Interviews

President Obama retaliates against Russia

US announces new slew of sanctions in response to hacking; 'The O'Reilly Factor' investigates the latest

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS HOST: Hi I'm Eric Bolling in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. Let's get straight to our top story.

President Obama retaliates against Russia. Today, President Obama announced a slew of sanctions against Russian diplomats and entities for cyber hacking aimed at interfering with the U.S. presidential election. The President said, he is kicking out 35 Russian officials currently in the United States and that the State Department is shutting down two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York that were apparently used for spying.

President Obama added in his statement that American diplomats in the past year have experienced, quote, "Unacceptable levels of harassment in Moscow," unquote. And now a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is considering retaliation. So what does the incoming Trump administration have to say about all of this?

Joining us now from Palm Beach, Florida, incoming White House chief-of- staff Reince Priebus.

Thank you so much. Big important day, Reince. Mr. Chairman, let me put that correctly. Mr. Chairman, big important day. Glad to have you. So, the President-elect's reaction to President Obama, the lame duck president with just 21 days left to go. Slapping sanctions on Russia. Where are you guys?

REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, I mean, the President-elect put out a statement and he said, look, it's time to move on to bigger and better things. But, also, nevertheless, we're going to be meeting and he is going to be meeting with intelligence officials next week to talk about this report. And find out the details of exactly what happened, how the investigation took place. And maybe at that time or maybe later, he'll have a response. But right now we're just not in a position to sit here and respond to all of these details before we have a full blown intelligence report on this particular matter.

BOLLING: So he is going to sit and look for the evidence. A lot of us on the right have been saying where is the evidence? We understand that there are accusations saying that the Russians actually affected the outcome of the election, but we haven't seen it. Do you think this -- he is going to ask for specific examples and evidence from our Intel departments.

PRIEBUS: Well, yes. I mean, I think we all deserve it. I mean, here is the problem with this, Eric, and you know this as well as anybody. I have been and we have been responding to articles from third parties, unnamed sources in "The Washington Post" and the "New York Times." And then, in those same articles, it would say that the 17 intelligence agencies didn't agree with each other on the conclusion that was actually being reported by the third party which was the anonymous source in the newspaper.

So, we just need to get to a point ourselves where we can talk to all of these intelligence agencies and find out once and for all what evidence is there, how bad is it? And, look, and I would also say this and the President-elect agrees with this. We agree that foreign governments shouldn't be hacking American institutions, period. So it's not like we condone the hacking of institutions and entities and businesses in America. Of course not.

It's wrong and it's something that we don't agree with. However, it would be nice if we could get to a place where the intelligence community, as in unison can tell us what it is that has been going on and what the investigation was and what it's lead to. So that we can respond and we're going to get to that. So, we're not frustrated. We're just getting to the place where those facts will come to life.

BOLLING: And so we have a lame duck president who slapped some sanctions on Russia with 22 days left in his presidency. And then you also have two Republicans, Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham today said, you know what? When the new Congress is in session, we're going to lead the charge up the sanctions against Russia. Are they premature?

PRIEBUS: I'm not sure what they know, Eric. I mean, they may be privy to information that we don't know. But I also know that, you know, we're not interested in going to war all over the world, either. And so, I think having relationships, building relationships, making things better for Americans is something that President-elect Trump believes in. Look, you know, we have a long history with Russia. Ronald Reagan used his relationship with Miguel Gorbachev I think to a great benefit to Americans across the country.

Ending the cold war, bringing down the wall in Berlin and achieving an incredible amount of success by using relationships in order to get things done. And so, I think that's something that we are going to try to do. It's something that President-elect Trump believes in and quite frankly, it's all about putting America first and that's what we want to do and that's what he wants to do.

BOLLING: So, Mr. Chairman, President-elect Donald Trump hasn't waited to be sworn in for some of the things that I think are great, you know, talking to Boeing, getting the price of their airplanes down. Having companies promise to keep jobs here in America. Here's my question though. President-elect Donald Trump, he's been thrown a bit of shade from President Obama on two initiatives on Israel on the U.N. vote and also now on this Russian sanction issue. Has he, and will he contact both B.B. Netanyahu and/or Vladimir Putin prior to being sworn in to say, hey, I got this January 20th. Let's talk about it then but don't take anything that's going on right now entirely too seriously?

PRIEBUS: Well, okay, so, first of all, the President and President-elect Trump had a good call yesterday. These are two people that get along just fine and they are getting along and they are having constructive conversations. But, and, secondly, before I get to that, President-elect Trump also believes in the one president at a time rule and is trying and we are trying our best to adhere to that rule. The problem with what happened at the U.N. though was that, in our minds, it was so egregious and so bad and so one sided and I think so wrong toward our greatest ally in the Middle East that it was impossible for us not to communicate about that resolution.

And we believe for the United States to abstain on such a resolution just really flies in the face of our long-term ally Israel and something that we wouldn't do once January 20th comes and so the President-elect has been clear on that. This is a -- the only democracy in the Middle East and Israel. And for us to bend over backwards for countries like Iran that harbor terrorists that want to destroy and kill Americans and to look the other way and give away an incredible deal to them to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East but then to turn our backs on Israel without any mention of the other fact I just think is unbelievable.

BOLLING: Mr. Chairman, I only have about 30 seconds or. So will President Donald Trump reverse Obama's decisions on Israel and/or Russia?

PRIEBUS: That's going to be up to him and he is going to sit down and talk to his leadership at the Defense Department and state and in the White House and make those decisions, Eric. But, look, it will be a different day, I can assure you and Americans across the country that Donald Trump's going to get things done from day one. He is going to fulfill the promises he made on the campaign and that will be good for our country.

BOLLING: Mr. Chairman, I'm up against a hard break. Thank you very much.

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