tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 31, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
new york. >> follow the yellow brick road. >> thanks for joining us. don't forget, you can watch "outfront" any time, anywhere. see you tomorrow. "ac 360" with anderson starts now. good evening. thanks for joining. we begin keeping them honest with another claim by the president of the united states and the white house that it's hard to believe. hard to believe because it stands in stark contrast to what all of us can see with our own eyes. on this day which anthony scaramucci, the newly appointed white house communications director was escorted off white house property after being let go just 11 days after he started, the president tweeted to take credit for the stock market and other things insisting that there is "no white house chaos." no chaos whatsoever. nothing to see here, folks. that is the message that sarah huckabee sanders continued to parrot this afternoon. >> the president announced on twitter that there's no chaos at the white house.
how would you describe what has happened over the course of the past ten days? obviously, you will agree with your boss, the president that there's no chaos. but how do you explain that not to be the case? >> i think it's simple. if you want to see chaos, come to my house with three preschoolers. this doesn't hold a candle to that. >> clearly, that was meant to be a charming deflection, but it is a deflection nonetheless. the only thing you can compare the white house to is a house full of preschoolers to make it seem unchaotic, it's not a great comparison. not every president publicly undercuts his own spokesman and chief of staff, and his own attorney general and hires a communications director with no communications experience, who threatened to fire everyone, who calls the chief of staff an "f"-ing paranoid schizophrenic, all of which he said to a reporter. then calls in to cnn, lies about what he said to the reporter, says he and the president are best bros, and he and the guy
who he just called an "f"-ing paranoid skits frchizophrenic a bros. >> as you know from the italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. there's only two fish that don't stink, that's me and the president. i don't like the activity that's going on in the white house. if you want to talk about the staff, we have had odds and differences. when i said we're brothers from the podium, we're rough on each other. >> that was thursday. today is monday. as peter baker points out, neither cain or abel made it. reince priebus resigned and now scaramucci resigned the same day the president's new chief of staff john kelly was sworn in.
but the president says none of that was chaotic. in 11 days, spicer, priebus and scaramucci are out. if you're inclined to ignore the facts and take the president's word that the chaos isn't chaos, you have to take his twitter word on everything. in february of 2016, "ted cruz does not have the right temperament to be president. look how he panicked and fired his director of communications. bad." >> old trump tweets are like greeting cards. there's one for every occasion. let's get more now from jim acosta with new details on the end of the era of anthony scaramucci. jim, i'm not sure you can say 11 days is an era. but the idea that there's no white house chaos, that's what the president tweeted. but the events of the last couple of weeks tell a different
story. what is the mood in the white house? >> reporter: as it turns out, the mooch might have been a bit too much. as for the president's tweet that there's no chaos, this white house is the picture of chaos. that is where things stand right now. to have a kuhn cacommunications director who is supposed to be in charge of messaging out after only ten days on the job, that breaks some speed records that have never been seen here in washington for a position of that type. and so clearly this is a problem for this white house. that is why he was very eager to bring in john kelly, the retired general, as his new chief of staff. we were told by sarah huckabee sanders at the podium today and confidentially through white house sources that kelly intends to bring order to this very disorderly situation inside the white house. first and foremost, people are not going to be able to walk into the west wing we're told and just talking to the president. they're going to have to go through john kelly that. i a privilege that reince priebus did not have. he could not keep the voices
from coming into the white house and whispering into the president's ear from different directions. that certainly undermined reince priebus. whether john kelly can keep that kind of order and maintain that type of order, i think that is going to be a very tall ask, even for a general. >> there are also new details emerging about how the scaramucci dismissal transpired. what do we know at this point? >> reporter: from what we understand last week, we were hearing from sources that the president was almost giving scaramucci an atta boy. you know, people were calling scaramucci the mini me, or the mini mooch for president trump, because of the way he was dressing down reince priebus. somebody that the president has obviously lost confidence in, lost patience with. but slowly but surely from what we understand from talking to sources, the president viewed these headlining about scaramucci as being very negative, because not only were they overshadowing things going on here at the white house, they were overshadowing the president of the united states himself. and from what we understand from talking to sources, scaramucci
talked to john kelly about this yesterday. but it wasn't until after john kelly was sworn in at the white house that the news was given to scaramucci that he was out and that he had to essentially leave immediately. this was an immediate termination of his job over here at the white house. when you talk to people close to scaramucci, they say he's going show up at the export/import venue tomorrow, but sarah huckabee sanders says no, he's leaving the administration. so we're hearing two different stories here in terms of just how out scaramucci is tonight. >> for a person who also talks a lot about loyalty, this is an extraordinary development. you know, scaramucci gave up, sold his company and thought he was going to get a job in the white house a long time ago. was held off, got this job, and to be out after so long, when last week, sarah huckabee sanders, from the podium was saying the president likes, you know, i can't remember the exact phrase, an active dialogue, or basically seemed to praise scaramucci for going after
priebus in such a public way. >> reporter: that's right. that's why this is going to be such a huge test for john kelly. this is supposed to be somebody who is going to come in and put discipline in a system that's been very undisciplined. that is a very untrump-like scenario, that john kelly is trying to bring to this white house. you know this all too well, anderson. donald trump seizes -- he seems to revel in this sort of disorganized chaos, he feels like at the end of the day, it results in better decision making on his part, whereas much of the rest of the world sees a white house in chaos and doesn't believe that to be the case at all. the other question is whether or not, you know, so much of the problems that are generated by this white house are generated by the president's smartphone, when he's tapping out these tweets that just sort of send washington into a tailspin from time to time almost on a daily basis. so the question is for john kelly, not only can he get the white house under control and
brig ord bring order, but can he get his hands on that phone? >> jim, thanks. joining me now is ryan lizza. to the extent that anything about scaramucci could surprise you at this point, did this surprise you? >> it surprised me a little bit, because i thought we had the answer to -- when people were asking me, what did you think was going to happen after that interview when it was published, is skraicaramucci going to be f. i said he was going to be fired or promoted. you just never know with donald trump. i thought we had the answer when priebus was forced out, which seems like last month, but i guess it was just last week. i thought that was trump saying i have no problem with what scaramucci said. and it's the chief of staff that needs to change, and i want to keep him in this position. what obviously changed is that john kelly knows a thing or two
about how to be an effective chief of staff, and it does not take a rocket scientist to know that if you want to be an effective chief of staff at the white house, you can't have super empowered freelance senior aides who report to the president and not to you running one of the most important offices in the white house, the communications office. so it shows that trump is giving john kelly enormous latitude. i think trump likes scaramucci. i think they had a real relationship. so i bet this was not an easy decision for trump to do this. but for kelly, it's a pretty important sign that he was able to exercise control, and it's a betrayal of scaramucci, to be honest. trump told him he could report to the president. the new guy comes in and says that's not good and he got rid of the old guy. >> it's going to be interesting to see if scaramucci stays in president trump's orbit or
whether he's made himself persona nongrata. the whole notion that it wasn't what he said but he was getting so much attention as we know from the past, you know, when president trump said to comey, you know, you're getting more famous or you're more famous than i am right now. that was not a good sign for the future of jim comey. >> i reported this in a piece tonight in newyorker.com. each before i published my article, i had it on good authority that there was tension between scaramucci and president trump. and he was on a little bit of thin ice even before that because of the last -- because of his first week, even absent the comments to me, he was pretty out there. so a lot of moving parts in the last week. the first priority for president trump was finding a new chief of staff. i think he realized when he had the new chief of staff that the move he made with scaramucci didn't make sense in the new
order. and to answer that question, which is a good question, anderson, about whether he sticks around, you know, trump advisers have a history of -- even after they leave the official capacity, official working relationship of remaining loyal, working for president trump, speaking on his behalf, going to bat for him, sometimes stirring the pot. think of people like roger stone -- >> corey lewandowski. >> and even scaramucci, who remember, look, this guy, he was in a very strange position where he sold a pretty expensive company, and then was denied the job. so he was really left out to hang for a while. and yet was at least loyal to president trump through that whole period. so it's funny, these former trump advisers tend to stick around and look for that second shot at serving president trump. >> ryan, stay with us. i want to bring in the rest of my panel.
gloria, if this is not chaos in the west wing, what is? >> it is. it's chaos. >> to me, i'm wondering if it may not feel like chaos for president trump, because i think this is how he operates. he's used to it. but i'm sure for everybody else around, he's like the eye of the hurricane. >> and i think to general kelly, it probably felt like chaos. i would have liked to have been privy to the conversation that the general had with the president before he decided to take this job. because when you wear four stars on your shoulder, you're used to chain of command. and i think that kelly saw what scaramucci -- let's put the vulgarity and all that with ryan lizza aside. scaramucci threatened to fire people, and he talked about a direct line to the president. and i think that was pretty much untenable. and i was told by a source today who spoke with the president that he believed scaramucci was grandstanding. that was the word that was used to me.
remember, president trump called comey a show boat. he doesn't like that. and this source said to me, who spoke with the president, with this president you end up in the cheap seats in center field when that happens. so i think that was one strike against him. and then kelly comes in and says this is untenable, and we can't operate this way. and this source also said that kelly told him he had to go. >> david, there could be multiple things that are true, that it's a situation where general kelly didn't think scaramucci was right for the job and president trump was thinking scaramucci was getting too much attention. >> without a doubt. i think both things are probably true here. we know that the president, while he may not have found the comments to ryan in "the new yorker" completely outrageous, he may have actually thought that they were accomplishing the goal of getting reince needled out of there. we know that the president doesn't like it with the blowback. it's the blowback that he no longer thought was appropriate. once he saw the way those
comments were playing over the weekend, even if it wasn't a john kelly white house, it was very possible that the president did not like that scaramucci ended up with all this blowback that did not reflect well on the president. at the end of the day, if donald trump thought anthony scaramucci was goidoing good for his image scaramucci would still be there. scaramucci lost the confidence of the president. >> the whole thing about donald trump during the lek00 is elect liars the best people and he's a great manager. is any of that believable? clearly to his base, i guess it is. but do the events of the last six months with all the people that have come and gone -- >> anderson, i just think that these chaos stories, and we've talked about this before. there's all these stories about everybody from obama back to
reagan, about how their -- >> do you know any administration which the attorney general has been ridiculed and mocked by the president and criticized by the president, not fired but still at the same time shawn spicer is gone, sally yates is gone, general flynn is gone, scaramucci is gone. >> i mean, every president is different. donald trump is donald trump. this is why people put him there in the first place. >> people put him there to be a great manager and hire great people. >> yesterday i had a conversation with someone in pennsylvania at the summit diner who said, speaking of media and all this kind of thing, i don't care about this stuff. i care about north korea. this is a media fixation. for hemp's saaven's sake, move . >> but there's a serious situation in north korea which the president is tweeting, being critical of china in a tweet. is that how foreign policy is
done now? >> i think in the modern world, presidents are going to be tweeting. he's the first. he won't be the last. >> but the question is -- >> i think what we're looking at, and this is what jeb bush said, this is what hillary clinton said, this is what mitt romney said, all of the people that donald trump dispatched of, they all questioned his temper present. what we're seeing is basically "the apprentice" with the democracy at stake. he's treating reince priebus and sean spicer like they're gary busy. we have to wonder what is china going to do to help with north korea. but when you look at this white house, this is more than chaos. and for me, sometimes on twitter and social media, you get a good chuckle out of it. you see the irony in scaramucci talking big one day and 11 days later being fired. i don't think you can get a severance in 11 days. when you take a step back, it's embarrassing. it's embarrassing to everyone
who looks at us as a global leader. it lowers our global standing. and someone needs to be -- and i hope it's general kelly, i don't think it can be, but hopefully someone will reign him in. one of the things general kelly will not be able to do is control this out of control temperament that the 45th president has. no one has been able to do it. the only people who can talk to him are his family. general kelly is not that. so god speed, but we need -- >> maybe he can get the white house staff on one page, because if he can do that and get them all on one page, there will be less leaking, more organization, and i think the president will be a lot happier. >> jeffrey, don't you think a well oiled, well run west wing is better prepared to deal with north korea and other challenges? >> sure, sure. all i'm trying to say, jeack colocole
for the -- one week and he was out. [ overlapping speakers ] >> you can punt to one or two people here -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> that's not part of the legacy. >> this is a lot of people who have been filtering through. we've got to take a quick break. we have to remind you of what the white house said about scaramucci's profane phone calls last week versus today. and later, new reporting about new chief of staff john kelly's reaction to the firing of james comey. details on that ahead. each year sarah climbs 58,007 steps. that's the height of mount everest. because each day she chooses to take the stairs. at work, at home... even on the escalator. that can be hard on her lower body, so now she does it with dr. scholl's orthotics.
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as e-mails released by trump, junior showed, the meeting actually was an offer to give the trump team damaging information about hillary clinton as part of the russian government effort to help the trump campaign. back now with the panel. so david, this is pretty significant. "the new york times" had previously reported that trump advisers were meeting on their way back, i believe it was on air force one, sort of put their heads together to craft a statement and the president signed off about it. "the washington post," based on their source saying that the president himself dictated what the response was. and the response, what was so inadequate about it is it had to be corrected then in subsequent days. >> right. it's what prompted donald trump, jr. to release the e-mails. he told like three different versions of the story, because the initial response wasn't properly explaining everything that occurred in that meeting. so it raised all these questions. and the difference between signing off on something that's handed to you and something you
dictated, inserted yourself in and directed how this was going to be responded to, that seems to be a significant -- >> i think you put yourself in legal jeopardy by doing that. because if you really knew what occurred and you sign you hasig off on a statement incomplete at best, lawyers can ask the question, what were you covering up? why went you forthcoming about this meeting? so to allow the president to do that is a bad decision. >> there's a quote in this article from one of the president's advisers, saying this was unnecessary, said one of the president's advisers who like most of the other people interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity. "now someone can claim he, meaning the president, he's the one who attempted to mislead. somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn't want you to say the whole truth." and in the days after all of this developed, there was, i think it was from "the new york
times," reporting saying that donald trump, jr.'s attorneys or maybe it was our pamela brown reported that donald trump, jr.'s attorneys told her they wanted initially -- they were ready -- that donald trump, jr. was ready to come with a much more forthcoming statement in that initial statement, but that is not what happened. that seems to be now the implication. >> i mean, it seems like this is the same issue we've been discussing in the earlier part of the show, is you have the staff with the white house that doesn't always actually have the president's interests in mind. in other words, any other white house, the first thing they would do in a situation like this is basically insulate the president. in this white house, you have the president micromanaging the place, literally dictating the statements, and as gloria pointed out, now perhaps opening himself up to legal jeopardy.
a professional white house staff, whether this is -- would keep the president out of any kind of legal jeopardy like that. but as we've seen, the staff doesn't really -- they're not able to because president trump doesn't want them to. again, he's running things the way he ran the trump organization, which is, you know, reaching down into whatever issue he wants, and micromanaging it. up until this point, trump has been his own chief of staff. so i think the staff problems we're talking about are relate stod what's going on here. >> jeffrey, it's one thing for donald trump as a civilian to use a fake name and call up gossip reporters, pretending to be a spokesperson for donald trump and giving stories about women he's dating and stuff and puffing him up. it's one thing for him to do that as a civilian. it's another thing as president
of the united states, if this is true, according to the president's adviser here, to actually dictate a misleading statement for his son and his attorneys to give out. that's just not a wise -- shouldn't the president's people protect him from that? >> number one, the president's people should protect any president. number two, the very fact that this is being leaked by some anonymous adviser goes to general kelly's problem exactly. i mean, this is one of the things that he's got to put a stop to, because who knows whether this is accurate or not, and who knows who's talking? certainly, this is part of the problem. >> with all due respect to this conversation about leaking, we're talking about the people who are leaking the information but nobody criticizes the person from which that information was created. i mean, it's a calamity of errors. donald trump's legal team is failing him. donald trump's staff is failing him. why would you dictate a statement, not coordinate what you're going to dictate with your son's attorneys, and your
son, so that you know that when they put out the e-mails, at least what they put out matches your statements. >> but donald trump's legal team previously denied that the president or his staff had anything to do with the initial statement by donald trump, jr. they said that it was donald trump, jr. with his attorneys. >> and don't forget who was on this plane, anderson. jared kushner was on the plane, kan ivanka, i believe was on the plane. so this notion that the president dictated is interesting to me, because it sounds like a group effort, people huddling in the plane and figuring out what are we going to do with this problem? and don't forget, the president's lawyer, who was his lawyer at the time, mark kasowitz, was not on this flight. and he might have advised the president to stay away from this. >> and it wasn't just on the plane. the article says on the sidelines of the group of 20 summit, president trump's
advisers discussed this. >> they had the right instincts, which is let's put everything out so nothing is contradicted -- >> which is public relation 1gt 101. >> exactly. so i don't know -- >> but it highlights general kelly's problem. because you have all of these people, all of these proverbial cooks in the kitchen. it's hard to kind of make sure that your staff is in order when you have people like jared kushner or ivanka or whomever else able to circumvent that and get the president's ear. >> jared and ivanka are not going to leak to "the washington post." >> what, really? i don't know for a fact, but there's a lot of stories that always appear that jared or ivanka is trying to save the president from himself. and i don't know anybody else who would be leaking those other than -- usually when there's a
story out, you can sort of see who does this story benefit? and then you work backward -- >> or who does the story trash. if you think ivanka or jared would trash the president, i don't believe it. >> i have no idea. but somebody -- >> the leaking is -- the problem is not the leaking. the problem is the president of the united states. it's all cool to get caught up in the leaking and no one should say this or that. that happens in every single white house. the problem is the behavior of senior leadership and the behavior of the president. if you're dictating a statement that you know is false, there are moral issues -- >> if you want your doctor, you can keep your doctor. >> that illegal? >> it's not true. it was used to pass major legislation. it's not true. it was a lie. a deliberate lie. >> you go back to this all the time, if you want your doctor you can keep your doctor. >> because it's a lie.
>> you know what is not true? the fact that this meeting that donald trump, jr. had with paul manafort and other senior leaders was not about russian adoption. the only person who believes that is donald trump. >> well, the special counsel is going to get to the bottom of it. that's what we know. because now that this story is here -- >> by the way, this idea that it was about adoption is something that donald trump -- that president trump repeated later on at a press conference as being -- and it was something that shawn spicer repeated that there's no indication or evidence that it was anything about anything adoption. we have to take a break. we'll be right back. a fire truck. even a marching band. and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester, then you can get comfortable using preparation h. for any sort of discomfort in yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it. i wanti did my ancestrydna and where i came from.
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following the story that just broke tonight from "the washington post" saying that the president himself dictated donald trump, jr.'s misleading statement about that meeting with the russian lawyer at trump tower. this was the initial statement that came out from donald trump, jr. "the washington post" says the strategy from the president's advisers was to tell the truth, to be forthcoming. instead, according to "the washington post," the president reportedly intervened and dictated the statement himself, claiming the meeting was about russian adoption. back with the panel. joining us on the phone is jeffrey toobin. jeffrey, just from a legal stand point, is there anything that should concern the president about this story? >> absolutely. you know, it's been clear for some time that the mueller investigation is looking at the issue of obstruction of justice.
and if, in fact, the president put out an intentionally false story about his relationship with russia, you know, broadly defined in terms of his son's activity, that would be a piece of evidence that could support a charge of obstruction of justice. that alone is not enough to make a case. but if you were to combine it with firing james comey and the other parts of the investigation, it certainly would be a relevant piece of evidence. as i say, it's not enough on its own. it's certainly not a crime on its own. but it is evidence that will be of great interest to robert mueller. >> jeff, i want to pursue that with you more, but right now is one of the reporters who broke this story for "the washington post." so jeff, stick around and we'll talk to you as soon as we're done with tom. tom, thank you very much for joining us.
if you could just explain what you have learned. >> anderson, what we learned is that the president played a deeper and more complete role than we understood previously in crafting the response that was issued, the initial response that was issued after "the new york times" reported on that june 9 meeting in trump tower, where donald trump, jr. basically organized a meeting that included jared kushner and paul manafort and some others, that we later learn had been set up at the request by an e-mail of the -- someone connected possibly to the russian government. the first explanation is that the meeting was largely about adoption. an initial statement considered quite misleading. what we're reporting tonight in "the washington post" is that initial response was effectively dictated by the president over the objection or over warnings
oh of some of his advisers. >> in your report, it says on the sidelines of the group of 20 summit in germany, the president's advisers were wrestling with what kind of statement to draft. according to your reporting, they wanted to be forthcoming. >> that's what we learned from talking with multiple people involved in the process. in the early going, there were suggestions from lawyers and some others who were close to the president that -- more of a fulsome statement would be appropriate. some had seen these e-mails already, thinking that being transparent, more transparent at the outset, would avoid embarrassment later. >> was actually the correct decision to make, it would have avoided the president's son having to reissue statements and release the e-mails once they were about to be released by "the new york times." so the president himself, do you
know the scene of how it was? was it on air force one? and to what extent, you say the president dictated the statement, he sort of had somebody write down his remarks as to what the statement should be? >> the phrase "dictate" is one that my colleagues, phil rucker and ashley parker, who as you know, cover the white house full time, picked up from their sources. what we understand is that this was really a decision led by the president and that the statement that was ultimately issued is one that he decided and is often his way. he's not an e-mailler. he suggested the language in the statement that was ultimately used and released to "the new york times." and to a certain extent, had to be walked back or amplified upon in the coming days. >> it's interesting, it's not clear to me, the president's
attorneys i believe had previously said it was donald trump, jr. and donald trump jr.'s attorneys who had been the ones craft thing statement, that the president had nothing to do with it, and they denied "the new york times" story which said that on air force one this had been discussed with advisers and the president signed off on it. so the idea that the president was even more involved in that runs counter to what the president's own attorneys have said. are there any -- did you get any responses from the president's attorneys about the discrepancy with your reporting and past statements? >> we did. we sent quite a long list of questions to jay sekulow, who is one of the president's attorneys and is perhaps the most outspoken. he didn't answer our specific questions, but did issue one statement to us, which reads, apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misen formed, inaccurate and not
pertinent. we went back and asked again for specifics, but didn't receive anything, any guidance beyond that statement. >> the other question is, when did the president, at the time the president was crafting or dictating this statement, did he actually know what the real reason for the meeting was, had he had a conversation with donald trump, jr.? had donald trump, jr. been forth coming? or did the president know from way back, donald trump jr., he never -- or that the candidate, he never told his father about this meeting or that he learned that russia, according to the e-mail from goldstone, that russia was backing his father's campaign, donald trump was aware of that according to donald trump, jr. but it sounds like, i guess the question is, did donald trump know about the meeting, the real reason for the meeting when he was helping craft the statement?
>> so anderson, that's of course a key question and it's not one that we can answer with confidence. as you point out, the president and donald trump, jr. have indicated that the president was not fully informed. what our story tonight points out is that the question of how to respond to this report that was coming in "the new york times" last july was discussed on the sidelines of the g20 by top presidential aides and advisers. and as you recall, jared kushner and his wife, ivanka trump, were at the g20. so there were discussions about how to respond on the sidelines. what we hear from our sources is that the initial discussion was one of recommending openness and a full response, knowing that
these e-mails, that there were documents in a sense that lurked in the background that would tell a potentially more troublesome story. the conversation then moves on to air force one as the president and his party depart from hamburg, germany, site of the g20. and the discussion continues and from air force one, a decision is made that a much more limited statement about this meet willing occur, one that discusses it as a brief and not consequence shall discussion about adoption of russian children in the united states was issued. and that's issued in the afternoon, that saturday. and what we learned from our sources is that statement was dictated from the president and the story, the statement itself goes to "the new york times" and then is published that afternoon while air force one is still in the air on the way back to
andrews air force base. >> it's a fascinating and eye opening report from "the washington post." tom, i appreciate you being with us. thank you very much. up next, we'll have more on this. cnn reporting on chief of staff john kelly and what he did when president trump fired then acting fbi director james comey.
information about chief of staff john kelly's reaction when president trump fired then fbi director james comey. pam, what have you learned? >> reporter: incoming white house chief of staff john kelly was so upset with the way president donald trump handled the firing of fbi director james comey that he called comey shortly after he was terminated to say how angry he was, to express that to him over the phone, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the conversation between kelly and comey. and at the time, anderson, kelly was secretary of homeland security, and the sources say he was particularly upset by the way comey was treated, how it all went down by the fact that he learned -- that he had been fired on the news rather than being told or informed by the president. now, the call took place while comey was traveling back from los angeles to washington on may 9 after learning the news. comey declined to comment about the story. the white house and dhs did not comment either. >> i juunderstand that general
kelly was prepared to resign over it? >> reporter: he contemplated it. he considered resigning from his position, as secretary of homeland security, in a showing of solidarity with comey. we're told that comey responded telling him not to resign or do anything. and both sources we spoke with caution that it was unclear how serious kelly was about resigning, of course, as we know, that never happened and fast forward, now he's white house chief of staff. but for context, the sources said comey and kelly are not particularly close friends, but they had a deep mutual respect for each other. and in this case, kelly was simply upset, as one source put it, disgusted the way comey was treated by the president. >> pamela brown, thank you very much. joining me now for more on the comey firing is retired general hi call hayden. thank you for being with us. first of all, your reaction that
general kelly was upset about the way that director comey was fired? >> yeah, i know john kelly. that sounds exactly how i would think john kelly would respond to this. i don't know any of the fine print. i'm learning about this the same way you are, anderson. but it's very consistent with the character of the man that i know. >> the reporting tonight from "the washington post" that was just breaking that president trump actually dictated don junior's misleading statement. again, if true, how damning is it for the president? this is certainly something that bob mueller would be looking into. >> sure. i'll leave your legal experts to go ahead and say what that might mean to mueller's investigation. i was watching the breaking news in the green room here. the thought occurred to me, when fs a mi
i was a military attache in bulgaria, i got into a long discussion. and i said to my counterpart, what is truth to you? he looked me right in the eye and said, truth? truth is what serves the party. look, i know we're imperfect. sometimes we stray into gray areas, but i think most people like me, anderson, think a statement like that, truth is what serves the party belongs to that system, not to our system. so the news that you reported if true, is very disturbing. >> president trump expected to sign the sanctions bill approved by congress, hasn't signed it. in retaliation, putin threatened to cut 765 staff in russia, which is the most aggressive of russia since the end of the cold war, if i'm not mistaken.
>> it's a big deal, but it leaves an awful lot of questions unanswered. number one, putin decides to go ahead and respond, and by the way, that response should already have been baked into the obama administration's decision to go with sanctions and the congress's decision to go with sanctions. but putin acted after congress acted, but before the president signed the bill. but in a way, not setting up a direct confrontation between president putin and president trump. i found that a very interesting statement. >> so in a way giving, what, some wiggle room? >> i think so. look, if he waited until after president trump signed the bill, and by the way, anderson, let me give you an interesting question
here, what will president trump's signing statement look like when it comes to signing these sanctions? i think president putin deflected that question by going ahead and acting before that took place. and anderson, let me give you just one additional thought. i don't know within what strategic context this is all happening, within the point of view of the united states, you know what i would love to see, is someone in authority, the president, the vice president, whomever, from the white house, to simply say the russian-american relationship will be governed by the following, three, four, two, princip principles. i don't know what those are. >> that's kind of a frightening thought, the fact that you don't know what they are. >> look at the specific actions, anderson, i try to create a paradox to get them to come to a critical point and i don't have
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got a lot of big news, anthony scaramucci out of the white house after five days, but he was in the west wing for a total of 11 days, 11 very memorable days. >> the navy s.e.a.l.s will tell you when you want to eat an elephant, you got to eat it one bite at a time. >> there's been some speculation about me and reince, i just want to address that very quickly. >> reporter: anthony scaramucci about to discuss a very public battle brewing between him and former chief of staff reince me bus. >> we're a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up once in a while, bits normal for brothers.
>> reporter: anthony scaramucci allowed cameras back into the press briefing, with this one tweet, tv cameras are back on. then things got, well, weird. after the new yorker's ryan lizza broke the news that scaramucci and the president were dining in the white house, the new communications director unleashed a rant about reince priebus. on reince priebus, he is a para -- i'm not steve bannon, i'm not trying to suck my own blank. scaramucci finally telling lizza that he -- the vulgar headlines
made headlines everywhere. he was trying to turn the page on cnn's "new day." telling lizza that he had just spent time on the phone. >> i just spent time talking with the president on the phone who has given me his full support and blessing. >> scaramucci still trying to play tough to the leakers. >> i can tell you two fish that don't stink, and that's me and the president. so if reince wants to explain that's not a leaker, let him do that. >> reporter: the very next day, on friday, priebus was out of a job, it was also the day that the "new york post" wrote, scaramucci's wife filed for divorce. scaramucci then kept a low profapr profile over the weekend, seemingly unaware that he was on the chopping block, on day 11,
scaramucci showed up at work. he even showed up at the swearing in of the chief of staff, the same chief of staff demanding his ouster. >> we'll have more on hthe breaking news from "the washington post," it's reporting that the president himself dictated donald trump's misleading statement about that russian lawyer at trump tower.
another chaotic day at the white house, anthony scaramucci out as white house communications director, we'll get to that in this hour. but the official white house watch, a report about who actually was behind donald trump jr.'s initial misleading statement. "the washington post" is reporting that when the story of the meeting broke, the president's advisors wanted to break the truth about the meeting, in case the truth came out. the president it seemed wanted to go in another direction. the president saying that the meeting was about the adoption of russian children. that turned out to be false because as the emails he had to release because the "new york times" had them. the meeting was an offer to give the trump team