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Transcript: Mick Mulvaney on Trump Jr. subpoena - on "The Takeout"

White House chief of staff says he didn't know Don Jr. would be subpoenaed

CBS NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT MAJOR GARRETT INTERVIEWS ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MICK MULVANEY

WED. MAY 8, 2019 

WASHINGTON, D.C.

GARRETT: So it is said, Mr. Mulvaney, that Donald Trump Jr. today was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is run by a Republican. True?

MULVANEY: I understand it to be true, yeah. I found out about that just before I came over here.

GARRETT: Implications?

MULVANEY: I have no idea. Um—

GARRETT: Scared?

MULVANEY: Again, I have no opinion about that because he is a private citizen and not a member of the administration. That being said, the fact that the President's son got a subpoena from a Republican-led committee—and listen, I'm all for bipartisanship on Intel Committees. I think it's one of Adam Schiff's great failings, is to—is to sort of politicize the Intel Committee in the House. So I have no difficulty with bipartisanship,  but to subpoena the president of the United States son and not at least get a heads-up, I thought was -- let's say bad form.

GARRETT: So what you're telling me is there was no heads-up.

MULVANEY: I—I didn't know about it.

GARRETT: Right. Do you believe the President did?

MULVANEY: I have no idea. Actually, in fairness, I don't know because he left for Florida today before—

GARRETT: Doesn't feel like it though?

MULVANEY: All I can tell you what I know is--and I know I didn't know.

GARRETT: Right And let's just say, ladies gentlemen, Mick Mulvaney would be in a position to know.

MULVANEY: Under most—well, again, maybe not, because again, he's a private citizen and not a member of the administration. But it would be highly unlikely that it would end up in the White House and I wouldn't know about it.

GARRETT: Let me ask you this--

MULVANEY: Possible, possible, but unlikely.

GARRETT: Possible, but not likely. So—

MULVANEY: I'm not involved in the president's—his legal matters regarding his business, his legal matters regarding his family, I don't do that. I handle the West Wing of the government.

GARRETT: Right. But it is a matter of more than general concern. I mean, anything dealing with something like this would have to rise to your level.

MULVANEY: I have no idea—zero, and I'm not making this up—I have no idea as to what the factual allegations Are. I mean, I know it deals with a Trump Tower discussion or something like that. But again, my knowledge of this comes mostly from reading media reports because I'm not involved with that at the White House.

GARRETT: So I want you to speak to my audience nationwide—

MULVANEY: I thought I was speaking to your audience nationwide.

GARRETT: --About this question. Because they heard, I suspect, something from the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week, which was "case closed," so they say, "you know what, I kind of agree." But then they hear the Republican-led Intelligence community—Committee subpoena's the President's son. Well that doesn't sound like case closed. What would you tell them?

MULVANEY: They're two different people. They do share the same name and certainly Don Jr. is the President's son. But I think what Mr. McConnell was speaking to was that the President has been exonerated. There was no collusion and no obstruction, period, end of story. Now it's time to move onto the business of government. Does that mean that other individuals may or may have not done other things? I have no idea but I think that's what Mr. McConnell was speaking to, the implications for the President of the United States. There was no reason that McConnell would go to the floor to talk about Don Jr. That's just not gonna happen. He was talking about the President.

For more of Major's wide-ranging conversation with Mick Mulvaney, including his assertions that the White House exerted executive privilege on Mueller documents because Congress is "not entitled" to the information, and that the U.S. "will not go war with Iran,"  download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

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