Political purposes at play in Susan Rice unmasking?

Sen. Lindsey Graham joins 'The O'Reilly Factor' to discuss the latest surveillance revelations


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 5, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

O'REILLY: FACTOR "Follow-Up" segment tonight. This sound bite on Susan Rice caught my attention.


LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I'm not going to prejudge here but I think every American should know whether or not the National Security advisor to President Obama was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes, it should be easy to figure out and we will.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from Washington is Senator Graham, do you really believe it's going to be easy to figure this out, Senator?

GRAHAM: Might be hard to have consequences, but it would be easy to figure out. John Brennan and Clapper, CIA Director's National Intelligence need to be asked the following question. Did Susan Rice ever make a request of your agencies or the NSA to have unmasking of any Trump transition figures that were incidentally surveilled? Then you go and ask the rally question, what say you Susan Rice if she did?

O'REILLY: Okay. Now, what committee should do that in the Senate?

GRAHAM: Good question. This is where it's confusing. So, you got Brennan and Clapper probably under the jurisdiction of the Intelligence Community but I've made a request as the judiciary subcommittee chairman for Clapper, Brennan, Sally Yates, to come before our committee and testify in public, we'll see if we can do that.

O'REILLY: All right. Now, can you compel them to come to your committee? Can you compel them to do it?

GRAHAM: They said they would come, they only want to come once. They will testify once in an open hearing, once in a closed session. I have got to coordinate this with the Intelligence Committee to figure out who's in charge. Sally Yates was in the Justice Department so she's under the Judiciary Committee jurisdiction, the other two are probably on the Intel jurisdiction. But my committee is ready to move forward with public testimony of Brandon Clapper and Yates and I would ask Brennan and Clapper to Susan Rice ever come to any of your organizations and ask that names be unmasked?

O'REILLY: Okay. And that's a simple question yes or no.

GRAHAM: Right.

O'REILLY: Now we assume that when Ambassador Rice gets called before any Congressional Committee, because the House is investigating too. She's going to take the Fifth just like Lois Lerner did.

I'd be surprised. She said she did nothing wrong but were trying to build the case here I suppose. Just in the old-fashioned way. The people in charge of the collection need to be asked if Susan Rice ever asked for any of the material you collected to be on masse and if she did, what did she do with it? And if she takes the Fifth, that would be stunning.

O'REILLY: Why would it be stunning though? Don't you feel that she's in a precarious position right now and don't you feel that her attorneys are going to say listen, you know, there's a lot of implications here and there are a lot of laws here.

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

O'REILLY: And you know, you might be trapped a person like that. It might be a lot easier for you just to plead the Fifth. Don't you think any attorney would tell her that?

GRAHAM: Well, that is kind of inconsistent with what she said. She said she did nothing wrong but yes, you know, I've been a lawyer. Maybe I tell my client I have an abundance of caution. Don't answer any of these questions. I don't pretend to your audience to be a legal expert on masking. But I'm going to try to find out about what the rules are and if they were valid, they are the crimes. But then, if she took the Fifth, and it would be up to us to say, it is important enough for the country to give her immunity to get to the bottom of this?

O'REILLY: Yes. It's a story that is now politicized, you know that.


O'REILLY: Your Democratic colleagues in the Senate don't want any part of this.

GRAHAM: We'll see.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRAHAM: I don't know. You know, White House is -- White house has been really good. I want to hear from Brandon and Clapper about potential Trump ties. Clapper said during his watch, they're on his watch, there is no evidence.

O'REILLY: Yes. The Russian thing. I understand. But don't you think the Senate is about as polarized as you've ever seen in your career right now?

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You know, it's war.


O'REILLY: Now, the Gorsuch thing is going to come down, you're going to have to change the rules in the Senate to vote him in.

GRAHAM: Yes. Right.

O'REILLY: You're not going to get a few senators on the Democratic side will support. But it's basically run by Chuck Schumer now. And Schumer is going to say, we're going to post everything Donald Trump does to try to portray a president who is too weak to govern. You know the strategy.

GRAHAM: We're still in charge of the place so as people in charge of the place, we can conduct hearings and I don't think it's inappropriate to ask the question of the Intelligence Community.

O'REILLY: No, of course it's not. So, the American people need to know.

GRAHAM: I am going to do it.

O'REILLY: If the Obama White House and not the President himself but one of his top aides --

GRAHAM: Right.

O'REILLY: -- was using her position to advance a political agenda because that's what this is all about. She's not taking an interest in the Trump people for any other reason than politics. It is no other reason on the planet than politics.

GRAHAM: If she did it, that would be a logical conclusion. So, what are they going to do to me if I do my job? Nothing. I mean, my job is to find out what happened all things Russia and a part of this all things Russia is that the National Security advisor to President Obama was actually unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes before the election, Trump campaign people, I want to know that.

O'REILLY: Sure. And the whole country wants it. The people who don't have a political agenda want to know it.

GRAHAM: Right.

O'REILLY: But the Democratic Party certainly wants to protect the Obama administration and Susan Rice and they're going to do everything they can and the Left leaning media wanted part of this story.

GRAHAM: Too bad. Too bad. I mean, you don't always get what you want, that's what the Rolling Stones say.

O'REILLY: So you're going to say that you're going to get to the bottom of it, your confidence with all of the Lois Lerner stuff and Benghazi stuff and all that, you're going to get to the bottom of this, do you think?

GRAHAM: I won't ask the questions that need to be asked regarding Susan Rice and I've been pretty honest about this on the Trump side. I've said I want to know, where there Trump ties to Russia before the election?

O'REILLY: -- by the people who want to know that.


O'REILLY: I mean, I don't think there's any doubt about that. Okay. I got to ask you a question about Syria because you're deeply involved with foreign affairs.

GRAHAM: Yes. Right. Right.

O'REILLY: So, President Trump once again today said he's not going to say what he's going to do because when you told the enemy what you're going to do because it gives them time to prepare, the enemy not being Syria and Assad. We all know that. Obama didn't do anything to him, Trump almost has to do something. So, if you were the National Security advisor, Senator, what would you tell Donald Trump specifically to do to Syria?

GRAHAM: Destroy their power and create a safe zone in Syria where this never happens again.

O'REILLY: So, by destroying it, would have to bomb their airfields, correct?

GRAHAM: Right.

O'REILLY: There are Russian planes there.

GRAHAM: Yes. They should move them.

O'REILLY: But then you'd have to tell him, you're going to bomb before him.

GRAHAM: I think I would probably do that that.

O'REILLY: Okay. Warn them and then boom, destroy their infrastructure on the air side.

GRAHAM: Then I would make sure they'd never be another incident like the people in Italy would never be bombed again by Assad. They'd be safe havens for people could go back to Syria from Europe and then the United States.

O'REILLY: We've said that for years.

GRAHAM: Yes. So, this is a time for President Trump to show the world he is not President Obama. This is a horrible event out of which could come an opportunity to reset the Mideast, to establish his presidency as something different than Obama to send a signal to every dictator in the world. There is the new sheriff in town and if they would actually hold Assad accountable and protect the innocent people of Syria like what happens in North Korea and Iran and everywhere else.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, Senator, we appreciate it. Keep us posted on your investigation and who you're going to call and we really appreciate it tonight.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.