Sean Spicer Questions Whether Obama's Russia Sanctions Are Out of 'Proportion'

The incoming White House press secretary discusses Trump's top priorities.
11:32 | 01/01/17

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Transcript for Sean Spicer Questions Whether Obama's Russia Sanctions Are Out of 'Proportion'
Sean Spicer the incoming White House communication structure and Press Secretary. In his first Sunday show interview. Sense being tapped for the jobs by president elect Donald Trump. Sean congratulations and thank you demeanor you bet good morning happy new year happy new year so it's our right with the big news this week from President Obama imposing those sanctions on Russia. Expo in those diplomats. Does president elect trump agree with those moves or will he reverse them. I think they saw as he said the other day he's gonna sit down with intelligence Twomey committee ads next week get a full briefing on the situation. I think one of the questions that we have is why doesn't the magnitude of this mean you look at 35. People being expelled two sites being closed down the question is that is that risk war response in proportion to the actions taken. Maybe it was maybe it wasn't we have to think about that that that's nothing that we haven't seen in modern history. Will we look back. Always clearly seemed to know what I want let let's look at this in 2015. China took over a million records. Sensitive data up people like me who had worked in the government anytime classified our personal information where we lit things that we had written down on our honor applications are security clearances. And not a White House statement was even issued Nowak shown publicly was taken nothing. Nothing was taken when millions of people had their private information including information on security clearances that was shared. Not one thing happened so there is a question about whether there's a political retribution here whether it's it. Vs a diplomatic response so it sounds that you think these measures may be too much milk what I heard him on the tea president elect needs to sit down with the heads the intelligence. Communities next week. And getting full briefing on what they knew why they knew it whether or not depart the the Obama administration's responses are proportions the actions taken. Maybe it was maybe it wasn't we need to have that briefing for. But I I would argue that if you look at the at our history. You haven't seen a response like that in modern history for any action when you look at the fact that China did something so egregious and 2050. In the White House did nothing publicly. Not even issue a statement except they sent everyone who'd worked in the government a letter saying yet free monitoring of your credit. That's all they did they took action by sending a letter to us not even taking an action is China so what Russia did wheat we have to wait and see but it if it would be. If it it's inching up because we've seen near you reversal support for these moves from Republicans in congress in fact. Mitch McConnell called them a good first step and suggested. That did Republicans in the senate. May actually moved to impose stiffer sanctions as punishment for Russia does present old -- trump opposed though I. I think what he needs to what he's going to do as they said sit down with the heads of the Intelligence Committees getting full briefing on what they knew. Whether or not they and and then he can determine whether or not the actions were taken but as you saw. President Putin said he's not going to lead to retaliate right away he initially suggested he wants to wait for president from to commit. I think it that shows you the power the president trump had. He'd already had unbelievable success domestically would bring back jobs and carriers sprint. A whole lot and I think it did around the world for leaders are seen what we're seeing here in this country which is that. Business as usual is over trip president trump is not elegant with the American worker forced he's gonna restore America's place in the glow. But the what's the bottom lines to yes or no answer those. President of Trout trump present elect trot. Now accepts the fact. That Russia was behind the DNC half or well I blanket that there's a report that came out the other day Vatican issued 129. That the Intelligence Committees put out who and while the media played it up as this report about the hacking what it actually is if you look through it it's available online is a series of recommendations that should be taken the changing passwords. Changing administrative right. What it shows is that abide by all measures. The Democratic National Committee headed very lax IT support now hacking is wrong by any standard. No when supports anyone hacking into any other entity legal domestically a foreigner anyone interfering. But the fact the matter is what this report really does show. Is that there's a need for them to go back and look at there's what they're doing IT wise to protect theirs is absolutely correct it wouldn't you do see I have the report to you do that to headline. Russian malicious cyber activity makes it clear. And it names Russia gives the IP addresses and then it says axis take back up the system right stats training. Capsule got I application apple you know. But there isn't anybody does he except that Russia was behind this what I think like I said yes to have the briefing from the from the intelligence committee satellite area it's not a question of not there yet Jonathan it's a question of getting information. Everywhere in the media wants to jump four to make a conclusion based off. Other sourced information. You know anonymous sources that are coming add intelligent and he's gonna do this road is no longer anonymous this it is know what public sentiment what is says is that the DNC. Had a problem with IT security people tried Hackett and need to do better job protect Russians but the fact edited it and we have it what we're having part of a conversation. Why are we talking about the influence other influences on the election why are we talking about Hillary Clinton get debate questions at a time. That's a pretty valid attempt to influence on election somebody giving her to the debate questions in the answer of an election or oh it's not hate we haven't no one's asking those questions. And the fact is is that. Everyone wants to talk make Donald Trump admit to certain things what are we gonna start talking about the other side in this which is what do Hillary Clinton do to influence the election. Is she being punished in anyway what are we doing to make sure that people don't get the debate question to attend the second tight unit. If my boss at the time Wright's previous had gotten the debate questions and handed them off he would have been driven out of this town and they cannot top what been vilified. No one wants to ask those questions now just has to be clear that was during the democratic primary it was not in the debates with Donald Trump and the let me move on. Oh that is what makes a better Miller numbers just don't look what we're talking about you're you're you're going back to I don't I don't want a little sorry that I'm but I because that's who ultimately end up the democratic nominee I. So you can't sort of say let's go back only part what the fact of the matter is Bernie sanders' favor heck of Iran if he had actually not had the same information maybe that it had been rate maybe not. But you can't have it's part of a conversation I think we have to look at this holistic. OK so I'll ask you so did Donald Trump is had a lot to say about Russia over the past couple of breaks. 888 in particular about Vladimir Putin first he praised prudent. For sending a made quote very nice letter saying he thought Putin's thoughts were quote so correct. Many agreed with Putin's mocking of Hillary Clinton saying it was so true. And now we solve most recently appraising Putin's muted response to these new sanctions saying I always do he was very Smart short. You are you're a long time Republican party of Reagan is there something a little strange to you to hear the incoming president. Offering so many words of praise. Well look let's or what happened. Right the the United States is that we are we're gonna impose the sanctions expel people close down sites except to call out people by name. The Russian government says we're gonna retaliate in it in equal port report cents. And then Vladimir Putin's as you know what I'm actually gonna wait to Donald Trump gut that's actually good for our country. So the idea everyone wants to talk about the twenty cent but I'd actually focus on the action that he's get. Donald Trump's not president yet and he's getting action successes in wins both abroad and here at home know what and it looked. Everything that he does right now he gets five and he speaks with the head of sprint. It's 5000 jobs move from abroad airports are still mocking others top priority announced they weren't the sales jobs have been previously announced these jobs are coming from abroad to America. Instead of trying to mock him or undermine and it's time the people started giving him credit for actually getting things done. So broader question about Russian US relations. Paul Ryan and his statement in response to these sanctions said rush it does not share America's interest in fact. It is consistently sought to undermine them John McCain response said Putin is a thug and a murderer. Is there are off just a fundamental different. Worldview on Russia between the district and heartless can enter copilot and Donald Trump it's not. It's it's an understanding of the role that Russia place in R&R Kok and are well right now. To Dave than most number of nuclear weapons in the work you can sit back and say we're not kind of relationship. They have failed Russian reset the last eight years they wanted to have a relationship with Russia and they failed. This president's going to have a relationship with Russia and understand that it's in America's interest. To have a relationship with Russia where they don't pose a threat to our national economic contrast that's. That benefits every American. And I don't know why. We wouldn't support that at the end of the day you are protesting that you'll look differently than the general public and what is viewing this as is is it a world leader who understand. That the United States has two majors other. Growing superpowers China and Russia. And right now have a relationship with Russia at which we don't have. Because this administration had a failed reset that didn't go anywhere. And so right now they want to praise the fact that they don't have a relationship Donald Trump recognizes that a good good leaders going to protect America's interest. By making sure that that we have a relationship with Russia that all our interest are protected not there's Gil I want to move on to the inauguration coming up. You've promised and we've heard from trump talking about a peak start to this minute strike. What is the one big thing we're going to see well after he takes the Opel it's gonna be not one big thing it's going to be many big things on day one he's gonna send a series of executive order. Two. Do the same on a forward thinking think he's gonna start implementing things he's gonna bring a new brand watching he can institute a lobbying ban five years it's very forward thinking. What did we had in the past people looked in the rearview there this time we're thinking Ford if you wanna serve in a trump administration here to serve this country. Not yourself and so to be a five year ban on people going off to be lobbyist or a lifetime ban and anyone with Serb foreign government. So you European coming Press Secretary and communications director I've got to ask you. About Sobel we saw on the New York Times last week. Headline about a trump X. Talking about expanding US nuclear ability. But what what struck me was the sub head statement on Twitter in the beginning of the second paragraph. Mr. Trump's statement in midafternoon Twitter post here big front page headlines generated by a midafternoon Twitter post. Is that we're gonna see him to the press assured we don't lineup but some major policy I think it it'll get better. It you know with all due respect I think it freaks the mainstream media that he hats this following. Of over 45 plus million people that politician me the can't attract conversation yet you don't have to Everett funneled through the media this is that this is going to be. Eight business as usual is over as I've said before. There's a new sheriff in town he's gonna do things first and foremost the American social gonna see a lot of Twitter or get a seat absolutely gonna see Twitter want to study was bullied set on sixty minutes that he was gonna cut back to what the fact that matters is that when he tweets he gets results so whether it's Twitter holding a news conference picking up the phone at a meeting. He that he is going to make sure that he continues to fight for the American people every single day. A bottom line are you gonna have regular White House prospered. Absolutely it's like subway you know some of movie on camera some moving off but actually we understand the importance on no court daily televised press I don't. Up no decisions have been made but we're looking at every single facet of government. It figured out can we do better we'll sit down with the white house correspondents' dinner. I've our correspondents association a party had reporters reach out and we've got some ideas. This isn't it good this is about we understand that we have a message to get successes to that we want the American people to understand. So will use every tool possible and absolutely will sit down and extra that I had a daily basis the practices and for the regular presidential press conference absolutely. All right Sean Spicer incoming Press Secretary for the trump administration thank you joining happy new year happy day.

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

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