Interview With Rep. Bill Johnson (R), Ohio; Pelosi Denies Trump Use Of House Chamber For State Of The Union; Voters Want To End The Government
<Show: KENNEDY LIVE>
<Date: January 23, 2019>
<Head: Interview With Rep. Bill Johnson (R), Ohio; Pelosi Denies Trump Use
Of House Chamber For State Of The Union; Voters Want To End The Government
Shutdown, And More Of Them Think Trump Should Compromise; Cohen Cop-Out;
Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Postpones House Testimony Due To Threats
Against His Family; Bill Clinton Releasing Memoir On His Post-Presidential
Life - Part 1>
<Sect: News; Financial>
<Byline: Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, Chad Pergram, Richard Fowler, Steve
<Guest: Ned Ryun; Jimmy Failla, Kayleigh McEnany, David Bruno, Philip
<Spec: Nancy Pelosi; Government Shutdown; Border Wall; State of the Union;
Mike Pence; Kevin McCarthy; Steve Scalise; Liz Cheney; United States
Department of Homeland Security; United States Secret Service; Dreamers;
DACA; Steny Hoyer; United States Coast Guard; Venezuela; Nicolas Maduro;
Juan Guaido; FEMA; FBI; Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau; Chuck
Schumer; Michael Cohen; Donald Trump; House Oversight Committee; Lanny
Davis; Congress; Senate; Democrat; Republican; Bill Clinton; Memoir; Post-
Presidential Life; John Bolton; Sebastian Gorka; California; Uber; KFC;
Gravy Candle; Philadelphia; Kids Dance Off; Super Bowl LIII; Florida;
Drive-Through; Shade Simmons; Battery>
TRISH REGAN, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: The U.S. no longer recognizes him. Viva Libertad. “KENNEDY” begins right now.
LISA KENNEDY MONTGOMERY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: Viva la (INAUDIBLE). Thank you, Trish. President Trump and Nancy Pelosi on a collision course for the ages. Next week, State of the Union hanging in the balance as each side digs in a little deeper of the shutdown. But it looks like the president may have outfoxed the Speaker of the House. Will Nancy punch back earlier today? The president sent a letter saying he plans to deliver his State of the Union address this Tuesday come hell or high water.
And then Nancy fired back. How high do you want it? Said that he was in not invited to the Capitol Building unless the government reopens. And back at the White House, the president smelled blood and took his case to reporters. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The State of the Union speech has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi because she doesn’t want to hear the truth. She doesn’t want the American public to know what’s going on. And she’s afraid of the truth and the super left Democrats, the radical Democrats, what’s going on in that party is shocking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MONTGOMERY: Oh, wow. So the president says it’s all canceled. But the Bay Area bruiser, she wasn’t done yet firing back yet again playing -- claiming the president is the one blocking progress. Nance?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Because government is closed. We have said very clearly from the start and then I wrote to him the second time to say since the government is shutdown, we do not -- let’s work together on a mutually agreeable date and we can welcome you to the Capitol to give a State of the Union address. The government is still shutdown. I still made the offer. Let’s work and (INAUDIBLE) a agreeable date as the original date was mutually agreeable, so that we can welcome him properly --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MONTGOMERY: Well, why didn’t you sit down and figure out a mutually agreeable way to reopen the government? You feckless dotard. Nancy, wasn’t it supposed to be about keeping the event safe? Remember when you claimed that the Secret Service couldn’t secure the speech and the spot? Well, the president shut that down too. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If we can handle Iraq, we can handle the middle of Washington in a very, very spectacular building in a beautiful room that we should be in and that’s where it’s been for a very long time. So it’s a sad thing for our country. We’ll do something in the alternative. We’ll be talking to you about that at a later date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MONTGOMERY: Oh, so what are these alternative plans? It is not quite clear just yet but we have some brand new Fox pulls on the matter. According to the new data, 56 percent of people say the president should give the speech. Only 33 percent say he should skip it. So who has the upper hand here? Which side is on the ropes? And where do we go from here? Joining me now, Fox News Senior Capitol Hill Producer, Chad Pergram. Chad, what are you hearing in the halls of Congress?
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR PRODUCER FOR CAPITOL HILL: Well, you know, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, he put together his own resolution. A concurrent resolution which is what you need to have the President of the United States speak to a joint session of Congress. Now, they’re not going to consider that. That’s the key point here. The president and I’m going to show you something. This is the House rule book right here and the House rule four gives the President of the United States authorization to come to the House chamber.
He can come there virtually any time, cabinet secretaries can, the architect of the capitol. You could have governors of states, foreign ministers. The president can come but he cannot speak unless both the House and Senate, Kennedy, have approved a concurrent resolution. And that’s the key here that Nancy Pelosi is not going to let that come to the floor. So this is a --
MONTGOMERY: Yes. She will not take that up. There’s absolutely no way.
PERGRAM: That’s right. That’s right. And this is why Kevin McCarthy was punching back and saying, well, here’s my resolution. Let’s consider it. And let me read you part of the statement here from Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, the whip, and Liz Cheney, the Republican Conference Chair, the speakers decision to close the House Chamber to the duly elected president amounts to a politically motivated stunt resorting to a petty tactic is a sign of failed leadership and beneath the U.S. Congress.
Now, here’s one of the keys. The president just can’t come here and speak. We have different coequal branches of government. There are firewalls there. And so, one wonders and I pressed Nancy Pelosi on this earlier today. Was this an effort to try to respect the institution of the House? Was she concerned about precedent? Keep in mind. It wasn’t until 1913 that President Woodrow Wilson came to deliver a State of the Union speech. George Washington did it originally and Thomas Jefferson ditched that in the early 1800s.
And until that point, it was just a written statement that was read by the House clerk. One of the salient questions here, Kennedy, is if the president speaks elsewhere, does it match the constitutional requirement, Article 2, Section 3 of the president providing from time to time information on the State of the Union. That’s where the term of art is derived. Now, if he sends in some paperwork, everybody would say, yes, OK, you’ve probably done that.
But does that establish a new precedent? And I asked the speaker about that if she was concerned, she said, no. That said some wonder what would it be like if you had a Democratic president and a Republican Congress and they had a tiff with the president. Would we be on another track here in a couple of years?
MONTGOMERY: Nancy Pelosi would have had live kittens on the House floor if at Congressional Republicans had done that to President Obama.
PERGRAM: Yes. And that’s why people here are concerned. And that’s why people are saying, OK, if they can’t even agree on having the State of the Union speech, how can they possibly get close to reopening the government? Now, there’s a little bit of talk in the background right now. The Democrats are trying to put together a plan, $5.7 billion of border security matching the president’s number on the border wall but saying will give you everything, but the border wall and see if that could jumpstart things.
You know, over the past couple of days, House Democrats really for two weeks since the beginning of the Congress, they have moved very different series of bills to try to fund the government in every which way, temporary bills, long-term bills, overall bills for the entire fiscal year, and they had the first break today. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshmen Democrat from Ney York was the first Democratic defection. We’ve only had, you know, 12 I think is the high watermark for Republicans --
MONTGOMERY: She’s just trying to get attention. That’s --
PERGRAM: Well, we’ll see if --
MONTGOMERY: -- a principled defection. That’s just a way of her getting people to talk about her a little bit more. It really has nothing to do with the shutdown and the serious business and compromise it’s going to take in order to achieve that. And, you know, Nancy Pelosi saying, you know, we can’t do this until the government is open and then not making any serious effort to sit down and negotiated to reopen the government. That has to hear her at some point politically.
PERGRAM: Yes. And when you talk about that poll, you know, that’s an interesting question. Did the Democrats overplay their hand at the end of the day? We don’t know. Now, the next step and this is going to come in the Senate tomorrow. The president put out his plan, border wall funding, also a temporary DACA fix. The Democrats have theirs. There will be two procedural votes tomorrow in the Senate at 2:30, both have a 60 vote threshold.
Now, there’s a reason why you do a side-by-side Democratic and Republican plan and submit it to a 60 vote threshold in the Senate. That really is a way that you’re going to euthanize those bills. There might be a simple majority on the Republican side to pass the bill. There might be a simple majority --
MONTGOMERY: Yes. But they need 60 votes.
PERGRAM: That’s absolutely. But what that basically does is say this is fait accompli and those two bills tomorrow are not going to reopen the government.
MONTGOMERY: No. And that’s not the point of this exercise. Now, speaking of the Senate, what about the president holding his State of the Union address there?
PERGRAM: Right. Well, here’s a problem. You have filibusters in the Senate and if the Senate were to draw-up a separate resolution, the Senate is controlled by Republicans a simple Senate resolution, that is subject to not one, but two filibusters. You have what’s called the motion to proceed to actually call it up, had do you cut off a filibuster? 60 votes. Then if you get on to it, you have to cut off the bait the second time, what do you need there? 60 votes.
So that is not going to happen. Theoretically, you could invite them and do that. But the parliamentary traps that you have to run, Kennedy, just not going to work under these circumstances.
MONTGOMERY: Well, this is why people hate Congress and it’s why we can’t have nice things.
PERGRAM: Well, this is -- this is what I work around all day around here. It --
MONTGOMERY: It’s unbelievable. You are a patient man and your attention to detail is exquisite. Thank you for letting us rely on you, Chad Pergram.
PERGRAM: Thanks for having me, Kennedy.
MONTGOMERY: So who do the American people blame for the fiasco? Moments ago, Trish Regan asked our Vice President Mike Pence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I understand. The speaker has indicated that she will not accommodate the president’s opportunity to address the nation and I think the American people are just tired of all the posturing by the Democrats in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MONTGOMERY: Now, the thing is our bran new Fox News poll don’t exactly show that. According to the poll, 51 percent blame the president, 34 percent blame the Democrats, and 41 percent say Nancy Pelosi is better at political gamesmanship than the president, 35 percent say the president is better, and 30 percent of those say begrudgingly. So who is winning in the court of public opinion? Joining me now from the American Majority where he serves as CEO, former Presidential Writer for George W. Bush, it is Ned Ryun, and we’ve also got the Host of The Richard Fowler radio show and also a Fox News Contributor, Richard Fowler. Welcome, gentlemen.
RICHARD FOWLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Kennedy. How are you?
NED RYUN, FOUNDER AND CEO, AMERICAN MAJORITY: Thanks, Kennedy.
MONTGOMERY: So let’s get into it. This never disappoints. Binge watching this administration is always quite satisfying. Richard, we saw the president’s letter that had sent to Nancy Pelosi saying, honey, thank you so much for inviting me to this -- give my State of the Union address in your January 3rd letter. I’m going to go ahead and accept that. And she’s like, oh, no, you didn’t and I won’t. So who’s the bigger baller here?
FOWLER: I think this award, Kennedy, in my book goes to Nancy Pelosi. And here’s why. I’m going to give you just reasoning. President Trump wrote a book called the Art of the Deal and clearly there’s no art in the president’s deal. I mean with the government -- this is the longest government shutdown we’ve had in American history and no matter what he says, this president can’t manage to open the government, and, yes, there are Democrats --
MONTGOMERY: But he can -- he can open it by himself and Nancy Pelosi (INAUDIBLE) are shutting down everything he says even though -- he is lurching leftward pretty quickly with some of these immigration --
FOWLER: Exactly. He is --
MONTGOMERY: -- compromises.
FOWLER: -- his own Republican base. So if you were to put Donald Trump --
MONTGOMERY: But you can’t have it both ways. Either he’s changing or he’s not, Richard, and he’s changing in your favor, so why don’t your beloved Democrats sitting down with him?
FOWLER: No, no, no. First, let’s be very clear. So giving -- like saying we’re going to have a three-year extension on DACA and temporary protective status is not a win for Democrats because remember DACA was fine until President Trump repealed it same thing with temporary protective status. It was fine until President Trump --
MONTGOMERY: No, it wasn’t because it’s an executive order which is flimsy and you have to have a law pass by Congress in order to make these things more permanent.
FOWLER: Kennedy, I hear all of that. But remember --
MONTGOMERY: No. I’m going to hear from Ned Ryun. Ned?
RYUN: Kennedy, can we get back to the fact that Nancy was for the State of the Union. She was for before she was against it. She did actually two weeks into the shutdown invite him to come give the State of the Union then she comes up with some flimsy excuse there wasn’t enough security, Homeland Security and Secret Service shut her down on that. I mean the fact of the matter is, Kennedy, she’s playing political gamesmanship.
We can’t forget over one-eighth of one percent of the federal budget is what we’re really talking about. And I think Donald Trump, you know what, if she doesn’t want to come to the floor of the House, that’s fine. He should go to the people. He should go outside of D.C. In fact, I’m not even really sure I want him on the Senate floor. Just go to the people. In fact, you know what I’d argue, if you really wants to add some sizzle, go to Covington Catholic and give his address there and watch, you know, watch the audience go crazy on that one --
MONTGOMERY: I had a suggestion and I want to hear what you think of my suggestion, Richard. I think that the president should go to San Francisco, a city that I love. And I grew up visiting San Francisco, my beloved departed aunt lived there for 25 years. It is such a special place. It is turned into a hobo hell hole with human feces providing at so disgusting obstacle course. But I think the president should bust in a bunch of people from the deep south where they love and admire him and assemble them for the speech that Nancy Pelosi is back here, what do you think, Richard?
FOWLER: There’s a couple of problems with that. Number one --
MONTGOMERY: Solid plan.
FOWLER: The State of the Union is not about Democrat or Republican. The State of the Union is about the state of our union and here are the facts. Currently, in the state of our union, 25 percent of it is shut down and if you remember from the December meeting with Donald Trump, this is the Trump shutdown because that’s what he called it. He said he will shut the government down until he gets his wall and what we know for a fact is that the reason why there are more illegal immigrants here has nothing to do with the southern border.
It hasn’t everything to do with visa overstays. Nothing in the president’s plan addresses these overstays --
MONTGOMERY: (INAUDIBLE) and people want jobs. Huh?
FOWLER: I mean I’m with you. I agree with you on these points, Kennedy. My point is that this wall is a stupid idea. It’s a feckless idea.
RYUN: No, it’s not.
FOWLER: And now, the president doesn’t have the votes to get it done literally -
MONTGOMERY: All right. Ned.
RYUN: If there was a stupid -- if it was a stupid idea, why the Democrats vote for in 2013 seriously? They voted for 46 billion. They voted for (INAUDIBLE) on the wall --
RYUN: It’s not a stupid idea. You know what, and that’s what he’s offering right now. He is offering --
MONTGOMERY: I would love to -- I would love to hang out and have you guys call each other dumb dumbs because it really is. It’s my favorite part of the week. I think you two are amazing and outstanding. And I love and admire you both. Thank you so much, Ned and Richard.
RYUN: Thank you, Kennedy.
FOWLER: Thanks, Kennedy.
MONTGOMERY: These are all very things, see. Coming up, 33 days into the shutdown and we are no closer to a deal. But as politicians in Washington play hardball and grab ass, federal workers are falling on hard times. Some lawmakers on the Hill are urging for actual negotiations to end the stalemate. Ohio Republican Congressman Bill Johnson joins me next.
MONTGOMERY: The problems continue to mount from the government shutdown. A group of federal workers were arrested at the Capitol today for holding a sit in outside the Office of the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. They’re hardly the only ones fed up with the federal fight club. The FBI claims it doesn’t have funds for some investigations. The FDA can’t approve new drug patents. And the Coast Guard is now wildly understaffed.
FEMA has stopped paying contractors and then a serious blow to almost all Americans. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has halted the approval of new beer labels. Oh, my god. We have to end this thing now. And who’s to blame? A new Fox News poll shows congressional approval rating has fallen to 18 percent. Man, I thought it was in single digits. That’s in the wake of the shutdown. Well, 67 percent of voters disapprove of the whole thing. It is a sorry situation.
But if anyone can stop the stalemate, it is a man from the Buckeye State. With me now Ohio Republican Congressman, Bill Johnson. Congressman, welcome.
REP. BILL JOHNSON (R), OHIO: Kennedy, you give me way too much credit.
MONTGOMERY: Well, let’s see. I understand that you have a very noble idea that could help end the shutdown. What is it?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I think the president should use the opportunity at the State of the Union. He’s going to have both chambers. He’s going to have the leadership, both parties, every stakeholder is going to be in the room. I think he should in front of the watchful eye of the American people take his coat off, roll up his sleeves, and say, hey, we’re going to handle this right here. Let’s get to work. We’re going to find out who’s willing to negotiate and who’s not. Let’s get this done.
MONTGOMERY: Wendy’s is for closers only. I think it’s a fascinating idea because I really enjoyed the sort of ambush conversation he had with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They didn’t realize there would be cameras rolling and we were delighted to see it because it was a rather chaotic conversation. And then, there’s always mischaracterization of the meetings when they’re behind closed doors. I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all.
And I think there are enough people that want to know aside from the shutdown how is the government doing, what is the president’s vision, how is the future looking, is this going to be a good year for me my family? And, you know, there are people who there aren’t too many political moments where we really stop and watch and listen in State of the Union is one of the few.
JOHNSON: Yes, it is. And, you know, the sad part about it is, we could get to that and we could get to that so easily. But the fact is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has quit. She has quit on the American people. She has quit on the federal workers that are out of work and not getting paid. She has quit on the Dreamers that she says she cares so much about. These political stunts, Kennedy, need to stop because every time she does another political stunt like this she paints herself deeper into a corner that’s going to make it more and more difficult for her to get out.
She made a lot of promises to people within her caucus in order to get the votes that she need to become speaker and those are going to come back to haunt her. You’re already hearing from people --
MONTGOMERY: Well, she also -- she has -- I mean you’re part of the Problem Solvers Caucus. So you know as well as anyone working across the aisle with some your Democrat friends. You know there are people who are saying, just give them some money. There are people who are ready to break ranks because their constituents are very frustrated. And if I were a congressman or a woman in one of the states that happens to employ a lot of federal workers, I would be putting a great deal of pressure on congressional leadership. What’s happening?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, you said it. I’m a very conservative Republican. I represent a conservative district.
MONTGOMERY: I head you thought that Brett Kavanaugh was too liberal.
JOHNSON: Well, no, I never said any such thing. But I can tell you what I do believe. I believe in governing and I don’t believe in playing politics when the American people and their livelihoods are at risk.
MONTGOMERY: No. And Admiral Karl Schultz, he’s the highest ranking officer in the Coast Guard. He said that he disgusted with this because he has men and women who wear the Coast Guard uniform who are having to go to food pantries in order to feed their families. And, you know, when you put your faith and trust in your employer which happens to be the federal government here, I don’t have that kind of faith and trust in the government because I wised up a few years ago.
You shouldn’t be slapped down like this. And if I were one of those people, and I were struggling, and I didn’t know how I was going to pay the credit card when the Christmas bill came, I would be very frustrated at Nancy Pelosi, Dreamers as well. You know, if my -- if my livelihood and where I live is in the balance here, and the president is saying, I’ll extend it for three years and Nancy Pelosi is doing absolutely nothing, I certainly would be frustrated.
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I have sat in the president’s situation room with Democrats. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle and fellow Republicans that want to get this solved and we all heard the president say, I’m willing to widen the net of negotiation. But we’ve got to get Nancy Pelosi off of no. They’ve got to bring her to the table. You heard Steny Hoyer say he would invite the president to give the State of the Union. Over the weekend, you heard --
MONTGOMERY: You heard Steny Hoyer say, yes, we do need walls in certain parts of the world.
JOHNSON: Absolutely. And by the way, other Democrats including Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, and Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton have all voted for walls and border security before. This is a political stunt and it is an outrage and the American people have every reason to be upset about where we are.
MONTGOMERY: All right. Congressman Johnson, thanks so much for taking time tonight.
JOHNSON: Thanks for having me.
MONTGOMERY: Amen. All right. Well, Venezuela is in chaos. There’s fighting in the streets as the disputed President Nicolas Maduro losses his grip on the nation. And now, he’s breaking ties with the U.S. and giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. My god, why are they still there? Fox News Steve Harrigan has more.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Kennedy, there is the unusual situation in Venezuela now where there are two presidents. On the one hand, you have Nicolas Maduro, elected president for a second term last year and an election the U.S. and dozens of countries say is illegitimate due to fraud. On the other hand, you have a man who just declared himself and sworn himself in as president today. Juan Guaido, a 35-year-old head of the National Assembly.
He swore himself in before hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, people who want Maduro out. It’s not clear what’s going to happen and certainly there is a possibility for violence. It seems right now both sides are digging in. Maduro says this is U.S. interference. He’s not going anywhere. On the other hand, the newcomer says, he has the support of the United States and many other nations. The U.S. coming out saying they do recognize Guaido as the acting President of Venezuela.
So you have a real potential here for conflict. Maduro has broken diplomatic relations with the U.S. He is giving U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. It’s not clear what the next U.S. move would be. A likely start could be oil sanctions against Venezuela’s economy. It’s already suffering greatly. And this really could be the final nail in that coffin. It’s a big question, who will the Venezuelan military side with? Will they continue to back could Maduro or will they shift to a relative unknown newcomer?
Also, the people in the street, two years ago, they were crushed by the Maduro government, more than 120 protesters killed, their leaders thrown in jail. Will these hundreds of thousands of protesters go away or will they stay out in the streets to fight for regime change? Kennedy, back to you.
MONTGOMERY: Steve, thanks so much for that report. And you’re absolutely right, whoever has the guns has the power, and that’s why Second Amendment is a beautiful thing. Coming up, Michael Cohen says he can’t testify in front of Congress because he feels the president is threatening him and his family, and his feelings. But the convicted lawyer and fixer has proven that he cannot be trusted, so is there a different reason he’s weaseling out? My monologue is next.
MONTGOMERY: Michael Cohen, the reformed ambulance chaser and the president’s former crafty minion is Indian-giving his congressional testimony. He was supposed to appear in February 7th before the now donkey-controlled House Oversight Committee, but the Arctic blast spread to his (INAUDIBLE) because Cohen has cold feet. Michael Cohen knew he blew his pardon shot by cooperating with twin investigations including Mueller’s, and upsetting the president was the only way to make new friends.
Cohen was wildly unpopular on the left as Trump’s fixer and alleged whore handler, so he convinced himself in order to get likes, he had to turn on his old boss and cash cow. The sheep in wolves clothing was ready for his congressional close-up and baited Democrats were all too eager to give him the pre-poky spotlight. And now, Cohen has screwed that up too and thwarted Democrats and they are re-mad at him.
Sure, the president and his new sponsor, hand-fisted chronic apologist, Rudy Giuliani, and then tough talking Cohen about his father-in-law with the implication, the old ladies’ old man might be a filthy Ukrainian mobster. But that’s not even the logic Cohen’s toothy mouthpiece he’s using for the cancellation. Lanny Davis, that talentless spokes-hole is saying Cohen is too cowardly to attend because one of the president’s less stable followers might not likey-mickey.