tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 29, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
long dress. and everybody at the auto show stood back. and she walked out and just walked. and then when she would know you, she would look at you and nod. >> reporter: so there are great stories here from all of them. and they talked about royalty, the queen of soul. brooke, as i leave, i want to show you one thing. you can't have a story without a pink cadillac in the background. people have been stopping to take pictures. this has been a memorial service that people won't forget. don't forget, the concert is tomorrow, the funeral on friday. the city is coming together for aretha franklin. >> i can listen to all the stories for so long about aretha franklin. ryan, thank you so much, appreciate that. we continue on. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. the president is looking for a new lawyer, not for himself personally in the russia probe, but for the white house officially in the office of white house counsel. the president announced don
mcgahn's departure on twitter, where else? and moments ago said this. >> he was a good man, very good man. don? excellent guy. don mcgahn is an excellent guy. with me a long time, privately before this, he represented me. been here almost for two years. a lot of affection for don. he'll be moving on probably to the private sector, maybe the private sector, and he'll do very well, but he's done an excellent job. >> reporter: are you concerned about what he said to the mueller team? >> no. i knew he was going, also. i had to approve it. we didn't claim executive -- no, i don't have to be aware. we do everything straight. we do everything by the book. and don is an excellent guy. >> the message is confirmation of what sources told cnn in the days after the president learned just how much mcgahn has
cooperated with special counsel robert mueller. 30 hours worth of conversations. but one high-level republican is already bucking the move as he heard the reports on mcgahn leaving, the senator who leads the committee in charge of brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearings to the president tweeted to the president directly, quote, i hope it's not true mcgahn is leaving white house counsel. you can't let that happen. note the timestamp. this is senator chuck grassley. it was too late, the president sent his tweet 23 minutes earlier. with me, senior justice correspondent evan perez. let me just glance down because i was handed reporting from jim acosta from all things on mcgahn. he did not have a good relationship with the president for more than a year. what do you know? >> reporter: brooke, i think that sums it up. look, i was just watching your intro there, and it really does capture the complications, like a lot of the president's relationships with a lot of the people that work for him. don mcgahn with him, they were
definite definitely -- they had rocky times. don mcgahn had his bags packed and boxes packed in his office ready to go because he was ready to quit. so there was definitely a very tense relationship at times between don mcgahn and the president. but here's the deal. for the purposes of the investigation, the russia investigation, don mcgahn has been a very, very important witness. the fact is, he's the white house counsel who had very important conversations with the president over, for example, the recusal of jeff session, which you know is something that donald trump has been very, very exercised about for more than a year. and he also had conversations with the president about whether he could -- whether the president could fire robert mueller. so there's a lot of importance to don mcgahn and whatever testimony he provided to the special counsel as part of the russia investigation. but the truth is, brooke, he's very popular with republicans because don mcgahn has helped the president pack the courts. there's 26 appeals court judges
that have now gone through. and i think long after donald trump's presidency is over, don mcgahn's work to try to turn conservatives put conservatives on the bench for these lifetime appointments is going to be something that will live on. >> evan perez, thank you so much. i want to bring in a couple voices here. joining me now, cnn national political reporter mj lee, former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney john loro and former federal prosecutor in new york law school and professor rebecca royfee. does anyone know what is the typical tenure for white house counsel? >> not very long. >> not very long, it's a tough job. he hung through the first key 18 months of this white house. the fact is it was 11 days ago when reported out he had cooperated 30 hours plus with team mueller. do you read anything into the timing and the fact that we're also hearing the relationship not so hot. >> it puts him in a difficult
position because he's a witness. he's something that mueller is looking at for information. and being a witness and advocate at the same time is an inherit conflict. it is difficult for a lawyer to do that. on the going forward basis, the white house chief council is the defender of the white collar criminal defense lawyer. that's the reality of it. and it is making sense for somebody who is an independent of not being a witness. >> and this is someone who i mentioned was involved in pivotal mentions. the first 18 months where this person has single-handedly kept this president from firing the special counsel, robert mueller. what is your reaction to this? >> president trump before he was president hired lawyers who did what he wanted them to do. he hired lawyers like michael cohen to get things done. he's not used to people saying no to him. and don mcgahn understood his role to represent the presidency. that meant saying no to the president. so i don't know if the firing
has to do with the recent testimony he gave to mueller or not, but i do think that could create tension. because the president wants someone who is a yes man, who will do what he wants to do, and mcgahn was not that and never going to be that. >> another interesting note from this jim acosta reporting, the chief white house correspondent, as for why trump doesn't just fire mcgahn, the source says it is typical trump. he whines about people but doesn't fire them like with jeff sessions. >> i think that's a very good point. and another line from jim acosta's reporting is obviously the fact that mcgahn had thought about or had at least threatened to resign in order to prevent trump from firing mueller. i think it is just another reminder that for so many people who work directly for the president, especially in the high-profile positions, so much of their jobs is about trying to prevent the president from shooting himself in the foot. and a lot of people, even the people who are loyal to him and are very committed, obviously, to doing their jobs for the
president, they know what a disaster and nightmare it would be if the president actually proceeded and did fire mueller. and i think they don't really rule that out because with president trump, you can't really rule anything out. so the fact that the white house counsel went as far to threaten to resign because he felt like the president was going to fire mueller, i think that is really, really noteworthy. >> you know, in other trump lawyer news, i know the white house counsel moved to his personal attorney, michael cohen, you have new scoop today. >> we have been talking to people close to michael cohen. obviously, last week was the stunning news he pleaded guilty to eight counts tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and making false statements to a bank. we're just trying to get a better understanding of what led to michael cohen deciding to plead guilty. and what we're being told is that as of right now, he basically feels resigned, resigned to the fact that he's going to spend some sometime in prison and that he is still not expecting a presidential pardon from his former boss, donald trump. and he feels like everything
that he has done up until this point and what he's going to do is so that he can protect his family as much as possible. we know now that he actually didn't have a lot of good options. the prosecutors made it very clear he could be facing more counts, that his wife could be implicated, that his assets could be seized, and he sort of looked at the totality of what he was potentially facing and deciding -- i don't want to leave my family in this position. >> let me ask you all to standby because i'm getting information in my hear there's sound from the president making news, speaking in the roosevelt room, being asked about all kinds of topics, including gubernatorial primaries, we were just discussing florida. so let's listen. >> no, i didn't. >> reporter: did you hear the comment about monkeying around in florida? >> no, i've been working on the
deal with canada. so i have not heard it. i tell you what, i know ron desantis. ron desantis is extraordinary. harvard, yale, ran an incredible campaign, really feeds a lot of people that he was not supposed to beat because he came into the race and a lot of people didn't know. he was an extreme talent and he will make a fantastic governor of florida. i think ron is extraordinary in so many different ways. i haven't heard that at all. >> okay. so i just heard a question about -- we had the segment earlier about the republican nominee now in this florida race who won his primary, congressman ron desantis, making this comment about his opponent who would be the -- okay, thank you. just getting news from the control room, who made this comment about monkeying around in reference to the democratic candidate who won the primary,
this upset in florida, who is african-american, who would be the first african-american governor in florida on a major party ticket. jeremy diamond is with us. it sounds like the president obviously hasn't heard the comments. he didn't want to say anything and embraced congressman desantis saying he's extraordinary. >> reporter: that seems to be the kachlts ron desantis, there are few candidates that seemed to be as close to the president as ron desantis made in his viral video made where he's reading to his infant trial. this candidate ran as closely aligned to trump as president. but it is interesting to hear the president make the comments about puerto rico, the first time we're hearing him sound off on this issue saying he thinks the united states did a fantastic job in puerto rico. and said that we're still helping puerto rico. that's just stunning when you think about the fact that the
latest death toll estimate from the puerto rican government, a study commissioned by them, nearly 3,000 people. that's more than folks who died in hurricane katrina. and the president, you'll recall a couple weeks after the hurricane struck puerto rico when he went down there, he compared the puerto rico hurricane favorably to a real catastrophe like hurricane katrina. but now it seems like the president is not taking any responsibility for the high death toll we're now seeing out of hurricane maria, the federal response. he's so far offered nothing but praise for this response rather than looking at what could have been improved. fema, the federal emergency management, did identify several areas where they could do a better job. but for the president, it seems -- >> forgive me for cutting you off. i'm told we have the video and sound bite as well. let's listen to the president. >> i think, puerto rico, we did a fantastic job in puerto rico.
we are still helping in puerto rico. the governor is an excellent job and very happy with the job we have done. we have put billions and billions of dollars into puerto rico. and it was a very tough one, don't forget, their electric plant was dead before the hurricane. if you look back on your records, you'll see that the plant was dead and was shut. it was bankrupt. it was out of business. they owed tremendous amounts of money. they had it closed up. and then when the hurricane came, people said, what are we going to do about electricity? that was not the hurricane, that was gone before the hurricane, but we've put a lot of money and a lot of effort into puerto rico. and i think most of the people in puerto rico really appreciate what we have done. texas healed quickly. and the people were incredible. florida healed quickly. and everybody worked very hard. puerto rico was actually more difficult because of the fact it's an island, it's much harder to get things onto the island. with texas, you're land-based,
with florida you're land-based, puerto rico was a difficult situation. i only hope they don't get hit again because they were hit by two right in a row. and really the likes of which we have never seen before. but the people of puerto rico are great people, they work very hard. but puerto rico was by far the most difficult of the group. and, you know, right now fema and all of the people that worked so hard there, they were very brave. and they have done some job. but puerto rico had a lot of difficulties before it got hit. and we're straightening out the difficulties even now. hey, thank you very much, everybody. i think we're doing well with north korea, we'll have to see. part of the north korea problem is caused by the trade disputes with china. china has been taking out about $500 billion in the united states for many years. and we can't let that happen. so when we started working a little bit against china and we
have a great relationship with china, i have a great relationship with president xi. i think he's a terrific man, a terrific person, but we have to straighten out our trade relationship. because too much money is being lost by us. and as you know, china is the route to north korea. 93% of the product and various things that go into north korea go in through china. so i think that now that we're in somewhat -- i don't like to call it a trade war, and i think our country is doing very well, but china is having a very, very tough time. and i think that china makes it much more difficult in terms of our relationship with north korea. now, i knew that, but uh couldn't wait any longer. when i got in, i've been talking about china for a long time. when i came into office, i purposely didn't do much with respect to the trade on china because i wanted to see what we would work out with north korea, but when you're losing $400 to $500 million a year and it's going to china and coming away
from our taxpayers, i can't let that go on. so we are being very strong on china. i think it is all going to work out. how our country has gone up and they are, you know, they are having a hard time. i have a fantastic relationship with chairman kim, as you know. and we'll have to see how it all moves out, but i had to move from china on the standpoint of trade because it was really not fair to our country. just pouring money. for many years, presidents closed their eyes, and i'm talking about -- not just president obama, but many presidents, and they closed their eyes, and hundreds of billions of dollars a year was pouring out of the united states and taxpayers and everything else. so we had to do that. i think we'll have a very positive impact. if you look at the polls, based
on the polls, it is positive. based on the polls, it is the highest in the republican party, i guess, forever or for a long time. and it's been -- honestly, people won't necessarily agree with this, i do nothing for the polls. i do it to do what is right. i'm here for the extended period of time. i'm here for a period that is a very important period of time. and we are straight anything out this country. and one of the biggest things we want to straighten out is what the people in this room represent. that's drug abuse, alcohol abuse and all of the problems. and i think it's something that maybe a lot of people don't talk about, you know, we'll talk about other things, but to me, this is just as exciting as creating space force or sending rockets up or doing so many other things that we're doing. so i really don't -- and i can tell you this, i don't do anything from polls, i enjoy looking at polls, it is interesting to see, but ultimately, i always make a decision based on what is right
and what is right. i just hope there won't be violence. i can tell you that -- i can tell you that because that's the way, i guess, if you look at what happens, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of unnecessary violence. all over the world, but also in this country. and i don't want to see it. yes? >> caller: what would you like the federal government to do? >> well, i think that google and facebook and twitter, i think they treat conservatives and republicans very unfairly. i could tell you that i have personal experience -- i have had a lot of people on the various platforms. dan would tell you, probably over 100 million, over 125 million, what are the numbers, danny? dan? >> about 160 million on the platform. >> yeah, 160 million on numerous platforms. but i can tell you when things are different. and all of a sudden you lose people and say, where did they go? they have taken off.
now, i don't know if it happens to the other side, but i can say that with respect to google and twitter and facebook, there is a big difference. and, in fact, the hearing over the last couple of weeks has been them trying to silence a very large part of the country. and those people don't want to be silenced. it is not right, it may not be fair, but we'll see. we just want fairness. >> do you think he wants to regulate them more? >> we're just going to see. you know what we want? not regulation, we want fairness. we want fairness and we are all very happy. i mean. i'm president. you're talking about a tremendous amount of people. we want to see fairness. very important. thank you all very much. thank you.
-- hey, he called me, i didn't call him. he was very nice. couldn't have been nicer. we'll see what happens. i love canada. and you know what? i love mexico, too. thank you. >> okay, jeremy diamond, two headlines there, we were talking earlier about the comments he made to evangelicals yesterday. and now it is something he was asked about, he said, i hope there won't be violence, in reference to the midterms, and the democrats, if they take back either chamber this fall, i want to hone in on north korea. we have been reporting on how the secretary of state mike pompeo was told not to go to north korea. we reported on this letter sent to pompeo to say the
denuclearization process was, quote, may fall apart. and you have the president sitting in there saying, doing well with north korea. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. the president expressing his typical optimism about the situation in north korea, but really the actions we're seeing from north korea and from the president with regards to this diplomacy, signaled that the president is really coming to terms with the fact that there has been very little progress on the denuclearization front with north korea. the fact that he canceled that visit of secretary of state, mike pompeo, to pyongyang, singal that is the president is pulling the brakes on this a little bit. but the president is honing in on the idea that china is really the responsible party here as far as holding back progress. signally the tough stance on trade as it relates to china is influencing north korea negatively to not continue this diplomacy with the united states. but several north korea experts i have talked to in the last day or so have said the real issue here is north korea. and it seems like north korea
has not made this that steestra decision to move forward with diplomacy. what we are seeing from north korea right now where they are holding back versus what they have committed to the president of the united states, signals that this is part of their typical playbook, that they use too kind of suggest they're going to engage in some kind of a new diplomatic effort. that there's a break through on the horizon, when really they are not doing anything. remember, north korea gained enormously from this the relationship with china, for example, stronger than ever. that's something that wasn't the case before the president's summit with kim jong-un. >> all right. jeremy diamond at the white house, thank you very much. still ahead here, mounting pressure from the washington, d.c. cardinal to resign in the latest of the sex abuse scandal. but first, we'll take you to phoenix, arizona, as the late senator john mccain lies in state. we'll share the emotional moments we saw from his widow
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ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. that is meghan mccain, one of the late senator's daughters, just crushing to watch her and other family members pay their respects at the casket. today's special ceremony inside the arizona state capitol, the body of the late senator lying
in state there. mccain is being honored on what would have been his 82nd birthday today. here is the governor of arizona. >> to the woman that brought john mccain into this world, mrs. mccain, roberta, 106 years young, you raised a remarkable son. and we are truly blessed that you are among us still. when we look to you, there's no doubt where john mccain inherited his determination, resilience and tenacity. it was built into his dna. you see it in john's children who carry on his spirit of service. doug, andy, meghan, sidney, jack, jimmy and bridgette, may god bless you and keep all of you, your father was very proud and so is the state of arizona. >> cnn's nick watt is there for us in phoenix.
nick, just share some of the stories from some of the people there today. >> reporter: well, brooke, i was inside that service this morning. it was intimate, it was emotional, all of senator mccain's seven children were there. and his widow, his wife of 38 years, sacindy mccain, she was stoic. i saw her dab one tear away and saw her nod her head when her husband was call ed strong. they went past the flag-draped casket. and cindy mccain touched the coffin and put her cheek to the coffin, also, before walking out. it was another staffer i spoke to, a former mccain staffer that i spoke to before the service, she was recanting her days traveling with the senator, tears just came to her eyes. and you heard doug ducey talking
there, john mccain was one of the few politicians to bring the country together. he called him a tried and tested politician and said those characteristics are not in such abundance these days. senator mccain moved here in the '40s. the casket will be here so people can file past and pay respects. ducey said in his travels around the world, all people know about arizona are the desert and john mccain. he was first a congressman and then a senator. and he won every election by at least ten points, often a lot more. so about six hours, people are lining up to pay their last respects. one of the few benefits of knowing your days on earth are numbered is you get to plan your farewell. and john mccain did that. this is the first step.
there will be another funeral service here in phoenix tomorrow. and then the body is flown to washington where he'll lie in state at the capitol with the service at the national cathedral on saturday where president trump is not invited, but presidents obama and george w. bush will speak. then he'll be buried on sunday at the u.s. naval academy cemetery in annapolis. and then monday the politics start and maybe we'll find out who will replace perhaps the irreplaceable senator. >> buried next to his best friend in annapolis. nick watt, thank you so much, in phoenix. coming up next, a stunning upset in the race for florida governor. in less than 24 hours, already controversy with racial undertones between the republican and democratic nominees. the president was asked about it moments ago. we'll play that for you. stay here. ♪ come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away. ♪
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race is definitely shaping up as one to watch this november. two candidates standing at the political edges of their party, democrat andrew gillum, a progressive, the first african-american to win the party nomination in the florida governor's contest. on the republican side, congressman ron desantis whose campaign searurging after getti the endorsement from president trump. but bless than 24 hours after the polls closed in florida, the race is heating up after congressman desantis went on fox news and said this. >> he is an articulate spokesman for the far left views. and he's a charismatic candidate. and i watched the democrat debates, none of that was my cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there. so we've got to work hard to make sure that we can continue to move florida in a good direction. let's build off the success from governor scott. the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and
bankrupting the state. >> now, in response to the "monkey this up" phrase, here's what we have from the democratic party. they called it a racist dog whistles. the desantis campaign fired back to say, ron desantis was talking about florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the policies that andrew gillum else spouses. to characterize it as anything else is absurd. and let's talk to the political reporter for "the tampa bay times." adam, you're in florida, let's start with you, on the monkey phrase, how are florida voters reacting to that? >> well, we don't know yet, but it's certainly getting a lot of attention. and i've had several people -- these are not necessarily democrats, liken it to the moment jonlg ageorge allen had. we are talking about a candidate
who is a harvard and yale guy, he uses the term "monkey"? that's pretty remarkable. >> vanessa, how did you hear it? >> remarkable is one way to look at it. you know, his campaign said that he didn't intend it to be offensive, but it's surprising they didn't anticipate that it would be seen that way. this country has been engaged in a very serious conversation about racism. and structural inequality. and in the last couple of years, that conversation has intensified because of a lot of the political rhetoric coming from the president, quite frankly. so either they didn't think it would be offensive and one has to wonder why, or they didn't care if it was offensive, and again, one would have to wonder why. but it is surprising it didn't
occur to them sooner. >> if you were following the florida polls, you never would have seen this coming. can you tell me more about who he is and how he pulled this off? >> well, we are still figuring that out, but there's no question, even when he was in the low single digits in the polls, if you went out on the ground and sort of talked to rank-in-file democrats, the people actually paying attention to the primary, the name you heard over and over again was gillum, gillum, gillum. he's likable, personable, he doesn't seem like a cautious politician. and democrats in florida, they have lost the last five governors races. and they have consistently nominated very cautious, centrist, white nominees. so i think there's a real hunger, especially in the era of trump, among the democratic base to have a real fighter and
somebody who is a proud liberal. we'll see if that's enough to win a general election in a purple state like florida. >> here's the bigger picture, question, to you, vanessa, whether looking at the gubernatorial race in florida or georgia for that matter, other states where you have -- it seems like on the primary side, that the folks who were embraced and did the embracing of the president on the republican side, did well, but when it comes to november, won't the true test be how americans feel about that conservative versus the democrat? that's the ultimate choice. >> well, i think with the candidates like andrew gillum and stacey abrams and the other kaen kaen candidates out there, they are representatives and communities who have been ignored.
>> were one of you. >> yes, exactly. especially in diverse states in the south far more diverse than people appreciate. they are like the rising stars. they are gathering up people who have been ignored, who have not been talked to, have not been campaigned to, and they are talking about issues that are important to them. i know a lot of people, a lot of analysts have talked about extremes, but frankly, things like health care, wages, jobs, these kinds of issues don't seem extreme to people who are living on the margins or below. and they are like, yes, somebody is finally talking about something that is important to me as opposed to the wedge social issues that don't resonate in people's lives day in and day out. >> november 6, that will be the test, vanessa and adam, thank you both. >> thank you. >> thanks. coming up next, a catholic university president now joining calls for a powerful washington, d.c. cardinal to resign. we'll have details mounting,
details on the mounting pressure on the church in the wake of the pennsylvania priest abuse scandal. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice. a place for mom is a free service that pairs you with a local advisor to help you sort through your options and find a perfect place. a place for mom. you know your family we know senior living. together we'll make the right choice.
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sense of betrayal. >> this comes amid new calls for the pope's resignation. retired ambassador claiming back in 2013 pope francis knew about abuse allegations linked to then cardinal theodore mccarrick but did nothing about it. rosa, clearly this outrage against the pope has made its way to the american cardinal. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: brooke, it's important to note that this cardinal, donald wuerl, was one of the good guys before the release of the pennsylvania grand jury report. as a cardinal that has been fighting for the survivors and for accountability, well, now there are high-profile catholics asking for his resignation. just this past sunday, there was a priest from the pulpit asking for his resignation. here's part of his homely. he said, quote, we are all hurting. you're stepping down and will be
the first necessary step in the process of healing. and this priest got a standing ovation at the church this past sunday. then the catholic teacher that is work for the diocese also asking for his ouster. 50 of them sent a letter to the news, he was the ambassador, asking for his removal. then the catholic university coming forward and saying, it's not so much about what he did or didn't do after the pennsylvania report revealed those allegations, he said, it's just about leadership. here's what she said, take a listen. >> yes, i think cardinal wuerl should resign. and i think that's part of expressing this deep sorrow on the part of the church for what has happened to these children. but he still needs to taken a action that expresses his sorrow and sense of penance and ato
atonence. >> the average diocese said it is unfortunate that in the teachers fail to know not only the average diocese of washington protecting children but cardinal wuerl's record. the archdiocese stands behind the fact that cardinal wuerl says he has stood up for survivors all this time. brooke? >> rosa florez, thank you so much. coming up, he's going to prison to protect his family. cnn has new details behind the stunning details from president trump's former lawyer, michael cohen, including the mindset to accept the possibility that he'll go away for some time. the day after chemo shouldn't mean going back to
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republican senator lindsey graham is speaking out about the touching tribute he gave to his best friend john mccain up on capitol hill this time yesterday. he talked to dana bash about it today. he said that after he did that, president trump actually called him afterwards. dana asked him about the tension between senator mccain and the president. >> i regret the relationship between the two. john is my dearest friend in the world and i'm going to try to help president trump. and i will. because i think country first means that. and if he will listen, i'll talk to him. i've enjoyed my time with him. when he says something bad about john, it pisses me off.
he called yesterday and he couldn't have been nicer. he said that was very sad, i just want to let you know that you did right by your friend. and i said thank you mr. president. >> the president called you? >> yes, he did. right out of the blue. to those who want me to say the only way that you can honor john mccain is to fight donald trump and try to kick him out of office, i don't agree. i'm going to do what i think is best for the country using what john taught me about the country. >> the president will be attending john mccain's -- won't be attending john mccain's funeral, but the trump administration officials include james mattis, john kelly and also john bolton. senator mccain is there lying in state at arizona's capitol for the next few hours. his memorial service at washington national cathedral will be held saturday and both of his former political rivals, barack obama and george w. bush,
we just got a preview of what the midterms could look like. and it ain't pretty. "the lead" starts right now. it is trump versus sanders. or pretty close to it. after a primary night that is giving us a glimpse of how ugly the next few months could get. and plus breaking news, a monumental white house exit, the man who may know better than anyone whether president trump obstructed justice is on his way out. what kind of crisis could he leave behind. and this -- overcome with emotion. senator john mccain's family paying their final respects as this very hour the public gets its first chance to say good-bye to a national hero.