Show: For the Date: February 16, 2017 Guest: Seth Moulton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Susan Ferrechio, Annie Linskey, Kevin Cirilli, Kelly O`Donnell, Kasie Hunt, Ken Dilanion, Howard Fineman, Tom Udall, Susan Ferrechio, John Barrasso
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST: Breaking news, For the Record tonight, did Michael Flynn not tell the whole truth to the FBI, bombshell new reports tonight that could put the former national security adviser in serious legal jeopardy. The Flynn controversy just one of many headlines from President Trump first solo press conference since taking office, Trump taking the opportunity to defend his agenda, blast the media, and make news on leaks and Russia. Amid all that, tonight`s there`s more major news on the fight over the president travel ban, the Trump administration announcing it will drop the executive order currently tied up in the ninth circuit and issue a brand new executive order next week. Plus, my one-on- one interview with Israeli prime minister, from peace in the Mideast to his thoughts on President Trump and much more.
Well, we begin tonight with breaking news, in an explosive report from The Washington Post. The Washington Post now reporting that former national security adviser General Michael Flynn, when he spoke with the FBI in January he denied discussing sanctions in that December phone call with the Russian ambassador. Now, a senior law enforcement official tells NBC`s Pete William that agents are not contemplating charging Flynn with lies, and his answers were ambiguous. President Trump talked about Flynn`s resignation at a press conference today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you fire Mike Flynn?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Mike Flynn is a wonderful person. And I asked for his resignation. He respectfully gave it. He is a man who -- there was a certain amount of information given to Vice President Pence who is with us today, and I was not happy with the way that information was given. He didn`t have to do that because what he did wasn`t wrong, what he did in terms of the information he saw -- what was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves, in this room were given that information. Because that was classified information. It was given illegally. That`s the real problem.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
TRUMP: No, I didn`t.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: . prior to your inauguration.
TRUMP: No, I didn`t.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why did you fire him if the information hasn`t leaked out
TRUMP: Excuse me. No, I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence, very simple. Mike was doing his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: We have all angles covered tonight from the White House. NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell, she`s there on Capitol Hill. NBC`s Kasie Hunt, NBC`s intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian, Howard Fineman from the Huffington Post, Susan Ferrechio from the Washington Examiner, and Senator Tom Udall Democrat of New Mexico, who serves on the foreign relation committee. Let me go first to you Ken, and this report that The Washington Post says is that -- about General Flynn.
KEN DILANIAN, NBC NEWS: Well Greta, NBC News Pete William is reporting that the FBI agent who conducted that interview did not feel that Flynn lied to them. And I was trying to understand the discrepancy here, and I went back to an interview that Mike Flynn gave to the Daily Caller, conservative publication a few days ago, and he explained was he said he said to the Russian ambassador, and he said, quote, it wasn`t about sanction, it was about the 35 guys who was thrown it. So that`s what it turned out to be. It was basically, look, I know this happened, I`m quoting Flynn, we`ll review everything. I never said anything such as we`re going to review sanction or anything like that. So all of this may turn on an interpretation of what constitutes sanction. Remember, this is about the Obama administration expelling 35 diplomats, who they said were Russian intelligence agents. And living other sanctions in response to that Russian hacking and leaking operation directed against the American election. And so, bottomline, our information is that the FBI doesn`t feel Flynn lied in that interview, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ken, thank you. Let me go to Senator Udall for just one second, you`re a former in the United States attorney. I`ve always hated this as a defense lawyer when my clients spoke to the FBI and they thought that he was not totally candid. As a United States attorney and former -- you`re thoughts about this.
TOM UDALL, U.S. SENTOR: Well, I think it`s a very serious situation, and the context of what happened here. Here you have the President of the United States acting as president -- this President Obama, to put sanctions on Russia. And here you have a private citizen contacting the Russian ambassador to have some kind of discussion. We don`t know exactly what. If he lied to them, that`s a federal crime. Private Citizen interfering with foreign policy is also a crime under the Logan Act.
VAN SUSTEREN: I will tell you though that two people told me, Stephen Hadley who was NSA -- under -- NSE, under George Bush 43, said he saw no problem were the conversation even about sanctions, and Jeremy Bash who was on the Obama adminstration with Panetta at the CIA, he saw no problem. But, anyway, the plot thickens. I`ve never liked it when the FBI thought my client was not completely candid, but he may have dodged a bullet on this one. Let me go to you Kelly at the White House, tell me the latest there.
KELLY O`DONEEL, NBC NEWS: Well, I can tell you, Greta, that this was an opportunity for President Trump to try to answer questions that have been nagging his administration about Michael Flynn where he did parse this saying that he believes -- the president believes that what Flynn did in his conversation with the Russian ambassador was within his job as a part of the transition, so giving him some cover there. But saying that Flynn not being fully forthcoming to the vice president was ultimately the issue that led to his resignation requested by the president. Also important today, when the president was pressed on other matters related to his relationship with Russia, and he said that he has had no contacts, and that to the best of his knowledge, which gives him a tiny bit of wiggle room, but he was trying to be unequivocal that he or those who are close to him had not been in conversation with no Russian intelligence figure during the campaign. He also pointed out what was known at the time that Paul Manafort who served for a period of months as his campaign chairman had done business representing overseas clients, including in Ukraine, as a part of his portfolio politically. So, the president was using today to answer questions about Flynn, to in some ways sort of buildup Flynn saying that he was a good man, who served honorably, but because of this breached with the vice president had to go. And at the same time, the president defending himself on this Russia issue, ultimately saying in true kind of Trumpian way, Russia is fake news. So whether it was distraction, whether it was trying to explain it, whether it was the president just not wanting to acknowledge the gravity of the situation with Flynn, and the potential that it still could harm his administration, a sense of is the Flynn issue over or will it continue to be a nagging problem. And I think the news from the FBI if they have any questions about his veracity that could be a part of ongoing conversations on Capitol Hill, where they may be oversight on this. So this news conference today did many, many things, but on the Russia issue, it certainly got the president on the record on some key points that we`ve been wanting to get his direct answers on. Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. And don`t go away, Kelly. Kasie let me go to you on Capitol Hill. Is the thought on Capitol Hill, generally, and I guess the Republicans and the Democrats may have a very different view on this, is the press conference and all the questions and answers that were post to the president today, is it now over the Flynn controversy, or is it just getting refed up.
KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS: I don`t think that it`s over, Greta. I don`t necessarily think that the press conference today made a material change to where the issue with Flynn stands here on Capitol Hill. I do think that it impacted how Republicans feel about the president, generally, as they try to advance their agenda. But, look, what it did do was put the president on the record in response to a number of there queries about exactly what Flynn did, what he knew, what his campaign knew, and I think that is going to be information and evidence that is going to be included in this inquiries that are going on in the senate intelligence committee and the house intelligence committee. And that may go, Senator Chuck Grassley and the judiciary committee have asked for briefing, documents, information about this as well. And this is the kind of drip, drip, drip that does potentially have a major impact over the long-term. So, we know that the senate intelligence community wants to talk to Mike Flynn. They want him to come and testify. The house intelligence committee has not said the same. I asked Paul Ryan about that today, he said he hasn`t thought about whether Mike Flynn should testify. But if the senate intelligence committee brings him up here and they find that in fact there were conversations between the campaign and Russia`s intelligence officials that were inappropriate, I think all bets are off as far -- as how congress will react to that, vis-a-vis the White House. Even though Republicans -- you know at the end of the day, they want to work with the president. They want him to sign these bills that they`ve been waiting for years to write and pass, and that they couldn`t get through under President Obama. But, there is going to be a tipping point if this goes too far, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Kasie. All right. Let me ask you as a senator, your thoughts about the press conference in general today. What`s your thought about it?
UDALL: First of all, Greta, I think we need to look at it in the larger context that isn`t Democrat or Republican. It`s really the hacking of our elections and what is flowing from that, and part of that is what we seen with Flynn. And we really need a 9/11-type commission to take a look at the whole situation, what happened, how it happened, how do we prevent it into the future. And that`s where I think we really need to go. And that`s why I think your reporters we`ve been taking to saying it is not over. Because, I think, in my sense is the Republicans that want to see this kind of investigation and this kind of result, and they`re also Democrats who also want to see that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Howard, a lot of questions and answers today were quite heated. The president blasted the media on occasion, but I have to give the president a mark of A for availability. At least he came out and talked to them. Regardless of what their answers were, do you agree with me or not?
HOWARD FINEMAN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, up to point I agree with you. I mean, yes. He answered a lot of questions. And in this case, not just from conservative outlets like town hall or Christian broadcasting. He took on all comers. But he also was planning for this press conference to be a confrontation with the press. He had a -- he and his people had a fundraising letter ready to press the button as soon as the press conference is over, denouncing the press. He denounced the press repeatedly. Because, first of all, the press is very unpopular right down there, even below congress. And if he`s going to -- and it`s great for his base. The politics -- the political dynamic of this event, I think in terms of raw politics, are to try to use his base to shore up his support, firm his support with Republicans. He doesn`t want a 9/11 commission. And he doesn`t want the older generation of Republicans especially, although not just older ones, Marco Rubio is one of them as well, who are still afraid of Russia, who view Russia in the old Soviet Union as the archenemy of the United States. Those Republicans can`t compute this new -- Republican president wanting to be so, you know, open-minded, and available, and eager about Russia. Trump has to put them in a box and make sure they don`t stray. And the way you do that for Trump is to gin up your base. And the way you gin up your base is to go after the press. And if you`re going to say you people, that I think Donald Trump said at the presser today, nobody believes you people. Well, if he`s going to be convincing in the theatrics of saying nobody is going to believe you people, it`s convenient for him to have those people there, and that`s what he did.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, this new Washington Post report on General Flynn is another chapter on what`s been an ongoing bruising war between the president and the intelligence agencies. And now, the president vowing to review the intelligence agencies. Today, the president called the leaks criminal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, the leaks are real. You are the one who wrote about them and reported them. I mean, the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it. And the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: The president also spoke at length on Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You can talk all you want about Russia, which is all -- you know, fake news, fabricated deal to try to make up for the loss of the Democrats. Speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia. I don`t have any deals in Russia. President Putin called me up very nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election. He then called me up extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration which was terrific. But so did many other leaders.
TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you. I have no deals there.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not aware of any contacts during the course of the election.
TRUMP: Look, look. How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a Ruse. I know you have to get up and ask the question that`s so important. Russia is a Ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: Susan Ferrechio, either the president`s not playing it straight or the media has it really wrong, at least from the tone of the questions. Your thoughts on this.
SUSAN FERRECHIO, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: There is no evidence that had he has had any nefarious relationship with Russia. There`s a lot of speculation. There`s a lot of leaks from former and current officials. That`s the standard line in every Washington Post media. Former and current officials are all unanimous. So we don`t know, are these Obama officials who are just there to undermine Trump. And they have a real motive here. And also, what your reporter was saying earlier, that the FBI does not believe Flynn lied. They just called him to question, what is the story about. Is it really Flynn having lied or having some kind of weird leadership with the Russia, or is it about him misinterpreting what sanctions were. One high level official told me that it may amount to that the Russia ambassador called Flynn, as often the case with this incoming administration officials, and asked him about the sanctions and Flynn said we`ll review it, and he didn`t consider that a discussion, other people did. You know, it`s not an unusual call, but it`s being played up as something more nefarious. I don`t know what the answer is? Perhaps we won`t know until the content of that transcript are revealed. If they are ever revealed. First of all, that`s classified information. And so, we may never know what`s in there. But, you know, so far there`s really no evidence of any wrongdoing at this point.
(CROSSTALK) FINEMAN: If I can just ask, if it was all just fine, why did Mike Flynn not disclosed this to Mike Pence? Why didn`t he not -- he didn`t even know that the president already knew about it. Apparently, he didn`t tell the president what he knew. I mean, it`s -- he behaved in a way that made it seem as though he thought there was something wrong with it.
DILANION: And the larger story of Russia, Greta, goes beyond this Mike Flynn phone call. Let`s not forget, the intelligence community has said there was a Russia covert action designed to interfere in the election to benefit Donald Trump and discredit Hillary Clinton. And now there`s reporting that NBC news has confirmed in part that members of Trump`s campaign had -- were in touch with Russians. Our information is not Russia intelligence officials, but certainly Russians during the election campaign. And so, the question across Washington is what was going on there? And what the FBI we believe is investigating, among the things they`re investigating, was there any collusion between the Trump campaign and this Russian covert operation. That`s a really important question that I think the intelligence committee in congress are trying get to the bottom of.
VAN SUSTEREN: Kelly, at the White House, what sort of the temperament, or the thoughts, or the mood of the White House press corps after this press conference.
O`DONNELL: Well, I think that for a journalist who wants to ask questions of the president this was a rich opportunity. It went on for a long time. He took questions from a wide ranging group of journalist. And it put all of us on our toes to try to ask questions that would really elicit new information, and that did occur on a number of points. And, of course, there was some of the sparring and the back and forth. But for journalist who covers the White House, who makes this their daily professional experience, this was a day where access was important. At the same time, it is difficult for anyone who covers the White House in a professional way to hear the president undermining the work that`s done by journalist. Now, in the vast landscape of media which could include people who are influencers, and opinion leaders, and so forth, different than typically the reporters who cover the White House. That is often difficult when the president undercut sort of the veracity of what we`re doing or our intentions, perhaps more than anything else. But access is important on both sides. It`s certainly our estimation that the president feel that this was a value to him, and he spoke about it at his next event where he was doing a bill signing. My sense is we will see more of this. This is where Donald Trump has the greatest control to try to handle the message and deliver the message, and journalist certainly want to ask the questions, Greta.
UDALL: He loves the theatrics of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, so that the viewers aren`t left with the thought that nothing is ever done in this town. At least today there`s an effort that congress is about to use the congressional review act to roll something back, just briefly tell me what that is, so they know there`s something going on.
UDALL: Well, this is a methane regulation that was put in place to deal with waste and oil and gas fields. It said it would bring a $100 million to my taxpayers in New Mexico. It`s across the west. And I think this very blunt instrument, the CRA, the congressional review act, being used once in its whole history put in the 1990`s, it`s not the way to go. We can work through this. We can be bipartisan. One of you guests here, Senator Barrasso, we can work together on this to resolve it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not quite as sexy as the president beating up the press. But nonetheless, important for the American people. Work is being done in at least something. Anyway, thank you, sir.
UDALL: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ahead, my interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on President Trump request to hold back settlements and how to deal with Iran. And on the difference between President Obama and Trump. And we have much more on today`s very combative press conference. President Trump unloading on the media. We`re going to take a closer look at his comments on inheriting a mess. And breaking tonight, the Trump administration looking to drop that legal fight over the travel ban, but it is not over. The president announcing today, he will issue a new executive order. It`s all ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To be honest, I inherited a mess. It`s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump today saying that he, quote, inherited, a quote, mess, from President Obama and the Obama administration. Trump went on to push back against media reports of chaos and upheaval with his own administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Beginning on day one, our administration went to work to tackle these challenges. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: John Barrasso is a Republican senator from the great state of Wyoming, and he is a member of the senate foreign relation committee. Nice to see you, sir.
JOHN BARRASSO, U.S. SENATOR: Thank for having me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any thoughts today about the president and member of party, his press conference today.
BARRASSO: Well, I think he right in terms of the fact he inherited a mess. The world is much more dangerous when Barrack Obama left office, whether it`s Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, the economy of so many people still struggling, sacrificing, suffering under the economy with the regulations. And I`ll tell you the health care law that Obama pass is collapsing, and we have to do something to rescue and provide relief for people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me just say, one of the things that I thought notable is that when President Trump took office the economy in January added 227,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate hovering around 4.8. When President Obama took office in 2008, the economy had lost 598,000, 600,000 jobs, and unemployment level was hovering around 7.6, and the economy was in great shambles.
BARRASSO: And the president -- President Obama over that time put out many, many regulation that made it harder for.
(CROSSTALK) VAN SUSTEREN: Would you not give him credit for like pulling us out of that down swing, President Obama.
BARRASSO: Well, he did a massive government so-called stimulus package, spent a lot of money, I think we could have done a lot better. Those projects turned out to not be shovel ready which is why we have such an infrastructure problem today as well. So I agree President Trump inherited a mess.
VAN SUSTEREN: Will you concede that maybe they both inherited a mess?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We`ve got that point on me. All right, now you want Scott Pruitt to be the EPA administrator, why?
BARRASSO: Well, I`ll tell you. He was attorney general of Oklahoma, and he did a wonderful job in Oklahoma protecting the environment as well as working to strengthen the economy, and did it, as well, protecting States rights. He`s had 1,200 questions, lengthy hearings, he is the right person to come -- we need to fundamentally change the direction of the EPA in this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think so many environmentalists are against him?
BARRASSO: Well, because they have a different view of maybe of what the EPA is supposed to do as its job. In terms of protecting the environment, but not at the expense of the proper balance between the environment and the economy. It`s possible to have both. We all want clean air, clean water, clean land, and we want a strong and healthy economy. I believe you can have both, and so does Scott Pruitt.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that there should be a 9/11-type commission to investigate this Russian hacking and any sort of connection between the Trump campaign and Russia.
BARRASSO: Well, there`s couple of things going on with Russia. One is in terms of a commission. The studies are going on now. The FBI is investigating, the Department of Justice, the intelligence committee.
VAN SUSTEREN: . employment in this city.
BARRASSO: . so that`s going to continue. But it`s not just hacking by Russia with regards to that. They`re hacking in Germany with the upcoming election. I believe they`re doing it in France as well. And what we`re seeing is not just Russia hacking us, China is doing it, North Korea is doing it. I think we need to actually develop.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do we even get to that? I mean, where have all our leaders been to protect us from all of this to begin with?
BARRASSO: Well, this is the ongoing discussion and debate between privacy and protecting our own security. And what do you give up, one to the other, and how do you find that right balance. We do not have an aggressive response to an action against us from a cyber standpoint. We don`t have the policies on that. I think that an effort to go against us requires definitive action. It has to be timely. And not just a reply but a punishing response so they don`t do it again. And we didn`t have that against Russia, and we should have.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.
BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Still ahead, breaking news on the travel ban fight, the Trump administration is now planning to resin the controversial measure, but President Trump will sign a new order as soon as next week. But first, a striking interaction at the news conferences over President Trump statements on the size of his Electoral College win. I`ll talk to Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD: President Trump today saying he had the largest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. NBC Peter Alexander asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You said today you had biggest electoral margins since Ronald Reagan, 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama had 365.
DONALD TRUMP, THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well I am talking about Republicans.
ALEXANDER: President Obama 365, George W. Bush 426 when he won as president. So why should Americans trust you?
TRUMP: I was given that information. We had a very, very big margin.
ALEXANDER: I guess my question is, why should, Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake when you are providing the information.
TRUMP: I don`t know. I was given that information. Actually I have seen that information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump also had this to say about Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debate. Can you imagine, seriously. Can you imagine if I received the questions it would be the electric chair, ok? He should be put in the electric - you wouldn`t even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty. Ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Seth Moulton is a Democratic Congressman from the great city of Massachusetts and an Iraq war veteran. Who is also an aide to General Petraeus, nice to see you, sir?
REP. SETH MOULTON, D-MASSACHUSETTS: Good to see you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ok I must admit. I don`t think many voters, are not be a Trump supporter care if he was wrong about the Electoral College, all he got is 270 votes, and do you agree or disagree?
MOULTON: Well I think the people should fundamentally care whether the President tells us the truth.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is he mistaking or he got the --
MOULTON: He is a serial liar. In his biography, he dislike to lie, he called the truth hyperbole, he thinks if you just say what you want people to believe that that will be enough and that gave worth for the election, it helped get him over the line, but it`s not going to work for being the president of the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: How is the media doing in questioning?
MOULTON: The media is getting better. Trump is clearly trying win by intimidation. I see that in the House of Representatives. I see Republicans who know that he is wrong, who know that he -that many of his policy are a threat to our National Security, but they are afraid to stand up to him because of retribution. The press has to be not afraid and call him out just like that reporter did today.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think that the president`s troubles are going to when he goes to Capitol Hill with some of his projects and they have to be funded. The freedom caucus wants to spend money and a lot of the things that even to build the wall, even if eventually let the Mexico pay for which I don`t think it is going to happen, but let`s say hypothetically if someone has to pony up the 8 to 12 billion money up front.
MOULTON: Look, the Republicans have the house, the senate and the White House so they should be running everything and they have no excuse in government doesn`t work under their watch. The reality is they are so discombobulated. They don`t have a plan. They say they are going to repeal Obamacare, but they have no idea what the replacement should be. they don`t have any plan for national security, great disagreement over this travel ban and all of these other things that Trump is doing is putting lives of our troops in danger by his action. And so the reality is that if Trump wants to get a lot of these things done, he is going to even have unified the Republican Party. That means he is going to start coming to Democrats if he want to do things like infrastructure and so far it seems like --
VAN SUSTEREN: Any moderate Democrats.
MOULTON: Well if he had some reasonable plans, sure. I`m a huge supporter of infrastructure. I want to more infrastructure investment in the country.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you do about the immigration issue?
MOULTON: Well I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform but his Muslim travel ban is absolutely hurting our national security.
VAN SUSTEREN: Muslim travel ban has sort for the popular description. I actually read it. It bans people from certain number of countries, seven countries where the majority are Muslims, but there are other countries that are not included that is also have a majority Muslim, but that is what it is.
MOULTON: The bottom-line is that Secretary Mattis, his own Secretary of Defense who is not briefed on the ban came out with changes to it, because he knows that he had to work with translator overseas. It`s going to put our troops life in danger is we can`t count on our sources and they can`t count on us. If we can`t use intelligence sources, it`s a great example of how he comes out with policy that is properly vetted. They are just playing to his political base, for political purposes and they hurt our national security.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is Mattis good at the job?
VAN SUSTEREN: It seems like Democrats and Republicans both like Mattis.
MOULTON: He is one of the only saying people in the administration. He is going to resign because his boss is so crazy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, hope you come back.
MOULTON: Good to see you.
VAN SUSTEREN: And we had just mentioned that travel ban, why is President Trump dropping it and my interview with the Prime Minister, his thoughts in the Middle East peace for President Obama and President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now to my interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Our conversation covering a range of issue to the controversy where President Trump comments and how would he achieve peace in the Middle East to the Prime Minister`s relationship with the new American president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Prime Minister, nice to see you sir.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Good to see you again Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Welcome back to the United States.
NETANYAHU: Thank you it is always a pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday when you spoke to President Trump he said he would like Israel to hold back a bit. And I know that President Obama before that had a similar position on the settlements. Can you explain to the American people this whole settlement issue?
NETANYAHU: Sure we have 12 hours to go through it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Give me short version.
NETANYAHU: Short version. I think it`s an issue but I don`t think it`s not the issue, because the real core of this conflict between us and the Palestinian is not this settlement or this or that community, it`s refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundary. We left Gaza where half of the Palestinian people left. We went right back to the 67 border, we uprooted all the settlement, we even took people out of their graves. And what happened? They didn`t use a territory to build the state for peace. They built a mini state in Gaza from which they fired 25,000 rockets on our heads and they are digging tunnels from there. So the issue is not this or that settlement. The issue is do you accept a Jewish state for god`s sake. I think that is the main issue. I said that to President Obama and President Trump as well.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do they both think the settlement is the issue why is that an issue they keep bringing up.
NETANYAHU: I think it`s been ingrained in the public`s mind. This is issue we agreed to discuss so we can setup a mechanism to discuss a way to reach an understanding, but I think the larger issue here today is, how do we create the broader conditions for broad peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Arab countries as well as pursuing peace in the Palestinian neighbors? That is something that is that may have a new opportunity, because of the fact that many of the Arab countries now see Israel not as their enemy but as their ally in confronting the large threat of Iran and dash ISIS that is the twin Islam forces that threaten all of us. That is bringing us closer together.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which countries are now sort of softening in that regard?
NETANYAHU: Who is not?
VAN SUSTEREN: Iran is not.
NETANYAHU: No -- Iran is not an Arab country.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in 20 months since we had a nuclear deal, they gave not soften their rhetoric.
NETANYAHU: They have just fired - test fired a ballistic missile against U.N. resolutions. They inscribed on the missile in Hebrew, Israel must be destroyed. That is a very peaceful intent and the foreign minister had the edacity to say we don`t have any of the -- any intention to threaten any country. Well, except to eliminate Israel, that is all. But it is not just Israel. I mean it`s an opposition basic opposition to the United States. Everything all of values that are free liberal societies represent, they want to eradicate a lot of this.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday President Obama said that he withholds the dispute about the two states versus one state.
NETANYAHU: President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean President Trump, I am sorry. Did he say anything in meeting to you, did he explain at any further what he meant?
NETANYAHU: Well we talk about this, but I have always said the labels are not important. It`s the substance that is important. Peace requires aided the Palestinian finally accept the Jewish state and give up their idea and their fantasies of destroying it. And secondly that Israel retains the right to the security control of the area west of the Jordan River otherwise we could just get in the Palestinian area and other Islamist dictatorship that will explode peace and explode the Middle East.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you see the difference for the people of Israel having a President Trump in the White House and President Obama in the White House. How does Israel feel the difference?
NETANYHU: Look, we had a great alliance, successfully thrown American president, Democrats, Republican, it`s not -- it doesn`t mean that we didn`t have our difference. I had a big difference with President Obama obviously on Iran and some others as well. We signed historic memorandum of understanding for support for security support for Israel for the next decade. There`s a very strong alliance. I`m not going to start rating presidents. I will tell you that I had a very warm meeting with President Trump. There was a great sense of kinship and friendship and I think that is something that people -- America feel towards the people of Israel and I`m sure they feel deeply about America. They understand that in many ways we mirror each other, we share the same value uses of freedom of democracy. Israel is only the true democracy in a very troubled region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: We`ll have much more of my interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow night. Including on what he said about Israel`s Arab neighbors.
Ahead breaking news on President Trump`s travel ban, why is he dropping the legal fight in the U.S. appeals from the ninth circuit.
VAN SUSTEREN: President Trump is dropping his legal fight over his travel ban, the executive order, but he is going to sign a new one. The justice department saying the president will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further potentially time consuming litigation. Today the president talked about the executive action that coming next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: That circuit is in chaos and that circuit is in turmoil but we are appealing that and we are going further. We are issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Kevin Cirilli is political reporter for Bloomberg News and Annie Linskey, National political reporter for the Boston Globe and Susan Ferrechio Chief Congressional Correspondent for Washington Examiner. Susan, I mean, the president describe the ninth circuit as chaos and turmoil, I would describe it like the court of appeals is very slow and he says this is an emergency, so, no surprises that he would do this.
SUSAN FERRECHIO, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: No surprise he wouldn`t be highly complementary than I thought, which is often considered --
VAN SUSTEREN: He didn`t say they were so-called appellate judges.
FERRECHIO: That is right. If he is going to withdraw the executive order and recast it in a way that will make it through the court, so they say. He has to get used to the fact as Obama did, that it`s not unusual, when you make an executive order for the court to weigh in a lot of Obama stuff got stuck in the court are still being held up by the court. Trump has to learn to deal with it and do it on a diplomatic way with the courts.
VAN SUSTEREN: Annie, I take you`re not surprised by it this. I would be more surprise if he really pursued it.
ANNIE LINSKEY, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE: Yes. I think what is interesting and a little surprising is the amount of time that it`s taking to come out with the new order. He said the new version of the order would be coming out early this week. Now it`s been delayed until next week, now it is being delayed up to next week. You can glean from that they are taking their time and are vetting this in a way they didn`t before. You know he doesn`t want this to happen twice.
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually think this is dragging their feet. They knew this was coming. I think they could have done it faster. The reason they recall didn`t notify some of the cabinet in Capitol Hill, because this was an emergency.
KEVIN CIRILLI, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Yes. I would make just two quick points. First and foremost since this roll out. He met with business leaders in both Silicon Valley, as well as CEO of some large corporations, who I think also have raising their concerns privately on the White House about their own concerns. Secondly, to the point of Susan, and Annie, is that, you know look, congress, Republicans within the president`s own party have also privately begun to say wait a minute, there are some moderate Republicans who are up for reelection in 2018. Let`s make sure we get it right the second time.
VAN SUSTEREN: Annie, I saw the pool reports. You have been hanging around the White House recently. President today is attacking the media. Is the media taking the bait thin-skinned: I think there`s no love lost with the media.
LICHTMAN: yes that is right. I have to say, it`s really to two sides. It may not be a great relationship with the media, but he has a relationship with the media. I was with the president yesterday, I was in the oval office and another reporter, he looked up and started engaging with other reporters and say in a complimenting her story and to her credit, she turn her on and ask her a question about the news of the day. He was willing to engage. Obama was floating above it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here is what he said today, let`s listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The press has become so dishonest.
Russia is fake news put out about the media. I know when you`re not telling the truth and when you are not. I think you would do much better by being different. The tone is such hatred. If a guest comes out and says something positive about me, it`s brutal.
I certainly didn`t win by people, listening to you people. The public doesn`t believe you people any more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Susan, I think we are getting to know our president because he does provide access. I`m appreciative of the access today. I didn`t use the word transparency. I use the word use access. Air Force One, he came back to talk to the reporters the other night. Kelly O`Donnell, when the big decision came down last week, she ran in to me and came out and talks to me, so there`s more access, may be not in love with the media.
FERRECHIO: If you listen to the points, I know him getting chilled on Twitter. I don`t fully disagree with him. I think that there`s a grain of truth to everything he says. I think that there is a grain of truth to everything he says, I think the media is really out to get him. He shoved a big stick in the wasp nets during the campaign. He called dishonest media. He moves to discredit them. I think in many ways the mainstream media doesn`t like him until they are willing to believe what everything that is fed to them from inside the White House. We don`t have all the evidence on the whole Russian connection yet, but it`s been being thrown out there like they are in bed with the Russian.
VAN SUSTEREN: He lump everybody together, I mean that is the problem today that is the problem. I still think one of the, you know the worst you do is when get your opponents some ammunition and I think probably I keep harping on this that when the Time Magazine reporters said that the Martin Luther King, Jr. was taken out of the oval office which was code that he took the black icon out of the oval office. That was false, that was wrong, he corrected it and reported -- it gave ammunition to the white house and I don`t blame them of being furious about that.
CIRILLI: The media is-like the polls, the media is incredibly unpopular right now, whether we are all in or not. We are unpopular. That being --
VAN SUSTEREN: I have it double.
CIRILLI: There are Republicans within his own party who are raising concerns. It is not just Democrats.
VAN SUSTEREN: Panel, thank you for joining us.
And coming up a secret act of kindness, whose? Stick around to find out.
VAN SUSTEREN: I want to say something for the record. I love courage. Don`t you? And how about kindness, don`t you love that. How could you not. Today I read a book, first Courage, Rosa Parks. Who could forget what she did, she is a definition of courage. And about 15 years ago, I happen to see her, it was thrilling. Can you believe it? I actually got to meet Rosa Parks even for only five seconds.
Well now to kindness and I never got a chance, never knew about it till this morning when I read about it in a report from WXYZ in Detroit. It was about Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Ceasar`s pizza franchise, owner of Detroit Tigers and the Red Wings. Now, last week at the age of 87 he died and this morning I learned that for years he quietly paid Rosa Park`s rent for a Downtown Detroit apartment. It began in 1994 when park`s was 81 and was grueling beaten and rob and then home in Detroit. Civil rights activist and federal judge (inaudible) found Park`s a safer apartment and Ilitch happen to read about Park`s ordeal on the newspaper and the rest is history. Fort the next 11 years until her death in 2005, Ilitch paid her rent. Today was courage Rosa Park and then great kindness, Mike Ilitch, a (inaudible) and a great way to start my day.
And before we go, just moments ago, Vice President Mike Pence is swearing Congressman Mick Mulvaney as head of the White House office of management and budget. He was confirmed by the senate today by a vote of 51-49, one Republican voting against Mulvaney, that was Senator John McCain.
Thank you for watching us, see back here tomorrow night. You will see our entire interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu, tomorrow 6:00 p.m. Eastern and if you can`t watch live, set your DVR. "Hardball" with Chris Matthew starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END