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tv   Nothing Problematic in Nunes Conducting Russia Probe Says Spicer  CSPAN  March 29, 2017 7:44pm-7:59pm EDT

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military environment toward being comfortable with this idea of merging man and machine. >> she is known for writings on war, weapons, security and government secrets. and we'll discuss her four ecent books. join our live three-hour conversation with her, with your calls, emails, tweets and facebook questions live sunday at noon eastern on book tv's in depth on c-span2. >> now, part of the white house briefing. picking up where press secretary sean spicer answers a question about the house investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 election. and the conduct of representative devon nunes who chairs the panel. mr. spicer: he's conducting the investigation.
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he was appointed and confirmed by his colleagues in the house and the speaker. he's the chairman. he's conducting an investigation and it is up to the house of representatives and the speaker and the members of the house republican conference to determine. but there's nothing that i see that is problem at knick him conducting an investigation that we asked both the house and senate intelligence committees. reporter: -- [inaudible] -- to include democrats and republicans, talking about what looks like impropriety in the handling of this so far. particularly as there's not a hearing right now. mr. spicer: i think you're right that there may appear to be certain things. but i don't think there's any actual proof or sustaining allegation about anything that's done. again, i mentioned this yesterday. if you look at what chairman nunes has done, he has met with people who are cleared to discuss classified information
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regarding a very view that he is conducting -- a review that he's conducting. that's how it's supposed to work. i understand that when things are leaked out in the media, that somehow that is a standard that's acceptable. but when two people who are cleared to discuss classified information or three or however many discuss classified information, somehow that's wrong. because it's not being leaked. he's conducting a review, which we have supported on both sides of the chambers, and i think that they should do this. but i think to start to prejudge where this thing is going, we have been as support -- been supportive of it, as you know. let's threat process bear itself out and see what happens. i will tell that you i've seen reports in the media that the n.s.a. has documents that they are supposedly trying to get to the house intelligence committee and that have been requested. we think that's a great thing. if that's in fact what's happening. but i think part of this all gets back to that there's a process. and i get that sometimes it's
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trust ray rate -- frustrating to us. i believe that we want this over as much as i think some of you. but we recognize that there's a process that has to take place. that process is taking place. the chairman and the house intelligence and i know that senator burr and senator warner are talking about the process that they're going to go on in the senate side. some of these things take time. to the extent that they are gathering the appropriate documents and looking at those things, then that's part of the process and the review that's being undertaken and we're fine with that. reporter: tax reform and infrastructure. report saying -- [inaudible] -- a.c.a., obamacare, going into trumpcare at that time, tax reform is a -- [inaudible] -- some of the reasons why it did not come in the budget with eliminating the debt. due have cost estimates -- do you have cost estimates as it relates to tax reform and infrastructure -- [inaudible] mr. spicer: no. because i think you need to have plans laid out first. i think part of this is that we're in the beginning phases f both of those.
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to have a score on either one of them or a cost, when we don't have those formalized yet, and i think we're in the beginning phases of having those discussions with both stakeholders, members of congress on both sides, and obviously internally, the formulation of those plans is continuing. until that happens, i don't see it having a formal cost or score. reporter: [inaudible] mr. spicer: it's not a question of trust. remember, i want to be clear about what i said before. i think when it comes to cost estimates, and budget issues, which is what c.b.o. is charged to do, they are the congressional budget office. while i think sometimes they're a little off on that, that is what they're charged with doing. i think there's a score. where i think is not a question of trust, it's a question of accuracy. i think the issue that we previously brought up was when they had scored people in coverage which isn't necessarily they're wheelhouse. they've been way off. i don't think it's a question of us trusting or not.
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it's literally a question of saying, they believe that 26 million people would be on obamacare. 10.4 and falling. that's not a question of whether we trust them or not. it's a question of -- those are the facts. and those facts bear out that they were off by more than 50%. when it came to counting people. i just want to be clear. it's not a question of whether we trust them. i would ask whether that's really what they're supposed to be doing. major. reporter: a couple things we talked about on monday. monday you said to us from the podium, you would look into how chairman nunes was cleared here. and with whom he met. can you give us -- we tried to ask you that yesterday as you walked out doubt have any information to live up to the commitment you made here on monday to provide any more details about how that happened, in a process that you told us -- s above board and totally appropriate? mr. spicer: i don't have anything for you at this time. reporter: have you asked into it? mr. spicer: i've asked preliminary questions.
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i have not gotten answers yes yet. i don't have anything further on that. i would argue, it's interesting, and i brought up this the other day, that there seems to be this fascination with the process. how did he get here, what door did he enter, as opposed to, what's the substance of what we're finding? not from you. i'm not trying to be. but so many times i get these cause that we have an un-- calls that we have an unnamed intel source that says this occurred. do you admit it or deny it? we have this argument over substance. in this case, the fascination is with what door did he come in. as opposed to what i think it should be and it's not, when it's the shoe's on the other foot. what's the substance? just yesterday, just to be clear, we started this day with "the washington post" falsely posting a story saying the white house blocked sally yates. by the end of the day, it's officials blocked sali -- sally yates. they were wrong. i think what we're trying to do is argue there should be a process. the chairman of the house
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intelligence committee and others are going through a review. we support that review. and so as much as i understand that everyone wants to just to -- jump to how did everyone get in, what did they do, they're undergoing an investigation. reporter: i have a question about that. i'm asking you about something you told us -- mr. spicer: i said i'd look into it. i'll look into it. reporter: you'll live up to that obligation? spice spiles the obligation -- mr. spicer: the obligation is i said i would look into it and i'll continue to do that. reporter: you said yesterday about yates, show what you know. one of the reasons there's a question about chairman nunes is he hasn't told his own committee member what is 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 -- might shed light on that is what he learned. we're trying to figure that out as well. mr. spicer: i think those are questions for him. i think that there's a slippery slope that we're talking about here.
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if we start looking into certain things. the accusation, the next day, is going to be, you looked into this, can you look into, that why did you ask this person or not. a couple weeks ago when we -- there were stories about whether or not we called certain people and we didn't -- we're damned if we do and we're don't on this stuff. on the one hand, you want certain answers. on the other hand you want to talk about us being involved. we've tried to keep -- we asked for an investigation. at the same time we've tried to make sure that we allow that review to go on. that both the house and the senate intelligence -- so we can't cherry pick every time that you decide that a piece of advantage to rel what you want. i think that we know that they are undertaking a review -- hold on. reporter: -- members of the very committee themselves say they don't know -- mr. spicer: fair enough. reporter: how is the process going forward? how is that a workable process? mr. spicer: the answer to that question is, that's a question for chairman nunes. i don't have any authority over how the house intelligence committee conducts itself. that's a question --
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reporter: do you have authority about whether he gets into this building and can get information? mr. spicer: how he conducts himself with his members, how he shares things are issues for him and the committee and the house of representatives, not for us. that's it. plain and simple. reporter: we know members of the house freedom caucus are up on the hill trying to see if they can come to some sort of an agreement to find a way forward on health care. how real does the white house think this possibility of resurrecting health care is? mr. spicer: i think the president, from the early days of his campaign, talked about repealing and replacing. it's a commitment that he made. i think he'd like to get it done. but he also understands, and i don't want to be -- i want to be completely consistent with two things. one is he understands that in order to get to 216, we have to make sure that it does what he said it was going to do. it achieves those goals of lowering costs and creating more options. so we're not going to create a
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deal for the sake of creating a deal that ends up being not in the best interest of the american people. you've got to know when to walk away from the deal that is going to end up bad. he wants to have a good deal. the deal that he's looking for is willing to have members come and talk to him. and engage with, on this whole area, and figure out what it would take, what their ideas are to get there, to grow that vote. if they can do that and get to an area with we have the majority of the house and move it to the senate, we'll engage in that. we've seen members of both sides of the aisle engage with the white house on ways that are potentially ways to get there. it's a conversation. we're not trying to jam that down anyone's throat right now. it's an ongoing discussion. reporter: does the white house share the frustration of many republicans on capitol hill to in the sentiments that the house freedom caucus, quote, botched this? mr. spicer: i think the president's comments on this speak for themselves. reporter: i just have one more.
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the president, members of the white house have suggested that maybe we can get some democrats on board, health care reform. the fact that no democrat, not one democrat, supported the last attempt, and given the desires of the freedom caucus versus what the democrats were doing, is it a reasonable -- is it reasonable to think that even one democrat would come on board this? mr. spicer: no. it is not unreasonable -- reporter: i said is it reasonable? mr. spicer: i think it depends on how they want to get there. there's a balancing act. it's not about just picking up one. it's picking up enough to get to 216. it's what does that take without compromising the principles that we want to achieve. so is it possible? sure. that there's a handful or so or maybe more democrats that are willing to engage. it's worth a conversation. reporter: is there this a boehner tactic to say, if you're not going to work with us, we're going to go to the democrats?
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mr. spicer: no. it's a math tactic. it's how do you get to 216 in this case. and it's engage with whoever will get you to that number. as i mentioned yesterday, over the course of 17 months, obamacare failed and started multiple times. it went off on multiit will different -- multiple different tracts until finally came back and ultimately on scott brown's election they jammed it through and did it real quick to make sure that the secretary of human services -- but i get. it we're 20 days, 21 days into this process. 22 probably today. we'll see. but i think the idea that the president has put out there is that if people want to float ideas and suggestions on how we can grow this vote and get to a majority, he'll entertain them. reporter: i have sort a lightning round about opioids. is a commission being created, is chris christie the head of that commission? he was sort of talking about it but i haven't seen anything on it. was there will a timeline that that commission will have in
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terms of presenting findings? what's the goal of this? mr. spicer: i think it's easier to start with the goal. if you see the round table and i know the pool will have a readout of this afterwards. the goal is to figure out, i think governor christie's been a leader of this new jersey, it's an issue that plagues countless communities more and ore. whether it's new hampshire or other places in the midwest, it's sitting there and figuring out best practices. and how can we get it down and how can we provide the treatment. i think the diarra administrator was noting -- d.e.a. administrator was noting that we've gotten really good at law enforcement. but the question is, how do we focus on the treatment, how do we foye foye -- focus on the prevention? how do we look at things that happened in the past to deter drug addiction from starting in the first place and deter young people in particular from starting with drugs? to how do we help families cope with this? there's a lot. i think today is the first step
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of bringing some of these stakeholders together. like i mentioned on the other thing. i appreciate that everyone wants the answers. i think that there's a reason that you're looking at this as two things. a whole of government and a whole of person. it's looking at how do we look at people to help them get the recovery, stay clean, not start in the first place, help get them into treatment centers, help them get a job afterwards. there's a lot of whole of person. but then there's a whole of government. around that table today, you've got families and parents and individuals who have been personally affected in one way, shape or form. you have governor christie who has dealt with it at a state level. you have pam bondi who has looked at it from a state level. secretary kelly look at it from homeland security. d.e.a. is looking at it from law enforcement. then secretary devos from an education and prevention. it is a big, big issue that is plaguing our country, plaguing our mm

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