July 20, 2017

Van Hollen: Chaos in the White House Taking Attention Away from Important Issues Like Health Care & the Economy

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen joined CNN's Brianna Keilar to discuss President Trump's chaotic West Wing and his inability to focus on issues important to the American public. A transcript of the exchange is below, and video is available here:

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN: Sir, what is your reaction to this breaking news?

U.S. SENATOR CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Brianna, it'simpossible being the PressSecretary or the CommunicationsDirector in this Administration,because the chaos starts at thevery top.It starts with the President - a President that tweets outstuff that pops into his mind, a President that invitesreporters into the White House at a time when we'rediscussing health care, and talks tothe New York Times about putting pressure onMueller to drop hisinvestigation.Goes after his own AttorneyGeneral.This is a President that cannotstick to the issues that the American public cares most about, which are health care,the economy, and those issues.We were going to be talking about health care, and this is a perfect example of thechaos at the White House takingattention off of thingsimportant to the country.

KEILAR: Do you think this is just the usual chaos, or does this to you signifysomething different about the environment right now inside theWest Wing?

VAN HOLLEN: Clearly there's not only a chaotic environment, but there seems to also be a wholelot of infighting because a lotof people strongly objected tothis appointment.That only compounds thenatural chaotic DNA of thisAdministration, because we knowweek to week, when people want tofocus on one thing, all of asudden they're overthe rails talking aboutsomething else.

So, look, in the Senate, we're supposedly takingup this health care proposal.All of them have been rotten so far.The President begged Senators to get on with thatbill, and here we are where he'sagain changing message, changingfocus away from things thepublic cares about.This seems to be something thatis very much a part of thisPresident, a part of thisAdministration, but I would saythis latest development hasexposed the infighting evenmore than before.

KEILAR: Do you think that as we see anew Communications Director comein, that that could spellsomething different for theWhite House?Or are you just expecting moreof the same since Scaramucci issuch a loyalist to thePresident?

VAN HOLLEN: It's hard to see anythingdifferent - again, because you've got aPresident of the United Stateswho at all hours of the day ornight just tweets out whatever popsinto his head, and seems to bereally obsessed with the Russiainvestigation.We've got all of these big issues thatwe're looking at as a country,whether it's the health careissue or the economy.But he seems very obsessed with Robert Mueller and the FBIinvestigation.Which I think is leading a lotof people to ask, what is itthat they are trying to hidehere?Why is he so determined tosabotage that investigation, rather than come clean?And as long as that's top ofmind for the President, thenit's going to be really hard forthe Administration to move on.They should just cooperate withthe investigation, come clean, and focus on issuesthat are important to thecountry.

KEILAR: Senator Chris Van Hollen,thank you so much for joiningus.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.