Transcript: Exclusive Interview With House Speaker John Boehner on NSA Leak, Immigration Reform And More


STEPHANOPOULOS: So what's the fix here?

BOEHNER: I think we need to get to the bottom of what happened. And w-- there's no reason to prescribe some fix until we really know what happened. Were there violations of the law? And-- and-- and work with the administration, and make sure it's fixed--

STEPHANOPOULOS: And-- but have you seen any evidence, or has Chairman Issa produced any evidence that shows this was directed by the White House in any way, shape or form?

BOEHNER: This White House is acting like every other White House that I've seen. Stone wall, stone wall, stone wall. Reluctant to turn over inf-- over information. And as a result-- we've gotta scratch and claw. But we're gonna follow-- we're gonna follow-- the leads. We're gonna follow in the information to where it takes us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What information do you want from them that they haven't provided?

BOEHNER: I wanna know-- this wasn't operated and done by some low-level employees in Cincinnati. So who directed them? And where did this come from?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Carson Cummings says that the evidence he's produced says that it is-- that it ha-- that it was generated in Cincinnati. You don't buy that?

JOHN BOEHNER: No. I'm not buyin' that at all.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You believe it was directed--

BOEHNER: I didn't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: --from the White House?

BOEHNER: I don't know where it was directed from. And it's not-- it's not my job to-- to do that. Our committees are gonna do their job. Under the constitution, we're required to provide oversight in the Executive Branch. We've got an important job to do here, and we're gonna do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're c-- you're-- you're comfortable with the way that Chairman Issa is proceeding? He's faced some criticism for, for example, calling Jay Carney at the White House a paid liar.

BOEHNER: I understand. I think-- it'll be important for the facts-- to speak for themselves. And what our job is to do is to uncover the facts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you look-- at your tenure as-- as House speaker, what do you consider at this point your biggest accomplishment?

BOEHNER: Ensuring that members are all treated fairly-- whether it's in committee or on the floor-- that-- that members have an opportunity to participate. You know, over the course of the 20 years that I served before I was speaker, I saw the process get more closed and more closed and more closed-- almost every year.

Until the point where, you know, in 2000 and-- 2008, 2009, 2010, you know, there were a handful of members who would decide the beginning and the end of the bill-- while most-- all Democrats and Republicans were left out of the process. I just don't think that's healthy for a-- our institution. And what I wanna do is I want-- make sure members can participate.

Because if there-- we have a fair and open process on the floor-- that means chairmen are gonna have to reach out on their committees, which will involve more members. And over time, begin to break down some of the partisan scar tissue that we see in the House.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You got a lot of that scar tissue right now. Nancy Pelosi-- last month said that if you were a woman, you'd be labeled the weakest speaker in history. How do you respond to that?

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