THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' on February 26, 2017 and it will be updated.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: And what takes place next with the president and Russia?
The White Home hit by headlines late this week for eliciting the FBI and intelligence officials to counter damaging stories and appearing to interfere with independent investigations. As a veterans group prepares to launch this new ad.
(Commence VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump, the CIA and FBI each say Russia interfered with our election to aid you. And when we know your campaign was in contact with them when it happened.
So sir, we're placing you on notice. We're demanding Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell appoint an independent commission to get the answers, for the reason that defending America indicates finding the truth.
(Finish VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get answers now from the White Residence.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders joins us now.
Sarah, thank you for joining us this morning.
So you just saw that ad.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE Residence PRESS SECRETARY: Thanks for being here.
Great morning, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We also heard from a crucial Republican member of Congress this week, Darrell Issa, who mentioned that the lawyer basic, Jeff Sessions, should recuse himself from this Russian investigation.
(Commence VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: You can not have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You're going to need to have to use the specific prosecutors statute and office to take not just to recuse -- that is -- you cannot just give it to your deputy. That is a further political appointee.
(End VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is a senior Republican, Congresswoman.
What is your response?
SANDERS: Appear, I feel the true uncomplicated answer here is that the FBI has already stated this story is BS. These are their words, so I apologize to my mom. But actually, those are the words of the FBI, that the story is BS.
They came to us, they approached us for placing that story out there. I feel the American people deserve to know the truth. And that's exactly what it is, that there is practically nothing right here. Just due to the fact reporters say one thing more than and over and more than once more doesn't begin to make it correct.
At some point, we get to a location where we've got to move on and commence focusing on the items that the American people care about and I don't consider this is it.
We've talked about it time and time and time again, asked and answered. Let's move forward. Let's commence speaking about the economy. Let's speak about education. Let's speak about border security.
SANDERS: Let's talk about national safety. That's what's keeping most Americans up at evening. That is what they want us focused on. And that is what this administration is undertaking day in and day out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A couple of issues there.
Initial of all, the FBI has produced officially no comment. The FBI director, James Comey, has had no comment. You are saying that the FBI told you that it was BS. The FBI hasn't said that at all.
But I was asking a distinct question. The FBI investigation is continuing proper now. The intelligence committees are continuing their investigations right now. And the question at hand is, is it acceptable for the lawyer general to oversee that investigation?
Right here are the Justice Department suggestions. They say that no DOJ employee may perhaps participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a individual or political connection with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation.
How can it be proper for a crucial member of the Trump campaign to oversee an investigation into the Trump campaign?
SANDERS: Look, George, we're confident what ever assessment that Congress wants to do, I assume that's the first step. If they want to take that on, which there are two committees that are presently carrying out that, we're exceptionally confident that, whatever review, they are all going to come to the very same conclusion -- that we had no involvement in this.
The bigger point here is if Democrats want to continue to relive their loss each and every single day by undertaking investigations or review after review, that's fine by us. We know why we won this race. It is simply because we had the greater candidate with the greater message. They didn't campaign in the ideal locations. They did not have a superior candidate. If they want to continue to relive that loss every single single day, then we welcome that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That wasn't a Democrat that was a Republican member of Congress. I will just say that for the record and I will take your answer to say you don't believe that the lawyer general requires to recuse correct now.
On the investigations, although, you also saw Republican members of Congress --
SANDERS: George, I do not feel we're there yet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hold on. Let me finish the query right there.
SANDERS: Yes, sir.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Republican members of Congress saying this week that President Trump should release his tax returns. Senator Collins said that it could come to subpoenaing these tax returns. If Congress requests these tax returns as aspect of the investigation, will President Trump offer them?
SANDERS: Properly, that's a query you'd have to ask the president. But what I do know is that, once more, we've answered this query. I guess I never know how a lot of instances you have to answer the exact same query, and men and women get started to expect a distinctive answer.
Once again, I wasn't saying that he should not recuse himself or that he must. My point is I don't believe we're there but. Let's function via this method. You guys want to jump to the really end of the line. That's not how this performs. Typically, you go by means of a congressional oversight critique. We're carrying out that. Let's not go to the pretty end of the extreme. Let's let this play out the way it need to.
But, once more, I go back to, if you want to continue to relive this loss, then let's do that. But, at the very same time, even though the Democrats, and even perhaps some of the Republicans as you talked about, want to talk about that, what we're focused on in this administration is what we campaigned on and reaching those targets and making confident that America is moving forward.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Once more, I was asking about the FBI and the Justice Division investigation, not the congressional.
But let's move on to the state of the union. A single of the massive inquiries at the state of the union coming up -- I guess it is not a state of the union the address to Congress on Tuesday -- will be what to do with Obamacare in this and what the president's going to say really should be carried out.
Through the campaign, he stated everyone's got to be covered. As recently as January 15th, he told "The Washington Post" we're going to have insurance for everyone. But there is a brand-new evaluation out just right now about the Republican plans about to be presented. They had been presented to the governors yesterday. And it says millions may possibly drop coverage in Obamacare repeal governors told. Policies supported by Republican congressional leaders to replace Obamacare could lead millions of men and women to shed their wellness care coverage according to a presentation given to state governors meeting Saturday in Washington.
It estimates the number of men and women covered by Obamacare via the individual insurance coverage marketplace could be slashed by as much as 51 percent in states that chose not to expand Medicaid coverage and by 30 percent in states that chose -- that did expand the federal-state wellness plan for the poor.
So can the president assure that no one who has coverage suitable now will shed it beneath his program?
SANDERS: Look, what I know that the president can guarantee is what he's been saying, is that this is not just a repeal system, that we totally have to repeal it but replace it with something that is improved.
George, even Democrats will admit that Obamacare is merely not sustainable. It's collapsing below itself. It can not keep the track that we're on. We have to make massive adjustments. I believe each Republicans and Democrats agree with that. This was a program that was shoved via with so quite a few complications and we're still every day obtaining out new problems to this plan. We know that we cannot just repeal it and not do anything else. We have to repeal it and we have to replace it with a thing greater. That's what this president's committed to undertaking --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that is what I want to ask you about proper there.
SANDERS: -- and that's exactly what we're operating to do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say replace it with something far better. So does that imply that no 1 who has coverage now will lose it?
SANDERS: I know that the target is that we make positive that persons never shed their coverage and that we have to place a high priority on men and women that want it most. We have to lower fees and we have to make certain that the persons that need insurance coverage the very most are covered. But at the very same time, George, we cannot survive under the existing program. We have to make a huge general to the overall health care method in America, due to the fact it is basically just not sustainable, and everybody agrees with that. There is nobody that argues that we're on a track that we can retain. So, we're seeking at each and every probable way to do specifically that: repeal a terrible , failed program and replace with some thing greater.
STEPHANOPOULOS Once more, so I will have to ask 1 extra time. You keep say replace it with anything better. So will the president assure that he will not sign a plan that will result in folks that have coverage now to lose it?
SANDERS: Look, I'm not going to speak particularly for the president on that topic, but what I can say is he's produced it a higher priority and a number a single focus that we make certain that men and women that have insurance continue their insurance, specifically these in the highest want.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He promised during the campaign that he's not going to touch Medicare, Social Safety, or Medicaid. Can he stand by that?
SANDERS: Appear, the president is committed to performing that. And I think that so far, as you have noticed over the final 30 days, he's performed exactly what he mentioned he is going to do. And I do not see any cause to commence thinking differently.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to bring up yet another topic proper now. Just yesterday in The Miami Herald the father of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in that raid in Yemen has spoken out about the raid. He did not want to meet with President Trump. And he also went on to say this, "don't hide behind my son's death to prevent an investigation. I want an investigation. The government owes my son an investigation."
Will he get it?
SANDERS: You know, I surely can't speak to the military, but I can say that -- as a parent, I can't imagine the loss that he has suffered. I assume just about every American owes his son a great deal of gratitude. We are forever in his son's debt. I know that he paid the ultimate sacrifice when he went on that mission. And I know that the mission has a lot of different critics, but it did yield a substantial amount of really essential intel and sources that helped save American lives and other lives.
And, as much as -- once again, I can't envision what this father is going via. I believe he's a -- his son is a correct American hero and we should forever been in his son's debt.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Does the president want an investigation?
SANDERS: I haven't had the possibility to speak with him directly about that, but I would picture that he would be supportive of that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Final question, we heard yesterday in the president's tweet, he's not going to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Why?
SANDERS: George, I believe it's secure to say I feel we all invest enough time about each and every other as it is. But, appear, this wasn't a president that was elected to devote his time with reporters and celebrities, this is a president who campaigned on speaking straight to Americans, and that's what he's going to spend his time carrying out.
I believe it really is -- kind of naive of us to assume that we can all stroll into a room for a couple of hours and pretend that some of that tension is not there. You know, one particular of the things we say in the south if a Girl Scout egged your residence, would you buy cookies from her? I assume that this is a fairly similar scenario. There is no explanation for him to go in and sit and pretend like this is going to be just one more Saturday evening.
I think he's quite focused on protecting our borders, national security, expanding our economy, and instead of spending a night undertaking that, I think he'll spend the night focused on what he can do to support greater America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Fairly straight answer. I believe a lot would argue the eggs have gone each methods on that. But we're going to have to leave it there right now.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, thanks pretty significantly.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in the Democratic leader of the Property correct now Nancy Pelosi. Thank you for joining us this morning.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Superior morning. My pleasure.
So, you heard Sarah Sanders right there talk about this thought of a unique committee hunting into the Russia ties with the Trump campaign. Also, pretty substantially saying there will not be any recusal, at least for now, from the attorney common. Your response?
PELOSI: Properly, as you study the law and saw the law, the attorney basic should recuse himself.
But let's just take it back a step, you have seen a flurry of activities that are absolutely inappropriate, encouraging lawmakers, encouraging intelligence officials to say that anything is 1 way or a different. Let's have the investigation and uncover out the truth.
And we have been known as, we have100 now plus a single Republican on Eric Swallow's bill for an outside, independent commission to study the personal, political, and monetary relationship involving President Trump and the Russians.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So far, these the efforts have been quashed by the Republican leadership in the House. And you happen to be getting some stress from Democrats to go farther.
Michael Moore place out a tweet this week. He stated inform your senators and property members now, you want them to cease all business enterprise till they appoint a specific committee on Trump and the Russians. He gave the telephone quantity there as nicely. Are you ready to go that far?
PELOSI: Nicely, let me just say, there is no business. Let me just – let's put this in time. You did at the beginning of the show. In a couple of days, it will be 40 days, 40 hours, 40 years in the desert – 40 is fraught with which means and symbolism.
When President Obama was sworn in on the steps of Capitol, he asked for swift, bold action now for jobs and education for the 21st Century, a list, an agenda. A single week and 1 day from that swearing in, the Property passed the ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 1 week later, the Senate passed it. On February 17th, Four weeks from his inauguration, he signed a bill which saved or produced 4 million jobs.
He had already signed Lilly Ledbetter, signed SCHIP, the children's health insurance coverage program. By the time he had his 1st address to the joint session, that is as it is referred to as, the initially speech, he could say, this is what I asked for, this is what we have accomplished in the very first 4 weeks.
What has the Trump administration completed from their inaugural address, where they talked about decay and carnage? They've done absolutely nothing except put Wall Street 1st, make America sick once again, instill fear in our immigrant population in our country, and make confident that Russia maintains its grip, its grip on our foreign policy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Sarah Sanders right there, they are going to speak about Obamacare on Tuesday evening. Would not say that the president can assure.
PELOSI: No, they cannot guarantee simply because, you know what, the Republicans have been baying at the moon for seven years, in March it was seven years because the president signed the bill. They've been baying at the moon that they had a superior thought.
They've come up with nothing. They say repeal and replace. That has alliteration. But that's all it has going for it mainly because they never have a replacement. What they have place forth and outlined will expense far more to customers. It will cover fewer persons. It will give tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals.
Consider in what the president desires to do, the 400 wealthiest families in America will get a tax break of $7 million a year.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they do follow by means of and repeal Obamacare, will not Democrats...
PELOSI: They won't be in a position to do that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They are not going to be capable to do it?
PELOSI: How can they do it? They do not have the votes. They have alliteration. But they don't have votes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's -- humor me for a second. I they do, will not Democrats have a duty to go in there and assistance repair it so that the individuals who will shed coverage, according to your analyses, do not shed that coverage?
PELOSI: We would go in there to repair -- here's the thing, when we did the Very affordable Care Act, if everyone loved their care, if everybody loved it, which they didn't, and their insurance coverage, we would nonetheless have had to do it due to the fact the escalating cost of wellness care in our country had been unsustainable to men and women, to families, to modest organization, to corporate America, and to the public sector.
The fees have been just soaring. So we do the care and had three objectives. 1, to decrease costs. The other, to expand advantages. And the third, to enhance -- raise access of many a lot more folks, 20.4 million men and women now have well being care who didn't have it just before.
But this is the crucial portion, 155 million people today who get their wellness insurance through their workplace have now had expanded positive aspects, cease the price of raise of expenses. But, no longer will you have a pre-existing condition avert you from getting care.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I recognize that's what is in the bill, but...
STEPHANOPOULOS: … if they repeal it, don't you have an obligation to guard these who are going to drop their coverage?
PELOSI: Nicely, it isn't a query that you have to have the full package. If they come up with something that keeps lowering fees, expanding coverage, and increases added benefits, then we can have one thing to talk about.
But we haven't observed something to speak to them about yet in any category. They have put forth nothing.
So when he makes his address on the 40 days that he has been president, he has nothing at all to show for it but fear in each way. To people today who are sick, fear, to persons who are immigrants, worry, to men and women who are concerned about the greed on Wall Street taking us back to exactly where we have been.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What sort of a reception is the president going to get on Tuesday night? I've study that some Democrats are considering of bringing guests who they believe have been impacted by the president's policies.
PELOSI: Properly, that would be a regular factor to do. I, myself, would bring a guest who is a DREAMer. I would bring a guest who has been a -- who lost her son by way of gun violence. And I will bring a guest who is a symbol of the freedom of the press, which the president, in his authoritarian manner, is attacking.
And I assume that's definitely -- our biggest guardian of our democracy is the Initial Amendment, the freedom of the press.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are there any concerns exactly where you feel that you can still operate with the president? Back in November, you talked about infrastructure.
STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) talked about maybe a trillion dollar infrastructure plan. We do not know if he's going to propose a single on Tuesday. Is that some thing Democrats can get behind?
PELOSI: Well, let's just talk about that for a moment, since I get in touch with him the deflector-in-chief. He has no jobs bill. I talked about President Obama in the first 4 weeks, 4 million jobs. He has no jobs bill.
So he has got to talk about the press. He has no jobs bill. So he has to talk about kids -- transgender children in school. He has no jobs bill, so he has to speak about immigrants and have a ban on Muslims coming to country.
So all this is a deflection from the fact that he has performed nothing. So we haven't seen -- we haven't a jobs bill. We haven't observed --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have an open mind on it?
PELOSI: Appear, if he has -- and as I've stated to him and as I've mentioned publicly -- if he has an infrastructure bill that truly assists to address the deficit that we have in our infrastructure in our nation, let's speak about it. But if it is, but again, a different tax break for his wealthy close friends disguised as an infrastructure bill, we're not going there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman Pelosi, thanks for joining us this morning.
PELOSI: My pleasure.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.