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Sen. DeMint: 'Encouraged and Saddened' By the Latest Developments in Honduras

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 6, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ok, now you are going to get the inside story on the crisis in Honduras from a United States senator was just there.

On June 28th the former president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya on orders of the Honduran Supreme Court was arrested by the military and tossed out of the country. After Zelaya's arrest and removal from the country, interim leader Roberto Micheletti took over.

Micheletti is still in control, and Zelaya though has since returned. He is holed up right now and the Brazilian Embassy. Senator Jim DeMint was just in Honduras. He is also the author of a book "Saving Freedom: We can stop America's slide into Socialism."

Senator, President Obama said that Zelaya should be reinstated back in office and Micheletti should essentially go home. You were there. What did you learn?

SEN. JIM DEMINT, R - S.C.: I was encouraged and I was saddened.

I was encouraged that the people and those in government now really are fighting for freedom and a constitutional form of government. But I was really saddened, Greta, by the way we are treating them.

This is probably our best friend in that hemisphere, the most pro- American country, but we are trying to strangle them to put this tyrant back in office who tried to extend his term and become another Chavez.

But it confirmed what I believed before I went, that these are genuine people who are fighting for a constitutional democracy, and we have made the wrong call here, and I think...

VAN SUSTEREN: Meaning the United States is on the wrong side of the dispute?

DEMINT: We are, but I think Secretary Clinton has the right instincts on this. She has left herself room under certain conditions to allow the upcoming elections to stand.

But this is the Hondurans' election. It is not the election by the people, it is not the government. They have a completely independent electoral commission that is doing this election. And the problem now is that America is saying we will not recognize it.

VAN SUSTEREN: I do not understand why you're saying that Secretary Clinton has the right instincts, because no matter which way you stand in the fight between Micheletti and Zelaya, predating June 28, they had their ballots set for November. There was going to be an election that had nothing to do with these two, essentially.

DEMINT: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: That election is still scheduled to go forward. The United States said in spite of that we may not recognize that.

DEMINT: Well, reading between the lines on things that the State Department has said that under current circumstances we will not recognize it.

And my hope is that Secretary Clinton is looking for some conditions that would allow them to move forward.

Now, so far, they have said that Zelaya has to be returned to power, which I found from talking to the Supreme Court, the current candidates for president, the president there now, and the people, the business folks, that is not possible.

So that is not going to happen. And what we need to do is find a solution so that we can recognize this election that is going to be free and fair. There are going to be international observers there. Somehow, America has got to get on board with that.

VAN SUSTEREN: The reason the United States is on Zelaya's side, the guy who is holed up in the Brazilian Embassy, is because they say that his ouster was wrong, that it was a coup.

You spoke to the Honduran Supreme Court members. Was the ouster of Zelaya constitutional, unconstitutional, because that's rather an important element in this?

DEMINT: All of the facts and the objective observers of the collaborative Congress top legal person has said that it was constitutional.

In talking with the head of the Supreme Court, and I met with all of the members of the Supreme Court when I was there, and they went through the process of how this followed the constitution to the letter.

VAN SUSTEREN: So they said they did it right.

DEMINT: They did it right. The only thing they know that is not specifically according to the Constitution was taking Zelaya...

VAN SUSTEREN: Putting them on the plane and throwing them out of the country.

DEMINT: They said the Constitution allows for exceptional situations, and they felt like he had presented a danger to people because of his ability to use Chavez's money to instill riots.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir. I'm sorry to cut you off, but I have to run. Thank you, Senator

DEMINT: Thank you, Greta.

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