Transcript for Dan Pfeiffer: 'Foolish' to Discount Possibility of Obama Impeachment
Stunningly blunt language from President Obama on torture. And new pressure on the CIA just days before the release of the explosives an investigation into the agency's interrogation practices after 9/11. The president speaking out defending his CIA director is under fire from senators livid over CIA snooping on senate staff. -- she's chief White House correspondent John Karl has the story. Long awaited report by the Senate Intelligence Committee may cast the harshest -- yet on the CIA's post 9/11 interrogation program. Here's how the president summed it up on Friday we tortured some -- We did some things that were contrary to our values President Obama came into office criticizing those policies we must leave these methods where they belong. In the past. But now he's also urging people to understand what the CIA was up against after the September 11 attacks. It's important for us not to. Feel too sanctimonious. In retrospect. About the tough job of those folks at. And the report isn't the only bad news for the intelligence community CIA director John Brennan. Had to make an extraordinary apology this week admitting the CIA spied on computers used by congressional staffers working on the interrogation report. The accusation of CIA spying was first made in March by Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. I have grave concerns. That the CIA's search. May well have violated the separation of powers principles. Back then -- strongly denied the charge nothing could be further from the truth and we we wouldn't do that I think that's that's. That's just beyond the you know the scope of of reason and while some Democrats are now calling on spreading to resign. President Obama is standing by -- I have full confidence in John -- For this week Jonathan Karl ABC news Washington. Thanks to John for that and joining us now a senior White House advisor Dan -- Dan thanks for coming in this when we just saw the president. Says he has full confidence in John Brennan but we also saw. Just a few months ago John Brennan say he didn't know about this hoping that nothing could be further. From the -- so either he wasn't telling the truth or you know what was going on in his own agency doesn't that trouble the president. I think we have to do was look at house director Brennan responded that's when there -- allegations of improper conduct he was the one -- referred it to the inspector general and inspector general came back -- -- report this week. He set -- he's setting up an accountability review board to ensure they have the right steps are taken her to provide accountability -- John Brennan is a man of great integrity and ability. I -- some the president knows very well and presidents -- -- -- senate report is likely to come at this week maybe a little later for the present do anything more order any more actions in the wake of this report. I think -- what this report does -- the president called for to be declassified as much as possible as quickly as possible is. It would he has said as we wanted to -- are doing is happening -- acknowledge it. The most important want to make sure it never happens again which is why in his first week in office he signed executive order banning these. Activities let's move on to immigration present says he's planning to take action now that it's failed. Again in the house protect more these undocumented immigrants living in the United States but back in November he said his hands were tied on this -- take a look. If in fact. I could solve all these problems without. Passing laws in congress. But I would do so. But were also a nation of laws that's part of our tradition. -- you know according people have been briefed by the white Estes could affect up to five million undocumented. Immigrants doesn't reversal like that fuel the arguments of this -- -- the president is overstepping his authority wolf first I think the reports you're seeing are uninformed speculation the president asked completely -- informal the the yes because the president has asked the attorney general and the -- -- -- present -- with recommendations by the end of the summer they have not done that yet so let's wait to see what those -- before make judgments about them. And what the president was referring to is that whatever he does in this space will -- eight. Poor will not be a substitute for conference -- pressure from congress will still need to act but. Because of Paris -- fix immigration system and to pass the supplemental appropriations -- -- -- with a specific crisis on the border. Current presents no choice but to act that the president ends up through providing even if he has made a final decision yet. Providing effectively no deportation for people were five million. -- how do you respond in the arguments of those like John you said this. If President Obama can refuse to enforce an entire class of -- such as the immigration law against millions because he dislikes the policy. Why can't the next president unilaterally lower tax rates by refusing to prosecute anyone who only pays a 20% income tax when congress requires 33% what's the limiting principle here. That the limiting principles the law and the prison specifically asked what he can do under the law now. In 2012. Under you know he took a step to protect. A class of individuals the dreamers young immigrants who came here through no fault of their own. And any that was -- within the confines confines -- now the Republicans last week took a vote to deport all of those people back to countries. The most and don't never remember. And that I think speaks to the the challenge the president has as we need to address the situation with on the border and -- integration systems -- into it he can't but under the confines of the law. And will be in September. Going to be the end of the summer finally on this whole Specter impeachment so much talk about impeachment. The last couple weeks in Washington as you know a lot of Republican -- you personally. The person fueling this you want to keep this debate going to help Democrats rally their base I want to show Nate Silver at 538. I'd get a piece this week where he said Democrats are way more obsessed with the impeachment than Republicans. -- that the more mentioned the congress by Democrats than Republicans. MSNBC -- talked about impeachment five times more than Fox News of course you're raising a lot of money. On this -- well also I wonder how you respond to these findings in the charge that -- Democrats feeling this talk. Well I think -- -- what I said was -- be foolish to discount the possibility that this Republican congress at some point in time. We consider impeachment the speaker said it's not gonna happen the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee told me it's not gonna -- and five days before the government shut down. The speaker said there's no way -- each other -- government down over health care. And lo and behold we did in in the house are presented its. John Boehner may have a gavel that Ted Cruz has the power. And so I don't really think impeachment -- I what I would win -- the house takes an unprecedented step to pursue the present and states. -- and -- for even though he is issuing a ticket Percival a 300 years I think you'd be foolish to discount the possibility. So the talk is gonna keep on -- okay Dan Patrick thanks very much.
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