RUSH: Kellyanne Conway — who is now gonna work in the White House with the Trumpster. Originally she wasn’t gonna stay in the White House. She was gonna do whatever she was gonna do once or twice removed. But she has decided to stay there, which is fine and dandy. Politico just posted a story, “Kellyanne Conway [today] accused…” And this is right on the money, by the way. Kellyanne Conway “accused Democrats of ‘humiliating and trying to embarrass’ the president-elect’s Cabinet nominees and called their rapid-fire questioning of Betsy DeVos … ‘reprehensible.’
“‘This idea of humiliating and trying to embarrass qualified men and women who just wish to serve this nation is reprehensible,’ Conway told Fox News on Wednesday morning. ‘Not one child who needs a better education benefited from any of those incendiary questions yesterday,” of Betsy DeVos. “But, of course, Mrs. DeVos held herself with the grace and elegance that we know her to have.'” You know, I played these sound bites from Frontline last night where they’re all atwitter about the partisanship and the opposition to the agenda of Barack Obama.
And you have all these Democrats in the show, Tom Daschle and Pelosi wringing their hands and all the obstructionism and the partisanship is just “palpable.” The polarization is just really unfair. These people created the art form! The Democrat Party is polarization. The Democrat Party is obstructionism. The Democrat Party is opposition research. The Democrat Party in no way wants to enter the arena of ideas and have debates and prevail in that arena, because they can’t. The only way the Democrat Party can get where they want to go is to destroy their opposition.
If they can destroy their lives, they do. If they can destroy their character, they do. If they can impugn their honor, they do. And she is right. Kellyanne’s right. It’s exactly what’s going on here with these questions. It’s what they’re doing to Tom Price. These are all… Trump’s cabinet picks are not from the world of politics. Sessions is and Tom Price is. These are average, ordinary Americans who already have all the wealth they need. They’ve got all the power they need.
They’re not doing any of this for the reasons that most people go into politics: To get rich and to acquire and use power. These people have already reached the pinnacle of success in their various lives and enclaves, and I know many of them. Wilbur Ross, Jeff Sessions, these are just fine people. And they themselves are not partisan in any way, shape, manner, or form. And I listen to these Democrats go on and on like opposition is something only the Republicans do.
They created it! We oppose ideas. We oppose the people who tell lies and misreport and obfuscate in the advancement of their ideas. That’s what we oppose. They try to destroy people. They try to destroy reputations. They destroy lifetimes of work if it is threatening to their agenda. It is despicable. Donald Trump is the first person to come along and fight back against any of this, and look at the reaction they’re having to it. “You can’t continue tweeting as president! You just can’t do it. That’s unseemly. That’s beneath the dignity of the office. You can’t.”
Beneath the dignity? What’s beneath the dignity to the office is Al Franken being in the Senate. I mean, this is absurd. All this is abject ridiculous.
RUSH: Tom Price is a member of Congress from Georgia. He’s a Republican, nominated by the Trumpster to be secretary of Health and Human Services.
He is an Obamacare expert. He is a health care expert. He’s a doctor. He has several different plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. He has an impeccable reputation. He’s Jimmy Stewart, folks, in It’s a Wonderful Life. He’s just a mild-mannered, average American guy who’s done his best. He’s not imposing, he’s not threatening, he’s not mean, not any of these things that Democrats always use to describe people. And when he was elected, he put his portfolio — his family investments — in a trust and has no idea how the money is spent.
And it really is a blind trust. He really has no connection to it whatsoever. CNN ran a fake news story claiming that Tom Price enacted legislation designed to benefit a company in which he had purchased stock. And they tried to say, “He’s not qualified. This guy’s broken the law! He’s got a conflict of interest problem.” CNN broadcast and blasted this all over the place. Somebody by the name of Manu Raju reported that Price had purchased stock in a company that would benefit from legislation he had drafted just prior to introducing it in the House.
If he had done that, it would violate House rules and create a big problem for his confirmation hearing, which started today. He said (impression), “Representative Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation…” I remember when the sorry hit, and I’m embarrassed to tell you I thought, “Aw, damn it!” I believed it. “Why would anybody lie about something like that? How did this happen? Why? Why in the world…?”
I didn’t have doubts. I’m ashamed to say there wasn’t even one moment that I questioned it, even despite my daily admonition to you not to believe these people. This is how easy it happens. They just do fake news. They lie about it, and, because of a lifetime of conditioning, you just believe it. The first reaction you have is to just believe it and say it’s true. And, it turns out, it is totally made up! And now Trump and his team are demanding that CNN retract this.
The story is that “Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN. Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented.”
And when the story ran, people in Price’s office began to go crazy because it wasn’t true. He didn’t invest in anything. He has nothing to do with his portfolio. He doesn’t have any idea what the people who are managing it are doing, as is the case according to law. He cannot know. He’s not allowed to know. He’s not allowed to direct in any way, shape, manner, or form what happens with his portfolio. Anyway, the timeline ends up not working anyway. Despite everything, the timeline doesn’t work.
“Price introduced his legislation before he knew of the stock purchase. He was the chief sponsor of the HIP Act and he introduced it on March 23, 2016, according to House records. But Morgan Stanley did not inform Price of the Zimmer Biomet stock until April 14, according to House financial disclosure forms on the Georgia congressman’s transactions.” Anyway, the story… It would take me five minutes to run through the evidence here, but the story is totally bogus. It was totally made up. It was fed to CNN as a falsehood. CNN reported it because they wanted it to be true.
It has been thoroughly debunked now, and Trump and his team are demanding that CNN retract the story and acknowledge errors in it. “On January 16, 2017, CNN broadcast a story by Manu Raju, titled ‘First on CNN: Trump’s Cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it,’ which omitted facts and drew conclusions in an effort to attack President-Elect Donald Trump’s designee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price. The facts were available to CNN through House Financial Disclosure Filings.
“Dr. Price’s position on the Comprehensive Joint Replacement demonstration, which date back to fall 2015, is also a matter of public record,” and they list the facts, and there are six of them. And then they issue the demand that CNN retract the story. Now, it doesn’t matter. The story’s out there. It’s already in the domain. Price is being asked about it during his confirmation hearings. Seth Meyers, late-night comedian on CNBC, was making jokes about it. This is how they do it. CNN doesn’t care if it’s true or not! The media doesn’t care. The more damaging it is… Even if they have to retract it, they don’t care. They’re not worried about their reputation, they’re not worried at all, because the effort is to destroy Trump and his administration before it gets off the ground.
Here’s Patty Murray, Democrat, state of Washington, questioning Price about this fake news story during his confirmation hearings today.
PRICE: No. What I — what I —
MURRAY: That is what you said to me in my office.
PRICE: What I believe what I said to you was that I learned of the company from Congressman Collins.
MURRAY: What I recall our conversation was that you had a conversation with Collins and then decided to purchase the stock.
PRICE: No, that’s not correct.
MURRAY: Well, that is what I remember hearing you say in my office. Uh, in that conversation did Representative Collins tell you anything that could be considered, quote, “a stock tip”? Yes or no.
PRICE: I don’t believe so. No.
RUSH: He’s denying it. It isn’t true. It has been debunked, folks. The whole story has been debunked. Here she is now claiming that he’s lying now and told her in a private meeting in her office that he did do this, and he said, “I didn’t tell you that! I don’t remember that.” So then she says, “If you’re telling me he gave you information about a company you were offering shares in the company at prices not available to the public, and you bought those shares, is that not a stock tip, Congressman?”
PRICE: That’s not what happened. What happened was that he mentioned… He talked about the company and the work they were doing in trying to solve the challenge of progressive, secondary multiple sclerosis, which is a very debilitating disease —
MURRAY: I’m well aware of that!
PRICE: — and one that I —
MURRAY: I’m aware of that!
PRICE: — studied the company for a period of time and felt that it had some significant merit and promise and purchased the initial shares on the stock exchange —
MURRAY: Congressman Price, I have very limited time. Do you believe it is appropriate for a senior member of Congress actively involved in policy making in the health sector to repeatedly, personally invest in a drug company that could benefit from those actions? Yes or no.
MURRAY: Well, let me just say that I believe it’s inappropriate.
RUSH: It doesn’t matter what you think, it didn’t happen! Anyway, this is how it happens, and this is the kind I think Kellyanne Conway is reacting to: The attempt to destroy decent men and women who are only trying to serve of their country and so forth, and not for any kind of personal gain. This is… You’ve heard the old saw that this is why good people don’t go into politics? It is, folks! This kind of innuendo. And the Democrats don’t care who they destroy. In fact, they take pride in it, I think.
RUSH: I got an interesting email during the break. It was about the sound bite of Patty Murray and her interrogation of Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services. And the email… It was a very, very smart email. “Rush, how can she do that? Mr. Price has to take an oath, so he has to tell the truth. Can she just lie? Can she just make up anything she wants like when she says what he told her in her office, and he says that’s not what he said? Can she just make it up?”
The answer is, yeah, essentially, and it’s a very brilliant observation on the part of the person that emailed me, because in that circumstance Price is under oath, but these senators are not. And yet she’s giving her version of a conversation with Price in her office. Nobody else was there, just those two. He’s sworn to tell the truth. She’s not. She’s giving her unsworn version. Now, in court — and I know this isn’t court. But in court, that’s not permitted. A lawyer who is not under oath who is asking questions of a witness cannot give such testimony.
“Well, didn’t you tell me in my office…?”
Unless it’s part of a proffer, part of a deal, a plea deal or arrangement or whatever and it’s being confirmed. But a lawyer just can’t claim that a witness is lying and telling a different story from what was told in private. The judge wouldn’t permit it, because a lawyer asking the questions is not under oath; only the witness is. And the witness because he’s under oath is subject to penalty of perjury, and Price would be as well in this circumstance. So the lawyer is not allowed to stack his credibility against the witness’s as to a conversation they purportedly had with each other.
If the lawyer wants to do that, what he’d have to do is have his own witness present during the conversation so that that person can be sworn and give testimony under penalty of perjury. Patty Murray didn’t do that. She didn’t have a witness in there listening to the conversation and then take the oath and swear that her version of events of it was the truth. And Murray, you know, for all the talk about she’s just a little old lady or the mom in tennis shoes or whatever her reputation is, she knows that she doesn’t have to worry about giving a false version of what happened between Price and her in her office.
She doesn’t have to worry about it a bit. She’s not under oath. Nobody’s gonna challenge her. She can’t be prosecuted for perjury or anything else. She’s a member of Congress. You can’t sue them anyway. The only guy that has to worry about telling the truth here is Price, and it’s a real slimy way of questioning somebody. It’s really beneath the dignity of these proceedings. “Congressman, you told me in my office just the exact opposite!” “I don’t remember it that way.” “Well, you did! I do. That’s all I wanted to say that and move on.”
It’s cheeky, it’s immature, it’s childish, and slimy. It is a great way I think of describing it.