Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) said leaving NATO would be grounds for impeachment of President Donald Trump. Speier also said it would fall under using the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
"It better be an idle threat from the president because I think that act would be so destructive to our country and to our ability to protect the national security of every American that it would be a ground for some profound effort by our part, whether it's impeachment or the 25th Amendment. He can't do that to this country. And I don't believe that he can do it without Senate ratification," Speier said on CNN Tuesday.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: CNN has confirmed that President Trump confiscated his interpreter's notes after a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. House Democrats are now considering whether to subpoena that interpreter to uncover what the president tried to keep under wraps.
Joining us now to discuss is Democratic member of Congress Jackie Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Thanks so much for being with us, representative.
I'm going to start somewhere else, but it's related to the interpreter and the subpoena issue ,here which is that overnight "The New York Times" reported that the president, over the last year, has asked his aides, talked to them about withdrawing the U.S. from NATO. You are a member of the Armed Services Committee, in addition to being part of Intel here. What do you make of that? Do you think this is an idle threat from the president?
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): It better be an idle threat from the president because I think that act would be so destructive to our country and to our ability to protect the national security of every American that it would be a ground for some profound effort by our part, whether it's impeachment or the 25th Amendment. He can't do that to this country. And I don't believe that he can do it without Senate ratification.
BERMAN: He probably can't ultimately. However, the issue is this, what do you think Vladimir Putin would think if the U.S. withdrew from NATO?
SPEIER: Well, you know, the president has for two years now done everything in President Putin's playbook. He can just check them off one by one. Whether it's trying to extract from NATO or whether it is following Putin's view of history relative to Afghanistan. I'm very troubled by the relationship. And I think most Americans are very uncomfortable by what they see as a far too cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin.
BERMAN: And I'm asking this almost facetiously. Do you think the president talked about withdrawing from NATO with Vladimir Putin? SPEIER: I would not be a bit surprised. I'm sure that Putin brought it up and I'm sure that President Trump said something about, well, they're not paying their fair share. He doesn't appreciate what our alliances mean to us around the world.
BERMAN: But the fact is, we don't know whether he discussed that with Vladimir Putin, do we?
SPEIER: We don't know that, no. And we will never know that because, unfortunately, so many of his conversations have not been with the benefit of staff present. You might recall when they were at one of their g meetings, I don't know if it was the G-20 or not, where he just walked over to Vladimir Putin and it was only Putin's interpreter that was present during that conversation.
BERMAN: Now, Adam Schiff, who will be the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Elliot Engel, the chair of House Foreign Affairs, they've suggested they're considering whether to issue subpoenas for these interpreters. Is that something that you would support?
SPEIER: I think we have a responsibility to find out what he said to Vladimir Putin. What we do know is that the relationship with Russia goes way back. And it all has to do with money, money that he was able to garner for condos, hundreds of condos that were bought by Russian oligarchs, money that he was able to get from banks associated with Russia to build his various projects in Toronto and Panama and Soho, all of which went belly up. So I think there's so much more to this story than we know. And it's going to probably take Mueller to explain a lot of this to us.