Trump's 'go back,' Baltimore tweets are not the same: GOP lawmaker

Rep. Will Hurd responds to President Trump's tweets about Rep. Elijah Cummings, and discusses Russian interference and disinformation in U.S. elections on "This Week."
7:32 | 07/28/19

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Transcript for Trump's 'go back,' Baltimore tweets are not the same: GOP lawmaker
Let's bring in congressman will Hurd from Texas, the only African-American republin in the house. I want to begin by getting your reaction to the president's tweets and what you just heard congressman Nadler say these are racist. I think these tweets are different from the few days ago, when you tell someone to go back to Africa or whatever country, that in essence because you don't look like them you're not American and that you don't have self-worth. That's why, you know, I was one of the first Republicans to come out and request those. My style is to talk about what's unites us than what divides us. It's also more helpful when it comes to trying to win election. But to focus on an entire city, rodent infested, you see no problem with that? Of course, I don't think they're going to invite him to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game any time soon. One of the things that we should be doing is talking about those things that bring us together. Bringing opportunity Zones to Baltimore to help the community, opportunity Zones is something that we passed in the tax cuts and jobs act to make sure that economically distressed areas are seeing, you know, some of the investment that other parts of the country are, that would be a better opportunity to talk about our message and the fact that we have record unemployment and things like that. I think that's where those kind of conversation. But to be clear, you're drawing a line here, you condemned the go back tweets but you don't condemned these tweets? I think they're different. Also, Elijah Cummings and chair Cummings is someone I work with closely on all kinds of legislation, he's someone who cares passionately about his community and has been working tirelessly his entire adult life on behalf of his country and his community and he is someone -- he can defend himself. Let's talk about the hearing now. Robert Mueller's testimony before your committee on Wednesday. I want to show some of the closing comments between your chair and Mr. Mueller. Know ingly accepting foreign assistance during a presidential campaign is an unethical thing to do -- And a crime. And a crime. Yes and given certain circumstances. And we can agree it's also unpatriotic? True. And wrong? True. From your reading of the Mueller report, do you believe the president and his associates acted unethically during the campaign? I think the Mueller report identified a number of behavior that was unbecoming of an occupant of the white house. But one thing that Robert Mueller also said during the questioning by the ranking member of the judiciary that the investigation was not impeded. It was not hindered and it was not stopped and he made that very clear. And I also think that chairman Schiff made the comment about there was possibly no proven -- provable crime that was uncovered by the investigation. But I think his broader point, whether it was criminal isn't the only standard. Chairman Nadler said the same thing. The trump campaign welcomed the help from Russia, they worked with Russia in many different ways, several contacts during the campaign. The president was pursuing a trump tower in Moscow, his financial interest at stake, and then he lied about that. Whether that information is criminal is of it concern? Yes, it is of concern. Ultimately Mueller was able to investigate every lead. He made it clear that this wasn't a one-time event, the Russians are trying to do it even as we sit here, were his words. I wish the focus and the attention that has been spent on the Mueller report goes into how do we counter disinformation? And this is a strategy by the Russian government to undermine trust in our democratic institutions. And when we don't focus on dealing with the strategy on how to prevent that, then we're letting Vladimir Putin win and so that's why we should be talking about how do we fix it. Disinformation is essence is propaganda that's being used in order to have a desired result. And they've been doing this, the Russians have been doing this ultimately for decades. Disinformation is part of covert action. Covert action is responsibility of the CIA. In 1947, the CIA is not allowed to do covert action in the united States of America. Who should be responsible for dealing with disinformation? I think that's where we should have been having hearings. And conversations to talk about this. I tried to get Bob Mueller to make some suggestions he was unwilling to do it. It starts with the president, doesn't it? Just last month he month he might accept foreign assistance again. Reports from inside the administration he's been downplaying discussions on what to do to protect our election systems right now. Is the president doing enough? George, I spent 9 1/2 years as an undercover officer in the CIA, I wouldn't accept any foreign help. I know the CIA is focused on it, I know the department of homeland security is focused on this. Not only hardening our election infrastructure, the counting machines, the networks that aggregate those votes, they are working on trying to understand how groups like the internet research agency is using social media and tools of social media to propagate disinformation. There's a growing narrative it seems like in the press things haven't been done. I had the first hearing back in 2016 on election interference before the elections were over. You had under Jeh Johnson, the department of homeland security took election infrastructure as critical infrastructure. At the time, secretaries of state around the country were hesitant to accept that level of support and now they realize that's important. We codified the department of homeland security as the entity should be working with the over 100,000 voting systems across the United States of America. So, again -- go ahead. I'm sorry, you didn't mention the president in that answer. Why do you support the president's re-election? My plan is to support the Republican nominee. I believe the way we help solve problems in the future by empowering people not empowering government. Ultimately, I think the way we'll maintain and achieve peace in our world is by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys. This is a message that I've been talking about. In the five years I've been in congress. It resonates not only with Republicans but Democrats and independents as well. Congressman, thank you for

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