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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  August 1, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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>> it does. it's the first time i've ever seen where you don't have to ax zaj rate reality to create comedy. >> i don't know what loyalty is in that white house because if scaramucci wasn't loyal, i don't know who is. >> tune in tomorrow for more on that. cnn news room with poppy harlow and john berman pick up the ball. >> don't wait until tomorrow. stay tuned. we had a camera waiting to see this anthony scaramucci shows up to work. all right. guys, thanks so much. let's get to it. good morning everyone i'm poppy harlow. >> im john berman in h what would have been day 12 of the scaramucci error. we are in day one of can you take a memo era. a new controversy. the president accused of personally dictating a
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misleading statement of his son's meeting with a russian lawyer. a meeting set up under the promise of delivering information damaging to hillary clinton. the report from "the washington post" said the president orchestrated the first public explanation of that meeting. it raises questions about whether he did it to mislead the press and american people. >> so far this morning not a peep from the president on that story. no statements. not ta on twitter. is general kelly controlling the message from the west wing on day two? anthony scaramucci is discipline the new order the day. let's go to the white house where we find joe johns on a busy tuesday morning. the good morning. >> reporter: good morning, poppy. sources familiar with the thinking of the president's legal team have said many times that based on publicly available information there was no reason to think the president had any legal problems, even with the
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appointment of a special council. the question now is whether that could be changing on the heels of this washington post report suggests the president may have helped draft that misleading statement about the reasons for the meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian lawyer during the campaign. of course, not clear what the president knew or when he knew it. the now, the word from the president's lawyers suggests nothing much has changed. this is from jay sec ca low. the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not pert nent. meanwhile, the white house is hoping for an end to some of the palace intrigue with the entry now as chief of staff of general john kelly. if anything is clear, based on his firing of the communications
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director anthony scaramucci after only ten days on the job, it is that kelly expects communications to go within the chain of command and a certain amount of discipline here at the white house. it's already sent signals that all staff is expected to report to him. so attempts here to control what's going on at the white house, even though new communications director has not yet been named. >> all right. joe johns for us at the white house this morning. we want to talk more about "the washington post" story that donald trump, the president of the united states personally dictated the first response to the meeting. joining us now, we're going to rifle through questions. to be clear, it's not against the law to mislead the press or the american people. is it? >> no, it's not. presidents have been doing it through american history. this president, particularly
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seems to eat that publicity for lunch. i think by the end the day, this is going to be the story about a dad protecting his son and the president being a warm wonderful person. that's kind of how he spins these stories in h the opposite direction. >> but what's interesting is that it seem the like, according to "the washington post," at least jared kushner, team 2, if not illegal, it does sort of raise rob mueller's antenna. >> yes. the in the past when there had been obstruction of justice indictments, sometimes press conference statements have been cited as part of the pattern of deception. however, at this point, we know mueller's looking at everything but we don't have any firm evidence that he's focused on obstruction of justice by the president. >> but that is where this could fall in and put the president or those around him perhaps in legal jeopardy there.
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at the idea this is part of a pattern where you are trying to mislead people and perhaps mislead investigators. cnn is reporting for some time, paul, about this answer, about this explanation that the white house and lawyers provided and the president now personally dictated. is there are white house staffers who now feel that the special council is bearing down on them because of it? >> well i think they all should have something to be worried about. i think it has the effect of freezing and paralyzing activity in the west wing. i was particularly concerned, john when i saw the lawyer, really openly -- either openly lied and said the president didn't draft the statement, or, he was deceived by the president and of course when you're lying to your lawyer at that level, you're going to get yourself into trouble. at some point, i think the president will get himself into trouble. >> paul you're talking about when he said earlier this month to chuck todd, the president was not involved in drafting the statement, did not issue the statement.
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it came from donald trump junior. sort of secondary response to this washington post reporting this morning is apart from being of no consequence the characterizations are misinformed, inrack at and not pertinent. not in that statement is the word wrng. wrong. >> no. he accused the "new york times" of being totally inaccurate in reporting that the president new nothing about the drafting of the statement. so, in the end, it's amazing that they get away with these sort of general statements, but, the statement today says nothing about the accuracy or what he knew and when he knew it. >> thank you, counsellor. let's talk about all of this with the panel. alex burns, shelby holiday, and cnn's political analyst. so alex you just heard about the legal significance or perhaps it's not significant legally. we just don't know yet.
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what about the political significance? >> i think this is an extraordinarily dangerous moment for the white house becauser this' in the middle of this ongoing staff shake-up. this is the first time that the russia issue is really exploding like this at a moment when the white house doesn't necessarily have their traditional allies four square behind them. it's obviously an enormous challenge for general kelly. we haven't yet seen the president on twitter this morning. >> well he tweeted with the stock market. >> not about this subject. if that continues that would be real. >> there's the legal significance, political, what about the morgue aal significan here because it does seem as if the president's lawyer flat out made false statements. let's listen to him about the memo from before. >> the president did not draft the response. i do want to be clear the president was not involved in
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the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. i wasn't involved at all. nor was the president. the. >> hmm. >> "the washington post" says he was. the and if he was, and jay sekulow lied -- >> you can probably put it on a list of i like to use the word lies. other people say misstatements or fibs. we've seen in the first six months of this presidency, the problem right now, though, is that for the president's base, morally, they don't hear necessarily that we are seeing lies like this. the they think we as the main stream media are going after them. they think that the republican party, the establishment doesn't like donald trump so they're not going to support him. at some point, though, i do think there's going to be a deterioration when they realize that the president's not able to deliver on his promises because he can't deliver by himself. he needs the republican congress to help him and he does need the support of the american people. when the deterioration gets to
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the point where these people aren't seeing results, that's when he's in trouble. >> i also think the timing of the story is important. the you cannot ignore the fact high level people at the whitehouse left. i would imagine that general kelly goes into president trump's office today and says this is why we're cleaning things up. no more leaks or back stabbing. i think general kelly does have a tall task ahead of him but is known for his job description will be to manage people, set the strategy and execute the vision. these are things he's been doing in the military. i have just spoke to a general. he said it was difficult to go into a white house where he did not participate in the white house campaign. it's a tough nut to crack but he said if general kelly has the authority he has no doubt he'll be successful in sort of setting order, lining people up. leaks, everyone says, are the
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biggest problem. >> that could help with the messaging and leaking but couldn't change the fact if the president did dictate the story, that's sfrjust a legal issue. >> you know who this looks good for? h jarrod kushner. >> look how many times it says he and his team wanted to be fully transparent, et cetera, et cetera. >> sure. i think people can read into that. i think jared kushner and ivanka trump have been careful about protecting their reputations throughout the experience. when the president announces a policy that would be received poorly by their friends back in man matten you hear that they're not totally on board. i think one the things that you're hearing now is the to extent the responsible, that's also the degree the staff is not responsible for those mace ticks. a lot of those have said for
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sometime, specially folks who were intimately involved in that campaign. ultimately, the president is his own communications director at least up to this point. >> however, he is, including people in his white house and getting them involved in this mess. that could be legally problematically for a lot of people in his or bit named in this story. >> we've been hearing from weeks from staffers concerned. if not for dictation gate, as no one is call it this morning. >> you are. >> now they will. >> sort of not really right then. what are the big stories? the republican senator from arizona who wrote this essay basically call out himself and members of the republican party. unnerving silent in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abvocation in those -- >> couple things. one is a jeff flake is up for
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reelection in 2018 which is going to set up a battle between donald trump if he tries to back some to primary jeff flake. by doing so he will then basically go to war with mitch mcconnell and senate republicans which will go to the whole idea of deterioration. they have never got along. jeff flake doesn't like his immigration policy or how donald trump carries himself in offeic. that is no surprise. i do think this is a -- this is something that i think we should applaud actually jeff flake for doing, because it's very difficult to go out and criticize your own president when he's someone of your own party. and for jeff flake, cud doughs to him if he feels this way. >> it wasn't just him criticizing the president. the he -- he talks about answers he gave, answers we get far too many on this show, frankly, that are what he calls monumental dodges.
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saying i'm not going to spend all my time addressing the president's tweets. alex, is this opening a door for the party to be more vocal on these things or closing the door in the ability to say i'm not going to weigh in on the tweets? >> it's certainly setting a high bar. i was actually in arizona last week and one of the things republicans talk about is that he's just not a terribly well known figure in this state and sort of operated in the shadow of john mccain. as he's preparing to go run for reelection, to go out and write this book without telling his staff and be stake his reputation he's going to have to do an awful lot to live up to that. >> it also comes to the backdrop of congress increasingly standing up to the president as a whole. we saw them pass the sanctions bill. he does not want to sign it. he will probably have to. the if he doesn't, it will be
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overridden. you heard john mccain's speech on the floor the other night. they are standing up to the president more and more every day. not in a way that a lot of republicans would like to see. i've been to town halls where republicans are angry at the congressman and senator because they're not staptdsing up to the president as much as they could be chld. it's a trend. we will see more and more congressman standing up to the president. >> right. to the point of -- he does have cover though because john mccain is arguably the biggest critic we've seen of president trump so to speak. so he does have a little cover from john mccain in this. >> as of 9:14 this morning the president has not written anything about jeff flake. the that in and of itself may show just how much power general kelly has. thank you very much. we str new details about the rise and fall of anthony
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scaramucci and the just rise of general john kelly. how far does his power go? all the president's men and women answer to him but does the president's twitter? >> that's a great question. cnn also has exclusive details about a conversation between now chief of staff kelly, and fired fbi director james comey just after he was ousted. intriguing to say the least. a nation in turmoil opposition leaders pulled from their homes in venezuela. is it enough? when did you see the sign? when i needed to jumpstart sales. build attendance for an event. help people find their way. fastsigns designed new directional signage. and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com.
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when he heard that reince priebus laughed for the first time in 18 months. >> this is an a little awkward. his going away party can surf what's left of his welcome cake. >> can change congratulations to congratulator. funny men of late night having fun on part of anthony scaramucci's 11-day tenure as white house communications director. the president's new chief of
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staff sending quite a message during his first day -- first few hours really on the job. a source familiar with the shake-up tells them scaramucci was grandstanding and with the president you end up in ht cheap seats in center field when you do that. the. >> joining us, chris whiple. author of the gatekeepers, how the white house chiefs of staff -- you literally wrote the bock on chief of staff. but chris, let me ask you this. the first day on the job, john kelly forces out anthony scaramucci. everyone now answers to general john kelly. the how would you assess this first 24 hours? >> well that's an encouraging first step. it was really a no-brainer. a guy like scaramucci, walking cartoon, never should have been within 100 miles of a functioning white house. that's the minimal first stem. now comesle really hard part.
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the hard part is trying first of all to make sure everybody reports through him to donald trump, and secondly, and more importantly, he's got to try to find a way to discipline donald trump himself, which is needless to say, the tallest order manageable. he's got to try to find a way to harness this twitter account that makes it almost impossible for him to go earn effectively. it's a really tall challenge. >> trent, you said whenever a spokesman or woman becomes a story that's never good for a white house. however, our reporting is that after these multiple half an hour sort of rambling interviews scaramucci did last week, that the president actually liked it. was happy with it. then he went out to dinner with scaramucci over the weekend. so something changed. something soured him. is it all on kelly, do you think? >> well -- i'm sorry. >> no. i'm saying i think it's more
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than just general kelly. i think we've also learned that the president's daughter and his son-in-law also soured on scaramucci. le i think general kelly brought in that adult super vision that's necessary. while the president may have been entertained by scaramucci's comments he soon realized it was taking away from his ability to drive his agenda the other story talking about all day is russia. and until and unless the president gets out of the russia obsession he won't be able to reset his communications operation. they're trying to tax reform. they need to get back on this and get back on the legislative track and move away from ob setting about russia with everything. he's just feeding the beast. >> i will say this 678 so far thfar -- morning the president has no the said nick about the
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washington story. it may be coming. this is maybe part of the new john kelly era. the chris, you do note that generals, military officials in the past, it doesn't always necessarily work as a perfect fit for the political chief of staff role. why? >> no. the in fact the only press accidedent we have the last one was alexander hague. he lasted a little bit more than a month. so the press i -- kelly to do that would serve donald trump, serve the country, and serve his place in history. the and it would be very simple thing to do, perhaps. and that is to tell the staff, look, we are going to aggressively defend the president's agenda, advance it, but do something else too. we're going to tell the truth. i think that would be an enormous step in not only
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advancing the trump cause, and the cause of the country, but it would also, you know i think help the morale within the white house. >> truth is a powerful thing. chris, you've also said that this is mission impossible. right? for kelly? i mean why? >> look, it's the most dysfunctional white house in modern history. it's a white house that can't do anything right so far over six months, and of and as we all know the first six months are crucial. haven't been able to issue executive orders that are enforceab enforceable. will all of that suddenly change because you've got a general in h the white house? we'll see. >> you know, trent we just learned that the attorney general jeff sessions is going to hold some big news conference on friday about leaks on various investigations that may or may
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not be happening into leaks. in your experience, are leaks a cause or a symptom of a problem or white house aroriginal issue >> you cannot stop them from talking to reporters. the i think there's a difference about meetings and hearsay versus leaks of classified information. the i think that's what the attorney general should be focusing on. going back to the broader narrative here is that the white house whose been totally distracted by things that it claims it doesn't want coverage of and all it does is is feed that. the they've got to get back on a tract of policy, communication the and driving legislative agenda. it's only six months in. my colleague has written about chiefs of staff. we have to remember the clinton white house with just as much turmoil in their first six months. i remember a front page washington post story of the
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white house advance team taking marine one, the president's helicopter to congressional country club to play a rountd of golf. it's only six months in. the president still has three and a half years of his agenda. that's a lot of time. he can regain momentum, put in place a team that can get things done to make america great again. >> i have to say to coin a phrase that the clinton white house was a well-oiled machine kpar compared to the first six months of this administration. as far as leaks are concerned, the truth is leaks are inevitable. national security leaks are obviously unfortunate and can be danger out b dangerous but the way you minimize is pretty simple. you tell the truth and run a functional competent white house staff that engenders loyalty instead of fear. the you don't do it by strapping people to polygraphs. >> also for kids by the way. >> thi ichkk across the board.
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chris, thank you for the truly reminder. 22,000, never before seen dow territory. will we see it today? >> give us a sense what's going on before the opening bell. >> good morning, so the turmoil in washington not affecting stocks, seeing the dow come off a really strong month in july. another record high, 30thth year, that streak could continue today. could see the dow hit that milestone of 22,000. in fact all of the major indexes have a great month of july. dow is and p up -- credit strong orp rat earnings. beating expectations in the second quarter as the first. expected 11% rise in the second quarter after a 15% rise in the first. on the radar today, apple. apple reporting after the bell -- this is the most valuable company in the world.
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le really keeping an eye on apple bus they can move the markets depending on how its earnings report goes. not only in the dow, it's in the s & p 500. >> one of the president things he wrote is the media doesn't pay attention to the stock market. >> we do it every day on this show. the. >> i78' suthanks so much. >> still to come, the location of two venezuelan opposition leaders unknown this morning after they were ousted from their homes in the middle of the night. live report from ca ro
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caracas.. what a startling scene in venezuela, two men were taken from their hopes in the middle of the night. >> families posted these videos showing those opposition leaders being led away. they posted on social media and the reaction follows the weekend election that critics are call a sham. united states slapped sanctions on -- who overwhelmingly benefited. venezuelan president. what do we know? it any update on where these two leaders have been taken? >> reporter: poppy and john. the government said they were taken into custody because they violated their conditions for a house arrest. apparently there was some sort of condition that restricted and limited what kind of political message they could put out there. so we know now why the
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government is claiming and when you talk to the family of an anton antonio, the former of mayor of caracas who was taken from his home, they tell you they believe he is in prison. very dramatic video from the middle of the night when he was essentially taken out of his home by a group of officials. you can see him resisting, and you actually hear a man yelling for help as neighbors congregate around him to see what's going on and they start yelling dicta dictatorsh dictatorship. and he's not alone. the lopez also taken in the middle of the night. you can see surveillance video marked around 12:27 exactly. actually, and he is taken into cu custody as well. the government saying they is because they violated the conditions of their house arrest. when the families expressed
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themselves on social media, they're saying, look, this is the president. he is responsible. we are on the way to dictatorship. the something that the united states has backed just yesterday. we heard from president trump and the white house placing sanctions on the president himself saying if he does not change some things or excuse me, they are moving forward with those sanctions that could really impact the way he does international bankings and freezes his assets. he is one of several on that list of sanctions. yesterday when i spoke to officials they're considering placing sanctions on oil. which would would have an effect on the economy. >> deeply concerning what is happening right there. two opposition leaders now in custody. thank you very much. highly unusual and unprecedented. that's how the u.s. military is
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describing newly deticketected submarine activity in north korea. >> let's go to seoul south korea. the united states military's also saying there are some proof that north korea has conducted what they're call an ejection test. what is that and why is it significant? >> reporter: let me walk you through it. north korea obviously proved they're going to be relentless in the two tests. they speaks of the capability to attack by land. also the capability to attack by sea, the ejection test, is a point that happens on land but it's the test of a part of a system that's used in a missile launch from sea from a submarine. north korea has tested from submarines before but the u.s. intelligence analysis is that the programs remains in early stages. they say north korea's fleet of
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submarines numbering about 70 consists of a lot of old vessels and they wouldn't be capable of firing off a missile but development of that program, the ability to fire missiles reliably from submarines would give north korea the added advantage of more mobility and a greater element of unpredictability. so we are seeing signs they're working toward that. the this is the fourth test that's happened since the start of the year. you've seen on land 12 different b ballistic launches. you've got a lot of powers trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. washington saying this falls on beijing. beijing pushing back saying it involves a lot of people and a lot of countries need to be involved. where does this leave us now? it was just yesterday that president trump said from the white house that u.s. will handle it. no clarity at this point how exactly. >> thank you very much. we also now know when president
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trump will sign that russia sanctions bill that overwhelmingly passed last week sort of. vice president pence currently visiting several baltic states on a visit clearly designed to reassure nervous nato allies on russia. he will sign it "very soon." that news as we're getting one of the u.s. properties in moss cow seized. >>reporter: john, we're getting the first images now. showing the u.s. drawing down reducing its diplomatic presence in russia. as you say, the retaliation taking effect before president trump has signed that bill. this is a country house to the northwest of moscow. the one of two properties cease seized. we've seen trucks leaving this
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morning. the a clear sign the u.s. is complying with the order. as for the other elements, the cuts to the u.s. diplomatic staff in russia, by more than -- around 60%, that takes effect september 1st. we don't know exactly who will that affect. the u.s. gets to decide but the impression we're getting is they haven't done so yet. we don't know what kind of material impact that will have on the diplomatic mission here in russia. now, the president hasn't made any comment about this, president trump, in the four days since we have eknown these measures were happening, but the vice president mike pence has had plenty to say about this and he's saying it right an russia's doorstep. just wrapped up a trip to georgia. he was speaking there. he said the u.s. will not be deterred by these diplomatic actions from russia. he said that reaffirms its commitment to nato. condemns when he calls russia's
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de stabilizing actions in ukraine. and he supported ga's eventual -- something -- action and words from both sides today. and clearly tensions are rising, even as we wait for president trump to sign that sanctions bill. >> all right. thanks so much, claire. we have exclusive new details about an intriguing conversation. ufl' never guess who called james comey after he was fired from his fbi gig. at the new white house chief of staff, who apparently suggested that maybe he would quit himself. the average family's much loved deck: it stood up to 1 all-hands-on-deck summer, rain, hail, shine,
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exclusive new details about white house chief of staff john kelly. sources tell cnn he was so upset by how president trump handling the firing of comey, he called him and said he was considering
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resigning. >> is this is really interesting, this phone call after comey was fired. >> this dates back to may 9, when comey was fired. the day he was fired he was in los angeles speaking to fbi agents at a scheduled meeting, and it's when he first learns, watching the news in this room that he's in, that he's been fired. so they kind of get their act together and leave. while he's on his way back to washington, we've been told by at least two sources, that he gets a phone call from john kelly, who was the head of homeland security at the time basically expressing his outrage at what trump did and how he fired him. there was a lot of talk about how angry he was, the frustration he felt in the way the president fired comey, and then, during the conversation, we're told, that kelly even suggested, perhaps, quitting,
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resigning from the top job at the homeland security, and we're told comey kind of calmed him down saying this is not necessary. but the sense that everyone sort of who is familiar with this conversation was that kelly wanted to do this kind of insolidarity to show his support. >> what's interesting is the two are not particularly close. not best buds from back in the day. but a deep mutual respect. >> they developed this relationship working together. he's the fbi director, homeland security, worked together on terrorism cases. it did catch us by surprise. the and certainly now that he's the chief of staff over at the white house, it's have interesting. >> it begs the question does the new white house chief of staff not think that the various investigations into possible collusion with russia, does he no the think they are a witch hunt like his boss, the president of the united states
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does? >> certainly does. le it clearly believed what happened to comey here and how he was fired was wrong and he expressed it. >> fascinating. all right thank you so much for that report. got lost a little bit over the last 24 hours in the things going on. thank you. what are you doing? like 11 years? the summer olympics are coming back to the united states. it took a loot of wheeling and dealing to get this done. we'll explain, a live report from los angeles is next. d, not just being in the military, but at home. she thinks she's the boss. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates? it was an instant savings and i should've changed a long time ago. there's no point in looking elsewhere really. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life.
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you got money in the market? if you are not sure, you are going to like these numbers. dow close to 22,000, a record high for the market. just a little over 30 points shy. we will keep an eye on the market and the president talking a lot about it. >> it begs the question, how does the stock market go? >> don't have an answer on that one. >> big news this morning for the city of los angeles. is it enough to keep that city happy for 11 years? that's when the city will host the summer olympics. >> the plan is said to be finalized next month. it calls for paris to host 2024. paul joins us from the future host city of los angeles. so, are people dancing in the streets? >> reporter: they are dancing in the streets. someone asked me, isn't l.a. disappointed they didn't get 2024? the answer is no. it's like going to the jay-z or
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beyonce party. instead of going friday night, they are going saturday night. l.a. getting exactly what it wanted and also a $1.8 billion investment from the ioc to put into the sports programs. among those ecstatic, jen evans. she is thrilled to see the recreation sports programs in los angeles are going to benefit from the olympics coming here in 2028. take a listen. >> we are going to introduce people to sports they might never have heard of. we are going get kids in the water, in the gym, in the playing fields. there's nothing greater than that. for me, i think about it through the eyes of my own children who will be in their 20s at the time. still, the opportunities and excitement and the things that the sport does to bring people together is inprecedented.
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>> reporter: always interested in the markets, in '84, peter and lou, the dean of the universal empire, they took that surplus and wisely invested it. that's how los angeles benefited and still, this day, 150,000 underserved youth are going because of the surplus. >> i don't remember that from 1984, however, i am glad to see the reverberations of it after today. thank you very much. >> '84 was a success story for los angeles, but a lot of cities have not fared well since. a lot of cities didn't want it this time. >> think ashton kucher's "punked." ahead, how an e-mail prankster duked white house officials.
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this school year, it's okay to stumble. to struggle. to want to give up. but not to give in. to be scared. but not scared away. or hit the wrong note. and keep playing. you're learning resilience. tenacity. lessons you can't put a letter grade on. lessons i'm learning, too. here's to the moms who show their kids that every step -even a misstep- is a step forward.
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anyone who calls it a hobby doesn't understand. we know that a person's passion is what drives them. [ clapping ] and that's why every memorial we create is a true reflection of the individual. only a dignity memorial professional can celebrate a life like no other. find out how at sanfranciscodignity.com. so it only made sense to create a network that keeps up. introducing xfinity mobile. it combines america's largest, most reliable 4g lte
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with the most wifi hotspots nationwide. saving you money wherever you check your phone. yeah, even there. see how much you can save when you choose by the gig or unlimited. call, or go to xfinitymobile.com. xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poppy harlow. the president had nothing, nothing at all to do with the misleading statement about his son's meeting with the russian lawyer or so said his attorney, over and over again. now, the story from "the washington post" shows that is not the case at all. the president accused of dictating that misleading statement for his son for don jr. to obscure the true reason
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for the meeting with that russian attorney. stunning reports show political and legal concerns for this administration. >> so far this morning, no words from the president about this, either out loud, on paper or on social media. so, we know that the president's staff and family, with the new chief of staff, general john kelly. does the president's twitter account report to him as well? we are at the white house with the story of presidential dictation. very significant. >> reporter: yes, it is, john. "the washington post" reporting donald trump personally dictated this statement first given to "the new york times" about donald trump jr. meeting at trump tower with that russian lawyer. now, the word is they drafted the statement as they were flying back on air force one from the g-20 summit in germany. it was the president's idea to say the meeting was

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