Kellyanne Conway: Trump 'plans on being a two-term president'

George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway on "This Week."
19:43 | 08/06/17

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Transcript for Kellyanne Conway: Trump 'plans on being a two-term president'
And with that, let's bring in the president's counselor kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne thanks for joining us this morning. Hi, George. I talked about the economy right there. You see another good jobs report Friday. Solid growth through this year. The stock market as the president pointed out at record highs yet the poll showed 61% disapproval for the president. Why are people so unhappy with the president when the economy is doing so well? But the numbers that you talked about are the most important indicators, you see consumer confidence numbers, small business formation confidence and record close of the Dow over 22,000 points. These are the measurements that matter to every day Americans. Even this president when he came in, he made a promise for every new regulation in, he would have two that went out. We're closer to 16 out for every new one in and that regulatory framework has been so critically important to taxpayers, to property owners, to folks working hard and trying to get ahead. I would note too in some of the polling which I scour daily, his approval rating among conservatives and trump voters is down slightly. It needs to go up. They are telling him just enact your program. Don't worry about a congress that isn't supporting legislation to get big ticket items done and don't worry about all the distractions and diversions that others are trying to throw logs in your path are throwing your way. Focus on the agenda. Nobody can deny these economic numbers. The idea that it's not getting huge cover, it's been a great weekend for this president. You see 2.6% growth. It doubled. You see the job creation, 209,000 exceeded expectations. And then you also just yesterday saw a unanimous rebuke of north Korea. The greatest economic sanctions package ever levered against them, cost about $1 billion. Even allies like China, Japan, South Korea all agreeing with the United States that north Korea and its nuclear capabilities must be stopped. The job growth and economic growth has been pretty stead. One of the distractions that "New York Times" story this morning talking about all these Republicans jockeying now to already run in 2020. 75 Republicans expressed widespread uncertainty about whether president trump will run in 2020. Are you convinced he wants to run again and what do you make of the story? Their president says privately and publicly often he'll be there for 7 1/2 more years. So he plans on being a two-term president. I read that article. I want to say a few things. First of all, I think that in the Republican party for many decades we have suffered from what I call staff infection. People who are rewarded for losses, most of the people quoted, most involved have never won a national political campaign. Like the one I was involved in and you were involved in years ago. Number two, they need a full employment act in Republican consultancy. Some are not supporting their party and their party's main point of view on tax reform, health reform, putting ISIS in retreat if not full defeat. I want to make a remark about vice president pence. I worked with him for ten years as a senior adviser and work with him daily in the white house. It is absolutely true that the vice president is gting ready for 2020 for reelection as vice president. No concern he's setting up a shadow campaign? Zero concern. That is complete fiction. Complete fabrication. I know his advisers who had comments attributed to them have pushed back strongly as has the vice president and as am I right now. Vice president pence is a very loyal, very dutiful and incredibly effective and active vice president with this president. He is appe peer to the president. He just came off a tour and will go back to South America to represent the country on his fourth and foreign trip since taking office. Let me make very clear people -- Republican consultants and people trying to play the parlor game, they're not in the I would say trump inner circle because they did not believe in him. They totally missed what was happening in America. The forgotten man and women, many who have never voted in decades came fort and made this new trump coalition in a way that respectfully the last couple of Republican candidates did not. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won one state. Donald Trump won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Iowa. I would say get onboard and start looking at 2020. We'll see what happens in September. General Kelly wrapping up his first week as chief of staff. We have that picture of him addressing the entire white house staff. I guess that's in the old executive office building. What difference has he made so far? It was quite a week with general Kelly. I know there's much commentary about the order and discipline. All of that is true. General Kelly is someone who wants to empower his staff to succeed. He commands respect and shows respect. In sitting in different meetings with him and watching him I have been impressed as to what a great listener, fully engaged ENER general Kelly is and such of president trump's day is filled with facts and figures about this increasingly dangerous world. It helps to have a general in his fifth decade of public service taking that oath of office again for a new position so that he is hand in glove with president. He has been with the president kwoit a bit this week but has been with the rest and his senior staff as well. We're very happy to have him as well because he for the first six months has been a member of this president's cabinet and he knows this hand-picked cabinet of talented, successful men and women are superstars in this administration. Also general Kelly I want to say has been the chief military aide for two different secretaries of defense and very bipartisan fashion. In addition, we should mention, in addition to running the southern command. He's knowledgeable about the hot spots around the world. He is a master at unit cohesion and we feel that coming together in the west wing. We are seeing tweets from the president. He insists he's going to keep up that tradition including where he said our relationship with Russia is at an all time and very dangerous low. You can thank congress, the same people that can't even give us health care. How is congress responsible for relations with Russia being at an all-time low and who is he talking about? That tweet was likely in reference to the sanctions package the president signed because it's a good step forward but he's been critical. Look, if you're Russia, you can't be happy with president trump. We're now exporting coal -- Wait a second. The president signed -- let me stop you right there. The president signed that legislation. There's been widespread pushback from members of congress including Republicans like senator John McCain who say Russia is responsible with its actions in Ukraine, with interfering in our election, Russia is responsible for relations being at an all time low but the president blames congress. No he doesn't blame congress. That's what the tweet said. This president has been very tough on Russia when it comes to dipping into their energy capabilities in the region. We're exporting coal to eastern Europe. Beefing up the military, putting that money and manpower and presidential power behind a better finance military and look at the swift and internationally acclaimed action president trump took in April when Assad was gassing his own people including the babies we saw, taking their last breaths of air. The president very swiftly I think against what Russia wanted done frankly took action in Syria. So you know he met with president Putin for over two hours face to face. If we can work on the big issues with Russia like defeating ISIS and not putting them -- calling them the JV team, then we'll work on the issues. We're happy Russia was one of the 15 members unanimously voted for sanctions yesterday on north Korea. Kellyanne that's different from the message the president is sending in the tweet. You have bipartisan members of congress coming up on this program Thom Tillis and Chris coons who are introducing legislation to protect Robert Mueller saying any decision to fire Mueller should be reviewed by a judge. What does the president think of that legislation? Why are we engaging in hypotheticals. The entire Russia investigation is a hypothetical. It's a total fabrication to execution the unwanted defeat of Hillary Clinton in last year's election. People can't get over that election George. It's co-rosive to our body politic. The president will continue to talk about America and others will continue to talk about Russia. But the special counsel has made very clear as recently as this week that the president and others around him will continue to comply and cooperate and provide information they have. But he also was not made aware of the grand jury proceedings until we all were. These are supposed to be done in secret and that leaked out as so many things do that are harmful to our security interest. Let me just say something else about Russia. The president took on a new tack speaking the other night. He told the people there and around the country that those who are pushing this phony fabricated Russia investigation are cheating you, the voters, out of what you clearly said you want. You want a new and different direction. You don't want the same failed policies. You want free markets, democracy, prosperity at home. He's making good on the promises. Look another the stock market, the growth, the regulatory rollback on things hurting taxpayers and property owners and job creators and look at what he has promised those people. They voted for him and if Bob Mueller will continue the investigation we'll cooperate. But the president is not a target of any investigation. Jim Comey told him that as FBI director three times and he assured that under oath. We'll see whether the special counsel is looking at obstruction. Part of the reason as you know that this story has persisted is because the white house and the president surrogates have told conflicting stories. First no contacts with Russia and it turned out there were at least 18 contacts. The story broke in "The New York Times" says the president was involved in the drafting of don junior's misleading response and the president's attorney came on "Gma" saying the president was not involved. The president didn't sign off on anything. The president wasn't involved in that. The New York Times says he was involved. You're disputing that account from "The New York Times"? Yes. But just this week when "The Washington post" reported with detail that the president was indeed involved in the drafting Sara Sanders conceded it. Let's listen. The president weighed in as any father would based on the limited information that he had. This is all discussion frankly of no consequence. Two very different answers in the space of two weeks kellyanne. The most important thing that press secretary Sara Sanders said which is true is there's no consequence to any of these meetings. The president weighed in as a father. Did not dictate the statement. The president's lawyer said he wasn't involved at all. They didn't tell the truth. George, I know there's this whole thing about everybody wants to -- About telling the truth. Let's talk about -- no. Okay. Well, let's talk about telling the truth. Let's talk about a president looking Americans in the eye who are still suffering eight years later who were lied to. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan and doctor. Benghazi happened because of a video. Go tell the families of those four innocent Americans who were slaughtered in Benghazi that that lie mattered. Hold on a second. No. No. That is a subject. You're talking about creditability that impacts people. I said directly different responses within two weeks. How do you explain that? Can the president and his team get control of that and be open and truthful about the Russia investigation? George, the president has said the entire investigation is fabricated. This is a conclusion in search of evidence. They have come up with nothing. We have been doing this for about a year now and what is this to show for it? What has actually metastasized in a way we can say, wow, there's a smoking gun? I spent a lot of time as a campaign manager on your two programs and others with ABC as well. What one thing did we ever say, do or conspire that had anything to do with Russia? When I needed negative information about Hillary Clinton, I took a moment and listened to Hillary Clinton. I mean, we went to Michigan, not Moscow. We know now what has come up in just the last few weeks is don junior responded to an e-mail saying he was going to get Russia government information on Hillary Clinton. That was revealed in the last several weeks. Right. But what came of that meeting, nothing. Jared Kushner shared with the house and senate committees and all of us in a public statement at the white house that ten days ago that he had texted an aitd and said please get me out of this meeting, it's a waste of time. If you're getting dirt on your political opponent and the secret sauce on how to win the election, you don't ask your aide to pull you out. You say please order lunch. There's nothing -- nonsense. It was a ridiculous meeting. Nothing. People want to offer their services and have meetings all of the time, believe me. I know you know this. But let's look at the consequence. No follow-up. No results. No -- I was never informed of that meeting. I found out about it when the rest of the public did, the president had no knowledge of that meeting. Bottom line kellyanne, does the president commit to not firing Robert Mueller? The president has not even discussed that. The president is not discussing firing Bob Mueller. We are cooperating -- he has not even discussed -- he has not discussed firing Bob Mueller. That's not what I'm asking. Hold on. I'm not the president's lawyer but as his counselor he is not discussing that. You have to listen to Ty Cobb who works in the white house. He has said we will continue to cooperate with Bob Mueller and his investigation. He hired the 16th. We'll continue to cooperate and comply. Anything that gets us steps further to this conclusion of what the president has called a complete false and fabricated lie, a conclusion in search of evidence, anything that brings us closer to that conclusion, we are all for. So far you have got conclusion and no collusion. Anybody who denies that is lying. We were promised watergate, direct evidence of interfering and changing the electoral results. People talk about the 70,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania. And Wisconsin. There's none of that. Nobody talks about that. What about Adam Schiff and mark Werner the two Democrats who are in charge of the intelligence committee. They spend more time on TV than they do sinterviewing witnesses. It's about execution for the Democrats who have no vision. The democratic governor of west Virginia became a Republican because his party is so out of touch with every day Americans. He can't look at the coal miners, working people, those who were lied to by the last president about keeping their doctor and plan, he became a Republican because he believes in free markets and democracy. No one can take away the president's popularity in west Virginia. We'll see what happens with the Mueller investigation. This transgender ban that the president put out a couple weeks ago on July 26th. He said after consultation with my generals and military experts be advised that the united States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military after he sent out that tweet, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says he's going to wait for any official order. Saying he's not going to break faith with the transgender individuals inside his forces right now. General Mattis was apparently blind sided by the tweet from the president as well. I want to know specifically which generals and military experts signed off on that tweet from the president? Well, first of all, the tweet didn't make policy, it announced policy. This had been discussions had with generals and other stakeholders for a long time. The president announced Lu the form he doesn't cut out the middle man. Which -- Hold on. He had talked to generals for a long time. I know that. And other stakeholders. The Pentagon is a big place. If you five 5 or 10 people say we had no idea, that doesn't mean that everybody there who needed to know. I don't know when everybody at the Pentagon found out but the president made clear what his policy is. The next steps are to have policy guidance and to put the order out and to work with the stakeholders. Secretary mat tick and others to implement this new policy. Did the defense secretary, did the other service chiefs sign off on that policy on that tweet before the president sent it out. I can't answer that because I wasn't in the room when they discussed it with him and I certainly aren't on the national security council. Having spoken with the president directly about this and having been involved a little bit in the discussions that the president had consulted for a while with different stakeholders including his generals, what he says, he consults with generals and others about this issue. President Obama took late in the game action. Everybody runs around acting like he had a particular policy for all eight years. He did not. You know that. He took late in the game action and the president is acting early in his administration because he believes in military readiness and unit cohesion. This is what he and others have said. But the policy guidance in the exact order in the final configuration of the law are forthcoming. Kellyanne Conway thanks very much for your time this morning. Thank you, George. Always a pleasure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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