Congressman Peter KingR-Long Island first elected 1992 leading authority on terrorism and cybersecurity. Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence. He also serves on the Financial Services Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Last re-elected 62.1% of the vote – – the highest margin of any candidate on Long Island.
John C.: Good morning America! This is the Cats Roundtable, John Catsimatidis here. What’s going on in Washington? A good friend, and one of the most informative guys I know, we have with us, the Congressman Peter King, and good morning Congressman King, how are you?
Peter King: John, I’m doing great, and any time I can start off the day with you, things are going well.
John C.: Well, welcome to Sunday morning, I’m drinking my black cup of coffee. Is that still okay to say? Black cup of coffee?
Peter King: I guess you could say whatever you want, and actually this morning I [inaudible 00:00:33] my daughter, and this is a story with a good ending, she was stricken with, diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, she’s finished her radiation, and she’s running in a half-marathon in [inaudible 00:00:43] county, this Sunday morning.
John C.: That is wonderful news, it’s just wonderful news. Now, you’re one of the most common-sense guys I know, and it’s not about being a republican, it’s not about being a democrat, it’s about having common sense, and I respect your opinion. What the heck is going on in Washington?
Peter King: Well the biggest problem right now is, and I’m trying not to be [inaudible 00:01:07] on this, but I guess, in a way I have to be, the democrats, for two, two-and-a-half years, they relied on one thing that they knew for certain. That Donald Trump had been conspiring and colluding with the Russians, and they just couldn’t wait for the Mueller report to come back.
Peter King: Well, the Mueller report comes back and shows there was absolutely no collusion, there was no cooperation at all between Trump and the Russians, if anything, we now know that they could have been the FBI and the CIA and others getting involved and working against the Trump campaign, that’s really a separate story, but as far as the collusion, absolutely no collusion whatsoever.
Peter King: So now the democrats don’t know what to do, because this is what they built their campaigns on, this was their base, this was something that they thought was, like, gospel. So now they’re attacking Bill Barr after the way he presented the report in the first place. And his, first of all, as far as I’m concerned, the four-page analysis he put out five weeks ago, six weeks ago, was a good paraphrase of the 400 page report. And there was nothing he could hide, because within a few weeks after that he released the whole 440 pages. And yet they try to say that, because Bob Mueller said that ‘He didn’t, Bill Barr didn’t reveal the true context, the full context of his report’. How do you put a full context of a 440 page report into a four page analysis?
Peter King: I think that the letter that Barr put out the last week of March was entirely on target, it showed there was no collusion, and that’s what people, and somehow the media are forgetting. Two and a half years, you had the media, you had democrats, you had the [inaudible 00:02:54], basically talking about how Donald Trump was colluding with the Russians, and it turns it wasn’t even a close call, there was nothing. This isn’t a case where you try to figure out, ‘okay, today I’ve these contacts, was that collusion or just conspiracy?’ No, there were nothing, there was nothing at all indicating any type of collusion.
Peter King: And either, the question here is, it couldn’t have taken Bob all of that long to find that out. I, I mean, the reports we get are that they knew a year ago that there was no collusion, well didn’t he have an obligation to tell the President of the United States that? To let the world know? I mean, the President’s gone off to negotiate with Kim Jung Un, he’s involved, obviously, in very sensitive negotiations all the time in the Middle East. He has to do the balancing with the Saudis, the Israelis, the Egyptians, and there’s so much there, and to have this cloud hanging over him, where foreign leaders may think that, ‘Hey, he may be indicted for treason. He may be charged with conspiring with the enemy.’
Peter King: I think that the Mueller people had an obligation to tell the president, to tell the country, tell the world that there was no collusion whatsoever as soon as they found out there was none. This isn’t like you’re dealing with some local drug-dealer or something, you’re talking about, whether you like him or not, he’s the leader of the country, the leader of the free-world, and they let this hang over him for at least a year. First of all, as far as I’m concerned, it hung over him for two-and-a-half years, but at least for a year, we know, that it hung over him, and they, it was wrong not to make it known.
Peter King: So I think the democrats look bad the way they went after Barr, the way they went after him at the hearing, the Senator hearing, it was absolutely disgraceful, that he should resign, that he’s a liar, all this kind of talk which was just absolutely wrong.
John C.: You know, congressman King, the thing I’m upset about, I know Congressman Nadler and I know Pelosi and for them to concentrate on just name-calling, ‘You’re a liar, you’re a liar, you’re going to be impeached!’ Has this stuff happened in the congress before?
Peter King: Not to this extent, and part of it is the democrats right now are being driven by their base, their base, and maybe it’s only five percent, five percent, ten percent, fifteen percent, whatever it is, but they absolutely hate Donald Trump, it’s almost rabid. And they’re the ones who vote in the primaries, they’re the ones who distribute the money, they’re the ones who go out, do a lot of volunteer work, and the democrats, I think they’re hurting themselves to the general public by caving into the base the way they are.
Peter King: And you’re right, there’s no reason to be calling Bill Barr a liar. And again, Jerry Nadler and I got elected together at the same time in 1992, we disagree on many issues but we’ve worked closely on 9/11 health issues, victim’s compensation issues, and Jerry is a person you can definitely work with. I’m really disappointed that, again, they’re using this language that they are, basically it’s just, you know for two-and-a-half years, the president was a traitor, now Bill Barr is a perjurer and a liar, and it’s just unfortunate, it’s unfair, it’s not true, and Bill Barr, the last thing he needs at this stage of his career.
Peter King: He’s in his late 60s, he’s an outstanding, unblemished record for absolute integrity, he’s certainly taken a massive, massive tax cut in coming back to the Attorney General so what motive would he possibly, and he wasn’t even a big Donald Trump supporter, he was a John Bush supporter in the primaries. So this isn’t some ideologue coming in, he’s a person who respects the law, respects the office of the Attorney General, respects the office of the Presidency, and is doing the very, very best job he can, to be attacking him the way they are is really shameful.
John C.: Jerry Nadler went all, to put up an empty chair, and what, tell us, what is the law? Is the congressman supposed to question the person in the chair, or is it the congressman’s assistants?
Peter King: There are cases where the staff people do ask the questions, but apparently, in the tradition,[inaudible 00:06:55] judiciary committee, that no cabinet official has been questioned my a staff member, it’s, basically it should be like peer groups, you have the Attorney General, and you have the member of congress. Rather than turn this into an impeachment debate, between a staff member lawyer and the Attorney General of the United States.
Peter King: It’s really respect for the office of the Attorney General that the questioning should be carried out by a member of congress, and Attorney General Barr realized what was happening, he refused to come in, hopeful they can work something out, because my belief is that no matter what question they ask of Barr, he’s going to be able to answer it exceptionally well, and there’ll be no issue at all, but having said that, I think that the democrats are wrong for trying to pull this kind of a stunt.
John C.: Now, and the other congressman, I don’t remember his name, was eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and calling Barr, ‘Chicken! Chicken!’ It’s just out of control.
Peter King: Yeah, I mean, talk about a guy who’s diminishing his own office, I mean that was just terrible, it’s the type of thing people wonder why the public loses faith in congress when they see this, you know, this is, and everyone’s forgetting the fact that after two and a half years the hero of the Congress, the hero of the media, was Bob Mueller, and he came back and said there was absolutely no collusion. Everyone seems to be forgetting that, and now they’re relying on the, ‘four page letter wasn’t entirely accurate, what did Bob Mueller’s four-sentence letter mean?’
Peter King: I mean, these are all side, minimal, diminutus issues which mean nothing in the big picture. The big issue, the big picture is there was no collusion with Russia. And by the way, as an American, I’m happy to hear that, if it was Hillary Clinton, if it was Bernie Sanders, I wouldn’t want to think that the President of the country, my president whether he’s democrat or he’s republican, was colluding with the Russians. All Americans should [inaudible 00:09:04] the findings of Mueller on collusion, they should be happy with that, they should be delighted, and they should be willing to go on, and instead they just won’t let go, until it’s their base wants Donald Trump impeached, right?
Peter King: I hope the President, would just, himself, calm it down a bit, in that he doesn’t have to respond to all, he won. It’s over, he won. As Lindsey Graves said, ‘this is over’. There’s nothing more to talk about. There’s no collusion, and the President shouldn’t be worrying about what every member of congress says or every critic, or every person in the media, The New York Times, or anyone else.
Peter King: Speaking of The New York Times, that’s another issue, that anti-Semitic cartoon they had was an absolute disgrace, and an insult to just to Jewish people, but to any good American has to be offended that a leading newspaper would of used such a rotten, terrible, despicable, anti-Semitic cartoon as that.
John C.: Last issue, it seems like on the Mueller report and equal justice and Barr, it’s been said a lot in Washington, equal justice It seems like only republicans get indicted. Is there any guilt on the other side that at least someone should look into?
Peter King: Yes, I believe the Attorney General is looking into that, I know he’s looking into it. That’s the whole issue of, ‘did anybody in the justice department, the FBI, or the CIA, or the White House act improperly or illegally in beginning of this investigation, the Trump investigation, of the Trump campaign, back in the Summer of 2016?’
Peter King: We see the story the other day in The New York Times about how part of the FBI or the CIA or someone, the Times says it’s the FBI, George [inaudible 00:10:47] thinks it’s the CIA, having sent over a very sexy, good-looking woman over to London, I guess it was, to try to entice [inaudible 00:10:56] to tell her whether or not the Trump campaign was dealing with Russia, then they had another agent, or another operative they use over there, talking with [inaudible 00:11:05] trying to set him up, or get information out of him.
Peter King: Then how they tried to the same thing to Carter Page, then they, how they went and got the [inaudible 00:11:13] warrant to wire-tap and eavesdrop on members of the Trump campaign, based on this false dossier, a dossier which was paid for by the Clinton campaign committee and most of the information came from a former British spy who got it from Russian intelligence.
Peter King: I thought John Cornyn, senator Cornyn, asked the best question the other day Attorney General Barr, he said, ‘Is it possible that the famous dossier against Donald Trump, that that was manufactured by the Russians to, not just to hurt Donald Trump, but to divide the country?’ Because Russia never thought that Trump was going to win, they thought Hillary was going to win, and they wanted to damage her because she was coming in as, they wanted her to be a weakened president when she got there, but they also wanted to have information reserved to use against Trump, so again, was this an attempt by Russia to actually influence the campaign by giving this false information to [inaudible 00:12:10] who then gave it to the FBI who then gave it to the court without telling them that the Hillary people had paid for it?
Peter King: So all of this is going on out there, of course you’ve already had Andy [inaudible 00:12:21] on this case, he was the number two guy in the FBI, his case was sent to the Justice Department to see if he should be indicted, you have others at the top who have been pushed out because of disclosing information, you have the people like Peter [inaudible 00:12:37] and Lisa Page who were, again, sending love letters back and forth to each other and being very vile toward Donald Trump as they were investigating him, which really violates all codes of ethics.
Peter King: So, yeah I think there are people at the top whether it’s John Brennan or [inaudible 00:12:54] or [inaudible 00:12:55] or any of them who, they got concerned about this investigation that Barr has got to launch.
John C.: Well, Peter King, thank you for coming on, thank you for coming all Americans the truth, and like we’ve both said, it’s not, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s republican or democrat, it matters to me that the American people are comfortable, that the justice department is doing justice.
Peter King: Well I think Bill Barr is definitely doing justice.
John C.: Well thank you so much, and we’ll catch up again real soon, and-
Peter King: Great, John, thank you.
John C.: …have a great Sunday.
Peter King: You too, thanks a lot.
John C.: Okay.
Peter King: Alright, bye.
John C.: This is the Cat’s Roundtable, we’ll right back.
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