tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 27, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
hate in this country, you can read more of her report, go to cnn.com. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me for the last two hours. let's go to washington now. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. is robert mueller about to show his hand? "the lead" starts right now. significant new insight today into robert mueller's playbook, as we're learning new details about the potential case against trump's former campaign chairman. and alleged efforts by trump associates to try to get information from russian hackers. this while president trump is going on defense with an offensive, accusing mueller of nasty things and lashing out against his own justice department. plus, vladimir putin testing president trump, just days before they meet again. will matters be different with an international crisis unfolding and actual lives at stake?
welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the politics lead. president trump and the white house going to war with special counsel robert mueller over the russia investigation. the president lashing out today on twitter against mueller, a widely respected former fbi director and a republican, and lashing out against his team, as well, as mueller seems to be coming close to issuing his final report. rudy giuliani telling cnn today that president trump has been, quote, upset for weeks over the prosecutorial methods used on his former campaign aide, manafort, to get him to tell them everything he knows, and what giuliani describes as a perverse, overzealous desire to get the president. mueller's latest move against manafort, court filings alleging that the former lobbyist violated his plea agreement by lying to the fbi and the special counsel team after he started cooperating with them. suggesting that manafort has shared extensive information with prosecutors and that prosecutors have been able to
verify and potentially refute at least some of the information mueller -- i mean, manafort told them. in other words, in theory, mueller knows things that manafort didn't know he knew. cnn's jessica schneider joins me now. jessica, mueller's team is tight-lipped about what exactly manafort's lies were about, at least so far. >> yeah, jake, mueller's team being purposefully vague, only disclosing that there were several lies about various subjects. but prosecutors, they'll be a lot more detailed when they submit their sentencing memo to the judge, and that's when we could learn the details of what mueller's team asked manafort and get an even better sense of what the special counsel knows. former trump campaign chairman paul manafort facing a full prison sentence now that special counsel robert mueller's team has called off all cooperation, accusing him of lying during plea talks. after pleading guilty in september, manafort met several times with the special counsel's team, seeming to live up to his star witness spot in the russia
probe. but on monday night, mueller's team told the court, the plea deal was off, saying manafort lied multiple times about various subjects, breaching his deal. manafort's lawyers shot back, saying manafort believed he provided truthful information. mueller's team will now have to tell the judge what manafort lied about, revealing part of the investigation. manafort's reported secret meetings with wikileaks founder julian assange also being scrutinyiz scrutinized, after a report in "the guardian" newspaper saying they met on at least three occasions. "the guardian" citing sources that say that manafort traveled to the ecuadorian embassy in london to meet with assange between 2013 and 2016, including one meeting around march 2016, the same month manafort joined the trump campaign. >> mr. manafort -- >> reporter: cnn has not confirmed the reporting and it is unclear why manafort wanted to see assange and what was discussed, according to "the guardian." manafort's visits were reportedly not officially logged. and cnn has also learned that the special counsel has been
investigating a meeting between manafort and ecuadorian president lenn nen me rayno in 2016 and that mueller's team has asked if wikileaks or assange were discussed in that meeting. assange has been holed up at the embassy since he was granted asylum in 2012. and in the months leading up to the 2018 election, assange's wikileaks posted thousands of hacked e-mails from the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign. >> we have more material related to the hillary clinton campaign. >> reporter: it's something candidate trump bragged about on the campaign trail. >> this just came out. wikileaks -- i love wikileaks! >> reporter: wikileaks denies that manafort ever met assange and assange's lawyers also deny the story. but any meeting between assange and manafort would likely of high interest to the special counsel and its collusion questions. and paul manafort, who is behind bars, he has just respond eed t
that "guardian" report saying that he met with julian assange, saying, this story is totally false and deliberately liable louse. i have never met julian assange or anyone connected to him. i have never been contacted by anyone connected to wikileaks either directly or indirectly. i have never reached out to assange or wikileaks on any matter. and jake, manafort now saying he is considering all legal actions against "the guardian" newspaper. >> jessica schneider, thanks so much. today the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani told cnn that he is in contact with the defense team, saying that he was quote, aware that manafort was running into problems with the special counsel. cnn's pamela brown picks up the story now from the white house. >> reporter: white house press secretary sarah sanders and her first briefing in nearly a month asked several times about the russia probe. >> the president was involved in in wrongdoing, was not part of any collusion. >> reporter: but special counsel robert mueller's investigation has clearly been on the president's mind. >> we have a lot of phony stuff, like the russian witch hunt
garbage. >> reporter: bringing it up at rallies last night in mississippi and again in a series of tweets today, saying in part, wait until it comes out how horribly and viciously they're treating people. ruining lives for them refusing to lie. mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue. those attacks coming as mueller's team starts writing its report. >> i don't think the president has any concerns about the report, because he knows that there was no wrongdoing by him and that there was no collusion. >> why is he tweeting so vociferously? >> the president has avoids his unhappiness from the beginning, that this has gone on, this ridiculous witch hunt for more than two years. still nothing that ties anything to the president. >> reporter: the white house also addressing several new developments about former trump campaign chairman, paul manafort, including special counsel robert mueller's announcement that manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement by lying to federal authorities. >> would the president recommend that mr. manafort begin to
cooperate are, offer full cooperation to the special counsel's office? >> we can only speak to what our role is in that process. and not only has the president, but the entire administration has been fully cooperative. >> reporter: also, a report in "the guardian" newspaper today claiming manafort met with wikileaks' founder julian assange several times, including in march 2016, around the same time manafort joined the trump campaign. asked if the trump administration will ask for more information on the alleged meetings, sanders said -- >> we encourage the process to continue to play out, but i'm not going to get engaged in specifics of that case. the things that have to do with mr. manafort, i would refer you to his attorneys. >> reporter: the manafort case and the russia probe both on the mind of president trump. his attorney, rudy giuliani telling cnn, he's been upset for weeks about what he considers the un-american, horrible treatment of manafort, adding, "this wouldn't be happening to him if not for this perverse, overzealous desire to get the
president." giuliani also admitting he's been in contact with manafort's defense team, saying he knew manafort was, quote, running into problems with mueller. and the white house is saying today that there are no conversations about a presidential pardon for paul manafort after prosecutors claim that he had lied to the fbi after reaching that plea deal. also, sarah sanders, the press secretary, is saying that the fact that the president hasn't directed the firing of robert mueller shows that he doesn't want to short circuit this session. it's just clear he likes to air his grievances and frustration on a regular basis over twitter. jake? >> except for firing the fbi director. anyway, pamela brown, thank you so much. appreciate it. kaitlan collins, let me start with you on our expert panel. take a listen to white house press secretary sarah sanders about the president's concerns or lack thereof about the mueller report. >> i don't think the president has any concerns about the report because he knows that there was no wrongdoing by him and that there was no collusion.
so i don't think he has concern on that front. >> no reports about the report, of course, but this morning, the president tweeted among other matters, "wait until it comes out how horribly and viciously they're treating people, ruining lives for them, refusing to lie, mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue. the fake news media builds robert mueller up as a saint, when in fact, he's the opposite, he's doing tremendous damage to our criminal justice department." again, that's the president of the united states attacking the person investigating this all. doesn't seem like someone unconcerned about the final report. >> yeah, i often tweet in all caps multiple times on things i'm not concerned about. i think it's clear the president is concerned. his tweets are a window, essentially, into his mind and we've made that very clear of the last two years that he's been in office. so it's clear the president is concerned. he's attacking robert mueller personally. saying that he's ruining the criminal justice system, though when sarah sanders was asked about that today, she couldn't list any reasons of how exactly he's ruining it. and he's also going after him saying, we should look at his past and the people who are on
his team's past, but robert mueller was a marine veteran, someone who served his country, even though he didn't have to, even though he was shot and could have gone home, he stayed and became an offer's aide. the president is going all in him, because he knows this report is coming. his legal team is preparing a response to it, for whatever it's going to be, whatever we're going to see. and president trump wants to be able to discredit this report. that's why he's saying things like, why didn't he interview the hundreds of people on my campaign who didn't collude with russia? because clearly they're becoming concerned that that is -- >> that's a great question. >> i'm not kidding. he actually tweeted that. >> i know he tweeted that. it's so preposterous, like, why didn't the police arrest the hundreds of people who didn't commit murder? >> and today sarah sanders said something like, the president wasn't aware of anything about the wikileaks. so she made clear to say, it wasn't just anyone on the campaign, which is what she said before, she said specifically president trump. >> specifically about the president. let's talk about the manafort lying allegation for a second. the prosecutors say he lied on a variety of subject matters. they haven't provided details. mueller's office said they will.
it could really be about anything. we know he was at that trump tower meeting with donald trump jr. and jared kushner and the russian lawyer. he reportedly offered private briefings on the campaign to a russian oligarch. he was the campaign chair for a while. there's a lot he knows. >> yeah, there's a lot he knows and there's obviously a lot that mueller knows, too, right? obviously, in conversations that investigators were having with mueller, something struck them as untrue, in terms of what he was saying versus what evidence they had. i think the big question now going forward, if you're paul manafort, is what kind of sentencing you're kboigoing to . right now, obviously, there's not going to be any mercy. but also, what is the president thinking at this point in terms of possibly pardoning manafort? we know he has pardoned other people like joe arpaio. he has talked affectionately in some ways about paul manafort in the past and said he felt like he was railroaded and treated worse than alphonse capone. so we'll see what he does.
obviously, he at some point essentially flipped on the president. now he seems to be trying to eye a pardon. we'll have to wait and see what this president does. >> president trump has been trying to undermine mueller and the entire intelligence community and anybody that might be investigating him for quite some time. clearly it's had a political effect where a lot of people believe, a lot of republicans believe him and do not believe robert mueller. and clearly, there might be a political reason for that, if it does actually come for impeachment. but isn't there a flip side in this? isn't there a risk that what if mueller comes forward with a report that is very convincing, very credible. doesn't actually impugn president trump and people see, oh, wait, the president was not telling the truth about this? >> you can see these polls switch lightning fast in terms of which side of the political aisle likes which players in the game. you saw this happen with james comey. prior to his firing as fbi director, republicans loved him. he had put out that memo in the days leading up tonight 2016 election. democrats thought he was this enemy of democracy who had
ruined the chances of hillary clinton becoming president. the moment he gets fired by trump, suddenly you looked at the cross tabs in the polls and suddenly he was enemy number one for republicans and democrats thought he was a champion of democracy. so it wouldn't surprise me if mueller's report comes out finding that the president himself was not directly involved with anything with collusion, sort of affirming what the president said. you will immediately seeing republicans say, see, this report is great, but i wouldn't see on the flip side you see some democrats beginning to criticize the process. >> take a look at the president last night campaigning in mississippi and talking about the russia investigation. >> and you still have deep state, but one by one, we're getting them out. you have deep state bad people. you have a lot of phony stuff going on. but you know what? one by one, we're winning. we're winning, winning, winning. >> effective? >> it's effective with that audience. and he's obviously speaking to
people who love him. he's in mississippi, a very red state, one of the reasons he loves to campaign and do rallies is because he gets that adoration. and i think he's betting on the fact that if he can garner enough support from his base, the people who elected him, then he can discredit people like mueller and he can discredit some of the people who are his opponents or who he sees. that's all a calculation for when it gets to a point where there is a report and he has to fight that politically. ultimately, things like impeachment are a political process and he's betting on trying to discredit the people who would be trying to take him down. >> and of course the big question right now is what if mueller files his report to the attorney general, who is an acting attorney general, mr. whitaker, and he does not release it to the public, does not give it to the congress. comey, who is a witness in the mueller probe, weighed n eed in whitaker today. take a listen. >> so what extent do you think he can derail the special investigation? >> i think it's a worry, but to
my mind, not a serious worry. he may not be the sharpest knife in our drawer, but he can see his future and knows that if he acted in an extra legal way, he would go down in history for the wrong reasons and i'm sure he doesn't want that. >> i actually think it will be really tough for them not to release this report, because one of the white house's main lines has been, this has taken so much time, this has taken so much taxpayer money, so i don't think the argument will be made, then don't the american people deserve to see something that so much of their money went into? so i actually think it will be really difficult for them not to release this. i think the white house will want to release the report. and if they do -- not want to release the report. and if they do release the report, they will release their own counterreport refuting what is laid out in the report and how it has nothing to do with the president. expect some kind of statement like that from the white house, if this does come out. >> yeah wing that's right. but it is interesting that the conversation around whitaker and the impatience that you hear from some republicans about him still being in that job, the president essentially saying, oh, yeah, maybe i'm kind of
interviewing. but whitaker is great. he's a good, solid man. that will be really interesting to watch. obviously, the president wants him in this job for all sorts of reasons. republicans getting impatient and we'll see what happens in this next congress. if he remains there, i guess he's got something like 200 games deace days to remain there. and the idea that he remains there through this mueller probe, we'll have to see. >> are you surprised that whitaker is still there after all this time? >> no. but the point that nia made is an important one and that the timeline determines itself and it's outside of trurpmp's contr. he can only serve about 210 days total and that is not that far into next year. we all keep saying, the mueller report is coming soon, but we really don't know that. so he's going to have to by law nominate somebody at some point. also, democrats will control the house starting in january. they have all sorts of subpoena power, all sorts of capability to get this information out if it's not released publicly. >> all right, everyone, stick around. a lot more to talk about. breaking news. documents shared with cnn
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get these documents from wikileaks, at least, from robert mueller's point of view. and one of these documents is actually an e-mail on august 2nd. it's an e-mail from je rengine i and roger stone. the e-mail looks to be very damaging. corsi says he was never in touch with assange. there is a comment from roger stone. he says he never got a heads up on any actual information and like every politico and every political reporter in america, i was curious about what wikileaks had. so insisting he never did anything wrong. >> and there's always been this question about why this wikileaks dump was on the same day, minutes after the release of that "access hollywood" tape. but what did corsi have to say? >> one of the questions was whether it was orchestrated. corsi says he's provided information to the grand jury and that roger stone was in
touch with him that day and here's what he had to say about it. >> we get to october 7, which was a very, very busy day from here in new york. skpf roger calls me three times. we have three times we have a discussion. now, my recollection is that roger is saying this billy bud is going to be dropped and assange better get going, why don't you get to your buddy assange and tell him to start? well, i didn't have any contact with assange. but roger, going back to july and august, may have -- you know, may have led him on. >> now, roger stone insists that this is false. he said he didn't talk about this with jerome corsi. he said he had no heads up in the hours before this "access hollywood" billy busch tape was released. so it's a he said/he said situation right now, jake. >> between two gentlemen, both of whom have credibility issues, i think it's fair to say. >> hmm. >> sara murray, thanks so much. let's talk about this with our
legal experts. let's zero in on that e-mail from august 2nd, 2016. corsi allegedly wrote to stone, quote, friend and assembly plans two more dumps, dumps of these wikileaks just six days earlier. then candidate trump said this. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> and on that same day, according to mueller's team, the same day trump said that about russia, if you're listening, russians did attack to hack hillary clinton's e-mails. is this all starting to add up into a case that you see? >> of course it is. i mean, there's no real such thing as a coincidence. all of these things, either he is the most unlucky person or the most prescient person in the world. but it sounds like the case they're building against -- and note, they have never spoken to roger stone, which is frankly key. i never spoke to the defendant in my cases or the target of my investigation. i spoke to people who could corroborate or could support the
premise or give more evidence in some way, shape, or form. so you're seeing the development of all of these coincidences just simply smell funny to mueller and his team, and they should. and of course, you have either the notion that people are extraordinarily smart or very, very dumb. thinking they could actually hide the evidence. i mean, who is the friend in the embassy? who can we think about who has been in an ecuadorian embassy for quite some time? this is not a coincidence. this is a case that's being built. >> and when you're a prosecutor and you have a case where there are people who are known liars, like jerome corsi, who's behind many political smears, swift vote veterans for truth, lying about obama's birth certificate, et cetera, et cetera, roger stone, who takes flights of fancy himself, how do you assess who's telling the truth or whether either should be relied upon in a court of law? >> what you try to do is corroborate all the facts. you're going to go out and look for phone records or e-mails
like you just read or other witnesses who you do trust. and you try to corroborate as much as you can, knowing that those two gentlemen, as you just said, are people who the government would be very, very distrust -- like, saying that they would be distrustful of them is an understatement. >> they're both known as liars. but corsi is providing documents, as you point out, and that seems significant. >> it is. because, of course, even a broken clock is right twice a day. even the most ardent liars can tell the truth in some capacity. the question for you, trying to figure out the credibility assessment is, can i corroborate to show this is not just you going on that wings and flights of fancy, that you're actually trying to tell me something that's truthful. i have to verify. it's almost a trust or don't trust and verify anyway sort of scenario here. so the cross-examiorroboration actual documents is very useful, but roger stone has his own corroboration and documents in the form of his statement. he has held himself out to be
someone who knows a great deal about jewulian assange and wikileaks. you have the corroboration from corsi's documentation, you have roger stone's own statements, and now you have the pulling back when you realize there may be an issue of trying to say, no, no, no, don't look behind that curtain. no one is falling for the wizard of oz act and i doubt mueller is. >> and we should point out that cnn can't confirm the authenticity that corsi shareded, but they are consistent with other documents from the special counsel's office. corsi says he plans to reject the plea deal that's been laid out for him. could he be in trouble for share ing these documents with us? >> he can share them, he's clearly a witness in a grand jury, if we're talking about a perjury charge, because he would have given testimony under oath. a witness in a grand jury can share information that they've provided. what's interesting about the document is that if robert mueller goes and gets the documents, he's going to get every e-mail for the last three months or whatever the period of time is. you have jerome corsi here choosing to hand you one e-mail, right, and not all of them?
so i think we have to also keep in mind that this may be very self-serving in some ways, as all. >> thanks, one and all. appreciate the expert opinion. the historic number that will likely put a smile on the faces of house democrats. what is it? stay with us. what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
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mississippi voters are choosing their next senator in a race that's been marred by allegations of racism, throwing back to the state's ugly confederate past. hoping veterans will look past the controversy and keep the state red. cnn's jessica dean is live for us in mississippi. she's in byram, just southwest of jackson. jessica, turnout is very crucial for the democrats if they have any hopes of flipping this seat. >> reporter: that is exactly right, jake. the democrats need african-americans to turn out in historic numbers to get this dope for their candidate, mike espy. but even mike espy understands, that one historic thing happening isn't going to be enough to get him across the finish line. listen to what he had to say. >> if only african-americans come out for me and even if they come out in record numbers, i won't win. i know that and i've known that throughout my career. so we have to have a good number
of crossovers. >> reporter: yeah. they're really going to have -- espy's really going to have to have everything break his way to flip this seat here in mississippi. in the meantime, cindy hyde-smith maintains her confidence. president trump was with her at two rallies -- not one, but two rallies here in mississippi last night. here's how she's feeling. >> we're here today to make sure everybody gets out to vote. we're encouraging everybody to go to the polls and cast their vote. it's going to be an historic day. >> reporter: well, here where we are, we've seen a steady straea all day. really, we have been here since early this morning and it has been a steady stream, lines at times. it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out, jake. polls close here in just a few hours. we'll see how it goes. >> jessica, thanks so much. that's the senate side. on the house side, democrats are
pingi i picking up their 39th seat today. in new mexico, xochitl torres small wins today. the net pickup for democrats in the house could soon be 40 seats. 40 seats, in itself, a massive accomplishment for democrats. the biggest swing since watergate. but there's something to be said for turning out voters. and take a look at this. cnn tallied every single vote cast in the house races this year and found this stunning disparity. nearly 9 million more votes were cast for democrats than republicans. 9 million. that's the largest margin of victory for either party in the history of the midterms. let's talk about this with our experts. this certainly, at least in the house, appears to be a pretty solid blue wave. >> yeah, and it was a wave. you know, we were on air on tuesday night during the midterms. it didn't like as massive a blue wave then. but as votes started to beal
yid, california, some big news out of there with orange county flipping totally blue at this point. and real interesting pickups. you think about in south carolina, flipping that sanford seat. a race in georgia with lucy mcmath, flipping that seat that democrats tried to flip before, but, so, yeah, democrats ran a very solid races, picked the right candidates for the right districts. so they should feel good about this 40-seat -- what could be a 40-seat pickup at this point. and now the question of who is going to lead those folks in the house. will it be nancy pelosi? there's going to be a vote soon on that. yeah, democrats should feel good. but at the same time, just because you do well in the midterms doesn't necessarily mean anything for 2020, right? and it also means, you know, if you're looking at the senate, obviously, if you're a republican, you feel good because you've extended your majority there and that means something for supreme court seats as well as justices all up and down the ballot.
>> exactly. i remember when i was covering you and you were at the obama white house, 2010, horrible midterms for you guys. and yet president obama went on to be re-elected handedly two years later. it doesn't necessarily mean trouble for two more years down the road. >> that's true, it doesn't. and in fact, if you look historically, even more elections before that, the midterms are often won by the opposing party. and the president can still win re-election, and often has. however, in this case, i think democrats needed to get their vote back a bit. there was a lack of confidence on message and the kind of candidates our ability to actually win. and this certainly did that. so this re-energized the party. a lot of the special elections have certainly done that. it also shows that there are states like wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania that democrats can win in. they are not states that are fully trump or fully republican states. but it is going to be dependent on who we nominate in 2020 and that is the biggest question as to whether we will win, not the determination of the midterm elections. >> kristen, take a listen to president trump yesterday talking about the results of the midterm elections?
>> you know, we had a fantastic evening and day very recently, the midterms. we got very little credit from the fake news media. >> i mean, he lost the house. i don't know what's so fantastic about it. but there is -- there is some comfort for republicans in at least the senate. >> sure, and i think that's why the morning after election, the president came out and made that statement where he sounded defiant and very positive about the election results. at that point, there were still a lot of votes yet to be tallied. and the reluctance to call it a blue wave were some big-name races where democrats were very emotionally invested in getting victories. maybe the expectations were too high, and the president could say, well, at least we kept the senate and that's all i really wanted. i think the other reason he's so adamant about saying that this was a win for republicans, even when i think the data suggests that especially in the house, it was not, is his brand is built
on winning. if president trump is at all viewed as a guy who can't win, that's a huge knock against his brand, hurts him with people in his own party. and so i think that's why he's been so focused on saying, look, the people who lost, they're the one who is weren't my fans. look, that's what the mia love comments, right? the people who lost were the ones who weren't with me. because he knows that politically, for himself, he's got to stay a winner in order to keep the party behind him. >> yet, kaitlan, a deficit of almost 9 million votes between people who voted for republicans in the house and democrats in the house. and the president, currently his unfavorability rating in the gallup daily tracking is 60%. 60% disapprove, in his approval rating. so the president might be on brand when he talks about how he's winning. he's not. he's not winning and the last few weeks have been pretty bad for him. >> no and i think he's well aware of that. behind closed doors, he is still
really irritated about losing the house. that's why you see him slip up and make comments like he did in tupelo last night. well, i lost the house, but i can't go everywhere. it's not my fault i can't go and campaign everywhere. i think it's been a bad few weeks for president trump. and the question about 2020 is going to be so much more than just what the midterms were. but if you look at what happened with gm yesterday, that is going to have some devastating effect ifs s if we continue to see something like that happen and something happens with the economy before 2020, that is what the white house should be more worried about than what a few democrats were saying after the midterms. >> and jen, just as somebody who has been through this, give a little warning to your friends at the white house right now about what having a house in opposition hands with subpoena power, what that exactly means for the administration. >> well, it means that whether it's right or wrong, that they will make it their job to hold everybody accountable who has done anything they don't like over the last two years. so, in this case, we have focused a lot on russia and what they're going to do in the oversight committee, intelligence committee, but it's
going to be much more than that. they will be investigating using subpoena power for hhs. they will be using it for epa, they will be using it on every issue they possibly can. >> child separations at the border. >> absolutely. >> puerto rico deaths. >> absolutely. it will be all-consuming for the white house. and i think, if they thought the last two years were hard, they have not seen anything yet. >> and they have not fully grasped that yet. a lot of people who came with president trump to washington were people who weren't in washington before that. so i do not think that there's a serious understanding in the west wing of what january is going to look like. >> everyone, stick around. a lot more to talk about. coming up, general motor has decided to close factories and fire thousands of people. and now, general motors is facing a serious threat from president trump. but is he just bluffing? stay with us.
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our money lead now this afternoon. president trump threatened to cut off all federal subsidies to general motors because of the auto company's announcement it would slash more than 14,000 jobs at five plants throughout north america, so as to invest in more future-forward technology. the president wrote in a tweet, very disappointed with general motors and their ceo mareya barra for closing plants in ohio, michigan, and maryland. nothing be closed in mexico and china. the u.s. saved general motors and this is the thanks we get. we are now looking at cutting all gm decease. we looked into this. it's big to note that the biggest electric subsidy for gm is about to go away on its own anyway once a sales milestone is hit. let's talk about this with our experts. and let me ask you, because president obama led the auto bailout under -- >> and trump gave him credit for that today.
i guess we should applaud that. >> is that the first time he's given obama credit? >> probably not, but -- >> i don't know. but maybe he's criticized him in the past, maybe he has .. but do you share the outrage? i mean, the u.s. taxpayer and the obama administration, you know, really did a lot to keep gm live. >> that's true. and look, i think the ceo is currently trying to keep gm alive. so i'm not -- i think what she's doing in these states is very politically treacherous for gm and politically treacherous for the people who are defending gm, but she was hired five years ago. she has cut a lot of cars from production that were popular. she has -- has tried to slim gm. so it's very unpopular, but i don't know that she's going to change her ways about it. i'm not sure i'm outraged for gm. she's trying to keep the company alive. >> and part of the problem is the cars that they are sell ing are unpopular. you can't force americans to buy the chevrolet cruze, which is an electric vehicle, which a lot of the subsidies are going to
buying these electric vehicles. so to cut those subsidies means people probably aren't going to buy those cars anyway. it's interesting to hear an american president talk about subsidies. obama was slammed all the time for this idea of picking winners and losers. and it seems like in some ways he's kind of doing that as well. but this is really treacherous territory for -- because he went to those states and said, all of these jobs are coming back, you don't have to move. i'm going to revive these -- >> in fact, take a listen to trump just last night after this announcement had already been made. >> the previous administration, they said, manufacturing's never coming back, it's gone! you'd need a magic wand. well, we found the magic wand, and that's actually -- that's actually going to be increasing by a lot in the next short while, because we have a lot of companies moving in. >> so it's 14,000 jobs. the economy, we should note, obviously, we've covered this plenty of times before, the economy is doing very well, unemployment is very low.
but this goes right at the trump brand. taking away american jobs in the heartland. >> 100%. remember that mitt romney got in trouble because he had written an op-ed that got titled, "let detroit go bankrupt," and that was a huge sort of challenge for him politically. >> you remember him, jen. >> i do. >> so trump built up, his political success has been built upon being a different kind of republican in that regard. this happening not just in terms of losing manufacturing jobs, but ohio, a state that voted for trump by the same margins that texas did. i mean, ohio at the presidential level was not a swing state this last time. and so for it to be the place where this is happening, i think really strikes at the heart of the president's political base. >> and beyond it just being a political issue, first, i want to say, this is devastating for these families. and i feel for each and every one of them that is about to lose their jobs, in a place where maybe they are not going to be able to get another job that pays as well as this or has as good as benefits. so this is just devastating on a human level. it's also politically going to
be a step back for president trump. gas prices are down, so people aren't buying these types of cars, but president trump made it a problem for himself because he went there and promised these jobs were coming back, manufacturing jobs, he promised that they should not sell their house. you shouldn't say things like that, because you're not going to be able to back it up. he did it again yesterday when he was leaving the white house. he essentially said that he told the woman that they're going to have to put something else in there. something instead of the chevy cruz. >> just because they pick a new car doesn't mean it's going to sell. american cars are on the decline. that goes back to bigger issues, president trump shouldn't make promises he can't keep. because when things like this happen, people hold president trump responsible. >> this is why running for re-election can be harder than running for election for the first time, because people hold you accountable for what you promised. president trump went out there and promised he would bring back manufacturing jobs across the country. the policies he put in place
have not been policies that have done that. look back when we were talking about the tax reform debate. a lot of companies went out and admitted that they would send jobs overseas and close plants. that's exactly what happened. >> gm just got $150 million from that tax cut. >> and they're essentially saying they're not investing that necessarily back into research and developed dwoment adding more plants. all of these policies saying they were going to juice jobs, rolling back regulations, at least in this case, it hasn't happened. >> thanks, one and all. president trump set to meet with slpt as pressure mounts for the president to react strongly against the president's actions against ukraine. stay with us. tely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been rehearsing that. no annual fee on any card. only from discover.
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our world need now. the sequel is shaping up to look a lot like the cringe-worthy original. we're just a few days away from another trump/putin meeting at the g-20 summit this time. and again the president not personally singling out russia for firing on ukrainian ships or surrounding those ships or seizing their sailors. he only says, he doesn't like what's happening either way. so will president trump finally confront putin's act of aggregation against ukraine? nick paton walsh joins me live from kiev, ukraine. and we just got some breaking news from the ukrainian president. what is it? >> reporter: absolutely. that phrase "either way" how donald trump describes how he feels about apportioning blame in this crisis has no truck, really here in ukraine itself. we've just heard from ukraine's president, petro poroshenko. he is quite clear that he believes there is a risk of a full-scale military operation by russia still in the air. in fact, they're deeply concerned over what they say is a buildup of russian forces on
the border and also, too, how this incident where russian boats rammed ukrainian boats on sunday was the first time in which russian military forces haven't bothered using a disguise or proxies to attack ukraine as we've seen in the last four years. that war is still going on. people are dying every week, jake, but not really in the headlines. they did it openly, quite blatantly. and the real question i think people in ukraine are ask heein here, as martial law -- you can hear the bells behind me -- martial law is about to begin in about nine hours which means possibly limitations on russians entering ukraine itself legally. people are really asking, exactly where is the international community right now? and is this a case of the kremlin trying to probe how far they can go? jake? >> well, and there's this interesting dynamic, u.n. ambassador from the united states, nikki haley, really laid into russia over this act of aggressive.
president trump, of course, has yet to really point the finger at putin, as you noted. how does that square with every going on on the ground? >> reporter: strange. the phrase he used, i'm not happy, i want it straightened out. he used the afraiphrase, "i'm n happy either way," as if no one was to blame. almost like he was scolding an errant child. a very strange presidential turn of phrase, frankly. and one that seemed to be kind of backed up by john bolton, his national security adviser today, in the brief moment in which he spoke about ukraine. you've got to bear in mind, jake, this could really be a significant ground confrontation on the european mainland continent here. we have russian troops aggressively moving around and ukraine warning of a full-scale invasion. this is nothing something to trifle about at all. it should have been the main topic of much of that press conference. john bolton simply referred everyone back to nikki haley's earlier comments, saying that he had nothing more to say. it's noticeable, really, how this current white house seems to find any potential criticism
of russia sort of sticks in their throat to some degree, at least publicly on the white house podium. so a fascinating turn of developments there, and frankly, many in ukraine thinks that plays right into vladimir putin's thinking. he wants to see really how far he can push donald trump. he knows europe's distracted with brexit and its own internal troubles and he's perhaps trying to see what he can get away with. what ukraine, defenseless as it is, will let him do. jake? >> nick paton walsh in key eiev thank you so much. today, the deadliest attack against troops in afghanistan this year, three u.s. service members were killed with three others and an american contractor were wounded after an improvised explosive device or ied went off in the city of ghazni, afghanistan, south of kabul. the taliban have claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. this comes hours after army ranger sergeant leandro jasro's remains were brought back to the united states last night. the pentagon says that jasro was killed three days ago by friendly fire from an afghan
partner force. he was just 25 years old. he had been in the army since fwle 2012. the deaths of these men, a reminder of the price of the ongoing 17-year war americans continue to fight. you can follow me on facebook and twitter @jaketapper or tweet the show @thelead. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, breaking news. what mueller knows. cnn receives draft court filings which may show robert mueller is in the home stretch of a collusion case. the documents detail alleged steps by a trump ally to obtain information on democratic e-mails stolen by russia. manafort's meetings. former trump campaign chairman paul manafort denies a report that he net secretly with wikileaks founder julian assange even as the special counsel says ma manafort broke his plea deal by repeatedly lying to prosecutors and investigators. narrowing denials. as the mueller investigation closes in,