Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, joins "CBS This Morning": Full Transcript

W. H. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
W. H. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus 05:09

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus joined "CBS This Morning" live in the White House on Monday. He discussed President Trump's proposed tax plan, U.S. strategy on North Korea and the criticism that Mr. Trump has changed some of his positions. Below is a full transcript of their conversation.

NORAH O'DONNELL: We are here in the East Room of the White House. It's incredible to be here. So much history has been made in this room. And this morning we're making history here getting to talk with President Trump and his top advisors. Several members of President Trump's administration were sworn in in this very room. And that includes White House Chief of State Reince Priers who joins us. He was previously the longest serving chairman of the Republican National Committee. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for being here.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, it's a very-- really neat and-- and interesting and cool place for you all to be here.

GAYLE KING: We think so too.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Hosting-- this show, it's-- it's a great honor to be with you this morning at--

GAYLE KING: And just think, Mr. Priebus--


GAYLE KING: --George Washington is watching you right now.

REINCE PRIEBUS: The pressure's on. Holy smokes.

NORAH O'DONNELL: In fact, that's the only artifact that has been in the White House since John and Abigail Adams is that Gilbert Stewart--


NORAH O'DONNELL: --painting of-- of George Washington here. Let me--

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, let's just look down-- down the hall—it's such a neat thing.

CHARLIE ROSE: The moment that Mr. Obama walked out here to tell us--

REINCE PRIEBUS: Yeah, that's right.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Let's talk about President Trump.


NORAH O'DONNELL: He has signed 29 bills, 32 executive orders. He's confirmed a Supreme Court justice. The next question is the big legislative victory. Are you expecting a health care bill this week?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, I -- I certainly hope so. I-- I think so. (LAUGH) You know, I'm--

GAYLE KING: Do you have the--

REINCE PRIEBUS: --I'm an optimistic person.

GAYLE KING: --do you have the votes, do you think?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I think-- I think we will. I think it will happen this week. And so -- so much has been made of this signature piece of legislation and the timing. I think it's important to know for the listeners as well-- it-- this goes through the House and the Senate this will be the-- one of the -- one of the fastest pieces of signature legislation to go through for a president—since Roosevelt, I believe.

And so people make so much of the stimulus bill that -- that Barack Obama put through. But remember, that was pre-baked-- in October during the financial meltdown and-- and-- and people were writing, on both sides, they all were writing that bill. It passed in February. But other than that Bush, 43, passed a bill in June-- Reagan was in August. Forty-one-- Bush, 41, wasn't until a year and a half later. So this would be very quick for President Trump to get this thing through.

CHARLIE ROSE: Following up on that, do you have to have tax reform by the end of the year?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I think we'll have tax reform by the end of the year. Yeah, I think that's a goal. And I would expect it to happen, Charlie.

CHARLIE ROSE: It is said that the presidency-- has been changed by Donald Trump and the presidency has changed him. How has he changed?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, I don't-- I wouldn't say he's changed. I mean, his views are the same and-- and his positions on trade and the economy and foreign policy are the same. But I-- I do believe--

CHARLIE ROSE: You talk about--


CHARLIE ROSE: --really, I mean, he, you know, he talked about NATO in a way that he doesn't-- he talks differently about it today. He talks about China than he talked about it during the campaign.



GAYLE KING: --too--

REINCE PRIEBUS: Okay, let's just take that for a second. I mean, we'll get to the overall question, it's an important one. But on NATO-- his position's the same that these countries need to pay up and pay their fair share. You remember when the secretary general walked out onto the podium right over there, one of the first things that came out of his mouth was that President Trump is absolutely right that it's about time that these countries pay up.

So I would just say this, look at it a little bit differently. His positions are the same. But his positions are causing others that he's speaking to to change their rhetoric and their positions on matter. Look at President Xi. Yes, President Trump has had-- a great relationship with President Xi.

But what's happening is President Xi is using his positioning to leverage in North Korea. So I would just say his positions are the same. And his positions are causing other people to change. Now as far as the overall question I think this is an enormous job.

And I think any person in America-- I-- I'm sure you all just filming from here, me sitting here taking questions from here, it sort of changes you, right? I mean, it sort of makes you think about things a little differently. The enormity of decision making, that changes anybody. And it has -- had a huge impact on President Trump.

GAYLE KING: And thinking about decision making, you know, there's a lot of very intense conversation going on around North Korea. Can you imagine a scenario where President Trump and Kim Jong-un sit face to face and have a conversation?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Not right now--

GAYLE KING: Can you see that?

REINCE PRIEBUS: --I can't. But-- not right now I don't. You know, I would-- unless the person was willing to disarm and give up what he's put in mountainsides across his country and give up his drive for nuclear capability and ICBMs. But, you know, so the question -- I think the answer's probably not. And I don't see that happening. But it-- we're going to need a lot of cooperation among the region and-- and our leaders around the world in order to get this person under control.

CHARLIE ROSE: Would-- would there be a change in the tax reform for carried interest?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I-- I-- I think you're probably going to see that. Certainly the president's position and as I said yesterday I think that balloon's going to get popped sooner rather than later.

NORAH O'DONNELL: It will be removed?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I think it, I mean, if-- if it was up to the president it'd be gone.

GAYLE KING: All right, Reince Priebus, we'll have to leave it there. But we thank you very much for joining us at the table.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Thank you for having me.

GAYLE KING: We appreciate it.