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McConnell On Syria: “The Era Of American Passivity Is Over”


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) sends a message to North Korea, Iran and Russia in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday: "The era of American passivity is over." Transcript, via Hugh Hewitt: HUGH HEWITT: There are many overwrought declarations on everything right now, not just judges. But everyone seems to be going to the highest level of despair and public wailing. Is this going to settle down so that the country can be governed again? MITCH MCCONNELL: I hope so. I think what the President did with the strike in Syria, ironically, is going to be reassuring to an awful lot of people, both here at home and around the world, that America is back in terms of being the world's leader. And I think the President did himself a lot of good by making the point that you don't use chemical weapons and not expect anything to happen from the United States. And so that's a first step. I think the President made an outstanding appointment, obviously, in Neil Gorsuch. I think things are going to settle down, Hugh, because they need to. This is a big country with a lot of different points of view, and people come to the Congress from all over the country with different ideas about what we ought to do, and the American people expect us to work out our differences and make progress for the country. And I think we'll be able to do that. HEWITT: I have referred to it as a Grenada moment, not because the island nation of Grenada is like Syria, but because it's a moment in time when America changes course, as President Reagan did with the invasion of Grenada. Do you think it's that kind of a moment, the Syria bombardment? MCCONNELL: Yeah, I don't know that it necessarily settles things in Syria, but it's a huge message to countries like North Korea and Iran and Russia that the era of American passivity is over. And so I think it was a very, very important step, and as you suggest, maybe akin to what Reagan did to Qaddafi back in '86. And I think it was an image maker for the President, but also very much the right thing to do.

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Sen. Tom Cotton: “Susan Rice Is The Typhoid Mary Of The Obama Administration Foreign Policy”


Sen. Tom Cotton joins Hugh Hewitt to respond to the latest news that President Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice was using foreign inteligence to spy on Mike Flynn: TOM COTTON: Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy, every time something went wrong, she seemed to turn up in the middle of it, whether it was these allegations of improper surveillance and unmasking, Benghazi, many of the other fiascos over the past eight years of the Obama administration.

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Priebus: WH Will Look Into Evelyn Farkas Story; Almost Too Incredible To Be True


White House chief of staff Reince Priebus joins Hugh Hewitt for a Thursday morning interview. One of the subjects touched on is the story of Evelyn Farkas, formerly the Defense Department's top Russia expert under President Obama who is now calling for an independent investigation of the president's ties to Moscow. This week, conservative media has noticed an interview she did on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' on March 2nd, 2017 where Farkas appears to happily admit that she was repsonsible for leaking sensitive information about what parts of the government might have spied on President-elect Trump and his Trump Tower. Fox News ran a story on this titled: Former Obama official discloses rush to get intelligence on Trump team The Farkas statement in question: "I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence." Note: The Farkas clip originally aired on March 2. President Trump's infamous 'wiretap' tweet came two days later:
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017 White House chief of staff Reince Priebus responded Thursday morning: "That's incredible." "It certainly is an incredible comment, although I don't want to add too much into it right now until I have an opportunity to sort of dig into it and figure out the scope of such a statement… It's just an incredible statement, you know, and how, what it means and what she meant by that, and whether that has anything to do with the issues in regard to surveillance of Trump transition team members is something that we need to figure out this morning and throughout the day." "I hope that the intelligence committees and agencies are interested," he also said. Radio hosts Sean Hannity… …and Mark Levin both mentioned the story Wednesday afternoon… The original clip from MSNBC's 'Morning Joe': "That's why you have the leaking!" Farkas says in the clip. "A personal reaction is it's, it's almost, it's so cavalier and unbelievable that I just wonder whether this person knows what the heck she's talking about. I mean, you know what I'm saying?" Priebus added. Transcript of the Priebus interview, courtesy of the Hugh Hewitt Show: HUGH HEWITT: A news story came up last night, Mr. Priebus. Evelyn Farkas, former assistant deputy secretary of Defense a few days ago was on with Morning Joe, and talking to Mika about the end game during the Obama years. She said this, the 30 second clip: EVELYN FARKAS: …that the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew that they were trying to also help get information to the Hill. HH: So Mr. Priebus, I put two clips together. REINCE PRIEBUS, TRUMP ADMIN: That's incredible. HH: React to that for me, would you? RP: Well, I mean, I heard it late last night, so I mean I honestly, I talked to Sean a little bit about it late last night, Spicer, and then we're going to be meeting on it this morning. It's just an incredible statement, you know, and how, what it means and what she meant by that, and whether that has anything to do with the issues in regard to surveillance of Trump transition team members is something that we need to figure out this morning and throughout the day. But it certainly is an incredible comment, although I don't want to add too much into it right now until I have an opportunity to sort of dig into it and figure out the scope of such a statement. HH: Now I want to ask you about a personal reaction to it, though. It suggests that incidental collection of American conversation in intelligence, perhaps even in Russian to Russian conversation, was pushed out by Team Obama for the purposes of cornering you guys? I don't know what, but… RP: Yeah, I mean, a personal reaction is it's, it's almost, it's so cavalier and unbelievable that I just wonder whether this person knows what the heck she's talking about. I mean, you know what I'm saying? HH: Yeah. RP: It's sort of like one of these things it's so much in your face that it makes you wonder what she means. HH: Now do you think Director Comey will be interested in that statement? RP: (laughing) Well, I hope that the intelligence committees and agencies are interested in all of these things. And the one thing I will tell you is that we want, we want this thing done thoroughly, and I will tell you that because we have got nothing to hide. I mean, there's just nothing there. I've said it many times on television and elsewhere. There is no collusion. The issues in regard to contacts with Russia as outlined in the New York Times article about a month ago is total garbage, and we just, we would rather this move forward and be thorough and get on with it, because we've got nothing to hide. It's ridiculous. HH: Okay, to a substantive question.

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Paul Ryan: Obamacare Replacement Bill About The Free Market vs. Government Mandates


Hugh Hewitt interview with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan responds to critics and lays out his arguments for the Republican's American Health Care Act and the three step plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Interview highlights, via The Hugh Hewitt Show: – Responds to Sen. Cotton Criticism
– Ryan says, this is so much bigger by terms of magnitude, than welfare
– Responds to "poverty trap" criticism
– Ryan lays out the 3 acts of repeal and replace, says AHCA is step one
– Ryan admits that fewer people may have coverage under AHCA, explains goal is to reduce cost of health care, not force people to buy it.
– Ryan says GOP members not supporting AHCA, "is momentum killing… there's a lot that rides on this." Ryan on the free market vs. government mandates: HUGH HEWITT, HOST: Finally, the CBO's going to come out with a number, Speaker Ryan, that says 15 million people are going to lose their insurance. Now you can't really lose what you don't use, and can't use. How are you going to combat that number to get through the narrow gate of 51 senators? SPEAKER PAUL RYAN: That's right. I've been telling our members just get ready. This is always what happens with CBO. We couldn't, you know, we often mark up bills in what we call authorizing committees like Ways and Means and Commerce before you have a score, and then the score comes. That's very typical. But we always know you're never going to win a coverage beauty contest when it's free market versus government mandates. If the government says thou shall buy our health insurance, the government estimates are going to say people will comply and it will happen. And when you replace that with we're going to have a free market, and you buy what you want to buy, they're going to say not nearly as many people are going to do that. That's just going to happen. And so you'll have those coverage estimates. We assume that's going to happen. That's not our goal. Our goal is not to show a pretty piece of paper that says we're mandating great things for Americans. Our goal is to get a vibrant health care system that's patient-centered, that brings down costs, that increases choices, that has a marketplace so that we lower the costs and increase, and therefore increase the access to affordable care. That's our goal, and it's not to win some coverage beauty contest, but you're right. You're going to see some number coming out, I have no doubt in my mind about that. I've spoken to our members about that. We're going to talk to our members constantly about this, because we're not going to get into a bidding war with the left about how much we can mandate or put entitlements out there for people. If you're repealing one entitlement and bloc granting to the states another entitlement, the government's not going to say we're getting more entitlements. It's just simple. But that is going to be, I think, something a little bit confusing to people. And we've been telling our members all along you know that's what's going to happen, so get ready. Read the full transcript.

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