tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC November 11, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> split decision. >> we don't agonize. we organize. >> democrats take back the house. >> there is never any fight that is too big for us to pick. >> promise to take on trump. >> mr. president, ready or not here we come. >> the president touts gains in the senate. >> i thought it was close to a complete victory. >> takes aim at the house. >> being in the majority i'll just blame them, you understand. i'll blame them. >> the stage set for showdowns in washington. democrats vow to check trump. the president warns that means war. will either side prevail? can they work together on anything? what will that mean for you? we talk to two new committee chairs. elijah cummings heads oversight.
jerry nadler will chair the judiciary committee. and -- >> matt whitaker is a respected man. he will do a good job. >> trump's choice to fill in for jeff sessions under fire. >> i think he has a clear conflict of interest. >> will the new attorney general be forced to recuse from the russia investigation? if he stays, can he oversee muell mueller's work? how long will he hold the job? we ask kellyanne conway and insight and analysis from our powerhouse round table. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter this week. good morning and welcome to "this week." the midterms had something for everyone. democrats take back the house with well north of 30 new members. republicans solidify their hold on the senate. two more seats right now. political junkies have a recount in florida to relish.
bringing back 2000 memories of butterfly ballots and hanging chads. >> tuesday night president trump called the midterms a tremendous success. why was he so angry the rest of the week? mocking republicans. >> mia love gave me no love and she lost. too bad. >> attacking reporters. >> that's such a racist question. what a stupid question that is. what a stupid question. >> and warning democrats. >> they can look at us. we can look at them. it will go back and forth it's a war like posture. >> we start with two house democrats who have the power to investigate the president. jerrold nadler and elijah cummings. congressman cummings, let me begin with you. you heard the president there. he said if democrats investigate, it would be a war like posture. are you ready to go to war? >> i'm not going to war with anyone. i'm going to do what the
american people said they wanted us to do through this election, even in trump country they're saying we want transparency. we want honesty and integrity. they want something else. they want accountability with regard to this president. that is exactly what i'm going to do. if i'm blessed to have that opportunity and this is what the constitution requires. we'll do our part. george, i'm not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody's handing out candy on halloween. as a lawyer and officer of the court, i take subpoenas seriously. i plan to -- if i have to use them, they'll be used in a methodical way and it must be in the public interest. we have a lot to do. i'm laser focused on those issues that even president trump
says he wants to work on, such as prescription drug prices, the high price of prescription drugs. making sure we protect people with regard to pre-existing conditions. i must admit, that he just came late in saying that, but if he wants to do that, that's fine. we've got a lot of work to do and voting rights. we've got to deal with things like voting rights. we've got a lot on our plate. don't have time -- i'm not worried about the threats. i want to do what the american people sent us to washington to do. >> you're saying you can investigate and work on policy at the same time. what are your top oversight priorities? >> george, i want to look at some things that affect people on a day-to-day basis such as i said drug prices and health care issues. i also want to look at things like the census. we're having problems with regard to the trump administration wanting to put in
a citizenship question which we know will discourage people from participating in the census. it's very important. that's right around the corner. we have to look at things like voter suppression. we cannot have a country where we have -- where it becomes normal to do everything in folks' power to stop people from voting. there's no reason why in the united states of america people should be standing in line for four to five hours and basically being pushed away from the polls. >> as a democrat over the last couple years, you wrote a lot of letters calling for oversight of the president, talking about the emoluments clause. is that on the table? >> definitely. we definitely want to look
the emolument clause violations. we want to look at things like the fbi building fiasco where the president injected himself in the debate as to where he thinks it should be located, we think to his benefit. we've got to figure out is he acting on behalf of the american people in a lots of his decisions or is he acting on his own behalf? there's something else we have to do. the president has two years left in his term. he spent almost his entire campaign talking about our infrastructure. we have to sit down -- he claims he wants to work with us. we need to sit down and address the issue of infrastructure. we've got bridges and roads that need repaired. we've got to do that. we can do that. >> your colleague adam schiff said he wants to look into the idea of amazon, whether the president tried to retaliate against amazon because jeff bezos owns "the washington post" and whether he interfered in the time warner merger as a way to retaliate against cnn.
is that on the table? >> we may look into that. the president has constantly been messing with our postal service. seems like he wants to privatize that. we have legislation right now, george that will cure that. we just got to put it on the floor. with the democrats in control we can get the postal bill on the floor and save the postal system. those are the kinds of things i want to do. i'm going to look at trump, president trump, but more importantly i'm going to try to work with our republican friends to do things for the american people. they're tired of us not doing things. >> on that question of working with republicans, are you willing to go back to the days where the subpoena power was shared with the minority? >> i'm going to share to a certain degree. i see subpoenas as really a method of last resort. as a lawyer, i know the power of
a subpoena. once you send somebody a subpoena, they've got to get a lawyer. there's a lot there. i'm hoping that we'll have consultation with the republicans where we can agree, but if it comes down to me believing something is in the public interest, i want to do it deliberately. i'm going to do what i think is best. i'll do what the constitution demands we do. i would ask that the president not try to stand in our way of doing our job as members of the congress. >> i want to ask you about that. what are you going to do if the administration and the white house refuse to answer and comply with your subpoenas? >> we will cross that bridge when we get to it. i'm not going to deal with that hypothetical. i'm more optimistic than that. i promise you, we'll deal with that when we get to it. >> nancy pelosi democratic
leader wants to run for speaker. does she have your vote? >> she's got my vote. nancy pelosi has been battle tested. i've watched here -- i've said it many times. she's a phenomenal speaker. now that we have all these women coming into the congress, it would be a damn shame that you didn't replace this fearless leader with a man. it's her time and, again, she's battle tested. i'm looking forward to working with her as my speaker. i'm going to vote for her and encourage my colleagues to vote for her. >> congressman cummings, thank you. >> thank you. >> we're joined by jerrold nadler. let's pick up there. does nancy pelosi have your vote? will she be the next speaker? >> i believe she will be the next speaker. she was wonderful speaker. she's been a great minority leader. she's one of the greatest
legislative crafters of our time. without her leadership, we would not have had the affordable care act. we have would -- we wouldn't have pre-existing conditions. she most certainly has my support. >> several of these new members coming in including your colleague from staten island max rose say they're not going to support nancy pelosi. how serious is that? >> there's a number of people that won't support her. i think she'll have the overwhelming support of the democratic caucus. i think she will be speaker. >> you chair the judiciary committee. the president just appointed matt whitaker. do you believe the appointment was legal? >> i don't think it was. there was no advice and consent. i don't think the attorney general can be appointed without the advice and consent of the senate -- without the consent of the senate. i'll go further. his appointment is part of the attack on the investigation of robert mueller, the special
counsel. it's part of the pattern by the president. it's a pattern of interference by the president, a pattern of obstructing that investigation. that investigation is very important to assure the rule of law and to assure that we know what happened when the russians attempted to subvert our election with the alleged complicity of people in the trump campaign. it's very important that the integrity of our elections be assured. we have to protect that investigation. for the reasons i state and to show that not the president, not anybody, is above the law. >> you say his choice is a pattern of obstruction. when you put all the pieces together over the past year and a half, do you believe the president has obstructed justice? >> i'm not prepared to say that yet. let's say there's a lot of evidence to that effect. it's what we'll be looking at. it's what the judiciary committee should have been having proper investigation about. the republicans in congress didn't want to hold the president accountable. they surrendered their
constitutional responsibility to provide checks and balances. we will not. that's part of what we have to look at. the president will learn he's not above the law. that's what we'll hold accountable. >> matt whitaker said he won't recuse himself from the russian investigation. if he restricts mueller and blocks a subpoena to the president and refuses to release a final report from robert mueller, what recourse do you have? >> we could subpoena the final report. we could subpoena mueller and ask him in front of the committee, what was in your final report? those are things we could do. any such interference would be a pattern of obstruction of justice especially since -- he should recuse himself. he's expressed total hostility to the investigation. he said the investigation shouldn't go forward. someone who said that should not be in charge of deciding on the
investigation. >> if matt whitaker is the acting attorney general when you become chair of the judiciary committee -- >> we will make sure that matt whitaker -- one of the first orders of business will be to invite him or subpoena him to appear before the committee. >> you would be responsible for any potential impeachment hearings. you're facing a lot of cross pressure. you laughed. you have top democrats saying democrats must pursue impeachment. you have others warning that would be overreach if you've went too quickly. how will you balance that? >> it's too early to make that determination. you have to be reluctant to do an impeachment. i criticized the republicans for the clinton impeachment. i thought it was not based. we'll have to see from the mueller investigation and whatever we find, because congress should be active in
their own investigations and our own responsibility to hold the administration accountability and providing checks and balances. we have to look into all kinds of questions. if we find the president has or has not committed impeachable offenses and whether they rise to the gravity which would necessitate putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment process. >> what is your top oversight priority? >> right now our top priority is to protect the mueller investigation, to protect the integrity of the investigation from the white house to stifle it and interfere with it. >> last time on the program you talked about the possibility of investigating justice kavanaugh is that still on the table? >> ets -- it's not a question of investigating justice kavanaugh. we have the responsibility to investigate the process under which the fbi was stifled in its investigation bay the white house.
when the fbi was asked to investigate, it wasn't a complete investigation. a lot of witnesses who volunteered to come forward weren't interviewed and so forth. we have to look into that with a view toward making sure that future fbi investigations are not subject to the same white house interference and can be relied upon. that's the part we have to look at, not with a view toward doing anything to justice kavanaugh. he's there unfortunately. with you with a view to making sure the integrity of the process is there going forward. >> last two weeks we saw two deadly shootings. some of your colleagues were elected based on gun control. that comes under the umbrella of the judiciary committee. what are you going to do? >> we're pursue sensible gun control legislation. that's one of our priorities. i just campaigned in georgia for
lucy mcbeth who won her district in an issue that was -- >> that was newt gingrich's district. >> she was a mother whose son was murdered with a gun six years ago in 2012 over a dispute about loud music. she got involved in gun control -- in the gun control cause. she was involved especially after the parkland shootings and the fact that congress has done nothing about this to protect the american people motivated her to run. she'll be an invaluable member of congress for many reasons, among others, the personal experience she brings to bear. we're getting to the point where we're having mass shootings every week now. it's hardly news. we're told by the nra and others than the problem is mental health. you look at western europe and japan.
they have 50 gun deaths, 125 gun dates, 150 gun dates. we have 133,000 a year. it's a slander on the american people to say our folks are ten times more mentally ill than the people in europe or japan. the problem is the military type weapons, the lack of appropriate background checks. we have to deal with this. >> congressman, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> up next we have the white house response from kellyanne conway and our powerhouse round table. we'll be right back. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos sponsored by fidelity vinvestments. conway and our powerhouse round table. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them. we give you research and data-visualization tools to help identify potential opportunities. so, you can do it this way... or get everything you need to help capture investment ideas and make smarter trading decisions with fidelity
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matt whitaker -- i don't know matt whitaker. he worked for jeff sessions. he was always extremely highly thought of. he still it. i didn't know matt whitaker. i don't know matt whitaker. he has a great reputation. that's what i wanted. in all fairness to matt whitaker, who again i didn't know, other than through reputation, he's a highly respected man.
i didn't know matt whitaker. >> that was the president on friday talking
about matt whitaker. we're joined now by the president's counselor kellyanne conway. welcome back. >> thank you, george. >> we saw what the president said on friday because what the president said earlier this month -- >> i can tell you matt whitaker is a great guy. i know matt whitaker. >> why did the president change his story? >> he's saying he didn't know him -- >> he said i don't know twice. >> he called me from paris saying he's got 100% confidence in matt whitaker. mr. rosenstein has been overseeing the mueller investigation. he's in place at the number two in justice. what the president means is he's not slotting in somebody who's an old friend or somebody he discussed the mueller investigation with. there's no evidence to me that
mr. whitaker knows anything about the ongoing investigation. he's been the chief of staff to the recused attorney general for 13 months. the president wanted to have a continuum and elevate someone who was already there. in this case it was the chief of staff who has been there for 13 months. >> but, you know, there have been reports pre-dating the choice of matt whitaker that he met with the president several times in the oval office. maybe a dozen times. "the new york times" said they had great chemistry. that's one of the things the president liked about him. he clearly knew matt whitaker. he was familiar with his reputation and familiar with his work. we don't understand why he would say i don't know the man. >> when she's say -- he's saying i don't know, he means i don't know him well or i didn't know him before. he said i didn't meet him before except that he was the chief of
staff. i think it's important to show the president is trying to have a continuum. we have been compliant with the mueller investigation. 33 and counting individuals who have been interviewed or asked to produce information. everybody has been compliant. i would point out, according to your own abc poll released this week, you had two data points in there, 42% agree with the way mr. mueller is handling the investigation. 46% disapprove. 41% believe it's justified. 54% call it politically motivated. we've been compliant. it's going to go on. nobody is interfering. >> has the president asked matt whitaker not to interfere with the mueller investigation? >> i'm not aware of that. i doubt he would do that. i don't think a democratic congress or republican congress would allow it. we've been nothing but compliant. in that press conference
wednesday, the president answered 46 questions from 45 reports in that press conference. he said there's no collusion with russia. if this has gone down other areas, this is away from what we were promised in the beginning which is the fact that a successful campaign colluded with russia and it did not. >> one of the thing is everyone is waiting for is will the president answer written questions from mr. mueller. will he do that? >> you have to ask outside counsel about that. i can't blame the president if he doesn't. just because of everything that's happened with this investigation. at the same time he said he would be willing to answer questions. i read a report this week. i'm careful not to ask verification of the report one way or the other. i work in the white house. i'm not the president's outside counsel. that the president may be submitting to questions. i have to repeat it, 1.4 pieces of paper and 33 people have met with mr. mueller in some type of
capacity. we've been nothing but helpful. comments that matt whitaker made as a private citizen doesn't disqualify him from being fair and impartial in overseeing this investigation. >> the president doesn't want him to recuse? >> the president didn't discuss that with me. the president called me from paris and he never said that. i've never heard the president mention matt whitaker and the special counsel in my presence. the justice department does an awful lot more for this country beyond the mueller investigation. >> there's the question of whether or not the appointment of mr. whitaker was legal. you heard jerrold nadler say he doesn't think it is. your husband raised this question. he said that mr. trump's installation of matthew whitaker after forcing the resignation of jeff sessions is unconstitutional and it's illegal and it means that anything mr. whitaker does or tries to do is invalid. at that same press conference on
friday the president was asked about it. >> kellyanne conway's husband -- >> you mean mr. kellyanne conway? >> he wrote that you were unconstitutionally appointing people. >> he's trying to get publicity for himself. why don't you do this, ask kellyanne conway that question. >> here we are. >> here we are. >> a few things. spouses disagree every day. i'm sure you can appreciate that. >> you don't agree with your husband's argument? >> no. it's not relevant. people disagree on the constitution. we have a u.s. circuit court system there to interpret the law and they disagree about the constitution regularly. i think there's something else instructive here. the president's lawyers told him it's constitutional. there's a statute from 1998, the vacancies statute, there's the d.o.j. opinion from
2003 and there's also, as they said, supreme court precedent. more to this point, the journalist asking the president of the united states referred to him as kellyanne's husband. he's referred to as kellyanne conway's husband far more than he is his first name. he's referred to that -- >> the president made that comment -- >> i'm sure the feminists are proud of me. i offer my advice and opinion to the president in private. i don't need to put it on the op-ed -- by the way none of that will be litigated in the paper. >> isn't that hard for you? spouses disagree all the time. that's right. my wife is a comedian. we basically stay in our own lanes. i stay out of comedy. she stays out of politics. isn't that hard for you having your husband write an op-ed like that? >> when the president said mr. kellyanne conway and ask kellyanne conway, the president is never worried about how it affects him. he worries about how it affects me.
i appreciate that from my boss. he's great to the women who work for them. he also is pointing out that -- again, my husband's name is me. i'll keep the rest of the conversation private. i don't think it's nice and i think people questioning publicly aspects of our marriage is very inappropriate. i stay out of other people's lives. on this one i think what people write, rational people disagree about the constitution every single day. i choose because i'm in a position to do so to give my advice and opinion to the president privately. >> we have recounts in florida. governor and senate races, agriculture as well. the president put out a tweet on that yesterday trying to steal two big elections in florida. we're watching closely. does the president have any evidence the democrats are trying to steal the election? the secretary of state says there is none. >> the evidence is that rick scott and ron desantis won. in fact andrew gillum conceded
on the night of the election. >> they're under the threshold for an automatic recount. >> maybe now they are. there's been no recount that has ever turned around a total as large as we have now in either of those races. the agriculture race is enclo encloser. even mark elias has said that margins like this can't be overcome. he also made a very peculiar comment saying we're going to win this. that's not what people should be worried about here. people should be worried about a fair process. >> any evidence this is being stolen? one piece of evidence? >> we have boxes of votes appearing out of nowhere. we have brenda snipes who has been sued successfully by a primary opponent for shenanigans that happened there years ago. she probably shouldn't be in that position. >> she was appointed by a
republican governor. >> new republican governor ron desantis will do something about that. she's somebody who had past practices that have come under criticism by democrats and republicans. i think that rick scott and ron desantis will prevail here. we're looking at that. look at the rules. marco rubio has been clear about this, george. he has said if you look at the rules, we're not still counting votes like they are in arizona. the vote count is over. those provisional ballots had to be in by a certain -- also can i say something about senator bill nelson? the last time he ran, he won by 1.1 million votes. clearly the people of florida don't want him as their senator. he should go
out a little more gracefully. >> thank you kellyanne conway. powerhouse roundtable is up next. we'll be right back. powerhouse roundtable is up next. that's a great question. if you'd stop in a monsoon to help someone change a tire, save a whale that had beached itself...
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great people of florida. >> rick scott is trying to stop all the votes from being counted and he is impeding the voting process. >> i'm replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote. >> always comes down to florida. always taking a long time. recounts now in that state. let's talk about it at our round table with our senior correspondent mary bruce, political correspondent matthew dowd, republican commentate of sara fagen, former new jersey governor chris christie and former mayor of chicago rahm
emanuel. let's start out, matt, talking overall about the midterms, your big take away. >> first of all, this is like 12 days of christmas where as each day goes on it gets better for the democrats. from this vantage point this was a bad day for the republicans. it wasn't a split decision. if you take a look at all the data, the democrats picked up more seats than since watergate. the democrats picked up more governorships since 1982. when you look at that expanse and then put it in the context that the last president with an economy like this, had a 20-point higher job approval rating and their uncup a >> all true, but how rare is it for a president to pick up seats in the hou
in the senate and loss seats in the congress? >> the country is divided geographically and demographically. places that are red become redder and blue become bluer. >> the republicans did do well in the senate. i do agree with matt, it does speak to the polarization of the country. people are sorting themselves geographically. they live by people like them. suburban democrats voted for the house and conservative republicans voted for the senate. if you think about 2020, particularly if republicans hold the two seats, it's hard for democrats to take back the senate in the next election. >> on the governors race, democrats did well across the midwest, but did not get the big prize of ohio and we'll see what happens in florida. >> republicans are at a historic high with 33-50 governorships. there was only one way to go and it was down. when you also -- we talked about this tuesday. when you have open seats,
republicans are defending 26, 12 are open seats. those are hard to win. the fact is that you would love to hold 33 seats. you're not going to. even after this, the majority of the governorships are being held by republicans. >> i think there's a blue wave with a red under tow. both parties have something to crow about. both have something to worry about. for the democrats they had no business winning the house with this type of economy and the gerrymandering that went on. a wave reflects you have a force bigger than structural impediments. >> these are mostly seat that is hillary clinton won. >> they secured. they're securing the majority in the suburban. the governorships are a significant game. the republicans have something to crow about which is they're starting to solidify a position in ohio. when you look at the midwest, that's a flashing yellow light
for us. what's a flashing yellow light for the republican party you're losing bad in the suburbs. democrats if they're smart will block the issues of the republicans and concentrate on health care, infrastructure and education access. >> you saw elijah cummings talking about that. that democratic rise in suburbs fueled by women candidates. >> it's reshaped what the halls of congress are going to look like. more than 100 women coming in, muslim women, native american women. the diversity is tremendous. it changes the way business gets done in washington to a certain extent. women are known for getting more legislation through than men. it will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition. the big problem in washington is grid lock. >> one more point on the midterms. i think democrats should have picked up more seats in the house. when you think about where the
president's numbers where and the environmental factors, democrats didn't do as well as they could have because of a very strong economy. this is something in my view hasn't been talked about as much. democrats should have picked up north of 40 seats. republicans benefited from the fact that the economy is so strong. unemployment is so low. >> wait a second. '82, '94, '06, '10. those were all with bad economy. at 3.7% we had no business taking the house. donald trump was on the ballot in every congressional district and he lost. that is in the face of gerrymandering. i picked the lock in '06 and republicans did it again. >> you can also look at it is this way democrats should have done better given the way people feel about donald trump and republicans should have done better based on the economy.
>> as rahm said, there was much to learn on each side. i have the feeling both sides are taking the wrong lessons from this. >> that's unusual. >> the fundamental reality and the aftermath of this election which we saw in the aftermath of 2016 is that democrats have a short-term problem. that's their ability to appeal to the vast swath of the public. they have to figure out how to fix it. the republicans have a huge long term problem which is their inability to win the national popular vote. they've only done it once in seven presidencies. they lost badly -- it's probably going to be 7 million votes of popular vote loss. every group is becoming more and more of a solid constituency. george, one other thing, the congress,000 for the first time in our country's history looks like america. >> i want to look ahead at 2020. before we get that, i can't waste chris christie being here. >> never waste, geor.
>>he president appointed an acting attorney general. people are talking about you for attorney general. are you interested? has he asked? >> he hasn't asked. we haven't spoken about it. i was in the white house thursday for a previously scheduled meeting on prison reform. we did a lot with that in new jersey. it was very successful. the white house is asking me to help with that on the national level. i didn't see the president or speak to him. listen, i've been through this dance a lot of times before. the fact is a president makes his own decision on these things. i'm thrilled being here with you, george. why would i want to leave? >> what about us? >> i'll reserve on you, rahm. >> he obviously met whitaker under fire. calls for recusal. some saying his appointment isn't even legal. how long can he effectively serve as acting attorney general? >> by the law 210 days. i think he's really there to
land the mueller investigation, to get it done. i think the president wisely didn't want to bring a new person into the mix who was not already in the department. >> tough for anybody to get confirmed. >> yeah, plus i don't think you want to do that to a new attorney general. have them have to take on the responsibility of the mueller investigation. if they have to, they have to. what i think the president is attempting to do is have someone already involved to get the mueller investigation to its completion and to turn the page for a new justice department afterwards. >> the only reason sessions is out is because of what he did with the mueller investigation and the only reason whitaker has been asked to serve is because what he's said on the mueller investigation. i think he has to recuse himself. it's a dangerous point for america. the challenge is going to be for the senate republicans and are they going to find their voice on advise and consent or not. >> mitch mcconnell answered that question. >> mitch mcconnell has answered that question. >> they're not going to be passing any kind of legislation to protect mueller even though
he thinks the investigation should be able to continue unimpeded. he asked him what assurances he's been given to -- >> mark my words, republican senators underneath him are going to feel the heat. >> if there's interference. >> right. >> here's the issue, the assurance is this has been going on for quite sometime. despite some tweeting, the president hasn't interfered or fired bob mueller. when you're this close, it's the conclusion. most people observe this and watch how bob mueller is acts, sending prosecutors back to justice et cetera. he's near the end. i don't believe the president having shown restraint to this point is going to stop now. >> i think chris' point is the right one. this has gone on 18 months. bob mueller has gotten -- >> not that long by special counsel standards. >> okay, but they've indicted three dozen people. they've got eight convictions. hundreds of justice department lawyers and fbi agents have been involved, not to mention all the
witnesses and their lawyers. there's no stopping the train that's going to be the mueller report. matt whitaker can't sit on it. there's a democrat congress now. even if they did try to sit on it, this is coming out. >> i totally agree. we can speculate. when bob mueller submits his report, it's going to drop like a thud in washington. it's going to happen right before the democrats take the house or right after. this idea that somebody is going to be able to control the story, or someone's going to limit what's in there, that's going to drop. it's a huge splash in the pond and everyone is going to have to deal with it. >> we saw cummings and nadler say this isn't the only thing we'll be doing. >> democrats are in a real danger here that they've become too investigative. if they just investigate and don't legislate, that's a problem for them. they're trying to say we have priorities here.
we're going to reign things in and do it in an orderly fashion. even if you listen to the priorities in your interview, they range from looking into the census, to conflicts of interest, to the amazon thing. nancy pelosi is going to have to find a way to reign in all that. >> what should the priorities be? >> here's the thing, you can look into trump, if i was in those oversight committees, i would look out for america. that would be my guiding light. i would haul in all the pharmaceutical executives and talk about pricing. i would deal with the anti-trust elements that congress can do. i would not make trump the focus. i would make it about the agenda as it relates to the american people. >> anything you do on trump is what's going to get the attention. >> that may be. the questions to members of congress are about the investigation of trump. i think there are a lot of questions as to what's going on in the epa and in the interest
of polluters why isn't the epa doing its job there. there's a lot to do with health care costs as it relates to pharmaceuticals. i would look out for america and not just look at trump. >> i agree with rahm. we'll see how smart the democrats are in having this new authority. i guarantee you if they make this about the president, this is what the president is dreaming about. it's what he's wishing for. >> judicious, the moment you break that, you're in trouble. >> they give donald trump the opportunity to look like a martyr he's going to take it. >> there's one thing that hasn't been talked about from the lk election, is the series of progressive policies that were passed on election day in red states. the minimum wage was raised. opposed by republicans in missouri and arkansas it was raised. medicaid was expanded in nebraska, idaho and utah.
gun control passed in washington by a larger margin than anybody else got elected to. felons in florida were given the right to vote. this idea that america is opposed to progressive policies, americans in red states vote for them when they're on the ballot. >> here's the question, do the democrats focus on those things where there might be possibility of legislating for example, infrastructure, if they can find the money? >> if they're smart, they do the investigations, but pass the series of policies and make the senate vote it down. pass the series of policies and make the senate vote them down. >> i think the mayor is right. if democrats want to be smart, they'll focus on their agenda. they'll focus first on infrastructure and health care. it doesn't seem to me -- you look at both your democratic headliners they were talking
investigators first. >> to be fair i was asking questions about investigations. >> you were. 52 times in this congress they have tried to subpoena. of course republicans have kicked those down. they are not going to be able to resist the urge to make this about -- talking about the emoluments clause, we want to have an investigation on that? that tells you everything you need to know. >> they should pass gun control and raising the minimum wage within two weeks. >> you're going to see both. they're going to be plowing ahead on legislative priorities and these investigations. so many came out saying they want to come out and protect pre-existing conditions. i think the democrats will say okay, put your money where your mouth is. on gun control you'll see something quickly come out. >> one of the biggest mistakes the trump administration did is leading with health care. >> yes. >> i was saying -- >> they own it now. >> right. i said lead with the tax cut and go to infrastructure.
>> reminds me of you and president obama. >> we agree again, rahm. >> don't tell my mother. >> i won't. the big mistake for the democrats would be to just do what matt's saying to do. pass a bunch of things all of you will be saying the senate is never going to pass it. force the senate on something that the president is saying he might be willing to consider. >> this is the key point, the democrats should triangulate. they should find everything that mitch mcconnell and the president don't agree on and go right at it. this will force a division in the republican party. it will bring in whatever moderate wings of the republicans are left and bring them over to the democratic side. >> that's a more thaaa discipline to do that? >> that's the more than the $64,000 question. >> that's the $64,000 question. this is where i give speaker pelosi the credit.she waayne in
unbelievably strategically discipline to focus on the core issues that matter. i do think it's important. wherever mitch mcconnell is against something, minimum wage, health care cost, pre-existing conditions and the president is for it, you drive 64,000 miles an hour there and triangulate it. >> who is going to triangulate, the democrats or the president? if you look at donald trump's history with the exception of trade, his positions have been fairly flexible over time and that's -- >> yeah, right. >> flexible? >> we're going to end on that note. >> you disagree with that? >> not at all. >> he's firm in his opinions. it's the principals he's flexible on. >> by the way, rahm worked for a president that had that same ability. >> we're out of time. we have to end there on that remarkable understatement by chris christie. we'll be right back. end there on that remarkable understatement by chris christie.
honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. in the month of october one service member died in afghanistan. ♪ that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. tune in tonight for robin roberts' conversation with michelle obama at 9:00 eastern. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." at 9:00 eastern. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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