CNN "The Lead with Jake Tapper" - Transcript: Interview with Elizabeth Warren (D) Massachusettes and Cory Gardner (R) Colorado



TAPPER: A rare sight in Washington D.C. these days. A Democrat and a Republican standing side-by-side literally and figuratively working together, any chance this is the start of a new trend. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it.

[16:50:02] SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Glad to be here.

TAPPER: So Senator Gardner, I want to get to your new legislation but firstly I do want to ask are there other specific areas you might be able to work with Democrats to get something passed, perhaps pushing back against the President's aluminum and steel tariffs?

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: Well, I certainly think there are. There are opportunities that we've taken in the past over the past year whether it's FDA prescription drug reforms opportunities, to work together to make sure we're making progress on highway transportation bills. Those are some of the things that we've done in the past. Going forward, I do hope that we can find some common-sense trade solutions. I supported trade agreements that would benefit U.S. exporters, U.S. farmers, U.S. producers. We got to make sure that we're not penalizing people across this country through high tariffs. I don't like the tariff approach and hopefully, that's something that we can find common support -- common ground amongst Republicans and Democrats to push back on.

TAPPER: Senator Warren, several of your Republican colleagues seem to be now standing up against the President's unsubstantiated claim, something I called a lie that the Obama Administration put a political spy into his campaign. We've heard now from Paul Ryan, we've heard now from Richard Burr, do you sense any new openness in your colleagues to go against the President of their own party.

WARREN: Well, I certainly hope that we have more people standing up for honesty and transparency, and most of all standing up to let special counsel and Mueller finish his investigation without any political interference from Democrats, from Republicans, from anyone. You know the Special Prosecutor has already come up with charges 19 indictments or guilty pleas. This is a serious investigation. We need to let this investigation go forward and then make a report to the American people. And I hope Democrats and Republicans are united in that message to the President of the United States. Mueller gets to finish his work.

TAPPER: Senator Gardner, I assume you agree with that?

GARDNER: Yes, I've said all along that we need to get this investigation finished. I'd like to see it done sooner rather than later for a very simple reason. We know there were outside efforts that tried to influence the election in 2016, Russia, perhaps others. But we need that information now so that we can get the voters that information and we can protect our systems that going into this election.

TAPPER: So let's talk about the reason you two are here. Senator Garden, I'll start with you. You two have legislation that would protect the sale and use of marijuana in states that have voted to legalize it. Earlier this year you publicly oppose President Trump over his administration's efforts to crack down on legalized marijuana. You spoke to the President today, is he prepared to override his Justice Department to support your legislation? Well, several months ago the President told me that he continues to hold the bleep that he talked about during the campaign that states are the ones who should make this decision.

That was a belief that he reiterated today and I hope we can work with them to get that support for our legislation. But you're exactly right, Jake. I mean, this is a bill that says the states are laboratories of democracy. If the state decides, this isn't federal chain -- this isn't the federal government changing the law at the local level, this is the state deciding to change its law and in that scenario then the federal government says fine. States can be that laboratory of democracy. It will be allowed in that state. So this is a real big test an opportunity for federalism.

TAPPER: And Senator Warren, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said when he was a senator, "good people don't smoke marijuana." He said it poses a very real danger but you think his stance is actually helping your cause?

WARREN: He has made it clear exactly what the problem is. And the problem is when state like Massachusetts or a state like Colorado legalizes the use of marijuana, it doesn't change federal law. And so Jeff Sessions has made the statement that he intends to come in and enforce federal law under the circumstances where Massachusetts, Colorado and other states around the country have already changed their law locally. That not only creates a risk for people who buy and a risk for people who sell, it creates other crazy implications. So these businesses that are growing up that sell marijuana right now can't put their receipts, the cash that comes in into a federally insured bank because there are federal laws that say if the source of the money is illegal, which this would be under federal law, you can't put the money in a bank.

There are all kinds of tax crazy implications to this. So what Senator Gardner and I did is say look, let's just do a lot that says if the states have acted on this, whatever level they've acted, medicinal marijuana, recreational, anything in between, if the states have acted it, if the territories have acted it, if the tribes have acted it, then the federal government is going to recede and say your law is the law that controls within your jurisdiction.

TAPPER: All right, Senators Warren and Gardner thank you so much. We hope to see a lot of bipartisan work for the American people going forward.

[16:55:07] WARREN: I hope so too.

GARDNER: Exactly right. Thanks, Jake.