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For the Record with Greta, Transcript 1/27/2017

Guests: Richard Engel, Wesley Clark, Michael McFaul, Jack Jacobs, Scott Walker

Show: For the Record with Greta Date: January 27, 2017 Guests: Richard Engel, Wesley Clark, Michael McFaul, Jack Jacobs, Scott Walker

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST: For the Record tonight, extreme vetting, that`s what President Donald Trump said he was going to do and has what he just did. President Trump and his very controversial new plan with a stroke of a pen for refugees and immigrants for certain Muslim nations, is it religious discriminations or is it national security? Also calling Putin tomorrow is the big call, but just a short time ago what the president said about this pending call to the Russian president, all this amid a few debates over sanctions on the Russian election hack. Plus, just what the Republicans did not want a leaked, taped leaked of GOP conversation behind those closed doors at the GOP retreat, the leaked showing big concerns about voting fraud investigation and Obamacare. And a new interview with the commander-in-chief blasting the media for what he calls its total deceit and deception.

A day of breaking news on national security, just moments ago President Trump and the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon attending the formal swearing in for defense secretary, James Mattis, and signing two new executive actions.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First I`m signing an executive actions to begin a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States, developing a plan for new planes, new ships, new resources and new tools for our men and women in uniform, and I`m very proud to be doing that. Secondly, I`m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don`t want them here.


VAN SUSTEREN: The president not giving specifics on his vetting, but in a new interview he said persecuted Christians in the Middle East will be given priority as refugees.


Trump: They`ve been horribly treated. You know, if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible -- very, very -- at least, very, very tough to get to into the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in. But if you were a Christian it was almost impossible. And the reason that was so unfair is that the -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness. But they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair.


VAN SUSTEREN: Another busy day for the president beginning with an hour long phone call with the president of Mexico. And tomorrow, Trump will speak by phone with Russian president, Vladimir Putin. And today, he host the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, at the White House. Check out this moment after the prime minister called on a reporter, who then asked President Trump a very pointed question.


UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you said before that torture works, you praised Russian, you said want to ban some Muslim from coming to America, you suggested there should be punishment for abortion, for many people in Britain, those sayings are alarming beliefs. What do you say to our viewers at home who are worried about some of your views and worried about you becoming the leader of the free world?

TRUMP: This was your choice of a question? There goes that relationship.


VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us, NBC`s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, and retired army colonel, Jack Jacobs. We begin with Richard Engel in Istanbul. Richard, what is the reaction to these new executive actions as it relates to refugees? We don`t have a whole lot of details, but we have a little bit.

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS: Well, the Syrians themselves are up in arms. They feel they`re being scapegoated. They feel that victims are being punished, that the people who are leaving Syria, who are seeking asylum here in Turkey and in the United States, in particular, are facing more obstacles which they are, frankly, don`t deserve. The international rescue organization, the international rescue committee, just put out a statement -- it wasn`t a flat condemnation of this new order, but called it hasty and harmful, and said it would cause delays and hardship for thousands of people who are already in the process. Effectively, the arguments are that there already an extreme vetting process. It can take three years and multiple agencies investigating somebody`s background for Syrian to actually be given asylum in the United States, and those procedures apparently going to get much more difficult. So the reaction has been Syrian say we don`t deserve this, refugee organization saying it`s going to cause them more hardship and more obstacles.

VAN SUSTEREN: Richard, you`ve seen the situation there for refugees. Be my eyes and ears, tell me what is it like? What have you seen with these refugees?

ENGEL: Well, the war in Syria is now about to be six year old. About 400,000 people have been killed. So this is an enormous conflict. Within the conflict, there are about five million refugees and another six million internally displaced. So that means half of Syria`s population have been made homeless because of this war. And it is been going on for years. A lot of the refugees are hanging out trying to figure out what their ultimate status would be. They are here in Turkey, where there are nearly three million Syrian refugees. It`s cold. Not all of them have proper shelter. Some of them are living in parks. Others are sleeping in garages and warehouse spaces, another one and a half million in Lebanon. The U.S. has only taken in about 18,000 refugees, and has by far the most intensive vetting process at all. The 18,000 who made it to the Unites States are by far the lucky Syrian refugees. That would be for many a dream because it comes with a full resettlement package. Once they get here in Turkey, they`re not given a tremendous amount. They get some access to education and healthcare, but not a complete resettlement package. So that dream that some of them have is now being -- it`s not taken off the table, apparently made more difficult.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I`ve been there travel to refugee camps in Iraq for Syrian refugees with Samaritan First. And what struck me, Richard, was that the people who are stateless, they have no identification, no birth certificates, no identity, no pictures, no nothing, it`s like everything have been -- their whole identity have been stripped from them as they fled.

ENGEL: Well, that is one of the biggest problems that refugees face. Because once they arrive in a transient country like turkey, and they go and apply for their ultimate destination for resettlement, they`re asked to be vetted. They`re asked for all sorts of documentation which they often don`t have because they have to leave their home in extreme situation. They were oftentimes running for their lives. So it is very unsettling, but that said, you have to figure out what is the ultimate solution for Syria. And the Europeans are struggling with this in a much bigger way about a million of Syrian had gone to Europe to try to find a home there. Europeans are also tightening up their vetting procedures. So I think we`re seeing this as part of a worldwide trend. In Syrian, you ask what they are feeling, they`re feeling hopeless. Now, the U.S. is banking -- it`s not slamming the door shut making that opening narrower. Europe is looking for ways to do the same. And countries like Turkey which is right on the border of the crisis this is just a holding pattern for the Syrians living here.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, stand by, Richard. Let`s bring in General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander. Good evening, sir. And what is your thought about at least the skeletal information we have about this executive order the president signed about extreme vetting?

WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: We don`t know exactly what it means. And so, nobody wants to bring terrorists into the country, and so this is a good thing in principal. But what`s the matter with the vetting process that`s going on right now? What does extreme vetting mean? And you have to take that on the one hand, and on the other is what`s Richard said, what`s the solution in Syria? What are we going to with 11 million people? They`re not all are going to come to the United States or Europe, they need to be resettled in Syria. So I`ve always favored the idea of safe zones. Those safe zones have to be protected. The United States in my view should have taken the lead. NATO should have been parts of that process a long time ago to have settled this down and solved this problem. But, I do think that we do have a responsibility to vet these people before they come in, apparently we`re doing it. What`s wrong with the vetting process?

VAN SUSTEREN: General, we had Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on last night, who was just in Syria. So also is in the military, served two terms in Iraq. She was over in Iraq twice. And she met with Assad, but she is opposed to this safe zone. She said they don`t work. Is it too late to do safe zones?

CLARK: It may be too late, but something has to work for these people. Either you`ve got to be in Turkey or they`ve got to be in Syria. They`ve got to be protected. They`ve got to be secured. The kids need education, and the people that are there need hope. If you don`t deal with that you`re creating a terrorist problem and instability throughout the region that`s going to be increasingly unmanageable. So now is time, take a fresh look at it and see. I always believe that the safe zone were manageable because the United States supported a Syrian opposition, that Syrian opposition should be there in the safe zone. It should be establishing governance in those safe zones. People should be getting an education, building their lives back, reestablishing contact with their neighbors, building communities there, and eventually they will (INAUDIBLE) alternative to Bashar al-Assad.

VAN SUSTEREN: In talking to Congressman Gabbard on-off camera, she`s of the belief, I think, is that the Syrian opposition we saw to support -- Senator McCain sought to support were al-Qaeda, and this was not ISIS but this was al-Qaeda, and so now we`re supporting other terrorists, is that right or wrong?

CLARK: Well, it depends on the time that you`re talking about it. And, certainly, if you listen to Bashar al-Assad he`s going to tell you that because that`s has been his strategy all along. The people I met with in the Syrian opposition are certainly not al-Qaeda. There`re a lot of very honorable people in there, a lot of very secular people who simply wanted to have normal decent life in Syria and couldn`t have it. But this has to be worked. We had this discussion going on since 2011, when the CIA first started looking at these people. And had we taken action then we would be probably be over this by now. We haven`t. Is it too late? I don`t think it`s too late unless you listen to Bashar al-Assad. But something has to be done for 11 million people. This is the United States of America. We`re the greatest power in the world. We`re the indispensable power. We`re not going to turn our backs on these people.

VAN SUSTEREN: General, please stand by as well. Tomorrow is the all- important schedule phone call between President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. Trump today responded to questions about whether he is considering lifting sanctions on Russia that President Imposed.


TRUMP: As far as the sanctions it`s very early to be talking about that. But we look to have a great relationship with all countries, ideally. As far as, again, Putin and Russian, I don`t say good, bad or indifferent. I don`t know the gentleman. I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That`s possible. And it`s also possible that we won`t.


VAN SUSTEREN: Let`s bring in Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia. Good evening, sir. And the discussion over sanctions on -- President Trump said -- as he said he`s going to lift them, but that`s certainly in play. Although today, Prime Minister Theresa May may have played in the -- she`s opposed to that, so you`re thoughts tonight.

MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO Russia: Well, I`m for lifting sanctions if Russia changes its behavior, the behavior by which they were put on the sanctions list, those individuals and those companies. The Obama administration first put a set of sanction on them because they annexed Crimea. They then put another set of sanctions on them because they supported separatist in Eastern Ukraine. If they pull out in Eastern Ukraine and give back Crimea, I`m for it, but if they don`t do that and we just do it as a gift to quote-unquote, get along, I think that send a very bad signal to Mr. Putin. I actually have met Mr. Putin. I`ve dealt with him. And that would be seen as a sign of weakness in terms of our foreign policy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Richard, let me get back to you. It`s enormously complicated how to resolve this, and each day -- as we move along it gets more complicated it seems. Do you have any sort of thoughts? We have safe zones, we have bring your refugees in, don`t bring refugees in, I mean is there any way to sort of -- can you think of any remedy? You`re in the ground there.

ENGEL: Well, there`s a lot of talk now about the safe zones. And the big question is where exactly are these safe zones supposed to be inside Syria and who`s going to run them. There`s two possible locations where the safe zones could be. One would be right along the Turkish border, so sort of a Northern Syria. And the other would be in the south of the country along the Jordanian border. Let`s just start with the south, the Jordanian border option. In some sense that`s easier to manage because there is still an FSA presence, a moderate pre-Syrian army presence there. And it is more or less united.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just stop you right there for a sec.


VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just stop you right there, I was just in Jordan about two months ago, and they were -- the people there were very upset that they had so many Syrian refugees there. They`re complaining about the impact on their economy. And the thing I heard over and over is that they`re under cutting the Jordanian for wages. And so -- I mean, the hostility there, at least among the people I spoke to was quite surprising to me.

ENGEL: So let`s say that I`m the Jordan option there, if you want to put safe zone in Southern Syria. Many Jordanians would welcome that. Because they could then say to the Syrian`s already in the country, you have a place just across the border nearby, where you should go back to and allow other Jordanians to go back to work, who would be less of a burden on the Jordanian society, Jordanian economy. And I think Jordan would certainly support having a safe zone inside Syria across from its border. The other option -- because I`m hearing the same thing, by the way, not just from people in Jordan, but also from members of the ruling family. The other place where the safe zone could be would be along the Turkish border, and then you get very quickly the thorny issue of the Kurds. Because if you have a safe zone along the Turkish border inside Syria, that means you`ve giving some sort of autonomy to a kind of Kurdistan. And the Turks, the Turkish government, that`s red line for them. So when you talk about a safe zone, who gets to control it? You need to be very specific as to where they are, and gets to run it, and for how long?

VAN SUSTEREN: Ambassador, today, one of the executive orders that the president said he wants to rebuild arms services, more ships, more places, et cetera. And, of course, I`m not going into the question where we could find the money. But, at the same time, Gorbachev has written, looks like the world is preparing for war. What do you think?

MCFAUL: Well, first of all, there`s a lot the president can do by decree. He can`t do that by decree. The U.S. congress has to be involved on that. And more over, we need to know the details about what does he want to use this military power for. There`s just so much ill-define and -- you know, I just -- I was part of the transition of the Obama White House, there`s a due process it`s called the IPC, the D.C. principals committee, and then the NSE process. I would hope that this new team starts to use the inter- agency process to start to develop their foreign policy. Because by decree and by tweet, I think confuses us all. We`re all trying to guess what are behind these presidential decrees. It`s not a great way to make foreign policy.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, today, President Trump also made news on the issue of torture, listen.


TRUMP: We have a great general who is just been appointed, secretary of defense, General James Mattis. And he has stated publicly, that he does not necessarily believe in torture, or water boarding, or however you want to define it. Enhanced interrogation, I guess would be a word that a lot of words that a lot of people would like to use. I don`t necessarily agree, but I would tell you that he will override because I`m giving him that power.


VAN SUSTEREN: Retired army colonel, Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient joins us. Good evening, sir. And we`ve just heard the president saying essentially he will follow the law and he`s going to defer to the judgement of his secretary of defense. Does that make you feel comfortable on this issue of torture or no torture, enhanced interrogation or not enhanced interrogation?

JACK JACOBS, RETIRED ARMY COLONEL: Well, it does make me comfortable. It`s interesting that President Trump sounds a great deal different than candidate Trump which makes a great deal of sense. I`ve spent plenty of time in combat, captured quite a few soldiers, and I can tell you I got lots of information by the judicious application of cigarettes and medical care, most of these guys were wounded, and some food. And I think General Mattis` view is pretty much the same thing that the in-world nature of torture which may be used from time to time in extreme circumstance is almost never justified by the results that you produce. And I think that it makes a great deal of sense for the president, for all people in public office, to sound like one thing when running for office and something else again when the reality of responsibility catches up with them, and I think it`s a right thing to do to defer to people who know a lot better.

VAN SUSTEREN: Colonel, we talked about the immoral nature of torture, and I can tell you from travelling across the country, I even heard President Trump say it I think is that -- you know, is that they cut off our people`s heads, and do the most immoral thing. So how do you explain that to Americans tonight who see like, you know, we`re playing by the rule, they`re not playing by the rules, how do you tell them that -- we shouldn`t do this?

JACOBS: Well, dispense with the notion whether or not it`s playing by the rules. The fact of the matter is that if you`re going to torture somebody, the likelihood is that he`s going to tell you exactly what he thinks you want to hear so that you`ll stop bothering him. Except in very rare cases the information we get in circumstances like that is not particularly actionable, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: General Clark, your thoughts on the whole -- this controversy, I guess the good news is that President Trump will follow the law, and he`s not going to try to bypass the secretary of defense. But nonetheless it`s an issue -- hotly discussed in this nation.

CLARK: Well, I think that what he said is right. I agree with what Jack Jacobs said. You get more information by working with them, and easing their fears in most cases than you do by putting pressure on and torture like that. And I`ve talked to a lot of people who done interrogation, and they all say the uniformly the same thing. So there`s a misconception out there, and I`m happy to hear that we`re going to obey the law and do what`s right.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I should add -- what everyone always says, Senator John McCain was tortured, he always said that it doesn`t work, so he`s actually been tortured. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us. And still ahead, President Trump in a new interview blasting the, quote, total deceit of the mainstream media. Plus, leaked audio tape revealing Republicans hopes and fears and everything for voting to Obamacare. But first, Governor Scott Walker, former Trump rival now ally, how he`s trying to sell the Trump agenda across the country, he joins me after the break.



UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You`re so different. The hard working daughter of a vicar, the brash TV extrovert. Have you found anything in common personally yet?

TRUMP: Actually, I`m not as brash as you might think. And I can tell you that I think we`re going to get along very well. You know, it`s interesting because I`m a people person.


VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump today at his first press conference is calling himself a people person. But to advance his agenda he has to win over fellow Republicans both in congress and state capitals across the country. Republican governor, Scott Walker, of the great state of Wisconsin, he`s also head of the Republican Governor`s Association. He joins -- nice to see you, governor.


VAN SUSTEREN: Before I ask you about Republican governor. I just want to ask you today federal court decision slap the Republicans in the state of Wisconsin back under gerrymandering of the districts. So you`ve lost this round.

WALKER: Yeah, we lost before, when it came we were in and out of federal and state court I think ten times before we ultimately prevailed. I think you`re talking to our attorney general. We`re going to prevail when it ultimately gets to the U.S. Supreme Court.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, you`re going forward.

WALKER: Constitutional.

VAN SUSTEREN: What the -- they say it was partisan gerrymandering, not racial which of course is wrong as well.

WALKER: Well, if you look at all the criteria, the courts have used in the past or the previous decades when they look at court challenges, it`s been, you know, one person, one vote, it`s been communities of interest, it`s been protecting minority voter rights, all those things are clearly intact with the (INAUDIBLE) of the legislatures. And so, I think the court will ultimately say, as long as it meets those constitutional objectives they`re going to be upheld.

VAN SUSTEREN: Imagine you`re keeping your eye on who the appointees of the Supreme Court by the president.

WALKER: Well, not only for this, but for a lot of other reasons. We want someone who`s going to uphold the constitution.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Republican governors are very be happy, the Republican president, but you don`t agree with everything with the president do you?

WALKER: No, I was joke when he was running, I said he wasn`t my first choice, I was my first choice. But, you know, along the way when I look at the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton there was no comparison, whether it`s on issues like the court or it`s a whole litany of other things. And probably for a lot of us, myself included, when he put Mike Pence who was then a colleague of ours, fellow governor at the time on, we said that is a sign that this is someone who`s ready to govern. And I think we`ve seen in the transition he was a key part of that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he wasn`t the only choice. He also said he was looking for a positive conservative alternative to Trump at one time. Do you like him a lot?

WALKER: When I suspended my campaign, I was looking for an alternative. I picked someone else to win the Wisconsin primary and helped them. But, you know, post-convention, I made it clear I kept my word, I said any of the 17 running, we`re better than Hillary Clinton. I felt it when I said it, and I felt along the campaign, and we help deliver Wisconsin because of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you feel better about him now that before or about the same?

WALKER: Oh, I think -- for all the talk the last week or so about where`s he`s at, I said action speak louder than words. I look at the actions they taken, the executive actions, I look at the people they nominated to be on this cabinet, and I say this is a topnotch group. When I was overseas back in December and visiting troops in Afghanistan, and Kuwait, and Germany, and UAE, when I was down at the end of last month in Guantanamo Bay talking to troops there and other were across the world, they love people like General Mattis. They think that`s an excellent pick. Not just Americans soldiers and service members but coalition folks. So I look at that -- I look at Betsy DeVos, who I think is a spectacular pick. I worked for her for years. I think she`s going to be great for all the children in Wisconsin and across the country.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, Tommy Thompson did welfare reform and with Bill Clinton, I might add. You want to do something different about welfare in Wisconsin. What do you want to do?

WALKER: We want to go back to the future. Tommy Thompson who`s right, Bill Clinton after vetoed it twice, third time signed into law two decades ago. It was the focal point for many years, but under the previous president, President Obama, pulled back on that. My predecessor in Wisconsin pulled back on it. We want to continue to push welfare reform now more than ever it`s a great time.

VAN SUSTEREN: To do what though, to what specifically?

WALKER: Going out for anyone who can work -- be able to work. We want to remove the barriers. It`s our state it`s very simple. We say if you want assistant for things like food stamps, we`ll help you out. But we expect people to be employed up to 80 hours a month, or if they can`t find employment which we think they can with our help to be enrolled in one of our job training programs. I think public assistance should be a trampoline that shouldn`t be habit, and that`s really what we`re talking about with Wisconsin works for everyone.

VAN SUSTEREN: In 2018 you`re up for reelection. Are you going to run?

WALKER: I`ll make the announcement after the (INAUDIBLE) is done. But I`ve got to tell you -- if Hillary Clinton were president in the United States right now, I would not have run for reelection.


WALKER: Because much of what we need to do to continue our positive reforms in Wisconsin and other governors and state leaders they need to -- the country, will only come if we`ve got government here in Washington to understand that the constitution of powers should be in the state and more importantly in the hand of the people. Get those reforms, make a lot easier to run.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have 33 governors, Republican governors right now. How many open seats next time around?

WALKER: Next year in 2018, there are 36 of us who are up. Of those 36, 26 are Republican, 15 are term limited, and the other 11 are likely can run again. We`re going to do all. We`ve got great candidates. And all those and for those running, you have people like -- like across the way, Larry Hogan is doing a great job in Maryland, Charlie Baker up in Massachusetts, we`re going to do well.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there a Wisconsin mafia here, you`ve got Reince Priebus, you`ve got Paul Ryan, and you`re here, is there like a -- what`s going on about that?

WALKER: We grow up down the way in Southcentral Wisconsin. Paul was in Jamesville, Reince was over near -- I was in Delavan, people would ask if there`s something in the water, I said it wasn`t the water it was the beer.


VAN SUSTEREN: I could probably attest to that one. Anyway, governor, nice to see you.

WALKER: Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up, audio tapes revealing what republican lawmakers are saying about their agenda behind closed doors.



TRUMP: I`m not talking about everybody but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, the total deceit and deception makes them certainly partially the opposition party absolute...


VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump blasted the media in a new interview, but the media also gives an information about what republican leaders said behind closed doors at their GOP retreat this week. "The Washington Post" obtained audio of private meetings including one where Vice President Mike Pence promised a full evaluation of voting rolls over Clinton fraud.

The White House says the executive order call for an investigation of voter fraud is coming soon. And in another meeting caught on tape, republican lawmaker shared concerns about how repeal Obamacare including whether they will have a replacement in time.

Francesca Chambers is the White House correspondent for the "Daily Mail" and Victoria McGrane is a national political reporter for the "Boston Globe." Victoria, to you, the president strongly doesn`t like us. I don`t think the GOP is going to like whoever got that leak.

VICTORIA MCGRANE, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER FOR "BOSTON GLOBE": No, not at all. Though, you know, for those of us here in Washington, we`ve been following this closely. The most surprising thing about that tape is that it got leaked at all. I mean, it just laid bear.

What we have been getting signals about is that republicans are deeply conflicted and struggling with how to make good on the longstanding promises that they are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. It`s a lot harder when you`re actually in power it turns out.

VAN SUSTEREN: Francesca, the thing that`s interesting about this is that the leak, the rumors only republican lawmakers, so the leak came from one them.


VAN SUSTEREN: From someone inside, someone broke rank.

CHAMBERS: Someone potentially who is concerned...

VAN SUSTEREN: Unless they (inaudible) phone in there or something like that.

CHAMBERS: Someone potentially who is concerned that they don`t yet have a replacement option already and what if they repeal it. And in the senate, you need 60 votes to pass a replacement. What if they can`t get eight democrats to join with them and get a replacement, and they are just taking health care away from millions of Americans? So possibly a republican who is concerned about that.

MCGRANE: The politics have it right. I mean, one of the concerns heard on that tape was that this would be known as Trump Care, we will own this if this goes bad. That`s part of the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: The president said that. The statement he made the other day, he said that pressure, some push back or some republicans not do anything. He said that if he doesn`t do anything that Obamacare would collapse and then democrats will be blamed. But if he does something and there`s still unhappiness, he will get blame.

CHAMBERS: Right, absolutely. In those leaked audio, we heard basically that they still don`t know how are they going to replace it. They just don`t have a plan yet. That`s playing right into democrats` hands because that`s what they have been arguing all along.

VAN SUSTEREN: But Speaker Paul Ryan told me they do have a plan.

MCGRANE: According to the tape, at least there are proposals out there, very few that have been written down into legislative tax where, you know, it`s always in the detail. And the problem is there isn`t any coalescing around a single plan.

And that is, you know, what was on display on that tape. That is part of the problem. You at least need 50 votes even in the senate. They need to keep republicans together in order to even do repeal, and there`s been some questions about whether they even have those votes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And a lot of this might cause money and we`re also going to have to build a wall, build up our military today, the republicans don`t want to raise taxes. In fact, taxes going to come down. It`s like, I don`t do that well in math, but I`m not that bad. Who is going to pay for this?

CHAMBERS: That`s exactly the thing. There are -- to be clear, there are several plans as you were saying, but it seems like they are having a difficulty coming up with how that all going to work and which one they`re going to go with. And whether or not it will include potentially an individual mandate, whether or not they`re going to block Medicaid. It seems like they were arguing on a whole hosts of issues here.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, they got the problem with some of the freedom caucus, the far right, and the Republican Party are not happy.

MCGRANE: No, I mean, there are different sanctions here. There are some republicans who would be perfectly happy if they he just repeal it and nothing happened. But there`s plenty who are aware that they would be politically impaired if that was the situation. So I think the bottom line, this is not happening any time soon.

CHAMBERS: Also definitely going to have to take some leadership on this issue.


VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you both. Just a short note. Francesca`s father is in law enforcement. He is sitting here in the green room. Thank you for his duty of service.

CHAMBERS: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, thank you both. Breaking news, the top-ranking democrat in the senate. Chuck Schumer responding to President Trump`s executive action. An extreme vetting. Sent out this tweet. "There are tears running down the cheeks of the Statute of Liberty tonight." A lot more ahead. We`ll be right back.



MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Next week, President Donald Trump will announce his Supreme Court nominee who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our constitution in the tradition of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia.



VAN SUSTEREN: Vice President Mike Pence at the "March for Life" here in D.C. The first vice president to ever attend the event. Thousands came out, marching to the Supreme Court. The abortion issue is center of the fight over President Trump`s nominee to be announced next week. Today, he talked about he is choosing the nominee in an interview with "The Christian Broadcasting Network."


TRUMP: I think that the person that I pick will be a big -- I think people are going to love it. I think evangelicals, Christians will love my pick. And will be represented very, very fairly.


VAN SUSTEREN: David Brody is the chief political correspondent for "The Christian Broadcasting Network." He got that interview with President Trump at the White House today. Nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: One of things that I understand talked about is the persecuted Christians.

BRODY: Right. As a matter of fact, before I...

VAN SUSTEREN: Other nations coming here.

BRODY: That`s right, oversees. But, that`s right. The refugee issue. The refugee problem is overseas. And he did. He said this would be a priority. His words, priority that this persecuted Christians that are living oversees would make in essence some sort of pilgrimage into the United States in this refugee program ahead of everybody else in the line.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is he speaking only about persecuted Christians coming out of Syria or other -- there are a lot of Christians to be persecuted in lots of places for instance in North Africa.

BRODY: Right. He specifically mentioned Syria in the full answer. And, you know, that clip is up so you can see. Yeah, absolutely, Syria is definitely one of the places that he talked about.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he talk about the Supreme Court? Did he give a hint who he might pick and choose? He said evangelicals love him.

BRODY: Yeah, so that`s kind of "generic" if you will. But, look, Neil Gorsuch is obviously good on the religious liberty issue. I think that`s something that evangelicals may pay attention to. But then again, some of my sources -- we all have sources, right? But Thomas Hardiman obviously seems like a guy that evangelicals may like as well, and that I`m hearing may actually be the guy.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Two days ago, Steve Bannon according to the "The New York Times" called the media the opposition party. I guess now President Trump is on that band, using those terms.

BRODY: That`s right. As a matter of fact, in the interview today, I specifically asked about Steve Bannon and those comments in "The New York Times." He said, yeah, absolutely, the media, most of the media, is the opposition party. He said we got two opposition parties. So, obviously, the media is in kerfuffle over that. I always wanted to say that on national television.

VAN SUSTEREN: You got your chance.

BRODY: Yeah, so clearly, you know, there`s more fuel to the fire, but it`s an adrenaline rush that he likes. I mean, he is a New Yorker, he wants to win, and he wants to win this.

VAN SUSTEREN: He told us that he is a people person. We heard that. All right. What about taxes? Did he mention that?

BRODY: He did and some of this will be -- later on we will release that clip. Yes, he talked about that. I asked him the 100 days you want to see tax bill on your desk? He said, look, I`ll just take a tax reform structure in place in my first 100 days, so that`s a little bit of a news for now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where did you do the interview?

BRODY: In the oval -- excuse me, it was in the White House, in the blue room. It was good, about 15 to 20 minutes, there was even a butler serving water, so that`s a good interview. First time butler showed up.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he talk about the White House? It`s quite an awesome video.

BRODY: He -- you could see there was a sense of -- I don`t know if the word is awe, but you can see definitely a reverence. You know, I`ve interviewed him -- this is my 10th time overall in the last year and a half. But first time obviously as president. He seemed a bit different, kind of -- not star struck, because that`s just not Donald Trump. I think he had a different vibe.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So when can we see this whole interview and where?

BRODY: Yes, Sunday night, Freeform, 15 to 20-minute interview. That`s obviously formerly the ABC family channel. CBS News is doing a big special, Sunday night at 11 p.m.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a must see.

BRODY: Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. Coming up, a wild and unpredictable first week of President Trump. We`ll look back on that and look ahead to week number two. That`s next.


VAN SUSTEREN: Love it or hate it. This week has been historic. One week ago, Donald Trump has sworn in as 45th president. Let`s just say it has been a very, very busy week filled with first and a lot of controversy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President-elect Donald Trump about to become the 45th president of the United States.

TRUMP: I wil faithfully execute the office of president of the United States. We are transferring power and giving it back to you, the people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hundreds of thousands have gathered for the women`s march in Washington, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We expected a lot of people but this is unbelievable.

TRUMP: I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. I made a speech. Looked like a million, million and half people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Our press secretary gave alternative facts.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Alternative facts are not facts, they`re falsehood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump move quickly to begin dismantling Obama-Era Policies.

TRUMP: We`ve been talking about this for a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president believe that millions voted illegally in this election?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president does believe that.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I haven`t seen evidence of this kind of widespread number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m begging the president to share with us information he have about this. Please stop saying it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lot of people that are (inaudible) two different states.

RYAN: The right thing to do is to investigate and find the facts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wall whiplash today with the back and forth on the border wall and how to pay for it.

TRUMP: The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting. I`m not as brash as you might think. I`m a people person.


VAN SUSTEREN: Jamal Simmons is a democratic strategist at "The Raben Group" and Brian Darling is a republican strategist and a former communications director for Senator Rand Paul. First to you, Brian. He has done everything he said he was going to do. He can`t possibly disappoint those who voted for him because he is doing what he said. Where are we getting the money for this stuff?

BRIAN DARLING, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR RAND PAUL: Well, he`s going to tax cuts which are going to make the economy better. I mean, if he get some jobs back home by lowering the corporate tax rate, and look at the stock markets roaring right now. So, tax revenues will probably go up. I mean, he obviously needs cut spending. He has nominated Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, who`s going to radically cut spending.

VAN SUSTEREN: And that`s where people get real unhappy, isn`t it, Jamal? When all of a sudden we see everything gets cuts, like it`s really fun when we think we`re getting a lot of stuff.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: That`s right. I mean, he has a congress that`s going to want to cut, but he also has a lot of spending on the table. I`m really curious to see how the republicans kind of rectify their own beliefs and then go along with this president who does not seem to buy any of the conservative ideology they have running on for years.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think the first week has been signing lots of stuff with stroke of pen. Sooner or later, especially the republicans and the congress are going to say, we`re the ones doing the legislating. I mean, he is not doing executive orders that President Obama but...

SIMMONS: Against President Obama signing executive orders for, you know, for the last couple of years, and now here he is using the pen.

VAN SUSTEREN: If he were here, he (inaudible) undoing them, but I think he`s going to get some of the republicans on Capitol Hill.

DARLING: Well, I mean, he has become the promise keeper. This has been a great week for him. He is keeping his promises about Obamacare. He is keeping his promises about the wall. He got a hiring freeze on federal employees.

VAN SUSTEREN: It`s a little sort of like, okay, he said that about TPP, but TPP didn`t even exist. McConnell is never going to put it up for a vote. And so this dramatic signing of TPP and keeping the unions happy, it was never coming.

DARLING: But he put the last nail in the coffin of TPP. I mean, he -- he -- that was one of his promises, TPP gone. Renegotiate NAFTA. These were all things that he`s trying to keep his promises.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know it`s really, only one week.

SIMMONS: Here is the kind of our problem with this whole thing, right? So, we are going to turn Asia over and let China have a bigger say in Asia by getting out of the TPP. We are undermining the Geneva Convention by embracing torture.

We are embracing -- he is going to embrace Vladimir Putin in Russia and he is distancing himself from our ally in Mexico. The foreign policy that is here, I don`t think it`s one of the American people signed up for when they voted for him.

VAN SUSTEREN: But Jamal, I talked to some union people today and they say, we got invited to the White House. Union has got invited to the White House.

SIMMONS: That`s so great for them.

VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama wasn`t taking, he forgot us, he forgot us. Here you got the people person, I keep going back to that. The people person who invited the union to the White House and they`re happy.

DARLING: The big corporate leaders, he got unions there. He has had members of congress -- I mean, the signing. When he started out, he had signing ceremony and he has joked around with Chuck Schumer. I mean, we have not -- I think that President Obama was pretty disengaged from congress and he did not meet with all these business leaders. I think President Trump is hands on guy who is involved in everything.

SIMMONS: Here is the reality. The reality is we drew down the troops in Iraq. We did all the things that President Obama promised to do.

DARLING: Not most of them.

SIMMONS: He did most of them. What he did do is he left the country in peace and prosperity. And so I think that is something that we ought to recognize. The president we have today again is embracing our opponent in Russia and is distancing himself from one of our big allies in Mexico. This is not something that we signed up for.

VAN SUSTEREN: For some reason he spoke with the president of the Mexico today for an hour, and the president of Mexico ratings have gone up since he has this fight with Trump, and I wonder if Trump is trying to take credit for the rise in rate from that conversation.

DARLING: President Trump` approval ratings are going up a little bit. I think people are seeing a guy who is...

SIMMONS: He is at 36 or 37...

DARLING: He is up to 40 now. Let`s think about it this way. A lot of conservatives, a lot of never Trumpers were worried about him. They were worried he is not going to be all that conservative. Next week, he is going to appoint a conservative justice to the Supreme Court and he is following through with a lot of his conservative promises and loading up his cabinet with conservatives.

SIMMONS: Except when you have -- we have news organizations who are willing to call the president of the United States a liar. That is not a word that we typically see written in newspapers. And people are using those words because we have him and his spokesperson coming out on national television and saying things that are not true.

I have been a press secretary for candidates. I`ve had candidates get mad about what happened in the media. I`ve had them want to go out and beat you up, beat up reporters. And you have to say to hem, thank you, sir, that`s really wonderful. I`m sorry you feel that way. Now we`re going to go out there...

DARLING: The love affair that the media had with President Obama and the fact that reporters were falling all over themselves to praise him at his farewell press conference.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I got to -- I have to stop -- I`m part of the opposition in the media. Thank you both.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

DARLING: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: "For The Record," an ordinary thank you for those who do the extraordinary.


VAN SUSTEREN: I want to say something "For The Record." I`ll start by showing you this picture, the U.S. capitol on my way to work today. What a beautiful morning it was today. It reminded me of another beautiful morning in Washington. At least, it started beautiful. September 11, 2001. That unforgettable day. At 9:43 a.m. that morning, my husband and I were on the rooftop parking lot at Reagan Airport, when we heard the roar of a plane and then a horrible noise now branded into my memory.

It was coming from a few blocks away at the Pentagon. I looked up and saw black smoke coming out of the Pentagon. And oddly the dark black stain in the sky appeared to be dotted with bright sparkling glitter. I realized later that the sparkle was the sun catching tiny particles of that plane thrust into the sky by that force.

That brings me to today. As I made my way into work this morning, noting what a beautiful day in D.C. it was today, it occurred to me. Our CIA and FBI and other intelligence agencies who may be bruised from recent remarks, they deserve a shout-out. It is absolutely extraordinary that in this very dangerous times, they have kept us safe.

We don`t say it enough to them but I hope they know how much we do appreciate them. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. We`ll see you right here on Monday night at 6 p.m. eastern. If you can`t watch live, set your DVR, follow me on Twitter @greta. Hardball with Chris Matthews starts now.