tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 24, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
"the situation room." among my guests later day, the former cia officer valerie plame, i'll speak with her about the approximate presidentpresid intelligence agency. plus she has a new campaign to buy twitter and kick the president off. thanks for watching. thanks for watching. the news continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good to be with you. i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news, this active shooting situation under way inside a restaurant in charleston, south carolina. we are told several hostages are still inside. polo, how are they? what do we know? >> reporter: brooke, it's still a very active situation that's unfolding right now in downtown charleston. the suspect is currently holed up inside a restaurant there in charleston called virginia's on king.
we do understand as we mentioned that he apparently has taken an unknown number of hostages inside that restaurant. we don't, however know if there have been any injuries that have been confirmed so far. we do know, based on witness accounts, that they heard several gunshots in the area, about an hour ago. that is obviously important here too, brooke, because this is king street. it's a very popular street there in the heart of charleston, not just for people who live and work there but also tourists as well so as you can imagine, as you can see from these pictures, a tremendous undertaking here by law enforcement that are essentially trying to seal off this area. we do know that the college of charleston did resume classes. they tweeted a message to their students to avoid the area. a hostage situation unfolding right now. if we get another update, we'll pass it along. >> keep us updated, please, sir. meantime, moments from now, the first white house briefing in three weeks, the first since charlottesville, since the president's wild speeches, and of course since this open
warfare between the white house and republicans. warfare that right now is boiling over. president trump, he is pouring gasoline on these public feuds with the two men he needs to get anything done in congress. i'm talking about the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and the speaker of the house, paul ryan. the president sent this tweet out today. "the only problem i have with mitch mcconnell is that after hearing repeal and replace for seven years, he failed. that should never have happened." here is tweet attack number two. "i requested that mitch mcconnell and paul ryan tie the debt ceiling legislation into the popular va bill, which just passed, for easy approval. they didn't do it, so now we have a big deal with democrats holding them up, as usual, on debt ceiling approval. could have been so easy. now a mess." both ryan and mcconnell are playing it cool. nothing to see here. citing these shared goals they have with the president.
both men spoke today. in fact, the senate majority leader's disparaging words were for himself.
>> i'm often asked, what is being the majority leader of the senate like. it's a little bit like being a grounds keeper at a cemetery. everybody's under you, but nobody's listening. so this new administration in washington and this congress is interested in getting america growing again. put another way, taking our foot off the brake and putting it on the accelerator. >> how do you see yourself personally influencing, and are you confident that you can influence the president? >> it's a day by day deal. i'm kind of joking. we're in constant contact to try and put together a shared agenda which we agree on and we're working together to move that shared agenda. for me, it's really important
that the president succeeds because if he succeeds, then the country succeeds. >> rachel bay, let me begin with you, congressional reporter for politico, nice to have you on. let's just begin in fact here. you know, is the president's tweet true, did the president request that mitch mcconnell and paul ryan tie the debt ceiling legislation into that va bill. >> yes, he did, and there were discussions about this. but before going into that, let's just talk about how incredible this tweet is. instead of using his bully pulpit to help congressional leaders get one of the most toxic and poisonous votes through the house and through the senate, which it's a tough vote for republicans, he is trolling them on twitter. just think about it. these are republicans, they've run on reducing the debt. any time they raise the debt ceiling, it's really tough on them. they are wanting to cut, not increase spending, right? so this is going to be a tough vote for both chambers, and i was talking to someone in leadership last week who was saying they actually wanted the
president to come out and tweet republicans, help me raise the debt ceiling, actively help them get these votes, and instead, he's coming out and shaming them for doing a different strategy than he wants. this is not exactly what they were hoping for. >> and apparently the issue before with tying it to the va bill, it was told the word was hated by an aide, hated by the house freedom caucus. so i don't even know if putting the blame on, obviously, mitch mcconnell has no control over them. or paul ryan doesn't totally make sense. let's talk about september. i mean, what are -- list the items on the agenda for me when everyone gets back, and tell me how this infighting, this battle between these republican leaders and the president could truly prove to be problematic. >> well, let's see. when they get back, they have about a dozen legislative days to keep the government open, to avoid a shutdown. right now, we're hearing trump talk about shutting down the government in order to guild his wall. they want to did started on tax
reform which requires a whole burchl of plug capital and focus and leadership and unity to do that and they need to raise the debt ceiling by the end of september as well. and this, like i said, is going to be a poison noous vote for republicans. they need to get together, come up with a strategy, right now, my sources are saying they don't have a strategy. republican sources. you know, they don't know how many democrats are going to vote for this. they don't know if democrats are going to demand certain things in order to vote for this bill. how many republicans will they get. couple dozen, i think, is all they have right now. it's a big mess and a big problem. >> we'll leave it on that. that cheery note there as we're about two weeks before all these members of congress head back to washington. wake me up until september ends. i can already hear the song playing now. republican leadership source is putting the blame on the white house for doing very little in recent weeks to sell this agenda. let me turn now to craig fuller. he sebastirved as chief of staf
vice president george h.w. bush and helped lead his transition team when he won the white house. craig, nice to see you, sir. do you put blame on both sides here? i'm talking president and also republican leadership. >> you know, look, these are two leaders that you've been talking about, the speaker and the leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell, who are incredibly good strategists, but they have very difficult jobs. they don't hold a large majority. it has to be patched together very carefully. they need a president in whom they can count on, day in and day out, and they don't have that. so, it has become nearly impossible to see how this agenda is going to advance, and rather than try to bring the parties together, the president seems to be playing to his base and bludgeoning the congressional leaders into action. you know, the time i spent in washington over 30 years, that will not work. >> the bludgeoning is not a successful strategy. so, they do, though, they do have the winning team, though,
in both chambers in congress and also of course the white house. we all know that. and so i guess to see it from a different way, craig, doesn't the president have a point here with the tweets, again bringing up, you know, health care and the seven years but to his point, republicans had seven years to come up with a battle plan and they didn't, at least not a successful one that worked. >> well, they had seven years to talk about it. but they have only had a few months with a republican president who was in a position to actually sign something and that made the task of getting that health care legislation through the house and senate much, much more difficult. and i think that's the reality that this white house needed to understand going in. they needed to help the process, not sit back and criticize. and the numbers that came out today, by the way, that show greater presidential weakness are becoming a bigger problem for the president, not with -- not just with voters but with members of the house and the senate up for election next year who have to begin to wonder, does working with this president
help them or hurt them. >> right. right. you know a thing or two about being a chief of staff. early i wanted to talk to you about general john kelly who's been in the job not even a month, and you know, the controversies are still coming. i'm curious just what role is he playing right now, and how can he -- i know he says he's not going to get his hands all in the president's tweets or in what tv he watches, but craig, how can he protect the president from shooting himself in the foot? >> you know, i think he's in a very precarious situation. he clearly has brought some stability to the staffing of the white house. they clearly had a process of working through national security issues that -- with the national security staff, defense, and state department on issues. and that seems to be more stable. on the domestic side, i still think it's a challenge, and again, you can't count on a statement made one day on
teleprompter being replayed the next day on twitter. they simply don't go together. so i think he does have to -- >> isn't he involved in that, craig? that's a question. a lot of people, myself included, calling it whiplash, the back and forth, although the president says he's versatile but it's negating a message from the day before and wouldn't the chief of staff want a role in making sure that doesn't happen. >> no question about it. i heard the reporting that the chief of staff has managed to monitor calls inbound and outbound from the oval office and i thought, that's nice, but boy, is that old technology. if you're not monitoring that twitter account, you're not really controlling the message very well. >> craig fuller, thank you very much. on the other side of the twitter schoolyard, president trump is lashing out at one of his recent critics, the former director of national intelligence is part of this whole tweet storm today. the president says this. james clapper, who famously got caught lying to congress, is now
an authority on donald trump. will he show you his beautiful letter to me? now, after the president's wild off script rally the other night in phoenix, james clapper, live on cnn, questioned the president's ability to run the country. here he is explaining those comments a bit further. >> first of all, this is a very, very difficult for me, pe personally, to be critical of a president. my dad served for 28 years in the army, and instilled in me respect for the commander in chief and the incumbent in that position and certainly in the 50 years or so that i served, 34 of that in the military, that was clearly my instincts. he'll make a scripted teleprompter speech, which is good, and then turn around and negate it by sort of, you know, the unbridled, unleashed, unchaperoned trump. and that, to me, is -- that pattern is very disturbing.
>> this as cnn has new exclusive reporting on the russia investigation. congressional investigations have uncovered an e-mail from a top trump aide referencing an attempt to set up a meeting between trump campaign officials and russian president vladimir putin during the presidential campaign. that person behind that e-mail is now president trump's deputy chief of staff. so joining me now, cnn national security analyst sean turner, a former spokesman for james clapper. sean, nice to see you. to be clear, and we can't crawl into the president's head, i can only imagine the tweet referencing clapper, he's referencing testimony back in 2013 about nsa surveillance operations which he later apologized for. but sean, i understand you talked to james clapper this morning about this very tweet. what did he say to you? >> absolutely i did. unfortunately the president's tweet suggested that there was some personal correspondence between director clapper and the
president. that's not exactly what happened. >> the big beautiful letter, you mean? >> yes, the big beautiful letter. this all stems from what happened the night before the election. you know, what happened was that there were two teams from the intelligence community that were deployed to give a brief to the new president-elect the following morning. no matter who that was. both of these teams were prepared and they were ready to give that brief. director clapper did something that he's kind of become known for in the intelligence community. he sat down and he wrote a handwritten note to both of the candidates, basically congratulating them on their victory, and he did a couple of things in that note on behalf of the intelligence community. he reassured or reiterated the fact that the intelligence community stood ready to serve the president and to provide the best intelligence that they possibly could so that he could do his most important job, and that's protect the country. he also, you know, talked about the intelligence community's long-standing kind of adherence
to and belief in the importance of speaking truth to power and he encouraged both of the candidates in those letters to accept that and to support the intelligence community's efforts to do that. so, two letters here, very common for jim clapper to do this sort of thing. i worked for him for a long time and i've known him to do this kind of thing so that's what the president's referring to. and so, i think that the suggestion that there was some beautiful, personal letter to the president is perhaps a little bit overboard. >> okay. thank you for the clarity there. let me ask you about our new reporting. investigators are focusing on this e-mail from rick dear born who was working with the campaign, top policy aide and now he's in the white house. two staffers in that e-mail relaying information about an any knowled individual looking to connect trump people with poouteutin.
>> first thing i would say is that the fact that this e-mail is revealing that someone at a high level of the trump administration had direct contact with someone who was communicating a desire to connect directly with putin is, you know, look, there have been a lot of concerning issues that have been raised, but this is one that's particularly concerning. >> why? >> well, largely because this isn't about meeting with officials around putin. this isn't about meeting with officials who represent him. but this is about -- >> this is the man himself. >> the man himself. so look, you know, as the director clapper aothers have said, we have not found concrete evidence of collusion yet but as you look at these events and as we continue to find these little details we're moving closer to that point where we have to ask ourselves, what really happened here. and for the president, who has continued to be very critical of this investigation, the best thing that could happen for the president, if there is n
no "there" there is for this investigation to move forward with his support so this dark cloud that's been hanging over the country since the start of his presidentsy can be cleared. that's what this president should be supporting because we need to get past this, especially those who work in the national security space because this is a real distraction to the important work that they do. >> quickly, shawn, back on clapper for a second and knowing the man and also his career and the different administrations he has served. were you surprised when you heard him the other night speaking live with don, fresh out of the president's comments on phoenix, legit questioning the fitness of the president? >> unfortunately, i wasn't. i think that what i -- i was not. because i think that what director clapper was doing was he was putting to words what a lot of people in the national security space are thinking. look, you know, we know that during times of trouble, the american people and our partners and allies around the world,
they look to the president of the united states for credibility, for competent leadership, and to project a steady hand. and i think that what director clapper is saying and what others are saying is that so far we have not seen that. and what we really hope is as director clapper said the other night is that the president can right the ship here. look, you know, for all the domestic issues that we talk about and all the domestic debates we have, people in the national security space believe that all of those things must happen under a blanket of strong national security. and so i think that, you know, for someone like director clapper who has spent an entire life in intelligence, you know, more than 50 years, when he looks at some of the challenges that this president's having and being consistent and being credible, i think he sees real concerns with that. so i was not surprised at those comments. i think he's reflecting what a lot of intelligence and national security people are feeling. >> not surprised but still, that was stunning listening to him
the other night. shawn, thank you. shawn turner in washington for me. nice to see you. as his democratic colleagues question the president's fitness and stability, we'll talk to senator bob casey, see if he agrees with that. also, the president retweeting a meme of himself eclipsing his predecessor. have you seen this? the story behind that tweet. and we are moments away from the very first white house briefing in three weeks, lots to talk about, everything from charlottesville to the republican food fight happening right now. stay here. you're watching cnn. 90% fall sg key nutrients from food alone. let's do more. add one a day 50+ a complete multi-vitamin with 100% daily value of more than 15 key nutrients. one a day 50+. copdso to breathe better,athe. i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro.
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house briefing room. we are waiting for the first press briefing. haven't had one in about three weeks. the president has been threatening this government shutdown over funding for his border wall after he engages in a feud with his own party leadership. the president made his threat at the campaign rally earlier in phoenix but paul ryan is pushing back. >> i don't think anyone's interested in having a shutdown. i don't think it's in our interests to do so. while we work on what we said owe we've would and do and control our borders. i don't think you have to choose between the two. >> with me now, democratic senator bob casey live in philadelphia. senator, nice to see you again. welcome back. >> thanks, brooke. >> so, there are a number of news outlets, senator, who are reporting a shutdown is growing more and more likely after that threat from the president. can you just tell me what you're hearing? >> well, brooke, it's hard to tell until we actually get back
to washington, but we've seen this movie before. we saw it in 2013 where republicans shut the government down to prove the point. it didn't work out well for them, but especially didn't work out for the country. when you shut the government down, you don't just stop some activities of government. people get hurt. the economy suffers. so it's one of the fastest ways to hurt the economy, kill jobs, and send the country into chaos, and i think we've had enough of that. so i hope the president would be responsible here, lead the country in a direction of making sure the government stays open, making sure we pay our bills. >> what about -- and i realize you're not back in washington yet, but you've seen the tweets and read the coverage on this, you know, call it cold war, call it a feud, this back and forth between the senate majority leader and the president. do you support your fellow senator in this feud with the president? >> well, it's rather bizarre that in one party, the party that won the white house and
controls both houses of congress, that they can't get their act together. so, i'll let them sort that out. but here's what i do know, brooke, from traveling across pennsylvania, i've been just in the month of august in more than 30 counties, 25 of those 32 were in counties the president carried rather easily, small towns, rural areas, those kinds of counties. and what they want us to do, both parties, in both branches of government, they want us to work together to fix bridges, to bring broadband to rural communities where they have no high speed internet or very limited internet. they want us to focus on lowering prescription drug costs, raising wages, helping out with better ways to pay for college education. so, that's what they expect us to do. >> but do they understand -- >> the longer they don't get along -- >> forgive me, senator, for jumping in but that's a great list of things that it's easy to be on the side of, yes, we want those things and particularly want those things but do they understand this infighting
between the, you know, intraparty fighting and how that may thwart all of those things from getting done? >> well, we'll see. we'll see if that -- if it happens in the fall. but i think people do understand that. but look, all of us have an obligation to work together on these major issues. one of the best things that happened, frankly, after the health care bill went down on july 28 was an immediate engagement by democratic and republican senators to work on small pieces of the health care system that we could improve. focusing on the individual market, if premiums are too high, working on solutions to that, making sure the cost-sharing payments are made, which the president in a very irresponsible fashion has said he may not pay. republicans don't agree with him on that. so i'm hoping that republicans will at least begin to work with us on these major issues like wages or health care or infrastructure.
but the president's creating all kinds of chaos and uncertainty that really damages the economy. >> well, it seems that he is angry. you mentioned health care and we heard about this very frustrated phone call from the president to the senate majority leader, some of it even not even over health care but over russia. i mean, your colleagues are getting these angry phone calls from the president accusing them -- this isn't even about, you know, legislation. yes it's in part about this russian sanctions bill but really it's about not protecting him on the russia investigation. what do you make of that, senator casey? >> well, it's bizarre because in our system, we call it rule of law, meaning that when a investigator or a prosecutor of any kind is undertaking an investigation, especially one of this gravity and seriousness, as to whether or not the russian federation as a government interfered with our election and whether a campaign, in this case a republican presidential campaign, had anything to do
with it. the rule of law tells you that you can not interfere with that. you cannot slow it down, whether you're the president or anyone in congress. i hope my republican colleagues would be pushed in the direction of trying to interfere. in fact, i was encouraged in the early part of august that when legislation was introduced to prohibit the firing of robert mueller, that some republicans were supporting that effort, saying to the president, you cannot fire this person. you have to complete the investigation. i hope we see more of that. >> right and it was that north carolina co-sponsor senator who apparently was on the receiving end of one of those phone calls. let me move on, though, senator casey, and ask you about your colleague, jackie spear and what was said about the president's mental stability on cnn. >> well, there's actually a growing mountain of evidence that the president has been very erratic, has shown a mental instability. it was crystallized last week
with the combination of his comments about fire and fury that he offered up against kim jong un in north korea and how we would take him out, followed by his back and forth on charlottesville and how he really became almost abusive in calling people out. >> that was the congresswoman. i'm sure, sir, you have seen the comments from the former, you know, director of national intelligence, james clapper, questioning the fitness of the president. do you have those same questions? do you question his fitness? >> well, first of all, i can't make a medical judgment, obviously, but you don't need to have a medical degree or be any kind of an expert on psychology or otherwise to assess that the president, for far too long now, for many, many months, has created chaos where there is none, has created divisions in ways we couldn't even imagine.
who would ever believe that in 2017, a president of the united states would be pursuing an argument where there's a false equivalency narrative about whether or not you should clearly and categorically condemn the kkk and the white nationalist groups or whoever else is creating division and hate in the country. condemn them and work against them. try to put them out of business and not do this bizarre and insulting and really damaging false equivalency. so he has to, at some point, tell the american people where we're headed. he needs to work on an infrastructure bill. he needs to lead the country in the right direction. so we pay our bills, so that we move the economy forward and raise wages instead of condemning people and creating all kinds of chaos and division. so, you don't need to be an expert to assess that he's leading the country in the wrong direction, and i heard a good bit of that when i went across pennsylvania this august.
>> sure. as we watch to see what happens when you all return to washington in september, let me just ask you quickly about this retweet of the president, this meme and the caption was, the best eclipse ever. it's basically his head eclipsing that of former president obama. you know, president trump has been in the oval office for some 216 days now. i'm just curious, senator casey, do you think he's obsessed with obama? >> well, first of all, the fact that he or his administration would spend time constructing that image is really kind of -- >> i don't know if they did but they retweeted it. >> well, even retweeting it's like third grade. i'm hoping there's a silver lining here, brooke. maybe he wants to imitate some of the policy successes of president obama. that's one way to look at it. but it is rather bizarre. we have serious business to undertake, and the president has to tell us very clearly that we're going to get about the
business of rebuilding our infrastructure. we've got lots of bridges in pennsylvania i wish he'd work with us on rebuilding. we've got places that need high speed internet so kids can learn in school, businesses can grow, and we've got a lot of feeamili that are paying too high prescription drug costs so those are the issues people want us to work on and every minute he's wasting on chaos and division and activities like you've seen the last couple weeks, gets us further away from the business of the country, and i think that's a bipartisan concern. people in both parties have about his failure to lead on major issues. >> i am glad you have been out there listening, senator casey. you all have big, big jobs ahead of you in just two weeks time. thank you so much. >> thanks, brooke. >> you got it. any moment now, the first white house briefing in weeks. lots to discuss. we'll take it live. and breaking news, we now have a category one hurricane
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have hurricane warning so this will be ground zero for land fall and not until about after midnight tomorrow night in the wee hours, in the darkness of saturday morning but we have tropical storm storm warnings near inland. it's been 12 years since the u.s. has seen a landfall of a major hurricane. that's category three, four, or five. this category one, storm harvey, is most likely going to reach major category status at a category three, maybe even close to a four but we'll see if there's enough time and space. moving in the inventovicinity os christi. notice the path. it comes in and wants to back out a little bit. first of all, that's a little concerning. we want to get the system in and get it moved on because this is going to drop a lot of rainfall. the computer models right now, besides giving us a category three with winds over 110 miles per hour, watch what happens, brooke. all the computer models pretty good agreement where it makes
landfall near corpus christi, but then we lose the major steering component and the models fan out. several of them bring it back offshore this weekend and bring it back in. it could intensify if it's over water but the big concern is, it has nowhere to go except meander in the same location where rainfall totals could get up to 10, 15, 20, 25. everything in purple is over 10 inches. look how far inland the 25 inches go, austin to san antonio. another computer model, pretty much the same location but keeps it more widespread for heavy rainfall. this could be a situation like we had in 2001, measly little tropical storm allison moved in as a tropical storm and meandered for days dropping 30, 40 inches of rain. could be catastrophic. unfortunately, it's happening this weekend. today's the 25th anniversary of hurricane andrew plowing into homestead, florida, as well. >> we know you have your eye on harvey. folks can track it at cnn come.
tom, for now, thank you very much. and just a reminder to all of you, we are watching, waiting for this white house briefing to get going. it's been since august 2nd. so we haven't been briefed since charlottesville happened, and fire and fury in north korea, the republican warfare now, big, big topics to discuss. we've got that. also moments ago, the woman who just became $758 million richer, that's a mighty big check, revealed herself as the lone winner of the powerball jo jackpot. hear how she found out, coming up. why should over two hundred years of citi history matter to you? well, because it tells us something powerful about progress:
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other big, big topics. i got great voices standing by to talk about this ahead of time and of course after the fact. beginning with you, and i'm thinking of the president's twitter feed today, i'm thinking of the still continued attacks on the -- on his teammate, on the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, and how you know, early this morning at that breakfast, he likened himself to what was it, a cemetery groundskeeper, but still, he's very careful, at least publicly, not to lash back out at the president. sort of like nothing to see here, move along. >> which is, brooke, his way. i mean, trump and mcconnell are oil and water, just personali personality-wise. trump is a showman and a provocateur. mckonl is a behind the scenes strategist, essentially. but the thing that no one has denied is that they don't talk and haven't for a while now. look, it's the republican president of the united states and the republican leader of the
republican majority in the senate. that's a big deal. and they're not talking, but donald trump continues to go after mitch mcconnell on health care. remember, donald trump, not that long ago, left open the question of whether mitch mcconnell should consider resigning if he doesn't get more done. he went after him, albeit obliquely on tuesday in arizona, now on twitter. >> how much of this really, chris, is about health care versus, as we discovered in "the new york times" reporting on that contentious phone call back on, what was it, august 9th, all my days are running together, that it was really about he was just irked because he didn't cover him on russia. >> i think russia is a big part of it. i think health care is a big part of it. i think it's a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of donald trump and he's shown this well beyond his relationship with mitch mcconnell. it's a fundamental misunderstanding of how the president interacts with the legislative branch.
donald trump doesn't understand why everyone doesn't work for him, why aren't you doing what i told you to do. it's not a big company. these people were elected in their own right. he is not their boss. he's never really understood that. frankly, i'm not sure he ever will understand it because he doesn't want to. he likes the other model better so i think it's broader than, yes, it's about russia but it's about why did you not cover me, why did you not look out for me, i'm your guy and that's something that's sort of run through it all. fundamental misunderstanding of how you convince people to get on your side. we saw that during the health care debate and then how do you work with people, how do you find ways to work with people who you don't have that much in common with like mitch mcconnell. >> we'll listen to see thousand white house defends the president's continued berating of the senate majority leader and also criticizing paul ryan on twitter today. juana summers, a lot's happened. what else will you be listening for? >> i think the biggest thing i'm listening for, a lot of the country, i just got back from a
trip to missouri where i was covering senator claire mccaskill, a lot of people in these states that went for trump, even people who support the president really are curious about what his thinking is surrounding charlottesville, certainly a lot of us here talking about it in those initial comments where he said that there was wrong done on both sides, and then he said, you know, we should denounce bigotry by name, talked about those hate groups, then went back to both sides. so figuring out where the president stands on those issues is incredibly important because it's something a lot of voters are talking about and that's coming into these debates over not just white supremacists and white nationalists but also in these debates over whether or not these confederate statues in states across the country should remain and that's a debate the president has asserted himself forcefully into so i would expect to hear shotgarah huckab sanders to get some questions today. >> do you expect increased clarity. >> not holding my breath on that and that's not because of anything that sarah huckabee sanders could say or do. but it's because the president
has continued to shift his positions repeatedly. he's someone who said in that speech, this is about changing culture, these weak, weak people that are changing culture, erasing history, on the other hand, he seems to have a reverence for history in some of the speeches so this is a function of a president who seems to go back and forth a little bit, less so than anything that his spokespeople or communications shop can do to clarify for us. >> so kirsten powers, charlottesville, republican, you know, intraparty fighting. what else will you be listening for? >> well, the "wall street journal" has a story about the white house sending directions to the pentagon about the transgender ban, which is pretty clear when the president had tweeted out about this that the pentagon didn't seem super excited about it. didn't know about it and didn't seem like they were really rushing to try to do anything about it. that they basically -- their response was to sort of let things take their course which is they have it under review right now. so, you know, what does this mean? does the white house expect them to just interrupt this period where they're reviewing the policy or do they expect them to
just act now on what the white house is telling them to do. >> what does it mean for current members of the military? i mean, are they just gone? are they kicked out? we don't -- >> exactly. there is no clarity and i think -- again, it's the question is, if the military is saying, you know, we don't think this was the right process, is the president going to defer to them or is he going to try to tell them that they have to do this whether they think it's good policy or not. >> kaitlin, what else. >> the debt ceiling is on the president's mind and they haven't really laid out what they want in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. also we've seen that the president is upset about the coverage of his three different iterations this week from the speech about afghanistan to the rally to the next speech. >> he says it's not whiplash, he's versatile. >> that's his argument. i'm curious to see how the white house portrays this. this is an element of the
presidency that certainly frustrates republicans because they don't know which one they're dealing with at any given point. >> right. >> and brooke, i was going to say, i'll make a prediction that i'm certain will come true, because this is a consistency. they will attack the media. i mean, you know -- >> breaking news. >> if there is a consistent thread through donald trump's campaign and through this white house, it is the media is biased, they don't report on us correctly, you guys screw everything up, he said the right thing in charlottesville, you said he didn't. it's this attempt to muddy the waters, knowing that their base, when thrown the red meat of the media is the big bad wolf will sort of accept it without questioning it. >> okay. well, we can stand by for that but let's hope for some substance and some clarity as well. everyone stand by. again, we haven't had a white house briefing, listen, you know, president's been on a working vacation, but he's back. we're going to get this briefing momentarily. stay with me. whether it's connecting one of the world's most innovative campuses.
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we are standing by for that white house press briefing any moment now, but let me tell you about this happy story today. here's a quote. you're joking. that is what a massachusetts mom said when a friend told her she had won the largest single winning jock p winning jackpot in our nation's history. this is a cool $758.7 million. just is a short time ago standing beside this check, the mother of two shared what went through her mind when the news set in and how she plans to celebrate. >> i'm just happy to find out. i was at work. i was leaving work at night, and i leave with a -- with this guy, rob, he's a firearm, and we just happened to walk out and he said, i bet you somebody won with these numbers, these birthdays and i went, yeah, i know. it's never going to be me. it's just a pipe dream i've always had and he's reading these numbers and i pull mine out and i go, i have that, i have that. i have that. and he goes, let me see that ticket. he goes, you just won. i go, you're joking.
come on, please. he says, sign that ticket now. and i couldn't drive anywhere. i couldn't do anything. so he followed me, actually, to make sure i was safely home to go. >> that's chicopee. >> that's how i find out from him. >> were you just there to buy it specifically or something else? >> i was just there to buy it. just go in to buy a scratch ticket and says, okay, maybe it's me, maybe it won't be me. it's just a chance i had to take. >> chicopee, massachusetts, chris, have you ever been there? >> it's right -- first of all, i'm bitter because it's like 30 minutes from where i grew up. so that could have been -- yeah. i should have had my parents. but two things. one, no one loves the oversized check more than me. i feel like we need more of those in life, not less. that's point one. point two, i do not want to rain on mavis's parade because she
has $758 million more than me, but anyone who's seen anything about lottery winners, it can ruin your life. so, just invest it, take your time with it. don't -- everyone's going to want some. i may look to call mavis, we're northeasterners, she and i, new englanders but it can be not the best thing in the world. >> chris cillizza, powerball pundit today. >> i have a lot of lottery thoughts, brooke. >> is this from a place of, you know, bitterness? did something happen? >> that i didn't win? >> did something happen once upon a time. >> well, i haven't won the lottery yet, brooke, so i am bitter about that. >> clearly, because we're still talking on television. >> if the oversized check industry could just send me an oversized check, it doesn't have to be legal tender, then i think i would be fine. >> i got nothing. i got nothing. stand by. >> me neither. and break. >> sorry about that.
and break. wait, here's sarah huckabee sanders. perfect. chris, thank you. let's go to the white house. good to be back. you guys don't seem nearly as excited. i thought for sure there would be balloons or something. we'll save that for next time, i guess. earlier this week, the president delivered his first primetime address to the nation on our path forward in afghanistan and south asia. the president's strategy is based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables. and it will ensure terrorists never again use afghanistan as a haven to attack the united states. the brave men and women of our nation's military have given extraordinary sacrifices to this longest war in american history. the president recognized those sacrifices on monday during his speech and i'd like to recognize one particular story here today. joseph, a gentleman from santa fe, tennessee, sent his son a
letter nearly ten years ago while he was serving our country in iraq. now his son is on his second tour of duty in afghanistan and his father has generously shared the letter and mailed it to the president that he wrote. joseph told the president that he's been a police officer for over 30 years and that he sent this letter to his son and on to the white house in hopes that the president would actually receive it and read it, which i'm glad to say that he did earlier today. in his letter to his son, joseph wrote, please don't lose sight of your purpose. you're the only hope and glimmer of light for the good, innocent, men, women, and children that you are protecting. this may be hard for you to see or understand. most people know that all of you are there because you volunteered to be there. your actions and dedication are seen by people throughout the world as, without a doubt, the most heroic action of any person which can be made. you and the soldiers standing next to you from all of the other countries are the pride of not only the nations they
represent but every individual that yearns to be free. stand tall, my son, and be steadfast, for it is you who are the defender of freedom. we owe it to the servicemen and women like the master sergeant who have fought in our name in afghanistan for 17 years and to the families who have watched them go to secure an honorable and lasting outcome to this conflict. as the president said on monday, the men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. and once that victory has been achieved, they also deserve to return home to a country that honors their sacrifices and provides our nation's heroes with the support they've earned by risking their lives to ensure the freedoms of all americans. that's why the president was also honored to sign yet another historic piece of legislation to support our veterans earlier this week. the va choice act streamlines the lengthy process of appealing claims for disability benefits