with president donald trump. you really get a sense of where his head is on the issues that matter. the cloud of russia, clearly weighing on his mind at this six-month park of the presidency. the president doing something that we have not heard in recent history. he throws his own attorney general, jeff sessions, under the bus, saying if he had known that sessions was going to recuse himself, which he should have known, he wouldn't have picked him. >> the president also accuses fired fbi director, james comey, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising information in order to keep his job. president trump then goes on to issue a warning to special counsel robert mueller about that investigation and he once again insists that he is not under investigation. now, earlier, we spoke with one of the reporters who conducted this wide-ranging interview. it's our cnn political analyst and "new york times" white house correspondent, maggie haberman. here's a piece.
fascinating, wide-ranging interview that you have. he talked about jeff sessions, whom he seems to have soured on. let's play that for our viewers and then you can comment on it. listen to this. >> sure. >> sessions should have never recused himself. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and i would have picked somebody else. >> he gave you no heads up at all? >> zero. >> so jeff sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. i then have a -- which -- which, frankly, i think is very unfair to the president. how do you take a job and then recuse yourself? if he would have recused himself before the job, i would have said, thanks, jeff, but i can't -- you know, i'm not going to take you. >> so, maggie, we want to know what jumped out at you. isn't the timeline of that a little confusing? how did jeff sessions know he
was going to recuse himself before he took the job? >> he couldn't know. >> my take on it, and among the more charitable explanations, is what the president is referring to, and he talked about it in other points in the interview, was the fact that jeff sessions botched his testimony in his senate confirmation hearing. where he was not forthcoming about russian contacts with the russian ambassador. and my read on what the president was saying is that he had sessions make clear that he was going to omit that or had he had a concern about that in the first place, that he wouldn't have appointed him. look, we know he's been angry at sessions. peter baker, one of my two colleagues, the other is mike schmidt, who conducted the interview with me, peter baker and i wrote several weeks ago that the president is fuming at jeff sessions. this has been going on for quite some time over the recusal. the president sees the recusal as the original sin. what was striking and jumped out at me is that he said it to us. i was very surprised that he said it on the record.
but as you guys know, the gap between what this president says privately and what he says publicly has always been pretty narrow. it's usually pretty consistent. but it was a remarkable disclosure and a remarkable public rebuke. >> the president seems to view sessions stepping away from the investigation as the main domino that has led to the special counsel, is that accurate? >> absolutely. that's not even a close call. i mean, he believes that it all leads back, mueller leads back to roserosenstein, who leads bao jeff sessions. and the president really laid it out that way. he sort of unfurled how he watched this in his mind develop and what has been frustrating for him. >> next, james comey. he shared more of his opinion about fired fbi director james comey, as well as what he cans -- what the president thinks that dossier was really about. so it was filled with salacious details, unconfirmed, so the president, this is not audio,
but i'll read it for everyone, then told you this. "when he," meaning comey, "brought it,," the dossier, "to me, i thought, this is really made-up junk. i just thought about, man, this is such a phoney deal. so anyway, he shared it so that i would think he had it out there." one of the reporters asks, "as leverage?" and the president says, "yeah, i think so. in retrospect." give us contact. >> i think it's pretty clear. he was indicating that he felt that james comey was presenting him with this information and dangling it to show that he had something on the president. i think in the president's mind, that was about keeping his own job, james comey keeping his own job. but again, another remarkable statement from the president. look, he has made, in fairness, a series of remarkable statements about james comey, you know, beginning with when he fired him. but this was a first. and this was a new revelation on how he is viewing that chain of events during the transition
process. >> i don't want to wait to talk about the mueller stuff. >> we're here! >> this was a big deal. because this issue of what the president can do with the special counsel or should do with a special counsel, we're talking about it before the show, it seems reasonable that if the president has no financial dealings with russia, no financing, nothing to be worried about, he should want the special counsel to go down that road and come up with nothing. and that would be the best validation for the president's position. instead, he said something very different to you. i believe we have sound of it. let's play it. >> mueller was looking at your finances and your family's finances, unrelated to russia. is that pa red line? >> would that be a breach of what his actual -- >> i would say yes. >> and then he goes on, right? he said he didn't want to answer it, but he seemed to suggest -- you tell me, maggie, your take, you were in the room, that if mueller went after him
personally too much, that might be too much, would seem to suggest that he would move on mueller. >> wasn't clear exactly what he meant and i'm hesitant to put words in his mouth, because we did ask him that question. >> and he said he didn't want toens a it right now. >> we asked it repeatedly and in different ways and he was very cautious and thoughtfully cautious about not answering it. but he was making clear that he saw mueller's purview as very constricted, specifically to russia. he made clear that if it was broader about financial issues -- and to be clear, the white house is very aware, the counsel's office is very aware of the number of attorneys who mueller has hired who are experts in financial crimes issues. they are paying close attention to that. the president made very clear that if things went sort of in his mind far afield or beyond what the parameters are of this initial charge, he would consider it a quote/unquote violation. but he did not say what he would be prepared to do. however, he clearly wants to leave that option open and wants
mueller to be aware of that. >> and all of that hinting about conflicts in the interview. the president says, when you look at it, that mueller, he had conflicts. we don't know if that's true, but it shows that he's laying groundwork. let's bring in the panel, cnn political analyst, david gregory. cnn political director, david chalian, and cnn senior analyst, jeffrey toobin. david gregory, jeh johnson was on the show, the former homeland security secretary. he changed my mind about something with jeff sessions. he had a different take. what do you think about it. he said, it's not about the testimony. it's not about the botched answers. jeff sessions had no choice but to recuse himself from jump, because he had been involved with the campaign. the president knew that, and should not have picked him. it's on the president, because he had to know that sessions would have to recuse thihimself from anything to do with the campaign, because he was part of it? >> well, i think that's right, in terms of what justice department policies are.
but i think that also presupposes that the president was going to take any of that into county. you know, at the time, before he turned on him, jeff sessions was one of his earliest supporters. and was part of a kind of america first world view and a hard line on immigration that the president wanted to make good on to his supporters. i mean, the bottom line is that the president has never taken this investigation seriously. he doesn't have any support for or faithfulness to the dp independence of the justice department or the fbi and is essentially threatening to fire the special counsel if it gets into areas that he thinks are uncomfortable for him. the president is not telling the truth about everything with regard to russia. and he's acting like someone who very much is only out for himself and not thinking about the presidency, and/or has something to hide. i don't know how you draw a different conclusion, based on
what we're hearing. >> jeff -- go ahead, go ahead, david chalian. >> i was just going to say, think about what this means, if jeff sessions takes the cue and decides to leave for a moment. think about what this means for the next attorney general. so what is learned here, that having some sort of independence seems to have cost you your job. so who's going to -- who's going to sign up for that? and the next question is, if you're the next attorney general and you don't recuse yourself from the russia thing, do you use a heavier hand in overseeing the special prosecutor process? these questions, for whoever may be next after the way that donald trump is talking about jeff sessions, seems very important to me. >> the answer better be yes, if they want the job, based on what we're hearing from the president. >> look, it raises a lot of questions, jeff. tell us legally, can the -- look, i know that legally the president can fire attorney general jeff selssions and special counsel robert mueller, but it's complicated. >> rate. look, i think it was a mistake
for darden to ask o.j. to try on the glove, but we'll never know whether -- i'm sorry, i'm just warming up for -- >> i like it! >> i'm sorry. the answer is, yes, he could engineer the firing of the special counsel, but he can't do it directly. he has to do it through the justice department. he would have to ask road rod rosenstein to fire him -- >> who he's not crazy about. >> who he doesn't like either. rod rosenstein may or may not agree to do it. if not, it would start to go down the chain of command and he would have to find someone who would agree to fire mueller. and that's -- and that would be a direct replication of what happened in the saturday night massacre in 1973 -- >> so you're really time traveling today. >> it's the only parallel that we have. >> it is. and it's -- it would be a precise parallel if you have justice department officials
refusing to fire an outsider prosecutor. >> except the president's counter to all of this analysis would be, yeah, but that was a crime. you had a crime in watergate. there's no crime hear. this is all just open questions and speculation, because of what the russians did, that they always do, and that we do also, by the way, which is this election interference and it's all nothing. >> that has been the president's approach to this whole thing, which is that this whole thing is absurd, because there's no crime. but that assumes the conclusion of the investigation. maybe mueller will find crimes. that's why -- that's what he was appointed to do. the fact that watergate originated in a break-in that was an acknowledged crime and this investigation did not have the same kind of precipitating factor, prosecutors investigate possible crimes all the time. that doesn't mean what they're doing is illegitimate. >> david gregory, we will know more next week, because we now know that there are actually dates certain for a
behind-closed-doors interview in front of a senate intel commission for jared kushner, and then an open interview, public hearing, for don jr. and paul manafort, middle of next week. wednesday. so, what are you looking at? >> well, we'll see how much we find out in open session. you've got two committees who are bearing down on these witnesses and gathering everything up. i don't know if that means they're enjoying to draw any conclusions. and there may be some information that is leaked or is put out there, you know, publicly, that points to a particular direction. but i don't think anything is going to be definitive. but it doesn't change the fact that the president has a strategy here of undermining everyone involved in this process. undermining the process itself. and nobody appears willing to try to stop him. you know, there's no republicans who are speaking out about him and the fact that he is not thinking about the presidency, is just thinking about himself, and his own legitimacy.
they stood up to him on health care, but appear to be giving him a pass on this behavior with regard to the russia investigation, just like trump is giving russia a pass on what happened. >> well, we'll see. it's going to be a big day. manafort, don jr., and jared kushner. that will be private, so we won't know as much. >> all right. panel, thank you very much for all of the insights. we do want to get to a major developing story now. and that, of course, is that we're following the health of senator john mccain. he's been diagnosed with brab cancer. the 80-year-old is recovering at home in arizona after having surgery last week to remove a malignant tumor. the senator's doctors at the mayo clinic spoke exclusively to cnn's chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. and dr. gupta joins us live from hot springs, virginia, with all of the latest. sanjay, what did his doctors tell you? >> well, they gave a lot of details on what's happened over the last several days. most people heard about the operation that senator mccain had, but we got an idea of just how things transpired that day
and how urgent this operation was, as well as what caused all of this in the first place. >> senator john mccain is recovering well after an operation last friday to remove a malignant brain tumor, known as glioblastoma. with senator mccain's permission, i spoke exclusively to two of his mayo clinic doctors about the details of his care. mccain had come in for a scheduled annual physical early friday morning with no complaints except intermittent double vision and fatigue, which he contributed to an intense international travel schedule over the last several months. his doctors ordered a cat scan to check for anything from a possible blood collection to a stroke. upon review of the scan, doctors called mccain, who had left the hospital, and asked him to immediately return for an mri. the scans revealed a five-centimeter blood clot above the senator's left eye, which appeared to have been there for up to a week. the decision was pamade to perfm an urgent operation. by 3:00 p.m., mccain was in the
operating room undergoing a craniotomy to remove a tumor. they bore a 2 centimeter hole to remove the clot and the tumor. a pathology report revealed a primary brain tumor known as glioblastoma glioblasto glioblastoma. it's the same type of tumor thabo biden and ted kennedy had. with treatment, which usually includes chemotherapy and radiation, the median survival is 14 months, but it can be 5 years or even longer. this is not senator mccain's first health scare. in 2000, he was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma. >> i'm having a lot of exposure to the sun when i was very young and having fair skin. >> reporter: doctors removed a dime-sized melanoma to mccain's left temple. that was the most serious of several other bouts with skin cancer. when mccain was campaigning for president in 2008, i had a chance to review all of his medical records. details of his health since then have remained private, until just now.
his doctors at the mayo clinic who have been treating him for several years said it was mccain's gut instinct knowing that something just wasn't right. and i should point out, chris, that senator mccain recovered really well from this operation. it was a big operation, it was general anesthesia, he's 80 years old. he spent the night in the intensive care unit, but the doctors say when he woke up, he was immediately joking around with the operating room staff. he was able to go home the next day, as you heard, so making calls, have been up and about. but this is happening realtime now that they're getting this diagnosis, learning what caused that bleeding within his brain. this glioblastoma, as mentioned, is likely going to need further treatment, radiation, chemotherapy, chris. but that therapy can't start for probably three or four weeks after his incisions and all of that and he recovers from this operation. so, he's got a long road in front of him, but he is tough and he has overcome health scares in the past, chris.
>> you always say, your mental outlook and your spirit and your desire to fight are all big factors in terms of what course of treatment will take and how effective it will be. and this man checks every one of those boxes, we know that. we'll watch and wait and wish the best to him and his family. we know they need him very much and he has a lot of work left to do. sanj sanjay, thank you so much for bringing us this reporting. >> you got it, chris. all right. we've got a lot more on president trump's interview with "the new york times." it is really full of surprises. we have not heard a president chastise their own attorney general, let alone say they probably shouldn't have picked him. we're going to discuss what the fallout's going to be, next.
all right. so there was this extraordinary interview with "the new york times." and in it, president trump suggests that he regrets appointing jeff sessions as his attorney general. listen to this. >> sessions gets the job. right after he gets the job, he recuses himself. >> was that a mistake? >> well, sessions should have never recused himself. and if he would -- if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and i would have been picked somebody else. >> "suggests" is the lightest word i think you can use. >> yes, i inserted that there. >> it was too far, i think. >> let's discuss all of this with our chn political
commentators. we have paul begala, jeffrey lord, former white house political director and president trump supporter. great to see both of you. >> hello, ali. >> jeffrey, nice to see you. >> you know, ali, if i may start, i think what we're seeing here is that you might borrow from a novel and call this "when washington wakes up." >> oh, well played, my friend! >> as opposed to -- >> you have good taste, "a man who wakes up" available next tuesday. jeffrey, listen. when jeff session s wakes up ths morning, what is he thinking when he hears this? >> um, this is not your typical president. >> mm-hmm. >> in all seriousness, if i can say this, i don't need to tell you guys in particular of how different this presidency is, in terms of their approach to the
media and all kinds of other things. >> right, but his approach to an ardent supporter. i mean, jeff sessions was one of his most vocal, passionate supporters on the campaign trail. >> i understand. i understand. i love jeff sessions. i think he's doing a terrific job, et cetera, but this is somebody who, if you put it in these terms, that this is the ultimate outsider versus the ultimate insiders, meaning the entire washington establishment, whether it's jeff sessions or james comey or members of congress or what have you, when you go to these rallies, i keep thinking of these rallies i've been to, people are really mad out here. and when you try and translate this to what's going on with attorney general sessions, again. and i think the world of him. i think he's terrific. but i think that the president has an expectation that things need to be done differently, that in terms of this whole special prosecutor gambit, that it's -- that this is something that washington has been doing
for decades, they start with point "a" and wind up at point "c." >> i got it. he's on the record, he doesn't like it. he thinks it could be a fishing expediti expedition. but to undermine jeff sessions publicly, paul, where do you think that leaves the attorney general? >> yeah, i'm curious that -- you know, jeffrey lord says he's a different kind of president. well, he is. he is. o.j. simpson is a different kind of football player. that doesn't make him a better person. it doesn't make mr. trump a better president. he is attacking norms, some of them just manners, that's his problem, that's his business. it's our business when he attacks the rule of law. in this remarkable interview with maggie and peter baker and michael, we saw him attack the attorney general of the united states, jeff sessions. the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, the former fbi director, james comey, the acting fbi director, andy mccabe, and the special counsel. this is a man who has decided to make an all-out assault on the
rule of law? why? because it's closing on him, because he knows his guilty. >> hold on a second. that's obviously you connecting the dots -- >> i've never been to a session in psychology and i can read that -- >> hold on, jeffrey. let me read to people what he said about bob mueller. the special counsel. this is him in his own words, so listen to what president trump says. >> mueller is looking at your finances and your family's finances unrelated to russia. is that a red line? >> would that be a breach of what his actual -- >> i would say yes. i would say yes. >> paul, i want to ask you this. isn isn't president trump right? if bob mueller is looking at his family's finances, unrelated to the russia investigation, doesn't that turn into a phishing expedition? >> you don't know what's related. his son himself said, donald jr., said, this is 2008, his son gave an interview that said an extraordinary amount of our money is coming in from russia. we need to know, why did the
president not release his tax returns? because he didn't want us to see something. why is he telling mueller in public in "the new york times," i'll fire you if you look at my finances. any decent investigator now knows they must look at his finances. that -- it's like the cops show up at the serial murderer's house in the movies and he says, i don't own a shovel and i haven't been in my basement in months. like, what the hell? >> you're using a lot of violent imagery this morning, paul. >> alison? >> yes, jeffrey? >> i call this the clinton precedent, is that my friend, paul, and others, when paul talks about the rule of law, so, too, was ken starr about the rule of law. and this -- that investigation started with a real estate deal, white water, for president clinton, and wound up with monica lewinsky. the point is that the clinton administration and its allies went out of their way to attack the special prosecutor, to attack, attack, attack. they brought all precedent. in doing so, they laid down a
precede precedent. so there should be no hesitation in the trump white house or for trump allies to go out there and treat mueller as kent star. >> how about that, paul? >> i'll go on the record, i'll attack robert mueller if he starts investigating president trump's sex life. even saying it makes me want to wretch. i don't want to know about it. i want to know about our nation and the rule of law. why is the president so obsessed with russia? >> very quickly, jeffrey, are bob mueller and attorney general jeff sessions going to survive this administration, in term? >> i think the attorney general will. i'm not so sure about bob mueller. >> you think that president trump could fire him? >> yeah. yeah. i mean, this is your basic anti-establishment candidate, mr. mueller is the establishment personified, the whole game here with the leaked comey memo to get him appointed in the first
place. things of that nature wreak of insiderdom here and i don't think the president has a lot of patience for it. >> and what do you think the timeline on that would be? >> i honestly don't know, alison, i honestly don't know. but do i think it could happen? yes, i do. because mr. mueller would be turned into a symbol of not just this investigation, but of the washington establishment and boy, once you go there, the president would have a huge political advantage. >> paul, last word. >> he's not a lobbyist. he's a career prosecutor who has given all the best years of his life to serving his country, to investigate, arrest, and imprison bad guys. and to protect us from terrorists. he's a really admirable man. and this notion is appalling that this president does believe he's different, he's above the rule of law. and he's not. and this would be a great constitutional crisis if he fires mr. mueller, because we need to know the truth. is our president selling out our country to russia? >> gentleman, thank you. >> we wanted to know the truth about presidents in sexual harassment -- >> thank you, jeffrey, we're going to leave it there.
nice to see both of you. chris? all right, it would have been unusual to hear a trump supporter going bad on bob mueller, especially someone who's such a minted republican, that's what bob mueller is, but it seems to be what we've been hearing more and more of. the president going bad on his own. he just threw jeff sessions under the bus. how does that make republican lawmakers feel? you're going to get their take, next.
one laugh, and hello so i tried always discreet. i didn't think protection this thin could work. but the super absorbent core turns liquid to gel. snap! so it's out of sight... ...and out of mind. always discreet. for bladder leaks. all right. in this interview, we see the president of the united states doing something that is unusual, to say the least. he takes his attorney general and throws him under the bus. says he probably shouldn't have picked him and he wouldn't have if he had known that he was going to recuse himself from the russia investigation. that comes in this new "new york times" interview. he talks about the special counsel and makes a lot of bold pronouncements. so let's get the take on the president's apparent distancing himself from his own party, from a member of that party, steve king. steve king tweeted, no one in america can match the excellence of jeff sessions as attorney
general. the trump agenda would be crippled without him. and the congressman joins us now. it's good to see you, as always. >> good to see you. thanks, chris. >> now, let's talk about what matters most, first. senator john mccain, a man you know and a man many admire. this diagnosis is a tough one, but so is he. what do you want people to know? >> well, first, i want the american people all to know that john mccain is an authentic american hero. and the suffering that he did in the p.o.w. camps, often returned to as the hanway hiltons, is awful. he shrunk down to 75 pounds and rattled around inside a body cast. but john's lived through all of that. and he's a person who has stood by his beliefs and disagree with him or not, john mccain is an authentic american hero. he is a fighter and we all ought to be praying for him and looking forward to his recovery and looking forward to him coming back into the united states senate and casting a vote, hopefully to repeal obamacare.
>> he is a fighter. he will fight and his family needs him here and he's got a lot of work left to do, as you suggested. so we wish him well. let's get to the matters at hand. you tweeted something that is pretty obvious on its face. you support jeff sessions. we have not heard a president do what president trump just did to his attorney general. we have not heard that before, not in our lifetimes, anyway. what do you make of his none-too-subtle claim that sessions did the wrong thing and that he shouldn't have picked him, if that's what he was going to do? >> well, it's hard to understand what was going on in the president's head at the moment that he made those remarks. it was a 50-minute interview, as i understand, and the full context of that, i don't have the feel and the flow of it. but i just want to send a message to the president of the united states. there is no person in this country better qualified to serve as attorney general, no one can match the excellence of jeff sessions. he is the best cabinet appointment that president trump
has made. and he also is a noble individual. he believes in the constitution. he understands the structure of the rule of law within that. and he lives by those principles. i've had disagreements with jeff sessions, too. but i would opt for his judgment in almost every case. and whether he made a mistake or not in recusing himself from the russia investigation component, he made that decision out of a sense -- i will say, it's a sense of nobility and honor. and so, i would let that go and i would say, let's build on what we have. i want jeff sessions to keep serving this country. and i'm concerned he might come up with some different decision. and that would be giving -- that would be handing a victory over to the left. >> well, the left has nothing to do with it. when jeff sessions took the job, he had to know that if there was an investigation that dealt with the campaign, he would have to recuse himself. what other option did we have? >> well, i think -- again, i think it was a decision made out of -- he was deeply involved in the campaign. >> right.
>> the investigation didn't show at that time that it was going to go as long or as deeply as it did, but very early in that process, he decided, how could he be an attorney general with an investigation that was looking nonactions of the campaign that he was involved. and it was a simple decision, i think, for jeff sessions. and i think we accept that decision, the president should accept that decision. and we should get all we can out of the good people we have that are in place today. >> well, the president seemed to be placing a different priority on the situation, which is, what was good for him and what was good for the president to have his man in there, tamping down this investigation. when that didn't happen, he apparently went bad on the attorney general. so we'll see what happens, because he also suggested he could do the psalm thisame thin special counsel, congressman, and how would you feel about that? >> you know, i thought there was a chain reaction of events that flo flowed from jeff sessions recusing himself. and it set up the situation for the special counsel. i'm in this place where i've been speaking to some of my colleagues around here that tend
to agree to me, that the deeper and the longer the investigation is, really finding no substance on this russia piece, the more we need to look at the great big picture of all that was going on on the other side of the aisle and what was james comey's motivations and what did that really entail with his discussions with lmporetta lync with him reporting something he knew he wasn't true and how does this go back into the 6,000 e-mails of anthony weiner. >> i don't get it, congressman. i've heard you say that before and i don't understand the logic if you see the russia investigation to this point as a political exercise, why would your solution be to have a political exercise that goes after the other side? why would that be a just response? >> this russia investigation has got at least the ruse that it's about the rule of law. otherwise, why would you have a special counsel. and if it's about the rule of law, how is it that james comey
summarized the prosecution for hillary and then announced that he wouldn't ask for any charges. and what was he doing with the authority to do that anyway, handed over by loretta lynch, who sat on the plane with the bill clinton. >> but where is the criminality in that? what would be a potential crime? it's in his discretion, whether or not he thought there was a prosecutable case that could be won, and he said no. where's the crime? >> this -- i'm not going to asse assert obstruction of justice, but i've heard it asserted on the russian side of this. and if you look at these two cases in a parallel way, there's a lot stronger case for obstruction on the comey investigation of hillary than there is in this russia investigation. >> how so? >> what did he obstruct? >> hillary clinton was interviewed without a tape -- no audiotape, no videotape, no transcript, and no deposition. and she had her chief of staff who was under investigation as her counsel in that interview. and they agreed with the plea
bargain to destroy some of the hard drives and hillary clinton admitted they took a hammer and crushed a couple of blackberries and they bought bleach bit. if anything smacked of destroying information and obstructing justice, her actions did. and i'm saying this, that that's all out there. so, to try to make a case that something like that happened under the trump campaign with the russians looks really weak in the shadow of all that happened on the clinton -- >> but i don't understand why -- what is it like that seems like a parallel to you? you take each case on its own face. you investigate what's going on right now for what it is or isn't. and i don't know how you can know what mueller has or doesn't have. he just started investigating, he just put his team together, but let's leave that to the side, the impatience factor. why would you want to look at the other side? it just seems like all you're doing is playing politics. that's why i don't get it. i know it plays to your base. but i don't get how that is a respectful way to deal with your process. >> chris, i'm a respecter of the rule of law. and the case that i've just made
here is that if we're going to apply the law, we apply the law whether you're the elected president or the defeated candidate for president. when i look at these two cases side by side, one of them is stark, the other one is weak, that's -- >> but you guys lead every committee. you could have investigated all of that stuff. you certainly were making a lot of noise about it, like you did with benghazi, and you chose not to. >> we still can. we still can investigate all of that. and i made sure that we still had access to the 650,000 weiner e-mails that, by the way, james comey said, there's nothing here. we ran it through a fast search engine and there's nothing new here in this laptop. well, what we don't know yet is, what was the handle of barack obama who was e-mailing hillary clinton on that private server, that surely had classified information on it. i think this trail leads all the way to barack obama. now, i've said to also some of the committee chairs, i don't really want to make my career about investigating all of this. but if it's going to be about not very much, trying to find some kind of russian connection, we're going to have to bring out
the real substance here, as just as a way of restoring the respect for the rule of law down this path. i don't want to see it distorted by a special counsel. >> first of all, there's no reason to suggestion that bob mueller would do anything that is distorting of anything. you guys loved him! he's one of your own. he's a republican. he is a war hero. he served this country. everybody thought he was a great choice. and now, the president is worried about him and now you're going bad on him. but what i don't get is, you really think that anthony weiner's e-mails are of much of a threat to this country's security as what russia did during the election? you really would rather put russia's interference aside, figuring out how they did it and how to stop it the next time to go look at anthony weiner's e-mails? >> let's do both. it's not an either/or situation. and i've said this. the substance -- here's what we don't have. you have not seen and i have not seen the actual evidence of what the russians, i believe, now, did do to try to hack into our
elections. that's still sitting back there classified. >> but clapper put out his report. and unless you want to believe you've got one of the grossest conspiracies in american history, you've had the people who would know all telling you guys, and you've got the ability to get briefings that we don't, as you well know. that they know it was russia, they don't have any question about it, only the president sae seems to have a question about it, and the extent of it and the ways they did, what they did is what you guys are investigating in your different committees. >> chris, i just said, we have -- neither you nor i have actually seen the evidence. we've heard the opinions of obama appointees. i'm not suggesting today -- i talked to some people that have seen the evidence. and now i'm closer to being quin convinced that that evidence is confirmtory from that standpoint. >> hold on. what are you saying? are you saying that the people that have seen the evidence have convinced you that it's real or that it isn't real? >> i'm more inclined to believe it's real today because i've talked to some people that have seen the evidence. >> oh, good, then don't question
the outcome. >> i have not seen the evidence. but i'm conceding there that there is evidence that's substantiative enough that reasonable people would come to that conclusion and i'm expecting that that conclusion is right. so let's figure out what we can do about that. but where was all of this when barack obama was president -- >> what does barack obama have -- >> why didn't he take a move on this? >> first of all, he did take a move on it. he did take a move on it. there were political considerations. you can criticize his political decision. but now "time" magazine is reporting that they had a 15-page plan of what they should do, part of it involved having armed security around polling places. you know they pulled the houses and kicked people out of the country. was it handle ed strongly enoug? maybe, may not. but that doesn't shed light on how you should get to the bottom of what happened now. final word. >> let's look at what we need to do to fix that situation. but i'm not seeing that digging into this trump campaign and trying to make it all about
donald trump and his campaign is good for our country at all. it looks to me like it has an agenda to bog down and slow down the trmp agenda here in the house of representatives and in the united states senate and to immobilize the presidency. the american people delivered a mandate and they want to see actions on that mandate. and this investigation is slowing down the work because public opinion has got to go along with the work we do here. in the house of representatives and in the senate, chris. >> i take your point, congressman. always good to have you on "new day." see you again soon. >> praesappreciate it. >> president trump continues his made in america week. you will remember how much attention president trump got when he went to the carrier plant in indiana and announced that he had a plan to keep their jobs in the u.s. so, did the president keep that promise. well, 330 workers at that plant say no. >> i will tell you that united technologies and carrier stepped it up and now they're keeping
actually the number's over 11 hur100 people. which is so great. so great. >> let's fact check all of that. cnn's martin savidge is live in indianapolis at the carrier plant. so what's happening there today, martin? >> well, they're going through with the plan. the plan that was negotiated by the president of the united states. but like any plan, alisyn, the devil's in the details, in the fine print. and there is a lot of pain still in that fine print, most especially, yes, the president did safe about 730 manufacturing jobs, not quite 1,100, but the problem is the company is still allowed to lay people off, a lot of people. 600 will lose their jobs this year. the first 300 will start losing their jobs today. these are the jobs the president was not table to save, so it's a bittersweet time. people are glad for what the president did, but chuck jones, the former union head who's bumped heads with the president before says this president has not lived up to the promises he made to bad lulue collar worker.
>> overall for the working man, do you think the president has lived up to the promises that he made? >> no, winot at all. not at all. everything still crataters to t rich people. and we're getting dealt out again. he campaigned on middle class, working class people. and i don't see where he's delivered at all. >> reporter: those first layoffs begin in just a matter of hours. the next round of layoffs, right before christmas in december. chris? >> martin, thank you very much, an important story. we'll stay on it. all right, so the question of the day for those following the o.j. simpson saga is, will he be paroled? but a better question might be, should he be paroled? a friend and accomplice who t f testified in the trial joins us next. whoooo.
all right. in just hours, o.j. simpson is going to appear before a parole board in nevada. he's hoping for an early release from prison. simpson is serving 8 1/2 years of what could be a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery conviction back in 2008. cnn's jean casarez live in carson city with more. the parole board went right for him the last time, will it happen again? >> reporter: that's right. and this is a very important day for o.j. simpson. he will be able to give a statement to the parole board. he can probably talk as long as he wants to. and then they will be able to ask him a lot of questions.
now, he's at love lock medium correctional facility here in nevada, so he will be video streamed right here to the nevada parole office in carson city. the four commissions will be here. they will listen to him. also, he can have a representative speak on his behalf. he can have a family member. it is believed that one, the living victim, bruce furamong, may actually testify on his behalf. now, the parole board will look at aggravating and mitigating factors and the aggravating factors include the crimes themselves, today, the conspiracy to commit kidnapping and the conspiracy to commit robbery. i was in the courtroom for that trial. i heard all of the evidence. i'm also a licensed attorney r here in nevada and what the evidence showed is that o.j. simpson conspired with a group of men to force into that hotel room where there were memorabilia dealers expecting actual buyers.
and when he saw the two men had guns, he spoke to them, it was all recorded secretly by other members in the group. all of those recordings were played for the jury. when he found out those two men had guns, he said, bring your heat, don't forget your heat, when they stormed into the rule, one of the guns was pulled on the victims. o.j. simpson was in charge. he said, nobody leave this room. that's one of the things the parole board will look at today, chris and alisyn, but he's got a lot of things in his favor. he has never been convicted before of a criminal offense. >> jean, thank you very much for all of that bgackground. now we have a cnn exclusive. charles ehrlich was o.j. simpson's best friend after simpson's acquittal in 1995. that friendship had a downside after simpson asked ehrlich to take part in a robbery. ehrlich was charged. he took a plea deal and
testified against simpson. so how does he femael today as o.j. could get out of prison? charles ehrlich joins us now. good morning, charlie. thank you for being here. >> good morning, alisyn, how are you? >> i'm well. do you think that o.j. will be paroled today? >> yes, i do. >> and are you --how do you feel about that? >> i think it's about time. he's been in, what, nine years now. and i don't think he should have been there to begin with. >> well, let's talk about that. because, let's remind people just as jean just did, it was september 13th, 2007. you both went to this las vegas hotel room. you, i believe, was the one posing for this memorabilia buyer. you were going to meet with these two memorabilia sellers who claimed to have o.j.'s stuff, some of his items. a heisman trophy, et cetera. >> correct. >> o.j. wanted those items back. but he had had to surrender those items, because he had lost
that wrongful death suit against the goldman family, ron goldman was killed. and so why shouldn't o.j. have been in prison for that -- perpetrating and masterminding that robbery? >> because i don't think that he knew there were guns involved. i -- he had the -- afterwards, he kept on thinking to himself, there were no weapons involved, when, actually, there were. >> but -- charlie, i'm sorry to interrupt, but the reporting and what jean just said happened in court, it was o.j. who said, quote, we're going to need some heat, bring some heat, meaning the guns. >> yes, but "heat" could mean a lot of things. he didn't specifically say "guns." >> what else could it mean? >> that i couldn't tell you. all i know is what he asked me
to do. and i didn't know these characters that were involved. and if he would have just -- if he would have just asked me to do what he -- when i saw him, we wouldn't be talking about this right now. i would have come downstairs and i would have told him, there's nothing up there, o.j., and to forget it. these characters that were involved in this particular robbery or whatever it was, i didn't know. and it was crazy, to be frank with you. it happened so fastly. >> do you agree that these items that o.j. simpson wanted back were no longer rightfully his? he had had to surrender them? >> in my opinion, of course, i'm not a lawyer, but, yeah, i think he should have surrendered them at the time, because that is what he was told to do. apparently, they showed up, miraculous, out of the blue, when they called o.j., and, you
know, he wanted to see if these items belonged to him. he asked me to do him a favor. and all i knew was to go up there and see what these items were. and then come down and let him know. but as far as these individuals go, i didn't know any of them. i wouldn't know them if they walked by me right now. it was, it was crazy, to be frank with you. it sounds like it. and we're seeing some of the surveillance video from it. because of the wrongful death suit, that o.j. lost, he was ordered to pay the goldman and brown family $33.5 million. obviously, nothing brings back their loved ones, but they felt that that was a punitive punishment for him. he said that he didn't have any of that money. they thought that he had hidden it somewhere. he said he didn't have any, and they wanted him to have to liquidate some of his very valuable memorabilia. so i'm wondering, charlie,
today, if o.j. does get out of prison, where do the goldman and brown families go for justice? >> i assume they go to o.j. i mean, he knows that he has to pay them back $33 million. and that's his obligation. >> and do you ever think about how they feel today in terms of if he were to get out? >> i assume they feel terrible, obviously, you know, because they believe he's guilty. i don't believe he's guilty. i don't believe he did the crime. that's my personal opinion. everyone has their own opinion. he was always my best friend. we were always -- he was always likable. i run an adult club in miami called dean's gold and he would frequently come there and, you
know, say hello and hang out there, because it's that type of place. >> yeah. >> it's very high-end. and he was always very friendly to everyone and i know his family, i know his kids. >> yeah. >> his -- we would have dinners together and he loves his family very much. >> hmm. >> and in my heart, i don't think he ever did the crime. >> okay. >> and that's me. >> we understand, you have a long friendship with him. and we appreciate you sharing some of that with us as we wait for all of this breaking news. charlie ehrlich, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you very much, alisyn, nice talking to you. >> you too. cnn's live coverage of o.j. simpson's parole hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern. >> all right, "cnn newsroom" with poppy harlow is going to pick up right after this quick break. stay with cnn.
top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. john berman has the day off. president trump gives a stunning improve deepens the battle lines with his own justice department on the six-month mark of his presidency, lashing out once again over the russia investigation and all of its key players in this sit-down with "the new york times." but the most scathing remark