tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 24, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
jeff sessions' days as attorney general may be numbered. breaking news tonight. the "washington post" reporting president trump is discussing possibly replacing him. a short time ago, i spoke with "washington post" reporter matt zepatosky. so, matt, what have you learned? >> well, we learned as president trump and his aides have been discussing possibly removing jeff sessions as attorney general which maybe isn't a total surprise given what he told "the new york times" last week. but interesting that it's maybe not just him venting and not thinking about what he's saying, but a calculated move and considering, you know, getting somebody else in there. >> do you have any idea based on your reporting how serious the discussions, what level they're at, or what the kind of permutations are being discussed? >> we understand at this stage, it is pretty informal. some names have been floated, but maybe not even with the president, himself. it's not as if he is asking
people what do you think about this person, what do you think about this person? and some people characterize this as just a sort of intense level of vetting, or excuse me, venting, on his part. so, it is pretty early, but, i mean mean, in this administration, things move quickly. >> yeah, is there any timeline that's been discussed to your knowledge? >> no, no, not at all. i don't think the talks are quite that serious that we're going to remove him on "x" date. just discussing the idea of removing him. >> we me now, april ryan, ryan lizza, a.b. stoddard, matthew whittaker, kirsten powers, mike shields. mike, as a supporter of the president, would it be a mistake to remove jeff sessions? >> i think it would be. you know, there's been a conversation about loyalty a lot tonight. i think loyalty is a part of this but i think it's also confidence. i think the president needs to have confidence in the attorney general and my understanding is he's frustrated because jeff sessions recused himself from an investigation that hadn't begun. when he recused himself, there wasn't an investigation.
now there is. so that makes you lose confidence in somebody when they recu recuse themselves from something that hasn't begun, you may have contributed to the atmosphere that created it. jeff session has to get the confidence of the president back. >> how do you do that? saying they should sit down and have a face-to-face, doesn't seem like that's something president trump wants to do. he was at the white house, according to sarah huckabee sanders, was at the white house today and there was no face to face. >> i think what he wants to do is stop the investigation. it's not necessarily about jeff sessions. the recusal happened on march 2nd, you know, we're now, you know, in august. so, obviously something else is happening. and so i think it's more about the fact that he is panicking about the investigation and particularly probably with the donald jr. e-mails. and so he's trying to figure out how to stop it. the only way to stop it, he figures, is get rid of sessions and start the domino effect of getting somebody in there that
will do his bidding. >> that's what's getting lost, is he loyal, can he do it? the president of the united states is trying to undermine the rule of law by getting rid of an attorney general who has done the right thing, followed justice department guidelines and recused himself for an investigation. you said that the investigation hadn't started. the investigation into the trump campaign's relationship with russia started last july. so the investigation had started. >> well -- >> and sessions had conversations as a campaign surrogate with russians, was a very clear case for recusal. he did the right thing. a lot of people -- he deserves credit for that. what we are wauchli ingwatching public match natichinations by president to undermine -- >> anderson, this is much different than timelines. i understand what you're saying about the fact he want to stop the investigation, but if he cannot stop the investigation, he definitely wants to control the investigation. he is very concerned about mueller, the scope of what mueller is able to do. and i talked to former u.s.
attorney general eric holder today in baltimore at the naacp, and he says he's going to come back and start talking in september because he's very concerned with these impediments. he's also saying that we are a nation possibly entering into a crisis. so, at issue is mueller. what mueller is doing. yes, jeff sessions, they've had this back and forth. and jeff sessions did send his resignation in earlier. but the question is, since he and the president don't get along, who did he get that resignation to that the president did not accept the resignation? that's one question. two, jeff sessions, yes, they don't get along, but the issue, why is jeff sessions staying? is he realizing that this situation is bigger than what is on the surface? there are a lot of questions going on. >> jeff sessions not only was an early supporting of the president, also among, you know, a lot of conservatives, among the more nationalistic wing of the republican party, jeff sessions holds a lot of ideals which are really important to
those supporters of the president. and he held those ideals probably before the president, himself, talked about them. >> which is why the "washington post" is reporting that the president is asking how it will play in conservative media because he knows there's an army of loyal supporters fervent believers in how qualified jeff sessions is for the job and the fact, what ryan said last hour, that he has achieved more for the trump agenda, for president short on wins, everything with regard to immigration, criminal justice issues, law enforcement issues, all controversial, civil rights issues. he's been over there making changes hand over fist. >> not going to say civil rights. >> it might look like the opposite of civil rights but the trump agenda is chugging along at great speed over at the justice department. and so ryan's right, doesn't have anything to do with the trump agenda at the justice die pa department. has to do with what everyone said, which is mueller. the question of people who he's
thinking of replacing jeff sessions with, has he already asked jeff sessions? and people are concerned about this. to fire mueller and jeff sessions said no? therefore, the outburst last week. if ted cruz wants to be the step-in, he has to know it's all about firing mueller. >> the biggest challenge, you have a department of justice that isn't firing on all cylinders. no u.s. attorneys have been confirmed or very few. you have offices being headed by interim appointments since you had most of the u.s. attorneys fired including three up in southern district of new york, so i think this is a department of justice that while the fiasco in washington is happening, out in the field, they really need some leadership and they need those u.s. attorneys in place and not have an attorney general with the confidence of the president i think really slows that down and causes, grassley and others in the judiciary committee, to focus elsewhere where they should be focused on -- >> i'm sorry, how difficult would it be to get another attorney general confirmed? >> probably would be difficult, probably would have to be a recess appoint fmt he did i
think thi think. >> he's going to be put them into the position of being great defenders of jeff sessions as remaining of attorney general. >> right. >> you can imagine what democrats will do if jeff sessions is fired as a way for president trump to control the investigation of himself. they will shut down the u.s. senate. they will not allow someone else to go through. >> we're going to continue the conversation after a quick break. we also have breaking news about whether john mccain will return to the senate tomorrow. right now, he's in arizona recovering from surgery for brain cancer. also ahead, the latest on jared kushner's statement today and why a member of the house intel committee says he expects kushner will have to come for multiple days of interviews.
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breaking news tonight, we just learned about senator john mccain who's battling brain cancer. earlier we reported he may come back to washington tomorrow. now we have a statement from the senator. jeff zeleny joins us with that. what is he saying, jeff? >> reporter: anderson, this is a significant development. senator mccain's office is saying he's going to be coming back to washington tomorrow to be on hand for that critical vote in the jat on health care. his office just released a statement a few moments ago. it says this, can stays "senator mccain looks forward to returning to the united states senate tomorrow to continue working on the important legislation including health care reform, the national defense authorization act, and new sanctions on russia, iran and north korea." so health care, obviously, getting the most focus. we also know that senator mccain is deeply engaged in the russian sanctions bill and has been furious at the house of representatives, republicans there, for not following the lead of the senate. so with the new agreement there,
he also plans to focus on that. anderson, this is a significant moment that senator mccain, of course, is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer here, and this is, you know, by no means a signaling, you know, anything more than just a moment that he can travel back. he's still receiving chemotherapy and will be in the future here, but the reception that he'll receive tomorrow on capitol hill, anderson, i can only imagine will be significant and a hero's welcome. and, again, republicans in the senate need his vote to proceed to that health care bill. he's not yet said how he'll vote on the final bill, but he has given an indication that he will vote to at least go forward to the debate. such an important moment here for this washington and certainly the united states senate, anderson. >> yeah, for a guy who's lived a life of service, he continues do to do that with all he's battling. what's the state of the health
care bill continue? >> reporter: the state of the health care bill is very uncertain. we saw the president engage in a way he hasn't been. he was standing in the blue room of the white house giving an address and i think speaking in the most forceful way. you almost wonder why he hadn't done this earlier, why he didn't give some type of a primetime address. speaking about the need for republicans to uphold their promise and pass this bill but the state of this, you know, this evening is uncertain, as our phil mattingly has been reporting all evening, the senate republic chance do not believe they have the 50 votes needed to get on to the debate. so it will happen in two phases. tomorrow is the stage where republicans will vote to move forward and have a debate on a bigger bill that can be changed and amended but, again, it's amazing, anderson, that the republicans after seven years of talking about this are still uncertain about going forward with this debate because some senators simply are not pleased with the policy prescriptions. senator rob portman, ohio, i had my eye on him.
tomorrow the president is flying to ohio for a big rally in youngstown. senator portman tonight is an example of one of those in the middle republicans unsure how he'll vote on this, anderson. >> jeff zeleny. thanks very much. back now with the panel. nobody would blame senator mccain if he had not come back. yet, i thchink, again -- >> it's a powerful statement to come back. it will influence his colleagues. when someone is going to come back and make a vote like that, they take notice of that. how he's voting as well, that's a huge help to mitch mcconnell to get this over the finish line. it really is on a knife's edge. only have one, two foet vovotes can afford to give up. having john mccain come back for the vote is a huge, huge break for mitch mcconnell. >> you think it can turn the tide. >> these senators, when they get on the floor, they to have emotions. they think this stuff through to a level of talking to their colleagueses >> along the same lines, i think john mccain if he votes for this to proceed, we know it's a
technical machination but at the same time, if he votes for that, there will be a question for other republican senators, why didn't you vote with john mccain? because it's going to be all the focus tomorrow. >> he's also been a critic of the president so i'm not necessarily sure he's going to vote for or against it, but what it shows me is that he is very convicted. the stakes are very high right now. there's so much on the table and he wants to be a part of it before he can't be a part of it. but i'm not sure he's necessarily going to vote for it because you got a lot of republicans who are -- >> he said he's voting for the rule. that's where he's -- >> to move forward. >> he's coming back specifically for this vote. that would lead you to believe -- >> but when it comes to repeal and replace, things like that -- yeah, when it -- >> that's a whole other issue. >> right. that's ha they still ultimately want to do. so the bottom line is, if they were to do that, too many people would lose jobs meaning people in that industry, meaning people in some of the service organizations where these patients go. he understands, again, the stakes are high. to help the party, yes, maybe do that or maybe not. so we have to wait and see
because a lot of people are very cagy on what they're going to do with this vote tomorrow. >> first thing to say, it's great news that he is coming back to washington to do his job, whether it's the health care vote or not, that's a nice positive sign for someone with his diagnosis. so, you know, that's great. he's been very unclear -- he's been very ambiguous about what he thinks of this health care -- as it's been developed in the house and the senate. he's sort of being critical of the process. he's talked about, you know, some kind of bipartisan bill. he's been in favor of that. he hasn't been such a big fan of how this legislation has been produced. it's quite a bit of mystery where he actually would vote on a repeal bill, or the other versions. >> voting, getting a vote on the noor floor allows amendments, those things to begin the process. >> the devil is in thede ta det though. we don't know taefeverything -- >> from a political standpoint, what mcconnell wants is to force
a vote. goat the ball ro to get the ball rolling, he thinks if he puts the money on the line, they may be afraid to cast a vote. i still think it probably isn't going to make it. i think he thinks if he can get them to a point where they have to cast a vote, they're going to have to own their positions in a way -- >> last week they didn't have 50 votes but let's see what happens tomorrow. but it just still sounds -- >> it's basically gone from absolutely no chance, because you look at the math before we got this news about mccain, you have ronald paul -- excuse me, susan collins, murkowski, maybe rand depending what version. murkowski and collins seem ungettable. rand seems very, very difficult. let's assume -- >> this is ongoing, this is legislating. obamacare didn't pass until after august, right? so the actual bill that they're repealing, which was the la landmark legislation of the president on health care, didn't pass until after august. so getting them on record, let's get a vote, let's see what happens in august. if they don't get the fix
through, now we've taken another step, now we've taken another step. the president was engaged today, had a rally. he's having people travel from the administration out to different states to put pressure on them. the real message is they're not giving up on this because they can't. they have to repeal obamacare and replace it with something to go into 2018. they know that and they're not going to give up on it. >> the bill is not dead and mccain coming back -- >> the danger of not doing something after all the years of promises. >> the republican base -- >> absolutely right. >> -- wants this bill repealed and want the people they voted for the last three elections really put in place to make this happen with a majority in the house and senate. they want them to take that -- >> you know, i think it's true the base doesn't really like obamacare, but when a bill polls at 20%, that means a lot of republicans are saying, eh, we don't really love this bill so much. >> on the georgia 6 special election when the house bill passed in the middle of that election, and we loved that that passed because we knew we did not want to go into this special election with our base being angry, that you hadn't done
something to move the process forward. that's a lesson for these senators. >> the details matter. >> you know, let's look at this, joining me on the phone with more about the news about mccain's return, what it does to the vote counts, cnn's phil mattingly. so with senator mccain coming back, do we know what this does to the overall count? >> i mean, it certainly gives senator mcconnell more space. no question about it. senator mccain ends up voting yes on this motion, he said last week, or before he left for treatment a couple weeks ago, i guess, that he traditionally votes for motions to proceed. he hadn't committed yet on the bill, itself, yet, but said he was willing to move the process forward and if that ends up to be the case, what it means numbers wise is this, senator mcconnell now has two votes to lose and still be able to move forward on this motion to proceed. so there's 52 senators, all 52 would be present with john mccain coming back tomorrow. we have it on very good authority from senator collins, herself, she is a firm no vote. before we knew senator mccain was coming back, that meant
essentially senator mcconnell couldn't lose anybody else. now if mccain is a yes tomorrow, that means senator mcconnell can lose another vote and they can still move forward. so no question about it, this gives them space, this is exactly why senate leaders were hinting at the idea that he would come back. i think a lot of us thought there was no chance. there were several senators including senators in leadership who said they didn't expect him to come back, but his ability to come back, his willingness to come back, if he is a yes tomorrow, certainly gets senator majority leader mitch mcconnell more room to work with. >> phil, what do you think of the possible emotional impact this might have? could his being there and voting for moving forward, could that actually push some votes on the fence to yes? >> no question about it. i think you forget when you look at these chambers, both the senate and the house, that these are real people with real emotions that care deeply about their colleagues, particularly somebody like senator mccain. you know, i was standing outside of a closed-door meeting between several senators and
administration officials when this was announced last week. could feel the air go out of just the reporters that were standing outside and certainly senators that were inside. it's kind of a devastating blow to them thinking about their colleague for so many years. his willingness to come back, if he chooses to vote yes, it's a rallying cry, there's no question about it. promised for year after year after year, having one of their colleagues who's dealing with this kind of health crisis right now, who's battling this very serious thing, his willingness to come back and take this vote, a very difficult vote politically, very difficult vote on the policy side of things, it can provide a boost. i guarantee, certainly doesn't assure that they're going to have the votes to move forward, but it will have an effect. they're people just like everybody else. the emotions are real here and the emotional toll as you've seen on these senators over the course of the last couple of days, the last week and a half or so, has been very real, very visceral in some cases, particularly some of senator mccain's closest friends.
it's a very real possibility this has an impact on the entire debate. certainly the vote tomorrow and then if they get the votes tomorrow, what happens moving forward. this will have an impact. there's no question about it. doesn't guarantee a vote, but it will have an impact, no question about it, anderson. >> phil mattingly, i appreciate you on the phone. thanks very much, phil. if you're a republican and have been campaigning on this, why not vote to at least move forward, to at least keep it alive and continue the discussion? >> because then you might have to vote on it and they don't want to vote on it. that's the point. if you're lisa murkowski, you don't want to actually have to cast a vote. you want to just never have it come up, right? >> yeah. there's, like, four that don't. there's plenty that do. >> yeah. right. >> and, look, here's one of the things i've tried to counsel some of my republican friends on this. whatever ad you're worried about getting run against you is not going to be as bad as if we don't do this and our base stays home and looks like '06 or '98. they have got to do this. the white house knows it and the leadership knows it and they're going to keep doing this over and over and over again until they get it done.
>> you keep coming up with cbo numbers that are saying people are going to be left off and certain groups will not have this, certain groups will not have that. the constituents are having problem. when it hits home, it hits home and you just gave a talking point talking about, you know, obama did this in august. it's not about the timeline, once again, it's about the issue, what's at stake. it's about those with pre-exi pre-existing conditions versus those who don't have pre-existing conditions. it's interesting that even what was up for discussion, the ownersh opioid substance issue in the republican party. that's one of the things you campaigned on. people are upset. your republican party constituents areppalachia -- >> you're making the argument the cost of not -- >> of course the polling is bad, now when you're making sausage because sausage before sausage is never popular. it's popular when you're done with it. that's the point. you have to look at 2018. i'm glad you brought up the cbo. you know, the cbo number that
said there are going to be 22 million without insurance. 16 million of that by their mandate. they only believe you get insurance from the individual mandate. when you lower the cost of health care, more people can afford it. what republicans need to do, we haven't done very well, is quit fighting over how much money is getting spent because we never win those fights. the democrats always have more money. and get back to fighting how a free market health care solution can lower the costs. costs is what drives the health care debate -- >> a lot of people are going to lose their jobs in the health industry if what the cbo says and what you're trying to push through happens. >> i don't know if you saw -- >> we got to take a break. finish your thought. >> 174% premium increases coming in october according to one insurance company, so when those things happen in october and the skyrocketing prices go up again, it will be more pressure. >> what about the deductibles? >> got to leave it there. coming up, the president's son-in-law, senior adviser jared kushner, add midsts meeting russians but denies any collusion. what we learn could happen with that when we continue.
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no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save when you choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinitymobile.com. xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network, designed to save you money. the white house says the president is, quote, very proud of his son-in-law who today met behind closed doors with senate intelligence committee staff in the russia investigation. jared kushner spoke briefly after that meeting and before released an 11- page. previously undisclosed details of those meetings. he said he did not collude with russia and didn't know of anybody who didn't. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto joins us with the latest. so what more did kushner have to say after the meeting? >> anderson, in effect making the same points he made in his written statement. he said he did not collude, he
was not aware of anyone else on the trump campaign who colluded. he also said he did not, his businesses did not rely, his choice of words, on russian money. that word drew some attention because it might indicate leaving some window open to having some russian money in his businesses but, in fact, we're told by his advisers they thought about clarifying that statement, he did not mean to leave that door open. he went to say as far as he's aware, he doesn't have significant amounts of russian money in his businesses. >> i understand representative schiff expects him to come back for more interviews? >> the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee, he described this as the first interview with jared kushner. he said that the time limitations made it that way. two hours, not enough time to get even to half the questions, schiff said. and he said this is something that has bipartisan support there and he said if that offer to come back is not accepted, they would reserve the right to subpoena him, to force him to come back. >> and his description of the
donald trump jr. meeting, he basically said, you know, he only read the part of the e-mail chain that he received saying the meeting was moved from 3:00 to 4:00, had no idea who the people in the room were. didn't even remember how many people were in the room and had no knowledge of what the meeting was about. >> that's right. and, listen, it's an explanation that at least raises some questions. the subject line indicated sthi something about the topic of the conversation and remember, that this was two conversations that donald trump jr. said that he had with kushner about this, in advance of the meeting, to ask him to be there, in effect, then forwarding that e-mail that described in very clear terms what it was the russian lawyer was offering. but that's jared kushner's explanation and he's standing by it. >> jim sciutto, thanks very much. back now with the panel. i thing i don't understand is if according to what jared kushner is saying and donald trump jr. is saying is donald trump jr. received information in this e-mail that the russians were backing his father's campaign
which seems like big information, and according to, as far as we know, never mentioned it to anybody. isn't that -- whether it's accurate or not, isn't that big information for donald trump jr. to hold onto and not tell manafort or kushner or his father? >> it's highly, highly improbable. well, the e-mail did go to manafort, right, so it did go -- manafort knew about that. >> you would think somebody -- >> or speaks to the fact that don jr. didn't write that because the guy is talking about crown magistrates and a bunch of stuff, was daying a ins and day. they're in the middle of june when they just got it. it was a little chaotic. you read all these e-mails -- >> what do you mean don jr. didn't write the e-mail? >> he didn't write the information as something -- >> he responded -- >> you're says in hindsight, we're -- zblour ab >> you're able to look at it in hindsight. >> he responded, love it, and invited them to a meeting. >> we all use e-mails because we're older than my 15-year-old
who thinks e-mail is absurd. we don't all read all the e-mails, don't remember the thing s you're saying. let's talk about jared. jared had a very, very good day todayed. i know that because people aren't talking about it that much anymore. he must have done well. he had 11 pages of testimony and didn't fit the fantasies out there that have been purported onto him, like, he had a backchannel to russia reported as fact and repeated over and over again. he came out today and said that's actually not true and we're not sitting here, jared really screwed up, that's actually true. there's no evidence of that being true. >> he actually confirmed -- actually reported that a back channel was discussed in a meeting between kushner, michael flynn and the russian ambassador and jared kushner confirmed that today and he gave a little bit of extra detail. he said kislyak wanted to get some information to the trump team from russian generals in syria. >> right. >> and the three of them -- >> that is not the way this has been talked about for the last six months. here's my admonition to my friends in the media. >> there was a concern about
legalities with that, just that information of the back channel. >> sure, sure. >> finish the thought. >> david brooks wrote a great column in "the new york times" about when he was the editorial page editor of the "wall street journal" covering whitewater, we got so far out of our skis, i say we, i worked for newton in the '90s, we, republicans and turned out to be nothing, and my sort of admonition to the media is, what is the credibility of the media going to be if we have a lot of days like today where it turns out to be a big nothing burger and talking about secret back channels and colluding and there's actually no evidence of it and one day we discover there really actually was no evidence of this? we talk about for six months as if it was true. >> i don't know if we know it was a nothing burger. he did well and gave explanations for things we didn't have before. he confirmed that the meeting happened. he kind of left donald jr. out -- he hung him out to dry basically. he confirmed everything about it except basically said but i didn't see anything or do anything or talk to anybody about it. you know, i worked in many
chaotic situations, you know, whether it's been a campaign or whatever it is, you know, and i have to say that if an e-mail came through that said russia/clinton and clinton was the opponent that we were running against, it's inconceivable to me that that would not catch my attention. and the idea that that -- this wasn't just, like, oh, some random words or something. this was russia/clinton. that's going to grab your attention, i think. >> no, look -- >> i think you're 100 % right w should stick to the facts and just as we should not exaggerate or get ahead of the story, we should not every time there's a revelation say, this is a big nothing burger, so they got an e-ma e-mail discussing collusion, but that doesn't prove anything. >> i think we should cover this. it should be the right context for it. that's not what's been happening. >> i don't think that's quite right what you're saying. kushner confirmed that the reporting about the discussions, about a back channel, were essentially correct. they did, indeed, in that meeting discuss using a
communications setup at the russian embassy that would evade u.s. detection. and as a journalist, i think that's really important to know. i want to know if white house officials, why are white house officials talking to russian government representatives about that? why was -- >> the objective was, by the way, the objective wasn't to evade u.s., it was the kislyak said is there a secure line here from trump tower, kushner and flynn said, no, there's not a secure line and raised the idea of using something in the russian embassy -- >> keep in mind, jared was a transition official and is a white house official as well, so some of the things that were going on were after he became a transition official. so that's a context that's really important for us to talk about. >> i think your point is a good one that, you know, the idea of getting over your skis too far, whatever the analogy is, you know, it's very possible there is no collusion there. the problem is, a lot of folks in the trump team by not being up front about it have furthered this whole story and you're in this position where you can't not follow up on it because it
does, you know, mike flynn d did -- is gone and -- >> no, i think that's a good point. look at -- they should take a less b from today because look at what happened. he put 11 pages out. he voluntarily said he would testify. adam schiff -- >> a few of the pages were about what a great campaign the trump folks -- >> he volunteered to testify. he said he would -- adam schiff saying we'll see. he comes again. he's volunteering to come up again. the point is that transparency is helpful. he had a good day and the trump administration had a good day and it's a good lesson. >> i agree with you. >> six mons and how many days? >> we're going to have more on this in a moment. the question, how much do voters care about the russia investigation? one of our panel members say no. i think you know who it is. we'll dig deeper into that. you don't let anything keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
america don't care about the russia investigation as much as the mainstream need ka cares. it's an important he made. cnn recently did a poll on this very topic. 57% said the trump campaign should not have taken the meeting with the russian lawyer but at the same time when asked whether they were concerned about contacts between are russians and the trump campaign, people split almost down the middle, half said they were concerned, the other half said they were not concerned or not too concerned. with mike with us again tonight, we wanted to dig into this a little bit more, also to get another perspective, conservative talk show host, dana loesh is here. dana, you talk to callers every day. do people you talk to, do they care about the russia investigation? >> anderson, thanks so much for having me. they do but not in the way i believe washington thinks they should or do. i talk to people every day across the country and the message, anderson, that i'm hearing from people is it's not that they're unconcerned with the story about russia, it's that they want to see for them to get agitated or really into
is it, they want to see some sort of criminality, want to see something actionable because the way it is right now, to them, it seems like a lot of back and forth in the press. now, for people who are political nerds like me, or who work in the industry like all of us, this is stuff we deal with every day and every little development is news to us. but for the rest of america, it's not so. we're talking about people who are really concerned about what's going to happen with their health care in the next year, a lot of small and medi medium-sized businesses are concerned about tax reform going into the new year. that's their priority. that's their top concern. they really don't follow the story unless there's something actionable. >> and the concern is that all the talk and focus on russia and the investigation takes away from focusing on health care or jobs or tax reform or infrastructure. >> right. yeah. >> that's what you're hearing. >> anderson, there are a lot of small business -- yeah, there's a lot of small businessowners out there, for instance, that would love to have more discussion, not just about corporate tax rates but how small businessowners, how they
file for taxes as individuals and how they would get left out if there's corporate tax rates and, for instance, the initiative that newt gingrich and others are getting ready to embark on, that speaks to them but they're not hearing a lot of coverage about that or all they hear, they want to focus more on health care, yet all they hear is back and forth about russia. it's not -- again, i want to stress it's not that they don't care about the story, they don't care about it in the way that we do. they don't care about it in the way that the beltway does and the way the mainstream media does. but they do care more about health care, more about tax reform, more about those particular issues that immediately impact them on a y day-to-day level. >> has the investigation so far had any effect on -- among people you talk to who are supporters of president trump? has the ongoing investigation had any effect on their -- the depth of their support? >> not really. i mean, look, most of the people that i talk to, and i would put myself in this category, we're not partisan bigots. let me put it like that.
and they're not partisan bigots, either. i know they got a really bad rap this past november which i think was quite unfair. these are people who love their country, these are people who just want to do right by themselves and their families and want to contribute to their community and that's really ultimately what they care about. when they hear stories such as whether it has to do with robert mueller and the back and forth with everything concerning the investigation, or mike flynn, anything like that, a lot of times they just don't want to follow the media into the weeds of every single story and it's not that they don't care. it's that they're waiting, show me something actionable. i had one caller today, anderson, that was waiting for evidence, show me some evidence. he agreed that the meeting regarding trump jr. and this nonemissary from russia maybe wasn't the best idea as donald trump jr., himself, had said, but at the same time, they're like, you know what, while the media is fighting that out, where are the stories about the absolute failure of republic chance torepublicans
to get together? where's that? where are those stories? that has a bigger impact on them and their families, they want more coverage of that. >> dana loesch. thanks so much, dana. back with the panel. mike, you made this point last week. we thought it was important. >> thanks. i mean, you know, to talk about polling, and i'll tweet this out, poll from the winston group, dave winston, i've seen this on multiple polls, the list of issues. terrorism, health care, the economy, jobs, education, on down the line. russia investigation is almost last on the list and so in terms of how much -- that's her point. people may be paying attention to it when you talk to them about it, they're going to go, okay, yeah, is there something to this? tell me what's going on. fair comment. if you ask them what really matters to me every day when i'm trying to survive in the economy, trying to take my kids to school and plan for college and those sorts of things, the russia investigation, until something they know something totally illegal happened -- >> maybe to that point, is that
the way it is with all investigation, until that -- journalists pursue these things, it's piece by piece, it's a slow process, and fbi does as well, other people do as well, and the body politic at large doesn't pay that close attention until there's actually some actionable criminality. >> i agree with dana and mike that trump supporters do not care about this. and other americans -- >> at least the poll i'm talking about it national, everybody. >> and i understand that other americans also would rather hear what's going on with washington solutions to the problems in their lives that have been promised and promised. congressional republicans don't talk about russia. they would like the president to stop giving "new york times" interviews talking about russia and how his a.g. was supposed to be his personal lawyer and protect him. they would like him to stop tweeting about all these people and actually do the kind of event he did today on health care. that's what they want. they want the focus back on the agenda. anderson, you're right. last year and the year before, i was absolutely fix saated on hillary clinton's decision to have a private server, an
unsecure server where she stowed government records that belonged to us and she -- what she did was deliberate and i think illegal. everyone kept telling me, no one cares about e-mails, no one cares about e-mails. i would say what happens if the fbi finds the 33,000 deleted e-mails? then your candidate is sunk. literally in the middle of the campaign. then you'll care about e-mails. these investigations are real. they're happening for a reason. there is a lot of smoke. there was a letter saying the russian government was trying to help trump sr. they're going to pursue this stuff because there are actual concerns about real something, whether it's financial crimes or even if they were just duped into colluding. we won't know until the end. people -- the media covers health care all the time. what dana was saying, all we do is cover health care and the fact republic cans can't pass i. i do get a little tired of the fact what trump supporters want to do is pretend the russia investigations are a media creation. >> they're not. >> as someone who lives in middle america, these are my friends and neighbors and i talk a lot about politics and these
issues with folks and what they tell me is until they see a smoking gun, they really don't care about the russia investigation. they want better jobs, they want this health care situation, very important to them, especially republicans that i talk to, not just trump supporters, but republicans broadly. they really want the bill repealed and they want a good market-based solution to replace it. >> i remember asking carl bernstein about this during the watergate investigation, you know, the reporters, were they fascinated by this? no. they were undercutting reporters saying this was a whole lot of nothing until it was something. >> nixon called watergate a witch hunt. there's always a gap between what we in washington obsess over and a lot of what america cares about. frankly, there's a huge appetite for news about the russia investigation among certain segment of the population. country is very segregated, very divided. trump supports don't really like hearing about this. a lot of people who don't like trump so much are extremely interested in this story, but how much we cover it, i don't think should be decided by that no matter what.
>> yeah. >> half the supreme court decisions are really boring and nobody really cares about it but i don't think anyone would say the supreme court really should get in the business of doing more interesting decisions because the public doesn't care about it. we cover this story because it's important for our democracy. >> we have to take a quick break. up next, a.b. mentioned hillary clinton, we'll talk about the president's tweets and shots at hillary clinton. he won the electoral college. he's in the white house. he's still mentioning his old rival from the campaign trail. he did it this morning and again this afternoon in front of the boy scouts. i want to get everyone's take on that in a moment. are upgrading their watere filter to zerowater.
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there are the wildcats 'til we die weekenders. the watch me let if fly. this i gotta try weekenders. then we've got the bendy... ... spendy weekenders. the tranquility awaits. hanging with our mates weekenders and the it's been quite a day... ...so glad we got away weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct at hilton.com and join the weekenders. president trump has sit the six-month mark of his presidency. he cannot stop talking or won't stop talking or tweeting about his former opponent hillary clinton. just this morning when he went
after attorney general jeff sessions in the quote, he went after her. "why aren't we looking into crooked hillary's crimes and russia relations?" by our count, this makes it 41 tweets by the president about mrs. clinton since he won in november. he talked a lot about her over the past six months. even tonight's boy scout rally. take a look. >> you know, my opponent didn't work hard there because she was told -- she was told she was going to win michigan. there is no path to victory for hillary clinton. people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the democrats had under hillary clinton. hillary clinton gave them 20% of our uranium. hillary clinton did a reset. remember, with the stupid plastic button. hillary clinton got the questions to the debate and didn't report it. that's a horrible thing. when wikileaks, which i had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they're not
giving classified information. they're giving stuff, what was said in an office about hillary cheating on the debates, which by the way, nobody mentions. nobody mentions that hillary received the questions to the debates. >> back now with the panel. does it make sense that the president continues to talk about hillary clinton? i mean -- >> it actually does -- he clearly misses her, right? he has -- >> he doesn't miss her. >> trump needs an enemy. he's at his, i guess, best, maybe that's not quite the right word, but he loves having someone to beat up on. republicans do not really like hillary clinton. so it works well with his supporters. having control -- >> boy scouts about hillary clinton. >> politicizing things at the boy scout is a little inappropriate. >> i was waiting for the "lock her up" chant. >> those poor kids. he has control of congress. he can't get his legislation passed so every once in a while it's convenient to bring out -- >> you know today was the
re-branding today. got lost completely in the news was the democrat re-branding day. >> that's right. >> looked like a really sad pta meeting on capitol hill. >> russia, health care -- >> slogan that sounds like papa john's and they're sort of scrambling around. >> when anyone talks about re-bra re-branding, it makes me real h ly -- >> i've been there. i was at the rnc in 2013 with prince. here's the reason why that worked. we actually asked ourselves really hard questions. the first step is admitting you have a problem. chuck schumer today did come out and said -- >> mike, i was there when you put that out. i wrote a lot about that report. it works in what sense? donald trump literally lit that thing on fire and took the exac >> absolutely wrong? the core -- >> i'd love to debate you on this. >> did you read the record repor report? >> i did. >> here's the point. it's 150 pages --
>> did donald trump run on that? >> can i answer that? the rest of it was about data, about field programs. trump campaign embraced all of that stuff. okay? it also talked about -- >> it was stuff about mechanic s and such about mess ask aging a >> chuck schumer did come out and say, look, hillary clinton was not liked and we need to face the facts on that. he's the only democratic leader still saying that. you don't hear democrats coming out and say, that's not true, hillary was great. they're not being honest with themselves. paul begala was on here today saying the russians helped elect president trump. i love it because what that means is they're salute hi nabs facing the fact of hillary clinton was a terrible candidate. >> literally 30 seconds left. why do you think he keeps mentioning hillary clinton? >> he's more popular than her to this debate. >> deflection. >> because there's a narrative out there that he was aided in his victory by the russians and he knows it wasn't true so he wants to keep pushing back on that narrative saying i beat her fair and square.
>> subconsciously, he does not believe he won. it's deflection -- he wants to believe he gained the popular vote, that's why he talked -- >> we don't have a popular vote system. >> yes, we do. we have a popular vote -- >> in the constitution, an electoral college. >> that's what i'm saying. >> i toedon't want to be so argumentative tonight. he was aided by the russian. that a fact of what happened last year. the russians launched a campaign of hacking into the democratic servers and dumping the information into the public sphere. >> that tdid not make a difference in his election. >> americans voted for her. >> we have to end it there. we'll be right back. we're serving up more delicious crab than ever. classic favorites like crab lover's dream. and new dishes like southern king crab and dueling crab legs with delicious dungeness and sweet snow crab. it's all happening at crabfest.
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you can get it too. welcome to the party. introducing gig-speed internet from xfinity. finally, gig for your neighborhood too. that's it for us. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts right now. did jared kushner throw his brother-in-law under the bus? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the president's son-in-law says he did not collude with russia, and he doesn't know if anyone else on the campaign who did. but he also says donald jr. set up that infamous trump tower meeting without ever telling him they'd be sitting down with a russian lawyer. does that pass the smell test? plus, it's never a good sign when you hear that you and your boss need to talk about your future. well, that just happened to jeff sessions. now the president is reportedly discussing replacing his attorney general. that's according to the "washington post." th