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News on The 700 Club: February 16, 2017

As seen on "The 700 Club," February 16: Despite camaraderie, key issues loom for Trump, Netanyahu; Strong chance Sessions will reposition Justice Dept. as religious freedom champion, and more. Read Transcript


Welcome, folks.

We're delighted to have you with us on this edition of "The 700

Club."

Lots of news today.

I want everybody in this audience to get the game.

There's a game going on in Washington.

You need to know what the game is.

The Democrats as a party don't really

exist anymore, because they don't have any power

to speak of in Washington.

But what are they trying to do?

They're trying to develop a narrative that

says the Republicans were influenced in the last election

by the Russians, and the Russians

were hacking into the Democrats.

The Russians were throwing the election

because the Russians are in charge of everything

and Trump is just nothing but a Russian ploy, tool, and pawn.

Now, that's nonsense, but they're saying that.

They're bringing it out, and they

say, well, there's no evidence.

But nevertheless, we're going to keep that narrative going.

Then if they can get somebody in Washington to hold hearings,

then they can drag this thing on month

after month after month to discredit Trump.

While that's going on, the intelligence people

who are buried deep into the Treasury Department,

into the State Department, into the Defense Department,

into the CIA, all these people are

from Obama and for that Bill Clinton and others.

They're going to try and do what they can to destroy Trump.

And some of them have broken the law already,

but that's the narrative.

And so I just pray that the Republicans won't fall for it

and try to get, oh, we've got to have a hearing

to find out the truth of these Russian involvement.

The Russians, they didn't influence our election.

They couldn't.

There's no way they could have done it.

And so what is we have a president,

but these Democrats will not acknowledge

that he is a legitimate president,

and they're going to try everything

they can to destroy him.

In the meantime, God Almighty is working

on behalf of our nation, and on behalf of our president,

because America is a great nation.

And we are the friend of Israel, and we

are the friend of a lot of people around the world.

We're the hope of the world, and we

have a president who's going to reassert

our authority in the world.

So we start with America's relationship

with our strongest ally in the Middle East, which is Israel.

And now, that so-called two-state solution,

which was nothing but a chimera, it has no validity.

There's no possibility of it working,

and yet Secretary of State after Secretary of State

invested his or her time in trying to bring this about.

But now there seems to be a different plan for negotiating

with the Palestinians, and President Trump

is talking about a big deal.

And I think a big deal is fun.

I like that.

He's a deal maker.

Even now, Prime Minister Netanyahu

mentioned the art of the deal as he was standing

up there at the podium.

How about the news conference, too?

With our reporter--

David Brody.

David Brody being singled out by the President of the United

States for the first question in that very important news

conference.

It was wonderful.

That became national news and in of itself.

Of course.

Who are these people?

Well, that's who we are.

Wendy.

Well, the vice president--

I mean, the president rather, President Trump

is also moving to appoint a new national secretary

adviser to replace Mike Flynn after the recent controversy

involving contacts with Russia.

And our David Brody brings us the story from Washington.

Thank you.

Again, thank you.

DAVID BRODY: A rekindled friendship

chased away any winter chill at the White House Wednesday.

After years of tension with the Obama administration,

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

sees President Trump as a key partner.

I've known the president and I've

known his family and his team for a long time.

And there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people

and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.

DAVID BRODY: But there are key issues

to work through, starting with how

to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

As with any successful negotiation,

both sides will have to make compromises.

You know that, right?

DAVID BRODY: In common that would no doubt anger

Palestinian leaders, Trump said a two-state solution

isn't a requirement for peace.

So I'm looking at two-state and one-state,

and I like the one that both parties like.

I'm very happy with the one that both parties like.

I can live with either one.

DAVID BRODY: Netanyahu maintains Palestinians must recognize

Israel's right to exist before any peace

plan can move forward.

You have to ask yourself, why are Jews called Jews?

Well, the Chinese are called Chinese

because they come from China.

The Japanese are called Japanese because they come from Japan.

Well Jews are called Jews because they come from Judea.

This is our ancestral homeland.

Jews are not foreign colonialists in Judea.

DAVID BRODY: The other thorny issue

is on so-called settlements.

In the West Bank, Netanyahu has pushed forward.

But the White House says that may not be

the best move for a peace deal.

It's a topic CBN News asked about

at their joint news conference.

On the settlement issue, are you both on the same page?

How do you exactly turn that as it relates to the settlement

issue?

As far as settlements, I'd like

to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.

We'll work something out.

But I would like to see a deal be made.

I think a deal will be made.

Let's try it.

Doesn't sound too optimistic, but that's--

[LAUGHTER]

He's a good negotiator.

That's the art of the deal.

DAVID BRODY: It also provided the president

his first opportunity to address the controversy concerning

fired national security adviser Mike Flynn.

He didn't address the timetable of what

he knew about his campaign advisers

talking with Russian officials.

Instead, he blamed the media.

I think he's been treated very, very

unfairly by the media.

As I call it, the fake media, in many cases.

And I think it's really a sad thing

that he was treated so badly.

I think in addition to that, from intelligence,

papers are being leaked, things are being leaked.

It's criminal action, criminal act,

and it's been going on for a long time before me.

But now it's really going on.

DAVID BRODY: The key question remains whether the Trump

administration can begin to plug these leaks so he can

move forward with his agenda.

Thanks, David.

It is astounding that the media has got their noses bent out

of shape.

These are the media that said that Trump was a fake, a phony,

he needed to get impeached.

You go down the line of all the stuff he lied.

He did this.

And then they wonder why they're not

given preferred treatment in the White House briefing room.

MSNBC, ultra liberal, CNN, extremely liberal.

And they're not getting called on, and they get mad.

Why?

Because a guy named David Brody representing the Christian

Broadcasting Network gets the first question from Washington.

David, that's quite a kudo, brother.

Well, I've got to tell you, Pat,

when I was at the White House yesterday,

I probably should brought the smelling salts.

I could have handed them out to the mainstream media

members that were probably passed out a full frontal right

in front of me.

Yeah, it's a new day in DC for sure,

and it was great to be called on.

It's really been a long time coming.

And we definitely should be called on.

And why?

Well, because hello, we've got important questions to ask.

And indeed, that was what we did yesterday,

trying to weave in Israel, the Iran deal

into that first question, plus settlements,

plus Russia and Michael Flynn.

Hey Pat, I went for the whole enchilada,

and I tried to do what I could do.

Well, you did a great job.

Hey listen, this Iran thing, is there some hidden thing

that the Obama administration doesn't want anybody

to know about?

Was there something conceal that now is going to come to light,

have you heard about?

Well keep your eye on a guy named Ben Rhodes,

former Obama adviser, high-ranking Obama adviser.

More may indeed come out here in the near future about him.

He's a guy.

They labeled him, or at least conservatives labeled him,

the pro-Iran wing of the White House, a guy that was not

happy at all with the fact that Michael Flynn, who of course is

a big staunch supporter of Israel,

was the national security adviser.

So there is some speculation that he may

be behind some of these leaks.

The problem with these leaks, Pat,

is that they're sprouting up everywhere.

It could be Ben Rhodes.

But quite frankly, it's not just Ben Rhodes.

Sources telling me that some are coming--

yes-- within the White House, folks that didn't necessarily--

were simpatico with Michael Flynn.

So you've got that.

You've got the bureaucracy leaks coming

from all over Washington, and then within the Obama

administration, or the former Obama administration as well.

David, I was talking to Drew [INAUDIBLE] yesterday about how

you fire people.

It's not easy to get rid of people.

I suppose that they can assign them to a post in Alaska

or on the border of Mexico and get them out of Washington.

They can do that under the Civil Service Act, can't they?

Yeah.

Well apparently, that would be an option.

But once again, this is going to be a problem, Pat, going

forward, because Trump came here to drain the swamp,

and the swamp is large.

And that means that you just don't get a free pass.

Or excuse me, you don't just get this idea

that you can just go ahead and be a federal worker forever.

There are some real inherent issues with that.

Obama criticized Mitt Romney, who

said he thought Russia was a big problem,

and they laughed at him, and said

he didn't know what he's talking about.

But the truth is now, they have made Russia front and center.

And there's this narrative going around that this is collusion,

and that they need to have all sorts of hearings

to discover what the plot is.

What do you hear about all that?

Well you're absolutely right, Pat.

It is somewhat of a double standard

here, because indeed, the president and many

of his advisers had kind of even laughed off at the time

this whole idea about Russia being this geopolitical force,

as Mitt Romney talked about.

And now, they're the ones peddling that Russia

is responsible for everything.

So it is kind of interesting.

I will say this.

Look for congressman Jason Chaffetz to be in the news

quite a bit.

He's the head of the House Ethics Reform Committee

on Capitol Hill.

He's going to be, in essence, the top cop here.

As a Republican, watch for him.

If he decides to go forward with some of these investigations

into Russia and the Trump administration,

he'll be on the hot seat by a lot of conservatives

for even bringing it up.

But there is a sense that he will do potentially something

here.

And here's the thing.

And you know, Pat.

You've got Lindsay Graham, and John McCain, and Lisa

Murkowski, and Susan Collins, and a bunch of the moderates

playing live on Broadway on Capitol Hill,

and they want to have their voices heard.

So this Trump administration could

be in for some rocky times ahead, especially

on Capitol Hill with Republicans.

McCain kind of makes me sick.

It looks like he is determined to be

the voice of the opposition in the Republican Party

to everything Trump wants to do.

What is it with him?

Well, I've got to tell you.

One of the things which John McCain and one of the reasons

that he did not, dot dot dot, become president of the United

States is he had a problem with the real true conservative

portion of the base, because he has played the establishment

card.

He has played the bipartisan card up on Capitol Hill.

It's worked for longevity in his district,

but it didn't work for becoming president of the United States.

And beyond that, I think what you're

seeing with John McCain is someone who really

embodies the whole Washington bureaucratic establishment

in DC.

Very well respected up on the Hill.

But when it comes to this idea of establishment politicians,

John McCain would pretty much be the poster boy

for establishment politicians in this country.

I don't think there's any question about it.

And he wears that with a badge of honor, by the way.

If I said that to him, he'd say, well,

that's right, because that's all about bipartisanship

and being a statesman.

We hear that a lot up here on Capitol Hill.

If he sticks a knife in the back of this wonderful

president we've got-- last question.

Robert Howard, admiral, a SEAL's SEAL, a man's man.

He looks like a great guy.

He's going to be the replacement for Flynn.

Is that the idea?

That's the sense at this point.

That's right.

He is a former US Navy SEAL, was in central command, US

central command under General James Mattis at the time,

went to MIT.

I mean, he checks all of the boxes.

And one of the interesting parts of his story,

if indeed he becomes national security advisor,

he actually grew up in Iran.

He actually went to school.

He's American obviously, but he did go to high school in Iran.

And he's actually fluent in Persian.

So there's your little tip of the day.

There's your trivia tip of the day, Pat.

Fluent in Persian.

You keep it up, David.

Appreciate your work.

David Brody, our Washington correspondent

who's doing a fabulous job for you and for all of us at CBN.

Well, our CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell

is with us now from Jerusalem.

And Chris, the thought was that Netanyahu really

didn't want to go gung-ho on building all those houses

and settlements, and that Trump was

doing him a favor against the hard liners.

Is there any truth to any of that?

I think there is, Pat.

When Trump leaned over to Netanyahu and said,

let's go a bit slower on the settlements, that

was sort of a political bone for Netanyahu,

because he's been getting a lot of pressure

from the right, Education Minister Naftali

bennett among them, who want to annex parts of the West

Bank, Judea, and Samaria, or they

want to even expand the whole West Bank.

So there was something it helped him out politically here.

And I would say, Pat, I just add the reaction here from Israel,

including Naftali Bennett, the education minister,

he says it's a new era in US-Israeli relations.

He said that actually the Palestinian flag

had been taken down from the White House,

and the Israeli flag put up.

On the left, Israeli politicians are lamenting the fact

that the two-state solution is seeing an alternative right

now.

And I was on the phone earlier today with Michael Oren.

He's the deputy minister of public policy.

And he was saying that he lived through the Obama

administration for four or five years,

so he knows how bad it can be.

And he said it's a new era as well.

And let me just add, Pat.

When the Palestinian reaction, Julie Stahl

was on the phone earlier today as well with the PLO chief

negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and he said, quoting,

"Abandonment of the two-state solution

is going to spell disaster on Palestinians and Israelis,

and on the region in the bigger context."

So from the Palestinian point of view,

it's probably a sad day for them after yesterday's press

conference.

Chris, the President Trump was talking about a big deal.

And for me, a big deal would be you bring in Jordan,

you bring in Saudi Arabia, you bring in Egypt, el-Sisi,

and you bring in Israel.

And at least for that group, and you

suddenly have an area-wide peace agreement.

Are they talking something like that, do you think?

I think that's exactly what they're talking about, Pat.

For years, the holy grail of the Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy

has been the two-state solution.

And now that press conference yesterday sort of abandoned

that.

And so I think they're looking at it in a regional context,

a regional diplomacy.

And as I was listening to the press conference

yesterday, Pat, these are some of the things

I heard Trump say.

"We're going to make a big deal, a bigger and better deal

than people in this room, even understand.

It could take many, many countries."

And that it refers to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states

and Egypt would cover a very large territory.

He says, "others players at a very high level,"

so that would include all of those states in oil.

And this is Mr. art of the deal changing the parameters

of the Middle East peace.

Well, it's long overdue.

Well, last question.

Israel and the US need to be on the same page in terms of Iran.

What are they looking to do?

We've got that Iranian deal, but Trump

is sort of saying, well, I want to preserve it.

Well, what do you think the Israelis hope to have done?

Well, certainly that was probably one of the main things

they talked about in private yesterday.

And I think first of all, they're

going to put Iran on notice.

And I think one example is that the Trump administration has

already done that by putting Iran on notice

after that ballistic missile test just a few days ago.

I think that's one thing they're going to do,

perhaps more sanctions.

I think Trump doesn't want to necessarily abrogate

the whole Iranian deal, but I think

we're going to see increased sanctions,

we're going to see increased holding Iran accountable.

I talked to one Middle East expert earlier today,

and he said, look to Yemen.

That could be the next confrontation

between the US and Iran.

But I think we're going to also see, Pat,

maybe covert actions going on.

And one other thing I'd like to add,

Pat, is you remember, I remember in the Cold War days

when I was just a young kid, Radio Free Europe.

And I would think they're going to be talking directly

to the Iranian people.

Prime Minister Netanyahu did that just a couple of weeks

ago, was sort of unprecedented.

And I think we're going to see trying

to talk to the Iranian opposition,

and also talk to the Iranian people.

There are a lot of Iranians inside Iran

that really detest the Iranian mullahs

and what's going on in Tehran.

And I think they're going to try to foment

part of that opposition.

You remember in 2009 when really, President Obama

had his Ronald Reagan moment that he could have spoken

to the millions of people that came out in the street,

and yet he failed to do that.

I think we're going to see Trump and perhaps Netanyahu

do the same.

Well, thank you Chris.

You're doing a great job.

Again, our reporter in Jerusalem who

has his finger on the pulse, his ear to the ground, and he's

bringing you the up to date story.

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