For the Record with Greta, Transcript 4/4/2017

Guests:
Ben Cardin, Adam Kinzinger, Michael Isikoff, Clint Watts, David Priess, Rosa DeLauro, Annie Linskey, Catherine Rampell, Kevin Cirilli
Transcript:

Show: For the Record with Greta
Date: April 4, 2017
Guest: Ben Cardin, Adam Kinzinger, Michael Isikoff, Clint Watts, David
Priess, Rosa DeLauro, Annie Linskey, Catherine Rampell, Kevin Cirilli

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST: Thank you, Chuck. And tonight,
President Trump blaming President Obama again, this time for a shocking
atrocity happening halfway around the world. I must warn you, this video
is gruesome and heart wrenching. A strongly suspected gas attack, yes,
chemical weapon sending death, destruction and chaos throughout Syria,
killing innocent civilians including children. The death toll is rising by
the minute. One Syrian medical relief group reporting so far 100 dead and
400 injured and, of course, it gets worse. There are reports at least 25
children murdered in this horrific attack. Witnesses describe an
explosives drop from the sky and immediately people began choking,
struggling to breathe, and foaming at the mouth. President Trump issuing a
statement saying it was reprehensible, but he also said it was, quote, a
consequence of the past administration`s weakness and irresolution.
President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a red line against the
use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. However, and this is
significant, a few years ago in the midst of the debate whether President
Obama should use force in Syria, then Mr. Trump, now President Trump, had a
different opinion. In a tweet, then Mr. Trump said, quote, President
Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside. And then today, secretary
of state Rex Tillerson ignoring questions on the vicious attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Secretary, (INAUDIBLE) chemical attacks in Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Secretary Tillerson later putting out a statement condemning
the attack, but note this. Just last week the secretary said getting the
evil President Assad out of power was not going to be decided by the United
States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think the status and the longer term,
longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: And earlier today, Arizona senator John McCain taking on
Secretary Tillerson saying his comments, quote, served to legitimatize the
actions of this war criminal in Damascus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCCAIN, U.S. SENATOR: One of the more incredible statements I`ve ever
heard came from the involvement of Hezbollah of the Iranians, of the
Russians. I`m sure they`re encouraged to know that the United States is
withdrawing and seeking some kind of new arrangement with the Russians and
it is another disgraceful chapter in American history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: With me Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland. Ranking
member on the senate foreign relations committee. Good evening, sir. And
tonight, many people are trying to rewrite their views of what they thought
should be done back in 2012 and 2013. We`re in the 6th year of this crisis
in Syria. I should note that back in 2013, you, sir, and the senate
foreign relations committee you were one of the ones who voted we should do
something.

SEN. BEN CARDIN, D-MARYLAND: Absolutely, we should have taken more
definitive action. But the question is what do we do now? In the world,
the civilized world cannot be silent when the use of chemical weapons
against a civilian population through a bomb in the air, only President
Assad could have done this with the help of Mr. Putin and Russia. We must
speak out about this. Mr. Assad has no legitimacy to lead Syria. He
should be at the Haig held accountable for war crimes, and that`s what the
international community needs to insist upon.

VAN SUSTEREN: Back in 2013, as everyone does attempt to rewrite history,
it`s worth noting there is a lot of criticism of President Obama not taking
action after his famous red line comment. But I think we should also
factor into it as we look back in 20/20 hindsight, at the time congress
wasn`t behind him. The American people in multiple polls were not behind
him. We were war weary, no one wanted to put boots on the ground, no one
wanted to use force, and even the Brits voted down a resolution to join us
in taking force against Syria. It`s a very different time then. And now,
of course, everyone is jumping on President Obama.

CARDIN: Well, you`re absolutely right about that. He did not have the
support from congress. He had some support. I supported his actions to
use military to stop the use of chemical weapons. That`s something which
is – the international community needs to respond. But you`re absolutely
correct, it was not the support in congress, there certainly wasn`t the
support in Europe. And remember, we thought with Russia`s help we were
able to get all the chemical weapons out of Syria. We thought that was
accomplished. Obviously it was not. We were misled by Russia, and the
consequence is that the Syrian civilian population today is at risk on the
use of chemical weapons. That`s unacceptable.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. It`s not just now – we`re talking about
chemical weapons today as we look at these horrifying video and the video
is horrible. I mean I`ve seen a number of videos and what we see it`s just
terrible. People suffering, struggling to get air as the gas gets them.
But the fact is that Assad has been using chemicals, or at least there have
been chemical attacks suspected multiple times since 2013. It`s not just
in the last few days. And, in fact, the U.N. just the last month, there
was an attempt to pass a resolution to the Security Council against Syria,
but China and Russia vetoed it. So, what are we going to do? Is the world
going to look the other way on this one?

CARDIN: I certainly hope not. I would hope what has been done here will
cause the international community to say that this cannot continue and
those responsible must be held accountable. And that this is war crimes.
The international community must hold Mr. Assad responsible for these
actions. Yes, we know that they`ve been using some chemical agents, but
what we saw today looks more like Sarin, looks more like a very intense
chemical weapon that we were told was totally destroyed within Syria. The
Security Council needs to take action.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. He`s a war criminal, that`s what you`re saying,
but the ICC is completely toothless, has done nothing. I mean, look at
President Bashir in Sudan. He has an indictment for genocide going back a
number of years for killing lots of people in Darfur Region, and nobody
does anything. Even South Africa wouldn`t arrest him when he was there.
So, completely feckless there. He`s a war criminal. But are you saying
that we should do something alone in Syria? What are you saying we`re
going to do? We`re not going to get help out of the U.N.

CARDIN: I would start with the Security Council. And the Security Council
did pass resolutions condemning Syria`s use of chemical weapons. Now they
have used a very strong agent again. It`s time for the Security Council to
put something behind that. I am also saying you don`t legitimate Mr.
Assad. So, I would hope that the Trump administration would not give any
credibility that Mr. Assad – President Assad has any legitimacy to remain
as the leader of Syria.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me ask you one quick question on a random
topic, but one I`m profoundly interested in, that`s the nation of South
Sudan, which right now is in the midst of a civil war. People are starving
there. It`s incredible the number of people who are starving. And do you
have – should the U.S. get involved in South Sudan?

CARDIN: I think we have to. I think the international community needs to
be engaged there. We have a famine that`s caused by conflict. This is not
just a weather related famine. This is a conflict famine where literally
millions of people are in jeopardy of starving to death, and it`s because
the government has little concern of the welfare of the people of South
Sudan. The international community needs to provide a safe haven for
humanitarian relief and get relief from the conflict so that people can get
help.

VAN SUSTEREN: It`s just a terrible what`s going on there. But I digress
from Syria. Have you had any conversation with the White House over what`s
going on in Syria or is it just too soon?

CARDIN: We`ve had very little conversation. We don`t know exactly what
the White House policy is in regards to Syria. They certainly have not
announced that. They said there`s going to be less transparency in the
number of U.S. personnel involved in Syria, but we do need to have a
concrete policy. Part of that is, yes, we want the parties to negotiate a
peace agreement. No, Mr. Assad cannot be part of the future of Syria.
Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable. We`ve
said never again. The only way it will be never again if we hold those who
commit these atrocities accountable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you for joining me, sir.

CARDIN: My pleasure.

VAN SUSTEREN: With me Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Republican from
Illinois, who`s also a military pilot. And today, he tweeted, quote,
removing Assad from power is and must be a priority. Good evening, sir.
Your thoughts tonight as we look at this video, what`s going on in Syria?

ADAM KINZINGER, U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Well, it`s horrifying. And never before
since World War I has the free world ever accepted the use of chemical
weapons. We had a no-fly zone over Iraq for ten years because of our
commitment to that until Syria. And now, unfortunately, I woke up this
morning, I heard that this had happened, and it didn`t surprise me. And
that should frighten everybody that this isn`t as surprising any more. I
think it is time that – yes, fine, go to the international community. We
saw what happened last time. I think there needs to be punishing strikes
against the Syrian regime as a result of this. You could hit their command
and control centers, cutting Assad off from his field in military forces,
and making it clear and the short term that if this ever happens again,
more strikes will follow. And in the longer term, using that as a stick to
back the diplomatic instrument of power to begin to go and negotiate a
solution to this that does not include Assad.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, that was sort of what was worked out,
except with the exception of getting rid of Assad. President Obama said
multiple times Assad was going to be gone. Well, that didn`t happen. He
was wrong about that. I`ll be critical of him for that. But back in
September 9th of 2013, when all of a sudden Russia came in and said they
were going to – they had worked out a deal with Syria, with Assad, to
remove all the chemical weapons, and that went on for a couple months. Do
you think Russia was lying to us? Do you think they left the chemicals
behind? I mean, you know, what do you think about that?

KINZINGER: It`s hard to tell. You know, Assad could have been hiding some
of his stockpiles from the Russians. Maybe they were leaving it behind.
But, look, you had mentioned earlier, too, that congress bears some
responsibility, and ultimately the buck stops with the commander-in-chief.
But congress does. I was one of the few Republicans to say it, to say we
needed to attack. Go ahead.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so did Senator Cardin, senate foreign relations
committee. But, at the time, I mean, look, people can try and reinvent
history. Now, I`m not saying you. But at the time, is it the Brits
wouldn`t go with us. President Obama couldn`t get congress, and the
American people in more than one poll that I went back with today.

KINZINGER: True.

VAN SUSTEREN: . was against any military action. So President Obama really
was up against a strong head wind.

KINZINGER: Yes. So a couple points on that. Number one, the president
did not need our authorization to do that. Number two, he decided to come.
Number two, presidential leadership leads public opinion. He has to make
the case for this and everything else. We never accepted the use of
chemical weapons. But, look, there were people in my own party, you know,
Senator Cruz and Senator Paul were out there. Ted Cruz said I don`t want
to act as al-Qaeda`s air force by enforcing the red line. Everybody bears
some responsibility. I was out here saying, look, this is going to come
back to bite us. You think that striking the regime is going to lead to
worse, it`s only going to get worse and we`re seeing that unfortunately
every day today.

VAN SUSTEREN: I was actually – back then, I was glad that President Obama
was going to congress and not acting alone. I didn`t want him to
freelance. And, frankly, if he had freelanced and go off, we saw a lot of
caskets returning with American soldiers, you know, we would be all over
him and very – understandably upset. I actually thought it was
responsible to go to congress and get permission from congress and get them
alongside. They`re the ones who appropriate the money for all this.

KINZINGER: And if you had done that, we have a seven or ten-day break. He
said he was going to go to congress and we`ve stayed on break. He should
have called congress back, we should have passed the authorization.

VAN SUSTEREN: You could have volunteered. Volunteer to come back.

KINZINGER: I`m in. I`m in.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Look, I`ll be hard on President Obama for these,
but I`m not going to be hard on this one because, you know, there was
nothing to prevent everybody in congress to come back at the time.

KINZINGER: That`s right. I agree with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, congressman, thank you.

KINZINGER: Any time. See you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, most recent interview
with American journalist was in February. He denied accusation of torture
and mass hangings in his own country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: That report, like any other report
published by amnesty international put into question the credibility of
amnesty international. They haven`t been to Syria. They only base their
reports on allegation. They can bring anyone, doesn`t matter what his
title. He can forge anything these days. And we`re living in a fake news
era, as you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: With me is Yahoo News chief investigative correspondent
Michael Isikoff, who conducted that interview with President Assad. Nice
to see you, Michael.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, YAHOO NEWS: Good to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, they`re going to deny that it`s chemical weapons.
I`m sure they already have. But you have spoken to a doctor today in
Syria, what did he tell you?

ISIKOFF: I did. This is the doctor who runs the clinic closest to where
the strike occurred. And he described to me, in quite vivid terms,
treating patients who were gasping for air, going through convulsions. And
he said this was clearly a Sarin gas attack, 90 percent he said, 90
percent, had all – the pupils were constricted, children were – this was
women and children, going through convulsions. It was really horrific.
And there was video that he supplied to us that totally supports what he
said.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you listen to that and you look at the video today, and
just about six weeks ago you were sitting 2 feet from him.

ISIKOFF: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you sort of – you know, what`s your thought on all
this?

ISIKOFF: You know, it`s really striking just – you know, when I did that
interview two months ago, Assad was riding high. Damascus, he boasted to
me, was practically safe. Life had returned to normal. He had just
recaptured Aleppo. He seemed to be emboldened on the rise. Since then,
the rebels have launched attacks in the heart of Damascus. There were
three terrorist attacks in places where I was just two months ago that have
killed over 100 people. And it appears that, assuming that what the United
States government is saying and what everybody else is saying about this
attack, that this was Assad. He was going after a rebel strong hold. He
was feeling the heat. He was feeling pressure. And he resorted to a
method that he has used in the past, which is chemical weapons.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it always struck me, this is a man who is a
trained doctor, an ophthalmologist. For some reason, it`s just so hard for
me when I see these videos. I mean, the most incredible atrocities, these
barrel bombs of chemical weapons, you know, killing everybody in sight,
gasping for air, their muscle convulse, and their heart muscles.

ISIKOFF: You know, it`s so strange and surreal. When I went for that
interview, he greeted me at the door to his office, wanted to chat in a
side room, asked me about the fate of the news media. Told me what he
likes to watch in the news media. You know, polished guy. This is a guy
who – you know, American politicians like John Kerry and others flew over
and had dinner with, was invited – London educated doctor, had flown to
Paris and was greeted by Sarkozy and others. As westernized a Mid-East
leader as there is, and yet, you look at his record, you look at what he`s
done in this rebel war, and in this civil war, horrific of a war, and it`s
hard to connect the two.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I always bring up that in South Sudan I had dinner with
President Salva Kiir, who has provoked a civil war in his nation where
people are starving to death. And it doesn`t get the attention. And I try
to stick it in everyone`s mug to get a little bit of attention.

ISIKOFF: That fake news line he used that twice in the interview. That`s
clearly something that he`s adopted from our own political debates here.
And I imagine we`re going to hear more of it in the days to come as this
gets more attention.

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael, thank you.

ISIKOFF: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Still ahead, Susan Rice hits back. The Obama official at
the center of the fire storm responding to critics on the right who accuse
her of leaking and want her to testify.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me leak the name of Mike Flynn.

SUSAN RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I leaked nothing to nobody.
And never have and never would.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Plus, Speaker Paul Ryan says they are working on concepts
for a new GOP health care plan. Will the second dose do any better than
the first? And Chelsea Clinton refusing to rule out yet another run by her
mother. Will it be Hillary for president again in 2020?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: A U.S. senator called Susan Rice a Typhoid Mary and she is
not taking it. Former national security advisor Susan Rice, speaking at
MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell, her first public comments since it was reported
that she requested to unmasked names mentioned in intelligence reports
connected to the Trump campaign. And today, Rice denying that she did
anything politically motivated or improper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials
utilized intelligence for political purposes. That`s absolutely false.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Within that process and within the context of the
Trump campaign, the Trump transition, did you seek the names of people
involved to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition,
the Trump campaign, people surrounding the president-elect in order to spy
on them and expose them?

Rice: Absolutely not, for any political purposes, to spy, expose,
anything.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: But let me leak the name of Mike Flynn.

RICE: I leaked nothing to anybody. And never have and never would.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any truth to President Trump`s claim on
twitter, exactly a month ago, early one Saturday morning on March 4th that
the Obama – that President Obama was eavesdropping on him at Trump Tower?

RICE: Absolutely false.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Rice also arguing that learning the identities of American
citizens mentioned in those intelligence reports was part of her job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: The notion that, which some people are trying to suggest, that by
asking for the identity of an American person, that is the same as leaking
it, is completely false. There is no equivalence between so-called
unmasking and leaking. The effort to ask for the identity of American
citizen is necessary to understand the importance of an intelligence report
in some instances. Imagine if we saw something of grave significance that
involved Russia, or China, or anybody else, interfering in our political
process and we needed to understand the significance of that, for us not to
try to understand it would be dereliction of duty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: But some Republicans are not buying it, including Senator
Tom Cotton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM COTTON, U.S. SENATOR: Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama
administration foreign policy. Every time something went wrong, she seemed
to turn up in the middle of it whether it was allegations of improper
unmasking, a potential improper surveillance, whether is Benghazi or many
of the other fiascos over the eight years of the Obama administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Here`s how she responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: I`ve been called a lot of things by folks on the right that are
unfair and disingenuous. This is not the first. So, I`m not going to get
into each individual allegation or moniker that some might apply to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: With me, former FBI special agent Clint Watts, who`s
currently a fellow at the foreign policy research institute, and David
Priess, former CIA officer and author of the President`s Book of Secrets.
Welcome, gentlemen. David, first to you. You did briefing. I mean, you
brought the daily brief over. Did you actually do the briefing, too?

DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: That`s right.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Do you find anything unusual at all about the interview
with Susan Rice?

PRIESS: Not unusual. It`s not every day that something like this would
happen, that there would be a U.S. person mentioned in a particular piece
of raw intelligence provided to the principals or in a piece of finish
intelligence or an analyzed report. But when it did, that`s the kind of
thing that is important context for the policy makers from the president on
down to know. Now, it`s only the top policy makers that ever got the most
sensitive reports. But for someone to try to find out who is this U.S.
person, how does it relate, is this something we need to worry about or
not, that is the course of normal business.

VAN SUSTEREN: Clint, if I want to unmask someone, if I`m a national
security advisor, I would make the request. I can`t make the order, right?
I can`t order it to happen.

CLINT WATTS, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Right. It would have to be either
if it was a foreign collection pickup, it would have to be the NSA
director, or if it was something in the domestic landscape, it would be the
FBI director that would go ahead and grant that approval if they thought it
was necessary. There`s checks and balances on this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Clint, oftentimes we have like in court where sometimes
things get rubber stamps. What`s the process if a request is made of the
NSA director to unmask something, what`s the process? Is it a simple one
or is it time consuming, what`s it like?

WATTS: No, I mean it`s not a simple request. But, I mean, they`re
definitely going to review with all the lawyers. Usually if it`s in the
domestic space, you`re going to go over to the department of justice to try
to make sure that there`s no political motivations and interference. And
same thing on the NSA side, you`re going to have lawyers get involved and
make sure the right things are there. I mean, what I would say is that if
there was someone – and we don`t even know who that someone is, that was
potentially targeting a Trump administration campaign official for
influence purposes, it would be the national security advisor`s job to try
and get an understanding of what that is. She would be the person designed
in the strategy to counter that.

VAN SUSTEREN: David, if she is to testify, and I`m hoping she does testify
because I think that people are never going to be happy unless – at least
hear more from her, what would you ask her? Is there anything, any
question that`s left unsettled for you?

PRIESS: I want to know what she saw that prompted her to request the
unmasking or the un-redacting, if you will, of these names. What was it
that was of a national security importance that she wanted to do that.
There are very reasonable answers to that question. That`s not a nefarious
answer necessarily, but I would want to know what those things are to the
extent that it can be revealed.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I assume to the extent anything is unmasked is that the
NSA director, assuming went to the NSA, would also see what the
circumstances, and would in some ways would be the appellate court on this
or the judge on this.

PRIESS: Well, my understanding from the NSA director`s testimony was that
an unmasking can be done by him or by a handful of people around him. Now,
to get that information declassified that was around that issue, that`s
going to be a separate process to make sure that can be held in an open
hearing or it will be inside the closed hearings of the committees.

VAN SUSTEREN: Clint, what would you like to ask her if you were on the
committee and she testified?

WATTS: I would just – I wouldn`t ask anybody anything. This essentially
comes down to who`s right and who`s wrong. We`ve got a lot of claims
coming out of the White House and then we have counter claims by Susan
Rice. The answer to me is to declassify it, either in a closed setting as
was mentioned or even in an open setting. If there is nothing to hide,
then there is no reason to do that. The only reason you wouldn`t do that
is if you wanted to not reveal sources and methods for how that collection
came about and that would be more appropriate for a closed hearing,
probably in the senate intel committee.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, Clint, are you satisfied with what you`ve heard from
Susan Rice? Do I take that away, or is there something still lingering out
there that needs to be explained in your mind?

WATTS: No, I`m satisfied with it. And to be honest, I see it as a
distraction from two more important issues that came up today which was the
meeting in in the Seychelles Islands with Erik Prince, and the Carter Page
revelation in terms of an investigation going back to 2013. Those are more
pressing issues. I think to the Russia connections for influencing, both
the United States and the election, I don`t know why we`re not focusing on
that as a country. And if the Susan Rice card was thrown out there to
distract from it then it certainly worked.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we can dig into those. We`re here every night. So
we`ll get into those. Anyway, gentlemen, thank you both.

PRIESS: Thank you.

WATTS: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: And ahead, former Vice-President Joe Biden says he regrets
not running for president in 2016. He says he could have won and now he`s
going to New Hampshire. See a pattern? But first, is President Trump`s
new healthcare push doing any better than his first go around or will he
scrap it and reach out to Democrats?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I think we are still at an impasse. I think they
still think they can pound a square peg into a round hole.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEADOWS, CAUCUS CHAIRMAN: I think there was a real consensus around
the table that everybody wants to get to yes, and be able to give the
American people a win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD: Is it d‚j… vu all over
again for the GOP health care bill? Tonight Vice President Pence will go
back to the Capitol Hill to talk with key conservative and moderates to
attempt to revise the health care bill. The White House is pitching a new
plan to let states opt out of some Obamacare regulation that is could
include a change to preexisting conditions. Speaker Paul Ryan saying today
nothing is fleshed out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER: We want our members to talk with each other how
we can improve the bill to get consensus. Those productive talks are
happening. We are at the concept stages right now. Right now we`re just
at that conceptual stage about how to move forward in a way that can get
everybody to 216.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: But with Democrats make a deal with the president? With me
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Democrats from Connecticut and last week she
demand insurance from Health Secretary Tom Price that the Trump
administration will not try to sabotage Obamacare. Good evening,
congresswoman.

ROSA DELAURO, DEMOCRATS FROM CONNECTICUT: How are you tonight? Good to be
with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: I`m very well. All right, as I look at this, the key area
of controversy among many, I should say, on health care is the question
about preexisting illnesses, whether – how that is going to be treated in
any potentially new GOP bill or amendment to the old one. I just can`t see
the Republicans – because the American people appreciate that in health
care so much, I can`t imagine that they`re going to do away with that. Do
you think they are?

DELAURO: Well, look, I will tell you they attempted to do just that a week
ago when they decided to transfer the essential benefits package to the
states. What in essence that did, not only then were we going to opt out
of, if you will, maternity care, newborn care, pregnancy, substance abuse
treatment, mental health services, allow insurance companies to re-imposed
lifetime caps, to re-impose annual caps, and to potentially charge women 48
percent more before what they were doing before the affordable care act.
And also begin to tamper with the preexisting conditions. Now, they did
that – and they lost. They lost.

VAN SUSTEREN: What seems different to me is the first list of items that
you name is from a menu item like, you know, women may not want to pay for
prostate examination for good reason. That is sort of the menu. The
question I think where the American people would probably be very – dig
their heels in is a question of preexisting illnesses, whether or not there
would be some sort of disparity there. So, if we had a preexisting illness
your premium would necessarily rise excessively. I think that is the one
where I think the Republicans probably have the biggest challenge. The
menu items, I suspect people will be quite flexible on that because there
are some services they`ll never want.

DELAURO: I would disagree with you on that, Greta. I think that is where
the basis of the disagreement last week and what, in fact, it was that
allowed for moderates to say that they could not accept this and they voted
no. And collectively 33 people said they were going to vote no. Let`s get
to your point about preexisting conditions. What I said was that, that
then puts the issue of preexisting condition into the hands of the
insurance companies again. And, in fact, that is what leaves people at
grave risk. They attempted to do that. That was part of what they tried
to do a week ago and it failed. It will fail again, because, you know,
when the rhetoric turned to reality, people found there were good things in
the affordable care act that they do not want to get rid of. They do want
to make sure that they can afford it, but they don`t want to get rid of
preexisting condition – being able to get coverage with a preexisting
condition.

VAN SUSTEREN: I see much of the argument cherry picking. I can cherry
pick something that is going to make people really unhappy. In Arizona the
rates have gone up 100 percent. If we leave it as is, it is going to be
devastating to people in Arizona. You can cherry pick some good things out
of t. Overall, it seems to me that something needs to be done to it.

DELAURO: Yes. Look, I`ve never said that it shouldn`t. Quite honestly,
health care should be affordable and we have to deal with the issue of
increased premiums, increased deductibles and there are ways in which to
address that. I`ll give you several of them. We need to bring down the
cost of prescription drugs. We need to do something we anticipated doing
in the affordable care act before the Republicans said no. And that was to
work with the insurance companies to say if they`re getting people who are
too sick and not healthy people, how do we help to adjust that for them?
The whole issue of reinsurance, we could have a public option. Republicans
said no to that effort as did some Democrats, quite frankly. And the final
thing is we could take a look at Medicare, lower the age from 65 to 55.
There are a number of ways in which we can make it more affordable.

VAN SUSTEREN: It would really be helpful if the Republicans and Democrats
could sit down in the same room, lock you all in the same room until you
come up with something. Anyway, I`ve got to go.

DELAURO: You have to go, but, you know, there has never – there has not
been an attempt to do that and the only thing that they are doing –.

VAN SUSTEREN: And that is bad.

DELAURO: . is come together enough votes to try to pass repeal, to make
good on a campaign.

VAN SUSTEREN: They should learn that is a dumb idea, because if Democrats
did the same thing a number of years ago, everybody should learn that.
When it`s not bipartisan it`s a problem. Anyway I`m taking the last word
on it. Congresswoman, thank you for joining us.

DELAURO: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Rand Paul wants Susan Rice to testify under oath.
Is she open to it? Her response is next, also, Ivanka Trump taking on
critics in her role in the White House. We`ll tell you what she is saying
tonight. And who is Senator John McCain calling a, quote, stupid idiot
today?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, congressman, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you plan to call Susan Rice to testify in your
investigation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to talk about anything to do with
intelligence outside like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it`s such a nice day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. It`s a nice day out. I know you guys are
doing your job, but there`s appropriate time and place to talk about all
this. But we`re not going to talk about who we`re calling in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there`s been no love lost between former President
Obama`s Susan Rice and Republican Senator Rand Paul telling (inaudible)
Joe, rice abused the system for political purposes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAND PAUL, REPRESENTATIVE KENTUCKY: The facts will come out with Susan
Rice, but I think she ought to be under subpoena and she should be asked,
did you talk to the president about it? Did President Obama know about
this? So, this is actually eerily similar to what Trump accused them of
which is eavesdropping on conversations for political reasons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: So, is Rice willing to be questioned under oath? My
colleague Andrea Mitchell asked her today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Let`s see what comes. I`m
not going to sit here and prejudge. But what I will say is that the
investigations that are underway as to the Russian involvement in our
electoral process are very important. I have an interest in that as an
American citizen, as a former U.S. official. I would want to be helpful in
that process if I could.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Annie Linskey is Chief National Correspondent for the Boston
Globe, Catherine Rampell, an opinion columnist at the Washington Post, and
Kevin Cirilli Chief Washington correspondent for Bloomberg news, first to
you, Annie. I think she should testify, but your thoughts and the
political ramifications of this?

ANNIE LINSKEY, BOSTON GLOBE: Sure. I think if she has something to say,
she should testify –

VAN SUSTEREN: Even if she doesn`t have anything to say. People are
curious, and people are uncertain, we have enough of a mystery.

LINSKEY: I still feel Susan Rice is not in power right now and she is not
a national security advisor and I am far more interested in the crux of the
investigation which is why are Donald Trump`s ties to the Russians? And
she seems to be put out there as kind of a fig leaf for this crazy tweet
that Obama sent out a few weeks ago now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine I actually believe if congress wanted to, it could
multi task. It could actually investigate what if any contacts the
campaign had with Russia and find out whether or not – it`s the only way
to sort of satisfy people –

CATHERINE RAMPELL, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Strangely they only seem
interested in one of those tasks and not the other one of those tasks. I
mean, they love to hate on Susan Rice, right? She has been sort of the
whipping boy or whipping woman, I don`t know the right version of that
expression.

VAN SUSTEREN: She did some curious things in Benghazi a number of years
ago. She earned that confusion.

RAMPELL: She has been a favorite villain of Republicans for a long time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Look, not to relitigate Benghazi, but it was unusual what
she said that morning about the videotape. So, people have naturally –
it`s not unreasonable for some to be suspicious.

RAMPELL: Whatever the background is, I think to Annie`s point, the more
interesting question right now is what are the connections between the
Russians, the Trump campaign, or even more generally what role did Russian
interference play in this election. And it seems like Republicans are
grasping at anything they can right now to try to find vindication for this
unfounded tweet that Trump made recently about being wiretapped. And, you
know, unmasking sounds so villainous so of course they`re going to latch
onto that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Kevin, we do have to find out what if any contact there was
between the Russians and the Trump campaign if it was inappropriate. There
are instances when it certainly is legitimate, but we do need to get to the
bottom of that one, too.

KEVIN CIRILLI, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Right. And I think that Republicans,
several Republicans in congress are taking this seriously. People like
Senator John McCain, for example, who have continued to press this
administration for answers. And in fairness to Republicans, Susan Rice as
former national security advisor, does have unanswered questions that need
to be answered just as some of several folks within then candidate Donald
Trump`s campaign also have some questions. And I think that this will only
increase the ties –

VAN SUSTEREN: What is taking so long to get these hearings? What`s taking
so long? We do so much talking about it they could have had the hearings
by now.

CIRILLI: That is the frustration people who are watching this outside of
Washington, the same independents who got President Donald Trump in the
White House are questioning what is going on. There have been several
hearings. We should mind you this week included as well as last week
(inaudible) –

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you tell us what they`re doing next week?
(LAUGHTER)

CIRILLI: We`d all like to know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Recess is the word. Anyway they go home and do constituent
stuff. I got it. Ok, next topic, senate Republicans getting ready for the
so-called nuclear option changing the rules for Judge Gorsuch. Some think
this is a good change for the senate, but Senator John McCain disagrees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCCAIN, ARIZONA SENATOR: I would like to meet that idiot. I would
like to meet that numskull that would say that, that after 2 hundreds year,
100 years where the senate has functioned pretty well they think it would
be a good idea to blow it up. Idiot, no, whoever says that is a stupid
idiot who has not been here and seen what I`ve been through and how we were
able to avoid that on several occasions. And they`re stupid and don`t –
and they`ve deceived their voters because they`re so stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, first to you, Annie. The senator is beating
around the Bush on how he feels about this.

LINSKEY: Not at all. Look, I think what`s concerning about it is that you
have, you know, our politics have become so divisive and that is been true
in the House of Representatives and in the senate as well. And now if you
have Supreme Court nominees that only need to get to 50 votes, I think you
might just start seeing the institution of the Supreme Court having that
partisan flavor to it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine?

RAMPELL: Yes, I agree. I think that the elimination of the filibuster
would leave both the senate worse off and the Supreme Court worse off.
Basically it`s saying that minority parties no longer have any right to be
meaningfully consulted about choices for the Supreme Court. It means we`re
going to have more idea logical choices that end up on the court. So, I
think actually the Democrats are misguided in pursuing this.

CIRILLI: I think this is interesting that Democrats are picking this
particular nominee, because several Democrats actually voted in favor of
people like now Secretary of HUD Ben Carson to get through. So, there have
been some Democrats who have gone across the aisle. Get ready to go boom,
because I think they`re going to deploy the nuclear option.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, panel. Is Joe Biden going to run in 2020? We
know he regrets not running. New schedule has people talking and Ivanka
Trump confronting critics about her role in the White House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Biden 2020? Is the former vice president kicking off a
presidential campaign? Because we are learning he is heading to New
Hampshire to speak at a key fundraising dinner. Could he face Hillary
Clinton? Chelsea Clinton was asked about that today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think she`ll run for public office again?

CHELSEA CLINTON, DAUGHTER OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON: I have no idea.
I don`t think so. She has given a few speeches where she is talking about
kind of what she thinks kind of needs to happen now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: It does sound a tad bit like she is leaving the door open.
Kevin, Biden, Hillary Clinton, 20?

CIRILLI: Well, I think that it should be noted the reactions that former
secretary Hillary Clinton has received to potentially running in 2020 and
former Vice President Joe Biden has received. I think there`s more
excitement for a potential run for Vice President Joe Biden, someone who
would make the case that he`d be able to win the same states that then
candidate nominee Clinton lost – Wisconsin, Michigan. I mean she was
supposed to be able to carry those states, and her team failed. So perhaps
Vice President Biden is gearing up to make the case he is be able to win
those states.

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine?

RAMPELL: He`ll be 77 or 78 by that time. That doesn`t rule him out.

LINSKEY: It kind of does.

RAMPELL: We now have the oldest newly sworn in president, right? Donald
Trump, who is only 70 and I just – I don`t see that having, you know, the
past generation running for office again is going to pick up new votes. I
think the Democratic Party needs fresh blood, and eventually Biden and
Clinton are going to realize that.

VAN SUSTEREN: She got more votes. She just got them in the wrong states,
which is a deal breaker.

LINSKEY: I completely agree. I think, a, I think, yeah, Biden would be
too old. I mean come on. He would be 78 years old on his first day in
office, and, look, I mean medicine has changed. I`m sure he is got a great
diet. He is very healthy-looking, but let`s be realistic here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can I tell you, I`m team Kevin. I think Secretary Clinton
will run, and I think in a couple years, everything changes. And just
because I feel bad for Kevin, he is been a good friend. So I`m team Kevin.

Anyway, Ivanka Trump is speaking out about the role she and her husband are
playing in the White House. In a new interview, she spoke with the claims
they are somehow complicit with President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S DAUGHTER: He wants to be a force for good and
to make a positive impact, and then I`m complicit. I hope to make a
positive impact. I don`t know what it means to be complicit. But, you
know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and, much more
importantly, that my father`s administration is the success that I know it
will be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Ok, Annie. I think people should lighten up on Ivanka
Trump. What do they want her to do, not do anything? Be a rich kid
running off to parties someplace in New York or trying to work? I think
lighten up on Ivanka. Give her a chance.

LINSKEY: I would like to see her do something, though. That is right.

VAN SUSTEREN: She did today.

LINSKEY: She has – she came in with this idea that she would really be
this sort of moderating, soft force, and I have not seen much of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: It`s been less than 100 days. Catherine?

RAMPELL: My view is Trump said he wanted to run government like a
business, and he is running it like a badly run nepotistic family business.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bobby Kennedy worked for his brother.

RAMPELL: Yeah, and –

VAN SUSTEREN: Chelsea Clinton.

RAMPELL: And we put in safeguards to prevent that from happening again.

CIRILLI: I think earlier today, Ivanka Trump speaking with Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross on a panel of CEO`s, she is looking at apprenticeship
programs as a way to work across the aisle. Look, she is the first
daughter. She is not president. I think we`re going to have to all wait
and see, and I can also say that covering on the campaign his adult
children did have significant influence over him.

VAN SUSTEREN: And having been here just about 100 days, I hope people give
me more of a chance than just 100 days to judge me.

LINSKEY: You`ve earned your role. There`s a difference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, panel. And coming up, something extremely
unfair, I`ll tell you more next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I have something to say for the record. Today is equal pay
day, and I cannot believe we have this day. And, no, not because I don`t
believe in equal pay, because of course I do. I`m not nuts. But we have
to have this day, because the year 2017, in many instances, there is no
equal pay for men and women doing the same job. All over the country
today, there are rallies to bring awareness to this economic injustice.
Equal pay day was held on a Tuesday, because Tuesday represents how far
into the next week women must work to earn what men earned in the previous
week. And I hope the companies who are part of this deplorable practice of
unequal pay for equal work are listening. This should not be the least bit
controversial. It`s just, well, fair, equal pay for equal work. By the
way, I would love to out on my Facebook page those corporations who pay men
more than women for the same work. Shame can be powerful.

Thank you for watching. I`ll see you back here tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m.
Eastern. If you can`t watch live, you know what to do. Set your DVR and
also follow me on twitter @Greta, because we have so much going on. I`m
pretty active on twitter. I have fun on twitter. Also my Facebook page,
because I put behind the scenes and videos and so much more. You even get
to see some of my crazy animals. “Hardball” with Chris Matthews starts
right now.

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

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