Rep. Tom Rooney: Hope Hicks testimony leaks show Russia probe should end

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 1, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, "YOUR WORLD" HOST: All right, you know by now that Hope Hicks is leaving, but would she be if it were not for the leaking, her admission before the House Intelligence Committee that she sometimes tells white lies for President Trump.

That was supposed to remain private. That was supposed to remain behind closed doors. Didn't happen.

Now my next guest, who sits on that committee, says, you know, this is getting ridiculous. Had enough of it.

Florida Republican Congressman Tom Rooney is calling for the committee's Russia investigation to end.

That might be your hope, Congressman. What are you hearing from some of your colleagues?

REP. THOMAS ROONEY, R-FLORIDA: Well, we will see.

I made it known to our chairman, Chairman Conaway, yesterday, after a nine- hour interview with Hope Hicks in the SCIF, that if what we have been reduced to is interviewing these witnesses that are coming there voluntarily, by the way, to walking out into the hallway, only to have reporters ask, is it true that Hope Hicks tells white lies for Trump, that after nine hours of testimony about the Russian intrusion into our last election, that's the driving news story of the day, then we have gone completely off the rails and that this investigation needs to end.

And I think that I made that very clear to him. So, hopefully -- but, unfortunately, that's the reality of where we are right now.

CAVUTO: Congressman, if stuff leaked out during the inquiry, during the questioning, because it seems in a lot of cases you're hearing about this stuff, I don't know in the case of Hope Hicks, as the question and answer is happening.

ROONEY: It was literally we got called to vote. I walked out into the hallway from interviewing Hope Hicks, sitting at a table with her and my colleagues from across the aisle, walking out into the hallway, only to have a reporter ask me if something that was just said was true, to the point where the first time -- for the first time since I have been on the committee for over a year doing these investigations with Trey Gowdy, I asked the reporter, who told you that?

Because that's absolutely absurd that we can't conduct this interview in a SCIF, which is classified spaces, and walk out into the hallway, only to have a reporter ask me if something is true that was just said, basically means that there is -- there's no integrity left within the walls of that committee, and that we have basically been turned into a source for tabloid journalism to thrive with these witnesses, rather than to be able to write a report on how the intelligence community can better do their jobs.

CAVUTO: You're not the only one bedeviled by this.

The president himself of course has complained about this whole process, even going after his attorney general on this inspector general investigation, you know, into the FISA whole matter. What did you think of that back and forth there?

ROONEY: Well, I mean, I don't really want to get into his relationship with Senator Sessions.

CAVUTO: Oh, feel free. Feel free.


ROONEY: Senator Sessions did come down to our committee, and he gave his testimony, and he was very forthright. We appreciated the time that he gave us.

He decided to recuse himself based on what he told us, because he was part of the campaign. And he was told very early on when he got to the attorney general's office, because you're part of the campaign when you're dealing with something that is being alleged to have happened during the campaign, you really should recuse yourself.

This wasn't something that he came up with himself.


CAVUTO: But you see the domino effect since, and the president might regret that now.


CAVUTO: But do you think that Jeff Sessions should leave?

ROONEY: I -- I -- I will leave that up to the president. He works for -- at the pleasure of the president.

CAVUTO: All right.

ROONEY: Jeff Sessions is a good man who I believe is -- is trying to do the best job he can with what he's got.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

ROONEY: But the president is right, Neil. We have not found any evidence of collusion in -- in this investigation.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, thank you very much.


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