Democrats 'picking circus over a solution': GOP Leader McCarthy on Cohen hearing

George Stephanopoulos interviews House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on "This Week."
9:20 | 03/03/19

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Transcript for Democrats 'picking circus over a solution': GOP Leader McCarthy on Cohen hearing
house Republican leader, Kevin Mccarthy. Thank you for joining us this morning. You heard a lot from congressman Nadler. He says the president obstructed justice. He sees abuses of power in the granting of security clearance to Jared Kushner. He sees violations of the emoluments clause. Your response? I think congressman Nadler decided to impeach the president the day the president won the election. He says he's not there yet. Listen to exactly what he said. He talks about impeachment before he even became chairman and he said, you have to persuade people to get there. There is nothing the president did wrong. Nothing? To be impeached? Show me where he did anything to be impeached. The other thing you have to find is listen to what Nadler said. Nadler is setting the framework now that the Democrats not believe the Mueller report. They're now saying we have to do our own investigation. After you had hundreds of interviews, millions of dollars spent in the senate and the house and they find no collusion. Even if you listen to Cohen's own hearing last week, what did he say? He never went to Prague? Which is the basis for Mueller. Whatever Mueller comes back with, you will accept that? I want to see his report, yes. I'm not setting a framework right now that I'm not going to support it. They're setting a whole new course because there is no collusion so they want to build something else. They want to persuade to go some other place. Listen. Nadler says he wants the impeachment. Listen. He had proof ahead of time. You have Schiff who said he had evidence long before the investigation happened. He has never produced that, and now listen to what we find about Schiff in the Cohen hearing. He talked to Cohen. He met with Glenn Simpson we found out even when the own committee had problems with the truth in his own hearing. Schiff actually tried to stop us from finding out who paid for the dossier, the Democrats. Schiff has now met Schiff's own standard of why Devin had to recuse himself. Adam Schiff needs to recuse himself for any new investigations. You mentioned Devin nunes. He says the entire Mueller report should be public. Do you agree with that? Yes. He said he didn't see any evidence of impeachable defenses. Let's talking about some of the evidence that congressman Nadler said for example, the campaign finance violations may be an impeachable offense. I want to put up the check Michael Cohen showed. This was from the hearing on Wednesday, a $35,000 check signed by president trump in the oval office. Now that check is part of a campaign finance felony that federal prosecutors believe was directed by president trump. Doesn't that concern you? Listen. You know what concerns me? If you hire an attorney. If I hire an attorney to make sure I carry out the law, the attorney has a responsibility to tell me what's right and wrong in the process. If it's a campaign finance, those are fines. Those aren't impeachable in the process. Listen to what else they did. This is what's so concerning to me. Last week, we just hit 2.6 in gdp. Did we talk about that? The president sitting in Vietnam talking with North Korea. The history that's always been in the past with America that politics ends at the water's edge. No. They are having this hearing right then. They're discrediting America and they dislike this president so much they won't give him an opportunity to try to denuclearize North Korea that they would have a hearing on that day? George, you know this as well as I do. Nobody else in any history would do this to a president when they are overseas, to try to discredit him just because they dislike him, and put -- put their dislike ahead of their country? They're picking circus over a solution. You say you're not concerned about the check. If there is no problem with the checks or the reimbursement, then why did the president lie about it for so long? You know,you could ask that president to the president, but this is a personal issue and why would most people not go to the American public about this? You have seen politicians do this exact same thing in the past. So to me, they're trying to find a case for a problem that doesn't exist. You also saw the congressman say it was an abuse of power for the president to grant the security clearance to Jared Kushner over the objections of the CIA, his white house counsel and perhaps his white house chief of staff. No one disputes that president trump has the right to grant his son-in-law that security clearance, but was it the right thing to do? The president -- as you just said, the president has the legal authority to do it. The president has a right to pick his national security team around him. Who is going to work with him? And you know what? This week, gallop just came out with a new poll looking at how does America think they are viewed around the world? We are now at the highest level we have been. 58% since 2003. The president is doing a very good job. The president has the legal authority to do it. The president has to trust the people around him. You have been in those offices. You know what the president has to have. The trust of the individuals. If you are going to work on Middle East peace, if you are going to work around the world, you want to have trust in those individuals. That's absolutely true,s and one thing I have never seen before is a case like this. You had the CIA concerned about Jared Kushner. You have had reports that foreign nations believed he was vulnerable to being compromised. Does congress -- does the American public have a right to know what the CIA was concerned about with Jared Kushner? I think the president has the right to pick just as you said, whoever he wants. That's not what I asked. Does the congress have the right to know the concerns about Jared Kushner and why the president overruled? I think the president looked at concerns, and he decided those weren't concerns to him. If we went through every person who had this authority before, other people have had concerns raised with them. The president gets to make that it could be the pluses or the minuses, whatever the concerns are. The president made the choice and he's doing a good job at it. You talked about North Korea, and the president took some flak for saying he takes Kim Jong-un at his word for not knowing anything about Otto Warmbier and not taking responsibility for it. Do you take him for his word? Look. I think the president clarified that. Look. North Korea murdered Otto. Right. But Kim. Kim? I think Kim had all authority to do that. I think Kim knew what happened which was wrong. That's why when we passed sanctions, we named it after Otto Warmbier and that's why the president kept those in place. The sanctions did not lift on North Korea are named after Otto, and he clarified that. He said North Korea, and not Kim. I think Kim knew. Talking about the national emergency a little bit. You held a line in the house. Only 13 Republicans voted against the president, but it looks like it will be a little bit dicier in the senate, and here's what Lamar Alexander has said about the president's declaration. There has never been an instance where a president of the United States has asked for funding. Congress has refused it and the president has then used the national emergency act to justify spending the money anyway. Aren't you concerned this could come back and bite Republicans if a Democrat gets to the white house again? The president has the authority to do this. In 1976, we actually kind of shrunk the power, and he has the power to go forward. Think about what has happened in the past, the drugs that are coming across, the number of people who have died, the human trafficking. In 2005, because the federal government didn't act along the border, two governors did take their own emergency. The dhs secretary, she took it along the border in Arizona because she said what was happening in the smuggling and others. You had bill Richardson in new Mexico do the same exact thing. There is a national emergency along the border. The president has the authority to do it. Congress acted and this goes beyond. The president will be upheld in this action as well. The president made this promise. You're not concerned the president will be overtaken there. I think it will be fine. You think the senate will pass it? If the senate does, it will get -- Vetoed? I don't think it's why they move forward with trying to override it to me. Michael Cohen warned Republicans they're doing now what he did for years in defending the president and they are going to pay the same consequences. Does that concern you at all? You know what concerns me? Had this hearing when the president went to Vietnam negotiating to denuclearize North Korea. This man is going to jail for lying. This man sat before us and simply said, yeah. He'll take a book deal. He'll take a movie deal. No one believes this man and what he has been able to say in the past and what he will be able to say in the future. Why are we giving him so much attention? It concerns me we're doing nothing what he did. He led his life trying to sell influence, trying to sell lies and others. This is what the Democrats are trying to build. No concerns with what he laid out about the president? No. You know what concerns me? The meeting he said he talked with Schiff. How many times did Schiff meet with him? Did staff meet with him? What did he say? What did Schiff talk about with Glenn Simpson? Fusion gps. How about -- how about Adam Schiff, that he met this new threshold that he said Devin nunes had to recuse himself because it was the standard that Schiff set? He has met this. Shouldn't he recuse himself going forward with anything new that we do? We'll ask him next time he's on. Thank you very much. Thank you.

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

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