House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Tuesday special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion represents a “closed chapter,” while health care is a “new chapter.”
"I believe that the Mueller report has been done. It’s a chapter that’s closed. This administration opened a new chapter when it moved to invalidate the Affordable Care Act," the top Democrat told CNN’s "New Day" on Tuesday.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN: I want to read you reporting from CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju, who says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the leadership team her caucus should focus on their agenda and message and not the Mueller probe and Russian interference. She and her top lieutenants view the matter as a distraction and believe they should focus on pocketbook issues, the sources said. Tell me about this meeting and about that message.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN: First of all, thank you so much for having me. The fact is that's exactly what we ought to be doing. That's what they did all of last week when I was in my congressional district. I went from county to county having these listening sessions. People are concerned about everyday issues.
I believe that the Mueller report has been done. It's a chapter that's closed. I think last night, this administration opened a new chapter when moved to completely invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
That's the number one thing on people's minds. People are worried, especially in my part of the country about children being born with diabetes and how they are going to get health care. People are worried about themselves. Prostate cancer is prevalent in the low country of South Carolina. And breast cancer. How are they going to get medical treatment they need? For this administration to open the chapter, I think we have to reconnect our conversations with the American people.
BERMAN: Okay. Before we go to the chapter you say was opened overnight, you did say the Mueller report is a chapter that's closed. What does that mean in your opinion for hearings that Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler might have, that Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings might have, that Intelligence chair Adam Schiff might have going forward? Do you think they should start to turn their focus elsewhere?
CLYBURN: No. Not them. They have oversight. Judiciary committee's got oversight. Elijah Cummings of government operations, they've got oversight. Those of us dealing with the everyday issues of the American people, we are going to have a press conference today. Talking about the Affordable Care Act. So we can do more than one thing at a time up here. That's why we have all the different committees.
BERMAN: It is a mistake in your mind for the Democrats -- and there are some still -- who say impeachment is a possibility? They want to see focus on that. You would prefer that to be a closed chapter?
CLYBURN: No. That's a chapter further down the road. We are going through this book chapter by chapter. Maybe that's chapter five or six, but let's go to chapter two and three at this point. That's chapter two. Committees doing their work. Chapter three, let's get to work on the Affordable Care Act. I'm hopeful we can soon start looking at an infrastructure bill which is huge in most of the congressional districts. What do we do about broadening our discussions about infrastructure? Everybody is talking about roads and bridges. Nobody is talking about water and sewage. Nobody is talking about broadband deployment. To me, this is where our focus ought to be, trying to make people's lives better.