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tv   Wolf  CNN  November 14, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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officer whose life you ruined by prosecuting him for perjury. i yield back. >> the gentlemen may respond. >> mr. jeffries, nobody, nobody. not you or anyone else should be prosecuted. not me accused of perjury for answering the question the way i did in this hearing. i have always tried to answer the questions fairly and accurately. to ask did you ever do something or meet with russians and deal with the campaign, you are saying mr. carter page who left that meeting according to the press reports and i guess his deposition or meeting said i'm going to russia. i made no response and didn't acknowledge it. you are accusing me of lying about that? i say that's not fair, mr. jeffries. i would say that's not fair,
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colleagues. that's not on any indication that i in any way participated in anything wrong. the same with mr. papadopoulos. he talked about, it is reported in the paper, that he said something about going to russia and dealing with the russians. i pushed back and said you shouldn't do it. i don't think it's right to accuse me of doing something wrong. no. >> 'tparticipation with any wrong-doing. >> thank you, mr. attorney general. you didn't do anything wrong in that testimony. his question was jagarbled and that's not giving you any benefit of the doubt. i want to talk to you about your
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recusal and you cited 28 cfr for 45.2 saying you were involved with the campaign and that triggered recusal. that regulation only applies to criminal prosecutions or investigations. when you recuse yourself under james comey's admission, that was a counter intelligence and not a criminal investigation. why did you cite that regulation to refuse from a counter intelligence when its only applicability was for a criminal investigation? >> i'm not sure that was expressed to me when i was given advice about it in those terms. it could likely be both. >> after you were recused, i'm authorized to say there was a counter intelligence
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investigation. that's what he said. i think that may have been misapplie misapplied, but i understand what you are saying. >> i followed the advice i was given. >> i know you did. you cannot confirm or deny. that's a good policy. why was comey allowed to confirm that that invited all kinds of speculation. you were recused and someone authorized him to do that. why did they break with the policy? >> this march 20th, you are talking about? i don't recall how that occurred, but i agree that he should talk more than he should. he had no power or justification in announcing the criminal investigation. he was the investigator. >> i agree. i don't want to interrupt.
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i have limited time. let me move on. uranium 1 case. can you say forget about the investigation. did the fbi or doj take over president obama or any cabinet secretary that they uncovered evidence that the main u.s. executive was engaged in bribery, kick backs and money laundering before the obama administration approved the sale in 2010? >> prosecuted in maryland? >> 2014. there was an informant in 2009 and 2010, the fbi had evidence of bribery, kick backs and money laundering. was that made to any of the relative people on the board? clinton and other cabinet secretaries or was it given to the president? >> the way i understand that
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matter is that the case in which he was convicted was not connected to the problem that occurred three years before. when the case came to the united states attorney's office, mr. rosen stein's office in maryland, it help approved by two years or more. >> there was an fbi informant in 2009. >> i have not talked with him, but the department of justice i understand approved him providing information to the congress. i understand he will be set up in a few days and you will be able to hear from him direct. >> should you too because he has evidence of illegal conduct in 2009 and 2010 before the deal was agreed to involving uranium one. that's something we need to do.
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let me move on. the leaking you mentioned, you can't confirm or deny the existence of the leaks. michael flynn and others used politically against the administration. since the president was elected, has anybody been headlight accountable for leaking information against the administration with the political mode? >> i think the individual in georgia had a motive that has been charged. we have 27 ongoing investigations. some of those were leaks before president trump took office and some after. >> final question. >> before that it was -- it's three times this year than the entire three years before. >> why can't you just tell us whether or not the fbi expended resources to give money to christopher steele?
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we have oversight over your department. were taxpayer dollars used to give to christopher steele? yes or no? >> i'm not able to do that for several reasons. it's an ongoing matter that may well involve classified information. >> thank you attorney general. >> the gentlemen from rhode island for five minutes. >> i apologize in advance. i will go through questions quickly. multiple trustworthy reports revealed that the justice department may involve a trt&t sell cnn for the acquisition of time-warner. more reports surfaced that the chairman and a confidant of trump has twice contacted at&t in an effort to buy cnn. this is disturbing to those of us who are responsible for oversight of these issues. my first question is this. any white house employee or
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official including the president contacted them rurg the transaction. >> i'm not able to comment on communications the department of justice's top people have at the white house. >> i ask that the witness be directed to answer the question. either you are invoking the fifth amendment or privilege. you can't decline to answer because it's uncomfortable. i ask that you answer the question. reserving my right, i will move on. are you not going to answer the question? whether any white house officials have attempted to interfere or speak to the justice department about the transaction? >> it's a long standing department of justice policy that we do not reveal privileged conversations. >> i'm going to move on.
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the foreign agent's registration act, you are familiar with it. do you think it's good policy? >> i think it's a good law. >> you enforce it. in addition paul manafort and michael flynn, have any other advisers or senior officials lobbied for foreign governments without disclosing it under the registration act? >> i'm not able to comment on that. >> why not? >> repeat the question? perhaps i misunderstood it. >> in addition paul manafort and michael flynn, have any officials lobbied for foreign governments without discloseing it? >> that would be a matter that should be directed to mr. mueller, i believe. >> moving to a new question. the department of justice and you on behalf of the department of justice issued a 25 page memo perporting to provide guidance under federal law. you indicate that an exemption
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or combination for religious organizations from anti-discrimination law might be required where congress as not exempted religious organizations. you remember that, right? >> yes. >> with that being under your interpretation that fema can refuse disaster relief to a married couple that men and women should not cohabitate before marriage. >> i don't believe it could be interpreted that way. >> this is a yes or no. would the quitance you provided to refuse to house an unmarried pregnant woman believe that sex outside of marriage is a sin, yes or no? >> every matter -- first, i don't think so. number one. under the guidance. also the guidance does not repeal established laws that are in place and it was written that
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guidance was to clarify that establish of time. >> i appreciate your answer. now to the papadopoulos issue. you said you had forgotten and said you were not being dishone dishonest, but you forgot. do you remember that testimony? >> something like that, yes. >> when did you remember the remarks of mr. papadopoulos. when did the memory come back to you? >> i think when the press came up with it. it was revealed in the press. >> that was when you remembered it? >> i recall that my october statements was a broad question. >> i'm reclaiming my time. you are a senior campaign official and a member of the national security team.
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did you exchange e-mail or text message to or from mr. papadopoulos about russia or any other subject? >> repeat the list of things? >> exchange e-mail, text message or communication to or from mr. papadopoulos about any subject. >> i don't believe so. i'm confident i did not. >> did anyone forward you a communication from mr. papadopoulos. >> i don't recall it. >> did anyone communicate with you about mr. papadopoulos? >> i can't say there were no conversations about him, before or after this event. dipush back. >> the time expired and the witness can answer the question. >> chair? >> i don't have a specific recollection, mr. chairman. >> i asked to make a unanimous consent request. i would request consent to put the following materials into the record. a request requesting a hearing
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with antitrust enforcement for the justice support and senators and others urging them to oppose any attempt by the white house to interfere with antitrust laws particularly for political reasons. a july article reported that senior white house advisers have discussed using the att and time-warner merger as a potential point of leverage over cnn and nine letters from as far back as february of this seeking information on a wight range of subjects addressed to the attorney general of the united states that have been ignored. we received no response. >> without objection it remains part of the record. mr. ratcliff for five minutes. >> good to see you. if fbi director chris wray heltd a press conference to announce a charging decision in a major
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federal investigation, would you consider that an inappropriate departure from long standing department of justice and fbi policies? >> under the situation today and under the deputy attorney general rosen stein wrote with regard to mr. comey, i would be a terminatable offense. we need to be disciplined women don't need to be leaking and have people taking actions outside their realm. maybe sometimes people make an honest mistake, but that would be a dramatic thing. >> i will take that as an emphatic yes. to your knowledge, are there prosecutors that are predetermining cases prior to the interviewing of key witnesses to include the subjects or targets of the investigations? >> i don't believe so. >> is it a practice in your
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department of justice to allow immunized witnesses to sit in the interviews of the subject or target of federal investigations? >> that would not be a normal process for sure. >> mr. attorney general, a few ireggular iities and how the fb has handled these investigations and prosecutions prior to 2016 and how you are handling them. it's also the irregularities that have shaken the faith in trust of people in our department of justice. look, i'm of the opinion for the last eight years, we survived the worst presidency of my lifetime. my colleagues have spent their time convincing we have to survive a bad president right now. that's okay. for 240 years our republic
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withstood that. elected officials come and go. right now where we are and what our history won't tell us is what happens to our republic if people lose faith in the department of justice and the fbi to investigate and prosecute violations of the rule of law. at one point in time, we held the same position in the department of justice. i was u.s. attorney as were you. you obviously have been promoted. if public opinion polls tell us anything, i have been demoted. my time as u.s. attorney taught me something you said in your opening. the department of justice must always transcend politics to uphold the rule of law. more than anything else, the american people wanted to hear from that that is the case. as mr. gaudy said in his line of questioning, lady justice is
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supposed to be holding a set of scales wearing a blind fold. she is not supposed to have her finger on the scales. the american people have every reason to question whether or not that's where we are right now. more than anything, i'm asking from you to hear from you that you are prepared. no, that you are committed to go wherever the facts and evidence lead you regardless of the political consequences for any political party or any person to include donald trump or hillary clinton or yourself. >> yes. i am and the department of justice is. you will have director wray, i believe coming for your committee and i hope you will answer him these questions and you will be impressed. as the united states attorneys,
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we were raised in that yet. i never have forgotten. i'm glad i had the 15 years of justice. you get your values shaped at maybe a younger age. i think i understand the role i have. the sponlt we have to do just its. i would say that in the long run in i want to respect of this body, both sides of the aisle, i have to follow the rules in the department. it may frustrate you that i can't answer questions or confirm you or the members on this side and frustrate people on this side. if i'm not prepared to do that, i don't think i will restore the department of justice. that's what the goal would be to hopefully -- hopefully it's not as bad as you say. i think there is danger and we will fix it.
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>> thank you for your continued service. i yield back. >> the chair would advise that there is about 8.5 minutes in this vote. the gentlemen from california persuaded me and we will reconvene after the vote series. you have five minutes. >> thank you for appearing and express my gratitude to the men and women who served. you stated that my story has never changed, but mr. attorney general, it changed three times and today we heard the third edition when you told us you do recall mr. papadopoulos mentioning that he had contacts in russia. i had a slide that i would like to display. a january 10th, 2017 with mr. frarngen. you stated i'm not aware of any
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of these activities. mr. attorney general, if you were asked that today recalling that you are now aware of what mr. papadopoulos said, would you answer that question drvet differently? >> if you fairly treat the exchange i had with senator franken, i think you can understand where when i answered the question, i felt like i was answering it properly. >> you agree it should be answered differently? considering your recollection thaw gave us. >> i believe that -- you are asking me today explicitly. did you meet with any other russians, i am prepared to say i did. i met with the ambassador with at least two of my staff. respected patriots. colonels retired in the army.
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nothing improper occurred at all. >> once and for all, can you answer the question? >> i am answering the question. i don't understand why you won't take my answer. >> we are on the third edition. did any person on earth state that they were communicating with russians, traveling to russia or asked the campaign to meet with russians to your recollection some. >> was i asked that question in. >> i'm asking you today to your knowledge, did any person tell you they were going to russia? >> i am prepared to answer the question, but i will not answer in a way that suggests that i in any way misled anyone when i answered the question. >> what's the answer to the question? >> the answer is i met with the ambassador in my office for less than an hour, i believe. he came up to me after a speech
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at the convention when it was raised to me that this -- nobody said it was an error. i immediately revealed and acknowledged or told them the meetings i had. >> with respect to carter page, he told you as you acknowledged he was going to russia and also on the national security team and this is the second person within about three months now that is bringing up russian contacts and you did not tell him to not go to russia. >> no, i didn't. >> and you didn't tell anyone else? >> i don't recall him saying that. am i supposed to stop him from taking a trip. >> now that two people talked about going to russia or having contact with russia, that they might have a russia problem? >> if i read what has been said about the papadopoulos meeting,
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the one that was somewhat earlier. i did say you don't represent something. i pushed back in his trip. i was concerned that he not go off somewhere pretending to represent the trump campaign. this young man ought not to be going off representing the campaign. the next one is carter page and he said from what i see in his testimony and spinterviews, he goes out after the meeting and -- >> moving on mr. attorney general. >> he said he is going to russia and i made no response. what does that mean? >> the american people can judge that. >> i don't think i have done anything dishonest. >> the cia said that wikileaks
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is a hostile intelligence service. >> might disagree with that. >> candidate trump -- >> he is well aware of that. >> candidate trump said i love wikileaks. do you love wikileaks mr. attorney general? >> i'm not a fan of wikileaks. >> do you think it was appropriate that donald trump jr. communicated with wikileaks? >> i'm not able to make a judgment about that. >> the time has expired. the committee will stand in recess until after this vote. >> they are taking a quick recess. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. very contentious hearing going on with the attorney general, jeff sessions on several important issues. he flatly repeatedly denied he intentionally lied before
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earlier investigation. he said no final decision has been made whether to name a new special counsel to investigate hillary clinton as far as earlier controversies are correspond. he said he has no reason to doubt the women who have come forward and made allegations of sexual abuse by the republican senate candidate, roy moore. let's bring in jeffrey tube in. they saw the earlier statements he made. he is fixing those statements, but he is insisting he did not deliberately lie. >> the core of the democrats against sessions has been that he was untruthful about his knowledge of contacts between the trump campaign and russia. he has acknowledged in this
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hearing he neglected to say earlier about george papadopoulos and his interactions about relations and the contacts with russia. >> pleaded guilty. >> papadopoulos pleaded guilty. he said simply i forgot. what's odd about his testimony is that he says i didn't remember it until i heard about it in news reports. now i remember that i was categorically informing him, papadopoulos that is, not to make contacts on behalf of the campaign. it's a dramatic change in the testimony from i don't remember to i now remember that i gave emphatic direction. >> let me play the clip. a lot of members of the house in the house committee, they are referring to an exchange that the attorney general had in the
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senate with senator al franken earlier in the year. listen to this. >> if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign, communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> i'm not aware of any of those activities. >> you don't believe that surrogates from the trump campaign had communications with the russians? is that what you are saying? >> i did not and i'm not aware of anyone who did and i don't believe it happened. >> you heard what he said then and he gives a very different story today. >> there was the issue of carter page and what he knew of what carter page was doing. i'm not aware of anything carter page was doing with the russians.
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certainly it's the papadopoulos exchange that is the most contradictory to what he told al franken. >> he serves for national security. what he said then and what he is saying today. he is being forceful saying i didn't mislead or ally. i side what i thought was the truth. >> this is another hearing where attorney general sessions comes out forceful and very defiant in terms of defending his own honor before members of congress. he had explaining to do in terms of explaining the differences between his prior testimony and today. he does it by saying i didn't remember before and now i remember. by getting himself out of that any concern about whether he lied to congress. he paints an unflattering
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picture about the leader of the national security adviser team. he presents it as not really being in charge and not knowing what others on the team were up to. >> he said basically cnn political analyst and correspondent for bloomberg news. the advisory panel he chaired he said was a joke. it wasn't serious. he put together guys and had a meeting and that was about it. >> at the beginning of the administration, it was about legitimizing and into the mueller probe. that's been set aside in favor of trying to make sure that legal liability is at a minimum. the challenge for jeff sessions and we have seen it's interesting hearing that they give him running room or frustrations. the rhetoric or positions. he is in a precarious position
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in which the president essentially has taken getting rid of jeff sessions off the table for now. if he does anything that under cuts or undermines his credibility at the top hell official. that could change that. lits get credit for the an lives. >> how did you read the exchanges between the attorney general and the democratic and republican members of the committee. >> it was interesting. republicans were trying to give the attorney general cover. give the administration cover by focusing on what they hoped to be a clinton investigation and democrats are digging in and trying to find discrepancies with what sessions has said. i think this hearing was colored by two very interesting comments. one before the hearing and trump
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saying it bothers him as president he is not supposed to get involved in the justice department and the fbi. you can see congressman gowdy acknowledging that there is too much interference with the justice department from the oval office and wishes democrats had the same when obama was in office. you also saw democrats poking at sessions, trying to get this idea that they are not being truthful with their comments and what they are talking b. who they met with from russia. i think part of the problem gets become to the president which we saw on his asia trip and not being able to forcefully criticize vladimir putin and that keeps things alive in a political sense. also what we saw is the attorney general is in a sense also
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performing for the president. he wants, i think, to talk about his respect for the rule of law and that the justice department should be independent. he knows that the administration in the white house is looking for a more forceful defense of the president from him. i think that kind of hangs over everything he said. >> let me play this clip about his memory and recollection and how he explained why he got it wrong during earlier testimony. listen to this. >> i have no recollection of this meeting until i saw these news reports. i do not recall that the march 2016 meeting at the trump hotel that mr. papadopoulos attended. i have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting. after reading his account and to the best of my recollection, i believe that i wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the
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campaign with the russian government or any other foreign government for that matter. i did not recall this event that occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago. i would gladly had reported it had i remembered it. i pushed back. >> you would think he would remember a meeting like that and he told george papadopoulos don't go to moscow or have contacts and whatever he said. it sounds like once he heard about it in that charging indictment where papadopoulos pleaded guilty, he had specific details. >> that's especially true when you remember that the whole focus of the hearing where al franken questioned him was russia. it's not like russia was some subject that was thrown at him out of the blue where anyone can
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akment what you may not remember. he prepared for questions about russia. he knew he was going to be asked about russia. he had a problem before testifying about russia. not disclosing his meetings with the russian ambassador. he was ready for questions about russia, yet he still forgot the exchange with papadopoulos which today he now vividly remembers shutting down any contacts between papadopoulos and the russians. >> we will take a break in a moment, but i want you to react. he is sensitive to the notion that he is not an honorable person. i will play this clip where he makes his case. >> i have been asked to remember details from a year ago such as who i saw on what day and what meeting and who said what to when. in all of my testimony, i with only do my best to answer your
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questions as i understand them and to the best of my memory. i will not accept and reject accusations that i have ever lied. that is a lie. let me be clear. i have at all times conducted myself honorably. >> it's a very sensitive issue. lying before congress is a crime. >> it is. he was under testimony so he had to explain it. there is a bigger piece going on here. his testimony comes the day after there has been another big revelation being in contact with wikileaks about trump am campaign officials and going to meetings and being in communication with russian government individuals. he portrays it as defending honor, but he said i will not be
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taken down by this entire investigation. if there were other things going on on the campaign, i didn't know about it. >> he said he didn't know about the exchanges that donald trump jr. had with wikileaks. that others were in on an e-mail link talking about that. there is a lot more to assess. let's take a quick break. the former senator from alabama. now the attorney general of the united states said he has no reason to doubt the testimony of five women. five women who have come forward and made accusations of sexual abuse with the candidate in alabama. we will have that and a lot more when we come back. ♪ give ancestrydna, the only dna test that can trace your origins to over 150 ethnic regions...
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accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become?
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growing calls from top republicans including the senate majority letter mitch mcconnell and now house speaker paul ryan to withdraw from the senate race amid allegations of sexual abuse. paul ryan said this and i'm quoting him now. he should step aside number one. the allegations are credible. number two, if he cares about the values that he claims to care about, he should step aside. take a listen to this. this is the attorney general jeff sessions testifying today before the house judiciary was asked about the senate race in alabama and remember, he is the former u.s. senator from alabama. listen to this. >> i am -- i have no reason to doubt these young women. >> if you believe these young women, do you believe he should
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be seated in the senate if he wins and would you introduce investigations by the doj regarding his actions? >> we will evaluate every case as to whether or not it should be investigated. this case would normally be a state case. i would say that the ethics people at the differently justice and i have talked to them about that when the campaign started, it's the seat i used to hold. if they advised me that the attorney general should not be involved in this campaign, i have friends in the campaign. >> thank you. i have a short period of time. i want to make sure if he comes to the senate that there would be a possibility of referring his case for at least a federal view by the department of justice. >> we will do our duty. >> what did you think of that exchange?
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it looks like the pressure is clearly mounting on roy moore to step aside. he gives no indication and supporters give no indication he is willing to do so. >> the pressure is indisputably mounting for all parts of the republican party. the most important person is probably not jeff sessions. it's going to be president trump who is on the way back from asia. he has been in asia and more focused on the international  issues, they are all in communication by e-mail and the controversy has been a huge source of concern and discussion in the white house. when the president gets back, he will have meetings and get briefed and be given a range of options on whether or not he decides to weigh in publicly or privately. >> the options are not great because under alabama law, roy moore has to stay on the ballot. it's too late to replace him.
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the only sopoption is a write i. that's difficult with someone like luther strange who already lost to roy moore. the republican party may have to come to terms with the fact that the only two winners would be roy moore or mr. jones who is the democratic nominee. either one is a good option. >> we have to understand that there are two sets of republican establishments here. while the establishment in washington wants roy moore to go, i was on the phone before we were on the air in alabama and the establishment there is not pressuring him to go. it's not something they want to get involved in. they are waiting for them to weigh in. we are talking about a politician who regularly talks about false accusations and rigged elections. it would be an interesting spot to influence the out come of an election because he doesn't like who might win, especially when
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the candidate roy moore is complaining that he is the victim of false accusations. this is very difficult. >> about sexual harassment which the president has also been accused of. it's complicated by that as well. >> although he has not jumped at the idea, they are being floated and discussed about whether jeff sessions himself will be returned. >> the justice department, let's say he is sworn in as the next u.s. senator from the state of alabama. you heard the congresswoman saying will you investigate him and open a federal investigation under what charges? i take it that this would be a state or a local issue more than a federal issue. >> this type of crime. what roy moore is accused of. the attorney general was right to say we will take a look at it, but there is no readily
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available federal crime that would be an issue here. >> one last thing. roy moore was elected once. he ran again and won. who is to say they don't somehow manipulate everything to get rid of him. they have to fill the seat that jeff sessions won in 2014. who is to say he doesn't run again and win? you can't. >> everybody stand by. a new poll that quinnipiac university just put out. we will put it up on the screen. donald trump's approval number is at 35%. 35% of the american people approve of the job he is doing in the poll, down from 38% in mid-october. right now 58% of the american people according to quinnipiac disapprove the job that the president is doing. this poll is consistent with a punch of other recent polls. >> consistently not good.
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how much leverage does he have with congress to score and will he be blamed if there are problems for the republicans in november? the question for republicans is a continuation on the theme which is particularly about problems getting tax legislation through and how much does the president's inability to expand his support matter in an election year in a general election? we know in terms of a primary election, he is quite popular and has a hammer to wield over republican who is push back and don't do what he wants to do. when it comes to the control of the two chambers of congress and the inability to break back over 40 is a matter of concern. >> on the big issue, he is coming back to washington working to try to influence the senate and the house that passes the tax cuts and the tax bill right now. when members of the senate and the house and the moderate
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republicans see his approval numbers only 35%, let's say. that weakens the president and his ability to twist arms. >> it does. especially after last week's elections and everyone is focused on virginia and new jersey. the death of republican losses from virginia all the way up to long island outside of new york city is what has republicans concerned and they are worried about how they are doing with suburban women. this is a huge concern into 2018. on the one hand, there is in a way more pressure for them to pass tax reform internally. they need something to show for full control of government. when the president has these numbers, it means he is strong with the base and not voters at large. that gives him less leverage and movement over them. >> the tax bill itself is not particularly popular.
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a lot of them believe they are doomed in the mid-term elections. >> this is hardly a panacea to their problems. >> a lot more is happening right now. speaking aboard air force one a little while ago and commenting on china's decision to release the three ucla basketball players after the president asked the chinese president to intervene. lawmakers and one ally demanding assurances that president trump won't launch nuclear weapons. you will hear how the white house responded. for your takg with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. when i met my team at ctca, they put together a comprehensive plan,
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as north korea threatens, first of more than 40 years to president's power to order nuclear attack. senator corker says a number of members on and off the committee has raised serious questions. listen to what connecticut senator chris murphy had to say. >> we are concerned that the president of the united states is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision making process that he might order a nuclear weapon strike that is wildly out of step with u.s. national security interests. >> very strong words. with us now to discuss our cnn global affairs analyst former state deputy national security
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adviser during the obama administration as well. what's reaction to senator murphy very strong remarks? >> this is extraordinary. because as you said at the top this is the first time in more than 40 years congress has held a hearing on the president's authority and command to use nuclear weapons. and there is a reason this hearing is happening now. it's because of concerns that the president actser radically, particularly with his tweets, and that is sending all sorts of messages around the world that are potentially the sourgs of miscalculation. if someone like a north korea thinks that on the basis of something the president tweets that he may be prepared to use nuclear weapons, and by the way they don't have the ability to detect incoming nuclear weapons, that could do an unintended conflict. so that's the basis for the hearing. now we have institutions and process that is should be able to with stand any individual. >> including the president. >> corker.
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>> now, there is also a larger question that goes beyond any president, including president trump which is should the president have the authority to basically launch on his own decision without consultation of congress without any imminent danger to the united states. that's a larger question that goes beyond the question of president trump. >> another sensitive issue come up and the president responding to it, the relationship now seems to have with leadership deuterono with the administration. listen to the president.
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>> i want to you react to that. >> then president due tu tear came in and tens of thousands, and that really soured the relationship. because president trump criticized him for the way conducting this war on drugs. president seems more at home with auto krats thcrates than d. and is really unfortunate. the other thing, wolf, this sends a terrible message of impunity to continue prosecuting this war on drugs without any regard for basic standard of
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rule of law and sends a message around the world that we are okay with this kind of conduct. >> because the white house says that the issue of human rights did briefly come up in the president's meeting with the president, the philippine government says it never came up. >> i'm surprised they said you are right. that's probably the discussion. the president has said previously said that. >> and much less comfortable with democrats. >> he did seem to get a major achievement in convincing chinese leader president xi and release the three ucla basketball players, but they are on their way home right now. and the president is taking some
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credit for that. >> yeah, that's good news. president was right to do it. good that he got the result. it would have been good as well for the chinese for example the widow who won the nobel peace prize and was put in jail by china. so you have to get that piece of it right too. the larger question here, wolf, is in china we saw presidents heading in different directions. xi whose power is at a maximum, and president trump as you said earlier opinion polls show lowest ratings ever. and both of them are heading in different directions in terms of where they are taking their countries. president trump is closing in. that's going to put china in much stronger position and us weaker position. >> he said he's improved this relationship with china and we'll see some dramatic results
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and there will be a speech making some major announcement as well. thaun thanks for coming in. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the "the situation room." in the meantime the news continues right here right now right here on cnn. this is cnn breaking news. wolf blitzer, thank you so much. i'll take it from here p i. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. we have the attorney general jeff sessions getting grilled under oath everything russia. by the way, it's not over. we'll take you back to the hearing as soon as it starts up again on capitol hill. meantime, today first time sessions who was also a key official in the trump campaign had to face questions about the march 2016 meeting with papadopoulos. papadopoulos that's the