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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 15, 2017 8:30am-9:31am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs today on "face the nation", with just five days until the i can a, inauguration of donald trump a new era ghawns washington. >> after a contentious press conference his first in 168 days. >> i think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. i think it is a disgrace. and that is something that nazi germany would have done and did do. >> dickerson: president elect donald trump prepares to take the oath of office, we will ask vice president elect mike pence about the latest investigation into russian meddling. donald trump's relationship with the intelligence community and the press. >> no, i am not going to give you a question. you are fake news. >> dickerson: then we will turn to west virginia democrats joe manchin and the
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investigation into the russian espionage and more insight into america's 45th president from a top donald trump advisor, newt gingrich. >> and our weekly political panel. all ahead on face nation. >> good morning and welcome to "face the nation". i am john dickerson. vice president elect mike pence starts off our broadcast this morning. welcome, mr. vice president elect. >> thank you, john. >> five days from now you will be the vice president let's start with some news, the republican chairman of the intelligence committee decided to investigate russian meddling in the election, that includes any possible contacts between the russians trying to meddle and the trump campaign, what is your thoughts on that? >> i think the president and i both welcome the congress doing its oversight work in this and any other area. we look forward to the results of their inquiry, but make no mistake about it, i think they will find what the publicly
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released intelligence report showed before is there is no evidence of any impact on voting machines, donald trump won this election fair and square, 30 out of 50 states more counties than any republican candidate since ronald reagan, so while we certainly respect the right of the congress to provide oversight, make inquiries where they deem them appropriate, this, the american people spoke in this elect and the peaceful transition of power that will take place this coming friday on a platform where our president-elect will take the oath overs surrounded by four of the five living presidents is a testament to our democracy and i am incredibly humbled to be a part of it, john. >> dickerson: last week before that intelligence briefing the president-elect say he felt like this, all of these questions were part of a witch-hunt, he now had some new information and now the senate intelligence committee, so he no longer thinks this is a witch-hunt, this investigation into russian
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meddling? is that fair to say? >> well, i think that there frankly has just been an effort by many in the national media, present company excepted, since this election to essentially demean and question the legitimacy of this incoming administration, and talk of that, sources within the intelligence community that have been attributed with sharing that information, public officials, i think is a real disservice to our democracy, as i said, donald trump won a landslide election, the american people spoke decisively, they wanted change and i promise, i promised them come noon this coming friday change really begins and we are going to make america great again. >> dickerson: but there is a distinction between that feeling of the press and legitimate inquiry as you say that the senate intelligence committee is doing, just to button up one question. did any advisor oil anyone in the trump campaign have any contact with the russians who were trying to med until the
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election? >> well, of course not. and i think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that swirled around the candidacy and the fact that a few news organizations, not this one, actually trafficked in a memo that was produced as opposition research and associated that with intelligence efforts, i think could only be attributed to media bias and as i said this week at the press conference, john, the american people are tired of it, we are coming into this week with a great sense of optimism. the american people know that we can have government in washington dc as good as our people and get this economy moving again. we can rebuild our military. >> let me know. move on. >> and stand tall in the world again and those are the reasons donald trump is going to take that oath overs on friday. >> dickerson: let's move to the world. what does donald trump feel about vladimir putin and russia? >> well, i think in the present
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elect you have someone who is willing to approach this terrible relationship of the united states has with russia today with fresh eyes, and to at least be open to a better relationship with vladimir putin. and with russia. look, we have some common interests that would be well served if we were able to improve our relationship with russia, most notably the battle to defeat radical islamic terrorism and to defeat isis at its source, but i think the president elect also made it clear this week, john, that while a better relationship with russia would be a good thing, that i think he is realistic about the possibility of that and i think when you see the cabinet that he assembled, general mattis and general coates and -- we are coming at this with realistic expectations. but the president elect is
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determined to reengage the world, put america first and see if we can make progress for the security and peace of the world. >> dickerson: let me ask you about that, because the picture that donald trump puts forward about his view of russia seems quite different than the gentleman you mentioned, incoming secretary of defense mattis and then also secretary of state tillerson, mr. tillerson russia pose as danger, he called russia and adversary and said there are a number of areas where america is going to have to confront russia. that is not opinion, that is confrontation. mr. mattis said the most important thing to recognize is that putin is trying to break the north atlantic alliance. my question is, if the american people are listening to mr. trump and listening to those men and more importantly countries over stayings are listening, who is driving the bus, mr. trump or those two men? >> well, the great thing about being around donald trump is you never have any confusion about who is driving the bus, and where the buck stops and who
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will make the final decision. but i think as you hear the testimony of rex tillerson of general mattis and mike pompeo, i think americans are encouraged by the fact the president elect is assembling around him people of extraordinary background and capability, who will bring their own experience and their own perspective to inform the president's decisions, and ultimately the president will make this best decision in the best interests to american people,. >> dickerson: because on the one hand you have mattis and tillerson saying confront russia, president elect trump doesn't sound like he wants to confront russia. >> if you listen to the press conference and i was listening alongside, he said it would be good if we had a better relationship with russia and hopes its gets better and he said maybe not. >> dickerson: but does donald trump demand he, they would get out of eastern ukraine, that would be a confrontation, in the
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context of what tillerson and mattis said, does trump want russia out of the eastern ukraine. >> whether, let's be clear, whether eastern ukraine or crimea that the action by the russians has depp straighted, demonstrated the absence of american leadership. >> dickerson: there is a new leadership. what does the new leadership want to do? >> .. >> well, i think america is going to be more respected in the world the very moment that tooth, donald trump thanks the oath overs as 45th president of the united states and work through these issues, john, i think what we should be encouraged by, whether it be rex tillerson as our secretary of state, nikki haley going to the united nations, general mattis is he is surrounding himself with a group of men and win that will bringing the, bring the broadest raping of information to make these decisions and fake the actions that will put american first. >> dickerson: mr. tillerson says he hasn't had a discussion about russia with donald trump,
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how can that be? >> i think in the context of these confirmation hearings, the president elect has made a point to talk to each of the various candidates for these positions and the nation of those conversations is usually wide-ranging and so i -- >> dickerson: but how, why didn't he get russia in there, if got is driving the bus, shouldn't secretary of state know where the bus is going? >> i think rex tillerson will and has no confusion about who will be making the decisions in the trump administration, and that is true of all of us. i mean, what is so encouraging to be around a donald trump and literally be sitting side by side with him during the course of this transition, he has done hundreds of interviews and made decisions, attracted men and women of extraordinary caliber to this cabinet, i think we may well have the entire cabinet named before the inauguration, is to see a leader who is
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decisive, he has in, asks incisive questions and gets straight to the point and knows what he is looking for and he sees it and makes the decision. >> dickerson: reported by david ignatius michael flynn was in touch with the russian ambassador on the day the united states government announced sanctions for russian interference with the election. did that contact help with that russian, kind of moderate response 0 to it that there was no counter reaction from russia, did the flynn conversation help pave the way for that more mortm pratt response? >> i talked to general flynn about that conversation and it was actually initiated on christmas day, he sent a text to the russian ambassador to express not only christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. it was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states decision to expel diplomats or impose censure
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against russia. >> dickerson: did they ever have a conversation about sanctions on that day or any day. >> they did not have a discussion contemporaneous with u.s. action. >> dickerson: what about after? >> with general flynn. >> look, general flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders and security leaders in some 30 countries, that is exactly what the incoming marble security advisor should do. but what i can confirm, having spoken to him about it is those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the united states took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions. >> dickerson: but that still leaves hop the possibility there might have been other conversations about the sanctions. >> yes. i don't believe there were. >> dickerson: okay, okay. >> more conversations but -- >> dickerson: okay. got it. i can't confirm those elements were not a part of that discussion. >> dickerson: congressman john lewis who you served with, democrat, said, told on "meet the press" that he did not
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conversation donald trump a legitimate president. your reaction to that? >> well, look, donald trump won this election fair and square. 30 out of 50 states, including georgia, more counties than any republican candidate since ronald reagan, and to hear john lewis, a man that i served with, that i respect, to question the legitimacy of the election and to say that donald trump will not be a legitimate president was deeply disappointing to me and also to hear that he was not going to today the inauguration this friday. i hope he reconsiders both statements. look, this is a time when we are facing real challenges at home and abroad, and i believe the inauguration ceremony itself and this moment in history would greatly benefit if we set aside these baseless assertions about the legitimacy of the election and we looked for ways to come
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together to work together and the president-elect actually in a tweet late last night invited congressman lewis to work with us to bring more prosperity and better schools, more safety to our cities around the country. >> dickerson: let me ask you about a tweet he sent before that tweet and in which he defended himself, famous counter puncher, donald trump said john lewis was all talk and no action. i have got a question. he has every right to defend himself, let me ask you about the wisdom of defending himself for five years donald trump questioned the legitimacy of barack obama, saying he wasn't born in america, was really the chief advocate of the so-called birther idea. given that history, given that he is about to be president, why swing at this pitch? couldn't he have just let goit by and be the bigger man and let john lewis do his thing, move on, se about to be president of the united states and say all of those chance, bringing the country together, why swing at this pitch? >> well, just as you said, donald trump has every right to defend him receive and to have -- >> dickerson: but he did discount the legitimate city of
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president obama -- >> well to have someone like john lewis who look i served with john, i disagree with him on most issues but i had tremendous respect for him. i actually, my family and i walked across the edmund pettus bridge on the anniversary of bloody sunday, we honor the sacrifice he made, but part of the result of what happened on bloody sunday and the counsel that he showed was the voting rights act and so for someone of his stature not just in the civil rights movement but in voting rights to make a comment that he did not consider donald trump to be a legitimate president, i think is deeply disappointing, look, i attended both of barack obama's inaugurations, one as a congressman and one as a governor, because i believe in, inaugurations are a moment when we should come together around that individual who has been elected to be president of the united states of america. donald trump said it on election night, john, he is determined to
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be president of all of the people of this country and i do hope that, i do hope that john lewis will reconsider his statement but also will reconsider attending the inauguration, will join us so that we can come together to take on the intractable problems that have been facing americans, particularly too many families in our inner cities that are beset by unsafe streets, failing schools and the lack of jobs and opportunities. >> dickerson: one final question, esquire has a report that the trump administration is moving the press out of the white house, is that s that a logistical or punitive move. >> i think no decision has been made on that yet, as you know, having been in this town a lot longer than me, the white house is actually 18 acres, and i think what the team told me is there is such a tremendous amount of interest in this incoming administration that they are giving some consideration to finding a larger venue on the 18 acres than the white house complex to
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accommodate the extraordinary interest. the white house pressroom which you have served in, john, is actually a pretty small room, and i think the interests of the team is to make sure we accommodate the broadest number of people who are interested in media from around the country and around the world, but we are working on that, we are working that way out on a way that reflects our commitment to transparency, to a free and independent press and we look forward to it. >> dickerson: if you get rid of the press briefing room you can make more room for the daily press guys that show up every day. i will pass that around, thank you very much, mr. vice president elect, we really appreciate it and we will be back in one minute with democratic senator joe manchin. stay with us.
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>> dickerson:. >> joining us now from charleston, before, west virginia joe manchin who serves on the intelligence committee, i want to ask you about the
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committee, burr who is chairman of the intelligence committee said quote we don't have anything to do with political campaigns. when asked if the committee was going to investigate this idea of russians trying to affect the election, but then that opinion was changed and the intelligence committee is now going to look into that issue and whether there were any connections with the russians and the trump campaign. so what happened between when he said that and now the decision to actually hold hearings? >> well, senator warn search our ranking member on the committee, i am brand-new on the committee and very proud to be on this committee and i am learning an awful lot. but i think that richard burr, senator burr, my dear friend saw the interest that we all have and basically in the interest of the american people that we want to find out the intent of the russians, to what extent the russians are involved and the american people need to know, our colleagues need to know, we believe and i believe now that the committee that we have, the intelligence committee is the best committee to do it in and we can do, john, quite a bit of
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open meeting there is in that -- in that committee also once we get to the classified status and then we have to go into our closed meeting, so we can do better, i think, and quicker to get people informed, the committee is professionally staffed, they know what they are doing, and i have an awful lot of faith and confidence in them and we are going to get to the bottom of this very quickly and i am glad they changed the direction. i am happy for the statement that both senator burr and senator warner have made now and working together and that is a great committee with people who really care and want to take politics out. it is about the security of our nation, not the politics of our nation. >> dickerson: there is a spectrum of responses to the russian actions, on the one hand, some intelligence officials say this was an unprecedented effort to try to influence the u.s. election. on the other hand incoming chief of staff reince priebus on the trump team said says this is a pattern, the russians have been doing this for 50 years, so just, you know, which seems to suggest this is just not a new
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thing. where do you put yourself on that spectrum? >> well, first of all, those statements are correct, john. the soviets back in the sixties and seventies have been involved. we know they have been involved and they have been trying to be involved in many ways, whether it be advertising their support and trying to change those, who they thought would be harpful to the kremlin. and now with russia taking it to an unprecedented level, we are seeing, and everything has been reported in an unclassified way that they have been involved more direct than any time in the past. so it is very troubling, to find out at what level and to the extent they have gone to and where that has come from. that is what we are going to find out. that's what the american people want to know, and it is what my colleagues should know, so we know basically their true intent and we cannot let them be involved in basically altering our political process. >> dickerson: let me ask you about the incoming trump administration. you have mitt with the president elect and metals with mike
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pence. what is your message to democrats who are nervous about the incoming administration? >> well, i mean, i would approach this as i would anything else. i am very appreciate if the, they have reach out to me and knowing that i am a centrist, a moderate, in the center, if you will, where i think most americans are. that means we have to work together. they are willing to cross over in the aisle and cross over and meet me halfway, i am ds definitely going to cross over and try to heat with them and try to find a pathway forward, that will be my job, with them i would tell all of my colleagues, let's just try to do the work of the people of this great country. let's make sure we know where americans, we are, know we are americans first. the process of elections, the politics is behind us, or it should be. the election is over. donald trump has been elected. he is our incoming president. we should all want, no matter who our president is, to be the best they can be, to be
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successful, because if they do well, our country does extremely well, my state of west virginia does extremely well, so i am going to work and try in the most productive manner to make sure we are moving in the right direction and i will always do that a. >> dickerson: senator, what do you think of congressman john lewis's decision not to attend the inauguration and some other of his colleagues making that same decision? >> >> john, i have not the utmost respect for congressman lewis. he is an icon, if you will, and we all have the most respect for him. i just think that was uncalled for. maybe -- i just wish that rhetoric would tone down. from both back and forth. the bottom line is, if we are concerned about the russians and we know russians want to be involved, putin wants to be involved in altering our process, then he will succeed if he sees this bickering going back and forth. that is that we have to stop. we are bigger than this. and we are going to show them they are not going to change and not going to alter how we work and function as congress, as a
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government, and the united states of america. we are not going to let that happen. so for this type of rhetoric it is nonproductive and i would like, that, i hope that would tone down and we would be better and move on. >> dickerson: senator manchin we will have to leave it there, thank you so much for being us with and we will be back in a moment with former -- newt gingrich. >> this portion of "face the nation" is sponsored by xerox, set the page free. personalized oh and shared across the 7 continents. (other languages spoken) look abbot, i got it. it's a miracle. ♪ of many pieces in my life.
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>> dickerson: we are joined now by form never house speaker and trump transition vice chairman newt gingrich, mr. speaker i want to ask you to help us, you need no help from me on what i would like to ask you is, how, mike pence says donald trump is driving the bus but on russia donald trump has one view and he doesn't talk about rushes as an ad very sarah and confronting but his soechting of state and defense talk about russia as a clear and presented a very sarah and says america needs to confront
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russia. if i am an american citizen or a foreign country, how do uh make sense of those two things? >> well, i think first of all you realize that trump has selected very, very knowledgeable people, it may be, it would be hard to be better than general mattis going no the defense department, i think rex tillerson brings an astonishing level of achievement, negotiating with foreign countries, so you know that when they have counsels to talk about policy he is going to have very sophisticated advice. what you also know is that he is his own person, i mean, this is a guy who has been, he is an entrepreneur, he is not a corporate ceo, he is not a guy who says i want my staff to give me three options, what he wants is various people to give him 30 options and then he is going to pick what he believes in and i suspect he fully specs mattis and tillerson to implement the trump policy. >> dickerson: okay. we are go, we are going to have to leave it there and be back with you. we will take a quick break and be back with former speaker
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>> dickerson: and we are back with former house speaker and trump transition vice chairman newt gingrich, i want to pick up where we left off. you talked about how donald trump is going to sift through all of these opinions from various advisors, what do they think in foreign capital, when they hear two different things or many, if they hear 30 different things how do they make decisions on what they think is trump administration is going to do? >> i think it is going to be like the press corps and american citizen bless go through a period here of adjustment to the fact that we have the first truly entrepreneurial president, we have seen in modern times and i think you have to go back to theodore roosevelt to get the same level of daily energy and drive and confusion and the confusion is caught because he is not staffed, you know, he has people near him who try to understand him, but he, you know, donal donald trump got toe president his way, and he is going to be president his way,
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and the fact is, the rest of the planet is going to have to for better or worse learn how to cope with a president who is very complicated. >> dickerson: in foreign capitals that can mean, though, building a bigger military and mean making alliances, i mean, sometimes -- >> it can be a lot of phone calls for the foreign minister to the tillerson saying what is he doing, that means mattis and tillerson have a large assignment an and so does nikki haley at the united nations, they are the explainers who have to be able to two both ways that is walk in and say, you know, mr. president, what you said yesterday was interpreted the following way, and he will learn from that, it will be a 90-day cycle of real learning. >> dickerson: let me ask you about interpretations in the intelligence community, he, donald trump takes over the intelligence community in five days and he referred to them twice and compared them to the nazis. you need trust in that relationship, if his first reekion is to think the intelligence agencies are trying to do him wrong and compares them to the nazis that does not suggest a relationship of trust and -- >> i don't think there should be
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a good relationship right now, i spent a lot of my career as you know dealing with the intelligence community and i would make two points, one, the very top people who are political appointees i think absolutely betrayed and undermined the intelligence community, i think they acted in ways totally inappropriate. >> dickerson: in this specific context? >> this specific context, and also by the way in benghazi, if you go back and look at how the cia freed to restate the facts in a way that was totally false, this is at the political appointee level corrupted by the obama administration. there is a second point to general education, how do you get a report that apparently john mccain passed in december that says that this one person, a real human being was in prague and a in all of that time, in ten months, 11 months nobody in the intelligence community picked up the phone and said, have you ever been to the czech republic? i mean, think about the level of
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incompetence? >> dickerson: so i guess my question though is how do you work, then, with this -- >> well well i hope what he does say to the new director of national intelligence i expect you to overhaul the entire community. >> dickerson: let me ask you this, you know about big change, you came in after the elections of 1994, what is the biggest obstacle when you have, when you want to do a lot of things very quickly that donald trump faces? >> well, i think they have got to decide what the top three to five things are, stay focused on them every morning as long as they can, until they get them done, as they check them off they add a new one but they can't do more than three to 5, obamacare is clearly going to be decisive, jobs is the center piece of the administration, as he said he has three goals, jobs, jobs, jobs, if he succeeds with that, then he will have met his contract with the american people. >> dickerson: so you said stay focused. >> that is the. >> dickerson: key challenge -- >> the hardest thing for a president to do is remember why he not up in the morning and what they are trying to accomplish. reagan was a genius at it.
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he had three things he was focused on for eight solid years and he changed history. >> dickerson: do you think that is a particular challenge for this president? to focus on -- >> well, no, i think he built his empire by being very good on staying focused. >> dickerson: thank you a for being with us. we will be back in just a moment with a discussion on national intelligence and russian cyber attacks. >> i have asthma... of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo is specifically designed to open up airways
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to improve breathing for a full 24 hours. breo contains a type of medicine that increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. breo is not for people whose asthma is well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled, your doctor will decide if you can stop breo and prescribe a different asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. do not take breo more than prescribed. see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. ask your doctor if 24-hour breo could be a missing piece for you. learn more about better breathing at >> dickerson: we are joined now by the "washington post" david ignatius who has been covering russia's involvement in
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the cyber attacks during the 2016 campaign, david i want to start with the senate intelligence committee, and they have decided to look into the whole question, but in particular also russia connected with the trump campaign. what is the most important question they need to answer? >> well, i think first it is important that vice president -- elect pence welcome that investigation, implicitly committed to support it. i think they need to get to the bottom of the issues that were raised in this unsubstantiated so far as we know, inaccurate dossier that was compiled about contacts between members of the trump campaign and russia during what is now a con firmed russian covert action against our political system. that is job one. i think it is important when we think about the senate investigation to remember that there is also an fbi investigation, that it is my understanding is still open in the, into these same issues. it
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is important that that investigation be allowed to be completed, that there be no intervention, to shut that down and i hope members of the incoming administration will commit to let that investigation run its course, issue findings and then establish basic facts. we get out of fake news and into real facts. >> dickerson: what do you make of the fact that chairman burr at one point was saying he wasn't going to investigate it and now is? >> again, i thought senator manchin said something important this morning, that there has been a change, the republicans who department think this was necessary now do think it is necessary, and that tells the american public there is something here worth looking at. >> dickerson: you have also been writing about michael flynn, the incoming national security advisor and contacts with the russians, mike pence said whatever the contacts may have been they never discussed the question of u.s. sanctions on russia. explain what you take away from that. >> i thought that the vice president elect missed the larger point. it is not a question of whether
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sanctions were discussed, but whether these meetings that were essentially contemporaneous with the announcement of sanctions undercut them. this was a significant response by the u.s. government to what it perceived as a russian attack on our political system. in talking, did talking with the russian ambassador about future contacts between trump and putin and about we now know invitation of a representative of the new administration to a meeting in kazakhstan in january, did that undercut this effort to punish russia for bad behavior? i think that is really the issue. >> dickerson: right. so it doesn't matter what they talked about. it was on one hand american policies saying you have done something bad, on the other conversations are suggesting in the future -- >> even taking their own account of what they talked about, i think there is still an issue, did those subjects, did that discussion undercut the president's policy? we have one president at a time, that is just a fact. and these sanctions were
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significant move by that president and were they undercut? >> dickerson: let me ask you about the cabinet officials who were up for confirmation hearings this week in the senate, what did you make about the disconnect between what donald trump has said on russia and issues of water boarding and what we heard from his to top officials? >> well, president elect said that president trump will be driving the bus in answer to your question. as i look at this and i have covered foreign policy going back to the seventies, i am embarrassed to say, i have seen this movie before, divided administrations with sharply differing viewpoints on policy have occurred often, and they are very difficult for presidents to manage. you know, all of this stuff about being an entrepreneur, you know, you get a divided administration open an issue like russia policy and now see a clear division between people close to trump who want a much more -- with russia and people close to pence who seem to strongly resist that. that is a recipe for real
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turbulence in the early weeks, months of an administration. >> dickerson: and what is the practical result or effect of that turbulence in a way that people can -- >> confusing american policy, certainly among our allies. just one final thing, john. it is possible that this whole effort to hack our political system, to destabilize u.s. politics is backfiring for russia, it is beginning to generate real resistance. you could hear that this the testimony that general mattis gave, that rex tillerson gave, that mike pompeii the cia nominee gave and they were pushing back against russian aggression and i think that is, if you are sitting in the kremlin yo you are probably, ths is going great, this week, you may have begun to think, this isn't going so great. and then their hope who have to be the man at the top has a different view than the people who speak for him? >> well it will be harder for the ump there, assuming trump really thinks, i can be friends
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with vladimir putin and a that is good for the world, it is going to be harder to do that in the environment that this hacking scandal has created. >> dickerson: okay. the david ignatius, thank you so much and we will be right back in a moment with our political panel. >> ,,,,,,,,,, ,,
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o'keefe,. >> dickerson: and now we turn to our politics panel, ruth marcus is a columnist and deputy editorial page editor at the "washington post", ben domenech is the publisher of the federalist id, john heilemann is from bloomberg politics and ed o'keefe covers politics for the "washington post", ed i cut you off last a time we were on the broadcast so starting with you. new president in five days, give us your lay of the landscape. >> well, you know, i think it is important despite what the vice president elect said about 50 states and a landslide to remember, if you look at polling that was out this week, only 37 percent of americans have a favorable opinion of the president-elect, that is at least modern history historic low. usually you see a bounce for someone who wins and he didn't really ever receive one. the other thing, i think that is important in those numbers, 34 percent believe he would be a better leader than president obama, also a pretty poor showing on that regard.
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and the one that i keep coming back to, two to one americans believe he needs to stop tweeting. and i think given what we have seen this weekend, one wonders if we will see that, there are certainly suggestions today from vice president elect that won't happen but i think that really, really eats at the draw of a lot of people who concerned about his becoming president, he is not necessarily trying to be the leader of all but perhaps be a leader of those 30 or, 30 of 50 states a. >> ben, what do you make of the numbers for donald trump as he comes in? >> i think it really says how much more important this inaugural address is going to be compared to perhaps other ones. the tone that trump takes, the tone that he really has when he comes and speaks in front of the american people is going to send a message one way or the other, is it a unifying tone, is it sunday a note of optimism about an ability to work across partisan lines, to be a nontraditional president in the way that benefits the american people? or does he give them an address that is more, i come not to bring peace but the sword, a
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message of really anti-washington, anti-elite sentiment that says to the american people, people who voted for him that he is going to be their champion, and return power back to them away from the washington elite that they so despise. i think that that decision is really going to have a lot of impact in the early days of his presidency, particularly given that he is going to be announcing one of his most controversial decision osn't what is likely to be in the first couple of weeks and that is the supreme court nomination which is likely to put everyone back in their normal trenches when it comes to democrats and republicans. >> i think ben is right, a healing and welcoming tone in the inaugural address is necessary but the it is not sufficient. on election night donald trump said the right thing. he said he wanted to bind the wounds of division. almost everything that he has done since then has been not binding wounds but exposing them and it is not necessarily that he continues to tweet, because i think we know he is going to do that, it is what he tweets.
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it is not necessarily what me will say in the inaugural address because i assume he will rise to the occasion, i certainly hope so, but it is how he behaves afterwards and he needs to start behaving like the healer in chief. >> john -- >> even after the contentiousness of the 2000 election where many people thought that george w. bush was given the presidency by the supreme court, bush entered office with a 61 percent approval rating even with all of that division then so the approval rating matters a lot if he is going to be a successful president and a he needs to reach out and build a broader base, he did not win the popular vote, i think he is 100 percent legitimate as a president but that is a political challenge he faces. he also faces another set of challenges, which is that normally the reason you get a honeymoon as president elect and then as president is that you start with the clean slate, on the questions of russia and this election and now these questions that david was just talking about open the show, and on the question of his business conflicts, these are large scale
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potential scandals or controversies that he brings with him into the office. there are ethics specialists on democrat -- republicans who say he is going to be sued, the moment he takes the oath overs on the basis of the fact he is violating the -- clause of the constitution because he hasn't untangled his business empire, whatever you think of them on the merits, they are huge political challenges for a new president to come in with that much baggage attached to their wagon. >> and there are other baggage, john, that isn't necessarily his doing, but we are reminded of it this week which is the feeling that many people have out there that fbi director james comey unfairly and inappropriately and effectively, whatever his intention was, intervened in the election, now we know we are going to have two continuing investigations plus the potential ethics issues, the look that, the eastern look into russia and th the inspector genl that will look behind the
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scenes, it will take months, possibly a year to look into comb my's behavior, and what that means is we have this very fragile and volatile state in our democracy, a lot of people who don't have, may not question trumps legitimacy but question what has gone on here .. and keep going. >> dickerson: let me ask you this, though, ben, why all of this is going on there will be a lot of -- paul ryan and mitch mcconnell are going to be passing legislation, i mean that is what i wonder is whether some of this is -- well, just give me your sense of that. i mean, there is another actor in the party here too. >> you know, the thing that is interesting about the mood on capitol hill among republicans rights now is there are a couple of different classes. there are people who are very optimistic right now, that they are going to be able to pass through legislation that they have been trying to advance for the past six, eight, ten years, and without success, that they are going to pass that through congress and that donald trump is going to rubber stamp it and not really play a significant
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role in changing it. that is the mood certainly am knowledge a lot of republican leaders. at the same time, there is a camp of pep who i would put in the sort of skeptical camp among the republicans who feel like they are going to be able to work with donald trump on a handful of issues but then also have to balance against him on other accounts, and i think a good example of that is someone like rand paul who has been a out there vocally supporting donald trump's commitment to pass replacement for obamacare, very soon after repeal, but that is the kind of aggressive step that paul and trump can agree on, but he is also preparing, along with a lot of the other libertarian leading members of the congress to balance against donald trump when it comes to all sorts of issues related to civil liberties where they feel like this administration is not going to be as aligned. >> dickerson: and mcdonnell needs 60 votes in the senate and if we have this kind of conflict we have been talking about deposition will pay a price for working with donald trump. >> they will pay a price for working with him and a republicans will pay a price for
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not getting deposition to play along with them. i would, it has been two weeks of the new congress, and say, you know, on the senate side there are some genuine attempts at cooperation underway, i think you saw joe manchin earlier talk about the eagerness to do what he needs to do, if frankly he expects to be reelected, mccaskill among others have to think about it the as democrats, but, you know, i would caution, things up there are pretty hot right now, i think the comments made by john lewis this weekend had as much to do with the presidency as it does with the tinder box nature of the house right now, if you look what has gone honor the radar with the focus on the administration in waiting, you have had attempts to undo an ethics office, stiff peoples put in place on members who may try to act out on the house floor, they have seen ate, seen as retribution against democrats you have a mexican performers who were campaigning in nevada
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with democrats were just as much trying to influence the election on behalf of mexico as the hackers did for russia, and then you have this fight over, you know, art hanging on the walls of the capitol and whether some of this is appropriate. all of these little things add up and at some point if there is no check on this, or if there is no attempt at cooperation you can see some real trouble for republicans stewardship of congress. >> dickerson: john, what do you make of the drive the bus question i was trying to get at which donald trump has a set of views on russia, at torture which seems are at odds with those who are going to be upon his cabinet? >> well, i agree with david on all issues, right, that, not just on some specific things i mean across the board in the sense that donald trump is driving the bus, donald trump is going to drive the bus, he drove the bus in his campaign, se a bus driver. right? but the reality is some rules of physics are not repealed by donald trump being president and those rules go back years in our -- in this city of politics
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which is if you have a secretary of defense and national security advisor who are at war, it is a problem for your foreign policy, if you have a big divisions between the agencies broadly speaking and the white house staff it is a problem. and so especially it is always a problem but it is a particularly potential potentially large problem for a president of the united states who has never run, has no government experience whatsoever, and is dealing with -- the least experienced staff, in this city of any presidency we have ever seen. but i think the real issue here is that with all of these different types of folks in this cabinet representing different viewpoints and having a lot of different backgrounds, we are not going to really know who donald trump is listening to on each of these subjects until a moment of crisis. >> right. >> we learned in the early days of the bush administration, after the interaction with the chinese spy plane incident we learned that george w. bush was listening more to the colonel colonel, colin powell, condoleezza rice school.
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we will find out who he listens to in a moment of crisis. >> or speaks to, because that was some of the astonishing testimony we had this week about conversations that weren't had with the president-elect and his secretary of state nominee about russia or with nominee to head the homeland security about immigration policy. the he is the bus driver, has he spoken to his passengers? has he spoken to -- or the members of his fleet? and newt gingrich used the word entrepreneurial about his leadership style. another word for that that might be less polite might be incoherent, or improvisational. >> or both. >> dismount from the bus metaphorically. >> i want to continue it one more moment because we just want to caution that whether he has talked to the passengers is one thing. who is going to actually be on the bus remains an open question. >> dickerson: right. >> we have seen republicans down whether till tillerson can do the job and if they hold out on him on the coming weeks he may
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not board the bus. there are still republicans that are concerned about him getting the job. >> dickerson: giv give me your sense of obamacare, donald trump raised the bar in the press conference, he said not only will it be repealed and replaced, he said simultaneously, were his words but it will be much better and cost less. really? that is a big -- >> he has promised an enormous number of things to the american people. he is not going to stop apparently now he is actually in charge. this is is one of those moments where you do have a situation where legislative realities come smack into, you know, an agenda that has been very ambitious really from day one. but i think that matt, what is clear about this obamacare incident is that donald trump is going to be demanding certain things of republicans in congress. he wants them to deliver on these promises, and they are going to have to work to find ways to both keep his -- his sort of statements realistic and given what they can do with the level of representation that they have, but also that recognizes the process that has
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to play out, just according to the way that our government works, that this legislation has to be formed and moved through. >> gimp the confusion about what republicans want as a replacement for obamacare, if you were going to do a substantially different healthcare reform law, it cannot be done immediately. it is not possible. if repeal and replace happened close to simultaneously, what it will be replaced with is something that is 85 percent obamacare, rebranded with a few small changes because there is not a full when thing that -- >> two important things for the president-elect to keep in mind. he should think about a previous president, the incumbent president's grandiose promises about if you like your healthcare you can keep it, we are going to cover everybody, nobody is going to be worse off, those are dangerous promises to make. also, announcing you are going to have an immediate replacement when you have a 60 vote threshold in the senate. that is also going to be very vy hard. and doing healthcare reform only with republican votes, because barack obama was doing only with democrat votes if donald trump
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does only with republican votes -- >> dickerson: unfortunately, physically possible is also us w scre limitations ourselves and scre limitations ourselves and we will be back in a moment. >> you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now. i'm not even sure this is real wood. there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more.
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>> dickerson: and now some local news. we hear at face a the nation want to congratulate our senior producer jill jackson and her family on last night's arrival of claire susan. claire, welcome to our "face the nation" family. until next week for "face the nation", i am john
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