counsel? and president trump is embarking on the first overseas trip of the presidency in saudi arabia. this as north korea escalates tensions. another launch. another missile. longer this time. we have it all covered. let's start with cnn's joe johns at the white house. >> reporter: good morning, chris. first foreign trip by president trump occurring in an atmosphere of chaos both here and in the united states and abroad. we do begin with the remarkable assertion by the former national security chief that the american system of government is essentially under assault by the president of the united states. the fallout over president trump's firing of fbi director james comey isn't going away. >> i think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally. that is the big news here. russian interference in the
election system. and i think as well our institutions under assault internally. >> internally from the president? >> exactly. >> reporter: the former inte intelligence chief james clapper says the president is undermining the american system. >> the founding fathers and genius created a system of three equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances. i feel that's under assault and eroding. >> reporter: clapper rejecting the president's repeated use of the senate testimony to dismiss the russia investigation. >> the bottom line is i don't know if there was collusion. political collusion. i don't know of any evidence to it. i can't refute it. i can't confirm it. >> reporter: united nations ambassador nikki haley comes to the white house aid. >> the president is the ceo of the country.
he can fire or hire whoever he wants. >> reporter: condemning the reaction and suggesting that recordings may have conversations taped with comey. the white house denies it was a threat. >> i would advise the president not to tweet or comment about the investigation. >> if there are such recordings, those will be subpoenaed. >> we want to make sure the tapes are preserved. we want to look at them in congress. >> reporter: the top democrat on the intelligence committee asserting that comey should have the opportunity to address the allegations in public. >> i think jim comey deserves his chance to layout to the american public his side of the facts because how he was treated was awful by this president. >> reporter: some democrats saying they will refuse to confirm a new fbi director until a special prosecutor is appointed. >> i thought this would be a popular thing that i did when i terminated comey because all of the democrats could not stand
him. because i terminated him, they said ah, we get political points. well go against trump. >> reporter: president trump insisting an independent investigation is not necessary. >> there is no collusion. we have nothing to do with russia. >> reporter: the backlash coming as the president scrambles to replace comey. a decision could come after eight were interviewed by jeff sessions and deputy over the weekend. lawmakers urging the president to look beyond washington when selecting a new director. >> i urge the administration to pick someone completely apolitical. >> the president has a chance to clean up the mess he created. >> reporter: today, the president will tentertain a vist from the crown prince from the united arab emirates and tomorrow, another visit from the foreign head of state.
turkish president erdogan. >> thank you, joe. joining us is david gregory and david drucker and editor a.b. stodda stoddard. david gregory, what was the biggest surprise of the weekend for you to start off the week? >> as we look forward, we have a president who still doesn't get it. playing this kind of petty politic game around. i thought everybody did not like comey. i thought it would be celebrated. not realizing the act of how he fired comey with the pre-text reason with contradictory answers. is this abuse of power that clapper is talking about? i think that is significant. whatever your feelings about the future of the investigation and about an fbi director is the right thing for the country, the fact you had a president fire the guy investigating him and we know through reporting, demanding a loyalty oath and
recording, this is an attack on the democratic system. it has nothing to do with collusion. it is about a president who is so insecure and so feeling his legitimacy is questioned. he is not looking after the presidency or checks and balances of our country. >> david drucker. when clapper says he thinks the u.s. institutions are under assault externally and internally, is he being alarmist? >> he sounds alarmist and it sounds alarmist coming from a former intelligence official. these are the statements you don't hear from people who served at that level. you know, it makes you think. is there something to be concerned about or is this part of the opposition and pushback to donald trump because he does things that are so abnormal for a president. david gregory got to this.
the president is still running the country like a brand instead of a team. it is a transition that he has not made from his time in business through the campaign to the white house. ea even though he had every legal authority to fire the fbi director, he hasn't bothered to explain it. he made it all very personal. not about the country. i think that if he wants to enjoy broader support for radical moves or bold moves, he has to learn. this goes for pieces of legislation and his agenda. he has to learn how to talk to the country and explain what he is doing because the people that he hires and fires may serve at the pleasure of the president. he doesn't have full control. a lot of people get senate confirmation. the democratic process gets to put imprint on administration. >> we have two good reminders, a.b., clapper reminded people not to use him as the case of
the strength of the collusion. he did not know about the case. he doesn't know what has been investigated. he doesn't know what they have or do not have. he has been used as a real red herring. the other one about james comey and the interview with scott pelley at cbs in 2014. the first as the newly appointed fbi director. here is a critical piece of it. >> i believe americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. you cannot trust people in power. the founders knew that. that is why they divided power to set interests against interests. >> he said in the interview, he recounted this famous moment for comey ten years earlier when he was acting as deputy ag. he had to race to the white house. there was fight over surveillance. he was willing to go to the mat. i remember that moment. feeling queasy. it was reminiscent about
interrupting the election. it was interesting contrast, a.b. a man so worried about power wound up getting caught up the way he did. >> right. we know that james comey because of the way he acted both in july and then october before the election in november. really sullied his reputation. he was above everybody in d.c. because of that exact anecdote you described. he stuck his neck out and wasn't influenced by politics. he was a man of integrity and took the risk all those years ago in the hospital room. it turned out he actually was protecting himself politically because he did not want to recommend prosecution for hillary clinton, but he indicted her politically on the 5th of july. in october, reopened the
investigation and gave it to congress knowing it would be leaked. it was all really and he admitted this in testimony to protect himself politically because he did not want hillary to win and people to leak out later potentially from the fbi in new york. that's the branch he was most worried about where the leaks were coming from that he knew there was something that needed to be reopened 11 days beforehand and he didn't tell us. he's protected himself politically and felt the impact of politics all along. it really is a lesson for whoever becomes the next fbi director. not only is there pressure on them not to be politically influenced by the president who is interested in politically influencing anyone who works underneath him and that includes the fbi director. any kind of other outside politics concerning their reputation. james comey is really an interesting figure.
as much as this whole mess has made him look like a victim here, he breached proptocol and messed up last year. >> david gregory, that leads us to today. president trump saying james comey better hope there are no tapes of the conversations they had sochlt now, lawmakers on both sides are saying are there types? if there are tapes, mr. president, you should release them. give us some context here. don't we know that presidents in the past, not just nixon. other presidents is tape oval office conversations? why should we assume there are not tapes that donald trump has? >> right. i think we know about donald trump taped people at trump tower and one party states. you don't need the party you are taping to agree to it. lbj certainly had tapes that proven over the years fascinating and embarrassing to
him. yes, we should assume there are tapes. apparently according to reporting over the weekend, comey would be happy to have the tapes come to light. he said he would testify, but testify out in the open. the president has picked a fight with a guy who has things to say in response which i think will be a further embarrassment to the white house. you heard from across the board over the weekend that if the tapes are there, they'll be subpoenaed and part of it. all of this is just so irresponsible on the part of the president and the people who work for him who have sacrificed their integrity to say things that whether they knew or didn't know were untrue about all this. when nikki haley, our ambassador to the u.n. says it is his right to fire the director. thank you for the obvious. it has nothing to do if it was the appropriate action to take. it has nothing to do if it was
done inappropriately to undermine an ongoing investigation and undermine the independence of the fbi director. we need to get back to the fbi director. the fbi director has a ten-year term to take the political heat. they are independent from politics. james comey was celebrated in 2004 for the independence and somehow lost his nerve last year. >> nikki haley saying he is the ceo of the country. she bought into the party line. she has to remember she was regarded highly because of her independence. we'll take a break. we have a lot more to talk about. >> so stand by. some republican leadership shying away from defending the decision to fire james comey. is it time for the gop to stand up? are they choosing party over country? we discuss all of that next. ♪ you might not ever just stand there,
looking at it. you may never even sit in the back seat. yeah, but maybe you should. ♪ (laughter) ♪ can we at least analyze customer can we push the offer online? legacy technology can handcuff any company. but "yes" is here. you're saying the new app will go live monday? yeah. with help from hpe, we can finally work the way we want to. with the right mix of hybrid it, everything computes. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not?
your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. (beckin einstein since he hange started eating beneful. the number one ingredient in it is beef. (einstein) the beef is fantastic! (becky) he has enough energy to believe that he can jump high enough to catch a bird. (vo) and now try new beneful grain free, simply made with wholesome ingredients, and no grain. this i can do, easily. i try hard to get a great shape. benefiber® healthy shape is a clear, taste-free, 100% natural daily fiber... that's clinically proven to help me feel fuller longer. benefiber® healthy shape. this i can do!
senate minority leader chuck sh schumer calling out republicans for staying silent over the need for a special prosecutor. >> the silence of my republican colleagues is choosing parties over country at a time when we can ill afford it. it is one of the things the founding fathers most warned about. our republicans should be stepping up to the plate and joining us in asking for a
special prosecutor. where is the howard baker of 2017. >> schumer referring to the senator who asked during the watergate stan ccandal. >> we have our panel david gregory and david drucker and a.b. stoddard. it is worth noting, we tried to get schumer on the show, but we invited all of the republican leadership. hear me? we tried to get dozens of republican lawmakers to come the show. we are often chock full. not right now. we are over this weekend. let's discuss. david gregory, yes, it is a pickle the president has put his party in here. that's what leadership is about, right? if you choose to ignore, you are in effect, empowering whatever you ignore. >> well, and particularly in this case. i said before i think it is demeaning to reduce the conversation and controversy to
partisan politics and allowing a conversation to unfold that the democrats are being hypocrites because they wanted comey out all along. come on. focus on what was done. they made up a reason to get rid of comey. the idea they cared about the treatment of hillary clinton. nothi nobody believes. they did it in the middle of the russia investigation. now they tried to get him to pledge loyalty. you know trump was thinking, this guy, comey, he will feel about about how he handled clinton. now he will go after the russia thing harder. and he was mad about the leaks and the rest. trump walks around the white house thinking clapper and the intelligence community of the identifi united states is conspiring his presidency. he is holding the map with all of the red on it. that is driving president trump and that is sad.
republican leaders are missing something. they should go to him and say you are endangering everything you said you cared about. health care legislation. i talked to people in meetings with no real care of the health care. big sweeping tax reform. hard to get a budget passed. democrats are on the sidelines. the failure of leadership is not only to speak up for the right thing, but the failure to confront trump and say you will not get the big things everybody expect because you cannot get out of your way. >> david drucker, explain this. if president trump is putting some of the republicans in jeopardy of their political careers or their agenda,culus t out? >> why are you asking me to explain the unexplainable?
>> i think they are trying to weather the storm. they have been in the strange position with president trump. he is not of the party and not conservative. to try and navigate the hold he has on the good segment of the party. if you look at the polling. some of it was problematic. you have a broad community of republican voters. not just trump base. that is not sour. >> they are afraid of losing base. people sound angry, but the base isn't. >> he is a vocal critic. you could have the president of the united states come at you in your district. that would come off funding. >> that is correct, chris. not only that, if you made your deal with the devil, so to speak, you think to yourself, if i let this evolve into a food fight, i get nothing. i don't get health care reform. i don't get tax reform. who knows what he starts to do on judges if he thinks that is not serving him properly. i think they are trying to weather this. now one thing i will say when
you talk to republican members of congress on capitol hill, they will tell you on the record, they don't like the comey firing and how it was handled. they are concerned about the facts concerning comey. this comes from republicans in safely red states that like donald trump. they are not silent. i think what they are trying to do is communicate through back channels to senior members of the staff. can you guys try to reel this guy in. i don't know why they bother. you cannot reel him in. this is how they are trying to handle. >> the best proof is what we hear about what may happen going forward. a.b., what do you hear about anybody wanting to step up on the republican side for any type of special anything when it comes to investigating russia and what are you hearing about pushing the merrick garland idea or someone outside the box choice for fbi? >> i think on the fbi director replacement the merrick garland idea sounds like it is the new republican idea.
mitch mcconnell loves it and senator mike lee is pushing it. senator orrin hatch was the first to bring it to the attention of the white house. it sounds like someone to get bipartisan support. i think senator graham is correct. if you elevate someone from within the ranks, that will actually end up being a pick who gets more support. this really looks like an agency that needs to be run by someone who understands its challenges right now and turmoil during comey and post-comey. i think that promoting from someone within will be more popular than merrick garland. that's not to say he won't get democratic support. we will see how that plays out. in terms of the other thing, republicans i spoke to this weekend are really unhappy. they feel that they are in a catch-22. without trump, if they throw their hands in the air, they
don't get anything done before the mid-term elections. and they just tell the voters, sorry. we made all of these promises. it is all for naught. this is mayhem. that's what they think it is. they think in the environment, they cannot imagine getting tax reform done. it is such a challenge. it is such a heavy lift. they see a white house in chaos. a president that will not learn and will not change. the job has not changed him. it has not centered him. the gravity of it. he has someone absorbed it, but hasn't changed the way he acts emotionally on anger and impulse. the way he threw mike pence under the bus last week really worries them in terms of a staff shakeup. they think who would go in to the shark's waters at this point. they are very, very unhappy. not ready to really heave ho him publicly. david said hoping they can
weather it. they don't know what that means. they are prepare for the next explosion. in terms of calling for independent commissioner or special counsel, they are not ready to do that. i think this is a turning point. where they really have almost universally decided to privately decide this will not get better. >> quick point. the inside washington talk about who would succeed comey. take merrick garland. i said here before i'm close to him personally. i have no knowledge of anything in particular with regard to him. think about this. if you are merrick garland, would you go work for a president who just fired the fbi director? how do you know you would serve term? he would leave the court of appeals to go to a job he could lose. that's what the real problem of what trump has done here. >> panel, thank you very much for all of those insights. so, north korea.
blowing past the latest warning from the white house and testing another one of its missiles. how is the world responding? and what did you do saturday night? did you watch snl? guess what they did? they went after the white house. specifically the press secretary. the takedown ahead. . >> you are clearly articulate and charming and sean is bullish.
so i use excedrin.ments from my life. it starts to relieve migraine pain in just 30 minutes. and it works on my symptoms, too. now moments lost to migraines are moments gained with excedrin. [heartbeat] this and it's also a story about people. and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country we never forget... that your business is our business. the united states postal service. priority: you
the shlike a bald penguin. how do i look? yeah! now business is rolling in. [ laughing ] show me the billboard music awards. show me top artist. show me the top hot 100 artist. they give awards for being hot and 100 years old? we'll take 2! [ laughing ] xfinity x1 gives you exclusive access to the best of the billboard music awards just by using your voice. the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st eight seven central only on abc. north korea taking nuclear threat to a new level. state media reporting the missile in the latest test is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead missile.
we have will ripley with more. >> reporter: those tests would not deter kim jong un. this successful launch is troubling to north korea watchers. the think tank 38 north says this is higher capability than they have seen. it traveled more than 700 miles. landing in the waters off russia which is home to the russian fleet. vladimir putin speaking in beijing at a economic forum host by xi jinping. he says these are putting some of the blame on the united states for intimidating north korea with the exercises with south korea and u.s. forces stationed there. this timing is a huge embarrassment for president xi jinping. will he put pressure, economic pressure on north korea as the trump administration is
insisting? alisyn, the timing all this given it occurred as political turmoil in washington. this all over the firing of the fbi director thinking the u.s. is too distracted. will, thank you. busy day on the job for emmanuel macron. he has to pick a prime minister. he is the youngest leader since napole napoleon. melissa mccarthy serving up sean spicer tour deforce. >> sean is fulfilling his duty in the naval reserve. >> i'm sure i can see him hiding in those bushes.
>> you are clearing articulate and charming whereas sean is bullish. >> you know, i have to put your pants out because they are lying in there. pants lying. move. move. you lie all the time and your pants catch on fire. liar, liar, pants on fire. >> pants on fire. mccarthy spice er attacked reporters. feeling they get a kiss of death from alec baldwin. >> this was a makeout session. >> this was a deeply disturbing moment. >> marlon brando would never do that. michael did that to fredo.
>> you know the snl writers are enjoying themselves. >> maybe too much. you guys were mean about huckabee sanders. you were fat shaming her. talking about how she looks. not funny. >> i thought they were making fun of her clothes. >> they were making fun of her. i thought it was in poor taste. what do you think? tell alisyn. the president's halted travel ban back under the mi microsco microscope. can the government pump new life in the first executive order by saying it is fundamentally sound? we have a good debate for you ahead. ♪ experience the first-ever 471-horsepower lexus lc 500
or the multistage hybrid lc 500h. experience amazing. mattress firmness? enter sleep number... she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. you can both adjust the bed for the best sleep of your life. save $700 on the temperature balancing i8 bed. go to sleepnumber.com for a store near you. whoa,i just had to push one button to join. it's like i'm in the office with you, even though i'm here. it's almost like the virtual reality of business communications. no, it's reality. intuitive one touch video conferencing is a reality. and now it's included at no additional cost with vonage business. call now and see why 3,000 companies a month are switching to vonage. business grade. people friendly.
the trump administration wants the ninth circuit to lift the block on the ban imposed by the judge in hawaii. let's discuss that with the director of muslim advocates and ben ferguson. great to see both of you this morning. >> good morning. >> for hana, i know you are hoping the travel ban remains blocked. why do you believe that is the way the ninth kir circuit will go? >> the courts ruling on the issue understand that. what do i mean? at the core of who we are as americans, we don't treat each other on how we look or pray. that is at the core of the bill of rights. two courts issued nationwide halts to the second executive order. just last week, another judge actually in our case, also
signalled her willingness to basically issue a temporary halt if the two other halts are overturned. the courts understand what is at stake. >> ben, how do you think it will go? >> i think reality is the ninth circuit is a liberal circuit. the three judges on the panel that look at it were appointed by bill clinton. i don't think there is a really good chance that they somehow see the president's side of things based on the politic side. you look at the rewrite of the bill. the reality is more than 1 billion muslims around the world still have the ability and access to come to the united states of america. to imply this is somehow a ban based on religion is not reality. if it was, you would not have over 1 billion people able to come to the country. the second thing, the countries this affects are countries right now are very clearly countries where there is a hotbed of extremism and terrorism. that is the reason why this
should go forward. i hope the judges will look and take the politics out of it. the rhetoric out of it and look at it from the national security standpoint. that is why the president has the authority to do this. they need to not look at it from the political viewpoint, but specifically from that aspects of can we vet people coming in where many of the countries don't have a government that we're communicating with to background check these individuals. if you can't call a country and say who is this person and tell us the background. how do we know who they really are? >> farhana, how do we know with that logic? that is what the trump administration is using. there are 44 muslim majority countries not included in the ban. this is not a muslim ban. >> well, the courts are looking at the constitution and national security, alisyn. what they find, first, they are finding it is a muslim ban. while all muslim countries are
not banned, only muslim countries have been band. th banned. that is in the face the state department dominated christian countries. colombia and philippifilphilipp venezuela. in regards to the concern about national security, you know, frankly, dozens of national security officials from democratic and republican administrations disagree with the president. they are on the record. they have filed declarations and filing with the courts making that view known. in fact, in february, a department of homeland security report leaked to the press, found the country of citizenship is unlikely to be an indicator. they are looking at the actions and ruling against the president. >> you look at colombia and venezuela. two of the countries mentioned.
you look at the intelligence from the countries. there is no active recruitment of terrorism to be spread around the world. we know absolutely without a shadow of a doubt that not only al qaeda, but isis and isul are recruiting people to the countries on the travel ban that donald trump mentioned. there is no isis al qaeda recruitment in venezuela or colombia. they are staying within that country. a lot of it is narco terrorism. >> you make a good point. one thing used against president trump and claim this is not a muslim ban is the origin tension. he said he wanted to ban muslims. he put that on the campaign web site. he tasked rudy giuliani with coming up with a way to do it legally. some of this, the judges are hanging their hat on what his intention. >> that's the politics of this. they have to overlook.
you can't talk about muslim extremism without talking about religion. when they attack, they say it is because of religion. when they are shooting at people and killing people, they are saying allah akbar. to have us separate religion is unre unrealist unrealistic. >> you don't make a distinction with extremists and muslims? >> i think there are muslim extremists. to think there are not muslim extremists is not dealing with reality. national security, we don't need to be politically correct. more than 1 billion muslims with this ban are still eligible to come and go as they choose. >> you have laid out the case very well. the judges will be hearing that today. we will watch to see how it goes. a global cyber attack.
fears of a massive ransomware will get worse as workers boot up today. we will give you the details next. when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums smoothies. it starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue. and neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪ tum -tum -tum -tum smoothies! only from tums e*trade's powerful trading tools, give you access to in-depth analysis, and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. switch and you could save $509 on auto insurance.
call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. on mattress firmness? fortunately there's a bed where you both get what you want every night. enter sleep number and the semi-annual sale going on now. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store. oh, and right now it's our lowest price ever on our temperature balancing i8 bed. save $700. go to sleepnumber.com for a store near you. whimper yap yap yap
yip is your dog trying to tell you something? allergic itch in dogs is a medical condition that's more common and treatable than you think. that's why there's prescription apoquel: the revolutionary medicine that's giving millions of dogs the relief they deserve. apoquel goes to the source of the itch to provide relief in as little as 4 hours. woof and apoquel is safe without many of the side effects associated with the use of steroids. apoquel is for the control of itch associated with allergic dermatitis and the control of atopic dermatitis in dogs. do not use apoquel in dogs less than 12 months old or those with serious infections. apoquel may increase the chance of developing serious infections and may cause existing parasitic skin infestations or pre-existing cancers to worsen. do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea. don't wait. ask your veterinarian about apoquel today. apoquel. it's itch relief worth barking about. bark
♪ experience the first-ever 471-horsepower lexus lc 500 or the multistage hybrid lc 500h. experience amazing. fears that a massive global cyber attack will spread today as workers head back to computers. so-called ransomware attack started friday hitting at least 150 countries. microsoft bluntly warning the attacks should be a wake-up
call. cnn's editor nina dos santos has more. >> reporter: chris, at the moment, we know 200,000 computers around the world and you pointed out 150 countries were infiltrated. making this the most devastating cyber attack the world has seen so far. on the good news front, we heard from europol closely working with the fbi to investigate who is behind this. they say there is no evidence that the number of computers effected has been increasing from here. that means this virus is being stopped in its tracks. there is no evidence that more people are paying the ransom in bitcoins. chris, this happened late on friday when we saw this particular windows flaw which at one point exploited by the nsa in the past. the exploited by the unidentified group of probably criminals, experts say at this point, to try to get money from
people. locking people and public entities out of the computers to get access to data. to give an idea of how destructive, here in the united kingdom, it paralyzed the health system over the weerpkend. someturned away from surgery. china has also seen university network hard hit as well. alisyn. >> the ripple effect of this is just stunning. thank you very much for that reporting. does the president's firing of the fbi director rise to the level of a watergate crisis? we will ask two experts about whether or not this is a constitutional crisis next.
♪ hi, i'm frank. i take movantik for oic, opioid-induced constipation. had a bad back injury, my doctor prescribed opioids which helped with the chronic pain, but backed me up big-time. tried prunes, laxatives, still constipated... had to talk to my doctor. she said, "how long you been holding this in?" (laughs) that was my movantik moment. my doctor told me that movantik is specifically designed for oic and can help you go more often. don't take movantik if you have a bowel blockage
or a history of them. movantik may cause serious side effects, including symptoms of opioid withdrawal, severe stomach pain and/or diarrhea, and tears in the stomach or intestine. tell your doctor about any side effects and about medicines you take. movantik may interact with them causing side effects. why hold it in? have your movantik moment. talk to your doctor about opioid-induced constipation. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. so i use excedrin.ments from my life. it starts to relieve migraine pain in just 30 minutes. and it works on my symptoms, too. now moments lost to migraines are moments gained with excedrin. [heartbeat]
je jeffrey, what does this mean? >> it is a grave abuse of presidential power. it is clear the president has the power to remove the fbi director. i think congress and public and everyone has the right to evaluate whether he did it for a good reason. i think he did it for a reason that was very similar to the watergate cover up in 1972 and 1973 which is he wanted to stop an fbi investigation. that's an obstruction of justice as far as i'm concerned. i think it is a very serious problem. >> the powerful proof on that, profess professor, is what the president said. he all but admitted that in the interview with nbc. this is basically a kenard of the ag's assessment of comey. a loose reckoning is one branch of government is not acting constitutionally. do you believe what the president did here rises to that level of scrutiny? >> no, i think it is cathartic to call something a
constitutional crisis. it is not accurate. it is like judicial activism. we certainly have a political crisis. what the president did is very disturbing. there is an interesting thing about the president. if you separate his rhetoric from his record, he actually comply was the law when the courts rule against him on immigration, he yielded. what he did with comey was within his authority to do. comey himself noted that. it is not a constitutional crisis. we don't have to add that rhetorical spin. i disagree with my friend jeff is i don't think you can make the assumption that the president fired him because this investigation was getting too close to him. the problem with the nixon analogy is the nixon scandal began with a crime. i'm still not sure what the crime is here. this may be the first cover-up
in history in the absence of a crime. >> that doesn't make it not obstruction of justice. if you are trying to stop the fbi from doing an investigation, even if ultimately there would not be a successful investigation or an investigation leading to a prosecution, it is still obstruction of justice. i agree with you in the sencion wh issue of i don't know of the collusion. trying to obstruct the investigation is still obstruction. >> i would be surprised if you could make out obstruction charge based on the constitutional authority in this way. particularly with an fbi director who spent months with people suggesting he should be fired for good reason. regardless of what rosenstein did and when, it here from the memo that he felt that comey should be terminated. i don't think you can make out an obstruction case. i think we have to be careful
not to have buck fever. fire at everything the minute we see it and say this must be obstruction. i can't get into president trump mind and i don't want to either. what i look at is what do we know objectively. what we know is there were some people in the administration that felt he should be fired. it does not appear that president trump really based his own decision on that. that makes this is a muddy and rather murky case. >> you are ignoring the timing here. this is not about his authority or ability to do something. it is about why he did it. i'm not saying that qualifies for the label constitutional crisis or any particular felony or misdemeanor. that is the issue. it is not right or wrong because comey was good or bad at his job. it is about when he did it and circumstances surrounding that
issue. >> chris, that is a valid point. jeff made the same valid point. a lot of this goes to intent. we cannot make assumptions. >> why do you have to assume when he admitted in the interview? >> i heard him admit to he wanted to fire comey and he wanted to do that before. >> he said to himself, trump, this russia thing is judgmest ax and no good. it has to go. what about him talking about himself in the third person? >> you are channelling trump's mind. >> he did say that. review the interview. he talked about hiss feelin feed comey's incompetence. >> you have to define the actual fact and not. you can put together parts of the interview and reach that conclusion. i don't think you can say that he fired him because this was getting too close or he is
afraid of what will come from the investigation. there was a lot of bad blood. he certainly want him fired before he read the rosenstein memo. to say this is a case of obstruction. >> for purposes of legal analysis, i hear you, professor. jeff, what about the fever line? it is a big buck or bambi with the refraction? >> i don't believe there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. as a political matter, this is a constitution crisis of the first order and abuse of power by the president. how do you deal with that? in the courts or political system? i don't know. that is my point. not a specific criminal offense. >> strong points. jeff and jonathan, thank you. thanks most of all to international viewers. for you, "cnn newsroom" is next.
for u.s. viewers. the parents of the penn state student who died after a drinking writual. "new day" gets after it. come with us. >> the developments of the past week are bothersome. >> all i want is for comey to be honest. i hope he will. >> the tapes exist and not willingly provided, absolutely. i join in subpoenas. >> the president needs to back off. >> there is no collusion. we have nothing to do with russia sgrch russia. the best thing rosenstein can do is appoint a special prosecutor. >> we will continue to tighten. >> the nuclear ballistic missile. north korea says it can hit the mainland u.s. >> threat is bigger and more significant. it is getting urgent. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning. welcome to "new day."