tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN July 21, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
good friday morning everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. this morning, explosive new reports of law and disorder at the white house. president trump shakes up his personal legal team as he ramps up his attack on the russia investigation. the new leadership reportedly assigned to a new mission. both the "new york times" and "the washington post" are reporting that the legal team is scrambling to discredit special counsel robert mueller and his investigators. the goal, according to both papers, expose conflicts of interest that the president says are there, try to undermine the investigation. meanwhile, "the washington post" reports the legal team for the
president is also investigating or taking a look at issues related to pardoning potentially his aides and family members if necessary. and the report does say that the president has even inquired about the ability to pardon himself. this morning when asked about it the president's lawyer called that reporting, quote, nonsense. we are covering all of the developments this busy friday morning. let's get to capitol hill where we find our suzanne malveaux. and before that joe johns is at the white house. good morning, joe. >> reporter: good morning, poppy. so that question of whether the president has the power to pardon aides, family members and certainly himself is somewhat of an open question in the courts. it has not been settled. many legal experts question whether it's possible. and it comes on the heels, that report does, of reporting by bloomberg that the personal finances of the president of the
united states are now being investigated, which would be an important turn in the investigation. meanwhile, as we've been reporting all morning, there has been a shakeup of sorts in the president's personal legal team which indicates that the president's long-time personal advisor and attorney marc kasowitz would be taking at the very least a somewhat diminished role while some of the other attorneys who've been brought onto represent the president take role in the forefront, if you will. that will include ty cobb, long-time insider washington attorney and of course jay sekulow who's been somewhat the face of this legal issue. other things that have been happening on this we do know in fact that the press aide, the communications spokesman for this legal team has now stepped down. he confirmed that to cnn. many other questions remain
about how this investigation is going to go, what the administration is going to do. indications this morning that the president very much is looking at the idea of investigating the investigators, looking into their personal backgrounds, finding about conflicts they may have had in the past in order to use that at least in a political way. but a source also telling cnn this morning that the president's legal team does intend to cooperate fully with the investigation as they continue to try to get to the bottom of russia's interference in the last election. back to you. >> joe johns at the white house. thank you very much for that. also today, there is a deadline in the russia investigation. donald trump jr., the president's son, and former campaign manager paul manafort haven't said yet whether they will testify in front of the judiciary committee as scheduled next wednesday. the republican chairman of that committee says if he doesn't have those answers today he is willing to subpoena both of
them. all of this as the president's son-in-law jared kushner is expected to meet with senate staffers next week behind closed doors. our suzanne malveaux is on capitol hill. are we getting any indication about whether or not trump junior and paul manafort will say by the end of the day, yes, we're coming before your committee, or are they going to wait for a subpoena? >> reporter: we know they have invitations, they've received those invitations, we don't know whether or not they're going to accept them. but we know it's deadline day. the senate judiciary committee very much set on getting a response by the end of the day. so they still have some time here, poppy. we heard from dianne feinstein, senator ranking democrat on the committee who says that they did get the clearance from special counsel bob mueller that they would be able to testify publicly if that is something that they are willing to do, that that would not be a conflict with his investigation. and senator chuck grassley, the chairman, making it very clear time and time again that, yes, he is willing to use subpoena power to try to force them to go
before that committee. both of them saying that they sent a letter to them and it has been received. they want to know more information about that meeting that took place in june of last year involving eight different individuals. and of course one that was started or the impetus of that meeting from the russian official, the lawyer who said that they had some sort of damaging information on hillary clinton. so we are waiting for that. also, poppy, of course look to monday. monday is going to be a particularly important day. should be able to get some information out of this closed session meeting, but it is a closed meeting and that is with jared kushner before the senate intelligence committee, not before the senators themselves but staffers. it is going to be a closed session. it is also considered an interview, not necessarily sworn testimony but an opportunity for him to answer some questions to go before those staffers' initial questions. and then later at another date actually meet with those senators. so that's going to be something that we should glean some
information about that meeting. this all at the same time as special counsel continues its own investigation and congress the testimony in the congress' policies simply languish, poppy. >> indeed, that agenda trying to catch up with the russia cloud that is surrounding this white house. suzanne malveaux in washington, thank you very much. joining me now to discuss cnn political analyst abby phillip and michael burns, and former special assistant to robert mueller now special counsel when he was at the department of justice, thank you very much for being here. michael, to you, since you have vast legal expertise in this and because of your experience working with mueller, the news out of "the washington post" that the president's attorney this morning is calling nonsense is that, look, the president was talking with aides and others within the white house and saying what are my options when it comes to pardoning aides, family members, even myself if necessary.
some of the reporting we have now from our reporters is that he was just having this conversation trying to find out what his authority is. you say this is fiercely debated but this is an unresolved legal question. isn't it really? >> well, it's not unresolved whether or not he can pardon his friends and family members -- >> but himself. >> -- that he can do. as to himself, it's open constitutional question. but you can't pardon yourself from impeachment. so if he does that, he can still be impeached and then that would be the end of his presidency. >> so just following that you've written about this and actually you wrote about this a month ago in terms of talking about all of this whether or not, the president, michael, would fire bob mueller, something he didn't rule out in that "new york times" interview, you wrote it is so unlikely.
why? >> because of the way the regulations are set up. the regulations that govern this require the firing of him for cause and only by rosenstein. so rosenstein has said that he would not fire mueller without cause. he would resign instead. then it would go to the associate attorney general. and i think that that process of resignation after resignation because there's no cause would make it almost impossible politically for this to occur without there being such a firestorm as to, you know, threaten the presidency. and so i think that this is a lot of bluster but not with legal support behind it. the regulations just don't allow for it easily. now, i could be mistaken. the president behaves in a very ma cure yal way but just not likely in my estimation from a
legal standpoint. >> so reporting that there is a concerted effort among those in the white house to dig up what would be seen potentially as conflicts of interests for bob mueller, right? the president said in that times interview, well, he was sitting here interviewing for the fbi chief post just a day before he was named special counsel, that eliminates him. now they're leaking other reasons that they think he is not fit to do this job. you know, it's not like this is a first. i mean, there may be certain parts of it that are a first. but the clinton white house was anything but kind to ken starr and certainly tried to discredit him many, many times. >> sure, i think what's different about this situation is that you didn't have president clinton himself out there every day -- >> talking about it. >> -- talking about it, right. i think any lawyer and certainly any political strategist advising a president on how to manage a situation like this would tell him to try to segregate these issues. to leave the legal stuff to your legal team and focus on governing the country. >> sure. doesn't mean the efforts -- >> well, it doesn't mean the efforts are different. you didn't see necessarily the
over power and prestige of the presidency concentrated against a special counsel with whom the administration was at least nominally cooperating, right? that's really different here. and for allies of president trump, what's been i think most disconcerting about this week is the sense that the president himself just can't kind of get off that topic. that even when it is clearly counterproductive politically and probably counterproductive on a legal basis, he just goes out there and says what he wants to say about this investigation. >> so, abby, to you. jake tapper spoke yesterday with four sitting republican senators, okay. and they're responding to the attacks of this president on his entire justice department including attorney general jeff sessions. one of them told jake, quote, the attorney general is america's top law enforcement official, it's unclear if he understands that and that's pretty disturbing. another one of the senators said that discussing the firing of special counsel mueller or not ruling it out, right, is chilling. and then went onto say if that
were to happen, somehow congress would hire a special counsel of their own. what do you make of that? four sitting republican senators. >> it really reflects a concern that is pretty widespread among many republicans though not all of them that firing mueller or even the president talking so openly about the possibility is incredibly disturbing. it would really shift the political dynamics in this situation. and many of them are maybe through these comments to jake and elsewhere are trying to warn the president don't even go there. but at the same time i've also heard on the other side of this there are a lot of trump loyalists who are in many cases resentful of kind of institutional republicans pushing back on trump constantly who say why can't the president fire mueller? he's the president of the united states. why doesn't he have that authority? so there are forces on both
sides of this. and it's very clear that no matter, you know, what is being said on the outside, this is something that is being mulled over by the president himself. he's focused on it. he is disturbed by mueller's investigation. and he in no way agrees with this idea that the special counsel investigation is actually something that could help keep this whole conflict out of the front pages. in fact, the president thinks that it's an even greater risk partly ba partly because mueller's investigation really could spawn into something that he really would not be able to control. this personal finances thing is really something that digs deep for him. and he doesn't like it at all. and it's become really the crux of his problem with the investigation the fact it even exists. >> that's what happens as we learn from the clinton white house with these investigations. they start with one thing and they balloon into sometimes
something else. michael, the white house trying to put together what they deem to be these conflicts of interest to be able to make the case, they think on legal ground, that mueller can't do his job. what conflicts of interest would actually constitute that? would it hold water to say that he was in there interviewing for the fbi chief job the day before? is that enough? >> no. it wouldn't hold water at all. it's a sieve. the water would flow right through. the issue with bob mueller is that he's pretty unassailable. ken star was a different matter. he'd never been a prosecutor. he had close political ties to the party. the republican party. bob mueller is a registered republican. he's a career federal prosecutor, fbi director, assistant attorney general of the criminal division. he's not going to be susceptible to the same challenges that clinton made of star. i think it's an unavailing legal strategy. i also think that it actually
hurts the president to make these veiled threats in this respect. remember, comey testified that the president made these same veiled threats to him, the loyalty test, the back off flynn with the hope thing, comey said i heard all these things as threats. now you see the president doing the same thing, using the same sort of language with respect to mueller. and i think essentially bolsters comey's claim as to the tone and import of what the president was saying to him. so in the end if there's a credibility contest between the president and comey with respect to whether or not there was an obstruction of justice, i think the president is hurting himself in legal terms. and i'm surprised his lawyers are allowing him, if they can control him, to speak this way because it undermines his credibility as a witness and undermines his legal standing as a consequence. it's a big problem for him. >> alex, it is clear that this
president thinks there are parameters to what in lines that the special counsel can't cross, but even if he believes there are others working the white house veterans in washington who know that's not the case and they know as jackie said yesterday on the program, red light, green light, you can't ta stop and go. but sarah huckabee sanders yesterday again trying to defend it, said this is about the russia investigation and shouldn't be anything more and she said, quote, nothing beyond that. the president is making clear special counsel should not move outside of the scope of the investigation. why is the white house continuing to use this explanation? >> i think for someone like sarah huckabee sanders, you're in the position of essentially having to defend and magnify whatever the president has already said, right? we've never seen a spokesman for president trump go out and say actually the president misspoke, that was a big mistake and now i'm taking it back, right? i wouldn't read so much into the repetition. i think the fact the president
said it in the first place is revealing how he sees the appropriate relationship between himself and the justice department. and as you say people who've been around this -- >> they know around him they know. >> they know this is not how this works. >> alex burns, abby philip, michael zeldin, we appreciate it. ahead, lawmakers not at work at least in the district. they are out of town. many at home with their constituents. but when it comes to health care, are they out of ideas? and will there even be a vote next week? and multiple errors and failure to take action, an initial investigation this morning into that deadly "uss fitzgerald" collision is blaming the u.s. navy itself. what went wrong? the u.s. government slapping exxon with a $2 million fine for allegedly violating sanctions on russia, calling it egregious. this is all while the now-secretary of state rex tillerson was the ceo of exxon mobil. the oil company fighting back this morning. a live report ahead.
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replace obamacare next week. this comes amid stunning reports from "new york times" and "the washington post" this morning that the president's lawyers are now working to dig up dirt that could understocut the man investigating the president around all things russia. joining me now, congressman kildee, let's begin with your reaction to specifically also "the washington post" reporting this morning that the president has at least inquired about the ability to potentially pardon himself if needed, something his lawyer calls nonsense. >> well, it sure raises a lot of questions as to why president trump is so nervous about the investigation that is taking place. i mean, mr. mueller has a track record of being a man of great integrity. he will follow the facts wherever they may lead. and, you know, the president i think raises even more suspicion perhaps maybe where there isn't
suspicion -- or isn't warranted suspicion, we'll have to find that out. but he sure makes people curious about why he's so obsessive about trying to tamp down or stop or somehow distract this investigation. >> so, congressman, we have a new poll out, a new cnn poll this morning, and these are the numbers that surprised me a bit and i want your reaction to them. what you're looking at on the screen is a number of americans concerned about contacts between russia and the trump campaign. that's actually gone down six points from march. it's 49% now. and then if you dig in a little bit more, only 27% of americans in this brand new poll this morning say they are very concerned about contacts between russians and the trump campaign. now, as you know, a number of your fellow democrats have focused so much on this that you would think that this is the platform that they are running on in 2018 and 2020. would they be remiss to do that given these numbers? >> yeah, i actually think it's a mistake for us to focus so much attention on this issue.
now, the committees that are looking at this, the intelligence committee, the senate committee, mr. mueller, they should continue to pursue this. the american public should know that we are watching this and we are paying attention to it, but i think what we're seeing with this polling i think is correct. people want us to work on issues that will affect their lives immediately. they're worried about their jobs, they're worried about their kids being able to have opportunity. we should be focusing on infrastructure, for example, we should be focusing on growing the skills of our workers so they can get better jobs and make better wages. when they see us talking about everything else over and over again, they rightfully get frustrated. as democrats we have to put forward an agenda that really speaks to what people are thinking about every day. >> i think you must hear it quite a bit considering the fact that in michigan of the 83 counties only eight went to hillary clinton. you represent one of them that did, but even in the five counties that border you you've
got the president getting a ton of support more than -- nearly a 40% margin in a number of them. so you're hearing from those around you stop talking so much about russia? democrats? >> yeah. i mean, it's more an affirmative message. they say, look, work on growing the economy. work on jobs. they don't give the president a pass on russia. they just would prefer that we focus more of our attention on real issues. >> so let's talk about a real issue, flint, michigan, you represent the people of flint. i and so many others from cnn were there covering this, you know, i interviewed the governor of michigan there as he was under fire for all of this. it's been a while and flint is not in the headlines, but those children are still impacted for their entire life because of the lead that was in the water. how are they doing? and are you getting the resources you need from this white house? >> well, you know, things are getting better, slowly. i guess we've in some ways
turned the corner. the pipes are being replaced over a three-year period. but the long-term needs of the community have really not been completely met. and this white house so far really has ignored flint chlgt the president at one point in time said that he would fix it. >> right. >> i asked the president for something very simple, give me a point of contact within the administration to work with the flint recovery. president obama did a lot, directed all of his agencies and departments to work with us. and they really delivered. so far other than executing the things that congress has already done, the resources that we provided, i can't get an answer from the trump white house. >> no answer? >> nothing. >> when did you send them this letter that i believe you wrote? >> immediately after the president was sworn in, i reached out, wrote a letter, said i just would simply like to have a point of contact so we know who we should be dealing with on flint recovery. no answer. we reiterated that request. still no answer. this is, i think, the problem.
the president is so focused on his own reputation, his problems, his messaging, he's not governing. whether it's flint, michigan, or the lack of an infrastructure plan or not moving forward on taxes, or having no idea whatsoever he wants in health care reform, he's not doing his job. >> final question to you before i let you go. you've been pretty candid that you think there are problems with obamacare and there are things that need to be fixed. and you and many other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they want bipartisan work to get it done. what is most broken with obamacare right now, congressman? >> well, i think the thing that's most broken is the individual market where in some places we see competition evaporating and in many places the premium costs are just too high. that's about 6% or 7% of the market. we really need to focus on improving that. for example, allowing people to have an early entry into
medicare, for example. there are other sort of technical ways we can deal with that. negotiating prescription drug prices would be another. but it's that individual market where we're seeing the biggest problem. we need to really focus our attention on solving that. democrats and republicans ought to be able to get together and do that together. >> one would think. but we haven't seen it yet. congressman dan kildee, thank you very much. good luck on the second half of your drive home. >> thanks, poppy. >> a slew of things went wrong. this morning new information on the "uss fitzgerald" collision that cost seven navy sailors their lives, and who is at fault. ray's always been different. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways.
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findings show multiple errors by the crew of the "uss fitzgerald" in a failure to take action in the final moments leading up to the crash. two defense officials tell our barbara starr, seven of our country's finest and bravest died in that collision, you see them all right here. among them xavier martin, just 24 years old, a son who followed in his father's footsteps, joining the navy as a teenager. his father called him a supernova and a bright shining star. >> how proud of your son are you? >> words can't describe how proud of him -- i can't -- i have kept every text from the time he's joined the navy. and there's just numerous texts that i've expressed how proud i am. i'm so proud to be his father. i could not ask for a better child. never. >> joining us now live at the
pentagon is our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, you're the one who got this reporting, this information. what else are the investigators telling you? >> reporter: first, continuing utter heartbreak for these seven navy families, but what investigators are finding, and it is the preliminary findings, more information could come to light, is there were a series of cascading errors by the navy crew manning the ship at the time. they knew this cargo ship was out there. they knew it was approaching, but for some reason nobody sounded a warning or an alarm of imminent danger. there was no action to change course until it was too late. the ship apparently just kept on the course it was on at the time. and that's what's so inexplicable, what kind of seamen ship was actually at play here at work. and so that's where it goes now the investigation. they know that the crew failed to respond, but why they failed to respond remains a critical
question. you know, the devastating wreckage is perhaps one of the bigger issues now. a hole ripped below the water line, the compartments flooding, that's where the seven sailors died. but the damage so severe. there was a real possibility of officials saying this ship could have sunk and the entire crew could have perished at sea. so this becomes even beyond the seven and the tragedy for those families, you know, just the potential of utter catastrophe. and that's why the navy has to figure out now what exactly happened, why it happened. and there will be accountability. there's a good chance we are told that some of the crew will face charges because this collision never should have happened. it is the responsibility they say of the u.s. navy at sea to stay out of the way of other ships. poppy. >> barbara, before you go, quickly, aren't there a lot of
failsafes in place so things like this don't happen? >> reporter: well, that's right. it starts with having the bridge manned and people even outside on deck watching for approaching ships, sounding the verbal alarm to those driving the ship that danger is imminent. and it does appear that for some reason that just did not happen here. >> barbara starr breaking the news of that preliminary investigation this morning. thank you for the reporting. secretary of state rex tillerson's former company, the company he was ceo of for a really long time, now under fire and facing a big fine. the treasury department going after and fining millions of dollars against oil giant exxonmobil, why? for its dealings with russia while tillerson was in charge.
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nearby greek islands leaving at least two people dead. you can see hundreds running near the epicenter in turkey, it was a 6.7 magnitude quake. this was the scene on the greek island of kos. we're told two, one from sweden, one from turkey, were killed. the u.s. is expected to ban american citizens from visiting north korea. that is according to two tour groups that take western tourists there. the u.s. state department spokesperson had said last month it was being contemplated. this news of course follows the death of otto warmbier, the american college student arrested in north korea last year after being held for 17 months, he was handed over to the united states in june and died just a few days later. exxonmobil fighting back after the trump administration and treasury department hit the oil company with a $2 million fine. why? for, quote, blatantly violating u.s. sanctions on russia. the violations happened in 2014,
that is when now-secretary of state rex tillerson was ceo of exxon. the treasury department says those violations were egregious and, quote, caused significant harm. our michelle kiz ki is at the state department with more. >> reporter: the treasury is calling this what exxon did at the time while he was leading the company reckless disregard for the u.s. sanctions imposed on russia. the treasury says in 2014 exxon repeatedly did business with, signed eight different documents with a close friend of vladimir putin's. he's head of the state oil company rosnef. he was sanctioned in 2014 after russia took over crimea. so the state department was asked repeatedly about this. they've mostly referred all questions to the treasury department, but also asked repeatedly why doesn't secretary of state tillerson come and address reporters and the american public directly.
it was clear that was not going to happen, but here's some of what the state department said. >> the company he led violated the sanctions scheme. so how can the american people trust that he is committed to continuing with us? >> i think he was very clear with president poroshenko, the united states, this administration, the president have all been very clear about our support for the ukrainian government for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. >> here's where it gets tricky. exxon is calling this fundamentally unfair. they are suing the treasury department now to try to get rid of this fine. they say they got guidance from treasury in 2014 about how to work under these sanctions because the gas company was not sanctioned, but the ceo was sanctioned. so they said treasury helped them to understand back then that it was okay to do some business with the company just
not personally. treasury came back and said, no, that's not how sanctions work. when you read the sanctions, it makes it clear and that exxon should have known better, poppy. >> the devil's in the details as always, michelle kosinski at the state department. two families lost loved ones in police shootings coming together with a common message, justice must be served. there's nothing more important to me than my vacation. so when i need to book a hotel room, i want someone that makes it easy to find what i want. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. now i can start relaxing even before the vacation begins. your vacation is very important. that's why booking.com makes finding the right hotel for the right price easy. visit booking.com now to find out why we're booking.yeah!
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philando castile and the fiancee of justine ruszczyk, both lost loved ones at the hands of police. the two embraced as hundreds gathered on the streets of minneapolis last night. she was shot last weekend after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault. we're following the latest in minneapolis. the police officer that fired those shots when we spoke last was not saying anything. has that changed? >> reporter: that has not changed, poppy. and i will tell you the people who came out here last night, they all had a common message and that is this police shooting should have never taken place. you mentioned justine ruszczyk was killed in this alley late saturday night after calling to report a sexual assault. and last night's march was a pretty interesting group of people. a lot of the neighbors, people who may have known justine from this area, and a handful of activists who were calling for
police accountability, one of them the mother of philando castile who was killed by an officer during a traffic stop in the minneapolis area last summer. she said that she knew her son's death would not be the last at the hands of police. and coincidentally he was killed -- or justine ruszczyk was killed, excuse me, on his birthday. we're also hearing from the police chief for the first time. she said that the police officer, mohammed noor, not trained but a good hire, but in this case she is not standing behind him. >> justine didn't have to die. based on the publicly released information from the vca, this should not have happened. on our squad cars you will find the words, to protect with courage and serve with compassion. this did not happen. >> reporter: the chief also said she spoke directly with don damon, justine's fiancee
promising him justice though she could not promise mohamed noor would lose his badge. i also spoke with the family attorney yesterday who also represented the castile family in that case. he said what what they have in common is panicky police officers. he cannot see justable reason for the shooting. the family is looking for justice in the largest sense, meaning not just cash, but meaningful reforms to police accountable. >> scott, thank you for that. ahead, what is happening at the white house right now? multiple reports or efforts to push back the man heading up the russian investigation. is president's team is looking for ways to try to undercut bob mueller. what is the strategy here? my experience with usaa has been excellent.
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yeah, and i can watch thee provbgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. president trump proved that a ceo with no political experience could become the leader of the new world. is his run going to inspire other countries to do the same. every ceo i ask says thanks but
no thanks. i asked the first black woman ever to become the ceo of a fortune 500 country. >> if i thought the effort i put into the political arena was an effort that would have more impact than the effort i do today, i would do it. i am a believer that it will not. it's kind of the chicken and the egg thing. if you don't get involved, you can't have more. i think if i did that, i wouldn't be able to do the things i'm passionate about now. if you could transport me into the role, i would feel better than if i had to run. it it's not the running part, i'm fairly competitive. it's such bs we go through to run. if you want somebody to do a job, i think i would be a reasonable person to do certain kind of work. before i could walk in the door,
there's other stuff you have to do, which is ridiculous. you have to know more about me than my husband knows about me. you know, i have to be more saintly than jesus christ was. >> and you are not a nun. >> i'm not a nun. my husband knows me pretty well. then, when you get there,itis not about constructive battle. it's about, actually, not even dialogue. so, i do understand that i'm copping out of it by saying not me now, and i feel guilty about that, i may have to change my mind at some point, but i think we need to do a bit more structural repair of the political system before i get involved. >> have you been in the white house in the last six months? >> absolutely not. >> so, if you were invited, because a number of tech ceos
have gone and been invited, sat with the president, would you go? what would you say ursula? >> my message to the white house, any administration is the same. it is the same because this is not a political issue. we've made it a political issue. this is a human issue. this is a long term america issue. my message, democrat, republican, obama, trump, would be, has been and would be that people need -- people need structures in society that enable them to do better in the future. so, education, health care, to have a debate about whether or not you can get glasses if you need them is one of the most bizarre debates in the world. money should not be the foundation of those decisions. and definitely not class, shouldn't be the foundation. that's what they are.
we want a safe environment to live in. obviously, imagine if you have a home and listen to rancor and not be safe. these are thing that is are foundational and i say this to anyone in power. that's what we pay taxes for and the responsibility of government. that's the responsibility of people who have, are as well. >> interesting note, ursula burns, public housing from new york city rose up to be ceo. you can hear the pull cast on boss files that drops monday morning. good morning, everyone. 10:00 a.m. eastern this friday. i'm poppy harlow. this morning, the white house trying to flip the script, if you will, on the russian investigation. special council, bob mueller and his investigators are facing new scrutiny. "the washington post" and "the new york times" reporting this
morning that president trump's legal team is scrambling to find multiple ways to discredit them. the goal according to the newspapers exposed due to conflict of interest and undermining the investigation. the president shakes up the legal team with new leadership. the president said hours earlier, he planned a more aggressive pushback. the post reports the legal team is taking a look at where the president's authorities stand on issuing pardons for aides and family members, but maybe also for himself. this morning, the president's lawyer called that reporting nonsense. we are covering all the developments this busy morning. susan malveaux is on capitol hill and caitlin collins is at the white house. the white house says nonsense, much to do about nothing. >> reporter: good morning, poppy. we are hearing donald trump is reshuffling his legal team in wake of the investigation. the lawyer is going to see a reduced role.