What to make of Gen. Flynn's future with the administration

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," February 13, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: General Flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice President, what can you tell us about your relationship with the national security adviser, Flynn?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He is evaluating the situation. He is speaking to Vice President Pence relative the conversation the vice president had with General Flynn and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject areas, our national security.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, this is the personnel issue that's being dealt with in Washington now, and you hear different things from the administration officials. Kellyanne Conway saying National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn has the full confidence of President Trump, but the statement late this afternoon about the national security advisor suggests that they are going to look into it.

And you heard Sean Spicer say that, but just moments ago the pool asked President Trump, what are you going to do with General Flynn? And he said "We just put out a statement. Get it from Reince." And the reporter says, "He's going to stay with you, stand by and support him?" And the president response "We just put out a statement." So not getting pretty any more details on that back and forth.

With that, let's bring in our panel from Washington: Charles Hurt, opinion editor for The Washington Times; Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and Tom Rogan, columnist for National Review and Opportunity Lives. Mara, your thoughts what we are hearing and reading between the lines in some of these statements?

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: I was at the White House today and it was pretty was pretty chaotic. And 4:12 p.m. Kellyanne Conway says Flynn has the full confidence. And 5:12 p.m. Donald Trump walked past the scrum of reporters outside Sean Spicer's office to say that there is this statement and that he's evaluating. Well that doesn't sound like he has full confidence.

So I think the bottom line is nobody speaks for Donald Trump. We've got to wait to hear with the president decides himself. Sounds like Flynn's fate is still up in the air.

BAIER: So just to explain to everybody, Charlie, where this comes from, and this is a phone call between General Flynn and a Russian official, and talking about possible sanctions, a conversation that he did not tell Vice President Pence who then said they didn't talk about sanctions.

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: And specifically indicated that they had not discussed that with Pence. And as usual here in Washington, as is often the case, it's not the original action that's the problem. It is, as you point out, the way people respond to it after the fact.

The thing that he possibly violated the Logan Act is very obscure thing that would be very hard to sort of prosecute a case against General Flynn on that. But the idea that he would then send Vice President Pence out to basically lie for him, that's a real problem, especially for a guy like Vice President Pence who has put so much of his credibility on the line to assure so many conservatives, so many Republicans on Capitol Hill who weren't all that sure about Donald Trump early on. They trusted him because of Pence. And so that kind of treatment of Pence by Flynn, that's a real problem.

BAIER: Tom, does Flynn stay or go?

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW: I think he is going to go. I think what you're seeing here is this contradiction in statements is a reflection of the fact that President Trump is backing away probably so that Mike Flynn feels it's best to resign. I mean, those statements in their sort of ambiguity are, to me, an absence of support.

And I think the secondary reason why General Flynn is probably going to go is that the fury behind the scenes in the intelligence community about, as Charles says, the lie essentially after the original statement on the nature of the phone call is such that in the context of the president's relationship with Russia, they want blood.

BAIER: Mara, I want to turn to the talk about immigration and the president meeting with the Canadian prime minister today, talking about the immigration order. Take a listen.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We want to have a big, beautiful open door and we want people to come in and come in our country. But we cannot let the wrong people in. We are getting such praise for our stance, and it's a stance of common sense. Maybe a certain toughness, but it's really more than toughness.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: There have been times where we have differed in our approaches. And that's always been done respectfully. The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves.


BAIER: All right, so, Mara, your thoughts on the statements, number one. And number two, definitely different. And number two, what happens next with this executive order?

LIASSON: First of all they have a big decision to make. They can try to rewrite the executive order to make it unobjectionable to the courts, or they can pursue the court challenge all the way to the Supreme Court, see how far they can get.

What I think you saw just there is Canada has made it pretty clear it's going to take refugees. You can't go to America, come to Canada. We are the open, welcoming, inclusive country. But Prime Minister Trudeau is very diplomatic, and he's not going to come down here and make a protest in White House.

But I do think that the immigration order is kind of TBD. They have choices to make over the weekend. President Trump suggested maybe it would be rewritten and we are waiting to see if they actually do that.

BAIER: Charlie?

HURT: Bret, one of the things that I was struck by with that joint press conference between the president and the prime minister is the prime minister was asked about, a few months back, or a few weeks back, he had tweaked President Trump by sending out that picture of him holding a refugee from Syria, a clear sort of kind of needling of Trump and this order to restrict the refugee travel to the country.

When he was asked about that, he responded in a decidedly different tone. He very much picked up Trump's tone of talking about national security and the importance of national security to him and the importance of keeping Canada safe, the same things that Donald Trump has been talking about. I thought that was sort of an interesting change of tone. Obviously they are two very different politicians, but I think that Prime Minister Trudeau does understand the terror threat is no laughing matter.

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