tv Declassified CNN July 28, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
"cnn tonight" starts right now. another bomb shell from the white house caps off a week of chaos. this is cnn tonight, i'm pamela brown in for done lemon. reince priebus is out, general john kelly is in. the president accepting the resignation of his chief-of-staff and learning that priebus resigned privately yesterday but the writing had been on the wall. president trump making the announcement, of course, on twitter and going on to say this. >> reince priebus was a good man, john kelly will do a fantastic job. >> and reince priebus tells our wolf blitzer that he's just fine with all of this. >> he intuitively determined that it was time to do something differently and i think he's right. we have breaking news tonight on the russia investigation and the question
that's been looming over this administration during a week of chaos and upheaval. president trump will sign the russian sanctions bill we've learned tonight. in a statement the white house said, president trump read early drafts of the bill and negotiated regarding critical elements of it. he has now reviewed the final version and based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it. the legislation which was sent to the white house today would sanction russia while sharply limiting the president's ability to ease penalties against moscow independently. so lot to discuss tonight. let's get right to cnn global affairs analyst david road. we have counterterrorism -- political commenter david sord leg. i want to start with you on this breaking news. did the president have a choice here? >> no and thfts the right move politically. if he had vetoed this bill it adds more fuel to the whole russia fire. smart political move for the white house.
let's give them credit tonight for doing the thing i think was the clear correct choice politically. >> this is happening amid the shake-up with his chief-of-staff, reince priebus is out, secretary john kelly, formally of dhs is now in. reince sat down with wolf blitzer tonight for his very first interview. take a listen. >> the president wanted to go a different direction. i support him in that and like i said a couple weeks ago, i said the president has a right to change directions. the president has a right to hit a reset button. i think it's a good time to hit the reset button. i think he was right to hit the reset button and i think it was -- it was something that i think the white house needs. i think it's healthy and i support him in it. >> david, reince he was a loyal soldier right there to the very end but this must have been tremendously difficult, if not
humiliating for him. >> it's amazing. the new yorker story broke it yesterday. it was extraordinary what scaramucci the new communications director said about reince priebus 24 hours later, priebus is fired, scaramucci is still there. it's got to be humiliating. this is the way the president runs his white house. it's a tough operation. the question is can he sustain this, this turnover of staff, can he treat people this way? if you treat people this way will it lead to better performance or poorer performance and it's again not a very good track record. >> it's been a lot of turnover thus far and i want to play more from wolf's interview with reince. take a listen. >> are you the leaker in the white house? >> that's ridiculous. give me a break. i'm not going to get into his accusations -- >> why not? it doesn't honor the president. i'm going to honor the president every day. i'm going to honor his agenda and i'm going to honor our
country and i'm not going to get into all of this personal stuff. >> so i want to bring you in on this because people are commenting on how well reince handled himself in that interview. he did not hit back against scaramucci despite his interview with the new yorker, doesn't that epitomize why he may be out at the white house because president trump wants a fighter and doesn't that epitomize why scaramucci is still in and why reince is out? >>, you know. >> this is for april. >> i thought you called april. >> i did. go ahead. >> i believe that reince did slap back. i believe reince did slap back at scaramucci because he said, you know, he's going to be professional and that was a slap because he basically said scaramucci had not been professional in the way he's been handling this, telling the family business publicly via twitter, via the interview where he used profane language, you
know. reince did slap back in a very subtle way, but a poignant way at the same time, but the next question is what's next? you know, what's next for reince and then what's next for this administration? reince kept talking about this reset button that this white house is looking at i think about mitt romney with the etch asketch moment, the other republican who tried for the white house didn't win but this seems almost like that reset moment to me, you know? whose next? is it steve bannon? jeff sessions? general mcmaster? who is it? so could it be rex tillerson, we don't know. we want to see how far this reset goes but i believe that reince did slap back not only for himself but maybe his friend sean spicer as well. >> it does raise a question as well how many more people can he afford to fire then you have to fill those positions. you have to look over the
turnover in this administration. you have national security advisor michael flynn, fbi director james comey, the former communications director press secretary sean spicer, now chief-of-staff reince priebus, deputy chief-of-staff katie walsh, deputy national security advisor, k.t. mcfarland, so what does this say to you, phil? >> i think you're painting the story, believe it or not, pam, to narrowly. the story is bigger than that. it's not just about relieving people of duty in the white house, it's about the administration and the executive branch of government, which typically follows the lead of the president, starting to say no. if you look for example, in the past couple of days you have the pentagon saying no on the new policy on transjend ares. let's take you inside washington when the secretary of defense and the defense department says we're not implementing until we get implementing policy from the white house, that's a no. you've had secretary of state tillerson behind the scenes, if you look at the language out of the united nations and the state department say no on sanctions
on russia, the language has been pretty tough. from the director of national intelligence and the cia director, the language on russian meddling has been tough, the language out of the deputy attorney general on appointing a special counsel, robert mueller, has been we don't care what you think the special counsel is being appointed. the attorney general we ain't reopening the hillary clinton case. we keep talking about the white house in this mini drama soap opera and i as a formal executive branch official, i've never seen this before. typically the congress says no and now it's the administration who theoretically works the president time after time saying six months in, no you're done. >> david, how do you think that's impacting the president and the decisions he's making? >> over the last couple of days, i see that, you know, the white house may be okay with the results of the last couple of days, priebus's out, scaramucci's in. the president likes a fighter.
i think long-term this does not bode well for them on two levels. the president campaigned in part on this idea that maybe he wasn't a career politician but he was a ceo who would always hire the best and the smartest and the most prepared people. you show that graphic of all the people who have already been shown the door, that does not suggest that the president did a good job of hiring up based on whatever the agenda was that he wanted to follow. the second thing is i actually think -- i just want to touch on what april said, i'm not so sure that reince priebus did not miss an opportunity to sort of stick up for himself when he spoke to wolf blitzer today, because look, he's now going to have to transition and figure out his way. that was his one opportunity not to use foul language, obviously, not to betray the confidence of the president but show that he did have a little fight in him and i'm not sure that he did that. the other day on bbc, anthony scaramucci said, look, where i come from, we don't stab people
in the back, we stab people in the front and i think the lesson of this week is that reince priebus was not quite ready for the stab people in the front game. >> you brought up the fact of this whole game of whose in, whose out, sources are telling cnn that chief strategist steve bannon is staying put, at least for now. in your view, david, is this because he's more dangerous to the administration outside of the white house? >> i think if bannon were to go it would be a major threat to president trump's base. this is -- there are different elements of the federal government that are saying no to the president and the biggest no was on capitol hill last night. republicans in congress are not taking risk for this president. he is not motivating them to back his bills. this was a colossal failure on health care so john kelly's coming in as the new chief-of-staff, he has virtually no political experience. this is not going to help the president. one small step is having a more orderly white house but how does
it help him work on the hill his legislation, his whole agenda of legislate actively has stalled and i agree with phil, more and more pushback -- this tough guy image, it's not working. people in washington whether they are government servants or members of congress are not afraid of this president. that's why they're pushing back. >> what is his new chief-of-staff going to do differently that he wasn't happy with reince priebus? we'll talk about all of this in the next break. stay with me everyone. when we come back this huge shake-up concluding an entire week of chaos. can general kelly bring calm to the white house or is more confusion ahead? we'll discuss. o mind? your next getaway? connecting with family and friends? a big night out? or maybe your everyday shopping. whatever it is, aarp member advantages can help save you time and money along the way. so when you get there,
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i'm pamela brown in for don lemon and this has been a week of chaos for president trump. so much is happened you made need a refresher. let's go back to monday, the president begins his day attacking his own attorney general jeff sessions, tweeting that sessions is beleaguered. that night president trump says this -- >> who the hell wants to speak about politics when i'm in front of the boy scouts, right? >> so then he proceeds to talk about politics and his election win and then tuesday, president trump bashes the attorney general again on twitter and rounds out the day saying he's more presidential than any other president except abraham
lincoln. wednesday the president drops a bomb tweeting that he wants to roll back the clock and ban transgender troops. that night, new communications director, anthony scaramucci implies in a tweet that reince priebus is behind leaks and says he'll contact the fbi and justice department. thursday, republicans warn the president not to fire ag sessions. senator lindsey graham vowing they'll be holy hell to pay. anthony scaramucci's profane on the record attacks on priebus setting off an absolute firestorm. also thursday, cnn reports that national security advisor h.r. mcmaster is at odds with the president. and that brings us to the early morning hours today. susan collins, lisa murkowski and john mccain think the gop repeal bill spins into chaos again as the president accepts the resignation of reince
priebus naming john kelly his new chief-of-staff. that was just in a week. back with our panel to discuss. so much to go over here. april, is there anything typical about this week in washington? >> not at all. not at all. i've been doing this for 20 years and it feels like it's been 20 years just in seven months, almost seven months. but what's really interesting about this, it makes you wonder, is this what the president -- when he was a businessman, how he handled his business? is this how he ruled his empire? how he's ruled his empire is how he's ruling or governing this country and it's chaotic what we know for sure was that there was not cohesion within his staff. what we know is what we see. if he's given this to us, this
is just a glimpse of what is inside that white house. we would hear dribs and drabs. some people say leakers, other people say whistle-blowers. there was not cohesion within the staff and now with the shake-up of the chief-of-staff, we wonder, if general mcmaster can, one, with stand the chaos as he is a general that believes in control and controlling situations, two, you know, we know this president would look to general kelly -- general kelly on other issues, not just on homeland security or what have you. he's bringing general kelly in to be chief-of-staff and it makes you wonder if he's upset with mcmaster, the national skuft council advisor, if he would be talking with general kelly about issues like mcmaster would give. i believe kelly would be bringing a whole new dynamic to the table as chief-of-staff to bring order as well as more
information, intelligence that's needed or the president wants from another voice. >> and given his background, do you think former secretary john kelly retired four-star general will bring order to this white house? >> no, that's a simple answer. let's step through this. >> that sums it up. >> let's look at a couple basic characteristics here. let's look at generals who have served in this lengthy pertd of a presidency that goes six to seven months. general flynn, gone within weeks. general mcmaster side lined. general mattis, not even consulted as far as we could tell here in washington on a significant policy on transgenders and then we sit here pollyanna, another general is going to change the way this world operates, ain't going to happen. second and final issue, pam, if you want to control the white house as the chief-of-staff, if you walk into a restaurant and say whose the manager, because i want to complain and somebody says well the manager's here, but the owners brother's the
bartender. the owner's sister is the head waitress, the owner's son is the chief chef here nobody's running that kitchen. if you walk in the white house, the owner's son-in-law has direct access to the white house as does his daughter. other people including anthony scaramucci has direct access, i don't care whether the general is a great leader, if you have that many people with direct access to the white house, he can't run the railroad just like you can't run a restaurant. >> and then the backdrop of all of this is that the president -- >> the point is to rein them in. >> can you? he ultimately sets the tone. >> no. >> with his tweets as we have seen this week, with him, you know, talking about jeff sessions and with the transgender in the military policy. >> but typically -- >> go ahead -- >> if there's a model that works, you had someone like jim baker for president reagan who president reagan saw as a peer or equal, that was one model.
you have the sort of aunddy kror george w. bush model. you have the denis mcdonna, barack obama model which is like the silent enforcer model. what is the model? even though general kelly brings a lot of personal stature, he brings organizational experience, what model is going to work between him not a political animal and president trump who is unlike any president we've ever seen? >> go april. >> had a you have to remember is the chief-of-staff is in charge or in control of day-to-day operations. everyone is supposed to fall in line under him. scaramucci answers to the president. we'll see how that dynamic because general kelly and scaramucci, i wonder how that will work and play. too strong person, one strong military, the other very strong new yorkish, but then who says he doesn't mind stabbing you in the front but at the same time
you have to remember, with all of these chiefs of staff, they are overtop the director of -- they bring them together, national security, domestic policy, senior advisors, when those people have skirmishes, he talks to them and works with them. if they're working on policies and they're marking on things, he deals with that before it goes to the president so what this could be is to stop all the confusion, the backbiting and the at that timeling, i don't like this mr. president and letting the president be like daddy of sorts over top of the children watching the day care instead letting the general, general kelly deal with it as typical chiefs of staff for many years have done. >> as typical chiefs of staff, but this no sort of typical set up in the white house given what phil mudd was pointing out. all these people reporting directly to the president. i was listen to panetta, if the
chief-of-staff can walk into the oval office and speak his mind and be courageous enough to disagree with the president and share his opinions. do you see that happening here? >> i don't see that happening here. general mattis, general mcmaster will speak truth to power. kelly is seen as more of a political general. i don't always agree with phil but i do tonight. the president himself. the president whose he tweeting things without telling his staff, he is publicly humiliating jeff sessions to try to force him to quit. you don't treat people that way. everyone knows that and he didn't and i love april, he didn't run an empire. he ran a very small real estate development firm that struggled and he had a thousand employees total. there's many much larger organizations in the united states, businesses and it was a private company. >> you're absolutely right but he is branded his name. he's branded this company into the highest office in the land.
so i understand what you're saying, but he is not only a business mogul, he is also an entertainment personality, he is branded in all of the ball cap, snow baug upward to the highest office in the land. >> we shouldn't say he's so great as running this great business organization and frankly -- >> i didn't say he was great. >> he's a good salesman. >> so far the results aren't there. so far the results are not there. >> so much to discuss. when we come back we'll hear more from reince priebus and his first interview since resigning and i'll speak to a friend and former colleague of his and get his take on how priebus was treated. we'll be back.
a word that reince priebus was out as chief-of-staff came in shortly after air force one landed near washington. president trump was still on board announcing the news on twitter, of course. and priebus was already off of the plane on the tarmac climbing into a secret service van as we see in the video here. ashleigh parker a "the washington post" reporter tweeted what happened next, calling it a sad final call into
a actuary bu lent one. when air force one touched down at andrew air force base, reince priebus, steven miller and social media dan ska leeto all loaded into a ser ber ban. but moment later they hopped out of this vehicle and as word trickled out singed close who sat alone on the rain soaked tarmac. priebus's vehicle then pulled out of the presidential motorcade which proceeded along to the white house without him. bring in mike shields. he knows reince priebus personally. also with me presidential historian alan liktman. let's listen more to what priebus told wolf blitzer tonight and i'll talk to you on the other side. >> what was the impact, the new white house communications director anthony scaramucci? you saw the interview he granted ryan liz in the new yorker magazine, he called you some awful things including a
paranoid schizophrenic. he said your days were numbered. he said you were about to leave. at one point reince priebus would resign soon and that he expected priebus to launch a campaign against him. what was your reaction when he saw that interview? >> no reaction because i'm not going to respond to it, i'm not going to get into the mud. look, the president and i had an understanding. we've talked about this many times and we ultimately decided that yesterday was a good day and that we would work together and i think that general kelly's a great pick. i'm not going to get into the weeds on that. i support what the president did and obviously i think it's a good thing for the white house. >> but why were you opposed to anthony scaramucci even getting a job in the white house? you saw how bitter, how bitter he was, how angry he was at you in that interview? >> i'm not getting into that, wolf. it's over. i'm moving on.
support the president and i support john kelly and the president's agenda. that's all you're going to get from me on that. i'm not going to get into the individual personal stuff. >> he was also very angry at steve bannon, the white house chief strategist. i can't even read the words he uttered to ryan liz about steve bannon, but you think he can stay in the white house with scaramucci now the communications director? >> that's going to be up to john kelly but i will say that steve's doing a great job. he is a brilliant guy, who only cares about the president's agenda. he thinks about it 24 hours a day, never quits. he's a great asset to this president and so and a dear friend. my hats off to steve bannon. >> can you just clear up the other charge? it was a very bitter charge that scaramucci leveled against you that you're a leaker and that you're really not that loyal to the president.
you've got your own agenda. he makes a bitter accusations against you, specifically the leaking. are you the leaker in the white house? >> that's ridiculous, wolf, come on. give me a break. i'm not going to get into his -- >> why not? >> because i'm not going to because it doesn't honor the president. i'm going to honor the president every day. i'm going to honor his agenda and i'm going to honor our country. i'm not going to get into all of this personal stuff, so -- >> is there a leaking problem in the white house based on what you've seen? >> yeah, i think that general kelly should see if he can get to the bottom of it and figure it out. obviously unnamed sources are something that's been problematic and i wish him well and i'm going to try to help him, obviously that's going to be on his plate and i hope he can get to the bottom of it. >> scaramucci suggesting the fbi should get involved in that investigation. you agree with him on that? >> i'm not going to respond to that. this is about the president, wolf. i've answered your questions.
i support his decision to hire john kelly and i'm looking forward to the future. >> so there you heard it. mike, i want to start with you, you know reince priebus, you were his chief-of-staff. what do you want to say tonight about how this went down and how he was treated? >> first of all, i'm really proud of reince not only in the way he's conducted himself through all of this but the way that he's handled everything that he's done since he became chairman of the rnc. politics ain't beanbag and reince knew that the president likes to have a team of rivals that comes in and argues over policy in front of him and throws elbows and served the president incredibly loyally and will continue to. he came in and basically redefined what the modern political party does at the rnc and not enough credit is given to reince for what he was able to do after 2012 to build the rnc into a machine that could work with president trump to get him elected, then he was the chief-of-staff all through the transition working alongside the president to build out a superb
cabinet and to put everything in place and as he leaves the white house, we have more americans that are working now than any time in history, home sales are at a huge high, the stock markets added $4 trillion of wealth for people's retirement funds. i'm very proud of reince and very proud of the way he's conducted himself and i think that he's been loyal to the president. he'll continue to be loyal to the president of the united states. >> i want to go to you, alan, he was at the white house 189 days as chief-of-staff. this is the shortest in modern presidential history. what does that say about this administration? what do you make of that? >> it says a lot about this administration. look, in my book the case for impeachment, i do some comparisons between trump and richard nixon and what's going on here is very nixion. if you study the nixon tapes, you see they almost never talk about the substance of the policies that are good for the country. it's all about whose got the power, whose in, whose out, whose feuding with whom and
that's exactly what you see in what's going on right now in the white house. secondly, history teaches us that you can't save a failing or flailing presidency by an administrative shake-up. shaking up his administration didn't help jimmy carter way back in 1979. what really matters is the guy at the top, his values, his leadership and his policies. for example, the health care bill failed. not because of chaos at the white house, but because it was a highly deficient legislation in all its forms opposed by virtually every stakeholder from the patients to the insurance companies to the hospitals to the doctors and to the american people. finally, this team of rivals, something that's derived from nixon. you don't fight out the team of rivals in public by demeaning and defaming your cabinet and your staff. i would give some advice to president trump to the new chief-of-staff and to mr.
scaramucci from abraham lincoln himself and i'm paraphrasing. abraham lincoln said, if i paid attention much less tried to answer all of the criticisms that come into this office and that are directed against me, i might as well close down this shop and stop doing any other business. you just got to ignore that stuff. >> hum. easier said than done, but i want to talk about the new chief-of-staff, john kelly. he was a marine, he served in the military for nearly five decades. he's entering a very top heavy west wing. there are at least 23 assistants to the president, the highest ranking title, jared kushner, anthony scaramucci, they all report directly to the president, kellyanne conway also have direct lines of communication to the president. so my question to you, mike, is how can kelly effectively serve
as chief-of-staff if so many people have a direct line to the president? >> look, i mean, it's interesting being on with a historians, all these comparisons being made. trump is unique. his management style is unique. it served him very well. you have a strong leader coming in with general kelly. i think he's going to be a superb chief-of-staff. working as a team, there's lots of different ways to operate a team and there are flat structures and all kinds of organizations that function correctly. you always have to have a chief-of-staff. you have to have a leader who spends a lot of time with the president helping him make decisions and helping direct that team and that's what general kelly's job is going to be. he has a tremendous background in leadership. he's stepping in at a time where the president wants to go in a different direction and do a reset and i think he's going to do a great job. >> okay. mike, alan, thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you. >> thank you. when we come back, two men newly appointed to top positions
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a week ag anthony scaramucci brought his swagger to the white house and within one week his foe reince priebus is out and general general kelly takes over. so how will they matchup? that is the big question tonight. my next two guests know these power players all too well. major general spider marks and william cohan of why wall street matters. general marks, i want to start with you, you know john kelly well, you served with him in iraq. what do you think is the first thing he will do on monday as the white house chief-of-staff? >> well, john kelly's a man in full. his life experiences are quite magnificent, he's a spoke leader, very measured, very focused. i would suggest the first thing he does when he gets in there on monday morning is he gathers two people fogt, he gets ivanka trump and her husband jared, i'm
going to need your help with your dad and there are certain things i'd love to be able to routinely share with you because let's be frank, even as the chief-of-staff, he's going to make it very clear that everybody's going to need to come through him in order to be an effective chief and to ensure effective communications and alignment of policy, priorities and communications and the subordinate efforts that need to take place to meet those policy priorities, but there will be exceptions. and the president's daughter, his son-in-law, maybe even steve bannon, there will be exceptions to that rule that everybody needs to come through the chief, and i think he should talk to those two, i need some help to make sure that if someone is going to do an end run around me as the chief, at least the first place you stop had you come out of that office is my office or at least invite me in subsequently so i can at least be a part of this discussion because i as the chief is the
one with whose going to lay on all the resources to make this policy, decision or idea a reality. >> and someone else who has a direct line to the president is of course anthony scaramucci. william, i have to ask you your reaction first off to his pug nashs and profane really behavior this week, particularly with that interview with the "the new yorker"? >> what can you say, it's indefensible, it's inappropriate, it's inarticulate, it's not who i thought anthony scaramucci was. i don't think it's who he is. i think he was on a mission this week and he succeeded in that mission today by getting reince priebus fired. don't forgget reince priebus, ws the guy who blocked anthony's ability to get the job he wanted in the white house for the past six plus months and so i think this was payback. i think this was warfare.
he accomplished his mission but i think that's obviously an indefensible series of statements that he made and i'm sure he regrets it except that it got to the place that i think he and the president wanted to get to, which was that reince priebus left. >> so just for context here, how do you know him and why do you say that this is unlike him? >> i've known anthony seven years or so from wall street days. i wrote a book about goldman sachs called "money and "power," and anthony worked at goldman sachs. he shared with me a great anecdote that i used in my book and we got to know each other as a result of that. he invited me to the salt conference out in las vegas, a big hedge fund conference where i acted as interviewer of people like oliver stone and michael lewis and magic johnson. we've had beers and talked to
each other. we shared our thoughts. my political views are very different than his. one thing i liked about anthony, he says we did disagree without being disagreeable. >> i want to go to you on general marks about the question of kelly's role in this job. obviously he's had a lot of experience in the military, he's been the secretary of dhs now for little over six months but there are already people coming out saying that he doesn't have the political experience to do this job. what do you have to say to that? >> john kelly's going to be able to do this job exceptionally well and certainly there will be limitations. i'm not pollyannaish to assume that he's going to waltz in and everything will be perfectly fine simply because he arrived. john kelly's got a very tough mission ahead of him and he'll embrace it, but when you look at his body of work during his career, i mean he's been inside the pentagon, he's been in this town, he was the legislative liaison lead for the marine
corps also and all general officers during their period in service will go to the hill on a number of occasions and they'll testify and so these existing relationships will be to his great -- relationships with those in congress will be to his great advantage and certainly his knowledge of the staffers both personal and professional staffers that are on the hill. this will work very, very well and john will tap into that. >> um-hum. >> but the key is, it is the strength of his character that he brings to the table and the veracity of the positions that he'll -- that he will embrace for this president, that's what's going to win the day. it's not being bomb basstic or puth alift, it's been able to step up and have your position win the day. >> just quickly, william, considering the dynamic, chief-of-staff, the typical way it happens is people in the white house, staffers are supposed to go through the chief-of-staff to get through the president as the major general was saying, but when you have people like scaramucci whose really come in and
asserted himself, he has a direct line to the president, did you see him sort of take it a step back in letting the new chief-of-staff come in and take charge? how do you see this dynamic playing out? >> i'd like to think it will work as smoothly as the major general outlines it. i have a feeling this white house is defined by chaos, thrives on chaos, that's what the president of the united states wants. he likes chaos. he likes people going at each other. i will say this for anthony. he's got a lot of respect for the military. he's proven that again and again through the people he invites to the salt conference. i think his mission was to search and destroy reince priebus. he succeeded in that and i think he's going to give john kelly a chance and he's going to be respectful and i think you'll see anthony scaramucci begin to take a lower profile as john kelly steps up here and takes the role of chief-of-staff. >> all right. william and general marks, thank you very much for that
perspective. >> you bet. >> thank you. >> when we come back, washington is on edge from the big shake-up but what do people across the country think of this. we have two radio hosts from the right and left, what they're hearing over of the air waves? >> hey, everybody. i'm anthony scaramucci. the mooch. i'm a front stabber. i'm here to fire everybody. be nice to me. be a little bit nice to me, okay? i'm somebody's little boy. and the mooch said, he was doing this for all the right reasons. i'm not trying to build my own brand off the [ bleep ] strength of the president, i'm here to serve the country and added, i'm not steve bannon, i'm not trying to suck my own [ bleep ]. so being cool comes naturally. hmm. i can't decide if this place is swag or bling. it's pretzels. word. ladies, you know when you switch,
reince priebus out tonight as white house chief of staff but could this be part of a bigger west wing shake up? here to discuss host of radio pfs bill press show and syndicated talk show host fredrics. thanks for coming on late. john, do you think anthony scaramucci is behind the ousting of reince priebus just a week
after coming on board? >> well, look obviously he didn't do anything to help him but i have to get to the comments he made on the on-the-record interview with with the new yorker which was beyond the scope of human decency. at some point all of us that are trump supporters have to draw a line in the sand that you simply have to have some common senses and element of the decorm. he took the title of communications director. he's the spokesperson of the leader of the free world and to do that interview and throw those f-bombs around and what he said about reince priebus and steve bannon and god knows what else, it doesn't matter what you think of any of these people, there has to be a level of maturity in this white house staff for them to get anything done. and that was just -- that was just an episode that is beyond
anything normal. and until people say look, we've had enough, we need some adults in the room and this nonsense has got to stop, which is distracting from the agenda and the message of the president. i thought that interview, on the record, with the new yorker was one of the most despicable things i'd ever witnessed in my entire journalism career and he should apologize for that and get the job of the president's agenda moving and stop this insane in fighting which is all about their own egos. >> so on that note, that's the perfect opening to talk about the new chief of staff, general kelly. do you think he will bring the maturity he's talking about to the white house or is he taking on an impossible task? >> i have to say john's ier, as passionate as it is, is directed at the wrong person. look, the problem is not what
scaramucci said. he's a scum bag, a snake oil sailsman. the problem is the presidentase of the united states gave him that job in the first place and the presidentase of the united states had 24 hours to condemn those remarks, to say that's not dignified, not worthy of the white house. he did not. he said nothing. in fact what he did was carry out what scaramucci wanted, which was to fire reince priebus. let's put the blame where it belongs, on donald trump. as to general kelly, he's good man. he's proven that. he's a good soldier, american, patriot. but he's got an impossible job and you know why? you pointed out so far tonight already. he's not in charge. jared kushner, ivanka trump, steve bannon and now anthony scaramucci all report directly to the president. he is undermined the same way riengs priebus will have been
ntd mined. it is a white house in free fall. the white house is not with the staff, i'm sorry. the problem is with the guy at the top. that's the loose canon and as long as donald trump is there with his tweeting and his bullying and his announcing policies without even telling his cabinet members, nothing's going to change. >> and he had this event in long island today where he delivered a speech to law enforcement officers and appeared to publicly endorse police brutality. take a listen to what he said. >> and when you see these towns and thugs being thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you see them thrown in rough. i said please don't be too nice. like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know. the way you put their hand -- like don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. i said you can take the it hand away, okay.
>> john, is this president promoting more violence by police? >> no. that's a ridiculous assertion. i appreciate the question but look, the president does these thi things, there's a lot of the rhetoric that goes in but at the republican convention in cleveland he said on the law and order candidate. i will be a law and order president. he's simply trying to enact the policies that he promised he would do, which gets us back to ridiculous -- >> saying rough him up and so forth. >> he didn't say anything in the world. he was making a characterture at a specific audience he has and to try to extrapolate this and say the president is inciting police brutality is really, pamela, beyond the pale of a ridiculous thing. >> pamela, pamela.
>> so this is what they said. the police department tweeted after this, the scpd has strict rules relating to the handling of prisoners. violations of those rults are treated extremely seriously. we will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners. i think i know what you're going to say. you think the president went too far. >> of course the president went too far and the suffolk county police department realized this was way over the line. i would like the point out in this week the president was scolded by the boy scouts of america for some of the language he used and some of the things he said at a boy scout jamboree and now today the president is scolded by the suffolks county long island police department for encouraging police brutality. i think it's sad, despicable, shameful and, john, you of all
people should say this is not wurlthy of the president of the united states. >> john, these are esteemed nonpartisan groups. what is your reaction to this? >> the president made a speech and had a rally and was making a caricature. >> he was one of his speechz where he was talking about law and order and again instead of talking about the substance of the president's address today and the magnificent progress he's made with gangs like ms 13 and other things he's getting done, here we are talking about we're taking one thing he said and extrapolating it into something that had nothing to do with, which takes away the success he's had. >> we would not be talking about it if he didn't say it. >> i do appreciate it. thank you so much. good night to you both and that's it for us tonight. in for don lemon.