clearance pulled and would have

taken away all their privileges.  The originating agencies would be filing

objections.  This is political misuse of intelligence. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I think the investigation will probably go in that

direction.  Anyway thank you, gentlemen.  

 

Ahead a month of headlines swirling around the Russian controversy, what is

the political price and what is the response from around the country? 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Stuck in a sand trap, the Economist magazine centerizing

President Trump`s political problems with a cartoon, showing him, running

into trouble while playing golf.  A lot of that is due to the Russian

investigations that have monopolized the headlines from the start of the

month to the end.  Take a look. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Then Senator Sessions met with Russian ambassador, one a key

adviser to the Trump campaign despite denying it under oath. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have now decided to recuse myself. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The president accused former President Obama of wiretapping

at Trump tower during the election. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The FBI is investigating the Russian government`s

efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and whether there

was any coordination between the campaign and the Russian efforts. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Today I briefed the president on the concerns that I

had about incidental collection. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bombshell reporting from “The New York Times.” two

White House officials was involved in feeding House Intel Chairman Devin

Nunes information. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  “The Wall Street journal” is now reporting former Trump

national security adviser general Michael Flynn offering to testify in

exchange for immunity. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Joining me is two radio hosts who heard directly and loudly

and clearly from their listeners, Bill Press from the Bill Press show and

Hugh Hewitt, MSNBC Political Analyst and host of “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” I

wondered how you guys come up with the names of your shows. 

 

(LAUGHTER) 

 

Anyway, Hugh you first, Alan Dershowitz said a few minutes ago that he has

heard that Donald Trump regrets firing General Flynn.  Have you heard

anything like that? 

 

HUGH HEWITT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST AND HOST OF THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW:  No,

I have not.  In fact, Reince Priebus said the west wing is working very

well.  I talked to Mike Moran who says he is respected by everyone.  While

he feels allegiance to a man who has helped him, I haven`t heard any

regret.  He is one of the geniuses of our era. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Bill, how are things over at the White House?  You`re over

there a lot. 

 

BILL PRESS, BILL PRESS SHOW:  Chaos. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Hugh just said everything is fine. 

 

PRESS:  He said that Reince Priebus said that everything is fine.  I`m sure

that Hugh would not say that everything is fine.  I go to the briefings as

often as I can.  I wasn`t there today.  I was there yesterday.  The entire

briefing was consumed with questions about Devin Nunes and who let him in

the White House and what documents he saw and why they laundered, if you

will, these documents which seems as they did through Devin Nunes and you

know they want to talk about jobs.  They want to talk about infrastructure. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  They don`t want to talk about health care. 

 

PRINGLE:  Well, true.  They tried it.  I think Donald Trump would like to

run away from health care as fast as he can.  The problem is that Paul Ryan

keeps saying we`re going to try again.  My point is, this issue, because

particularly you said this earlier, I believe of the way they`ve handled

it. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  That is the problem. 

 

HEWITT:  Greta –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Go ahead, Hugh. 

 

HEWITT:  Bill and I have been doing this since you were in high school and

he is never been right and today, unfortunately, it`s not the first day

that he is right. 

 

We`re going to confirm a Supreme Court justice next week.  They`ve got a

setback on health care.  They`ll get it back together.  On this point,

Devin Nunes left the White House and I listened to his statement Greta in

which you played.  He didn`t say a thing about the substance of what he had

seen as to whether or not team Obama had politicized the collected

intelligence.  He said nothing either way.  That is the question to ask

Adam Schiff.  That is the question to focus on. 

 

PRESS:  All right.  Hugh, we do know each other well.  Let me just say –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The finger in the screen.  Look at that. 

 

PRESS:  Hugh, you should not be using White House talking points, Hugh. 

That is exactly what Sean Spicer yesterday said.  We`re not interested in

substance.  We`re not interested in process.  It is a question.  When the

chairman said, I`ve made this great discovery from some unnamed source, I

have to run down and inform Donald Trump, and that very same day – and I

was at the briefing.  Sean Spicer says we have no idea where he got this

stuff.  We have no idea what`s in it.  We have no idea why he is coming

down there.  Then we learn it was all a ruse.  He had been down there the

day before, and that is where he got the documents.  And now the White

House will not tell us who let him in. 

 

HEWITT:  Devin Nunes made a big mistake. 

 

PRESS:  Thank you. 

 

HEWITT:  He made a big mistake.  He should not have lied to Eli Lake, who

is probably one of the most respected national security advisers in

Washington.  But I go back to Adam Schiff at the White House today leaving. 

He ought to be asked, did you see anything that concerns you ranking

membership, and if so, was team Obama abusing incidentally collected

surveillance, collected lawfully but used illegally.  Dr. Farcass, by the

way, was not on the staff.  She is not in a position to comment on whether

or not that happened.  But she is in a position to gossip about what she

heard, and the gossip that she gave voice to on this network is very

alarming.  I asked Reince Priebus about that as well on my radio show, and

he said –

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  30 seconds, Bill. 

 

PRESS:  The point that they didn`t find anything substantive in these

documents is very important.  It proves that Donald Trump was lying when he

said that President Obama wiretapped Trump tower. 

 

HEWITT:  That did not happen, Bill, though.  You`re right about that.  He

was not wiretapped.  You`re right about that. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Hugh, Bill, nice talking to you.  I hope you come back next

week. 

 

HEWITT:  Thanks Greta. 

 

PRESS:  All right. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And President Trump, comedy and some very happy comedians. 

One joins me next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

 

JIMMY FALLON, THE TONIGHT SHOW:  Trump`s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared

Kushner, will be questioned about his meetings with Russian officials. 

Yep.  If they find out he did anything illegal, he`ll be sentenced to still

being Trump`s son-in-law. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Nunez went to the White House to brief Trump on

information he got from the White House.  It`s like when you send yourself

an e-mail reminder and two minutes later go, oh, a new e-mail. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not only is Flynn willing to talk for immunity, he is

also coming out with a new book, “The art of the squeal.” 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The late night comedians, in fact all comedians have hit the

jackpot, a new president in the White House, not just any president, but

Donald Trump.  With me, stand-up comedian and political statures Kathleen

Madigan, whose comedy is streaming now on Netflix, also on tour, hitting

Bloomington, Illinois, Gayle burg, Illinois, Naperville, Illinois, and

Ridge Field Connecticut, and that is just April.  That is exhausting. 

 

KATHLEEN MADIGAN, COMEDIAN:  I didn`t even know all that.  You know more

than I know.  That is crazy.  I have to cancel some of that. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  That is crazy.  That is exhausting. 

 

MADIGAN:  It is exhausting. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Admit it that the Trump administration has made it really

fun for comedians. 

 

MADIGAN:  He has made it fun, but he also acts so quickly that we`re

behind.  Like you write a joke and go, wait, he said something different

now?  I just read that tweet.  They`re like, no, that is old.  That is so

old, Kathleen.  You sound like a hack.  He is very hard to keep up with. 

And I think when people come to a show, they should expect Trump things. 

If you went to mass, and the priest busted out some Trump jokes, I would

say that is inappropriate.  But you`re in a theater or a late-night show. 

So, yeah, people are going to talk about Donald. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  First of all, thank you for this t-shirt you

gave me.  I got a t-shirt. 

 

MADIGAN:  Oh, you`re welcome.  It`s the last one that said “crew,” and it`s

from Milwaukee. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Take a look at that.  You`ve been to Appleton, Wisconsin. 

You performed there. 

 

MADIGAN:  Yes, I performed there. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You and Louis Black will perform there. 

 

MADIGAN:  We will be doing a secret thing there. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there anything sort of off limits with the first family? 

 

MADIGAN:  I would say the kids for me.  But like not all comedians are

going to agree.  But I don`t think the kids have a vote in that, at least

in my family there would have been no vote.  If my dad said, I`m running

for president, none of us could go, I don`t really agree with that.  We

weren`t even addressed as individuals.  So I think the kids didn`t bargain

for it. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know I feel like I know your family.  I know your

brothers are lawyers.  I know your father`s a lawyer.  I know about the

cabin.  I know about your mother, and I know about the pills in the purse,

which she doesn`t like anyone to flow about, right? 

 

MADIGAN:  Right, because if she comes to a show, now they know she has a

lot of pills and like other old people in her aisle will ask her for her

drugs and she gets super possessive and run as way. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Does your family get mad at you for making them sort of the

 

MADIGAN:  No, not as long as I, you know, provide something spectacular

once a year, which like, you know, like if I do a special, they`ll come to

that, or like Vegas.  If I`m at the mirage, they`ll come to that.  There

are 500 of them, so I really have to do some work to get them there.  But

nobody has said anything.  If it`s a joke where I have questions about it,

I will run it by them first and go, look, I`m going to say this.  Like my

brothers have serious jobs.  I don`t want to be calling them a drunk or

something. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Actually, you have done that.  That is actually not true. 

Actually, that is not true.  Look, I said I told I feel like I know your

family.  That law firm, what about that law firm? 

 

MADIGAN:  That was true.  That was my dad`s true law firm in north St.

Louis.  I said I can`t believe they had customers.  You should have just

called it four drunks with a copy machine. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t think they got to vote on that one. 

 

MADIGAN:  No, but they had already quit that law firm.  It was over by

then.  He was a judge.  He`d moved on. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I went to your website.  You are on the road how many nights

a year? 

 

MADIGAN:  579,000. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  That is a little bit more than 365. 

 

MADIGAN:  Yeah, it is.  It`s a lot.  It`s the circus, and it`s been going

for 30 years.  When people go how long is your tour?  I`m like, well, 30

years so far.  It`s not like we`re the rolling stones where we take a year

off and go – whatever music people do. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Louis Black is often the on the road with you. 

 

MADIGAN:  We do a lot of charity.  He is doing the autism thing with me in

Missouri.  We do a lot of shows together.  He is my best friend on the

road. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I understand the White House –

 

MADIGAN:  Yeah, they`re lighting it up. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Kathleen Madigan.  Go to the website and see where she is,

because if she is in your neighborhood, you want to see her, thank you

Kathleen. 

 

MADIGAN:  Thank you Greta. 

 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Thank you for watching.  Have a great weekend.  I`ll see you

back here Monday night 6:00 p.m. Eastern.  If you cannot watch live, set

your DVR and follow me on twitter @Greta you can say really mean things

unanimously to me and also you can say mean things to Kathleen Madigan,

follow her on twitter.  “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.

 

END

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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