Gingrich calls President Trump 'pugnacious,' says he has 'compulsion to counterattack'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sits down one-on-one with Martha Raddatz and discusses the latest in politics and his new book, "Understanding Trump," on "This Week."
9:08 | 06/18/17

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Transcript for Gingrich calls President Trump 'pugnacious,' says he has 'compulsion to counterattack'
Thank you, Pierre. I'm joined by trump ally and former house speaker newt Gingrich, author of "Understanding trump." Good morning. Good morning. We saw rod Rosenstein cautioning people of anonymous officials. The president tweeted, I'm being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt. We know people clo ez to the president's legal team say he wasn't confirming any sort of investigation. You heard what Pierre said. President trump was commenting on "The Washington post" headlines. You're the man who wrote "Understanding trump." How do you understand that tweet? Trump has a compulsion to counterattack. He's very pugnacious. I don't think it sempbs him well. I don't think that tweet helped him. He's been a fighter his whole life. He's infuriated, legitimately, in my judgment, by this whole Russian baloney. Maybe, maybe there was obstruction. We may not get anything on obstruction. Maybe there will be perjury. You go down the list. We have been here before. We watched Comey appoint Patrick Fitzgerald, the godfather to Comey's children, and Fitzgerald knew there was no crime. Let's go back to what you said. This Russian baloney. If people are involved in collusion with Russia, don't you want to know about that? If you want to investigate Russia, fine. How about Bill Clinton's $500,000 speech. How about podesta's brother. Let's stick with this. I'm happy to look at Russia's relationship. I think it would be healthy to have congressional hearings on foreign influence peddling in the U.S. Way beyond the Russians. Comey said in his last testimony, no one has suggested that Donald Trump had anything to do with colluding with the Russians. There's not a bit of evidence he did. We don't know what any evidence is so far. We don't know what's going on? Senator Feinstein, the Democrat ranking member said there is no evidence of collusion. I want to go back to the tweet for a second the. Do you think he was confirming an investigation? I have no idea what he thought he was doing. Okay. You said this week that the president cannot obstruct justice. You led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton. You voted for article 3. What is the difference here? Clinton committed perjury. He lost his license to practice law. Perjury is a felony. It's the same thing with Nixon. The Nixon people were involved with crime. Andy Mccarthy, who is a federal prosecutor. Mccarthy made the point over and over again, if you don't have a crime, what is it you're investigating? We don't have any evidence that Donald Trump -- But the president said that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. If the special counsel finds he impeded that investigation by firing Comey, how is that not obstruction? He didn't impede the investigation. There's no evidence. First of all, the FBI its has said, they have all the money they have asked for. They have had no problems getting resources. I think he fired Comey because Comey's public behavior was so destructive. He said he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. Right. Because Comey would not say in public what he was saying to trump in private, which is you're not being investigated. Trump wanted people to understand, fine, there's a Russian investigation. It doesn't involve the president of the United States. Co Comey apparently said that in private three times. In may, you said Mueller was a superb choice for special counsel with an impeccable reputation for honesty. Less than a month later, you say, he won't be fair. I have no problem with Bob Mueller as a person. I have ever problem with how he's doing, what he's doing. I frankly began to switch the minute Comey said, I deliberately leaked to a college professor to leak to "The new York Times" for the purpose of getting a special counsel. Now the special counsel happens to be a close friend of Comey. Which is weird. Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein. And Comey isn't under investigation. Comey may be under investigation. Then I look at who Mueller has hired. One of the lawyers he brought in has such a record of hiding evidence from the defense. The supreme court ruled 9-0 that when that lawyer participated in destroying Arthur Anderson, 85,000 jobs, that it wasn't a crime. He hid the evidence. He hid the evidence in enron and four people who were innocent spent a year in jail. You bring in head hunters like that. The first four people he brought in, one was someone who defended the Clinton investigation. You have 13 in there. Federal law prohibits the way of assessing applicants. These aren't applicants. He's recruiting. You tell me why the first four names that came up. I don't know about the next nine. The first four are people that gave to Democrats. One of them is a person who defended the Clinton foundation. In in environment with a justice department where 97% of the donations last year went to Hillary, 97%, explain to me why I should relax as a Republican. Bob English says the charges against trump are more serious than lying under oath. He writes that former president Clinton was impeached for charges less serious than the ones before us now. In the current case, Comey was exploring the possibility of American involvement in the Russian plon plot, a treasonous offense. What are the charges? Talked about what they could investigate. Notice how the whole system, including you moves the game. There are no charges against trump. Comey said, three times, no evidence of collusion with trump. Senator Feinstein. Comey is no longer there. We know that. He's said after six months of looking, there is no evidence that trump's involved. Senator fieinstein said there is no evidence trump's involved. Why is he or was he in that tweet publicly calling out his deputy attorney general? Has he lost confidence in him? I think he's furious. I think trump sits there and says, let me get this straight. I know I didn't do anything with the Russians. Comey has said three times I didn't do anything with the Russians. Nobody on capitol hill has any proof that I did anything with the Russians. And now I get an independent counsel. Now they're talking about obstruction. Going and looking at financial files. I said yesterday, you have two more leaks like this, Rosenstein is going to have to appoint a essential counsel to investigate a special counsel. Should Rosenstein recuse himself? No. I think this whole game of recusal is a nightmare. You have this legalistic nightmare. Trying to block the trump presidency on behalf of a department in which 97% of the money was given to Hillary. You want me to believe this is all just random behavior. As a historian, I don't believe it. What do you think should happen here? If you have allegations. People saying things. What allegations? Allegations of collusion. You say there is no evidence. We don't know that. Should they stop it down the? Show the evidence. If nay have evidence Donald Trump is personally involved, show it. We're not just talking about Donald Trump. Trump did nothing to slow down the investigation below Comey. No one is suggesting -- the regular FBI could investigate to their heart's content. Trump said he wanted it done. He was angry at Comey, not the investigation. We'll see how this all turns out. Thank you for joining us. Congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the house intelligence committee joins me

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

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