tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 13, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
stirring up the mercury that remains. >> congressman. unfortunately, we're going to leave it there. good luck, we're hoping all of your 200,000 or so residents are back in their homes sooner rather than later, congressman john garamendi thanks for joining us. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. breaking news, president donald trump evaluating the situation surrounding the national security adviser michael flynn, as calls for flynn to go. more details on what the white house could include on a into executive order on immigration. will trump just rewrite the same travel ban? my exclusive interview with elliot abrams, trump learned he criticized him.
good evening, i'm erin burnett, trump refuses to endorse his national security adviser, the white house tonight saying the president is evaluating the situation about general michael flynn, it comes as a senior administration official reveals the knives are out for flynn, as evidence surfaces that flynn spoke to the russian ambassador about sanctions before trump took office. trump and his team are particularly concerned about this, that flynn may have lied about that conversation to vice president pence, saying it never happened when it did. in a statement tonight, sean spicer saying, the president is evaluating the situation, he's speaking to the vice president relative to the conversation the vice president had with general flynn. don amd trump saying, read that statement as his response to reporters when asked about flynn earlier tonight. democratic lawmakers are already calling for an investigation into general flynn. this as photos surface on facebook. this is the president of the
united states and the japanese prime minister shinzo abe discussing a missile launch at an open table in mar-a-lago. you can see cell phone cameras, from their aids that they're using to read documents coming out on the launch. you saw donald trump in the hallway of the white house moments ago, what did he say zm. >> that's right, it was really telling to see president trump, he was asked whether he had confidence in general flynn. all he would say is look at the statement, we're about to release a statement. a different tone when he was asked about another one of his top aids who has been catching heat lately. when asked about priebus, donald
trump went out of his way to say he's doing a great job leaving flynn out in the ringer as there are questions about whether his job may be in jeopardy. >> in a white house where staff turmoil is becoming the norm, today's michael flynn's turn in the hot seat. did trump's national security adviser mislead people. flynn apologized to mike pence, but that doesn't have appeared to have alaid the president's concerns. today, sean spicer said the president is evaluating the situation, and he's consulting with pence over conversations flynn had with the vice president. >> general flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president. >> flynn did in fact discuss sanctions with the russian
ambassador before trump assumed office. information that contradicts past statements from white house officials. flynn endeared himself to trump on the campaign trail. >> you know what the people want? the people want change. >> the president privately expressed frustration with flynn over the weekend, still his top national security aid was at his side over the weekend. as his mar-a-lago patio served as a situation room. this prompted a cutting response from nancy pelosi, who tweeted, there's no excuse for letting an international crisis play out in front of a burg of country club members like dinner theater #fireflynn. flynn is not the only trump aid
catching flack. the ceo of news max said reince priebus is not up to the job. >> i think there's a lot of weakness coming out of the chief of staff, reince priebus, good guy, he clearly doesn't know how the federal agencies work. the president doesn't necessarily share his concerns. >> i'm not speaks for him, i'm speaking for chris ruddy as i always have and will continue to do so. >> today trump said priebus is doing a great job, and multiple sources close to the president insist the chief of staff's job is secure. >> this is a day when the white house had hoped to be focused on diplomacy. president trump welcomed canadian prime minister justin trudeau. that visit overshadowed by questions about flynn's fate. erin? >> thank you very much sarah. let's go to capitol hill, where senators are voting right now to
confirm steve mnuchin for treasury. the dinner between trump and abe at mar-a-lago, where they were talking about north korea. the patio served as a situation room. aids using lights on their cell phones to read documents about the missile launch. all the diners nearby were able to look on. what are you hearing from your sources? >> democrats are jumping all over these revelations, believing the president acted carelessly in dealing with sensitive classified information. now, the senate minority leader chuck schumer just said donald trump talks about making america secure, security begins at home, he should have never had such a sensitive discussion in a public place. >> two democrats have sent a letter to general james mattis, asking him to look into donald trump's use of a personal cell
phone believing that cell phone may not be so secure. republicans with a more muted reaction, ron johnson, the republican chairman of that homeland security telling wolf blitzer, he's going to leave this to donald trump, he's not going to second guess the president. i had a chance to talk to john cornyn, he doesn't want to comment on the situation. we're seeing the reaction break down along party lines. >> mark preston, david gergen. general marks, let me start with you, i want to look at those pictures again. the crowded dining room at mar-a-lago, talking on the phone around the north korean missile launch, and aids shining cell phone cameras even a little lower so the prime minister and president trump could see whatever it was they were working on.
they then gave a joint press conference, what do you make of this? >> let's assume if the president's phone is lighting up, that you probably need to get yourself out of mar-a-lago dining facility and go some place in a private area. if nothing else, you don't disturb the other folks that are having dinner, let's assume also what you're looking at is highly classified even if it's not. he's got the president's attention, let's assume it's sensitive in some way. i would also assume if it's going to the president it would be access ib8, the president would be able to show it to president abe. clearly, if the president wants to share somebody else with one of his counterparts he couldn't do that. i couldn't do that, i would have to get permission. i would make the assumption all this is classified and we need to go somewhere else. >> how shocked were you. you've been in these situations where presidents are getting
highly sensitive information. >> i think we're normalizing shock. every day brings something else, you just don't -- you've never seen before, and listen, on this -- that picture is a symbol now of the rushed nature of government under the trump team right now and sort of the chaos, there's group chaos there. of course they ought to be in if a secure location. my surprise is they don't have a secure room already. he needs a place he can go where he can make secure phone calls. that's why camp david is so fortified. >> nothing in there was technically classified, he was briefed before, that sounds like a lot of trying to make up for the fact that these pictures got out. they're taking the phone call, using cell phone cameras. there's all these people clustered around them. at the least, it's
inappropriate. >> where the president goes, there's an immediate access to the highest level of classifications right there on adjacent on the president's shoulder available to him at any time. i would think that's the first place you would go, if it's not classified fine. we don't want to raise it to the highest level, if we're not in a position to do that. >> it is pretty stunning, someone in the room told us she could see all this happening, and it was normal for trump that was a word she used. not normal for the president of the united states. >> no, it's certainly normal for donald trump holding court in mar-a-lago, he calls it the winter white house. it's very bizarre to be sitting with another world leader, dealing with a world crisis, this isn't an isolated little incident. this is a world crisis, holding court, doing business when -- to everyone's point so far, you can
get up and go to a secure area and get the business done. >> what's even more shocking or at least surprising, he went to a wedding reception afterwards and gave remarks. that's kind of bizarre as well. >> this is a big club, another random room he went in, did that. it is stunning and it all comes tonight as he's saying, he's investigating the situation with general flynn. he said i refer you to the statement of sean spicer. translation? >> not good. it's not good because this story is going on and on. and we're finding out more that does not seem to be good. it's not good because on a communications level, you have one hour kellyanne conway saying he has the support of the president, and then sean spicer, more chaos and more confusion. >> that was one hour apart. >> let's not forget, it's not good because of the ongoing
question about the trump white house and president trump's feelings about russia and putin. this was a conversation with the russian ambassador. what is going on here, why did it happen? and what did he say? are we going to see these transcri transcripts? >> we don't know that yet. kellyanne conway came out and said general flynn had the full support of the president of the united states. she said that an hour before sean spicer said the complete opposite. here's what she said. >> general flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president. >> sean spicer then saying, that the president's evaluating the situation. the president referring to that statement, kellyanne conway seems to be out of the loop. >> she does seem to be out of the loop. we don't know what happened in that hour.
she may have been reflecting the president's feelings at the moment about 4:00, when she said that, and perhaps the president got more information later on, what is striking about this whole situation is that it has taken so long. you imagine on friday when a lot of this stuff broke in the washington post, that the president could have gotten to the bottom of it fairly quickly. his first response on this was that he didn't know anything about it. the fact that he's taking so long -- we're four days into this story, and it seems to be a rolling crisis at this point. and speaking to the chaos of this white house, they haven't been able to get a handle on it, and move on. it's about national security, right? he talks about this court case in wanting to be urgent around this travel ban because of this urgent threat in terms of national security. we're talking about the national
security adviser here who may have lied to the president or possibly forgot information or a conversation he had with the russian ambassador. >> what's surprising to me, he not only lied to the vice president. >> general flynn said he didn't have that conversation when he did. >> he lied to the country. when you're the national security adviser and you blatantly lie to the country and your vice president. that diminishing your ability and influence. they have to move right away. >> he's very controversial to be begin with, right? >> yes, but i do think, either who knows what's going on, kellyanne's trying to cover up for not being in the loop. it's about the president does seem to change his mind. it's quite possible he told kel kellyanne everything was fine and then told sean spicer it wasn't. >> that is absolutely true. we've seen him pivot on a dime
with these things. there's another concern here, there are these competing. there's palace intrigue going on here. all of these competing campings, the other thing that it might be, is that it wasn't donald trump but other people putting out different messages. >> thanks very much to all of you. the top pick for the number two job at the state department, learned he criticized him during the campaign. elliot abrams speaks out in an exclusive outfront interview. president trump could be issuing a new travel ban, what's it going to say. we have breaking details for you at this hour. and trump offering his hand to justin trudeau today. when trump offers you his hand you're right to look at it that way, you don't know how long he's going to hold it for.
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breaking news at this hour, the united nations security council condemning north korea's missile launch. north korea's missile flew further than any north korean missile test so far. and pyeoongyang is more capable than the united states previously thought. barbara, you're learning some more specifics that are pretty frightening? >> that's right. the military hardware involved in this test really appears to be quite unique, officials are saying this missile did fly further than any previous test launched from north korea's western coastline, flying across the country and landing 300 miles out in the sea of japan. this was a missile that had never been tested as far as the
u.s. determined from a land based launch pad. it had always been tested from a submarine, so that again, a new military capability by the north koreans launching it from a fixed site on land. perhaps most significantly, it was solid fuel not liquid fuel, that mea it's much more difficult for u.s. intelligence to get the early signals that a missile is being fueled up for a launch. erin? >> barbara starr, thank you very much. very sobering details, we could be just a few years away of a full intercontinental nuclear enabled warhead from north korea. tillerson who is the first secretary serving without military or government experience is still desperately searching for a number two who knows government well. he found that person, and then donald trump rejected him.
he served as the deputy security adviser during the george w. bush administration. i want to find out what happened here what you went through is something americans need to understand, when we try to understand who is leading this country rex tillerson picked you, you went in for a meeting with donald trump it was a good meeting. what happened? >> meeting was fine. that evening -- the meeting was actually tuesday, and the president didn't discuss any of this stuff, he didn't say, why did you say those mean things about me we talked foreign policy. >> you criticized him, i'll get to that in a minute. rex wants you, that's fine, but i have to meet you. when the meeting was over, we all thought, we're done,
somebody i think, put in front of the president some of the things i said last year, and perhaps riled him up, and, you know, got him to say, i'm not going to tolerate this, so we're not going to do this. >> a bunch of questions come from that, first of all, in the meeting, was he smart, was he informed, did he ask you the right questions, did he listen? what was the meeting like? >> the meeting was an hour long meeting. most of the talking was done by secretary tillerson. it wasn't really around interview with me. it was as if i had been invited to a tillerson/trump meeting. the abe situation was about to happen. there was discussion of the phone call with xi ping that was about to happen. the president was focused on all of those questions. >> he was focused and was asking tough questions? >> yes.
>> but not of me. >> it was last may, you criticized the president, in the first line, the party has nominated someone who cannot win and should not be president of the united states. you continued to make the analogy to donald trump in which you said, do not allow the republican convention wherein trump -- trump needs to be reminds of how many in the party oppose. did anything in the meeting that you had with him change that impression? >> no, i mean -- other people in the white house have read all this stuff, their feeling was, hey, people have said a lot worse than that and been hired by the administration. i was prepared to address it, frankly, my view is, we had a really rough, tough, primary season. and the president gave as good as he got. it's surprising to find out all this is coming back. >> he wasn't aware of it as far as you know?
>>. >> i guess not. >> who came in after your meeting and said, mr. president. >> the only person on the white house staff i know who was opposed to my being hired was steve bannon. that's my guess. >> you did not -- there was a letter that more than 50 -- >> i did not sign that letter. i never signed any of those letters. >> right, they signed it. you're now under the impression that when the president finds anyone who signed a letter about him, said anything bad about him, his guy says he needs you, forget it. >> it's a huge mistake for the president. you have hundreds of qualified experienced republicans ready, willing and able to serve. he's saying, stay out. it's going to be really hard to govern. there's huge bureaucracies out there, how do you get a handle on them. he's saying literally to runs of
republicans, we don't need you, because you criticized me last year. >> what made you willing to work for him? >> i mean, did you mean what you wrote or did he just change you so much in this meeting, was it loyalty to rex or what was it? >> i'm an american i want the president to succeed, i'm a big fan of secretary tillerson. i want him to succeed. i thought i could help, secretary tillerson thought i could help, i was willing to give it a try. very deep experience, he doesn't have government experience. he's running the most important government division. he was promised he would get to pick his people. >> not exactly. >> >> he's number two. is he going to stay if he can't -- if he says he wants you, and trump says forget about it. >> these are presidential appointments, i get a lot of
these certificates on my wall from reagan, from bush. >> a president always has veto power, you can't take that away. you can't cram names down you shouldn't the president is always going to have veto power, it's really destructive for the president to go back to the primary season and say, people who said tough things about me can't come into the administration, he's hurting himself. >> years ago you plead guilty to charges of withholding information from congress. michael flynn, general flynn right now is being accuses of maybe lying, maybe withholding information. that's the direction we're going. and certainly lying to the vice president about conversations he had with the russians, do you think he needs to be fired? >> you know, i don't believe in human sacrifice. i'm very reluctant to say he needs to be fired opinion i'm
struck by one part of this, he's an intelligence guy, how could he not know every word he said to the russian ambassador is taped and is going to turn up. that's what mystifies me, you could say i didn't say that. when it's being written down. >> when you said, someone who should not be president of the united states, due now think donald trump -- well, he is, obviously, should be president of the united states? do you have the belief that he -- you said -- do you think he can succeed and do a good job? >> sure. i think he's going to succeed better if he has good people around him. he ought to stop worrying about what people said during the primaries and start worrying about what they can do to help the government. >> i appreciate your time tonight. >> and next, the breaking news is the white house rewriting the travel ban, actually, the breaking news may be that they're not really rewriting it at all.
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a major blow tonight to president trump's travel ban. the washington judge rejected the administration's request to postpone further proceedings. the administration had wanted to delay until the ninth circuit court of appeals decided whether they wanted to hear the case. cnn learning the administration is considering a new option to save the order. first what's going to be in this new executive order is crucial. james robard denying the request for a delay, what was his
reason? >> we're hoping to learn more about the reasoning soon. but this is an ongoing drama, judge robard hulted the travel ban as we know, about a week and a half ago, denying the request from the trump administration. robard referred to president trump's tweet reacting to the ninth circuit decision last week, reacting to the stay request. judge robard said i'm a little surprised since the president said he wanted to see you in court, you're making this argument to postpone proceedings here in court. are you confident that's the argument you want to make. the lawyer said yes, that is. after he -- as we know, he said no, this could not be postponed.
the travel to the travel ban will proceed on the merits in front of judge robard. >> you're learning details about what the administration is thinking about to try to do a new executive order. >> people within the trump administration are thinking about next steps after that stinging rebuke from the ninth circuit court of appeals last week. one option is clarifying or supplementing what was laid out to valid visa holders the administration wants to continue the find into what they consider an over broad restraining order. they could split up the classes of immigrants. there's a lot of lawyers going on. we'll have to see what happens. >> out front now alan dershowitz
37 let's start with the breaking news in the federal district court. the challenge will proceed, the administration had wanted a delay, there's no question where judge robard stood on this. this adds to the precedent against this order? >> it doesn't add much it's to be expected that a judge will say, let's continue. the real question is if there are enough votes for rehearing, will the ninth circuit rescind the stay that the three judge panel affirmed or will it keep the stay in effect until such time the argument can be had on the merits in front of the 11 judges. we know it's going to be a period of time before this order can come into effect. the president has no choice but to issue a new order. he can rescind the old order and
take it away from judge robard and maybe going into a court seeking a declaration the order is could constitutional. and go to the fifth circuit or 11th circuit. the good thing from the trump point of view, they're finally getting some good legal advice. there seem to be good lawyers now working on realistic lawyer like options and we'll wait and see what conclusions they come to. >> when you hear about these new executive orders. i use the plural. they may put out a flurry of them one of them really comes to this, they're going to double down, they're going to stick with the ban. all of those things may remain unchanged. the difference is they will include what they collar phied was their intent, legal permanent residents, green
cardholders, they're not included under the order. they said the other order didn't include that. it wasn't wring on the order itself. is that a distinction without a difference. is it a change at all? >> it's a change in a sense that they are following the road map that's been laid out by the ninth circuit. it's not a change if the goal is to put out multiple orders trying to throw them against the wall hoping one sticks. the goal has got to be making an executive order that is comprehensive, not one that is a peace meal approach. the reason they have focused on trying to isolate different groups under the order the court essentially said we find there are issues with people who are unlawful aliens in this country who also have due process rights, they're trying to figure out a way to split the baby, the
ninth circuit said they didn't want to do that, the executive order until now was clear on the language, you hadded administration offering an alternative view they're trying to make it seem palletable legally speaking. which is going to be a difficult burden for them. >> if they have one executive order which says that the seven countries do still remain on this list and nobody from any of those countries who have no contact with the united states. who don't have a visa, a green card, who have never been here, have no status, will be excluded during the period of time when the president reconsiders everything. that will be upheld as constituti constitutional. if they limit it to that, they will win in court. i strongly believe that if it's limited to those seven countries and to people who have never
been in the country. the ninth circuit and the supreme court will find it constitutional. >> and hard to gain standing for those who have never set foot here or tried to. the senate has just confirmed, steve mnuchin as treasury secretary of the united states. the vote 53-47. senator joe manchin was the only democrat who voted yes. the new secretary treasury for the united states. minnesota voters getting ready to head to the polls for one of the special elections since trump was inaugurated. this election is crucial, we'll show you why. tonight a top federal election official is demanding proof on election fraud. she's the only one speaking out. you may not even notice. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances
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campaign in new hampshire, i can tell you this issue of bussing voters in is it a widely known by anyone who's worked in new hampshire politics, it's very real, very serious, this morning on this show is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence. >> now, one of the top republicans in the granite state says he doesn't see any evidence. there is no voter fraud in new hampshire none, zip, nada. out front, ellen weintraub, she's calling on president trump to hand over evidence of these allegations. let me start off here, you are a democrat, but you were appointed by a republican president george w. bush. has president trump responded to your request for evidence? >> no, not yet. >> nothing from them yet. let's get to the heart of this matter, trump's former campaign manager, cory lewandowski is
from new hampshire. both of them warned of -- during the election, that democrats may bus in voters to new hampshire, is it possible they know something, anything that maybe you don't know about this? >> of course it's possible, that's why i've asked for the evidence. the american people would like to know about that as well. since i made my request on friday, i heard from thousands of american citizens, they have echoed my concerns and thanked me for speaking out and said they too would like to see if there is any evidence of this massive conspiracy, which would be a huge criminal conspiracy. they'd like to see it, i'd like to see it. >> you are allowed to register on the same day in new hampshire. theoretically they could have bussed those people. you have to show proof of your age, citizenship and domicile. you have to show proof that you live in the state of new
hampshire. this whole thing on the face of it doesn't add up. >> and the only evidence that people have come forward with when asked about it goes to an entirely different problem. when is irregularities in the voter registration database. everyone knows about that. people high up in the administration and the president's own family, it has been reported they are registered in several different states. i don't think anyone thinks those people are guilty of voter fraud because they happen to be registered in more than one state. these are problems with the database that need to be fixed. the real problem is, these kinds of allegations of massive voter fraud have been used in the past to enact restrictions that are preventing thousands of legitimate citizens from
exercising their right to vote. that is the real fraud we should be worried about. >> they are not aware of any evidence that supports voter fraud allegations, we've done reports on this, we have found absolutely nothing. on the face of it, these seem ab surt. but you sit on the federal election commission, you're charged with overseaing the public funding of presidential elections, you're the only one speaking out about this. are your colleagues on the same page as you are? >> when i heard this, i thought it was an astonishing story and if true, really requires serious action and attention, that i felt the need to speak out as i've said, i heard from a lot of people who agreed that evidence is required and the president should be asked to produce this evidence. >> and as of today, he has produced none.
>> next, jeanne moos on this presidential handshake that lasted a full 19 seconds. and then there was another one today with justin trudeau. why can't trump just let a hand go. could a county that overwhelmingly voted for trump be turning so suddenly blue? >> there's a lot of buyers remorse since the election on november 8th.
inauguration, and this is an important one. it's a special election for a seat in minnesota. here is the key. it's in a district which voted heavily for trump. miguel marquez is out front in map map. it's a local election, but it is getting a lot of national attention. >> reporter: yeah, democrats everywhere are watching this election closely because it is such a conservative district where it is being held. they feel if they can win here, then they can build more momentum with other special elections across the country and build the momentum into the 2018 midterms. democrats in this deeply red district of minnesota feeling confident as special elections to fill house seats, a possible early indication of an energized democratic base and a potential backlash to president donald trump. >> the support we're getting across the whole united states is amazing. >> it's great to be back in minnesota today. >> reporter: trump stomped clinton in this rural county by
30 points. a republican loss unthinkable. but in a valentine's day special election -- >> this is all about who shows up to vote. after november the democrats are looking for redemption. >> reporter: the race attracting outside attention and help from around the country as democrats smell opportunity. >> there's a lot of buyers' remorse since the election november 8th. people are frustrated with the direction of this country. >> reporter: trump supporters say they still have the votes and their fire is still burning brightly. you'd be surprised if a democrat won here? >> i would be shocked. >> nice to meet you. >> reporter: democrats feeling an advantage. the trump presidency powerful motivation. >> with the state of our country right now it's kind of a scary time. >> reporter: republicans disagree saying trump has awoken something deeper. >> you have an administration regardless of how they communicate speaking to the forgotten men and women all
across this country and that applies to minnesota as well. >> reporter: so this is a tiny, tiny race. 25,000 voters total for 32b, the house seat here. 1,800 absentee ballots have already been filed. they expect 5,000 to 7,000 voters in this thing, so a few hundred votes could make a huge difference and send a giant signal. erin? >> reporter: thank you. so tonight opposites attract or do they? so president trump 's meeting with the canadian prime minister justin trudeau opposites in practically every single way but it began today with a closely watched handshake. here is jeanne moose. >> reporter: not since this threeway has a handshake gotten so much attention clocked at almost 19 seconds. this became the handshake that left the japanese prime minister shaken. >> start the car! >> just watch his he can pregs at the end.
>> reporter: for a guy who once called the handshake barbaric -- >> i'm very much after ge germophobe. >> reporter: many handshakes include a yank yet his supreme court nominee or his vp. call it what you will, the pull in, the tug, the yang and pull, the grab and jerk. when he did it to a win earp of "the apprentice" it seemed like a tug of war. >> donald trump can't shake hands right. >> reporter: the more he likes you, the more he tugs and shakes. body language expert kril you will rich said he starts with a submissive gesture. >> his hand is open like if a beggar's pose giving the other person the upper hand. >> reporter: but then he reasserts his dominance. >> he literally pulls people off their feet, off their balance for a moment. >> reporter: and he often seals his alpha handshake with a pat, a hand hug.
but when "snl's" trump shook with vladimir putin it was putin who tugged and patted trump. at least a long handshake gives photographers a chance to get their shot. when the president asked about the japanese photogs -- >> what did they say? >> please, look at me. >> reporter: the president gazed at the prime minister. on monday canada's leader shook president trump's hand, but he held his own resisting any tugging and inspiring headlines like trudeau one-ups trump with the handshake game. with trump yanking at a rate of two or three times in ten seconds, you almost need a hand to hold you up. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. and we will be right back. there's no time for distractions. it's not enough to think i'm ready. i need to know i'm ready. no matter what lies ahead.
and thanks so much for joining us. anderson is next. and good evening. thanks for joining us. it is the start of the fourth week of the trump presidency and the messages coming from the white house are painting, well, a tumultuous picture. president trump met with canada's prime minister justin trudeau. at a short press conference the president took a few questions but none on the biggest question mark surrounding his administration, national security adviser general mike flynn. if given the chance reporters might have asked about what the president knows regarding general flynn's alleged conversation about sanctions with the russian ambassador or why general flynn says he changed his story about the conversations or why vice president mike pence denied any such conversations took place. those are just for starters. what we do know general flynn's