tv Newsmakers Rep. Gerry Connolly CSPAN March 31, 2019 6:00pm-6:40pm EDT
nonpartisan coverage. television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. congressman jerry connolly is our guest. county in the washington metro area. the foreigner of affairs committee and also oversight and government reform on government operations. we have two reporters to cover congress that will be asking you questions. well, congressman, thank you for joining us. you are on the oversight committee. no longer government oversight reform. the committee has just asked
president trump for 10 years of his financial records. what do you expect to see in those records and what are you looking for? >> this is a follow-up to the public hearing that we had with the president's personal attorney. falsifiedent financial records in order to qualify for loans and other types of financing, that he inflated the value of his properties. we saw yesterday a story in the washington post that collaborates that and document it. underestimated- the value of properties. this is a follow-up to that testimony, just how bad was that and were about -- the laws violated? this occurred before he became president. >> this is a president who has
-- he continues to run the trump organization. profit from to draw various elements of the trump organization, golf courses, hotel properties, apartment buildings with his name on it. it is very relevant because he continues to benefit from the enterprise. has documents that appear to corroborate the idea that he did inflate his net worth. what is the next step from there? happens next, after that? post storyashington documents, we have to separate promotional brochures in which added 10 stories to the trump
tower, which is a strange thing to do. it is not 68's toys, it is 58. it is distasteful. practice that is false. it may not violate a law. if you provided formal documents , thatinancial institution can cross the line into bank fraud. we want to know about what happened. what did you do? given that we do not have his tax returns, i do not think we have an alternative but to seek these documents. if we think the law has been violated, hopefully we will refer that to officials in new york state. >> are you pursuing other leads?
>> there was a lot of testimony involving rather obscure figures. he is the chief financial officer for the trump organization. has the key to the lockbox. his testimony will definitely be something. we have had a lot of talk about impeachment in the wake of the mueller report. is notelosi has said now the time, but i wonder if you think that this inquiry that you are conducting might possibly impeachmentcles of >>. -- impeachment. >> we can always speculate. we need to put that discussion aside. we are deeply concerned and have been since before the president was inaugurated.
conflict of interest is not only about financial practices here in the u.s., but about entangling relationships overseas. properties in the philippines for example. donald trump's partner in the philippines is a special envoy to the u.s. said,e what the president he continued to pursue the possibility of building a trump tower in moscow during the campaign. he did not put it on ice like he said he did. could that have influenced how he views vladimir putin? the statements that he made about russia and the rejection that he engaged in in regards to his intelligence committee?
those are very relevant topics. this is a much broader look at the picture and trying to fill in lots of blanks. >> if you find that he violated the clause, is that an impeachable offense? >> yes. it is a different question, if they will pursue impeachment. because it is a matter of the constitution. founders,tten by our in some ways to deal with situations. >> with all of these investigations going on, the other committees that have several investigating the president, public opinion right now is hearing from president
trump, saying that he was declared completely free by the mueller report. are you concerned that there will be some of the public to see it as overreaching and democrats grasping for straws? how do you prevent that? pursuingot want to be these issues and have the public think that this is a fishing expedition. i took an oath when i got elected to defend and protect the u.s. constitution, not to protect the president or my party. have a constitutional obligation to pursue these matters and the gravity that they represent. let's take what we are right now. ofhink the media is guilty defining that my -- this is overage.
summaryd on a four page of what we know is a 300 page plus report. the idea that there is no collusion, what he concluded is that there is no criminal conspiracy to collude actively with the russians. that is not saying that there was no collusion. we know that there was contact involving wikileaks. we know that there was a meeting at the trump tower with russian operatives. we know that there were at least 17 campaign or administration officials with contact with russia and they lied about it. reason heforget the was appointed was because the attorney general at the time did not tell the truth in his
confirmation hearing as attorney general about his own russian contact. therefore, he was required by doj procedures to recuse himself from the russia investigation. i think there is a lot more to learn. this is a four page summary. written up by the attorney general, an appointee of donald trump, somebody who wrote a memo questioning the mueller investigation. partyre are some in your who say it is time to move on. there are members to say that they want to get on with the agenda. there are many people loyal to him in the district that want to get going on health care and the agenda.
how do you balance that? >> have been working on the agenda since we took over a. it is not going to stop. there is a silver lining in this summary. it moves the agenda to the front burner. it moves some of the investigations from a public perspective point of view to the back burner, but still very similar. we can do both and we will. lead into thereat agenda. want to turn your attention to health care. introduced the plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but democrats are very divided over health care. you have 100 members and candidate have signed on to medicare for all, a single-payer
plan. how likely is it that we will see medicare for all past? passed? goals towardsl which we move. --hink medicare for all is it has not been fleshed out. we did not know the implications in terms of the health insurance industry. we do not have clarity to provide the 180 million americans who receive their health coverage through private insurance, largely with their employers. remains anr all aspirational goal for a lot of my colleagues. defendingnd my time and improving the affordable care act.
i spent bucket of political blood defending it. i have not given up on that at all. despite all the attempts to derail it by the trump administration and by my friends on the other cited the aisle, it is working. it has expanded coverage for people through the exchanges. overall, the health care cost curve is coming down. inhave attempted consumers terms of lots of reforms. making it illegal for insurance companies to done i you coverage based on a pre-existing condition. we saw how that issue was in the midterms. that is a very important issue for us. we are very grateful to donald trump this week, deciding to challenge the entire affordable care act. that is a winning argument for
us. can congress intervene in the lawsuit in any way? is there any plan for you to do so? >> i do not know if we have discussed yet, but there is a vehicle for congress to be heard. hopefully, we will be. especially given the fact that trump has directed the department of justice to enter into litigation on the side of repealing the act. resurrectinglicans their attacks on obamacare, that is an issue. there is also a lot of pressure to strengthen and address some of the gaps. with a white that house intent on dismantling it? you have to come up with
bipartisan legislation. how do you find common ground? >> given the fact that we have a republican senate, we need to try to make improvements and additions to the underlying legal framework of the affordable care act. i think there are things that try todone, where we can strive for bipartisan support. there is nothing like the results of an election to clarify. my friends on the other set of the i/o took last november, largely credited to the health care issue. i think it may give them pause. trying to challenge the full law in court. notesurrect that issue was a welcome development on the republican side of the aisle.
look for some opportunities to separate themselves from that activity, the legal challenge. aboutw that they care health care consumer issues. years after nine the affordable care act. the republicans i'm yet to put on the table and alternatives. i think that speaks volumes about how vapid their rhetoric is on the subject. do you need to work across the aisle to find something on the affordable care act that they can agree to? there has been some movement and compromise, but has never gone all the way. >> i do not know if the burden is just on democrats.
good ideas can come from both sides of the aisle if people are willing to put away ideological preconceptions and work together. not related to legislation anymore, but increasingly, across the country, as republican legislatures have seen the benefit of the medicated pension and other states, including state led by republican governors and legislatures, such as my own in virginia. accept they have come to that that is a good thing for their consumers, their voters, their states and budgets. there are things that we can do to further expand the affordable care act, maybe not always legislatively, but programmatically. pack have just come off a that met here in washington. it is clear that republicans are
trying to paint democrats as the party that harbors and -- anti-semites. you yourself have called out the president for making hateful remarks. leaders -- do they need to do more to push back? what should they do? as somebody who has been involved in these issues for 40 staffer andyoung now as a member of the house of foreign affairs committee, it is disgusting to have the president say what he has said, especially coming out of the mouth of a man who, even after hearing white supremacists say get the jews in charlottesville, nonetheless he said there were
good people on both sides. anti-semitismdemn when we actually saw it in action in charlottesville, two years ago. i do not think he is somebody to turn to. the democratic party has always been a strong home for american jews because we share liberal values. changet think that would because a stray individual makes remarks that are anti-semitic in nature or downright stupid. i do not think that somehow changes history. democratic president who recognized the state of israel. we have had a solid, important elation ship. are there different points of view about israel? yes, of course, but within the
jewish community as well. to characterize americans who may be jewish, as to their , in 1960, john kennedy was a catholic. our loyalty was questioned. in a defensivet posture about both kinds of comments. i do not think it will stick at all. i think it is a very cynical move about a very important topic. >> in a way that democrats have been >>. i meant emotionally defensive. i went back to my memories of 1960, when the headlines in time report, and world news
meeting by implication that maybe they could. >> should they go more on offense? what should they do? impassioned speech that was mildly received positively at the conference, stating what i just said, but more eloquently in terms of who we are as democrats. the embrace of american jews as partners in the uprise. that message of inclusivity was an important statement to make. >> i want to move to budget appropriations. your district was hit hard. , there is ad
looming battle that needs to be done. anxious do you feel, looking ahead to all the tasks that need to be done, given the dysfunction that we have seen over the five week shutdown where the president could not agree with congressional leaders about what to do. they ended up having a stalemate. none of that was really resolved. >> it is important to remember recent history. remember, the republicans have shut down the governor over their favorite issues of the year, for a number of years now. they wanted to shut down
government over president obama's consecutive orders, protecting dreamers and other consecutive orders. ordersd no problems with from a republican president. it did not work out for them. nothingtdown produced but damage to the economy, damage to people's lives that could not pay bills and a profound embarrassment worldwide in terms of the united states not being able to fund their own government. it is not something that we will welcome or deliver to this president or to our friends on the others of the aisle. she did not seem to have an issue with the government being shut down. what happens when the markets
are risk and there could be financial implications for the rest of the country? >> we have a republican administration and it is on them to determine how they want to handle that. that there are enough economists in the administration who understand the danger of playing with the national debt. this is a very serious matter. republicans will have to stand up to the plate. >> final question? >> you mentioned the wall. president'sveto the decision. is it inevitable that the president will get his money and start building the wall?
>> having failed to override the veto but having put together a bipartisan coalition in the clearlyd the senate, disapproving of his proposed action on two fronts. we took issue with the underlying logic of the crisis at the border and no, you cannot read treasury unless congress appropriates the funds. veto,led to override the so now the action moves to the courts. we will see what the courts have to say. thatll congress enter into litigation as well? >> have not had that conversation as a caucus, but i am sure individual conversations are being had. >> we want to ask about the
intelligence committee. him to stepcall for down. it is an important committee in congress. to january of this year, devon nunez was equally controversial and had to step aside for the integrity of the russian investigation because of the noncontroversial actions. i think he is an honorable man. he has been prophetic and pointing us towards misdeeds and a serious lapse in judgment. i also believe he is going to be facing some vindication when the full 300 page report is released. manink he is an honorable
and we are not going down the road of having a minority party decided who chairs our committees. >> thank you for your time. >> my pleasure. >> newsmakers continues after conversation with gerry connolly from virginia. we want to start with the general tone and washington this week post the mueller report. how do you see the politics playing out? >> democrats, a big part of their majority comes from democrats from areas that were won by president trump. decision to release the summary and for the attorney general to say that the president was cleared, to not release any new charges against
him it is very freeing for those democrats who are eager to move onto the agenda. question about health care and they want to get started on that. the department of justice has a deadline on this obamacare. months of talking points and opportunities to pursue that legislation that the new members have been so interested in doing. >> that is a good synopsis of democrats. president trump came to the capital this week, against the advice of some of his advisors, taking a victory lap to have lunch with senate republicans. they are clearly feeling relieved and aggrieved. this in the intelligence committee that you
referenced with the congressman. republicans, including the republican leader are attacking the chairman of the intelligence committee, likening him to senator joe mccarthy, saying he lied to the american people. they are using these pages as a way to say that we have been vindicated, the president was right, there was no collusion and you democrats have lied to the american people. for example, on twitter. >> that is the reality of it. adam schiff is not going anywhere. they are not going to let the republicans dictate who will be in charge of their committee. they will use it as fundraising, that omar and other progressives are using the attacks on them to raise money.
>> 20 think of the way that nancy pelosi and the others are handling the freshman progressives that have been getting so much press coverage and speaking on issues? saying they are going to pursue orders for legislation, the big idea of medicaid for all are not going to immediately go to vote. they are going to send it to committee. medicare for all will have its first ever budget hearing in a few weeks. the deal is not something being pursued, but the speaker did agree to create a climate change panel, something that appeases a lot of the progressives that have been asking for this. the majority leader has ways of defusing the tension because there are a lot of aggressive's that want to move quickly on
this. iny are very interested seeing fireworks and republicans put on defense. , thate democratic leaders is the way that democratic leaders are trying to move on. is a member ofly the moderate wing. how are members like mr., 90 -- in connelly approaching this the new environment? >> they have to tread very carefully. they have to be careful that the not powerressives do the entire democratic party with their views. they have to maintain that bounds of allowing the progressives their voice, except when the voice crosses a line.
speaker pelosi drew a line there. that is how they are handling the progressives. they are emboldening them through legislation. you solve this week, the speaker unveiled legislation that was much more in the centrist mode, the green new deal is not going anywhere in the house. aware thatosi is they delivered them the majority. it is important to keep the majority. they have to win swing districts or trump districts. we are almost out of time. as a moderate, he expresses interest in pursuing the oversight committee, even if it leads to an impeachable offense. does that surprise you? >> it surprised me that he was
so pointed that it is an impeachable offense. caution.ert a little but it surprised me. democrats said when michael: that he had proof broken compliance laws, many democrats agreed that was an impeachable offense, but they refrained from saying they would pursue that because they would need the argument over and over again that it was a political decision. they need bipartisan support. they need to believe that there are trump supporters that support them at the risk of dividing the country on this. --re are those in the past but they did not sign onto the
resolution. the resolution that takes it closer to impeachment. there were no more on that. >> thank you very much. questions. >> thank you. >> tonight on q&a, supreme court reporter talks about her latest ofk, the chief, a biography chief justice, john roberts. roberts votesn now, he will determine the law of the land. the liberals want him to come over a little bit, but the conservatives are trying to hold him back, where he always was. meanwhile, you have this chief justice declaring there is no
such thing as an obama judge, a bush judge. he wants to project a bench that is not -- when they all have agendas of sorts. c-span's q and a. afterwards, former details his role in the 2016 presidential campaign in his book, deep state target, how i got caught in the crosshairs. he is interviewed by wall street .ournal justice reporter >> i was trying to leverage my thoughts. was in theit interest of the campaign to meet with vladimir putin.
by the time i joined the, donald trump had been espousing for months the need to work with russia at a geopolitical level, to combat isis. >> mexico and border security were among the topics. here are the comments from chief of staff and senate minority whip concerning the threat to close the border this week. when jeh johnson says it is a crisis, i hope you believe. a lot of networks did. they did not believe us a month ago or two months ago when we said what was happening at the border was a humanitarian crisis. that johnson is admitting that we were right and that the hundred thousand people -- it across the border
crisis. why are we talking about closing the border? to undo what, not is happening, but to say that we need the people to go out and patrol in the desert where we do not have any wall. we told you so. we need border security and we will do the best that we can with what we have. they will not give us additional people and they will not change the law that is acting as a giant magnet. limitations, the president will do everything that he can, if closing the ports of entry mean that, that is what he intends to do. >> the first thing we need to do in this administration, the author of the zero-tolerance policy removing over 2800 toddlers, infants and children
from their parents so that they could be returned. we need to meet the humanitarian needs at the border, instead of building fences by taking money from the department of defense. take a look at the big picture. when the president says he is going to close the border, that is a totally unrealistic post on his part. we need to focus on what is ,appening in central america where people are desperately coming to the united states. cutting off aid to these countries will not help them. >> former vice president joe biden might feel -- made -- theez who wrote about
was on cnn, state of the union program. very unexpectedly and out of nowhere, i feel him put his hand on my shoulder, get up very close to me from behind, lean in, smell my hair and plant a slow case on the top of my head. might not sound like it is a very serious thing. it might sound it was innocent and well-intentioned, but in the context of it, as a person who had no relationship with him afterwards, as a candidate preparing to make my case for why i should be elected the second in command, to have the vice president of the u.s. do that to me so unexpectedly and out of nowhere, it was shocking because you do not expect that kind of intimate behavior.
he did not expect that sort of intimacy from someone so powerful and someone you have no relationship with to touching you, feel you and be so close to you in that way. i did not even know how to react. i was shocked. i felt powerless. i did not know how to process it. >> former vice president joe biden put out a statement that read, "in my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, i have offered support and comfort. did i everot never believe i acted inappropriately. if it is suggested, i will listen respectively. >> daniel neuhauser reports on congress and joins us for a look at the week ahead. let's talk about senate rule changes.