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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  April 6, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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nancy pelosi is speaking live. we have that. let's take you to capitol hill and listen in. civilized human behavior, and we want to get the briefing so that we can act upon it. today here we are 77 days. the republican house departs for two week break now. for the easter passover holidays. begin posing the same questions that the republicans will face from constituents. what had the republicans done with the control -- their control of the house the senate and the white house. to produce jobs. . where are the jobs? show us the jobs. democrats believe we should focus every day on job creation and growing paychecks for everyone everywhere in our country. you heard me say that over and over fen again. we should be creating jobs and
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rebuilding infrastructure that will drive the jobs and release the full potential of people and economy and country. where is the infrastructure bill. they talked about infrastructure. >> we're going to get back to nancy pelosi. waiting to hear from her and her reaction on one of the two breaking news fronts. two dramatic show downs on the capitol hill. on the senate side looking at republicans. live look at house floor. republicans are taking unprecedented step today to push through the pick for supreme court. complex, but hugely important vote underway right now. that would be getting underway to pave the way for neil gorsuch to get confirmed and begin a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court. also a vote that could change the senate forever. that's why they call it the nuclear option. we'll be getting to that. huge kwomt in the house russian investigation. devin nunes stepping aside, at
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least for now, from its probe into russia's interference in the u.s. election. comes about two weeks after a secret meeting at the white house over other surveillance issues and needing to race questions where the loyalty lyse. outcry afterwards effectively forced the deto break down. let's start there. nunes says he's stepping down after ethics complaints. confirms it is investigating him. house speaker paul ryan asked about this surprising news of nunes stepping aside just moments ago. listen to speaker ryan. first of all devin nunes earned my trust for many years of dedication and critical work that the intelligence community does to keep americans safe. he continues to have that trust. eager to demonstrate to the ethics committee he followed all proper guidelines and laws. in the meantime, it's clear the process would be a distraction
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to house intelligence committee investigation into russian interference in election. chairman nunes has offered to step aside as the lead republican on this particular probe and i fully sport his decision. all right. let's go to cnn manu raju on capitol hill. you were there when the speaker said that. news to everyone even though he was sitting there when the statement came out. what are you picking up. what's going on. >> >> reporter: this is actually shock not just for people following the investigation, but actually members on the house intelligence committee. i talked to a number of them after this news broke. they had a meeting. regular meeting they have twice a week. thursday morning, today, as this news broke. chairman nunes did not even brief his members on this information. in fact, the way they learned this is that the members got a statement handed out by the staff members from chairman nunes saying he was stepping aside. this came of course a surprise because for the last week or so,
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you've been hearing democratic calls for him to recuse himself from this investigation because they believe he's been too close to the white house because they believe he should not have briefed the president on the surveillance information he said showed indental collection of trump team communication with foreign officials and criticism, democratic criticism of his decision to cancel a public hearing on russia. nunes dug in and i asked him specifically if he would recuse himself. he told me before why he would not. that is what people believed going into today. so this is even coming as a surprise to adam schiff. top democratic on the committee who shade this moments after devin nunes released that statement. >> just want to express my appreciation for what the chairman decided to do. i'm sure it was a very difficult decision for him, but as he mentioned i think it is in the best interest of the information. it will i think allow us to have a fresh start.
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moving forward. i look forward to working with mr. conway. this i think investigation is of such critical importance that we need to get fully back on track. >> now the question is whether chairman nunes disclosed any classified information. when he discussed that issue of incidentally collection. i asked nunes that repeatical e over the past couple weeks and insisted there was no information. i asked the same question to adam schiff. he did not want to go there. now the ethics committee in the house has confirmed that its investigating whether or not mr. nunes has disclosed any of his confidential, classified information and, also, i asked if he urge urged devin nunes to step aside. he did not answer that question. >> i'm sure there's more to come. jump back up when you have it.
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let's talk more about this and also everything that's going on in capitol hill. let me bring in right now republican from illinois. congressman adam joining me right now. thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> of course. your reaction to this news that's just developing of nunes stepping aside from the russia investigation in the house. what's you take. well, i know devin. i know he's an honorable guy. he became the story in what was going on. i think with that with the details of whatever these ethics complaints are. i don't know the details of them. i think he realized i'm becoming the story. i'm distracting from what needs to happen here. and the other thing is we're going on recess to go back to district and he didn't want folks to have to answer those questions instead talk about our agenda. from his perspective he did the honorable thing to just step aside and say let this settle. >> honorable. do you think it was the right move. >> i think it was -- well, that's for him to decide. because it's subjective. i think it was honorable. probably the right thing because
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again, he just said look. i'm becoming the story. i don't want to be the story. people deserve a bipartisan investigation. they need to have faith it's getting done. >> he says heist stepping aside according to statement because of this ethics investigation. they are investigating if whether or not he possibly mishandled classified information. it does make you wonder, that's basically his entire job description what he does as the chairman -- or even being a member of the committee is handling classified information. if that's being called into question, do you think he can be chairman of the committee at all while he's been investigated. >> oh, i think so. the committee does a huge broad range of things. in terms of that. i don't know enough of the details. this is all knees to me frankly within the last half hour. i don't have much comment. if it is something he's concerned about, he'll handle it well. he's well into this. understands the importance of the committee and he's going to try to do the right and honorable thing. >> congressman, i want to ask
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you about syria and chemical attack this week. you have been very clear on your position on this. you want to see action from the united states. after the press conference yesterday, are you clear on what the president's position is here? >> not really. i think he made it clear he's not going to say what he's going to do. obviously that puts where people are murky about it. he was clear when he said two things. number one, my opinion of asaid is different a week ago than today. obviously the chemical attack had a big part of that. the other thing that crosses many red lines. i don't want to look too much into what that means he's going to do. i think he understands we never accepted chemical weapons on the battlefield since world war one. we cannot as the free world allow this to stand without repercussions against the revehicle. if you use chemical weapons, not to mention all your other brutality.
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the cost of your regime is going too far outway any benefit you get from choking children to death. >> what to you want to hear from the president now. >> i want to hear him be very clear. i thought the press conference was pretty good. i want to hear him be very clear in continuing to condemn attacks. i hope he's formulating a military response. that military response doesn't mean we fully engage in regime change, but can force the parties to a table and inflicts massive punishment for dropping chemical weapons on children. >> a lot of folks are saying they need to hear what strategic objectives are from the position of the administration there. i had a fellow republican of yours. fellow colleague of yours. thomas mass si on yesterday. for our viewers to remind them. this is ha he said about the attack. >> i don't think it would have served assad's purposes to do a chemical attack on his people. so it's hard for me to
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understand why he would do that if he did. >> congressman basically said he didn't believe assad would do this. what do you say to that? >> i was awe struck when i heard somebody say this. literally took the talking points out of putin's most and regime's mous and recited them to an american audience despite the fact the american intelligence said it is not the ra jeem and not russia. that made me sick. it is obvious that the isis did not steel these chemical weapons and steel an aircraft and drop it. neither did the rebels. this is assad. he has a history of doing this. he has no compassion for his people. that's why he drops on schools and hospitals and i hope you recants that statement because it's very obvious he was behind this. >> congressman, always a pressure. thank you so much. >> you bet, take care. >> thank you. let's talk more about the implications though where we
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kind of started that conversation. with the congressman chairman nunes. stepping away from the russia investigation. for more on this, i want the bring manu raju back in. we didn't let him leave quite yet. cnn politic reporter and editor at large. chris. great to see you both. chris, first to you. to quote john mccain in new favorite metaphor, the shoes keep dropping off this centip e centipede. that's what john mccain said. he just says they're going to keep dropping. this is a 180 for what nunes has been telling manu raju over and over again in the past month. why do you think? what do you think is behind this change. >> on march 28, devin nunes told manu raju why would i when asked about stepping aside. this very question. today, devin nunes steps aside. what's changed? he's come under pressure. from the fact that this continues to be a distraction. i think there was some sense.
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maybe if we wait it out it will go away. the path will move on and he can step back in. that's not happened. i think at some point. the trump administration and especially congressional republicans have to figure out a way to get beyond this. to get the result of whatever comes out of this investigation to be seen as credible. it's virtually impossible to have done that with nunes given that visit to the white house and the way he handled it. for that to have happened. this clears the decks a little bit more. i would say, kate, and i've been using the wither smoke metaphor rather than the centipede. mike flynn resigns after misleading mike pence about his conversations with the russian ambassador. jeff sessions are you accuses himself after misremembering, according to him, conversations he had. now devin nunes the chair of the house intelligence committee steps aside. they're saying he wouldn't. because of a lot thing tied. there's just a lot of smoke here
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that any reasonable person would say we need to figure out whether there's actually fire. >> was here's the thing manu. you made this point many of times. devin nunes has the support of house speaker paul ryan. paul ryan today still says he has full confidence in chairman nunes. so was there momentum building within the building you're in or was is it something else. you know, that's a great question, kate. i asked paul ryan in the press conference on tuesday about devin nunes. he said i have full confidence in him. he also noted he did privately meet with the house intelligence committee and said this is going to move this is going to get back on track. does that mean he urged nunes to step aside. we don't know that yet. when i tried to get an answer to that question in the press conference, he did not respond.
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clearly recognizing it's a distraction. saying in a statement that having nunes on board was a distraction especially in light of the announcement by the house ethics committee that it is investigating whether or not mr. nunes had disclosed any classified information. now, i can tell you, though, kate, yesterday and the day before, you could tell from mr. nunes his demeanor had changed. he had grown a lot more uncomfortable. he would not answer questions at all. he had been repeatedly briefing the press before all this controversy started, but even basic questions about hearing schedules and responding to democratic attacks. yesterday, when i tried to ask him about all those things, not answering any questions at all anymore about this investigation. he was very turs and not pleased to being questioned about the investigation and also the controversy in his statements that have shifted repeatedly about some of his actions over the last couple of weeks. a think a combination of that
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with concerns from the leadership that this could be a distraction essentially forced him to step aside. >> guys thanks so much. keeping an eye there. i want to keep an eye on the senate floor. take you back over to that side of the capitcapitol where there important vote that will be taking place. senator, thanks for the time. >> nice to be with you. thanks kate. >> i want to ask you, i do want to ask you, let's talk about what's going on in this senate today. they call it, it's called the nuclear option. it's a major major change in how the rules of the senate 6789 it's complex, but it's important. let's start here. will you be supporting the change in the rules today. yes? >> yes. i will. >> so from that, everyone from top down has momented this rules change is happening. example, example of we don't want to do this. this is bad. we shouldn't be forced to do this. if that's the a case, is there
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any way to explain that this rules change is a good thing that you guys are going to be doing. >> i think what you can say about it, kate, is it does preserve the 230 year tradition of the united states senate of confirming supreme court nominees with an up and down vote. simple majority vote. vote of 51. what we're having right now is of course the democrats fill busteri filibustering the nominee. that's never happened before. it all got set in motion three years ago when the democratic in the stat basicalv senate basica the rules for a lower court nominee and hinted last fall during the presidential campaign, if hillary clinton had won the election, they were going to go all the way through and do this for the supreme. everyone expected this to happen. nobody is happy about it. frankly. we are where we are. democrats are filibustering.
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we have to condition firm the judge. the procedure to do that is underway in the senate. >> you are where you are. you are in control. you don't have to do it. you're going to be enforcing the rules change. democrats after that 2013 change, they came to regret it. are you going to regret this? >> well, again, i don't think in my view at least what we're doing is this is the way it's always been done. supreme court nominees have always been confirmed at the 51 vote flethreshold. >> but it has to go past this. it goes past this step. it always has. >> well, the only time the filibuster has been exercised on supreme court nominee has been by democrats. republicans have not filibust filibustered under clinton or obama the two he put forward. all four are on the court. none of them were filibustered by republicans at the time. i think what you're seai inseeit now is we're going to get a nominee confirmed to supreme court this is what it's going to
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take. if you can't get neil gorsuch on the supreme court. i don't know who you can confirm. we can't leave the seat open for the next four years. >> but it comes. >> this is a procedure that allows us to get to vote. >> it does. it comes down to math. 52-48. that's what the american people voted in in terms of you have 52 republicans in the senate. are you worried you're going to regret this. >> i'm not personally, but like i said, i think everybody would rather this did not happen, but when the democrats teed this up in 2013, and then basically said last fall. publicly many of them that they were going to do this if they got the majority and won the white house, this year. i think it sort of set us on this horse and on this track. to me, it simply restores or preserves what's always been true of supreme court nominees. they've always been confirmed. so, do we -- does anybody like where we are. everybody is going to be glad to get this behind us.
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got a lot of other things we need to do legislatively concerning the economy and jobs. i think that's where we want the focus to be. >> in the words of john mccain. you've got to go, but in the words of john mccain. whoever is going to help change the rules are idiots to do it. noteworthy john mccain is voting to change the rules along with you. >> thanks for your time. >> thanks kate. >> thank you. senator going to vote. let's get over to talk about where the vote stands right now. voting is underway. sunland, where do things stand right now in the senate. >> reporter: still underway. big headline is the vote is now has reached the 41 vote threshold which means that democrats are successful in their filibuster of neil gorsuch. this was as we had expected. we had known for the last few days that republicans would be unable to reach that magic number. 60. to be able to break the filibuster. things are proceeding as we expected. this is a very, very small win
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and very temporary win for the democrats to symbolically say they had enough votes to filibuster neil gorsuch. this will conclude and set off a series of complicated procedural steps on the floor of the senate by mitch mcconnell. one of those being invoking nuclear option. i want to point you to the floor there. as you know from covering your time up here at capitol hill, when senators are at their desk and working, they know it's going to be a long couple of hours. they know it's an important moment for the institution of the senate. >> that's exactly right. what someone is pointing to for viewers. we have the view of the senate floor. the desks, that's where the senators are now. not their office. their desk in the senate. that's what they do for historic moments, big votes, when they're going to be there for a long time. that kind of settles is the stage of what we're watching playing out. just getting back to regular order.
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they are going to be -- we will be seeing history happen today. changing 200 years of history. over 200 years of history in the senate when they change this. much more to discuss on this, sunland keeping her eye on the floor. thanks so much. so also for us. president trump is preparing to spend the weekend with the leader of the nation he blasted repeatedly from the campaign trail. everything from trade to how to handle north korea. will pump sing a different tune when he meets face-to-face with the president of china today. also this, president trump says that he's changed his attitude towards syria. after the deadly chemical attack that killed dozens including many, many children. what action will he take. what is the policy now towards assad and syria. big question. stay with us. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry
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you need one of these. you wouldn't put up with an umbrella that covers you part way, so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. mist of the showdown. moments ago, let's put it this way. still in the middle of this vote. this vote will fail. it's to stop a democratic filibuster. it appears right now, according to cnn's count. democrats do have the votes. they've passed the threshold to uphold the filibuster.
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that's an important step one. what then? majority leader mitch mcconnell expected to respond to this by invoking so-called nuclear option to change the rules of senate to break that filibuster neerd to move to final vote to get neil gorsuch confirmed. we are watching this play out as we speak. it's riveting television to watch the senate floor. what is all happening. with me now, senate parliamentarian for nearly 20 years. what does this mean? he's the referee for chamber of complicated rules. for all of us and everyone at home, this is very complicated. for you, this is your life's work. this is for a man whose job and life's work was to honor and maintain the rules of senate. what is today like for you watching this happen. >> first of all, thanks for having me on the program. i was going to say i'm pleased to be here, but i'm not pleased to be here. this is a very unhappy day for
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the senate. the senate protection of minorities is important. the senate is the only place in the federal government where those not in power are not in fact powerless. that power is engaged on debate and the terms for that is filibuster. this is a very unhappy day. >> what is happening right now. what is the senate, what is the person sitting in the chair that you sat in for so many years, what is the parliamentarian doing right now on senate floor. >> well, she's -- i can't see the floor at this point in time, but i assume it's elizabeth mcdunnen. my duck successor. she's sitting there and monitoring absolutely everything that takes place on the senate floor. she's prepared to give advice to the providing officer. both in terms of possible point of order that senator mcconnell will make and her advice to
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chair on how to handle that. she will also prep the chair about what she anticipates senator mcconnell be will do after he makes this point of order. and actually she will prep the chair as to when to expect the point of order to be made. what would be involved in handling anticipated appeal from that ruling. >> and let's get real clear on this one. the chair is a rotating schedule of senators who sit in the chair. it's the parliamentarian that the senators are always looking towards to basically say what do i do now. what do i say. right? >> have yes, that's correct. to understand the rules and precedent of senate and advise providing officers based on that. >> so depending on who you talk to, allen, democrats before republicans now. democrats in 2013. they change the rules.
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that's what rchls are saying ant this one. both heart parties are a little bit guilty in this one, right? >> yes, i agree with you. neither party comes into this with clean hands. first of all. not talking about a change in the rules. talking about a change in precedent. which interrupts the rules. the rules say what the rules say and the precedent says what the rules mean. that's what really matters. as was the case in 2013. who established the precedent. this if this plays out as everybody anticipates will establish a new precedent as well. >> i've asked this question and you would be the one person who really knows the answer. if they wanted to, if the will was there to do it, could they change the rule back after they -- after they had in layman's terms. after that pull this nuclear option. >> yes, they could. they could change the rule back by unanimous consent or they
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could -- well, they could undue the precedent from 2013 and possibly the precedent that's about to be accomplished here. that could be vitiated. wiped out and nullified by -- >> let me interject. mr. bennett. mr. blumenthal. mr. blunt, mr. booker, mr. boseman, mr. brown, mr. burr, mrs. cantwel. >> right now. i need to check in with folks who are watching the senate floor. they're now moving to a roll call vote. we're going to wait and see exactly which roll call vote they're on.
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there are many steps in the process. i don't want to speak out of turn. while i wait for that news is gloria with us now. >> yes. allen is with us. former parliamentarian for years. gloria and he said this is a sad day for the senate. how important is this day? what does this mean from your view? >> well, i think it first of all shows that there's no way around the kind of partisan shship thae live with every day. the senate was supposed to be a very different place from the house. supposed to be the place where you could get bipartisan majorities and bipartisan legislation worked out because you did have the filibuster. now, that we see what is going on here, started in 2013 when harry reid said i'm sick of the republicans blocking all of barack obama's judicial nominees and so what we're going to do is get rid of the filibuster for
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judicial nominees except for the senate. everybody knew that was a slippery slope. here with are in step two of this. and we are going to see now the filibuster is going to be eliminated for supreme court nominees in the short-term what this means for judicial nomineeses is that they're going be more idealogical since they only have to be approved by a majority. the question that i have and maybe you can answer this. the question i have is is this a slippery slope that then leads to the fact that legislation will only need majority approval and then the senate will be exactly the same as the house of representatives. which we all know is not well for getting things done in congress. >> allen, what's your view on that. do you think this opens the door to that? is that a fear of yours?
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it is in fact a slippery slope. political and proceduthe mannert appears to be established if it uses the same construct senator reed used in 2013. that construct with an appeal from the correct ruling on the chair, but an appeal that cannot be fill bubil filibustered. that can be used to change procedure at any time on anything. so procedurally, this certainly opens the door. procedurally to fly down that slippery slope to do away with filibuster on everything. >> gloria, you know this. george washington once told thomas jefferson that why was the senate created. it was order to act as the saucer to cool the tea. that saucer cocool the hot tea that is coming over from the
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house. essentially in order to slow things down and have a conversation defined bipartis bipartisansh bipartisanship. with this change, is bipartisan zip dead in the senate. >> i think it's been dead for a long time. that's why we are where we are unfortunately. i think there's not a lot of institutional love or respect that there used to be. and i believe personally when you pass large pieces of legislation, you want to have a bipartisan by in and that was the problem with obamacare, which passed very, very narrowly as we all know. and, you know, medicare was passed in 165. i believe it was by p around 70 votes in the senate or more. it had a bipartisan buy in. when you do things that are huge consequence to the country, it's very helpful to have both sides
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have so much stake in it. that doesn't happen anymore. this is just reaffirming in a way where we are in our politics in the country. i don't think it's a great thing. it is an acknowledgment that nothing can get done on a bipartisan basis. if the will is not there, it surely won't now once they change the rules. guys, thank you very much. keeping an eye on the senate floor. in the middle of several procedural steppings s to get t vote on the nuclear option. we're going to watch this and bring you moments as they play out. we're also following this. president trump preparing for monumental meeting at mar-a-lago. hosting the president of china. yes same president of china president trump blasted repeatedly from the campaign trail. >> they think we're run by a bunch of idiots and what's going on with china is unbelievable. not only now have they taken our
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breaking news, from the senate floor, the senate has wrapped up now that first bornt vote. the vote tally was 55-45. with that that means the democrats have successfully filibuster president trump's supreme court nominee, neil gorsuch. this of course is because republicans needed 60 votes. that's why we talk of the 60 vote flesz hold to break the filibuster and move on. traditionally that is where the process would end. that is not happening this time.
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that's why this is making history on many fronts. let me bring in a panel to discuss. aby phillips. cnn analyst and kevin matten with me as well. cnn political commentator with years of experience on capitol hill. brian fallen years of experience on capitol hill as well. sneen political commentators joining us now and cnn police political gloria gorger back with us. so gloria, we don't they wrapped it up one step down. and important step down. and now what? >> well, now mcconnell is going to use the nuclear option and so they're going to get gorsuch approved by a simple majority. i have to say this is symptomatic of the ware the congress has been so start san. fonl nor supreme court nominee,
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but on everything else as well. i think it's a problem that senators know it's a problem. mccain says you're a stupid idiot if you vote for this, but he's going to vote for it. that's a hard one to wrap your mind around. >> it's a hard one, but what he's saying there's no other way for us to get judge gorsuch approved. there are days democrats and republicans used to meet to figure out a way to get filibuster proof margins for big pieces of legislation. my quo is now that you've done it for the supreme court, are you going to start doing it on legislation and is this the slippery slope that leads to a change in the very nature of what the gnat is supponatch o n senate is supposed to be. >> both sides point the finger. they say they got to p point because no one has filibustered
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in decades. saying you're changing the rules. this is the math of the senate. it's your fault you're going to break the rules because you don't like the math. who is more to blame here. >> you can trace this all the way back. you can trace it back to as far as back at 1987 when partisanship over supreme court nominations with the then nomination of judge robert to the supreme court introduced this type of atmosphere. then you fast forward to 2013, this was exactly what mitch mcconnell and other republicans warned about when harry reid invoked the nuclear option for federal appellate judges and cabinet nominee. gloria is right. the main point is we are passed -- we're past the point of no return when it comes to the tradition, of the senate. i think you know, we don't really know yet who is going to pay a big political price here. one of the advantages the
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republicans have is republicans fight a little bit harder when it comes to judicial nominations and it's figures much more prominently in their support for their party. and also the profile of judge gorsuch, one who was seen as very fit. did very well in here's. i think that may help with a lot of voters out there watching, watching this process overall. brian, you were there working for chuck schumer in the leadup to what happened in 2013. is this all your faurllt. >> [ inaudible ] bush administration came away from george washington. >> brian, i'm not cutting you off. i think there's a technical issue with your mic. let's get that all figured out. let me move on to you. >> susan collins. there have been efforts in the
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past. senators are come together and reached a compromise and held this off. figured out another way to get around. another way to avoid this. susan clinics said she spent all weekend trying to successfully find a compromise. why do you think they couldn't figure it out this time. >> that's interesting. the women of the senate have a long history of trying to come together and making something work at the last minute. it does seem very much like democrats in particular are in a really tough spot with their base. they're trying very hard to apiece the folks who especially the ones ho need to go up for re-election next year who cannot sort of leave their base hanging and cave on such an important issue like the supreme court. i think at the end of the day gorsuch is someone who seems like a qualified person. i think we have to think about what is going to break dthrougho the american public. this filibuster fight is not
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going to breakthrough. the idea gorsuch is mild manner jurist is probably going to breakthrough more. it will be not the breakdown of senate is not going to be the bottom line we get out of this whole experience. and ultimately going forward, it will be the senate and their ability to get things done that ends up kind of on the chopping block as a result of this. >> let me ploouf on to the other breaking news we've been following throughout the hour. the chairman of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes, announcing just a little while ago that he is stepping aside, at least temporarily. from the house intelligence committee investigation into russian metaling into the election. this has been a question for a long time, but just now today this morning, he says it's become -- they say it's become a distraction. he's stepping aside. kevin. would he have done this even though we heard from the house speaker that he has full confidence in devin nunes. wants him to be chairman. thinks it was a move because it
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was a distraction. would devin nunes have made this move without pressure from the house speaker? >> well, i think the pressure came from a much larger audience inside the congressional republican conference. it was becoming increasingly clear that chairman nunes was becoming a distraction. he had become a new story of himself during this whole process. and i think what many congressional republicans want is this to be mufd off of the front page. and when you think -- when you look how ambitious their agenda is when it comes to everything from tax reform to infrastructure. the fact they're talking about this russia information and chairman nunes's role in it was increasingly becoming an obstacle that they wanted out of the way. i think there was internally some pressure from congressional republicans. >> brian, i think we've got the mic problem fix. he called this a fresh start.
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does this effectively quiet all the calls coming from mostly democrats for an independent investigation? no, i don't think so, but i do think you're going to see most of the attention move to the senate where you see some bipartisan approach taken by the two heads of that committee, senator warner. they had a joint appearance last week actually reasharing in terms of bipartisan approach they're taking in their investigation. better or worse with nunes gone, the credibility of this house republican led investigation is pretty much shot. i think the senate is probably the best opportunity we have for credibility outside investigation. >> gloria, was what does this mean for chairman nunes. he is still the chairman of the committee. is that a challenge though. >> yes, it's a problem. look. i think devin nunes is in a bad position for a couple of reasons. one is he told paul ryan that his source was a whistleblower. paul ryan talked about
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whistleblowers. suddenly we cover in fact his sources were probably at the white house. i think what you see here is the devin nunes may have been setd up by the white house in all of this and that he ends up looking bad. he takes the fall. it has hurt him and his credibility tremendously within his own committee and perhaps even with paul ryan. i don't know the answer to that specifically. i know they're very -- they're very good friends, but i do think that the devin nunes handled this badly and if he was used by the white house, it certainly isn't helping him. >> a lot more to come on that. great to see you all. thank you so much. really appreciate it. coming up for us. president trump's big meeting with the president of china. all goes down this weekend at mar-a-lago. will they reach common ground on trade. defense issues and the huge question about north korea. meeting later tonight. details ahead.
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these make cleaning between myi love gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. filibust . keeping an eye on the white house right now. in just a few moments president trump and the first lady will be heading to florida where they will be hosting the president and x jirnping and his wife. cnn senior white house correspondent is live in west palm beach, florida. a lot riding on this meeting. a lot of high expectations of this meeting. what are you hearing, jim? >> well, what you're hearing is you're hearing senior officials trying to tamp down expectations for this high stakes meeting
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down here in mar-a-lago t.'s going to start later this evening when the two sit down for dinner. you're absolutely right. because of that tough talk that you heard from the president as a candidate during the campaign there are all of these expectations that president trump is going to come in and sort of throw down the gauntlet and engage in some very tough goerkd goerk negotiations with the chinese president. what you're hearing from senior administration official system you may not see a whole lot of that. the president was asked about this on another network this skmoerng he morning and here's what he had to say. >> it's going to be interest. nobody really knows. we have not been treated fairly on trade for many, many years. no president has taken care of that the way they should and we have a big problem with north korea. we're going to see what happens. >> the hope to get them to bring leverage on the issue in north korea? >> we'll see what happens. we'll be in there pitching and i think we'll do very well. >> you're seen the white house sort of back away from the president's promise to label china currency manipulator on
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day one of his administration. they're now just reviewing all trade relationships across the world including that one with china and on top of that, kate, in terms of other big issues here, you have the north korea issue. you saw the president make those comments over the weekend, well, if china whoent heon't help us north korea we will do that on our own. i heard from an official yesterday that missile test you saw from north korea was that not menacing after all . it splashed into the asiocean s 55 seconds after take off. at this point it's really just setting the framework for future discussions and this may not bog down into some nasty rhetoric from both sides. not at this point yet. there's too much at stake to get to that point this early on in the relationship. >> thanks so much. we're also going to keep live pictures from the senate floor where they're going through procedural moves right now.
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changing the rules is where this is headed to push through the president's supreme court nominee neil gorsuch, to get him confirmed to the court. this is history in the making. we're following that right after the break.
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welcome to "inside politics it is it is. it is a big breaking news day. the president telling he is considering military action in syria. also this day the senate changing rules over fierce democratic objections to


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