For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/7/2017

Guests: Amy Klobuchar, Steve King, Ron Hosko, Linda Sanchez, Anne Gearan, Tim Carney, Ana Palmer, Robert Scales, Gordon Chang

Show: FOR THE RECORD Date: March 7, 2017 Guest: Amy Klobuchar, Steve King, Ron Hosko, Linda Sanchez, Anne Gearan, Tim Carney, Ana Palmer, Robert Scales, Gordon Chang

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST:  Two major stories breaking right now.  First, wiretapping, the heat turning up on President Trump, calls for President Trump to release evidence that President Obama wiretap him.  And also breaking right now, Republican revolt, some conservatives lashing out the GOP healthcare plan, Democrats don`t like it any better, some calling it heartless.  Meanwhile, at the street of the White House, President Trump is saying he is proud to support it.  We have both of these breaking news stories covered tonight.

The question is obvious, where is the evidence?  But the answer is a mystery.  It has now been three days since President Trump made his explosive twitter claim that President Obama wiretap the Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.  And today, White House reporters grilling White House press secretary Sean Spicer demanding to know the answer and what did Spicer say?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s been a full three days since the president said that President Obama had his wires taps, phone taps at Trump Tower, in those days the White House come up with any evidence whatsoever to prove that allegation.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Yeah, I addressed this multiples times yesterday.  I think the president -- we put out our statement on Sunday, saying that we have no further comment and we`re asking the house and the senate intelligence committee to look into this concern and report back.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can the president just ask the FBI director?  Has he asked him?

SPICER:  No, the president has not.  And I think that, you know, we`ve gone back and forth to you guys.  And I think there`s clearly a role that congress can play in this oversight capabilities, they made it very clear that they have the staff, the resources and the process.  I think that`s the appropriate place for this to handle.  I think if we were to start to get involved, you then write stories about how we`re getting involved.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  You believe that President Obama (INAUDIBLE)

SPICER:  I get that`s a cute question to ask.  My job is to represent the president and to talk about what he`s doing and what he wants.  And he`s made very clear what his goal is, what he would like to have happen, and so I just leave it at that.  I think we tried to play this game before.  I`m not here to speak for myself.  I`m here to speak for the president of the United States and our government.

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER:  Nothing has change.  No, it`s not a question of new proof or less proof or whatever.  The answer is the same.  And I think -- which is that, I think there is a concern about what happened in the 2016 election, the house and senate intelligence committee have the staff and the capabilities and the process in place to look at this in a way that`s objective.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is the White House`s position that the president can make declarative statement about a former president basically committing a crime, and then the congressional committee should into that and basically prove it?  I mean.

SPICE:  It`s not a question of prove it.  I think as I said now, five times to the follow up to the follow up.  It`s not a question of prove it.  Is that they have the resources and the clearances and the staff to fully and thoroughly and comprehensively investigate this.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you seen any evidence yourself?  Has the evidence been shared with you or other members or senior members of the president`s staff as to why he made this particular accusation?

SPICER:  As far as me, no.  I`m not in a position that would be regularly part of my daily duties for the president to sit down and go through that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  NBC`s Chris Jansing joins us from the White House.  Chris, any chance when the president is going to speak on this and provide the proof that everyone keeps asking about?

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS:  Yeah, that`s what we`ve been asking for, right?  And we have seen him today, but we didn`t hear from him yet again today for the second straight day since it happened since he came back to the White House.  And as you heard, the White House isn`t backing down, they are doubling down.  Let`s deconstruct a little bit of what Sean Spicer had to say.  He said we put out a statement on Sunday, we say we`re not going to answer any more questions about this.  But then, at least two other members of the administration came out.  Sean Spicer just yesterday answered questions as we`ve first reported here on this show, Greta, late yesterday when asked whether or not the president believed President Obama committed a felony, he wouldn`t say no.  They are continuing to look for congress to investigate this.  So there`s a press conference today, the head of the house intelligence committee, Devin Nunes.  He is task with looking into all things that have to do with Russia, right, and this whole hacking story.  But most of the questions by the press today were about are you going to investigate this, and he said yes.  This will indeed be part of our investigation, even though he acknowledged as so many other Republicans have, that he has no personal knowledge, no indication that this actually happened.  That first hearing by the way is going to be on March 20th.  Bottomline, you heard a little bit of that question, why would the president want congress to investigate this, and Sean Spicer says why go to DOJ.  It would seem that if you go to congress as a separate body looking into something that gives it a little more creditability.  The one unequivocal answer that we really got from Sean Spicer today, the president has absolutely no regrets about his tweets.  That`s very consistent with what we`ve seen with him in the past, right?  That he doesn`t back down on anything he said.  Even today in that press conference he was asked about a tweet about Gitmo saying 122 dangerous prisoners were released by the Obama administration, or back on the battlefield.  That`s not true.  Sean Spicer said what he really meant was, overall, including the Bush administration.  But no apology and certainly nothing been tweeted that would suggest that he is going to, anyway, correct that.  Bottomline, a lot of Republicans are very nervous about this, Greta, because it continues to be a distraction, and be a distraction through and past that March 20th hearing.  When, as one of them texted me today, we`ve got a few other important things here we rather be focusing on, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Chris, what I don`t get is this.  Is that, first of all, he`s got the problem with the -- reports are at least that Director Comey says that there is no wiretapping.  That he wanted the Justice Department gives permission to -- and he`s got DNI Clapper who on Meet the Press said that there is no such thing.  But overarching all this is that DNI Clapper also said that there was no evidence or information to suggest or show collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, so I would be seizing on that.  And we`re running that up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.  But they`re not even talking about that, are they?

JANSING:  No, they`re not talking about the fact, frankly, as a number of even Republicans have pointed out that if this goes where they`re saying it goes, it actually does lead to that, exactly what you`re saying.  So there is a lot of concern on Capitol Hill about exactly what`s behind this and where it could potentially lead.  We`re here at the White House, you have a whole senior staff all of whom have been going on camera to basically have to say as spokes people for the president.  I have no direct knowledge of what he`s talking about, at least two of them, including Sean Spicer today said that was above my pay grade.  That`s not a situation that people who speak for president want to be in.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Chris, thank you.  On Capitol Hill today, growing calls from both parties for the president to release evidence of that wiretapping claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

  JOHN MCCAIN, U.S. SENATOR:  I think that the president of the United States stated categorically that Trump Tower was wiretapped.  That he should come forward with the information that led him to that conclusion.  It`s a very serious charge against the previous president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Here is house Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRATIC LEADER:  Once again, the president doesn`t know what he`s talking about because, first of all, a president can`t do that.  Maybe he is projecting that`s something he`d like to do.  But that isn`t what President Obama did or could do.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You think he`s just making this up?

PELOSI:  Yes, I think he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  And late today, the top Republican on the senate intelligence committee, Senator Richard Burr spoke to reporters about the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you tell us if the committee will in fact be investigating the allegation from President Trump that he was wiretapped by President Obama?

RICHARD BURR, U.S. SENATOR:  We`re going to go anywhere there`s intelligence or facts that send us.  So I`m not going to limit in one way or the other.  But we don`t have anything today that would send us in that direction, but that`s not to say we might not find something.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Had you ever heard of this before the allegation from the president?

BURR:  No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  And today, senators questioned the man who would oversee any Justice Department probes in to President Trump and Russia.  U.S. attorney Rod Rosenstein nominated to be deputy attorney general facing tough questions, asked about Russia, special prosecutors, and wiretaps.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you aware, again, of any time FBI agent for the department of justice wiretapped a U.S. citizen without a proper warrant since you`ve been a U.S. attorney?

ROD ROSENTEIN, U.S. ATTORNEY:  Not on my watch, senator.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  OK.  And are you aware of an instance in which FBI agent or the Department of Justice personnel sought a warrant without a good faith belief that probable cause existed.

ROSENTEIN:  Not on my watch, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Senator Amy Klobucher, Democrat from the great state of Minnesota, who serves on the judiciary committee.  And today question the Justice Department nominee for the number two job.  Nice to see you, senator.

AMY KLOBUCHER, U.S. SENATOR:  Well, thank you, Greta.  It`s great to be on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Are you`re going to vote for Mr. Rosenstein for number two justice?

KLOBUCHER:  Well, I`m certainly headed that way.  I have a few more questions to ask him on the record.  He`s clearly as someone that has a lot of trust.  He came in with President Bush, but then was reappointed by President Obama.  And has a lot of respect from prosecutors and lawyers throughout the country.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you have a sense that all the Republicans and all the Democrats thought that he was forthright today?

KLOBUCHER:  I think that he -- clearly was smart and could answer most of the question.  I think the frustration on our side more stems from the whole problem when senator -- then Senator Sessions, now attorney general Sessions appeared before the committee, wasn`t exactly straight when asked about his dealings with Russia.  And then, we would like him to come before the committee.  I don`t think it was as much of frustration with Mr. Rosenstein as it was -- we need Sessions to come back because we have some very clear questions to ask him.

VAN SUSTEREN:  There is a question post on whether or not he would seek a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration on possible contacts with people in Russia.  He didn`t answer that.  As a lawyer, you didn`t expect -- you would have been angry if he had answered it, wouldn`t you?

KLOBUCHER:  What I thought it was important is that he clearly said that that`s something that he would consider.  He didn`t close it off.  He talked about the standards that were used to appoint a special prosecutor and had it looked at.  And so, my frustration with him, which I`ve told him, was that he had not read the non-classified report yet on Russia.  And so, here`s how I look at it.  He`s qualified, that`s important.  But he`s literally going to be stepping in the shoes of the attorney general of the United States.  When it comes into this major investigation of what was going on when you`ve got the national security advisor having resign.  You have the attorney general having recused himself from this investigation.  You have the campaign chair Manafort having stepped down because of his ties with Russia.  Something is going on here and the American people deserves an answer when it gone to an assault on our very democracy.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, President Trump believes, at least, he tweeted that he was wiretap by President Obama, do you think he was?

KLOBUCHER:  I believe President Obama, and I believe in the law.  And you have the former director of national security, Clapper, coming forward this weekend and basically saying, no, that did not happen.

VAN SUSTEREN:  He also said that they didn`t find any connection of collusion, I think was the word he used between Russia and the Trump campaign.  So he exonerated the Trump administration on that end.

KLOBUCHER:  Wow.  He said at this point he didn`t have the evidence.  And there`s been no real investigation that we know of in terms of the intelligence committee.  There just getting started.  We don`t know what`s going on from the FBI standpoint because that is not in the public eye.  And that`s under the purview of the FBI.  And we don`t even have the independent commission started.  So I don`t think it`s fair to say we know all the evidence as yet.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Why do you think President Trump tweeted that Saturday morning?

KLOBUCHER:  I have no idea.  Because when you hog someone like the director of intelligence coming out, former director, and saying, hey, there was no FISA court order.  When you have this story running of the Jim Comey actually called the Justice Department said, please make it clear that this wasn`t going on, we weren`t doing this, we weren`t  involved in this, and we don`t know exactly what happened, but it was something about that this wasn`t order.  I have no idea.  Because I think most likely he was trying to distract from what was going on in the news.  He was angry about something and he put it out there.  But this is the president of the United States, he could have just called the FBI and found out that this wasn`t going on.  Instead he made an allegation against his predecessor.  Compare this to George Bush, and how he -- President Obama worked with George Bush positively.  What George Bush said out of office about President Obama.  This is just not the history of America.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Some people believe, you know, he`s very passionate followers believe that something was array, that there was some snooping on him.

KLOBUCHER:  I say as a former prosecutor, bring me the facts, bring me the evidence, and we have not seen that.  And all we`ve heard from intelligence people was that, couldn`t happen.  And even today, the man who is up for the number two job at justice said under his watch he`s never heard of anyone in the U.S. just wiretapping a civilian in the United States of America, that`s against the law.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I should add that Senator John McCain wants the proof.  We`ve got the vice chair on the intel committee Senator Burr who says he has not seen anything yet.

KLOBUCHER:  Right.

VAN SUSTEREN:  So, anyway.

KLOBUCHER:  You have many people saying this.

VAN SUSTEREN:  On the other side of the aisle.

VAN SUSTEREN: . very clear that you need a warrant, and there was no report of a warrant.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Senator, thank you.  Nice to see you.

KLOBUCHER:  Well, thank you.  It`s great to be on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  So where are all these national security leaks coming from?  Iowa congressman Steve King tweeting, Donald Trump needs to purge leftist from executive branch before a disloyal, illegal and treasonous acts sinks us.  Joining me is Congressman Steve King, Republican from the great state of Iowa, who serves on the house judiciary committee.  Nice to see you, sir.

STEVE KING, U.S. CONGRESSMAN:  Good to see you again, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So explain this tweet to me about the need to purge, that President Trump needs to purge the leftist from the administration -- our government.

KING:  Well, I`m addressing this in a broader scale than in the previous discussion is concern.  We`ve known that within the CIA they`ve been trying to influence some foreign policy by -- they might be targeting leaks out of there, out of the intelligence community itself, out of the state department perhaps, even worst.  And department after department in government have now people embedded in there, after eight years of President Obama they`re not serving President Trump well.  And I thought that he would have -- in his first days in office gone in and removed all of the political appointees that he could by law, and replaced them with his own people, and then begin to marginalize those that you can`t trust.  We can see the results of this, and its government pushing back against him and hurting him with leaks that are coming out, one of those would be on General Flynn.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you believe that the president is being treated unfairly in this whole leaks investigations more specifically.  I mean, obvious what`s captured all of our attention, is this tweet he says of President Obama essentially was wiretapping him.  What are your thoughts about that?

KING:  Well, it seems like we`re fixated on just that tweet.

VAN SUSTEREN:  It`s a big one.  I mean, it would be pretty incredible --  I mean, terrible thing if one president is doing that to a candidate.  I mean, it is right up there.

KING:  If we instruct the word president out of that, right before Obama, and then would the implication be that he`s implying or at least asserting that the Obama administration had tapped into communication that went through Trump Tower, or communication went through the Trump campaign.  If we look at the story it goes all the way back to midsummer.

VAN SUSTEREN:  He did direct it at the president.  I think he also said hashtag sad or something like that.  I mean, he directed.

KING:  He did?

VAN SUSTEREN:  I mean, where is all of this coming from?

KING:  At a minimum, he said, he assigned the responsibility to President Obama.  Whether he means that President Obama issued the order or not, I don`t think we know that.  We haven`t heard from President Trump on that.  I think we need to do this.  We need to follow-up on Chairman Nunes and asked him, and he`s already agreed to go down and drill into this deeply.  We need to go back and look at the last year of FISA warrant request, and let`s find out.  Was there a warrant request that turned down in June or July to do surveillance on the Trump campaign or anything to do with Trump Towers.  What was the sequential of this thing, apparently they got one that was approved sometime in October, and Hillary Clinton tweeted that out on October 31st.  So the whole strings of facts here that we need to put together and understand the scenario.  Do you believe all of the news media stories, some of them, part of them, which part of them?  The only thing we really have for real fact is Trump`s tweets.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do you think that the intelligence community has a vendetta against the president or at least some in the intelligence community and that they`re trying to destroy his presidency.

KING:  Greta, I believe that some of them do.  And if they didn`t, somebody would come forward and confess to the leaking of the conversation of General Flynn had with the ambassador from Russia.  And that is a federal crime and a felony.  And we at this point, all the investigation that`s been done we don`t have that individual identified.  There has to be -- patriots within there that had a pretty good clue as to who did that.  But that`s the first thing to find is who`s committing the felony here.  And I think we need a full investigation.  A lot of it going to be classified when we get it all pulled together.  That`s going to be hard to deliver that to the public.  But President Trump has the authority to release -- to declassify anything that he chooses, and that may get to that point where he decides to release the information.  First we have to gather.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, thank you, sir.

KING:  Thank you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Still ahead, more on the president`s wiretap claim.  What happens if no evidence is released.  Plus, a growing tension between the president and the FBI director, will James Comey, the FBI director, break his silence.  Former top FBI official who worked with Director Comey joins us live.  And that revolt from the right, the conservative GOP caucus mocking the GOP healthcare bill calling it Obamacare light.  Speaker of the house Paul Ryan fighting right back at his fellow Republicans.  There are some tough fights ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  I`m proud to support the replacement plan release by the House of Representatives and encouraged by members of both parties.  I think really that we`re going to have something that`s going to be much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Today, FBI director James Comey was at a ribbon cutting in Boston.  Making his first appearance since media reports that he denies President Trump explosive wiretapping claims.  He`s key to note that we`ve still have not heard directly from Director Comey, but he`s not the only silent one.  President Trump has been silent about his wiretapping claims since his draw dropping tweet on Saturday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Is the White House come up with any evidence whatsoever to prove that allegation.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Yeah, I addressed this multiples times yesterday.  I think the president -- we put out our statement on Sunday, saying that we have no further comment and we`re asking the house and the senate intelligence committee to look into this concern and report back.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Can the president just ask the FBI director?  Has he asked him?

SPICER:  No, the president has not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko, he worked with Director James Comey until 2014.  Nice to see you, sir.

RON HOSKO, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:  Good to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN:  How would you describe the president relationship in general with the FBI?

HOSKO:  You know, it seems like it is in a fits and starts, at times contentious, at times supporting.  Some of the things that had happened over the last year have seemingly put the White House and the FBI at odds, and on occasions pulled them together.

VAN SUSTEREN:  There are leaks coming from some place.  Any sort of -- can we reflect on that at all.  What do you think about those leaks?

HOSKO:  Well, I think that there are people within segment of government, certainly in the intelligence committee that have worked for prior administrations that may be motivated to undercut something that is being delivered to the president, or undercut some of his messages.  I`m suspicious of the sources of the leaks.  And having, you know, spent 30 years in the FBI, I`d like to see proof of sources, rather than just talk of them.

VAN SUSTEREN:  I thought it was unusual that Director Comey went to justice -- that`s what`s reported.  I mean, these are sort of leaks or anonymous.  That he went to justice asking for an opportunity to sort of speak out about this.  Do you think that`s unusual?

HOSKO:  I think it is unusual, but.

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t blame him.  I`m just saying it`s unusual.

HOSKO:  I don`t blame him either.  I think, once again, here`s Jim Comey seemingly in the middle of a political firestorm.  I don`t think that`s a place where he wants to be.  I don`t think it`s a place where he is perfectly comfortable.  And I think like the last time he would like to find a nice path out of it.  Here it may be through DOJ.  He was criticized for some of the things that happened last year.  It seems like he may be looking for a way out of this.

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know, I also understood why would Reince Priebus when the number two -- FBI said to him, pulled him aside after a meeting and said that some New York Times article, I think, was B.S. was the term that was used.  Is that Reince Priebus wanted to correct the record.  I know -- sort of the critiques said that he was trying to knock down the story.  But he had been told by the FBI that it was false, and he wanted it out there.  And then made calls to Capitol Hill, they got criticize.  But they were trying to get the story out at that point.

HOSKO:  Certainly.  Everybody has an angle of this, and it could be that the FBI at the center of it is conducting an investigation of one, of all, a few, or none of them because they don`t have the predication, they don`t have the cause.  And so, it`s understandable that these warring political forces want something to credit their version of events.  And unfortunately for Jim Comey and his FBI, it`s their job to stay neutral, to stay a political, to have the American public`s trust and confidence that they are independent.  And that is a struggle when you have these warring forces pushing you mightily to adopt their version of events or to credit or discredit something that they`re claiming.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And it`s so tough in this city when people are trying to do their job so well.  The honorable men and women in this city to get wrap up in this other stuff.  Anyway, thank you for joining us.

HOSKO:  My pleasure.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ahead, what happens if no evidence of a wiretap is released?  We look at the political fallout.  And there is news tonight about North Korea and it`s not what you think.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER:  This bill, the American healthcare act, it keeps our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  The political fight breaking out of the new GOP plan, which in the words of the GOP repeals and replaces Obamacare.  Just a short time ago, speaker of the house Paul Ryan voiced his support, but he`s not the only one, so is President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  It`s a great bill.  We`re going to have -- I really believe we`re going to have tremendous support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  The house bill would end the individual mandate, but keep popular provisions including coverage for people with preexisting conditions, and coverage for young adults up to the age of 26 under their parent`s plan. 

There are some possible sticking points, it would freeze the Medicaid expansion in 2020.  Defund Planned Parenthood for one year. And established tax credits to help pay for insurance, criticism though coming from both Democrats And some Republicans. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH:  What`s been introduce in the house for the last 24 hours is not the Obamacare replacement plan, not the Obamacare repeal plan we have been hoping for.  This is a step in the wrong direction. 

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE MINORITY LEADER:  Trump care is a mess for the American people.  We Democrats will fight to finale. 

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO:  There`s a plan brought forward which I believe is Obamacare in a different form. 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, D-CONNECTICUT:  This is a dumpster fire of a bill. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, Congressman Linda Sanchez, Democrat from the great state of California and Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Nice to see you Congressman. 

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ, D-CA, VICE CHAIR, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS:  Nice to be with you, Greta. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Ok. Tell me two things.  Number one, what do you hate about this or dislike about this GOP bill and what do you like or love about it? 

SANCHEZ:  What I absolutely hate about this bill is that it gives the wealthiest 400 families in this country a huge tax break, it comes at the expense of middle class Americans working families and working families that are struggling.  It`s a huge, huge give away to insurance companies, pharmaceuticals companies, the tanning industry, all on the backs of Americans who need coverage that is affordable. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do you like or love about it? 

SANCHEZ:  There`s not really much that I love about it.  To be honest with you, the more I dig into the bill, the more -- and more nasty little -- I don`t want to call them goodies, but nasty little provision there are.  They continue to hurt the very people who have problem affording their healthcare. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I take it you like preexisting illness are covered, I think you like that, right? 

SANCHEZ:  No.  The Republicans say that they don`t repeal the preexisting condition provision, and technically they don`t, but what they do is they allow insurance companies to charge whatever they want to people with preexisting conditions.  It doesn`t ban them from prohibiting selling plans to them, but it makes it virtually unaffordable for Americans who do have preexisting conditions.  So it`s pretty much not -- not accomplishing what it did under the ACA.  They may say it doesn`t do it, but in effect that is what happens people with preexisting conditions won`t be able to afford coverage. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  I think for the most part, at least for tonight, most are flying blind.  We are flying blind.  We have no idea about that.  I did read today that Congressman Clyburn, I think, someone is meeting with the president to talk about reducing the costs of drugs, the prescription.  At least there are some conversation between Capitol Hill and the White House on it.  I take it you think that is pretty good idea to talk it. 

SANCHEZ:  The talking is a good first step.  I would like to see it included in the bill.  Right now, that is not in the bill.  Right now what I see in the bill just it`s going to make health insurance coverage cost more.  It`s going to cover at least ten million people fewer than the ACA covers.  It goes up every year and puts a tax on how old you are.  And each year the costs go up based on how old you are.  It`s really not a good replacement and I think we would be doing better going back to ac and fixing the parts of A.C. that need fine-tuning. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well I would like, at least to have a hearing outside, I want to see the score and the costs.  We`ll see what happens.  Congressman, thank you for joining us. 

SANCHEZ:  Pleasure to be with you Greta. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So as President Trump trying to create distractions with the wiretapping claims.  That is what Democratic Senator saying tonight. 

MSNBC cameras caught up to the vice president today.  What he is saying about the GOP backlash to the new healthcare plan. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINNESOTA:  Most likely he was trying to distract from what was going on in the news.  He was angry about some things and put it out there.  He could have just called the FBI and find out this wasn`t going on.  Instead he made an allegation against his predecessor. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  that was Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, just a few moments ago on President Trump wiretapping claims.  Anne Gearan National political reporter from the Washington Post, Tim Carney Commentary Editor from the Washington Examiner, Ana Palmer Senior Washington Correspondent for Politico, Anne first to you, this turned everything upside down. 

ANNE GEARAN, WASHINGTON POST:  Completely off what we thought the news was going to be happens.  This -- no one could have imagined at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday the current president would accuse the former president of illegal wiretapping and that is takes over the week. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tim, he is working so hard in the media, which is good for us, we are working 24-7.  He has enemies.  He has got that on his side.  He has DNI Clapper saying that there`s no evidence of collusion that he knew of anything between Trump campaign and Russia.  He got some things in his - -

TIM CARNY, WASHINGTON EXAMINER:  Well I think sometimes we get to wreck, because my colleague at the Examiner use a phrase, we shouldn`t take him literally, although we should take him seriously and we treat him like a regular politician, when if he said something, we said is that true.  We kind of know what is going on here, don`t we?  He read and listened to some account misreporting the facts of the investigation into the Russians may have been picking up something from Trump Tower, so we don`t know what he is talking about.  But the idea that had he is saying are - where are they tapping in the Trump layouts, that is taking over literally I think, so sometimes we run into circles, because we are treating him like a regular politician, he is not. 

VAN SUSTEREN: But he is also -- He is turning the Democratic Party upside down.  We have leader Nancy Pelosi making many statements.  The other day she said the fact that the Attorney General recuse himself was evidence of wrongdoing.  That had everybody on fire.  Judges recuse themselves all the time that have not done anything at all.  This turned her upside down. 

ANNA PALMER, POLITICO:  Donald Trump everyday is giving them red meat.  Just let him go.  In they want to have a senate hearing on this, have the Intel community look at it.  Every single Republican on the committee has said that there`s no evidence that it happened. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Next more on the backlash from some of the conservative Republicans to the new GOP Healthcare plan, Senator Rand Paul mocking into this Obamacare white, but down the street at White House, President Trump endorsing it, calling it wonderful.  MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt spoke to Vice President Pence. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This healthcare plan, is it conservative? 

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This is the right plan for America. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why are conservatives so opposed? 

PENCE:  I think we are very early on the legislative process.  President made it very clear we are open to working with members of the house and senate about ways to improve the bill. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What`s going on with this?  We don`t know the cost of the bill, is this going to pass or not? 

GEARAN:  It doesn`t look too great in the current form for passage.  Although the white house predicting that.  There are a couple of revolts.  They don`t like the detector it doesn`t do enough to get -- when you have five major conservatives groups coming out today and criticizing it, that puts conservatives on the spot. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I hate this because they campaign, the Republicans campaign they are going to repeal and replace.  But there are a lot of things in the bill that are similar to the Obamacare bill. 

CARNY:  In general coverage for preexisting conditions is in there.  A lot of regulations on insurer, you have to cover this, you have to cover this, this are essential benefits, those are included as well, they don`t have an individual mandate but there`s a 30 percent surcharge if you are uncovered -- when Paul Ryan said we have fulfilled our campaign promises.  It`s not like they are checking a box.  We are repealing it, we are replacing and we have done what we said we were going to do. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  how come we don`t know how much it cost?  We have no idea whether this is cheap or expensive. 

PALMER:  I would give them some credit.  I think this was better roll out compared to the Muslim ban.  That was a big disaster. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Sometimes I think there is only one direction. 

PALMER:  Right, but I do think it has been a little bit better than that, I think the issue is going to be the cost of it.  You have freedom caucus, a lot of senators who are going to come out against this.  And how much McConnell is going to keep all but two, it`s going to be a big question mark. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I don`t know how much you can say it`s a good or bad idea because you don`t know how much it`s going to cost. 

Remember back in 2015, when Donald Trump has campaign himself in South Carolina, he read-out loud Senator Lindsey Graham`s cell phone number.  Well that leads the senator posting a video of different ways to destroy a cell phone.  Afterward he tweeted how good was the meeting at Potus?  I gave him my new cell phone number.  They are best friends. 

GEARAN:  Lindsey graham is funny. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He is very funny. 

GEARAN:  He responds to Trump by smashing his own cell phone.  Then he said on television last week that his relationship with the president had not improved enough for him to give him his cell phone number.  He is having fun with this.  I don`t expect him to be on board with the Trump foreign policy agenda. 

CARNY:  This is an amazing thing about Trump.  We think of him as holding this grudges but he reached out and embraced Ted Cruz and he had animosity you have seen in politics.  What did Cruz say, he was a compulsive liar and all that - Trump is willing to work with him, because he is a businessman.  Deal makers often have to make deals with people they dislike.  So Lindsey Graham who he loves to mock, says come on in, and we`ll work together. 

PALMER:  I think there`s is one of those moments where they have that kumbaya, it`s public shaking of the hands, does it change the dynamics on foreign policy, I think it stays the same. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Panel, thank you. 

News about North Korea and it`s not good.  I`ll tell you about it after the break. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Just in, new U.S. responses to North Korea provocative missile test.  The State Department saying North Korea weapon system is a great concern and the State Department also announcing that next week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his first trip since taking office to Asia.  NBC News Janis Mackey Frayer has more. 

JANIS MACKEY FRAYER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  In the dark of night, the first part of controversy defense system arrived in South Korea.  The terminal high altitude aerial defense system, better known as THAAD, they put in place to counter growing threat from North Korea.  This video released overnight claiming to show the regime`s latest missile test.  Watching it and smiling is Kim Jong-un, who has warned missiles capable of reaching United States.  North Korea is now biggest security challenge facing President Trump.  North Korea said this latest barrage was practice to strike U.S. military bases in Japan.  In a phone call Japan`s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said President Trump told him the U.S. was with Japan 100 percent.  But the THAAD system is fiercely opposed by China.  They will take what they call powerful measures against any boost to U.S. influence in Asia. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me Major General Robert Scales and Gordon Chang in Asia author of nuclear Showdown, North Korea takes on the world.  Gordon, first to you, how do you describe or put in words our foreign policy advice see North Korea? 

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR OF NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN:  Right now it is unsettled.  You know North Korea is complicated.  I don`t think the administration has had the time to do the interagency review, get all the information from everybody and come up with a comprehensive plan.  I think the administration is searching for answers and it hasn`t gotten them yet. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  General Scales, I see all of this as going in a very bad direction.  They have had five successful nuclear tests.  Missiles, everybody is keeping in a different direction.  You see used of chemical weapons in Malaysia against the brother law.  Everything is going in the wrong directions and now the THAAD missile system, tell me what it is? 

ROBERT SCALES, U.S. ARMY:  The THAAD missile system is high altitude interceptor.  It is good against intermediate range missiles like what you saw launch yesterday, because it knocks the missiles out while descending the trajectory.  That is the big concern.  We can defend our own soldiers in Korea but we cannot knock down an ICBM. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The first launch of the first things done towards the soldiers, can we protect them from the impact on that? 

SCALES:  There would be hundreds of missiles launched, not just four, they will open up in artillery and rockets and this so called heart position, 15,000 of them that can range air base south of Seoul.  This would be a barrage that would be just horrific and Americans will be killed. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there any indication whatsoever, that North Korea is not moving in that direction.  They are so convinced that you and I and general are practicing to kill them. 

CHANG:  The thing that is a problem right now is I think that Kim Jong-un has a low threshold of risk.  Last month we saw many instances of instability.  The execution of five of his subordinates as well on the February 12th launch of the intermediate range missile, he was not there, that is an indication at problems at the top.  Now you have issues where Malaysia.  I don`t know what Kim Jong-un is thinking right now, but he doesn`t view the world the same which we do. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You have no good signs.  Can you point to one good sign General Scales that --

SCALES:  Yes, I can.  One of the things I`m most impressed with is that the U.S. Military has given up on trying to intercept ICBM, because our ballistic missiles systems are not that reliable, but they are replacing it with a holistic and impressive program to engage missiles as they say left to launch, before they actually go using electronic warfare, cyber warfare, perhaps futuristic weapons. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We have to beat the launch? 

SCALES:  Here is the thing, maybe after years and years, United States is final getting serious about knocking out North Korea`s ICBM`s threat. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  General Scales and Gordon Chang thank you both very much and coming up I am sure I am going to get hammered on twitter for this next I am going to say, but there`s something I just don`t get.  I`m going to tell you what that is, that is next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I have something to say for the record, there`s so much going on in the early days of the Trump administration that something could have been lost in the twitter mania.  Before you all on the far right or left get fired up, just hear me out.  First, I have to tell you, this has nothing to do with whether you are a pro-second amendment or not.  This is about plain old common sense.  Something some of you may have forgot.  Here it is.  Congress recently voted and President Trump quietly signed a bill to eliminate a rule that made it harder, not impossible for certain people with mental illness to buy a gun.  The rule required by social security to report people who received social security disability benefits, because of mental health issue to the national gun background check system.  Now, of course I want to protect the privacy of everyone including those who would be impacted by this measure.  There`s a line and this is one for me.  This rule was just finalize December 2016 is opposed by both the ACLU on grounds of stereotype and the NRA on the second amendment grounds.  And aren`t just Republican who voted it down, six house Democrats, and four Senate Democrats jump into it and voted to get rid of this extra scrutiny.  They are all wrong.  People with mental health issues identified by social security disability benefits need to undergo stricter scrutiny before they can buy guns.  And one last thing, I am sure many of you are ready to tell me how wrong or right I am on this, so let it rip.  My twitter handle is @Greta.  So let out the insults.  Thanks for watching, I will see you back here tomorrow night 6:00 p.m. Eastern, if you can`t watch live, set your DVR and follow me on twitter @Greta.  Check out my Facebook page you can put them there too, behind the scenes video and much more.  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