FULL EPISODE: 6/13/21 Sen. Chris Van Hollen on Pres. Biden’s face-off with Putin

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 12:20 PM EDT
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Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, June 13, 2021. The program will also feature a conversation with Gray TV senior national editor and White House correspondent Jon Decker.

Van Hollen told Van Susteren that he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is celebrating “this false narrative that the election was stolen and that Biden is an illegitimate president ... because it is an example that he uses to the rest of the world about how democracies cannot function.”

On China, Van Hollen said: “Sanctions are important in increasing the cost to China of actions they take...but that doesn’t necessarily change their overall conduct.”

On infrastructure, he predicted there would ultimately be a bill, but said: “How we get there is another story.” Van Hollen added: “Let me make this clear: we do need to move forward and we need to get something very close to what President Biden has put forward in the American Jobs Plan.”

On inflation, he said: “I am not worried that this is going to be a major trend going forward.”

Interview excerpts are below.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen Highlights

On Russia and Putin

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

There’s no doubt that Putin has a war on democracy. He’s afraid of democracy.

Greta Van Susteren

What does Putin want? He’s causing so much mischief around the world and you think, what does he want?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

He wants to create the impression that democracies cannot function.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

And of course, they revel in this current narrative in the United States, this false narrative that the election was stolen and that Biden is an illegitimate president. That is something that Putin, he celebrates that narrative because it is an example that he uses to the rest of the world about how democracies cannot function.

Greta Van Susteren

Are we giving President Putin anything by having President Biden meet with him?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

Greta, I think it’s important for the president to sit down, eye-to-eye with President Putin and say, “It’s unacceptable that you’re allowing your territory to be used for these cyberattacks on US infrastructure. Your crackdown on Navalny, your locking him up and making illegal his party, is an example of why you, Vladimir Putin, are so scared of your own people.” And also address these other issues of concern. I find the criticism of Biden meeting with Putin, from many people, to be incredibly disingenuous.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

As we know, President Trump used to praise Putin up and down. He met with him on multiple occasions …. And of course, Trump met with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, and elevated him. So anyway, bottom line is, I think it’s important for President Biden to meet with Putin face-to-face and address these issues.”

On China sanctions and competition bill

Greta Van Susteren

Can we actually ever achieve anything with sanctions?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

I do think sanctions are important in increasing the cost to China of actions they take, but you’re right, that doesn’t necessarily change their overall conduct. That is exactly why in the United States Senate, this past week, we did pass a major piece of legislation to increase American competitiveness and also deal with the China challenge around the world.

Greta Van Susteren

Well, that China bill in the Senate is bipartisan and it’s sort of a heavy lift though, is it not, to try to get the House to sign on to it when it goes to the House?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

I think ultimately, we’ll be successful with the House of Representatives. As you said, this is very bipartisan in the Senate. I expect it to be so in the House. And look, we’ll be working with our House colleagues to get it done.

On infrastructure

Greta Van Susteren

Are you optimistic there will be a deal signed?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

Well, Greta, I don’t know because I haven’t seen the fine print of this particular proposal. If you’re asking me whether I think at the end of the day, we will have an infrastructure modernization bill, the answer is yes. How we get there is another story. …. Let me make this clear: we do need to move forward and we need to get something very close to what President Biden has put forward in the American Jobs Plan.

On the economy and inflation

Greta Van Susteren

Are you worried about inflation?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

I think everybody has to worry about inflation, but I am not worried that this is going to be a major trend going forward. First of all, you’re comparing inflation this month to a year ago. A year ago, the economy had essentially dropped significantly and so with it, you had very low, low inflation that you’re measuring this increase off of….I think as the economy comes back fully and workers re-enter the workforce, you will see a leveling off over time of inflation. So, right now, it’s a sign of an economy coming back in a strong fashion.

On VP Harris’ trip to Central America

Greta Van Susteren

She went to Central America to deal with a thorny problem that’s challenged many administrations for many decades. Should she have gone to the border and taken a look at it for herself?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

Look, her mission was to go to Central America and to talk to those countries and those governments and make it clear that the United States does not have an open border, and also work with those countries to try to prevent migration northward. So, I think that’s an important objective in itself. I’m sure at some point she will visit the border, but I don’t think people should be critical of her trip to Central America.

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

About “Full Court Press” and Gray Television:

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