Transcript: Sens. Durbin and Kyl

Secondly, the president says, in addition in to health care reform, do something about America's dependence on foreign energy. Let's not only be sensitive to the environment but sensitive to the fact that economic growth demands a sensible, sustainable energy policy.

KYL: George, I...

DURBIN: We can do these things. KYL: ... I did not say health care reform is a job-killer. I said imposing taxes on small business to pay for health care reform is a job-killer. And it is.

And there's something else fundamental about economic recovery. The government doesn't create jobs, except more government jobs.

It was interesting, a bit amusing, to find that some of the jobs created by the stimulus bill were to hire people to apply for more federal grants. That's not the kind of jobs that we want to create.

The private sector creates jobs. And you don't support the private sector creating jobs by imposing more taxes on it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me switch subjects, here, because there's a pretty startling allegation in this morning's New York Times.

The headline is "Cheney is Linked to Concealment of CIA Project."

And both of you gentlemen have served, in the past, on the Intelligence Committee.

According to this article, the Central Intelligence Agency, at the beginning of this decade, for eight years, withheld information on the secret counterterror program at the direct orders of the vice president.

This is according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. They say that Leon Panetta told the intelligence committees that.

Senator Durbin, do you think this has to be investigated?

DURBIN: Absolutely, it does. Let me tell you, we have a system of checks and balances. There's accountability in our Constitution. The executive branch of government cannot create programs like these programs and keep Congress in the dark. There is a requirement for disclosure.

It has to be done in an appropriate way so it doesn't jeopardize our national security, but to have a massive program that is concealed from the leaders in Congress is not only inappropriate; it could be illegal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you want the Intelligence Committee to look into this?

DURBIN: Absolutely.


KYL: I believe they are. And in any event, Leon Panetta, the CIA director, has come forward with information. He said the CIA doesn't mislead the public. And specifically, in response to House Democrat allegations that the CIA had misled, he said that's not true.

So I don't think we should be jumping to any conclusion. Moreover...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he also said, according to this article...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... that Cheney ordered this program to be kept secret?

KYL: The Republican leader on the Intelligence Committee in the House described this certainly not as some kind of massive program but something that was on again, off again...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Never got off the ground, actually?

KYL: ... and actually never got off the ground.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But this allegation of the vice president ordering it to be kept secret -- do you believe that should be investigated?

KYL: Look, the president and the vice president are the two people who have responsibility, ultimately, for the national security of the country. It is not out of the ordinary for the vice president to be involved in an issue like this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But to order it be kept secret?

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