tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 27, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hi there, i'm brooke baldwin thanks for being with me on this friday afternoon. very shortly the white house is set to hold daily briefing. and once again face questions about the president's possible improper influence over the justice department. five and a half months after he fired the fbi director james comey rgs the subject of multiple probes, watch dogs, including a member of the house intelligence committee, now have concerns that the president may have crossed yet another line. this line involves the fbi and specifically the fbi informant in a case that could ask questions about hillary clinton's role here. so the president apparently directed senior staff quoting a staff to facilitate the justice
department's full cooperation with congress to lift the gag order that this informant was under. two sources said that white house counsel don then gave directions to the justice department. today the president's counselor, kellyanne conway confirmed the president did indeed want that informant to be able to speak. >> it is not unusual for a president to weigh in. this president, as you saw from everything with jfk files to this particular ongoing investigation, alison, is for transparency. and he believes, as many others do, frankly, that the fbi informant should be free to say what he knows. >> so what does the informant know? the person played a critical role in the fbi investigation into russian bribery and reportedly may be able to shed new light on what the russians were talking about when the u.s. approved this sales, back in 2010, u rain and company.
that transaction got the sign off of clinton state department along with reported 8 other agencies. so i've got dana bash with me. she's our p cnn chief political correspondent. to start this off, doj isn't commenting, but we do know they ultimately lifted the gag order. so were politics at play or no? >> i mean, can you -- if i tell you yes, politics were at lay in washington. >> shocking. >> will i completely shatter your whole universe? of course politics are at play. but in fairness politics are in play on everything that both sides are doing with this issue despite, and i say the broader macro issue of russia, despite how incredibly important it is for people to figure out and understand how russia interferes in america's elections. and that's the big picture. this, in particular, is a question of a story and an issue that has been out there for
years. and as you've explained the question of whether or not there was pay for play when it came to hillary clinton, the clinton global initiative, and this man who is trying to get a contract, contract, not just with this, but other in the obama straks. it was dormant. but at this point you have a republican chairman, grassley, who has a history of being a champion of whistle blowers and sees this fbi informant as a whistleblower. and wants him to come talk. and certainly the trump administration is eager for that to happen as well because, look, what are we doing right now? we are talking about this issue and questions of about hillary clinton from way back when,
questions that the democrats and the clinton campaign felt that they had created a time line onto explain that there wasn't any pay for play there. and that may be true, but this is still an issue that has an open question with this informant, and now hopefully we'll get the answers. >> what do you think was, you know, we can't call into the president's mind, but what do you think was behind him pushing for this gag order to be lifted? >> we can't go into his mind but we do know his viewing habits and tends to be an avid watcher of fox news and very good friend shawn hannity has been on this issue recent leslie thlessly th the phone. and republicans trying to kind of get their sea legs when it comes to the politics and the political strategy on russia. and they have been very much back on their heels on russia.
and i think the biggest reason for that, brooke, is you have a lot of republicans, particularly those in the senate, the chairman of the intelligence committee and judiciary committee who want to get to the bottom of the big issue whether russia, whether there was collusion, and that's obviouslily politically dangerous for the trump world, but also how the russians were involved in this election. and because that has dominated the narrative, dominated a lot of the news coverage across the board, this was a chance to kind of inject something that is potentially detrimental or not a great story for the democrats. >> into the either. >> perfect way to describe it. >> thank you so much dana bash. let's take a deeper dive on all of this with the man whose job used to be answering these questions what the president can and cannot do, including the
interaction with justice department. so walter schwab was the director of government ethics. welcome back. >> thank you. >> and dana just said it so well. before we get into the specifics of the case, here's where i'm curious, are there examples that you can think of top of mind of other presidents getting involved in doj decisions? or does this strike you as entirely unprecedented? >> well, i think what i'd say about that is of all the things going on right now in our country and with the white house and i spent months worrying about conflicts of interest, but they don't scare me even nearly as much as the idea of the independence of the department of justice being jeopardized. >> really? >> and this is now becoming something of a pattern. but having an independent department of justice is really critical to the rule of law. and if we lose that, we are really in big trouble. >> can you hammer home that
point for the viewer who may not fully understand how important that independence is and how inappropriate this would be in a president expressing sort of his desire, and opinions on to the doj? >> so there is a strong culture in the department of justice of being independent in terms of decision making with regard to prosecutions and investigations. and that's really been an absolute bedrock of our republic. president bush got into a little bit of trouble when he let eight or nine u.s. attorneys go as opposed to this administration which fired half of them and pushed the other half out. this is really been a strong wall. it's a matter of departmental policy. and obviously they are not binding on the president. but white houses have been skittish about dealing with the department of justice or investigators in any way that might look like they are trying to put the thumb on the scale of
justice. i remember talking to the white house in two different administrations, the bush and obama administration, about ethics issues. and if i mentioned at any point that an inspector general in some agency was looking into a matter, they would throw up their hands and say, we can't really talk about that, we are going to get out of your way. because they didn't want to be seen as influencing the investigation. and that crossed party lines, both republican administration under bush and democrat administration under obama reacted that way. and that was just inspector general investigation, not the department of justice. >> sure. is it possible, because i could hear the white house -- we've heard this before -- is it possible the president doesn't understand the line where not to cross? >> well, not only possible, it's likely he doesn't know. but you know who is supposed to know is don ma again counsel, so
this is a man who should know better and prime actor in some of these matters. he was reportedly trying to find out if the fiza court, the court that issues warrants under the patriot act. and now we are told that he's the one who communicated the president's desire to the department of justice. he is supposed to be the one who warns the president and the white house when they are coming too close to a line or breaking with tradition. but this is the don magin that i met when i was dealing with him in the ethics program. and started part of his career kicking the legs out of anti-corruption in our country. so unfortunately i think the president who honestly probably doesn't know better because he
hasn't been in politics has been greatly disserved by picking a counsel to the president who is not up to the job he has. >> wow. one more, walter, and this is about adam schiff, the ranking democrat on the house intel committee. they are investigating one of the potential collusion trump campaign ties with russia. and he tweeted this, if the president personally intervened with doj to advance the case against the political opponent, it's beyond disturbing. i intend to pursue in new probe. so what do you make of that comment and whether there is in fact a case here? >> well, i think if we imagine an alternate universe in which president trump's rival for the election had actually won and become president, and she had reached out to the department of justice to communicate her preferences, i think we would have ourselves sitting through another wave of benghazi style hearings. so i'm not at all surprised that
congressman schiff has expressed concern that he wants to look into the president communicating his interest to the department of justice. >> okay. walter schwab, thank you so much, as always. >> sure. >> she is coming up next, among dozens of women who have accused harvey weinstein, today speaking out publicly for the first time since it broke wide open. >> i came to be a voice for all of us who have been told we are nothing. for all of us who have been looked down on us, for all of us who have been grabbed by the mother [ bleep ]. >> not the only one talking out today. a congressman is voicing her own on capitol hill. we'll talk about those stories. also ahead new clues what
went wrong in niger, a witness what he told cnn what he saw unfold and how the americans got separated a mid the fire fight. all of this happening on this friday afternoon as we wait for the white house press briefing to get under way. we'll take it live for always. stay with me. i'm brooke baldwin and you are watching cnn. are you on medicare?
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holding back at all, although she did not call harvey weinstein out by name, rose said she spoke up to give a voice to the voiceless. >> i have been silenced for 20 years. i have been shamed. i have been harassed. i have been ma lined. and you know what, i'm just like you. because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society. and that cannot stand and it will not stand. [ applause ] >> in the face of unspeakable actions from one monster, we look away to another, the head monster of all right now. and they are the same. i came to be a voice for all of us who have been told we are
nothing. for all of us who have been looked down on, for all of us who have been grabbed by the mother [ bleep ]. no more. name it. shame it. call it out. >> there she was. two wonderful ladies with me now, maf rest on, and national reporter with t"the washington post" calling it out on capitol hill. so wonderful having you both on. and maf, let me start with you, so much listening to rose mcdo you en, so many me too story
ease. you saying it isn't always that easy. >> yeah, i think there are so many complexities to this issue. i have been thinking through this whole time about the experiences that so many of us went through in our early 20s when we were young and really excited to have a new job where we faced these kinds of situations. and and a lot of times of repercussions of reporting these kinds of incidents to your supervisor or hr, that's kind of the scare i es thing that you can face. because then you are potentially becoming that person that did that. you are potentially as a reporter potentially freezing out other sources. and i think that i've talked to some young reporters who face these decisions all the time. do you go to dinner with the senator who has a bad reputation with young women? but you want the information. you want the story. do you meet someone for drinks?
and i think all of us have these little tricks that we do to get out of tricky situations. >> what's your trick? if young women are watching i'm totally serious. >> in tricky situations i call my editor before a dinner and then after the editor. someone always knows what time i'll be done and what time i'm starting. i did that once when i was young covering capitol hill with a senator who i was just not sure whether i should even go at all. because he had such a bad reputation for taking out women up to his apartment and giving them martinis, you know, but you know you want the story. you want the information. and so-so many of us are just navigating these situations where you have to come up with your own little tricks of how to deal with it. because nobody can protect you. >> totally. i want to hear from you, but let me play one other piece from
rose's speech. >> hollywood may seem like it's an isolated thing, but it is not. it is the messaging system for your mind, it is the mirror you are given to look into. this is what you are as a woman but all told through 96% males of the directors gild of america. this has not changed. so we are given one view, and i know the men behind that view. and they should not be in your mind and should not be in mine. it's time to clean house. >> what are your thoughts, elise, on all of this? before we get to your point about how tough it was on capitol hill. you were nodding listening to me. >> i was nodding. i have those tricks too. you are in situations sometimes where you find yourself talking about your partner, your husband, your boyfriend because you want a male senator or representative not to look at you in that way or not to talk to you in that way. >> because you may not have a
boyfriend at the time and you find yourself talking about a boyfriend. >> exactly, yeah. some of us dress certain ways to make sure that we don't attract the wrong attention, not that its our fault but you are extra careful in those environments. because unfortunately the dynamics that exist have empowered these, and we should not say they are not all men, but mostly menno fenders for decades. and many we have heard from congressman sphere today she was staffer in the 70s and moved up the chain on capitol hill. it was happening to her then and now. and it seems like we are at the watersh watersh watershed moment where many are speaking out, but many feel their careers, especially in the political arena would be ruined about talking about them.
that's what's talk. >> i woke up this morning and read your things in the post, talking about what's happening with halperin, and now congresswoman sphere and other women have these me too story ease, but she's talks about how she unsuccesfully tried to improve reporting instances of sexuality harassment, it's not been a culture that's been good for women coming forward and that's a huge problem. >> it is a huge problem. and there is no mandatory anti-sexual harassment training on capitol hill. >> that is insane. >> only place in the federal government where that does not happen. also the process for reporting complaints is just really hard. you can't file a lawsuit until you've been through 60 days of counseling and mediation. so it really is a system that is stacked in the direction of the
offender. because, again, the institution wants to protect itself. it doesn't want to reflect poorly on congress that these things happen. so, again, those are the kind of changes that jackie sphere is advocating for right now. >> maf, do you think with this, it seems like this wave, this movement, that perhaps, perhaps, things will change? >> well, i think that we have all been so horrified by the allegations that have emerged of a sexual assault, groping, you know, that stuff needs to be investigated by the police. but there also is this much more complex, every day situation that women deal with in every industry, whether it's investment banking where young women are sent out to entertain potential investors. all of our friends have stories about being in these situations that make them feel uncomfortable. and i don't know what the answer is to that. i just know that there has to be kind of a recognition that it's
very hard to come forward and talk about this if you don't want to draw attention to yourself. and there are many young women in all industries all over the country that are dealing with that. >> especially if you think that you think that you are the only one, right, little do you know that this is happening over and over and over again. let me end with rose, i live this quote, i know i am not alone because i'm the same as the girl in the tiny town who was raped by the football squad and they have full dominance over the little town newspaper. there really is no difference, she said. it's the same situation, and that situation must end, because it is not our shame. elise and maf, thank you. >> thank you, brooke. >> moments away from the white house press briefing, a lot will come up here, including president trump asking the department of justice to lift this gag order 0en this under cover fbi informant. also the ambush in niger who
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soldier who was the first on the scene immediately after that ambush. and he said wounded nigerien soldiers told them they were outnumbered and outgunned. he said forced the convey to split up and dozens of armed killers opened fire. but what also surprised soldier he had seen the green berets the before dressed in baseball caps. described no body armor. with me now, cnn national security analyst and served on president obama and told us yesterday when benghazi happened. so, sam, nice to see you again. >> reporter: thanks for having me. >> does it surprise you what this nigerien soldier said to
arwa, that he thought it seemed a lighter force, not wearing the body armor, but baseball caps and t-shirts in such a high risk area? >> reporter: this is disturbing report. senator nelson told us yesterday after a closed door hearing on niger, however, is the investigation is probably going to take weeks. the danger in the interim is that as more information comes out publicly, extremists are getting valuable in sites into potential vulnerabilities in our security before we are able to address them. that's really concerning to me. anything that publicly exposes how our troops are conducting operations puts them at much greater risk. >> that's a problem. >> that's ha big problem. >> that's a problem. intel sources in the region also tell cnn this attack was likely attack of opportunity. not preplanned. do you get that sense? >> reporter: i think it's really
too son to tell and dangerous to try to assess what it was and wasn't at this point. i think instead what we need to if he cuss on is make sure we don't miss any other threats that may be coming out in intelligence. we may have missed something on the run up to the attack on october 4th and general mcmaster should ask the community of updated threats to the overseas so we mitigate the risks of this happening again. >> i mentioned you spent that year in iraq working closely with the u.s. military. could this kind of ambush have happened to u.s. forces anywhere around the world? or do you think it was unique to this particular area in africa? >> reporter: you know, as you mentioned, i sfent a year in iraq during the war of 07 to 08. and i can tell you from firsthand experience, anybody deployed to a high threat environment is a risk even if they were not authorized to do combat operation, we saw this play out in iraq and niger. we have seen it occur in places
like afghanistan where u.s. soldiers also on a train advise and assist mission have died as pa result of insider attacks. threat doesn't go away even if you are not authorized to do come bat. >> thank you so much for coming back. >> reporter: thanks for having me. we are watching and waiting for the white house press briefing to get under way. certainly questions will come up when it comes to that deadly ambush in nigerian other issues on this friday afternoon. stay with me. we'll take it live in just a moment.
all right. live pictures inside the white house press briefing room. we should see sarah huckabee sanders any moment now. but let's talk about what we know will be brought up including the president wanted gag order lifted that prohibited this informant at the time of talking about a fbi investigation into russian
efforts to gain efforts in uranium industry in 2010. with me is czechoslovakia republic, ethics. so ambassador eisen, always a pleasure, welcome back to the show. first, your thoughts on this reporting. we know that the gag order was lifted. that this was the doj's call. but what do you make of just the fact that the president wanted to influence doj to do this? >> brooke, thanks for having me back. and it's pretty extraordinary to have a president make his wishes known when you have a criminal matter of this kind going on in doj. there are rules in the white house and in the doj that are designed to protect political influence. i never heard of a case like this when i was policing this
type of thing in the white house for obama. it's extraordinary. and of course it raises the specter that the president was giving those orders in order to release information that he thinks might be damaging to his adversaries, that's just not the way the rule of law is supposed to work. >> do we know if any previous president would have asked the doj to do anything similar? >> well, of course -- >> actually, forgive me ambassador do we see a child in the briefing room? no, no. here we go. sarah huckabee sanders. >> hey, guys, happy friday. >> happy friday. >> good afternoon. it's great to see so many friendly faces in here. not that that's different than normal. obviously, referring to the children around the room. we are really excited and very glad to welcome the kids of the press corp. to the white house
today. they'll love trick or treating in the executive office building and i'll look forward to taking questions maybe from the kids today. a couple of things to note. as you all so yesterday was an important fight yesterday by opioid by decoration of public health emergency to address the opioid crisis, the president is mobilizing his entire administration to confront this issue. the president's stirring remarks yesterday which included a powerful story of how addiction impacted his family set the stage for the country to unite behind this fight to save lives. in the wake of the announcement, several cabinet members and agency heads are traveling around the country to events to the opioid events. among those are sessions, acting secretary har begin and acting i.c.e. director of homeland.
this means the president has made this issue administration wide priority. on the economic front the u.s. economy grew at 3% despite the damage from this year's hurricane season. unemployment is at 16 year low. stock market continues to climb to record levels. and economic confidence is soaring. the engine of the american economy is revving up and the president is ready to pour in the rocket fuel through massive tax cuts and reforms. it's fitting that we have some kids with us today because ultimately this tax plan is about empowering hard working american families to build a better life for themselves and brighter future for their children. and with that, i'll take your questions. >> sarah, ask you about the $300 million contract with whitefish energy got to rebuild the electrical build in puerto rico. does the white house have any concerns how these contracts came down and this company has apparently no experience of doing on this magnitude?
>> this is it a contract that was determined by the local authorities in puerto rico. not something that the federal government played a role in. but as we understand, there is an ongoing audit and we'll look forward to seeing the results of that later. >> red flags raised by this? and can you sadie fin tively that the fact that the primary, what were the primary investors in this company was a major donor to the trump campaign and had nothing to do with the fact that this contract was awarded? >> right. the federal government has nothing to do with this contractor process. this was something solely determined by the puerto rico government. and as i said we'll look forward to the audit to see if there are any issues beyond that. >> a question about the russian sanctions. so the recipient of those sanctions were posed to be named on october 1th and this just came out today. i'm wondering if you ks explain the delay and how soon the administration will act to implement those. >> there has been a review
that's been completed that was the cause for the delay. issued by the state department and that's being carried out. and for any details i would refer you to the state department. >> i kindly request president tweeted out this morning regarding the russia investigation, quote, after months of costly looking. is the president suggesting that the special investigation is a waste of money? >> i think the president has been pretty clear of his investigation throughout this process. not only investigation taking place. congress spent a great deal of time of this, a better part of this year. all of your news organizations have probably spent a lot of money on this as well which we would consider probably a pretty big waste. i think that our position hasn't changed since day one. and i think we are seeing now that if there was any collusion with russia, it was between the dnc and clintons, and certainly not our campaign.
sorry i'm going to move around. >> this is important on 401(k). >> maybe one of your colleagues will ask it. >> first, did you have any comment on the catalonia and spain, put up a sharp statement saying that the united states. [ inaudible question ] unified spain. >> i'm not aware of any phone calls today. but we certainly echo the state department. and again reiterate our reposup for the unified spain. >> president met this morning with interior secretary, he's from the town. president asked him if he had any knowledge of this deal? >> primary purpose for this meeting that has been on the schedule for several weeks was to discuss secretary monument report that will be coming out shortly. aen that was the reason for the meeting. but he did ask secretary for
clarification purposes and he rerated we have no role, federal government, specifically he had no role in that contract. john. >> thanks a lot sarah. on whitefish, and on this company. prior to hurricane maria, just had two employees. then after hurricane maria warded $300 million plus contract. i realize you said this was a contract awarded by officials in puerto rico. but would you acknowledge that doesn't look right on the surface of things? >> i'm not going to comment before the audit is conducted. but we certainly look forward to seeing the results. once again this was a state and local decision made by the puerto rico authorities and not federal government. but we'll look into the audit. >> they say there is a lot of corruption in puerto rico. would you think this falls under the umbrella? >> once again, we won't get an ahead of the audit. >> you mention the opioid crisis
at the beginning of the remarks and president declared a public health emergency. that decoration did not come with request for money from congress. how much does the president want congress to put towards this crisis? and when will he put in a formal request for that money? >> well, there was $45 billion that was originally in the health care plan that the president spourtded that no democrat in the country supported. so ideally that would have been done through that, but since it wasn't we are hoping that congress will come together and a lot of bipartisan to put behind the opioid crisis and join in the president in dealing with this effort. major? >> can you say then therefore based on your answer just now that 45 billion is what you would like to see as an initial approach to the opioid crisis and done during the budget deal that you hope to negotiate in december? >> i'm not going to negotiate with you from the pods um. but that was the number that we outlined in that initial health care bill. there is a billion dollars spent to date since the president came
into office. we do feel like that 45 billion would have been a good number that was in the health care bill. that was what we supported. we are going to continue looking at that and determine future numbers as we work on negotiating the next budget. >> isn't that a good place to start with congress though? >> in the meeting that the congress had with secretary, did he agree with the recommendation to shrink the size of. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm not going to get ahead of the president's announcement on the specifics of that. but i can tell you that he will be going to utah in the first part of early december and we'll release more details. he also spoke with both senators hatch and lee during the course of that meeting. >> sarah, obviously sexual harassment has been in the news, at least accused the president throughout the course of the campaign. last week during the press conference the president called these fake news. is the official white house position all of these women are
lying? >> we've been clear on that in the beginning and president has spoken on it. john? >> thank you, sarah. last weekend former president carter offered his availability of go between between the north korea regime in the hopes of resolving the differences between this country and pyongyang. he has a history with the family of the current leader in north korea leading with his grandfather in 1994. is the administration in contact with president carter? and does it have any plans to use him as a go-between or ? >> i don't think that's parts of our process at this time. if that changes we'll certainly let you know. but that's not current part of our plan or thinking how to plan with north korea. >> i'll ask the 401(k) question. >> see, you got friends helping you out. >> helping me colleague out. >> and you didn't think anyone here liked you, john. >> i got his back.
is the president considering dropping the amount of pretax contributions that americans put into their 401(k) at about $18,000? seems like this is up for negotiation. does the president lower it? >> as i said this week the president wants to continue to fight and push for protectionha beyond that. but that's the president's position and that's the same today as it was earlier this week. >> thanks, sara. there has been a number of politicians over the past week, including chris christie here at the white house yesterday who said rob mueller should step aside from certain investigations within the certain counsel. does the president share those views? >> the president wants to see this completed. we think that we are continuing to see day in, day out, as this investigation moves to co
complexion, the same tas it started no collusion. if any collusion took place, it would be between the dnc and clintons. and i think we are starting to now see all of the things that the democrats had accused this president of doing, they were actually guilty of themselves. and i think that's a really big problem that certainly be looked at. >> sarah, the lawmakers in egypt are preparing a measure that would crimpalize homosexuality with up to five years in prison. would you condemn that? >> i'm not aware of the specifics so i would have to look into that before i make a response. but certainly check into it. >> i'm going to ask you about the fed. since the last time you were up here, there have been a couple of reports, one, that the president is going to make announcement next week. can you confirm that he's going to make an announcement? and if so give us a little timing. and secondly there have been reports that chairman yellen is
out of the running. can you confirm any of that? >> i can confirm that the president plans to make an announcement on that next week. but beyond that, i don't have any other details to add, no. >> i want to ask you about a comment that sebastian made on fox news. i know he doesn't work for the white house but claims to be involved in knowing what's going on here. he was talking about the uranium deal and up in treason charges right now. this is the equivalent to what the rosenbergs did. and they got the chair. think about it. does the president agree with that statement? >> i hadn't even seen those comments. i'm not going to comment on that i can tell you that we do think there is a lot of cause for concern regarding that deal. and we certainly think it should be looked into but i can't comment beyond that on somebody outside the administration's comments. jessica? >> question on president's
upcoming asia trip. can you talk a little more about the criteria you used to decide which of the multi lateral meetings he attended and can you confirm that he's not going to be at the east asia summit and why? >> he is participating in i know the opening ceremony. in terms of the specifics we'll do a more detailed briefing on that next week so i'll wait until we get to next week. because final details of some of those things are still being worked out. >> thanks, sarah. the president said he congratulations president xi. is there any impact on american interests in asia? >> not that i'm aware of, no. >> i was wondering, why did the president involve himself in the uranium one investigation? are you trying to gin up your own to one up on capitol hill? and where is the president's
evidence that clihillary clinto colluded? >> the president has pushed for transparency if that's what you are toefrg to when dealing with congress. i know that's something new for a president to push for transparency. but that's what he has done and that's was the purpose what he was trying to do. >> the president made a charge that hillary clinton colluded with russians. >> i think i an addressed that pretty thoroughly. >> are you saying? >> i'm saying i'm calling on your colleague. >> didn't really address that question. >> the senate majority leader attacking mr. ban tonon. i'm wondering if you have a view on that? has president had success talking steve out of some of the incumbents as he suggested in the rose garden? >> i won't answer for them even
that i can answer for the president pac because we don't comment on that from the podium. >> on sunday it's going to be one month anniversary of the las vegas shooting. he enhanced the speed of his fire by using bump stocks. the a first you didn't want to comment ton that. but i'm curious to know does the president think that the atf should prohibit their sale? does he think only congress can do it? or does he think that they are not the problem and there is no need? >> he has asked that that process be reviewed and we are waiting on details. but a decision hasn't been finalized on that. but we are looking at that and certainly under review. i'm going to cut us a little short today. i have one last announcement that i wanted to make. the president asked me to let all of you know those of you that have your kids here for trick or treating before they go over to the executive office
building for trick or treating, he's invited them to come into the oval, so if you would like to have your kids participate, please meet us here and we'll walk them over shortly. and then give them back to you so that you can sugar them up and take them home to your house to run wild. thanks so much. and have a good friday. >> there she goes. i thought i saw kids. so all right the headlines. pa lot of questions about whitefish this company out of montana which happens to be the very same town in which the interior secretary is from. a lot of questions doesn't this look funny this is the company that has been chosen to work with puerto rico to get power back on. and you heard sarah huckabee sanders saying over and over this decision to use whitefish was determined by puerto rico. federal government had nothing to do with it and the president had nothing.
hand ryan sin key said he had nothing to do with t holocaust sayi. . and we'll get into the back drop of that. and finally on sexual harassment in this movement happening with women speaking up and she was asked about this today, rose, what a moment she could have had, right, to give the white house stance on just women feeling emboldened and saying this isn't okay and didn't. so with that, i have caitlyn burns with me. mr. ambassador eisen is with me. i think michael sezelden is wit me. but how about michael zelden to you on the questions on whitefish and this montana company that apparently was all down in puerto rico, not at all with the federal government, and
audit under way that sarah huckabee sanders acknowledged either one of the reporters says can you not acknowledge this looks a little fishy. >> well, et cetera pretty it's pretty hard to understand how they had two employees without that name being provided to them. so to say that the federal government wasn't the procuring officer is sort of disingenuous in some respectment seems to me, and we have to wait for the results of the add utah, but seems to me their name had to be given to the puerto rico and had to be encouragement. because it doesn't make sense that that company that small would be the selected company. >> let me hone in on this. jim acosta was ready to roll. we had him ask one question. so on whitefish, a lot of
questions about this, and right fully so. give us a little bit of the back story, the ties, or as they say, no ties, between ryan zeinke, interior secretary, and how it landed on this company in montana? >> reporter: i think you heard during the briefing sarah huckabee sanders telling reporters they will wait for what happens with this ig investigation, inspector general investigation, but obviously when you heard the number of questions being raised during this briefing, there are still lingering questions for this white house to answer. that is how could i company that only had two employees be awarded such a lucrative contract. and also a contract that is so important as to be involved in restoring life and normalcy to the people of puerto rico. i'll tell you, brooke, that i think there is a very strong under current of the russian
investigation also flowing through this briefing today. i don't know if you noticed this, i'm sure you did, but more than one occasion when the question of the russian investigation came up during this briefing with respect to the trump campaign and allegations of collision with the russians, sarah huckabee sanders tried to flip the script on a number of occasions and say, well it was hillary clinton campaign and democrat national committee. now, i don't think this is any small thing, brooke. when you have the white house, keep in mind the campaign is over, the election is over, when the white house is suggesting that there is collusion, that there was collusion going on between a defeated rival, political opponent and a foreign government as this white house is doing. that's one thing for one campaign to say it about another. but this is the white house saying that. that's why i tried to ask the question, multi part question, why is it that the president thought to be involved in this u ran um one deal to try to have that gag