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Crunchy Frog

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Gender: Female
Member since: Sun Oct 26, 2003, 04:06 AM
Number of posts: 20,681

About Me

Living under a Soviet puppet regime.

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Here's a rough transcript. So people can get outraged over what he actually said

rather than getting outraged over some cherry picked, out of context, misquotes.

WB: Senator, thanks so much for joining us.

Sanders: Great to be with you.

WB: What's your reaction to the president's firing of Comey?

Sanders: Uh, I think it is a situation where the president is impeding a significant investigation to determine whether in fact, there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. As you know, Russia has been interfering in elections big time, in Germany, in Ukraine, many countries around the world. Our intelligence agencies all agree that they interfered significantly in the American election. They were in France last week, trying to elect Le Pen, a very right wing individual.

So this is an investigation that has to go forward in a non-partisan way. And in the midst of this, after Comey says we are doing an investigation. After, according to the NYT, he says "I need more money from the DOJ to do the investigation". After we know he was supposed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, suddenly, in the midst of all of this, after months and months and months, president Trump says "you're fired, you're not doing a good job". I think that his reason for firing Comey-he was concerned about how he treated Hillary Clinton, I'm kind of, "give me a break". That really does not pass the laugh test. So I think what we need to do now is go forward; and it's very important that this be done in a bipartisan way. We need a special council, independently selected.

WB: But how do you select that person? It's gotta be approved by Congress. There's gotta be legislation, I
assume. The president could veto that legislation. You would need a 2/3s override.

Sanders: If that happens, then you really are in the midst of a Constitutional crisis, but I would hope that within the bureaucracy of the career folks, in the department...

WB: So far it doesn't look like any of the Republicans support what you support.

Sanders: Well, that is a sad state of affairs, and I hope that changes. The bottom line here is that the American people have a right to know whether president Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians.

You know, it is amazing, I think alot of people scratch their heads and try to figure out, why has Trump been so positive about an
authoritarian type president like Vladimir Putin? What is going on? So is there collusion? Let's find out if there is.

WB: And you speak about Comey. You're no great fan of Comey, cause...

Sanders: I am no great fan.

WB: We checked in January. Jan 15th of this year, you told ABC news "It would not be a bad thing for the American people, if the FBI Director were to step down".

Sanders: Absolutely. I think the role that he played during the campaign was disgraceful. It was unprecedented, and it was a factor; one factor, in helping Trump get elected. But right now we're in a different place. Right now we are in the midst of an investigation. Right now this guy was supposed to testify tomorrow, before the Senate Intelligence Committee. And clearly that investigation has got to go forward in as non-partisan a way as it can. To fire the FBI Director in the midst of that investigation is totally unacceptable.

WB: So what can you do to get your Republican colleagues on board, and do you have confidence in the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Burr, to conduct a thorough and complete investigation?

Sanders: I am not a member of the Intelligence Committee. I know Richard, I've known him for years, and I hope that he does the right thing. Look, this is a very, very important moment. The American people do not have a whole lot of faith in the United States government. Don't have a whole lot of faith in the Republican party or the Democratic party or the political process. And I think we have got to stand up now in a non-partisan way. Democrats cannot politicize this issue. It may turn out, you know what? That Trump's campaign was not colluding with the Russians. If that's the case, that's the case. Forget about it. But I understand now that the White House is saying "you had enough discussion about the investigation". That's nonsense. The investigation is barely beginning.

WB: That's what the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today.

Sanders: No relationship.

WB: No relation. I know she's no relation to you. Same last name. But she said "it's gone on for so long, it's over let's move on."

Sanders: I mean that's just an incredible statement. It barely has begun. You have the FBI Director saying he needs more funds in order to pursue the investigation, expedite the investigation.

WB: Do you have any leverage, with Republicans to get an independent council?

Sanders: Yeah, I think you do. I think essentially the United States Senate does not function very well unless there's unanimous consent. Unless there is a certain level of cordiality. And I hope, and at this point I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to my Republican colleagues, that they are prepared to do the right thing.

Let me mention one area, not my idea, this came from Senator Patty Murray, which I think would be a very, very good gesture. I think that as we proceed and go forward with the appointment of a new FBI director, right now, under the law, under the rules of the Senate, it would only require 50 votes-51 votes to get that person in. I would think it would be a really good gesture, given this moment, when there's so much acrimony and so much distrust, that Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate say, "you know what, we'll go back to 60 votes. We'll do this in a bipartisan way, so that the entire country feels confident that the new director is not simply a political operative for Trump, but somebody who has the best interest of the DOJ and the FBI..."

WB: Cause as you know, they passed that nuclear option eliminating, going down from 60 to 50.

Sanders: I understand that. Democrats did their thing. But I'm saying that at this particular moment, as we look at a new FBI director, I don't think the country wants somebody who is simply gonna be a activist, or proponent for Trump's policy. They're gonna want somebody who has at least bipartisan support.

WB: One of your Democratic colleagues, Ron Wyden, a man you know, he's suggested that maybe the Democrats should use parliamentary maneuvers to slow down confirmation of individuals for, nominees for various positions. Take other steps in order to...

Sanders: I hope it doesn't come to that, but that's what I meant when I answered your question "what can you do?" You know, the Senate needs to function with unanimous consent, otherwise it really gets slowed down. I don't want to see that happen. I don't want to see that happen.

WB: Give us some historic perspective on what's going on right now. Step back a little bit, and give us some comparisons to other moments in American history. I ask you that as someone who's lived through some tumultuous times.

Sanders: Obviously the suggestion is it goes back to Watergate.

WB: Do you see comparisons?

Sanders: I see some comparisons, but what I think, right now, at this moment. When there is so much distrust of the political process. That we have a president who, I hate to say this, lies a whole lot. When we have a president who has attacked media, you, as "fake news". When we have a president who refers to judges who render verdicts against him as "so called judges". When you're seeing that attack on, what in a sense on the fabric of American society, people are nervous, and now you're seeing a president firing an FBI director in the midst of an investigation. So, I would say this is a moment in which Congress has got to take a deep breath, slow it down. Let's do this thing right.

WB: Senator Sanders. Thanks so much for joining us.
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