tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN June 12, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity. ton i want to remember three american heroes. u.s. soldiers killed in afghanistan on saturday. officials say the solars were shot in apparent insider attack by an afghan army commando all members of the 101s air force division out the ft. campbell kentucky. 25 years old from baltimore his heart broken father says sergeant howe due to come home next month. william bays was 29 years old and corp.le dylan c was from
youngstown north carolina. all three posthumously awarded. tonight they were flown to dover air force base in delaware np vice president mike pence was there to witness the caskets brought off the plane. naes it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. good evening nangs for joining us we begin with what could be the rumblings of yit another major event in the russia investigation. news max ked kor in chief a close friend of the president came out of a meeting at the white house wentz on the news hour hand said this about special counsel robert mueller. >> i thinkis considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. i think he is weighing that option. i think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. i personally think it would be a very significant mistake even though i don't think there is a justification. and even though -- i mean here
you have a situation. >> you don't think a justification for. >> for a special counsel in this case. but i also -- i mean robert mueller -- there is some real conflicts. he comes from a law firm that are eps members of the trump family. he interviewed the day before a few days before he was appointed special counsel with the president who was looking at him potentially to become the next fbi director. that hasn't been published but it's true. and i think it would be strange that he would have a confidential conversation and then a few days later become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating. i think that mueller should have not taken the position if he was under consideration and had a private meeting with the president and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau. >> so the man who fired the man investigating him possibly weighs also firing the man investigating him for that. that's not the only big breaking item this hour but it's a start
let's go to cnn jim acosta with more at the white house. what is the white house saying about this comment? >> they're not saying anything yet anderson. that's not too surprising given the level of questioning and cooperation that we get from this white house. but i can tell you, anderson, chris ruddy was here at the white house earlier today. i saw him coming out of the west wing. s it likely he was talking to officials high level officials inside the white house perhaps even including the president. but i am told by a source close to the president that the president is receiving advice from, quote, many people, not to take this drastic step and fire the special prosecutor robert mueller. it appears once again we have a tug of war going on hbds behind the scenes asway what the president mied decide to do next with respect to the russia investigation. if the president is indeed considering something like firing the special prosecutor, this is -- this is akin to events that we saw during the
watergate era and it conjures up those memories. i can tell you from talking to a source close to the time to pay tonight. he is receiving counsel from all sides not to do this. >> sean spicer was asked again today about the existence or lack of existence of tapes. we know president president had tweeted out raising the possibility that there might be tapes. the president's dishneau dsh says what jim comey testified to under oath was not true in terms of conversations. what did sean spicer -- what did the white house say about the tapes. >> >> well remember anderson on friday the president was asked about this at the press conference. he said you'll find out shortly. today, the president was asked when he was meeting with the cabinet he did not answer that question as to whether or not he has tapes of his conversations with people here at the white house. and then the white house press secretary sean spicer was pepperwood three, four five different question base this. and he simply said the president will announce this quote soon. and that basically he will do it when he feels the time is right.
but anderson, as you know of course this is just a yes or no answer. now we should point out sometime sean spicer does not know very much in terms of what the president is doing, what he is up to. we saw that in recent weeks when he it comes to climate change, whether the president has confidence in jeff sessions and so on. the press secretary simply couldn't answer the questions because he didn't have the information we may be in another situation here. but sean spicer simply did not answer that question another dodge. >> the did the white house have anything to say about jeff sessions's testimony tomorrow. >> that was another question that came up will the administration invoke a executive prifrlgts and try to block the attorney general from answering questions on capitol hill. sean spicer said to that question at the briefing today, well it's going to depend on what the question is. and that he is not going to get nigh hypotheticals we say see a scenario sort of like what we saw with the director of national intelligence dan coats sort of frustrating his former fellow senators around the days
and not cooperating and responding to questions. the attorney general may find himself in the same position tomorrow. and the white house was just not answering that question as well today. we are in a period right now anderson, either the white house is not answering questions or the press secretary is claiming he doesn't have the information to answer the questions. and so really we're just living through in minute by minute. but if the president were to go to a dramatic move like firing the special prosecutor that is going to be something unlike we've seen around here in decades. yeah. certainly since you and i were a little younger than where we are today. >> jim acosta thanks very much. we continue check wg you bring in the panel action matthew tuben. cyst even quinn,s. . the president does have legal authority to do that fire a special regulator. >> under the regulation this is how it. if he wants to get rid of the special counsel it has to be a
decision by the attorney general. the attorney general has to fire him. the attorney general presumably, jeff sessions is recused here. so it would be up to rod rosenstein who was the person just appointed bob mueller a couple of weeks ago. so the question would be would rosenstein except an order to fire mueller? or would he, like elliott richardson and did william ruckless house he did in the saturday night massacre refuse and resign? and would the order be followed by someone lower down in the hierarchy in the justice department? but that's -- it's technically up to the attorney general. >> matt do you agree with the legal assessment. >> i do because the special counsel is just an attorney in the department of justice. it's appointed. there is no statutory construction like we had with the independent council law that expired in 2000. let's remember that bob mueller does have ethical duties as admitted lawyer to practice law
so did jim comey. there are other rules in addition to the doj rules and regulations. if bob mueller had the conflicts described in the beginning of the segment that could raise some situations that i hope he has analyzed before he accepted the position. >> jeff do you agree with that? if his -- his law firm apparently represented some members of the trump family and he had a meeting with the president. >> you know i would have to know more. certainly it's a big law firm. and there are often theory et kal conflicts that are not real conflicts when you have many lawyers one has nothing to do with the other. but certainly they should be all be investigated and aired hout. if there is a conflict he should act to address it. >> as an ally of the president would you advise him to do this. >> it's goods to say workforce protection week getting off to a good start. on a serious note this would be bad idea genes all the way around. >> refrps being an old saturday
night life. >> memory serves about ten years ago. >> the president is on a roll right now. might not seem that way to partisan opponents. but i don't think that last thursday's testimony from director comey could have gone any better for the president. helped to gal vannize the republican base. you saw folks like senator rubio senator mccain, senator blunt people aren't necessarily strong supporters of the president at least not volkly out there taking a strong position to help him during the hearing. this would move the other direction. all the senators i just named would automatically go a different direction on this. i think a lot of good will the president has president has built you would work against matt. >> it would be horrible if the goodwill good will he built up went against him because i don't see a lot of good will. chris ruddy a friend of the president. remember a couple weeks ago jay sec low comes out of a meeting with donald trump starts attacking james comey. it was obviously a harbinger of things to come. obviously orchestrated.
>> there were a number of of conservatives on fox news wroo speaking for muler. >> exactly right we've seen it with newt ginrich a with his tweets. a couple weeks paraphrasing -- that mueller is you know beyond reproach highly respected bipartisan. every senator should support him and be thankful he is. >> let's put up those to give you a sense. robert muler is superb choice to special counsel. reputation is impeopleable for honesty and integrity. media should calm down then latest tweet on this republicans are delusion alif they thirpg the special counsel going to be fair. hook who he is hiring. they can check fec reports time to rethink. >> people with what jace isn't doing is a service right now because we keep in mind that donald trump has a pattern of doing certain things like this. the judge kurl thing. you had the firing of james comey. those were surprises to us. they just happened.
the tweet, the kurl tweet and the firing of james comey hammond without warning. in this case we have what could serve as a trial balloon. maybe donald trump is putting the idea out there. he is going to hear from friends and allies it's a bad idea. that would be good for the country if he takes that message. >> maybe it's not a trial balloon maybe it's a direct attempt to intimidate the special counsel. i'm not saying that's doable. hear you have the cht of the united states we know how he feels like leakers. but leaking stories put out about what he is thinking about mueller. we have clearly somebody within the party -- i'm not saying in an untoward way organizing people like newt ginrich to change their position. i think this is -- he may end up firing him which we're bringing people together i agree would be a terrible idea. but i don't want to underestimate he could be doing this purposely because he thinks it can have an effect. >> my sense here is this is probably a group of passionate
supporters taking it ponz nepz to go and do that. i hope that's the case there's a big different between comey and mueller. director comey had already received a ton of criticism for the handling of the clinton investigation last year they were people once reminded of these things we spau the lort of an lynch story we saw the leaking all of this. completely separate from someone like mueller who has a pretty sterling reputation. >> kirstin it's -- it'sen possible the president saw people on fox talking bad about mueller and is kind of -- to. >> it's possible. i think it's probably more likely this is some sort of concerted campaign to demonize him. this would not be a new thing. when we had ken star going after clinton. process there was a orchestrated campaign to demonize ken star. you can say it's fair or unfair. i'd say it's probably fair. the trump supporters realized they don't want him to look like a fair arbiter in the situation
they want him to look tainted, maybe has conflicts, but if he is the person that newt ginrich said he was is it seems like he would have disclosed this meeting that he had with the president and let them know and make them decide before appointment. we need more information about the meeting. >> it seems politicly to jason's point incomprehensible idea. >> trump may be thinking what's worse is if the investigation goes on and he is in serious legal jeopardy. one marilyns difference between firing come and mueller is there is evidence of potential crime since mule mueller's dismissal -- excuse me since comey's dismissal. when comey testified, he added some new facts for the record the the other day. and he said that it is now mueller's job to decide whether obstruction of justice took place. right. so if the president is going to fire mueller he is firing the person looking into whether he committed obstruction of justice or not.
and that is to me a far worse potential abuse of power than firing his fbi director where he certainly has more discretion. >> what makes anyone think the republican party base would be upset about this at all or the republicans in congress? i mean what has the republicans in congress ever objected to that donald trump has done? you know john mccain will hold a press conference saying i'm concerned about the firing of mueller. he'll move on and repeal health care. i mean i just -- i don't see any real dissent from the republican party. >> i completely agree. i think that conservatives -- that tomorrow marko rubio and ben sass and paul -- anybody who cares. are republican cares about the rule of law, separation of powers, the values that conservatives ought to care about should say if he fires you know this -- the director wsh -- the special counsel then we are going to go back to the -- to
the old rule we'll vote for independent counsel. >> they won't say. >> i'm saying they should. an independent counsel. >> you just look at how republicans have acted so far. and anything he has done, you know has basically gotten you know some throat clearing that's too bad. but then you know everybody is marching in lock step. >> where doug to get the reputation back if the presidency guess down the drain and you're a conservative that cares about limited government separation of powers, rule of law. >> we'll get republicans worked up is if we suddenly have a department of justice in chaos where not only do you try to move to eliminate the special counsel in bob mueller but maybe rod rosenstein said know hen i serves a u.s. attorneys he has a grate reputation. what happens if we already heard rumorsen oh the wind about sessions' tenure? ed is suddenly we could is a president that understands if i control the department of justice i control the investigation and that's going to be -- that could play out in
the weeks ahead if it all. >> can i just add one other wrinkling to that we know sessions recused him from the russia investigation. rosenstein may have to recuse hymns himself if mueller pursuing obstruction of justice against the president. because rosenstein was involved with the firing of comey. he met with trump the day before it happened. he is a witness if there is obstruction of justice case. if mueller pursues that rosenstein has a conflict i don't know what happens there is no. >>s in. >> there is no solicitor general but lilgs the associate attorney general would be next. >> and this would be -- part of the republicans should understand the protective placement -- the president should understand is eventually this puts it in the hand of the career professional at the department of justice which is not what this president wants for hur. >> jared kushner could take it over. he's got a lot on his plate. >> we got to take a quick praek coming up next the white house's
latest answers when the he hinted may have tapes of conversation was jamestown comey remember when sarah huckabee sanders said donald trump is not a lawyer. donald trump is kault under oath in one false statement after another. we'll show you those records when we continue. ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and. radio: scorching heat today folks[ barks ]ol out there! walter! stop suffering with hot ac.
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even way out here? that $100k is not exactly a fortune. well, a 103 how long did it take you two to save that? a long time. then it's a fortune. i told you we had a fortune. get closer to your investment goals with a conversation. he well on top of the breaking news about the president contemplating or at least completing another big firing much russia probe special counsel. there is also the tale of the tapes. if they exist between the president and the fbi director he fired. on friday he was coy about when he would reveal them if they exist. today he didn't answer but later sean spicer gave a series of what might be called nonanswers on the subject. the question is why wouldn't the president reveal them if they confirm his version of the conversations he had with director comey if in fact if he exist. back with the panel on that. jason it's a pretty simple question whether or not the tapes exist and the white house -- they just went round
and round on it with spicer. basically saying the president said what he said and we'll wait to see what he does. >> well i don't have any inside knowledge into this. i would assume the conversations with foreign leaders and foreign officials would be recorded. out of a matter of protocol. i'm assuming or guessing. >> you could cut things now the 21st century you can pick which part. >> i would assume conversations in the oval office are not recorded no inside knowledge but that's what i assume. again as we talk about the leaking what this goes back to the two big things out of last week were of course the lorta lynch news we got the director comey had leaked the memos i think there are a lot further question base what else was leaked. were there additional memos who all were they give ton. >> but it's the president of the united states who raised the issue of tapes through tweets like he likes so much. >> before the hearing. >> before the hearing. why not -- why not just you know answer the question whether or not you actually have tapes not to you but to the president why can't one of the president's
spokes people ask him and then asked -- and answer to the press corps. >> and this one i'll defer to the white house and let my good friend sean spicer. >> that doesn't make any sense to you. >> no it doesn't make any sense but the president has been very clear about the fact that -- the two weeks i think he is going to he will it us whether or not they were taping. i don't think they were taping. i suspect that he was lying trolling james kwomy when he said james comey -- he tweeted he better hope that i wasn't taping things. maybe it was to send him a message. . but let's remember the ramifications that that had probably inadvertently that caused james comey do leak the memo which caused the special counsel. and so it very well could be that donald trump's tweet sort of i think probably ee reason justly suggesting he was taping the conversation could end up having causing major prep problems for trump. >> as a citizen, you know in the business world he certainly had a habit of sort of behindihinti
things or tending he had done things sort of kicking the can down the road when asked for details. i keep thinking about -- i remember interviewing him where he claimed he had investigators on the ground in hawaii finding out surprising stuff he was going to reveal at sometime about president obama's birth certificate. there is no evidence to this day he even had investigators on the ground let alone finding. >> it's a little reality tv like sort of teasing people for the big reveal down the road. maybe the reveal will come and maybe the reveal isn't going to come. but i mean it seems strange that our best case scenario at least based on what you were saying is that the president of the united states is trolling people. i mean this is -- you know that's the best case. .worst case is scenario he is taping people without letting them know they're being taped and hide going from us. then there is a bunch of other things in between those two. obviously he is the one who brought it up. he should just like a grownup answer the question and let us know. i mean i don't know that there
is another good explanation for what's going on. >> the "wall street journal" filed a freedom of information act request the secret service asking for any sort of tapes. >> the secret service said they have no evidence of any recording. >> which is not the final dpin testify scenes it could be. >> it could be a phone -- >> i reported all our conversations. >> it's probably legally. i believe. >> i think actually any record these on the air. >> you know one party consent. >> one party consent in dc journalist. >> but it does show though if there are any tapes -- who knows. >> there are no tapes. there are no tapes this white house can barely put together a senior staff. and everything leaks out of the white house. if there were tapes we would know about it. >> but look. >> i mean dsh he told us he was going to have a health care plan he never produced a tax reform plan he never produced, investigation into vote fraud he never produced, tax returns that he never produced, investigators about obama's birth certificates there are no tapes.
>> but let's say two things. if they are they are on his cell phone which is crazy talk because he is like instituting something in the oval office that the secret service don't thorson no one authorizes. two if they're not which i think is more likely it's just another example of the president engaging in -- some alternative universe or purposeful smoke screen which keeps the focus of the press and the country on the. >> although comey wentz and leaked -- comey leaked. >> comey leaked because he felt that the white house and the president was going in a direction that was dangerous and wanted there to be a special counsel. he did nothing illegal and nothing bronch. but the point is it's all the side shows which pull us away from what is the truth and out of the the investigation health care and taxes stuff that's life and death for america. >> during the campaign trump- it was perceived trump was playing the three dimensional chess and doing the psychological warfare
and he would throw out something and that would cause people to overreact. in this case i have to say i don't see how the scenario helps trump. the fact that he sent that tweet led us to having this special counsel -- if trump was trying to sort of -- to cute by half if nothing else. >> we got to take a quick break more with the panel ahead. breaking news from capitol hill tell you who walked into a closed door session the of the senate intelligence committee ton. well he'll you what they want to find fruit jeff sessions. on camera cabinet meeting really like no other. hard to explain it. we're going to have it to show it to you and you'll see what -- what we mean. be right back. and family gatherings galore. behr premium semi-transparent number one rated stain. rich, lasting color that weathers it all. only at the home depot.
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the possibility of president trump taking steps to get i had hid rid of the special counsel investigating him is reverb rating around washington. the capitol was already buzzing attorney general's testimony tomorrow and the admirable mike rogers was spotted going into a closed door session of the senate intelligence committee.
cnn manu raju. he is in a close door briefing right now what do you know. >> it has been ongoing late evening session. this anderson after last week when rogers testified in a public session but would not answer a number of questions from a lawmakers specifically a key question whether or not president trump asked him in any way to tamp down stories about potential collusion between trump ashts associates within russian associates. rogers was asked by the president of the united states to tamp down the stories. he refused to talk about that in open session staying he would do that in classified session. i've talked to a number of senators left the briefing that is still ongoing. they are refuseding to talk about it tonight. they are saying it's classified. we cannot go into the details. but some appeared pretty frustrated as they left the hearing. it's unclear anderson whether they have anymore answers to the question they asked last we can
if there was any effort by the president to interfere in any way with the russia trump stories and investigation as well. >> do you know is dni coats going ob to be called in as well because he didn't answer also. >> he also did not answer. he is not at this specific briefing. we know that that he agreed to testify in a classified session. we don't know when it's happening. but it could happen perhaps as soon as this week, anderson. >> on sessions what have committees members been telling you they want to hear from the attorney general tomorrow? >> well, a number of things talking to both republican and democratic members of this committee. they want to hear about the -- the meetings and interactions that sessions apparently had during the campaign season with russian officials. as well as the two meeting was the russian ambassador, sergey-size lack two meetings he cannot case disclose during the initial meeting processes. stwels whether there was a 13ed meeting during with the last year. expect that a significant line of questioning.
but that's not it. question base whether or not there is a taping system in the white house. whether or not sessions can confirm that. james lanford the republican from oklahoma he wants to ask about. as well as jeff sessions' role in recuse himself from the russia investigation and his role in firing james comey. whether or not that was appropriate. and anderson those are all just part of a number of issues that they want to hear as well as whether or not sessions could corroborate any of james comey's own testimony including when he said that asked -- president trump asked sessions to leave the room when he had the one-on-one conversation with comey. did jeff sessions -- can he corroborate some of the key attacks aspects of the testimony. >> thank you very much. back now with the panel. in terms of sessions' testimony tomorrow, i mean how important do you think it is? and there is also the question of is it possible that executive privilege will be invoked. >> well i think it's really important that the executive privilege is the big issue. because if he invocation the
executive privilege then we obviously aren't going to find out pretty much very much. if he is forthcoming we potentially get information to fill in some of the gaps things we don't know the answers to, in particular about him leaving the room. what's his memories of that? did it comport with what comey said these things where we now have maybe another person who is witness to what happened either a corroborating witness or somebody who will challenge it. >> if there was a third meet wg kizlyak -- the may flower hotel is the report -- is that a big deal? i mean do you think that's a big deal? because that's a meeting that sessions has not talked about previously. >> right and if you go back to his original confirmation hearing he had no interactions with russians and not froth one time not twice butforth three times. having said that it would have been with the same guy. and he would argue argue of course that it was done in his
capacity as a senator not in his capacity as a surrogate for donald trump. ultimately i think that it would -- for me would it would call into question his -- the veracity of his testimony. but i think in terms of the political fallout of it i don't think it would be that bad because he recused himself from russia. in the scope of all the things we're dealing with that would be a blip one day story. >> jason i assume you would argue in his favor he wanted apparently according to his spokesperson he wanted to be in a public hearing. he wanted in a public hearing not behind closed doors. >> we have to give credit to attorney general sessions he could have gone to this apprehensions meeting where -- hearing he was supposed to go to initial hi he moved that to the intel committee and insisted it was public. we need to make sure we set the record straight in advance of tomorrow as far as the whole talk of meetings and kizlyak all this. the first one now attorney general being accused of after he finished his speech in
cleefrld at the rnc cleveland he came down and shook hands with a couple of dozen different ambassadors and foreign emissaries. there was no sit-down meeting. it was a handshakes and hi -- nice to see you. the second -- on the suppose -- that wasn't really a meeting. the second one was in his senate office. he wasn't acting as a -- an ambassador of the campaign so to speak or as a representative of the campaign. there was no third sight or appearance or anything. that accounts saying he met with ambassador kizlyak at the may flower is false that did not happen. i think that's what you're going to hear from the attorney general tomorrow. but i think when you see the willingness from the attorney general here to go in and make sure they're setting the record straight with regards to russia this is going to be a big nothing burger just like the hearing with director comey last week i would caution people getting too far the over the skis before the attorney general testifies tomorrow. >> you know we disagree on whether the comey hearing was a nothing burger.
i don't think tomorrow is going to be that. first of all if he invocation executive privilege then he was just full of it when he said he wanted to be a public hearing. right two it doesn't track with donald trump's theory you don't need a fifth amendment you don't need this, that if you've done nothing wrong. woi would comey need executive privilege if he didn't do anything wrong. >> i've been through -- not through the attorney general but other processes to get appointments. you are encouraged to overdisclose anything you remember to put down. it seems odd to me in this climate at this moment you would have potentially three interactions of a sort with the ambassador for russia and you would not put this them down. >> if there was -- tlfrs no third. >> can i just say one thing. >> two or three. >> about executive privilege, executive privilege does not belong to jeff sessions. executive privilege belongs to donald trump. and so sessions cannot on his own just say i invoke executive privilege. he has to say the president has
asked me to invoke executive privilege. so the real question is has the trump administration ordered him to invoke executive privilege. >> or he could do what dni coats did and rogers did which was executive privilege hasn't been invoked by the president trump because i'm not going to answer because i don't feel comfortable giving up details of the conversation. >> and there is nothing in the senate intelligence can do that process. if he is not going to answer he is not going to answer. in theory they could go to court and get him to answer. but if he is not going to answer he is not going to answer. >> the president is being sued over businesses the trump hotel in washington and beyond by two attorneys general who say he is violating the constitution. speak with those attorneys general next. also the cabinet meeting you've got to see to believe. >> we've been working very hard together. s. so i stepped on this machine and got my number, which matched my dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic inserts.
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the state of maryland and the district of columbia are suing the president. the lawsuit filed today in federal court says the president is violating the constitution, particularly the emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign governments. the suit is referring to the trump hotel in washington, other hotels and golf courses where foreign governments are spending money to trying to curry favor with the president. according to the lawsuit. shortly before air i spoke with the two attorneys general behind the lawsuit karl ka racine and washington processed and brian frosh of maryland. >> attorney general racine one of the whiches your suit differs from others filed over the president's businesses is that you're arguing that the president trump organization hurts businesses that maryland and d.c. either own tax or
license. how does it do that exactly. >> >> well the simple fact is, anderson, that the trump businesses have an advantage. a very significant advantage. and that is this every single foreign government entity knows that if they want to curry favor with this administration, take their business to the trump hotel. and the evidence shows that that's what they're doing. >> and that hurts businesses that the government owns or the state owns in maryland or the city in d.c., because people aren't staying what at businesses that are owned by maryland? >> well the district of columbia has proprietary interest because we actually do support our hotel and hospitality stre and peskly with respect to the d.c. convention center there is some competition in regards to meeting space, and rooms. and that competition we allege is going to the trump hotel.
>> attorney general frosh, the white house is pushing back on the claims obviously. sean spicer was asked about it today. i want to play what he said. >> it's not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations between the suit. the suit was filed by two democratic attorney generals, the lawyers driving it are advocacy group with partisan ties process. it started with a press conference prior to filing. it challenges the sort of business transaction that everyone from penny pritser serving in the last administration and others have fajd in while in office. >> attorney patricia how to you respond. >> first of all our outside counsel is crew. and they are the former ethic counsel to george bush and barack obama. it's hardly a partisan effort. this is about corruption. the emolument clauses prevent the president from taking critics, payments, gifts from
foreign governments and from the united states or any of the united states. and our concern is that the president, president trump with his extensive business holdings is tangled up with united states policies. and the people of the united states don't know whether his business interests come first or whether the business of the united states comes first. it really is an anticorruption provision, anticorruption protection in a constitution that we are seeking to vindicate. >> to sean spicer's point though if this was a democratic president in this situation would you be filing this lawsuit as well? >> yes, if there were democratic president who were marketing -- was marketing his business interests to the diplomatic community, taking payments from china, taking payments from saudi arabia, qatar and many other countries it would give me very serious concerns about his or her ethics. >> attorney general racine there
has been -- there is belief this suit is basically an exercise to force the release of the president's tax returns. is it. >> i think the tax returns issues, you know certainly are relevant to the lawsuit. but the lawsuit is not purposed in order to get the tax returns. we need financial information to get a sense of the entirety of the president's businesses. that's the only way we're going to be able to know the full scope of foreign countries cribbing money to the president. >> you do plan to seek the president's tax returns as part of the lawsuit. >> no doubt. >> the -- as port of a 70-page department of justice brief released on friday in response to another suit over the president's businesses, the department of justice attorney stated that quote were plaintiff's interpretation correct president he is from the beginning of the republic including george washington would have received prohibited emolument. are they right about that have
they received throughout history ee monthly mts. >> they are completely wrong on that, anderson. if you read the department of justice papers very carefully you'll sigh no where in the papers do they allege that george washington or president jefferson received monies from foreign governments. no where in the documents is that alleged. we allege it because it's true. and we allege that receiving monies from foreign governments for a private business is inconsistent with being president of the united states, the constitution foresaw this. and that's why the constitution bars it. >> attorney general racine and attorney general frosh appreciate your time thank you. >> thanks for having us. >> up next a cabinet meeting like no other we've seen. some are calling it a love fest. we'll explain as best we can next.
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to serve as vice-president to a president who is keeping his word to the american people. >> it's an honor to serve you in that regard. you sent the right message. >> what an honor it is to lead the department of health and human services at this time under your leadership. i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you have given me. >> i want to thank you for getting this country moving again. also working again. >> a great honor traveling with you around the country for the last year. an even greater honor to be here serving in your cabinet. >> on behalf of the entire staff around you, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda and the american people. >> joining us now are david axelrod and mike rogers who was
chairman of the house intelligence committee. it's a blessing to have you both here. david, how unusual is that? is that -- is it normal to have -- >> it's not unusual if you live in north korea. here in the u.s., that is very unusual. i attended cabinet meetings. i've never seen anything like that. usually, the president gives a short statement. they leave. then there's business. you go through the cabinet and the cabinet reports on the business that they're doing. look, you have an embattled president who wants to change the narrative. he enlisted his cabinet to do that. i think at some expense to them, because they look so servile that it was absurd. >> chairman rogers, did it strike you as odd? >> odd and a bit clumsy. it reminds me of that old will rogers saying.
it's like that feeling you get when a baby gets ahold of a hammer. it just feels really, really odd. you are not supposed to laugh at my jokes. >> it's really funny. i hadn't heard that. >> i will tell you the one thing that bothered me about it is that the adulation -- this was the first big formal cabinet meeting which is normally a substantive meeting that you would hope gets on to a more substantive conversation. but this whole -- it seemed so clumsy. if they were going to do a big adulation as a big part of american politics, you see it on the house floor. they say, mr. speaker, and my great and good friend on the other side of the aisle who i
will proceed to rip their face off here in a few minutes, this has all been part of politics. what was a little odd about this today was it was -- it was clearly scripted. and it was a very clumsy way about saying, no problems here, we're doing great things. i just -- it just didn't rise to the level of a presidential appearance not only for the cabinet but for the president himself. >> it's interesting, david, particularly that we have now had director comey testimony under oath that he was asked for personal loyalty to the president, allegations that similar things have been made to others as well. no one pledged loyalty here directly to president trump. but it came close to that, honor and -- >> it was a competition to see who could be more obsequious. when the president says i wouldn't think of asking people for loyalty pledges, but this was, in a sense, asking for a loyalty pledge and asking them to parade in front of the cameras and offer testimonials. it was an embarrassing thing. the thing that interests me the most was the one cabinet member who was most muted in his comments was general mattis, the
defense secretary, who i think has a real sense of propriety and institutional -- >> he praised service members but not the president. >> yes. which was a departure from everyone else. i think he was the only one who emerged with his dignity. >> chairman rogers, i want to play a clip of something chuck schumer tweeted out shortly after the meeting. >> i want to thank everybody for coming. i thought we would go around the room. lucy, how did we do on the sunday show? >> you were right on message. >> michelle, how did my hair look coming out of the gym this morning? >> you have great hair. nobody has better hair. >> before we go further, i want to say thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda. >> when chuck schumer is scoring laughs putting out videos, that's not what you want to have happen after the first cabinet meeting, i guess. >> it's not a great thing. but i'm not convinced that that hasn't happened in a chuck schumer -- again, it is -- the
whole thing is just so -- it wouldn't be necessarily odd. i think if you are going to be a change agent, you have to mix things up. it's always going to be hard. but this was so misplaced and the timing of it so poor. as i said, it's almost sophomoric in the way we're going to show the world we're getting along and we love our president, we can't wait to get every day and work for him. you would expect them for them taking the oath of office to do those important jobs. it came -- it didn't look that serious. it looked so odd. i thought, this is a terrible way to try to correct your problem. why don't you have a staff meeting and then come out with some great proposals and work with congress to get something done in a meaningful way? that will go so much further than these kind of -- i don't know what you call them. >> thank you very much. coming up next, more repercussions from the breaking news, word from a friend of the president he may be thinking about firing the russia special
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