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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  July 21, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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you're on the same page as this president. what have you said to him about the need to know what he's thinking and where he stands as its relates to policy? >> listen, i know -- i'm not going to speak on behalf of the president. i just feel like i have a close relationship with him. sarah has a close relationship with him. and i think it's super important for us to let him express his personality. it has been a very successful life experience for president trump to be president trump. and so let's let him do that and let me just finish. and you know, let's see where the chips fall. and then when something happens that you don't like or you like, you'll talk to me or sarah and we'll address it. >> do you plan to meet with him every day and do you have oval office privileges? >> do i plan to meet with him every day and do i have oval office privileges? listen, i don't want to -- i don't want to -- i'm not one of these people that need to have unnecessary face time with the president but i do have oval office privileges if that's what you're talking about and i do have the opportunity to meet with him because i'm going to be his coms director and he told me that he's going to put me in
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charge of this so i want to make sure that i'm linked to him and sink pat sin copated with him in a way that he likes but i don't want to waste his time and sit in the oval office unnecessarily. thank you. >> thank you, anthony. thank you. obviously, i would have been happy for him to stay up here all day and continue to exhaust all of your questions, but one, i figure i probably should answer a couple today, and also, the president has an event here shortly, so i want to try to work through as many as i can. and with that, i'm going to start with jeff mason since i believe it is maybe your last day and my first, so with that, jeff, take it away. >> thank you, sarah. can you talk just a little bit about how this was -- how this will affect -- this change will affect the press office and can you speak a little bit for sean
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about how he's feeling and how he took this news and how he made the decision to resign. >> you know, i'm not going to speak for sean in detail. i can say that he understood that the president wanted to bring in and add new people to the team and sean felt like it would be best for that team to be able to start with a totally clean slate. and i think i want to echo what anthony says. i think it speaks volumes to who he is to be willing to do that and allow anthony to come in with a brand-new starting place and i think, you know, he's served the president loyally and admirably. he's going to continue to stay on for the next several weeks through the transition, and i'm sure he'll be happy to answer some of those questions directly. >> sarah, first of all, congratulations. >> thank you. >> on the job. can you clarify where the president stands on the issue of pardons? is he considering pardons in the
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russia investigation and does the president believe that he has the power to pardon himself? >> look, i would refer you to the comments that have already been made by the out counsel in terms of their actions. the president maintains pardon powers like any president would, but there are no announcements or planned announcements on that front whatsoever. >> does he believe that he has the power to pardon himself? >> like i said, i don't have anything to add beyond what the out counsel's already stated on that front. >> in the interview with the "new york times," he raised questions about robert mueller. does he endorse his legal team's efforts to undermine robert mueller's credibility? >> again, the president has absolutely nothing to do with any of the allegations that are being made. i think he's maintained that, and he wants them to complete their process as quickly as possible so that we can move on from the ridiculousness of all things russia and russia fever. >> sarah, but to the question that i asked, does he endorse
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his legal team's efforts to undermine the credibility of the special counsel. >> i'm not aware of those details and that's something you would have to ask his legal team. i'm not part of that process. >> on health care, what does the president want the senate to vote on next week? >> i think he wants to -- as mark short stated earlier this week and as we've repeated many times before, the president's preference is to repeal and replace obamacare and we haven't been shy or quiet about that and those intentions have certainly not changed. >> how much arm twisting is going ton vis-a-vis the health care bill. the vice president had a lot of conservative groups over and they announced they will be scoring votes next week on the motion to proceed, which i believe is unprecedented. >> i don't think anyone here has made a secret that this is a big priority and that congress should do -- what they've been talking about for the last seven
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years. their constituency that support the groups that they have certainly recognize that and they're supporting the mission of their organizations, and pushing and putting pressure on members to get the job done. nothing beyond that. >> just about the organizational structure now that anthony's coming in, the press secretary, the coms secretary use to be co-equal, reporting to the chief of staff. will it remain that way? because there was some move toward making the communications director sort of the deputy chief of staff and then the press secretary and the coms director would report to that person so do you report to reince or do you report to anthony? >> i think that anthony said it better than i can in this capacity, we plan to work together as a team and certainly our goal is to work together to promote the president's agenda and to do that not just with the two of us but the entire press coms office as well as the entire white house staff. >> do you report to him or do you report to reince? >> we all serve at the pleasure
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of the president. >> this question is for you. there were comments made by a senior administration official this morning on television talking about the motivations of people who are part of bob mueller's special counsel investigation. do donations to a political party, if it's not the president's party, does the president believe that disqualifies those people from being part of this special counsel? >> i don't know that we're putting out a litmus test but again, questions regarding that, i would direct you to the outside counsel that's running that part of the process. >> question about national security adviser mcmaster. does the president have confidence in his national security adviser? >> i have no reason to believe otherwise. >> the president said he wants special counsel robert mueller to look into his finances but intelligence committee is already looking into financial data from the treasury department. is there anything the white house can do to stop that. >> again t president's point is that he doesn't want the special counsel to move beyond the scope and outside of its mission and the president's been very clear,
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as have his accountants and team, that he has no financial dealings with russia and so i think we've been extremely clear on that. blake. >> last time, when it became aparaphernalia in t apparent in the first go around on the health care bill there that it was going to fail, it was pulled at the last minute within the last hour or two. when you look at both the repeal and replace potential and the repeal only potential, the numbers suggest they don't have the votes and it's set up to fail. why does the white house believe this time around that a vote should proceed. >> we're continuing to be focused on repealing and replacing obamacare, and we're not going to stop until we can continue to move that forward and get that done. not only have we wanted to commit to that, but frankly, a lot of the members of the senate and the house have not only committed but campaigned on that and it's time for them to step up and get that done. >> the president believes that a vote should take place one way or another. >> i don't think you can repeal and replace obamacare without a
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vote so i think it would be pretty necessary part of the process. >> i just want to get something straight. earlier in the week, you indicated the white house was not opposed to outright repeal. and then based on your remarks today and mark short's two days ago, you seem to favor a repeal and replace. does that mean you are against the outright repeal bill that congressman biggs has introduced. >> not against but as mark said earlier, our preference is to repeal and replace. >> two questions for you. can you take us through the process of how the president decided to hire this new communications director, anthony scaramucci, and moving forward, what will his role be in terms of objectives that the president wants him to meet? >> as anthony said, he's known the president a long time. he's been a loyal supporter of the president's, and anthony's somebody who has come from
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nothing and built an incredible, i think, several incredible companies, and he's one of the most successful, smart people that the president could put on his team and the president recognized that and wanted him to be a part of this process. i think very early on, he was a very strong advocate throughout the transition, and this has just been part of the process to bring him inside the white house. >> quick follow-up on robert mueller. does president trump have confidence that robert mueller will conduct a fair investigation. >> you know, at this point, i don't have any reason to see otherwise, but i have not had a chance to ask the president and i'd want to get clarity on that. >> starting january 20, this administration has cycled through deputy chief of staff and national security adviser, communications director, press secretary, several other roles inside this building and across the street. what does that say about sort of the efforts to staff up this
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administration at the start, what has the president learned about his team, about himself as president and can you explain sort of that very high turnover rate we've seen. >> you would have to ask the president what he's learned in that process, and i can tell you, though, i think what we've all learned in that process is that working together and working to accomplish the things that the american people elected the president to do is our focus. it's what we come here every day to do which would we'. we're a lot less focused on the who but the what and we're going to continue doing that every single day. >> you don't see that as chaotic. >> no. >> is the white house concerned -- >> you want to see chaos, you should come to my house early in the morning when my three kids are running around. that's chaos. this is nothing. >> there was news concerning the attorney general and the resignation of mr. spicer could have the effect of alienating or demoralizing trump loyalists both in and out of the
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administration. >> i think that trump loyalists, particularly within the administration, but certainly across the country are energized by the accomplishments of the president in the first six months, stock market's at a high, jobs are growing, regulations are coming off, the country i country's becoming more secure, the board's becoming more secure, immigration's down. i think we have a lot of things to celebrate. >> first of all, congratulations. >> thank you. >> just wondering if you approach this new role with excitement, with trepidation, with apprehension? and if you could reflect on these last six months on what you've learned about how it is to speak for the president. is it a tough job? have you found it easy? >> i think it's probably the -- one of certainly professionally, one of the greatest honors that any person could ever have to work in any capacity within this building and so get to do that up here in such a public way and speak on behalf of the president is absolutely an honor and
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something i will cherish and hope to do my very, very best every single day, and be as open, honest, and transparent with you all as humanly possible and will always work to operate at the highest level and certainly with the most amount of integrity as you can. and with that, i think that's a great place to end today. and the president will be having an event here shortly. thanks so much, guys. >> that was sarah huckabee sanders. the new white house press secretary we were just told. she's replacing sean spicer who announced he is resigning. his last day will be in august. the move comes after president trump hired anthony scaramucci as the new white house communications director. scaramucci is a close friend of the trumps. he's a wealthy financer and an entrepreneur. he's 53 years old. he worked with the president during the campaign. let's talk about what we just saw with our panel. i think it is fair to say, dana, that his was a smooth and
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affable presentation. and yet, when it comes to facts, there is reason to be concerned. he's tried to lend some credence to the false claim by president trump that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. he talked about how polls indicate that the president is beloved. i don't know what polls they are. the president has a lot of work to do. he's currently in the 30s when it comes to his approval rating. so, i don't doubt for a second that he pleased an audience of one, but for those of us who are fans of the truth, the jury's still out. >> if the president said it, then it's probably true, is not the greatest answer when you're looking for facts and you're looking for truth. you're absolutely right. because that was his answer when somebody asked about some of the things that the president says that are just not factually correct. having said that, just putting that aside for one minute, i'm sure we'll get back to it. just sort of big picture, watching this guy, scaramucci, don't you think it was sort of
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like watching the guy that the president thinks that he sees in the mirror? i mean, the smooth businessman, a good talker, an affable guy. i mean, this is so much about optics and about presentation that we know is so critically important to this president and anthony scaramucci fits that bill and has the added benefit of having the loyalty and knows exactly how to push, as you were sort of alluding to, the buttons. how many times did we hear he loves the president? we know it. we get it. >> many times. >> so i think that is a good -- obviously a giant part of why we now know that the president wanted that image and that guy and that kind of smooth talker in that position, regardless of the fact that he does not have any experience in communications strategy. >> he wasn't adversarial in what we're used to with the sort of the punching back.
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he was full of love, full of love for the president, for his magnificent apartment, for his really good karma, the world turns back to him t president's a winner. i don't see this as a guy who's ever under siege and all the rest of that. but when he was asked questions that he probably didn't like, it was interesting, because his manner in responding to them was not to fight back. it was to sort of, like, okay, i've been a reporter, i've been on tv, i've played a journalist on tv and he's not adversarial and so the picture that you get is a lot smoother. >> yeah. in fact, as you note, his expressions of love, there were more expressions of love in that press briefing than on the average yacht rock album. here's a little mash-up. >> i think there's been, at times, a disconnect between the way we see the president and how
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much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. but i love the president. and i'm very, very loyal to the president. and i love the mission that the president has. i love the president. i obviously love the country. i love the president. the president is a very, very feoff communicator. the president has really good karma. the president himself is always going to be the president. i was in the oval office with him earlier today, and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity. i think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world and perhaps in history. if you think about it, he started his political ascent two and two months ago and he's done a phenomenal job for the american people. and the people i grew up with, they so identify with the president and they love him and so we're going get that message out. >> john king. >> it was a very solid performance. and he does know, clearly, that one way to get in this president's favor is to tell the president how great he is and how much you love him and how great a communicator he is.
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forget us for a minute. if you're washington, you're six months and one day into the trump administration, yet another tern personnel turnover at the white house. immigration, you could make the case in the trump white house, you've made some impact improvements, regulatory, ripping out regulations you can make but if you're mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader or paul ryan, the house speaker, what did anthony scaramucci say? i don't have any problem with the president's tweets and the ship is going in the right direction. the republican party is not going in the right direction. he's the communications director. if you're the spokesman for bob's cola, you go out every day and say you're doing better than coke. that's his job. what does he do in two or three weeks when he's on the job full-time. the ship is not going in the right direction. the president has a 35% to 38% approval rating t. trump base is still engaged but you can't govern at 38 pjt. his party has no fear of this president and less loyalty to this president and they're
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trying to solve very difficult policy issues. health care, infrastructure, tax reform, to name three very important. so is this, again, i'll keep asking this question. is this a reset, is this somebody -- he wouldn't say it there. can he go to the president and say,please you're making my job harder, please just give us a week, try a different approach and let me show you. if you do this for a week for me, plmmr. president, i will sh you next week how it helped you. if you change your behavior in some ways, i will prove to you it helps you, not helps me but helps you. that's what we have not seen in this administration. can anthony scaramucci do that? clock's running. >> a lot of people have tried to do it. reince priebus, jared kushner, ivanka trump. >> kelleyanne con way. >> but will scaramucci be able, if he is in fact behind closed doors telling him that, we don't know that he is. that's the question. >> and to your point, the most successful person in doing this over the time has been tom, his friend from los angeles who ran the conventions and that was
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when people think trump was at his most presidential, if you will. a business person. s, can it -- because of his wall street business background, does anthony scaramucci have a standing some of the political people, the people president trump uses d.c. political hacks, does he have a different standing? again, the clock starts today. >> you know what? when he talked about how the people -- when he grew up -- he's a very, very wealthy and successful man, he grew up in rather humble circumstances, anthony scaramucci, and when he talked about the people that i grew up with love president trump, i don't doubt that for one second and it occurs to me, this is a trump voter in the way that sean spicer could never have been because sean, even though he's from rhode island, and is a veteran, he really was of washington. he seemed of washington. this will be a good guy for the base, i think, because they will see, in him, themselves. >> i think that's right but it's not clear that donald trump needs help with his base. i mean, if you look at his approval ratings among republicans, he's at 85%.
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the problem is the larger american electorate and his problem is also governing. i mean, if you look at what he has done in hiring anthony scaramucci here, it seems like the president thinks the problem is a branding problem, and that he needs somebody in place who can really smoothly stroke his own ego, right, somebody who in some ways works for the propaganda arm of donald trump's ego. i mean, that's what he was doing today with saying, oh, donald trump's good at basketball and football and golf. i mean, he's got a magnificent apartment. so it's not clear that the underlying issue, which is selling -- not only selling an agenda but getting an agenda passed in congress, this person, anthony scaramucci, who's great on air, i mean, he's sort of this combination between tony robbins and corey lewandowski in some ways, able to sell this message really well. but again, i don't know that that helps mitch mcconnell. he didn't say much about, he loves the republican party, he
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loves what's going on in the hill. he doesn't know those folks very well. but he might know and be able to connect with those folks back in long island where he grew up. but donald trump already connects with those people. >> let's bring in rick wilson and jason miller. rick, let's start with you. the headlines yesterday were the juice is loose after the announcement of o.j. simpson's parole and i'm sure we'll see the mooch is loose headline tomorrow on one of the broad sheets or other newspapers in new york city. but what'd you make of it? >> look, the most important mission he had, as you said, he's playing to an audience of one, and he declared his love so many times, i'm surprised he didn't pull the back of his shirt up to show us his maga tramp stamp. the guy wanted to make sure that donald trump had a very clear message that his loyalty was absolutely because that's obviously the currency of the realm. again, i think he doesn't -- he's already shown us a few warning flags, though.
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the voter fraud number that he's claiming and the idea that the president tells the truth is something that is just, you know, i think "the washington post" said he's lied 893 times since he's been sworn in on the record. this is not a guy who is con deuce toif having a white house that's able to tell the truth because he demands that they stick with his message, his style. i think scaramucci had a grood intro performance, he was slick, he had plenty of hair product and a good suit, so that sort of self-image of trump seeing the slick new york banker, wall street guy on tv, i'm sure he liked that. he thought sean spicer was a bit rumpled. i'm sure he loved that. but again, he hasn't confronted any real issues yet. he hasn't confronted any kind of crisis yet and he hasn't had to deal with the day-to-day of donald trump impulsively tweeting off at the slightest provocation so we're all going to say the guy is a new face, a fresh face and he certainly presents himself in a way that comes across as sort of a wall
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street slickster but other than that, i think we've got to wait until he collides with reality. >> jason. >> well, i love the pick, by the way, of sarah huckabee sanders to fill in to the press secretary spot. we've seen her handle the podium a number of times already so far and so i think she's going to do great in this position. but before the press conference started, what i was talking about, the mooch, as anthony is affectionately known, his friends call him that and even some of the detractors call him that as well but he has this calming influence. he's sufficient an affable person, someone who's able to connect with people and deliver the president's message and one of the things that really struck me throughout the press conference over and over seemed like the entire temperature in the room came way down. and what we're actually hearing and you could even see the faces of the reporters sitting in the room where folks were paying attention to the president's message and what anthony was trying to convey and i think this is a -- this is a very important point for this
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administration, because trump supporters firmly believe that we're doing some really great things with this white house right now. everything with the economy, something that mr. scaramucci can definitely speak directly to and so i think anthony can come in and provide some very strong leadership. as i said before, there are some very talented and skilled people in this communications shop, in the press secretary department, and i think anthony can come in and provide some leadership and structure within that, get the best out of them, and really get this administration clicking on all cylinders. i think he's going to be just a huge shot in the arm and we saw today, i mean, everyone was walking out of there feeling like there was this big boost of energy. >> well, let's not go crazy. it wasn't the original cast of "hamilton." but i do want to point out one thing, jason, about sarah huckabee sanders. there has not been a female white house press secretary since the george w. bush administration, since dana perino. president obama went through
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three white house press secretaries, all of them were male so that is something noteworthy on a historical level. it's been a long time since there's been a female press secretary at the white house. there was an interesting moment when i think john carl, maybe john roberts, asked about a comment that mr. scaramucci had made about president trump in 2015 and whether or not he had talked about it with the president, and scaramucci humorously talked about how the president reminds it of him every 15 seconds. here's that clip. >> another hack politician. >> you called donald trump a hack? >> he's a hack politician. >> the politicians don't want to go at trump because he's got a big mouth and he's afraid he's going to lights them up on fox news and all these different places but i'm not a politician. bring it. >> why is he resonating? >> you're an inherited money dude from queens county. bring it, donald. >> he brings it up every 15 seconds, okay? one of the biggest mistakes that i made because i was an
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unexperienced person in the world of politics. i was supporting another candidate. i should have never said that about him. so mr. president, if you're listening, i personally apologize for the 50th time for skying that. but here's the wonderful thing about the news media. that was three minutes of my life. he's never forgotten it and you've never forgotten it but i hope that some day, mr. president, you will forget it. >> so, i mean, rick, i know you're a critic of the president. i will say this. don't you think he should get some credit here for giving somebody who said that about him but apologized the job? i mean, it's not necessarily reflecting poorly on the president that he was able to forgive and -- well, not forget but forgive. >> this isn't the only example -- >> let me do rick and then jason. >> i think certainly that, you know, trump is not presented right now with a giant list of people who want to take this job, and the fact that he has sort of the trump tribal smell,
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his relationship with the family and with donald, is on him. i think that was why trump was able to see his way clear to doing this. but again, folks are not beating down donald trump's door to become coms director for this white house. it is not considered a position that most people that would be able to professionally communicate and effectively communicate a national image and message have chosen to pursue. even our friend jason here stepped away from that opportunity. and the fact of the matter is, you know, trump does get a little credit for having someone who said something critical of him once but it also reflects on trump's psychology of being, you know, obsessively nitty about the small things that he remembers these slights and small things that carry an awful lot of weight are with donald trump in everyday life. >> well, this is one of the things that -- the qualities of president trump that i think a lot of times is overlooked. i mean, look, i supported a different candidate in the primary and president trump brought me on to his campaign in the general election.
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heck, you look around the cabinet, whether it be ambassador nikki haley or even vice president pence who supported different candidates in the primary but president trump knows how to spot talent and bring people on board and i would say with anthony, you don't just have to look at his comments and words. you can actually go and see where he went to work very hard for the president during the campaign and then during the transition and more than made up for it and maybe he had thrown the elbows a little bit sharper than he would have liked to, of course, but anthony's more than made up for it. he's a loyal soldier. he definitely paid his dues and he's going to fit in fine with this white house. >> we're going to take a very quick break. when we come back, more cnn special coverage of this major white house shake-up. stay with us. (woman) when you have type 2 diabetes,
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thank you all. >> mr. president, what are you trying to accomplish with your staff -- can you explain to us what you're trying to accomplish.
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>> make america great again. >> anything you can tell us? >> and we're back, you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin continuing our essential coverage of this major shake-up today inside the trump white house. sean spicer, out after six months and a day as the white house press secretary. he says he'll stay on until august and sarah huckabee sanders will be the third female press secretary ever to helm the post when he completes his job. all of this as the white house names a new communications director, this man, anthony scaramucci. he is a 53-year-old wall street financer and former trump campaign fund-raiser and today, he made his praise and love for president trump clear. >> i think there's been, at times, a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. but i love the president. and i'm very, very loyal to the president. and i love the mission that the president has. i love the president. i obviously love the country. i love the president. and the president is a very,
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very executiffective communicat. the president has really good karma. the president himself is always going to be the president. i was in the oval office with him earlier today and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting express his full identity. i think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world and perhaps in history. when you think about it, he started his political ascent two years and two mants aonths ago he's done a phenomenal job for the american people and the people i grew up with, they so identify with the president and they love him and so we're going to get that message out. >> let's talk now to three white house reporters, cnn's kaitlan collins, jonathan le mere, also brian stelter and abbey, let me begin with you because i was watching scaramucci, all i kept thinking was of sade and "smooth operator." >> that's actually a great analogy for this moment. look, this is one of the main
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reasons why he's standing up at that podium today. when i talked to people, they say that in the last couple of weeks, the president has been watching him on television, and he likes what he sees. he sees him going out there, defending him very eloquently, doing it without missing a beat, and he likes the combativeness. it's something that the president wants in his spokesman. it doesn't hurt that scaramucci looks the part for this job. and all of that really matters at this point in time. beyond that, there's a pretty long standing relationship and a desire from the president to really give his white house a refresh. he doesn't think that he's getting the credit that he deserves for what's going on, and scaramucci gave voice to a lot of that today in the briefing room. >> i loved how dana put it at the top of the coverage saying, when trump looks in the mirror, scaramucci is what he thinks he would like to see. and so, on the style, he gets, you know, major checkpoints.
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but brian stelter, on substance, yes, he hails the president as successful, though name me one major legislative win in the first six months. i mean, what do we know on substance with him? >> substance is what's lacking today and we'll see down the line if there are improvements in this white house about answers to questions and about action on the president's priorities. for as much as we can say about sean spicer, and why he resigned today, his tenure was check marked or it was checkered by errors, by misstatements, by confusion from the podium, and that is ultimately the president's responsibility. it's the president who sets the tone by making confusing, misleading contradictory statements by sometimes outright lying. so, will that change with the new communications director? i guess we'll see about that. we're at the six-month mark and the sunshine -- the sunlight foundation, which is a nonprofit that studies transparency in government when didn't give obama great marks says trump is much worse. this administration is hostile toward the press and is a
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secretive government. we'll see if scaramucci and sanders are going to change that. i think it's going to be very hard to change just because he's a smooth operator, and he was today, doesn't mean this white house is not in crisis. >> jonathan you were in the room. what was your impression? has he genuinely seemed to be taking almost every question on day one. >> it's certainly a contrast in styles between his first day behind the podium and sean spicer's first day behind the podium. you might recall that spicer came out here and delivered a very combative skreed against the press in the room about the size of the crowd that the president drew, saying that it was far greater than what president obama had drawn eight years earlier and he left without taking any questions. today, it was very different. scaramucci seemed very relaxed. he was calm. he joked around a little bit, made some self-deprecating cracks. at the same time, he did push back against the press corps here suggesting that we have not given the president a fair
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coverage, but he did so with a far more ease and charm and even blew a kiss when he walked off the podium at the end of it. >> yes, he did. i've seen the gif. kaitlan, to you. he was asked about the relationship with steve bannon. he says he's looking forward to working with him but from reporting i've seen, no love lost between these two and even including reince priebus, looking at previous sara murray reporting that he was up for previous appointments that were quashed by the chief of staff. can you just tell us about the inner workings of the west wing involving scaramucci? >> absolutely. and a lot of that was what led to sean spicer's resignation today. last night, we found out that sean spicer, steve bannon, and reince priebus were largely kept in the dark as the trump administration narrowed down and decided that scaramucci was going to be the next communications director. this is a position they have had a lot of trouble filling and i'm sure that sean spicer and reince priebus were hoping it was someone from their rnc side,
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someone that's a washington creature like they are and they ended up getting scaramucci who's a donald trump creature, he's from new york, she's smoothly dressed and he's smooth when he talks and he speaks of a white house that's running perfectly. that's exactly what donald trumpments -- wants representing his administration on television. it's created controversy behind the scenes in the west wing. a lot of staffers were shocked today when they found out that he was being hired. they said they were left in the dark and they did not know this was happening today. >> also from our reporting, though, i think it was ivanka trump, jared kushner, embracing this move. they believe that this will be the reset that the white house needs. >> family always comes first, right? >> we shall see. day one. thanks, everyone. so much. coming up next, someone who knows all about west wing drama, former clinton adviser paul bugala is going to weigh in on all of this. stay here. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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this was the largest audience to ever witness an 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, there is no connection. you've got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a russian connection. but every single person -- no, well, no, that's -- i appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is -- oh, no, hold on. no, at some point, report the facts. we didn't use chemical weapons in world war ii, you know? someone as despicable as hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons. let me -- >> i am just reporting. >> you were asking me a question and i'm going to answer it, which is the president, i'm sorry, please stop shaking your head again.
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>> sean, do you have time for another question, please. sean, sean. >> come on, sean. sean. >> part of the sean spicer greatest hits reel. we're talking about the major shake-up today within the white house press corps. sean spicer will be out in august, and anthony scaramucci has been appointed as the coms director and sarah huckabee sanders will be taking sean's job as press secretary. let's talk to paul begala, cnn political commentator, and democratic strategist and a former adviser to president clinton. also with me, matthew whittaker, cnn legal commentator and executive director of the foundation for accountability and civic trust and last but not least, david, media critic for "the baltimore sun." gentlemen, my goodness. we thought we'd be talking about "the washington post" and the "new york times" reporting. to watch scaramucci, paul begala, your impressions and just you knowing the inner workings of a white house, what's his biggest uphill battle?
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>> well, a white house is a living organism, especially -- it's only been going six months but still in six mojnths, it forms us own ecosystem. now you're transplanting an organ into that. the body's going to want to reject it. i don't know scaramucci well. i've met him a couple of times. he has a great conference investment group and paid me, smart enough to pay know give a speech, but i do think he has good skills within that ecosystem to fit in so the body doesn't reject the new organ. lord knows the president needs new blood. the problem is not scaramucci, it's not even spicer, although he did a bad job. it's the president. focus on the organ grinder, not the monkey. guys like me or scaramucci or sean, we're all monkeys. it's the president and donald trump is a black hole of integrity. he's a swirling malignant vortex of deceit and dishonesty and duplicity and anybody who goes in there and going to find their credibility destroyed. that's what's going to happen to
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the mooch. >> the mooch. we just played the clip. and matthew, impact to g want t two sec two sen two sents in a second. if you're saying there is problems with the president, isn't there a problem with scaramucci. >> you kind of got me there. i want to like the guy. honestly, i don't support this president's agenda but having been in that job, it's public service and i admire anybody who's willing to serve their country but there was an element, remember in the the manchurian candidate where they say, raymond shaw is the wisest, kindest human being, because they were brainwashed by the north koreans. there was a little bit of that by scaramucci today. maybe trump's the kind of guy who just believes you never stand so tall as when you stoop to kiss his ring. >> matthew whittaker. >> i disagree with paul. but along this line, i see a president that is sensing that things aren't working and i think paul would agree with me on that. six months in, and he's making some decisions.
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he's bringing in ty cobb and scaramucci, changing up his legal team on the outside and i think what is happening is you're seeing donald trump the leader and the person that has been successful in business that is taking charge and trying to optimize his organization. now, i will -- i think everybody admits it hasn't been working for the first six months at an optimal level and maybe some of these changes will improve things. >> so, matthew, here's my question because, you know, one of the big issues, this cloud hanging over the white house for months is this whole russia investigations but the thing is that the president keeps talking about it. we've all read the transcript from the far-reaching "new york times" interview from earlier this week. he keeps talking about russia. he keeps talking about the special counsel, robert mueller. isn't that part of the problem and do you think scaramucci is someone who maybe is close to the president and can say, mr. president, with all due respect, stop. >> well, let's first remember it's made in america week but i agree. >> is it?
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>> it still is. it's been the longest week of my life but it still is made in america week. but nonetheless, i think that is somebody that the president sorely needs is a plain spoken person. i hope scaramucci can fill this role, and that tells him where to compartmentalize this russian investigation, to let the professionals and the outside legal team and ty cobb when he comes into the white house, and others handle this and manage this and not comment about the players from the office of the president. because it -- from my perspective, as a former federal prosecutor, it's not helping his defense at this point. >> so for all the winning that scaramucci clearly believes that the president has been capable of, is capable of, you think this is a person who is capable of telling the president no? >> i hope so. i was a little concerned. i mean, and you played the clips earlier on how much he loves the president. but i think that that level of respect hopefully can be some tough love and somebody that can
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tell the president what he needs to hear and just that he's great and doing a great job. >> okay. david, we talk a lot about, obviously, the role in the media and how it's been thus far in the last six months and a day. how do you see press briefings moving forward, now that we have sarah huckabee sanders you know, i don't think -- first of all, brooke, i don't think scaramucci -- scaramucci sounds like the last guy who is going to rein trump in. he said how brilliant his political instincts are, how important his tweeting is, and he measures importance only by followers. this is a guy who from the world of business and finance where numbers are everything. the bigger trump's audience gets, the easier they are. they're going to be smoother. they're not going to be as
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contentious in materials of the press briefings. there was a beligerence to sean spicer's press briefings. when she told angela not to shake her head -- >> and when she was asking about the black caucus? pardon me, that was the president, not sean spicer. >> spicer -- scaramucci is going to be an improvement over spicer in terms of being less contentious, less a brabrasive. he said trump is the one you want to see in the mirror. i think he's got a sagging team who has a great press conference and says we're going to win, we're going to win, we're going
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to win. you go in the hall and he grabs ten players and says, by the way, i'm taking your college scholarships away. >> scaramucci was asked about calling donald trump a hack. let's go back and we'll remember his mea culpa. >> he's got a big mouth and he's afraid he'll light him up on fox news and all these places, but i'm not a politician. you're an inherited moneys dude from kings county. bring it on, donald. >> one of the biggest mistakes i made is i was an unexperienced person in the world of politics. i never should have said that about him. so mr. president, if you're
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listening, i apologize for the 50th time for that. he's never forgotten it, you've never forgotten it, but i hope someday, mr. president, you'll forget it. >> do you give scaramucci credit for apologizing? >> yes and no. i do hope the president and scaramucci are watching, which is the highest form of loyalty is to say no, sir. to stand up to him. every president needs it. i've been there of the you have to stand in that oval office and look him in the eye and say, no, sir, we're not going to do that. that's real loyalty. the first test for me will be the president's twitter feed. scaramucci has to get control of that. i would make it a condition of my employment. every tweet goes through me, sir. you're not allowed it anymore. it goes through me or i don't approve it. i would head up a complete shield that blocks the president's twitter feed but he
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doesn't know it. it's like those cars at disneyland that have steering that isn't connected to anything. >> i just want to say, one thing that i think all the kovrcovera has done so far, and this is just a minor thing. we're talking a lot about personalities, the difference between spicer and scaramucci. one thing that's important is this white house's attitude toward the press and the public. a disrespect not just for the press but for the public's right to expect truthful, reasonable flow of information from the white house. you can't have it without a democracy. that has to start at the top, and i don't think however smooth this guy is that he's the guy that's going to change that. >> we shall see. truth in transparency. an excellent point. this is day one. we'll be watching ever so carefully, won't we, guys? happy weekend. our other big story today,
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desensitizes aggravated nerves with the max strength lidocaine available. new icyhot lidocaine patch. much more on the breaking news and the resignation of sean spicer, but first cnn has learned that susan rice met behind closed doors with intel investigators. rice has been under scrutiny from some house republicans who believe she improperly unmasked or revealed information in the trump gathering information. what more do you know? >> this is one of three officials who met with the intel agency this week, as well as mark mcdonough as well as
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director of intelligence james clapper. she coming in quietly behind closed doors meeting with senate staff as part of the intelligence committee's probe into russia meddling. it's unclear if she did answer any of those questions that were asked about the issue of unmasking, but we do know from representative rice telling them she did act in relation to the investigations. this broke as the senate judiciary committee is trying to move guard wiforward with their investigation, wanting to move toward with questioning. he had ties to the british dossier of unsubstantiated information about president trump. those three men have not said if they'll testify next wednesday before the senate committee. moments ago, a spokesman for chuck grassley of the chairman
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committee issued subpoena threats if those men do not show. they also said grassroots representatives are undergoing massive discussions, so they signed negotiations that are happening behind the scenes about this possible public testimony on wednesday, this after jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, going behind closed doors with the senate intelligence committee on monday. some high-profile names. rice today, others coming next week as these russian investigations take shape, brooke. >> i've got you for 60 more seconds. on the law report you made about paul manafort and the senate judiciary, what's that final moment they need to say, we're coming, we need you to testify, and you alluded to the subpoena. if not, then they would be subpoenaed? >> the final moment is today. today is the day. chuck grassley made it very clear he wants an answer by the end of the day, so the question is can they strike some sort of deal? that's unclear yet, but that's
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exactly what they're discussing behind the scenes at the moment, brooke. >> got it. monu, thank you very much. we'll be waiting for testimony on that next week. i'm brooke baldwin. but stay right here, "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. as comedian michelle mccarthy sheds a tear. a major white house shake-up today. the white house press secretary sean spicer has resigned. the move included a bottleneck of reporters and moves inside the briefing room. it left many white house staffers shocked. a short time ago we heard from sean spicer on twitter saying, it's been an honor and a privilege to serve potus and this amazing country. i will continue my service through august. this comes as president trump announces he hired anthony scaramucci who