Interviews

Rep. Jackson Lee: Trump is inappropriate for the office

Congresswoman calls for the president to resign

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 30, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Democrats are going for their own blood, it seems.

Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee demanding President Trump -- get this -- resign right now.

Here's what you missed from a fascinating exchange on Fox Business Network.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE, D-TEXAS: The idea that his continuous assault on women only compounds the fact that I would ask him, it's a job that he does not seemingly like. He needs to resign.

And I stand by that, because he's inappropriate for the office. You can't even get answers from his Cabinet officers about housing, about State Department issues, because they are not staffed. They're not staffed because the White House can't seem to agree on appointments.

You have to be able to run this country on behalf of the American people. As Samuel Adams said, freedom of thought makes a happy country.

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: The media has the right to freedom of thought.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, I have said on this air and elsewhere I think his tweets, when he gets particularly off-subject and gets personal and punches down, I think they're bad news. They get him off his agenda.

LEE: Well, he's ill-suited, Neil, if you think that he constantly...

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: ... the tweets.

CAVUTO: But, Congresswoman, that doesn't mean I say, all right, you're out as president. Let the American people decide that in the next election.

LEE: The American people have decided. His polling numbers are down under 40 percent. He's 36 percent or 35 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I can remember when Ronald Reagan was in the 30s, Congresswoman. I can remember...

LEE: But Ronald Reagan was a commander in chief and he was attempting to run the government, whether you agreed or disagreed.

CAVUTO: My point is, if you go by polling numbers or snapshots in times, of course, we would have never seen Ronald Reagan reelected.

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: No, I'm going by his behavior and the fact of whether he is suited for the presidency.

CAVUTO: You don't like him. You're free not to like him, right, Congresswoman? You don't like him. And you're absolutely free not to like him.

LEE: No, I don't stand for myself. I stand for individuals who have been offended every day by his actions.

CAVUTO: OK, but it's based on his behavior, based on things that you don't like, based on a direction he's taken this country that you don't like.

LEE: Absolutely not. I was looking forward to working with the president of the United States. But I can't work with him. We cannot sustain his behavior.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I understand.

LEE: In the middle of trying to call it immigration day yesterday, Republicans had to address the question of bleeding face-lift.

CAVUTO: I understand that, Congresswoman. On that, you and I agree.

But now you have added by saying you're not going to vote on anything until he's out of there. Did I understand that correctly?

LEE: Well, I'm very, very concerned about his leadership of anything that we propose in the United States Congress, including the mean health care bill that he called mean after celebrating in the Rose Garden.

CAVUTO: So, you're not going to vote on anything? You're not going to do your job because you don't think he's doing his?

LEE: Oh, I'm going to do my job. I'm going to vote no if I don't believe that this an appropriate governmental posture for us to take.

CAVUTO: Oh, so, you will still vote. But you will still vote. But I read this to believe that you were not going to even do that.

LEE: Oh, no, absolutely not.

CAVUTO: All right.

LEE: I would never not vote. Please. Make it very clear. I represent my constituents.

And I know that the health bill needs a no vote, and the sanctuary cities vote needs a no vote. And the probably the reason is because of all the power now given to the executive.

CAVUTO: Are you OK then with part of this?

And I don't want to get too bogged down on the 25th Amendment. And you know this stuff far better than I. But one of the things that it includes is the vice president of the United States going along, agreeing that he too believes the president is incapacitated to do his job, and a majority of the Cabinet.

Now, what would you think of a Vice President Pence in this scenario becoming President Pence?

LEE: Well, first of all, let me say that you raised the 25th Amendment. I happen to know what it is because I'm a lawyer and I'm on the Judiciary Committee.

What I said on the floor, and I maintain, I maintain that the president resign. And I think it is because he's ill-suited and apparently maybe unhappy in the position. And it's very difficult to be a commander in chief if you cannot...

CAVUTO: So you were not among -- I just want to be clear then -- you were not among these 21 House Democrats, including ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, to get cracking on a 25th Amendment invocation?

LEE: I want to be clear of what I said. I certainly think the 25th Amendment is in play.

To answer your question about Vice President Pence that is the normal course of government, which is if, the president resigns or is impeached or is incapacitated, the vice president of the United States.

That is the orderly course of government. And then there is another transition as well for -- if the vice president becomes incapacitated. I would not in any way override that.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: You're not getting into this whole 25th Amendment thing.

But also then let me ask you this.

LEE: I didn't say I wasn't getting into it. What I raised was a resignation. Thank you. That's voluntary. I'm asking the president to resign.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: OK, you're excusing me. OK. OK. OK.

Do you think it's a bit premature? Don't you have to wait for something evidencing a high crime and a proven misdemeanor before we can be even having this discussion?

LEE: No, Neil.

Remember, impeachment is a separate legal action that falls under the Constitution. And we have been having hearings.

CAVUTO: Understood.

LEE: I have been holding hearings with John Dean and professor Tiefer and David Kendall and all of these...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Let's say we get a Democratic president down the road, and they don't like his or her tone or demeanor or if they're tweeting or they're saying things that are deemed impolitic, and they have the same push to say get out of there? That's a different bar, right?

LEE: Neil, believe me, are you trying to suggest that Democratic presidents haven't had the same cry? They have.

But I think this president is extraordinary. The series of incidents that make him ill-suited...

CAVUTO: No, this one -- you have never done this with a prior president. Right? You don't like this one.

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: No.

First of all, the president spoke about war in Syria. And most of his Cabinet members, military didn't know anything about it. In the Qatar situation, his secretary of state was saying something completely different from what he was saying.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So, you see a lot of smoke, but you want to fire him. You see smoke, but you want to fire him.

LEE: No. I said I want him to resign.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAVUTO: All right, I was confused at the end of that one, because either they're going to go for the 25th Amendment route and try to say that President Trump is just mentally or physically incapacitated to do the job, or just resign, or just impeach.

Regardless, it comes down to because they don't like him. They don't like the guy. I don't know if that fits high crime and misdemeanor to go ahead and pursue something like this. But that's where we are at this point. Two dozen Democrats are of that opinion. He's got to go.

END

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