Congressman Kevin Cramer discusses the future of DAPL and Steve Bannon's appointment

Published: Nov. 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM CST
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Rep. Kevin Cramer spoke with us about the Dakota Access Pipeline's future and Donald Trump appointing controversial Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist.

Congressman Cramer says that though he hasn't met Bannon personally, he trusts President-elect Trump's judgment and stands by his decision to appoint Bannon.


(Please note - this transcript was copied from an electronic captioning service. We apologize for any errors, spelling, grammatical, or otherwise.)


DAPL Protester: “I want to say thank you to all of those who care about the water. It's not an indigenous issue, it's a human issue, its rights for the farmers, ranchers and all life it exist on earth.”

Chris Berg: Today was another National Day of Action for the NoDAPL protests. CBS news is reporting that the Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren has said that he does want to pay for all expenses associated with these protesters, pay back the state of North Dakota and Morton County. The issue is North Dakota authorities have not accepted his offer. By the way, Mr. Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners will be joining us tomorrow night here on Point of View. Welcome to Point of View. As always, thank you for joining us.

Earlier today I had a chance to sit down with Congressman Cramer. He's back in Washington, D.C., had a chance to vote. I asked him what's happening with the pipeline, energy transfers asking the court to step in and say, hey, enough with pol text. We visited with Mr. Cramer about Donald Trump hiring Steve Bannon, former CEO at Steve Bannon is his chief strategist. Earlier democrats had a press conference about fire Steve Bannon. We'll have more about that. Here's my interview with Congressman Cramer.

Thank you for giving us time, sir. As you know, National Day of Action for the NoDAPL protesters. Yesterday the army corps of engineers makes a decision to not make a decision. Simplify this for us. Over three year process, federal courts approve, court says worry going to do rue review. They finished that. Everything is in the legal rights of what energy transfer partners has done, had a meeting with Standing Rock Sioux tribe, they said we told you worry going to make a decision, but now we're not. What has Col. Henderson from the Army Corps of Engineers told you, what's going on here?

Rep. Kevin Cramer: It's a political agenda is overriding the law and legal process. In most cases they call that a banana republic. Fortunately, it's coming to an end. The letter itself really conflicts with itself. The letter states all the things you've stated, company has done everything they could do under the law. We reviewed it, everything is appropriate, proper. But we feel like we need to have another consultation to consider now terms and conditions, perhaps, of the pipeline. And I asked Colonel Henderson specifically, what would be new terms and conditions? Three layers of steel instead of two or 300 feet under the riverbed instead of 100? One thing I would say about the letter that it does obviously acknowledge, if not overtly somewhat around the for instance and that is, this is where the pipeline is going to go. There's no longer any question about the location of the pipeline. The only thing left to discuss is what kind of terms and conditions would be associated with this pipeline. I personally think it's a stalling exercise designed to make it cost more, designed to make Barack Obama feel better about himself, have some legacy. But at the end of the day, it's just -- legacy, but at the end of the day it begs for a lawsuit.

CB: Let's go to that in a moment, you bring up a great point about Barack Obama. We all know as president trump moves in, he's going to green light this project. Is it the final act for President Obama’s apology tour for colonization or what?

KC: Good question. I don't know how this fits into the entire legacy. Some of it might be good or bad timing, depending on your perspective. Yeah, I think it's his final we've, wave, if you will, to the final left green element, it's what cost the democrats the presidency. That's the irony of it all.

CB: Not according to Barack Obama. He said --

KC: He's got nothing to lose because he's leaving office, I bet Hillary Clinton views it a different way. She's losing the working class votes, took -- in many respects this act by Barack Obama further cements the Democratic Party to the far fringe left element that is not the majority in this country. I hate to say it but frankly for republicans this is good politics. But it's really bad for people in the US, ranchers and farmers.

CB: Speaking of that, President-elect Trump ran on law and order. He gets into office and size says yes, we're going to grant this easement. Are we going to see an arc at its highest or what will happen there?

KC: I'm not asking Donald Trump to approve the pipeline. I'm asking him to call on the attorney general, the secretary of the interior and the secretary of the army to stop holding it up. The legal process can work its way through. On January 20th I suspect that easement will be in the hand of the company if not before. At that point, what do protesters and rioters do? It will be January, so maybe some will go home. The other thing I’ll ask President Trump to do is make sure the federal law enforcement officials are there on the ground, doing what they should have been doing all this time, offering their assistance on the front lines of defending legal commerce against illegal activity. This thing is so upside down. We've gotten to the point in this country, Chris, where society is drawing the moral equivalence between legal commerce and thuggery.

CB: There is complete lawlessness going on. His very disheartening to say the lease. You speak about Donald Trump, they're talking about firing a lawsuit, civil lawsuit against North Dakota law enforcement. Any thoughts on what's going on there, sir, meaning the standing rock Sioux tribe.

KC: Just strategy, tactics designed to confused -- that's what George Soros advocates. I think a law and order president like Donald Trump will put an end to it.

CB: I want to move on to this. As you know, Senate Democrats held a fire Bannon press conference. I want to share with you a clip quick from Michigan senator.


Sen. Debbie Stabenow: “We are calling upon him to exclude the discrimination and the hatred from the ranks of his administration and specifically, Donald Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon is sending wrong message to send to Americans today. This is someone who has expressed racist, sexist, anti-LGBT sentiments and on and on and on. This is someone whose views do not belong in the White House.”

CB: Congressman, for clarity, for people out there, Steve Bannon has been hired as chief strategist. One more thing, October 15th, Bloomberg did a thing where it said that Andrew Breitbart ran Breitbart news, then Bannon, he described him as riven stall -- he was a film maker and Nazi propagandist. Do you support him and why?

KC: I don't know him. That said, Donald Trump won the presidency largely because of the strategic planning and execution of Steve Bannon and others on his team o. Now, is it the kind of thing I advocate and support in terms of the kind of things Steve Bannon has said or done in the past? No. That was entertainment, this is governing. Donald trump has earned the right to name his own staff and I think he's putting a lot of good people in place, especially Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff. He cut a wide swath. At the end of the day it will be up to Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump and everybody else on the team to demonstrate their worth by the results. I think the liberals and Democrats that are having this whine fest over the fact they lost the election, settle down, accept defeat and come to work on trying to work with Republicans to make America great again.

CB: Just for clarity, you stand 100% behind Donald Trump's position to hire Steve Bannon in this position?

KC: I don't know enough to not standby it. He made good judgment in picking his team to become president of the united states and I think it's well within his rights to hire whoever he wants and we'll judge them on their results, rather than all of this his tear yeah that's coming from the --

CB: Congressman Kevin Cramer, thank you. Anything you want to say about Paul Ryan? You guys voted him unanimously as being our next speaker of the house.

KC: Unity looks a lot better to the American public than division.

CB: We're looking forward to make America great again, safe again. Build the wall! Great to have you here, sir, we appreciate the time. We'll talk to you again soon.

KC: Pleasure is mine. Thank you, Chris.

CB: When we come back, we're going to have North Dakota senate leader Mac Schneider here. We'll talk about what's next for that party. Love to hear your thoughts about what congressman Kevin Cramer had to say. Head to our website, We'll be right back.