Show: For the Record Date: March 29, 2017 Guest: Jackie Speier, Eugene Robinson, Howard Fineman, Lindsey Graham, Robert Dietz, Karen Tumulty, Jonathan Swan, Tina Brown, Debbie Wasserman Schultz
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Chuck. And house intel Chairman Nunes under fire and it`s getting hotter and hotter and hotter. But the senate intelligence committee is making news today on its Russia probe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: We have devoted seven professional staff positions to this investigation. To date, we have made 20 requests for individuals to be interviewed by the committee. As we stand here today, five are already scheduled on the books. The only individual who`s publicly been identified to date is Jared Kushner. And the committee will conduct an interview with Mr. Kushner when the committee decides that it`s time for us to set a date because we know exactly the scope of what needs to be asked.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: And the committee leaders vowing to work together and let the facts lead the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Having served as an advisor on the Trump campaign, can you say hand over heart that you can oversee an impartial and serious investigation?
BURR: Absolutely. I`ll do something I`ve never done. I`ll admit that I voted for him. We always hide who we vote for, that`s part of the Democratic process. But I`ve got a job in the United States senate, and I take that job extremely serious. It overrides any personal beliefs that I have or loyalties that I might have.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: I have confidence in Richard Burr. We, together with the members of our committee are going to get to the bottom of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: But over in the house investigation a tad bit different, in fact real different, more division and increase scrutiny on Chairman Nunes, a topic the senate leaders punted on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BURR: We`ll answer anything about the senate intelligence committee`s investigation. We will not take questions on the house intelligence committee. We would refer those to the house intelligence committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Now every single Democratic member of the house intelligence committee is calling on the Chairman Nunes to step down today. He says no chance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: No, they`ve done very little to even look through the documents that the intelligence agencies have provided. So, I think at the end of the day here, we`re going to get to the truth and we`re going to find out who`s actually doing a real investigation, and you`ll find out that we are very much doing an investigation and have been for a long time.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried about being able to work with Mr. Schiff?
NUNES: Look, I mean, we`re always concerned about this and we always want to keep the committee bipartisan, but at the end of the day, we`re going to do an investigation with or without them. And if they want to participate, that`s fine. We don`t even know who their witnesses is that they want to call, so I would encourage you guys to go and start to follow them around and figure out who they want to bring in and interview.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: And then there`s this. Just moments ago reporters caught up with Chairman Nunes again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Who at the White House gave you access to the intel?
NUNES: Guys, there`s nothing -- there`s nothing to report. I appreciate the attention, though. Thank you.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Did the White House know -- did the White House know about the intel before you briefed them on it?
NUNES: Thank you, guys. I`ve answered all the questions over and over again.
NUNES: Probably the following week.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Were they involving Trump associates?
NUNES: Well, we`re not going to get into the witness list at this point. It depends who wants to come freely. Some people volunteer to come freely, so obviously we`ll do interviews with those folks. But, yeah, we`re looking forward to getting the information.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing this with the committee Democrats calling for your recusal (INAUDIBLE). How are you moving forward?
NUNES: We`ll continue to work through this. I think there will be active participants will be by guess. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: With me Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Democrat from the great state of California who serves on the house intelligence committee. And she is calling for Chairman Nunes to resign as chairman of the committee. Nice to see you, congresswoman.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: Great to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, you take us a step forward, some say that he should recuse himself from the investigation. You go one giant step further. You want him to step down from being chairman of the committee.
SPEIER: I think it`s very hard when he has put in place all of those staff members of the committee, and then we`re going to have a separate chair for the investigation into the Russia connection, and we`re going to have two chairs operating down there. I find it really complex and I don`t think it can happen.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you go to the substantive aspect of it, does it play into any of the events of the last week? I mean the fact that he got this call and he goes to the White House. He won`t tell the source. And then he has a press conference the next day. Then he runs down and talks to the president, then he has another press conference and now he won`t tell us any of this.
SPEIER: So, at first you`ve got to begin to wonder if the house intelligence committee is an oxymoron now. Because.
VAN SUSTEREN: You saw what the senators did. They didn`t even want to talk about it.
SPEIER: I know.
VAN SUSTEREN: They were like house what? We don`t know anybody on the house side. Who?
SPEIER: So, you know, the crumbs were laid last week when the president said there will be something coming out in the committee next week. This in my mind was orchestrated by the White House and Nunes was part of the deal from the beginning.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Prior to two weeks ago, you worked with him, right?
SPEIER: Yes. That`s what`s so interesting.
VAN SUSTEREN: What`s he like?
SPEIER: He was easy to work with. It was a bipartisan committee. We`ve worked closely together. It`s like there`s a Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde that`s taken place here. He is different. He has become pugnacious, and silent, and surreptitious, and all of a sudden he is not consulting with the ranking member in terms of having a hearing, not having a hearing, and also we`re reading about it in the press.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don`t get a sense that he`s consulting with other Republicans on the committee either. I mean, I see the divide between the Republicans and Democrats, but I don`t have a sense talking to Republican members that he`s telling them any of this information.
SPEIER: Well, the one thing we know is that after we had the hearing and the bombshell was let out by Director Comey.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which was?
SPEIER: Which was not only were they investigating the relationship of Russia and their intervention in our electoral process, they were looking at the coordination that might have been going on between the Trump campaign operatives and the Russians. That was a huge bombshell. And after that hearing when the Democrats were all developing the links with Russia within the Trump orbit, and all of the Republicans were talking about leaks, they then, I think, decided at that point they were not going to have the next committee hearing that was supposed to be public. And they all met in.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying all the Republicans or seen Nunes?
SPEIER: No, the Republicans met together.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you think they`re all in this sort of secrecy Cabal for lack of a better word?
SPEIER: Well, I think they`ve kind of circled the wagons. I think they`re all going to defend Devin for the near term. Because, you know, they`re hooked to his star right now, or lack thereof.
VAN SUSTEREN: He`s getting barbecued. I`m usually sympathetic to people getting barbecued. I always feel sorry for the underdog, but he could end this. This is self-inflicted wound. He`s the one that`s put all this sinister, sneaky, mystery, wrapped this all in this mystery. So he could end all of this and just tell us.
SPEIER: But he hasn`t, and I don`t think he intends to. And I think the Republicans think that they can just weather the storm. We`re going on recess for two weeks and by the time we return, he`ll be able to just resume his activities. I don`t think it`s going away. Certainly the people that are calling my office are not pleased with what`s going on.
VAN SUSTEREN: When was the last time you spoke to him?
SPEIER: Well, at the hearing.
VAN SUSTEREN: And he is friendly, nice, everything?
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you. Nice to see you.
SPEIER: Thank you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: The house investigation into Russia was once again a big part of the White House press briefing. Spokesperson Sean Spicer, the press secretary, faced a barrage of new questions about Chairman Devin Nunes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: One of the reasons there`s this question about Chairman Nunes is he hasn`t told his own committee members what he knows, how he learned about it, and what the substantive importance of that is. So we are also curious about that. And among the things that might be -- or might shed light about that is how he got here, who he met with, and what he learned. We`re trying to figure.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I understand. And I think those are questions for him.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The members of the very committee themselves say they don`t know.
SPICER: Fair enough.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: . what was being discussed?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: How is the process going forward? How is that a workable process?
SPICER: The answer to that question is that`s a question for Chairman Nunes. How he conducts himself with his members, when and where he shares things, et cetera, are issues for him and the committee and the House of Representatives, not for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: Eugene Robinson is a columnist for the Washington Post, and Howard Fineman is global editorial director from the Huffington Post. Howard, now even the White House doesn`t want anything to do with Nunes. He said if you have a question call Nunes. Nunes won`t answer any questions.
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Nunes? What Nunes?
VAN SUSTEREN: What Nunes, right.
FINEMAN: He`s the guy who was on the White House grounds the other day looking at top secret information, courtesy of someone, we don`t know who.
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: They`re treating him like a fence jumper.
FINEMAN: Right. And you can`t jump the fence at this point. You have to be escorted in by somebody. You have to be validated by somebody to get into the White House. Even a congressman can`t just waltz onto the White House grounds to go to a secret place to look at secret documents. So somewhere there`s a record of who it was, who asked the guy who come in. The problem that Nunes has is the problem that Gene and I have seen and you have seen in Washington forever. It`s probably not whatever the original Russia story was about what Paul Manafort or the others were doing. I don`t think looking at the evidence that it`s about Donald Trump`s campaign directly coordinating with the Russians. It`s about what the White House and its fellow travelers do to slow down or try to stop an investigation. And you put Nunes right in that narrative right now.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it`s kind of -- it`s not fair to guess and to be suspicious in all these things, but he`s put us in that position. When I looked -- when I dissected what he said, he said that someone was unmasked who was on the transition team. So the first thing I thought, well, guess who was on the transition team? He was, he was, he was.
VAN SUSTEREN: But was it something that he said and he doesn`t want us to know about it? I don`t know.
ROBINSON: Well, that`s the question. One of 20 questions we could sit here and ask about this, right? But that`s like one of the first questions. Look, is there going to be a house investigation or not basically?
VAN SUSTEREN: You saw what the senate thinks about the house.
ROBINSON: Exactly. And at this point you have to say not. Because whatever he does at this point has no credibility.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you even want a house investigation at this point? I mean, you`ve got the senate investigating it, and we had two adults coming out today, right?
ROBINSON: They sounded like total adults.
VAN SUSTEREN: Total adults.
ROBINSON: And meanwhile, you have the real investigation going on with the FBI, right, which is, as you know, has -- you know, they have -- they`re a bit more serious about this. And if you don`t think they act adult, ask the people that they`re hauling in to question.
FINEMAN: I think the adults if there are any in Washington, and that`s always an open question, have decided that the house investigation is hopelessly corrupted, because of Nunes going over to the White House looking at the stuff and then telling Donald Trump about it. That`s not an independent investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: And not telling us.
FINEMAN: And not telling his own people.
ROBINSON: Not telling the committee.
FINEMAN: So it`s not bipartisan. So the senate, which may be in the process, by the way, of getting rid of the most characteristic senate procedure of all time, which is the filibuster.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which Harry Reid did, in all fairness.
FINEMAN: Totally. Which Harry Reid began the slippery slope of that, I agree. But the senate still wants to preserve the idea that the senate is the independent cooling saucer and deliberative body of American politics. And if they give up the filibuster, they`re going to say that Burr and Warner, two southern paragons of deliberativeness, are going to actually do a thorough investigation. And there`s some competition between the house and the senate here. The house has been turned into a hopelessly parliamentary operation where nobody in the minority has any authority whatsoever. If you`re going to reserve -- preserve any bipartisanship in Washington, any independent assessment of the idea that facts exist, that`s at least for now what Burr and Warner are saying and that`s powerful.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Eugene, it`s become so weird in this whole thing, this whole thing with Nunes. And so, it`s so -- it`s easy for me to roll my eyes, that this is fundamentally extremely serious. Extremely serious we get to the bottom of all of this, and the world is watching.
ROBINSON: Exactly, the world is watching. Serious questions have been asked and they need to be answered. As Howard said that there`s no grievous underlying crime here.
FINEMAN: Well, grievous, but not necessarily related to the White House directly.
ROBINSON: But we don`t know.
FINEMAN: We don`t know, we don`t know.
ROBINSON: We don`t know.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think it`s -- you know what, I don`t think this is fair to the American people that they played -- that they game us like this. I don`t think that`s fair.
ROBINSON: It`s not fair to the American people. I hate making this comparison, but it`s actually apt in this occasion. It`s the Watergate comparison. It was about something that happened in the 1972 campaign. And ultimately it was about the cover-up.
FINEMAN: It wasn`t the crime. That is -- if you`re going to ascribe -- Greta, if you`re going to inscribe in marble in one of these buildings out here, a phrase that deserves to be remembered forever, is that it`s not the crime, but the cover-up. The other thing I would say is this is not an Atlantic City gambling license hearing. OK? This is big stuff involving the highest level of potential corruption of the American political system by a foreign country. You`ve got to take it seriously.
VAN SUSTEREN: And to all of you watching from Atlantic City and you think it`s real important, Howard Fineman, I`ll give you his e-mail address at the next break. Thank you, gentlemen.
VAN SUSTEREN: Still ahead, will the White House reveal who talked to Chairman Devin Nunes last Tuesday night, and who then let him into the White House and why? And why late on Tuesday night did he go? New pressure tonight to let the public see those all-important and telling White House visitors logs. Senator Lindsey Graham is here to talk about the Russia controversy. And then, next big Capitol Hill fight and one certain to be a bruiser, the Supreme Court. Plus, Democrats on the attack, accusing the Trump administration of trying to sabotage Obamacare, some fiery moments today in a dramatic hearing. Also, she is back, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic candidate, she just stepped back into the spotlight, and Senator Bernie Sanders demanding an overhaul of the DNC. Is the Democratic Party still feeling raw from their election disaster? We`ll talk about it with former DNC head Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: Judge Gorsuch, we believe, does not belong on the bench. If Judge Gorsuch fails to earn 60 votes and fails to demonstrate he is mainstream enough to sit on the highest court, we should change the nominee, not the rules.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: The only reason he may not get there with 60 votes is because of the political fear that dominates that building.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, buckle up. The Russia controversy is not the only fight we are watching. Thirty Democrats now saying they will block the vote for President Trump`s Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch, when he comes up for a vote next week. In response, Republicans firing back, warning Democrats they will take a page out of former senate majority leader Harry Reid`s playbook, and may change senate rules using the so- called nuclear option and scrapping senate tradition and approving a nominee for the full senate vote with a simple majority. That would be 51 votes. Democratic senator Joe Manchin has not said how he will vote, but he does have a message for Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: We need to come together as a body and save the country, save the bodies we can, which is a 60-vote cloture rule. If Republicans will take off, I`m going to do the nuclear option because Harry Reid did it. Harry Reid was wrong. What he did was just absolutely dead wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: With me, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, and a member of the senate judiciary committee. Nice to see you, sir.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We`re going to have a fight next week, aren`t we?
GRAHAM: Looks like it.
VAN SUSTEREN: And, you know, it`s sort of interesting. All these Democrats have said they`re going to vote no for the Supreme Court for Judge Gorsuch.
VAN SUSTEREN: But in 2006 when he was put on the federal court for the tenth circuit, a lot of these Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, voted yes. So what happened between then and now?
GRAHAM: Well, he`s had ten and a half years of being a judge. And from what I can tell is he`s been a good judge. The American bar association, which is a pretty independent organization, gave him the highest rating you could receive. Well qualified. A 900-page report, you can read it if you`d like, they interviewed 500 lawyers, clerks, people who know Judge Gorsuch who say that he was one of the most outstanding judges in the country. He is reasonable, he is mainstream, he`s conservative, and I think a home run pick by President Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: The Supreme Court says that you`re supposed to provide to the president advice and consent.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does that mean?
GRAHAM: I think it used to mean that Scalia got 98 votes.
VAN SUSTEREN: That`s interesting because Judge Gorsuch is probably farther to the left.
GRAHAM: Well, I think he`s certainly no more conservative than Scalia.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much of Ginsburg on the far left?
GRAHAM: Ninety six.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ninety six, OK.
GRAHAM: So Strom Thurmond voted for Ginsburg. I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan, now why? Because I thought they were qualified. Now I didn`t vote for President Obama. I didn`t vote for President Trump. I didn`t vote for anybody in 12 years. But when it comes to the election, once it`s over, I think my advice and consent should be given not because I would have chosen somebody different, because they`re qualified. When you look at the Hamilton Papers about this, he says the role of the senate is to knock out the unqualified, favoritism, somebody would favor one state over another, a special relationship to the president, some family member, not to substitute your judgment for that of the president, and not to substitute your philosophy for that of the nominee. That`s my view.
VAN SUSTEREN: It`s what some sort of amusement, I guess, that Senator Harry Reid change -- he invoked the nuclear option for appeals court judges and for trial court judges, allowing for just 51 votes instead of the 60 to cut it off. And now it looks like is that going to happen with the Supreme Court?
GRAHAM: It looks like we`re headed that way. See, I was in the gang of 14 back in 2003, I can`t remember when it was. The first Bush term they wholesale filibuster almost all of his judicial nominees. We came up with a gang of 14 that said when it came to the Supreme Court and judicial nominees there would be no filibuster unless there were extraordinary circumstances. That held until 2013 when Harry Reid changed the rules for circuit court and below. And now here we are. All I`m saying is.
VAN SUSTEREN: It`s called the shoe is on the other foot.
GRAHAM: Well, Sotomayor and Kagan got cloture. I can`t in the life of me believe that Gorsuch is less qualified than they are.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You`ve said you didn`t vote for Obama or Trump. Who did you vote for?
GRAHAM: I voted for Evan McMullen. I wouldn`t know him if he walked in the room.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let`s move on to something else. You presided over a hearing today on Russian efforts to undermine democracy. A Putin critic testified about having survived two attempted poisonings apparently at the hands of the Kremlin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Doctors estimated the chance to survive at about 5 percent. And both times, the reason for this poisoning was named as undefined toxin.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you have this hearing?
GRAHAM: Well, I wanted to make a case that Russia should be punished for what they did in our election, as well as what they`re doing in their own country, the Putin regime, not the Russian people. This man is an anti- corruption dissident inside of Russia. He`s been poisoned, near death twice. There`s a list of a dozen people who died mysterious deaths who oppose Putin. The judiciary has become a joke. To them is a rubber stamp. And Putin is trying to break the back of democracies throughout the entire region, and now France and Germany. And he interfered in our elections. To my Republican colleagues, it was Democrats today it could be us tomorrow, so I want to punish Putin. I want sanctions against the Putin regime for what he`s did here in our election and what he`s done all over the world, including his own backyard.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you a former -- or you`re on the other side of the hill in the house. What do you make of this whole Nunes controversy?
GRAHAM: It`s a mess. You know, Trey Gowdy is a guy -- he had a good suggestion to Schiff. Give us the witnesses you want to interview and let`s interview them. I don`t like what Nunes did going down to the White House, seeing something nobody else saw. I think that`s a breach of trust, and he`s got to repair the damage. I don`t know if he can or not. Burr and Warner today were very reassuring to me. I`m working with White House and Leahy. We just had a hearing about Russia. We`re going to get to the bottom of this.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think Nunes did that?
GRAHAM: I really don`t know. I don`t know if he couldn`t -- the pressure, maybe he thought he should go down.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why isn`t he talking now and explaining it? Because the reason you and I are talking about this is because he won`t end it.
GRAHAM: All I can say is that the best thing for the house to do is see if they can get an agreement with their Democratic colleagues to call witnesses that Democrats believe are relevant to finding out what we have in Russia.
VAN SUSTEREN: He canceled the hearing though with the Clapper, Yates and Brennan.
GRAHAM: Well, a public hearing may have should have been canceled, but behind closed doors is probably the way to do this. The bottom line is restart the process.
VAN SUSTEREN: You think he can restart this? Do you think Chairman Nunes can have -- can regain credibility?
GRAHAM: We`ll see, I don`t know. What he should do, in my view, is tell everybody who he met with and what he saw. He doesn`t have to tell you on TV, but tell his colleagues on the house intel committee, Republican and Democrat. Here`s who I met with and here`s what I saw, I think he should do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why wouldn`t he do that?
GRAHAM: I don`t know.
VAN SUSTEREN: Don`t you think that`s odd?
GRAHAM: That is odd. So Trey Gowdy, I think has got the right approach to try to restart if you can. Give us some witnesses you think are relevant to what happened with Russia and the Trump campaign and let`s start interviewing them. I don`t know if they can repair the damage or not. I`m pleased where the senate is at. I want to find out what happen with Russia. If there are ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the FBI is looking at that. Do it without political interference. The Russians interfered in our election. It wasn`t some 400-pound guy on the bed. When it comes to Trump, he is the president. He won the election. I want the investigation to go wherever it needs to go. The reason I am supporting Gorsuch, I think he`s an outstanding choice. All I`m asking Democrats to do is respect President Trump`s choice like I respected President Obama`s choice by voting for Cloture and passage of Sotomayor and Kagan. So I don`t want to set the election aside. There`s no reason to invalidate this election. But there is a reason to investigate what Russia did.
VAN SUSTEREN: And we have all these investigations going on, including Comey`s with the FBI.
GRAHAM: Well, that`s what I want to make sure we don`t cross over into. The FBI is looking at a counterintelligence maybe criminal investigation. I want to steer clear of those guys. I don`t want any politician to interfere with the FBI`s ability to look at what Trump operatives may have done with Russia. I don`t know if there`s any evidence at all, but I want the FBI to look at it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you see the story where it said that General Flynn met with Turkish representatives and there was some conversation, Wool Woolsey was there.
GRAHAM: About kidnapping the guy?
VAN SUSTEREN: The guy in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania.
GRAHAM: I don`t think you could sell this as a book or a movie.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody will believe it?
GRAHAM: It`s pretty bizarre. So when you get really confused, go back to the basics. Burr and Warner have a process where they`re going to call witnesses, most of them behind closed doors, which it probably should be, and I hope the house can get back into the process of actually collecting evidence rather than finger pointing. Now, listen, what Nunes did was wrong, but Schiff and some of his friends turn into prosecutors every time they`re on TV. They give a damning indictment of circumstantial evidence linking the Trump campaign to Russia. At the end of the day, I don`t think that`s appropriate either.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you. Hope you come back. Lots to talk about.
GRAHAM: I thought you want to talk about Gorsuch.
VAN SUSTEREN: Next week. OK, I`ll see you next week. Anyway, nice to see you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ahead, what the NBC investigative unit is learning about the house intel chair`s White House visit. Who let him inside, and who did he speak to, and who gave him information? Also, Democrats accuse the Trump administration of trying to sabotage Obamacare. That`s ahead.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tomorrow the Senate Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing but on the House side there are still more questions than answers. Who did Chairman Devin Nunes meet with at the White House? How did he get there? Who let him in? The White House didn`t offer any answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any information to live up to the commitment you made here on Monday to provide more details about how that happened? In the process you just told us that, again, is above board and totally appropriate?
SPICER: I don`t have anything for you on that at this time. But again, I don`t --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you looked into it?
SPICER: I have asked some preliminary questions. I have not gotten answers yet. The fascination is with what door did he come in, who did he meet with, how did he get in as opposed to what I think it should be and ironically it`s not when the shoe is on the other foot as what`s the substance?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: With be Ken Dilanian, NBC national security correspondent and Robert Dietz, former senior counselor to the CIA director and a former general counsel at the NSA, the National Security Agency. Ken, first to you, do you have any information, any idea, you know, who he met with, why he met there, who let him in? Do you have any more information tonight?
KEN DILANIAN, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: We have some suspects, Greta, but nothing we`re ready to report on the air tonight. What`s important to understand, though, is that Nunes says he went to the old -- the Eisenhower Executive Office building, which is a stately old building in the White House complex to the west of the White House itself, to a secure room.
Now, he`s sort of portraying this like he got this stuff from a source like meeting deep throat in the parking garage, but there are limited number of people that have access to a secure room to view classified information at the White House. And former White House officials have told us that any White House official could learn in five minutes who signed Nunes into the White House. So, it`s absurd that the White House is suggesting that somehow this is difficult information to come by.
In fact, that used to be public information under the Obama administration. Thus far, it has not been public under the Trump administration. So, we don`t know where he got the information, but there`s a limited number of people who are cleared to see this intelligence.
After all, this is about intercepts, sensitive, highly classified intelligence. And you know, the bottom line is this thing has really blown up the House investigation and he`s lost the confidence of Democrats, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Bob, what do you make of this? I just look at this and I just -- I don`t know what to think.
ROBERT DIETZ, FORMER SENIOR COUNSELOR TO THE CIA DIRECTOR: Yes, I share your view. And I agree, by the way, with Ken`s point. It`s not as if anybody can wander into the old executive office building and then check people in. So, clearly this is a knowable issue. I am really puzzled by it.
I was particularly puzzled by Congressman Nunes going down to the White House to kind of brief the president, I suppose. The problem, of course, is it tends to undermine the credibility and independence of a Hill hearing and I think that`s really unfortunate.
VAN SUSTEREN: What could be the kind of information? I mean, in looking at it, you`ve been inside at the CIA, at the NSA, what is sort of the universe of possibilities that this could be?
DIETZ: Well, I`ve given that a little thought. I don`t have any magic answers. It could be explaining how, if this is true, how people close to President Trump and the campaign, how they might have been picked up had they been communicating with foreign folks.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what would be so secret about that?
DIETZ: Well, as you know, under Executive Order 12333 and (INAUDIBLE) 18 and so forth, mineralization, in other words taking out U.S. person identities is standard operating procedure and it obligatory. It can be broken in two circumstances. One is if there`s evidence of a crime and, B, for some reason you need that identity to make sense of the foreign intelligence. It could be that whatever topic was addressed by the foreign person, say a Russian, that President Trump was told that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ken, what are people frustrated within the intelligence community on this? What`s sort of the thought on this whole drama as it`s unfolding?
DILANIAN: Well, they`re just mystified by what Nunes did, you know. And as Bob knows better than anybody, incidental collection, particularly if it`s foreigner to foreigner surveillance where that is about Americans, that happens every day. I mean the NSA is listening to foreign embassies, they`re communicating back to their capitals. Particularly this was during the transition --
VAN SUSTEREN: So why would this be such a -- I mean so why would Nunes want to even hide this? You could -- you could mask some of the thing and just give us a little more information and call off the dogs?
DILANIAN: Well, exactly. And he back tracked, don`t forget. At first Nunes said Trump and his aides had been monitored and then he said, no, in fact I can`t be sure they were monitored. It might have just been communications about them. You know look, the theory by Democrats is that this was all just a ruse to give Trump some cover for his bogus wiretapping claim so that he could say, see, there was surveillance in Trump Tower and this is the evidence of it.
And the best -- the best evidence of that, I guess, is that Donald Trump didn`t need Devin Nunes to give him this information. He runs the executive branch. He could get it any day of the week. Just order every surveillance report put on his desk that has his name or the names of his aides. That`s not how it happened.
DIETZ: This does not vindicate him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Gentlemen, thank you. The mystery goes on. Thank you, both.
New tonight, President Trump`s daughter, Ivanka, and something that hasn`t happened since the Eisenhower administration. And thought health care was off the agenda? Think again, what chief strategist Steve Bannon is doing behind the scenes.
VAN SUSTEREN: We are back with some big news from the Trump administration. Ivanka Trump is now officially a government employee. She is joining the White House as an unpaid advisor. Her title is, besides daughter 2, she`s now assistant to the president.
And Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was grilled today at the hearing on Capitol Hill. Democrats peppering him on the future of Obamacare and whether he planned to sabotage it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: Will you continue that effort to disallow advertising to let people know about enrollment?
TOM PRICE, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: That happened before my arrival.
DELAURO: But what will you do?
PRICE: As I`ve said, we`re committed to making certain that every American has access to affordable care.
DELAURO: So you will continue to do the advertising? You will do advertising.
PRICE: We`re committed to making certain that American peole --
DELAURO: You`ll do advertising?
PRICE: I wouldn`t commit to any specific entity.
(END VIDEP CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the White House is turning its focus back to health care in a push led by chief strategist Steve Bannon. Last night the president was very confident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know that we`re all going to make a deal on health care. That`s such an easy one, so I have no doubt that that`s going to happen very quickly. I think it will actually, I think it`s going to happen, because we`ve all been promising, Democrat, Republican, we`ve all been promising that to the American people. So I think a lot of good things are going to happen there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Karen Tumulty is political correspondent for the "Washington Post" and Jonathan Swan is national political reporter for Axios. Karen, I guess thinking positive. The president says it`s going to be the easy one.
KAREN TUMULTY, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: Well, Sean Spicer today at the White House briefing was saying he was being facetious when he said that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, good.
TUMULTY: But obviously if they`re serious about restarting this, it`s going to have to be in a totally different way. It`s -- I think what everyone learned is that you can`t rush this, that you have to sort of sell it in the country and explain to the country exactly what you`re trying to achieve here. And so however they go about this, it`s not going to be another, what, 18-day deal.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Jonathan, I sort of think this is the Pollyanna in me, the half full in me, it might be still of a good thing because now the Republicans and the Democrats may work together because the Democrats don`t want to fail and they don`t have that hung around their neck as Obamacare failing and collapsing and the Republicans wants something -- you think I`m nuts.
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Yes, I do.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, all right.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I`m trying to find some good tonight for all of us. I`m trying to make the viewers at home feel good.
SWAN: I had lunch with Nancy Pelosi yesterday and I did not get that vibe.
VAN SUSTEREN: You did not get that vibe.
SWAN: No, to say the least.
VAN SUSTEREN: So who picked up the bill?
SWAN: She, well, her office. It was sandwiches for a bunch of reporters.
VAN SUSTEREN: I was just kidding. You know the answer to that. Anyway, so where are we on this? So leader Pelosi says no.
SWAN: Here`s the thing. The situation hasn`t changed since a week ago. The moderates and the conservatives still don`t agree on anything really. And the notion that Steve Bannon is sort of with a cape on coming in to fix this. I mean all he`s doing, and he`s told associates of his this, is clearing some space so that moderates and conservatives can talk to each other without the White House and leadership interfering too much.
He`s certainly not working on this in some sort of pivotal, save the day way. And there`s no timeline. There`s no timeline for fixing this. There needs to be a cooling off period. There was a report today that there was going to be legislative moves next week. I texted a bunch of people in leadership and they were all like well, that`s news to me, so.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, finished, Karen? It`s finished?
TUMULTY: I don`t think we`re going see anything any time soon. We`ll know that they`re serious about it when they start bringing in some actual serious thinkers on policy. And the fact that President Trump has spoken at least on several occasions to Zeke Emmanuel who was also involved in putting Obamacare together and is a deep thinker on this subject, those are some good signs.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, my other idea, besides the one Jonathan just shot down as a possibility, is I think I would bring in Senator Tom Coburn, a doctor and Governor Howard Dean, a doctor, Republican and Democrat, and put them in a room and see if they can try to battle something out. But anyway, that`s -- I`m desperately trying to find solutions for this and I`m not very successful. Anyway, thank you both.
What happens to a country months after its voters stun the world and do the unexpected? I`m not talking about President Trump, but that story is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: In accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.
JEREMY COIRBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: The direction the prime minister is threatening to take this country in is both reckless and damaging. And labor will not give this government a free hand to use Brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that passionate debate today in parliament about Brexit. The U.K. is leaving the European Union. It`s going to be a divorce. Today one of Britain`s top diplomats hand delivering the letter to officially trigger the British withdrawal. Many see parallels between Brexit and our 2016 election. A comparison embraced by Canada and then President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Brexit deal, I think when you talk about leave, you know, I felt it was going to happen. And there is great similarity between what happened here and my campaign. You`re taking your country back. Europe, like the United States, has made tremendous mistakes over the last period of time.
Call me Mr. Brexit.
Brexit was an example of what was to come. I said Brexit is going to happen. I think Brexit is going to be a wonderful thing for your country. It will ending up being a fantastic thing for the United Kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: With me, Tina Brown, founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media. Nice to see you, Tina.
TINA BROWN, FOUNDER AND CEO, TINA BROWN LIVE MEDIA: Good to see you too, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tina, is what`s going on with Brexit in London, is that akin to sort of the populist movement that led to the election of President Trump?
BROWN: Well, there are definitely are similarities to that but actually I would say that the similarities now are really a bit more to what`s just happened with the health care bill because here have Trump saying it`s going to be wonderful, it`s going to be great for Brexit. I think it`s going to be about as great as the Republicans health care bill it turned out to be.
But the problem is it`s so much easier to shout repeal and replace, which is what happened with Brexit. The foreign minister now, Boris Johnson, he was one of the prime Brexiteers, promised really -- sold a bill of goods to the British people. He said you can have free movement -- the end of free movement of peoples, the end of the immigration freedom, which has really been very unpopular in the U.K.
And at the same time have access to the free market and people really believed that was true. They thought that they could have their cake and eat it too. And the fact is of course, you can`t leave the club and swim in the pool. There`s no reason why Europe is going to accept that and they will not get access to the free market.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well that`s exactly what Manfred Weber said, a German lawmaker. He said, "If you leave the E.U., you lose the associated benefits." It could have been plainer about that.
BROWN: Of course. That`s not going to change. I think for some reason there are people who think that`s a negotiating point. It is not a negotiating point. It`s absolutely the one thing that all 27 countries can agree on.
VAN SUSTEREN: And it`s sort of -- I don`t know if you heard -- I played for you what the president of the EU said today, sort of a bittersweet comment to the Brits. Here`s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: What can I add to this? We already miss you. Thank you and good-bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: That was sort of sweet. We already miss you to the Brits.
BROWN: Yes, but it`s extremely sad and extremely dangerous because Britain now won`t be a part of these massive decisions as Europe is determining its future at a time when there`s rising populous (ph) and when the world is in chaos, how does it help Britain to be now truly little England again.
And not only that, of course, it`s going to trigger another referendum in Scotland for its independence because even though Scotland did vote to stay in the union in 2014, things are going to change radically in the next two years. And when Scotland finds that it`s going to have tariffs slapped under its whiskey, that`s going to change the entire attitude of the business community and many others in Scotland and it will be, you know, they just renegotiated they`re marriage vows and they`re going to have to really re-examine them again. This is a disaster. This cannot be good.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did this happen?
BROWN: Well, you know, the trouble is, is that very much like here, a kind of rabid, you know, unhappiness with globalism and the digital disruption, all of the things that affected people`s mind set here was the same in the U.K. and parts of the U.K. and some London places or the most of England which really had had been neglected by the Tory Party who kept on cutting and cutting.
David Cameron, the prime minister, severely misjudged the idea that he could win this vote after subjecting, you know, tremendous savage cut to the British people at the time before he won in the next election. So, you know, there was a great deal of discomfort and unhappiness that really wasn`t being paid attention to and somehow Brexit became this kind of great battle cry which was going to fix everything.
Everything was the fault of Brexit. Immigration and, you know, the fact that you couldn`t get a doctor`s appointment and the fact that your schooling was likely was down, it was all blamed on Brexit. Many people didn`t know what Brexit was and the next day after it happened, they were all Googling what is the European Union, you know. I mean it was a very low information voter kind of situation.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tina, thank you for joining us.
BROWN: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Still ahead, Senator Bernie Sanders calling for a top-down overhaul of the Democratic Party. This after a house clean at the DNC. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I am thrilled to be out of the woods.
There is no place I`d rather be than here with you, other than the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know who that is. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with her first major speech since losing the election. For months, Democrats have been looking in the mirror for answers, asking what needs to change, and now a big change. The new chairman of the DNC telling all staffers to hand in their resignation letters. It`s just the latest shake-up for the DNC.
Last summer during the election, WikiLeaks exposed committee e-mails showing staffers appearing to side with Secretary Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders. That led to the chairwoman of the DNC stepping down. And with me is that former DNC chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat from Florida. And first I`d like to get your reaction Congresswoman to Senator Bernie Sanders, what he said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Clearly the Democratic Party needs a top-down overhaul, and that top-down overhaul means that instead of becoming dependent and being dependent on big money interest for campaign contributions, it has got to become a grassroots party. It has got to start speaking and acting and fighting for working people, for young people. For us to capitalize that, and that`s the kind of party I think has to -- the Democrats have to create.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, it sort of a little bit like what I heard four years ago when the Republicans were doing an autopsy after they lost the election in 2012. But is Senator Bernie Sanders right? Does it start at the top and come down and if so, how do you do that?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: First, let me just say I`m not sure why the chair of either national political party asking for staff resignations is news because it`s a pretty routine practice. It is important for each chair to be able to, you know, shuffle the footprint and make sure that they analyze their staffing needs. That`s all that this was.
VAN SUSTEREN: What about what Senator Bernie Sanders said. I mean, what`s going on with the Democratic Party or what should go on?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, you know, respectfully to Senator Sanders, we are already a grassroots party. I mean, if we were not, we would not have been able to help bring down the absolutely abhorrent health care repeal bill that would have knocked 24 million people over 10 years off of their health care that would have increased health costs astronomically for people who are between 50 and 64 years-old, increased prescription drug prices.
VAN SUSTEREN: So he`s wrong?
SHCULTZ: No. It`s actually more like semantics. We all agree that we should be and we are a grassroots party that focuses on making sure that we can help people reach the middle class.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think, though, the Republican Party -- there are a lot of Republicans who voted for Donald Trump who would say, the populist movement would say they`re the grassroots. They`re the Tea Party. I mean, everyone is sort of trying to hijack that term.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Actually if you look at the facts, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The majority of voters that went to the polls to choose their choice for president chose Hillary Clinton and our agenda. So the American people actually overwhelmingly agree with us and they proved it again on Friday when the Republicans had to abandon their abhorrent health care repeal plan because it hurt millions of people and it wasn`t even something any could stomach.
VAN SUSTEREN: Robby Mook was on this show a little while back and I asked him whether he thought Secretary Clinton is going to run in 2020 because I think you know, the fact that she was (INAUDIBLE). I actually think that she`s going to throw her hat back in the ring, but I`m probably dead wrong but what do you think?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, I think Hillary Clinton did exactly -- is doing exactly what she should be doing, using her very strong voice and her overwhelming popularity to help make sure that we can continue to advance the dialogue --
VAN SUSTEREN: But do you think she`s got her eye on 2020? Do you think they may look at this --
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think the last thing that Hillary Clinton is thinking about right now is what she`s doing in 2020.
VAN SUSTEREN: You really think she doesn`t have any interest in 2020?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think Hillary Clinton has an interest in doing what she always has had an interest doing, and that is helping to make the world better and to focus on making sure that government works to assist people in making their lives better is isn`t an obstacle.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, nobody thinks she`s going to run in 2020. I`m the only one who apparently who is suspicious that she is. Not that it`s a good thing or bad thing but anyway --
VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, thanks very much for joining us.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You`re welcome. My pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: And thank you for watching us. See you back here tomorrow night, 6:00 p.m. eastern. DVR if you can`t watch live. Follow me on twitter @Greta or check out my Facebook page, behind the scenes videos. In fact, I just posted a video on my Facebook page about a movie that I want you to see. I think you`ll love it. "Hardball" with Chris Matthews starts right now.
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