For the Record with Greta, transcript 3/22/2017

Guests: Michael Burgess, Ted Yoho, Chad Day, Matt Bradley, John McCain, Karen Bass, Ron Haskell

Show: FOR THE RECORD Date: March 22, 2017 Guests: Michael Burgess, Ted Yoho, Chad Day, Matt Bradley, John McCain, Karen Bass, Ron Haskell CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS SHOW HOST:  Matt thanks very much.  You're going to be working for us all night.  Don't get any sleep.  That all for us tonight, we will be back tomorrow, "for the record with Greta" starts right now, her big guest, John McCain who will have a lot to say I bet about Devin Nunes. 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, NBC NEWS HOST FOR THE RECORD:  Indeed, he does.  Thank you, Chuck. 

What in the world is going on here in Washington?  Some big news just made on possible collusion between President Trump's team and Russia. 

Also, why did the house intelligence chairman race top the White House debrief the president?  How did he get highly secret intelligence information?  Will this possible bombshell give President Trump some cover on his wiretap claims against President Obama?  Senator John McCain is here to respond for the first time to all of this. 

But first, the news, the Republican chairman of the house intelligence committee, Congressman Devin Nunes, dropped a bombshell today.  He said President Trump's transition team and the president's personal communications may have been caught up in, quote, incidental surveillance, after the election.  The chairman going to the White House to share what he knew with the president, and then he talked to the press. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

DEVIN NUNES, REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:  Today I briefed the president on the concerns that I had about incidental collection and how it relates to President-Elect Trump and his transition team and the concerns that I have, as I said earlier, there will be more information hopefully by Friday.  The NSA is cooperating very, very well, and lastly, I'll say that the reports that I was able to see did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russian investigation tied to the Trump team.  With that, I'll take a couple questions. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Quick question, why is it appropriate for you to brief President Trump given it's his own administration or campaign associates that are part of this investigation? 

NUNES:  Because what I -- because what I saw has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with the Russian investigation.  Has everything to do with possible surveillance activities and the president needs to know these intelligence reports are out there and I have a duty to tell him that. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you looking at the answers --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Jump to conclusions before it was completed? 

NUNES:  I'm not drawing any conclusions.  I'm just telling the president what exists in intelligence reports. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was the subject of the surveillance --

NUNES:  It appears so.  I don't want to get too much into those details but these were intelligence reports and it brings up a lot of concerns about, you know, whether things were properly minimized or not.  But I will tell you, I've only seen some.  It's in the dozens.  I don't have -- we don't have the full scope of all the intelligence reports that were produced or who ordered the unmasking of additional names. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  How masked? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you saying the surveillance -- it wasn't related to Russia or anything like that.  Are you saying that it was political surveillance or political opponents as the president suggested in his tweets? 

NUNES:  What I -- what I've read bothers me and I think it should bother the president, himself, and his team, because I don't -- I think some of it seems to be inappropriate, but like I said, until we get all the information to the committee, it's hard to -- it's hard to really say until we see.  What I've read seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don't know that it's right and I don't know that the American people would be comfortable with what I've read, but let us get all the reports --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Chairman, was the president involved? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Correct in what he tweeted? 

NUNES:  It is possible. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Have you seen anything that suggests that President Obama ordered any kind of surveillance of the president?  NUNES:  We don't know -- we don't know who sent the tasking, if they were changed into what went into these intelligence reports but we're going to try to find that out.  This is information that was brought to me that I thought the president needed to know about incidental collection where the president, himself, and others in the Trump transition team, were clearly put into intelligence reports that ended up at this White House and across a whole bunch of other agencies and I thought it was important for the president to know this. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What did the president tell you after you briefed him about this? 

NUNES:  I think the president is concerned.  And he should be.  I think he'd like to see these reports.  And I hopefully -- hopefully when we get them, hopefully they'll get them to the White House also. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama administration officials were involved in this? 

NUNES:  No, we cannot. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And then after meeting with the chairman, President Trump responded in the cabinet room. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. President, do you feel vindicated by chairman -- do you feel vindicated by chairman Nunes coming over here, sir? 

DONALD TRUMP, THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I somewhat do, I must tell you, I somewhat do.  I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And then there's more.  Within the last hour, the chairman's partner on the intelligence committee, ranking member, the Democrat, Congressman Adam Schiff, he came out and let's just say he did not hold back. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

ADAM SCHIFF, 28TH CA REP:  I think it gravely concerning to the members of the committee that the chairman would receive information that is pertinent to the scope of our investigation and instead of sharing that information with the committee, would share that information with the White House.  The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both.  There is still no evidence that the president was wiretapped by his predecessor.  President Trump's claims that he was remain as baseless today as they were yesterday. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  And moments ago, Congressman Adam Schiff, making big news. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

SCHIFF:  I can tell you that the case is more than that, and I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.  So, again, I think --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you have seen direct evidence of collusion? 

SCHIFF:  I don't want to go into specifics but I will say there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.  So that is what we ought to do. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, Arizona Senator John McCain.  Well, senator? 

JOHN MCCAIN, ARIZONA SENATOR:  Well. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Yes, indeed.  What an afternoon. 

MCCAIN:  It's just remarkable, frankly.  I don't know exactly where to begin except I don't know what incidental could actually mean unless --

VAN SUSTEREN:  And that would be chairman Nunes. 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  And unless they were monitoring the conversations of some foreign entity, i.e., Russian, and that the other names might have come up. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  But chairman Nunes says, I saw nothing to do with Russia and the Russian investigation, yet he hops in a car and goes down to the White House without talking to the Democratic chairman and briefs the president. 

MCCAIN:  I don't understand that and honestly I -- what this is now really, Greta, is requirement for a select committee.  I believe that there's a better relationship in the intelligence committee, in the senate between Senator Warner and Senator Burr, but this just shows a tremendous chasm between the two senior members of the house intelligence committee. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Which --

MCCAIN:  What we need is a select committee.  We know that the Russians interfered with our election and they did not achieve in affecting outcome, but we know that for sure.  We know that there are cyber attacks going on all the time.  There are leaks going on all the time.  And so what we need to address this whole issue of what the Russians did, how they did it, the impact and what we do about it.  I now believe belongs in the hands of a select committee.  There's not -- I think --

VAN SUSTEREN:  So not an independent commission but you want it done on the hill. 

MCCAIN:  I would agree to a commission.  I would probably prefer a select committee, but either one --

VAN SUSTEREN:  Doesn't that say something --

MCCAIN:  -- I would be satisfied with. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Isn't that why we vote people to come to Washington?  We voted the members of this committee to do this, and now because they can't get the job -- I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it sort of seems keystone coppish what happened this afternoon.  You make a face.  I think you might have a thought on that.  Now we have to hire other people to do it because they can't do the job? 

MCCAIN:  I'm afraid that is the conclusion that I have reached and I didn't do it lightly, but, yes, it is bizarre, the things that are being said.  There is no substantiation for either what Chairman Nunes said or is there substantiation for what Congressman Schiff said. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  He said -- he said the -- he was asked if there was direct evidence.  He is a lawyer, a former prosecutor.  He said its evidence is not circumstantial.  Well, that means it is direct evidence.  So he is being coy.  He is playing us. 

MCCAIN:  After the heads of our intelligence agencies testified before congress saying there was no evidence of any wiretapping of Trump towers.  So here we are mixed up not only in contradictory statements, but also in what the word is. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  We've been down that road. 

MCCAIN:  We know what that one is.  Yes.  It's a bizarre situation. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What --

MCCAIN:  So what I think, the reason why I'm calling for this select committee or a special committee is I think that this back and forth and what the American people have found out so far that no longer does the congress have credibility to handle this alone.  And I don't say that lightly. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  That is a strong statement to make about congress. 

MCCAIN:  But I do -- so far, the senate intelligence committee, there has been a good -- there's been a good working relationship between Senator Burr and Senator Warner and I think they've done a good job. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What I thought was unusual is President Trump's response.  He said today, after being briefed by congressman -- Chairman Nunes who didn't tell the Democrats, raced down there to tell him and told the press before he even told Schiff apparently, he says -- when he was asked whether he was vindicated he said, I somewhat do, I very much appreciate what they found.  That is out of character.  Usually he'd say, a-ha, I've been telling everybody, I'm right.  He is usually much more bombastic.  Now he has a laid back I somewhat do.  I thought that was odd. 

MCCAIN:  I've long ago given up trying to interpret the remarks of the president of the United States.  I only pay attention to what he does and frankly on some of our national security issues, he is done some good things. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  So what about Nunes going down there?  Should he have called Schiff before he went down there? 

MCCAIN:  I'm not telling any member of congress or the senate what to do, but I have found in my years in the United States senate working in a bipartisan fashion is the way you get the best results.  And when you don't, such as the passage of Obamacare on a Party-line basis, and what we may be embarking on here in repeal and replace, is usually when things are done on a partisan basis, the result is not very lasting or very good. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  You bring up the vote that is going to happen in less than 24 hours in the house.  I'm not sure they have the votes or not.  Should it pass the house, do you think over in the senate, it will pass? 

MCCAIN:  I don't know because I don't know the changes that are going to be made, but I believe that in the senate, as is our responsibility, there will be amendments and there could be changes that would require a conference committee.  That is the way the congress works. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know, what I don't understand is if there are changes -- we have a CBO score, whether you like it or don't like it, whether you think it's fair or wrong, we have a CBO score.  Now if you make all these changes, doesn't that sort of throw out the CBO score and so it should get scored at least -- if you found this important to begin with, to get one, we should get another one with changes? 

MCCAIN:  But Greta, the CBO scoring of Obamacare at its inception was way off.  CBO over time has lost some of the credibility that it used to have.  I think that the biggest issue here is, and there are many, but one of them is what about those states like mine that adopted Medicaid expansion?  And the effect that I'm hearing from my governor is very disturbing and in some ways draconian.  So --

VAN SUSTEREN:  And your state is the worst in premiums rising, I think. 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  The interesting thing is, Obamacare was completely imploding in my state and so now in the fix is also not satisfactory in my state, because we're Medicaid expansion state.  So, by the way, there's one theory, let the whole thing collapse then Republicans and Democrats will have to come together.  That sound like a good idea except the people that are harmed in the process. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well that is my whole point, you know, we sort of expect everyone to act like a grown-up and solve these things.  You know?  It's like whether it's the Nunes and Schiff and whatever, we sort of expect something so important as health care, you know, like, fix it sort of I think most American people -- everyone deals with health problems. 

MCCAIN:  Yes.  The American people deserve better.  They deserve better while we look at entitlements which are now eating up the entire budget by a certain year depending on state of the economy.  That is why our approval rating is 14 percent.  Everybody looks at President Trump's approval rating.  Look at the approval rating of congress. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Don't look at lawyers and journalists.  I'll leave that --

MCCAIN:  Some are lawyers and congressmen. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Right.  That is right.  All right, North Korea test fired another missile today.  Everything is creeping in a bad direction.  They have five nuclear tests.  They keep testing missiles.  They keep having threatening -- we tried everything.  We've been nice to them, been mean to them, had sanctions, no sanctions, humanitarian aid, six-party talks.  What's left? 

MCCAIN:  Not the first president to be tested.  He'll be tested by the Russians.  He is being tested by the Iranians.  He is going to be tested by the North Koreans.  It is unacceptable to have a missile on a rocket on the pad that is capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear weapon.  And we have to do air defense systems, the THAAD we're placing in South Korea --

VAN SUSTEREN:  China doesn't want the THAAD air defense missiles there. 

MCCAIN:  They certainly don't, but the point is that China is the one that can -- the only one that can control Kim Jong-un, this crazy fat kid that is running North Korea.  And they're the ones -- they could stop North Korea's economy in a week. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  They haven't.  Why? 

MCCAIN:  Because the Chinese have to understand there's a penalty going to be paid imposed by us if they don't rein in an individual that could literally start a world war.  And more importantly, perhaps in the short term, strike the United States of America.  He is not rational, Greta.  We're not dealing with -- even with someone like Joseph Stalin who had certain rationality to his barbarity.  This is incredibly serious, but the first place I'd go is China and say, look, you can shut down their economy.  And so bring them in.  Rein them in.  It's in your interest to do so.  And if the Chinese renews to fuse to do that we have to consider all options, isn't necessarily a world war.  But the -- Mr. Kim Jong-un has got to understand that there would be a huge penalty to pay if he even tried it. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  One last quick question.  As is the senate house bill, would you vote yes or no?  Are you going to vote yes or no assuming it comes over? 

MCCAIN:  I'd have to look at what comes over, Greta.  It's changing all the time.  I hear different statements and comments.  We will go -- doing a remaining process here in the United States senate.  I want something that I can vote for.  It's vital that we fix this system.  We -- but we promised to repeal and replace.  We didn't promise just to repeal.  And that is why I'm sometimes a little frustrated --

VAN SUSTEREN:  Aren't you just amending Obamacare? 

MCCAIN:  Well, it -- amendments can change the entire bill.  I mean, there are amendments particularly on Medicaid expansion and others that would have the effect of rewriting the bill as you know.  But to do nothing, I think is the worst of all worlds particularly in my state where premiums are going up 125 percent. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Your state's getting hit the hardest. 

MCCAIN:  Exactly. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Anyway, senator, nice to see you.  Hopefully you'll come back often. 

MCCAIN:  Thank you, Greta. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Still ahead, more Democratic reaction to the surveillance bombshell about the Trump transition team.  I'll talk to a lawmaker who was in the room at the White House when the president said he felt somewhat vindicated. 

Plus, an explosive new report that Trump's former campaign chairman once secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to help Putin.  We'll hear from the reporter who broke the story. 

Also is the health care bill slipping away from the Republicans?  We'll have the latest NBC vote count.  I'll talk to one GOP lawmaker who's a solid no and one GOP lawmaker who is a solid yes, all that plus a live report from the scene of the London terrorist attacks.  It's a huge day of breaking news.  Keep it right here on MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Was the president also part of that incidental collection, his communications? 

NUNES:  Yes. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let me just clarify, the president of the United States, his personal communications, were intercepted? 

NUNES:  I think we have to -- yes, I think what we have -- it's very -- when we talk about intelligence products, we got to be very careful.  What I know right now, it looks like incidental collection.  We don't know exactly how that was picked up.  But we're trying to get to the bottom of it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So the President of the United States, his personal communications was collected in incidental collection.  Not in specific targeted collection. 

NUNES:  It's possible.  We won't know until we get the information on Friday, and that is why -- look, I think the NSA is going to comply.  You know, I am concerned -- we don't know whether or not the FBI is going to comply. 

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

VAN SUSTEREN:  House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes telling NBC's Kasie Hunt President Trump's communication were picked up as part of an incidental collection.  I'm joined by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Democrat from the great state of California.  She serves on the house foreign affairs and judiciary committees and today she was in the room at the White House when President Trump said he felt somewhat vindicated.  Nice so see you, congresswoman. 

KAREN BASS, CONGRESSWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me on. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  If this weren't so serious, I'd say you can't make this stuff up. 

BASS:  I agree. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tell me what happened.  You're in the room, tell me what the president said besides somewhat vindicated. 

BASS:  First of all, I was there with the leadership of the congressional black caucus to meet with the president and when they did the photo spray, when all of the reporters come in at the top of our meeting, one person shouted out and asked, did he feel vindicated?  He said, yes.  And that is the sum total of it.  I do have to say, though, that it really just raises the question, to me, of the credible credibility of the chair.  I don't understand how chairman Nunes can be in the center of an investigation of this issue and it just raises the question as to why we need an independent investigation. 

At this point, it needs to be bipartisan but I frankly think it needs to be outside of congress.  We know that chairman Nunes was a surrogate during the campaign.  He was a part of the transition team.  And I think he needs to figure out what is his role now.  Is he going to continue to be a surrogate for the president?  Or is he going to be the chairman of the intelligence committee? 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I think if you went back to the last congress and talked to Congressman Mike Rogers who is chairman of the house intel, and the vice -- the ranking member, they would tell you how they prided themselves in how much they worked together and the one committee, the intelligence committee that was able to work together.  Now we see it -- I mean it appears to be almost imploding.  If it is as we think, the Chairman Nunes went down to the White House without even talking to the --

BASS:  Exactly. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  .ranking member.  I mean, I don't know how in the world we can expect, you know, any of this to work well at this point. 

BASS:  You know, I think he broke the bond, and I frankly think it raises the issue, maybe he should step down as chairman, because I don't know how they can work together anymore.  I mean, I don't know how the ranking member could trust him for him to go out and take information to the press and to the White House before he even talks to them.  I don't know how they would have a bond any longer. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did the president go back to -- when he met with the congressional black caucus, did he go back to any discussion of this?  Because what struck me as unusual is the president's statement was sort of low key, like he felt somewhat vindicated.  And I usually think of him as sort of a more bombastic person, like, you know, see, I told you I was right. 

BASS:  Well, I hope -- I hope he recognizes that to have gone through that issue would have been completely inappropriate with our meeting.  That was not what we were there to talk about.  It was a photo spray at the top of the meeting.  We were there to talk about and our theme was when he said, what do you have to lose in the campaign?   When he made that statement to the African-American community, we were there to show him exactly what we have to lose.  And frankly, we're very concerned about budget that he is presented.  We're very concerned about the statements he made about the African-American population.  And so we went there to clarify with him and to also present him solutions in a number of different categories. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did he listen?  Did it seem like it was a fruitful meeting that he listened? 

BASS:  I do think he listened.  I think a lot of what we told him, he was very surprised by.  So clearly he doesn't have the exposure and the knowledge of the African-American community, but therein lays the reason why you relate with the -- with the congressional black caucus.  You know, there are 49 members of congress.  We represent over 70 million people.  We are subject experts in a lot of different areas of policy and we were there to share that with him.  And so, you know, we will see.  We raised a number of different issues, but it would have been really inappropriate to have talked about Nunes in the middle of our meeting. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us.  It is such a big day for the congressional black caucus and also on this other issue.  Thank you for joining us. 

BASS:  Thanks for having me on. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  With me, former assistant FBI director, Ron Haskell, Ron nice to see you.  Chairman Nunes said they're going to get more information on Friday, but he said something to the effect, I'm paraphrasing now, that he expected cooperation from the NSA.  You're former FBI, but he sort of said he didn't think he is going to get that from the FBI.  At least that is what I took from him. 

RON HASKELL, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR:  Well, it could be that the FBI doesn't have anything to release to them that is in support of what he is asking about.  It could be this collection that the chairman was referring to incidental collection is NSA collection under their 702 authority. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  I took that -- if that is true, he could have said that.  Instead, he acted like the FBI's not cooperating.  I mean, that is what I took away.  Am I wrong? 

HASKELL:  I would be very surprised by that because Jim Comey, having worked with him, having him talk about the value and the importance of congressional oversight, Jim Comey recognizes the awesome power held by the FBI and what abuse of that power would mean for the FBI.  So I think he takes that very seriously.  I do not see him intentionally resisting or pushing to the side --

VAN SUSTEREN:  What did you take away from how Nunes treated the FBI when he said that the NSA looks like they're going to cooperate?  I realize I'm paraphrasing, but the FBI not so -- I mean, I sort of thought that was a slap at the FBI. 

HASKELL:  Right.  And it could have been. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Maybe it wasn't, but that is what I thought. 

HASKELL:  Right.  Of course, most of what the FBI does is going to have to get passed upon by DOJ.  There's another layer of review there.  I would be astounded if Jim Comey were to push back in any material way other than a totally lawful manner. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do you make of what happened today with Nunes going down there? 

HASKELL:  You know I am troubled by the whole thing.  I will say as I did to you briefly ago, I agree with Senator McCain.  There -- the term, "bipartisan agreement" is an oxymoron in this city.  I don't see any way where we, the taxpayer, we, the public, can get to an understanding of the facts, unbiased understanding, with this sort of bipartisan bicker going on. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  The irony is that because they don't do their jobs, we elect them to solve this problem, to find out what this investigation is.  We now have to go out and hire separate people who we didn't elect and we have to, I assume, compensate them, at least certainly their travel, because they can't do their job.  We have to get a second congress. 

HASKELL:  It is despicable.  And it's a microcosm of the tax and the budgetary situation that we're in America. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  Incredible.  Anyway, thank you, nice to see you. 

HASKELL:  My pleasure. 

VAN SUSTEREN:  24 hours until Republican leaders say they will pass their health care plan.  Does Speaker Ryan have the votes?  We're going to be joined by one Republican who's a solid no and one Republican who's a solid yes, straight ahead. 

Plus what work did President Trump's former campaign chair allegedly do for a Russian billionaire and why did he do it?  We have one of the reporters who broke that story. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:  We're very confident we will have the votes.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  This is not going to pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOR THE RECORD HOST:  Well, check your watch.  We're about 24 hours from the expected house vote on the GOP health care bill.  Later tonight, this bill is expected to get the green light from the house rules committee, but that does not mean it is a done deal.  It must pass the entire house and that vote is tomorrow.  And that's where the mystery is.  Will it pass or won't it?  This we know, Republicans can only afford to lose 22 votes.  On the last count, NBC News had confirmed 28 Republicans plan to vote no.  Now that's really bad news for the bill. 

With me, Congressman Michael Burgess, Republican of Texas, and a doctor who serves on the house rules committee and supports the house health care bill.  Nice to see you, sir.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, R-TEXAS:  Good evening, Greta.  How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN:  Good.  So what are you going to do to get those other -- I guess you have is to get six more to vote yes.

BURGESS:  Right now my job is to -- thank you for giving me a break from the rules committee.  It's been a long day.  So I appreciate the diversion.  We'll be back in rules committee until later on tonight.  We've got a number of amendments yet to be heard, both Republican and Democratic amendments.  And indeed, we will hear all of those.  My understanding is a revised CBO score is due almost any minute now in the rules committee, which we should have before we vote this thing out of the rules committee this evening.  So it's a big deal.  And, look, you know one of the things I've said since seven years ago, this week, when President Obama signed this thing into law is it will never work and it's going to be a disaster.  And I think you heard from Senator McCain at the top of the show just how big of a disaster it is in his state.  It is not quite as bad in Texas, but still premiums went up 28 percent this year.  We've only got two insurers in my market, and one of them no one has ever seen before, so essentially down to one insurance company in the area that I represent.  But even more than that, you know, people have insurance, but it is insurance that they can't use because their premiums and deductibles are so high, the out of pocket expenses are so high.  So the bottom line is, Obamacare is a failed experiment.  It's not an open question any longer and it needs to be -- it needs to be replaced.  And that's what we're about doing this evening.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So in the rules committee, you can do these amendments and that's sort of what this persuading some of those on the fence, is that the purpose?

BURGESS:  Well, the rules committee always hears from any member who files an amendment and wants to be heard.  That's part of what we do.  That's our job.  There's no clock in the rules committee.  Time is suspended.  And we just work as long as anyone wants to -- wants to talk about their issue and we talked all day to the principals, to the chairmen and ranking members of the three committees that were involved, ways & means, energy and commerce, and the budget committee.  I serve on the energy and commerce committee.  We had a 27 hour markup a couple weeks ago.  I mean, this is something that has been examined and talked about by members on both sides of the political aisle.  And it is something that has been, in my opinion, completely heard by all sides.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Well, the big news will be tomorrow night.  Do you have any idea what time the vote is supposed to start, any idea?

BURGESS:  No, no, no.  That's -- those are all leadership decisions.  I will say this, I mean, part of -- this is a big deal.

VAN SUSTEREN:  I understand it is.  We'll be watching. We're going to be watching.  Believe me.

BURGESS:  It's $800 billion revision to Medicaid spending.  We're a country that's $20 trillion in debt.  We really have to do something.  The Obamacare, itself, is not working.  The individual mandate, my opinion, has been a failure.  And we're going to undo that.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And with that, we'll all be watching.  Thank you, congressman, for joining us. Thank you, sir.

BURGESS:  Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Go back to the rules committee.  Now your break is over.

BURGESS:  Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Up ahead, I'll talk to a house Republican who's planning to vote against the health care bill.  And a new report on alleged links between President Trump's former campaign chair and a Russian billionaire, I'll talk to the reporter who broke the story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you think Paul Ryan is going to push this vote tomorrow?  Is that your sense?

MARK MEADOWS, U.S. CONGRESSMAN:  I don't know Paul.  You need to talk to the speaker about that.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is that what you want him to do?

MEADOWS:  We believe that we need to postpone the vote and get it right.  There are more than enough freedom caucus members to be against this to keep it from passing tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, we have breaking news.  Just moments ago the house freedom caucus, many of them voting, no, on the GOP health care bill, making another trip to the White House tomorrow, invited by the president.  And this could mean Republicans are starting to get nervous that they do not have the votes to push this repeal bill through. 

With me, Congressman Ted Yoho, Republican from the great state of Florida, member of the house freedom caucus who plans to vote no on the GOP health care bill.  Nice to see you, sir.

REP. TED YOHO, R-FLORIDA:  Great to see you, Greta, appreciate you having me on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Appreciate you being here.  So are you going to make the 16- block trek to the White House tomorrow to talk to the president?

YOHO:  If needed, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, he invited all of you.  So I assume that you'll go.  Is there anything he could say to you to get you from a no to a yes?

YOHO:  Yeah, Greta, I mean, come on, we all ran on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.  Donald Trump ran on repealing and replacing it.  And I know deep in his heart, he wants to do this.  I truly feel that this is not getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.  It's leaving a skeleton.  There's some great reforms in there.  I commend our leadership for moving down the path they have with the open negotiations, but this is going to leave a skeleton for the Affordable Care Act that the future congress, you know, in 2018, there will be a new congress in here, and there's no telling what will happen.  And if we don't repeal this, we didn't live up to the promise and the commitment that not only us, but Donald Trump made to the American people.  And I'm standing pretty firm on that.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So obviously you're going to be a no as of tomorrow.  The Republicans need to pick up probably six more votes, yes, in order to have this pass.  Do any of the people you know tonight who are going to vote no, are they wobbly on this?

YOHO:  I've not found anybody wobbly on it.  In fact, I just saw two members that aren't part of the freedom caucus and they're no on this.  And I know there's many more out there like that.  This is too important for us not to have a vote.  I don't think I agree that we probably ought to postpone this vote.  And there's no shame in that because I think what you're doing is you're crafting a better bill that will meet those requirements that we all ran on that we all want.  And bottom line is everybody wants this health care bill fixed and repealed.  I talked to a Democrat today that says I can't believe you guys are bringing up this bill.  This is a bad bill.  This is worse than the bill we had.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  You want to out that Democrat?

YOHO:  What's that?

VAN SUSTEREN:  You want to name that Democrat?

YOHO:  No, I don't want to do that.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Tell me -- I won't ask you again.  All right.  Tell me -- what kind of arm twisting -- have you received a phone call from the speaker, from the house majority leader or the whip?  I mean, are you getting calls to, you know, a lot of arm twisting?

YOHO:  Yeah.

VAN SUSTEREN:  What do they say?  What do they stay to you?

YOHO:  They just want to know what will get to the yes.  And I think the biggest thing for me is we introduced a bill called hold harmless the insurance companies that would maintain pre-existing conditions and allowing kids to stay on their parents' health plan until the age of 26.  But yet it frees up the insurance market so that the insurance companies can create plans now and start marketing them until 2018.  This is essential to drive the costs of insurance down.  If we go down this path that's presented to us now, insurance premiums will go up and they're going to go up right at November -- right at the election time in November of 2018.  When people are filling out their ballots, they're going to have their insurance premium there, and they're going to wonder why in the heck their premiums went up 25 to 40 percent.  And this is a no-win situation.  So, again, I know the people on the Republican side and most of the Democrats want health care fixed.  The current bill is a disaster, the Affordable Care Act.  This is getting closer to doing what we want, but we're not there yet.  But I have complete faith in our leadership that they're going to work with Donald Trump and we'll come together and we'll fix this.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Congressman, thanks for joining us.  We'll be watching tomorrow.  Thank you, sir.

YOHO:  Greta, I appreciate it.  Have a great night.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Thank you.  New details from a report that President Trump's former campaign manager allegedly earned millions from a Russian billionaire.   And four dead and 20 injured in what looks like a terror attack right outside the gates of parliament in London.  We'll go live to the scene ahead.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN:  We're learning more about possible links between President Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, and Russia.  The associated press reporting today that between 2006 and at least 2009, Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska.  The A.P. further reporting that the purpose of the work was to advance the interests of Russian president Vladimir Putin.  Manafort who reportedly earned $10 million a year denies that he ever worked for Russian interests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you, or your campaign, and Putin and his regime?

PAUL MANAFORT, DONALD TRUMP'S FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN:  No, there are not.  That's absurd.  And, you know, there's no base to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  And today, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded to the report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  He was a consultant.  He had clients from around the world.  There is no suggestion that he did anything improper or -- but to suggest that the president knew who his clients were from a decade ago is a bit insane.  There is not -- he's not a government employee.  He didn't fill out any paperwork attesting to something.  There's nothing that he did that suggested at this point that anything was nefarious.  He was hired to do a job.  He did it.  That's it.  Plain and simple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Paul Manafort telling NBC News, quote, I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago, representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments.  My work with Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests.  Now all this just days after a Ukrainian lawmakers released new documents allegedly showing that Manafort received off the book payment from Ukrainian former pro-Russian president who is now living in Russia.  Today, I asked that lawmaker, Serhiy Leshchenko, about the documents in question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

  SERHIY LESHCHENKO, UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER:  This is a document which I believe legalized payment for Manafort from Yanukovych, and this is the document which we can prove the payment from black ledges.  So in black ledges we can -- handwritten transaction.  It's not a transaction, it's just one line saying that $750,000 was paid to Paul Manafort by Yanukovych.  But if you look at this contract we have -- the document proves how money were paid.  So this is a payment from Belize offshore.  And the account of the offshore is in Kyrgyzstan.  And transactions was done to the accounts of Paul Manafort in Virginia.  This is a.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now, he -- go ahead, sir.

LESHCHENKO:  This is the offshore company, the account in Kyrgyzstan, and this is Paul Manafort's company with his signature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Now Paul Manafort had said the ledger is a forgery and accused Serhiy Leshchenko of trying to blackmail him.  Now Leshchenko denies the charges of blackmail.  Joining me, Chad Day, reporter with the Associated Press investigative team who broke that story on Manafort today.  Nice to see you.

CHAD DAY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Nice to see you, thanks

VAN SUSTEREN:  Do we know if there's two sets of documents, or there's the documents supposedly a contract found in the safe, and then there's the ledger.  Do we know if these are authentic?

DAY:  So the documents that are coming out of Ukraine have actually been come under some scrutiny.  And I will tell you that we, you know, we have not independently authenticated those documents, and that's something that I think authorities there are trying to do right now.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  So, and, of course, Manafort has denied all of this.  But what do the documents purport to show?

DAY:  So the documents that we have, the documents that we reviewed and that we corroborated with other sources, they show that in 2005, Paul Manafort in his own words pitched a memo to Oleg Deripaska, who is a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin, that basically said I'm going to take this lobbying and political influence campaign that I used in Ukraine, and I think that this could work very well in other Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is there anything wrong with that?

DAY:  You know that's a good question.  And I think that, you know, at the time, it depends on some of the legality on what he was doing in Washington at the time.  There's obviously foreign agent registration act which is something that would -- he would have had to disclosed this work if he was actively doing this in Washington.

VAN SUSTEREN:  If he were lobbying for Russia in the United States, assuming that this is a foreign government he's lobbying for, that the billionaire in Russia are the same?

DAY:  Well, so that's actually part of what needs to be looked at.  I think that's kind of an open question at this point.  You know, foreign agent registration act basically says that if you have -- if you're advancing the interests of a foreign government or you're working on their behalf, then you have to register.  At this point, I think that's an open question.  It's something that we're still trying to gather answers on.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  One of the things I thought was peculiar, I mean, proof that he has authentic documents peculiar, but that he said he's paid $750,000 and it was like for computer equipment.

DAY:  Well, I think that we're talking about two different sets of documents.

VAN SUSTEREN:  OK.

DAY:  So the documents that we've looked at and we've authenticated from different sources don't detail what you're talking about.

VAN SUSTEREN:  What's the ledger that this man showed us on the air, a ledger, I mean, he said -- he showed us a contract?

DAY:  Uh-huh.

VAN SUSTEREN:  We've not authenticated and a ledger.  And according to the two is that on the same day that the contract was signed, $750,000 went to Manafort, if you believe this document, and it had something to do with computer equipment.

DAY:  Right.  And I think what they're trying to say with that, I want to make sure that we differentiate our reporting with their reporting, or what's going on in Ukraine right now that's been released.  I think that they're saying that this is some kind of proof of some type of offshore account or money transaction of some type that they believe to be corrupt.  That is not something that we've reported.  It's not something that the A.P. can actually corroborate.

VAN SUSTEREN:  So we have no idea if that's true or not.  All right.  What kind of work did Manafort do?

DAY:  So the work that he did was -- going back to our reporting, in 2006, there was a signed contract that he had with Oleg Deripaska, and he had acknowledged and confirmed that he worked for Deripaska for a number of years.  Now, Mr. Manafort says that this was for his personal and business interests at the time.  But when you read through the documents and you've look at what we've found, he was pitching a very wide-scale or large-scale political influence campaign that he specifically said could be used to tailor for benefiting the Putin government.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  What did the oligarch do for a living?  What was his business?

DAY:  Right.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And was he close -- or is he close to Putin?

DAY:  Right.  So what he was he's actually made his money in the aluminum business.  He's an aluminum magnate.  And he's very close to Putin according to state department cables that have been released by WikiLeaks.  Actually, state department cable from 2006 actually says that he's one of the two or three people that are closest to Putin, and that he routinely travels with him.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  One thing we know, it's an early investigation. We've done unbelievable research, investigative, but we don't know if anything's been done wrong.  Let's make that clear.  We just don't know.  But there's certainly enough information there worth going on.

DAY:  Right.  And I think the significance of this is that with these congressional investigations going on right now, with there being questions about what are the ties to the Trump campaign has to Russia, that this is one more piece in the puzzle that we're trying to put together for people who have that question or trying to answer that question.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And very helpful for a lot of people would come forward and talk.  Anyway, blame Mr. Manafort.  Thank you very much.

DAY:  Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Come back when you have more.

DAY:  I will.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Next, we're going to go live to London for an update on that suspected terror attack.  The death toll is rising tonight.  That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN:  Happening right now, President Trump meeting at the White House with secretary state Rex Tillerson.  It's a working dinner and it comes after today's deadly terror attack in London.  Late today, the secretary called those attacks tragic.  And tonight, NBC News is learning that five people in London are dead, including the attacker and a police officer, 40 people were injured.  The terror began around 2:30 PM London time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We heard gunshots.  What we thought was gunshots.  Turned around and saw the car plowed into a lady.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I heard the crash first.  That's a crash.  And then I thought it was a genuine accident.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE:  What I have seen in my own eyes between six and seven people lying down.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There were bodies literally -- ten -- ten bodies.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  At least 10 or 12 bodies all lying in different places along the bridge.

UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN:  NBC's Matt Bradley is in London.  Matt?

MATT BRADLEY, NBC NEWS:  Greta, that's right.  We just -- we just heard from the deputy -- the acting deputy police commissioner, Mark Rowley, he had a press conference where he ramped up the casualty numbers.  He said that instead of four people, it's actually five people had been killed.  That number includes the actual -- the assailant who was shot dead by police and a police officer who the assailant either stabbed or beat to death in front of parliament.  And then there were three other civilians who were killed either around the parliament area or on the bridge.  Now, the way this all went down at around 2:30 PM, this assailant drove a four- by-four vehicle, across Westminster Bridge which is the bridge coming from South London right to North London adjoining the parliament building.  He ran into a crowd of people, and then he managed to disembark from his car and charge into the parliament building.  That's where he either stabbed or bludgeoned to death this British police officer.  And then left that man and started to run into the parliament building and that's when he was gunned down by the other members of the police who were guarding the parliament building.  And as the police just said, there were 40 people who are now in hospital, and we're still waiting to hear more about the actual identity of the attacker and exactly what motivated him.  Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN:  Matt, thank you.  And thank you for watching.  See you back here tomorrow night 6:00 PM Eastern.  Up next, Hardball with Chris Matthews.

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