'Yes (Biden is) the legitimate president': House GOP Whip Steve Scalise

Jon Karl interviews Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., on "This Week."
10:08 | 02/21/21

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Transcript for 'Yes (Biden is) the legitimate president': House GOP Whip Steve Scalise
response now from the house Republican W.H.I.P. Steve Scalise. Congressman, thank you for joining us. I want to pick up on that question of schools, you've been highly critical of how the administration has handled this, but ultimately, the decisions on when to reopen schools are local decisions, what exactly do you want the administration, the president, to be doing? Jon, good to be with you first of all. The first thing that the president can do is give strong guidance and follow the science, there's so much science out there that says that this is hurting kids, millions of kids in America right now, that are not getting in-classroom learning every day. You can look at CDC guidance, you can look at the America academy of pediatrics. They all lay out safely how to reopen. 40% of children are learning in person. Places where the virus is not as serious. But if you look at what the priorities should be, it should be the children. That's not the case. Right now you can see, as the unions have stepped up and say that they don't want in-classroom learning, you have seen the white house pressure the CDC to reverse guidance that was very clear. But this money idea, that you have to wait until the money comes out, Jon, that's not the case. There's over $60 billion still remaining in previous relief packages, specifically to reopen schools, the money is there. This idea that you have to pass more money, the congressional budget office said the money in this relief package moving through congress that money won't be able to be spent until 2022. So do they really want to pass a bill that's going to delay reopening schools even more? Our kids can't wait, they need to be this the classroom today. The science says they can be in the classroom today. The question is, is the will there for some politicians in Washington who are bowing to the teachers' unions right now? First priority should be the kids. The science can be -- But, congressman, the white house is not mandating that the states do anything on this, they have issued guidance from the CDC, are you suggesting that the president should be effectively ordering local school districts to reopen, what are you saying? I assume you agree. Many times over the years, you've said that education decisions are local. I mean, they aren't mandating one way or the other. The president is leaving it to the localities on this. I had a call just this week with hundreds of parents around the country who are leaders in their local communities at getting schools reopen, this was a wide swath, Republicans, Democrats, independents, parents who care about children and demand that schools reopen. What Jen psaki just said, they want to pass over $100 billion of new money that's not even tied to schools reopening. So the real question is, my colleague from Iowa had a bill that would say, if they get new money it has to be tied to reopening schools. I think that's what parents are demanding all across this country. Yet, they rejected that proposal. The question remains, why do they need billions of new money from the federal government if they won't reopen schools? There's money that's still available across the board without this bill, $2 trillion bill. Let's target the money, but this idea that Washington should be giving out 100-plus billion of new money to schools and not even requiring them to reopen. That's an insult to those children who are demanding they go back to school. Now that bill, which looks they're poised to pass without Republican support, it has overwhelming support across the country. The latest quinnipiac poll, 68% support the bill, 24% oppose. Biden may not have any Republicans in congress on board, but he must according to the polling Republicans in favor of what he's doing. Jon, you don't have to be a good pollster in Washington, would you like the federal government to send you a $3500 check? Yes. Especially if you told them a fact that there's over a trilon dollars of money unspent from previous relief bills that were bipartisan, the money's still sitting in a bank account and we're going to pass $1.9 trillion of additional spending to bail out failed states and raise the minimum wage, what does that have to do with covid? Should be focused on helping families and small businesses. Not bankrupting our children. Congressman, I want to turn to mar-a-lago, you met with Donald Trump this past week. I want to play what Kevin Mccarthy had to say in January about the president and January 6th. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by president trump. Accept his share of responsibility. You heard him say, the facts require immediate action from president trump, we obviously didn't hear it then. When you met with the former president, did you ask him to take him responsibility, did he take responsibility? Well, Jonathan, I was in Florida doing some fund-raising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at mar-a-lago and the president reached out, and we visited. I hadn't seen him since he left the white house. It was good to catch up with him. He was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the white house. Still cares a lot about this country and the direction of our country. But, you know, it was a conversation more about how he's doing now and what he's planning on doing and how his family is doing. But, wait a minute, he hasn't taken responsibility. You heard Kevin Mccarthy, say, do you agree with what Mccarthy said there, that the president must take responsibility, that the facts demand that he take responsibility for what happened on January 6th? Well, first of all, I wrote a Wall Street journal editorial about where I think the responsibility lays for January 6th. There's a lot of blame to go around. But at the end of the day, the people who stormed the capitol on January 6th it was a disgrace. They need to be held accountable. In fact, over 180 haveeen arrested. I know the FBI is working to root out every person who attacked police -- I mean, that's obvious, I'm asking you about Donald Trump's role in this. You heard, again, Kevin Mccarthy, do you agree with what he said, that he bears responsibility for what happened? Again, you can go back -- you can go back and look at the impeachment trial the second impeachment trial, it seems like, all they've done since they walked into office was try to impeach him, when you look at that trial, they ran a clip of pretty much every United States senator who voted to impeach president trump, go and fight like hell -- So you're saying he doesn't bear responsibility as president? Look, Donald Trump has denounced what happened and I think everyone should have been unequivocal in their denouncing what happened. Not only on January 6th but in summer, when they were burning down cities -- So -- They didn't denounce what happened during the summer. Let's be across the board. Anyone who resorts to violce to settle political disputes, there's no place for that in America and it should be disputed unequivocally. And then-president Donald Trump didn't denounce what happened on January 6th on January 6th. But clear this up for me, Joe Biden won the election, he's the legitimate president of the United States, the election was not stolen, correct? Look, Joe Biden is the president. There were a few states that didn't follow their state laws, that's really the dispute that you've seen continue on. If you're Joe Biden, you probably want to keep talking about impeachment and other than the fact that he's killed millions of America energy jobs. They just signed the Paris accord. It's going to kill manufacturing jobs in America. At the end of the day, when you look at where we are in this country, either we're going to address the problems that happen with the election that people are still, millions of people are still concerned about, the constitution says state legislatures set the rules for elections. That didn't happen in a few states. Going forward, Joe Biden is the president. I mean, congressman, I know Joe Biden is the president. He lives at the white house. I asked you, is he the legitimate president of the United States and do you concede this election was not stolen? Once the electors are counted he's the legitimate president. If you're going to ignore that there were states that didn't follow their own state laws that's the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don't want to see happen again. You know, look, you can rehash the election from 2020 all day long, but there are people concerned about what the next election is going to look like, are we finally going to get back to the way the rule of law works, that's the biggest frustration people have. Those states that didn't follow the law, get back to the what the constitution calls out for electing our leaders. Congressman Steve Scalise thank you for joining us on this "This week."

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

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