tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN July 20, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
have the intention to get some money from him. we'll see if they have any success in that. thank you, gentlemen, so much. thank you so much for watching. erin burnett out front starts right now. >> out front next, jeff sessions insisting he's staying on the job as the president dodges questions about the attorney general. plus, is the white house trying to bully special council robert mueller. and how is trump's made in america week going? or did he steal his own thunder? let's go out front. >> good evening, everyone. i'm jake tapper. i'm in for aaron burnett. out front, jeff sessions vowing to soldier on today in the face of an unprovoked attack by president trump. trump telling the new york times that sessions crossed a line when he recused himself from the russian investigation and that he never would have picked sessions to be attorney general had he known he would do so.
sarah huckabee sanders with a chance to walk back the president's remarks insisted and left sessions twisting in the wind. >> as the president said yesterday, he was disappointed in the attorney general sessions' decision to recuse him himself but clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the attorney general. >> how can sanders say trump clearly has confidence in attorney general sessions when given the opportunity to prove that today, the president took a hard pass. >> mr. president, does jeff sessions have your full support. >> president trump: thank you, everybody. >> mr. president, did you authorize elon musk to help -- >> have you talked to mr. sessions? >> i spoke with several republican senators today. one of them told me, quote, one gets the impression that the
president doesn't understand or he willfully disregards the fact that the attorney general and law enforcement in general, they're not his personal lawyers to defend and protect him. he has his own personal lawyers. and the white house has the white house's counsel's office. the attorney general is the top enforcement official. he doesn't understand that. that's pretty disturbing. a second senator told me, i know jeff sessions to be a person of integrity. that's why he recused himself. i don't think it's good for any president of the united states to undermine the federal judiciary. sessions gave trump his first endorsement. that was a big boost for trump at the time. for a man who says he values loyalty over anything else, his rebuke of sessions is remarkable. when sessions was asked about this, he refused to take the bait. he vowed to stay on the job without referring to the president's attack. >> we love this job. we love this department. i plan to continue to do so as
long as that's appropriate. we're serving right now. the work we're doing today is the kind of work that we intend to continue. >> sarah murray is out front for us at the white house. sarah, i can't imagine what impact that might have on other members of the administration. jeff sessions was the first sitting senator in that foxhole with president trump. these comments, we've never seen anything like it before. >> that's right. you see jeff sessions there speaking publicly, handling it gracefully, as he faced reporters today, but we're told that behind the scenes here at the white house, this has had a chilling effect. people are looking at the comments that president trump has made about jeff sessions. as you pointed out, sessions was the first senator to endorse trump. he came out in support of trump at a time when that was sort of against everything the party was looking to do. people still had a lot of negative feelings about trump. they still thought he would be a flash in the pan and be out the
door. people are looking at him and saying, if this is how the president treats someone who was loyal to him from the beginning, how loyal is he going to be to me in the long run? now, we did see sarah huckabee sanders say today essentially, look, jeff sessions is still around. if the president didn't want him to be here, didn't have confidence in him, wanted him to resign, then jeff sessions would be gone. the other thing worth pointing out, as far as we know at this point and talking to white house aides, president trump still has not spoken one on one with jeff sessions. so he did this interview, made these comments about his own attorney general to the new york times, and he just leaves them out to sit there. you saw him not answering my question today about whether he wanted jeff sessions to resign, whether they've spoken. our latest indication is they still haven't, jake. >> sarah murray at the white house. thank you so much. >> out front, john dean served at nixon's counsel during watergate. former congressman mike rogers served as the house intelligence
committee. he's also a retired fbi special agent. now the host of declassified right here on cnn. let me start with this basic question. it's kind of confusing. president trump, well, let's play the audio of president trump and exactly what he said about whether or not sessions would still be on the job. let's roll that tape. >> president trump: so jeff sessions takes a job, gets into the job, recuses himself. frankly, i think it's 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'm not going to take you. it's extremely unfair. and that's a mild word. >> so, gloria, the chronology of this doesn't work out, just the
basic calendar. he was named attorney general, that the president would nominate him in november. 18th, trump announces he'll nominate sessions as attorney general. january 10th is his confirmation hearing. that is when he makes the non-transparent comment about russians. then he recuses himself. how could he have told president trump in november that he was going to recuse himself in march for comments he made in january? >> he couldn't. obviously he had no idea this was going to come up at his confirmation hearing and he would have to then correct the record. then he would recuse himself. but, you know, you do get a bird's eye view into the way the president is thinking as the senator you were talking to said to you earlier. this is a president who sees things through this lens only as it regards him.
and so he said, how could you have done this to the president when, in fact, jeff sessions works not only for the president, but he works for the country. and if there is a whiff of the fact that there is a conflict of interests, then he owes it to the country to recuse himself, and at that point, it is not about what the president wants. it's about what is good for the nation. and it also presumes, jake, that jeff sessions would not have allowed a special counsel to be appointed. we don't know that to be the truth. we don't know what jeff sessions would have done. clearly, the president sees this as a question of loyalty to him. >> so, john dean, let me ask you. what i think president trump is actually upset about -- because obviously unless jeff sessions has a delorean and flux capacitors, there's no way he can go back in time and tell president trump, hey, in a month, in two months, i'm going
to say something that get me in trouble at my confirmation hearing, and then in march, i'm going to recuse myself. fyi on that. that doesn't make sense for president trump to be upset about it. what makes sense, hey, if it ever comes down to a decision where i have to do something that i think is the right thing to do or be loyal to you, i'm going to do what i think is right. that makes more sense as something president trump would be upset about. >> well, you know what's underlying this whole thing when you read the interview is trump has a tendency to blame others for his own problems. he's certainly doing it with the russian investigation and the fact that he thinks session should not have recused himself. so i think when you look at the underlying factor that he doesn't want to take responsibility for the investigation that he's largely responsible for being on his
shoulders, this is another show of it. i think, of course, sessions did the right thing. he did what his ethics advisor told him to do, and that was in the best interest in the department of justice and the american people. >> mike, when sessions gave that speech in march about him recusing himself, he said it didn't have to do with the hot water he got into with his non-accurate answer to the confirmation committee. it was actually because the top officials of the justice department told him anything having to do with the campaign, any investigation you shouldn't be a part of. can you explain why you think president trump might be going after him this way. >> well, no, is the short answer. you know what this does, jake? now these people in these pretty important jobs not only from the cabinet level but on down, are more worried about keeping their job than doing their job.
it doesn't serve the president well anyway. unfortunately this seems to be a bit of a pattern. he did it to chris christie when he threw him out of his transition. he took shots at him. he's made public shots about his national security advisor, saying he talks too much in meetings, things like that, and doing some public displays of dissing his national security advisor. he brings in meetings, and he asks somebody from the outside if his people in front of him are doing a good job. it's not an environment that breeds good work performance. that's my concern. i know jeff sessions well. he is a man of honor. i think he got over to the attorney general's office and said, you know what? the investigation may involve people that i either worked with or were a part of the campaign of which i worked on. i really shouldn't be involved in that. that's the right decision for the department of justice.
>> and, gloria, president trump today not answering sarah murray's question. she was asking him, shouting out questions, do you have confidence in him? he wouldn't answer. he chose to say what he said to the new york times. he had to know it would be printed, it would be discussed, it would be analyzed, and it would be seen as a rebuke. is there an end game here? >> if there is, jake, i'm not sure that anyone knows what it is. i think the president has been griping about jeff sessions privately now for some time. i think he just -- i think you just put it out there. word may have filtered back to sessions before this. probably did. but by saying it publicly, he put sessions in this situation where he said, i will stay until it's not appropriate. well, what does that mean? so i think we have to continue to play this out because it seems to me that at some point, push is going to come to shove here, and sessions may feel that
his job is no longer tan -- tanable. president -- director comey said he had to take an oath of loyalty. he said loyalty was asked of him and required of him. i think that the president probably felt like he didn't even have to ask that of jeff sessions that, he would deliver it. >> john, if you could describe as best you can what richard nixon was like in terms of loyalty, the demands for it, the needs for it, and what you see from the outside when it comes to president trump. >> well, nixon was a person certainly with his cabinet that expected loyalty, but he didn't hold his cabinet particularly in high regard. i remember working on a book on his election of the supreme court justices and being privy
to conversations i was not to at the time. he said his cabinet was so lousy it didn't matter if he had women in it or not, when he was thinking about a woman for the court. so he didn't return all the loyalty that one might think also. so there are a lot of parallels, actually, between mr. trump and mr. nixon. they're very similar behind closed doors, personalities. nixon was much more reserved in public than we have with trump but similar author tar yan type personalities. >> declassified returns on saturday night. it has a timely story of russian spies living as americans inside the united states. these russian spies are playing a long game. >> absolutely. so think about this. they come here. they assume american identities for a very long period of time, hoping that they get a little
piece of intelligence. they infiltrate a government agency. they recruit a government official to work with them. the interesting thing people are going to be fascinated about, this could be someone you knew, your neighbor, your colleague at work. these were truly the spies next door. it was the most complicated thing that the fbi did. you should watch at 9:00, declassified. >> i've canceled my plans. >> that's 9:00 here on cnn. thank, one and all. appreciate it, mike rogers, jeff dean, and gloria. >> stay away from my finances, from the family finances. would trump be willing to fire mueller if he violates that order. remember infrastructure week and energy week? there's a reason you might not, actually, if you don't.
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that the clear purpose of the russia investigation is to review russia's meddling in the election, and that should be the focus of the investigation, nothing beyond that. >> the president is making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation. >> this comes after the new york times asks trump if mueller would be overstepping if his scope of his investigation expanded into his personal finances. >> mueller was looking at your finances and your family's finances unrelated to russia. is that a red line? >> would that be a breach? >> i would say yes. >> crossing a red line, the notion me put forward there, agreed with there and other comments made in that interview have made individual wonder if, hey, i may fire you if you look into things i don't want you to.
>> senator collins said it would be catastrophic if the president fired the special counsel. >> any quote of firing the special counsel is chilling. that's all you can say. that would cause congress to hire its own. i can't imagine, but many wouldn't thought he would have fired comey either. >> manu, is this similar to what you're hearing on the hill? >> no question. bob mueller is someone who has wide support from republicans and democrats. anytime a republican is asked about the latest controversy, they're saying, well, bob mueller is investigating it because they have faith in bob mueller. i had a chance to check in with the republican senate chair and asked him directly about the president's line about the family finances and he said if that's in the scope of mueller's
investigation, he should investigate it. >> do you have any concerns saying bob mueller shouldn't look into the finances of the trumps? >> i haven't seen that particular thing, but bob mueller should look at anything that falls within the special scope of the mandate. >> and that includes the trump family finances? do you think the president should fire him? >> no. no. >> now, the longest serving republican in the senate told me earlier today that bob mueller is a quote, totally honest man. he has questions about attorney he's named, but he has faith in this investigation so far. >> meanwhile, manu, the russian investigation on the hill is heating up with chuck grassly, a republican, telling you he may subpoena donald trump, jr. and paul manafort if they do not agree to testify next week. that seems pretty serious. >> it does. they want an answer tomorrow
from those two men. glen simpson, head of fusion, if they don't respond to them by tomorrow, they say to expect a subpoena for those individuals to appear next wednesday. now, this also comes as jared kushner, expected to come on monday in a classified session for the senate intelligence committee. i asked richard burr why is this not in a public session. he declined to comment. >> manu, thank you. >> jerry conley sits on the house oversight and the house foreign affairs committees. thank you for being here today. >> good to be here with you, jake. >> what questions you would want answered by paul manafort and donald trump, jr. if they agree to testify. >> i would start with what in the world would possess the son-in-law, an official on the campaign, and the campaign manager to go to a meeting that ostensibly didn't have a lot of
agenda to it with a number of known russian operatives? all you know is that the son of the president is saying they may have dirt on the opponent, and we want to hear this. >> sarah sanders, the deputy secretary said the president does not intend to fire bob mueller, but she wouldn't quite rule it out. take a listen. >> look, i can't predict everything that could possibly take place in the future and what mueller could potentially do that might create outrageous, you know, reason not to take action. so i'm not going to talk about hypotheticals. i can talk about where we are today, and that's the position of the president. >> what is your response to that, sir? >> i think this is a really critical moment in american law. the president has no power to delimit or set the contours of a special counsel, special prosecutor's investigation
wherever it leads. for him to decide, my family is off limits, your family made money in russia. your family has ties. your family just admitted it met with russian operatives during the election. that's collusion. robert mueller cannot be restricted by this president by him telling him i'll fire you if you go beyond this limit. >> the president does have the power to fire special counsel bob mueller. do you think he was trying to threaten bob mueller in his comments today? >> yes. he was basically saying i will fire you if you go beyond this limit, and he has no legal right to set that limit. yes, it's within his constitutional purview to fire the special counsel, but there will be a firestorm in reaction to that, and he'll destroy his presidency over this. >> i want to turn to that previously undisclosed meeting
that the president had at the g20 with russian president putin. here's how president trump described it yesterday to the new york times. >> president trump: really pleasantries more than anything else. it was not a long conversation. it could be 15 minutes. just talked about things. actually, it was very interesting. we talked about adoption. >> you did? >> russian adoption, yeah. i always found that interesting because he ended that years ago. i actually talked about russian adoption with him, which is interesting because that was a part of a conversation -- >> obviously people familiar with why putin ended the program of americans being able to adopt russian orphans knows that it was a direct response to the magni stshgsski act and signed into law by president obama, issuing sanctions against
russians who were suspected of human rights abuses. i don't know what you think, but tell me, do you think that putin, who was obviously a very savvy guy, is talking about adoptions with president trump and not about sanctions? what do you think actually might have taken place? >> the whole meeting is suspicious. we know donald trump has trouble with the truth, and we certainly know vladimir putin has trouble with the truth. the only other person in that exchange was the russian translator. no americans were present. so we don't know what was really discussed, but we do know putin has a pretty clear agenda. he wants the properties that were seized returned to russians here in the united states. he wants sanctions lifted. he wants a free hand in syria and a free hand in the ukraine. he's already gotten the syrian piece just yesterday. that's a very troubling development without witnesses, given the record of this
president and that president. i think we have every reason to believe that meeting produced no good at all. >> congressman jerry connolly, thank you so much, sir. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> up next, white house dubbed made in america week. so how come all we've been hearing from the white house is about the russian investigation. and o.j. simpson speaking out at his parole hearing with a view of how he sees himself. >> my life, basically, has been a conflict-free life. americans - 83% try to eat healthy.
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america week going? it's hard to say because it's been overshadowed by president trump's own doing, such as blasting his own attorney general, once again refusing to rule out firing special counsel robert mueller, telling republicans to let obama care fail as they scrambled for support to repeal it and on and on. tom foreman is out front. tom, this is far from the first time the president has gotten in his own way. >> oh, yeah, the president's themes are being derailed, and often he plays a big role in this. let's take a look at early june. this is when infrastructure week, there he wanted to talk about bridges, air traffic control. instead, look what happened. he tweeted an attack on the london mayor after a terror attack there. that went crazy. and then james comey, the fbi director he fired was in congress, testifying about that. all the headlines shifted away
from infrastructure week. >> then he was hit by a trifecta of problems. he have had a cabinet meeting which seemed to have been orchestrated for them to put this lavish praise on the president. that took headlines. ivanka went on fox and friends to talk about how vicious washington, dc is. that took headlines, and then jeff sessions was in front of congress, talking about russia again. then they moved on to technology week. it was one of his better ones. he managed to stay on theme much of the time until he went off to iowa on tour. then he had this campaign rally where suddenly they were yelling to lock up hillary clinton, and he was revisiting the campaign and talk about how frustrated he was with washington and all the high-tech endeavors went out the window. then there was energy week, which he unplugged. he pulled the plug on talking about mika and joe scarborough
in such a mean-spirited way that some of his own party members were saying, this is outrageous, and they couldn't stand for it. now, here we are. made in america week with allegations that some of trump's own companies use foreign suppliers. and now he's going after jeff sessions and he's complaining that they're being unfair to him. >> since these themes of the week are not working, is there a sign that the white house may abandon them altogether? >> not soon. we're coming up on american hero's week and american dreams week. we'll see if those last longer than the time it takes to announce them. >> a lot of staffers putting a lot of time into the theme weeks that the president steps on. >> rick santorum and doug -- let
me ask you. why do you think there's this phenomenon where the president gets in his own way and steps on his own message time after time? >> he can't help himself. whether it's tweeting responses or morning joe or news of the day, he can't help himself. he always does it. whether it's a theme week he gets in the way of or anything else, his ability to dominate a news cycle is what we've seen for more than two years since he announced running. i think the smart thing to do would be to dial it back a little bit. let some of the visuals that really work for trump when he does these events, the made in america events, i thought they were pretty successful this week. donald trump may be the only politician that may violate don't war the funny hat rule. he did that. stay with them. they can be effective. all these team weeks, they're about jobs. that's his core message. he should stick to it. >> that's where he pulls the
best. senator santorum, do you know what would have been a good idea? what if he gave an interview to the new york times and instead of attacking his own attorney general and deputy attorney general and the former fbi director and current fbi director bob mueller, what if he talked about making trump brands manufactured in the united states? that would be a pretty big headline. >> yeah, it would be. it's certainly frustrating for a lot of republicans and conservatives who see the trump agenda as something that's positive and can be sold to america and obviously see the distraction that is caused by some of these -- particularly a lot of the personal attacks, most of the things that were talked about before are just distractions, personal back and forths and not really policy related. that's the unfortunate part. i think the president needs to continue to get out there and get his message across. i'm not saying he shouldn't tweet. i'm not saying he shouldn't do
interviews, but he has to understand that it only takes -- i'm sure that interview was probably an hour long. if you give two minutes, if you can get 58 minutes of a great interview and spend two minutes talking about the controversial, everybody is going to forget about the great stuff you said. it's that little extra bit of discipline to make sure you don't give the other side something to change the subject on. >> to be fair to the new york times, i mean, the very first -- they put up a lot of transcript. the very first question they asked was how was lunch? he had just had lunch with the republican senators, and immediately he was criticizing hillary clinton. so there were a lot of opportunities there for him to make his case, but you know, senator, we've talked about this many times before, he gets in his own way. so senator santorum, you saw tom foreman lay out the various theme weeks at the white house. take a listen. >> infrastructure week continues with the president's visit to cincinnati, ohio. >> as the secretary said, it's
workforce week here at the white house. >> this week we're going to wrap up a month-long focus on american jobs with a week dedicated to american energy. >> i know that there are a lot of really diligent, smart, hard-working people at the white house that are putting together these weeks and actually care about these weeks. you can't really argue with the idea of made in america or infrastructure week or energy week. these are important things and voters want to hear about them. not just trump supporters. do you think that any of them were successful? >> you know, first off, you have to continue to do them. this is just like a campaign. you have a campaign where you're putting out themes for the week and then things overcome it. but that doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to get out there and drive your message. it gets out there. it doesn't get out there as the dominant news story on cable news, but you do get reports and publications, and you do get some social media. it's still worth doing, but it's worth doing better and more
focused. that's what i would suggest. >> doug, our sarah murray reported that there was a new normal in the west wing. officials hashing out the agenda and waiting to see how long it takes before the president blows it up by saying something or tweeting like he did with the jeff sessions remarks. is all this preparation for the theme weeks important or not? >> staff will often make bets behind their boss's back. i've seen it and probably engaged in it a bit. we'll start a week talking about made in america or workforce development week, which i had actually forgotten about, and by tuesday or wednesday -- in this case last night we've moved on to something else. what's notable about it -- i agree with the senator -- they should keep doing these, we remember them because we forget. that's what the white house really has to turn around, is that we remember it was made in
america week. we remember infrastructure week. they all go to his core message of what his campaign was about. that's why a better focus would benefit the president. >> we remember them because we forget. doug high and the high tones with his new country western song. thanks so much. good to see you both. >> thank you. >> out front, john mccain not slowing down. taking a swipe at president trump the day after the senator revealed he has brain cancer. >> and o.j. simpson is about to be freed from prison. what will life be like for him now? stay with us.
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together, we're building a better california. >> new tonight, attorney general jeff sessions not backing down. sessions saying he is not going anywhere after president trump told the new york times sessions never should have recused himself from the russian investigation. >> and out front now is republican senator from south dakota, mike rounds, who sits on the senate armed services committee. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you. appreciate the opportunity, jake. >> so attorney general sessions was a bit defiant today, vowing to stay in his job in spite of trump's criticism. you know him well. you served together. do you think he should stay on despite this very clear expression of disapproval from the president? >> look, the attorney general is
a good man. he's solid. he's doing this job for the right reasons. he truly believes in what that job entails. i worked with him. i respect him. whether you agree or disagree with him on some issues, he's always respectful back and forth. he believes in the rule of law. he's good for america. >> a lot of your republican colleagues have privately expressed shock to me about what president trump said. i would go so far as to say dismay that the president in this interview criticized or rhetorically attacked the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, the former fbi director, the acting fbi director robert mueller. is there a disregard for a law enforcement apparatus in this country? >> i think first of all what you're going to find is everybody has the opportunity to
express their opinion. this president just happens to express it on a regular basis consistently. some people find it refreshing. some of us say we would disagree, and when the time comes, we'll say we disagree. the president knows we'll look at it in a different light. in some cases you're going to agree with his analysis. in other cases, you may disagree. in this case, i think jeff sessions is the right guy for the job. he's ready to stick in there. good for america if he does. if he decides because of the discussions that it's not for him, i would support him. >> i want to turn to the situation with john mccain. he's been diagnosed with brain cancer. have you spoken with him? have you heard from him since his diagnosis? what are your thoughts? >> i was in the meeting last night that lasted from about 7:00 to 10:30. we were talking about health care. lindsay graham was in there and
lindsay had john on the phone. he was telling us the amendments he would accept and the ones he wouldn't. even though he's in arizona, he's still with us. he's concerned. he's part of the united states senate. you're not going to keep him down. we said a prayer as a group when we heard about it. he's in our prayers, but if there's anybody out there that's willing to give cancer a battle, it's john mccain. he's truly an american hero. >> today, senator mccain was still tweeting after the washington post reported that the cia covert program was canceled that battled the assad regime. he said the reports that the government is ending the program is irresponsible, short sided, and plays into russia and assad's hands. do you agree with him? >> just because he's not in washington, dc doesn't mean he's not going to express his opinion. he's going to hang right in there. like i said, he's a tough
guy. he believes in it. this is his life. he has given his life to the united states. he's going to express that opinion. i think the rest of us are going to take a firm lead from what john mccain has to say. we'll do the research on it here as well, but you can't very often go wrong by listening to what the chairman of the senate armed services committee has to say. >> i notice you didn't answer the question about whether or not you agreed with him, but that's okay. i want to move on to one last question for you, sir. that's one last question about president trump and the interview with the time. he also appeared to put up a red line for special counsel robert mueller to avoid investigating his or his family's finances. this is what he had to say. take a listen. >> mueller was looking at your finances and your family's finances unrelated to russia. is that a red line? would that be a breach? >> i would say yeah.
i would say yes. >> he also suggested that perhaps -- he left it open -- that perhaps he would fire mueller for that. a lot of your colleagues with whom i've spoken have said that would be awful. senator susan collins on the record told me it would be catastrophic. what do you think? >> i think politically and appropriately, it's best to allow the independent counsel to do their work. that's the reason why we have him there. i think when you start talking about removing them, that's when you start getting into more trouble. right now, i think it's best to allow the independent counsel to do his work. so if the president was asking my advice, and he's not, i would say that it's probably not an appropriate thing to do. >> all right. thanks so much. i appreciate your time, sir. >> up next, o.j. simpson will have to make a living too. what is a 70-year-old ex-con to do?
sarah is out front. >> i basically spent a don fl-- culpability as he tries to convince the nevada parole board to set him free for the armed robbery and kidnapping he was convicted of in 2008. >> what were you thinking? >> all i want it is my property. >> rehashing the case, only saying he wanted to recover his stolen memorabilia. audiotapes revealed he knew about the gun. he blamed others for bringing guns and threatening his friend and memorabilia dealer. >> you know i would never ever direct anybody to point a gun at him or even threaten. the gun charges and -- they made it clear during the trial that i had no weapon. >> some of the strongest testimony for his release came
from that very same friend who had a gun pointed at his head. >> he made a mistake. and if he called me tomorrow and said bruce, i'm getting out, will you pick me up, bruce, i'll be here tomorrow. >> simpson had served nine years in prison after being convicted of robbery and kidnapping at this las vegas hotel. a judge sentenced him to as many as 33 years in prison. his attorneys and some legal analysts argued the lengthy sentence was a form of payback for his 1995 acquittal in the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. in 1995 o.j. simpson's murder trial was an obsession. 95 million americans watched this slow-speed car chis unfold. he eventually surrendered. >> gloves didn't fit.
you must acquit that is exactly what the jury d after an 8-month trial the jury delivered its verdict in less than an hour. the acquittal saw celebrations in the african-american and shock amongst many white americans. for the families of the victims it was devastating. they later sued simpson in civil court witnessing a a lawsuit. >> if our efforts of all these years are pushing him, put him where he belongs. >> but now the 70-year-old simpson is ready to walk free. and with the unanimous decision, the parole board agreed. >> is based on all that, mr. simpson, i do vote to grant parole when eligible. >> now, just because the parole board granted parole doesn't mean he'll get out right away. jake. >> thanks so much, sarah. joining me now is jeffrey
toobin, author of the run of his life. jeff, o.j. simpson admitted oh made bad decisions but seemed to place the blame on others. what was your take on him. >> well it was simpson at his worth i thought. self-justifying, self pitying, narcissistic. no mouthing the words he was sorry but clearly indicating he felt he had nothing to be sorry for. and worth yet, saying he led a conflict free life when he was a convicted and confessed domestic abuser. and we all know that nicole brown had called 911 repeatedly on him. so the idea that he feels domestic violence is not really violence or not really conflict, i think is indicative of some of the attitudes that we've seen throughout his life, which i
thought was pretty bad. i did think that the decision to give him parole was the correct one under nevada law. >> paul, what will o.j. simpson's life be like under parole. one of the commissioner's made a point about saying he can't vie late his parole decisions in any way. >> the parole conditions can be quite strict. he'll have a parole officer he has to report to. he has no constitutional rights in the sense they can search his premises without a warrant. test his urine. drug use, and alcohol use. so, from that stand point there will be restrictioning. but he remains a threat in the sense that as jeff was talking about the domestic abuse sufficient, even if you accept the jury's verdict, which i don't, by the way, that he was innocent of the killing of his wife and ron goldman, the both trials, civil and criminal
trial, recounted almost 50 incidents of domestic abuse. nine times the police were called to the simpson house. nicole was so terrified of him she left pictures of her bruised and battered face in a safe so people would know who killed her if she was found dead. it's a shocking record of domestic abuse and he's a threat to the women in whatever community he unfortunately decides to settle in. i think that's a disgrace. >> jeff, i was zwrjust reading column about how the case involving nicole brown simpson and ron goldman directly led to this incident in las vegas and it has to do with in his recounting of the story, o.j. simpson trying to find ways to make money where he wouldn't have to turn over that money, he would hide it from the goldman's who won this very sizable civil democratic victory against him for the murder of their son. that's why he got involved with
all these shady characters. >> remember o.j. was out and free from 1995 to 2007 and most of the way he made a living was with these sort of shady o autograph sellers. remember, the reason, main reason he moved to florida is that florida has laws that allow people who have civil judgments against them to shelter more of their money than most other states have. and that's why he has this pension, which is at least $300,000 a year from the nfl. so that's what he'll live off pretty well. play a lot of golf, get involved in the memorabilia business. >> a, hey, jeff, one more thing. when he was freed in 1995 he said he was going to devote his
time searching for the really killer. i don't think we'll see him doing that. >> you represented nicole brown simpsons family. they were awarded more than there is 33 million. most of that has not been collected. any chance of them getting that money now that he's out of prison? i. >> i think the chances are pretty remote. he had an nfl pension that probably is going to generate about $20,000 a month for him to live on. he'll live comfortably but that's protected by federal law from attachment as a result of a judgment. he was quite successful in hiding most of his assets from the goldman's and browns during the period of time he remained out of prison. i imagine that conduct will continue. it remains to be seen. the there are lawyers out there watching him and trying to trace the assets but he's never really paid even a small -- a large portion of that verdict.
>> all right, paul, thank you so much. thank you for join issiing us. the ac 360 starts now. good evening we begin tonight with blow-back from republicans. ripped attorney general jeff sessions. former fbi director james comey. he also had a warning for robert mueller not to poke too far into his business. when asked by the times if that would constitute a red line for the president, he said yes. whether it's that remark individually or the tone of many of them, what the president has said has been drawn to negative reviews from ordinarily solid supporters. a group of senators spoke. one who did not want to be named said he was stunned. any thought of firing a special counsel is chilling he said. that's all you can say. another said "one gets the