OTR Interviews

Allen West: Audit findings 'undermine Clinton's trustworthiness'

Former congressman goes 'On the Record' to sound off on explosive State Dept. audit on Hillary Clinton's handling of email and classified info, saying she has surrounded herself with 'Kool-Aid-drinking sycophants'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 25, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former Florida Congressman Allen West goes ON THE RECORD.

Good evening, sir.

ALLEN WEST, FORMER FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN: Good evening, Greta. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: Very well.

This IG, this inspector general report of the State Department is not politically flattering for the secretary. It says she didn't cooperate with the investigation and we don't have full explanation as to that. Others have cooperated. Other secretary of states.

And you have the situation where there are some incomplete emails, where we certainly can draw inferences about whether or not she was particularly interested in the problem, or whether or not, or whether she knew about it. So your thoughts tonight on this report?

WEST: Well, it just continues to add to a very troubling situation for Secretary Clinton. You kind of went through that earlier. It continues to undermine her trustworthiness when she says that she operated within all the legal boundaries, and now we have the IG saying that she did not.

But you add that with the email scandal and the issue, along with the classification issue that the FBI is looking at. The fact that Governor Terry McAuliffe, a very close Clinton confidant is now under investigation for his ties with the Clinton Foundation.

And so you find you have a candidate that is completely on the defense and not able to talk about any of the present issues, when she really can't even talk about those policies. She can't talk about foreign policy. She can't talk about the economy, either.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I don't understand is where was her staff? Because I tend to think that some people who didn't grow up in that certain error might not know so much about technology. And maybe she didn't. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and say she didn't understand even what a server was. I don't know if that's to be true or not true.

But where was her staff? I mean, she's got staff. She's got a chief-of- staff. She's got lawyers. I mean, where was everybody? I mean, people knew about this. Where were they? And why didn't they say something to her. Why didn't they speak up?

WEST: Well, Greta, it's very simple. If you surround yourself with Kool- Aid drinking sycophants, who also believe that they are above the law, above any type of scrutiny, then you are going to act according as you saw. So they did not provide her the right counsel. They just basically said that this is the secretary of state. We have different rules that we follow for ourselves and they did not believe that anyone would call them on that.

And I think that's one of the critical aspects of leadership is not to surround yourself with people that are just going to worship you and be yes people. But they're going to do the right things to make sure that you are following all the right processes and procedures. Just the same as you do with your production staff.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it certainly -- I mean, it certainly evident from reports that somebody knew something.

You know, what I don't get is who knew what, where, and when. But somebody knew something and everybody seemed to just at least ignore it or look the other way, or something happened.

But, anyway, Congressman, thank you, sir.

WEST: My pleasure, Greta.