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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  July 21, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello, i'm kate bolduan. we begin with breaking news on the russian investigation. cnn learned special council robert mueller is asking the white house now to preserve all documents relating to the now infamous trump tower meeting at the height of the election where his son, son-in-law and campaign chairman were promised dirt provided by the russian government to help the trump campaign. cnn chief political correspondent, dana bash has the
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details. dana, what is mueller asking here? >> reporter: cnn learned the special council, robert mueller sent a letter to the white house council this week asking white house staff to save all documents relating to the june, 2016 meeting at trump tower with donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort and a russian lawyer. according to a source i spoke with who has seen the letter and read it to me, the request pertains to any subjects discussed in the course of the meeting and also any decisions made regarding recent disclosures about the june, 2016 meeting. muellers letter clearly connect this is request to the larger russia investigation. as you are aware, we are investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including links and coordination of individuals with donald trump.
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any information concerning the june 2016 meeting between donald trump jr. is relevant to the investigation. now, this preservation request inclutes text messages, e-mails, notes, voice mails, communications and documentation related to the june 2016 meeting as well as communication since then. i should note that requests like this are not uncommon and are often sent in early stages of an investigation to ensure that document that is could be relevant to the investigation and possibly requested in the future aren't destroyed. this is significant because it is one of the first clear actions that we know about from the special council on the investigation, particularly as it relates to the white house. i should tell you a white house spokesperson told me they don't comment on internal communications and the special councils office declined to comment. >> reporting on the white house
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scramble and responding to the meeting. does this request impact communications? >> it sounds that way, kate. this request would apply to all communications between white house aides about the response to that meeting. you may remember, there were a series of stumbles in response to the revelations about the don, jr. meeting. our colleagues reported kushner's legal team, white house aides and other members of legal teams around the key players tried to manage the disclosure of the newly discovered e-mails and involvement in crafting a response that may have opened up the white house aides to special council scrutiny. the response to immediate inquiries about the meeting and how this worked out was, again, kind of bumbled. that is significant because usually a legal matter like this
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would have been handled by attorneys and not necessarily by aides who work in the white house. that's another reason why those people could, could be in legal jeopardy and more importantly be of interest to the special council. >> at the very least. may have opened more people within the white house up to some amount of scrutiny. great to see you, dana. thank you so much. we are going to analyze the news with our panel in a second. first, we have this, new in the russian investigation. t"the washington post" are reporting president trump and his legal team are taking steps to try to undermine bob mueller. carol is a national reporter for "the washington post." great to see you. thanks for coming in. the idea that they are compiling a list of conflict of interest on mueller and his team, how
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deep are they going to look for conflict of interest? >> they are looking as deeply as you can imagine in any medical exam. they are looking at campaign contributions, personal relationships, things they believe would be disqualifying for prosecutors and investigators and mueller, himself. this includes the close relationship and working relationship between comey and mueller. you may remember that comey worked for mueller for a period of time. there's going to be a look at every single investigators donations to hillary clinton whether it was a $20 check or $200 check. we are also told by a source, last night, i was told, that the president himself is interested in and slightly ticked a bit, if you use that phraseology about what he considers an important conflict, that mueller resigned from a trump golf course in 2011
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and that, as described or as alleged, mueller had some sort of dispute over back fees he was owed. muellers spokesperson told reporters there was no dispute, he resigned. it was interesting the president thinks this is something that conflicts mueller. it's just as interesting is the president's own, you know, public, now public story questioning of his legal authority and can he pardon himself, pardon his family, pardon his aides and asking his lawyers sort of when can i do that and what are the extent of my authority. >> carol, how serious are those talks about his pardoning power? >> well, you know, we have had lots of different varying accounts, depending on who you ask. his current legal advisers said to us, it is a natural curiosity of his. he sees things on the news,
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reads stories or watches it on television and has questions when he sees this question of pardons and wants to know, what's my power. some view it with suspicion, this account and think the president is looking at the long game because, let's be honest, as one of my sources told me last night, this is ken star times a thousand. this could be an investigation that goes very far from russian communications with the trump campaign and ends up looking at this as transactions in manhattan and the president and how connected he may be to the player who wanted or interested in impacting our election. >> lot of interest in all of those angles. great to see you. thank you for coming in, i appreciate it. >> of course. joining me now, former u.s. attorney michael moor and richard, one of the lead watergate prosecutors and council for the senate white
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water committee and member of the 9/11 commission. we have a lot to get to on this friday. michael, what do you think of this effort, as carol was laying out, laid out in the "washington post" and "the new york times" to investigate the investigators and look for areas of conflict of interest? >> i don't think it's that unusual. he did that throughout the campaign. we saw that when the pressure got on. i think the fallacy of his move is sort of like chumming the water for sharks and it's liable to just embolden the people who are looking at him. i'm guessing, too, there are dozens of people, should he get any of them disqualified, i don't think he should. there are a dozen people back there waiting to take that job. they see it as a patriotic due toy make sure they don't have their hands in the administration. i think it's likely to backfire. i can tell you this, we talk
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about the dog barking, bob mueller and his team are not going to be persuaded or have their attention drawn off by yelps from pennsylvania avenue. i don't believe that. >> the clinton white house, of course, tried something similar with ken star, discrediting ken star. the president never went to the step of firing him. let me ask you what carol was reporting about the areas they are looking into. police cal donations. the relationship between mueller and james comey and the reporting about him giving back his membership to a trump golf course. do those sound like legitimate conflicts of interest that could be a problem for bob mueller? >> no. certainly not. i mean, this is stretching beyond belief that a prosecutor
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would be recused or disqualified because he's -- he has left a golf course membership or had made a contribution to a political party. these are not bubble children who live in an environment that is outside and normal discourse and intercourse in political life. these are all people who have been picked because of their expertise as prosecutors. most all of them have been taken from the justice department itself and mueller, who has received bipartisan praise as the right person to lead this investigation is the last person in the country, quite frankly, who would be guilty of a conflict of interest. so, this, to me, simply demonstrates more smoke in
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mirrors an attempt to distract from the underlying investigation and it makes people properly ask the question, what has trump got to hide that he's going through all of these con va luted measures to break up the investigation. >> dana bash was reporting that robert mueller is asking the white house and white house personnel to preserve documents, text messages, e-mails, notes, relating to the infamous 2016 meeting between donald trump jr. and others and the russian attorney with the promise of dirt on hillary clinton from the russian government. michael, is this request from mueller, is it pro forma or indicate something more to you? >> i think it's a pushback. he's heard and he is not immune from the news. trump would like to limit the investigation.
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i'm going to dig a little bit and do what any good prosecutor could do. he knows you follow the money. this is a way to get to that. so, while the request itself is sort of pro forma, that is the meet sg out there, i think the extension and the expansion he did on the explanation of what he was looking for might be in response to the pushback about whether or not he is problemerly expanding. he's got the authority to do that. he can look at whatever he wants to look at. that's what's interesting here. the conflict of interest, part of what you look at is a prosecutor is do you have a financial interest in the case you are prosecuting. i have done that. everybody in the department of justice had to do that. it is interesting trump held on to the tax records and business records and we don't know what their conflicts are. i think mueller is going in the right direction in his
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explanation probably confirms he knows he needs to follow the money trail. >> of this news on the 2016 meeting, richard, that the white house staff is being pasked to preserve all documents, what does it mean for the white house and the white house staff? >> it means that they have explicit requests not to destroy documents, presumably the white house council, long ago, would have issued the same order. this is ordinary in any kind of investigation that council for organization will send around a preservation letter. this is a belt and suspenders. anybody have any question about it, there should be no destruction of documents. quite clearly, this is a -- an amazing lead for the prosecution. they are going to follow up on it, no matter how much trump
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thunders about conflicts. he's a master of projection, i have to say. all conflict that is the president have and he has the audacity to claim mueller has a conflict of interest in investigating. i heard he thought it was a problem that mueller was interviewed for the fbi position just before he was appointed special council. well, that's -- that's just one more indication of how highly mueller is regarded, that he would be considered for that position and then the next thing, rod rosenstein appoints him as special council. look, mueller has been seething ever since his attorney general recused himself and he finds himself in the position of
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having an independent council, special council appointed rather than dealing with his own appointment of sessions as attorney general. but, all the people who have been appointed have been appointed by either trump or people appointed by trump. >> or one of trump's own appointees. let's see where the news takes us today as we get more drip, drip, drip. thank you both so much. i have appreciate it. >> good to be with you, kate. >> thank you. cnn exclusive coming up for us. calling him mr. perfect. jerry kushner's family using his name. frustrations boil over. the president's public criticism of jeff sessions disturbing. why his explosive interviews may be scaring off future hires. new light shed on the death of a bride-to-be in minneapolis.
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now to a cnn exclusive
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investigation, white house senior investigator jared kushner is no longer involved in his family's business operation. but they were caught using his name and business connections to lure foreign investors in. they apologized as they were going to stop doing it. as cnn found, kushner's name has been used after that. drew griffin is here. he found all this out. drew, where did you find it? what did you find? >> we found it on two sites of companies that partner with the kushner companies trying to lure in chinese investors. the promotions or alluding to kushner is in chinese, but talking about jared kushner, mr. perfect, reminding investors this is the company push ner, president trump's son-in-law used to run. one referenced the cover mag
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seen of jared kushner, this guy, that got trump elected. these have been up and running, as far as we can tell, ever since they told us it wouldn't happen. they were not aware of the sites, didn't have anything to do with them. they will send a cease and desist letter. that is not going to be necessary. one of the companies we contacted removed this content almost immediately and last night, after our story initially ran, the second company, a company in china scrubbed all references to jared kushner. clearly, they have been using jared kushner's position to lure chinese investors. >> it would be fair to guess, if you would not have contacted them, this connection and inappropriately using the connections would be up.
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drew? >> you can assume that is the case because they certainly didn't co-incidentally take things down after we contacted them. >> yeah. >> the ethics dilemma here is, jared kushner is not involved in this company anymore, as you said, kate. certainly, the use of jared kushner's image and name is very valuable to chinese investors looking for a safe connection that is connected, we should remind everybody, to an investment that can lead to a u.s. government visa. there's a connection between rich chinese people and the kushner company's development in jersey city, new jersey. so, that is where the dilemma comes in for kushner, jared kushner trying to separate himself and the kushner companies trying to make it not look like they are profiting off the brother in the white house. >> that work continues to make it look like that.
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great to see you, thank you so much. >> thanks. vladimir putin, friend or foe? at times, it's tough to get a straight answer out of the president. does president trump's cia director feel the same way? his interesting take, ahead. plus, more on breaking news. bob mueller asking white house staff to preserve all documents and the trump tower meeting and the russian attorney. what are they looking for? we'll be right back.
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russia, an adversary. the country accused of hacking
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the u.s. election, yet a new tone on moscow from this white house. the president wants to work with vladimir putin. does the president's cia chief feel the same way? listen. >> is russia an enemy, adversary, frenemy? >> it's complicated. it is so fun to sit on the stage and make easy answers. it's more complicated than that. we live in a world where russians have nuclear stockpile. they have retaken ukraine. excuse me they have retaken crimea. they are facts on the ground. america has an obligation to push back against that. >> with me, cnn national security analyst for "the new york times." great to see you, matthew. >> great to see you. >> on this, you have been in the room to hear pompeo speak in aspen. where does the cia chief line up
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with the president on russia? what is your take? is what pompeo is laying out, does that unlock steps from what we have heard from the president or is he signaling a distance here? >> you know, he's said a lot of things during that talk. he did spell out areas where we are maybe not a conflict or where there is challenges and relationship with russia. we talked about cooperating, about the fact on counterterrorism, especially on counterterrorism where the u.s. and russia should be cooperating, which is in line with trump's view. in ukraine, syria and elsewhere where he spelled out differences, they weren't that far from what we have heard in the white house. >> interesting. there is a lot that pompeo talked about. we learned the u.s. government is taking steps to ban american citizens from traveling to north
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korea and the cia chief talked about north korea as well. here is a bit of what he said. >> it would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula and get the weapons off that. the thing that is most dangerous is the character who holds control of them today. the most important thing we can do is separate the two. separate capacity and someone who might well have intent and break those two apart. i am hopeful we find a way to separate that regime from this system. >> that got a lot of attention. he avoided calling for regime change but it's aggressive. >> yeah. it's interesting. his people, afterward, made it very clear there was -- he was absolutely not trying to call for regime change there and did seem to be very much threatening however you want to put it. i do think he was putting pretty far forward that as he sees it,
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the administration sees it, they need to find a way to end the program, get rid of the missiles, to deal with north korea's nuclear missiles program, nuclear weapons program before it's a threat to the u.s. and others around the country, around the world. >> and pompeo had a lot to say on a lot of topics, it seems. he took issue with a piece that you wrote, i think back in june, if i'm correct on the cia officer taking on a new role at the agency. pompeo called it unconable that you do that. >> at the cia, identities are not public, they are classified. that covers everyone from guys in the field who are in covert operations to some of the most senior officials. in the case of the person we named, he is the head of the new chief of the iran program there. he was the architect of the
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drone program for years before this. his role is more akin to a general in a secret war than it is, say, to a guy who is out there in a hostile power trying to do spy work. i do think, you know, when you say we named a covert operative, you are suggesting we put somebody's life at risk here. this is a senior official who works at headquarters in la langley. you know, the idea of naming him is these are issues and actions that our country is taking in that we think the public has a right to discuss and scrutinize. part of the process is knowing who is in charge, who is helping execute policy. >> great to have you on, matthew. thanks so much. appreciate it. >> great. thank you. >> see you soon. coming up for us, more on breaking news. bob mueller asking white house staffer to preserve all documents relating to the infamous trump tower meeting involving donald trump jr. and a russian lawyer. we'll have more details on that.
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plus, he didn't have to die. the police chief in minneapolis saying those words, saying that about the bride-to-be shot by a police officer in that city. the comments not consultation to the family. the details on that, coming up. the lincoln summer invitation is on. it's time for a getaway. now get our best offers of the season. on the agile mkc. on the versatile midsize lincoln mkx. or go where summer takes you in the exhilarating mkz.
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811 is available to any business our or homeownerfe. to make sure that you identify where your utilities are if you are gonna do any kind of excavation no matter how small or large before you dig, call 811. keep yourself safe. she didn't have to die. that's the surprising admission
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coming from the minneapolis police chief right now about the fatal shooting after on australian woman. in her first public statement on the death of justine, it was the result of actions of one individual. she died after being shot by an officer responding to her 911 call. the officer, noor, denied to speak to us. scott mcclain joining us. scott, you spoke to them. a real surprise? >> reporter: you are right. i should point out, there was a public march with a singular focus, that was justice for justine. she was killed in this alley way on saturday night after calling to report a possible sexual assault. it was a pretty unusual alliance of people. many ordinary neighbors from the middle class minneapolis
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neighborhood who say they might think twice about calling the police and a handful of activists who want police accountability. one was valerie castile. she said it's symbolic juice ten ruszcyk was killed. the answer people want in this neighborhood is why. so far, we only have answers or the account of one single officer, the officer driving that night. his partner heard a loud sound that startled him before justine showed up and the fatal shot was fired. the lawyer said it was reasonable for officers to expect a possible ambush. the lawyer for justine's family doesn't buy that. listen. >> it's not exactly ambush central out there, nor is it
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ambushee or the person who would conduct the ambush likely to be the one to call the police and come to check to see what they were doing in their pajamas. i mean, those kind of excuses are beyond the pale. they are meant to distract and reflect rather than shed light on anything. >> reporter: that lawyer bob bennet represented the castille family and won a large settlement in that case. there is an active investigation near an outside agency. the police chief did speak and said noor was well trained and a good hire, but in this case, she will not defend him. >> what the police chief said, as the outside agency is investigating, i find remarkable as this plays out. of course, we'll wait to see what comes of that investigation. thanks so much, scott, i appreciate it. we return to breaking news this hour. cnn exclusive special council,
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bob mueller, making a request of white house staff to preverve all documents, text messages, e-mails, any notes taken related to donald trump jr.'s now infamous meeting with a russian attorney at trump tower at the height of the election and the response after the fact. what does it mean for the investigation and the white house? that's next. hey you've gotta see this. c'mon.
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no. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes!
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i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. the influential u.s. chamber of commerce seems to be down right scolding lawmakers for not working together to get a health care bill passed coming in an open letter to congress. the chamber encouraging them to get on tax reform. the host of inside politics, john king, you broke this story. this letter was fascinating and the final line in it laid out to members of congress, be warned, failure is not an option. wow. >> kate, exasperation is the word i will choose as they watch the action in congress.
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the chamber is not alone. a number of republican coalition groups look at the calendar, the end of july. we are moving into summer vacation and none of the big ticket items have been done. let me read you a little more from the letter sent by the chamber ceo yesterday to every member of congress. we are a quarter way through this congress and we are not where we need to be on health care, tax reform, rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure. promises were made and should be kept. the time has come to get to yes in health care. they do not want the year to pass without tax reform. that is most important to the business community. health care is important. tax reform is their holy grail. they look at health care and they are worried. president trump was the art of the deal president. hasn't worked on health care. they hoped it would get the republican party to come together, learn to govern and
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make compromises. tax reform is just as hard, if not harder. infrastructure requires democratic votes. you see the frustration at the mark of the trump presidency and six months of republican controlled washington that the party has not shifted from opposition president obama to learning how to govern and they like the chamber. they want to get things done and were promised they would get done quickly. i'm going to use the word exasperated but it's lunch hour and i will use that word to be polite. >> we are hearing about bob mueller asking the white house that the staff preserve all documents related to the now infamous meeting from june, 2016 and donald trump jr. and others and russian attorney promising dirt on hillary clinton from the russian government. maybe pro forma, maybe just what would happen early on in an
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investigation. does this spell trouble for the white house? >> yes. it spells trouble for the white house, even if nothing wrong was done in the sense that if bob mueller is saying preserve all documents you have on text messages, communications, written notes about what you know about the june 2016 meeting, but also about a meeting on air force one on the way back from europe to plot the response and the white house statement in response. the presidency is consumed by this. you can bring it back to the conversation we were having. if the white house is consumed by it, the president is shaking up the legal time and the president is spending a lot of time worrying about it and lashing out. it's time not spent on tax reform. it puts on the record bob mueller is, indeed, investigating the things sources tell us they are investigating. now it's on the record. i was through this in the clinton years. when a special council expands focus, it adds months and tens
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of thousands if not in the case of the president, millions of dollars of legal bills to the investigation. if you are looking at july 21st, we are at six months, the first year of the trump presidency, this letter tells you this investigation is going to carry on deep into the second year, at a minimum. >> maybe can explain some of what is clearly the worry from inside this white house. >> that's a very key point. i don't mean to interrupt you, but that's a key point. the president and his team know more than we do. when the president raises the word condo in defending his, i don't have russian investments when the president is lashing out at the attorney general and lawyers, he knows things about the investigation and he doesn't like them. >> great to see you, john. we will see you in a few minutes on "inside politics". >> thank you. simone sanders was here, she was the press secretary for bernie sanders and cnn political commentator for ted cruz's
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campaign is here. great fo see you both. let's choose your own and i remember you even talking about this. we've talked about this. when the evolution of statements were coming out from don junior and others and then the news that white house staff had been involved in crafting those responses. you said, this is going to open this up to a lot more people. >> absolutely. a wise old former boss of mine used to say the truth never changes. that's the good thing about telling the truth. you don't have to worry about what you said in the past. the fact these statements out of the white house have evolved over time that will be problematic, and i think it's critical for them to get on record with their statements. all the facts together before they move forward and certainly before they testify to what john talked about, asking them to preserve the documents. i wouldn't read too much into that. that's part of the process. certainly -- i don't like to
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play -- hillary clinton lost a lot of e-mails and that hampered finding out information. in this case mueller is wise to say, make sure nothing disappears, that's part of the investigation. this is a broad scope of an investigation. wise to do but i wouldn't read a lot into it. >> that's what we do, alice! from the -- the political standpoint. talking purely political, the news we talked about also top of the hour. that "the washington post" and "new york times" reporting that the white house, the president, his staff, are looking to discredit. looking at ways to diskrez it bit -- discredit bop mueller and his team. looking to investigate the investigators. from a political standpoint, do you fault them for doing that? >> i, of course, wouldn't be under investigation about possible collusion with the russians and can't tell you what i'd do because i don't think i'd
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find myself there. >> keep going. >> i don't think. never-never. i'm not surprised donald trump is about the cover-up. so i think there are republicans, though, that are surprised. lots of folks thought, look, once donald trump gets into the white house he's going to make this imminent pivot they said was coming and he would just embrace the fact he is now the president of united states and would govern. i don't think he's done that. i don't think donald trump understands that this has wider implications for our national security, for us around the world more than just donald trump's backyard. i'm not surprised that his first instinct is to save himself. >> stand by. breaking news coming in just now. over to the white house. kaitlyn collins is standing by. what are you picking up? >> reporter: hi, kate. hearing anthony scaramucci named as the white house communications director now from a senior administration official, white house official and third person with knowledge of the meeting that mr. scaramucci had with the president at the white house here this morning.
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he's taking on this position left empty since dovekey resigned in early june and left the white house. a position sean spicer handled the last few months and we hear anthony scaramucci is the new communications director here at the white house. >> fascinating move. something may have been rumored and now confirmation of it. thanks for bringing the breaking news. bring in cnn senior media correspondent brian stelter on this. brian, talk of a shake-up in the press shop, it's been much discussed for a significant period of time. >> oh, yes. >> anthony scaramucci, he's not a -- he's become a very popular spokesman for the president. >> yes. a fighter on television. something the president really appreciates. we've seen him on cnn and other channels defending the president vigorously, and clearly the president wants that. he's been dissatisfied with the press operation. hard to find a new communications director. this job has been vacant well over a month.
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sean spicer filling in on a temporary basis. >> unclear, of course, brian. what would make the president -- please the president? >> satisfy him about this? >> satisfy the president in terms of his -- safe to say? >> absolutely. a key job in the white house. we know the names of some of the former communications directors in the bush and obama years. dan pfeiffer, karen hughes. nicolle wallace, jennifer palmieri. visible on television back then and still today. it's a really crucial job helping shape a president's image. deciding when and where they'll give interviews, when they won't. this president believes its his own best p.r. person. he's a hedge fund guy, entrepreneur. appointment at the export/import bank. now moving into this job. unclear what it means for sean spicer. reported he'll stay in the white house. asked and spicer reportedly slammed the door in his face. we don't know if there will be a
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press briefing and if so, on camera or off. >> great to see you. >> a quick reaction on this? >> smart, super savvy. the president has ultimate faith and trust in him. he is a street fighter, as brian said. the goal of any com work, plan your work and work your plan. that's needed here. unfortunately the president is calling the shots by the com shot and likes to fly by the seat of his pants. >> and what do you think? >> ever written a communications plan? does he know the -- >> needs to write one for this white house? >> yes. it's more than just donald trump. when you are the communications director at the white house, you are directing the strategy. like what is the strategy for getting, not just on television but getting the stories placed? megging stories. themed weeks that nobody knows about. >> and congratulations. now come to the end of made in
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america week. great to see you. thank you so much, brian, great to see you. and you as well. much more on the breaking news coming up right now. "inside politics" after this. wi. so let the geico insurance agency help you with homeowners insurance and protect yourself from things like fire, theft, or in this case, water damage. cannonball! now if i had to guess, i'd say somewhere upstairs there's a broken pipe. let the geico insurance agency help you with homeowners insurance. call today to see how much you could save. i work ovi need when i my blood sugar to stay in control. so i asked about tresiba®. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® is a once-daily, long-acting insulin that lasts even longer than 24 hours. i need to cut my a1c. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® works like my body's insulin. releases slow and steady. providing powerful a1c reduction.
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day and a busy breaking news friday it is. senate republicans and what was supposed to be a big obamacare repeal week but they're in a state of confusion. if your health care is in flux and need apss from washington, do not expect them anytime soon. >> you can't have your central promise for serving years, repeal obamacare and show up and vote not even to take up the bill to consider


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