This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 30, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Karl Rove joins us now. Karl, let me pick up where I was talking with Congressman Allen West, on whether or not you think that Attorney General Eric Holder will survive.
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER BUSH SENIOR ADVISER: You know, I'm not certain he will. This meeting he has tomorrow is clearly an attempt to -- you know, it's a PR gesture more than it's a substantive gesture, and I don't think it's going to repair his relationship with the press, nor is it going to give the American people greater confidence in his veracity.
I mean, we -- if this was the first time that we had had questions about his ability to do the job, it'd be one thing. But it's not. We've had many questions, from Fast and Furious to his handling of the New Black Panther Party case, to the handling by the Justice Department of the St. Paul housing disparity case, and now this and a variety of other issues.
And I just -- it is -- President Obama is ill served by keeping him there. They need to find a way to have him go.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's so disappointing for me to watch him because I will tell you -- and I knew Eric Holder back 20-some years ago, when he was a judge on the superior court of the District of Columbia. And I will tell you he was a very well respected judge. He was always courteous to both sides, the lawyers, the prosecutors, defense lawyers. He was respectful to clients. I mean, he actually had an incredible reputation as a judge.
And now fast-forward until now, and it seems like it's one blunder after another.
ROVE: Yes. Well, sometimes people are in the wrong place, and I think he's in the wrong place. He may have been an admirable judge, but he has been an ineffective, disorganized attorney general who has made very bad decisions and demonstrated very bad judgment.
And this meeting tomorrow is -- look, this is a real problem. I mean, first of all, you're supposedly trying to meet with news organizations to discuss the Justice Department guidelines regarding investigating journalists, and you will not allow them to bring their lawyers? You only want to meet with the bureau chiefs who affect news, you know, not the management.
You know, there was a very interesting piece today by Ron Fournier, who is -- who at the Associated Press covered the Bush White House, a very tough but fair reporter now at The National Journal, and he made some very good points about this -- the meeting, that it wasn't in the interests of either Holder, nor was it in the interests of the media to attend. He said, Look, anybody who shows up at this is just going to simply add to the sense that the media are lapdogs in the tank for the administration.
What kind of conflict is it going to be to have the editor of -- of -- the bureau chief there, with reporters not there who are the people charged with finding out what's in the meeting? You know, the irony of the attorney general saying, you know, I'm going to investigate myself, and I want you to come in and talk to me about the guidelines, but we got to keep it all secret.
So he had some very tough language about how no self-respecting journalist ought to be attending this meeting.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you what I think is -- is -- you know -- you know, we all sort of look at it sort of from different -- you know, different perspective. I think what's particularly deeply disturbing to me is that on May 13th, the information came out about the Associated Press records. Two days later, he testifies before the committee, and he makes a statement that at best is misleading, at worst was just a lie, because then we learn a couple days later about James Rosen.
That to me, for the attorney general of the United States, without further explanation, you know, is deeply disturbing. He needs to -- he needs to make a real fast trip back to Capitol Hill. And if there's an explanation, he needs to lay it out for the American people...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... because -- and -- you know, he's...
ROVE: Yes, Greta, you're right, there was a -- (INAUDIBLE) time for a fast return to the White House, but we are now on the 30th of May! You're right, he went up in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the 15th, basically said, I've never been involved in anything like this and it'd be bad policy.
It was that weekend that NBC with Mike Isikoff broke that he had been the person who had authorized the subpoena on Rosen. What he should have done is, gone back up on Monday and say, I need to set the record straight.
But instead, what we get is we get an entire week in which he's silent. Then we get him supposedly reading The Washington Post story this Monday and showing, quote, "remorse" and starting to feel bad about it, and we have yet to hear him clean it up with the Congress!
And not only that, but he's also dragging the White House down with him. We had this thing yesterday with Jay Carney, who had to sit there and say -- who had to sit there and say that he saw no conflict between what Holder said on the 15th and his actions earlier in the Rosen affair. And then the classic was -- he got pressed earlier in the briefing on it, and he said, You're conflating a subpoena with prosecution.
Now, think for a moment about what he's trying to suggest there. He's trying to suggest, Yes, we can in seeking a subpoena declare that somebody is a criminal, that they're part of a criminal conspiracy, but we really didn't mean it because the only way we'd really mean it is if we actually accused him of that in a prosecution.
Now, you know, in essence, what he's saying was, We were either lying to the judge in order to get a subpoena we shouldn't otherwise approved -- get it approved that we shouldn't have otherwise gotten, or we were just -- we were getting ready to, but you shouldn't hold us responsible unless we actually decided to follow through on it by prosecuting James Rosen.
So I mean, the White House is being forced to defend this guy. And at some point, the president's got to say, Look, I love Holder, he's my friend, he's my compadre, he's my running buddy, but he's hurting me and he's hurting out administration and he's hurting the country and it's time for him to go!
VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess -- and -- and as I'm stuck on -- he needs to tell us, you know, did he -- did he lie on -- you know, about -- you know, before Congress because that -- that's a -- you know, that's unforgivable if he lied.
ROVE: Look, he lied. Let's be -- look, there's only two explanations. He lied or he has one of the worst memories in history! You know, there are only two explanations. Now, they tried to -- they tried to get this very sophisticated one that, No, he was really answering narrowly...
VAN SUSTEREN: Karl...
ROVE: ... a question of Hank Johnson. Look, it just didn't -- it doesn't fly!
VAN SUSTEREN: There's no -- it's just impossible. It's impossible not to remember going after the records of the media. It's just impossible for the attorney general because...
ROVE: It is impossible.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's impossible.
ROVE: I agree with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, Karl, stick around...
ROVE: Look, I had the same reaction...
VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.
ROVE: All right? I had the same reaction when he talked about Fast and Furious and said he was unaware of it. And we know a lot of paper crossed the desk of his chief of staff, and he claimed never to know about it. So either he was lying then, or he was incompetent in not running it.
But you're right, in this one, I just cannot believe that having signed off on that subpoena and having supposedly lived up to the guidelines of the Justice Department in doing so that he would not be able to recall it.