'The postal system is not sustainable the way it is now': Mark Meadows

George Stephanopoulos interviews White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on "This Week."
12:20 | 08/23/20

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Transcript for 'The postal system is not sustainable the way it is now': Mark Meadows
The Democrats have wrapped up their first virtual convention and as we come on the air this morning, our brand-new poll shows it may have done Joe Biden some good. His favorable rating is up eight points from ten days ago. The GOP kicks off Monday with president trump set to appear all four nights. The first lady and the president's adult children also slated to speak in primetime. But as we come on the air this morning, a different trump family member now in the spotlight. In audiotapes given to "The Washington post" by the president's niece Mary trump, your hear president trump's sister, Maryanne trump lashing out her brother. Delivering harsh judgments on his conduct in office. . Oh, my god, I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. White house chief of staff mark meadows joins us now. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Meadows. Have you spoken to the president about those tapes? What is his response? Obviously, he's been public with his response. Just another day and another attack that we continue to see, George, I can tell you that I have never met the judge, I was at the funeral the other day, I was hoping to meet her there, she didn't show up for her brother's funeral, and the president that I have the privilege of serving is not the one that's being described on a 15-hour, I guess is what I'm reading secret tape, I mean, what family member tapes another family member for 15 hours secretly? I can tell you this, the president is committed to this country, loves this country, in terms of the one principle that he not only morning he talks to me about, what can we do to serve the American people better? He's been very consistent about that. The president's sister also claims that the president paid someone to take his entrance exams. Let's listen. He went to Fordham for one year and then he got into the university of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams -- No way. He had someone take his entrance exams? The S.A.T.S or whatever. Yeah. The president has denied it. Why would his sister lie about it? In what she thought was a private conversation. Does the president have any evidence to back up his denial? Pam shriver came out, the person accused of taking the test -- Actually that was a different Joe Shapiro. Well, it was actually interesting, because it was a Joe Shapiro at the same school, so when we start to look at that -- listen, we have the president of the United States, one of only 45 people that have been elected, I can tell you a number of other things that supposedly have been alleged that the president doesn't read much, you may see it when he goes to marine one a cardboard box that's back on marine one, what's in there are clippings each and every day, he probably reads more than anyone I know, which causes me to have to read more. Listen, this is politics as usual by a niece that was written out of a will, that would apparently -- just has an ax to grind because she wants Joe Biden to be president. I can tell you this -- that this president each and every day is not only well prepped but does more than any president that I have ever been able to have the privilege of researching and reading about in terms of wanting to make sure that we advance critical, critical agendas for the hardworking American people on main street. Let's turn to the covid crisis. In a tweet yesterday morning, the president leveled a pretty serious charge against the fda. I want to read it. Putting it up on the screen right now. The deep state, whoever, over at the fda is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they're hoping to delay the answering until after November 3 Rd. Must focus on speed and saving lives. What evidence does the president has that the fda is manipulating this approval process for political reasons? Well, your words are manipulating it, George. I don't think he said they were manipulating. He said obviously -- Hold on. I can help you. I have been personally involved in this. I'll be glad to tell you. Here's what we continue to look at -- it's not the fda, it's nih and others, as we look at the protocols and Dr. Hahn said we're not going to cut any corners. We're not cutting any corners. But what we have, we have a China virus that came here, we got to deliver answers and the president each and every day is saying, why don't we have answer today? Why don't we have answer tomorrow? So what happens is, we continue to look at some of the trials and what's happening, and we want to wear belt and suspenders the way that some of these bureaucrats -- they want to do things the way they've always done it. This president is about cutting red tape. That's what the tweet was all about. I think you're going to hear announcement later today, he had to make sure that they felt the heat. If they don't see the light they need to feel the heat, because the American people are suffering. The president knows it. He's going to make sure that we deliver on behalf of the American people. His exact words, obviously they're hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. If he believes that the fda is doing that for political reasons, until after the election, why wouldn't he fire the fda commissioner? We've looked at a number of people that are not being as diligent as they should be in terms of getting to the bottom of it. We've actually had people that have been relocated. You've covered that on your show. When we look -- it's almost impossible to fire a federal employee regardless of what they do wrong. We need real civil service reform, but this president wants to make sure that we hold them accountable and I can tell you that secretary Azar was on the phone with the president and me yesterday, as we were working through this. It's not just on the announcement that's coming today, it's more announcements that are coming this week and the weeks to follow, but we really need to make sure that we have good science and the proper protocol, but we also can't wait around and assume that this virus is going to go away, this president wants real results and that's why he took to Twitter, but it wasn't just Twitter. I have answered a number of phone calls from the president and had a number of meetings this last week to -- make sure we move it forward. So he does believe there are those in the fda to delay approvals until after the election -- Don't see the same sense of urgency as he sees, and as we start to look at it, they know that some kind of result today is good for the American people and he just wants to make sure that they feel the same urgency. Let's talk about the post office. The house passed legislation yesterday that would reverse some of the cutbacks at the post office. $25 billion in emergency funding. The president calls this hoax, saying the post office doesn't need any funds. The post office has had a request for these funds since the spring. You offered $10 billion in these negotiations with congress. We offered $10 billion plus some additional reforms that would handle some of the pre-funding issues. Listen, the postal system is not sustainable the way it is now. The president knows that. I know that. And as we've offered this money, this money is actually designed to hopefully prop it up while we reform the postal service and we allow the hardworking men and women of the postal service to continue to do what they do and deliver mail on time. I will say this, though, when you look at the bill that was passed yesterday, that bill was not a serious bill. It's $25 billion, it doesn't do anything to sustain the postal system long term, it's going nowhere and my conversations with a lot of the Democrats on capitol hill yesterday is, if you want to be serious about it, this president is willing to put forth money and reforms but let's -- let's attach to something else since we've got so many people hurting, why did they come back on a Saturday and only deal with postal. Why didn't they deal with enhanced unemployment? Why didn't they extend the ppp program that actually helps small businesses? This president is committed to doing that. I believe the Republicans in the senate will take this bill and actually make it something that perhaps can be signed into law. I know you stopped by speaker Pelosi's office yesterday, did you get a response? I haven't heard from the speaker yet. I'm going to make a phone call to her today. I did meet with a number of Democrats yesterday on capitol hill, as they were there. Had some very constructive conversations, listen, there are a number of things that we agree on. And my challenge to the speaker this morning would be this -- if we agree on five or six things, let's go ahead and pass those. Why didn't you do it yesterday. Let's go ahead and pass it. I spoke to the president early this morning, he's willing to sign that including postal service reform, making sure that the money is there to make sure that deliveries of first class mail are handled quickly, efficiently and on time. The president put out a tweet this morning, about the drop boxes, saying they're not covid sanitized. Does he really believe those boxes can spread covid? We know that covid lives on hard surfaces. Whether it's there or not, when we look at a particular situation we want to make sure that ballot is sacred. I think that's what he was speaking to, George, when we look at casting a ballot, it should be able to go from your hand to the ballot box with no one else interfering, and even when we use the postal service to do that, we have to have those verifications, to make sure that it would be George Stephanopoulos actually sending in his ballot so that we know that someone else is not casting for you. I've worked in the precincts and when we put ballots in the ballot box, we put on a lock on it and make sure that no one can tamper with it. It's sacred. We need to make sure everybody's vote is cast, but we also need to make sewer that no one else disenfranchising those by creating a fraud on the voting system. Got to talk about qanon. Earlier this week the president had some supportive words for qanon. The FBI says that group poses a domestic terror threat. Top Republicans like senator Ben sasse and Liz Cheney call it nuts. No place in American politics. Why won't the president condemn this group? I had to Google it, to figure out what it is. You talked about it more, George, than anybody in the white house has talked about it. We look at that -- there are a number of conspiracies that we should be talking about. We ought to be talking about the fact that we continue to look at why the FBI spied on the trump campaign, and what happened there. That was a conspiracy that was real and when we start to look at. The top 20 priority, qanon's not on it, it's probably not on the top 50. It's time we get serious about questions and move on. I don't think this is a central debate that anybody who's going to decide who the next president of the United States might be. Or where we need to deploy the FBI. Where we need to deploy the FBI is Portland and other areas, where we see in realtime what's happening. Not something that may be an internet conspiracy. Congressman meadows. Thank you for joining us. Good luck this week. Thank you. We're joined by the deputy

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

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