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Speaker Ryan's Weekly News Conference; Trump: NAFTA to be Renegotiated with Canada, Mexico; Democrats: Flynn Warned Not to Accept Foreign Government Payments after Military Retirement. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired April 27, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:30:40] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: NAFTA's been very, very bad for our country. It's been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers. And we're going to make some very big changes or we are --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, that was President Trump from last week.
But we're going to head right over to Capitol Hill where House Speaker Paul Ryan is holding his weekly news conference. A whole lot of questions for him, as always. It seems it's becoming a regular thing. Let's listen in.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: Good morning, everybody.
First, I want to welcome all our special guests today. I think it's great to see you here, and it's great that you get to see the work your parents do, but don't tell them this, but they're actually kind of good at their jobs.
Juan (ph), are those your daughters?
RYAN: You had one last year with us.
RYAN: Oh, very cool. OK. I digress. Sorry.
Later today, the president will sign an executive order to improve accountability at the V.A. Under the Obama administration, not nearly enough was done to hold bureaucrats accountable for failing veterans at our Veterans Affairs. Despite promises to clean things up, only a smattering of people were moved out of their jobs; only a smattering of people were held accountable.
Last month, the House passed the V.A. Accountability Act to make it easier to bring the kind of steady leadership that V.A. medical centers so desperately need. And last week, the president signed legislation to reduce out-of-pocket costs for veterans and to promote better access to care.
These are all very positive steps to deliver the kind of fundamental reform that is needed at the V.A. This adds to what has already been a very incredibly active first 100 days. Under the president's leadership, we have cut red tape at record levels. Cutting red tape saves families dollars. It saves businesses jobs.
In fact, we have saved families and businesses more than $67 billion just already. Yesterday, the administration put out its principles for pro-growth tax reform. That's the next step for overhauling our tax code. And we continue to make real progress in our work to repeal and replace Obamacare.
As you saw, we posted an amendment to the American Health Care Act yesterday. This amendment was the result of constructive conversations among our members that focused on how we can do more to lower costs for everyone. What this amendment does is it gives states more flexibility and tools to reduce premiums and increase choices. And it does this while maintaining and preserving protections for people with preexisting conditions.
This is the important point. Those protections remain on the books, even as we add new ones. The goal here is to give states greater flexibility if they wanted to lower premiums. We've not yet made any decisions on a vote, but this is more progress and we will continue our progress and our work to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Now, I am sure some of you have questions. Are there any young people who actually have any questions?
RYAN: Yeah, (inaudible), you're not cutting (inaudible). No, sorry.
All right. All right. Anybody else have any questions?
QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, how close are you on health care? And what are your reassurances to moderates who maybe liked the original plan and are worried about the new one?
RYAN: Well, I think we're making very good progress. I don't have -- we're going to go when we have the votes, but that's the decision we'll make when we have it. And something tells me you'll probably be the first to know when that happens.
I would argue that this is a bill that a moderate would more likely want to support. Some people were concerned about EHBs. EHBs were taken out of the bill. Essential health benefits were taken out of the earlier draft of the bill. They're now put back in. So they're in the federal law. And a state would have to find a waiver for essential health benefits. So if anything this puts more federal protections in.
On preexisting conditions, every state's a little different. In Wisconsin, we had a high-risk pool that worked really well. And I think we ought to be given the kind of flexibility to tailor our markets that worked for us in Wisconsin, because the Wisconsin health care system is different than, say, the New York health care system or the Vermont health care system.
That just makes sense. But even if a state gets a waiver, there are multiple layers of preexisting condition protections, like continuous coverage. If you have a health care problem and you have health insurance, you can't be denied or rated for higher health care costs. And if you switch to another plan, you keep your coverage, the same protections apply even if your state gets a waiver.
RYAN: But the more important point I think is why this amendment I think is a step in the right direction, is we believe the smarter way to go on getting premiums down and protecting people with preexisting conditions is to have federal and state support for people who are sick; support that catastrophic illness with greater subsidies so that everybody else doesn't have to bear those costs in their insurance pools.
One percent of the people in the individual market drive 23 percent of the costs. So if we directly support that catastrophic coverage, it's sort of reinsurance on top of insurance, then you're lowering everyone else's prices. You're making it easier for people to afford quality health insurance. And you're guaranteeing that that person who has catastrophic health care costs, that person who has a preexisting condition or gets really sick, gets the coverage that they need.
We think it's a really good step in the right direction. We're having very productive conversations with our members, and we feel like we're on the right track. And we'll announce, you know, when we have a vote when we're going to go.
QUESTION: Is there pressure to vote by the president's 100th day?
RYAN: We want to go when we're ready to go, and we're having this -- this has been a very organic, bottom-up process. It takes time to do that. We're doing big things. And you know -- you know me, I talked about 200 days because I thought the kind of agenda that we're attempting to put together here -- overhauling health care, overhauling the tax system, rebuilding our military, securing the border -- those take more than just a few months. They take a long time, at least a year.
And so that's why we're working on the path to get it right, and not constrain it to some artificial deadline.
QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, high-risk pools don't have the greatest track record. In Wisconsin, your high-risk pool was great for the people who were on it, but it was still unaffordable for a lot of other people, wasn't it?
RYAN: No, it was pretty actually darn good. But this will add federal funding to it now. So think of high-risk pools. There were states that had high-risk pools, that had reinsurance mechanisms or risk-sharing like the Maine plan. None of them had any federal funding to it. None of them had any federal resources.
This takes that idea and adds federal resources to it to make sure that it works even better. And HHS will coordinate with those states to make sure that they have good mechanisms in place. So we have seen states -- Wyoming had a good one; Utah had a good one; Washington state had a good one; Maine had a good one; we had a good one. They work.
And now that we're going to be adding federal funding to it, they'll work even better, and you'll be able to lower prices even more.
QUESTION: So can you reassure people with preexisting conditions that they won't be worse off under your plan?
RYAN: People will be better off with preexisting conditions under our plan. That's the whole goal here is to make it easier for people. The problem with Obamacare is people get one choice at best in a third of all the counties in America. Five states, you've got one plan to choose from.
That's not very good to have just a monopoly giving you health insurance. Our job here is to make sure that people get more choices. And by getting more choices, you can get better quality health insurance and lower prices, and we preserve those protections for people with preexisting conditions.
That's the goal of this bill. That's what this bill achieves. And we think it's going to be a big improvement on the status quo, which is collapsing before us.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Steny Hoyer and Democrats say that they will...
RYAN: That was just repeating what she was saying, not what you said.
QUESTION: Democrats are saying that they will withhold votes for a funding bill...
RYAN: Yeah, she said something to me about that.
QUESTION: ... if you guys press forward with a vote this week on Obamacare repeal. What's your reaction to that? And can you guys pass a funding bill with just Republican votes?
RYAN: I would be shocked if they would want to see a government shutdown, that the Democrats would want to do that. Look, let's just take a step back. The reason this government funding bill is not ready is because Democrats have been dragging their feet. Periodically, they haven't even shown up for negotiations. So the reason we need an extension in the first place is because Democrats are dragging their feet.
Even if we get an agreement let's just say in 10 minutes, we simply can't process the paperwork that long, and we have a three-day rule. We -- people need to be able to read the bill. So it inevitably under any scenario or circumstance, requires a short-term extension. And I'm confident we'll be able to pass a short-term extension.
And I'd be kind of shocked if the Democrats would want to create a government shutdown because they have been dragging their feet.
QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, back to health care for a moment. With all the changes that you've made that have, you know, like the Freedom Caucus getting on board, should this be an easy yes vote for the moderate members of your caucus?
RYAN: Yeah, I mean, this -- the MacArthur amendment -- Tom MacArthur is a leading moderate in Congress. It's his amendment. So this is...
QUESTION: He seems to have frustrated some of his fellow moderate colleagues.
RYAN: Well, I don't know if that's the case. I'd say Tom MacArthur, who actually has an entire career working in insurance, understanding the math and the mechanics and the actuarial science of insurance, has come up with a very innovative amendment that we think works really well. And it gets to where we all want to go. We want to bring down costs. We want to preserve protections for people with preexisting conditions.
And we want to respect the fact that states, you know, have different issues, different health care marketplaces. And we want to gives states greater flexibility so that they can get the maximum reduction in policies and premiums and so that we can get the best possible health care system.
RYAN: What we've learned is that a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits- all health care system doesn't work for America. It's a diverse country. Different states have different rules and different systems. We need to respect that. And that's what this MacArthur amendment does, he's one of the leading moderates. He's a co-chair of the Tuesday Group. Good shot asher -- archer -- archer, right?
He's one of the leading shot -- sorry, it was a good shot. That was pretty cool. He's one of the leading members of the Tuesday Group so I think that this is basically a coalescing thing.
QUESTION: But are there seats potentially at risk (inaudible)...
QUESTION: ... (inaudible)?
RYAN: I think people's seats are at risk if we don't do what we said we would do. We all campaigned on repealing and replacing this law that is collapsing. The American health care system in the individual market is in peril right now. We have a moral obligation to prevent people from getting hurt, to stop damage from being continued.
And we promised that we would do this. If you violate your promise, if you commit the sin of hypocrisy in politics, that's the greater risk, I think, to a person's seat.
You in the back.
QUESTION: On the cost-sharing subsidies, you have said that the administration should continue those payments. You, in fact, sued the Obama administration for that exact thing.
OMB is saying that this is an issue that Congress needs to deal with. You said you don't want to deal in the spending bill, what's the future of these because it seems like the White House and House Republicans are in different pages on how that funding will...
RYAN: Well, we're in litigation so I won't go into the details of that, only that it's a difference between the separation of powers. So we're in existing litigation and the White House, the administration's been making those payments while that's pending, which is still pending. I think the White House has already made comments on this and I'll just leave it at that.
QUESTION: So once the lawsuit mends (ph), will Congress...
RYAN: I won't speculate on where it got. I don't know what the outcome of the offset's going to be.
QUESTION: Thank you. The House oversight committee...
RYAN: I'll go back to you next.
QUESTION: The House Oversight Committee released documents showing -- raising concerns about Michael Flynn.
I'm wondering, in his failure to disclose foreign payments (ph), do you believe that he may have broken the law, number one?
And, number two, are you concerned about the White House's vetting procedures and actually hiring from -- to this position to begin with?
RYAN: Yes, I don't know whether he did or did not. That's why we have an investigation. This, I see, is part of our ongoing investigation, over at HPSCI as well. And we'll just find the answer to that question during that investigation. I am not going to prejudge a conclusion.
QUESTION: On the miners benefit, where do you stand?
Should those benefits be extended to health benefits permanently?
RYAN: Yes. Oh, I won't get into...
QUESTION: ... companies like Consol (ph) Energy should be...
RYAN: I do believe that these health benefits should be extended. I am not going to insert myself into ongoing negotiations that the appropriators are having about the length of that.
STAFF: Last question.
QUESTION: The tax foundation, their estimates of tax reform and the effective tax cuts, you guys have cited them on the Republican side pretty often. But one of their assumptions is that there is no crowdout effect from rising debt as far as that (ph).
And so I'm curious as to whether you, in the past, have said you believe a rising debt (inaudible) -- entitlement programs and spending will have a drag on economic growth.
Is there a -- can you square that circle?
RYAN: Yes, it's all about interest rates, right, Jonathan (ph)?
So the -- I think under most models you assume a normalization of interest rates will occur.
The question is, do interest rates go above their normal rates or do they go higher because of debt and deficits, crowding out investment?
I do believe that we have to have fiscal discipline in addition to economic growth. You know me well. I think that means reforming our entitlement programs. I think passing this health care bill, which helps go at lowering the cost of health care, is extremely important if you're going to lower fiscal exposure, if you're going to help close the debt. One of the biggest drivers of our debt is the high cost of health care and health inflation. So we can have a patient health care system that is -- that is restored by reviving the individual market. That's one of the greatest things we can do to bring down high health care costs and close the debt and the deficit.
So I do believe you have to have comprehensive entitlement reforms along with pro-growth legislation like tax reform to get the best of both worlds, which is getting the debt under control, getting people back to work and getting faster economic growth that gives us better revenues.
That was last one?
OK. I've got a -- it's my turn to ask a question.
How many junior reporters do we have here today, including photographers?
Why don't we all get a -- get a photo, all right?
Where do we do it? Over here? Is thsi where Nancy did it?
[11:44:50] BOLDUAN: All right, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Take-Your- Kid-to-Work Day. It's one of his favorite days, because all the reporters, some of the reporters have their children with them. Just that is noteworthy. He's taking the photo right there. We're going to talk about what House speaker Paul Ryan made news on in a couple fronts.
But I also want to take you now to the White House, where moments ago, President Trump was speaking during a meeting with the president of Argentina in the Oval Office. We are waiting for that video to come in. We will be getting to that in just one second.
As we're looking, though, just take a moment and enjoy it. House Speaker Paul Ryan having a moment with some of the kids who are the children of the reporters on Capitol Hill.
And fun's over. Let's get back to the White House right now. Here you go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tell me how we came about the decision?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now. The president of Mexico, who I have a very, very good relationship, called me. And also, the prime minister of Canada, who I have a very good relationship. And I like both of these gentlemen very much. They called me, and they said, rather than terminating NAFTA, could you please renegotiate? I like them very much. I respect their countries very much. The relationship is very special. And I said, I will hold on the termination, let's see if we can make it a fair deal. Because NAFTA's been a horrible deal for the United States. It's been very good for Canada, it's been very good for Mexico, but it's been horrible for the United States. And if you checked my campaign, any of my speeches, I said, I will either renegotiate or I'll terminate. So, they asked me to renegotiate. I will. And I think we'll be successful in the renegotiation, which, frankly, would be good, because it would be simpler. But we have to make a deal that's fair for the United States. They understand that. And so, I decided, rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate. Now, if I'm unable to make a fair deal, if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA. But we're going to give renegotiation a good, strong shot.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: All right, President Trump right there with the president of Argentina in an Oval Office visit speaking about NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
A lot to discuss, what we're hearing here, as well as what we're learning on Capitol Hill.
Let's start the conversation. CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is here first.
So, on NAFTA, my question to you before hearing this was, where is the president? Because it was, we're threatening to pull out of NAFTA --
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Right.
BOLDUAN: -- now we're going to renegotiate it. Where does it stand now? It sounds like he's standing with both.
LABOTT: Well, I think this is vintage President Trump. I mean, I don't think the Canadians or the Mexicans thought that President Trump would really pull the U.S. out of NAFTA. It has been renegotiated about 11 times since it was first instituted. And it does need every few years some kind of updating for modernization, for cyber things, for job creation. And when you talk to Mexican and Canadian officials, I don't think anybody really thought that President Trump would pull out, because it is a shock -- it would be a shock to the system. Yes, the U.S. has lost some jobs to Mexico, to Canada, but the jobs that it's created, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that because of this trade and integration, that has created about 14 million jobs. And so, Mexicans and Canadians have a lot of leverage here. They also have about $584 billion in U.S. exports. And so, I think that they thought he would always arrive at some kind of renegotiation, and you know, they say they're ready to go.
BOLDUAN: It's very interesting how this is playing out right now.
Jen Psaki, let me bring you in on this, as you worked in both the Obama State Department and in communications with the Obama White House, of course. What do you think of the president's position on this, this negotiating tactic?
JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's not a surprise. He talked about this on the campaign trail. There are a lot of haters of NAFTA, including many Democrats. As Elise already touched on, it's already been renegotiated a number of times. What I heard him doing today is giving himself some room to probably not do a whole lot of anything but to keep his base happy. So I don't expect much to come out of this, to be honest.
BOLDUAN: You really don't? You don't think that he's still leveling this threat? You don't think that he would go as far as to terminating NAFTA and pulling out?
PSAKI: I don't think he will. I think as Elise already touched on, there are a number of jobs that were created through this. He clearly was listening to leaders from Mexico and Canada, as he just said. He needs to satisfy his base. Obviously, part of his base is haters of trade. There are a lot on the Democratic side as well. But I don't think he will take that step. I actually think he gave himself some room right now to just let this die.
[11:39:55] BOLDUAN: All right. Let's talk about Paul Ryan now.
Ana Navarro, let me bring you in, Kayleigh McEnany as well.
Paul Ryan today in talking about health care, everyone's kind of trying to get signals from the House speaker on where they are. Do they have agreements? Do they have the votes? As much as he would give us was we're not -- we've not yet made a decision on a vote on health care.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's Paul Ryan being very smart and acknowledging that they may not have the votes. They cannot afford -- the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, Republican leadership cannot afford more egg on their face when it comes to this health care attempted. They looked terrible the first time. Only thing that would make them look more terrible is if they failed a second time. We don't know if they have the votes. Not all the Tuesday Groups, the moderate Republicans are in favor and not all the Freedom Caucus votes are in favor.
NAVARRO: My congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, from south Florida, told me recently she voted "no" the second time. She thinks this bill is worse than the first one because of the pre-existing conditions component.
NAVARRO: So if they're going to try a second time, girl, they better get it right.
BOLDUAN: Just the pre-existing conditions part is fascinating, because what we heard from Paul Ryan, the way he put it, he said people will be better off with pre-existing conditions under our plan. But if you talk to some of the moderates that Ana is talking about here, Leonard Lansing (ph), he did not agree with that at all.
KAYLEIGH MCENANCY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, I'm very concerned actually about the new pre-existing condition provision, because it is essential to protect the eight million Americans under 65 who have a pre-existing condition. Essential. This gives a lot of leeway to the secretary of Health and Human Services basically granting states these waivers if they have high-functioning high-risk pools. But there's so much leeway there. That puts a lot of pressure on the administration to ensure that every state that is granted a waiver has a system in place that will protect these individuals. It could work. But there's a lot of leeway and it is concerning.
NAVARRO: I felt like the artificial deadline he was referring to was the 100-day mark --
NAVARRO: -- which I think is a much bigger thing in Trump's head than he wants to let on. This is an acknowledgement that we're not going to get this done before 100 days.
MCENANY: This is the populist element of President Trump's agenda.
BOLDUAN: But he's been talking about this artificial deadline. Democrats are clearly pointing to it now.
Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of "The Hill," let me bring you on in on for this exact point.
Democrats just this morning -- Steny Hoyer, number-two Democrat in the House, he made very clear that he thinks that Democrats, and says that Democrats should not, will not vote to keep the government open if Republicans would schedule a vote on health care the next couple days.
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Yeah. I -- it doesn't sound like Paul Ryan is going to have a vote because we're counting the votes on the health care bill and we've got 12 firm "nos" on the Republican side and over 60 Republicans we don't know or are reviewing the bill. I think Ryan is saying what's true. If they have the votes they'll move. They need Democrats to pass this appropriations bill, whether it's short term this week and do the big bill next week. So Democrats have leverage here.
BOLDUAN: Do you think -- I mean, what do you think, Jen? Do you think Paul Ryan would let them call Steny Hoyer's bluff on this? Would it look good for Democrats to be seen as holding up government funding because of a vote on health care?
PSAKI: You know, typically, it doesn't look good for any party to hold up government funding or to shut down the government. We can all agree on that. There are a few issues, and I think the risk of millions of people possibly losing health care is an area where Democrats felt they need to do something bold. This is bold. But as Bob alluded to and Ana alluded to, it doesn't seem like Paul Ryan has the votes here. The Tuesday Group, they don't vote as a block. A lot of them are just coming back from two weeks in their districts where people are protesting things like defunding Planned Parenthood, like not getting covered for pre-existing conditions. They are feeling the political heat a lot more than the Freedom Caucus. It would surprise me if this actually became an issue. Right now, this is a bold threat by Democrats. It doesn't seem like it's going to have to be used.
BOLDUAN: It might not even get to the point. I hear what you're saying.
Let me bring in Paul Callan.
I love this rotating cast of characters.
Paul, great to see you, CNN legal analyst.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to see you.
BOLDUAN: On the other very big breaking news happening today, with regard to the president's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Now coming out of Democrats in the House, they released this information that Michael Flynn -- there's paperwork that says he was warned not -- warned not to accept foreign payment upon retirement from the military, and the evidence that they see right now shows that he did just that. How much trouble does this put him in?
CALLAN: Well, we don't know all of the facts, but this is -- this would have to do with his intent and whether he had knowledge that maybe he was violating the law and he had been warned about it. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but if you have been explicitly warned that to do this is improper, that puts Flynn in a very difficult position. So I've got to see more details to really evaluate it, but it's not good news for General Flynn.
[11:55:17] BOLDUAN: From your work at the State Department, Elise, how does this play into -- it's not like this meeting or event he went to was secret. There are pictures.
BOLDUAN: They knew about this. I keep wondering, is this all on Michael Flynn or does this reach to the White House? Because that's what Elijah Cummings is saying.
LABOTT: I think when you have someone who is one of your top advisers to the campaign, and you see that he's been doing all this international work, you care about optics most of the time. You care about what your people are doing. A lot of people have said that maybe President Trump himself didn't necessarily fully understand what was going on. He doesn't have government experience. He saw his people out there meeting with international people, getting his name out, and perhaps thought that was a good idea. So you might be able to forgive, you know, some ignorance on his part. But certainly, his top advisers should have known that, you know, issues related to being paid by a foreign government, foreign agents.
And, look, at the end of the day, he resigned because he, quote/unquote, "was not truthful" with Mike Pence. He died to Mike Pence. I don't think anybody thinks that was really why he was fired. When people started to unravel this, and saw the depths, whether being paid by turkey or Russia or other governments, they saw he was a real liability on the foreign front.
BOLDUAN: Jen, can I bring you in on this? Tell me if there's a clear answer on this. When the White House was asked about this yesterday, Sean Spicer said -- because the White House, of course, did not deny the request from this House committee to send over documents related to Flynn's security clearance application. There's the background. Spicer said when asked about it, it's not the administration's responsibility to provide the documents. Here's just one quote from the briefing: "Those are not documents the White House would ever possess on any employee."
Can you give me your perspective on that?
PSAKI: You know, I can't answer for you what the White House, this White House possesses or doesn't, but where they are creating enormous problems for themselves is by not being forthcoming with these types of documents. They fired Mike Flynn, or he resigned, whatever exactly happened, and it's unclear why they are not being forthcoming and participating in this process. Is it because there's something more to hide? That sure is what it seems like. So they should have documents that pertain to individual security clearance. I don't know why they wouldn't have access to those or why they couldn't get them. Filling out forms, at least in my experience, where you fill out the countries you visited, the contacts you had, it's pretty standard fare for any official who is entering the White House in a high-level position.
BOLDUAN: Bob, one final question to you on this issue of these documents are released about Flynn. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the committee, his office is criticizing Cummings saying they were not consulted before he released these documents. That were criticizing him for releasing these documents. So that bipartisan effort we saw a couple days ago, is it already gone?
CUSACK: Yeah, I think it is. It's a very partisan-type of committee. But I do think it's very telling that Jason Chaffetz, a couple days ago, basically said he thinks Michael Flynn committed a crime, and that's a big problem. Republicans on Capitol Hill see where this is going, that Flynn lied to the vice president, that he didn't reveal that he was getting paid by Russia and Turkey, and they want to distance themselves. So I agree with Jen, if you want to distance yourself from Flynn, you got rid of him, and you've got to be transparent.
BOLDUAN: Kayleigh, do you think they're not distancing themselves from Flynn? Would you like to see some more brighter line between them?
MCENANY: I think they've created a lot of distance since the firing. It's fair for Sean Spicer to say, you can't expect us to hand over records of every single phone call, we just don't have those documents. I do think it's essential that he have a very clear document as to why he can't hand over some of the documents pre- January 20th. I thought his answer was a little muddled on that point. I think it's really important to have a clear answer, whether it's he has Fifth Amendment rights here or we're barred from doing this for some reason. He needs a clear answer.
BOLDUAN: Speaking of muddled, many threads regarding the Russian investigation, it's hard to keep track of it. They keep promising they're going to make a flow chart for everybody. How does this add to that?
NAVARRO: It makes it worse. Because for a long time, we've been saying there's a lot of smoke, but there's no fire. I think with Flynn, we're getting closer and closer to the fire. They have got to be transparent.
Look, we're not talking about giving away, you know, the secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. We are talking about national security. We are talking possibly about treason. We are talking about our geopolitical foes, the Russians. This is very serious stuff and it is -- it behooves the White Hose. It benefits the White House. They must be completely transparent. Give it up. Give it all up. It's going to come out anyway.
BOLDUAN: All right. Stand by for more.
Thank you all so much for joining me AT THIS HOUR.
"Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.