OTR Interviews

RNC Chair Priebus: Comey needs to get back to work

RNC Chair calls ongoing Clinton email scandal a 'tragedy' and 'addiction to power' and calls on FBI Director Comey resume investigation


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus is here to go ON THE RECORD.

Nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose that the Republican Party is loving this, that these 14,900 documents which may also include emails have surfaced.

PRIEBUS: I think it's a tragedy. I mean, I think it's a pathetic example of leadership and I think that maybe James Comey needs to get back to work and look at these emails and figure out whether he had it right.

I mean, we have -- I mean, you had a great point before. I mean, 148 messages to Cheryl Mills from the Clinton Foundation --


VAN SUSTEREN: It's hard to tell -- I mean 148, if there are 148 calls, that's a lot. I can't tell if this is just messages --

PRIEBUS: So you are right, though. I mean, if it's messages, how many actual times did she pick up the phone and cut the deal? And the fact is you have lawyers for the Clinton foundation, for Bill Clinton, for Hillary Clinton, communicating to Huma who is working for both the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

You have our precious national secrets being given away by a person running for president, and talking about trust and honesty, unbelievable.


VAN SUSTEREN: The problem at best is arrogance. Because the promise was - - is that the Clinton, when she became secretary of state, is that the Clinton Global Initiative has called in and would not be part of the State Department. That they would have, you know, he would run that over here and she would do the State Department. And now we find that, you know, it's cozy.

PRIEBUS: Well, it's an addiction of power. It is something that they set up in order to preserve their status in the world with world leaders taking foreign money. It's something that they created to empower and enrich themselves in the eyes of the world and people that would employ them and use their services, whether it be $500,000 speeches in Russia, or wherever else that they gave these speeches.

I mean, this is something that people should look at and say this person is not qualified to be president of the United States, because when they were given secrets of our country, they gave it away. That alone should disqualify her.


VAN SUSTEREN: Just a side issue, do you think the Clinton Foundation has done good around the world?

PRIEBUS: I have no idea.

VAN SUSTEREN: But I mean, --


PRIEBUS: I would imagine -- here's what I think. I think based on what I have seen so far, whatever good they have done around the world is eclipsed by all of the negativity, and the corruption, and the lying, and the stealing, and taking from foreign countries.

I'm sure there are good things that they have done. But you have to measure whether that good could have been done by that money going to the Salvation Army or going to doctors overseas. I mean, because --


VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask a quick question --


PRIEBUS: In comparison to what they have done, I don't know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Trump campaign -- Donald Trump is -- right now seems like Secretary Clinton has him on the ropes a little bit. Can he turn it around? Especially in light of the fact, early voting begins in the all important state of Ohio, October 12th. Can he?

PRIEBUS: Which is another good reason why the FBI needs to get their work done and not sit on this so that the American people can figure it out.

Yes, of course. Look, he had a great week last week. I think another good week this week. I think this thing is back on the rails. And I would tell you, look at the polling today and over the weekend.

I mean, we are talking about three or four points. It's August. I definitely believe that this can be back on track, and whether you're going to see Donald Trump be tight or ahead after Labor Day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he seemed presidential in his speech. Then today, he was back on Twitter. He's making fun of two hosts on MSNBC, calling them insecure and two clowns. So he is back on Twitter this morning.

PRIEBUS: Well, look, you know what, every day is a different day. But I think overall, if you look at the last few days, Donald Trump -- you saw him today before your show, or in the beginning of your show, he's on message, talking about Hillary Clinton. And I thought his speeches last week were fantastic.

VAN SUSTEREN: But once more, he slips.

PRIEBUS: Well, look, you know what? These are things that's very tough as a first-time campaigner to be in the middle of this media storm. And some of this stuff isn't fair. He doesn't want to sit back and take it.

I mean, he's somebody who just doesn't want to sit back and take a bunch of garbage from the media. And so, you know what, to a lot of people, I think it's refreshing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Chairman, nice to see you, sir.

PRIEBUS: All right. Take care.