Transcript: Rep. Jim Jordan on "Face the Nation," June 24, 2018

The following is a transcript of the interview with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that aired Sunday, June 24, 2018, on "Face the Nation."  


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan. He is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. He's just outside Columbus this morning. Congressman, thank you for joining us.

REP. JIM JORDAN: You bet. Good to be with you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you. How should Americans view those fleeing across the border? Should they view them as victims or as criminals?

REP. JORDAN: I think we should- America is the most welcoming country on the planet. But you got to- you've got to follow the law. Secretary Nielsen has been real clear, you show up to open a port of entry. Your family will be kept together. You will go through the process and we'll see if you're actually a legitimate asylum seeker. What I do know is, when ICE was in our office just a week and a half ago they told me 80 percent of the folks seeking asylum wind up not getting it they're not actually eligible for it. So we want to sort that all out do it in a way that consistent with the law--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well--
 
REP. JORDAN: --but what we most want-
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: The administration also has narrowed the definition for claiming asylum as while you can no longer claim you're a victim of violence.
 
REP. JORDAN: 80 percent 80- per-. This is straight from the folks at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. So they're telling me the number, 80 percent aren't actual legitimate asylum seekers. We need to sort that out. But yeah we want to welcome folks who come here for legitimate reasons who want to- who do it by the rule of law. Who follow the law. We want to welcome them here, but mostly what we want to do, Margaret, is the mandate from the 2016 election was real clear the American people made Donald Trump president made Republicans the majority in the House and the Senate to build a border security wall, stop chain migration, end the sanctuary city policy, reform our asylum laws, get rid of the visa lottery and then also deal with the DACA population. That legislation which was consistent with that mandate and the promise we made to the American people was on the floor just three days ago and fell a few votes short of passing. Got 193 votes. That's the focus that we should be-
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well it failed.
 
REP. JORDAN: That should be our focus and that should be the legislation should be--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: It failed and the president now says this compromise bill is kind of a waste of time. What are you going to vote on that?
 
REP. JORDAN: Well the compromise bill was pulled because it was going to get a lot less votes. If our leadership had whipped, had put the same whip effort behind that immigration legislation, Chairman Goodatte's legislation, it would have passed.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you--
 
REP. JORDAN: It was that close to passing.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you know something we don't? How that-
 
REP. JORDAN: Let's focus on that
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: vote on the compromise bill been canceled?
 
REP. JORDAN: It hasn't been canceled but the reason it was- it wasn't it was supposed to happen Thursday night.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
REP. JORDAN: Then it was supposed to happen Friday and it still hasn't happened.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
REP. JORDAN: And the reason it hasn't happened because it would have got a lot less votes than the conservative bill, the one that is consistent with the mandate of the election. Consistent with what we told the American people we would do if they put us in office that bill got 193 votes.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
REP. JORDAN: It was just 19 votes short of passing on last Thursday.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: But when it comes to that question of a narrow issue that Senator Corker was talking about, simply allowing families to be detained together
 
REP. JORDAN: Yeah.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: and getting rid of this 20 day limit that's affected the separation policy. Would you support something like that in the House?
 
REP. JORDAN: We're all opposed-
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: like is being proposed in the Senate?
 
REP. JORDAN: Yeah but Chuck Schumer is the problem. My- my colleague Mark Meadows has a bill that would address the situation keep families together but do it in a way where we can actually find out and follow the rule of law. Senator Cruz has a bill. But Chuck Schumer says no, no, no, we're not going to bring it up because the Democrats really deep down what they care about is catch and release what they want is open borders and what they want is the political issue. They don't want to solve the problems they don't want to keep families together and adjudicate this and have a go through the hearing process and do it in a way that's consistent with the rule of law. They don't want to do that. Chuck Schumer was clearly held up the pin and said we're not going to we're not going to support Mr. Meadows legislation or Senator Cruz's legislation. So yeah I'm- I'm for fixing that. My good friend--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think the administration has handled this--
 
REP. JORDAN: --Mark Meadows introduced the bill.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think this- the administration's handled this family separation issue well? Should there be an investigation into how this was carried out?
 
REP. JORDAN: The president has issued his executive order. The problem is the 20 day--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: It's a temporary fix, as you just said
 
REP. JORDAN: The- the problem is the 20 day rule.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
REP. JORDAN: The Flores decision and now that is in conflict with keeping families together for a longer period of time because the rule says you have to. You can only detain children for 20 days. We want to do that in a way that keeps the families together. So we-we have legislation to address that. But again as I said Senator Schumer doesn't want to support any legislation to fix the problem.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well- I want to- There's so much more we can talk about on this topic but I want to ask you about one of the committees you're on and a deposition this week- or some testimony this week from
 
REP. JORDAN: Peter Strzok yeah.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: FBI agent-. Exactly Peter Struck. Who, for our viewers, was removed from the special counsel investigation for some disparaging text messages he had sent about the president.
 
REP. JORDAN: Yeah.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you want to know from him?
 
REP. JORDAN: Well we're going to have a lot of questions for him but I-I think some of the things are, Who did he talk to in the course of the Russian investigation? because remember a couple of key things Margaret. On July 31, 2016 Peter Strzok opens the Russian investigation. He was the lead agent on the investigation after being of course the lead agent on the Clinton investigation as well. He opens that investigation eight days later. There's the text message that says "We'll stop Trump" one week after that on August 15th, is the text message that says "we have an insurance policy." So obviously we'll want to dig into that, we'll want to know who were you talking to at the time? how many times did you travel overseas? Did he talk to key people? For example do you think Peter Strzok may have talked to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele? Those are the kind of questions I think need to be asked and I'll look forward to this. Deposition is scheduled for Wednesday of this week.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be watching for that. Congressman thank you.
 
REP. JORDAN: You bet. Thank you.