House GOP Leaders News Conference CSPAN March 26, 2019 5:16pm-5:34pm EDT
interest of national security. with respect to potential grand jury testimony, the standard has traditionally been that the presumption of secrecy can be overcome if there is a compelling public interest. in this case, with russia's attack on our democracy, and the potential cooperation with members of the trump campaign having been the subject of the investigation, there is certainly a compelling national interest. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2019]
>> house republican leaders also held their weekly briefing with reporters earlier today. they spoke about the robert mueller report, the u.s. economy, and trade issues. this is 15 minutes. >> thanks, everybody, for being with us here today. we again are focused on the extent to which we can now get back to work doing the business of the american people. we hope that our colleagues on the democratic side of the aisle will do that as well. now that we've seen that there clearly was no collusion. now that we've seen that it really is time for us to get back focused on substance. and we also do want to wish speaker pelosi a happy birthday and hope that she uses this opportunity to get back to doing the work that people sent us here to do. which is to continue the kind of economic growth this president has provided, make sure that we continue to keep the nation safe. and really move on and help
continue the -- getting the nation on the path that it's been on and keeping the progress going. ms. cheney: we want to talk just a little bit this morning. we brought the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, is here joining us to talk about some of the details of what we know now about the mueller report. and with that i would like to turn it over to mr. ratcliffe. rat rat -- mr. ratcliffe: thank you, chairwoman. good morning. for the past few months there has been considerable speculation as to whether special counsel mueller would be issuing further entitlements. some have predicted and even promised that he would be. on sunday, attorney general barr issued a summary of the special counsel's findings, which in a sense proved some of those folks to be correct. because while it may not be a literal one, the special counsel did issue one clear entitlement.
it's an entitlement of those folks who accused the -- indictment of those folks who accused the president of aspiring or colluding are russia, who said that -- with russia. who said that they had evidence of the president's crime when, as we all now know, the special counsel said it could not possibly be true. because he didn't just find insufficient evidence of collusion or conspiracy, he said there was no evidence. not limited by time, not limited by expense, not limited by resources. with the assistance of 19 federal prosecutors and 40 federal f.b.i. agents, the special counsel said there is no evidence of a trump-russia collusion conspiracy, which is a clear indictment of those who say they have evidence of such collusion or conspiracy. so the irony of the special counsel's findings, as reflected in attorney general barr's summary, is that what vladimir
putin could not accomplish on his own through clear efforts to meddle in our election, he still was able to accomplish much success as a result of those ople who peddled a false trump-russia collusion narrative. telling americans they had evidence of it when in fact they did not. they helped putin consume the public discourse for two years, about a false story that they claimed was true and in so doing gave vladimir putin the kind of success he could not possibly have imagined. unfortunately some of those very same folks, some here on capitol hill, instead of accepting bob mueller's findings, want to set them aside now and continue their own investigation. for those folks, protect bob mueller has now become, to hell with bob mueller. fication of bob muler is
becoming the villfication of bob mueller. now the republican position is unified. we need to move on. again, if 19 federal prosecutors , 40 f.b.i. agents, working 18 hours a day for the last two years, couldn't find any crimes to charge donald trump with, house chairman and a few house staffers shouldn't be wasting our time looking for them. i want to be real clear about this. the special counsel looking for how russia meddled in our election was not a witch hunt. but when it comes to investigating donald trump further for crimes, bob mueller didn't charge any crimes. bob mueller says there are no witches. so democratic efforts to continue these investigations would in fact be a political witch hunt for no other reason than for political gain. so, i want to close by anticipating your first question. the full release of the mueller report.
republicans are united in our position that we do want the full release of the report as allowed by law. that's the same position that the attorney general is taking. the law, however, does not allow for the release of classified information. the law does not allow for the release of grand jury testimony. so to be clear, democrats who yesterday and today are calling for a full report to be released immediately, without those considerations, are in fact asking the attorney general of the united states to violate the law. and if he did so, i submit to you they would be the very first ones to accuse him of violating the law. i'd like to now turn it over to whip scalise. mr. scalise: thank you. appreciate the leadership. i'm glad that the mueller investigation is finally over.
and he found what we found a long time ago. there was never any collusion between trump or the trump campaign and russia. in fact, we, again, found that a long time ago there was over 20 million of taxpayer money that was spent -- $20 million of taxpayer money that was spent on this investigation, and it completely vindicates president trump. and let's be clear. when you look at some of the wild and baseless accusations that were made over the last two years by leading democrats here in congress, includinged a a-- adam schiff, chairman schiff, who said there was more than circle evidence, that there is collusion -- circumstantial evidence, that there was collusion today is about -- collusion. today is about accountability to those who made reckless claims. who not only made those claims against the president, but continue. they can't give it up. they continue to want to harass the president and his family. enough is enough. the american people are disgusted with this abuse of
power, with this continued pursuit of attacking the president and his family, regardless of where the facts lead. it's the opposite of what any kind of investigation should be about. there was a clear investigation, a long investigation, a thorough investigation and it found no collusion. as we knew all along. it's time for those folks that are upset with the results of the 2016 election to stop abusing their positions of power, to try to go after the president, and his family, just because they don't like the fact that he won the election. so, as we now move on to the next chapter, there are a lot of other things that we're focused on. we continue to be focused on getting this economy back on track. i'll be leading a group of our whip team over to the white house today to meet with the president about usmca and getting that agreement if place so we can have a better deal with mexico and canada. with our neighbors from the north and south. so that the new nafta, usmca,
can actually deliver even more results for working families in america. that's something we're working hard on. on tuesday i'll be filing a discharge petition. next tuesday. be filing a discharge petition to bring ann wagner's bill, the born alive act, to the house floor for a vote. i encourage every member who supports innocent life to sign that discharge petition. let's be clear about it. right now most -- probably around half the states have no protection for babies who are born alive outside the womb and in fact there are some states like new york, and you heard in virginia where they're trying, to make it legal to murder a baby after it's born alive. that's outrageous. and yet in many states it's still legal. so we have a bill, the born alive act, to protect innocent life. if a baby is born alive, outside of the womb, that baby should have full protection under law.
so we'll be bringing that discharge petition next tuesday to the house floor. now i bring up our republican leader, kevin mccarthy. mr. mccarthy: thank you, steve. i want to thank congressman ratcliffe for being here. for those of who you may not know, mr. ratcliffe was a u.s. attorney. he's the only member of congress that's ever in his work and job has filled out a fisa application. in the process of the work he's done. sunday was a very good day for america. regardless of where you stand politically, it's a moment in time that we have the answer to the question. it was a very clear answer. no collusion. it is a moment in time that america can now move forward. but as we move forward in this new chapter, we should learn from this moment. for those who misled the american public, for those who said for more than two years
that there's circumstantial evidence of collusion, you owe america an apoll jifment -- an apoll jifment they owe -- an apology. they owe this country an apology. to mislead us. to lead us down a path, to withhold our ability to solve problems that were before the american public, and now it's a moment in time for the democrats to turn a page. not to waste their majority. as they have for this time that they've been in. to focus on the issues the american public care most about. from the economy to what whip scalise talked about, a trade provision, that we need to put onto the floor and pass. to our ability to continue to work together. today is nancy pelosi's birthday. i wish the speaker a happy birthday.
the wish i hope she makes today is that she will turn a page. that she will also take a moment within her own conference, because when it comes to the intel committee, those are selected by the speaker and the leader on the republican side. to bring the confidence back to the intel committee. you cannot have a chair of a committee that misled the american public, misled their conference, in a moment that we now have an answer. it is a time to turn the page and let america trust the committee again. with that, i'll take your questions. reporter: do you think the president is owed an apology and if so, from whom? mr. mccarthy: i think he's owed an apology from every individual that stood there and said they had proof. if they said they knew of collusion, if they said, and went on the american public, and misled, that took us down this th, that we spent 22 months,
$25 million, 40 f.b.i. agents, 19 attorneys, went to 13 foreign countries, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, and no collusion, i do believe he's owed an apoll jifment from anyone -- an apology. from anyone that put their politics of disease like before the american public. look, i understand a disagreement with each other when it comes to philosophical positions. but to go so far just because you're upset that somebody else won a presidency, yes. you owe him an apology. reporter: do you want the attorney general to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the d.o.j. and the f.b.i. in their role in the russia investigation? mr. mccarthy: i believe we have an f.b.i. and others, institutions that we always look up to. a few bad apples can destroy a
reputation. you want to make sure i have a great deal of trust in attorney general barr, that will continue forward and make sure to solve any problems that still lie out there. yes, sir. reporter: it appears that attorney general barr will come to congress and testify on his summary. do you believe that the special counsel, robert mueller, also should come to congress and testify on his report? mr. mccarthy: i do believe attorney general barr needs to come here and testify, just like you said he would. i leave that up to mueller if he wants to come. i have no problem with him coming. i think more transparency is great. >> last question. reporter: on a separate justice department issue. they filed a brief last night with the fifth circuit calling for the entire a.c.a. to be struck down. do you think that's a shift in position, -- i think that's a shift in position. do you support the new position? mr. mccarthy: i haven't read through, because it was just last night.
call the office and we'll follow up with you. i think the president has been clear that he wanted to repeal obamacare and put a system in that actually lowers the cost, protects individuals' pre-consisting withins -- conditions, and have a health care system that works, that has a relationship between the patient and the doctor. not with an insurance or with a government. thank you very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> and on primetime tonight, starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span, house debate on the resolution that would have overridden president trump's veto on terminating his border emergency declaration. on c-span2, senate debate on the green new deal. a resolution suggesting policies
to eliminate carbon emissions over 10 years, while protecting jobs, housing and health care and guaranteeing college education for all. and on c-span3, testimony from veterans affairs secretary on president trump's 2020 budget equest for his department. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning -- >> be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at c-span 7:00 eastern on wednesday
morning. join the discussion. >> and wednesday, testimony from secretary of state mike pompeo on president trump's 2020 budget request for the state department. he'll be speaking in front of the house foreign affairs committee live tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. eastern on c-span3. and thursday, president trump holding a campaign rally with voters and supporters in grand rapeds, michigan. speaking live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> sunday night on q&a. supreme court reporter talks about her latest book "the chief: a biography of chief justice john roberts." >> he controls. however john roberts votes now, that anthony kennedy is gone, he's going to determine the law of the land. so, the liberals want him to come over, inch over a little bit, t