Transcript for Democrat on House Oversight Committee says firing of US Attorney Preet Bharara raises 'a lot of questions'
direction. Congressman Schiff, thank you very much. Let's bring in congressman Elijah Cummings. Let's start with the yous from yesterday that the U.S. Attorney here in New York, preet bharara, was fired. Is there -- in your view, is there anything to look into here or is this just the routine remufl of U.S. Attorneys that we have seen by U.S. Presidents before? Certainly, the president has the opportunity and the right to fire U.S. Attorneys. But, we -- I wonder, George, you know, just not very long ago, the president was saying that he was going to keep the U.S. Attorney there in New York. And then, suddenly, he's, I guess, changed his mind. I'm just curious as to why that is. Certainly, there's a lot of questions coming up as to whether president trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this U.S. Tern and whether Tate might affect his future. You look at everything, George, surrounding the investigations, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. Again, the president does have that prerogative. Are you referring to the fact that on Wednesday, several independent groups asked the U.S. Attorney, asked breet baja ra to investigate where the trump organization and president trump were in -- of the emoluments clause? What has been happening is that there is an air of distrust that has been brought on by president trump himself. And so many others. We have over and over again heard things that have been just proven to be untrue. And, so, I think that in part, the president has created this situation for himself. But yeah, sure. No doubt about it. When they asked about emoluments clause and possible violations of it and, the u.s.'s relationship to that, that had perhaps something to do with it. So you think there might be a connection. There very well may be. But again, George, when you -- come out and you make allegations as the president has, which cannot be proven, and then, you find out the things are not true, you have now created a new sense of normalcy. That normalcy is one where, as Adam Schiff just said, you question almost anything that comes out of the president's mouth. And so, I just think that the president has to be -- I've told him this, by the way, he needs to be careful with what he tweets, what he says. Do less tweeting and more leading. You did meet on the issue of medicare and whether medicare will negotiate drug prices. You said coming out that the president supports that. You heard the director of management and budget, he didn't seem to endorse that. I heard that. Ky tell you the president was enthuse'sic about not the only proposal that congressman Welsh and I had with regard to medicare being able to negotiate drug prices. He was also enthusiastic about another proposal. The importation of drugs from places like Canada and other foreign countries. And so he made it clear to me that he was going to do something about it. But not only did he do that. He followed it up. I met with him on Wednesday. He fold it up on Friday morning. Surprisingly, to me, with a lengthy call, reiterating he was going to do something about it. Then another call on Friday evening, around 7:00. So we'll see. You talked to the president about this three times this week, yet his director of the office of management and budget doesn't come forward on Sunday morning and endorse it? I'm telling you what happened. The president, I was surprised, on Friday evening when he called me. He called me Friday morning. And we -- we have had now three discussions with regard to this issue. I want to move on to a different subject the. We learned this week that the president's former national security adviser, Michael frin had registered as a foreign agent. Had received $500,000 as part of a group connected to Turkey during the campaign. You sent him a letter asking him about this. Yet this week he said he didn't know anything about general Flynn's activities. Is this something that needs to be investigated since your questions went unanswered? Think clearly there are problems with the vetting process. That letter was sent November 18th, as you said. We got a response saying they acknowledged the receipt of the letter. And there were all kinds of red lights and yellow lights to tell the vice president and the administration that there was major problem with general Flynn. We -- I think that we need to look into this. To figure out why it is that we cannot properly vet people. George this is bigger than us. This is bigger than president trump. This is about our national security. And so, I'm looking forward to trying to work with others in in congress to try to figure out how that happened. We're better than that.
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