tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 1, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
>> i was like, oh, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, i did something for her that no one else did, you know? so, it felt really good. >> do you know someone that deserves to be a cnn hero? nominate them at cnnheroes.com. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. good evening. once again, we have breaking news from the white house. word of a possible big departure from the west wing. another one. that's just after the other one. this time it's the president's national security adviser, lieutenant h.r. mcmaster who had replaced michael flynn. we should say, it has not yet happened. yesterday, it was hope hicks, plus an avalanche of other breaking news. tonight, it comes with a side order of cnn exclusive reporting on the adviser who is closer to the president on anyone else on earth, his daughter, ivanka, and a deal of hers that could be holding up her permanent security clearance. once again, a very busy night. let's start with the mcmaster story and jim sciutto.
jim, so, what do we know? >> anderson, my colleague barbara starr and i are told mcmaster could leave his position by the end of this month, that according to a administration official, or in the near future. multiple sources describing it that way, and in addition, it is becoming more likely that mcmaster will not return to the military and a possible four-star general job there but would ultimately retire as a three-star general and go on into a civilian job. this follows many public and private disagreements between mcmaster and president trump, and the feeling from a number of people that i've spoken with is just that his position as national security adviser became untenable because of many of those disagreements. >> is there any word on who could actually be replacing him? >> so, we're hearing a number of names, among those names being considered, make that clear, being considered, the ceo of
oracle, john bolton. another name mentioned, the vice president at ford motor company, as well as a former senior staff member to condoleezza rice under george w. bush's administration, i should say, that ford has told cnn that that is not true, he's not in discussions. i should also say that the nse spokesperson, michael anton, has dismissed all these reports of mcmaster's departure with a favorite phrase of the trump administration, and that is fake news. but again, my colleague barbara starr and i hearing this from multiple people who are aware of the discussions inside. i should make one more note, as well, that we know of a senior military officer who was consulted about the possibility of taking on this job, as well, he, saying no because he was concerned about how he could fulfill what is basically a political job while still in uniform, and of course, anderson, that was the position that mcmaster was in, he still has his three stars. and now the question has been, would he go back to the
military. but our nchgs is thinformation will not. and again, anderson, i should also say, this is the trump white house, the final decision is up to president trump himself and these kind of moves could always change. >> jim, thank you. because this is clearly to jim's story, let's go to jim acosta at the white house. what is the white house saying about this report? >> well, as jim mentioned, just a few moments ago, the president is calling this story that h.r. mcmaster might be leaving any time soon fake news, but anderson, past being prologue, we know when the president says something is fake news, that doesn't necessarily make it so. and in many cases, it's probably the opposite of that. it's probably real news. and with all the talk of these departures this week, we talked about hope hicks last night, tonight we're talking about the possibility of h.r. mcmaster leaving, you know, this is another sign of a white house that is just in this constant state of turmoil. i did talk to a source earlier
this evening with respect to h.r. mcmaster who said that there are some expectations that general mcmaster, once he leaves the white house and once that's finished and finalized, that he'll go to the hoover institution, which is a leading think tank here in washington and out in california, which also has ties to condoleezza rice, by the way, but this source was cautioning that that is not finalized yet, that the deal is not finished. but that is a possibility in terms of a landing spot for mcmaster. >> and if and when this happens, i mean, this will be, what, the 11th top level official to leave this white house. >> that's right. and earlier today, as you heard, the white house press secretary sarah sanders was not really closing the door on the possibility that jeff sessions, the attorney general, may be leaving. when she was asked whether the president wanted to get rid of his attorney general, she said, not that i know of. i talked to senior administration officials earlier this evening about all of this, this official said that sessions
just doesn't pay attention to this kind of political drama, that his job doesn't entail following political drama. he's doing the things he likes to do and he was over at the white house earlier today on an opioid matter, but anderson, putting aside all the palace intrigue, keep in mind, we're in the second day in a row of the president causing massive confusion on policy issues, on gun control. yesterday, as we saw, he created all sorts of confusion when he said, for example, that mentally ill people could have their firearms confiscated from them before any kind of due process, and then today over here at the white house, he announced tariffs on aluminum and steel that may be imposed next week. he did that without white house officials even explaining, you know, what the details of all that will be, which countries will be affected and so on, and so for all of this talk of mr. magoo, it's been another looney toons week. since it's thursday, we can't exactly say that's all folks. anderson? >> jim, thank you.
it looks like a high school yearbook, but these are high level people, this would be the 11th departure within the administration so far. five from communications directors, five at chief of staff. a chief strategist, press secretary, omarosa, quite a list. could be growing, as we said. joining us now is retired army lieutenant mark hertling. so,ed a miral, h ed a mir ahow s be in general mcmaster left his position? >> it's a key position inside the white house. a very, very close adviser to the president of the united states. the commander in chief. so, any departure, movement in that office, is a big deal. it's significant. and it's going to have an effect on the way policy, particularly foreign policy and defense policy, is implemented and executed. the national security adviser is the facilitator. his job is to make sure the inner agency process moves along smoothly and that options are teed up to the president in a thoughtful, measured way. there's been some concern under general mcmaster as the degree
to which that has really been healthy under his leadership. but it will have a significant effect. >> general, does it align with anything you've been hearing in military circles? i'm wondering what message would it send about the highest levels of american national security apparatus. >> it would be troubling right now, anderson, because of what admiral kirby just said. there's a lot of things going on. and mcmaster is at the center of it. he's a very disciplined, smart guy. he's been driving processes, the national security strategy, really was his product, bringing a lot of people together. it set the stage for how we deal on the international community. and what's interesting is, h.r., i know h.r., and he's very much of a process-driven guy, even though he is very flexible, and any time you have these kind of operations, it's intelligence-driven. i'm sure he's been exceedingly frustrated by the lack of having intelligence drive communications, driving operations and strategy.
and, you know, over the last year, he's tried to reconsolidate things after the debacle that was the flynn national security agency, and now he is actually bringing some things together, but i got to believe that it's been a tough year for him and it's been extremely difficult. he's been very verbal on the world stage. he's gone to a lot of conferences and talked some things, and as you know, many of the things he's talked about have been disconnects with what the president said. >> jen, there's the geo-political message, and then just the political message it sends about how the white house is or is not functioning. >> that's right. in this "game of thrones" style of staff shuffles in this white house, what it also likely means is that general kelly has recovered a bit from the porter scandal from a few weeks ago, at least in president trump's eyes, which means he's probably there to stay for awhile. some people may like that, some people may not like that, inside and outside the white house. it also probably means secretary
tillerson can live another day and will be there for a couple more months, because you can't fire your, or let go of half of your national security team. so, you know, in terms of politics, it creates, not to criticize my own trade, but this is certainly more significant internally and on the geo-political scale than the communications director departing, because this sends a message to the world, it is also somebody who is a key asset for people within government as well as within congress. >> i remember then-candidate trump's affinity for generals, speaking very highly for them at multiple campaign stops, just watching them on the sunday shows, actually campaigning with general flynn, obviously. at times he said he knew more than generals did. does it surprise you that he seems to have a fraught relationship with at least some current and former military leaders? i don't know that it surprises me. every -- there's this idea that every general is the same, and they're not. general hertling is not like all
the others. they bring unique skills. there's been some reporting that the president has bristled at the way that general mcmaster briefs him. and, so, look. the president is -- he's entitled to have the national security adviser he wants. and if this relationship is not working, it's a healthy thing to break it off and let both men move in different directions. but i also worry and have worried when he did name so many generals and former generals to job, that it could result in the mill tarization of the development of policy, that's never a healthy thing. admirals and generals are really good and smart at what we do, but we don't always have the same political fidelity and touch that other civilian political appointees can bring to the job. so, it's not healthy to have, i don't think, so many around you. >> general, i mean, can active duty military officers turn down this job if the president calls them up and says, i'd like you to do this? >> yeah, that's tough to do, anderson. but remember, general mcmaster was one of two general officers after admiral harwood turned it
down, he was retired, but he had -- president trump had two active duty general officers, three stars. he chose them in a span of about an hour. so, i'm not sure, you know, there was that ability to connect, to see what he was getting into, and, again, president trump at the time, when he was transitioning, did not know the intricacies of foreign policy, national security council workings, how to pull all the elements of the intelligence community together with the various directors of government, so, he picked a guy who certainly is smart, but, you know, i'm sure personalities clashed, as has been reported to do. can an -- i didn't answer your question. can an active duty general turn it down? it would be tough. >> jen, we're also at the point, maybe long past the point, where where the white house denies something or dismisses it, those denials really carry very little
weight. >> that's right. and i think, look at how jim acosta, who is reporting on the white house, brushed off what the white house said about it. and that tells you a lot about how important your credibility is when you're a spokesperson, when you are speaking on behalf of the president, and how much it matters in cases like this. we've heard time and time again, high level officials say, the president has absolute confidence in this person, the president's sitting in the oval office with this person. and then just a couple days later, they depart. so, this doesn't lead us to conclude that general mcmaster is there to stay, it actually leads us to conclude he likely is on the rocks and as cnn has been reporting, looking for his way out and they're looking for his way out, as well. >> general, admiral, jen, stay with us. much more ahead to talk about, including exclusive new cnn reporting on a deal by ivanka trump that the fbi's counter intelligence unit has been paying attention to. and the jared kushner news, that kushner business companies got half a million dollars in loans from companies that jared
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an international business deal that could be holding up her security clearance. first daughter ivanka trump, as you know, is one of the president's closest advisers. here she is at the winter olympics in south korea. meeting with the south korean president. in short, she's doing official government business in a very difficult part of the world, potentially involving some of the most sensitive intelligence there is. neither she nor her his jared kushner have been able to get the full top secret security clearance that many believe they need to do their jobs. it's not fully clear what the spe sichic concern about this one international business deal is with ivanka trump, which we'll go into detail in a moment. the main question in all such cases is whether a foreign power might be able to exercise undue influence on u.s. policy or gain access to secrets because of a government official's financial affairs, or, in this case, family ties, as well. keeping them honest, this is a problem that candidate trump suggested would never arise if he were elected. here he is on the campaign trail, slamming his opponent,
hillary clinton, saying that unlike her, he couldn't be bought. >> hillary clinton has nothing in the campaign. she's all special interest in doe norms and they give her the money. she will do whatever they tell her to do. these people have given her tens of millions of dollars. my campaign has the absolute opposite message. i'm self-funding, i'm the only one on both sides that's self-funding. i'm self-funding, by the way. i have no oil company, i have no special interests. i have over $100 million, that's a lot of money that i don't take in from the special interests, because i don't need it. >> he didn't need it, he said, because he and his family are rich. however, he failed to mention the sources of that wealth, which include numerous overseas investments and investors. now, this latest item on ivanka trump hits just a day after "the new york times" published that story on her husband, revealing the kushner real estate company got loans totaling half a
billion dollars from companies he met with at the white house in his official capacity. so, i want to underscore that. while in his official government capacity as a senior adviser to the president of the united states, the father of the woman he married, jared kushner met with bankers and investors who later lent his family business to which he still reportedly has financial ties $500 million. that story comes hard on the heels of reporting that officials in four countries have conversations about potential vulnerabilities that kushner had to manipulation, due to his complex financial interests and his family company's real estate woes. so, as of this moment, jared kushner has a plain old secret security clearance, which sounds important, but isn't. the white house chicago arer if has higher clearance now. can he still do his job now, and can he stay? >> he's going to continue to focus on the work that he's been doing, and we're going to continue pushing forward on that front, as well. >> are there any concerns about conflict of interest, given the
meetings he had with executives from companies that gave his family business millions of dollars? >> i would reller if you to the statement that was put out by his attorney. >> sarah sanders at today's briefing. before the latest story about ivanka trump hit, cnn got the exclusive. sarah, i understand one of ivanka trump's international business deal is drawing this interest from fbi investigators. >> that's right. we know that counterintelligence officials have been looking at this trump tower deal in vancouver. ivanka trump was the point person in the family in the trump organization for this project. now, it's not exactly clear what it is about this deal that has investigators so interested. this is another one of those arrangements where the trump organization doesn't actually own the property. they strike up this licensing and branding agreement with the developer. in this case, the developer is a malaysian guy, a member of one of the wealthiest families in malaysia. he's the one who actually owns this building. and then they sell off the
condos. and as is customary with a lot of the trump properties, the condos have generated a lot of interest from foreign buyers. any one of these things could be a concern, but the timing of the deal is also really interesting. this is one of the few trump properties that actually opened after donald trump took office, it opened in february of 2017. >> thiwhy would counterintellige be interested in this? any idea? >> what you were talking about, anderson, there's a lot of concern over the contacts that really everyone around trump was having. jared kushner, ivanka. this one particular deal and her contacts with perhaps some of the unves or thes, some of the people who were maybe buying into this property, something triggered the counterintelligence. the fbi has been spending well over a year now looking at some of their contacts, some of the deals that were being made. but something in this particular deal, i've been told, really triggered the fbi and they've really been looking into it, trying to get a sense, again, it's sort of what you said.
was there some kind of influence? were they trying to exploit her, her husband? all of that remains a concern for the fbi. >> and shimon, would this have any impact on the mueller investigation? >> it potentially could. anything that has to do with this family, with the president, is all now being run out of the mueller team, out of the mueller case. so, potentially, it could. and, you know, from everything that i know, mueller has seen some of this information, it is before him, it is before his prosecutors and his investigators, so, it could potentially. we don't know that ivanka has any kind of exposure to this, it could simply be part of what mueller has been doing, as we saw in the indictments against the russians, is looking at what others were doing to try to influence some of the people in this country. >> sara, the last we'd heard ivanka trump had an interim security clearance. is that still the case? do we know if hers has been
downgraded? >> anderson, if suddenly ivanka trump got a top secret security clearance, there is no one in her orbit coming out with this information. obviously, we saw the case with jared kushner was, it was not only his financial dealings, but also the mueller investigation that prevented him from obtaining this full security clearance. but the reality is, because these two people are married, their background checks, their security clearance process has an impact on one another. ivanka trump could be impacted by her own business deals or by her husband. we do have a comment from a representative for ivanka trump, who sort of downplayed the situation, saying that cnn is wrong. any hurdle, obstacle, concern, red flag or problem has been raised with respect to ms.trump or her application. nothing in the new white house policy has changed what she's been able to do if that last phrase sounds familiar, it's
because we heard something similar when jared kushner's security clearance was downgraded. we know that june tejohn kelly made a ruling. >> sara murray, thank you very much. shimon, thank you, as well. we're going to take a breath and discuss the implications of you just heard. we know that june john kelly don't we need to run? nope. it just explodes in a high pitched 'yeahhh.' yeahhh! try directv now for $10 a month for 3 months. no satellite needed. smile dad. i take medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. but they might not be enough to protect my heart.
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back now with the breaking news, u.s. officials are scrutinizing ivanka trump's buzz deals. the fbi has been looking into the negotiations and the financing surrounding trump international hotel and tower in vancouver, according to a u.s. official. and the scrutiny could be a hurdle for the first daughter as she tries to obtain a full security clearance in her role as adviser to the president. in any case, it is another potential ethics entanglement for a member of the trump family. joining us to talk about it, phil mudd, norm eisen, president obama's white house ethics czar. so, phil, i mean, how big a deal is this? what does it tell you that the fbi, as far as we know, hasn't been able to finish up or, you know, that the first daughter has not been able to get a full-time security clearance? >> let's make sure we understand two questions.
first, i didn't see anything in the reporting that suggested she did anything wrong. >> right. >> that said, there's some key questions here you've got to ask, if you are doing the security clearance. number one, did she declare it? we know we have a history with white house officials in this administration of not declaring their contacts. number two, does this company have dealings with the u.s. government, and is she involved in any of those dealings? number three, a simple question, anderson. what happens when they pick up the phone and they ask for a meeting at the white house? does she now feel compelled to offer that meeting? and the last question, i think, would be, does the intelligence community, including the fbi, have information on the people she's dealing with that indicate those people are dirty what does that mean? so, i'm not sure she's done anything wrong, but with the complications of her and her husband's sort of financial dealings, they're like the tylenol twins if you're a security official. so many questions about whether there's a conflict of interest. >> does it raise ethics concerns for you? >> anderson, thanks for having me back.
it raises profound ethics concerns. the question of the vancouver trump property that's under counterintelligence investigation is only the latest entanglement for ivanka, for her husband jared, because we impute these potential conflicts to spouses. for the whole trump family. it's been a never ending stream of these. and you know, if in fact, there is some problem there, it may represent a conflict that should require her to step away from certain issues. and the -- the behavior of the trumps is more like that of a royal family than of a modern day elected official, between the conflicts and the nepotism and, of course, the president himself has the largest conflicts of all hanging onto his businesses.
another troubling development. >> jen, i mean, the idea that america was getting jared kushner and ivanka trump along with president trump seems to be, at least in part, a package deal of ethics questions and security clearance hurdles. >> that's true. you never want to hire someone you can't fire, which is why there's nepotism laws, in part. but the other fact that hasn't been out there that much is that when you fill out your security clearance forms, typically, your spouse's contacts and financial ties are taken into account. we don't know what her security clearance is, exactly what the status is, but there's no doubt that she would be, her security clearance would probably be impacted with everything happening with jared, as well. and if you look at this circumstance, it's actually pretty surprising, reading this story, that she hasn't been pulled into some of the repo reporting. she's been pretty low key as it relates to the mueller investigation. doesn't mean she's done anything wrong, but she's been around for a lot of the key moments. and as a daughter, that would be
expected, but that's another place where it's a bit of a conflict to be a senior adviser and a daughter in this case. >> this may be a dumb question, phil, because the president doesn't undergo a background check, but president trump, when he was a candidate, afternoon said hillary clinton would not have been able to pass a background check. given, you know, jared kushner, ivanka trump have not gotten a full-time clearance, would the president, if he had to, actually be able to pass a background check at this point? >> i don't think he'd be able to, and in effect, he is undergoing a background check. that's a check done by robert mueller and we know he's looking into financial dealings not only of the kids, but potentially of the president. let me make this even clearer. we're making this like it's an incredibly complicated -- it's not. let me cut to the chase. when i was in government, i could not accept a gift from any foreign government more than 200 bucks. that's 200 american dollars. if the reports are accurate, jared kushner is negotiating
mortgage deals in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars in the white house. when i was in government, i was capped at how many meals i could accept from one of my friends from a foreign security service. and we're talking about people in the white house negotiating deals with foreign governments including potentially in malaysia and elsewhere, while they're in the white house. we look at this like this is the normal activity of people who are the children of the president -- the comparison to what an everyday government official would have to go through is night and day. i would be on my ass so fast if i did any of this, the light wouldn't be out by the time i'd be out the door. >> i want to put up something that jen tweeted today, saying, for context, i had to justify that i had prior relationships with people who gave me wedding presents when i got married in 2010 while working at the white house. no one knows ethics rules. she was referring to your comments. what happens next in the process and why were you trying to deprive jen of a new coffee
maker or whatever it was? >> yeah, norm. >> anderson, when i attended the harvard law school, i did not expect i would be going over jen's wedding registry. >> but you did. >> but we did. and i'll tell you why we did that. it was the opposite of the trump administration. in the obama administration, the president believed that tone at the top matters. and you need to set a tone of integrity. and if you have a president who is hoovering up foreign government cash and benefits all over the world, who is bringing his children in and they're doing deals, and there's a cloud of conflict hanging over it all, potential constitutional issues, that sets a tone to everyone and you very quickly get into the people in the cabinet saying, why can't i do it, too? and you get dr. price's flights and you get ben carson's $31,000 conference table. and all of the -- that's not
what the american people signed up for, anderson. they want a president and a government that will serve the public. not serve yourself like, you know, an all you can eat buffet. it's just wrong. it stinks. >> jen, do you find it all encouraging that the president hasn't just bypassed the protocols and given his daughter and son-in-law the highest level of security clearance? i mean, he can show, you know, jared kushner, ivanka trump, the presidents' daily brief if he wants, even if they're not cleared for it. >> well, he can. now, it is -- currently, that is the case, but he can do a waiver on a case by case basis. so, if he wants jared to be the point of contact with straudi arabia on an oil deal, he can do that. we'll have to watch and see how many waivers he gives in this case. and how it's impacted. it is interesting, as you said, that he didn't give an overall waiver or didn't stop kelly from acting, because it shows he wasn't ready to step in, even for his son-in-law, even though he's supposed to be basically
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jared kushner. now, as the breaking news rolls on, i want to focus on the potential interplay between money and politics. joining us for that is berkeley professor, robert riesch. and stephen moore, former senior economic adviser to the trump campaign. you've been sounding the alarm about conflicts of interest in this white house. the fact that kushner's family business was granted $500 million in loans after meeting with jared kushner in his official capacity, what do you make of that? kushner's lawyer and the company says there's no there there, there's no connection. >> well, first of all, anderson, it's not just the conflict of interest. it's also the appearance of conflict of interest. i mean, the reason that we have these ethics laws in government, the reason even the constitution talks about it, is because the public has got to have faith in our governing institutions. if you've got somebody at the highest reaches of government whispering into the president's
ear who is at the sam time getting money for a family business, then the public cannot be confident that that advice is going to be in the public's interest. >> stephen, do you agree with that? the optics of this? >> well, first of all, i mean, i knew we were going to talk about this, so, i did call the white house today to find out, you know, what jared's position is, what his response is. i would like to read it to you and your audience, because he needs to be defended. this is the statement from his lawyer. jared kushner has had no role in the kushner companies since joining the government and has taken no part of any business loans or projects with or for the companies after that. he's followed the ethics advice he's received for all of his work, which includes the separation from his business and recusals when appropriate. i'm not in a position to judge who is right or wrong here. robert has a point, that there is an appearance -- you know,
the appearance of inpropriety is a problem here. and i do think that jared needs to, you know, there's a glossary journal article today saying he should step down from his official position. but i want to say this, which is the more important point. why did donald trump win this election? because he was a nonpolitician, he was a businessman. we've had, for ten years, people -- look, i don't think that there were any ethical problems with barack obama, i just don't think he knew anything about business, he didn't know how to run an economy. i think that what attracted so many millions of voters to donald trump is that he is a businessman. jared kushner is a very good businessman. >> we know that, but you have no ethical concerns about the fact that business is still being done, that they still, you know, they all have stakes in their business, i mean, jared kushner, yes, he put a lot of this in a trust that i think benefits his siblings right now, but he still has an economic interest. >> look, i'm making a bigger point here. because i don't know -- i don't
know what the truth is on all these allegations. what i'm saying is, are we saying that people were successful in business cannot be in government because they have conflicts of interest? it seems like that's what my friend robert is saying. >> is that what you're saying? >> by the way -- >> is that what you're saying? it sounds like what you're saying is, it's great if they're successful in business, but once they're in government, they shouldn't be still conducting business. >> exactly. i mean, we've got to keep business and government separate. there's too much big money in politics as it is. donald trump came to washington promising to clean up the swamp of washington, drain the swamp of washington, and what we have instead is that in the white house, donald trump himself, jared kushner, we also have lobbyists all over washington who are now in the white house. these people are making decisions that are helping them personally. they are profiting personally. >> but robert, that's an allegation. >> wait a minute. let me just -- >> let him finish.
he didn't interrupt you. >> steve, i really -- i love talking to you, but you have to let me finish my point. to be in business doesn't mean that when you go in the government, you have to continue to stay in business, in that same business and rake in money. what you do in government -- and this is true when i was in government. you've got to separate yourself, clearly, and distinctly, from that business. not only -- >> i agree with that. i'm in total agreement. >> but not even meeting with people who are going to be giving your business loans. going out of your way to look and act as if there's no personal benefit at all. >> he's saying that he recused himself of that. there's this other point that you were making earlier about nepotism. i'm listening to this, wait a minute. who ran john k. kf. kennedy's campaign? it was his brother, robert. who ran the white house during the last year of woodrow wilson
when he had a stroke? it was his wife. family members of a president who are competent to be, you know, very close strategic advisers for presidents. >> right, but i'm just not sure that running a real estate business in new york means you're competent to handle middle east peace, relationships with china, mexico -- >> well, i got to say -- >> my question is, if hillary clinton was president -- let me ask you, stephen, if hillary clinton was president, and chelsea clinton and her husband, who has many business dealings, some of which, i think, have failed, or not done so well, if they were running around the world representing the clinton administration, are you telling me you would not be raising some concern -- >> look, i agree that there's an appearance of impropriety issue here. but i worked very closely with jared kushner. that guy is brilliant. to say he doesn't know anything about middle east -- >> i didn't say he didn't know anything. >> i don't think donald trump
would have won the election without jared's wise counsel. i do the president should be able to have the advisers that he wants. >> we're mixing issues here. one issue is family memories. and i agree that some presidents have had family members that are advisers. we do have nepotism rules that control that. again, trust in government. we also have the issue of business. people who have high roles in business who are having business connections and doing business this the white house that looks like it's benefiting them in terms of their personal business life. that is a problem. it's a problem whether it happens, it's a problem if it looks like it happens. steve, you agree that an appearance of impropriety is a problem. >> there is a big difference between the appearance and i think that's what all of these
allegations are made, but we really don't have any evidence. what you do have is an appearance, and i think jared has to be much more careful -- >> do you agree that he should be out of the white house? >> no. but i think these official roles may be, probably are not -- are probably not the wisest thing right now. >> all right, let's leave it there. steph stephen, secretary reich, thank you. white house policy, all the talk about the president and the nra arming teachers, a story about a georgia teacher and a gun is making headlines. we'll talk about that next. join the un-carrier right now, and get four unlimited lines for only thirty-five bucks each. woah. plus, netflix for the whole family. on us. prrrrrrr... so, they get their shows... let's go, girl! you're gonna love this bit! and you get yours.
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proposals after the remarkable meeting just yesterday. one source told cnn, the one where the president suggested taking people's guns away and figuring out due process later threw a wrench into the white house plan. another american high school went on lockdown. students terrified sheltering in place. this time nobody was hurt and the shot fired came from a teacher's gun. the story is out of georgia. >> reporter: for those who support arming school teachers, jesse would not be the role model they are looking for. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: 53-year-old social studies teacher in north georgia locked himself in his otherwise empty classroom and is accused of shooting his handgun. >> this is the classroom where the teacher was at and this is the window he fired his gun. it's now boarded up. >> reporter: the school
principal said he went to the classroom door twice after hearing davidson was not coming out. >> he told me he had a gun and shortly i heard a gunshot. >> reporter: nobody was hit by the single gunshot but panic ensued. the 1900 student school went into lockdown. >> i was shaking and crying and just like holding one of my best friend's hands and strangers hands and we're just communicating with everybody trying to see what happened. >> all you hear is the footsteps. we didn't know who it was in the hallway. we were scared every time we heard footsteps because we didn't know who was going to come to us. >> reporter: the teacher is not unknown to local police. in march of 2016 a police report stated that davidson come to the police station to confess to having someone killed. police eventually determined he made up the story. they found no murder victim. he wasn't arrested but received medical treatment. the school says it is aware of his medical history.
>> sir, according to a police report this teacher had said he was involved in a murder of a person who turned tout be a fictional person. did you know about that and if you did, why would he be allowed to continue teaching here? >> i'm aware of the police report but as far as i'm aware he was fit to be at work yesterday. >> does that concern you knowing the specifics about that police report? >> again. i'm aware of the report. >> why would he have been fit in that was in a police report? >> i can't answer why. >> the police report is not medical information. >> any information about his condition is. that's your question, sir. >> reporter: the students say davidson is great teacher. >> he was probably my favorite. >> your favorite teacher? >> yes. >> reporter: 16-year-old shandi wrote a tweet that's been read by tens of thousands of people. my favorite teacher just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot.
students were being trampled and screaming. i dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe. >> you're telling me after parkland, after the shooting in florida, that you're part of a discussion with him and he told you what. >> he said he didn't think it was a good idea for teachers to have guns. >> he just told you that within the last two weeks? >> yes, sir. >> i said it happened today. this happened yesterday. do we know anything about why this happened, any kind of motive? >> we don't have any idea why it happened. they all say it's a mystery. police might know the motive. >> possibly big departure. breaking news on ivanka trump problematic business deal.
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on the table whether it's the departure of the second national security advisor or are we looking a t a white house in chaos. what about the president's feud with his own attorney general and the white house secretary carefully constructed answer to the question is he going to be fired. the president appearing to take an nra and you'll hear what the nra top spokesperson has to say. is he staying or going? >> reporter: general mcmaster could leave his position in the white house as soon as the end of this month and in the near future. multiple sources say it's likely he will not return to the military. there's a been a lot of discussion about his returning getting his fourth star. he will retire as a three-star