Chris Christie: EPA's Pruitt 'should have never been there in the first place'

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, including President Trump's latest cabinet moves and the controversy surrounding EPA Chief Scott Pruitt.
19:03 | 04/01/18

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Transcript for Chris Christie: EPA's Pruitt 'should have never been there in the first place'
Joined by former New Jersey governor Chris Christina on ABC news contributor to. Democratic strategist Donna Brazil Republican strategist Alex Castellanos. Jennifer Jacobs White House reporter for Bloomberg News and Patrick guest for the president. Of the open society foundations for political director for president. A Obama Chris let me begin with you I'm not sure whether or not this actually is a new phase. In the trump presidency but clearly he's guy's got a new group around him people who were much more in tune with what he wants to do. Listen I think this is what's your armor for beginning it was spoken about this the Washington Post story this week about presidential personnel office. -- hearing anything though he was still surf right from beginning by a group of people who through all the transition working out. 358. Inch binders of setting up over 350 people. That were consistent with his views that they got rid of literally threw in the garbage George street is if elections are over. He's been ill served by that were from the beginning when he says I'm starting to get the cabinet I think I want. It's because he's finally being able to get people around him. Were consistent with what he thinks. I'm and our. Personality wise consistent with and he is. He was ill served by folks like Bannon and Dearborn and others around him in the beginning and I think he's finally starting to move no direct. Let the president is operating as if he's on 264. On the Tron top he's gonna. He's operating anything he's he's run and led government likely he branded Trump Organization by himself home alone. Extreme staff turnover George 48% of crimes at a Brookings Institution a senior staff was six cabinet secretaries. There's there's a degree of chaos at this president lights around him. He doesn't seem to want a lot of what I call different viewpoints in the room he's first in the government. I thought I'm talking what they're keeping that's not exactly true. And I think it's what he got bill so as not beginning that he doesn't like different viewpoints in the room. He does and that's been there and Ike and I'm usually the ones given different viewpoints at times over time you give your heart iMac that's Y sillier price but the but the fact of the matter what he did not inside that Miller had I don't smarter. He's the same deal working around chief of staff John Kelly. He does and it turns out that this first year which took home a year of Trump's presidency now we're getting the destructive but you know that's a good thing. Doc when things are going well in the country you want experience in discipline. And continuity that's not why Donald Trump was elected. Things we're not going well he's the rock Americans want to throw through Washington's window he is disrupting experiencing continuity and disciplined by the ways being productive so far. Crisis has been crushed 90% of it gone. An economy that's opening up and deregulation and growing tax cuts a huge taxes. He got through the nobody thought he could so. Here here for disruption I'm for more. Did you ever Jason does cause some confusion inside the white has just couple days after the way to streaks that deal with South Korean trade. President says and there's no I'm not sure I'm gonna bite Biden of course that announcement Syria wants had never and the Nash security staff. You gotta keep in mind how much he wants to be the president who solves North Korea you really have to understand how much he's driven by that and so many of his moves with China. So many of his moves with what South Korea are based on his desire to be the present in the United States. It did what the President Obama couldn't do it and he solved the deep denuclearization. Of North Korea so keep that in mind. But also I'm told that the turnover is going to deep crease after that White House is not expecting a whole lot of more turnover between now in the mid terms. There might be a little bit more cabinet shuffling possibly but he might he's pretty happy with his cabinet right now but I'm told that we. One thing you don't understand about trump is he doesn't see this turn over as chaos as the media keeps describing it. He sees hates the word 20 absolutely but he scenes. His agenda as being slow walked he was very very frustrated with the omnibus spending bill and how he didn't get a lot of his agenda through. He's very frustrated with some of his cabinet members that. There it was. And Keating it in his way of thinking. What he wants to get done very quickly so when he got rid of Rex Tillerson McMaster. Shock and he sees that as his way. The best way forward to speed progress in his address and much can get them with congress to meaning this year. Of course not that's certainly not in do your oven Mitt term election but it's really it's for the interest thinks it to hear how Alex talk about success and governor Chris dissidents is what should've happened in the first place. Governor deep respect you ran a very mature sophisticated transition process that was torn out the window. But at least in the beginning there were some adults that managed to get into the room now assume it's a romper room in the place and when you say that he's got people around him were consistent with his use. I don't know what consistency is there where he changes his mind on gun policy from our an hour on trade policy. Whether or not he's gonna signed up until you pleasure real it's it's it's it's it's it's it's it's a time of chaos and a time where he's surrounded by cabinet officers who have won conflict after and other will come. Willis I'm on the on the issue of chaos I group and outset it that this is the kind of serves the American people want that they knew they were voting for. They didn't think they were voting for somebody who's gonna like stands at the at the head of the ship just keep it nice and steady at Indiana where unemployment is less than 5% you know we're more energy independent than we thing then I'm not really sure they were told to Wear what look at what they've seen what they've seen as they see their tax system that now is significantly decreased taxes. Is increasing jobs you've seen the best employment numbers you've seen in a very long time. But but let's put that aside and go back to your main point. This is a president who's going to leave based upon his got. What he thinks he wants to do. And you can agree or disagree with them but that's who we isn't something's gonna lead in the firing somebody something has to believe that the hearts have been like John Bolton who people think he was never got higher. This is the way this guy makes the senators are relatively question. What it means for the Russian investigation because I'm one of that his lead lawyer John Dowd is now adequate of the reporting we had John Dowd was resisting this in person interview. With Robert Mueller trying to recast some kind of a compromise the president says. He wants it got could be dangerous. That that is very dangerous George look the president has been shopping around for a lawyer Ted Olson said. No. He. He went after another Ole miss the flawed no the president needs a good stable team of legal advisors around this Russian investigation. This investigation is going to uncover more things than. Then the president probably even realize because let let's be very honest company replied on the table. The Russians metal. It had an impact on its when he sixteen election. I'm I'm I'm happy that the president I'm say something nice. It's Easter Obama but I know I don't worry don't worry but that we reputation on the mountain although I'm pleased that he expel those Russian spies and close the consulate in Seattle that's a good move I'm also pleased at this money now on the bus to help state and local government but the president need good legal custody cannot continue to shoot from the. President. It's hard to believe that someone like Donald Trump who has been a disrupt for all his life who has flouted his way to business success. That Robert Moeller not going to dig up something in Trump's complicated financial history. To say look. The president has states did this and it was wrong. And it's hard to believe then that when Republicans lose the house and twenty T may be by forty year fifty seats at house is not going to repeat impeaching. And it's also hard to believe that a US senate this going to be scared to death though may still be in Republican hands is not gonna take a serious look. When it has to deal with this president so get good legal help now because bush. Foreigners come Jennifer at this point there's no one on president terms legal team can match the current roster. Robert Mueller has assembled there right. Also another porno want to make if trump says he wants to meet with smaller. I predict he's going to do it trump is very good at telegraphing what he skated to in the future and then following through with that they can't scenery. And they go she might as I was on what. That I would have been an accident as a former US attorney and somebody would be sitting on your side of the table. I said this altered to suit here before he should never walk into that rumors Robert Mueller. Because in the end one of the things that makes the president who uses is that he salesman. And salesman at times tend to be hyperbolic right and his presence certainly expected to be that that's okay when your on the campaign hustings it's. That's okay when you're working on congress it is not okay. When you're sitting talking to federal agents because you know eighteen USC 2001. Is false statements to federal agents that's a crime that gets a new jail. You made the point the president emphasizing chemistry with the staff picks right now that's certainly seem to be a case that is replacement is nominated. For Davis took over to be his personal physician doctor Wright Jackson. Certainly what caught the president's side his performance in the White House briefing room. Who eats mcdonalds and right chicks most diet cokes and never exercises. Isn't as good shape these cities' school genetics. I don't know it's some people have you know just great genes it you know I told the president that he got a healthy your daughter over the last steps when he years amounted to be 200 years old I don't know. I mean he had he has incredible. He has incredible genes I just assume. Patrick Kennedy knew doctor Jackson I think in the end the Obama locally bonds held in a fine man fine position service. In Iraq but getting a lot of questions raised about the sea of the experience to run the veterans and. Did doctor Jackson really as a fine then that I know many attacked his integrity after that press conference but I'll tell you and as an honest up public servant. But you have to call into question whether this is somebody who has the capacity to take on this second. Largest bureaucracy that exists inside of the federal government. An agency that has been challenged even under. The most competent leadership it seems as if Donald Trump is more interested in rewarding a kind of folksy quietest loyalty. Than in promoting confidence to serve our veterans at this critical juncture. So things were going created to be here right with all the experience people who run it before claims had shot up through the roof veterans whose lives were being. And destroyed all about Michael pause button okay so now shocking comes in accelerates those claims. Cuts and a an appeals go through the roof because these veterans think they've been wrong and I was doing a terrible job. In this thanks to the chariot Alan people respect respect Yardley and for the Spanish closed door before nobody before too long for too long too many people get on television and disparaged the veterans' administration there is remarkable woman that was then there served here actually is unclear and under your millions by the veterans millions of veterans under. Republicans and Democrats of course is difficult to manage that size a bureaucracy there's exceptional dog food and that's it and done there were again. The prospects for dry Becky Jackson in this. Well in the White House thanks and that much more information will come out about doctor Jackson during the nomination process positive. Positive information they they are planning a strategy for making sure people know his accomplishments that he did. Do some managerial work at Walter Reed for example. And it and I'm. DA secretary shall can offered him the job last fall as undersecretary of the VA they think that were these facts will come out and it went well sway people people get to know him better. Whether or not that's true but that is a strategy. Betray every model the game right. We've tried for military guy just recently for military guy we've tried issued a big time corporate executive. Now we tried to David Chilton Y know very well he's a hospital head in New Jersey while I was governor he's a very competent qualified good guy feel bad for this week. In terms in being let go but the fact is we sort of river model the president's trying new model. Prisons where it affected the turtles miles before he's trying a new one who knows little workers to get through the senate to decide. But the fact is we try three from miles before on two Republicans and Democrats have not worked. Well I'm not have a veteran who in my dad have received great care to be a actors hope that we put somebody there. Who's competent who understands the magnitude of the job they can get the job done it is leaders. Has been an animal in the Lou Reed and there's a price realization of these little that I got that adds insult I think that is looking. Initially got a new economy and the reason this economy is growing and church but it's an open economy. Trump has an idea let's open up the VA so veterans can still have the VA but also have a choice. At least that's changed and may be progress. They'll get these veterans on waiting in line open in what way Palestinian privatization of the original I mean giving people a choice like you can choose what kind of car you've. He's giving veterans a choice if things if they're held in the line and can't get to see it be a doctor. But did you know at least you know what's weird is that choice come with huge budget cuts in in in in in the veterans administration could there's at least surprise I'm sorry that someone had accused Donald Trump of being a small spender here. It is an up or also singled that. If you travel on the country's I think martz ran for president during lots of places in this country where there's not a B hospital close enough standing right. You get the service through opening up what part of west residents talking about his. If you can't pizza dot convenient for you whether it's long lines were long distance to travel. Why should you have to travel leveled this is your veteran go local hospital you get care it may mean more spending. But I think is Alex said this is the president loves veterans he's been very vocal about it and that maybe even replace risk to spend more money. One other thing the president love this week the comeback of Roseanne. The record ratings on tease event the president follows ratings very closely that a cult heroes and usually set on Thursday. Look at Roseanne I culture yesterday. Look at her ratings look at her. They were unbelievable. Over eighteen. Million people and it was about us. They haven't figured it out the fake news hasn't quite been. President plus people who love him Roseanne of course an outspoken supporter of president from placing it in the series and Don is. Is there a message here four Hollywood mean for Democrats as well. Well I think its first a bullet it. That the betrayal of a white working class Americans. They often ignored just like. Poor people ignore solitude to see yourself on television a seat people who. Act like you've that's great beloved I have to say this is my first time watching Roseanne I missed it. I miss dinner too busy gone I was too busy in 1988 sin in the 1997. It was funny but I like defected to even mention trial. They mention how a me I saw it as a family struggling with how to deal with the partisan divide and not a family that was taken a stance on one way or another. We're all shocked here in New York home I got it turns out there working class Americans out there about half the country hard to believe. The thing that's going to make this show successful. Is that. It's not pro trump. But it is respectful. Of trump voters of that working class blue collar America that. Has being disrespected. By the very people they've sent to Washington. To represent them by the very people who sell them. News by the very people who create their entertainment it respects their point of view and says it's it's worth debate. And we innovate in this is just more of the mythology we have her on the politics. Of grievance. The fact is that the majority of Americans who earn less than 50000 dollars a year. Actually voted for Donald trumps opponents and the election that Hillary Clinton so there's that there's a lot of myth making around what working class isn't how it's defined I will say. That Roseanne's original show was fantastic iconic importantly. Funny. I'm looking forward to watching the new series I'm not surprised by the ratings in the least and will agree with you Alex who in one way. There is a way that Hollywood the television industry has long neglected. The stories. People who work not to in Leeds who are not the richest people in the country and it's great to see this. And we'll we'll really never redshirt detectable when he really delicious irony is that the president is watching Roseanne Roseanne has his appear. And it's a reminder to trump about the people he wants to see become more prosperous he doesn't want to spend more money in Syria building schools and hospitals and Syria he wants to spend money. Here with the feel of who will be Norcross prosperous Jewish support to teachers who were on strike in West Virginia he should he should while you are you should actually should he should not be shouldn't nominate your ID this puts up with these big dollars and fourteen and canyon that that would I don't get. Toyota technical wrinkle okay everybody listen this is an upcoming. You can finish this morning with his command for the teachers union comes you have Supreme Court and I do everything it can't afford to November should be governor anymore. I need to get animated when every talk about it into the public sector unions I love the department's. I don't know a lot of growth as well so. If you if you look at the nomination in this administration were men outnumber women to the one by the way initiative places like Department of Labor if you look at agencies like a EPA. You see one assistant administrator after another who come out of it's too industries who are now. Administering and governing over those industries with costs profound conflicts of interest. That are working against minors out in West Virginia who will now in no more black cloth than they every did vehicle before. The suspension of regulations accelerate. So just fed under some poorly regulated is that guys come at a point lot of questions now by grace through it is EPA is slowly ABC news reported. Get this deal getting fifty dollars night. For an apartment owned by an the wife of an energy lobbyists and an agent for you all followed up on that as well is this the end for Greg Pruitt. Scott Pruitt got good excuse me yes well. I've heard that he. Has irritated the White House quite a bit with this I would I would I understand that he perhaps. Was on shaky ground even before at this this news came out which was first reported by ABC that he was living in a Condo just a few blocks away from. From the capital fare very low rate. It's it it's the appearance of impropriety it's the it and Americans don't like to see their cabinet secretaries. Appearing to take advantage of their position of power even if it's just to get to a cheap Condo. Or enriching themselves at the White House isn't particularly thrilled with the way yeah. And it's unclear if that is right back again to where we started to be in this conversation is losing rudely unprofessional transition. This was a tradition that didn't vet people for these type of judgment issues. Which I think could have been seen very easily and a lot of these people and you cannot do this with you know Rick Dearborn and Steve ban on the back of an envelope. In 73 days and the president's been ill served by this and if mr. pearl it's gonna go. It's because he should never been busy episodes this and I don't know how you survive this one pathetic he has to go there if he asked ago it's he could he never should have been their the first. Here today Roseanne to bring us all together here I think we can all agree we need a more competent level of corruption in the swamp. Okay trump administration can get that that is. Kate that is the city the last word right now.

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

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