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O'Reilly Grills Rangel Over Ethics Violations

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Now for the top story tonight: Congressman Charles Rangel. Last week, he was censured by the House for failing to pay taxes on rental income, among other things. Mr. Rangel has served in the House for 40 years and was re-elected last November despite President Obama saying this before the vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well. But these allegations are very troubling, and you know, he's somebody who's at the end of his career, 80 years old. I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Joining us from Capitol Hill is Congressman Rangel.

How do you react to the president's assessment?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D-N.Y.: Well, I thought it was awkward that he would be able to know what I would figure is dignity, but I think it's safe to say that I've been working so closely with him before and after that, just left him yesterday and received accolades for the work that I've been able to do for the black farmers as well as Native Americans. So, I really think I better concentrate on the challenges that are going to be ahead rather than evaluate the President of the United States especially when he's asking me to vote on a package that's going to be very difficult.

O'REILLY: All right. But -- you know, look, you were a very loyal supporter of the president's. And it must have been very personally hurtful to you when he said those things. Is that true?

RANGEL: Let me make it clear. Maybe it's because I'm 80 years old, but it's very difficult for me to be hurtful because a politician has said --

O'REILLY: But he was more than a politician to you. You mentored him a little bit, come on, you know?

RANGEL: I --

O'REILLY: You're telling me you don't care? You're telling me, Congressman, you don't care that he said that?

RANGEL: I am telling you that I have far more important problems at that time to deal with than the president -- you know, the president did not affect my vote one bit in the district. I got over 80 percent of the vote. He, certainly, didn't influence -- I mean, sure, everyone likes to be liked, but I don't have time to do that, you know?

O'REILLY: What do you think -- why do you think the people up in Harlem voted for you despite all the problems that you had financially? And why -- did they say well, we don't care that our congressman -- why?

RANGEL: No! No, of course not! Of course not.

O'REILLY: Why would they vote you back into office when in a lot of districts you would have been toast?

RANGEL: Well, because there was some allegations made about me --

O'REILLY: But they were true. There was enough truth to the allegations. Now, you were censured. So, why would these people vote for you if you're in trouble? You know, this is a pretty big deal. Why would they vote for you?

RANGEL: You have a great reputation of letting people answer questions.

O'REILLY: Yes. But you got to answer the question, not the question you want to answer. So --

RANGEL: No, no, no, no. I said there were allegations made against me in the newspapers. These allegations inferred corruption and financial problems that pinched on that I was trying not to disclose or tell the truth. I would submit to you that this was not proven. I was the one --

O'REILLY: You were censured. That's the fact.

RANGEL: Let me just finish, Bill. Bill!

O'REILLY: Come on.

RANGEL: The fact is that the committee report, after two years of investigation, said, Rangel, there's no evidence of any corruption and there's no evidence of any --

O'REILLY: Then why were you censured in your opinion, Congressman? With all due respect. Why would they --

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: It's not my opinion!

O'REILLY: Why?

RANGEL: It was not my opinion, the facts were that I violated the House rules and I never denied that. I never denied that.

O'REILLY: All right. I don't want to try it on here. It's not right to do that.

RANGEL: You can try all you want.

O'REILLY: I don't want to do it.

RANGEL: All I ask you to do is go to the Web site and at least know what's in the report.

O'REILLY: All right. So, you think the majority of the constituents felt you didn't do anything wrong so they voted for you?

RANGEL: Hell no, I didn't say that. And I'm surprised really that you're taking this approach because anyone --

O'REILLY: Well, why did they vote for you?

RANGEL: Because they thought I would be the best person to represent them in the United States Congress. That's simple.

O'REILLY: All right. Simple as that. OK.

Now, I got a lot of e-mails that say, hey, Charles Rangel didn't pay tax on income that he derived from renting his villa in Dominican Republic. So, why can't I do that? Why can't I try to get away with it?

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: This is -- I'm just saying, this is the e-mail that I'm getting.

RANGEL: OK.

O'REILLY: So, why can't I do that and then if I get caught, then I can say, oh, it was a terrible mistake? So, how do you --

RANGEL: I don't know why -- I don't know what you can do or why you can't do, but the fact of the matter was, that I did pay taxes on that property. The taxes was paid to the Dominican Republic. Whatever income came from that property, I never received any cash at all.

O'REILLY: All right. So, you're going to tell these people in the e- mail that you didn't do anything wrong in the D.R. You didn't do anything wrong there?

RANGEL: I didn't say that, Bill. My God, you're -

O'REILLY: You got to tell me what's going on. Come on.

RANGEL: Well, I'm answering your questions.

O'REILLY: This isn't a telethon, though. Come on, Congressman.

RANGEL: I have been found guilty of sloppiness in terms of the filings.

O'REILLY: Sloppiness. All right.

RANGEL: But there was no evidence of intent to deceive anybody. I filed my taxes every day like every -- I mean, every year like every citizen should. The fact that there was no cash coming to me from the Dominican Republic, the fact that taxes were collected off the place in the Dominican Republic, it was paid to them, and I should have taken that, filed it, and deducted that and I wouldn't have had liability.

O'REILLY: All right. OK, look, that's your story and you're entitled to tell it.

RANGEL: It's not my story. It's two years of investigation.

O'REILLY: OK.

RANGEL: I don't know why you're so afraid to go to the report.

O'REILLY: I don't want to try this here. But I think you're diminishing, I think you -- with all due respect, look, we've got a long relationship here.

RANGEL: We sure have.

O'REILLY: And I like you. I like you. But I think you're diminishing -- you're diminishing the seriousness of this situation. Just my opinion. I could be wrong.

RANGEL: I am not. Violating House rules is a serious violation.

O'REILLY: OK.

RANGEL: And those of us who are senior have a higher obligation to make certain that the younger members realize that those rules there are to protect the members and to protect the House.

O'REILLY: Absolutely. You guys are the leaders of the country.

All right. I got to get you. I got to get one question in on this tax compromise deal. Look, Congressman, I just don't have the time. I mean, we're bumping up against an eight-minute segment. OK?

RANGEL: I understand. I understand.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, look --

RANGEL: I welcome the opportunity -- I welcome the opportunity to come back when you do have time.

O'REILLY: Absolutely. We'll have you back very, very soon.

RANGEL: OK.

O'REILLY: Are you voting for this tax compromise? Are you going to vote for that?

RANGEL: Today, we sent back the Senate resolution and we want to be involved in the negotiation to see what's there. Nancy Pelosi set out the thinking of the Democratic Caucus. We were not at the table. The Constitution said all tax laws are emanating from the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives.

O'REILLY: All right. So, are you going to vote for the compromise as it is now or you're not?

RANGEL: We won't get a chance to vote on this because we're not taking it up. We want to negotiate something and we don't know what we want to vote on.

O'REILLY: All right. So, it's still in limbo.

RANGEL: But we were not at the table and I don't know how many different ways to say it. But, as far as we're concern --

O'REILLY: Make a prediction, then. Make a prediction.

RANGEL: The House --

O'REILLY: Will President Obama get the compromise he seeks? Yes or no?

RANGEL: I can't answer that because what he has brought before us is not going to be taken up by the House of Representatives --

O'REILLY: All right. No prediction.

RANGEL: -- at this time.

O'REILLY: I think he's going to get it, his compromise. I'll make the prediction and, you know, I know you won't. But if you did, I was going to bet you dinner. So --

RANGEL: Well, you can still do that.

O'REILLY: But how can I do that? You're not making a prediction. How can I get you to dinner?

RANGEL: Well, you don't have to vote, Bill. I do.

O'REILLY: All right.

RANGEL: And I have to be able to explain my vote.

O'REILLY: But you know why -- the dinner would be tax deductible for me because it's a business expense.

RANGEL: You're cute, Bill. That's why you're such a great --

(LAUGHTER)

RANGEL: -- that's why you're such a great TV personality.

O'REILLY: All right. We'll have -- we'll have you back in a little while.

Congressman, we appreciate you coming on.

RANGEL: Well, I look forward to coming back.

O'REILLY: All right.