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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 20, 2017 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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we thank you so much for keeping us company on sunday mornings. we always appreciate having you here. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. another week, another white house shakeup. on day 211, bannon out. a country divided and a commander in chief under fire. >> i've condemned many different groups but not all of those people were neo nazis, believe me. >> as the president's own party pushes back. >> the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be
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successful. >> the president heads to arizona and potentially takes on a new senate foe. "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm nia malika henderson, filling in for john king. thank you for sharing your sunday with us. president donald trump is looking to turn the page after a phro frone phroenetic week that led to steve bannon leaving the white house. thousands of protesters marching in boston. president trump weighed in with three different takes on the protest as the afternoon went by. he first tweeted at 3:22 pm.
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looks like many anti-police agitators in boston. police are looking smart. thank you. another tweet at 3:24. sometimes you need protests in order to heal and we will heal and be stronger than ever before. then another tweet. i want to applaud the many protesters in boston speaking out against bigotry and hate. our country will soon come together as well. trump also used his favorite medium to talk about the latest white house shakeup. he waited almost 24 hours after the news broke to say this about steve bannon. i want to thank steve bannon for his service. he came to the campaign during my run against hillary clinton. it was great. and then this. steve bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at breitbart news. maybe even better than before. fake news needs the competition. but this picture from january 28th says it all, president
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trump surrounded by his senior staff, with michael flynn now gown, sean spicer also out, chief of staff reince priebus resigned and most recently chief strategist steve bannon fired. with us, michael warren of the weekly standard, julie pace, the l.a. times' jackie combs and michael vendor. another week and another white house staffer calls it quits. the key champion of the president's populous movement. he indicated he didn't know what was going to happen between him and mr. bannon even though sources tell cnn his ouster had been in the works for a number of -- for two weeks. >> look, i like mr. bannon. he's a friend of mine. but he came on very late. you know that. i like him. he's a good man. he is not a racist.
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i can tell you. that. he's a good person. he actually get a very unfair press in that regard. we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. but he's a good person and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. >> mr. warren, i'll go to you on this one. in many ways the way that steve bannon has gone out, all of these interviews making it about himself, really, i think is exhibit a for many people of why he's no longer in the white house. >> that's right. this is a new regime. at least within the staff of john kelly. a lot of the reasons that john kelly ousted anthony scaramucci, probably the same that ousted steve bannon. you remember the interview that he gave in which he said many, many different things, including criticizing members of the administration, saying he was going to sort of win some of these personnel battles or what have you.
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if we look at that, more so than anything else, is a big reason why bannon is not there anymore. if you look at what the president is saying, he doesn't really want to say he doesn't want bannon in his administration anymore. this is a perfect example of how the president sort of keeps his distance from any of that nasty business of firing people or having to move on for people who have just become a problem for his administration. >> leave it to some other people. in this case, kelly. julie, one of the things mr. bannon talked to your outlet, "the weekly standard" and had a pretty bold statement. he said friday, the trump presidency that we fought for and won is over. we still have a huge movement and we will make something of this trump presidency. but that presidency is over. sta startling words from bannon. what did he mean and why did he say it?
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>> it hits on a couple of things that people in the white house have been worried about as discussions have gone on about bannon leaving this he happened earlier as well when he was clashing with jared kushner. he is the one person who really represents the ideology that trump ran on. trump himself is not particularly ideological. he really latched on to a lot of things that bannon and breit dlts bart have been pushing for several years. this idea that bannon would be moved outside gives people concern about what direction is this white house going to take. are they going to move to a more moderate, democratic position? i think it's unlikely trump goes all the way there but it's a worry. and then what bannon said in that interview, that he won't be a silent bystander. >> where the president goes, this idea does he reach out to democrats. the democrats, they released a statement, did. nc michael tyler, here is what they had to say.
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there is one less white supremacist in the white house. but that doesn't change the man sitting behind the resolute desk. jackie, what are they trying to say there? are there more white supremacists in the white house and this idea is this really a reset? >> leaving that aside, i think they're absolutely right that moving bannon out, i wrote that he was -- some people were treating him like he was a ventriloquist and trump was his puppet. if there was a week that showed this wasn't true, it was this week with charlottes vilville w we saw his true feelings. one of the things about bannon's departure that is overlooked and the talk of white supremacist when we were talking about north korea, steve bannon was a real voice within the administration for -- against the hawks, as he perceived t he was really upset when the president just off the cuff said what he did about a
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potential military operation in venezuela and was very upset with the president's rhetoric toward north korea, the militaristic rhetoric. >> and contradicted the president. >> exactly. and we're still waiting for the president's decisions on afghanistan, which was the purpose of his camp david meeting on friday from which bannon, of course, was excluded. so, i think there's a lot of people in the base that are looking at how interventionist and expansion abroad he is going to be. many of them thought they were electing somebody who would retrench, rebuild america, as he said during the campaign. >> michael bender, bannon returns to breitbart, hailed as a hero on their home page on friday. home page of the breitbart news was "steven k. bannon returns home to breitbart news as a
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populous hero." if you look at the way breitbart was operating when bannon was inside the white house, he was still pulling the strings even though he was not formally there. >> it's been filled with people that steve bannon hired. even if he wasn't directing it, it was his imprint on bre. tbart. he has referred to it as his killing machine. that's what he knows and is going to start doing. much in "the weekly standard" interview, he gave an interview to bloomberg not going to war with trump. he's going to war for trump. if this president starts to tack left, tack moderate, steve bannon and breitbart will point that out. they have so far. that remains to be seen here. breitbart is not going to get any sort of resonance by
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attacking trump or firing bannon. bannon did not get elected. but, you know, conservatives are watching for signs of, you know, success for this president. haven't seen it yet. so far they've been able to blame the media and washington republicans. but if they start blaming the president, if they start seeing the president as not being able to keep his own house in order that's where i think it's real trouble and where bannon leaving is a marker for them. >> right. and he certainly wants to make it that way. he seems to be doubling down on this idea that it is the republican establishment who don't really want to go along with this president or support him. >> up next, bannon says this means war. how his departure could change the inner workings of the white house and its priorities. first, saying good-bye to steve bannon means saying good-bye to
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snl's version of the former aide. you may remember him as the grim reaper. >> that's enough fun for tonight. can i have my desk back? >> yes, of course, mr. president. i'll go sit at my desk. [ cheers and applause ] so much fun. i love it. >> this is fun. back in the early 2000's, janice would have dropped off all four of her kids at soccer practice after a sit-down dinner. but janice is a mother today, so all four of janice's kids are on four separate paths of self-discovery which occur at four different times in the afternoon, leaving a total of four minutes for her kids to eat. even though dinner time has become less strict, we remain strict as ever when it comes to our standards. made with premium cuts of 100% kosher beef, so you can feel good feeding your family, no matter what time dinner is. hebrew national. we remain strict.
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quote, i'm leaving the white house and going to war for trump against his opponents on capitol hill, in the media and in corporate america. going to war for what? this list may shed some light on that. here is bannon in may, standing in front of his famous white board, showing a long list of trump's campaign promises. repealing obamacare, major tax reform, border wall, just to name a few. now, back in february, which seem ace few short months ago, bannon told the crowd at cpac to make sure that the trump white house is getting checklists on that big board. >> we're at the top of the first inning. it will take as much fight, focus and determination. one thing i would like to leave you guys today with is that we want you to have our back. but more importantly, hold us accountable. hold us accountable to what we promised. hold us accountable for delivering on what we promised. >> now bannon does have a loud,
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very big and relentless platform at breitbart. but it's all about who is left in the west wing. people who, by and large, did not represent bannon's world view. here is the list. we can put it up of who is left. john kelly, h.r. mcmaster, cohn, kellyanne conway, who seems in some ways to have receded a bit, and people from the bannon wing, sebastian gorka, and stephen miller are still there. >> to keep this from being a revolving door where you have people from different factions, each going in, being able to say their peace and going back in after their rival goes in to say
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their peace. i've always been struck by this in talking to trump voters during the campaign. it's not just a cult of personality that got him elected. people who voted for him really supported the policy ideas he put out there, building a wall along the border. the travel ban. actual policy proposals that resonated. in talking to bannon and others they feel like the wall, beyond everything else, trump gets to the end of this term and hasn't built the wall, the disappointment for his voters would be tremendous. did he then fall into the same trap that so many other politicians do? where they make big promise on the campaign, can't deliver and look at it as just another politician w.h.o. who can't keep his promises? >> what likely will be an announcement on strategy, important day spent at camp david. this was on saturday. with our very talented generas s and military leaders. many decisions made, including on afghanistan. that tweet came on saturday.
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bender, i want to go to you on this. whatever he decides, this is going to tell us something about the trump doctrine. it's also going to tell us where he is on that spectrum of republican approaches to foreign intervention. julie talked about what his base expected. i think they didn't necessarily expect more foreign entanglements, particularly not in the middle east. >> that's right. i think the last couple of weeks, last month or so, we've seen more of a kind of nationalist versus national security fight within the white house instead of the national globalist. this is an indication of where trump is going. it's hard for me to imagine he tacks too much away from where he has been. look at the last week. jackie made a point earlier, the first trade action against china. the news conference was remarks on infrastructure. there was actually supposed to be about infrastructure, the defense of confederate symbols.
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this is the nationalist agenda when at a time a person who best represents that ideology was axed from the administration. i would not expect a big surge in troops in afghanistan. i don't think he's going to privatize it either. probably somewhere in the middle. but we'll see. i think we'll hear numbers on that pretty soon. >> bannon in yet another interview -- he gave one to "the weekly standard" and also "the washington post" on house divided. in no administration in history has a white house been so divided. >> how many times has his spokespeople gone out and had to defend things he said only to have him then contradict them later? you know, all of this talk now
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you hear as august winds down and they think about coming back in the fall about we're really going to bear down on tax reform, infrastructure and maybe even return to health care. the fact of the matter is they're going to need all the time they have just to do the must-do things like finish passing the appropriations bill by october 1st, which they won't do. they'll do a big package, unless the government shuts down, and raise the debt limit. what's going to happen even more since bannon has left, the conservative wing is going to try to add things to the budget bills. >> the house freedom caucus. >> funding the wall or something much more ambitious even that that. it will hold this up and the republican party will be at war with itself and in -- the threat is that we'll have a fiscal brinkmanship with the full faith and credit of the united states.
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>> deja vu all over again. >> bannon made the mistake a lot of people make with donald trump, mistook his willingness to adopt bannon's world views is a sincere adoption of his world view. truth of the matter is that donald trump as a president, as a police station, is for and about donald trump. he's not about economic nationalism unless it serves his interest. he's not about globalist unless it serves his interest. that's a problem for anybody who invests any kind of ideological hope in donald trump. he is going to do, at the moment, what he thinks is best for himself and his presidency. it was just a mistake that bannon made. >> you see a lot of gop senators sort of realizing that and not wanting to stick their necks out and, in fact, coming out, particularly around charlottesville this last week. up next, an off-the-rails press conference leaves team
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trump in disbelief and the president's own party pushing back against him. the aftermath of trump's comments on charlottesville next. s natural cheese for over 100 years like kraft has, you learn a lot about what people want. honey, do we have like a super creamy cheese with taco spice already in it? oh, thanks. bon appe-cheese! okay... at whole foods market, we believe in food that's naturally beautiful and fresh. delicious and powerful, and full of nutrients. so there are no artificial colors... no artificial flavors... no artificial preservatives... and no artificial sweeteners... ...in any of the food we sell. we believe that the food we eat connects us to the natural world and to each other. we believe in real food™. whole foods market. because my teeth are yellow. these photos? why don't you use a whitening toothpaste? i'm afraid it's bad for my teeth. try crest 3d white. crest 3d white diamond strong toothpaste and rinse...
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welcome back. president trump got behind the podium on tuesday he was supposed to focus solely on infrastructure. he wanted to talk about charlottesville as his senior staffers watched from the sidelines. sources tell cnn that his aides were caught off guard, saying that the president just went rogue. trump, he started off by commenting who was actually
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protestin protesting. >> i've condemned neo nazis and many different other groups but not all those people were neo nazis, believe me. not all those people were white supremacists by any stretch. those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. >> then trump basically seemed to equate some of the neo nazis and white supremacists with the protesters who were there to condemn them. >> i'm not putting anybody on a moral plane. you had a group on one side and a group on another and they came at each other with clubs and were vicious and it was horrible. it was horrible to watch. there was a group on this side. you can call them the left. you just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. there is blame on both sides. you look at both sides, there's
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blame on both sides. i have no doubt about t you don't have any doubt about it either. >> there was violence coming from both directions, but only one side gathered the night before to denounce jews, minorities and others. trump's about face essentially blaming both sides equally had republicans speaking out against him and his comments. >> i'm not going to defend the indefensible. i'm not here to do that. i'm here to be leclear, concise. his comments on tuesday started to erase the comments that were strong. we want to see clarity and moral authority and that moral authority is compromised when tuesday happens. >> bender, why did this happen? why did tuesday happen? he seemed to really relish that moment, to want that moment. what was going through his mind at that point? >> this is sort of example a of
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why steve bannon leaving the white house probably isn't going to matter. general kelly is brought in to bring more command and control to this white house. but tuesday -- tuesday happened. you know, there is the silence out of the administration and the silence out of the west wing when it comes to disavowing what he said. one person gave trump a full throated endorsement of that performance and he got fired on friday. >> right. >> this will resonate for a while. watch as trump goes out to this public event in toss out in arizona. he's got a big split with the republicans on the hill. he already has soft of implicitly endorsed the sitting senator. >> jeff flake, right. >> i know his primary opponent is trying to get face time at
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that rally. out of a number of things that, you know, we'll all be watching for tuesday night, if the primary opponent shows up at this rally, it will be a big ind kag that trump is not interested in healing the divide on capitol hill. >> jackie, we did hear a different kind of trump in terms of his reaction to the protesters on saturday. he said i want to applaud the many protesters in boston speaking out against bigotry and hate. our country will soon come together as one. it was different from the first two tweets that he tweeted out about this protest. this john kelly literally grabbing his phone and tweeting something different? >> it had that feel, didn't it? it was because when his first tweets, you thought he was going to really be critical of the counterprotesters. and he pulled back. i don't know if he was watching cable and saw it was largely in boston 40,000 people largely
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peaceful. yes, there were over 30 arrests but they weren't for, you know, disturbing the peace kind of things. there's elements, people there that were just looking for violence. but very, very few. and so you just had the sense that they did, there was an intervention there wherever he was. i can't even remember. he has been fliting about on his working vacation. >> right. >> back to the question of why did he make that tuesday statement, go back to saturday, previous saturday when charlottesville happened. you basically heard him say what he really wanted to say. people are bad on both sides. >> that was his impromptu, yes. >> from the podium. he was pressured into giving this monday statement in which he really went after neo nazis, white nationalists. had to be pressured to say that is beyond me. tuesday he felt like he got to say what he really wanted to
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say. he is the president. he can't go rogue. i love the idea that he can go rogue. he does whatever he wants. look at the comments. this is a classic example of how trump sort of takes truish statements -- for instance there are people out there who were peacefully protesting the removal of robert e. lee statues, for instance. except they weren't there. in fact, he said we didn't want anything to do with it. that is the perfect example of how trump takes the truth and bends it and warps it into something that is not only not true but ends up being offensive. >> pleased david duke, did not please many members of his party. they came out strongly over the following days. lot of people drew attention to senator corker's comments about donald trump. >> the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the
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stability nor some of the confidence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. he also recently has not demonstrated ta he understands the character of this nation. >> the word that stood out to me in corker's statement, mild manored guy. he's not an ideolog. he questioned the president's ability. >> one, he was considered for vice president, considered for secretary of state. and on foreign policy he has tried to be an active participant with this white house. he has gone over there numerous times, engages with the staff. not one of these republicans like a jeff flake, who has been consistently critical of this president. for him to come out and question the stability and the competence of a sitting president of his own party. >> while he's up for re-election
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in 2018. >> reliably republican state, i think we get numb to these comments that republicans headache but when you think about republican lawmakers saying these things about their own sitting president is really remarkable and speaking to a lot of the concern that they have, that we are not headed in the direction of the agenda they want to implement is almost impossible for trump in this weakened position to carry forward. >> and then this from newt gingrich. >> i think he is in a position where he is much more isolated than he realizes. on the hill, he has far more people willing to sit to one side and not help him right now. you don't get down to the 35% range of approval and have people in why your own party shooting at you and then conclude that everything is goinging fine. >> that is newt gingrich, right? that happened friday, suggesting that there's work still to be
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done. >> yeah. there's a lot of work to be done. you know, this is the bannon argument here. if you believe that democrats aren't going to help you anymore, if you believe that the republican establishment is going to abandon you, then come back when trump's numbers start to tack back up. if he can't keep the base, this goes from, you know, mid 30s, high 30s, which is bad, to mid 20s, low 20s, which is just inoperable. >> right. i thought this was from the "washington post," tom ridge questioning what they were doing. at what point does a principle party stand up for its principles? you can't be afraid of losing an election because you stood up for what's right. it requires leadership but this time we need a course of
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opposition and didn't get it. frankly, if we did that, i think most americans would applaud. jackie, to you on that. tom ridge from the bush administration. >> and a somewhat moderate republican in the house before he joined the bush administration as homeland security adviser. i think this all points to how important tuesday and the rally in arizona is. trump has scheduled this. it has all the hallmarks of another in-your-face performance where he's at odds with both republican senators there, has all but endorsed the opponent of jeff flake. on top of that, he has teased that he may pardon former sheriff joe arpaio, an o hispanics and latinos. >> whether or not, with this, if
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he does all those things you're talking about, is there sort of a gop chorus of opposition in the way that tom ridge thinks there ought to be? coming up, a topic change. why the president knew a tweet about confederate monuments was a safer bit.
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this week it's robert e. lee. stonewall jackson. you have to ask yourself, is it george washington and then thomas jefferson? where does it stop? >> his argument that george washington owns slaves, too, and that makes him the same as robert e. lee. the country isn't removing washington statues, even though there has been a long debate about what to do with confederate statues. he doubled down thursday saying sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the
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removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. you can't change history but you can learn from it. robert e. lee, stonewall jackson. who is next? so foolish. also the beauty being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced. for trump this calculation is easy. most of the country and a majority of his base are actually with him on this. new poll from npr, marist shows 62% of registered voters want the statues to stay put as symbols. when it comes to white college voters without college degrees, a key group of trump's base, 3 out of 4 of those voters say keep the statues where they are. so what was this about? is he actually on safer ground? >> he is on safer ground.
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it's easier to talk about statues than neo nazis. early in this brouhaha and to the extent that trump now associates himself with the statues argument, i would predict you would see the percentage of support for the statues remaining come down. now, the thing about this is one thing trump also said that gets forgott forgotten, he said it's up to the locals to decide. the locals have been deciding for a long time. and it picked up two years ago after the mass murder in charlesto charleston. >> mike signer had this to say.
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he talks about what you talked about. it's a different moment at this point. >> all of a sudden, these monuments, these equestrian statues became touchstones of terror. they became these twisted totems that these people clearly are drawn to, trying to create a whole architecture of intimidation and terror and hatred around them. it was visited upon our town. it was evil. >> bender, you see some municipality municipalities college, duke university. in a moment that trump may not be on as safe a ground as he thinks he is because of this sort of since that the statues now are viewed differently because of their association with what happened. >> yeah. the point there is he's not
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talking to a small town who see these symbols as racism. he's talking to his base who sees these symbols as political correctness. anti-establishment outside the box. for these people, if i can speak for america for a second -- >> do it. >> it's been a verbal shell game that has ended up with them being shamed out of a way of thinking, talking, living. and so when they hear trump defending these sort of things, what they see is him bucking the establishment. >> defending them. and this gets back to the sort of white identity politics and bannon saying he would love to see democrats talk about racism every single day. >> it's one of those things that people suggest, how trump gets elected. this sort of pc culture. i was struck by, in that
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particular statement from trump at the press conference, how much he sounds like the guy at the end of the bar. and that was such a part of his appeal during the election, right? saying the things that you really kind of -- >> but it's the white guy at the end of the podium, right? >> yes. that is part of his appeal. when you're president, you're not just the white guy at the end of the bar or the republican guy in the town at the end of the bar saying what you viscerally think about pc or the left or whatever. you have to -- you're speaking to all americans. it may have worked in the election. it's not going to work for this president. up next, our reporters share from their notebooks, including a nonenergized democratic party. um...i'm babysitting. that'll be $50 bucks. you said 30 dollars. yeah, well it was $30 before my fees, like the dog-sitting fee... and the rummage through your closet fee. who is she, verizon? are those my heels? yeah! yeah, we're the same size...in shoes. with t-mobile taxes and fees are already included,
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let's close by asking our reporters to share something from their notebooks and keep you prepared in the coming weeks. michael? >> how are the day-to-day operations going to change in the white house without steve bannon? not much. i'm told he spent the last several months of his time at white house sitting on a couch in the office of reince priebus. he was trying to run an outside media campaign against his enemies on behalf of his agenda, people like h.r. mcmaster, gary cohn. i guess we'll see more of that and it will intensify from outside the white house. difference now will be he's not inside the white house and he may not have the goods that he had when he was a west wing employee. >> unless trump continues the relationship even after bannon is gone.
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>> right. >> julie? >> democratic activists are pretty energized after this past week. democrats i talked to who are involved in the races for 2018 and the efforts to win back the house are more anxious about this idea of democrats going all in on trump's response to charlottesville. democrats potentially falling into some of the same traps they fell into in 2016 when where they ran mostly on an anti-trump message and the party still feels like it's an economic message that needs to resonate with voters. chuck schumer and other democrats have ruled out an economic blueprint for democrats but it's been completely overshadowed. >> they still have got some work to do. jackie? >> i wanted to talk about the helplessness of the republican establishment in sort of dealing with trump. after a week like this, it really underscored that. i talked to a couple, very well known, formally high placed republicans over dinner and the way they described what trump was doing forced me to ask, have
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you thought about an intervention? is it possible to do an intervention? sort of like more dramatically we saw during the nixon years when senior republican senators went to nixon and told them it was time to resign and in a far less dramatic way when senior republicans would go -- in the senate generally would go to ronald reagan if he thought his agenda on tax reduction was not what it should be. i raised this question of an intervention. and the most senior of the two republicans looked at me and said he's a classic narcissistic, he's a crazy narcissistic and you cannot get someone like that to change and the other guy is going -- it came up two more times and each time he said to me crazy narcissistic, as if to shut me off. >> that's major. michael, what do you have? >> tax reform. now that the president is back from vacation -- >> not much of a vacation.
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>> yeah. watch him to finally start his bik kickoff, public push for tax reform. the west wing has identified a rust belt city for a first major event on august 28th. and what they would really like this tour to eventually include is a stop in california in simi valley at the reagan library which includes the desk where former president reagan signed the last major tax reform three decades ago. >> yeah. sort of the symbolism of that. we'll see. and i'll close with this. the democratic national committee's july fund-raising numbers are in. and they aren't good. the haul was $3.8 million compared to the republican national committee's $10.2 million. more numbers that show a much fuller picture. in total the rnc has $47.1 million to the dnc's $6.9 million. now, often it's easier for parties to rake in the cash when they have a sitting president. but for some progressive democrats, the numbers are a
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reflection of tom perez and proof that the democratic establishment just can't get it done. republicans say that for all of the supposed anti-trump fervor there is a lack of enthusiasm for the party and their better deal messaging. for their part, the dnc says it's still and the rebuilding of the brand and the party's infrastructure is still ongoing. they also say they think they'll have the resources they need for the rest of the year in 2018. time will certainly tell. that's it for "inside politics." thanks for sharing your sunday morning with us. be sure to catch us weekdays at noon eastern. up next "state of the union with jake tapper." when you've been making delicious natural cheese for over 100 years like kraft has, you learn a lot about what people want. honey, do we have like a super creamy cheese with taco spice already in it?
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passion and anger as thousands take to the streets in boston to protest bigotry. as debate rages nationwide about racism and free speech. what can be done to calm the country's racial unrest? and shocking words. president trump faces bipartisan backlash for his reaction to the violence at a neo nazi demonstration in charlottesville. >> i think there's blame on both sides. >> did the president's words embolden white supremacists? plus

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