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Is POTUS undermining President-elect Trump?

'The O'Reilly Factor' examines how President Obama's exit strategy will impact the next administration

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 30, 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. We're going to jump right into our top story.

Is President Obama trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump? Dozens of Russian diplomats are now packing up to leave the United States after President Obama gave them 72 hours to get out. It's part of a slew of sanctions and penalties the Obama administration is hitting Russia with over charges of harassment and hacking into our voting system. After hinting at retaliation, Russian President Putin surprised everyone today by saying he will hold off for now.

And late today President-elect Donald Trump tweeted this. "Great move on delay by V. Putin. I always knew he was very smart." The Russian sanctions along with America's refusal to block an anti-Israel resolution last week at the U.N. are part of a series of last-minute actions by Obama that some Republicans say are aimed at hurting Trump's presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I have never seen a president try to create more problems for a future president. First, he double- crosses Israel. And after many times and many other presidents, vetoing the condemnation of Israel for taking the settlements, he doesn't and creates lack of leverage for Israel and the United States in trying to trade land for peace or try other negotiations in the last hours of his presidency he completely double-crosses one of our biggest allies. And now after 18 months of this hacking, he does something about it. Why didn't he do something about it 18 months ago?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Meanwhile, Democrats are saying this is all nonsense and that it's Trump who is interfering with Obama's presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. GREG MEEKS (D-NY), HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Barack Obama is still the President of the United States. What is unprecedented is a president-elect to get involved in decisions that a sitting president is making.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Um-huh.

MEEKS: That is unprecedented.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Joining us now for reaction in Washington is Simon Rosenberg a former Clinton campaign advisor. And in Houston, Sarah Isgur Flores, a Republican strategist. Simon, starting with you.

SIMON ROSENBERG, FORMER BILL CLINTON CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Sure.

BOLLING: Is President Obama using a scorched earth exit strategy from the White House?

ROSENBERG: No. And you know, he is still the President. I think Donald Trump can handle all of this. I have been a little surprised at the whining coming from the Trump campaign. I mean, this is minor stuff compared to what he is going to be dealing with as president. He can't get this upset when people -- when things don't go his way and whether we --

BOLLING: Simon, Simon, I mean --

(CROSSTALK)

I have got to grab you and pull you back in here for a second.

ROSENBERG: Yes.

BOLLING: I think Donald Trump if anything has been downplaying it whereas most of us on the right have been watching this happen. I mean, you talk about Israel, you talk about Russia, you talk about the oil and gas banning all drilling, it seems like he is throwing a lot of stuff at Trump right before he leaves.

ROSENBERG: Yes. But he is still the president. And this is part of the pace of governance. Right? This is how it all works. And I think look, the real issue here, right, all the stuff is going to go away in a few weeks. John McCain is going to have hearings next week on the Russian interference in our elections. This is a big issue. And I think what we'll be talking about, Eric, in a few weeks, is Trump's refusal to join in people like Paul Ryan, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham in recognizing how serious this Russian interference in our election has been. This has been very disappointing to me.

BOLLING: All right. Listen, I don't disagree with you that those people you mentioned, those Republicans you mentioned are looking for more sanctions on Russia.

Sarah, I will ask you. Is President Obama trying to push the divide between the Trump presidency and those who have been kind of anti-Trump leading up to the Trump presidency?

SARAH ISGUR FLORES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think there is no doubt that Barack Obama wouldn't be taking these actions if Hillary Clinton were about to give her inaugural address. This is about protecting President Obama's legacy. He is deeply concerned now that Donald Trump will come in and do what he promised, which to undo all of these disastrous regulations, policies, foreign policy in particular. So, he is trying to throw dust in the eye of the transition team while they are trying to assemble a government. And now they are going to have this chaos on January 20th to deal with.

BOLLING: Yes.

FLORES: And by the way, this wasn't a small and minor thing to Israel. This is existential to Israel. So, this idea that these are just small nitpicky things is just untrue.

BOLLING: Let's stay on Israel for a second, Simon.

ROSENBERG: Yes.

BOLLING: Two days ago on this program, I suggested that this U.N. resolution that we failed to veto, in America, was going to offer currency. Political currency to the Palestinians, today we learned the Palestinians are saying Israel should be sanctioned, look at the international community. Look at the U.N. sanctions.

ROSENBERG: Listen, we're not going to resolve this debate on this show in the next few minutes. And reasonable people can disagree on this. And I just want to say in defense of Barack Obama, Barack Obama just signed a military aid agreement that's the largest in the history between the United States and Israel and he had fewer fewer -- he allowed fewer bad U.N. resolutions to get through than any modern American president. I think some of the opposition --

BOLLING: He had one left, Simon. He had one left. He had 24 days to go when he let that one go through.

ROSENBERG: Yes. I understand. I understand. Reasonable people can disagree on this.

BOLLING: Sarah, Barack Obama's legacy, friend or foe to Israel?

FLORES: Oh, foe to Israel. And in fact, Democrats have lost blue collar workers now and I think they are about to lose the Jewish community as well if they continue to show their true colors on this which is that they are deeply anti-Israel and siding with terrorists over Israel. That's how anti-Israel they have become. This was insane vote to abstain from. And if we actually find out that they were working with other countries to bring this vote in the first place and make sure that it would pass, I think that will be it for the Democratic Party politically in 18 when it comes to the Jewish vote.

BOLLING: Okay. So, I would tend to agree with that. Simon?

ROSENBERG: I definitely don't agree with that. I mean, Barack Obama, there have been both Bushes allowed far more anti-Israel votes to go through the U.N. than Barack Obama has done. You know, we have got to make our case though. I mean, the point is that we have got to make our case as Democrats about our position in the Middle East. I have no doubt that Jews are going to stay with the Democrats.

BOLLING: Why is that, Simon? Why is that? Explain that to me. Help me out here.

ROSENBERG: Let me just say.

BOLLING: So, if Jews are pro-Israel and Netanyahu and Israel says, what the heck are you doing, President Obama, and Democrats in America? Why is the Jewish vote so Democrat in America?

ROSENBERG: The bond between Israel and the --

FLORES: And insulting B.B. Netanyahu.

BOLLING: Go ahead, Simon.

ROSENBERG: No. The bond between Israel and the Democratic Party is very strong. The bond between the Democrats and B.B. Netanyahu isn't. We have a disagreement with the leader of Israel, but not with the people of Israel. These things happen among friends. It's happened before with every other American president. And I think the right is exaggerating the divide between the Democrats and Israel right now for their own benefit. I just don't agree with you, Eric.

FLORES: I think that's what they said in Pennsylvania voters.

BOLLING: And I don't expect you to agree with me but, Sarah, let's talk about what this U.N. resolution did. It embolden, it empowered, it gave political capital to the Palestinians. What Jew is happy with that?

FLORES: Well, and for nothing in return. The Palestinians were asked to provide nothing. Israel is always the one asked to do more and do more. Look, what I just heard Simon say is exactly what the Hillary campaign said about Michigan voters, Wisconsin voters and Pennsylvania voters. Democrats are on defense in 2018. They have got about 10 democratic senators up for re-election. And Trump won states. So they can keep assuming that they're going to hold on though these voters but, boy, they keep losing them right and left.

BOLLING: All right. Quick thought, Simon before we go, last one?

ROSENBERG: Yes. Listen, we got more votes in this election than the Republicans did. Don't count the Democratic Party out of in 2018. And I look forward to coming back with both of you many times.

BOLLING: There is still a heartbeat?

ROSENBERG: Still a heartbeat.

BOLLING: Clear? Clear? Not yet? Okay. Simon and Sarah, thank you very much.

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