tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN July 31, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
a bus crashes. elderly veterans on their way to the ballpark. officers arrive on the scene and jump into action. >> we evaluate them. want to go to the game, the officers are taking them. >> there you go. the officers then pushed the veterans in wheelchairs about half a mile all the way to the stadium. >> that is dedication. wonderful to see. great to be with you here this morning. time now for cnn newsroom with poppy harlow. >> hi, guys. good morning. have a great day. >> you, too. good monday morning, everyone. hope you had a good weekend. i'm poppy harlow. moments from now, pressing reset in the west wing, general john kelly sworn in as president's chief of staff in just moments. can the retired u.s. marine corps general bring a new discipline to a white house that is in chaos? top of the hour, president trump and jeff sessions face-to-face, the first meeting of the two
since the president's public shaming of his embattled attorney general. all of this out against the backdrop of spiraling international tensions. vice president mike pence warns north korea that all options are on the table after a missile test proves that major u.s. cities are now within range of the rogue nuclear power. moscow lashing out at the new u.s. sanctions bill that right now is sitting on the president's desk. hundreds of staffers booted. the kremlin warns it may not stop there. a lot to get to this monday morning on cnn. sara murray is at the white house. a new chief of staff will be in place. what does that really mean for the president? >> reporter: that's what we're waiting to see. many of the president's allies are hoping that this retired four-star general john kelly will be able to come in and create a fresh start, kickstart the president's agenda, but also calm down some of the chaos and
backfighting we've seen in the west wing. his first official day is today, as you said. in just about 30 minutes there will be a swearing in ceremony for john kelly in the oval office. after that, they move on to a cabinet meeting. this will be a fascinating new set of dynamics. we are expecting attorney general jeff sessions to be there in the room along with president donald trump. to the best of our knowledge this is the first time they will be in the room together, having any kind of interaction together since the president made disparaging comments about his attorney general in the "new york times," saying he was disappointing with him, saying he wouldn't have picked him if he knew that sessions would have recused himself from the russian investigation, not to mention all the tweets he has been firing at his attorney general. certainly any interaction between the attorney general and the president will be closely watched. we know the president has been very frustrated but has also gotten a very stern warning from republican senators, do not try to replace jeff sessions. we are not going to help you and
confirm a new attorney general. we'll be keeping an eye on that. >> yes, we will, sara, thank you. you will see ahead that swearing in and the president's cabinet meeting at the top of the hour. formerly worked in the bush white house and jeffrey toobin, cnn senior legal analyst. nice to have you. 30 minutes, david druker, until there's a new chief of staff. i almost said a new man in charge at the white house. that is clearly not true but someone who has more power in the white house. we'll see how much sway over the president. generally quite friendly to the president but has called him out wrote this. shuffling of staff furniture won't matter unless mr. trump accepts the white house problem isn't mr. priebus, it is him. so, does kelly get more authority in this white house than priebus did? >> we'll find out. the president tweeted there is no white house chaos. the president respects two kinds of people. people that make a lot of money
and he respects generals. to the extent that general kelly, the department of homeland security secretary can command trump's respect in a way priebus never could and the president thinks political people are dopes, journalists, political people, washington, we're all idiots and speaks to americans in that way. the extent that this new chief of staff can command trump's respect, it's possible he could bring order and discipline to the place. however, i don't think the problem with reince priebus, whatever people think of him, was ever that he could not run a staff. i think the problem was that the president didn't want to listen to him. and i don't know that anybody can contain the president. his director that tweets all hours, about all things. and these people that reportedly
report to the president. >> that was asked yesterday on the sunday shows and he said i don't know. margaret, you've got a white house that now has lost its first chief of staff, communications director, press secretary. i could go on. the president this morning said this is not chaos. >> yeah. >> should that be unnerving to people? >> look, white house chief of staff can't function if he doesn't have the confidence of the president. that ultimately -- all of us are continuing to view this analysis through the lens of what's normal and what's traditionally been a conventional way of running a white house. trump doesn't think there was anything wrong with the way it was running under reince. he was just uncomfortable with reince. he didn't respect him, didn't trust him. he had told him he was going to lose the election and should drop out of the election. here we are six months in the presidency and still has people on his team that didn't support
him. >> i am picturing him telling anthony scaramucci, ivanka trump and jared kushner, no, stop. don't go talk to your father, your father-in-law, talk to me first. is that plausible? >> no, it's not. donald trump is many things but one thing that he is is 71 years old. i don't know about your experience but 71 -- people don't change their personalities. they don't change their styles. he is who he is. he got elected president being this way even though a lot of people were skeptical, including me, thought he wasn't going to win. i don't think he sees a big problem here. >> one would succeed he would like to get more done. more points on the board. >> he thinks that he has had the
most successful 100 days and first six months any president in history. >> that's true. >> he says that. >> signed largely meaningless executive orders. but his view, he's successful. the trump motto is always declare victory no matter what. he certainly does not think there's a big problem here. >> magic number 51 will solve everything. ran his campaign for a time said the thing general kelly should do is not try to change donald trump. smart advice or does he have to do something? >> first of all, corey lewando with. ski ran that campaign for a skinny minute. and he also learned quickly you can't change donald trump. nobody is trying to change donald trump. reports are that general kelly
had resisted taking this job for some time. a smart who is universally respected. he probably took the job out of loyalty to the president and also with a certain set of understanding understandings that he will have some authority that the previous chief of staff didn't have, okay? and part of that will be the confidence of the president and that will go a long way. >> for the time being. >> precisely, insofar as he has the president's confidence, which won't be forever. he will have more of an impact than reince did. >> what about, arguably, very effective for the most part, former chief of staff james baker said? quoted in "the times" this weekend -- obviously served under reagan and george h.w. bush. you can focus on the chief or you can focus on the staff. those who focus on the staff have done pretty well. is that sage advice for kelly?
>> well, i think normally that would be sage advice. but i think, again, this all gets back to the president and whether he empowers kelly to do the job that he has hired them to do. at the end of the day, the real problem in the white house, in terms of the problems that they have had has been trump in terms of he has been on every side, messagewise, of the affordable care act, for instance. one minute trump says the solution is mean. next minute he says it's not mean enough essentially. you have a lot of mixed messages out of the white house. in doesn't bode well for a staff working together, get along.
a real key thing to look at here, a lot of good people in the white house. maybe they haven't meshed for the president. nobody under the president with real experience, negotiating high-level deals. they've been experienced in a lot of things and mr. kelly, i think -- the question is, can he negotiate some high-level legislative deals and provide the president with a skill that he does not have either? >> jeffrey, also ahead, a big cabinet meeting at 10:00 am in less than an hour. this is the first time sessions and the president has been in the same room since that scathing "new york times" interview he gave about sessions and all the subsequent tweets but he hasn't said anything about sessions in a few days. so? >> look at the bright side. one of the curious things about donald trump he's very good at attacking people when they're not directly in front of him, in person. he does shy away from personal
confrontation. he has other people do his dirty work. i anticipate he will shake sessions' hand. they will not discuss the past. i don't think there will be any confrontation between them. certainly sessions doesn't want that. and the president is not disposed to that, especially now that he knows that if he were to make a move on sessions the senate republicans, who run the confirmation process, would -- >> grassley said don't bring me anyone else. >> right. >> he ds hug james comey. remember that moment? >> he did. that was like in "the godfather". >> david, margo, jeffrey, appreciate it. >> time for talk on north korea is over, the administration says, as russia steps up its response to looming sanctions. what is the president's next move under this new chief of staff? and maybe the repeal fight isn't over on obamacare. the president rips into republicans again this morning for their failed attempt to repeal and replace.
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>> after congress overwhelmingly passes a sanctions bill in response to the u.s. election medd lichlt ng. it now seems, according to him, that will not happen any time soon. those comments come as the u.s. has been ordered to cut staff at diplomatic missions in russia by hundreds. just one way that putin regime is retaliating against this new sanctions bill. let's go straight to our correspondent in moscow, clare sebastian. clare? >> 755 people, that's the number that president putin says he will cut in russia, in three continents of the country. a big number any way you look at it. we had some clarification from
the kremlin on how this will actually work. they say the u.s. gets to pick who is affected, who gets cut, which 755 people. it will not be diplomats, but also russians hired by the u.s. diplomatic mission here. a big number here but this isn't 755 diplomats. senior official there told cnn that they are -- they see this as regrettable and if they do respond with other measures against russia, russia says it reserves the right to do the same. president putin saying on state tv he doesn't want to do that, thinking that that would be detrimental to russia and international relations but there are options on the table should the need arise. they're being very clear about that. having said that, relations aren't improving. if they were looking for a
change in tone from the obama administration, they can find vice president pence in estonia, reassuring that country and other nato allies of the u.s.'s commitment to the alliance, russia the grast threat that the baltic nations face, unpredictable neighbor and had this to say about relations with russi russia. >> will not deter the commitment of the united states of america, to our security, the security of our allies and the security of freedom-loving nations around the world. >> the vice president, mike pence, also reaffirming that president trump does plan to sign that sanctions bill into law. he hasn't done so yet. russia didn't wait for him to do that before retaliating. they saw that as a foregone conclusion. certainly when he does, they'll be watching closely from here in moscow.
>> and making a statement with just where he's visiting, also going to georgia and montenegro after this. thank you, clare. this morning, the trump administration is weighing in on north korea after the rogue nation successfully launched a test missile friday that could potentially reach u.s. cities. a confrontation between the president and chinese counterpart, shinzo abe. together they are expected to ramp up the pressure. they are working together but tense words toward china. >> that's right. we've seen this cycle repeat itself over and over again for months now as north korea fires off missiles, the response around the world remains largely the same. that if they fire off another missile and jaws drop when people recognize the kind of advances north korea is making
with the rapid development of their missile and nuclear program. poppy, we're talking about the test launch of two icbms in the space of just a month. how do you change the approach? how do you change the response to north korea? how do you rein them in? it's the question being asked in japan, south korea, china and the u.s. that's where the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., nikki haley, says this isn't the time for talking now. she says it is time for china to act. u.s. president donald trump echoing those same sentiments saying that china, for all its promises to help with the north korean problem, has done nothing but talk. he also again is looking for china. we're hearing from beijing a defense of the efforts they say they already employed. officials in beijing say they already offered a solution to this problem, calling on north korea to freeze its missile and nuclear program. in exchange they want to see south korea put an end to training exercises that so enraged north korea. that has been a nonstarter,
poppy and both sides are really digging in here. >> alexander field for us in seoul. thank you for that. north korea takes on the world, also joined by u.s. army major general james spyder marks. the president's tweets ripping into china and saying china could easily solve this problem two. part question to you. a, is that factual? is there anything that china could do to easily solve that problem and, b, you wrote a column about this and you said that china should fear what the president is saying over twitter. what do you mean? >> first of all, china has overwhelming leverage over the north koreans. the most important thing that china supplies is confidence to regime elements that they are safe from china -- safe from the u.s., south korea, international community. that bolsters the kim regime. if china would signal it was
withdrawing its support, i think we would see things occur in pyongyang to our advantage. the other thing, though, right now president trump's saturday tweet really reverses four decades of u.s. policy toward china and it questions the whole basis of this policy, which is trade. so i think the chinese have a lot to be worried about. the u.s. has overwhelming leverage over china. we ran last year a $309.8 billion trade deficit with the chinese for both goods and services. that puts us in a pretty good position if we were going to have a trade war, if there were going to be trade frictions. our economy is, in reality, twice the size of china's. we can push those guys around. we do not have an economy geared to selling things to china. china has an economy geared to selling things to us. >> general, to you. this is a host of major international issues that
general kelly comes into as he becomes chief of staff. the diplomacy that president trump keeps utilizing here, instead of picking up the phone or meeting with, as far as we know, xi ginping, calling him out on twitter, is that something that you believe general kelly will be comfortable with and will advise the president to keep doing? >> i think john kelly will probably not be comfortable with that. but at the end of the day, the narrative is not necessarily changing the president's behavior but fundamentally and first order of business is behavior of the white house staff and that's what general john kelly will be able to affect immediately. and he needs to. everybody must come through the chief of staff before you get to the president. the president has family members that are personal staffers. they will continue to have direct access to their father, to the president of the united states. what general kelly have to ensure is that when those folks
come out of the offs oval office the first place they stop is with the chief of staff. what's taking place in north korea is problem number one internationally. it's existential and, as gordon described, we have to be able to establish some leverage with china because the solution goes through beijing. we realize that. china realizes that. we have to work this out very, very quickly. we cannot afford to have a confrontation on this peninsula. >> gordon, explain the resistance from china, from b beijing, from xi swrinping to this mounting pressure from the united states. what is in it for china to not step up sanctions, for example, to not do more to push back against north korea? >> in the short term, poppy, beijing finds this dynamic of north korean prove okayatiocati need for chinese cooperation.
they get concessions from us and we stop talking about things that are important to us, trade, south china sea, you name it. beijing likes this going on right now. >> final word to you, general. as you look at the new leadership in the west wing, obviously, under the president, you have general kelly. what do you hope to see from this new relationship? what do you believe he can accomplish on the russia front, on the north korea front in dealing with china that reince priebus perhaps was not able to advise the president successfully on? >> i think an alignment of policies, policy priorities. when i say communications, everything that cascades from policy directive, everything that needs to be in place to support that. that's what the chief of staff clearly is in place to do, to
assure all of that alignment. let's be frank. when you come out of the oval office the chief of staff has to say okay, here are the resources that must be in place in order to accomplish these tasks. those tasks clearly are, in the near term, still remain. always will remain. health care, infrastructure and tax reform. if you can get your arm around those four, i think we're making progress. we try to parse every tweet we're into this continual swirl, lot of whitewater that does no one any good. >> thank you very much, general. nice to have you on. gordon, thank you as well. we'll be watching. again, we're moments away from general kelly being sworn in as the president's new chief of staff. talking up economy on twitter, highest stock market ever. unemployment lowest in 17 years. wages rising. cnn business correspondent allison kosik is with us before
the bell. indeed the stock market is soaring. doesn't matter for half of america that doesn't have money in it. >> good point but for companies it means everything. in the middle of earnings season. it's red hot. much stronger than expected. s&p 500 companies, half of them reporting. a rise that follow ace 15% rise in profit for the first quarter. so, you're seeing companyies healthy, strong, buying into the market. for those also invested it's why you're seeing year to date the s&p 500, the dow up 10% year to date. and that's nothing to shake your nose at because the reality is that the expectations was that the market wasn't going to perform as well. what's coming in august is the expectation that we're going to see some legislation passed, tax reform and infrastructure. >> maybe.
>> if that doesn't happen expect to see -- >> august a little aggressive to see big things like that done. thank you very much, allison. we appreciate it. if the gop gives up on health care right now, the president, in his words says they are total quitters. up next, what he says he will stop paying if the repeal and replace effort does not persist. (upbeat dance music) (bell ringing)
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is expected to hold a big cabinet meeting. this is a big deal also because it will be the first time he will be in the same room with his embattled attorney general jeff sessions. president trump with a threat to congress and insurance giants on health care, string of attacks against republicans over the weekend, telling them don't give up. the world is watching. also if the repeal and replace effort dies it's because, quote, the republicans are totally quitters. suzanne malveaux is on capitol hill. suzanne, he is saying go for it again? >> reporter: is he, poppy. and people looking at those tweets saying of course they're not quitters but are trying to be realistic about this. we've seen the president time and time again put pressure on members of congress with this repeal and replace of obamacare. if obamacare is hurting people, and it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies and why should congress not be paying what the public pays?
this, a series of tweets essentially saying the government is going to stop what he calls bailouts for insurance companies and bailouts for members of congress. most members of congress receive their health insurance through the d.c. exchange, which is subsidized, in part, by obamacare. but the president is saying that he is going to essentially implode obamacare or try to undercut obamacare. two stidecisions he's talking about, whether the government will continue to help subsidize and help contribute with insurance companies some amount of money to help them with the low-income folks, to be able to afford care. the other thing is whether or not the government is going to enforce those mandates. same time, senator susan collins is working on trying to get members of congress to take little bit by bit pieces here to try to shore up the markets in rather small ways and bipartisan
ways. >> we need to go back to committee, to the health committee and the finance committee, identify the problems, carefully evaluate possible solutions through hearings and then produce a series of bills to correct these problems. >> so while she's pushing that forward, poppy, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell seems to have very little appetite for continuing this battle. he is ready to move on, saying he wants to deal with spending bills and the budget. poppy? >> suzanne malveaux on the hill. first the insurance companies. the president frames it as bailouts for insurance companies. correct me if i'm wrong but this is actually 5 to 6 million americans who rely on these $7 billion a year in subsidies so they can afford health coverage. right? >> right. congress and the president is making this a political game. their goal is to fulfill their promise, repeal obamacare but 6
million people get these bailouts, these subsidies and in total more than 10 million people on the exchanges. we're talking about actually hurting americans. >> it's being sorted out, though, in the courts, right? they were in limbo because there were questions of legality about this under the obama administration? >> yes. although the trump administration and congress keep putting off the date. this could be solved if the house just appropriated the money. that would be an easy solution but neither side is giving on this. >> congress, the president's other part of his message to congress is hey, you get bailouts. that would be akin to saying we get bailouts from our company that pays into our insurance plans. the federal government pays into congress' insurance plans. point he's trying to make which is an interesting one to dissect and consider, members of congress you should live how many of your constituents are lisk. is that what he's saying here? >> he is. remember, as you said, most
people with employer plans get subsidies or part of their premiums paid. they get about three-quarters of their premiums paid. are you asking congress to live like most of their constituents who work for large employers, or asking them to live like people on the exchanges? >> they would have to pay so much more out of their check. >> right and wouldn't qualify for the premiums most likely. >> get congress acting more, approximate they're going to move on. thank you so much. appreciate it. as the president hits the reset button in the white house literally this hour in the west wing with a new chief of staff, is it time for democrats to hit the reset button for their entire party?
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joining me now is hakim jeffries of new york, of the great burrough of brooklyn, i say, where i reside. let's talk about the move john kelly just sworn in moments ago. you'll see it play here in a moment. general kelly as chief of staff, good thing for america? >> hopefully. the first 6 1/2 plus months of the trump administration has been characterized as chaos, crisis and confusion. sort of like circus atmosphere that has not put forth, you know, any policy proposals in a meaningful way. >> put fourth proposals. you think it's a good thing for america? all of us want to see government working. it's broken right now. if he can restore some semblance of responsibility and get the president of the united states under control, it will be a good
thing for the american people. >> he has serve this had country and given this country his all, his own son, who died fighting for this country. i'm hearing we're waiting for video. you tweeted over the weekend that the president is, quote, a sick guy that language has been condemn bid so many on the left and the right. why are you doing the same? >> encouraging police officers essentially to engage in police brutality and roughing up suspects. >> you said, quote, don't be too nice. >> everyone was understood what he was suggesting, consistent with the insightful language he used. >> you're critical of his language. how do you using something similar, how does that help? >> we have to call it like we see it.
that's what we do in brooklyn to some degree. when he crosses the line i'm going to lead fire with fire. as democrats in washington, we're focused on advancing a better deal, economic agenda, to improve the process. >> you sound just like the president when you say this is a new yorker way to do things. we fight fire with fire. let me move on. you put forward a better deal. >> i don't want their names on these bumper stickers going forward. here is how nancy pel sochlt i defended it. listen. >> do democrat democrats need n leaders? >> somebody's got to do it. it's a question we're in. i'm a master legislator. i know the budget to the nth degree. i know the motivation. >> hold on one second. we're looking at new video just
in of the president and his new chief of staff. john kelly. >> i have no doubt as of staff it's record shattering. you look at the spirit. with a very controversial situation there's been very little controversy, which is pretty amazing by itself. i want to congratulate you on having done a fantastic job, general. we look forward to if it's possible an even better job as chief of staff. >> thank you very much. i think we've done very well. we've done very well. lots of records. lots of records created, john. you look at stock markets, the highest it's ever been. unemployment, lowest in 17
year years. >> you look at the polls, the highest it's ever been in the history of these polls. we have a tremendous base, tremendous group of support. the country is optimistic. i think the general would just add to it. but the country is doing very well. strongest stock market ever. on friday we hit the highest in the history of the stock market. business is very enthusiastic and we will proceed and we will keep going. we have a fantastic leader, chief of staff. going to do a really great job. thank you very much. we'll see you in the board room. >> vote of confidence for his new chief of staff, general john kelly there. the president saying we will do very well. sara murray is at the white house. according to the president he said things are going extraordinarily well across america right now and kelly will make them better and more
effective. >> that's right. a lot of people are hoping that kelly will bring some kind of fresh start and order. yes, president trump has pointed to some things moving in his direction but certainly plenty hasn't been going as smoothly as we have been hoping in this white house. collapse of a health care deal last week is obviously on the top of that. yes, there has been job creation. the economy has continued growing under president trump. the stock market has continued booming. in terms of his actual legislative agenda, the president has been stymied. it's not by the democrats, it's by members of his own party for the most part. it will be interesting to see even in talking to white house staffers this morning, nobody really knows what to expect yet under john kelly as the new chief of staff. they're waiting to see what it's like when he meets with other senior staffers, when he starts to actually do this job. people are hoping for not just a little more order within the white house but a little bit more success when it comes to the legislative agenda on capitol hill. >> sara murray at the white
house, thank you so much. hakim jeffries, your response to what the president said. he said things are going well. he pointed to the stock market. at some point you have to argue is not just about what the obama administration did. this has been six months of the trump white house. so, is he right? >> in terms of the stock market, certainly the investor class, shareholder class is doing well. working families, working class, folks who aspire to be part of it. >> half of americans have some money in the market. half don't. >> that's right. it's not necessarily a life-changing, meaningful amount. we understand when the stock market explodes, as it has been doing since -- six years into the obama administration, that largely benefits a disproportionately number of americans. our agenda is designed to help those struging without a meaningful raise most of the middle class over the last 40 plus years and those who aspire to be part of the middle class zplu took heat last week as you know on the airwaves for a better deal, your agenda, specifically for fr those who
say it is too focused on white working class america, not enough on african-americans in the country. to that criticism you say? >> we're trying to advance an economy that works for everyone, urban america, blue collar america, suburban and rural america. by necessity, african-americans will benefit from that. we often say when the economy catches a cold the african-american community gets a fever. so if we can improve the economy, get better jobs, better wages, lead to a better future for the vast majority of americans, the african-american community will benefit. >> thanks for being here. we appreciate it. hakeem jeffries. ahead, we'll take you to venezuela. incredibly controversial and violent election yesterday in venezuela. president trump threatening to slap additional sanctions on venezuela's government. a live report ahead.
bloodshed on the streets, escalating political tension in venezuela lead to additional samgss by the trump administration. the u.s. may announce more sanctions on venezuela after a controversial vote, one opposition leaders regard as a power grabby the president, nicholas maduro. they are calling for more protests after demonstrations turned violent. the video you are about to see is disturbing. [ gunfire ]
>> election day clashes between protesters and police there. one officer caught on fire. that claimed at least ten lives. paula what has the response been from maduro today? >> reporter: well, nothing so far today. let's say early this morning in a firy speech he called donald trump an emperor and said what do we care what the united states thinks. that was in response to trump say thg is a sham election and moves maduro into a dictatorship and we will move with with strong sanctions. they could ban oil imports from this country. half of them go to the united states. the problem is it could bring up gas prices. the administration said, look, all options are on the table. it will be interesting to see what kind of sanctions are
there. poppy, as i was on the streets, i asked what people think of the sanctions. they are fearful, under the heading, be careful what you wish for, they feel the trump administration could help them. they feel there has to be a trigger, more pressure on the maduro regime. a change in working with the opposition to get to a more effective government. so far, nothing like that. the rhetoric flying fast and furious. look at the conversation you had in the last hour, what kind of bandwidth does the trump administration have. senators john mccain and marco rubio pressing the administration to have a very strong solution. >> we expect more protests today. we are minutes away from the white house cabinet meeting and president trump coming face-to-face with his own
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good morning, i'm poppy harlow. the trump white house reaching for the reset button and hitting it this morning. president trump convened a meeting of his cabinet, including embattled attorney general, jeff sessions. it will be their first face-to-face. new leadership, officially, in the west wing. you are looking at it there. the president's swearing in of general john kelly as the new chief of staff, the retired u.s. marine corps general. let's begin with sarah murray who joins us at the white house and the message from the president was, basically, everything is peachy, things are going great, he will make them better. >> reporter: obviously, if things were going great, you wouldn't fire your chief of staff or accept his resignation and bring in john kelly. a