Meghan McCain: 'Vilification of Paul Ryan... led to the rise of President Trump'

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, including House Speaker Paul Ryan's surprise decision not to run for re-election in 2018.
15:51 | 04/15/18

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Transcript for Meghan McCain: 'Vilification of Paul Ryan... led to the rise of President Trump'
Anre per tank. I'm ab meet with a person who doesn't know me. Has just been elecesident he United States. By a accounts D from my wangg the campaign, could be vile. Anm about to talk im about allegations that he was involved wprtutes in Moscow tussians tad it and have leverage him. How weird was that briefing? Really ird. It was an almost out of body perience. Saying, you're ING here briefthe incoming president of the united St about prostitutes in Moscow. Kind of had the same experienceitng there interviewing him on Monday. The whole interview airs night. On ABC. About it now on "Roundtable." Joined by Matthew dowd. Meghain, from "The V" fork times white house correspondent ma Haberman. Former New Jersey governor Chris St and former Clinton spokeson Karen finney. A full-scaleredibility war between jameynd the white house. Thesident's fully engaged on this. Think he's only helpio make more of a bestseller out of the bon what it wohave been otherwise. Whics always goingbe the case. I think we should step back from the astounding thing going on. Former fbiector who served both Republicans and democratic presidents has couwith a book and characterized president asically corrupt him a traitor. FBI director Hane. We have funchartere territory into the bermuda triangle we're probably at thin of "Pirates of the caribbean, at world's end." This is astounding. In that clip, Chris Christie, ouldn't swear the allegations from Moscow are not ue. Another surreal G to hear. From a former director. I have to tell you. Swho worked W Jim Comey and then for Jim Comey. A really sad day. Becaus hear Jim sit he interview and say that he considered the polling. When deciding -- He didn't S he considered. He Saide was influenced. Okay, George. When I worked for Jim, if I said to him, 11 days before an election, that I was going Elease information that couldff the election, one of the things that influen me was polling, he wouldave fired me. He would have fired on the spot. It I really disconcertino me, as a guy who wor with him and for nd have defended hi on this air other places over the year to see E inrview and what he's saying.itxactly at they teach you not to do. The it's unfortunate Jim's -- wood guy. A good family man. A good person. Ana very good prosor. He began to believe his own press clippings. And ithest danger public life. And the hubris he shows in the intew is extradinary to and not the guy I worked with or worked for. And it sad. You worked with Hillary Clinton. I see you ING your HD. I see Thi the bear pokingthe bear. When you see the and forth between Jim Comey ane president. I mean, I think -- look. I would take a back. Me all people, I don't want to relitigate 20 I think what important is that came out O Y interview, at least the pces that I have seen, I think hereconfirms a lot of what we already know and havspected T the president and the chaos in the white house. Should be morrp S. I think that is part O the normalizing of this base yof. Behavi D I hope that ake a step back and focus on the fact T there is a very real chance that thresident or in his campaign colluth the ssians. We already know that the Russians interfered in our election. I'm far mocerned with th we lived through that dan the -- those 11 days out, past history. What's present is, there is still anedeat to the country by the ru. The fact tt we're no talking about that, really shocks me. Omey goes into THA W Meghan, he doesnold back. I think the confusing P right now, I think for people lie. On side he'shis boy sct for the FBI. The other side, in the excerpts from the book, he's talkabout the prest's hand size. Alking about crying in the oval oe with president Obama. Pret salacious, gossipy things to be in a book that W used to be about clearing the the truth. It seems more in the veie and fury I'm looking forward to your interview tonight and the hour he'snding withs on "The view." Shameless plug. Why compare the hand size of R Is a good question. He does Goar in the intein parts than some of the book. Maggie, it's clear the white hoe knew they were not going to constrain the president. So they might as well dight into it. I think can set that statement to repeat. They didn't know they were going to constrain the presi ois. Aber of issues. What I heard on Friday, the president was ISS been all over the place because of thael Cohen rai as we discussed. He wasn't in a terrible mood by the time Friday Ed around. By the time we were hearing abwhat Comey had said ou because from their perspective,s not as bad as they thought it woue. I have not the book. Ot sound like there's a ton of new it. Feels like it's newsier More to come. Right and looking fod to it the. But, it's -- 10:00 tonight, by the way. All your ABC stns. That's what we're here for. But -- they feike it could be. And frankly, as irring Comey is to the presid lts like T hand size and so forth. Ty think that helps them, clearly. It does. What doesn't hem though is the fact that they can't actually executesaging strategy because the person you need on board at all times is so unpredictable. He doesn't care. Iw he doesn't care. M ggesting people that work for him care. Efor the peopho work for him would have to be surprised every day and have some form of 24-hour amnesia. To be shocked. That this is the way it goes. That isar thessue here, in terms of Comey and "Fire and fury." To your point Abo the comparison. These are books that don't offer a whole lot of infoion. Reaffirm what we have seen. And there's moroof of. I don't know that that changes any minds. I T tcinating. I think Jim Y like all of us is a flawed individual. He's done wonderful things for the try.he's made mistakes. H wtes that. Ihi hprobably humble out that. Fascinating thing about this book, the "Fire and fury" book, and S add the see dossier. Every part of this has been attacked, attacked, attacked. Almostry part of each of those has been confirmed as edible and true. There's nothing T been fund mentally confirmed inhe "Fire and fury" book that is no confird. 90% of everything -- I got him to admit on "The vihe reported things were supposed to be off the record because sody lied. That N't mean it was true. He said the president had an affair and then ha acknowledge He didn't say that in the book. As we're talkinout things about the president that are disturbing, consistently being reaffirmed. We have all reached a new -- I think thoor and ceing of what is outrageous has shifted a couple years.myn is, and is relatesto something ewe may or may T alk about. And that is 20 forget about the president. What are the repca to stop this man from destroying ouuni mean, one thinagwith Mr. Mey on is 'S turned R government and C into a criminal enterprise. He the budget like a slush fund. I think the thing we sh be focused ois morning is everyone's con, tfabout our justice system and making sure Bob Mueller is permitted to do what he needs to. Ure the juice department has credibility. We have -- the inspr general's report me out thiweek from obamaappointed inspector general that Andrew Mccabe leaked and lied to investigators. Leaked about hill actual Whatever. I mean,listen, we're not opposed to care about politics we're procutors. I'm with you. He did. Jim Comey did about tic. It's so depressing to me as someone who spent seven year the justdepartment trying to make sure that the just department worked the right what he's proving the president may have had theright to fire him. Maybe he didn't do it in the right way. Manot at the regime. The bottom line from the parts terview th I have seen is that Jim Comey's acknowledgment theto account Poli in making investivsions. The president has acknowledged that those reason first put out for the firing of jacoe note real reasons. That'shy I say, maybe not R the right reasons, may not the right time. In thendlet's lookwhat happens here. Ths a rule and tustice department knows it. 60 days before an election, youdohing aboutomebody who on the ball this guy did it 11 days before and he's the leader. Where wae ttorney general? It's like Sally Yates is in the ess protection Pam. If there's this awful confidential information about Loretta lynch Jim Comey, lifts his skirt up and says, there's something there. Where was Sally Yates to make the announments? Whwas Jim Comey saying awful things about Hillary Clinton when he wouldn't have the guts to charge R? I think the governor surfaces a big issue. We're that the point in time -- and think T president has added to it -- th nobody trusts any part of the governments any integrity. And the president survives and thrive avironment ere you say, you call me a liar, everybody is a liar. You say I have no integrity. Nobody hntegrity. We might as well accomplihawe want. To Maggie. With the possible exception at least for now Robert Mueller. Cleay the present all we long is seething about this. And has not ruled out getting rid of him. I don't Thie's ruled out thing. Most of the pe close to him do not believe he'll fire Mueller. He did T that stovonce before, right? With Comey. It obviously didn't turn out ll. E responded to one of your reports this week sa, if I wanted to fire him in December, I have. Ts lovely. We reported he was worked up about Comey ovpecific news report. Turned out to be erroneous. Sorry, Mueller. He was worked up about Mueller N erroneounews report that his records were seized from Deutsch bank. They were able to walk him back from it. This has beethread repeatedly over many days. He tks about, this should be shut down. He doesn't think Mueller has integrity. He doe think the special counsel should have ever been appointed. He's more focusedn his conversations people on rod Rosenstein. If you saw action, think would be th but I think even there, I have been told repeated they don't confusing line. There are big problems with that. You now do ne br the number three. If rod Rosenstein were to be fired. Thoesn't solve any pems. If that's what the president is is doing it for. Wh going to be in charge? Noel Francisco? The cineral. I can tell you. Noel Francisco. Alwyer. To be solicitor general, you have a speciskill set. Nning a ruia collusion inveation is probe not one of them. And I Thi pabt of what people are trying tol him -- And WOU be accepted? Right. Let's B practical. If you want to make changes, ke changesfter the terms. Right now, there's no way this es any proems for th present. And it just makes, as Matthew said before, the whole stion em worse. For me as a Democrat, I think it'se to shift the focus awayhere the president. B. Hecontinue to be the bad actor. He'll continue to tweet. If hies to fire muelle the ad you showed earlier, is that the red line for repus ess to say enough is enough. We had to have violence in the street charlottesville get them to take him that are be part of Paul an's legacy, by the way, as H departs, which is he norlized a lot of this behavior. Do youhi Republicans would holdhe line on Mueller S fired? I think it would be a constitutional crisis if he fireeller. You'king about people like Paul Ryan. The vilification O Ryan fainates me. It happened for such a long period of time. He was someone who was going T row grandmothers over the F in the election. Th2012 electn, people id he would take away birth control. Whenou vilify a man like Paul Ryan, you can't deny it led to the rise of president trump. A lot of repub voters looked at this and said, if this nice, Wisconsin, jac Kemp conservative is the enemy, and he'sawful, then we'll send in a history. I have some familiarity with him. It's ba ING thing. He was a compassionate covahen george was prest. The tea par sed taking office. Shifted to the tea party. When he didn't think candidate trump would win, he shd from him. Presidenump wins. He enables him. Paul Ryan, in my view, has been ve Donald tmp has notorrupted Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan has bveor who he is. He is a mpany guy. He does whatever power wants. Maggie, they were never that close.alough they ainly worked together --nother understatent. Euphemism this morning. They worked together ie tax bi now we see Paul Ryan one of the house Republicans not run for re-eion. What role is president ay It's great question. It's not C what the answ is. The number of Republicans who him campaignior them is small. Only the deepest red dists. Only in the deepest red stricts. He considers this his free time. He L rallies. Loves going out and campaigning.sn't, as wve seen, Iler what says at any these events to what iaking place in front of him. Unless he sticks to the prompter, which he doesn't like. This will set up a conflict less between the president and the candidates are between the prident's staff and advisers and the people running midterm races. Because they have probe terms of what he can do for them. To react to what Matt just id. I think I was in the room when the relationship between Paul Ryan Donald Trump wa defined. It was the "ACC hoywnd. Wh- Donald tmp was supposed to go to Wisconsin. To do a rally. And pan affirmativ called on that Saturday and disinvited him. A put that out. And put that out. On top of it. I'reacting to what Matthew said. I think that des relaonship. Defines a lot of the politics of that time. And how they were conducting it. You had people blowing up my phat that time, runnaway from Donald Trump. These are the very same people who, literally, fiveeeks later, were embracing him and trying to get into the cabinet. He doesn't forget that stuff. I'm sure he doesn't. The republiparty of Paul Ryan or trump? That's tstght now. There's no choice. It's the Republican party of donaldmp which is why Paul Ryan is av That'l E time for. Great dision.

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

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