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tv   Wolf  CNN  July 21, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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up? >> can they do a better job controlling the narrative, trying to get ahead of some of the particularly bad russian news, and wouldn't today be a day for the president to make a surprise visit behind the today jum? >> might be a good day for that. coverage continues. big breaking news at the white house with brianna keilar. hello. i'm brianna keilar. wolf blitzer is on assignment. we begin with breaking news. white house officials confirming press secretary sean spicer resigned. this resignation was sudden and sources inside the white house say staffering are shocked by the news. spicer's resignation coming as president trump announces he's hired anthony scaramucci as the new white house communcations director. scaramucci has been a loyal supporter of president trump serving on his campaign as well as his transition team. i want to go straight to the white house. there's going to be an on-camera briefing there in the next hour.
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this is where we find cnn white house correspondent sara murray live for us. sara, what are you hearing about what led up to this resignation. >> reporter: obviously, this has been a whirlwind. we reported last night president trump was seriously considering offering anthony scaramucci, someone who worked on his transition and who came from new york, knows the president well, this job as white house communications director. we are told the president was considering this without his chief of staff reince priebus knowing or steve bannon, chief strategist realizing how close he was to this decision, without sean surpriser, the press secretary realizing the president essentially made up his mind. today president trump met with anthony scaramucci here at the white house. officially offered him the job. scaramucci accepted. we're told that after that, that is when sean spicer decided to tender his resignation essentially in protest. he was opposed to offering scaramucci this job. and point out the fact scaramucci doesn't necessarily have a lot of experience when it
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comes to the communication strategy side of things. we've seen him a lot on television defending the president but not in this strategic role. a bridge too far for sean spicer who decided to tender his resignation. we're told when reince priebus introduced him, the new communications director, that gracious while the introductions were made and while they see essentially handed off the yo h oversight of the press shop to anthony scaramucci. interesting moment not just what will happen to the communication shop but what it means for all the other relationships in the west wing. the fact president trump decided to tap anthony scaramucci, someone his kids were happy to see on the job. jared kushner, ivanka trump, pro him taking over. steve bannon, reince priebus, those folks, not so much. priebus put out a statement saying i 100% support the move. known anthony scaramucci a long
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time. behind him. this is all good. interesting to see how that actually plays 0 ut in the white house, because the relationship is a little bit more fraught than the white house chief of staff is letting on today, brianna. >> sara murray with the latest there at the white house. you can see looking into that briefing room, an incredibly hectic day with this breaking news. i want to talk about this now with our panel. we're going to discuss this more. we have cnn chief political correspondent dana bash. we have cnn cleef political analyst gloria borger, cnn politics reporter editor at lark chris cillizza and president of the correspondent association jeff mason joining us as well. also we have cnn senior media correspondent and host of "reliable sources" brian stelter. everybody, in short, to talk about this. this -- there have been so many times, dana, where there's been speculation about whether sean spicer is going to be fired or whether he's going to resign. this does come as a surprise to us today, but talk of this
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happening has been consistent. >> absolutely. questions, i think, about whether this is going to happen and when. what is the final straw? that's been the question. is it being a very ardent and staunch catholic and not being invited to meet the pope when you're sitting there in the vatican, maybe in your hotel room while the president and the team are doing that? sent out with information that was not accurate? being sort of, you know -- forced to say something that wasn't accurate, like day one or even pre-day one. inauguration day, about the crowd size and the list goes on and on and on, and the reason is, because we all, those of us who covered and known sean for so many years in his work for traditional republicans said, you know, this isn't you. how are you going to do this? and his answer, always, i'm loyal to this president. this is my job. i'm going to do it. the fact this was the straw is interesting, and i think there's
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so many ways to look at this. because you asked about sean, that's one way. another way is also what this says, maybe much more importantly, about the president of the united states, and how he has learned from the first six months about the way he wants to craft his white house with people who are loyal to him. people who know him, who are new yorkers. and are much more fluent in the language of trump than in the ways of washington. >> we're going to talk much more about that. jen palmieri, white house comes director for president obama and of course, you will know her from the hillary clinton campaign where she also served chief of communications there. jen, thanks for joining us. give us your reaction to this. all right. can -- jen? can you hear me? all right. we're going to try to work out the connection with jen palmieri, we'll bring her in soon as we have her.
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the question i have, and so many people, gloria, i have been texting with or asking. as sara murray said, this was a bridge too far and everyone i'm chatting with is saying, this was the bridge too far? >> right. >> dana highlighted it. being forced to lie -- about things -- we're very busy here. as you can see. taking source calls in the middle of the segment. forced to lie about things. misled in a way that he ends up unknowingly lying as well, and just is embarrassed. all of this, just the back channeling against him. why is it this that was the bridge too far? >> well, you know, that's a really good question obviously hard to know. we have to ask sean than. lots of times people asked that question. how long can sean do this? how long can he stay? it is clear to me from talking to a bunch of people and also, you know from a source who's close to the president this morning, who said to me, look, i don't blame sean for leaving right now.
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this was a slap in the face to him. but to your other point, this does tell you a lot about the president of the united states. and what it tells you is that scaramucci was ultimately loyal to him, in every way, shape and form, and that he values that. and that during the campaign he was promised a lot of jobs, i was told, and up until very recently promised a lot of jobs. did jump through all kinds of hoops to get these jobs and they never came through, and i think there was a sense on the part of the president and some of those around him including perhap his children, that -- that scaramucci should get a shot at this job and this was clearly a job that sean thought he ought to have, and had been, income, probably doing in the interim, and that -- >> yes. >> had been doing. >> since miked up in may. >> in may. and then suddenly the job is
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going to scaramucci, and i'm sure sean believes that he's not the right guy for the job. >> and he'd been -- we were seeing him sidelined as the spokesman. then squeezed from the more strategic side, squeezed out by scaramucci. bringing back jen palmpalmieri. i think she's on the phone. oh. not meant to be today. all right. we're going to keep trying. make third time will be a charm here. right? i know. better reception. okay. chris, your thoughts on this? >> fights and slights. that's the story of sean spicer over six months's fights with the press. slights from the president. right? this is a very difficult job for anyone. i mean, being the press secretary for the white house. it is an even more difficult job if you are the press secretary for donald trump, because donald trump views himself as his best
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press secretary, chief strategy, he's best everything, probably. some the start, dana mentioned that sean is someone who if you spent any time in washington you knew he's been around campaigns for a long time. been around the republican national committee a long time. folks i talk to who are friends of his when he got this job initially said i don't know. he's always been -- i wrote a piece i don't think is published. >> if he could do it? >> yeah. always been a bulldog -- how he would come out of it. always had the reputation, go over get that person and did that well in the context of campaigns especially. this job is not that. and i think he struggled as anyone would to balance, you are, jeff can speak to this more so, but your boss is the president of the united states. period. but you're also beholden to a white house press corps that has asks, has demands, has waying in which they want to interact with
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you. from the start, january 21st, a saturday, the day after donald trump became president, sean spicer opened with a lecture of the media what they were covering and why, dana mentioned this, inauguration size. proved a couple things. one, he was going to be a trump guy. >> right away. willing to basically state a lie from the podium. and willing to say whatever to make donald trump happy. >> we felt that the audience at that time was donald trump nap it wasn't really the press he was before. i want to talk about that, but tell us as we're looking at these live pictures coming to us from the brady briefing room at the white house, all reporters gathered there. what are they doing? >> probably trying to go back into lower press. the area -- >> behind that door they're gathered outside. >> exactly. where other white house spokespeople and deputy spokespeople sit or go through the door and then to the left, which takes you up in the direction of the oval office and the area we call upper press. where sean has his office or where the press secretary has
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his or her office. >> is this a -- normally it's open. right? at least it was during the obama administration. is it open in the trump administration? >> normally open. there are times they cut the press off something going on and don't want people to come back for. a president's movement or just don't want the throng of reporters to steep back there. >> and as we've watched, i want to get to brian stealther in a moment. as we've watched sean spicer over these months, the audience was the president. right? as much or maybe perhaps more than it was the reporters that he was sparring with in the briefing room. >> he has been absolutely 100% loyal to president trump. whether or not that is a decision he will be happy with now that he leaves the white house is something only sean can talk about, but during his time as press secretary, interactions with us as the correspondents association, with reporters generally from the podium, he has been the number one advocate for president trump. >> which is somewhat
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interesting, only because he's not a trump guy, per se. again. >> no. >> this is -- >> the person during the election working for the rnc and part of the really establishment republican wing. >> he's a -- >> wanted that job. >> he did. reince priebus advocated for him to have the job and seen as trump bringing in outsiders. it's important, it was mentioned. spicer matters for spicer but also matters symbolically. this is donald trump bringing in friends, people close to him and close to his family. >> i want to get in brian stelter joining us from new york. new reporting. what can you tell us? >> our colleague michael smerconish might have been the last person to meet with spicer when this went down. in his office between 9:00 and 9:45. quoting smerconish, nothing of his mannerisms that would tell you this was a person that was about to quit his job. maybe he was thinking about it
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for a while but it erupted this morning. you have to go back to the year 2000 to find the last time a press secretary resigned after only six months. that was the end of the clinton administration. that person had to leave and let the bushes come in. normally these press secretaries stay a couple of years. robert gibbs. first obama press secretary stays two years. guys, this is a symptom of a larger disease. spicer's struggles are the symptoms of a bigger disease, the president's dishonest, self-defeating merging. we'll see if anthony scaramucci can change that. >> dana, michael smerconish talking to sean spicer, doesn't seem like a guy who was going to quit his job. what does that tell us how out of the loop spicer was when it came to this announcement? >> my understanding, i talked to a source close to sean who said sean was very well aware as of last night that this was a very real possibility.
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and you know, he didn't -- my sense is that he's worked for donald trump long enough to know it wasn't real until was actually happening, because he's heard stories of his demise many times before. or about -- about white house shake-ups, whatever you want to call this. as of last night he understood that scaramucci would be brought in as communications director that that was a very real possibility and he didn't know how he would react realtime, whether he would quit. clearly when presented, he decided, i'm out. >> i want to listen to what have become memorable moments of sean spicer as press secretary. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness and inauguration, period. both in person and around the globe. >> when we use words like travel ban that misrepresents what it is. >> i've said it from the day that i got here until whatever that there is no connection. you've got russia.
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if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad, somehow that's a russian connection. but every single person -- well, no. that's, i appreciate your agenda here but the reality -- 2340, no. hold on. at some point report the facts. >> sean, do you have -- >> hey, sean -- >> sean -- >> sean! come on, sean! >> all right. so those were -- i mean pretty astounding moments you don't normally see with a press secretary. you covered president bush's, second president bush, you covered president obama's white house. when you look at those moments just in the last six months what do you think with some institutional knowledge you have about what is normal? >> it's been a very, shall we say, temperatu tempestuous year. it's been tricky. the relationship between the white house and the press corps
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is largely set by the press secretary and the press secretary's staff, and we've worked, the correspondents association, which i'm about to leave as the president next week, has worked really hard on that relationship. it hasn't always been successful. we certainly haven't always agreed on a lot of things. it's been tricky. >> and you know, did you say the word "normal"? okay. that's an important word. >> yeah. >> because the definition of "normal" washington standard normal, press secretaries, press briefing, press corps. the interaction, strategy of communications. this has been underscored to me by people close to the president and close to all the players again this morning. what we have learned and it was obvious watching it unfold in the last six months, now especially in retrospect and at this moment, that was gone. that was never really going to work with donald trump in the white house but now we know that he tried. he tried to sort of twist himself into the washington --
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the washington ways, i mean, the most traditional, the most basic level of how communication strategy works, but it's not who he is. which is why end of the day he is his communications director. he does it, end of story, and he wants a guy who gets how he thinks, been loyal a killer on tv to kwum come on tv and be th guy. strategizing on communications will never work for a guy maybe self-aware enough to know he changes that with a single tweet. >> i just heard from a source, this is all trump's call. trump is the one who stopped scaramucci from coming in, in the first place. >> initially. >> and now he wants him in. the question i have and have been talking to people about is, how does this affect the balance of power inside the white house? what does this doss to reince priebus? he and reince priebus haven't been close. he blames reince priebus, dana
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reported, for stopping him from getting another job as special advisers. they were going to move him into the white house. they did not occur. >> pending drama? >> well, how will that -- how will that play out? the truth of the matter is, as dana is pointing out, is that everything now seems to be up in the air. people have to figure out a way to deal with each other. in these relationships that start out very fragile, because there is history. there is history here. >> and can i say one thing jie was told by a source very close to scaramucci that he, you know, even though he feels reince blocked him particular being in the white house the first six months he doesn't hold grudges, doesn't want to be chief of staff. he wants to do the kind of thing trudge is bringing him in to do and will probably try to make nice with reince priebus giving an on the record quote saying he's fine with this, wants to make nice. >> in their self-interests. >> and to your point, too, that donald trump at some level likes the clash of advisers.
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he's set a system up where there were four people, steve bannon, reince priebus, jared kushner and -- kellyanne conway who were going to clash with one another. who had different views. he placed them off of one another. that's what he does. the fact they don't necessarily -- haven't always gotten along is less disqualifying in this way than others. can i make one other very quick point? >> we'll be back for more and jeff has to run to get to the briefing, outgoing president of the white house correspondents association final word. >> well, i know that the next four that starts next week will want to work with the incoming communications director and whoever becomes the press secretary as well, but it will be interesting to watch just to sort of sum up what we've didn't saying here and also what the other implications are of this move for the rest of the press team, that reporters rely on every day for information from the white house. >> hold tight. when we come back, much more on our breaking news. the resignation of white house press secretary sean spicer.
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because the conference is about to happen in a few minutes. democratic senator chris van hollen of maryland. sir what is your reaction to this breaking news? >> well, brianna, it's impossible being the press secretary or the communications director in this administration, because the chaos starts at the very top. it starts with the president. the president who tweets out stuff that pops into his mind. the president that invites reporters into the white house and at a time when we're discussing health care, talks to the "new york times" about, you know, putting pressure on mueller to drop his investigation. goes after his own attorney general. this is a president that cannot stick to the issues that the american public cares most about, which is get health care, the economy, and those issues. this is a perfect example of the chaos at the white house taking
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the focus of thie things important to the country. >> do you think this signifies something different inside the west wing? >> clearly not only a chaotic involvement but seems to be a lot of in-fighting because a lot of people strongly objected to this appointment. that only compounds sort of the natural chaotic dna of this administration, because we know week to week when people want to focus on one thing, all of a sudden, you know, they're over the rails talking about something else. so -- look, in the -- in the senate we're supposedly taking up a health care proposal. all have been rotten so far. the president, you know, begged the senators to get on with that bill, and here we are where he's again changing message, changing focus away from things the public cares about. this seems to be something that is very much a part of this president, a part of this
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administration, but i would say this latest development has exposed the in-fighting even more than before. >> do you think that as we see a new communications director come in, that that could spell something different for the white house? or are you just expecting more of the same, since scaramucci is such a loyalist to the president? >> it's hard to see anything different. again, because you've got a president of the united states who at all hours of the day or night tweets out whatever pops into his head and seems to be really obsessed with the russia investigation. right? all of these big issues that we're looking at as a country, whether it's the health care issue. or the economy. but he seems very obsessed with robert mueller and the fbi investigation. which i think is leading a lot of people to ask, what is it that they are trying to hide here? why is he so determined to sabotage that investigation rather than come clean?
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and as long as that's the top of mind for the president, then it's going to be really hard for the administration to move on. they should just cooperate with the investigation. come clean and focus on issues that are important to the country. >> senator chris van hollen, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> with this breaking news. we were going to talk about something different and here we are with this story really just dominating our discussion. standinging by now for the first white house briefing since the announcement of sean spicer's resignation. we're going to, of course, bring that to you live when it happens. i want to get now to cnn white house reporter kaitlyn collins, joining us now. tell us what we are expecting from this briefing, kaitlyn? >> reporter: we are expecting a briefing any minute. the first on-camera briefing in several weeks. irony the day the press secretary steps down from his position we will finally see sarah huckabee sanders, deputy press secretary on-camera today.
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you know sean spicer quit earlier after being announced anthony scaramucci would join the team as the communications director. we're told no other staffers knew last night that scaramucci would be tagged by the president this morning, that sean spicer, reince priebus and steve bannon were largely left in the dark for this decision and did not know. we're told that though sean spicer is upset he was there in his office as reince priebus introduced him to the rest of the communications team with a round of applause. >> just we're looking there at live pictures, reporters in the room, in the briefing room there, kaitlyn. not unusual to be milling about as they wait for this briefing but really trying to get answers and it seems like the door there to the lower press office is closed at this hour. right? as they get their ducks in a row for the briefing? >> reporter: yeah. a mad house ever since. so many reporters standing outside of sean spicer's office to ask questions about
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scaramucci, when sean spicer came out, shut his door and a few reporters standing there, when the news broke he had resigned. it's been kind of crazy. reporters can typically stand up in that upper hall way outside of the upper white house communications staffers offices but they've been pushed downstairs as they sort out the messages for the briefing today at 2:00. >> quite a scene. stand by kaitlyn in the briefing room as we await this briefing and we'll bring that to you live here on cnn. news, of course, the white house press secretary sean spicer resigned. what is sending shock waves through the white house there. you see pictures. joining me on the phone former white house communications director for president obama and communications director on the hillary clinton campaign, jennifer palmieri with me now. jen, you've been following this breaking news. what's your reaction? >> i guess i have two thoughts. one is, with sean, i know him a
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little bit. see him at the base. seems like a nice person and i -- i think he probably should have resigned on day one, when he was first asked to do the, to go out with the fake news about the president's inaugural crowd, and no job is worth that. but i'm glad -- you know, i am glad he has -- he has left now. a lot of people questioned whether he stayed in the white house. but i can understand why they would want to do that. in terms of anthony scaramucci taking over white house communications director. you know, there's a -- i think people who have had has job, we all tried to support each other. when i had that job, president bush's communications director was very supportive and helpful to me. there's a rhythm to a white
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house regardless of the party in there and we try to support each other, but i'm not sure that -- an her to scaramucci i know a little bit but my impression is, he's not going to do the job with the idea that your job is to help te president of the united states communicate with the american public. that's a very important responsibility. that's not about spin or putting or saying i want to even convey the president's message if a possible light although hats part of the job. the fundamental responsibility you have is making sure that the president of the united states is appropriately communicating with the american people which is a big part of his job. from what i have seen of how anthony scaramucci performs, he'll be, you know, on television and affective, if you consider, you know, just being a very aggressive sort of attack dog affective. but i don't suspect he'll do -- you know, we'll see.
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i don't expect he'll do the part of the job i would do and about actually trying to plan, communications -- you know, advantages of the team and communicating what the president was trying, his agenda and what he's trying to speak to, to that point, dan fyfe, senior adviser, he proceeded you? >> right. >> proceeded you and fwetweeted saying i have a particular buy is, white house communications director is a much harder and complicated job than campaign surrogate. you were talking a litte bit about that. certainly being a member of an administration, jen, there's an element of loyalty. right? but sometimes it -- that loyalty comes in the form of maybe some constructive criticism. you know what i'm saying here? this idea that you -- >> i do. >> and -- it does seem like this president values l s loyalty a .
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is there a way essentially, is this kind of being shuffled where scaramucci might be the face but there may be someone else kind of helping out with the job that traditionally, that you had? >> right. doing the actual work of, you know, creating the communications by the administration. i don't know. this administration doesn't seem to worry too much about communication planning. i expect anthony scaramucci will end up on television and and the network will have to decide how to handle that if he just goes on and lies a bunch. it's a difficult job because you are caught between the press and the president that you serve. ed -- the attendance at -- you
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get the rap when a bad story comes out. jennifer, looks like a big press problem just because the press is covering -- something wasn't going well. that doesn't make it a press problem, but not every politician and certainly president trump is not equipped so to speak, to accept that just because a story, a bad story appears in the press doesn't mean that it's the fault of the communications staff, and you have to, you know, presidents get very frustrated with the press and you're the person that can absorb that, have to absorb that frustration and also tell the hard truth. let me just tell you. i know that's what you want to say, but if you say that, this is the impact of, you know, of -- of spouting off that way, and that might be okay in the moment but it will have reaper
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cushion repercussions. the rubber meets the road. you live in the reality the press covers every day and you've got to tell the president the hard things how it's going to be covered. i'm not sure that -- scaramucci, i'm not sure he's really going to do that. >> it is certainly a tough job. jen palmieri, former communications director under president obama joining us there on the phone. dana bash, you just spoke with sean spicer. >> i did, while talking to jen palmieri, scooted off the set to take a quick call from sean spicer. headline, answer to the question, why now, that he gave to me is, he wanted to give the president and the new team a clean slate. that that's the answer. that he is giving. he said, he told me that the president made clear that he, the president, wanted sean spicer to stay and sean told him, you know, that he said he didn't want to stand in the way from letting this happen, from letting changes happen, and that
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he felt in the moment that the time was right for the white house and the white house staff and also for sean spicer personally. time to go. >> sources say he's upset. >> they do. i can tell you that he did not sound upset when i talked to him. he sounded a lot like the sean spicer that we used to know back in the day at the rnc and the nrcc and all of the, the alphabet soup of republican groups he used to work for. you know, i don't know. relieved? he sounded okay. this is all, you know -- all consumed with this. i mean, we're in breaking coverage about the, his professional life and the changes in his life, but he didn't sound upset to me, and i can tell you that i know that our colleagues have spoken to sources who have spoken to him and said he had been upset. >> who else may be upset? brian stelter has information on that. what can you tell us, brian? >> worth noting spicer' not the only trump world spokesperson to
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resign in the past 24 hours. so much news lately, buried a little. mark kerala, spokesman for trump's outside legal team resigned last night. happy said really anything about this yet. he was close to mark castowitz. i'm not saying the two are connected but more signs of dysfunction. you know, look, he wasn't mocked on "snl" the way spicer was mocked by melissa mccarthy, wasn't high profile but another example of this dysfunction. >> and brian, do you have information about steve bannon and reince priebus sort of where they stand on how this is all shaking out? >> and i think we should make the point i think gloria and dana have as well, that according to multiple sources priebus and bannon were very concerned about the idea anthony scaramucci was coming in, taking a big role in the white house
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nap they fought this decision and ultimately the president went ahead and did it. >> brian stelter, thank you so much. so sean spicer, of course, out as white house press secretary. more on that in a moment and sneak in a quick break here and also spicer's deputy sarah huckabee sanders what we're looking at live. she is going to be briefing the press here shortly. we are watching for when she comes out. stay with us. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame 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. all right. a busy day here with breaking news. keeping our eye on the like pictures on the right of your screen. the briefing room at the white house we we are awaiting an
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on-camera press briefing. been same time since we've seen that and deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders will brief the case as sean spicer resigned. with me to talk more about that, dana bash, gloria borger, brian stelter and chris cillizza from new york as well. this is so much chaos. what does this say, chris, about what is going on at the white house? >> i mean, chaos in ways is normal for this white house. this is more chaos than usual, but not as though this has been, know, a smooth process over these six months. in some ways this is indicative of the six months and one day of donald trump's presidency. unexpected moves causing chaos. i think if you step back from sean, who had been diminished significantly in terms of a public figure over e the past months anyway, step back, what does it say? in terms of sean, in terms of
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scaramucci coming in, something sean wasn't in favor of our reince priebus or the staff wasn't in favor. something we've known all along from his professional and now his political career. donald trump when chips are down it's family, family, family. there's a shrinking of -- already quite small usually inner circle pap . a shrinking of that to family and friends. who is scaramucci, a friend of the family and friends with trump. >> is this someone family members, ivanka and jared, the opinion that won out bringing scaramucci in? >> jeff zeleny reports that jared and ivanka supported the idea, that steve bannon was fiercely opposed to this idea. >> and why? why? >> well, you know, i think that, you mow, there is a school of thought, which is that scaramucci is just about donald trump. and not about an agenda that --
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that is larger than donald trump, which steve bannon clearly -- steve bannon clearly wants to push. but this will affect -- i don't think we can underscore this enough. this will affect everything in the white house right now. reince priebus has expressed his support as dana points out, to scaramucci, but was never a huge supporter of his. the president is a huge supporter. i will tell you one other thing. this is a president who demands 100% ultimate loyalty. i believe sean spicer gave him that. at some personal cost to himself. >> considerable personal cost. >> but -- can i finish? but he did not, you know, give it in return. and you can go down a list of people from chris christie to rudy giuliani, to sean spicer that this is a president who will cut you off aside from family, as you point out, who will cut you off if he feels
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that he has to do it. >> and brian stelter i know you have -- you have thoughts on this. >> i think it's notable dana was able to speak with spicer now out there tweeting as well saying he'll continue his service through august. so not leaving today. today is not his final day at least according to his twitter account and being very positive saying an honor and privilege to serve president trump in this amazing country. we know he'll be on sean hannity, the show later today. these are indications that sean spice sir not trying to burn the bridge on the way out. even though there are reports he was upset this morning. this happened quickly this morning. he seems to be signaling that he's going to try to speak positively about the president and meanwhile, we don't know who the new press secretary will be. does sarah huckabee sanders want the job? indication she does not. an open question about who's going to be sitting at the podium in the future. we know sarah will be in a few minutes but not in the future. >> we don't know. dana bash, final thoughts to
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you? >> gloria hit on something important. beyond who's at the podium and beyond the specific players and their names, it's what they stand for and what this means for the trump presidency six months in. and how much he has learned about himself and what he need to do to be himself, and not, again, sort of put himself in the structure of traditional washington, and for him, that means bring people in who know him well who support him. i'm not -- >> is it a shift -- >> not saying d-- >> just trying to explain it. >> is that what it is? let donald be donald mentality? >> he wants people in his comfort zone, who will go on tv and be "killers" apparently the word he's used behind the scenes about anthony scaramucci and also, something just said this to me earlier. it's important i think. that the bannon and's the bannon wing or reince wing are trying to push donald trump into, you know, kind of parts of the republican party or ideology and
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what anthony scaramucci brings is somebody who just pushes donald trump. >> thank you to all of you. we are, of course, moments away from the white house briefing. this is the first on-camera since the surprising resignation a sport time ago. the first on-camera not just since then but in a long time. not just since sean spicer resigned. jake tapper picks up our special coverage, right after this. cases chronic flatulence. ♪ no ♪ sooooo gassy girl. so gassy. if you're boyz ii men, you make anything sound good. it's what you do. if you want to save 15% percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. next! ♪ next! [radi♪ alarm]
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i'm jake tapper live in washington, d.c. this is cnn special coverage of a major shake-up at the trump white house. press secretary sean spicer resigned just a short time ago after six months and one day on
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the job. the announcement came just minutes after president trump named anthony scaramucci as communications chief. he's a close front end of the trump family. he often appears in television interviews vociferously defending the president. moments from now, deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders will give, we are told, a rare on-camera briefing, the first on-camera briefing since june, and we'll take you to the room in just a moment. but first, let's go to cnn's dana bash who just got off the cell with spicer. so what did mr. spicer have to say? >> reporter: it was a brief phone call, and the gist is what i wanted to know, which i think is what everybody wants to know is, why now? after problem after problem after problem, slight embarrassment, you know, being sent out to do things that, you know, any other press secretary would be uncomfortable with, why now? why this? and his answer was, he wanted to give a clean slate, that was his term, clean slate to the president and to the new team. he said that the president did
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ask him to stay, but that he, sean, said that given the situation, he thought it was better for the white house and it was also better for sean, personally, to leave now. >> but what was the issue with the scaramucci hiring? he didn't -- he was going to have to report to scaramucci? what exactly was the issue? >> we didn't get into that that. it was a very brief conversation but i can answer that based on other people who have talked to machine and are familiar with the situation that, yes, not only would he have to report to scaramucci, he didn't think that scaramucci would be doing the job -- would be able to do the job of a traditional communications director, strategize, vis-a-vis washington, outside groups, the things that you need to do and sean would end up doing that job and also the spokesperson job and he thought i'm going to end up doing two jobs and he was not very happy. that's the answer. my sense is that this kind of gave him an out and maybe one
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that he didn't realize that he was looking for, but it presented itself to him, and he took it. >> sean spicer did recently tweet a special message. let's put that up if we can. it's been an honor and privilege to serve potus and this amazing country. i will continue my service through august. so that is the message from sean spicer via twitter. what exactly do we know, gloria, about anthony scaramucci when it comes to communications, running a communications department? obviously, the president thinks he's good on tv, and certainly he's eloquent and telegeneralic but that's not the same thing as knowing how to manage a communications department for the most important government in the world. >> and i was talking to somebody who's close to the president, and his fear is that while scaramucci is, as dana uses the word, killer, right, and that's a favorite word of the
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president's, while he -- his agenda is president trump, it's not an ideological agenda, it's not a political agenda. his agenda is defending donald trump. this person said to me that his fear is that it will not work, because you have to have broader expertise in terms of communication skills in this job, and that's not -- that's not his skill set. this person also said to me, look, this was a slap in the face to sean, but there was a sense on the part of the president, you know, this was the president's decision, another source said to me, but this source said, look, scaramucci had been promised a lot of jobs. >> export/import banking, i think. >> and they were going to move him into the white house as some kind of special adviser and reince priebus was not in favor of that. there's friction there, although as dana's reported today that reince priebus says he's 100% behind this. so that there's a feeling on the
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part of the president at least, that he had been promised all these jobs and that he hadn't gotten them and this was a guy who was 100% loyal to him with no other agenda other than defending donald trump and that trump wanted him in and jared kushner wanted him in and according to jeff zeleny, that reince priebus and steve bannon were usually opposed to this. so this is going to have repercussions inside the white house. >> i want to bring in ani anita dunn. she was a white house communications director for president obama several years ago. anita, let's posit for the sake of argument that anthony scaramucci is a great talking head and a great television representative for president trump. president trump thinks so, and that's really all that matters when it comes to hiring and firing in that gig. but you're a former communications director. what else do you have to know to do that job? >> well, jake, there's no doubt this is a -- not a traditional
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choice or a traditional background for white house communications director. on the other hand, there is nothing traditional about either this president or the way this administration functions. but here is what i would be concerned about if i were a republican on capitol hill, especially having watched what happened with the health care bill. which is, a huge part of the white house communications office's job is really to market and to get out the president's agenda and to create a communications message around that agenda that helps things get passed on the hill, helps communicate to the american people why those policies are right, and this is not what his background is, you know, if the job is defending president trump, that is one job. but actually moving forward an agenda for this administration, given the challenges they've had in the first six amongmonths of getting any kind of coherent message out about what they want to do to keep those promises the president made during the campaign, it's a big job. it's a big government. communications across all the
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agencies, across the independent agencies, all of that, at the end of the day, falls on the white house communications director's office, and on that desk, and you know what? it's more than just going on tv. >> and john king, i mean, the contrast between how involved president obama was in passing obamacare and how involved president trump was in terms of reepeeling a repealing and replacing obamacare is day and night and you didn't see president trump going to swing districts, explaining in detailed speeches what the bill -- what the action would do for voters, personally lobbying individual members of the congress with knowledge of the policy, but that's not necessarily sean spicer's fault. >> no, it's not. the president has constantly undermined a lot of people he works with and who work for him by saying things contrary to what they have said. sean spicer lays out an explanation or strategy on day a and by breakfast the next day,
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the president has said or tweeted something different. the president is the president, what he says is the rule of law at his white house. to anita's point, you can design jobs in different ways. president trump has every right to do that so you can change any job. the communications director can be your front man, provided that person then builds a staff of deputies who understand the complexities of the job and we're six months into the trump administration and i think it's a fair statement that they simply have not understood that. this was supposed to be made in america week. the president did some events at the white house. did harley davidson do an event in wisconsin? did government scott walker go in states that trump won, did they have echo chamber events across? when he tries to pass health care, did he go to the right districts and campaign. there's been no coordination, the traditional coordination you see between a white house, your own political party, here in washington and out in the states and with the constituent groups that want to help you, that actually want to help you. there's been none of