tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN July 28, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
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>> the thumb of john mccain, that is, an opposable dagger in republican efforts to repeal and rae place obamacare after midnight after being cornered by colleagues, called by the president himself, the senator from arizona voted no on what kpob the republican's last best chance to overhaul obamacare. he did it with a simple thumbs down. that thumb not just casting judgment on health care reform but perhaps on the entire trump presidency. >> yeah. presidency that seems less focussed on policy than personality. a white house consumed with itself, senior advisers hurling f-bombs at each other. the another saying he likes to blank his own blank. we don't even know if steve ban non can touch his own toes. all this as the republican agenda withers in the shadows. the this is a huge moment for health care and the presidency. as we speak, house republicans are meeting right now to try to
figure out what to do next. we got a lot to cover. let us begin with cnn's phil mattingly on capitol hill where he's been for the last 72 hours straight. >>reporter: look, it's interesting you note that house republicans are meeting right now. because that meeting was supposed to be about health care. and the next steps and the potential vote later today to go to conference with the bill the senate was spoesupposed to pass not. if you want to get a sense of how dramatic last night was, there were audible gasps. it's worth noting there was some sense going on in the hours leading up to it that he was certainly not quite to yes yet but the willingness particularly after republican leaders had been lobbying him feariously and trying every which way possible to get him on board. vice president mike pent wce wan hand to be the tie breaking vote. at one point told he pulled him off to the side, trying to walk
him through the process. at one point the president called the vice president who then handed von to -- nothing working. mk cain joining lisa merkowski and susan collins. why did mccain actually do in? there's got a lot of theories running arnltsd running around. i want to read the latter half. it says the speaker's statement that the house would be willing to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time. now here's what -- think back, 12 hours ago. seems like about 7 days ago. senate republicans had pared back their process. . what they were doing was a bare bones effort to just get the process into conference. the a lot of senators, not just senator john mccain made very clear they were uncomfortable the house would just end up pacing that bare bones bill only taking away with some of the mandates. the speaker put out a statement
saying he was willing to go to conference. that wasn't enough in the end. now, obviously the president has some skin in this im ga. he responded shortly after the vote saying three republicans and 48 democrats let the american people down. as i said from the beginning, let obamacare implode. then deal. watch. obviously a major legislative loss for him. i want to add context. the idea a majority leader would be putting a bill on the floor that would eventually fail? the idea he would be putting the bill on the floor that republicans have campaigned on for seven years that is responsible for the majorities in the house, the senate, at least partially responsible for the man sitting in the white house and have it fail by just one vote in this dramatic moment nobody was sure was coming. it was surreal. you can't kind of overstate the drama that was there. the big question is what comes next.
i was talking to a member about to head to the conference now. he said we thought this was going to be about health care. now apparently etsd' just a happy august conversation. recess is coming. >> not sure how many how muof a august it is. thank you so much for your reporting. great reporting all night. joining us now cnn political analyst alex burns. the chief business correspondent. i want to start with you. wow. i mean wow. the this is after seven years. of efforts from the republicans to repeal and replace obamacare. it ended last night with john mccain's thumb. i mean this is it just about health care being hard to fix? >> you know, its in comways, yes. i think it's also about this repeal and replace. right? i mean it was a great slogan, but when it came down to the real details, making a policy argument, about how they could do this, how they could deliver
on their promises to lower premiums and deal with some of the medicaid problems and issues and expanses that were certainly of concern to the senators who were in those states, that expanded medicaid, they couldn't bring the divide. it's really about could you craft a bill that susan collins, lisa merkowski and rand paul like. and john mccain. in h the end, they ended up not being able to do that. this was great for them as a slogan and you could see some of that slogan airing even in the end this final bill was the freedom act or whatever it was. in the end, they wanted to be free of this bill in so many ways. that's exactly what ended up happening. >> alex, the present happy but he could have done a whole lot more. a big part of this is on the frez, is it not? and as you noted on twitter, his final message, final sale on this one was my attorney general is terrible. >> right. over the last week, poppy,s you really have not heard a big
aggressive pointed public sales pitch from the white house to the country about why this is important. the you saw a lot of private lobbying of senators, of governors by administration officials like vice president pence, like secretary tom price. this would have been an unprecedented event is the senate and house passed as well a piece of legislation transforming a major social program and a huge slice of the american economy without any explaining to the american public what was in it and why they should support it. as you mentioned the white house has been far more consumed in terms of what ordinary people are hearing them with staff drama than headache. >> let's reflect for a moment on john mccain. sort of the end note to a dramatic week. he flew back and allowed debate to begin. and then last night he gives a thumbs down to the chagrin of republicans and delight of democrats here. what is this moment for him?
>> well, it is sort of an opportunity for him that's borne out of circumstances, really unfortunate circumstances. in this case this is a senator who spent his lifetime essentially in this chamber. he isn't afraid of the president or the vice president. the he doesn't really have within to answer to at this stage. and he was a little bit more free to make a decision that would have put him on the other side of senate republican leadership. at the same time, this is john mccain. he's known for being a maverick but also a party guy. a party guy that went along with the process of opening up debate on this, which many people believed was essentially naive because the process would have been closed and not -- would not have included democrats as he wanted it to. so it's a little bit of a contrast here. the party guy who allowed the vote to go forward, and the maverick who essentially on his kind of -- as his daughter put it, in the winter of his life,
putting out -- giving an opportunity for this bill to go in a completely different direction and putting a thumb in the eye of this president and of senate leadership. >> mcconnell, it seemed wanted him to come back, of course to have the colleague back but also because he was going to a yes on motion to proceed and then, now, look at how he voted. christine, obamacare, this morning is the law of the land. >> it is. >> it will remain that way until or if something changes. what does it mean for american people. >> open enrollment is in three months. this administration has to decide whether to a beef up the advertising, how the irs is going to handle the next tax season, whether people will be fined for not having -- there still is a law in place here that has several government agencies that are responsible for rolling it out, and it's wounded. this law is wounded. no question. you've -- i can show you a picture of the states with counties with one insurer. that is expected to increase.
there are three states with no insurers at all. 25,000 people who don't have access to the obamacare markets rite now because of the insurance problems and premiums of rising. so, fix it or forget it. the that's the question for congress. for washington right now and for this white house. they do have incredible leverage at hhs, the irs, to decide that they want to fix it or at least hold it together so it doesn't implode. >> we're going to have democrat ix and republican lawmakers on. we're going to ask them what are you going to do about this now. i want to take a step back and reflect on the last 24 hours here and 0 sort of the metaphor i cal thumbs down he gave. the saying i'm going to block right now your signature only legislative initiative that's out there right now. yesterday, we had the boy scouts of america saying we didn't like your speech, your political speech. we have the military saying we're not going to implement your transgender policy. and you have a lot of senators saying we're not going to let
you fire jeff sessions. this is a whole lot of people, institutional people including people of his own party saying you are not doing this right, mr. president. >> it it's interesting because early on in the week, even before the health care bill went down, i was texting with a republican. this seem the to be a different kind of week. we've seen from this president a difficult weeks before, but i was talking about as a p are, and they were saying this might be the first week of this presidency so far because there was failure on so many different levels. i mean even a rebuke from conservatives 4who were upset o his treatment. first week has gone disastrously. >> you think? >> i'm going to say that. i'm going to say that and see what happens with him. but you're right. there was this rebuke from all levels. and republicans, who we hadn't seen before. basically putting a red -- line
in the sand in terms of what this president had been doing. we'll see what happens. we'll see if there are any further shake-ups in this white house if they sort of get the message but it was an extraordinary week for this presidency in terms of blow-back from so many different corners. people would you think would be suppo supportive. people from the military, boy scouts having to send out a letter essentially saying we didn't agree with what the president said in front of 40,000 boy scouts. we'll see in anything changes if the president gets the message that this didn't go well. >> thank you very much. all of you. >> it is interesting. the president hasn't put anything out. no statement the why et this morning either out loud or in the 140 characters he like to us. >> maybe he's speechless? >> doubt that. we will see. a lot ahead for us this friday. sorry, not sorry. the white house chief of
communications calls the chief of staff "a paranoid schizophrenic." that, folks is the only part we can say on television. no apologies or reaction on that whole tirade. >> no regrets. jeff sessions said he made the right choice recusing himself. wonder what the president things about that. and some really important news about sanctions overnight. russia punches back. the these are on sanctions the president has yet to even sign. will he sign them? american diplomats kicked out of russia. we'll give you the latest. next. that goes beyond assuming ingredients are safe... to knowing they are. going beyond expectations... because our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food.
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this morning, all eyes once again on the white house for potential new eruption of anger over republican's stunning overnight failure to repeal obamacare. >> so far the president has been silent but this captures a week verbal knife fight between two of his top advisors. i suppose we should warn you viewer discretion is advised. >>reporter: hi. i'm not going to repeal some of the profanity you're talking
about from communications director anthony scaramucci directed at chief of staff reince priebus and another of the president's top aid visors, steve bannon but that has been getting a lot of attention along with the failure of this health care repeal. let's talk about that first. we know this went down overnight. the only response we've seen from the white house so far is a tweet in the early morning hours about 2:25 a.m. from the president not long after the bill went down when he tweeted 3 republican the and 48 democrat the let the american people down. as i said from the beginning, let obamacare implode. le then deal. watch. >> clearly that tweet showing the president is not going to change his strategy of publicly blames and shaming his fellow republicans who stood in the way of getting this through. of course we've been talking about this all morning. this is a huge blow to the president and white house. still struggling to show they
can get things done legislatively six months into the job. when it comes to the stacaramuc matter. it's really uncommon to see such a public display of animosity coming from a communications director to other senior members of the white house staff. he repeatedly used the f word in a phone call with the new yorker's ryan lizza. he used other vulgar terminology we can't say on tv to refer to ban non. scaramucci later tweeted he uses colorful language. will remain passionate about pushing the president's agenda. the asked about this, sarah huckabee sanders said he's using colorful language. i don't anticipate he'll do it en go. but she has also talked about how the president, president trump encourages competition.
she said healthy competition, which he believes can get results. but so far, this infighting is proving to be much more of a distraction. and when it comes to the disruption of washington, that the president and his team promised, this idea coming in with a better way of doing things, the only disruption we're seeing so far is here at the white house. it looks like it's standing in the way of getting his agenda through. >> getting anything through. thank you. so as athena just said. at the director promising to fire everyone until the white house leaks are plugged. joining us now ned ryan. and alex and former white house and national committee spokesman. alex, you wrote a piece about this just yesterday. and you said look, these leaks -- you can fire everyone. these leaks are not going to
stop because one key thing is missing in the white house. and that is? >> unity. you have all the different factions in the white house who feel em poured to leak against each other. this is a tour cultural problem the white house. it it starts at the top. when you see the president attack members of his cabinet and undermine his own staff, then therer' not going to be loyal to him. there's no such thing as blind loyalty in politics. it's a two-way street. same thing with self-discipline. the president gives off-the-record interviews to reporters all the time when he says more than he should. the staff knows that and follow his lead. >> you know, anthony scaramucci himself says a fish rots from his head, but there are two fishes that don't smell. the president and anthony scaramucci. >> true quote. >> i'm not making this up. ned, where does this lead? the white house right now.
suggesting this morning that maybe anthony scaramucci will try to step away from the spot light a little bit. maybe a good idea. what do you think happens now. >> first of all i want to agree with alex and say everybody that works inside the west wing and the white house serves at the pleasure of the president and should be putting his priorities first, not their own. my hope is that moving forward seen dwror officials inside the white house would ask themselves before they speak to anybody outside the white house whether it's press or anything else is what i am about to say in the best interest of the president and his agenda. if not don't say it. the if you've driven by personal motivations and not the president, maybe it's time you leave. i will say scaramucci is right about the leaks. they have to stop. and as we're looking at are there potential shake-ups cupping, my hope would be if there is going to be a twitching up of the team i hope it happens sooner rather than later. because this is distracting from
some very positive narratives -- by the way -- story they stepped on the gps testimony. all of these. >> hold on. >> they just need to get out of their way. >> how can the guy who's saying he's going to fire everyone for the leaks, you know, lie detector tests, all of it, how can he say that effectively and have it happen when he is leaking all of this other stuff? and when he is saying reince is on his way out and saying what he said about reince and steve bannon. >> blank his own blank. >> you said it, not me. >> this is why i'm encouraging all senior specifofficials to a this a benefit to the president. the thing that's amazing, first of all having tension it inside a west wing is not unusual. having it litigated in this manner is. take it internally have the conversations, move on. focus on the agenda. >> it's not usual.
it is also detrimental. there's an enormous pot, kettle with anthony scaramucci. you run occasionally in circles within the republican establishment here. reince pre business. -- one person called him the worst chief of staff we've seen in 25 years. >> well, look. i think there's plenty of finger pointing to go around inside the west wing as to why there's so much disfunction. ultimately the buck stops at the president's desk and he has not instilled a common purpose amongst his staff that is any bigger than defending his own reputation. what is the purpose of the trump administration and does everyone in the west wing agree that that is their purpose there? and that what they're working towards together? that's not happened to date. i think that's why you see all these different factions. they just don't share a common vision inside that wing. at the president likes it that way. he likes to have people within
his orbit feuding with each other. that leads to high did disfunct. they need to unite. >> i think they need to do some trust falls together. >> actually. -- >> go away for a weekend. >> can you imagine a this group on a retreat. >> newt gingrich called this a soap opera. really, joking aside, what does it mean for the american people who were relying and betting their livelihood on this administration. >> again i want to encourage them. get past the drama. again, tension's not unusual. take it inside. don't litigate in public. make any changes that have to happen make them quickly and go on the agenda. le there are a lot of good things happening. we want to talk about the soap opera and not able to talk about the $10 billion into which isco.
have it inside the west wing. stop litigating in the public. >> not talking about -- we're also not necessarily talking about health care success because it failed overnight and maybe there is some linkage there. the ned ryan, thank you so much for this discussion. no squawear words were spoken h. >> quite an achievement. >> the president has not even signed off on the new russia sanctions but this morning the kremlin is fighting back. new developments you want to hear. stay with us. is this a phone?
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passed by the senate last night but does ultimately take away power from the president. what happens next. let's go to michele. she joins us from the state department repo department. >> reporter: there are really no good options for the president. if he signs it, as you said, this takes away power from him. it's essentially congress saying we don't trust you. we want some say in russia sanctions. and if he didn't sign it, first of all, it looks like it's another gift to russia, and the veto would likely be overridden. given those numbers. so russia has responded. for months, it's been threatening to do something in kind to the u.s. after the u.s. kicked out dozen of its diplomats at the end of the obama administration. seized its two properties it used, enormous estates in h maryland and new york. but the state department as recent will i as a week ago was saying don't listen to what russia's saying, let's see what
russia is doing. almost sounded like are they were dismissing that russia was going to do something any time soon. of course this morning,s they did. so the u.s. will now have to limit the number of diplomatic staff that are in russia to the same number that russia is allowed. just over 400. russia's also restricting the use of two different properties, and there was a u.s. response that we just got too. let's read first what the russian foreign ministry sat talking about the sanctions bill. this measure it further prove of the u.s.'s extremely hostile foreign policy hiding behind its sense of superiority. the u.s. arrogantly ignores the stance of other countries. bill -- relations being dragged down by political infighting within the united states. pretty typical russian response. u.s. embassy responded saying we
received the notification. expressed strong disappointment and protest. we passed the notification back to washington. at this point, we're still waiting for more from the state department. what will their response be to this retaliation that was swift, even before the president could sign this bill? or, i guess we should say, or not. >> that's right. all right. michele at the state department. thanks so much. let's get reaction from capitol hill. joining us is david cicilline from chirhode island. your reaction to to move by russia today kicking out u.s. diplomats shutting silts. >> i think it should not be unexpected. russia is not our friend. they're agreactions in syria.
russians are acting contrary to security issues around the world. we have a responsibility to send a strong message we will not tolerate that and it's not a surprise they responded this way. but we need to send a very strong message so we can protect the integrity of our elections and reduce the kind of aggression that they're engaged in around the world. >> if the president decides no the to sign the sanctions bill? the response? >> i think there's -- it would be very hard for the president to do that. the this is a sanction bill which imposes sanctions on north korea, russians, overwhelmingly passed in h the house and senate in a very bipartisan way. i thi i think it's veto proof. i don't think the -- the president can do math, we hope. we hope it would be overridden. very important they go into place. >> congressman, obviously health care in the senate went down last night overnight.
i'm not sure whether you were staying awake watching what was happening but whether or not you were watching or heard it when you woke up, what was your reaction when you saw john mccain give that thumbs down? >> i was of course very pleased. i mean the senate bill would have resulted in 16 million people losing their health insurance, premiums going up an average of 20% making it more difficult and expensive for people with preexisting conditions to get health care. that was an important bill to defeat. it was a direct response to the voices of american people who have been demanding we protect and improve the act. this was kind of the third or fourth try by the republicans in the senate. what i hope now will happen is that republicans will work with democrats. the there are ways we can fix the things we need to fix in the affordable care act, make it work better for the american people. if they will finally give up the idea of repealing it and throwing people off health insurance, i think we can make
it work even better. >> i think there's no question that everyone has concerns, but, we and you don't feel them as acutely because we don't rely on these necessarily individual exchanges that are suffering under obamacare. we just laid out all the states where some counties only have one option. what is incumbent on democrats like yourself to do right now to fix it. >> well we have had a number of proposals we offered. in fact a group of democrats had a press conference just last week laying out a number of ideas. our caucus is filled with folks who have pieces of legislation or have been talking about ways that we can improve the afford s able care act to create more competition, drive down premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. there's no lack of ideas. we just have to have someone who's a willing partner on the other side of the table to work with us. so far the republicans and president have been committed to repealing the act and have
reject reject any effort to work with us to make the improvements. if they're about will to go do that they'll find willing participants. >> to sit and wait for the republican effort to fail so i will say there's a view on both sides. >> no, no, no no. >> i know you disagree. >> our leadership -- that's not accurate. they have said from the beginning. we've had 40 votes in the last congress to appeal the act in its entirety. they said our effort is to repeal. that has always been their mantra. they said it. as long as you would abandon the notion of appeal you will have willing partners. >> all right. i understand so you gave them a condition. all i'm saying is they're saying they feel like they had to go this alone. hopefully now earn can get together and work on something. they didn't have hearings. >> and they rejected 150 amendments when they brought forth the bill.
>> let me ask you -- >> so they had no interest in working with democrats and they should because this is something that has to be done in a bipartisan way. >> agree. the love to see it happen. let me get your take on the democratic party because your colleague from the north, massachusetts, said he wants to see a democratic leadership change by 2018. the he was asked if he wanted this on the bumper sticker. he said no. >> what do you think of that. >> we were elected by our caucus to develop the long-term democratic agenda, launched a better deal, better jobs for a better future, a really bold economic agenda that will increase people's incomes, reduce the costs in their lives and prepare them for the jobs of 21st century and we're going to be sharing did -- >> just to put a button on it, to john's question, do you agree with your fellow democrat seth molten who said no i don't want this leadership going into 2018
we can't with win with it. right or wrong. >> we were elected as part of the leadership to do this work. our democratic leader and whip were elected several months ago. this is really about democrats having a very bold and strong economic agenda that will raise incomes for folks, that will prepare them for the jobs of the 21 21st century. the people who execute it is not as significant. what matter is are we promoting an agenda that improves the lives of the american people. >> so your message to chuck schumer? the leadership doesn't matter on this one. >> no -- it doesn't matter. >> i just asked you twice and you kind answer. the you can answer the question or i've got to read between the lines. >> it's not that it doesn't matter. what does matter is the substance of the work we are doing and the fight we have on behalf of the american people. i think we elected our whip, our
team. >> we have egot to leave it there i'm driving the control room. congressman thank you. >> good sport. appreciate you coming on. come on again. >> the president taking hits this week from the senate, military leaders, even the head of the boy scouts. where does he go next. >> just a crazy story. driven to kill over laughter. a man accused of killing his wife on a cruise. telling a witness he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him.
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on tuesday night a little after 9:00 authorities on the cruise ship were summoned to the cabin. what they found according to the affidavit, found christie deceased on the floor with blood all over her head, a severe head wound and the husband kenneth with flood all over his hands and clothes. a witness stepped forward. he said he george nhad gone int cabin and asked the husband what happened. and according to the affidavit he allegedly said she wouldn't stop laughing at me. then dh he saw kenneth dragging his wife biy by the head. he pulled her back into the cabin by her ankles. of course he was arrested on the spot. handcuffed. the fbi is the lead investigator
on all of this. the when they started their investigation, he allegedly said my life is over. the so at this point, he's being held on no bail. we have reached out to the public depen der. he has not gotten back to us. but chrissiety worked for the company. releasing a statement she was a loving mother who juggled her time between the business and that devotion to her children. >> they have kids. my goodness. thank you for the reporting. so to politics and when your own party, military leaders even the boy scouts are not happy with you and saying it publicly, maybe it is time for a change for your presidential approach.
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pretty fair to say, not a great week for the white house. a very public rebuke from his own party. >> let's review. republican senators failed to repeal obamacare. they did not back the president's attacks on attorney general jeff sessions. questioning the policy change on transgender troops. the boy scouts of america apologized for the president's political speech to a group of boys. joining us to discuss, cnn political director, david. we are going to title this, what the "f" happened this week, david. this was quite a week. >> yeah, i think you are underselling it this week saying not a great week. it was a terrible week. the white house got completely
exposed as entirely dysfunctional. the presidency is in serious trouble because, as you laid out, i think this is the first week that we saw significant cracks among the president's own fellow partisans, his supporters, whether it was conservative media and republican senators saying don't touch jeff sessions, not just backing him, but pushing back on the president. they are saying sessions was right to recuse himself or, as you noted, the boy scouts coming out and regretting they had the president of the united states there and it became political. they are cracks and fish sures we haven't seen before. his own military. it's different than the usual critics and what we have seen before. this week was quite new and astonishing. we haven't talked about the word russia, yet. that wasn't the dominant
narrative. >> didn't we see in john mccain's thumb down the impact on policy, not being able to get things done when you put your chief of communications on cnn live for half an hour and he doesn't use that as an opportunity to make the case on this health care you desperately need. was this a rebuke of not just the legislation, but the president? >> there's no doult when john mccain cast that vote, he understood it was going to be a huge failure of the president to get this promise through and his party's seven yearlong promise overall. it is a rebuke of that. i don't know if anthony scaramucci came on and talked about health care that john mccain would have done anything differently but it is a political reality -- >> they are not taking this time to sell it, right? >> without a doubt, poppy, i agree. it is a political reality. if you are going to run the
white house and chaos, do nothing to galvanize. you are going to have a harder time having legislatures bend to your will. i think president trump saw that this week. >> let me read you, we have been waiting to hear from president trump, what will he say about all this? he did make a statement in 140 characters. if republicans are going pass great future legislation in the senate, they must go to a 51-vote majority, not the senseless 60. this is what the president talked about bvr. he dugt like you have to get 60 votes for some things, but not health care. it does not apply to the massive failure he suffered in the senate and republican senators told us on this show, including senate leadership, it's a bad idea when the president is asking. i'm not sure what the president wants is say votes, he wants to get it all done with one vote, his. he's learning the hard way, that's not the case. >> he doesn't get one, last time
i checked the constitution. here is the thing, john. when i watched the beginning of this week and i would tweet to the president to make sure he is clear on this. you saw 43 votes for a replacement plan that added medicaid dollars, tried to get more regulations to appeal to moderates and conservatives. you saw 45 for repeal only. >> david, great to have you here with us. thanks so much for your analysis, sir. >> thank you. minutes from now, minority leader, nancy pelosi speaks after republicans in the senate fail to repeal obamacare. what is she going to say and how is she going to react to john mccain's now historic thumbs down? >> what will she offer? >> what will democrats do? >> yeah. hey you've gotta see this. c'mon.
find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. top of the hour, good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. what a difference a thumb makes. ice stuck in the eye of the president and the republican party. overnight, he cast the decisive vote to kill the senate's last ditch effort to repeal and replace obamacare. >> it is the latest brushback for an administration reeling from a growing list of failures and criticism. white house infighting and profanity