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tv   New Day  CNN  March 21, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PDT

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>> all right. appreciate you being here. there's a lot of news, and what do you say? let's get after it. >> the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping, and i have no information that supports those tweets. >> incapable of admitting error. >> investigating it and having proof of it are two different things. >> and putin had a clear preference. >> and the committee will extend the courtesy denied to judge garland. >> we feel really good where we are. >> thursday is our chance to end the obamacare catastrophe. >> announcer: this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> it's tuesday, march 21st, 8:00 in the east. we begin with two bombshell
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revelations. president trump is under fbi investigation as to whether his campaign officials colluded with russia in the 2016 election, and comey shooting down the white house's wiretap claim. >> this is all happening while the white house, the president specifically, needs as much credibility and credit with lawmakers as they can have. they have to try and get gorsuch through as the next supreme court justice and a health care bill is causing big problems inside and outside the party. what is the state of play? a lot to cover. let's begin with joe johns at the white house. joe? >> reporter: under investigation is one of the headlines you don't want to wake up with here at the white house and for a while it looked like there would be real pushback, but when the president appears before the
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cameras last night in kentucky, he didn't have anything to say about it. president donald trump at a campaign rally monday night. >> the fbi as part of the counter intelligence is investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> the fbi director comey and nsa director, mike rogers, facing five hours of questioning before the house intelligence committee. >> president obama could not unilaterally order a wiretap? >> nobody could. i have no information that
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supports those tweets. the answer is the same for the department of justice and all of its components. >> the white house dismissing much of comey's testimony. >> there's a lot of areas that need to be covered and a lot of information that still needs to be discussed. >> reporter: continuing to deny any coordination. >> you continue to look for something, and continuing to look for something that doesn't exist doesn't matter. >> reporter: and refusing to back off the president's wiretapping claim. >> is the president prepared to withdrawal -- >> we started a hearing and it's still ongoing, and as chairman nunez mentioned this is one in a series that will be happening. >> and trump firing off defensive tweets in real time throughout the hearing, leading one lawmaker to press comey to clarify the record. >> tell congress that did not
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influence the electoral process, is that accurate? >> we have offered no view on potential impact because it's something we never looked at. >> reporter: russia's interference in the election was primarily driven by vladimir putin's disdain for hillary clinton. >> putin hated secretary clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much. >> reporter: and they are focusing on leaks, and who revealed flynn's identity. >> one thing you and i agree on is the dissemination of classified information most definitely as a crime? >> with the president's account suggesting obama might have played a role in the leaks, tweeting fbi comey refuses to deny he briefed obama on calls
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made by michael flynn to russia. despite the cloud hanging over the white house, the administration is going to do its very best to try and change the subject today and focus on the plan to repeal and replace obamacare, and the president headed to capitol hill this morning, alisyn. >> thank you very much, joe. let's discuss all of this with cnn political commentator and former white house communicator, and matt schlap. now that director comey said there is no basis for president trump's accusation against president obama about wiretapping, why is the white house continuing to push it? >> well, i mean, i think what director comey said is he has no evidence that says barack obama wiretapped president trump, but
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he also said there was an investigation, and he finally publicly acknowledged there was an investigation going on -- >> into the meddling. that's different, russia meddling into the election. >> no, i have been involved in the investigations. they start with a very broad goal and they will go where the facts lead them, and the fact is this, i will watch all these hearings like a lot of the americans are and i will see what the conclusions are, both the fbi will have conclusions to make and congress will have conclusions to make, and -- >> you think it's still possible -- just so i am clear, and director comey said i checked with the department of justice, and you think, matt, there's still a possibility? >> alisyn, this is one of the big questions here, and we can use this word from dragnet, where we can talk about
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surveillance, which is the 21st century equivalent of what that means, and we know that through surveillance that happens through devices all of us carry, that we have already had the felonious leak of information. i worked for president george w. bush, and we had a whole investigation over one thing, the leak of somebody's name inappropriately, and we have that front and center in this investigation, which is why i am glad congress is looking at this because there are issues republicans have as well. >> is this a good use of taxpayer money? >> let's be clear. that's not the question they are asking right now. leaks are serious and they should be addressed and everybody can understand that, and the real issue here is the association between the president of the united states and a foreign government that could have intervened in our election. there's a one-man band focussed
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on wiretapping and that's president trump, and it's distracting -- >> why aren't they moving away from it? you were the communications director, and why after what comey said are they still pushing it? >> i think the theory would probably be that they want to appeal to a very small portion of the population who helped elect donald trump. i am not saying it was just that population, but will believe what he says. they want to make it seem like institutions, government, the media are all against him. i don't think that's actually the reality, but they have doubled and tripled down on it. if he wants to be president of the entire country he needs a different strategy and so does his team. >> what about that, matt? every day we spend talking about wiretapping, and as we know of today, doesn't exist, and we are not talking about tax reform, et cetera, et cetera? >> yeah, i totally agree.
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i think jen is a professional and i think she gives good advice and the thing i worry about as a conservative, and i am not here as a trump surrogate to correct that, and i worry about the agenda as well, and hre's the fact, we already had as a part of this surveillance done by our government which has resulted in somebody -- i am not accusing anybody because i don't know who did it, and it resulted in premier leaks the name of somebody who should not have been revealed or unmasked and that's a serious problem, so my question would be if i were sitting on that committee would be who else was surveilled. i think these are the questions that congress will have to get answers to. there are all types of questions here, and i am upset over the fact that russia, as your guests have said, for decades tried to influence our elections and they
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double downed on the last election, and as americans we should all be against that. >> the leaks, and what i hear you saying is the leaks bother you more than the president's allegations against a former president? i hear you, and you are waiting to hear what the investigation says. >> we don't know what the fact are until we get the facts. >> we know what the facts are today. >> when you are in the middle of the investigation it means nothing until the investigation is concluded. the investigations start one place and go where the facts lead them and at the end of the process we will all have a better idea of what the facts are. >> not a single official in addition to james comey has backed president trump's claims, we can't find a source? >> i agree with you. >> and i know you are concerned about the leaks, understandably, both sides are, but sometimes you need leaks to reveal what is going on, obviously watergate is the prime example. >> are you saying it was okay for the leaks of john podesta
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and the dnc? it sounds like you are saying that. >> are you saying deep throat should have gone to jail? >> answer my question first. >> i ask the questions here, matt. deep throat should have gone to jail? >> no, under deep throat's situation, i think he was a whistle-blower and i think you had a president that was using the power of the federal government to punish his political enemies, and quite frankly, many of us who are republicans and conservatives are worried about how the investigation got started under the previous administration seeming to go after the opponent of hillary clinton. if nobody did anything wrong, great, but i think the questions have to be answered. >> jen, your response? >> that's not an accurate assessment of what happened. the intelligence committee is made up of individuals that
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served democratic and republican presidents, and they are look into a number of connections here and a lot of information that has been out there, and maybe it's coincidental, but what if it's not? there's ultimately a question of what is more important here to people and what should congress be focusing their time on? is it the connections between a foreign government, meaning to do us harm with associates of the current president of the united states or is it the individuals who may have provided information to the media? we should look into that, but the first question is much more serious, and should receive a lot more attention. i don't think it's a hard call. >> can i jump in? >> very quickly, matt. >> basically in the hearing we learned up to seven people may have been briefed in the obama administration and what was happening before the election and this has been going on for more than 60 days -- >> that's not what we learned. there were names raised by tray
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gowdy, in a classless way -- >> that's cheap. >> it could have come from the white house or a republican and independent. >> was the obama administration briefed on this situation before the election? >> if they were briefed, matt, you are sure the leaks would be coming from the obama administration -- >> no, i think most of the leaks have come from the congressional democrats. >> what are you basing that on? >> alisyn, that's my best guess. i don't think we will know the facts until the investigation is concluded. republicans have concerns here, too. >> sure, and until that happens you are guessing where you think the leaks would come from based, oh, i don't know, politics. >> and so are you, alisyn. you are guessing there are no facts and we won't know -- >> hold on a second, matt. i am not talking about the
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leaks. what i was talking about was the president's words, the president's words are more important, and the president has made allegations of a felony of a past president, and it's based on no credible source. that's what worries me, and that could be dangerous. >> could i invite you and everybody covering this to keep following the hearings and let's see what the conclusions are both at the congressional arm and the fbi and doj, and that's all i am asking. >> they are not exploring that question, so nobody will find an answer to that. >> yes, they are. >> you are the only one that thinks that. >> no, i am not. >> matt, you think there are still congressional hearings about wiretapping, and you think that's a good use of taxpayer money? >> i think it's a good use of taxpayer money to figure out the extend russia has interfered in the election.
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>> we all agree. >> and a second part, they are also looking at to whether or not people on the trump campaign had contacts with the russian government, and as a part of that, as you search for the facts in those two areas, all of these other questions about when this investigation started and if there were political influences and who got briefed and what information was leaked, i am telling you it will all be part of it. >> what does that have to do whether president obama wiretapped trump towers? >> i think the term wiretap is a dragnet 1920s term that does not play in the 21st century, and ideas of what surveillance is. there was broad surveillance and the government has the ability to surveil almost all of our conversations and watch everything we do, and we have a felonious leak of somebody involved in one of the conversations and to me it's incredibly troubling and i hope
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it is to all of you. >> i don't think the question of whether president obama wiretapped president trump should be put to test, he needs an apology and we need to move forward. the focus and what the american people care about is whether or not the current sitting president is whether or not his associates or he was involved with a foreign government, and that's the focus, and intruded in the election, and democrats have to be patient, too, and we will see what comes out of it. >> jen, matt, thank you for the debate. president trump is touting the health care bill this morning, and he is going to go to the hill today to try and sell it. now, we understand that the bill was once seen as the final version and it's not going to change has changed because there's so many skeptical lawmakers on the other side, and what did they put in the bill to
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sweeten the pot? >> well, they put in a lot here, chris. we are going to see president trump be here at capitol hill in less than an hour, and he's meeting with the house republican caucus and this is their typical weekly meeting and it's anything but typical today and the president being invited by the leadership to try and close this deal after many amendments were passed late yesterday to try and satisfy some of the conservatives. >> we're going to negotiate, and it's going to go to the senate and back and forth and the end result is going to be wonderful, and it's going to work great. >> president trump ramping up pressure on republicans ahead of thursday's vote on the american health care act. >> thursday is our chance to end obamacare and the obamacare catastrophe. >> the gop revealing last-minute tweaks to the bill overnight hoping to appease both
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conservative and moderate republicans who are on the fence to get the 216 votes needed for the bill to pass. >> every change we make conforms to the senate rules, which we have to play by. >> now the bill allows states option to receive medicaid funding as a block grant instead of a set amount per enrollie, and it allows states to allow able bodied recipients to work for their insurance and aims to repeal obama tax credits this year instead of 2018, and it sets aside $75 billion in tax credits to help seniors buy their own policies after analyst predicted big cost increases for older americans under the initial bill and they are leaving the details to the senate. >> all these changes that have been added are to make sure they are done in a way it can't get filibustered.
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>> it's still unclear if it will sway enough republicans to ensure it will pass on thursday, and the white house is arguing to conservative lawmakers that the time for negotiation on the bill is over. >> one of the people in that meeting, republican senator, mike lee, emerging from the white house meeting saying it was frustrating and clearly a lot of them who have fight in them against this bill and the freedom caucus saying they believe they have enough votes to block it on the house side and recognizing the politics behind this saying his colleagues, of course, should vote their constituency. >> thank you for explaining all of that. up next, what we learned from the comey testimony and what democrats still want to know. a member of the house committee joins us live. here in upstate new york. ( ♪ ) at corning, i test smart glass that goes all over the world.
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well, if you talk to any democrat after the hearing yesterday you will hear the same
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thing, that was the worst day of the trump presidency yet. president trump was caught lying. one of the men making that case, democratic congressman of texas, he's a member of the house intel committee and he was one of the questioners for the fbi and nsa directors and joins us this morning. congressman, let's test the case. we heard your questioning and you were trying to get at the dossier, and you were getting resistance and the implications were obvious and you believe the president was lying about wiretapping allegations and democrats in general believe that yesterday was an abject victory for you and a defeat for trump. make the case. why? >> most of all, i think all of us, both republicans and democrats want to get to the truth. we want to make sure that we answer all of these unanswered questions and root this out now so that russia or another country doesn't interfere with our elections in 2018 or 2020, and so i did think that it was
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probably a bad day for president trump, director comey basically confirmed that there are members of the trump campaign who are under investigation for coordinating, and that was director comey's word with the russians that interfered with the 2016 elections, and also, as you mentioned, he stated that the justice department found no evidence and the fbi found no evidence of wiretapping or surveillance of then candidate trump by president obama. >> and how about these words, you want to get caught on wiretapping, but this is about surveillance, and those questions were not answered yesterday. you never heard from admiral rogers or director comey there was no kind of surveillance done by any agency of trump that was motivated by the obama administration, and you also heard that there was no proof of any collusion between trump
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staff and russian interference, so they see it as a wash. >> well, as to the second issue about collusion, that's what is being investigated and this is the beginning of that investigation. on the wiretap, both republican and democratic leaders of the house and senate intelligence committees as well as the fbi director, the nsa director, i believe also commented on it yesterday, and the justice department said they found no evidence of wiretapping or surveillance, as far as i am concerned. most of all, chris, remember, the president, unlike any other person in the united states, has the ability to put forward any classified information that he may be holding on to that they claim nobody else can see, and he can put that out there to make his case and to offer proof. >> he says he did not want to hurt the agencies, and he did not want to cause trouble for them or make their integrity to be in question so he put it on
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you guys to figure it out. >> that's hard to believe when you have a president that has literally berated the cia and fbi multiple times, you know, in mid morning or at 2:00 in the morning on twitter, and so he's not showing much respect for the intelligence agencies or concern for their well-being. >> do you think trump was lying about the wiretapping? >> yes. >> do you think that the fbi director was telling you everything that they know about any connections between the trump administration and russia? >> no. i think it's just the beginning of answering that question, and i am sure that it's going to be a months-long -- hopefully not years long, but months long investigation to get to that. >> why did you spend time on the dossier yesterday? it has been widely dismissed on the merits but it has been valid
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on some of the sourcing? >> the salacious stuff we could put aside, but the dossier concerns a timeline for e-mails, for example, and what i went through yesterday was a piece of the dossier that said the russians had a bunch of hillary clinton's e-mails they would release after september and in october we have a release of john podesta's e-mails, and you know, and basically if you follow that timeline there are many coincidences there that start to add up. >> do you think this will endure as kind of a political incon convenience, one tool in the box that can pester donald trump as president, and or do you think anything real might come out of these investigations that could lead to a prosecution? >> it's too early to say that for sure. it's the beginning of the investigation, and so i think
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most of all what everybody should hope for, aside from the partisanship is to get to the truth. this should not be a witch hunt against anybody. nobody should be prejudged, and at the same time as the fbi director said yesterday, the committee and the fbi should be willing to go where the evidence leads. >> thank you and appreciate you being on "new day" as always. the white house is on the defensive this morning dismissing james comey's testimony, and standing by the wiretapping claim. dear predictable, there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced,
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democratic congressman castro was on "new day" just moments ago and he said he thinks president trump lied about the wiretapping claims. some republican lawmakers say the president should apologize. here's the white house's response to that. >> is the president prepared to with draw that accusation and apologize to -- >> no, we started a hearing and it's still ongoing.
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>> let's discuss this with the majority whip. good morning, senator. >> director comey said he neither the department of justice sees no basis and there's no evidence whatsoever to base president trump's claims of president obama wiretapping him. what does that mean about president trump's accusations? >> well, i think we still need to figure out what the president was talking about. when he talked about wiretapping, we know that president obama personally does not -- would not have done that and could somebody in his administration have gone to the foreign intelligence court to get a warrant to listen to the phone calls of the russian ambassador that caught up with a citizen, mike flynn. that's possible. i am not sure about how the president is using the language,
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but the language cannot be true but if he is characterizing what we have seen reported in the press about listening to the members of his campaign like general michael flynn, that would be more understandable. >> i know you just said the language literally cannot be true, and -- >> yeah, the president of the united states doesn't go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court personally and he does it through his fbi and through the foreign intelligence agencies. >> as you know, president trump did accuse president obama literally of himself wiretapping, and i have all of the tweets here. he says is it legal for a sitting president to wiretap a race for president prior to the election? turned down by court earlier. a new low, exclamation point. now that you just said that's literally impossible or not true, and director comey says there's no basis whatsoever, i
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mean, we just had congressman castro on that said it's a lie. >> well, i think this needs to be investigated and it is being investigated in part of the senate intelligence committee's bipartisan investigation into russian activities and the election. it's pretty clear that russia took active measures or a covert propaganda campaign to undermine the election, no matter who won, whether it was hillary clinton or donald trump. what we heard from the director of the national intelligence is there's no evidence of collusion, and we don't know all the answers yet. >> all that is separate and apart from accusing a sitting president, president obama, of illegally wiretapping a political opponent. >> we do know there was likely a crime committed by somebody who had access to classified information that leaked classified information. >> so the leak -- you are talking -- yeah.
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>> all this needs to be investigated and will follow the facts wherever they may lead rather than rushing to judgment. i realize there are limitations in what you can communicate through a tweet and i am not justifying that, i am just saying i think we need to get to all the facts before we reach a conclusion. >> sure. i am just saying that given that james comey said there's no basis whatsoever, you are are still willing to do a congressional hearing on the wiretapping accusation though know one, no official, and no lawmaker even has been able to find a basis for that? in other words, is this a good use of taxpayer money or is it a wild goose chase? >> it's never a good use of money that reveals what we can
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in a public setting, and right now what know there was no collusion between the russians and the trump campaign, and we know there were leaks, which is a crime to leak classified information, and we don't know who did that, but we know who had access to tbccess to the in and we asked the fbi director about that, and i am saying let's get to the bottom of it before we reach conclusions. >> and just to be clear, james clapper knew of no collusion before january 20th and can't be certain after january 20th. and let's move on to gorsuch, and what did you hear him say yesterday that gave you confidence in him? >> we know ten years ago that neil gorsuch was confirmed unanimously by the united states senate to the tenth circuit court of appeals, one of the most important courts in the nation and he is being promoted
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to the u.s. supreme court and it's interesting, most of the questions and the comments at the hearing were not about him and his record but rather about president trump, about other issues, about which judge gorsuch is not going to be able to prejudge, obviously, controversial issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and the like, and the judge is going to have to do what ruth bader ginsburg and other acting judges do, which is not prejudge cases that come before the court, and he's not a politician but he is somebody that is running to be a judge in the highest court, and my hope is that my democratic friends would decide that the judge is confirmed here in a couple weeks. >> thank you very much for your
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perspective on all of this. the trump white house now has massive credibility problems and a cloud of uncertainty known as an fbi investigation is hanging over its head. was there a connection between the trump administration and russia's interference in our election? for all of this, whom is to blame except the president himself? that's the bottom line, ahead. l- to inspect difficult-to-reach pipelines, so we can detect leaks before humans can see them. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high potassium in your blood. tomorrow, i'm gonna step out with my favorite girl. ask your doctor about entresto. and help make the gift of tomorrow possible. time for the five things to know for your new day. director comey confirming they are investigating whether the trump campaign staff colluded with the russians to interfere in the 2016 election, and comeyy and the nsa chief refuting the president's bogus claim he was wiretapped by president obama. and then hoping to flip
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enough conservative colleagues to pass the vote in the house on thursday. and then day two for the hot seat for neil gorsuch. and the confirmation hearing expected to stretch into thursday. large electronic devices would be banned from some international flights come into the u.s. from parts of the middle east and africa. aviation officials are quoting a security concern. not one but two of tom brady's super pwobowl jerseys. >> he misplaced two of them? is he just careless? >> that's what his lawyer says. for more on the five things to know, go to for the latest. and the possible ties to russia, is it possible the president brought all of this on
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so how bad is it for trump? is this all just noise because the base is still with him, or are these sagging poll numbers and basically being called a liar by the heads of the fbi and the nsa, and proof now being out there that he is being investigated for potential russian collusion, is this all creating a shadow that will make it unable for him to lead, that may even affect the term of the presidency? let's discuss. we have the bottom line with cnn senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, and presidential historian, douglas brinkley. douglas, through the eyes of history, how bad could this get? i saw what you said the other
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day, watergate did not happen in one day but over the course of a year plus. how do you see this? >> that's right. there will be a drip, drip, drip affect. i see it in a similar investigation in the sense of the watergate, or lewinsky and clinton affair, and you never know who will be caught up in the net of it. it's going to be impossible for president trump to bolster his numbers, and he is leading at 50% in the polls when he has the investigation from the fbi hanging over him. just imagine if hoover had testified against a sitting president, and that's just what happened yesterday. i don't think it's the demise of donald trump but it has given him a black eye in his first 60 days in office. >> douglas, do you think this
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could be his undoing? in his 6:00 hour when we talked to you, you said you would not be banking on being in the photo-op in four or three years from now, so is it his undoing? >> we will see. what i am suggest something republicans right now are going to get suspicious of donald trump, and they want to get gorsuch confirmed and they want to get the repeal and replace of health care, but the idea of being a trumpen, and i am golfing with him, and some politicians that want longevity in their lives may step back, and they don't want to be a paul manafort or general flynn figure, and they are getting a feel if you are in trump's inner circle, you start getting scorched and booted, and so i think that he is a bit of a damaged product this early out of his presidency. doesn't mean he can't find ways
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to rebuild himself, and the economy is doing well and that's always the main thing. >> you have an expression, every time you point a finger at somebody you have four pointing back at you? is that in play here? >> careful with that. >> i never heard that, chris. >> can we learn something every day on "new day"? here's my question. this is the.t point i was tryin to make, which is but for trump's tweets about the wiretapping and what is going on with russia and what is fake and what isn't, do you think we would have had the fbi probe that now has shown there's an investigation into him and given a whole new context about whether or not he is a liar about president obama and the wiretaps? >> certainly you would not have had the drama surrounding this announcement, because remember as you are pointing out, they brought comey in largely on the
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issue of whether barack obama wiretapped. this investigation of russia was going to go on anyway, but certainly you would not have had this hearing, but in a broader sense, every controversy so far that the trump presidency has been involved in as been self generated. you know, why did they issue these executive orders? especially the first one on immigration, without doing the usual background investigation -- >> due diligence. >> yeah. why did he make a big fuss about how many people were at the inauguration? it's all self generated. the thing to think about is what happens when there's a crisis that is not self generated, when there is terrorism or a military matter, and donald trump goes on television and says x, y, and z, and how many people will believe him? that's a pweubig issue.
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>> you cite all the other controversy, and watergate was the end of a presidency, and there was a lewinsky scandal that was not, and what do you see in the first 60 days compared to history? >> normally you do get a bit of a honeymoon, and we started to see that when donald trump gave a well-received speech to congress just a few weeks back, but as jeffrey was saying, he constantly becomes his own worst enemy, and the fact of the matter, when you start charging barack obama of a felony that's unprovable and the head of the fbi and everybody else has to say it's a lie, that's telling you there is something not right with the person uttering it. it's part and parcel to the birther idea that barack obama was not born in the united states, and you lose all sense of credibility. it's not just here in the united states where we are having a food fight between democrats and republicans, and look at the world looking at donald trump
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right now, watching and seeing that he is being investigated by the fbi for novartis activities, perhaps, that his own justice department is basically saying he's made up a fake felony. i think it has been difficult, a few first weeks for trump, worst than any other president. >> the one point is look how donald trump was punished for raising those false things about barack obama's birthplace? he was punished by being elected of the united states. >> that will show 'em. >> what lesson do you learn from that, you know? >> i don't know. >> thank you both for the bottom line. cnn "newsroom" with poppy harlow and john berman begins after this break. we will see you tomorrow. ost pre data at their fingertips. because safety is never being satisfied.
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