tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 20, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
barbara starr reporting from the pentagon. thanks very much. once again the president getting ready to address this rally in louisville. we're going to have coverage for that, stand by. that's it for me. thanks for watching. erin burnett out front starts right now. up next the breaking news the fbi director seds there's an investigation into links between the trump campaignnd at russian government he's denies any evidence of wiretapping claims the president will be speaking live this hour. will he fight back? plus more breaking news, personal electronics banned on direct flights from a dozen airlines in the united states. a major security concern linked directly to alqaeda tonight. and is sean spicer's credibility shot? >> good evening i'm erin burnett. out front. president donald trump is wrong and the white house tonight so far will not admit what the fbi director james comey said in a
rare public appearance today. comey declaring under oath that will is, his words, no information to support trump's claim that the obama administration wiretapped his phones at trump tower. he also said there's no evidence of trump's charge that britain spy agencies eaves dropped on him at the request of the obama administration. and in another crucial headline comey publicly confirming for the first time that the fbi is investigating whether members of the trump campaign colluded to influence the 60 election. a revelation that the house committee learned for the first time today in this testimony. but despite the extraordinary words from james comey, the white house sean spicer responded with this. >> following this testimony it's clear that nothing has changed. senior obama intelligence officials have gone on record to connarm -- confirm there's no evidence of a collusion. we take them at their word.
>> well, we're awaiting the president who will be speaking live shortly. he is expected to address the scene that happened on capitol hill this morning. the moment that happens we are going to break in on this and bringing it to you. i'm going to begin with jeff zeleny. he's out front. this was crucial testimony from the fbi director, frankly an extraordinary event to watch in full and the president getting ready to have another rally with his supporters. >> reporter: erin, this is a trump rally in every shape and form. you can see behind me here people holding signs had the hiss true believers. but tonight could not be a different moment in his presidency. take a stock of what happened today. the fbi director confirms there's indeed an investigation from the campaign last year and he also he refutes what the president's been saying over wiretapping now for the last three weeks or so. so when the president arrives in a few moments, he'll be built up by these supporters but his
troubles have not been left behind back in washington. fbi director james comey delivering an extraordinary rebuke of the wiretapping accusation. >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets. >> twefg e testifying before the house intelligence committee the fbi chief said he's found no evidence to support the president's astonishing allegation. he was spied on at trump tower by president obama. >> we have looked carefully inside the fbi. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all of its components. the department has no information that supports those tweets. >> that's tweets, now infamous, are have been rejected in every corner of washington except the chous white house. the president has gone to great lengths to defend this tweet. terrible. just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found.
this is mccarthism. but those words debunked in rare fashion today about the. >> so he could not un nat laterally order a wiretap of anyone? >> no president could. >> and rogers took issue with the subsequent unfounded claim from the trump white house that the british could have been involved. >> did you ever request that your counterparts in gchq wiretap donald trump. >> no, sir, nor would i. that's been against the conzrukt instruct that's been in place for decades. >> he has been investigating russian meddling into the presidential race and any links the trump campaign had to moscow. >> the fbi as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between
associated with the trump campaign and the russian government. >> while the hearing was under way, the president fired off this tweet. the nsa and fbi told russia did not influence. electoral process but that took comey's words out of congress. >> it certainly wasn't our intention to say that today. >> he spoke about russia's actions in blunt terms saying their goal was to influence the election and help donald trump. >> engaged in a multifaceted campaign of active measures to undermine our democracy and hurt one of the candidates and hope to help one of the other candidates. >> at the white house, press secretary sean spicer argued today the hearings revealed nothing knew. he was pressed on how he drew that conclusion considering comey and rogers said they were still investigating it. >> there's a point at which you continue to search for something that everybody's been briefed vaent hasn't seen or found. i think it's fine to look into it, but at the end of the day
they're going to come to the same conclusion that everybody else has had. >> now, sean spicer went on to say as he tried to limit the involvement of the russian operatives with the campaign operatives. he said that paul manafort spent a very limited time on the campaign and had a limited role. you'll remember paul manafort was made chairman of the campaign who worked on the campaign for six months from last march until august. but sean spicer said he played a very limited role in that. this is just the beginning of all of this, certainly not the end. >> all right. thank you very much. >> i guess that would go in the category of an alternative fact. we're going to talk more about paul manafort who was crucial to that campaign for a long time. evan perez, dana bash, jason miller, ned price, former cia analyst and john avlon and paul
cal lin former prosecutor all going to be with me for the most of the show. evan, let me start with you. when you saw sean spicer today, the president's team, the president still not backing away from his wiretapping claims. comey testified under oath that he has no information that supports trump's tweets, his allegations. could comey be anymore definitive? >> i don't think you can be more definitive than that. if there was a wiretap it would have to go through the justice department and that's what comey talked about. not only was the fbi not responsible for it but the justice department looked into this and found no evidence that there was anything there. so i don't know how you can get an answer that is more firm. it may have been a lawyerly answer have jim comey but it a fairly did he finnative answer. >> the chairman of the committee says he doesn't believe the president took a hit today. you heard sean spicer say there was nothing knew new that came
out of this. >> it was deaf van nunez who said there was no evidence of wiretapping. he joined a growing chorus of people who work for this administration, people in the chous house and senate and people in a position to know whether there was any truth to the president's accusation and all of whom said there was no evidence. director comey put a period on that and we should put this to rest once and for all. >> let me play the director and what he said about the evidence on that. >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the fbi. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components, the department has no information that supports those tweets. >> sean spicer at the nus news conference which asked when wot president withdraw these
allegations, apologize, hears how he responded. >> no. we're -- we started a hearing, it's still ongoing. >> still ongoing. >> yeah. >> nothing new. >> this goes way beyond refusing to apologize to absolute denial of what's right in front of his face. this is baghdad bob the emperor's not wearing any clothes territory. what's also sinister is if lying becomes a sign of loyalty to the president, because what he's being asked to zo is deny what the fbi director said under oath, that is not a sign that will build any credibility in this administration. >> will he deny this tonight? >> knowing the president i imagine this issue will probably come up but there are a couple things i want to point out from today. first think sean had it exactly right when he said there wasn't anything new. and how do we know there wasn't
anything new? because there were leaks of supposed confidential information that was put out there heading into the weekend, the continued problem of leaks which the word espionage was thrown out there today. . and i do think this is very dangerous the fact that information's being leaked like this. but, again, what we still don't know are the names of the americans who are unmasked by this backdoor surveillance were whether it's the fbi, the cia. going into this weekend the administration had already walked back a bit and said when they're talking about wiretapping they're talking about surveillance overall. and we still don't know what americans were getting swept up into this. so to say this was a complete rebuke, there was absolutely -- >> when you say swept up into this, we don't know there's a this at all. we've been told there any e isn't any evidence of this at all. >> how did the michael flynn conversation come out then? >> that is why we understanding to routine surveillance of a
russian diplomat. >> but even in that case general flynn's name should have been masked in that and so it was leaked out. it's either an intentional move by a political appointee or indirect play -- >> jason, this is -- jason, this is exactly the way that the house intelligence chairman devin nunn es wanted the committee hearing to go today, to do exactly what you just said, for that to be the message. >> i love you, brother, but to say that there was nothing new in this hearing today when the director of the fbi said publicly under oath that the president of the united states was wrong when he tweeted that his predecessor wiretapped him and that's not just his opinion but the opinion of the trump justice department, i'd say that's pretty new. never mind the fact that he formally confirmed that there has been an investigation at the justice department going on of your former campaign, the former
boss. >> but had walked back and said he's talking about surveillance overall and spicer from the podium had said that a couple times as well. so i think that this broader issue of surveillance, this unmasking issue is a very big deal. this is very serious. people should go to jail for this. >> jason, look. you know for a fact that folks -- when your former colleagues manafort and flynn are being distanced, there is a concern that this could invoke the espionage jacket. but trying to flip it along this the leaks are real but the news is fake, that's a losing argument. >> but i also want to be talk to you about this distancing that's going on because jeff just referred to it but the white house press secretary today saying manafort who we know had extremely close ties to russia professionally was just a big player in this campaign, here's how spicer described him. >> there's been discussion of paul manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time. >> okay. let's be clear. manafort joined the campaign in
march in it was nay dark place, he turned it around, did the delegate map, stayed in that position until august, got promoted to campaign chairman. how could anyone say that it was a limited role for a very limited role for a very limited amount of time? i mean, it's ridiculous. >> well, i'll let sean go ahead and offer his description. obviously i worked with paul manafort on the campaign and then he exited the campaign in august or so. but, i mean, going to this whole issue of the russian collusion, that are was one of the things that came out today was the fact that they don't have anything. there's absolutely nothing to this. and so this is, i mean, i would call it a political snipe hunt where apparently the fbi are the only ones who don't realize there's no such things as snipes. >> what did you take away? that there's nothing in terms of evidence. >> because a the lov this comey had to say there's no comment or i can't answer. >> so quite to the contrary, we can't conclude that there's nothing here with comey saying i can't talk about collusion with the russians, i can't say
anything about that part of the investigation. you know, as a lawyer when you're in court and you have a client that's going to take the 5th amendment, when he takes the fifth repeatedly which which is the fundamental equivalent of no comment, the court says you can't hold that against the defendant. but you know something? people start to the wonder. and when people kept repeating i can't talk about it, i can't talk about it. >> but it is under investigation. >> it's under vefrgs and it was all things to do with contact with the russians. it wasn't having to do with the wiretap stuff. on that he said, listen, there's nothing there. and to me, the most surprising thing was the justice department under jeff sessions authorized him apparently to say that. there's nothing there. >> all right. so let's just -- >> both nunes, clapper other democrats came out and said there's nothing to this russian's influencing the elections and pushing it one way. again, you can't blame the russians for telling secretary clinton not to campaign in
wisconsin or to call millions of people a basket of deplorables. they ran a terrible campaign. donald trump ran a much better campaign, that's why he won. >> just to be clear in terms of influence on the election what comey said today he wasn't going to comment on that. presumably part of the investigation as to whether there's very clear involvement in the election resulted in influencing its outcome said that's beyond the pursue of what they looked at in the original report. live pictures trump is about to speak live and as i said we anticipate he will respond to comey's explosive testimony on capitol hill. we'll see the second he he starts on that we're going to break if live even if we're in the milled of a commercial. almost all electronics banned from direct flights into the united states, new york, chicago, detroit from a dozen airlines. we're going to tell you exactly who was behind this breaking threat the best as we understand it at this hour. and trump attacking president obama for playing too much golf. so now is why trump called the
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breaking news, president trump about to take the stage at a rally in kentucky. the first time he can publicly address fbi's director's jam comey extraordinary testimony. he was confirming the fbi is investigating possible ties between the trump campaign and rugs russia and possible coordination. he called it again fake news on twitter. comey was tight lipped when it came to who when it comes to names is under investigation. >> was donald trump under investigation during the campaign? >> the same answer as before, i'm not going to answer that. >> is he under investigation now? >> not kbg to answer that. >> have you been asked to provide assistance to the current ukrainian government with respect to paul manafort and how do you expect to respond to that request. >> it's not something i can comment on. >> do you know who roger stone is? >> generally, yes.
>> are you aaware he was a partner of paul man pa for the? >> mr. schiff i'm worried we're going to a place i don't want to go. >> man uwrath jaw is out front and we picked that for a moment because what comey didn't answer can give us actually a lot of incite into who is under investigation, right? >> that's right. i mean, you can probably tell from that line of questioning and the reason why comey did not want to answer is because they are looking into those individuals precisely and now we know according to james comey's own testimony today they're looking into any possible coordination that occurred between trump associates and russian officials during the presidential election. and there are reported contacts that occurred between roger stone and a hacker from russia as well as paul manafort, his relationships with russian officials and carter page another trump adviser as well. undoubtedly those are under skrut knit.
one name that did come up was president trump himself. when comey was asked whether trump president trump was being investigated he said i'm not going to talk about that. i have briefed the chairman and ranking member of the house intelligence committee on this issue so after the hearing i asked the chairman of the house intelligence committee is donald trump under investigation, here's what he said. >> i don't have any evidence of that. i continue to say that. i'd like to receive evidence if it exists, but it doesn't exist as of right now. >> do you know if the fbi is looking into the president himself and his business ties? >> i highly, highly doubt that, but, you know what? we don't know everything. >> reporter: so highly doubt is it but we don't know everything. not able to close the door. had is one reason why erin nunes also refueled two weeks ago the fbi was conducting this investigation. they meaning the top leaders in congress the people that get
that highly sensitive classified information they just learned this. so they do not know the extent of this fbi investigation, don't know the extent of president trump himself being investigated and one reason why there was some frustration you saw between some of the republicans and james comey that the hearing today. >> thank you very much. i want to bring back my panel. evan, part of the reason nunes perhaps kept the door open there and what he doesn't know is what he learned today along with everybody else. comey maximum about the details of the investigation but there ska formal investigation into the links between the trump campaign and possible links and possible coordination between the two on election interference. everybody just learned that today. >> and what's more interesting is that even the chairman and the ranking member of that committee did not know what comey was going to say today. they did not expect him to go as far as he did. and certainly we did not expect him to go as far as he did. but i'll say this. in talking to people we've been talking to people close to the investigation in the last few weeks, there's no indication
that there's any reason to believe the president is under investigation personally. but, here's the but. problem is that the fbi's still in the early stages of this. there's a lt they do not know yet and that's the reason comey could not answer those questionsdy finna fife itively. we know they said they didn't see nefds of collusion. well, you r the problem for the fbi is that there's stale long way to go here. they don't know whether they might uncover some type of evidence that might change all of that. that's the reason why he has to ants question the way did he today. there's a long way to go fwh this investigation. >> and he said comey accepted the investigation is going to include an assessment of whether crimes were committed spot when you're talking about what they're look at, possible links and coordination on election interference, what would it fake for someone to have committed a crime? >> the big one that everyone would think of if they're colluding with the russians is this espionage. the rosen bergs were indicted
for that, snowed denver was indicted for that, but what was turned ofrp here was hillary's e-mails. they're not investigating that as a realistic possibility. but there are a ton of other statutes, interfering wire fraud would be one of them, interfering with computer networks in the united states to steal and hack. >> all of which are jail time. >> they're all felonies, they're all serious crimes. but i think to push it to espionage would be pushing too far. >> as they were having a discussion here trying to understand as best they could there was a lot of wordsmithing that had to go on, there was a strong back and forth between the top democrat adam schiff and comey. schiff went through various positions trump has taken and established that those positions were favored by putin, among them the trump had been getting rid of those. he said, if you get along and if russia's really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things. schiff pressed comey about the
when it came to lifting those sanction dollars and i wanted to play the exchange. >> would they have a preference for a candidate that expressed an openness for repealing the sanctions over ukraine? >> i don't want to get into the business of commenting on that. >> let me ask you this way. would they like to see the sanctions on ukraine go away? >> yes. >> it was all in the asking but they did this on sanctions, they did this on putin wanting a businessman in the office, they did this on putin's aversion to nato. >> they said we had seen direct evidence of deception in terms of this administration's ties to russia and circumstantial evidencetor collusion. i think what he was pointing to were those data points, those yet unexplained heretor fore data points that with comey's revelation today there is an ongoing investigation, it must be circumstantial. the fbi does not open an investigation if all they have are unconnected circumstantial data points. there's smoke and we know there must be something to the smoke.
>> he also went further. he, the fbi director, in pretty explicitly saying that the belief of the u.s. officials, the u.s. government at this point, is that the russian government, vladimir putin, was working actively to try to hurt hillary clinton and sort of by way of doing that trying to help donald trump. so the question that evan and we all have sort of been trying to figure out whether or not the fbi knows, and i don't think that they know the answer to this yet, is whether or not the russians went so far as to try to get anybody in trump's orbit to help them with that. that's the fundamental question that they are looking into that clearly would be an unbelievable story if that were the case. the intent by the russians,
according to what james comey saided to was there. and i said think that was interesting to hear him say in open testimony. >> but the question is what would they know? what would trump operatives know during the early campaign that could help the russian snsz. >> let me jump in. let me jump in as someone who's a trump campaign member. you know, i actually have to say that i do feel a bit for the clinton campaign to now see what a stink bomb from the fbi director smells like. you know, they had it come flying at them in october, and now we're seeing it being thrown at the president now, and the problem with it is to mix my metaphors a little bit, now we're as trump supporters punching at ghosts because the claim gets thrown out there. if they've supposedly been investigating this since last summer then put it out there for people to see what it is. the fact of the matter is if there was something, i think it would be out there and what i'm really concerned about and i think millions of americans are also concerned about is that this is becoming a concerted
effort to try to delegitimize this presidency. and the fac of the matter is the election's over and -- no, hold on a second because this is -- this is saying that there's somehow this collusion. i mean, i can tell you that vladimir putin was never in a campaign staff meeting. >> yeah, but. >> there were never. >> but --burg the rnc. >> there's no but. >> members of your campaign at the time worked to change language regarding the ukraine to soften it. why would they do that? that's a reasonable question, we know it happened. >> which members. >> we don't know lie it was done. >> okay, john, which mens. >> j.d. gordon who called up new york and interview in the daily beast about that at the time. >> when i heard j.d. gordon's name, with all due respect to mr. gordon i had to look him up on wikipedia. i didn't know who this guy was. so platforms for things. >> but manafort only worked there for a short time and flynn was barely national security adviser. problem is, these patterns, we
know as of today there's an investigation. that's serious. that's serious and it's not normal and we're going to have to proceed with it. it's not about delegit miedsing a president, it's about pursuing an investigation. >> this goes back to my point about the clinton campaign and now knowing what it's like to have some charges be thrown out there. i mean, this is just -- it's obviously ridiculous. to say that the campaign was somehow colluding with a foreign government, that's pretty outrageous. this is outlandish stuff. >> outland dish. >> it's ridiculous. >> we know from his own donald trump had outreached to wikileaks. he called it a pack channel. he knew they were coming ow the e-mails long before they put out the podesta e-mails. he also know he was in touch with a hacker from russia. >> all right. thank you all i appreciate it and we have more break news coming in at this hour. almost all electronic devices being banned in carry johns in more than a dozen airlines that
fly in the united states. one official says the supplies all devices larger than a cell phone, ipad, laptop, anything like that. we're being told this to be linked to al-qaeda and that it could be kpekt connected to a recent forces raid in yemen. renee marsh is out front and i think in many sense a total mistake they didn't want anybody to know that there was this fear of something happening. what do you know now? >> so we do know that the trump administration is getting ready to announce these new security restrictions for passengers flying on direct flights to the united states from very specific countries due to this, quote, security concern. now, all of these electronic devices will be banned if they are larger than a cell phone. they will not be allowed in the cabin of a flight from certain countries in the middle east as well as africa, those passengers will have to put their
electronics in their checked luggage. we also are hearing from cnn's barbara starr that another u.s. official is telling us that the ban on some of these electronics is believed to be related to al-qaeda on the arabian peninsula or a qap. they have been tracking this threat for quite some time but the officials of officials said that some new information from a recent u.s. special forces raid in yemen contributed to this ongoing concern. as know aqap has had a really active effort to build bombs with little or no metal content which would make it very easy to get past security check points at airports and smuggle it on board a commercial aircraft. however, we first learned about this story from a tweet by royal juror deignian airlines based in aman jordan. they tweeted out this man would take effect for all of their
flights going to north america starting on tuesday. we do want to point out we believe at this point that nearly a dozen flights will be impacted, international flights. >> thank you very much. and for nought republican congressman from ohio, mike turner one of the lawmakers who questioned the fbi director and nsa director earlier today, i want to ask you about that but first breaking news on the terror threat on an incoming flight to the united states as you heard the reporting coming from al-qaeda people banned from lap tops, ipads from carrying them onboard the plane in the cabin itself. what you can tell us about this? >> we've not been briefed but as the reports are indicating the department of homeland security is looking at this issue. we do all know from other news reports of not just about this that there has been some concern for some time about electronic items being used to hide explosive devices and their threats to airline traffic. >> yeah. >> so this is along the lines of things that we've heard concerns about before and it certainly if
it occurs shows the department of homeland security is tracing down these leads. >> a ban, of course, is a big move and al-qaeda's chief bomb maker is based in yemen. he's been on passenger planes including the christmas day under wear bomb frer detroit. hearing a security concern is causing a ban on virtually all electronics coming on to flights from a dozen air liends coming to new york and chicago, that are feels very real and carry. >> absolutely. and when you look at how those who seek to do us home have progressed everything from the shoe boerm forward, this is all about getting the intelligence we need, applying it to the type of protection dollars and intervention questions do and trying to lens that threat and this certainly sounds like it can be part of that. >> i want to get the breaking news about the hearing. you were there today were you were there when the fbi director confirmed for the first time there was an investigation between possible links between the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any actual coordination between the two.
when you heard that, what did you think? >> there's a couple things. first off, we'd already had hours of classified briefings from these two gentlemen and from the fbi director himself. but this hearing was the effort from the chairman to bring forward this discussion, this debate in a public forum, in a public fashion so the people would understand what we're dealing with in the intelligence committee on this important issue of possible collusion with the trump campaign and the issue which is even more important of how do we assess the russians's i toefrpt effect the outcome ever our elections and how do we intervene in the future to protect the process. >> so you support that investigation going all wait to its conclusion that they should be looking into any possible links or coordination was the word the fbi director used? >> i don't think anyone would say that the fbi should not look at these issues. but it is important to put into perspective, as the fbi director said, that we should not read into either way the fact that this investigation has been ongoing.
it's been ondoing sincedown. one shk shocking thing that as we came to the end of the campaign he had both the clinton campaign and the trump campaigns and their nominees under investigations with the fbi. that certainly is shocking when you look that the context. >> well, it it's embarrassing perhaps for the country. but when people say where there's smoke there's fire, one of our panelists just said it and others have been saying it today, do you agree with that? >> you know, it's interesting listening both to the people who are comment thong and of course in the hearing people are pointing out evidence or things that they think ever dispositive of this. if you look at clapper, the head of the defense intelligence agency coming forward and saying before he left in january, that's him having served from july through january during the investigation, that he saw no evidence, the chairman of the intelligence committee openly saying at the end of the hearing we've seen no evidence and we're asking the fbi and the intelligence committee to come forward, i think it certainly is highly speculative and people shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. this is an important issue and it does need to be addressed,
but it certainly shouldn't be played out in the media. >> one thing that was very clearly addressed today in that aspect when it came to coordination he said we're still investigating. he didn't say that when it came to wiretapping. as we've been reporting, there is no evidence, it did not happen that president obama wiretapped president trump. do you think that president trump should apologize, that he should retract the accusations that he made which frankly were personal, they were alleging that president obama had done something criminal. should he apologize? >> one thing we know is the president needs to explain. no one understands why he made that statement. we do know that there are a number of claims of interceptions of trump communications, trump campaign communications all of which were leaks that were made to the press. you heard the fbi director say today that a lot of stories in "the washington post" and new york times were not true although wouldn't tell us which ones were, he has told us but we can't tell because he's telling us in a classified session.
so i think the president needs to explain and i think we need to pursue this issue of leaks. but this is all based upon the fact -- >> when it comes to interception of communications, that are does go back to the ambassador who was being monitored as many foreign diplomats are and certainly ones from russia, sfliet that was how that was picked up. you're right are the fact that it happened was leaked. but it's not as if they're talking about all other kinds of communications that's been specifically what it's been about. >> actually "the washington post" and new york times have ran articles claiming other communications have been captured which again you have the fbi directstor saying i can't tell you which one of these are true and which one are not, but if you look at the news reports, they're claim a number of communications were captured all of which i think go to the issue that crimes have been -- have occurred, people have broken laws for these leaks and we need to stop the leaks also. >> okay. separate from the leaks, just to be very clear, when it comes to president trump, you're saying he needs to explain, not apologize to barack obama? >> at this point the ball he's in his court. we've had the fbi director say there's been no evidence, are
the chairman of our committee ranking member on a bipartisan basis came forward said no evidence, the senate side said the same. the ball's in the president's court to explain what did he mean fwhi tweet and why's he saying that. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> and next breaking news the president trump going to be speaking any moment at that rally in louisville that you see on your screen. what will he say to the fbi director comey. plus sean spicer credible or not. the president's smoak spokesman goes to any life threatening tojz defend his boss even when frankly what his boss did was indefensible. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period.
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>> i'll try to keep this relatively short. >> reporter: sean spicer's briefings are contentious, confusing. >> i don't have a full read on that yet. >> and as for his credibility, well, that's being questioned more every day. today's example, trying to distance president trump from his former campaign chairman paul man pa for the. >> there's been discussion of paul man pa for the who played a very limited role for a very limited amounts of time. hey, jonathan, hold on. you can stop interrupting other people's questions. jonathan, somebody's asking a question, it's not your press briefing, julie's asking a question, please calm down. >> manafortese role was not limited. hired in 2016 he was promoted to chairman in may managing the campaign at a crucial time. when reporters pressed. >> was he working for the campaign for five months, he was at campaign chairman he was there for a number of pivotal decisions. >> spicer got the facts wrong again. >> paul was brought on sometime
in june. >> reporter: again, this press release says march. >> year in the first chapper. >> reporter: two months in and the story of this presidency is about trust, lack of trust. on day one spicer shocked the press corps with false statements been press size. >> this was the largest audience to witness an inauguration period both in persona and around the globe. defending the boss means bending into contortions. he didn't really think that president obama went up and tapped his phone personally. >> reporter: reporters don't know what to believe. they said last month maybe philip bilden was likely to withdraw spicer denied it calling bilden 100% committed and sure enough bilden withdrew a week later. spicer often brings printouts of news stories to the podium using and misusing reporting to prove his point. >> quote 3 intelligence sources have informed foxx news. >> last week he spared spicer's
baseless claim about obama using the british to attack trump sparking an international incident. today spicer said it was sillily to equate quote a news story to support for that story. >> i think merely reading a story that's in a paper is not vouching for it it's reading the story. >> in some ways actually weaking his own position saying it doesn't matter what i say up in this podium, i'm just read a story i'm quoting somebody else. he's not giving himself his own support and credibility. >> sort of along the lines of what trump has always said, somebody said or i heard. >> now president trump also said in august, i will never lie to you. i will never tell you something do not believe in the context today of what we learned about wiretapping, very notable words. >> thank you very much. >> i want to go straight to our senior analyst. contentious press briefings, but today the paul manafort thing
says so much. it's an absurd thing to say. i mean, is spicer losing his credibility? >> well, certainly with some reporters he may be losing his credibility and i think brian's absolutely right. one of the lines that he had in his script right there was that defending the boss means pending into contortions. and we've seen that from shawn spice frer day one. you know, the interesting thing is when he was hired, when he was brought on, when he was named the pes secretary there was a lot of relief in washington, not only on capitol hill from those who understand the legislative process but also reporters as well. and look, does he have a battle, ongoing battle right now with the immediate gentleman? no question about that. the credibility, question, i leave that to up others. >> so what is he going to do? because you're right, people at first were relieved. but take the crowd size issue when he came out and blatantly
said that and it was not true. i talked to someone who was in the room when that whole conversation watt president and what that person told me was the president was just steaming angry, yelling at shawn and everyone else and the answer from all of them was simply yes, sir, yes, sir, not a single person pushed back against the president when he was asking them to lie. >> right. and if you remember that day, too, when sean spicer had come out and had made that, that are was his first public statement on camera. the president had only been president for about 30 hours at that point, very difficult position to be in because either you're going to good out and do what the leader of the free world tells you to do and order something as frivolous as we're talking about or you're going to quit on principle. and if you quit on principle, then the question is should you have done that anyway. so, look, often times when you see spokesmen out there and essential in this trump administration the spokesperson is speaking to an audience of one, not speaking to the masses and i think that's the biggest
issue right now. >> thank you very much. and next the man likely to be the supreme court's next justice in the hot seat. neil gorsuch facing angry democrats. and jeanie moose or on the golf or in the -- >> so on a couple of occasions he's actually conducted meetings there, he's had phone calls. so just because he heads there doesn't mean that that's what's happening. there's a more enjoyable way to get your fiber.
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jessica schneider is "outfront." >> reporter: supreme court nominee neil gorsuch starting his hearings defending himself. >> we're going to take it all the way to the supreme court. >> reporter: gorsuch never mentioning trump by name had nothing but praise for their processiopr professi profession. >> reporter: the discussion dominated by another judge, merrick garland, nominated by president obama. the confirmation was blocked by republicans. >> judge garland was denied a hearing and vacancy has been in place for well over a year. i just want to say i'm deeply disappointed that it's under these circumstances that we begin our hearings. >> reporter: senator ted cruz
argued the vacanty in the mvaca argued for a delay. >> his nomination carries with it a super legitimacy. >> reporter: gorsuch, a close friend of the man he could replace said antonin scalia influenced his own philosophy. > >> he reminded us that words party. >> reporter: democrats raising several concerns, saying he favors big business. >> your record of corporate litiga litigant comes in on 21-2. >> he wrote a book on assisted suicide saying it was always wrong.
and many senators are wondering how closely he will align himself with trump. >> we need to know what you'll do when called upon to stand up to this president or any president. >> reporter: but senator cruz saying gorsuch should be based on his record, not president trump's. >> we should evaluation this nomination on the record, on the merits. >> reporter: the tough questions and possible fireworks will start tomorrow as we launch into the first day where senators can press judge gorsuch on the issues. the judiciary will vote on april 3rd and republicans will need to round up 60 votes to get judge gorsuch confirmed. >> next. just how much time does donald trump spend on the golf course? it's one he asked frequently of his predecessor. jeanne moose hits the lynx.
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course. jeanne moos takes a swing. >> reporter: "golf digest" called him the golfer in chief. but because he used to slam president obama -- >> he played more golf last year than tiger woods. >> he's the tiger woods of hypocrisy. >> reporter: before he was president trump posted tweets like can you believe with all of the problems and difficulties facing the u.s. president obama spent the day playing golf? >> because i'm going to working for are you. i'm not going to have time to play golf. >> reporter: hard to believe president trump seems to have played golf ten times in his first two months. we say seems because the white house avoids talk about it. white house press aides wouldn't say if potus played golf, told of twitter photo in golf attire,
he said he may have hit a few balls. trump has said it's best for presidents to play with other leaders. >> i would not have made certain deals if it weren't for golf. big deals. >> reporter: the only time he played golf with a leader, the president gave the chinese leader a pat on the shoulder. "golf digest" calls trump the best golfer to hold presidency with a 2.8 handicap, compared to president obama's 13. and there's ivanka in a dress and high heels instead of golf shoes.
>> reporter: but with the president off, we'll have to find out if he played golf from a little birdie. >> anderson's next. >> good evening from washington, this was by any measure a remarkable day. two months into his presidency and a little more than two weeks since the saturday slew of tweets accusing president obama of a spying on him, a sitting president of the united states was rebuked public by by the head of the nsa, rebuked on suggestion that british television was involved. there's a lot to cover over the next two hours but one of the oddest aspects of today was how the white house responded to what was by nearly all definitions a pretty bad day for the president. even while the hearing was unholding, the white house was selectively live tweeting the