tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 1, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
story. and beyond that, this is ongoing litigation and i would refer you to the actual parties involved, which aren't the white house. >> does it disturb you that you would entertain that kind of story. >> it doesn't bother me that the press secretary would take a meeting with somebody involved in the media about a story. none of that was disclosed. they had a conversation, and that was the end of it. you guys come to us with stories all day. i've taken meetings with the majority of the people in this room. i don't always know the nature of the story of which you're coming to talk to me about but it's my job to talk to you, to listen, and i'm responding. the president didn't have knowledge of this story. the white house didn't have any involvement in this story and beyond that, it's ongoing litigation that doesn't involve anybody in the building and so i'd refer you to the parties that it does. >> all right, brian stelter, you get this here. the president has no knowledge of this and the white house had no involvement despite what this lawsuit is alleging that was filed today. >> let's see in a week or two as more reporters do more digging if that answer holds up.
sarah huckabee sanders answers about "the washington post," about the flight, about the trump statement, did not hold up from a few weeks ago. we've heard new answers from her today. so now we're in the first day of this story about fox and the seth rich conspiracy theory. she's saying the president had no knowledge of the story ahead of time. and that directly contradicts what the lawsuit says. the lawsuit says the president incredibly read a draft of the fox story ahead of time. we'll see if there's more evidence in court for that assertion. but she is denying that and saying the white house wasn't involved. i think the meeting with spicer, though, is going to continue to earn scrutiny, and there are questions about whether others of the white house might have been involved as we. so she is saying no. she's issuing a denial. but credibility's always, at the end of the day, the issue here. the lack of credibility from the podium always the issue. >> wasn't sean spicer's first response that he couldn't speak to the president's interactions with anything related to this story? he was unaware. even though he had a meeting in his west wing office, but he was unaware of the president's involvement. so to hear sarah huckabee
sanders, i would be very interested to know the conversation she had with the president, how she got that information that sean spicer did not have at the time. >> she was also asked if the president believes this seth rich conspiracy theory, which, you know, is a little bit of an upsetting thing. she said she didn't know, wasn't sure whether he does or not. this is a really sad conspiracy theory about a real person who really was murdered in d.c. last year. his life and death has been exploited by people on the fever swamps of the internet who says it was all done by the democrats somehow and thus proves the russia collusion narrative completely false. the president has -- he has promoted other conspiracy theories in the past. and by leaving the door open today, sanders is sort of sending a signal to trump's loyal supporters that, hey, maybe he believes this seth rich conspiracy theory too. >> but you know, and ken and robbie, back over to you. have you ever heard of a white house being involved -- the allegation is that the white house and the president himself read the script of this fox news
story, which they knew to be, you know, erroneous before sending it out there. >> well, realize the fox reporter, mia zimmerman and the middle man, butowski, they're the main characters here. there's really -- i've read the whole lawsuit, and the only connection to the white house is through the butowski character, and wheeler. that's where the allegations about trump come from, and it's very clear if wheeler's verifiable quotes like from texts and e-mails, things that can be produced and shown to us, are accurate, that butowski was blowing smoke in all of this. and the beauty of a lawsuit is discovery will flesh all this out and we will learn this. and -- but it doesn't look like -- this was driven by the reporter who presumably will never be a reporter anywhere again, and butowski, who was funding this whole effort, and
they literally made up quotes for the plaintiff, rod wheeler, the investigator, which he never said, didn't review before the story went out, and didn't say. that's his position. and as he asserts in the 33 pages they filed recently, that they can prove all of the statements because they were all text-written or taped, which is very interesting, because he lives in maryland, and if you think all the way back to linda tripp, you may remember that taming pho taping phone calls in maryland is illegal, so that will be an interesting wrinkle as well. >> okay. robbie, what do you think? >> yeah, i mean, look, ken's a very experienced lawyer. i have nothing to bring on the legal end of this but i want to reinforce the point that was already made, just how sick this is. this was a young man who was in political work, not unlike myself and a lot of other people who do this, and he was killed, and his parents are grieving,
and just the fact that anyone, let alone the president of the united states, or anyone in the -- people who claim to be media would be doing this is just reprehensible and i think we should be supporting and grieving with this family and not -- just nobody should be engaged in this kind of behavior. it's sad. >> ken cuccinelli and robbie mook, thank you both so much. and just a reminder to all of you, we are moments away from seeing the president himself. he has invited a number of small business owners to the white house, so we'll take that live as soon as that begins there. but the big headline today from that white house briefing we just wrapped, the white house acknowledged the president was involved in crafting a misleading statement that his son released about his meeting with the russian lawyer in june of last year. don junior said it was primarily about russian adoptions, which means it was really about sanctions, but later, his own e-mails showed that he attended the meeting to learn more about
information against hillary clinton than could help his father's campaign. listen to how the press secretary over at the white house, sarah huckabee sanders, responded to the story that the "washington post" broke. >> the statement that don junior issued is true. there's no inaccuracy in the statement. the president weighed in as any father would based on the limited information that he had. this is all discussion, frankly, of no consequence. there was no follow-up. it was disclosed to the proper parties, which is how the new york times found out. the democrat want to use this as a pr stunt. the president, the american people, they voted america first, not russia first, and that's the focus of our administration. >> can you clarify the degree to which the president weighed in. >> he certainly didn't dictate but you know, he -- like i said, he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do. >> with me now, cnn contributor
emily jane fox, a writer for vanity fair, cnn chief political analy analyst gloria borger and nick atman, a partner at the dorsey and whitney law firm. as we've been discussing, the words from sarah huckabee sanders, even contradict what we've heard from the president himself. you know, he has admitted in speeches and in interviews since this air force one deckation or non-dictation, depending on who you're listening to, he has acknowledged that it was about also, in addition to adoptions, dirt on hillary clinton, opposition research, what politician wouldn't have done it, according to the president. so, how do you reconcile the two. >> and also you have the president's attorney out there saying the president had nothing to do with the writing of this statement. so you really have to ask the question, now that they've said "weighed in" as opposed to dictate, you can parse those words. you have to ask a couple of questions. one is, why would anyone, and you're the attorney here, why would anyone let the president of the united states get near
this? on the airplane. it seems to me that if the lawyers had actually been on board that airplane, they wouldn't have let the president get near it. even if he wanted to protect his son. it also seems to me that since attorneys for other people involved, don junior's attorney as we've reported, jared kushner's attorneys were ready to sort of be transparent, rip the band-aid off the whole thing, release a statement, why did this change? and the only -- the only answer we can have is the president. now, it's not against the law to lie to the press. but you are putting everyone now on that plane, as our colleague evan perez has reported, in a situation of some legal jeopardy and they're now going to have to be interviewed by the special counsel about this, am i right. >> it's even more than that. we can't just focus on this one statement that don junior did. it really comes down to looking at the jared kushner statement. if you put those two together, you realize the president of the
united states is orchestrating this entire defense. the lawyers have nothing to do with it. you could have put them on the plane, it wouldn't have made any difference. he would have thrown them off with parachutes. it really was all donald trump, and this is all part of his plan to obstruct this investigation. if you look at those two statements, they are very surgically drafted. you've got donald junior saying, well, i didn't know what was going on, it just happened to be about adoptions. of course donald trump had no idea that adoptions was just a code word for the sanctions. and with jared kushner, oh, i just walked in after the incriminating statements were made, and i left before anything happened and it was all in russian so i didn't know what was going on. >> so to your point, and emily, you cover jared and ivanka, jared kushner, according to "the washington post" reporting, and gloria said it, he was ready to be transparent and get out ahead of this story. once they started hearing rumbles that this was going to get out, it's best for them to come out and say, this is what happened. done. but that didn't end up
happening. >> well, i think it's very easy for people who told "the washington post" now to say that their strategy was to be transparent and to give a full throated admission of these e-mails, but that didn't happen at the time. and so what you've got was a statement saying, basically, to "the new york times" when this was first reported, we refer all questions to don junior about this meeting. and so they weren't actually fully transparent about until after it already broke and so it's a very convenient press strategy to say that's what we wanted to do. >> that may be. >> but if you're bob mueller. gloria's right, it's not illegal to give a misstatement to the press or to we, the people. but if you're bbl bob mueller, special counsel, what are you sniffing around for. >> these are statements that were made to congress by jared kushner. >> do we know that. >> do you think that he made some different statement than was out there in the public? we saw the public statement provided to the committee. it's basically the same surgical
story that donald trump put together. the same story that donald junior, i'm sure, gave or is going to give in testimony. all of that can be charged as perjury. what they didn't count on was the fact that they don't know all the facts. donald trump doesn't have all of the e-mails. he doesn't know all of the evidence that can be gathered here. and surely, but slowly, just like it did with those june -- that june 4 e-mails, we're leading up to the june 9 meeting, there's going to be evidence coming out, basically putting the lie to these statements, and that is why donald trump so desperately wants to put the end to this mueller investigation, which is why everything he's done has been geared towards stopping that investigation. >> well, and it brings you back to the question of when did the president know about that -- >> trump tower meeting. >> the e-mail and the trump tower meeting and you know, the -- what we've heard is that
of course he didn't know about it until it was done and over, et cetera, that he did not know about the e-mail, that don junior never told his father that these people were coming in, and again, you know, mueller has to peel this onion. he's got to really get to the core, and i -- you know, i think he will. i think he will do that. but now, everybody who was in the back of that plane trying -- or the front of that plane, wherever it was, trying to come up with this statement which, as sarah huckabee sanders said, was truthful, insofar as it went, right? it didn't go very far. so now everybody is in some jeopardy. everybody's got to lawyer up. everybody's got to figure out thousa how to deal with the special counsel because he's got another area to pursue. >> this is intrafamily issues too, right? i mean, this is protecting -- what was the line from sarah huckabee sanders? he did what any father would do and maybe trying to -- i'm putting words in her mouth --
but maybe trying to protect his son. loyalty is everything within the trump family. >> that is true but every father is not also the president of the united states who is under investigation by special counsel. i think that this is the interesting thing. when you have a senior adviser to the president who is also a son-in-law, when you have an adviser to the campaign who is also a son, this is when you get into trouble. it was jared kushner's lawyers who discovered these e-mails we've been told, and. they then do not tell the president in order to protect him legally, but then they have to have a conversation with don junior, saying these e-mails exist. it's family business is usual territory for the trumps and for the kushners as well, but politics is not. and so this is when things get a little tricky. >> or did jared let him know in an obtuse way that there was something that had been discovered but maybe not discussed. it is why there are nepotism laws. >> actually, forgive me, speaking of, here's the president. >> this magnificent house known as the white house.
we're pleased to welcome members of congress and so many incredible entrepreneurs to the white house to celebrate the work of the small business administration as it enters its, believe it or not, 65th year. i'd like to just say that senator jim risch is here. jim, thank you very much. marco rubio. a strong competitor. i will tell you that. senator joni ernst, who's been my friend for a long time now, and we appreciate you being here, joni. and they love you in iowa, don't they. steve, where's steve? and mike kelly. good, mike, thank you very much for being here, all of you. we really appreciate it. i want to thank administrator linda mcman for doing a tremendous job helping small businesses all across our country. she has been incredible. known her for a long time, and
her husband and herself built an incredible business. she's determined to transform america and american dreams into reality. we also want to thank my daughter, ivanka, for her incredible work on behalf of small businesses and women entrepreneurs. your story -- and this is really a fact and i've read some of these stories, but they demonstrate what it takes to succeed. you thrive because you found something that you love to do, pursued it with all of your heart, and never, ever gave up. so important. you just don't give up. america's on the verge of a golden age for small businesses. we're ending job-killing regulation. these folks know that very well, and we're really ending it at a record pace, i'll tell you. right?
we're eliminating the tremendous, the massive, restrictions on american energy and numbers are going to be released next week that are going to be earth-shattering as to what we're doing with energy and the amounts of energy we're producing. far greater than ever before. and pursuing bold tax cuts so that our companies are thrive, compete, and grow. thank you. our stock market has reached an all-time high today, all-time high. think of it. nobody ever talks about it. they don't talk about it. i keep telling general kelly, general, come on, let's go, you're chief of staff. they don't talk about the
all-time high stock market. and they don't talk about another factor, that unemployment just hit a 16-year low. they don't want to talk about it. and i think, to me, maybe the biggest is that gdp for the quarter just released at 2.6%. so, that's so much higher than anticipated. remember i was saying we're going to try and hit 3% sometime over the next period of two years. well, 2.6% is getting closer, gary, closer than we thought and a lot faster than we thought, but don't worry about the 3%. we're going to be higher than 3% in the not too distant future too. so we're setting economic records and we're very proud of it, and that's, you know, very big thing, and the jobs are coming pooring back, factories
are coming pouring back into our country. into our country. jobs are coming back. you saw the foxconn last week. they're going to spend $10 billion but he is one of the great businessmen of our time and i think the number is going to be $30 million. so he told me, off the record, he thinks he may go $30 billion. think of this. he may go $30 billion investment, but he told me that off the record so i promised i wouldn't tell anybody. that's called big business, by the way. okay? that's big business. you'll be big business. you're going to start off small, but you're going to be big like that. he started off small. now he's about the biggest. but i want to thank foxconn and the group that's spending a tremendous amount of money in wisconsin and other places, and they have been fantastic. together, we're unleashing a new era of american prosperity. perhaps like we've never seen before, and you see it day by day.
you don't hear too much from the media, but i think the media's going to actually be forced to cover it pretty soon. they're going to have no choice. i'm very inspired to be in the company of such motivated entrepreneurs, people that i really respect, because i know what it takes. i've been there. and believe me, i know what it takes. you're the dreamers and the innovators who are powering us into the future. that's exactly what you are. and my administration will be there with you every single step of the way, and so will these people right here. every single step of the way. so thank you. and thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much, everybody. [ applause ]
>> all right, so the president there inviting small business owners. this is american dream week at the white house. you know, essentially saying small business is what makes america great. you saw his daughter and senior adviser ivanka trump standing behind him along with linda mcmahon, the administrator of the small business administration and so as we don't often see ivanka trump and she will speak as part of this panel momentarily, emily to, you. some people, she tweeted yesterday in the news, day one, the chief of staff, general kelly, nice to serve alongside him and critics are saying, is it alongside? is it under? everyone's reading in everything. what's she been up to? >> well, i think as one white house official told me yesterday, she and her husband, jared kushner, are very happy that general kelly is there because they think he can restore some professionalism to the west wing. i think that she says she wants to do these kinds of things, to talk to small business owners, to focus on working women, small
business owners, entrepreneurs and having a more professionalized west wing. the logic would follow, would let them do that, do the things that they wanted to do when they move to washington, whether or not that will happen, i think we should all stay tuned to see. >> okay. emily and gloria and nick, thank you so much. all of you, stick around because the white house is responding to the explosive allegations that the white house worked with fox news to push out the conspiracy about the dnc staffer. that's mom taking care of business. but who takes care of mom? office depot/office max. this week, filler paper just one cent with five dollar minimum purchase. ♪taking care of business. hey, i'm the internet! i know a bunch of people who would love that.
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the white house is now squarely in the middle of a lawsuit involving explosive allegations that officials worked with fox news to peddle the conspiracy over a murdered dnc staffer. this is the whole seth rich story, the fox news in the end had to retract. according to a new lawsuit filed by the fox contributor, a wealthy trump supporter worked with fox news and the white house to push this bogus claim that rich's death in the summer of last year may have been connected to the leak of the dnc e-mails and wikileaks. why? well, the lawsuit claims it was to, quote, help lift the cloud of the russia investigation.
now, to be clear, the seth rich dnc murder conspiracy has been entirely debunked. there is zero truth to this whatsoever. however, fox news host sean hannity continued to push the conspiracy on the network and then later on his own radio show without any proof. sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this at the briefing just a few moments ago. this was her response. >> the president had no knowledge of the story and it's completely untrue that he or the white house involvement in this story. and beyond that, this is ongoing litigation, and i'd refer you to the actual parties involved, which aren't the white house. >> does it disturb you, does it say anything about this white house that you would entertain that kind of story. >> it doesn't bother me that the press secretary would take a meeting with somebody involved in the media about a story. none of that was disclosed. they had a conversation, and that was the end of it. you guys come to us with stories all day. i've taken meetings with the majority of the people in this room. i don't always know the nature of the story of which you're
coming to talk to me about but it's my job to talk to you and listen and i'm responding. the president didn't have knowledge of the story. the white house didn't have any involvement in the story, and beyond that, it's ongoing litigation that doesn't involve anybody in the building and so i'd refer you to the parties that it does. >> gloria and nick are back with me along with brian stelter, our senior media correspondent. tell me more about this. >> rod wheeler, a contributor on fox news for a long time, also a private investigator, he alleges defamation of character. he says fox news misquoted him when covering this seth rich conspiracy theory. they published a story in mid-may that was later retracted. it was a story that lent credence to the theory that maybe it wasn't the russians that hacked into the dnc and stole the e-mails, maybe it was seth rich, this kid who ended up dead on the street last summer. what's sick about this is we're talking about a real person that was gunned down, it is an unsolved murder and the family's pain has been exploited by these
conspiracy theorists. there's a lot in the lawsuit we don't know but we know sean spicer met with rod wheeler and the guy, the donor who was bankrolling this investigation. that's what sarah huckabee sanders was addressing this afternoon. spicer and sanders were saying this is no big deal but it means this conspiracy theory was right inside the west wing, that at least it was being talked about right inside the west wing. they say the president knew nothing about it and had no involvement in the story but we'll see how -- if this lawsuit progresses, if we learn more about what happened. >> you've read through the details of the story. >> i've looked at the details on this, and this is a key piece of what amounts to this russian collusion with the trump campaign. it actually goes back to the e-mails that were released on june 4 and about the donald trump jr. meeting on june 9 because if you recall, on that june 4 meeting, there was a promise of a whole bunch of russian documents that would be compromising on hillary clinton. for some reason, the press has seemed to drop this one and people have forgotten about it.
but it's absolutely critical, because this came at a time two months after we know that the dnc was hacked and that documents were taken out by the russians from the democratic national committee. i would bet, if i were a prosecutor, my money would be that the documents that were going to be produced and were produced at that june 9 meeting were the documents that were stolen from the democratic national committee. and i'd even go further to say that donald trump knew about it, because on june 7, when he made a speech at the end of the new jersey primary, when he got off the teleprompter and said, i'm going to have all kinds of -- to paraphrase -- all kinds of goodies for you on hillary clinton next monday at a press conference that never occurred. >> but you're connecting a lot of dots that we're not sure. >> we're not there yet. >> one thing -- >> i'll give you a couple -- >> wait a minute. one thing we don't know is that the documents exist or were left after that meeting. i mean, we only know don
junior's story about that meeting, jared kushner's story about that meeting. i go back again to the need for the special counsel, to find out about what was left, if anything, at that meeting, so you're presuming something that we don't really know. >> but wait a minute. donald junior, the e-mail said that he was going to send the documents to donald trump's secretary but staaid instead i' going to bring them to you personally. do you think they would have admitted? and i'll connect a couple more dots. you have roger stone, the key operative for the trump campaign. who was he doing talking to gucifer and then two weeks later, just before the democratic convention takes place, all of these documents show up on wikileaks after roger stone admits that he had a conversation with julian assange. >> can i connect it back to the lawsuit. >> let me just end this by saying, you know, to me, the overarching question, these are just allegations out of this
lawsuit today, which takes it to a whole other level as to whether or not the president and the white house actually touched this fox news story, you know, saw the proof, and then pushed it out, knowing it was false. that's my biggest question. >> it's because this issue is damning. it's because these details are damning. and what we don't know is damning. the white house needs a counternarrative and what happened in may, when this crazy fox story came out, is that they had a counternarrative. seth rich leaked to wikileaks. it was a convenient counternarrative for the white house and the question is whether they wanted fox to be putting it out at the time and there needs to be more digging, more reporting. >> crazy fox story indeed. thank you. next, republican senator jeff flake slams his own party for being in denial about the president. we'll talk about whether he's put his money where his mouth is when it comes to voting. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. republican senator jeff flake accusing his own party, in his words, of being in denial about president donald trump, in a book out today, "conscience of a conservative" senator flake is particularly hard on his fellow conservatives, accusing them of clinching the rise of trump. quoting here from the senator, "we created him, and now we're rationalizing him. when will it stop." senator flake further blames his own party for not speaking out, writing that "unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication and those in
positions of leadership bear particular responsibility." so let's talk about this with cnn senior washington correspondent brianna and bran with us from our phoenix affiliate, kpnx, where he hosts a political program called "sunday kwsquareoff." let me begin with you, how this is playing t who, the whole republicans in denial line among republicans on capitol hill. >> reporter: especially because jeff flake had some choice words for his leaders. he basically accused them of not being a proper check and balance against president trump. the senate republicans and senate democrats just had their lunches so i asked the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, about this and he said, you know, he hasn't read the book so he's not going to comment on it but he doesn't want to comment on it after what's been a rough week, commenting on the criticism isn't something that he wants to do but then senator john thune, said this is a party with a lot of opinions, but i also think there's a little bit of frustration with some
republicans, brooke, because they feel like, yes, there was some criticism but he's kind of burning the house down with the criticism. >> well, yes, and we know senator flake questioned his own, as you point out, not only party leadership but the party's own values during a tv appearance this morning. here he was. >> i'm concerned that the type of policies going forward, protectionism, isolationism, are really not conservative values. and i am concerned about where the party goes if we embrace those kind of principles but also being a conservative means something in terms of demeanor and comportment. >> abrahhe's up for reelection year, talking to challengers, the trump administration has already courted a number of potential challengers to face him. how's this playing in arizona? >> it seems like jeff flake just can't win this argument in arizona. on the left, they're saying, you know, you go, jeff, because they like the criticism of trump, but
then they look at his voting record, which has been largely with trump, and especially last week when he voted four times in support of the obamacare repeal, in particular the skinny repeal, which made a mockery of the whole process he rips in the book, and he voted for that while the book was shipping. on the right, jeff flake has always had a problem with the base, the tea party base. he has that problem to this day. this does not make it any better. in fact, it probably makes it worse by ripping the president. >> i talked to one of his potential challengers who was a little coy with me on exactly what she's up to or what the white house said to her, but brahm, are these challengers making headway against him? >> no. the challenger you spoke to, former state senator kelly ward, she's a doctor, she ran against john mccain just, like, less than a year ago, lost to him in 2016. gave him a good run. mccain got just over 50% of the vote in that primary. so she gave him a good run.
but didn't seem to be a very effective statewide candidate if it ever came to that in the general election. this time, again, using the same playbook, firing up the republican base, shifting to trump, i got to tell you, i don't put much stock in what they're doing. i don't think any of the candidates they've talk about, a, will either run or b, have much of a chance of defeating jeff flake, even given his problems with the republican base. >> we'll see. that's a race we'll watch closely for sure. but briana, let's get to this video. this is slick stuff coming out of the house speaker's office on twitter today. roll it in case you haven't seen it. ♪ >> i had the opportunity to travel down to texas, to go to the rio grande valley and spend time with our border patrol. when you see what they're up against, it really gives you
even greater respect for what they do. they clearly need more tools and more support to do their jobs effectively. that's why we're going to get this done this week. >> what's this about? >> slow-mo, paul ryan on a horse. that video has everything. >> a helicopter. aviators. >> so, this is about, actually, i was talking to one of paul ryan's aides today, and this is about drawing some attention to something the past last week which was an appropriations bill that included money for the wall. and very few people, i think, know about that, because there's been so much coming out of the white house that is a, quite frankly, a distraction to everything happens here on capitol hill. it seems to win out getting the attention, and you don't always see what's going on here on capitol hill. so, that was something certainly that the speaker's office wanted to draw some attention to. they have a lot of republicans in the house who this is a priority for them, building the wall, which of course was one of
the main promises, if not the main promise of president trump, and so that's really what this was about. but some of the, i guess, aesthetic or artistic choices there, i can't really speak to that, brooke. >> i guess we can online. thank you. appreciate both of you. let's move on. the drama surrounding the now-former communications director, anthony scaramucci, is now hitting his finances. scaramucci will now have to pay millions of dollars in taxes. he hoped would be delayed by his now no longer white house gig. with me now, christina, "cnn money" correspondent and linette lopez. has covered scaramucci for a couple years now, but christina, first o you on your reporting, how many millions are we talking about here? >> well, brooke, if he doesn't get another government job, scaramucci stands to lose deferring millions in taxes. we don't have the exact number
but we're pretty comfortable reporting millions. here's the deal. scaramucci is in the process of selling his investment firm, skybridge. now in some cases, the government gives incoming officials special permission to defer taxes when they sell assets or investments to avoid potential conflicts of interest between their job and their financial holdings. now, before his ouster, scaramucci's attorney indicated scaramucci was going to apply for this special permission if he hadn't done so already. now, the point is moot. his attorney telling me today that he will pay the full tax at the close of the sale, the sale of the firm is not closed yet, brooke, it's still under regulatory review. >> what happens if he finds another job? can he still qualify for the tax benefit? >> it's a great question, and it's controversial. it's not clear, but one thing is clear, scaramucci was well aware of the benefits associated with delaying a payment in taxes. actually, jeff zeleny, our colleague, reported last night
that people close to scaramucci says he talked about this tax deferral quite frequently and optically, at this point, though, even if he lands another job, ethics experts say it will be tough for him to apply for tax deferral with a new job because it might come across like he's abusing the program and just trying to get a job to avoid paying the taxes right now. >> and linette, turning to you, you've covered scaramucci for a couple years, his investments, potential conflicts of interest, you know, what do you make of all this. >> i know that people close to scaramucci were talking about him keeping a job in the white house, you know, remember that he was at the export/import bank before he was a communications director, so i think that there was some confusion about whether or not he was going to be able to keep that position and that would have qualified him for this certificate. i think it just kind of shows you how quickly he was just blown out of the trump universe. because people close to him were talking to him very recently,
maybe even up to 12 hours ago, and he seemed pretty confident that he would be able to stay in the administration, and sarah huckabee sanders kept that kind of open-ended at the press conference yesterday, said -- she said he has no position at this moment. but you know, moments slip away pretty quickly right now. >> what's the mooch up to today? have we had a mooch spotting? >> i think there was a mooch spotting, i think, tmz grabbed it. they're pretty good at that kind of stuff. i know that from people close to him, thaet he wants to keep a lw profile and he's focused on closing this deal. there are a lot of regulatory issues, not just on the u.s. side, but also on the chinese side. you know, hna has gotten in trouble from the chinese government. president xi jinping calls its a white rhino, which are these massive conglomerates that went on an international buying spree, buying up assets all over the world and now that the chinese government is concerned about keeping money inside the
economy, they're talking about having some of these companies sell assets and they're making sure that every single dollar that goes out of china and into an american bank account for a deal like this, like the skybridge deal, is actually going to skybridge or going to whoever's on the other side of that deal and doesn't go into a bank account in the cayman islands or, you know, they just want to make -- they want to batten down the hatches in china and so there's difficulties on both sides of this issue. >> we're watching to see where he lands and what happens to all that millions of dollars. >> wishing him luck. >> linette, thank you. chris tee yeah with t christina, thank you as well. general john kelly lost his own son who died fighting the war in afghanistan. i'll speak live with the purple heart recipient who actually served under general kelly's son, lieutenant kelly, and how he remembers the man and his father next. binders. done. super-cool notebooks. done. that's mom taking care of business. but who takes care of mom? office depot/office max. this week, filler paper just one cent with
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he is the new face running the west wing, a retired general kelly is the most senior military officer to lose a son or a daughter in afghanistan. first lieutenant robert kelly killed in combat, stepping on a land mine in 2010. general kelly visiting arlington back in may there. this was four days after losing his son. he did not mention his loss once. instead really focusing on honoring the lives of two other marines. >> the pipe explodes, the camera
goes blank. six seconds, not enough time. the country gets flagged in light of their deaths. two very brave young men doing their duty into eternity. that's the kind of people who watch all over the world for us this afternoon. >> in fact, general kelly really speaks about his son. here is one time he broke his silence. >> he's the finest man i ever knew. >> why? >> just is. finest guy. wonderful guy. wonderful husband, wonderful son, wonderful brother. brave beyond all get-out. his men still correspond with us. they still mourn him as we do. >> with me now, u.s. marine corporal sebastian gallegos who served with lieutenant kelly in afghanistan and is the recipient of a purple heart.
sebastian, thank you so much for joining me and thank you just for your service to this great country. >> thank you, ma'am. >> i think to understand maybe who general kelly is, let me just begin by asking you about his son, lieutenant kelly, under whom you served. at that time his dad was a three-star general. you told me when we talked earlier on the phone today that he never used that to his advantage. tell me about that, and tell me why you think he didn't. >> i think that lieutenant kelly's legacy stands independent of who his father was, and he never wanted to rely highways father's clout in the marine corps, at the time being a very respected general. lieutenant kelly exhibited everything about what you would want in a leader, and he never wanted to rely on his father's name to help him succeed in the marine corps. he had served four years prior to becoming an officer as -- in
fallujah as an infantry marine before he became a mustang and became an officer in the marine corps. so his legacy stands on its own. >> it was november of 2010 when he was killed after stepping on a land mine while leading a platoon of marines in southern afghanistan, killed instantly. so that makes, as we mentioned, general kelly is the highest ranking member of the military to lose a son or daughter in afghanistan. sebastian, how do you think that changes someone, especially as a leader? >> well, you know, the dichotomous relationship between him being a gold star family member and a general grade officer is something he couldn't have separated if he wanted to, and he would never ask anyone to do anything that he himself had not offered. what he and his family have given this country is more than
anyone could ever hope to offer for us. >> it was general kelly who bestowed the purple heart on you in texas some years ago, and i know when we spoke, you initially wanted to decline it, from what i understand. you just couldn't fathom expecting an award for an event that took your son's life is part of the reason, but you finally agreed because of your respect for his son, lieutenant kelly. can you just tell me about the moments when you finally were face to face with the general? >> well, in the marine corps, you have to accept -- you don't have to accept -- you don't have to have a ceremony for the medal, it will just hit your paperwork. there wasn't a significant amount of officers i had respect for. because lieutenant kelly passed away, i didn't feel the need for it. but general kelly, the place he holds in my heart for his son and his family was -- you know, when he asked me to accept it from him, even though a higher
ranking general of the marine corps was there to give it to me, it was so soon after his son passed away, and to my understanding, his son got in contact with him to let him know to take care of his marines who were getting hurt and sent back stateside so fast because general kelly and his son alike both would always put their men before anybody else, and in front of that only country. >> and now here we are, general kelly day two on the job as the white house chief of staff. how do you think he will do? you made the point to me on the phone that this is someone who has never been political. >> yeah. what i would want to urge people to understand is not to conflate any ideas of any administration with him. he's never been a partisan political figure and should not be seen as such.
no matter which way you lean, the kind of command for respect and discipline that his presence connotes will no doubt elevate any office, let alone any subordinates that he's in charge of. if anybody can bring discipline to that office, there is nobody more qualified and nobody more willing to give themselves to service of this country than general kelly and his family. >> corporal sebastian gallegos, thank you so much again for serving this country and for providing this voice for all of us to learn a little bit more about this four-star general. thank you so much. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. just in to cnn, the head of the dea sending an e-mail to his entire staff telling them to essentially ignore what president trump said about arresting suspects to rough them up. those details are next.
first here on cnn, the head of the dea has instructed his staff to ignore comments president trump made about police roughing up suspects. first of all what was said to police officers this week in new york. >> when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddywagon, you just see them thrown in, rough. i said, please don't be too nice. >> so in response to that, the acting administrator of the drug enforcement agency sent an e-mail to all of his agents that reads, in part, in writing to you, i seek to advance no
political, partisan or personal agenda nor do i believe that a special agent or task force officer of the dea would mistreat a defendant. i know that you would not, so why do i write? i write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles that we as law enforcement professionals adhere. i write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. that's what law enforcers do. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. amazing admission from the white house just now. president trump, quote, weighed in on that misleading statement from donald trump jr. about his meeting with the russians. "the lead" starts right now. amid all that, one lawmaker's searing indictment of his own party, speaking his own mind railing against president trump saying his gop colleagues are in denial, but will senator flake's words lead to any action? he will join us at this